Don’t mess with 'Magic'

Marc Morial

(NNPA)—“My whole life is dedicated to urban America.”—NBA Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson
Every time ostracized Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling opens his mouth, he reveals how deeply out of touch and stuck in the past he is when it comes to the issue of race.  He also appears to have especially mean-spirited and distorted views about a man who has been both a champion in the NBA and a champion for urban America—Magic Johnson.
In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Sterling said that Johnson, who was diagnosed with HIV in 1991, was not a good role model for kids, “should be ashamed of himself” and “should go into the background.”  Ignoring the extraordinary contributions Johnson has made to HIV/AIDS awareness and education and urban economic development, Sterling went on to say, “What does he do for the Black people? He doesn’t do anything.”
These comments could not be more wrong. Johnson himself could only respond by saying “I’m going to pray for this … man” and that Sterling was “living in the stone ages.”  Magic Johnson needs no defense.  His extraordinary record of giving back to the Black community is well known to almost everyone, including Donald Sterling—even if he cannot bring himself to recognize it.  But, lest Sterling’s words have cast any doubt, we want to take this opportunity to set the record straight.


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