Jordan, Magic want swift punishment for Sterling
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Michael Jordan said he’s both disgusted and outraged by the racist comments allegedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Jordan, now the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, released a statement Sunday addressing the matter. He said that as an owner, "I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views."
As a former player, Jordan says "I’m completely outraged."
An audio recording obtained by TMZ alleges that Sterling made racist comments to a girlfriend, including urging her not to bring black friends to Clippers games. The NBA and the Clippers are investigating, including whether the male voice on the recording is in fact Sterling’s.
Jordan said he is confident that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will investigate the matter fully and "take appropriate action quickly."
"There is no room in the NBA — or anywhere else — for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed," Jordan said. "I am appalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of our sport. In a league where the majority of players are African-American, we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level."
Jordan’s Bobcats trail the Miami Heat 3-0 in a best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series that resumes in Charlotte on Monday night.
Magic Johnson also called upon the NBA to "come down hard" on Sterling, even saying that the longtime owner should essentially be ousted from the league.
"He shouldn’t own a team anymore," Johnson said Sunday.
"I had a friendship with him. So for him to then make these comments, or alleged comments, about myself as well as other African-Americans and minorities, there’s no place in our society for it," Johnson said. "There’s no place in our league, because we all get along. We all play with different races of people when you’re in sports. That’s what makes sports so beautiful."
Johnson spoke on ABC’s playoff pregame show Sunday.