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Michael Jordan: ‘Outraged’ And ‘Appalled’ At Sterling’s Alleged Comments

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(credit: Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)

(credit: Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CBS Charlotte/AP) – NBA great and current Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan expressed that he is “outraged” and “appalled” at the alleged racist comments from Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

“As a former player, I’m completely outraged,” Michael Jordan released in a statement, according to CBS Sports. “There is no room in the NBA — or anywhere else — for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed. 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.”

The Hall-of-Famer explained that he is looking at the situation from two perspectives.

“I look at this from two perspectives — as a current owner and as a former player,” Jordan said. “As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. I’m confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly.”

Jordan has typically shied away from speaking out on political situations and controversy. 

Magic Johnson is calling upon NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to “come down hard” on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who is alleged to have made racially charged comments and urged a girlfriend to not bring black people to his team’s games.

Johnson was a subject of the comments Sterling allegedly made on an audio recording obtained and released by TMZ.

The former Lakers guard says Sterling” shouldn’t own a team anymore.”

Johnson has already said he would not attend Clippers games as long as Sterling remains owner.

He also says the Clippers should be focused on their ongoing playoff series with Golden State and not the latest scandal involving their owner.

Johnson spoke on ABC’s playoff pregame show Sunday.

President Barack Obama said Sunday that comments reportedly made by the owner of a U.S. pro basketball team are “incredibly offensive racist statements,” before casting them as part of a continuing legacy of slavery and segregation that Americans must confront.

“When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk,” Obama said when asked to respond to the reported comments from Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling.

Obama’s description of the controversy as part of a larger historical context is the latest example of his continuing willingness to expound on matters of race in his second term.

After avoiding much mention of race relations during his campaign to become the first black president and in his first term, the president last summer offered a personal reflection in response to the shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin. And now Obama has spoken out against an audio recording of a man identified as Sterling telling his girlfriend not to bring black people to games.

The firestorm over Sterling’s comments has quickly engulfed the National Basketball Association.

Obama cast the comments through a broader prism of racism in America, adding that “we constantly have to be on guard on racial attitudes that divide us rather than embracing our diversity as a strength.”

“The United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race and slavery and segregation, that’s still there, the vestiges of discrimination,” Obama said during a news conference in Malaysia, where he was traveling.

“We’ve made enormous strides, but you’re going to continue to see this percolate up every so often,” he added. “And I think that we just have to be clear and steady in denouncing it, teaching our children differently, but also remaining hopeful that part of why statements like this stand out some much is because there has been this shift in how we view ourselves.”

In the recording attributed to Sterling recording and posted on the website TMZ, a male voice questions his girlfriend’s association with minorities. TMZ reported the woman, V. Stiviano, is of black and Mexican descent.

The man asks Stiviano not to broadcast her association with black people or bring black people to games. The man specifically mentions Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson on the recording, saying, “Don’t bring him to my games, OK?”

Obama said he’s confident NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will address the matter. He said the NBA has “an awful lot of African American players, it’s steeped in African American culture. And I suspect that the NBA is going to be deeply concerned in resolving this.”

Silver had said the NBA needs to confirm authenticity of the audio tape and interview both Sterling and the woman in the recording. He called the tape “disturbing and offensive” and promised to investigate quickly.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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