Both former and current players in the National Basketball Association are reacting to racist comments attributed to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Sterling specifically mentioned former player Magic Johnson in discriminatory remarks that were recorded during an argument he had with his girlfriend V. Stiviano on April 9, according to the website TMZ.
"I've known (Magic) well and he should be admired. ... I'm just saying that it's too bad you can't admire him privately," the man on the recording says. "Admire him, bring him here, feed him, f**k him, but don't put (Magic) on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don't bring him to my games."
Speaking to CNN affiliate KCAL, Johnson responded to the comments saying he thinks Sterling should step down.
Monday on "New Day," three other former NBA players added their opinions on Sterling and what they believe should happen next:
Otis Birdsong, Former NBA All-Star Player
Otis Birdsong said he was not surprised by Sterling's comments as his views have "been known for years."
While Birdsong said he can't remember any other time hearing comments like this from other owners, for Sterling: "He’s had several allegations before since he’s been on this team ... It’s true. There’s no doubt about it."
Dominique Wilkins, Former NBA player, Executive for the Atlanta Hawks
Dominique Wilkins expanded on the belief that Sterling's views do not represent those of other owners.
"I think this is just one bad apple trying to spoil the bunch," he said. "Nobody wants to play for this guy. I wouldn’t want to play for him."
Mayor Kevin Johnson, Former NBA Player and current Mayor of Sacramento
What's next for Sterling and the NBA?
Kevin Johnson called this time a "defining moment" for the league.
He said NBA commissioner Adam Silver needs to take very decisive action that should "make a statement."
"We've got to make sure that justice is served, not just for this league, but for society."
In reaction to Sterling's comments, Clippers players gave the owner the silent treatment ahead of Sunday's playoff game. The team removed their warm-up shirts to reveal T-shirts worn inside out to hide the team’s logo. Do you think this is appropriate? Should the players go as far as boycotting a game?
Vote in our poll below:
NBA players protest racist talk attributed to L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling
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Over 77 percent of you voted in favor of the beard!
See CNN's Political Gut Check segment with John King above.
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As Pope Francis prepares to celebrate his first Christmas at the Vatican, Americans' opinions of the pontiff appear to be as high as the dome on St. Peter's Basilica, according to a new survey.
A CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday found that 88% of American Catholics approve of how Francis is handling his role as head of the 1.2 billion-member church.
Religion Commentator Father Edward Beck says Pope Francis’ soaring popularity is unsurprising.
“This is a man who just sent 2,000 cards to immigrants in a shelter… and he gave them phone cards so they can call home. He gave them stamps so they can write home,” Father Beck says.
The popular pontiff has also made a positive impression among Americans in general: Nearly three in four view Francis favorably. The new survey suggests that the Pope is arguably the most well-regarded religious figure among the American public today, said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
“He hugs the faceless man and then he speaks about the faceless poor,” Father Beck says. “He’s consistent all the way through."
Nine months into his papacy, the Argentine-born Francis has captured attention with crowd-pleasing acts of compassion, from embracing a severely disfigured man, to washing the feet of juvenile delinquents, to hosting homeless men at his birthday Mass this month.
The Pope has also shown a common touch rare for such a lofty religious leader. He has eschewed the trappings of the papacy in favor of humbler digs, simpler vestments and a cheaper car. He worked as a bar bouncer and a janitor before he was a priest, and is not shy about telling people.
The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International on December 16 through Thursday, with 1,035 adults nationwide, including 191 Catholics, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
Posted by CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor, Daniel Burke
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