Former NBA player Magic Johnson said Bill Clinton called to offer support a day after Clippers owner Donald Sterling blasted the basketball star during an interview.
Johnson in a tweet Tuesday said the former president called to thank him for his "work in urban America."
Pres. @billclinton called to thank me for all my work in urban America. It felt good that he said he just wanted to hear my voice.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 13, 2014
Sterling, who is facing a firestorm after racially insensitive comments he made became public last month, apologized Monday in his first public interview. His secretly recorded remarks earned him a lifetime ban from the NBA and possibly the forced sale of his team.
However, he also blasted Johnson during the interview, questioning his support for the African American community and his suitability as a role model, because he has HIV.
"Is that someone we want to respect and tell our kids about? I think he should be ashamed of himself," he added. "I think he should go into the background. But what does he do for the black people? He doesn't do anything."
Johnson was at the center of the initial firestorm. Sterling was caught on an audio recording chastising a female friend for bringing black guests to basketball games and posing for pictures with them, including Johnson.
Sterling, on Monday, alleged the only reason he waited so long to speak publicly was because Johnson had told him to be patient.
"I think he wanted me to just do nothing so he could buy the team," he said.
Johnson said other celebrities, including Tyler Perry and Spike Lee, also called to offer support.