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Magic Johnson: Sterling's ban for life by the NBA marks 'great day for the United States'

  • Magic Johnson Sterling Saginaw-1.jpg

    Businessman and former NBA star Magic Johnson smiles while speaking to members of the media during a press conference Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Saginaw, Mich. Johnson spoke about Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, whom NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned for life from the league on Tuesday. (AP Photo/The Saginaw News, Neil Barris)The Associated Press

  • Magic Johnson Sterling Saginaw-2.jpg

    Former NBA star Magic Johnson speaks during a news conference in Saginaw, Mich., Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Johnson answered questions about Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, whom NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned for life from the league. (AP Photo/The Saginaw News, Neil Barris)The Associated Press

  • Magic Johnson Saginaw-3.jpg

    Businessman and former NBA star Magic Johnson smiles for a picture with members of an AAU girls basketball team in Saginaw, Mich., Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Johnson returned to Saginaw for the third annual "Magic of a Promise" fundraiser for the Saginaw Promise Scholarship. (AP Photo/The Saginaw News, Neil Barris)The Associated Press

  • Magic Johnson Saginaw-4.jpg

    Businessman and former NBA star Magic Johnson speaks to the audience at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Mich., Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Johnson returned to Saginaw for the third annual "Magic of a Promise" fundraiser for the Saginaw Promise Scholarship. (AP Photo/The Saginaw News, Neil Barris)The Associated Press

Hall of Fame basketball player Magic Johnson says he's pleased with the decision to ban Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life from any association with the NBA for making racist comments.

Johnson told reporters in Saginaw, Mich., on Tuesday that the announcement of Sterling's punishment by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver marked "a great day for the United States." Johnson says he hopes fans will return to Clippers games.

TMZ released an audio recording last weekend of Sterling talking to a female companion. In the recording, Sterling questions her association with minorities, including Johnson.

Silver on Tuesday delivered the penalty along with a $2.5 million fine.

Johnson grew up in Lansing, Mich., and played at Michigan State. He was in Saginaw for the "Magic of a Promise" education fundraiser.