Donald Sterling Denies He's Racist, Claims He Was 'Baited' Into Making Controversial Comments
Donald Sterling, whose position as the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers remains precarious after a recording of him making racist remarks surfaced a couple of weeks ago, has spoken publicly on the incident for the first time.
Donald Sterling Says He's Not A Racist
Sterling, 80, has remained steadfastly silent since late April when an audio recording of him taking issue with his alleged mistress V. Stiviano for “associating with black people” was obtained by TMZ. Since then, the Clippers players have shown their disgust for their owner, advertisers have backed away from the franchise and NBA commissioner Adam Silver has issued Sterling a lifetime ban from the NBA.
“I'm not a racist," Sterling told Anderson Cooper in a taped interview that’s to air on CNN Monday night. "I made a terrible, terrible mistake. And I'm here with you today to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all the people that I've hurt."
"When I listen to that tape, I don't even know how I can say words like that,” he added. “I don't know why the girl [Stiviano] had me say those things. I was baited."
Sterling On 'My Players,' Magic Johnson
Sterling, who admitted that he also felt sorry because he “hurt himself,” tried to impart that he felt deeply sorry for how his comments effected the players on the Los Angeles Clippers. However, taking away from the sentiment, is his repeated tendency to refer to them as his.
“My players, they didn’t need this; they didn’t need this cloud over their head. And they’re good people. And I love them and respect them. And I would always be there for them,” said Sterling, adding, “They are Clippers. They’re mine… and I’m theirs. That’s how I feel.”
Sterling seems to be the least contrite when it comes to Magic Johnson, the former NBA player he specifically took issue with Stiviano posing with in an Instagram picture. When pressed by Cooper about Johnson, Sterling said, “If I said anything wrong, I’m sorry.… Has he done everything he can do to help minorities? I don’t think so.”
For now, Sterling’s fate with the Clipper’s hangs in the balance. Silver has asked the leagues 29 other owners to vote to force him to sell the franchise.
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