Donald Sterling apologized on Sunday for making racist remarks, saying they were a “terrible mistake.”
In his first comments since being banned from basketball for life, the Los Angeles Clippers owner said he was “emotionally distraught.”
“I’m not a racist. I made a terrible mistake,” Donald Sterling told CNN.
“I’m here to apologize.”
Donald Sterling was recorded asking his girlfriend V. Stiviano not to associate in public with black people nor bring them to games.
But he said he was “baited” into making the remarks.
“When I listen to that tape, I don’t even know how I can say words like that,” he said.
Donald Sterling wants to remain the Clippers’ boss and believes that years of good behavior as an owner should help his case
“I don’t know why the girl had me say those things.”
The NBA has started the process to remove Donald Sterling as owner of the LA team.
Donald Sterling, 81, said he wanted to remain the Clippers’ boss and believes that years of good behavior as an owner should help his case.
“I’m a good member who made a mistake,” he said.
“Am I entitled to one mistake, am I after 35 years? Am I entitled to one mistake? It’s a terrible mistake, and I’ll never do it again.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Donald Sterling from the sport and fined him $2.5 million last month.
The NBA is also hoping to force Donald Sterling to sell the team, which would require 75% of NBA owners to vote in favor of the move.
Adam Silver believes the NBA will get the votes it needs but lawyers say the Clippers’ owner could oppose the sale in the courts.
“If the owners feel I have another chance, then they’ll give it to me,” Donald Sterling said.
Donald Sterling’s comments came as ABC News posted excerpts of an interview with his estranged wife Rochelle “Shelly” Sterling.
Rochelle Sterling, who holds a 50% stake in the team, said she would fight to keep hold of her share.
“I will fight that decision,” she said.
“I’m wondering if a wife of one of the owners did something like that, said those racial slurs, would they oust the husband?”
“I don’t know why I should be punished for what his actions were,” Rochelle Sterling added.
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Donald Sterling has said he is not a racist and will not sell the Los Angeles Clippers.
In a recording obtained by RadarOnline, a man who is reportedly Donald Sterling is heard saying he does not believe he can be forced to sell.
Donald Sterling was banned from the NBA for life after he was recorded making racist remarks.
The NBA advisory panel has agreed to begin the process of selling the team.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said a forced sale would require 75% of NBA owners, and believes he has the votes.
However, Donald Sterling, 81, could oppose the sale in the courts, according to sports lawyers.
Donald Sterling has said he is not a racist and will not sell the Los Angeles Clippers (photo Forbes)
In the recording of what appears to be a phone conversation between Donald Sterling and another man, the Clippers owner says: “You think I’m a racist? You think I have anything in the world but love for everybody? … You know I’m not a racist!”
“How can you be in this business and be a racist?” Donald Sterling asked.
“Do you think I tell the coach to get white players or to get the best player he can get?”
He also told the other man: “You can’t force somebody to sell property in America. I’m a lawyer. That’s my opinion.”
Donald Sterling explains his background growing up in East Los Angeles would make him accepting of others.
“I was the president of the high school there. I mean, and I’m a Jew! And 50% of the people there were black and 40% were Hispanic.
“So I mean, people must have a good feeling for me.”
RadarOnline does not identify the other man or how they received the recording.
The most recent recording emerged as Donald Sterling’s estranged wife, Rochelle, told US media she will fight for a controlling stake of the team.
Rochelle “Shelly” Sterling is a co-owner of the Clippers through a family trust.
Her lawyer, Pierce O’Donnell, said in a statement she “will not agree to a forced or involuntary seizure of her interest”.
Pierce O’Donnell added Shelly Sterling has been separated from her husband for the last year and is considering divorce. Rochelle Sterling also said through her lawyer she has no interest in managing the Clippers.
“The Sterlings may share the same last name, but she does not share his values on race,” Pierce O’Donnell said.
“The sins of the husband cannot be imputed to the wife or children.”
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Rochelle Sterling, wife of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, attended the team’s Game 4 match against Golden State on Sunday and she was asked questions about the racist remarks that have been attributed to her husband.
Rochelle Sterling, wife of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, attended the team’s Game 4 match against Golden State on Sunday (photo ABC)
Donald Sterling was not in attendance at his team game.
According to ESPN’s Lisa Salters, Rochelle Sterling was adamant that she does not support the comments that have been attributed to her husband. She said that she is not a racist, never has been and never will be.
When Rochelle Sterling was asked whether it was her husband’s voice on the tapes that were released over the weekend, she said hadn’t heard the entire recording and that she wasn’t sure.
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