Donald Sterling on racist comments: 'I was baited'
In late April, TMZ published tapes of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist comments to girlfriend V. Stiviano. And now, the billionaire is expressing regret for his words.
“I’m apologizing and I’m asking for forgiveness,” Sterling said in an interview with Anderson Cooper that airs Monday night. “Am I entitled to one mistake after 35 years?”
Sterling’s conversation with Stiviano occurred after she posted a photo on Instagram of herself and Magic Johnson. This led to Sterling demanding Stiviano not bring Johnson to Clippers games — as well as any other black people.
Sterling told Cooper he’s talked to Johnson since the tapes were released. But when Cooper asked if he had apologized to Johnson, Sterling didn’t give a straight answer.
“If I said anything wrong, I’m sorry,” Sterling said. “He’s a good person and he’s… what am I gonna say? Has he done everything he can to do to help minorities? I don’t think so. I just don’t think he is a good example for the children of Los Angeles.” Oh, so this is about the children of Los Angeles now?
Sterling also speculated that Stiviano set him up. “I was baited, that’s not the way I talk,” Sterling claimed. “I’m not a racist. I made a terrible, terrible mistake. And I’m here with you here today to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all the people that I’ve hurt.”
After the NBA got word of Sterling’s comments in April, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver took charge to ban Sterling from the organization for life. Three quarters of the NBA’s 29 other owners need to vote in agreement with Silver’s recommendation in order for Sterling to be forced to sell his team.
Watch a clip from the interview below: