Disgraced L.A Clippers owner Donald Sterling has finally made a rebuttal to the racist comments he was recorded saying that led to his lifetime ban from the NBA. He spoke to CNN’s Anderson Cooper in Los Angeles for the first time about his recorded conversation with “confidante” V. Stiviano that led to the ban.
“I’m a good member who made a mistake and I’m apologizing and I’m asking for forgiveness,” he told Cooper.
“Am I entitled to one mistake, am I, after 35 years? I mean, I love my league, I love my partners. Am I entitled to one mistake? It’s a terrible mistake, and I’ll never do it again.”
The interview will air on CNN Monday night at 8 p.m. ET
Sterling, 80, \ a billionaire lawyer and real-estate investor is the longest tenured owner in the NBA. He has owned the Clippers since 1981. In that time, he’s been reviled for years for his cheap ways with the team, has settled two discrimination lawsuits, including a record $2.75 million dollar one with the Department of Justice, settled a sexual harassment case and was accused of age and race discrimination by his former general manager, NBA legend Elgin Baylor.
“I caused the problem. I don’t know how to correct it,” Sterling tells Cooper.
In the audio clip, Sterling is angered that Stiviano is posting pictures online with African-Americans, including basketball Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson and L.A. Dodgers star Matt Kemp.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has asked the other 29 owners to force Sterling, to sell the Clippers.
“I’m not a racist,” Sterling told Cooper. “I made a terrible mistake. I’m here to apologize.”
In another tape, acquired by Radar Online, Sterling says he said what he said in order to have sex with Stiviano.