Nearly two weeks after he was banned from the NBA for life, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling finally apologized for his racist comments in an interview with CNN
In excerpts of the interview released on Sunday, he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “I’m not a racist.”
“I’m a good member who made a mistake and I’m apologizing and I’m asking for forgiveness,” Sterling said. “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.”
TMZ first published Sterling’s recorded comments in late April, releasing audio in which he told female friend V. Stiviano to stop associating with African Americans on Instagram and to stop bringing them to his games. In a different audio released later by Radar Online, Sterling explained his comments to another friend by saying he was trying to sleep with Stiviano, and was jealous of seeing her with black men.
The NBA needs a three-fourths majority vote from the league’s 30 controlling owners to force Sterling to sell his share of the Clippers — a franchise that could fetch over $1 billion. Commissioner Adam Silver has said that he is confident he will get enough votes.
Though he is expected to sue the league if he is forced to sell, Sterling also told CNN, “If the owners feel I have another chance, then they’ll give it to me.” Sterling reportedly signed past contracts with the NBA stipulating moral and ethical conduct, which the league could rely on as cause to remove him from the team.