Donald Sterling: I “Made Terrible Mistake,” and “I’m Asking for Forgiveness”
In the talk, the embattled NBA owner made the case as to why he shouldn’t be forced to lose the Clippers over his racist comments.
“I’m a good member who made a mistake and I’m apologizing and I’m asking for forgiveness,” said Sterling.
He went on, “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.”
Sterling was non-committal as to whether he’ll fight the NBA over his ownership rights, but admitted he’s “emotionally distraught” over the situation.
“I caused the problem,” he acknowledged. “I don’t know how to correct it.”
Sterling revealed he’s already talked the situation over with Magic Johnson, whose photo with V. Stiviano sparked the billionaire’s controversial rant, telling him, “If I said anything wrong, I’m sorry.”
But Sterling still won’t count himself as a fan of the NBA legend.
“He’s a good person. I mean, what am I going to say? Has he done everything he can do to help minorities? I don’t think so,” he told Cooper.
Sterling added, “But I’ll say it, he’s great. But I don’t think he’s a good example for the children of Los Angeles.”
And he is none too happy with Stiviano, who he claims “baited” him into making the now infamous comments about blacks.
“When I listen to that tape, I don’t even know how I can say words like that … I don’t know why the girl had me say those things,” he said, insisting, “I mean, that’s not the way I talk.”
Sterling’s explanation: He was used by Stiviano.
“An 80-year-old man is kind of foolish, and I’m kind of foolish. I thought she liked me and really cared for me,” he said. “I guess being 51 years older than her, I was deluding myself.”
Now Sterling remains devoted to one thing — his love of the Clippers and the team’s players.
“They are Clippers and they’re mine and I’m theirs. That’s how I feel,” he said.
Sterling told Cooper point-blank, “I’m not a racist. 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.”
The full interview will be broadcast on “Anderson Cooper 360” on CNN on Monday.
Do you think Sterling should be forgiven?