Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling finally spoke out, publicly, about his controversial racist comments… and offered an apology.
“I’m not a racist,” he said in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “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.
When asked by Cooper why he took so long to say he’s sorry, Sterling said he was “emotionally distraught.”
“The reason it’s hard for me, very hard for me, is that I’m wrong. I caused the problem. I don’t know how to correct it,” Sterling said.
“I’m a good member who made a mistake and I’m apologizing and I’m asking for forgiveness,” he continued. “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.”
As far as the comments he made in the recorded audio by V. Stiviano, Sterling said that’s not him. “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.
“You’re saying you were set up?” Cooper asked.
“Well yes, I was baited,” Sterling responded. “I mean, that’s not the way I talk. I don’t talk about people for one thing, ever. I talk about ideas and other things. I don’t talk about people.”
Sterling also said he’s spoken to Magic Johnson, who was mentioned in the leaked audio and angry about V. Stiviano taking a picture with. “If I said anything wrong, I’m sorry,” Sterling said. “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. But I’ll say it, he’s great, but I don’t think he’s a good example for the children of Los Angeles,” he said.
What do you think? Does Sterling deserve another chance? Was his apology sincere?