Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has issued an apology for racist remarks made during a recorded conversation with his former girlfriend V. Stiviano.
On Sunday, Sterling apologized for the entire ordeal calling it a “terrible mistake.”
“I’m not a racist,” Sterling told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in excerpts posted from an interview taped Sunday and set to air Monday. “I made a terrible mistake. I’m here to apologize.”
In his first public comments since being banned for life from the NBA, Sterling said years of good behavior as an owner should count toward his future.
“I’m a good member who made a mistake,” 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.”
The interview came nearly two weeks after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling from attending Clippers games for life. Sterling was also fined $2.5 million by the league, and other team owners were urged to force him to sell the team.
Sterling says the apology came late due to him being “emotionally distraught.”
“The reason it’s hard for me, very hard for me, is that I’m wrong,” Sterling said. “I caused the problem. I don’t know how to correct it.” He later added, “If the owners feel I have another chance, then they’ll give it to me.”
Sterling’s comments came on the same day ABC news released excerpts of an interview with his estranged wife and Barbara Walters. Shelly Sterling is fighting to keep her 50 percent ownership of the team.
Under the NBA constitution, if a controlling owner’s interest is terminated by a 75 percent vote, all other team owners automatically lose their share.
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