Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Apologizes But Verbally Attacks Magic Johnson in Interview With Anderson Cooper CNN
Donald Sterling, 80, the embattled owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, apologized and said he was "asking for forgiveness" in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper. In the same interview Sterling also verbally attacked basketball legend Magic Johnson, telling Cooper, "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."
These soundbites were provided by CNN to the press on Sunday, May 11, 2014. Cooper's interview with Sterling is scheduled to air Monday night, May 12, 2014, on "AC360°" at 8 p.m. ET.
Here are the two soundbites CNN released to the press, in the form of transcripts:
Donald Sterling: I'm a good member who made a mistake and I'm apologizing and I'm asking for forgiveness. 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.
Anderson Cooper: The vice president of NBA Players Association Roger Mason, he said the players won’t accept anyone in the Sterling family owning the clippers -- not you, not your wife, not your son-in-law, not your daughter. Do you believe it?
DS: I really don’t know. The people who are going to decide my fate, I think, are not the media, not the players union but the NBA ...
AC: The owners.
DS: The owners, if the owners feel I have another chance, then they'll give it to me.
AC: But there is a path for you to fight their decision, isn't there?
DS: Of course, but if you fight with my partner, what at the end of the road do I benefit, especially at my age. If they fight with me and they spend millions and I spend millions, let's say I win or they win, I just don't know if that's important.
AC: Why wait so long to apologize? It's been a couple of weeks -- you could have come out.
DS: Well that’s a very good question. I just, I’m just so emotionally distraught, and 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.
AC: Do you trust people, I mean there have been a couple of phone recordings in the last week or two that have come out, people you have talked to on the phone or seems to be your voice, who then sold it to Radar Online or TMZ and I hear that I think, do you have anyone you trust around you?
DS: I don't give interviews; the only one I know is Magic Johnson..
AC: You talked to him
DS: Yeah, twice. Yeah he knew the girl well.
AC: Did you apologize to him?
DS: If I said anything wrong I'm sorry. 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.
Here is the other soundbite CNN released:
Donald Sterling: 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. And I’ve hurt so many people. So many innocent people, and I've hurt myself. You know, I spoke to a girl that I was fond of. When I listen to that tape, I don't even know how I can say words like that. I’m so sorry, I’m so apologetic.
Anderson Cooper: What are you sorry about?
DS: Well I’m sorry that so many people are hurt. I never dreamed that this could happen. It's a terrible, terrible nightmare.
My players, they didn't need this. they didn't need this cloud over their head.
They're good people and I love them and respect them and I would always be there for them.
AC: When you saw them ...
DS: And for them to hear that I’m a possible racist is so painful to me cuz I’m not a racist and I’ve never been a racist. It's not me.
AC: When you saw the players wear their warmup jerseys in reverse so the Clippers name wasn't on, what did you think?
DS: I really didn't pay attention. They are Clippers and they're mine and I’m theirs. That's how I feel. I would do anything for them. I made a mistake. I hope it’s in their heart to forgive me for that mistake.
I don't know why the girl had me say those things.
AC: You're saying you were set up?
DS: Well yes, I was baited. 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.
AC: Do you know how the tape got released?
AC: Do you think she did it?
DS: I don't know, 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. I guess being 51 years older than her, I was deluding myself.
AC: Do you trust her now?
DS: No, I don't trust her and I just wish I could ask her why. And if she was just setting me up, I think that people say she was taping me for 2 years. So maybe I was just fooling myself thinking for 2 years that she cared for me. She certainly acted like it.
Below: Photo of Donald Sterling, left, interviewed by CNN's Anderson Cooper