The Donald Sterling apology that most people thought would never come has arrived – more than two weeks after his racist rant went viral.
“[I] made a mistake and I’m apologizing and I’m asking for forgiveness,” Sterling told CNN. “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. … I’m not a racist. I made a terrible mistake. I’m here to apologize.”
The apology is set to air May 12 on Anderson Cooper’s AC360.
Of course, the apology comes with a big ol’ grain of salt — he was set up by his black girlfriend.
“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,” the 80-year-old married billionaire tells Cooper in the interview.
“You’re saying you were set up?” Cooper asks him.
“Well yes, I was baited,” Sterling says. “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.”
His initial rant (see Racist Talk From Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Shocks NBA) sent shockwaves through the NBA — with protests from players and calls for punishment dominating the headlines.
In a taped audio conversation he has with girlfriend V. Stiviano, he chastises her for posting online pictures with Earvin “Magic” Johnson because the Hall of Famer is black and that would attract more black people to Clippers games.
He also adds that his lady friend looks bad hanging around black people.
As punishment for his words, the NBA has banned him for life from attending games and is currently trying to force the sale of the Clippers.
In punishment, many have noted, doesn’t seem all that harsh: In effect, he will no longer be forced to watch black athletes up close and with the sale is set to receive millions with the team’s value increasing over the years.