Sterling Apologizes In First Interview Since Racist Rant
05/12/14
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Donald Sterling, the Los Angeles Clippers owner banned for life from the NBA for making racist comments, publicly apologized in his first interview since the remarks were made public.

“I’m a good member who made a mistake and I am apologizing and asking for forgiveness,” Sterling said in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper to be aired Monday evening, though excerpts were released earlier in the day. “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.

Asked by Cooper why he waited so long to apologize, Sterling said it was because he was “so 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,” he told Cooper.
Under the punishment laid down late last month by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Sterling may not associate with the team or the league after it was determined that his was the voice recorded without his knowledge making the racist rant, which included comments about black Jews in Israel. Sterling will be pressured to sell the team; he also was fined $2.5 million.

Sterling said he was not going to fight to keep the team, saying it would not accomplish anything for him to alienate the other owners and for each side to spend millions of dollars in order to fight it out in court.

“If the owners feel I deserve another chance, then they will give it to me,” he said.

His estranged wife, Shelly, who has co-owned the team with her husband since 1981, says she will fight any attempts to force her to sell the team.

Under the ban, Sterling may not attend Clippers games or practices, and cannot enter any Clippers facility. He also was barred from making business or player decisions and from NBA Board of Governors meetings or other activities.

editor@jewishweek.org

Last Update:

05/15/2014 - 14:11

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It is obvious that Sterling has mishandled everything relating to this incident very badly, but I have many questions. Did he consent to his private conversation being recorded? If not, releasing it to the public may be a crime and whomever is responsible may be in serious legal jeopardy. If the release of the recording is illegal, can it even be used as evidence in any legal proceeding - including expelling him from the NBA? We still have laws and a constitution the last time I checked. What is the state of Sterling's mental health? He sure seems like a senile, incapacitated, old man. Rich, but missing a marble or two. Is it fair to entrap an old demented man in emotional argument in his own home and then use his own words against him? So far, the Sterling family seems to be unable to mount a sensible defense which is somewhat surprising.

Here is a thought for you to ponder: Maybe the reason why Sterling's own family is not mounting a defense of him is because they know that the opinions that he expressed on the tape are indeed his views and that they are very consistent with what he has said in the past. You're distracting attention from the real issue (the man is a racist) to a side issue (the taped conversation was indeed private which is why it could not be used in court proceedings, but no one is talking about arresting Sterling and putting him on trial. Also, you cant have it both ways. You cant argue that the man is senile and therefore doesn't know what he is saying and, at the same time, that he is mentally competent enough to run a major business. The Clippers will be sold, Sterling will get even more money to spend on his girlfriends, as we can all move on to see whether the Heat can repeat.

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