In a new interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Donald Sterling publicly apologized for the racist comments he made on an audio recording released last month. (He also said “I was baited” and claims that the woman with whom he was speaking on the recording “had me say those things,” so this is less of an “I’m sorry, period” apology and more of an “I’m sorry, BUT” apology.)
When discussing his long tenure with the league, Sterling said the following (emphasis added):
“I’m a good member who made a mistake and I’m apologizing and I’m asking for forgiveness,” he 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.”
This would seem like a good time to point out Sterling’s incredibly long, tangled history of making “mistakes.” Sterling’s record is fairly well-known by now, having finally entered the public consciousness during the firestorm sparked by his comments, but it would seem necessary to revisit his history considering his “I was set up, but also I’m sorry and it was just one mistake” apology.
His record, in case you forgot, involves repeated allegations of using racial slurs or racially offensive language, millions of dollars paid to settle a housing discrimination case, a lawsuit claiming decades of racially-offensive behavior and much, much more. Read more about it here.
Oh, and in the same interview with CNN, Sterling also apologized to Magic Johnson and immediately following that apology with this thought: “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.”
Sterling was banned for life from the NBA in the wake of the audio recordings. The league is working to force him to sell the Los Angeles Clippers. Meanwhile, Sterling’s wife, Shelly, said in a separate interview that she wants to retain her share of the team if it is sold. The NBA says that if her husband is forced to sell, she loses her stake as well.