May 12, 2014
By Jane Brown
L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling is apologizing for racial remarks that were captured on tape, saying they were a “terrible mistake.” In his first public comments since being banned for life from the NBA two weeks ago, 80 year old Sterling tells CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview that’s to air this evening that he’s “not a racist.” He says he loves the league and believes that after more than three decades as an owner, he’s “entitled to one mistake.”
His estranged wife Shelly Sterling was asked by Barbara Walters if she thinks Donald Sterling is a racist. “I have never heard him say racial things…It was horrible when I heard it. I mean it was just degrading, and it made me sick to hear. But as far as a racist, I don’t really think he’s a racist.”
Shelly Sterling says she would fight to keep her ownership of the team, even if her estranged husband can’t. But the NBA says if Donald Sterling’s ownership of the L.A. Clippers is terminated, so is his wife’s. Under the league’s constitution, all team owners would lose their stake in the franchise if the controlling owner’s interest is terminated.