Donald Sterling, owner of Los Angeles Clippers, has offered his first public apology for racist remarks that saw him banned for life from the NBA.
Two weeks after the NBA banned him from all league activities, fined him $2.5 million and began proceedings to strip him of his team, the 80-year-old real estate billionaire insisted he is not a racist.
“I’m a good member who made a mistake and I’m apologising and I’m asking for forgiveness… It’s a terrible mistake, and I’ll never do it again,” he said.
He made the apology in an interview posted on CNN’s website – his first public comments on the scandal since celebrity gossip website TMZ posted a 10-minute audio recording of him that sparked a firestorm in the league and beyond.
In the recording, Sterling is heard chastising his girlfriend for associating with black people and bringing black people to Clippers games. Meanwhile, Sterling’s estranged wife Shelly says that she would fight to keep her stake in the team if the NBA tries to force her to sell her half of the team.
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