Clippers' Sterling apologizes for racist remarks: CNN

Mon May 12, 2014 12:04am EDT
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By Curtis Skinner

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was banned for life from the NBA over racist comments, has apologized and asked for forgiveness in his first public statement since the controversy began last month, CNN said on Sunday.

In an interview to be broadcast on Monday, Sterling told CNN he made a terrible mistake but was not a racist.

"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," Sterling said in the interview, according to CNN. "I'm here to apologize."

His comments came about two weeks after National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver fined the billionaire businessman $2.5 million and banned him for life after a tape surfaced of Sterling telling a female friend not to associate with black people.

"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," Sterling told CNN when asked why he had taken so long to speak out.

Sterling's wife, Shelly Sterling, who has co-owned the team with her husband since 1981, said in an interview with ABC News on Sunday that she would fight any attempt to force her to sell.

"I was shocked by what he (Donald Sterling) said. And, well, I guess whatever their decision is, we have to live with it," Shelly Sterling told ABC News. "But I don't know why I should be punished for what his actions were."

In response to her comments, the NBA said on Sunday that, under the league's constitution, the interests of all other owners of a team come to an end when the controlling owner's stake is terminated.   Continued...

Real estate mogul and Los Angeles Clippers NBA basketball team owner Donald Sterling attends the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California May 1, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok