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Friday, October 21, 2016

Donald Sterling: I was ‘baited’ into making racist comments

Donald SterlingLos Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling will apologize publicly on Monday night for the first time since the infamous racist recording surfaced. Sterling spoke with CNN’s Anderson Cooper and insisted he is not a racist.

“I’m a good member who made a mistake,” Sterling told Cooper. “And I’m apologizing and I’m asking for forgiveness. Am I entitled to one mistake? Am I, after 35 years? 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.

“When I listen to that tape, I don’t even know how I could say words like that. And I’m so sorry. I’m so apologetic.”

Sterling’s comments come in the wake of a new audio recording that was released last week, which supposedly featured him telling a friend he is not racist. A previous report said Sterling’s friends had been avoiding his calls because they figured he was trying to get a recording of someone vouching for his character.

Sterling also apologized for hurting his players and claimed he has never said a bad word about them in the past.

“My players — they didn’t need this,” Sterling said. “They didn’t need this cloud over their head. They’re good people. I love them and I respect them. I would always be there for them.”

Of course, that would be easier to believe if Sterling wasn’t known for heckling his own players during games. Former Clippers guard Baron Davis said he “stopped liking basketball” because of Sterling, so it’s hard to believe the 81-year-old now.

Cooper asked Sterling specifically if he thought he was set up.

“Well yes, I was baited,” Sterling said. “I mean, that’s not the way I talk. I don’t talk about people for one thing, ever. I talk about ideas and other things. I don’t talk about people.”

And naturally, Sterling pulled the confused old man card.

“I don’t know. An 80-year-old man is kind of foolish, and I’m kind of foolish. I thought she liked me and really cared for me,” he said. “I guess being 51 years older than her, I was deluding myself. … I just wish I could ask her why, and if she was just setting me up.”

Aside from one boneheaded New York Post columnist, most of us aren’t willing to let Sterling off the hook because he’s a senior citizen. And most of us won’t let him off the hook because he is apologizing publicly, either. Given his history, we have every reason to believe Sterling is sorry he got caught. He’s not actually sorry for what he said.

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