While attempting to apologize for his racist comments, the Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling dug himself deeper into a public-image nightmare.
In a PR nightmare of an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper last night, Donald Sterling attempted to apologize for the racist remarks that have turned him into the villain of the NBA. The 80-year-old, speaking to Anderson Cooper in his first television interview since the crisis broke, insisted he wasn’t racist and asked forgiveness for his “one mistake.”
“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.”
I’m pretty sure there was more than “one mistake” – the million dollar housing discrimination lawsuit comes to mind – but at least Donald Sterling is stepping up and taking responsibility for his words.
Or maybe not…
Sterling says he was “baited” into using racist language by V. Stiviano, the mistress/professional archivist who made the original recording.
“She would always use the word ‘black,’ ” Sterling said of Stiviano.
“I used her words,” Sterling continued, later adding: “I don’t know why the girl had me say those things.”
Okay, so he didn’t take full responsibility, but at least he didn’t unleash anymore racist or offensive comments, right?
During the interview, Donald Sterling decided to unleash a searing attack on Magic Johnson as well as wealthy African Americans.
“What has he done, big Magic Johnson, what has he done?”
“He acts so holy,” Sterling said. “He made love to every girl in every city in America, and he had AIDS, and when he had those AIDS I went to my synagogue and I prayed for him, I hope he could live and be well. I didn’t criticize him. I could have. Is he an example for children?”
“What kind of a guy goes to every city, has sex with every girl, then he catches HIV. Is that someone we want to respect, and tell our kids about? I think he should be ashamed of himself,” Sterling continued after Anderson Cooper corrected him, explaining that Johnson was HIV positive but did not have “full-blown AIDS.”
“I think he should go into the background. But what does he do for the black people? He doesn’t do anything,” the NBA villain added.
According to Sterling, it might be Magic Johnson’s race that impairs his ability to give back to the community.
“Jews, when they get successful, they will help their people,” said Sterling. “Some of the African Americans, they don’t want to help anyone.”
Then, perhaps to distract viewers from his own racism, Sterling accused Anderson Cooper of being the more racist one of the two.
“I think you have more of a plantation mentality than I do—you’re more of a racist than I am!”
Huh. So it turns out you don’t need a leaked tape to make Donald Sterling look bad, you just have to put him on CNN.