LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling delivered his apology to CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview that aired Monday, following the backlash of a tape that was released in April, featuring allegedly racist comments from the veteran owner.
Sterling made his apology in the beginning of the aired interview, addressing the words he said on the tape, and acknowledging that he hurt many people.
“I’m not a racist. I made a terrible, terrible mistake, and I’m here with you today to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all the people that I’ve hurt, and I’ve hurt so many people, so many innocent people, and I’ve hurt myself,” Sterling told Cooper. “You know, I spoke to a girl that I was fond of, and I don’t know why, when I listen to that tape, I don’t even know how I could say words like that. I’m not a racist. I love people, I always have, but those words came out of my mouth, I guess, and I’m so sorry, and I’m so apologetic.”
The blame on his recent fall, he says, falls on the media.
“The players don’t hate me, the sponsors don’t hate me, the fans don’t hate me, the media hates me,” Sterling said. “The media. It’s all the media, pushing it. I believe it a hundred percent. People call me by the thousands and give me support.”
Among those who were specifically discussed in the recording was former Laker great and Los Angeles Dodgers owner Magic Johnson. The topic of Johnson was also discussed in the interview, in which Sterling claimed that Johnson was no role model, and asked what he’s ever done for African Americans.
“Here is a man, I don’t know if say this, he acts so holy,” Sterling said. ” I mean, he made love to every girl in every city in America and he (has) AIDS, and when he had those AIDS, I went to my synagogue and I prayed for him. I hoped he could live and be well, I didn’t criticize him. I could have. Is he an example for children? You know, because he has money, he’s able to treat himself.”
Sterling went on to say that he admires everything that Magic Johnson, who started the Magic Johnson Foundation to provide awareness, along with testing and treatment programs for HIV, has done.
Nearly immediately afterwards, however, he continued his criticism of Johnson.
“What has he done? Can you tell me,” Sterling asked Cooper. “Big Magic Johnson, what has he done? He’s got AIDS. Did he do any business? Did he help anybody in South LA? What kind of guy goes to every city and has sex with every girl, then he catches HIV, and is that someone we want to respect and tell our kids about? I think he should be ashamed of himself. I think he should go into the background. But what does he do for the black people? He doesn’t do anything.”