May
13

Highlighting Donald Sterling’s Interview With Anderson Cooper And Reaction Thereto

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver felt compelled to apologize to Magic Johnson after Donald Sterling’s interview on CNN.

Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, sat down with CNN’s Anderson Cooper last night on Cooper’s AC360 show.  The two discussed Sterling’s racial remarks that have made headlines the past few weeks.  Sterling denied being a racist roughly a dozen times and said that he did not know he was being recorded by his younger girlfriend, V. Stiviano.

Below is much of that interview with Sterling along with comments from filmmaker Spike Lee along with TNT’s ‘Inside the NBA’ crew.

Sterling: “I’m not a racist.  I made a terrible, terrible mistake.  I’m here with you today to apologize and ask for forgiveness for all of the people I’ve hurt.  And I’ve hurt so many people, so many innocent people.  I’ve hurt myself.  I spoke to a girl that I was fond of.  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. I’m so sorry and I’m so apologetic.  I’m sorry that so many people are hurt. …I never dreamt that this could happen.  It’s a terrible, terrible nightmare.

On telling V. Stiviano not to bring black people to Clippers games…

Sterling: “25 percent of my games are black people.  I love them.  She would always use the word black.  That’s a ‘black’ girl, that’s a ‘black’ guy.  This is ‘black’, that’s ‘black’.  When she said, ‘I’m going to bring four gorgeous black guys to the game, players she was referring to, I was a little jealous maybe.  I said to her, ‘Don’t bring them to the game’.  It was because of my jealousy.  In any event, she never brought anyone to the game.  It was like she was baiting me just to say things.”

More Sterling apologizing…

“I really have to apologize to all of the people that have been hurt.  For them to hear that I’m a possible racist is so painful to me because I’m not a racist.  I’ve never been a racist. It’s not me.”

On what it meant for the LA Clippers to wear their warm-up jerseys inside out without the logo showing…

Sterling: “I really didn’t pay attention.  They are Clippers, and their mine and I’m theirs.  That’s how I feel.  I would do anything for them.  I made a mistake.  I hope it’s in their heart to forgive me for that mistake.  I don’t know why the girl had me say those things.  I was baited.  I don’t talk about people.  I talk about ideas and other things.  I don’t talk about people.”

Sterling apologizing to the other NBA owners…

“I wanted to apologize to my partners.  I have 29 partners in the league that’s a wonderful league.  I love every owner.  Every owner knows me.  I love the Commissioner.  I’m sure it’s terribly difficult for him to impose a severe punishment because he knows me so well.  He’s trying his best.  The league believes in doing everything in their power to eliminate me, racism.  Here he is sitting and this explosion comes on his desk. I feel bad that I caused it.”

More from Sterling on saying ‘don’t bring black people to the games’…

Sterling: “I can’t explain some of the stupid, foolish, uneducated words that I utter.  I don’t know.  You get upset and you say things.  It doesn’t make sense.  I didn’t care.  She had floor seats.  She brought a lot of people.  I don’t understand why in the world I say any of those stupid, uneducated remarks because I didn’t really care who she brought.  I was more interested in the game.  I was a little jealous, I have to admit.  I don’t know why I said stupid things.”

On Sterling possibly having a ‘plantation mentality’…

Sterling: “I think you (referring to Anderson Cooper) have more of a plantation mentality than I do.  I think you’re more of a racist than I am.  I’m not a racist.  I’ve never been a racist.  I’ll never be a racist.  I don’t know about that type of mentality you’re asking me. What do you mean a ‘mentality’?  Do I own them?  My players earn $100 million a year.  Do I own them? …I create opportunities for them so that they can make $100M.  I don’t give anything, believe me.  Those players could get that same amount of money anywhere else.”

On the possibility of giving up ownership and being forced to sell the Clippers…

“I’m not sure that’s what they (the owners) want. I’m a good owner. I have a good team. There are people who want to buy my team. The media says that the owners want me out doesn’t mean that the owners want me out. …I don’t want to fight with my partners. We all do what we have to do in life. I love them and I respect them. …The players don’t hate me. The sponsors don’t hate me. The fans don’t hate me. The media hates me. It’s all the media, pushing it. I believe it 100 percent. People call me by the thousands and give me support.

On the LA Clippers players not liking Sterling…

Sterling: “Why wouldn’t they like me when I’m respectful? …Do you think they’re going to all walk off the team?   Can any of us just stop working?  We all have to work, we all have to earn a living.  We all have bills. …I contend that they love me.  They know I’m not a racist. I’m not a racist.”

Sterling then went on a tirade attacking NBA great, Magic Johnson. Below are more remarks…

Sterling: “What can I say to him?  He doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter.  I’m hurt but it doesn’t matter.  I’m hurt that he called me up and say, ‘Hey, don’t do anything. Wait until you hear from me’. …Here is a man that, he acts so holy.  He made love to every girl in every city in America, and he had AIDS.  When he had those AIDS, I went to my synagogue, and I prayed for him.  I hoped he could live to be well.  I didn’t criticize him.  I could have.  Is he a good example for children?  Because he has money, he can treat himself.  Magic Johnson is irrelevant in this thing.  He didn’t do anything harmful to anybody.  I respect him and I admire him for everything that he does.  I’d like to help even more if he would give me an opportunity to help.  I like to help minorities.

More on Magic Johnson…

Sterling: “What has he done?  Can you tell me? Big bad Magic Johnson — what has he done?  He’s got AIDS.  Did he do any business?  Did he help anyone in South LA?  What kind of guy goes to every city and 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. …What does he do for the black people?  He doesn’t do anything.  The Jewish people have a company for people to borrow money with no interest. …We want to help people.  If you don’t have enough money, we’ll loan it to you.  One day you’ll pay it back.  He does nothing.  He’s all talk.”

Filmmaker, Spike Lee, commented in-studio with Cooper about Sterling and weighed in on the situation…

Spike Lee: “Why did they let him speak.  Who is around him?  I’m amazed.  This attack on Magic is crazy.  He’s messing with the wrong brother.  Magic is loved by everyone around the world.  To talk about some other stuff that has nothing to do with nothing, it’s ridiculous.  The whole what Jews do and what blacks don’t do, that’s insane. …This thing is getting volatile now. …He’s making the NBA look like the laughingstock.  If I was an NBA owner, he has to go.”

Response from Commissioner, Adam Silver…

“I just read a transcript of Donald Sterling’s interview with Anderson Cooper, and while Magic Johnson doesn’t need me to, I feel compelled on behalf of the NBA family to apologize to him that he continues to be dragged into this situation and be degraded by such a malicious and personal attack.  The NBA Board of Governors is continuing with its process to remove Mr. Sterling as expeditiously as possible.”

TNT’s ‘Inside The NBA’ crew had their comments after the San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trailblazers game last night.  Below are their comments regarding the entire Situation with Donald Sterling.

Kenny Smith: “I just think that, obviously his credibility is gone in terms of what he has to say.  You kind of listen to it with a grain of salt.  The other thing is, Charley (Barkley) and I were talking earlier and we said that he has an interesting way of apologizing.  The other part of that is — I don’t really know if he understands the ramifications or the consequences that come with what he said or understand the consequences or the ramifications of his actions and how they were affecting people for those 35 years.  I think he doesn’t have a grasp on that, which is unfortunate that someone can’t understand that.

Kenny Smith’s comments on Sterling attacking Magic Johnson..

“He’s using Magic Johnson as a deflection to the actual statements that he was engaged in which has nothing to do with the two.  Regardless of what he feels about Magic Johnson and what he feels about him, it’s a deflection of the comments that got him in trouble, got him to lose his franchise, and got him to be ostracized in a lot of areas.  It had nothing to do with Magic Johnson.  It had to do with the comments that did not pertain to Magic.”

Charles Barkley: Listen, this is getting crazy. …It’s not a bad soap opera.  You’re like, ‘Wow’.  Listen, Magic Johnson does some great things for the black community around the country.  Magic Johnson — I hope to emulate him in some of my business ventures in the black community.  You’re giving them economic opportunity, he’s given them jobs. …I used to always pick his brain about giving minorities opportunities, whether you’re female, Hispanic or black.  I think anytime you’re successful, your job is to bring more people along on the train.  Magic Johnson — that goes without saying.  I don’t comment on anyone’s personal life, but Donald Sterling — I feel bad for the NBA because we have amazing playoffs.  You have a team that has to deal with this stuff.  They got to deal with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and those guys and you turn on the television.  Nobody is talking about what an amazing series that is.  They’re talking about Donald Sterling and his wife on competing networks.  If he has any goodness in his heart, and I don’t know if he does, I ain’t going to lie, he should say, ‘The NBA has been great to me. Let me just sell the team’.”

Host Ernie Johnson asked Shaq, “Can you forgive Donald Sterling?”

Shaq: “Well, first of all, it took him too long to apologize.  We’re all from the hood.  You can’t stab or shoot someone and then come apologize four weeks later.  We don’t forgive you.  Second of all, the guy is 81 years old.  This isn’t new.  It’s been documented that he’s been a racist.  A lot of people have said he’s a racist.  He’s stuck in his ways.  So, he gives us the pseudo apology.”

  • M.B.

    Strange, this man sterling was targeted by Johnson and his date who recorded the conversation in order to get him to say those things. Johnson wants the team. Period. I think it was all a set up in order to have Sterling say those racist remarks and the two of those have ulterior motives. Sterling is an idiot

    • jimbo

      Even if this were true, all they did was find a way to expose him. Presidential races are much more dirtier and have larger ramifications.