Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling broke his silence Monday night when he spoke to Anderson Cooper during an exclusive interview on CNN's “AC360.”
Sterling, who was banned from the NBA over racist comments made during a leaked phone conversation with his girlfriend V. Stiviano, apologized for disparaging comments he made regarding NBA legend Magic Johnson and African-Americans in general. The Clippers owner, 80, denied that he's a racist, claiming that Stiviano had “baited” him into making the comments, which were recorded without his knowledge or consent.
“I don’t know why the girl had me say those things. I was baited. That’s not the way I talk. I don’t talk about people for one thing, ever,” Sterling told Cooper.
Along with his numerous, tearful apologies, Sterling had harsh words for Johnson. He stated that the former Los Angeles Lakers star “lulled” him into waiting a week to address the racism scandal.
Sterling was openly critical of Johnson during the phone conversation with Stiviano, audio of which was obtained by TMZ in April. "Admire him, bring him here, feed him, f**k him, but don't put [Magic] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me,” he said.
International Business Times has compiled a list of memorable quotes from Sterling's interview with CNN. A portion of the Sterling interview can be viewed below.
To Anderson Cooper: “I’m deciding if I like you.”
To Anderson Cooper, who is openly gay: “Did you ever like a girl, were you ever jealous of her a little bit if she was with other guys? It’s not that I didn’t want her to be photographed. I admit it, I was jealous.”
When Cooper asked Sterling about former Clippers GM Elgin Baylor’s comments that Sterling had a “plantation mentality,” Sterling accused Cooper of being a racist: “I think you have more of a plantation mentality than I do, and I think you’re more of a racist than I am.”
On allegations of racism: “I’m not a racist. I made a terrible, terrible mistake.”
-“I’m the guilty one for uttering those terrible, ugly words.”
On why he waited so long to apologize: “I’m just so emotionally distraught. And the reason it’s hard for me, very hard for me, is that I’m wrong. I caused the problem.”
On Magic Johnson: “He acts so holy. 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 hoped he could live and be well. I didn’t criticize him. I could have.”
-“Is he an example for children? Because he has money, he’s able to feed himself. But Magic Johnson is irrelevant in this thing. He didn’t do anything harmful to anybody, and I respect him and I admire everything that he does.”
-“I think he wanted me to just do nothing so that he could buy the team. He thought maybe the whole thing would be resolved in two weeks.”
-“What has he done, can you tell me? Big Magic Johnson, what has he done? He’s got AIDS. Did he help anyone in south LA?”
-“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. I think he should go into the background. But what does he do for the black people? He doesn’t do anything.”
-“Has he done everything he can do to help minorities? I don’t think so. I’ll say it, I’ll say it, he’s great, but I just don’t think he is a good example for the children of Los Angeles.”
On Johnson's charitable contributions: “I spent millions on giving away and helping minorities. That’s one problem I have. Jews, when they get successful, they will help their people -- and some of the African-Americans, maybe I’ll get in trouble again, they don’t want to help anybody.”
On Johnson’s statement that he wouldn’t attend a Clippers game until Sterling sold the team: “I don’t think it’s worthy of even discussing. Such a stupid remark. He lulled me into waiting a week. He said, ‘don’t do anything, I know the girl.”
On V. Stiviano: “I thought she cared for me. I was stupid. How could a girl care for a man 51 years older. She didn’t or she wouldn’t have released those tapes.”
On whether or not he’s made similar remarks on other tapes: “I don’t know what [Stiviano] baited me to say.”
On whether or not he’ll challenge the NBA’s lifetime ban: “If they fight with me and they spend millions or I spend millions. Let’s say I win or they win, I just don’t know if that’s important.”