A new recording of Donald Sterling was leaked to the media on Thursday. In the latest audio, the Los Angeles Clippers owner defends himself, claiming he’s not a racist.
“You think I’m a racist?” Sterling said in the recording. “You think I have anything in the world but love for everybody? You don’t think that. You know I’m not a racist.”
It’s unknown who Sterling is speaking to on the tape. RadarOnline.com acquired the recording, and was provided with an affidavit, proving the man on the phone call was Sterling.
Sterling defended himself, claiming he’s never had a problem with minorities.
“I grew up in East L.A. East L.A., you die to get out of there. I got out of East L.A. I was the president of the high school there. I mean, and I’m a Jew. And 50 percent of the people there were black and 40 percent were Hispanic.”
On the leaked recording that started the controversy, Sterling chastised alleged girlfriend V. Stiviano for public associating with black people. Specifically, he got angry because Stiviano posted a picture of Magic Johnson and her on Instagram. After hearing the audio, the Hall of Famer claimed he would never go to another Clippers game, as long as Sterling remained the owner.
“It breaks my heart that Magic Johnson, a guy that I respect so much, wouldn’t stand up and say, ‘Well let’s get the facts. Let’s get him and talk to him,’” Sterling told his friend. “Nobody tried. Nobody,”
The tape was just the latest evidence in Sterling’s history of alleged racism. Former Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor sued Sterling in 2009 for discrimination, though he lost the lawsuit. That same year, Sterling agreed to pay a record $2.725 million, after being accused of housing discrimination against minorities.
Since the original tape was released, Sterling has not conducted any interviews, other than telling DuJour magazine that he wished he had paid Stiviano off, in order to keep the tape private. Four days after the leak, NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling from the league, and announced his intention to force Sterling out as the Clippers' owner. The 80-year-old hasn’t spoken publicly on the matter, but the new tape indicates that he’ll look to hold onto the team.
“You can’t force someone to sell property in America,” Sterling said. “I’m a lawyer; that’s my opinion.”
Sterling’s estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, has announced her intentions to stay on as the team’s owner. According to the Los Angeles Times, she believes Silver’s ruling doesn’t apply to her or her family.