For the first time since the recording of his racist rant was leaked to the public, Donald Sterling is speaking out about the incident. The Los Angeles Clippers owner sat down for an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
CNN will play the interview in its entirety on Monday at 8 p.m. ET, but the network has released excerpts of the conversation. On the tape, Sterling can be heard telling girlfriend V. Stiviano that he doesn’t want her to publicly associate with black people. However, the 80-year-old placed a lot of the blame on his mistress.
"Well yes, I was baited," Sterling told Cooper, when asked if he was set up. "I mean, that's not the way I talk. I don't talk about people for one thing, ever. I talk about ideas and other things. I don't talk about people."
While Sterling put a large part of the blame on Stiviano, he did apologize for his remarks.
"I'm not a racist," Sterling told Cooper. "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."
Just days after the audio of Sterling was released, NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned him from the league. Silver also announced his intention to gather the rest of the NBA owners and force him to sell the Clippers.
"I'm a good member who made a mistake and I'm apologizing and I'm asking for forgiveness," Sterling 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."
The recording of Sterling is not his only history of racism. In 2009, he was forced to pay $2.725 million, after being accused of housing discrimination. He was also sued by former Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor for discrimination.