Gilbert Arenas Forgives Donald Sterling For Racist Comments: 'Forgiveness Will Destroy Racism," Former NBA Star Says

Gilbert Arenas
Former NBA star Gilbert Arenas said he has forgiven Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling over the racist comments he made during a leaked phone conversation with his girlfriend. Reuters

Former NBA star Gilbert Arenas took to Instagram on Tuesday to say he had forgiven Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for the racist comments he made during a phone conversation with his girlfriend, V. Stiviano.

In the wake of Sterling’s public apology during a Monday night interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Arenas, who spent 11 years in the NBA, said he was willing to forgive the Clippers owner. The 32-year-old posted a photo of Sterling to his Instagram account, along with an explanation of his decision.

“I’ll be the first to accept [your] apology ... as a man who’s made a mistake or two in life I know how hard it is to look at your self in the mirror when you let so many ppl down, but for anybody who can’t and won’t accept his apology u need to look in the mirror because we're not perfect ..." Arenas wrote. "Forgiveness will destroy racism not more hatred,” 

Arenas, who last played in the NBA in 2012, was convicted on felony gun charges in 2010 after an altercation with Washington Wizards teammate Javaris Crittenton. He was also arrested in 2013 for illegal possession of fireworks.

In an exclusive interview with Cooper on the CNN program “AC360,” Sterling apologized for the disparaging remarks he made about African-Americans during a leaked phone conversation he had with his girlfriend, and he insisted that he isn’t a racist.

“I’m not a racist," Sterling told Cooper. "I made a terrible, terrible mistake.” 

However, Sterling also claimed that Stiviano had “baited” him into making racist statements. “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,” he said.

In addition, Sterling lashed out at NBA legend Magic Johnson, whom he had previously criticized during the leaked phone conversation that resulted in Commissioner Adam Silver’s decision to ban the Clippers owner from the league for life. During the interview, Sterling claimed that Johnson “lulled” him into staying silent about the racism scandal so he could use the resulting discord to purchase the Clippers.

“He acts so holy,” Sterling said about Johnson, who is HIV-positive. “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.”

“What kind of a guy goes to every city, has sex with every girl, then he catches HIV?” Sterling added. “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.”

A list of 17 memorable quotes from Sterling’s CNN interview can be viewed here.

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