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LOS ANGELES, May 12. /ITAR-TASS/. The owner of the NBA’s Clippers Donald Sterling will offer public apologies for his racist remarks, The Los Angeles Times reported citing Sterling’s interview with CNN host Anderson Cooper.
“I made a terrible, terrible mistake,” the LA Times cite Donald Sterling as saying. “I’m not racist, and I’ve never been racist,” the Clippers owner said. He described the scandal as a “terrible, terrible nightmare” and said he loved and respected all Clippers players.
On April 25, an audio recording leaked to the Internet, where Donald Sterling, 80, was arguing with his female companion Vivian Stiviano over her friendly relations with blacks. In particular, Sterling criticized Stiviano’s decision to post a picture of herself with Los Angeles Lakers player Magic Johnson on Instagram. He went on to ask Stiviano not to “associate with black people” and not to bring them to Clippers games.
In response, NBA has punished Sterling with a lifetime ban and a $2.5 million fine. The Association also urges the billionaire to sell the club.
Sterling’s wife Shelly said on Sunday she will divorce Donald and keep her stake in the team. “I was shocked by what he said. But I don’t know why I should be punished for what his actions were”, she said in an interview with ABC News.
Donald and Shelly Sterling bought Clippers for $12 million in 1981. Since then, they have resolutely dismissed all offers to sell the basketball club. Experts estimate the current value of the club to stand at around $1 billion.