Donald Sterling’s televised apology received poor reviews in NBA circles Monday.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers both ripped comments Sterling made in his interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, particularly Sterling’s remarks denigrating former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson.
Sterling, the disgraced Clippers owner who was barred by the league for life due to racist comments, told Cooper in an interview that aired Monday that he is not a racist and that he is sorry for his earlier comments.
Cooper asked Sterling if he apologized to Johnson, whom he told his then-girlfriend, V. Stiviano, not to bring to Clippers games.
“If I said anything wrong, I’m sorry,” Sterling said. “He’s a good person. I mean, what am I going to say? Has he done everything he can do to help minorities? I don’t think so. But I’ll say it, he’s great. But I don’t think he’s a good example for the children of Los Angeles.”
Silver released a statement Monday night, saying, “I just read a transcript of Donald Sterling’s interview with Anderson Cooper and while Magic Johnson doesn’t need me to, I feel compelled on behalf of the NBA family to apologize to him that he continues to be dragged into this situation and be degraded by such a malicious and personal attack. The NBA Board of Governors is continuing with its process to remove Mr. Sterling as expeditiously as possible.”
Rivers also took exception to Sterling’s remarks about Johnson.
“Obviously I know who Magic is,” Rivers said. “I’ll stand by Magic every day of the year because I’ve known him for a long time. Having said that, I don’t know what’s going on out there. I tried not to get involved in that part of it right now. Whatever it is, that doesn’t sound like much of an apology to me.”
Sterling told Cooper that Stiviano baited him into making the racist remarks.
“I don’t know why the girl had me say those things,” he said.
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