Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling finally broke his silence about the audio that broadcast his racial comments about blacks and admitted during a CNN interview that he made an awful mistake — but that he was set up.
"When I listen to that tape, I don't even know how I can say words like that," Mr. Sterling told Anderson Cooper on "AC360" on CNN. "I don't know why the girl had me say those things."
Mr. Cooper asked for clarification: "You're saying you were set up?"
Mr. Sterling's response: "Well yes, I was baited. 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."
This is the first time Mr. Sterling, 80, has publicly addressed the audio that TMZ posted of him telling his female friend that she shouldn't post pictures of blacks on her Instagram account or bring them to games.
Following, Mr. Sterling was booted from the NBA for life and fined $2.5 million. Now, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is trying to press the other 29 NBA owners into forcing Mr. Sterling to sell the Clippers.
But Mr. Sterling denied he was a racist on CNN.
"I'm not a racist," he said. "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."
Mr. Sterling also said it took so long for him to apologize because he was "emotionally distraught," CNN reported.
"The reason it's hard for me, very hard for me, is that I'm wrong," he said. "I caused the problem. I don't know how to correct it."
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