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Donald Sterling apologizes

May 11, 2014, 8:32 PM EDT

Behind closed doors (if you believe the audio wasn’t intended to be leaked), Donald Sterling has been defiant and disgustingly racist.

In front of cameras, he’s carrying a different tone.

The NBA can’t have an openly racist owner – even if it’s open only due to a leaked recording. It’s bad for business.

Before Adam Silver penalized Sterling, I believed there were two possible paths.

1. If the league believed it could force out Sterling, it would.

2. If the league didn’t believe it could force out Sterling, Silver would work behind the scenes with Sterling, engineering a program that started with an apology and included therapy, Sterling choosing to match the NBA’s fine with his own donation to charity and Sterling quietly serving his suspension outside the spotlight. Afterward, the firestorm would have died down, and maybe, Sterling could own the team without major protest.

But the NBA proceeded down path No. 1, so it’s too late for No. 2 now. Any acceptance of his apology by scaling back his punishments would be seen only as forgiving racism, and the league can’t afford to be viewed that.

It’s nice Sterling apologized, and I hope it’s sincere. Years of contradictory action suggest his apology is not rooted in an enlightened understanding of racism, but it’s at least possible this was a wakeup call for him.

How should he correct the problem? Some genuine involvement in the anti-racism movement, both financially and with his time. See how Tim Hardaway Sr. handled his anti-gay comments. He learned from his mistake and has become a passionate gay-rights advocate.

Embarking on a lengthy legal battle with the NBA is Sterling’s right, but that sure isn’t going going to fix anything in the grand sense. It certainly won’t heal nay of the relationships he’s fractured.

Sterling will have a chance to prove whether his apology was sincere – or not.

  1. ProBasketballPundit - May 11, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    Apology accepted. Now get out.

    • redbaronx - May 11, 2014 at 11:31 PM

      Spot on!

  2. ihavenonickname - May 11, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    Support the anti-racism movement? Oh like make a large donation to the NAACP so they give you a lifetime achievement award?!??!
    give me a break.

  3. asimonetti88 - May 11, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    “I’m sorry. jk, but seriously”

    -Donald Sterling

    • 00maltliquor - May 12, 2014 at 2:42 AM

  4. greenandgoldgirl - May 11, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    If you want to make things right, leave quietly. Work with the NBA to sell the team. That’s how you can begin to fix things.

  5. void96eater - May 11, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    Meh. Talk all you want Sterling. One thing is for sure though. He’s not sorry for being racist. He’s sorry that this problem can’t be solved with money alone.

    • jusdre313 - May 12, 2014 at 1:20 AM

      and hes sorry that he got caught..

  6. seattlesuperchronic - May 11, 2014 at 10:14 PM

    void96eater

    Exactly right. He’s not sorry for the action, he’s sorry for the reaction.

    Does anyone think that a self help guru could cure over 60 years of racism? This guy is who he is at this point. No one cares what he says, they just want him gone.

  7. mackcarrington - May 11, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    If he doesn’t understand what he did, then he is truly an educated, ignorant fool.
    Most racists are ignorant fools.

  8. antistratfordian - May 11, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Thank you for apologizing. Now GTFO!

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - May 12, 2014 at 7:34 AM

      We have no idea even whether that apology is from him or at the instruction of his lawyers.

      • colorinfusion - May 12, 2014 at 2:33 PM

        Or he hired a real life version of the fictional Olivia Pope.

  9. rajbais - May 11, 2014 at 11:05 PM

    His long history of racist behavior has actually made people not sympathize to his privacy being violated.

    After his alleged lack of remorse to Adam Silver his apology was actually nearly as unnecessary as his recorded comments.

  10. redbaronx - May 11, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    Oh sure. That’s why it’s taken him so long to apologize. He’s been under a lot of stress!

    Someone interested in doing the right thing doesn’t need to be coaxed or shamed into doing the right thing, or getting legal or PR counsel to dictate what the right thing is.

    His history is what makes this so easy. People that have racist or bigoted views, or have issues with decency act a certain way consistently, and the fact that it got out into the media only means he’s sorry he got exposed.

  11. drewzducks - May 12, 2014 at 1:40 AM

    How about selling the team to anyone other than a group involving that fraud Ervin Johnson.

    • 00maltliquor - May 12, 2014 at 2:39 AM

      You’re a fraud.

      *Earvin

      • drewzducks - May 12, 2014 at 2:41 AM

        Enjoy your Colt 45′s clown.

      • 00maltliquor - May 12, 2014 at 2:43 AM

        *Miller Fortune

        U mad bro?

      • drewzducks - May 12, 2014 at 2:52 AM

        Have no reason to be son. Fan of the greatest franchise in NBA history.

      • 00maltliquor - May 12, 2014 at 3:34 AM

        You ain’t sonnin’ me Pau. But it’s nice to know you’re a fellow Lakers fan! Go Lakeshow!

  12. sports1649 - May 12, 2014 at 1:47 AM

    Please…first he says he has cancer, then he says he just wanted sex and now he says he wants to apologize? What a scumbag. Yeah, he is a rich bastard so I presume he will die with the most toys. His spouse is on record as being a racist, money-grabbing person and his V. squeeze is a bimbo. Losers all of them in the big scheme of things.

  13. cubb1 - May 12, 2014 at 2:14 AM

    It was a half-assed apology at best, and it was ten days too late.

  14. Empress Samantha - May 12, 2014 at 2:17 AM

    He’s not sorry for anything he’s said or done, he’s just sorry he got caught. But I’ll bite. Apology accepted. Now sell the team and take your billions and disappear. Forever preferably.

  15. tickss - May 12, 2014 at 4:06 AM

    His girlfriend set him up. The recording is illegal. I see Sterling as a victim. How can you use an evidence that is illegally obtained to against someone??

  16. tickss - May 12, 2014 at 4:08 AM

    That poor guy’s privacy has been violated. Did anyone not seeing that? He has the right to say whatever he wants in his bedroom without being published

  17. davidly - May 12, 2014 at 7:32 AM

    The league seriously needs to make clear that this isn’t about the infamous recording in an of itself, because this otherwise creates a scenario wherein similar statements will constantly be harangued around the neck of whoever utters them, in spite of historical context and relative position of power and authority.

    • jhosford4 - May 12, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      but it is about the recordings….entirly….the reason is becuase legally people are allowed to be racists inside themselves as long as they give equal oportunity within their buisness. The ONLY reason this became an issue is because sponsers were leaving and other teams were ready to boycot the playoff because of the RECORDINGS. Otherwise, nothing would have changed.

  18. thegonz13 - May 12, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    I saw exerpts of the interview and truth be known, I don’t know if it’s possible to sound less sincere.

    Look, here’s the thing. At one point, he emphasizes that he “made one mistake” -which was a pretty damn big one. That “mistake” may have been his only one that was basketball related but when added to his real estate behavior, his resume is pretty damning.

    When he said he was sorry, he probably meant he was sorry he got caught. At this point, he should just do the honorable thing and bow out. Then again, “honorable” and “Donald Sterling” don’t seem to go together.

    • joebone - May 12, 2014 at 11:08 AM

      Joe Paterno made one mistake. Even he wasn’t entitled to a mulligan.

  19. canadatude - May 12, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    If all are sincerely sorry, then the Sterlings should sell the franchise to the NBA (the other owners are sincere too, right?) for 1 billion dollars profit and donate it all to multiple charities. The NBA could not just flip the team again. If they did, then they are not paying the price to rectify the situation.

  20. canadatude - May 12, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    Of course, if the owners were to pay out 1 billion dollars to charity, profits would take a hit and the salary cap would be reduced. All player would have to take reduced salaries to compensate. Are they sincere enough to do that? Just show me the money.

  21. carryingconcealed - May 12, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    So one of the possible solutions was that he could have apologized and sought therapy? LOL! Why, because a white man who doesn’t like black people has a problem that can only be fixed through therapy?

    You just gotta love libbies and their naive and distorted view of the world.

    Here’s a news flash for everyone: Just as liberals have the right to “pretend” to love all minorities, even when those minorities are responsible for most of what’s wrong with this country, Sterling has the right to not pretend he likes them, and state publicly that, in fact, he doesn’t.

    Yes, we all have to deal with the backlash for what we publicly declare. For instance, liberals will forever be known as a bunch of pansy-ass, unicorn-hugging, anti-American, sell-loathing scum-bags for the hypocrisy and lies that define their cult, and for their attempts to sell America down the river. And Sterling will forever be known as a racist (even though he’s not) and will have to deal with the lifetime ban, but guess what…welcome to the First Amendment.

    If you don’t like it then get the hell out.

  22. threebbuilders - May 12, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    “I caused the problem….”
    Ya’ think? How very intuitive of you, Mr. Sterling.

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