Clippers owner apologizes, tells his side; NAACP reconsiders lifetime achievement award

The owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team has apologized for comments he said were “attributed to him” in a racist audio recording, but it wasn’t enough to dampen the fallout.

Donald Sterling has not acknowledged the authenticity of a 10-minute recorded rant to his girlfriend about black people attending Clippers games, but he and the Clippers released a statement that said, according to the Los Angeles Times:

“We have heard the tape on TMZ. We do not know if it is legitimate or [if] it has been altered. We do know that the woman on the tape — who we believe released it to TMZ — is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family alleging that she embezzled more than $1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would ‘get even.’  Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings. It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life. He feels terrible that such sentiments are being attributed to him and apologizes to anyone who might have been hurt by them. He is also upset and apologizes for sentiments attributed to him about Earvin [Magic] Johnson. He has long considered Magic a friend and has only the utmost respect and admiration for him — both in terms of who he is and what he has achieved. We are investigating this matter.”

The heated comments came after Sterling’s girlfriend, V. Stiviano posted a photo on Instagram with former basketball great Magic Johnson.

Johnson made his opinion known, tweeting:

The NAACP was scheduled to honor Sterling with a lifetime achievement award at a May 15 banquet, where it also planned to bestow its first “person of the year” awards to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Rev. Al Sharpton, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“In light of recent events, we will be discussing this event with the Los Angeles NAACP,” Garcetti spokesman Yusef Robb told the Times.

One Twitter follower couldn’t help but comment on the drama, tweeting:

See this related article: Racist rant rocks sports world; media downplays Democrat-leaning politics

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