In recording said to be of Clippers’ Sterling, racist claim denied
(CNN) — If the latest audio recording attributed to Donald Sterling is the real deal, the L.A. Clippers owner is denying he’s a racist — and doesn’t appear ready to submit to demands to sell the team.
“You think I’m a racist?” a man purported to be Sterling says in a recording posted Thursday morning by RadarOnline.com. “You think I have anything in the world but love for everybody? You don’t think that. You know I’m not a racist.”
CNN cannot independently confirm that the speaker is Sterling.
Sterling has been banned for life from the team’s day-to-day operations and facilities and was fined $2.5 million last week for racist comments that were recorded and posted online late last month.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has asked the other 29 NBA owners to force Sterling, the longest-tenured owner in the league, to sell the Clippers.
In the tape posted Thursday, a second man says “they’re trying to force you to sell.”
“You can’t force someone to sell property in America,” responds the man who RadarOnline.com says is Sterling. “Well, I’m a lawyer, that’s my opinion.”
RadarOnline.com’s post doesn’t say when the recording was made or identify the second man heard in it.
Sterling, a lawyer and billionaire real-estate investor, has not spoken publicly since the celebrity gossip website TMZ posted a 10-minute audio recording in which he chastises V. Stiviano for posting pictures on Instagram in which she poses with African-Americans, including basketball Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Sterling made the comments during argument he had with Stiviano on April 9, according to TMZ.
“In your lousy f**ing Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with — walking with black people,” he says.
“If it’s white people, it’s OK?” she responds. “If it was Larry Bird, would it make a difference?”
The matter of the team’s sale is with the NBA’s Advisory/Finance Committee, which met Wednesday on a conference call. Members discussed the “termination of Mr. Sterling’s ownership of the team,” the NBA said in a news release. The committee will meet again next week, the statement said.
If the case proceeds to a full vote, 75% of the owners would have to approve the forced sale.
However, Shelly Sterling — Donald Sterling’s estranged wife — told the L.A. Times that the sanctions the NBA commissioner imposed on her husband don’t apply to her or her family. Therefore she should be able to retain ownership of the team.
CNN contacted Shelly Sterling’s representatives, but they did not have an immediate response Thursday morning. Mike Bass, spokesman for the NBA, said the league declined to comment on the report.