News

Clippers owner Sterling denies being racist in new recording

Clippers owner Sterling denies being racist in new recording

'NOT A RACIST:'Donald Sterling has been banned for life from basketball. Photo: Associated Press

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was banned for life from the National Basketball Association after a tape of his racist comments became public, claimed in a new recording he was not a bigot, according to an online report on Thursday.

The entertainment news blog Radar Online said it obtained a tape from an anonymous source who provided an affidavit confirming the voice was that of the 80-year-old Sterling.

“You think I’m a racist?” Radar Online quoted Sterling as saying on what it reported was a secretly recorded phone conversation. “You think I have anything in the world but love for everybody? You don’t think that! You know I’m not a racist!”

PHOTOS: Banned from sportsĀ 

Radar Online included the recording in its report. Reuters could not independently confirm it was Sterling’s voice on the recording.

Last month the NBA fined Sterling $2.5 million and banned him from pro basketball after the website TMZ.com posted an audio recording with a voice said to be his that made derogatory remarks about black people.

The comments sparked outrage from players fans as well as U.S. President Barack Obama, especially since Sterling was a team owner in a league that was in the forefront of racial integration in U.S. sports.

Sterling has yet to comment publicly. He could not be reached immediately on Thursday.

The NBA has initiated the process to terminate Sterling’s ownership.

“How can you be in this business and be a racist?” Sterling said on the tape, according to Radar Online. “Do you think I tell the coach to get white players? Or to get the best player he can get?”

The Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday that Shelly Sterling, Donald’s wife and co-owner of the Clippers, said she intended to remain an owner of the team and has hired a law firm to represent her as the NBA moves to terminate her husband’s ownership.

In 1981 Sterling purchased the Clippers, which were based in San Diego, for $12.5 million. The team is now estimated to be worth at least $575 million, according to Forbes, which compiles a list of professional sports team values each year.

The Clippers are currently tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second round of the NBA playoffs at one game a piece. Their next match is scheduled for Friday.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Scott Malone and Jeffrey Benkoe)

Recent Headlines

in National

Manufacturing, construction data point to sturdy U.S. growth

An overall view of the assembly line where the BMW X4 is made at the BMW manufacturing plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina March 28, 2014.

U.S. manufacturing activity hit a nearly 3-1/2-year high last month, a sign the economy entered the third quarter on strong footing.

in Lifestyle

Pistachios may help reduce diabetes risk

Pistachios are seen after sorting at a processing factory in Rafsanjan, 1,000 kilometers southeast of Tehran September 23, 2008.

For people who may be headed for type 2 diabetes, regularly eating pistachios might help turn the tide.

in Lifestyle

Triathlons popular with middle-aged athletes

Runners and bikers compete in the 34th annual Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco, California June 1, 2014.

Triathlons, the swim-bike-run races of varying lengths, are scaling the bucket lists of many middle-aged athletes.

in Sports

Indianapolis Colts owner pleads guilty to intoxicated driving

James Irsay, owner of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, is pictured in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters March 17, 2014.

Billionaire James Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, was arrested in March after failing roadside field-sobriety tests.

in Sports

Phillies’ Cole Hamels, bullpen combine for no-hitter

Sep 1, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) throws the ball against the Atlanta Braves in the second inning at Turner Field.

Cole Hamels set up a combined no-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies as they beat the Atlanta Braves 7-0 at Turner Field in Atlanta.