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 yesterday.
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!”
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.