2:52pm PT by Erik Hayden
Clippers Respond to Donald Sterling Rant: Audio Tape Does Not 'Reflect His Views'
The Clippers organization has released a statement regarding Donald Sterling's inflammatory comments that were caught on tape.
“We have heard the tape on TMZ. We do not know if it is legitimate or 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," the statement reads.
"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 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.”
On Friday evening, audio of Donald Sterling speaking with a woman described as his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, was posted on TMZ. The Los Angeles team owner and real estate mogul was heard saying that he did not want "black people" attending Clippers games with Stiviano.
"It bothers me a lot if you want to broadcast that you are associating with black people," he is heard saying, apparently in reference to an Instagram post by Stiviano.
The remarks have drawn fire from NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, Clippers star Chris Paul and many current and former players.
The NBA announced that it is looking into the content of the audio. "We are in the process of conducting a full investigation into the audio recording obtained by TMZ," the league said in a statement from spokesperson Mike Bass. "The remarks heard on the recording are disturbing and offensive, but at this time we have no further information."