In yet another audio recording purportedly of a conversation involving Donald Sterling, the banned owner of the Los Angeles Clippers allegedly told a friend that he is not a racist and expressed skepticism that the NBA could actually force him to sell his team. The recording was obtained exclusively by Radar Online and released on Thursday morning.
“You think I’m a racist?” a man identified as Sterling by Radar Online can be heard saying in the audio recording. “You think I have anything in the world but love for everybody? You don’t think that! You know I’m not a racist!”
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This taped conversation was released less than two weeks after another audio recording of Sterling making racist remarks was first released by TMZ. That recording sparked national outrage and led to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banning Sterling for life from the NBA and slapping him with a $2.5 million fine. During a press conference held to announce those punishments, Silver also made it clear that he would urge the league's 29 other owners to force Sterling to sell the Clippers.
During the recording obtained by Radar Online, the man identified as Sterling seemed skeptical that the NBA would actually be able to force a sale of a team, claiming at one point that “you can’t force someone to sell property in America.”
LISTEN: Donald Sterling Allegedly Claims He's Not A Racist
Following the release of the recording purportedly containing Sterling's denial of racism, Sports Illustrated legal analyst Michael McCann suggested that it could be a preview of a coming legal battle over the team.
New recording suggests Sterling might argue he couldn't have (as required) "willfully" broken NBA rules since he didn't intend to be racist.
— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) May 8, 2014
UPDATE 4/9/2014 5:25 pm: Reached for comment by the New York Daily News, Donald Sterling, who the newspaper described as "befuddled," reportedly seemed unaware of the recording released by Radar Online and denied giving interviews.
“It wasn’t me,” Sterling reportedly told the News when asked about comments in the recording. “I haven’t given one interview. Thank you.”
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