Donald Sterling Does a Poor Job of Defending Himself in New Recording

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Photo: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The world has yet another opportunity to hear Clippers owner Donald Sterling's thoughts about nonwhite people, this time via RadarOnline. The website has posted a "secret recording" of the NBA pariah's reaction to the leak of the conversation in which he told V. Stiviano that he didn't want her posting pictures of black acquaintances on Instagram, among other things. In Radar's new audio, Sterling speaks on the phone with an unidentified friend, insisting "you know I'm not a racist." "You think I'm a racist?" he demands. "You think I have anything in the world but love for everybody? You don’t think that!" Sterling's pal doesn't sound too convinced: "What about when I hear that tape?" he asks.

Sterling then explains that he can't possibly be a racist because he grew up in the diverse neighborhood of East L.A. "I was the president of the high school there. I mean, and I'm a Jew! And 50 percent of the people there were black and 40 percent were Hispanic," he says. "So I mean, people must have a good feeling for me." Perhaps sensing that his argument isn't completely bulletproof, he continues, "How can you be in this business and be a racist? Do you think I tell the coach to get white players? Or to get the best player he can get?" Sterling's friend replies, "The best player he can get." So, that clears that up — Sterling didn't actively sabotage the basketball team that he owns.

Later, Sterling says that it "breaks [his] heart" that Magic Johnson, whose photo with Stiviano prompted his original tirade, didn't "stand up and say, 'Well let's get the facts. Let's get him and talk to him.'" In fact, Sterling notes, "Nobody tried. Nobody!" Except for Barbara Walters, who scheduled an interview with Sterling only to have him back out, as well as the countless other journalists who would be more than happy to listen to what he has to say. Of course, if the "facts" Sterling wants to share are similar to the ones he cites in this chat, then talking to any other person isn't likely to change the public's opinion about him.