Jewish Journal

My Conversation with Donald Sterling: ‘I am not a racist’

by David Suissa

May 2, 2014 | 4:20 pm

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling at Staples Center on Jan. 10. Photo by Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

After three days of reaching out to friends to get an introduction to Donald Sterling as well as his contact information, I finally was able to talk to the most talked-about man in America.

On Friday afternoon around 1PM Los Angeles time, I called.

“Hello,” a deep voice answered.

“Hi, is this Donald Sterling?


“Hi Donald, this is David Suissa from the Jewish Journal, friends with (names of friends I cannot divulge). How are you? (I knew those were the three most stupid words I had ever uttered as soon as I uttered them).

“Not very good,” was his answer.

“Look Donald," I said, "I want to give you a chance to respond to those who say you are a racist.”

The minute I uttered the R word, his response was immediate.

“I am not a racist,” he said.

But then, just when I expected him to elaborate, he caught himself, and, in a polite tone, said:

“I don’t think I should be talking to a Jewish magazine or to anyone else. But can you call back in two hours? I’m in a meeting now. We’ll see if we can accommodate you.”

I called back two hours later.

I repeated the names of the friends we have in common and my previous offer to answer those who call him a racist.

“You know I’m not a racist,” he said, followed by “forgive me, I can’t talk right now, forgive me.”

That was it.

A very polite and courteous Donald Sterling told me he wasn’t a racist.

I couldn’t get anything else out of him.

Tracker Pixel for Entry


We welcome your feedback.

Privacy Policy
Your information will not be shared or sold without your consent. Get all the details.

Terms of Service
JewishJournal.com has rules for its commenting community.Get all the details.

JewishJournal.com reserves the right to use your comment in our weekly print publication.




David Suissa is president of TRIBE Media Corp./Jewish Journal.

Read more.