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Sterling Denies Racism Accusations on Recording: Report

The speaker identified by RadarOnline.com as Donald Sterling also is heard expressing disppointment in Lakers great Magic Johnson and the NBA's move to terminate his ownership of the Clippers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The man identified by RadarOnline.com as embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling on a newly released audio recording sounded surprised by racist allegations. A woman who answered the door at Sterling's phone said he may be out of hiding and headed to the East Coast. Robert Kovacik reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Thursday, May 8, 2014. (Published Thursday, May 8, 2014)

    A man identified by RadarOnline.com as embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling can be heard on a recorded phone call denying that he is a racist and expressing disbelief that "nobody tried" to get the facts behind a controversy that led NBA officials to call for his removal as team owner.

    NBC News has not confirmed the authenticity of the audio recording posted Thursday on RadarOnline.com. The report cited a "source" that provided "an affidavit confirming that the phone call was made by Sterling."

    New Alleged Sterling Audio Adds to Firestorm

    [LA] New Alleged Sterling Audio Adds to Firestorm
    A new audio tape released online paints a new picture of Donald Sterling. It's a picture that suggests continued Sterling ownership. Lolita Lopez reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 8, 2014. (Published Thursday, May 8, 2014)

    The man identified by the website as Sterling can be heard denying accusations of racism and crediting his East Los Angeles upbringing with giving him an appreciation for diversity.

    "I mean, how could you think I'm a racist knowing me all these years?" he asks a man identified by RadarOnline.com as a long-time friend. "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?"

    The conversation turns to a photo of Sterling companion V. Stiviano and Lakers great Magic Johnson that was posted to Instagram. On an earlier recording at the center of the NBA's investigation into Sterling, the 33-year team owner can be heard chastising Stiviano for posting the photo.

    "It breaks my heart that Magic Johnson, a guy that I respect so much, wouldn't stand up and say, 'Well let’s get the facts. Let's get him and talk to him.' Nobody tried. Nobody."

    Dylan Howard, editor in chief of RadarOnline.com, told NBCNews.com the source said the conversation occurred in the "immediate aftermath" of the release of the first recording.

    Sterling, 80, has not publicly commented on the recordings and NBA's attempt to force a sale of the Clippers, a team he has owned since 1981. Sterling also was fined $2.5 million and cannot participate in any business or personnel decisions involving the team, currently deadlocked at a game apiece in a best-of-seven series with Oklahoma City in the NBA Playoffs.

    The defiant subject identified by RadarOnline.com as Sterling can be heard saying, "You can't force someone to sell property in America. I'm a lawyer, that's my opinion."

    The NBA's 10-member advisory/finance committee met for a second time Wednesday since the league commissioner moved to oust Sterling. The committee discussed the timing of Sterling's termination, which could eventually come to a vote of NBA team owners.

    Also on Thursday, an attorney for Rochelle Sterling -- Donald Sterling's estranged wife -- told the Associated Press she won't agree to an "involuntary seizure of her interest" in the team.