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Sorry I'm not sorry: 7 classic non-apologies



NEW YORK (AP) -- Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling only dug himself in deeper after slamming Magic Johnson when he was supposed to be atoning for his own racist remarks. But he's not the first celebrity to learn the perils of making a non-apology apology.

Sterling is facing fresh rebukes for repeatedly bringing up the former NBA star's HIV status and calling him an unfit role model during an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper. Communications experts say this was among the worst apologies ever.

"People should be watching this for a long time and understand what not to do in a television interview," says Steve Adubato, who teaches crisis communications at New York University.

Sterling made the classic mistake of dragging other people into a conversation that should have only been about him. An apology should be straightforward and sincere, not about what others may have done.

"The apology has to be absolutely genuine," says Amiso George, who teaches strategic communication at Texas Christian University Texas. "It has to be from the heart. Not something that the person has to do."

Here's a look at other public figures who failed to simply say "I'm sorry" and why it didn't work.

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Lynda May 14 2014 at 4:07 PM

And look at the examples used above, for the "non apologetics".............there is one woman: Paula Deen. I still don't know what she did wrong. And I still don't understand why her apology was a non apology because she said her family were good people. She's a perfect example of "Scapegoat" capital "S." All she did was NOT lie, like the rest of us white people over the age of 50 may have in a bad moment. Even Oprah has people on her show who were unabashed racists - whose ears are down and heads are lowered in shame and apology. How come they could come out and were applauded for changing? So, used the "N" word. So did 7/8 of the Southern population back then. What does that have to do with 2014???? If they let murderers out of jail early for good behavior, what the hell are they doing holding this against somebody 30 years later who has the guts to admit it and not lie and admit it was wrong? I do not and never will get this Paula Deen hatred thing. Its BS

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1 reply
Pat Lynda May 14 2014 at 4:17 PM

SHE DID NOTHIN WRONG THATS WHAT THESE PEOPLE WEREM CALL BACK THEN NOW WE MUST ***** FOOT AROUND WHEN NOTHIN HAS CHANGED BUT A GUY WHO IS NOW PRESIDANT WHO WAS NOT EVEN BORN HERE EVEN GOD CAN'T HELP US <>?

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1 reply
nitpam Pat May 14 2014 at 4:27 PM

get a life and read your history

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Frank May 14 2014 at 3:35 PM

AND WHERE IS OBUMMERS 15 APOLOGIES FOR LYING AND DECEIVING US?????????

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3 replies
rjtst May 14 2014 at 3:33 PM

A lot of noise about nothing.

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2 replies
perfectpatsy rjtst May 14 2014 at 3:46 PM

You got that right

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mizliz11 rjtst May 14 2014 at 6:49 PM

They're called unnecessary distractions

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Sunny May 14 2014 at 3:30 PM

Anyone that ever called anyone a name should not have cast a stone, what is the use in saying you're sorry if you do not mean it. I think they all should reflect NBA on this matter.

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Ragman May 14 2014 at 3:29 PM

Have those BLACK punks apologized for killing those World War (white Vets) yet (senior citizens)? Has Jesse Jackson apologize for calling NYC Hymietown? Has Al Sharpton apologized for the Tawana Brawley incident, accusing white people of doing the crime when they didn't? Has Charles Barkley apologized for saying he hated White People? Has the NAACP apologized for taking Sterling's money all those years even though it was said he was a racist? Why would the NAACP accept money from a racist?

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3 replies
Joycene May 14 2014 at 3:28 PM

Almost worse are the comments Sterling made that he "gives" clothes, cars, houses, etc. to the players on his team. No one else gives them these things, he says. In reality he doesn't "give" them anything. He hires the players, they work hard for him and for the team, and he pays them well. This is another part of Sterling's plantation mentality. He owns his "slaves" and gives them a place to sleep and food, and apparently for that he feels they should be grateful. No, Mr. Sterling, they work for that money. You don't give them anything. It's called a day's work for a day's pay.

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3 replies
Mac May 14 2014 at 3:25 PM

When is Sterling supposed to be arrested ? Where in the criminal code does it spell out his crime ? Is this a Federal or state law he broke ? Hmmmm .... Me thinks the prisons would not be large enough to house all the criminals at large.

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cavline May 14 2014 at 3:22 PM

I'd like to hear what some of you people say when your in your home. I guess we would all be in trouble at one time or another. You can't blame a guy for what he believes. So some of you are saying he can't own a shoe business if he hates shoes. Dumm

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astrodigitalp25 May 14 2014 at 3:16 PM

While we're talking about apologies here we're's the one from Oprah Winfrey ?
Didn't she give an interview to the BBC where she said generations of older people just need to die ?
, Should she be banned from life from owning a media network as well ?
Where's the outrage ?

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1 reply
alans022 astrodigitalp25 May 14 2014 at 3:41 PM

I'm more outraged that she has two wives, Gayle and Stedman.

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Steve May 14 2014 at 3:15 PM

Reagan and Paula Deen had nothing to apologize for. And they forgot about the one to George on Seinfeld. I, too, am sorry that some people were born with fat heads and unable to wear a sweater without stretching out the neck.

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