The effects of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist remarks made last weekend extend far beyond the world of sports.
That much became evident on Thursday, when the president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP resigned amid controversy surrounding his chapter’s decision to honor Sterling with a lifetime achievement award.
Leon Jenkins, who had served as the president of the L.A. chapter of the civil rights organization since 2009, wrote in a letter to the NAACP’s national leader that he was resigning “to separate the Los Angeles NAACP and the NAACP from the negative exposure I have caused.”
Prior to the public release of Sterling’s comments, Jenkins and the Los Angeles chapter were set to present Sterling with a lifetime achievement award on May 15 to recognize his history of donating to minority charities and providing game tickets to inner-city children.
Jenkins rescinded the award on Monday in the wake of Sterling’s remarks, stating that “there is a personal, economic and social price that Mr. Sterling must pay for his attempt to turn back the clock on race relations.”
Sterling was banned for life from associating with the Clippers and the NBA by Commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday.
Jenkins and the NAACP honored Sterling with a similar achievement award in 2009 being accused of racism in a recent lawsuit by former Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor.
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