President of NAACP's Donald Sterling-Feting Chapter Resigns

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Donald Sterling still owns the Los Angeles Clippers, but the president of the chapter of the NAACP that almost gave him a lifetime achievement award is out.

Leon Jenkins resigned his position tonight, writing:

Please be advised that the legacy, history and reputation of the NAACP is more important to me than the presidency. In order to separate the Los Angeles NAACP and the NAACP from the negative exposure I have caused the NAACP, I respectfully resign my position as President of the Los Angeles NAACP.

Despite having an extremely questionable history with regard to race relations, Sterling was from the NAACP twice before: the president's award in 2008, and another lifetime achievement award in 2009 (apparently it's possible to receive two lifetime achievement awards from the same organization). Another thing that Sterling did in 2009 was pay a $2.73 million settlement after being accused of refusing to rent apartments to blacks or Latinos. Oh, and he was sued for employment discrimination based on age and race.

Once the recording of Sterling telling his girlfriend not to promote her association with black people became public, the NAACP decided to rescind Sterling's second lifetime achievement award. While the NBA figures out how to make Sterling sell the Clippers, attention has turned to the NAACP and Jenkins: namely, why he kept giving Sterling awards. In 2009, Jenkins said that Sterling was "very, very kind to the minority youth community" and that he couldn't "speak to the allegations." The Huffington Post reported that Sterling's charities have given NAACP LA $45,000.

The NAACP says it is currently "developing guidelines" for how its branches select honorees.


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.