The NAACP chapter president in charge of awarding the now-rescinded lifetime achievement award to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling before he was caught on tape making racist remarks resigned on Thursday in the wake of the scandal.
“The legacy, history and reputation of the NAACP is more important to me than the presidency,” Leon Jenkins wrote in his resignation letter. “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.”
The NAACP interim president and CEO, Lorraine C. Miller, accepted Jenkins' resignation.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver handed down a lifetime ban on Sterling and fined him $2.5 million earlier this week after it was confirmed that he made racist comments captured on a recording by his girlfriend, V. Stiviano. On the tape, Sterling is heard telling her not to bring black people, including legendary NBA guard Magic Johnson, to Clippers games. The tape sparked an outcry from both the public and players and led several sponsors to cancel their support of the team. Oprah Winfrey, David Geffen and Larry Ellison have said that they will join together in a bid to buy the Clippers, if the NBA's board of governors votes to force Sterling to sell the team, Geffen told ESPN's Jeremy Schaap on Wednesday.
In a statement, the civil rights group, which has previously given Sterling awards, said that the national office is "developing guidelines for its branches to help them in their award-selection process."