Donald Sterling Rant: NAACP Abandons Plans for Lifetime Achievement Honor
NAACP interim president Lorraine Miller stated on Sunday that embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling will not be honored with a lifetime achievement award after audio of racist remarks emerged.
"He is not receiving a lifetime achievement award from the NAACP that's coming up in the next few weeks," Miller said on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday.
Sterling was among those scheduled to be honored by the Los Angeles NAACP next month.
The mogul is embroiled in controversy following the release of an audio recording of him making racist comments, but the civil rights organization previously tapped him as a lifetime achievement award honoree for NAACP LA's 100th anniversary celebration May 15.
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The event is slated to take place at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, with other honorees including Rev. Al Sharpton and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, both of whom condemned Sterling Saturday. NAACP California State Conference is urging the NAACP LA to withdraw Sterling from the ceremony.
“If these allegations are proven true, we are extremely disappointed in Mr. Sterling,” Alice Huffman, President of the NAACP California State Conference, said in a statement. “Recent remarks like these, and those of Cliven Bundy, remind us that racism is not a footnote of our past, but a reality of our present that we must confront head on.”
She added: "As the investigation is in progress, we urge the LA Branch of the NAACP to withdraw Donald Sterling from the honoree list at its upcoming Gala. We also suggest that African Americans and Latinos should honor his request and not attend the games."
The NAACP has previously honored Sterling with the lifetime achievement award in 2009, as well as the NAACP President's award in 2008. Ahead of his 2009 honor, the NAACP LA head Leon Jenkins praised Sterling to the Los Angeles Times, even as the mogul was being accused of racism in a lawsuit from former Clippers general manager and NBA hall of famer Elgin Baylor.
"He has a unique history of giving to the children of L.A.,"Jenkins said of Sterling the time, adding that Sterling routinely gave 2,000-3,000 tickets to local youth for each Clippers home game.
NAACP LA did not respond to requests for comment.