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In a press conference Monday, the Los Angeles branch of the NAACP officially rescinded the lifetime achievement award it planned to give Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
The group said it also plans to return donations Sterling made to the NAACP, which Los Angeles president Leon Jenkins called “an insignificant amount of money,” according to USA Today.
“There is a personal, economic and social price Mr. Sterling must pay for his attempt to turn back the clock on race relations,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins explained that the NAACP decided to honor Sterling because of “a body of work,” adding that the organization and Sterling have had a relationship for “maybe 15, 20 years.”
“Mr. Sterling’s organization has on a consistent basis brought in the minority community. He has also over the years contributed to a number of minority charities. Compared to other L.A. franchises, his organization gave more money,” added Jenkins.
However, Jenkins said that Sterling would not have to return the lifetime achievement award he was given in 2009.
“This is not like the Heisman Trophy, dude,” he said. “He has the award. We’re not going to ask him to return an award that he got years ago.”
In addition, despite not honoring Sterling this year, Jenkins said the organization would be open to forgiving and working with the Clippers owner in the future.
“God teaches us to forgive, and the way I look at it is after a sustained period of proof to the African-American community that those words really don’t reflect his heart, I think there’s room for forgiveness,” Jenkins said. “I wouldn’t be a Christian if I said there wasn’t.”
NAACP interim president Lorraine Miller said Sunday that Sterling would not be honored with his second lifetime achievement award after audio of what’s believed to be the Clippers owner making racist remarks emerged.
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