The president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP resigned Thursday after the organization came after fire for its decision to present now-banished Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling a lifetime achievement award, prior to the revelations that lead to Sterling's lifetime ban this week. From the AP:
Leon Jenkins was to present Sterling with a "lifetime achievement award" later this month. Jenkins rescinded that offer after a recording surfaced on which Sterling disparaged black men.
In a letter to the national leader of the nation's oldest civil rights organization, Jenkins wrote, "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."
Jenkins wanted to give Sterling a "lifetime achievement award" May 15 at the 100th anniversary celebration of the Los Angeles chapter. The decision was questioned by some civil rights activists, who cited allegations of discrimination in Sterling's past.
It's a shame that Sterling continues to do damage to people's lives, and it's hard to see how Jenkins losing his position really helps anything, but PR matters. And more importantly, there's a pretty well established history of behavior with Sterling that, even if never having been criminally liable, does indicate a pattern not befitting of such an award.
A group of owners unanimously voted Thursday to pursue Adam Silver's suggested course of terminating ownership of the Clippers by Sterling.