As we already reported, Sterling will not receive a lifetime achievement award from the LA chapter. The executive was initially on tap to be honored with the recognition on May 15.
During a news conference Monday, the president of the LA chapter, Leon Jenkins, confirmed that money donated by Sterling to the organization would be returned.
In addition, the NAACP called for a previous award given to the 80-year-old Sterling, who has owned the team since 1981, to be rescinded.
“The revelation that Mr. Sterling may have made comments in a phone conversation that was reminiscent of the ugly time in American history that contained elements of segregation and racial discrimination demands that the Los Angeles NAACP intention to honor Mr. Sterling for a lifetime body of work must be withdrawn and the donation that he has given to the Los Angeles NAACP will be returned,” said Jenkins. “There is a personal, economic and social price that Mr. Sterling must pay for his attempt to turn back the clock on race relations.”
The NAACP’s announcements are the latest to occur since the release of audio obtained by TMZ Sports that features a man who TMZ identifies as Sterling tells his girlfriend that he doesn’t want her to be seen in public with black people. The comments came after Sterling’s girlfriend posted a photo with NBA icon Magic Johnson on her Instagram account, TMZ noted.
NBC News has not been able to authenticate the audio tape and a similar recording released by Deadspin that the site claims is an extended version of the conversation.
The comments led to calls for an investigation into the audio. On Monday, Sacramento Mayor and special adviser to the National Basketball Player’s Association Kevin Johnson revealed that NBA players are calling for the most “severe sanction possible,” if the league investigation verifies that the comments were made by Sterling.
When asked how detrimental he considered Sterling’s alleged remarks, Jenkins stated, “On a scale of one to ten? Eleven”
“It goes back to a segregation system and a time that nobody in America is proud of,” he said.
Sterling, who has been honored by the NAACP several times in the past, was chosen to receive the civil right’s group award because of his long history of donating to minority charities and giving game tickets to inner city children, said Jenkins, who
did not provide details regarding how much money Sterling have donated to the LA NAACP.
To see footage of the NAACP’s press conference, check out the video below: