Thursday afternoon Jenkins did just that. He resigned amid controversy over the organization’s connections to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Under Jenkins’ leadership, the organization was getting set to bestow Sterling with a lifetime achievement award. However, the proverbial Sop Hop I Top hit the fan when after audio recordings of Sterling making racist comments emerged. Sterling was banned for life from the NBA on Tuesday and fined $2.5 million.
Oops. There went the award for Sterling (and the beginning of the end for Jenkins).
According to the NY Times, records indicate that Sterling’s various foundations have given Jenkins’ branch at least $45,000 since 2007. The Times report also points out that Sterling was given a similar award under Jenkin’s leadership in 2009.
Jenkins stated in his letter of resignation:
“Please be advised that the legacy, history and reputation of the NAACP is more important to me than the presidency. 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 wasted no time accepting Jenkins’ resignation
In an email sent to EUR, NAACP Interim President and CEO Lorraine C. Miller wasted no time accepting Jenkins’ resignation
The national office of the NAACP also stated that it is developing guidelines for its branches to help them in their award selection process.
Here’s what Najee Ali director of Project Islamic Hope, had to say:
“Leon Jenkins needed to resign from the NAACP. He betrayed our community by accepting money from Donald Sterling a known racist who (doesn’t) like African Americans or Latinos. Jenkins’ legacy will be one of shame. We look forward to working with the next President of the L.A. NAACP branch to help them return to Grace.”