NAACP: We Can 'Forgive' Donald Sterling

But only if 'those words don't reflect his heart'

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 28, 2014 5:28 PM CDT

(Newser) – The NAACP is still willing to work with Los Angeles Clippers' owner Donald Sterling despite his alleged racist remarks, ABC News reports. Having denied him a lifetime achievement award over his comments (see here and here), the organization held a press conference today where NAACP Los Angeles President Leon Jenkins called Sterling's words "devastating." Still, the NAACP could forgive the man it has worked with for nearly 20 years, Jenkins said: "God teaches us to forgive. ... I think there's room for forgiveness. I wouldn't be a Christian if I said there wasn't."

But Jenkins said he would need to see "a sustained period of proof to the African American community that those words don't reflect his heart." He said the NAACP is negotiating with Sterling about him giving more money to black students at UCLA, but they haven't spoken since the scandal broke. In other developments, sponsors like CarMax, Virgin America, and State Farm have either severed or paused their relationship with the Clippers, the LA Times reports. Clippers coach Doc Rivers said today that he "believed [Sterling] said those things," the LA Times reports, and CBS Sports reports that the NBA will make an announcement about its investigation tomorrow. (Click to read about Sterling's history of alarming comments.)

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling attends the NBA basketball game between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles on Monday, March 2, 2009.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling attends the NBA basketball game between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles on Monday, March 2, 2009.   (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
Leon Jenkins, center, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP, speaks at a news conference in Culver City, Calif., Monday, April 28, 2014.
Leon Jenkins, center, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP, speaks at a news conference in Culver City, Calif., Monday, April 28, 2014.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
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