NAACP LA Chief Quits Over Sterling Honor

Leon Jenkins says he wants to protect chapter's reputation

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 2, 2014 12:49 AM CDT

(Newser) – The NAACP president who planned to honor Clippers owner Donald Sterling with a lifetime achievement award—and said the organization could forgive his racist remarks—has decided to step down. "The legacy, history, and reputation of the NAACP is more important to me than the presidency," Leon Jenkins said in a statement explaining his resignation as president of the Los Angeles chapter. The chapter, which plans to return $45,000 it received in donations from Sterling, honored him with a similar award in 2009, USA Today notes. The national NAACP says it is now "developing guidelines for its branches to help them in their award selection process."

The woman whose recording of Sterling's racist remarks led to his lifetime ban from the NBA, meanwhile, says she gave copies of the tape to friends for safekeeping and one of them apparently sold it, according to her lawyer."One of those friends apparently wanted to make money and sold it to TMZ, says V. Stiviano's lawyer, who denies that the tape was leaked to "get even" with Sterling's wife over a lawsuit she filed, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Leon Jenkins, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP, announces that Los Angeles Clippers basketball team owner Donald Sterling will not be receiving his lifetime achievement award.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Leon Jenkins, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP, announces that Los Angeles Clippers basketball team owner Donald Sterling will not be receiving his lifetime achievement award.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
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