Clippers owner Donald Sterling will no longer be receiving a lifetime achievement award from the NAACP, the Los Angeles chapter recently announced at a news conference.
On Tuesday, the NBA issued a lifetime ban against the owner, barring him from any contact with his team and the league, and fined him $2.5 million. Sterling, who has owned the team since 1981, came under fire for making racist comments in a recorded conversation that was leaked by TMZ and Deadspin over the weekend.
"There is a personal, economic and social price that Mr. Sterling must pay for his attempt to turn back the clock on race relations," said Leon Jenkins, president of the Los Angeles NAACP, at the conference. He also told reporters that donations made by Sterling will be returned, but did not disclose the amount.
When asked how injurious Sterling's comments were, Jenkins replied: "On a scale of one to 10? Eleven. It goes back to a segregation system and a time that nobody in America is proud of."
The country's oldest civil rights organization had originally planned to award Sterling, 80, as part of the L.A. branch's centennial celebrations because of his long history of donating to minority charities and his providing inner-city children with game tickets.
Tax records show that the last contribution, that the Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation donated to the chapter, $5,000, was in 2010, AP reported.
Members of California Legislative Black Caucus also condemned the Clippers' owners' remarks. Assemblyman Isadore Hall (D-Compton) likened Sterling to a "slave master" looking down at his Black players.
"It's an utter embarrassment," Hall reportedly said, "not just to the NBA, but also to all the individuals who believe that at some point, in California at least, we have risen above that, and we obviously haven't."
According to The New York Times, NBA league commissioner Adam Silver said that he would "do everything in [his] power" to ensure that Sterling was forced to sell the Clippers.
"I fully expect to get the support I need to remove him."
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