NAACP-LA CEO Resigns In Clipper Fiasco

May 2, 2014       Mark Hrywna      

The president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP resigned yesterday after questions and criticism this week regarding the organization honoring Donald Sterling, the Los Angeles Clippers owner who received a lifetime ban by the National Basketball Association (NBA).

NAACP Interim President and CEO Lorraine C. Miller yesterday accepted the resignation of Los Angeles chapter President Leon Jenkins. The Baltimore, Md.-based national office also announced it will develop guidelines for its 1,200 active branches to help them in their selection process.

Derek Turner, director of communications for the national office, said there is no timeline for developing the national standards but it will be a deliberate process and thoughtful process, results of which will be passed on to NAACP branches. The NAACP is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization overseen by a board of directors while local NAACP branches are independent 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations overseen by an executive committee that abide by the national organization’s by-laws.

The L.A. chapter was scheduled to honor Sterling with a second lifetime achievement award at its 100th anniversary gala next week but revoked it after a recorded conversation came to light last weekend in which Sterling disparaged Black people. The Clippers owner also was honored in 2009, the same year he settled a housing discrimination lawsuits brought by the Justice Department, but it was last week’s comments that raised questions and criticisms about the chapter’s honors for Sterling.

Jenkins has said the 80-year-old owner was selected for his history of donating to minority charities and giving away game tickets to inner-city children, according to reports.