A $3 million gift from disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is being returned by UCLA. The announcement comes one day after Sterling was banned was banned for life by the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Sterling made the gift to the university’s Division of Nephrology to support basic kidney research. The initial $425,000 of the donation had already been made. However, Sterling has been under fire since an audio recording surfaced last Friday that appeared to link him to racist remarks about African Americans. The voice on the recording has since been confirmed to be Sterling’s.
“Mr. Sterling’s divisive and hurtful comments demonstrate that he does not share UCLA’s core values as a public university that fosters diversity, inclusion and respect,” a statement from UCLA read. “For those reasons, UCLA has decided to return Mr. Sterling’s initial payment of $425,000 and reject the remainder of a $3 million pledge he recently made to support basic kidney research by the UCLA Division of Nephrology.”
Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA, announced yesterday that the league would ban Sterling for life, fine him $2.5 million (which would be donated to anti-discrimination organizations), and attempt to force him to sell his ownership of the Clippers.
UCLA’s statement was released after the university received inquiries about an ad placed in The Los Angeles Times thanking Sterling for his gift. The ad stated that a “gold colored plaque” would be placed in the lobby of the university honoring the Sterlings, and that a research lab would be named in his honor.
The university denied commissioning the ad, which was in the Sunday edition of The Times, saying that Sterling was responsible for it.