Leon Jenkins, the president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP, resigned Thursday after his organization gave Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling a humanitarian award and was slated to award him a lifetime achievement award in May.
NAACP Interim President and CEO Lorraine C. Miller accepted the resignation. Jenkins had also been under scrutiny for having been “disrobed as a Detroit district court judge in 1991 for accepting bribes” and “barred from practicing law both in Michigan and California,” according to news reports.
According to an NAACP statement, Jenkins, in his letter of resignation, wrote: “Please be advised that the legacy, history and reputation of the NAACP is more important to me than the presidency. In order to separate the Los Angeles NAACP and the NAACP from the negative exposure I have caused the NAACP, I respectfully resign my position as President of the Los Angeles NAACP.”
A day after the NBA gave a lifetime ban to Sterling after a recording surfaced in which Sterling tells a woman not to bring “black people” to his games, the NAACP admitted that the organization ignored Sterling’s racism because it was “seduced” by his “large donations.”
On Monday, Jenkins formally announced that the NAACP would be revoking Sterling’s lifetime achievement award and returning his donations.