Basketball owner Donald Sterling, currently reviled for racist remarks, was a previous recipient of the NAACP's Lifetime Achievement Award, and was scheduled to receive the award again next month, according to numerous reports.
The Los Angeles chapter has since announced that, after a leaked audio recording of Sterling asking his half-black girlfriend to avoid bringing black people to his team's games, it will not be honoring the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers for a second time in five years. The USA Today reported that the event was scheduled to honor Sterling as well as other high-profile individuals:
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti is also scheduled to be honored with a Person of the Year Award, as is the Rev. Al Sharpton. But Yusef Robb, the mayor’s spokesman, told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday, “In light of recent events, we will be discussing the event with the Los Angeles NAACP.”
The NAACP's LA chapter also honored Sterling in 2009, which occurred amidst accusations of Sterling's "plantation' like mind-set, according to a lawsuit filed by former Clippers General Manager Elgin Baylor. As a result, that award, as the Huffington Post noted, required a bit of a rationalization:
To justify the 2009 award, the president of the Los Angeles branch told the Los Angeles Times that Sterling "has a unique history of giving to the children of L.A.," revealing that the owner donates anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 tickets a game to youth groups for nearly every Clippers home game."
Sterling also received an award from the NAACP in 2008.