In what has to be the very definition of irony, the Los Angeles NAACP Branch is scheduled to present Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling with its Lifetime Achievement Award on May 15th.
Sterling has recently come under fire after TMZ released a video where the Clipper owner berates his girlfriend, V. Stiviano for posting a picture of NBA legend Magic Johnson and herself on her Instagram account. The Clippers owner also admonishes Stiviano for “broadcasting” that “you’re associating with Black people.”
Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have been abuzz with the Clipper owner controversy since the story broke. Clipper star DeAndre Jordan sent a powerful message to his boss by simply posting an all black image on his Instagram page. News of the upcoming NAACP tribute to the embattled owner has only intensified the outcry on social media.
As of this morning, the invitation to the Los Angeles NAACP 100th Anniversary Awards Celebration listing Sterling as the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Awardee was still posted on their website.
However, that may soon change. Yusef Robb, a spokesman for L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is also scheduled to be honored with a Person of the Year Award along with the Rev. Al Sharpton, informed the Los Angeles Times last night, “In light of recent events, we will be discussing the event with the Los Angeles NAACP.”
The California State Conference issued a statement in response to the alleged remarks by Sterling:
From Alice Huffman, President of the NAACP California State Conference:
“If these allegations are proven true, we are extremely disappointed in Mr. Sterling,” stated Alice Huffman, President of the NAACP California State Conference. “Recent remarks like these, and those of Cliven Bundy, remind us that racism is not a footnote of our past, but a reality of our present that we must confront head on.”
Huffman continued, “For 105 years, the NAACP has fought against the culture bigotry that leads to the comments like those we heard on the recording, and as public response to these remarks has shown, we have made significant progress.
“As the investigation is in progress, we urge the LA Branch of the NAACP to withdraw Donald Sterling from the honoree list at its upcoming Gala. We also suggest that African Americans and Latinos should honor his request and not attend the games.
“If true, these are very hurtful remarks and Mr. Sterling, whose team talents and fan base is majority minority, should offer an apology to Californians.
“At the conclusion of the investigation into the alleged comments, if true, we seek further redress from Mr. Sterling.”
This is the second time that Sterling is set to be honored by the Los Angeles NAACP Branch. He received their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. In 2008, he received the NAACP Presidents Award.
This morning, the NAACP released a statement stating, “As the investigation is in progress, we urge the L.A. Branch of the NAACP to withdraw Donald Sterling from the honoree list.”
We can only hope that if the Los Angeles NAACP heeds that advice and finds a more suitable recipient. They would be wise to pass on Cliven Bundy.