Leon Jenkins, center, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP speaks at a news conference in Culver City, Calif., April 28, 2014.
Nick Ut/AP

Los Angeles NAACP president Leon Jenkins steps down amid Donald Sterling scandal


The NAACP chapter president in charge of awarding LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling lifetime achievement awards—one rescinded, one swiftly cancelled—is stepping down in the wake of the scandal. 

The president of the Los Angeles NAACP, Leon Jenkins, resigned Thursday. 

“The legacy, history and reputation of the NAACP is more important to me than the presidency,” Jenkins wrote in his resignation letter. “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.”

The NAACP was criticized for repeatedly honoring Sterling, who has battled allegations of racial bias. Sterling paid millions to settlea Justice Department lawsuit in 2009 that claimed he had discriminated against African-Americans, Latinos, and people with children while renting out properties he owned.

When recordings of Sterling making racist statements to his girlfriend emerged last weekend, the Los Angeles NAACP was planning to honor Sterling with a second award. It was quickly cancelled, but the issue left the group in hot water with critics and fans alike.

Sterling has donated roughly $45,000 to the Los Angeles NAACP. The national organization is reportedly in financial trouble. This week, the group reduced its staff citing “severe budget shortfalls,” according to The New York Times.