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Saturday 20 September 2014

Civil rights group decides against lifetime achievement award for NBA owner in racism controversy

Published 29/04/2014 | 07:37

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Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has come under fire for his alleged racist comments.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has come under fire for his alleged racist comments.

The oldest civil rights organization in the United States, will not honour Donald Sterling with a lifetime achievement award after the Los Angeles Clippers owner was allegedly caught making racially disparaging comments, the organization said.

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Sterling was severely criticized after the celebrity news site TMZ.com on Friday posted a 10-minute recording in which a person reported to be the NBA owner tells a woman not to post photographs of herself with black people online and not to bring African-Americans to Clippers games.

The Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP civil rights organisation had planned to give Sterling a lifetime achievement award at its May 15 banquet.

"The revelations that Mr Sterling may have made comments in a phone conversation that was reminiscent of the ugly time in American history that contain elements of segregation and racial discrimination demands that the Los Angeles NAACP's intention to honor Mr Sterling for a lifetime body of work must be withdrawn and the donation that he gave to the NAACP will be returned," Los Angeles Chapter President Leon Jenkins announced at a news conference.

"The words used were very Jim Crowish.”

“It goes back to a segregation system and a time in America that nobody in America is proud of and I think when you say things like that you have to pay a price for those kind of things.

“You have to demonstrate if it's possible that that's not who you are. So it was devastating.

“It's off the scale." he added. "Jim Crow" was the term used for racial segregation laws enacted between 1876 and 1965 in the United States at the state and local level.

The NBA has said it was investigating the audio recording, described by Commissioner Adam Silver as "truly offensive and disturbing".

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