At least they admit they’re nothing but a bunch of greedy hacks.
The NAACP commends the NBA for swift and strong action against Sterling for his racist, offensive remarks. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has banned Sterling from basketball for life, which is a relief for players, fans, and us in the NAACP. Silver said that Sterling’s racist views “have no place in the NBA.” I say Sterling’s views have no place in civilized society. The NBA’s response is a great start but there is more work to be done.
There was ample evidence of Sterling’s racism going back to the early 1980s when he was reported to have asked a potential coach, “I wanna know why you think you can coach these n—ers.” In 2002 in sworn testimony he said of black people, “They smell, they’re not clean.” And in 2009, he was ordered to make the largest payout ever in a housing discrimination lawsuit. Why did the NBA and others associated with the game — including many sportswriters — look the other way for decades?
Corporate sponsors of the L.A. Clippers were the first to take action when Sterling’s racist comments surfaced, abandoning the team in droves because association with him is bad for business. […]
Our NAACP chapter in L.A. is not blameless. Because of Sterling’s large donations to local charities, including the NAACP, they overlooked his worse than checkered history on race issues and gave him a lifetime achievement award in 2009 — and were about to honor him with a humanitarian award before his racist recording surfaced.
The National NAACP and all of our affiliates must be more discerning in our awarding of honors, which should be for true achievements in advancing racial equality. We are developing guidelines for our units to help them in their award selection process. We must not be seduced by mere financial support.
While the NAACP is grateful for corporate and philanthropic donations in addition to membership dues, we have always reserved the right to criticize the actions of our donors when we disagree with them — and to dissociate ourselves from them totally when they express the kind of egregious racism that Donald Sterling has.