Sterling scandal exposes serious NAACP hypocrisy, dysfunction

leon jenkins

Leon Jenkins resigned from his post as president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP on Thursday, in what should be the first of several resignations due to the Donald Sterling debacle.

Los Angeles National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) President Leon Jenkins’ resignation on Thursday, in wake of the Donald Sterling scandal was too little, too late. It is clear that Jenkins has shown very poor judgment and that his actions were a blight on the venerable civil rights organization since there is no possible scenario under which Sterling could ever have been an accurate representation of the NAACP’s values, mission and scope. No scenario at all.

Leon Jenkins, sterling

Leon Jenkins former president of the LA chapter of the NAACP poses with Clippers Owner Donald Sterling who expressed anger that his female companion “associate with black people.”

The NAACP has a long, distinguished tradition of advocating for the rights of African-Americans and other minority groups who are on the periphery of society’s wealth and opportunities. That goal has been the fundamental mission of the organization since its inception, which is why the mentality of the Los Angeles chapter, under Jenkins’ leadership, is such a disgrace.

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NAACP’s Leon Jenkins honors Donald Sterling who is flanked by his wife.

When the tapes surfaced of Sterling’s’ racist diatribe against blacks, emotions became heated as blacks and other minorities boiled in anger. But another significant fact that was not as publicized was that Jenkins and his team were planning to honor Sterling with a second Lifetime Achievement Award next week. The chapter had previously given Sterling two awards in 2008 and 2009, one of which was a Lifetime Award, which of course raises the question: How many lifetimes does Sterling have?

Sterling is a real estate tycoon, in addition to owning the Los Angeles Clippers and he settled a housing discrimination lawsuit brought by the Justice Department in 2006 for $2.7 million due to his refusal to rent housing units to minorities. At the time, Sterling said “Hispanics smoke, drink and just hang around the building” while “Black tenants smell and attract vermin.”  Yet the Los Angeles Chapter of the NAACP felt he was deserving of an award in 2008.

elgin baylor

Elgin Baylor served the Clippers for 22 years then filed a lawsuit in 2010 accusing owner Donald Sterling of a range of distasteful racist conduct and sentiments. Baylor lost in court.

Not to be outdone by his venomous disdain for minorities, Sterling continued a reign of terror resulting in Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor filing a wrongful termination lawsuit against him, after being with the Clippers for 22 years as a woefully underpaid general manager, earning $250,000 per year, compared to the millions paid to other executives in similar positions industry-wide. In his lawsuit, Baylor accused Sterling of a “plantation mentality.”

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According to Baylor, Sterling would parade women into the Clippers’ locker room to look at the “fine black bodies” of the players. Also, according to Baylor, Sterling staunchly refused to hire black coaches because he wanted to “have white a Southern coach coaching poor black players.” Again, such actions so impressed the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP that the leadership awarded Sterling with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. To say this is an appalling display of poor judgment is a gross understatement.

Appearing on Don Lemon’s program on CNN last weekend, political analyst and news host Ben Ferguson did not mince words “The NAACP should be ashamed of itself for honoring Donald Sterling given his long history of racism,” he said. We at could not agree more with Mr. Ferguson, who boldly said what many did not. What could Jenkins and his leadership have been thinking? Were they not thinking at all?

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Leon Jenkins at press conference on 4/28/2014 announcing that he is rescinding the second Lifetime Achievement Award he and his chapter planned to give to Donald Sterling.

In a precursor to his overdue resignation, Jenkins held a press conference on April 28 and said the following: “The revelations that Mr. Sterling may have made comments in a phone conversation that was reminiscent of the ugly time in American history that contained elements of segregation and racial discrimination demand that the NAACP’s intention to honor Mr. Sterling for lifetime body of work must be withdrawn and the donation that he has given tot he LA NAACP will be returned.”

Jenkins gets no points for withdrawing an award that should never have been a thought in the minds of those trusted to lead such an important organization. This effort to lavish Sterling with multiple NAACP awards represents a huge stain on the mission and reputation of the NAACP and more resignations should be announced as that chapter cleans house and returns to its noble 

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Honoring NBA greats who paved the way for today’s superstars

Bill  Russell deservingly, receives a great deal of recognition for his accomplishments.

Bill Russell appropriately receives a great deal of recognition for his extensive career accomplishments.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

As the National Basketball association (NBA) exits the month of the All-Star game, many fans are looking forward to the playoffs and the MVP race. The recent conversation about all-time great NBA players always features Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and many, many, more. This has prompted to honor some of the all-time greats who deserve as much recognition as those who are regularly mentioned.

At the end of each month, for the rest of the NBA season, we will highlight a center, forward, and guard who deserve to be recognized publicly and often.

Moses Malone is one of the best centers of all-time.

Moses Malone is one of the best centers of all time.

At center, we recognize Moses Malone. Malone started his professional career in 1974 in the American Basketball Association (ABA) as one of the first players to go straight to the pros from high school. Malone played for 9 different teams during his 21-year career, while earning MVP honors 3 times (79′, 82′ and 83′) and making the All Star team 14 times (2 ABA and 12 NBA).

Malone was the key acquisition of the Philadelphia 76ers in 1983 and the Malone\Julius Irving-led team finally captured the NBA championship in a sweep of the Lakers that season. Malone was named MVP in the Finals as well. Many basketball fans remember Malone for his serious demeanor and exceptional rebounding prowess. Malone retired in 1995 with 29,580 points, 17,834 rebounds, and 1936 assists. He should regularly come to mind when discussions of best centers of all time is raised.

Elgin Baylor, is not only one of the best players of all-time but is also the best scorer (27.4 ppg) in Lakers history.

Elgin Baylor, is not only one of the best players of all-time but is also the best scorer (27.4 ppg) in Lakers history.

At forward, we recognize Elgin Baylor. Baylor was the first overall draft pick of what was then the Minneapolis Lakers in 1958, and won rookie of the year honors in 1959. One of the best scorers of all time, Baylor would later average 27.4 points per game in his 13-year career (currently 4th best all time). Baylor would put together a phenomenal stretch while averaging 34.8, 38.3 and 34 points per game, respectively, in the 1960-63 seasons.

Baylor, along with Jerry West, led the Lakers to the NBA Finals on eight different occasions but had the dubious distinction of losing every appearance. As fate would have it, Baylor would suffer a serious knee injury that cut his career short. In fact, he retired early in the 1972-73 season, the same season the Lakers would set an NBA record winning 33 consecutive games and finally winning the championship. If not for the Celtics domination of the sixties, Baylor would definitely be brought up more regularly. Baylor (6’5″) was also an exceptional rebounder, who averaged 13.5 rebounds per game (career high 19.8 rpg in 1960) for his career.

Hal Greer holds the career scoring record for the 76ers.

Hal Greer holds the career scoring record for the 76ers.

At guard, we recognize Hal Greer. Greer joined the NBA in 1958 with the Syracuse Nationals, which eventually became the Philadelphia 76ers ,in 1963, and would play his entire career with the franchise. Though he played many years with Wilt Chamberlain, Greer holds the record as the 76ers all-time leading scorer.

The 10-time All Star would team with Chamberlain to lead the 76ers past the Boson Celtics in 1967, ending the Celtics 8-year championship run and culminating in the first title of the 76ers franchise. Greer actually led the team in scoring (27.7 ppg) during that playoff run, which marked the pinnacle of his career. Of the guards that played throughout the 1960’s, only Oscar Robertson and Jerry West are more accomplished than Greer.

This article is not intended to be a biography for these players. Instead, the writer’s intent is to remind fans of the contributions these players made to the exciting game of basketball and to the NBA in particular. Stay tuned as we honor more NBA greats in the near future.–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on