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Local NAACP praises NBA owner's punishment

Published On: May 03 2014 02:00:03 AM CDT
REDDING, Calif. -

A Northstate civil rights leader is offering his thoughts on the latest racial controversy that has gained national attention. All this as his organization faces a tough situation.

Los Angeles Clippers' owner Donald Sterling admitted to making incendiary comments to his girlfriend. It is a recording that was first released by TMZ Sports.

Earlier this week, the National Basketball Association's commissioner came down hard on Sterling, ordering him out of his team's business and pushing to force him to sell over the remarks that caused a firestorm since becoming public last weekend.

It was a lifetime ban by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and it is getting praised at the local level.

"I think he got it right on this one. And the immediate action that he took. I think he got it right," said Shasta County NAACP President Ricky Bennett.

Bennett said something had to be done.

"This is what the NAACP has been working 108 years on. Then to come back and have this slap in the face. That's how I reacted to it,” he said. “Something had to be done to satisfy it. Otherwise we'd think everything else has been a loss. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and what they did for civil rights - That would've been dead."

But his organization is dealing with the fallout.

The NAACP Los Angeles chapter president Leon Jenkins resigned Thursday, after the civil rights group came under fire for its plans to present a lifetime achievement award to the Los Angeles Clippers owner. The resignation letter said he wants to separate the chapter from the negative exposure he caused.

"You look in your own backyard and say, ‘hey who's like that in the area where you live?’"

-Shasta County NAACP President Ricky Bennett

In Shasta County, Bennett wonders if there are other Donald Sterling's out there – others who feel the same way. He said the Northstate is no exception.

"You look in your own backyard and say, ‘hey who's like that in the area where you live?’" he said. "I think this county has made - in all your areas of power here - I think most of the people are pretty decent, but we've got a lot of work to do in some areas."

On Friday, Sterling was quoted on DuJour.com as saying "I wish I had just paid her off" in reference to his alleged girlfriend, V. Stiviano. The site, which specified that Sterling was referring to Stiviano in a discussion with one of its writers, didn't state when the remark was made.