In 2009, the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP honored Donald Sterling with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Soon after the announcement was made, much of the world learned of Sterling's unrepentant racism thanks to Elgin Baylor's employment discrimination lawsuit.
From the Los Angeles Times, in 2009:
Clippers owner Donald Sterling, accused of racism and embracing a "vision of a Southern plantation-type structure" in a lawsuit filed in February by Elgin Baylor, will be given a lifetime achievement award next week by the NAACP. . . .
Leon Jenkins, president of the Los Angeles branch of the civil rights organization, says of the much-maligned Sterling, "He has a unique history of giving to the children of L.A.," revealing that the owner donates anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 tickets a game to youth groups for nearly every Clippers home game.
Noting that the NAACP had made plans to honor Sterling before Baylor filed suit, Jenkins says, "We can't speak to the allegations, but what we do know is that for the most part [Sterling] has been very, very kind to the minority youth community."
The NAACP's Los Angeles chapter has now twice combined an awful decision with even worse timing. On May 15, 2014, Donald Sterling is set to receive another Lifetime Achievement Award. Sterling also won the 2008 NAACP Presidents Award.
Update: The NAACP is urging the LA chapter to not honor Donald Sterling.
NAACP statement: "As the investigation is in progress, we urge the LA Branch of the NAACP to withdraw Donald Sterling from the honoree list"
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) April 26, 2014