But after Sterling's reported racisit remarks, Leon Jenkins, the President of the LA NAACP says, "There is a personal, economic and social price that Mr. Sterling must pay for his attempt to turn back the clock on race relations."
The NAACP will also return a donation from Sterling - though they won't say how much it was.
This press conference in response to remarks the LA Clippers owner allegedly made in a recorded phone conversation.
TMZ obtained the audio in which a man - believed to be Sterling telling his girlfriend not to bring black people to Clippers games or pose in photos with black people and post them on her Instagram account.
Jenkins says his group had to act.
"Well the reason we are do it is because some things happens that you have to take immediate actions."
Jenkins adds that Sterling's relationship with the NAACP goes back at least 15 years. He says Sterling has given money for scholarships to the group and donates the most to the NAACP of any LA sports franchise. In 2009 they honored with a humanitarian award. But say they had to act until he can prove it was not him.
"They are thinking about a social responsibility they have do they want to be remiss in overlooking or do they want to be a positive part of the conversation moving forward," said Dan Lebowitz, who heads the Center for the Study of Sport and Society at Northeastern University.
Lebowitz says this is also a tough spot for former Celtics coach Doc Rivers, now coach of the LA Clippers.
"It's probably an untenable situation in some respects for Doc... I think moving forward he can use this as a teaching moment as well. "
The NBA is investigating but in the end Lebowitz also says the league will have to act.
"I think the league has to make a response. The response has to be stern."
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