Of all the companies that rescinded business opportunities due to Donald Sterling’s racist comments, perhaps no group made a monetary statement stronger than UCLA. On Tuesday the school released a statement announcing that it had rejected a $3 million donation from the Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation.
Mr. Sterling’s divisive and hurtful comments demonstrate that he does not share UCLA’s core values as a public university that fosters diversity, inclusion and respect. For those reasons, UCLA has decided to return Mr. Sterling’s initial payment of $425,000 and reject the remainder of a $3 million pledge he recently made to support basic kidney research by the UCLA Division of Nephrology. UCLA has received numerous inquiries about an advertisement in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times falsely suggesting that it was UCLA publicly thanking him for the gift. The ad was placed by Mr. Sterling, not the university.
According to the LA Times, Sterling’s donation was to be prorated over seven years for the purpose of studying kidney proteins. The advertisement mentioned in UCLA’s statement is pictured below.
UCLA has also stated that there were never plans to name a structure, or even give signage, to Sterling or his wife. The full deal was rebuffed shortly after Adam Silver levied a lifetime NBA ban against Sterling.