WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Researchers at UCLA will return a portion of a $3 million pledge that Clippers owner Donald Sterling made to support kidney research, school officials announced Tuesday.
The university is returning the initial $425,000 payment from the Donald T. Sterling Foundation made earlier this month, and will not accept the balance of the money, calling the comments he made in a recorded conversation “divisive and hurtful,” according to spokesperson Phil Hampton.
Dr. Ira Kurtz, a professor of medicine in UCLA’s Division of Nephrology was awarded the gift earlier this month to fund research on the structural properties of key proteins in the kidney that affect its function in health and disease.
KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports the project’s ultimate goal is to aid in the development of drugs to treat patients with kidney disorders.
The school issued the following statement: “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 officials also addressed inquiries about an advertisement that appeared in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times “falsely suggesting that it was UCLA publicly thanking him for the gift.”
The ad was placed by Sterling, not the university, according to Hampton.
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