You would think Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, a person who comes generally at life from the left side of the court, would be immune from leftist attack, especially from the leftists in Los Angeles.
You’d be wrong.
ESPN contributor J.A. Adande, not exactly a right-winger, was interviewing Coach Jackson on the possibility of Jackson coaching the Lakers again next season, and then switched up the topic;
While Jackson’s career stance didn’t surprise me, I was caught off guard by his take on the Phoenix Suns’ peaceful protest of Arizona’s new immigration enforcement law in the form of wearing their “Los Suns” jerseys. [Ummm, they wear those jerseys every May 5 I understand]
First Jackson, who has showed lefty leanings in the past, indicated he had no problem with the controversial state Senate Bill 1070.
“Am I crazy, or am I the only one that heard [the legislature] say ‘we just took the United States immigration law and adapted it to our state,'” Jackson said. [My bolding]
Upon being caught “off guard” by Coach Jackson’s obviously incorrect stance, Adande attempts to set the good Coach straight;
“I told him they usurped the federal law.”
Whereupon Coach Jackson instead set Adande straight;
“It’s not usurping, it’s just copying it is what they said they did, and then they gave it some teeth to be able to enforce it,” Jackson said.
Phil Jackson continues explaining how he sees sports teams in general mucking in politics;
“I don’t think teams should get involved in the political stuff. And I think this one’s still kind of coming out to balance as to how it’s going to be favorably looked upon by our public. If I heard it right the American people are really for stronger immigration laws, if I’m not mistaken. Where we stand as basketball teams, we should let that kind of play out and let the political end of that go where it’s going to go.”
Adande goes on listing Jackson’s lefty credentials and expressing shock and dismay that such a man as Phil Jackson would dare not toe the prescribed leftist line, but now the story goes elsewhere.
Larry Lopez, (who these days prefers you call him Nativo Virgil Lopez and would also like you to forget he’s indicted on charges of election and voter registration fraud) is head of the Mexican American Political Assn, and being part of the 3% of LA who seems to feel Arizonans should be made to pay for passing SB1070, he doesn’t think Coach Jackson “understands” all the nuances of the “hateful” Arizona law;
“We want to give Phil Jackson the benefit of the doubt,” said Nativo Lopez, head of the Mexican American Political Assn. “There are nuances here that Phil Jackson perhaps is not familiar with. He’s an expert at basketball but not at immigration law.”
Larry apparently is an expert. Generally he likes to think of himself as the Al Sharpton of the open borders movement (in other words, a race hustler).
While the professional activist isn’t quite the showman Sharpton is, I’m proud to report that he can still be quite entertaining. Along with every bit the opportunist.
Though the legal Mexican-American immigrant community isn’t nearly as flattering in its assessment of Lopez, who most locals recognize as a complicit pawn for the Mexican government.
Coach Jackson since the interview released another, clarifying statement;
“I’ve been involved in a number of progressive political issues over the years and I support those who stand up for their beliefs. It is what makes this country great.
I have respect for those who oppose the new Arizona immigration law, but I am wary of putting entire sports organizations in the middle of political controversies.
This was the message of my statement. I know others feel differently, even in the Lakers organization, but it was a personal statement. In this regard, it is my wish that this statement not be used by either side to rally activists.”
Oh but by God there were protests anyway on the night of the first Suns/Lakers game, with a turnout almost as high as the number of reporters who showed to cover the tumult;
LOS ANGELES — About 40 immigration activists [bears repeating when they say “40”, divide by two] are rallied outside Staples Center during Monday night’s NBA playoff game after Lakers coach Phil Jackson declined to criticize Arizona’s recently adopted illegal immigration law.
The protestors conducted informational picketing outside the ESPN Zone restaurant at the LA Live complex, then marched to the adjacent Staples Center. They drew taunts from some counter-demonstrators, including one who criticized the activists for putting a swastika
on an American flag. [My bolding]
The protest was peaceful and there were no arrests, Officer Karen Rayner said.
“We want to make sure that Phil Jackson understands that a lot of his fans are Latino and immigrant in Los Angeles,” protest organizer Jason Zepeda told KTLA.
Of course, Mr. Zepeda might be frustrated to know that the majority of the “Latino and immigrant fans” want only to be left alone to watch the game on the biggest screen TV they could find with a few beers and friends over. Free from self-seeking pandering idiots as possible, I might add. At least that’s the way the guys I work with handled it.
You know, I grew up in Phoenix, watched the Suns with Dick van Arsdale and Connie Hawkins in Veterans Memorial Coliseum play Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain, and I scowled as some older lady behind me hollered “C’mon Wilt!!” with my 8-year-old mean face. Until 5 May 2010 I rooted for the Suns to take a title. Now I’m happy to see Los Suns get their butts handed to them.
What’s really a shame in all this? It would have been so easy to root for the Suns over the Lakers considering all the leftist-held cities lining up against Arizona with their inane boycotts, if they’d just shut the hell up and kept politics out.
I don’t know about everyone else, but I watch sports rarely and when I do, I’d actually like to forget about politics, if only for a little while.