Not since a guy named Joseph Coors opposed Chicano studies classes at the University of Colorado, thus denying Coors beer a very thirsty Latino market for decades, has someone shot himself in the foot in such a d'oh way.
Yeah, we're talking about you Kobe. We forgave you for that, er, slip in the hotel room in Colorado in 2003 and so, apparently, did Vanessa (yeah yeah, she's so special to you). We liked Shaq better, but we accepted you after you two had beef off-court. But this -- you gotta fix this, man.
Accepting sponsorship from Turkish Airlines in L.A. and thinking it would okay with our Armenian American community would be like ...
-Accepting an all-expenses-paid trip to North Korea to schmooze with Kim Jong-il and hoping local Koreans are okay with it.
-Doing commercials for the Colorado state tourism office, and expecting Latinos to continue buying No. 24 jerseys.
-Hanging out with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Entourage-style, and wanting local Iranian Jews to say that's fine.
You need to fire whomever let you do this, because they are blind to the realities of this market.
One of the great things about Lakers love is seeing all those different cultures that call L.A. home-sweet-home embrace the purple-and-gold even more than some identify with the flags of their homelands.
Don't betray that.
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When you come to your senses and drop the Turkish Airlines deal, let us know. We'll report it.
(For background on why Armenian Americans are pissed at Kobe over this -- a little thing called Armenian Genocide -- see Simone Wilson's Wednesday coverage).
In the meantime, our commenter of the day, Sevan, says:
Certain principals are not up for sale. All I can say to Kobe is that you have more money than humanly necessary; I doubt you need the endorsement revenues for your and your family's survival. I do hope you get some type of perspective on this issue and decide to do the right thing and stand up for human rights and reject a government that stands for human oppression.