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Kobe Bryant's deal with Turkish Airlines has angered many Armenian Americans

Bry_500 

Kobe Bryant's newest endorsement agreement has sparked protests and incited boycotts among Armenian Americans in Los Angeles.

He made a two-year deal with Turkish Airlines, which is trying to promote the start of nonstop flights in March from Istanbul to Los Angeles.

Some Armenian Americans have taken that as a slight, considering that, for years, Armenian Americans have pushed the U.S. to recognize the early 20th century killings of some 1.5 million Armenians in what was then the Ottoman Empire as genocide, a term the Turkish government has strenuously rejected.

California has 600,000 to 700,000 people of Armenian descent, according to Aram Hamparian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America.

"Many of them are fans of the Lakers and fans of Kobe, at least until now," he said.

Bryant is to be the poster boy of the campaign, his face plastered on billboards, and print, television and online ads early as next year.

Some Armenians are calling for Bryant to use his fame to push U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) to schedule a vote on House Resolution 252, which would recognize the Armenian deaths as genocide.

"Kobe is a champion of national basketball and should be a champion of human rights," said Casper Jivalagian, executive member of the Armenian Youth Federation's Western region. "We want to give him the benefit of the doubt and give him a chance to right this wrong."

--Melissa Rohlin

Photo: Kobe Bryant. Credit: Michael Hickey / US Presswire.

 
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Well, that's not a headline you see everyday.

Vote for Kobe Bryant - Sportsman of the year 2010 on Sports.fr

http://team.sports.fr/vote/page_vote.phtml?Q_ID=1

i'm wondering if the Armenians were upset when the World Championship were in Turkey this part summer

did they protest Team USA winning gold?????????

did Khloe "the Armenian" Kardashian protest by asking her husband to not participate

did Khloe boycotted the games by not being part of the audience?????????

on the opposite: what a great PR move!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

so when in Turkey, do what Turks do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think the Armenian community would be angrier with the Kardashian's shenanigans than this nonsense.

[dbdh]

the Kobe haters are out in a bunch again

he lost the Armenian community: because they made noise

how many MUSLIMS he picked up JUST because he DO IT????????

remember, for the past weeks, many of the Lakers Games are streamed from Al Jazeera TV in High Definition.

wondering when his new Middle-East sales will compete with the Chinese Ones

"Kobe Bryant is a Global Brand"

first flight from Istambul to LA

what else can LA advertise besides the hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh on the hill? :-)

ouchhhhh - my buddy directed and came up with that second one (the cartoon). He was told he had access to the Warners library, and he was like: "Really?" He did that and Particle Man one as well.

63

talking about our Triangle Men!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNT8SMlqLJA&feature=related

this??????????

63 - it's my favorite

Is he depressed or is he a mess?
Does he feel totally worthless?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vfSFXKlnO0

and for the Lakers Haters, they need some

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDYwNQz6EJI&feature=related

So are we supposed to all hate Turkey and every turkish private business because of history?

The airline and its employees have nothing to do with the genocide. That's like hating white people only because some whites owned slaves 150 years ago.

And by that reasoning,
I'm I supposed to hate Pau Gasol because the Spaniards slaughtered the aztecs?
He didn't do it, and he never said he agreed with it.

Same thing applines Armenians! This airline did not order the genocide.
Show me a statement that the airline president approves of the genocide or that he's openly racist against Armenians, then we can talk.

ouchhhhh - the Tiny Toons version (which YouTube doesn't have with sound for legal reasons).


Semantics : genocide too descriptive? how 'bout callin' it Holocaust 2 the sequel?
It was another unspeakable example of man's inhumanity that a basketball player has nothing to do with other than a way to focus eyes on your misguided political agenda. How 'bout a statement of regret from both sides in this medieval insanity?

Get over it Brrrro.

Does anyone have Fisher in their fantasy team?
Posted by: Magia32 | December 16, 2010 at 07:46 AM

does your fantasy team need veteran leadership from the bench?

does you league award bonus points for giving speeches or clutch shots?

does your league NOT count FG%, pts, rbs, assts, stls blks TO as categories?

is your league super deep like over 30+ team deep?

does your league have a big consolation prize for finishing in last place?

if you answered yes to at least 3 out of 5 then you have my stamp of approval

Would the Jewish community be up in arms if Kobe signed a deal with Lufthansa? Although we cannot forget the past, we must not condemn new generations for what the ones before them have done.

Armenians need to keep their politics out of sports.

yellofever,

HILARIOUS

So does this now mean that Lamar, can't talk or play with Kobe because he's married to Kloe? I'm empathetic to the Armenian point of view, and being in the US, it's your right to protest. However, Kobe is a US citizen too, and you don't have the right to try and force pressure on him or the Lakers for political ganes. Armenia has the problem with Turkey. To gain recognition of the genocide is something to be done in the political areana, not every avenue that exist in American culture, (i.e. Basketball or Basketball players named Kobe Bean Bryant).

for all those ignorants on this matter, the airline is not a private company. It is owned by the government of Turkey. The government that refuses to talk about the genocide. That is the only reason armenians do not like this.

by the way,

how many Armenians r driving

Audi, BMW, Mercedes or VW?????????

do they like Addidas?????????? NBA is Addidas

or they prefer Puma????????

yes in some countries, airline r close to the government.

in some countries, the airline is OWN by the government because it is SUBSIDIZED to not lose money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In more relevant blog matters

Should a solid bench name be messed with?

When Lamar goes to the bench...will they be the LBs? The LOBs?

Is there a better reason for AB not to start?

why is it up to Kobe to get behind something that is not his ax to grind? If they have problems with the airline, then refuse to buy tickets (and find another way to get home to visit relatives). Whatever has been done historically in turkey is turkish politics, and should not be placed upon the doorsteps of americans who have no real feel for turkish politics. The armenians are free to boycott the airlines as they please.

DBDH - Interesting article. I understand Ron's critiques, but he really needs to keep improving his own game before calling others out. I love the guy, but jeeze... when you're shooting percentage stays above 50%, then I'm cool.

Still, he's our Ron, so I wouldn't trade him for a cow, magic beans, or anyone else.

yellow

props for the last night Gassy posts.

anyone who bought into "Gassy has the HAMMY INJURY" or "TOO MANY MINUTES" (keen observer will remind us that Gassy tweaked his ankle in the Utah game) really have to have their head checked.

just a bunch of stats, more stats and lies

Gassy is a lazy soft punk that costed the Lakers a few losses.

but hey, CLASSY people always have/make excuses

yellofever,

HILARIOUS

Posted by: LAKER TRUTH | December 16, 2010 at 09:59 AM

do you mean PHANTASY INTANGIBLES?

looks like in the past few days "our TEAM" is slowly picked up the game and rockin'

till now it was just:

scrimage
boring
pre-season!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Boy, I sure wish we had an "edit" button for after we post. Should be "your," not "you're," but I can't do anything about it but post another dumb-sounding post.

63 Footer

don't worry. "u r special" special. u have immunity from the Spelling, Grammar and Logic Police.

can you put a good word In 4 me 2??????????

63

u mean you don't use PREVIEW or Practice????????????

ouchhhhhhhh - naw, I use "preview," but I still don't always catch everything the first go-round. It's a brain-fart... my brain, it farts.

*sneeks a peek inside*

Is it safe?

Hey ouchhhhhh

I can´t see Pau Gasol last game. Can you tell me what he did???????

justa:

Szell: Is it safe?
Babe: You're talking to me?
Szell: Is it safe?
Babe: Is what safe?
Szell: Is it safe?
Babe: I don't know what you mean. I can't tell you something's safe or not, unless I know specifically what you're talking about.
Szell: Is it safe?
Babe: Tell me what the "it" refers to.
Szell: Is it safe?
Babe: Yes, it's safe, it's very safe, it's so safe you wouldn't believe it.
Szell: Is it safe?
Babe: No. It's not safe, it's... very dangerous, be careful.

CLo,

"Would the Jewish community be up in arms if Kobe signed a deal with Lufthansa?"

The Armenians are in a different boat than the Jewish people. The Germans have acknowledged their atrocities and the Nazi party is no longer the ruling party in Germany. Even Japan has apologized (somewhat) for their atrocities against the Chinese and Korean people. Turkey has yet to acknowledge the mass genocide of the Armenians Christians (and the Greeks), and this issue still divides these two countries today.

Using Kobe's celebrity to shed light on the situation is unfair to Kobe, as most Americans have no idea about the history between these two countries....but right or wrong, sports have been used by governments and rights organizations to further their agenda for decades if not centuries, and Kobe is unfortunately a mere casualty.

ouchhhhhh, yellofever and LAKER TRUTH

You represent yourselves well this morning!!

Sorry Armenian community, but I ain't with you on this one. I'm Mexican and I'm not upset at Spaniards for what happened to the Aztecs. I definitely would still buy a German product despite what happened in WWII. Time to get over it...sorry.

LAKER TRUTH - good summation of the situation on all points. It surprises me how few people know of the genocide in the first place, and secondly don't realize that the Turkish government refuses to admit it even happened. Granted, the US isn't the greatest at that sort of thing either (no government is), but the sheer lack of knowledge about a tragic event such as this is a shame.

Just wondering again,

Last night Fisher shot 1 for 5, hitting just one 3.
Should we consider that 3 a clutch hit?

I wonder what Ron's take is on this, but more importantly Lamar's and family.

LAKER TRUTH - OK, if they refuse to acknowledge, then I can understand the concern. However, making such a big deal out of it is stupid. Kobe probably didn't even know about it and I'm sure he didn't go in with the mindset that he was gonna purposely anger Armenians. I just wouldn't get upset over it.

Very funny 63 - just don't rob my apartment, ok?

It is hard to judge on who is right because we are not Armenians nor Turkish, however because of its historical significance, it is still a very sensitive topic to this day and age. I research some of its issues for educational purposes only not for further discussion since it's politics of the past.

http://www.umd.umich.edu/dept/armenian/facts/genocide.html

I have some Armenians friends and if you want to inflame relationships, try to raise the 1915 incident. You could sense the emotional sensitivity attached to it. I wish they can forgive and forget but their problem is more on the admission of the present government of Turkey that it really happened.

Kobe got entangled with this generational cultural divide. There is no rational explanation to it, Sec Clinton had already forged meeting between these two countries but the hatred lingers on among its people. I believe, the best way to deal with it, is not to leave it as is.

Dear Stalker AKA Kobe888,

I asked you weeks ago to stop addressing me, but you continue to stalk me. Just leave me alone already. I don't want any more drama, or mean spirited discussions, and any more name calling, which you seem to be attracted to. So again, do not ever talk to me again or I will ask the courts for a retraining order.

justa - do I look like a dentist?

KobeMVP888,

In regards to Shaq you wrote:

Hobbitmage

Answer: because he knew what it took to win championships.


my response: Actually, no he didn't. In this century, the Lakers
have won 5 championships and been to the finals 7 times. Of those
7 times, Kobe Bryant has been there 7 times. Of the 5 championships,
Kobe has been there 5 times.

Of the 7 visits, Shaq was there for 4. Of the 5 championships Shaq was
there for 3.

Given the "Hack-a-Shaq" defensive philosophy, & his continued lack of
skill in shooting free-throws, his failure to win a championship with LBJ,
[ win a ring for the king, sound familiar? ], & his riding on the coattails of
D-Wade for win number 4 ... history doesn't support your statement.
Of course, historical facts mean nothing to you do they?

Edwing Gueco - true. Also, Kobe has been a big advocate for the atrocities that have happened in Darfur. He is not a bad guy. He risked his non political image to speak out against it. I just don't think he did any of this on purpose and I sure hope Armenians don't use him as a way to get what happened in 1915 more attention. Unfair to Kobe.

To pick people just because it will elevate your cause to the front is very intelligent. I don't condem the armenian pr machine for this. However, to ask to kobe to part take in your own political spin that is wrong. I don't see the armenian community asking themselves for the cause they appeared to fight for, as other commented on. also, there is no ethnic group that has not commited crime to humanity in the annals of human cilivilization. for that we must understand that crimes to humanity are done by one person in control of the army and not neighbour to neighbour. Turkey did not commit such heinous crime to the people of armenian ancestry. the military crimals did.

It's always nice when your people are fighting for a cause, then some unknowing superstar comes in and supports the very institution that you're fighting against. I can see how this is another slap in the face for Armenians. The Turkish government, who owns the airline and refuses to label the mass killing of 1,500,000 Armenians as a genocide, doesn't seem to want to admit that it committed such a grave crime. It's time for Turkey and the United States to step up and recognize this terrible event as a genocide. Can you imagine if Germany just tried to brush an event of this magnitude under the carpet? It would be ridiculous, just like it's ridiculous for Turkey to take the position that it's taking.

It's sucky though when religion is involved. It just muddies up all rational thinking when it comes to issues.

Should Kobe be involved in helping the Turkish government? My opinion is that it's his choice. But I would like to know if Kobe knows or cares about this history.

Go Lakers!

63 - I wouldn't know. Did you swallow any diamonds?

BTW - I'm done, so if you want to chat about it, let me know!

Fair point, CLo. And I agree that Kobe is more of a "casualty" (if that word can be applied to a rich, pampered athlete) than an agent in this controversy.

But regardless of whether the airline is owned/subsidized by the government, it seems a stretch to claim that Kobe is being socially irresponsible. The people running that airline have absolutely no say in whether or not the government acknowledges a 100 year old genocide. And the airline itself did not exist when it happened.

I can certainly respect and relate to the emotional reaction of Armenian Americans. As an American Jew, I would not buy a Mercedes-Benz knowing that this was the same company that helped build the Nazi war machine (something the company has not spent much time/energy apologizing for). But would I boycott Kobe Bryant for doing their commercials? No way. Nobody working for Mercedes-Benz today has anything to do with what happened during the reign of the 3rd reich. It's OK to have emotional associations with things that touch on ugly truths, but expecting others who are not involved to share these associations is unfair. If the chairmen of the airline comes out and says the Armenian genocide never happened, Kobe should not work for them. Otherwise, you can't fault him for using making a smart business decision that ultimately changes nothing about history or its interpretation.

justa - rogue elephant chat? Now?

63 - ok

Kobe's handlers kind of screwed up here. The Armenians take this thing very seriously, and there is a huge Armenian population in the LA area, I think the biggest outside of Armenia. They should have seen this coming.

Kobe lost his shot at being a role model a long time ago. This doesn't surprise me one bit. Nevertheless, who cares; chill out.

The Armenians tend to be very, very prickly about this topic---especially the non-Hayastantsi (i.e., the Armenians who don't live in Armenia), and particularly the one lives in Glendale and surrounding areas. My fiance, who is from Yerevan, is just as sensitive about the genocides (there were three: 1894-95; 1908; 1915) as anyone else, but she doesn't wear it on her sleeve the way many of her fellow Armenians do, or the way the Jews in the U.S. used to in the 1960s relative to the Germans.

The real reason for the failure of the Turks to admit the genocide is that a whole lot of problems would follow: how much land (that was stolen), how much money in reparations, and how many priceless artifacts would have to be returned to the descendants of the genocides' victims. Israel doesn't support Armenia's demand for acknowledgment of the genocides because Israel would face the precdential burden of having to return land to the Palestinians, make reparations, etc. So, even though the Jews and the Armenians share a common catastrophic tragic history, they are on opposite sides of this genocide issue. And the U.S. doesn't dare offend its ally, Turkey, which is a counterweight to all the sectarian religious extremist movements in the Middle East.

Kobe is an extremely bright, well-read and presumably sophisticated young man and should know that Turkish Airlines is an arm of the Turkish government. Accordingly, for good or ill, it represents Turkey---and until the Turkish government acknowledges its past high crimes against humanity it will have an impermeable stain on its national soul. Confession is the first step towards redemption, and putting a gloss on past grave injustices only delays the inevitable. When that confession comes, THEN let Kobe shill for the Turks all he wants. Until then, what he symbolically endorses is a government that is trying to suppress knowledge of its brutality towards and murder of millions of innocents.....And it would be only slightly less ironic if he were to endorse a group such as the Ku Klux Klan, given his own people's history in America.

Why haven't people focused on Mehmet Okur? He is Turkish and was born and raised in Turkey. How does he feel about the whole issue? Leave Kobe alone. He isn't responsible for anything that happened in Turkey long before he was born. If the US hasn't officially labeled the killing of Armenians as genocide, then Kobe isn't obligated to either. Turkey is a member of NATO. Maybe we should cut ties with Turkey and kick them out of NATO. People need to move on to another issue. Perhaps if American companies stopped being prudish and judgmental and gave Kobe endorsements like he deserves, then he wouldn't have to go looking at Turkish Airlines. The alleged rape case was dismissed. The case started to shape up to be very weak. He never should have been arrested until a full investigation was conducted. Those are facts. Whether or not he actually did it is still just an opinion. Leave this man alone and move on with your lives.

THERE ARE A LOT OF WEALTHY ARMENIANS IN LA THAT REGULARLY ATTEND LAKER GAMES. I THINK THEY SHOULD ALL NOT ATTEND ANY LAKER GAMES FOR A WHILE AND SEE HOW IT IMPACTS TICKET REVENUES. IM ASHAMED THAT KOBE WOULD DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS FOR A COUPLE MORE DOLLARS, KNOWING THAT HE COULD ANGER HUNDEREDS OF THOUSANDS OF ARMENIANS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. HES WORTH 200 MILLION DOLLARS, HE SHOULD INVEST IN CHINA, NOT TURKEY.

for all the armenians who are against this, it's b/c u don't have a big contract offered u. maybe you should have been included in the 1919 statistical count.

And by that reasoning,
I'm I supposed to hate Pau Gasol because the Spaniards slaughtered the aztecs?
He didn't do it, and he never said he agreed with it.

Same thing applines Armenians! This airline did not order the genocide.
Show me a statement that the airline president approves of the genocide or that he's openly racist against Armenians, then we can talk.

Posted by: joe ramirez | December 16, 2010 at 09:38 AM
_________________________________________

Well Stated and on point Joe Ramirez!!!

Magia32,

>>>Last night Fisher shot 1 for 5, hitting just one 3.
>>>Should we consider that 3 a clutch hit?

Is this June?

Then no. It was not a clutch hit.

>>> I THINK THEY SHOULD ALL NOT ATTEND ANY LAKER GAMES FOR A
>>>WHILE AND SEE HOW IT IMPACTS TICKET REVENUES.

Don't take this as a sleight on Armenians or a denial of the holocaust, but it would have no impact on ticket revenues.

If these wealthy Armenians gave up their season tickets, there would be a dozen people lined up to buy them. Lakers tickets are perhaps the most consistently hot entertainment item in Los Angeles for the past 30 years.

People who are obsessed with history are bound to be slaves to it.

Get over it.

I had ancestors massacred in the Holodomor by the Russians/Soviets. I'm not losing sleep over it and cursing Russia over and over and over again.

Can't move forward when you're always looking back.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

In my opinion this is another way of Turkey causing genocide. The Turkish government owns 49.1 of the shares of the airline. The Turkish government knows there is a large Armenian community in Los Angeles by this endorsement the Turkish government's plan is to cause chaos amongst hard core Laker fans of other nationalities (blacks, hispanics etc.) against Armenians. The Turkish government expected this reaction from the Armenian community and it is it's sole intention to turn everyone against them . Look out for chaos from laker fans.

Dear Armenian Community:

The genocide did happen and was a travesty. Never let anyone forget. However, the Irish Potato famine happened, the Jewish Holocaust happened as well, and frankly many other bad things happened in the history of humanity. Do not let such a terrible thing define who you are as a people.

I have been to Istanbul. It is one of the most beautiful Cities in the world. Kobe has done nothing wrong here. Please let is go. I solute the great Armenian people I do not support the Turkish denial of their history, but I believe Armenian success in the US should out way the terrible legacy of their suffering. Kobe can do whatever he wants. With that I said, I end finally and loudly, with GO Lakers!

Well, the one positive thing about this is it made me more aware of Armenia in general. I had heard of the genocide by the Young Turks, and of course disapprove. But I hadn't really read much about the history of the country/kingdom in general.

It's a LOOOOOONG history of being overrun by everybody and their brother.

The Assyrians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Mongols, Persians, Ottoman Turks, and Russians have all invaded Armenia at one time or another.

The message we should all get from the Armenian genocide (and which was reinforced by the Nazi genocide) is this: if you're in a minority religion in your country and the people in power even HINT of discrimination against your religion, run. Run like hell and don't stop running until you're in a country where your religion is a majority.

I hope it never comes to this in America, but with the anti-Muslim sentiments spurned on by some of the current right-wing pundits, it's not impossible. America was capable of slavery and there was the Japanese internment at Manzanar camp during World War II.

jack

>>>maybe you should have been included in the 1919 statistical count.

I am completely offended by your statement. MM please track down the ip of the monster who posted such filth and ban him from the blog.

I'd love it if you Armenians would boycott our beloved Lakers! Please boycott! Please?

I want to starting by saying that KOBE BRYANT in no way is at fault in this matter. I'm 100% Armenian and I'm proud of it, but I really dont think this is the way to get your message across. Yes there are ALOT of Armenians in LA and yes it kinda hurts to see our favorite star team up with our enemies and i think thats where the problem is exactly.

All of us Armenians aren't looking for LAND or MONEY back from the Genocide of 1915, we just want to make sure that the ENITRE WORLD is aware of it. OUR PEOPLE DIDNT VANISH IN TO THIN AIR, they were killed and for 90+ years now we have been trying to reclaim land, money , etc...The new generation just want RECOGNITION that this did happen. Believe me its for the best and maybe down the line, I mean Down the line we might actually have a shot at making peace with Turkey. First things first and thats just ADMIT it, WE DOTN HAVE ANYTHING TO COME WITH IT, just STOP making us Armenians look like we are crazy people...WE DID NOT VANISH INTO THIN AIR, Thats ALL

MOST IMPORTANTLY, KOBE ALL ARMENIANS IN LA LOVE U..Some of us just have more hate in for Turkey

GO LAKERS GO

@hectorartm:

Your comments are pretty ignorant. The people who should have a personal problem with the Spanish in Mexico are all dead. You are not one of them.

That is, BTW, what genocide means. What happened to the Armenians was attempted genocide. Attempted genocide might actually be worse for those who survived. IMHO.

Using athletes to promote social, political, and/or governmental agendas is always dangerous, and the slope is always slippery. But, sometimes, it all works out quite nicely. Mutombo and Bol come quickly to mind.

The choice is Bryant's, though.

--FEARless

@Swatkinslaw,

Like I said, the choice to use sports to advance this agenda is up to Kobe. It will always be a tricky endeavor, though. As an Armenian, you emigrated to the United States (I am of course assuming you are in fact an Armenian emigre) in spite of the fact that the US Government did not officially acknowledge and apologize for Slavery until Clinton.

Some could point to your brethren as hypocrites in that light.

People have to live and survive and do what is best for themselves and their families, which is the reason oppressed people from all around the world come to be in the country that is responsible for maybe the worst state-sanctioned oppression ever in the history of mankind.

Ironic, sure. Hypocrisy? Maybe. But, people sometimes have to be allowed to make their choices without being accused of supporting something so tragic. Kobe was not there. But, he is a descendant of slaves. To boycott him seems tragically unfair.

Just my $.02

--FEARless

@ART J,

I am with you all the way. What you have said is about the most sensible and impassioned point of view I've heard. I am proud to have you as a fellow blogger.

--FEARless

FEARless:

You brought up some intelligent points. I do not know or care about your background. I would advise you though to be very careful about dismissing other cultures or people's dark histories. As in your previous post. Here is your quote:

"Your comments are pretty ignorant. The people who should have a personal problem with the Spanish in Mexico are all dead. You are not one of them."

Who are you to dismiss this. I am an part American Indian and am proud of my peoples legacy. Never judge others pain whether it be 100 or 1,000 years ago. Celebrate life, sport and fun. Aremian's, Mexican's, African's,and all of humanity must focus on the now. Kobe brings joy to my home. My peoples past will never be forgotten but I chose to make my world by my own doing everyday. America is great. All of us must move on past our shared drama and celebrate each special moment.

Lakers always and forever. Peace people.

Stop mixing sports with politics!!!

Lake Show:

I, of course, understand your position as you can glean from the rest of my posts. Thank you for acknowledging that I have actually spent time and consideration in putting those posts together. I merely meant to point out to *this* blogger, for *this* very dismissive post:
____________________________________
Sorry Armenian community, but I ain't with you on this one. I'm Mexican and I'm not upset at Spaniards for what happened to the Aztecs. I definitely would still buy a German product despite what happened in WWII. Time to get over it...sorry.

Posted by: hectorartm | December 16, 2010 at 10:33 AM
______________________________________

I merely point out that being Mexican does not make hectorartm an expert in genocide from the point of view of the victim. He brought up the Aztecs, for which my research has told me were completely exterminated. I might be wrong, but if I am correct, he doesn't have the vantage point to make such dismissive remarks about Armenians and Jews. He didn't have to overcome that particular pain as his post suggests.

I was dismissing HIM, not the Aztecs (for whom I have great respect and for whom I've read a lot about) and not the Jews. Believe me, that was by no means my intent. If I have offended you, then I ask for your forgiveness and excuse me for my bumbling attempt to make a point.

What my point of view it this; I find it completely appropriate (though dangerous) to ask that Kobe pick up the PR fight for those wronged Armenians. But, I find it completely misguided to boycott him if he turns them down. I also find it myopic to this Kobe is a genocide supported just because he endorses an Airline (though this being a state-owned airline does make the situation a bit more sticky).

In other words, the request is perfectly OK. I'll even go so far as to say that expecting him to comply is OK (but does lead one to the possibility of being disappointed). But, the boycott, not OK. And might be seen as hypocritical to Kobe since he is a son of slavery himself. Actions and thoughts like that, as you can clearly see, just serve to divide everyone by making them defensive.

That's all I'm trying to say. If I've failed to make my point, that is my fault, and I apologize.

--FEARless

C'mon....he's just a basketball player that has the notoriety to get a deal like this.

He's as much a representative of me or you as Mickey Mouse is. I'm Filipino, and they have a Tokyo Disney, an enemy during the more recent WWII.

If you think I'm being dismissive, I say that to put this on the shoulders of a well known basketball player is either a) a wrong way to pick idols/role models and b) diminishes the importance of the issue to the actions and opinions of celebrities (which dishonors it a bit).

Stop mixing sports with politics!!!

Posted by: gaijin | December 16, 2010 at 03:21 PM

Though that may be what is best for everyone, it is never, ever going to actually happen.

Sorry.

--FEARLess

Ok, it was genocide. Are you happy now? Does it make things any better? Does it somehow change the horrific events that took place?

I don't get it.

Politics, sports, religion. Not a good mixture.

As I said before, Kobe makes my home a happier place. If he want's to support a Turkish or Armenian Airline I do not care. Let it go people. We can all agree on one thing we love us our Lakers. From from Glendale to Compton to Oranage County to Utah, wherever, sport celebrates life. Let's keep it real, keep it about just that. Save your politic, personal comments for the LA Times Opionion page. MM love your work but the post has stirred it up, save it for Steve Lopez or someone else in the other sections of the paper.

Laker proud, Lakers, Lakers, Lakers always!

Politics, sports, religion. Not a good mixture.

As I said before, Kobe makes my home a happier place. If he want's to support a Turkish or Armenian Airline I do not care. Let it go people. We can all agree on one thing we love us our Lakers. From from Glendale to Compton to Oranage County to Utah, wherever, sport celebrates life. Let's keep it real, keep it about just that. Save your politic, personal comments for the LA Times Opionion page. MM love your work but the post has stirred it up, save it for Steve Lopez or someone else in the other sections of the paper.

Laker proud, Lakers, Lakers, Lakers always!

first "black ops" and now a "turkish" airline commercial? whatever! there's more important things on his, the team's and lakers fans' minds right now.

Not to be outdone, I heard Shaq is signing a deal with Hezbollah Airlines.

For all the brainiacs who say "get over it, it was 100 years ago", I might remind them that the perpetrator nation (which owns half of Turkish Airlines) has been actively denying the Genocide ever since they committed it. And as if that wasn't horrific enough, for 95 years they have tried to force others, like our own government and people, to deny it too. Every year the Armenian-American community has to spend substantial amounts of time and money fighting off Turkey's limitless denial machine. It wasn't enough that they eliminated all Armenians from their historic homeland. No, that wasn't torture enough. They had to follow it up with chasing us everywhere we went to shove their lies and denials in our face. And now we have Kobe endorsing them.

Maybe Kobe will do an endorsement deal with KKK next year.

"Kobe is a champion of national basketball and should be a champion of human rights," said Casper Jivalagian...

Sorry dude. Don't mistake an Über paid athlete for a politician, a foreign diplomat or a humanitarian. To quote the infamous and brash Charles Barkley: "I ain't no role model." Kobe is just taking care of his family so boycott the games if you want, but you don't know what you'll be missing!

This is a basketball blog. Last time I checked. This basketball brainic says "let it go." Not against your message just against Kobe bashing and ethnic agenda's. You can make and change your own world just do not do it here if it has nothing to do with hoops. Sports are about life, not death. Take your important cause someplace else please.

Leave Kobe alone. It took him some time to recover from the "fiasco;" he's earned every endorsement and commercial ever since. Leave our beloved sport alone. It's bad enough we had to deal with L.A. & AZ. I get enough politics & economics on my own & I'm sure everyone else here does too.

“In DARFUR hundreds of thousands have been murdered, mutilated, families torn apart. Please take a stand with us. We have the power to save lives, to restore lives,” BRYANT said in the PSA, published on Youtube. “If we can unite people, who are willing to take a stand, miracles can happen.” --KOBE BRYANT (2008)

Since 2003, the SUDANESE government in Khartoum has slaughtered half a million people in DARFUR.

TURKEY is among SUDAN’S greatest allies, covering up its genocide and providing arms to the SUDANESE government, led by Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

Is KOBE confused ? Does he understand what side he's playing on ?

I'm ARMENIAN and I'm not upset that KOBE signed a deal with TURKISH AIRLINES (Turkish government owns 49%). What surprises me is, KOBE is ignorant ?

So if Kobe were to be sponsored by Holocaust deniers then that would be ok?

In the statement released by Turkish Airlines Dec. 16, they basically denied the genocide when the said “Kobe Bryant is a cultural figure, not a historian, and is in no way related to a sensitive and complex controversy over highly contested history.”

Let’s test this. Kobe comes out with a statement honoring the victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide. I’ll bet you anything you want that Turkish Airlines will cancel the contract. This is the test of what kind of contract Kobe has entered with the devil himself.

Lakerholics, made it to Portland after two flight delays and a re-routing. Kind of chilly up here, but I shouldn't complain about being 2 hours late and cold, not with Jon K back in O-H-I-O and other Lakers fans checking in from Colorado and the Midwest.

I figured that Kobe/Turkish Air post would get the ball rolling today. And, boy, did a few of you immediately fast break. Sports+Politics=5, 4, 3, 2, 1, ignition, we have lift off!

Enjoy the chat tomorrow morning with Brez. Back when I actually had some hair on the top of my head and my sons only came up to our bellies and chests, we ran full court together. Brez has watched more than a few of my 24-footers hit nothing but net. I swear, Brez is a menace driving to the hoop, all elbows and knees. And they're very boney.

Only three days until MM returns. . . .

“In DARFUR hundreds of thousands have been murdered, mutilated, families torn apart. Please take a stand with us. We have the power to save lives, to restore lives,” BRYANT said in the PSA, published on Youtube. “If we can unite people, who are willing to take a stand, miracles can happen.” --KOBE BRYANT (2008)

Since 2003, the SUDANESE government in Khartoum has slaughtered half a million people in DARFUR.

TURKEY is among SUDAN’S greatest allies, covering up its genocide and providing arms to the SUDANESE government, led by Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

Is KOBE confused ? Does he understand what side he's playing on ?

I'm ARMENIAN and I'm not upset that KOBE signed a deal with TURKISH AIRLINES (Turkish government owns 49%). What surprises me is, KOBE is ignorant ?

Posted by: Gandalf the Purple & Gold | December 16, 2010 at 06:37 PM


1) Kobe Bryant is of African descent. Sudan is in Africa (I think).
2) Let's not all feign ignorance and pretend here that the run of the mill MNC's that sponsor and support the NBA and it's players don't have skeleton's in their closet.

Just imagine what Allen Iverson is going through right now, Kobe!!!!!

Kobe better watch out. They've already taken over Glendale. They might zero in on his neighborhood next.

GET OVER IT!!!!

I think that the armenians that have a problem with this should just keep it to thereselves and leave kobe alone. Remember it's there personal problem not anyone else. MOVE ON GET A LIFE! NO BODY ELSE REALLY CARES!

I'm sick and tired of this kind of rubbish. Why does the press even give it coverage anyway?

Jon K,

Maybe you need to learn history better. Holodomor happened in Ukraine, not in Russia. And if you think you're over it, maybe you need to fly to Kiev, capital of Ukraine, and ask 10 people on the streets if they are over it, something what happened 75-80 years ago. I'm sure it'll open your eyes and you'll get an idea what does it mean to Ukranian people. Or better take a tour where English speaking tour guide can explain to you. Maybe after that you'll understand why no one is over it over there.

What does Kobe have to do with any of this BS. In fact is there anyone who is even alive that had anything to do with this terrible part of history. Armenians you need to move on. Leave Kobe alone, if you have a problem with Turkey go back home and do something about it. But don't come here and drive your Mercedes and BMWs and try to tell us what we should care about. I'm sick of hearing about your beef with the Turks, like we had anything to do with it. Get on with your lives!

You cannot accuse someone of murder until you prove it in a court of law. The smae applies for the genocide. You cannot just accuse someone of Genocide based on feelings, you have to prove it in the international court of law. What happened in Ottoman Empire 100 years ago was never proven to be genocide by any international court.

It is unfair to call someone genocide denier without listening to their story. And it is really difficult to hear Turkish side with such a huge armenian population in the states who have an amazing influence on US media, politicians (voting and funding power), etc. As far as it goes, Turkey asked Armenia to form an investigation committe along with lawyers and historians from other western countires to get to the bottom of what has happened 100 years ago. However, Armenian government refused such proposal numerous timesa and instead is interested in pushing this recognition through politics rather than through legal and historical channels. Off course, politicians are much easier to influence, given that armenians have such influential lobby in congress. There are number of independent respected historians who disagree with armenian accusations and do not call it a genocide. But influential armenian american community is too strong to ignore those historians' findings and label them as "turkish spies".

Bottom line, if you are so sure that this was a genocide, then go and prove it in International Court, instead of trying to manipulate politicians with your voting and funding power. But before the accusation is proven in the court of law, no one has a right to accuse the entire nation of such horrific crime as genocide.

Besides, it is a known fact that armenian revolted against Turkey and with the help of the Russian army massacred a great number of Turkish and Kurdish civilians prior to the deportations. And lets not forget about Armenian terrorist organizations, including ASALA who have been killing people even in the US. So, lets open up the history and see what really happened there.

It would be better if armenian community was outraged by the fact that Armenian government sent weapons to Iran only couple of years ago, which in turn killed 9 Americans in Iraq, according to Wikileaks. How about you take care of your own government's crimes before pointing fingers at someone else's. These whole Armenian close relations to Iran, Russia and all other enemies of the US should be more concerning to the Armenian Americans than what happened 100 years ago. Or you don't really care for the national security of the US and just using this country specifically for your own nationalistic purposes?

Another one: Mourad Topalian who used to be the president of the same Armenian American National Committe organization that is right now screaming about immoral Kobe behaviour, was imprisoned in the states for storing explosives near a school in US which he used as part of his connection with the armenian terrorist organization - ASALA. It is still beyond anyone's understanding how this organization continues to operate today and was not shut down. We don't hear armenian community denouncing Topalian's immoral actions. In fact, the community raised funds to defend him in the court. This is a little bizzare.

Now we see Armenians starting to sue for repatriations. It seems that they can't wait to push the recognition through the congress, so they can collect the money. It is just discussting.

Bottom line, it is wrong to nod your head and agree with armenian allegations regarding this genocide issue if you don't even know what happened 100 years ago and you've never heard an opposite side's story. When genocide will be a proven fact then we all can call it a genocide but for now, obstain from accusing someone of somethng that has not been proven anywhere officially.
Nazi Holocoust was proven in the Nunenburg trials and every genocide had to go through the international court before it was agreed to be labeled as a genocide. I don't see why armenian issue should be an exception to that rule.


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