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Lakers Coach Phil Jackson's stand on Arizona immigration law brings praise and criticism. What do you think?



Lakers Coach Phil Jackson has generated some controversy for remarks he made about Arizona's new crackdown on illegal immigrants.

Asked about the law, Jackson told reporters: "Am I crazy, or am I the only one that heard [the Arizona Legislature] say, 'We just took the United States immigration law and adopted it to our state?'" Arizona lawmakers simply "gave it some teeth to be able to enforce it."

His comments prompted a few dozen protesters to march in front of Staples Center on Monday. Others have said Jackson's comment's are totally appropriate.

Times columnist Tim Rutten isn't one of them:

"Jackson's original statement was not a declaration of neutrality, nor was it an argument for holding sport above politics. It was an endorsement of the Arizona law and a criticism of another NBA team that opposes it," Rutten wrote.

What do you think? Share your thoughts below.

Photo: Michael Novick of Los Angeles, left, protesting with others outside of Staples Center after Lakers Coach Phil Jackson's comments on Arizona's immigration law, gets into a verbal exchange with Mark Steven of Santa Ana, who is in support of the law. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (64)

You got it right again Jackson! The media and politicians of California are the only people popping off against the proposed Arizona law and probably because they are too busy talking and not reading. Read the proposed Arizona law ... it is actually the current law which has been unenforced for decades.
Go play with your girlfriends Mayor of LA ... go play basketball Phil and don't even pay attention to these quibbling media morons and politicians.
Anybody in LA who is against the proposed Arizona law and want to boycott Arizona ... turn off your electricity which originates in Arizona and turnoff your water which also comes from Arizona.
Go Lakers! boot the city council and replace those jerks.

Phil Jackson is a racist, he should be fired.

I think heaps of praise should be given to Jackson for his bold, rational statement, but I do agree actually with Rutten (gasp!) on the point above, it was not exactly neutral, in and of itself. That said, there is nothing wrong with expressing your opinion when idiot journalists and protesters are DEMANDING a statement, and still saying that sports teams and organizations should remain neutral. There's nothing hypocritical in that.

I took a look at the rest of Rutten's editorial, and it is nothing more than the moronic race-baiting and mean-spirited insults we've come to expect from the Times and the left.

I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened. All of us ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated, as one would wish his children to be treated, but this is not the case.

I know the proponents of this law say that the majority approves of this law, but the majority is not always right. Would women or non-whites have the vote if we listen to the majority of the day, would the non-whites have equal rights (and equal access to churches, housing, restaurants, hotels, retail stores, schools, colleges and yes water fountains) if we listen to the majority of the day? We all know the answer, a resounding, NO!

Today we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free. In a time of domestic crisis men of good will and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics and do what is right, not what is just popular with the majority. Some men comprehend discrimination by never have experiencing it in their lives, but the majority will only understand after it happens to them.

Phil is a voice of reason in a sea of emotionalism where people try to mak ethe law into smthg its not! Thelaw was recentl tweeked to avoid inidscriminate arrests of illegal aliens whi comprise, by the way, a significant number of arrests..as Phil staed, the law in AZ simply is carrying out Obamas fed immigration law..hats off to you Phil for standing by uour beliefs!

Jackson gets praise. He is a coach, not a pawn.

I approve of the tough immigration law passed by Arizona. The federal government's failure to enforce its own laws made the state law necessary. Rather than interfere with Arizona, Obama should step up federal enforcement efforts.

Quite frankly, Americans have had enough. You cannot expect us to sit quietly as sensitive borderlands are trampled, as our nation's boundaries are flagrantly violated, and as the border area descends into a region of chaos, crime, and violence.

We need the cooperation of state and local officers in enforcing our immigration laws. They frequently encounter criminal aliens during routine performance of their duties. Any immigration "reform" is call for amnesty, a plan that we know from previous experience leads to more illegal immigration.

The most sensible immigration policy is to enforce our laws and cooperate with state and local governments in that enforcement.

Join and support FAIR and NumbersUSA

Look one thing about MR.Phil Jackson is, he is AMERICAN and
has the right to say what he wants.

From what I've read of his remarks, he's being entirely reasonable. Which is more than I can say for Mayor V., who seems to think that calling for a boycott of the state that provides a great deal of our electrical power and water makes sense.

Go phil. Mr. Villaraigosa and all who don't enforce fedral law need to step out. The tax payer are tiered of getting riped. We need people who fight for this country. And for the people who love it. WE HAVE ROOM FOR ONE FLAG AND ONE LANGUAGE. T.R.

If he is asked then he should give his honest answer. Of course he shouldn't open up the dialogue on the subject and quite frankly I doubt any FINAL FOUR coach wants to talk about anything but BBALL right now. He was asked, he answered. He has that right.

It's an easy question! Do you want to pay for my family's medical, food, housing, and education, while I go play? Should I benfit for being irresponsible? Dosen't irresponsiblity invite abuse.

Phil Jackson is spot on. California wake up, and as for L.A. Times Tim Ritten he should get the hell out of California and the USA.

I thought we live in free country free speech everyone has the right to say what they want or what they feel or think without being critisized or punished but I guess not because phil jackson said what he thinks and now his a bad guy or not senstive the reality is most politicians and news media has no guts to say or do what the laws are and suppose to be instead their worried about their own behind their all bunch of chickens that's what I think this is the land of the oportunity yes in a legal way not illegal period if not than let's open the borders and that's that and this goes to any nationality not just latinos you have to do it by the law period with no acception to anyone the funiest thing the illegals are protesting in acountry about a countries law when they shouldn't be here

I think it shows that a brilliant coach is not necessarily equipped to speak on matters outside of his area of expertise. Unfortunately, many will put weight behind his words, for good or ill.

Go Lakers! Viva La Arizona! Next we'll have Viva La California!

Go Lakers! Viva La Arizona!!! Next it's California! Yee-haw!

Mr tim rutten mr mayor of los angeles and everyone else stop brown nosing and be a man and stop pretending that you guys care its to bad you don't know how why don't you go and protest as illegals in any other country south america europe middle east asia see what happens to you oh ya and don't tell me that we are civilized or its matter of civil rights that's all BS by the way I'm imigrant myself even people who come here from my country they don't like the laws here they can leave no hard fillings now that's freedom you come and go as you wish nobody is locked up here and I can go on and on and on but ypu los angeles times writer or our mayor and the politicians around the country they want cause they might loose their jobs or votes maybe their croocked partner cut their kickbacks and french benefits

Governor Jan Brewer should bring a ballot before the voters to succeed from the union!! There is overwhelming support by the silent majority in favor of the bill that was passed in Arizona and they need to stand their ground.


Phil Jackson is obviously a reasonable man that simply brought up a good point about the argument. Those that say that someone is racist if they simply believe in upholding our soverign laws are racist themselves I truly believe. There is not a country in the world that would tolerate this BS, period.


Yes, Phil. You are crazy. Racial discrimination is illegal in the United States and no, Arizona did not just "adapt" federal law in SB1070. But good job endorsing this racist law that puts all Latinos in Arizona at risk of unnecessary police contact.

ask me no questions and i`ll tell you no lies.
simple as that,if you wanna hear something different don`t ask
My respects to Phil.

although i dont agree with him, he is entitled to his opinion, whatever that may be. people need to respect that and stop going nuts everytime someone disagrees with them. this whole immigration issue is getting so tirering.

"How does one determine "reasonable suspicion" that someone is an illegal alien? It can only be based on appearance. "

You can determine reasonable suspicion during a traffic stop by lack of DL, for example. This Arizona law states that it is NOT on spec, it only goes into effect during the course of other activity (such as the traffic stop example, which is the main instance where it's expected to kick in).

So regardless of what you LOOK like, it would be your failure to have your driver's license while driving, that would trigger any subsequent activity. And whether you are here illegally looking for work, planning terrorist activity, or because you couldn't be bothered to get your student visa extended, you would be liable to all subsequent action of law.

CHANGE THE BASIC LAW FIRST, before chastising Arizona for simply saying that they plan to be law-abiding!

Can someone please tell me what are people protesting for? America has afforded many Latino's the american dream, citizen or not. They are homeowners, employed gainfully, (more than legalized citizens!) in positions of authority,doctors,lawyers and teachers. Why is so difficult to understand in the times we live in our borders MUST be secured, there is not another country on earth including Mexico that you can live freely without being a citizen. What if all the illegal citizens here started protesting,Latino's are not the only ones living here without citizenship.Something must be done, I don't know where you start, but something must be done. As far as racial profiling , black american's have lived with that for as long as we have been here!!!

I think....I don't care. Don't care what Phil thinks and other people shouldn't either.

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