Here is a little-known fact about the Spokane Shock: Their playing
field has a name. That name honors one of their major sponsors. The name is Spokane Tribe Field, and the Spokane Tribal leadership
is not pleased that the Shock have invited Dino Rossi, the Republican
challenger to U.S. Senator Patty Murray, to take the field as honorary
captain for tonight's sold-out ArenaBowl game against the Tampa Bay
Storm. In addition to an inappropriate mixing of politics and sports, the
Tribe says in a press release this afternoon that Rossi has been
particularly unfriendly to Indian Country issues. Two years ago, during
his second failed run against Gov. Christine Gregoire, Rossi said the
Spokane and other Washington tribes "laundered" casino money by
contributing to Gregoire. The Rossi campaign ran attack ads on the issue
all fall in 2008, calling the money "a payoff" and a "quid pro quo"/Kevin Taylor, Inlander. More here. (SR file photo of Shock owner Brady Nelson)
DFO: Beth Bollinger/Accidentally Rabbit Trails contacted me today re: this. She exchanged e-mails with Shock Owner Brady Nelson this morning to express her anger. You can read those exchanges in descending order here.
Question: Should sports franchises be extra careful in inviting politicians to serve as an honorary captain for the team or throw out a first pitch?