Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Open Letter:NBA's David Stern & Jerry Buss on Pechanga Sponsor

UPDATE 2:

Hot Air has more on the disgraced ref. Ed Morrissey has a take on it: HERE. Take a look. And SHOULD the NBA be in bed with Gambling Sponsors? RICK MORAN also has a take on this. Please take a look there too.

UPDATE: Day 19 with no word yet from Mr. Stern still waiting: originalpechanga2@yahoo.com

Open Letter to NBA Commissioner David Stern and Los Angeles Lakers Owner Dr. Jerry Buss

Dear Commissioner Stern and Dr. Buss,

During the past 60 years, the National Basketball Association has built itself into one of the premier leagues in professional sports. From the first championships in the late 1940’s, through the George Mikan’s Lakers teams to the dynasty of the Celtics and the rivalry between the Celtics and Lakers and through the Michael Jordan years, the NBA has stood for fairness, and purity of sports.

Sadly the NBA finds itself sullied by gambling scandals. The publicity of the Donaghy incident has shaken the foundation of the game. Now, we find that NBA analyst and former superstar Charles Barkley has a $400,000 unpaid gambling debt and Sir Charles has admitted to spending $10 million gambling, but to him, “it’s not a problem”.

Our concern is your sponsorships from Indian Casinos. How can you decry gambling on one hand, yet on the other, take millions of dollars in advertising and sponsorships from gambling enterprises. Your flagship team, the Los Angeles Lakers has a partnership with the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians.

Throughout Indian Country, thousands of native Americans have had their cultural heritage stripped from them, primarily by tribes in pursuit of gaming compacts. The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, of Temecula CA, is one of the most egregious civil rights violators in Indian Country.

The Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly and KNBC News have done numerous stories detailing the activities of the tribe, including “Tribal Flush: Pechanga People Disenrolled En Masse.”
and “Without a Tribe” reported by Colleen Williams of KNBC.

- The Pechanga Band has eliminated 25% of its citizenship and denied them due process, equal protection under tribal and federal laws, in violation of the Indian Civil Rights Act.
- The tribe stripped elders of their health care benefits and access to the tribal clinic.
- Forcibly removed the children of some members from the tribal school.
- The most recent disenrollment of 100+ adults and children was especially egregious as the General Membership, the Tribe's governing body, had previously passed a law which (1) repealed the Tribe's disenrollment procedures and (2) made it illegal for the Enrollment Committee to disenroll members. In violation of its own Constitution and the ICRA, Pechanga tribal officials breeched their duty.

We question the wisdom of accepting money from a gambling enterprise that is a known civil rights violator. We are asking that you sever your ties to Pechanga and investigate the issues detailed above and determine whether sponsorship from gambling casinos is in the best interests of the National Basketball Association.

CONTACT INFORMATION for the NBA:

Feel free to fax a copy of my open letter. National Basketball Association, Inc.Olympic Tower, 645 5th Ave.New York, NY 10022NY Tel. 212-407-8000 Fax 212-754-6414

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