Mail | What readers are saying
are not anti-gay
Steve Kelley ("Arena odds just got longer," Seattle Times, Feb. 28) paints a very broad brush about my fellow Oklahoma "neighbors," from a seemingly very narrow perspective.
I am gay. I am a progressive Democrat. I am an elected official, currently serving as the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners of Oklahoma's largest county. And I am friends with Clay Bennett and Aubrey McClendon.
These gentlemen are men of their words and deserve the best of hospitality that Seattle, King County and the people of Washington have to offer. They are genuinely attempting to invest and succeed in your hometown.
When I was elected in 2002, I became Oklahoma's first openly gay elected official. From the beginning, Clay and Aubrey initiated a genuine kindness and friendship toward my partner and me. They have publicly and consistently supported me, even pushing back when right-wing attacks have occurred. Their support is unconditional and has helped improve the overall climate for expanding tolerance here at home.
While I do not agree with the works of Gary Bauer and others of his ilk who would deny equal benefits to citizens of this great American democracy, I do believe that contributions to his cause were probably more about economic interests, ballot measures swaying Senate control and impact on the energy sector.
I offer these words in hope your citizens will take the time to get to know the real people behind this ownership group. Clay and Aubrey are rock-solid good guys who do care about the greater good and about all people. I know them and am proud to call them "neighbor" and friend.
-- Jim Roth,
Oklahoma County, Okla.
Steve Kelley chose to wade into one of the most sensitive political issues in this state, which is the issue of same-sex marriage, and chose to denigrate the Seattle owners who happen to believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. He treated them as if they are hicks from a bygone era with antiquated beliefs in his column.
Kelley framed the issue such that anyone who doesn't agree with same-sex marriage is tainted goods in this state. That is completely inappropriate, but unfortunately, not all that surprising since this is the approach the liberal establishment uses to try to make any point in this country. It is disappointing that The Times would allow such a blatant position to be printed, particularly in the Sports section of the paper without an opposing point of view.
This very issue has been voted on more than once by the voters of this state and same-sex marriage has been rejected. It is not the policy of the state or the majority of the citizens of this state to support same-sex marriage. Undoubtedly, there are politicians in Olympia and sportswriters and editors who support same sex-marriage, but so what? Why tarnish the reputation of the Sonics ownership because they don't happen to agree with a liberal agenda?
-- Kim Propst, Bellevue
Storm survival plan
I moved to Seattle two years ago to be with my partner. I am originally from Georgia and understand the "Red State" ways all too well. The first thought I had when I heard at the Storm game last July that the teams had been bought by owners from Oklahoma City was "the Storm will go under."
The only way that the Storm will survive is for a local owner to buy the team and keep them here in the Puget Sound. That won't happen until Clay Bennett and company throw up their hands later this year and say to David Stern, "We tried and Seattle just doesn't want a team." Then, and only then, will Bennett talk to prospective buyers about the possibility of selling the Storm.
-- Cindy E., Renton
I don't see that it matters one bit that minority-ownership members of the Sonics organization contributed to anti-gay marriage causes. As you surely know, gay-marriage bills have been put up to a vote in a large number of states. These bills have been overwhelming voted down in every state where they have been on the ballot (including Washington).
What matters is that we keep the Seattle Sonics in our area. What we as sports fans need to rally behind is not a social issue that is not relevant to this discussion, we need to keep the tradition of professional basketball in Seattle
I don't care if the owners of the Sonics cut down every tree in the rainforest or refused to help little old ladies across the street. I care that they keep our Sonics here!
-- Joyce Gress, Woodinville
UW men hoops
Appleby wrong, too
As an Oregon alumnus, I was sickened, and even angered, after Aaron Brooks' assault on Ryan Appleby last March. Brooks appropriately admitted his mistake, apologized to Appleby and the Huskies, and accepted the punishment of the Pac-10, and the additional Oregon punishment.
As a UW alumnus, I was saddened to see the lack of maturity and class of Appleby on Saturday in Eugene, when he twice refused Brooks' hand. The good news is that they are both young men. Hopefully Appleby, like Brooks, will learn from his serious error.
-- David Jensen, Vida, Ore.
UW women hoops
Don't be too hasty
to judge June
My hope is that Todd Turner pauses to think long and hard before changing direction with the women's basketball program at UW. I have gone to games and followed the program for the last few years, and what I see is exciting, winning basketball. June Daugherty's team brings their lunch bucket game in and game out. There is no better bang for my sports buck in town.
Turner wasn't here when June's 2000 class came in. Kirsten Brockman, Kayla Burt and Kristen O'Neill. Kirsten's career never got off the ground due to the "Brockman Foot Syndrome," Kayla and Kristen both missed one-plus years. What might have been...
June has been waiting for the next crop of talent to come into its own ever since. In 2004-05 she lined up almost exclusively with freshmen and sophomores. What I remember about that group is how hard they played game in and game out. She brought in a good group of freshmen this year and appears to have an outstanding group coming in next year.
Here's hoping the administration will not be swayed by the instant gratification mentality so prevalent in sports these days. Let this young nucleus grow up. June Daugherty runs a clean program. Her players play hard for her. She deserves the opportunity to play this hand out.
-- Tim Ogard, Kenmore
Team needs change
June does not have a top-10 class coming in. She doesn't even have a top-50 class according to every major publication and service. She hasn't recruited a blue-chip athlete since she has been at Washington.
The program has bred mediocrity. The Huskies women play hard, with class and heart. The program is successful, but has never had a chance of being a top-10 program.
There is something wrong with a coach who cannot recruit in their own backyard. June never has, and 11 years is long enough to have an idea of where this program is heading. I'm ready for a change.
-- Doug Swan, Lynwood
Turnover is a killer
Bottom line, if she gets fired, it's a sad statement about Todd Turner, who, coming from Vandy, is supposed to have the big-picture perspective so many in college athletics are missing.
Oregon waited how long before Rich Brooks finally won? Wazzu did the same with Mike Price. Patience is a virtue. Turnover is a killer. And this is women's basketball; it's not like it's football driving all the department revenues.
-- Tom Fuller, San Mateo, Calif.Send us your backtalk: Letters bearing true names, addresses and telephone numbers for verification are considered for publication. Please limit letters to 125 words or less. They are subject to editing and become the property of The Times. Fax them to 206-464-3255, or mail to: Backtalk, Seattle Times Sports, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. Or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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