Golden State Warriors

Mark Jackson on rumors he made homophobic comments while coaching Warriors: “Lies!!”

Mark Jackson Warriors

Mark Jackson Golden State Warriors

SFBay.ca issued a pretty explosive report on Friday afternoon about former Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson:

On April 29, 2013, Jason Collins announced to the world that he is gay.

In February of this year, the Brooklyn Nets made Collins the first openly gay player in the NBA.

During a shoot-around on a road trip before Collins signed, reporters asked then-Golden State Warriors Head Coach Mark Jackson his opinion of several big men as possible additions.

After someone joked about the signing of former Warriors assistant coach Brian Scalabrine to a 10-day contract, Collins’ name was brought up.

Jackson, according to a source close to the team, responded tersely:

“Not in my locker room.”

There’s more to the SFBay story, but some questions pop up immediately.

  • In the third paragraph, reporters asked Jackson about available big men. Were reporters still present during the actions described in the fourth paragraph?
  • Who joked about Scalabrine?
  • Who brought up Collins?
  • Who was the “source close to the team”?

One would assume “close to the team” would rule out any of the players, since they are the team. SFBay reached out to two men who could be considered “close to the team,” President and COO Rick Welts (who came out in 2011) and Co-Executive Chairman, CEO and Governor Joe Lacob. That is, unless members of the front office are also considered members of the team. Either way, neither executive provided any answers.

Welts declined to comment on the situation to SFBay. Warriors owner Joe Lacob has said in the past that Jackson’s firing had nothing to do with his religious beliefs.

When contacted by SFBay, Lacob had little to add regarding the former coach’s beliefs or reasons for his dismissal:

“I have no comment. We have moved on. I have made my statements.”

If we can assume the “source close to the team” wasn’t a member of the media, I guess the best way to figure out where the leak came from is to print out this list of Warriors employees (which contains around 150 people or so) and throw a dart. Actually, that’s a terrible idea. Very wasteful. Let’s instead see how Jackson is responding.

He posted the following tweet about an hour after the story was published:

He then retweeted this response to his tweet above:

Posted one day after the story was published:

On Monday evening he responded directly to the question many reporters would love to ask:

He even cut ties with the Golden State Warriors’ Twitter account: Mark Jackson unfollowed Warriors twitter

Julie Phayer is a Digital Marketing Assistant for the Warriors, and one of her duties is to maintain the team’s Twitter account. She deleted the original tweet that @courtside captured, but @warriorsworld had a little fun with it.

Will this story follow Jackson? ESPN is surely hoping it vanishes, since Jackson is calling the NBA Finals with Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy. I was curious if any connected NBA reporters (Adrian Wojnarowski came to mind, unless someone local had a scoop) would have anything extra to add on Monday (or sooner), but nothing.

Here’s what Jackson said to reporters on April 29, 2013 about Collins:

Q: “Did you hear about Jason Collins today coming out as the first gay athlete still in the game?”

Jackson: “I will say this. We live in a country allows you to be whoever you want to be. As a Christian man, I serve a God that gives you free will to be who you want to be. As a Christian man, I have beliefs of what’s right and what’s wrong. That being said, I know Jason Collins, I know his family, and am certainly praying for them at this time.”

Q: Is there a stigma attached to him now? Will he be able to get on another team?

Jackson: “That’s not for me to answer.”

Q: “Would he be welcome as a Warrior?”

Jackson: “If he had game.” (Jackson laughs, as do several members of the media.)

Jackson’s “praying for them at this time” remark stirred up some controversy, and adds plausibility to SFBay’s report (which includes a link to a KQED interview with Welts, which took place a few days before Collins signed with the Nets for the first time in 2014).

Here’s what Welts said to KQED at that time:

“Mark and I have the kind of relationship where we could have a conversation about that. I think that was in some way taken out of context. Mark and I are in a really good place right now. I think that how he feels about the issue is not inconsistent with what we would hope, as any employee of the Warriors. He probably didn’t say it exactly the way he wished he’d said it at the time, so it did disappoint me. But since, we’ve certainly talked it out and we’re in a good place.”

If Jackson said what SFBay is reporting, Welts was misinformed about how Jackson felt.

Jackson has harped on the “lies” throughout the last few months. Here’s what he said after the Warriors took Game 6 against the Clippers, 100-99.

But the way that this team conducts itself, in spite of everything that we’ve gone through, all the lies, all the adversity, all the sources, I could not be prouder, because what we are doing collectively speaks against it. Somebody’s lying.”

Yeah, but who?

23 Comments
23 comments
RMixon
RMixon

The Bay Area Press is notorious for beating up local sports figures after they're gone. Dusty Baker, Bill Madlock, Joe Morgan, Jack Clark, and others. So Mark Jackson joins the list. I think if you are the person who heard him say something offensive, put your name to it or you are telling a lie. Mark is gone , and we are now the same old Warriors again. Accept it and move on.

ThirdNKing
ThirdNKing

i'll say it agains because i grew up going to church every sunday, (Lutheran, Catholic, Episcopalean)


nothing christians hate more then gays and marijuana, except abortion

Frozzy
Frozzy

He also said banning Jerry West was a lie. 


Yet Jerry West never spoke for him on that. 

Slam
Slam

It seems Mr Jackson is not a big fan of homosexuality. He doesn't work here anymore (maybe that's one reason why). So it's kind of a non-story.


It's a good thing we're all allowed to have an opinion without fear of attack by the Bay Area Liberal PC police.

SFF49JYP4L
SFF49JYP4L

@Slam So sorry it upsets you that homophobia isn't socially acceptable anymore. I sure does miss the good old days when we could say racist stuff too and have it be perfectly okay.

Slam
Slam

@Sunset Boy @Pulgas de Brent Burns  I made the statement that when someone expresses an unpopular opinion, they get attacked by Bay Area Liberals, you twisted it around that I'm promoting homophobia. Who is misrepresenting, Burnsy ?

SFF49JYP4L
SFF49JYP4L

Sure sounded like you were lamenting the fact that it's becoming socially unacceptable to say homophobic things. Is that incorrect? I'm more than willing to retract my comment if that's not what you were saying

Slam
Slam

@Pulgas de Brent Burns  I was lamenting the fact that if anyone says anything that cuts against the grain of Bay Area Liberal bullies, they are invariably attacked.


I'm not wishing we were back in the days of "Mad Men".


I'm just tired of the bullies.





SFF49JYP4L
SFF49JYP4L

So it's bullying someone to take issue with homophobic remarks? The reaction is worse than the act?

Sunset Boy
Sunset Boy

@Pulgas de Brent Burns

It's not bullying someone to take issue with homophobic remarks.  Its bullying someone when you misrepresent their position, a position you may not agree with, in order to bring shame on them. Its worse than bullying, actually. Its really a form of slander. Slam basically stated that he/she was glad that someone with an opinion that did not fall in line with the idealogical conformity of the day would not be attacked by the PC police. From that you implied, or rather, flat out stated, that this means Slam was in favor of an environment in which homophobia and racism was socially acceptable. That's not only a leap, that's a complete fabrication on your part. You are misrepresenting Slam's position, you attribute to Slam statements that Slam did not make, in order to bring shame on him/her. Further, race was never a part of this argument, and yet you decided to throw that into the fray to attack that position.

Slam
Slam

@Sunset Boy @Pulgas de Brent Burns  The new Liberal America has a puritanical element, which is "We KNOW better than you how you should live your life. You're entitled to your opinion as long as it's OUR opinion. And if you disagree, we will march thru town with your severed head on a bamboo pole"

Slam
Slam

@Sunset Boy @Pulgas de Brent Burns  Al Gore flies around on a PRIVATE JET giving his" Inconvenient Truth" pitch, shredding the ozone layer with a blow torch, and the Liberals eat it up like pigs at the slop bucket.

roheblius
roheblius

Any bets on if he ever told Welts he was praying for him?

AdrianReynolds
AdrianReynolds

I don't see the point...Jackson is gone. Even if he did say those things, at this point it doesn't matter. Kerr is the coach and the real intrigue is how the Warriors' roster will take shape. Not gossip.

T
T

@AdrianReynolds i think the main point is that Jackson unfollowed the warriors.  i don't even know what to think.  This could be as big as when Selena Gomez Unfollowed Taylor Swift several weeks ago.

Eric
Eric

Get off the guy already!!! He is gone, and there is a new coach in place, and one that is friends with Jackson. The Warriors made this bed, and knew exactly what they were getting with Jackson so far as his open religious beliefs, which at the very least were dogmatically anti-gay. They hired him into one of the most liberal markets in the Country. They then paired him up with an openly gay executive, and asked him about his feelings on gay players. Who knows what Jackson really said, but its easy to extrapolate what he was thinking. I don't care about his beliefs, but its gone to muckraking a very respected basketball guy, and possibly damaging player relations throughout the league with the post mortem muckraking.


The Warriors are fostering an atmosphere of backstabbing and paranoia, with inside spies, and "unnamed sources". Its becoming absurd. Jackson was a good motivator, and a sh**ty X and O coach. His failure to delegate, and get along with management is why he is fired.


ThirdNKing...you are a smart person, but ridiculously ignorant on this topic. Marijuana is not on any religious organizations hate list...you would want to put '[abortion' as that second option. Jackson is also not a "bad guy" for whatever his beliefs may be, even if we don't agree with them. He did not go Donald Sterling on any of these topics. You can assume what he thinks, but that is low hanging fruit. You put a minister in a liberal market... He is a strategic coach, and an open book, who in reality said little on the subject but what amounts to Twitter rumors and innuendo. He's not a good fit for this market perhaps, but that is squarely on the shoulders of Lacob.



ThirdNKing
ThirdNKing

nothing christians hate more then gays and marijuana, nothing...


hope they are enjoying the domination by both around the globe....


jackson spent a decade playing in Indiana and New York, 2 states that are incredibly backwards and not open to gays or marijuana


i liked him as a coach, but you could tell he's a bad guy inside

Star child
Star child

Stop it, just like some believe homosexuality is right, some believe it is wrong, is not everyone entitled to their opinion or has this country flipped so much that everyone has to have the same opinion. Actually God detest liars. Do not hate the man who follows God because God is the one who determined what is wrong and what is right not Mark Jackson, if you are angry then you are angry at God, not Mark. If Mark Jackson is a Christian male he does not hate homosexuals, he should love them and see them as lost just like any sinner there is no difference sin is sin

MilpitasNinerGuy
MilpitasNinerGuy

That's the issue. Those who believe they are "sinners" are living in the Stone Age. Anyone who doesn't believe people are born that way and have a choice just aren't recognizing reality. It's not a lifestyle. It's the way some people are born, just like transgender folks. You don't get to decide those things any more than what color skin you're born with.

Eric
Eric

@MilpitasNinerGuy Thats not really the issue at all...You KNOW what Christians believe, whether they are actually hating or not is semantics. Its out in the open with church doctrine, so don't hire a guy with strong faith and be surprised if the issue ever arises. Besides there are good points to strong faith, and many people are not hating everyone because they believe in religion. I'd rather it be out in the open, than hidden away.


Its the hypocrisy of everyone loving Jackson when the Warriors were winning, but now that he's gone, and anonymous Twitter sources are spilling rumors, he's suddenly in the "Stone Age". Warrior fans are laughable.

MilpitasNinerGuy
MilpitasNinerGuy

I don't support a character assassination of Jackson, particularly after the man was fired. That said, anyone who postures that those comments (if true) are defensible in any way sure makes me wonder. Also as an employee of a company one has an obligation to keep religious beliefs from interfering with the workplace. Saying that the Warriors "should have known" because Jackson was a Christian really doesn't cut it. There are plenty of religious people who have moved past the idea that homosexuality is sinful. Any defense of a comment that alienates someone for something that they can't control really isn't acceptable in today's society. One can disagree but that doesn't make them right.

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