LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson refused to criticize Arizona's new immigration law, triggering a backlash among activists who plan a protest outside Staples Center on Monday night.
Jackson was asked two weeks ago about the Phoenix Suns wearing their Los Suns jerseys in protest during a playoff game. He said Arizona was taking federal law and putting some bite into it.
On Monday, he issued a statement saying he is wary of putting sports organizations in the middle of political controversies. He says his earlier statements should not be used by either side to rally support.
Activists want the Lakers to put on the Los Lakers jerseys they wore for a game on March 21 to honor Hispanic fans. Lakers spokesman John Black says those jerseys will not be worn during the playoffs.