Former professional basketball player Kevin Johnson discovers politics is just as rough as the NBA. The 42-year-old Sacramento native played 12 seasons for the Phoenix Suns and recently decided to run for mayor of his hometown. But now the former NBA guard is now keeping his guard on sexual abuse allegations and problems with anti-gay remarks.
In 2007, a student at the school Johnson helped develop, Sacramento Charter High School, accused him of touching her inappropriately. Police investigated after a teacher reported the allegation and found the claims to be without merit. As in Phoenix, no charges were filed.
Johnson has refused to address the accusations in detail, citing confidentiality. He also emphasizes that he was not charged in either case.
Johnson upset local gay and lesbian activists recently 'when he said marriage should remain restricted to a man and a woman. Activist Steve Hansen said gay rights are a key issue in California's seventh-largest city, where there have been several high-profile hate crimes against gays.'
One of the most recent high-profile gay-bashings in Sacramento happened on May 15th, only hours after the California Supreme Court delivered its landmark same sex marriage ruling. Police say three men attacked a gay man and his cousin, beating and cutting their face. They were booked into jail on suspicion of five felonies, including two dealing with hate crimes, according to online jail records.
At least two of the suspects in that case were black, which is unfortunate, because mayoral candidate and former NBA player Kevin Johnson could be a great role model for the city's youth. Unfortunately, with California rapidly moving toward gay marriage, the would-be-mayor should be campaigning to be a mayor of all the people.