Kobe’s Controversial Turkish Airlines Ad Debuts

By Kiran Aditham 

We’re not sure if Kobe Bryant needed the paycheck, but the Lakers star nonetheless struck a two-year endorsement deal a couple of months back with Turkish Airlines, a decision that has since angered the Armenian community and especially the hundreds of thousands of those living in California. For those of you who have never opened up a history book, over a century ago, 1.5 million Armenians were murdered at the hands of the Turkish government, and since that time, Armenians have been trying to convince said government as well as the U.S. Congress to recognize the mass murder as genocide.

When Kobe’s deal to serve as “global brand ambassador” was originally struck back in December, the Los Angeles Times reported that outraged fans took to social media outlets and radio to protest the deal and even boycotted Lakers games and Bryant merchandise. The Black Mamba, who we think may not be suited to be the spokesman for social justice, seemed to be unaware of the implications, simply stating to CNBC back in December, “I’ve never been to Turkey. But all the guys on the team in the league who have been keep saying it’s one of the hottest places to go to … and it obviously makes sense with [Turkish Airlines] starting flights from L.A.”


Kobe’s ad will likely only increase his enormous global fanbase, but at what cost? Bigger question, was the ad above even worth all the hype/publicity? We think not, but whatever the case,  we’ll lay off Mamba for a bit as he can’t seem to please anyone as of late. Check out a behind-the-scenes clip after the jump.

via Ball Don’t Lie