On March 29, state Sen. Albert Kookesh made this statement through the Juneau Empire in reference to the elimination of the A Bracket in the Juneau Lions Club Gold Medal Tournament: "You have to remember the audience here," he said. "The audience is not Juneau people. The audience is village people. When you go to the gym you'll see a lot of brown faces in that gym, and the reason why they didn't support the A Bracket is we didn't have Native kids playing on the A Bracket teams. Pardon the expression, they were all white."
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I didn't realize that the teams had to be Native. When did the Gold Medal tournament turn into an all-Native tourney? Does that mean that the white face that wants to come to the games no longer can, or do they have to pay more? It is just sad that a team said to have all white faces had to travel to Fairbanks just to play in a tourney. Sen. Kookesh disappoints me. Not that I think he is a racist, but for the racist overtone in which he said it. The Juneau team, which consisted of six Caucasians and one Native, that went to Fairbanks and represented Juneau and Southeast Alaska finished second. By the way, the name of the tournament: The Martin Luther King Invitational.