Kobe Bryant is now the "global brand ambassador" for Turkish Airlines after signing a two-year endorsement deal that was announced on the company's website. But all is not well: Bryant's decision has caused outrage in the Armenian-American community, which is now threatening to boycott Laker games.
"He should reconsider his ill-advised endorsement of Turkish Airlines, and, at the very least, go on record condemning Turkey's denial of the Armenian Genocide and calling upon our Congress to pass of the Armenian Genocide Resolution," Armenian national committee of America executive director Aram Hamparian said, when reached by ESPNLosAngeles.com.
The airline is launching transportation from Los Angeles to Turkey in March, hence the decision to strike a deal with L.A.'s most recognizable sports figure. For Bryant, a deal with a Turkish Airline is part of layered plan to turn himself into an international brand.
Bryant, for his part, has not yet responded to this criticism.