by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
NBA great Bill Walton, formerly a paid spokesman for one of the country’s largest renewable energy companies, has been using his platform as an ESPN announcer to bash coal and promote “sustainability.”
Walton announces Pac-12 Conference games for the “Worldwide Leader in Sports,” and has become known for his non-basketball-related tangents during broadcasts. This week’s Pac-12 tournament was no exception, as Walton went on a tangent about the evils of coal that stretched across multiple games and an appearance on SportsCenter. …
… Throughout the week’s games, Walton labeled his broadcast partner Dave Pasch a fan of coal. He even brought a large poster with him to highlight Pasch’s seemingly fictional love for coal and contrast it with a beautiful scene full of solar panels and windmills.
“Live green or die!” the poster read. “Sustainability! Don’t take away our children’s day!!”
When Pasch attempted to talk about basketball, Walton brought the conversation back around to coal.
For example, when Pasch praised a pass made by the UCLA Bruins, Walton’s response was: “I love the team game. You love coal and you love selfishness.”
“I’m normally an optimistic person, and I think that everybody can be saved, but this is a guy who loves coal,” Walton said about Pasch during an appearance on SportsCenter. “I’m all about the future.”
At no point did Walton mention that his hatred of coal has fattened his wallet. In 2014, NRG Energy, one of the country’s largest solar energy companies, brought on Walton as a paid spokesman for the company’s “Home Solar team.”