ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Sports mascots are, at their core, a conduit for fun. They are their team’s common denominators, a representative of every fan, from the front row to the cheap seats. But out in Denver, longtime Nuggets mascot Rocky the mountain lion made an off-court appearance this week that caught some people by surprise, apparently including his employers.
Earlier this week, Rocky made an appearance at a Colorado Republican rally. As the Denver Post reports…
Nuggets marketing manager Graham Wincott, who handles Rocky and his appearances, said the team’s mascot showing up at the GOP event was “an unsanctioned, unpaid appearance that we had no knowledge of.”
Denver sports figures have been to political events in the past, but sports teams and organizations typically stay away from any kind of political endorsements or appearances, which is why the Kroenke brass was surprised by the appearance.
“As a sports team, we want to be apolitical,” Wincott said. “Two things we never touch on are politics and religion.”
The Nuggets’ mascot was bouncing around at the Colorado Republican Party rally Monday at Heritage High School. Top players on the Colorado GOP ticket were at the event, which included 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Wincott said the KSE management team met Tuesday “with the actor who plays Rocky to figure out exactly how it happened and what transpired and get to the bottom of how all this occurred.”
If nothing else, this gives us a chance to check out some of Rocky’s greatest hits, like his recent dust-up with Russell Westbrook or, as in the video below, a classic run-in with his longtime nemesis, Charles Barkley…
VIDEO: Rocky vs Lakers/Barkley