Brown, Neal among Massachusetts Pols Facing Off On Basketball Court For Charity

Two members of Massachusetts’ Congressional delegation facing re-election this fall were in Springfield today (Monday) facing off on a basketball court for charity. The “Path to Manhood” game at the Dunbar Community center was not without some politics. The two teams, Gold and Red, were led respectively by Senator Scott Brown and Reverend Talbert Swann, head of the Springfield Chapter of the NAACP. Other elected officials were also on hand, including Congressman Richard Neal, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, State representative Cheryl Coakley-Rivera, State Senator James Welch and City Councilors Melvin Edwards and Tom Ashe. Reverend Swann says the idea of a charity game came about during a private conversation he and Brown had after the Senator initially snubbed a request to meet with the NAACP over topics of concern.
“You know, whenever you get guys in a room and you start talking sports, testosterone gets to flowing and trash talking comes, so you know I figured that I could take him and he figured he could take me. And so we put it out there and here we are.”
For his part, Senator Brown says even with the trash talking involved, he’s glad to be participating in any effort to benefit a worthy cause such as A Path to Manhood, a local mentoring program for young men of color.
“I will find time to play basketball any day of the week. So I’m happy to be supportive of the group and I’m glad Rev. Swann is ready to get some, kicked you know what. Okay I got to move so I don’t pull a muscle.”
But Brown couldn’t stay completely non-political. When asked about his reaction to fellow Republican Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate, Brown deflected questions about Ryan’s proposal to significantly cut Medicare spending by accusing his own democratic rival Elizabeth Warren of also endorsing Medicare cuts through her support of the Affordable Care Act. Proceeds from the basketball game will also benefit the South End Community Center, whose building was destroyed by last summer’s tornado. The game ended with Reverend Swann’s Red team defeating Senator Brown’s Gold team 36-34.