SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has accomplished a lot in his life. He was a standout athlete at Sacramento High School in both baseball and basketball, he’s a former professional basketball player and three-time NBA all-star, has jumped into politics, and is currently the mayor of the capital of California. He’s also a newlywed.
Before Johnson was big man on campus at Sac High, he made his name in another sport: roller skating. In fact, he was a national champion speed roller skater. Of course, you won’t find this little tidbit listed on his official biography. However, the producers at Good Day Sacramento, on CBS13’s sister-station CW31, found photographic evidence of Johnson’s skating legacy and surprised the mayor during his weekly visit to the set.
After discussing the important stuff – like the latest developments in the city’s fight to keep the Sacramento Kings basketball team in town, a $100 million donation to the city of Sacramento from billionaire Richard Branson and, of course, the Mayor’s recent marriage to Michelle Rhee — the anchors surprised Johnson with a poster-sized picture of the 1979 United States Roller Skating Championships.
The photo features four young men in black and gold shorts, t-shirts, striped tube socks and roller skates in what appears to be some sort of speed skating pose. And yes, there in all his glory is a young Kevin Johnson.
At first, the mayor, as any good politician would do, tried to deny, deny, deny.
“I’m gonna say that was a Photoshop,” said the mayor. “My hair can’t get that long. I don’t have that Angela Davis afro. Holy moly….let me just be clear, that will not be my re-election photo.”
In Good Day Sacramento style, anchor Marianne McClary offered the mayor a poster-sized copy of the photo. Johnson declined, possibly thinking that would put an end to the bit, but no. Good Day Sacramento, a show known for going to the extreme, then surprised the mayor with a life-size cut-out of the picture, with cut-outs for people to have their picture taken alongside the picture of the teen.
“I didn’t realize I was coming on to be roasted, number one. And, number two, I didn’t know this was Comedy Central,” said a laughing Johnson.
Anchor Marianne McClary told Johnson, “we roast because we love” and said he was an excellent sport.