There are no doubts about whose corner Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly is in.

“You know what, Mayor?” Reilly writes in his column this week to National City Mayor Ron Morrison. “National City doesn’t need more luxury condos. It needs good men like the Barragans teaching kids respect for neighbors and property, manners you could use a little of yourself.”

Reilly is referring to the ongoing fight between the Community Youth Athletic Center and National City over the land on which the popular boxing center for at-risk youth sits. The center’s address falls within a zone the city considers blighted, and it can therefore use eminent domain to put a mixed-use condo in its place.

“Turns out the city gets a load more tax dollars out of building condos than building kids,” Reilly writes.

The city voted last month to extend their eminent domain authority until 2017. The Institute for Justice, a national nonprofit law firm representing the gym, has vowed to fight the blight designation in court sometime this fall.

NINA PETERSEN-PERLMAN

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