Sports Redef

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rantnrave:// Did you see LeBron James’ monologue Wednesday? Let me give you a moment. It’s remarkable. James is honest and vulnerable. The most famous athlete in the U.S. using his podium to speak about racism after his Los Angeles home was vandalized with a racial epithet. James used the platform to denounce that bigotry, but also to expose it and to bring it out into the open — referencing the decision by Emmett Till‘s mother to have an open casket to show the world its brutality. We have seen the sports world grow increasingly political in the past two years and debated the merits of that, wondering whether the media and athletes should stick to sports. James’ words were an expression of a simpler truth: Sports isn’t sticking to sports anymore because the rest of life is inescapable. It has gotten political because there’s no part of life that isn’t. For a long time, the sports world was closed off by its own doing. The executives who run leagues, teams and networks — mostly white men who make the rules — were not representative of greater society. When the political climate turned, endangering the rights and norms they value — and it became good business to speak about it — they changed the rules. But James points out that for him and many others, “hate in America, especially for African-Americans, is living every day.” His bout with racism came on the same day someone left a noose in the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and during a period where hate crimes are rising. For generations, fans have used sports to project their emotions. Is it wrong to now use sports as a platform to talk about what’s affecting the country? Is this the kind of conversation we want to keep out of sports? Or is this what we want sports to be about? … It’s here. One of the most anticipated NBA Finals in league history starts today. Cavaliers-Warriors III. LeBron vs. Curry and Durant. The Cavaliers and Warriors tower over the rest of the NBA. Their rivalry is a battle of the league’s best players, its biggest sneaker spokesmen, and of ideas. And there is an NBA title at stake. SportsSET: “The Thrillogy: Cavaliers and Warriors Meet Again“. … ESPN announcer Anish Shroff pulled at my heartstrings with this essay about his mom.


Facing charter shortage, college football reconsiders the bus

Facing high travel demand, airlines are cutting back on the number of planes and crews available to charter, leaving colleges and some pro sports leagues scrambling.
Eben Novy-Williams, Michael Sasso & Mary Schlangenstein | Bloomberg


Tested in a barbershop, 7th-grader becomes Baltimore’s first-ever national chess champion

Cahree Myrick, a seventh grade student at Roland Park Elementary/Middle School, is Baltimore’s first national chess champion. He honed his skills at the Reflection Eternal Barbershop in Baltimore’s Barclay neighborhood.
Luke Broadwater | The Baltimore Sun


Steve Ballmer provides glimpse of Los Angeles Clippers’ new personalized viewing experience

During live action, stats and fantasy points appear above each player as the basket is scored off an alley-oop. There are animation options that enable users to make a custom highlight of Blake Griffin dunking a cloud as lightning strikes. A screen can be automatically identified. Recommended and trending highlights are available on-demand.
Diamond Leung | SportTechie


The road to Cal State Fullerton baseball greatness is littered with parking tickets

Baseball has been Cal State Fullerton’s only consistent winner.
Zach Helfand | Los Angeles Times


Portia Modise is impossible

In her playing career, South Africa’s Portia Modise scored more international goals than Messi or Ronaldo. If she were a man, she’d have the world at her feet. Instead, she’s fought sexism and homophobia at every turn.
Sihle Mthembu | Vice Sports


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