MLB / all-star game

marcmalkoskie
Yankees overcoming first-half injuries
New York holds 7-game division lead heading into London Series New York Yankees' Gio Urshela celebrates hitting a walkoff single back in May. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today) By MARC MALKOSKIE Press Enterprise Writer MOOSIC — No one short of a prophet could have predicted two months ago that a team battered with injuries to the extent of this year’s New York Yankees would be 24 games above .500 in late June. The Bronx Bombers have sent a Major League-leading 20 players to the injured list at some point this season, yet they still hold a record of 52-28 and carry a seven-game AL East lead with them as they travel across the pond to face the Boston Red Sox in the two-game London Series this weekend. The Yankees have dug deeper into their 40-man roster during the first half of this season than almost any club you could ever think of, as they’ve utilized 42 different players so far and have looked to unknown names like third baseman Gio Urshela, outfielder Mike Tauchman and infielder Thairo Estrada for much of their success. Out of that trio, Urshela has seen the most time in the big leagues this year by taking over as the Yanks’ everyday third baseman with the absence of Miguel Andujar, and holds a very respectable .303 batting average despite batting just .225 in scattered time with Cleveland and Toronto from 2015 to 2018. Tauchman and Estrada have bounced back and forth between the Majors and Triple-A, but both made the flight over to England for the historical series against the Red Sox. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders' Aaron Judge, right, high fives teammate Mike Tauchman after Tauchman's three-run home run in the first inning of a game at PNC Field in Moosic against the Norfolk Tides earlier this month. (Jimmy May/Press Enterprise) “I was excited to come over here with the trade in spring training,” said Tauchman, who was acquired by the Bombers in a trade with the Rockies on March 23. “Obviously, this is a team that came into the season with extremely high expectations, so being able to be any part of that is all you really ask for as a ballplayer. The guys up there are great. All my teammates made me feel very comfortable since day one. The staff does a great job of making sure we’re prepared to play that day. It’s been an unbelievable experience.” Tachman took the spot of Giancarlo Stanton, who was placed back on the IL on Wednesday with a strained PCL in his right knee. Estrada is the team’s “26th man,” as both traveling teams are granted an extra active roster spot for the trip. “I think once you get to the Triple-A level, the ability to play in the major leagues is there,” Tauchman said of his organization’s depth while still with the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRIders last week. “A lot of times it’s timing, a lot of times it’s opportunity, a lot of times it’s a little bit of luck. I think it was a group of guys that are really good players and kind of got an opportunity for some extended playing time, and we’re really excited about it. “It brought a lot of different things to the table, whether it was Gio (Urshela), Clint (Frazier) or (Tyler) Wade. Even (Joe) Harvey and (Stephen) Tarpley have thrown some great innings. I think nowadays, teams need those kind of contributions from more than just the guys you plan on going into the year with. It’s going to take more than 25 (players) to get where you want to go.” Excluding the recent loss of Stanton for the second time this season, the Yankees are starting to slowly get healthy again, which is a scary thought for the rest of the American League. Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius and Aaron Hicks have all returned recently, and are starting to finally roll are their returns all got off to sluggish starts. Each of the three homered in this week’s series against Toronto which New York swept to cap off a 9-1 home stand. When were the last two times the Yankees won nine games of a 10-game home stand? July 2009 and August 1998 — both championship seasons. Need I say more? While a majority of fans were worried in April when the Yankees began to get bitten by the injury bug, Judge, their fallen leader, wasn’t worried because he too trusted the minor league depth New York possesses. “They’ve been doing great,” Judge said of the Yankees’ fill-in while rehabbing with the RailRiders. “At the beginning of the year when everyone was getting hurt, I knew we had guys that could step up. I saw first-hand in spring training what type of talent we had down in Triple-A and Double-A and knew that these guys could play. So, I was never concerned that much on whether these guys would be able to play when the injuries started happening. It’s been fun to see them produce and get opportunities.” As if the help they’ve been receiving from their Triple-A pool wasn’t enough, the Yankees’ small-scale offseason and in-season acquisitions they’ve made as alternatives to signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado have been paying hefty dividends. New York Yankees' DJ LeMahieu (26) high fives teammate Cameron Maybin after a win against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field back in May. (Steve Nesius/AP) Utility infielder DJ LeMahieu currently leads the AL with a .336 batting average since being signed to a 2-year, $24 million deal, was voted the starting second basemen for July’s All-Star Game on Thursday and could likely be elected as the next mayor of New York City at this pace. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was able to snag veteran outfielder Cameron Maybin from the Indians for just $25,000 back in late April. Maybin was batting .386 with four homers and seven RBIs in 14 games in the month of June before being sidelined with a left calf strain since last Friday. New York Yankees' Edwin Encarnacion "walks the parrot" as he rounds the bases after hitting his first home run in Pinstripes at Yankee Stadium earlier this month. (Kathleen Malone/Van Dyke) And as if the Yankees — who are on pace to break the team single season home run record for the second straight season — needed yet another power bat in their lineup, they dealt Seattle for 15-year slugger Edwin Encarnacion, who leads the American League with 24 home runs in 2019. “Any time you can add the AL leader in home runs to an already potent offense, it’s going to make a splash,” Judge said of the acquisition of ‘EE’ last week. “I know we’re all excited and we’re going to welcome him with open arms, and I can’t wait to hit in that lineup with him. It’s going to be fun.” Among the 30 MLB teams, New York’s American League squad currently ranks in the top 10 of nearly every major offensive category — runs, home runs, RBIs, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and walks, among others. Earlier this week, they broke the Major League record for most consecutive games with a home run as a team, which was previously 27 — set by the 2002 Rangers. After Gregorius and LeMahieu both went deep on Wednesday, New York has now homered in 29 straight contests. To the surprise of many, their pitching efforts have been almost equally as dominant, as they’re top ten in ERA, strikeouts, saves, WHIP, batting average against and strikeout-to-walk ratio. However, the fact they’re still rolling with a four-man pitching rotation and that arguably that whole rotation minus Masahiro Tanaka has been mildly inconsistent this season raises the need for the Yanks to add a top-of-the-line starter before the deadline, especially if ace Luis Severino hasn’t returned by then. Among New York’s believed trade targets are Giants’ postseason wizard Madison Bumgarner, Nationals’ three-time Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer, Blue Jays’ ace Marcus Stroman and Tigers’ southpaw Matthew Boyd. Any one of those four hurlers could be an instrumental piece to bringing an end to the Yankees’ decade-long World Series title ‘drought.’ Will number 28 come to the Bronx this fall? Only time will tell. But one thing is for sure: the Yankees are in a darn good position after 80 games. Marc Malkoskie can be reached at 570-387-1234, ext. 1314, or by email at sports@pressenterprise.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mmalkoskie.
0.00
13
2

marcmalkoskie
Yankees overcoming first-half injuries
New York holds 7-game division lead heading into London Series New York Yankees' Gio Urshela celebrates hitting a walkoff single back in May. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today) By MARC MALKOSKIE Press Enterprise Writer MOOSIC — No one short of a prophet could have predicted two months ago that a team battered with injuries to the extent of this year’s New York Yankees would be 24 games above .500 in late June. The Bronx Bombers have sent a Major League-leading 20 players to the injured list at some point this season, yet they still hold a record of 52-28 and carry a seven-game AL East lead with them as they travel across the pond to face the Boston Red Sox in the two-game London Series this weekend. The Yankees have dug deeper into their 40-man roster during the first half of this season than almost any club you could ever think of, as they’ve utilized 42 different players so far and have looked to unknown names like third baseman Gio Urshela, outfielder Mike Tauchman and infielder Thairo Estrada for much of their success. Out of that trio, Urshela has seen the most time in the big leagues this year by taking over as the Yanks’ everyday third baseman with the absence of Miguel Andujar, and holds a very respectable .303 batting average despite batting just .225 in scattered time with Cleveland and Toronto from 2015 to 2018. Tauchman and Estrada have bounced back and forth between the Majors and Triple-A, but both made the flight over to England for the historical series against the Red Sox. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders' Aaron Judge, right, high fives teammate Mike Tauchman after Tauchman's three-run home run in the first inning of a game at PNC Field in Moosic against the Norfolk Tides earlier this month. (Jimmy May/Press Enterprise) “I was excited to come over here with the trade in spring training,” said Tauchman, who was acquired by the Bombers in a trade with the Rockies on March 23. “Obviously, this is a team that came into the season with extremely high expectations, so being able to be any part of that is all you really ask for as a ballplayer. The guys up there are great. All my teammates made me feel very comfortable since day one. The staff does a great job of making sure we’re prepared to play that day. It’s been an unbelievable experience.” Tachman took the spot of Giancarlo Stanton, who was placed back on the IL on Wednesday with a strained PCL in his right knee. Estrada is the team’s “26th man,” as both traveling teams are granted an extra active roster spot for the trip. “I think once you get to the Triple-A level, the ability to play in the major leagues is there,” Tauchman said of his organization’s depth while still with the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRIders last week. “A lot of times it’s timing, a lot of times it’s opportunity, a lot of times it’s a little bit of luck. I think it was a group of guys that are really good players and kind of got an opportunity for some extended playing time, and we’re really excited about it. “It brought a lot of different things to the table, whether it was Gio (Urshela), Clint (Frazier) or (Tyler) Wade. Even (Joe) Harvey and (Stephen) Tarpley have thrown some great innings. I think nowadays, teams need those kind of contributions from more than just the guys you plan on going into the year with. It’s going to take more than 25 (players) to get where you want to go.” Excluding the recent loss of Stanton for the second time this season, the Yankees are starting to slowly get healthy again, which is a scary thought for the rest of the American League. Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius and Aaron Hicks have all returned recently, and are starting to finally roll are their returns all got off to sluggish starts. Each of the three homered in this week’s series against Toronto which New York swept to cap off a 9-1 home stand. When were the last two times the Yankees won nine games of a 10-game home stand? July 2009 and August 1998 — both championship seasons. Need I say more? While a majority of fans were worried in April when the Yankees began to get bitten by the injury bug, Judge, their fallen leader, wasn’t worried because he too trusted the minor league depth New York possesses. “They’ve been doing great,” Judge said of the Yankees’ fill-in while rehabbing with the RailRiders. “At the beginning of the year when everyone was getting hurt, I knew we had guys that could step up. I saw first-hand in spring training what type of talent we had down in Triple-A and Double-A and knew that these guys could play. So, I was never concerned that much on whether these guys would be able to play when the injuries started happening. It’s been fun to see them produce and get opportunities.” As if the help they’ve been receiving from their Triple-A pool wasn’t enough, the Yankees’ small-scale offseason and in-season acquisitions they’ve made as alternatives to signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado have been paying hefty dividends. New York Yankees' DJ LeMahieu (26) high fives teammate Cameron Maybin after a win against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field back in May. (Steve Nesius/AP) Utility infielder DJ LeMahieu currently leads the AL with a .336 batting average since being signed to a 2-year, $24 million deal, was voted the starting second basemen for July’s All-Star Game on Thursday and could likely be elected as the next mayor of New York City at this pace. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was able to snag veteran outfielder Cameron Maybin from the Indians for just $25,000 back in late April. Maybin was batting .386 with four homers and seven RBIs in 14 games in the month of June before being sidelined with a left calf strain since last Friday. New York Yankees' Edwin Encarnacion "walks the parrot" as he rounds the bases after hitting his first home run in Pinstripes at Yankee Stadium earlier this month. (Kathleen Malone/Van Dyke) And as if the Yankees — who are on pace to break the team single season home run record for the second straight season — needed yet another power bat in their lineup, they dealt Seattle for 15-year slugger Edwin Encarnacion, who leads the American League with 24 home runs in 2019. “Any time you can add the AL leader in home runs to an already potent offense, it’s going to make a splash,” Judge said of the acquisition of ‘EE’ last week. “I know we’re all excited and we’re going to welcome him with open arms, and I can’t wait to hit in that lineup with him. It’s going to be fun.” Among the 30 MLB teams, New York’s American League squad currently ranks in the top 10 of nearly every major offensive category — runs, home runs, RBIs, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and walks, among others. Earlier this week, they broke the Major League record for most consecutive games with a home run as a team, which was previously 27 — set by the 2002 Rangers. After Gregorius and LeMahieu both went deep on Wednesday, New York has now homered in 29 straight contests. To the surprise of many, their pitching efforts have been almost equally as dominant, as they’re top ten in ERA, strikeouts, saves, WHIP, batting average against and strikeout-to-walk ratio. However, the fact they’re still rolling with a four-man pitching rotation and that arguably that whole rotation minus Masahiro Tanaka has been mildly inconsistent this season raises the need for the Yanks to add a top-of-the-line starter before the deadline, especially if ace Luis Severino hasn’t returned by then. Among New York’s believed trade targets are Giants’ postseason wizard Madison Bumgarner, Nationals’ three-time Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer, Blue Jays’ ace Marcus Stroman and Tigers’ southpaw Matthew Boyd. Any one of those four hurlers could be an instrumental piece to bringing an end to the Yankees’ decade-long World Series title ‘drought.’ Will number 28 come to the Bronx this fall? Only time will tell. But one thing is for sure: the Yankees are in a darn good position after 80 games. Marc Malkoskie can be reached at 570-387-1234, ext. 1314, or by email at sports@pressenterprise.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mmalkoskie.
0.00
13
2

marcmalkoskie
Yankees overcoming first-half injuries
New York holds 7-game division lead heading into London Series New York Yankees' Gio Urshela celebrates hitting a walkoff single back in May. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today) By MARC MALKOSKIE Press Enterprise Writer MOOSIC — No one short of a prophet could have predicted two months ago that a team battered with injuries to the extent of this year’s New York Yankees would be 24 games above .500 in late June. The Bronx Bombers have sent a Major League-leading 20 players to the injured list at some point this season, yet they still hold a record of 52-28 and carry a seven-game AL East lead with them as they travel across the pond to face the Boston Red Sox in the two-game London Series this weekend. The Yankees have dug deeper into their 40-man roster during the first half of this season than almost any club you could ever think of, as they’ve utilized 42 different players so far and have looked to unknown names like third baseman Gio Urshela, outfielder Mike Tauchman and infielder Thairo Estrada for much of their success. Out of that trio, Urshela has seen the most time in the big leagues this year by taking over as the Yanks’ everyday third baseman with the absence of Miguel Andujar, and holds a very respectable .303 batting average despite batting just .225 in scattered time with Cleveland and Toronto from 2015 to 2018. Tauchman and Estrada have bounced back and forth between the Majors and Triple-A, but both made the flight over to England for the historical series against the Red Sox. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders' Aaron Judge, right, high fives teammate Mike Tauchman after Tauchman's three-run home run in the first inning of a game at PNC Field in Moosic against the Norfolk Tides earlier this month. (Jimmy May/Press Enterprise) “I was excited to come over here with the trade in spring training,” said Tauchman, who was acquired by the Bombers in a trade with the Rockies on March 23. “Obviously, this is a team that came into the season with extremely high expectations, so being able to be any part of that is all you really ask for as a ballplayer. The guys up there are great. All my teammates made me feel very comfortable since day one. The staff does a great job of making sure we’re prepared to play that day. It’s been an unbelievable experience.” Tachman took the spot of Giancarlo Stanton, who was placed back on the IL on Wednesday with a strained PCL in his right knee. Estrada is the team’s “26th man,” as both traveling teams are granted an extra active roster spot for the trip. “I think once you get to the Triple-A level, the ability to play in the major leagues is there,” Tauchman said of his organization’s depth while still with the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRIders last week. “A lot of times it’s timing, a lot of times it’s opportunity, a lot of times it’s a little bit of luck. I think it was a group of guys that are really good players and kind of got an opportunity for some extended playing time, and we’re really excited about it. “It brought a lot of different things to the table, whether it was Gio (Urshela), Clint (Frazier) or (Tyler) Wade. Even (Joe) Harvey and (Stephen) Tarpley have thrown some great innings. I think nowadays, teams need those kind of contributions from more than just the guys you plan on going into the year with. It’s going to take more than 25 (players) to get where you want to go.” Excluding the recent loss of Stanton for the second time this season, the Yankees are starting to slowly get healthy again, which is a scary thought for the rest of the American League. Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius and Aaron Hicks have all returned recently, and are starting to finally roll are their returns all got off to sluggish starts. Each of the three homered in this week’s series against Toronto which New York swept to cap off a 9-1 home stand. When were the last two times the Yankees won nine games of a 10-game home stand? July 2009 and August 1998 — both championship seasons. Need I say more? While a majority of fans were worried in April when the Yankees began to get bitten by the injury bug, Judge, their fallen leader, wasn’t worried because he too trusted the minor league depth New York possesses. “They’ve been doing great,” Judge said of the Yankees’ fill-in while rehabbing with the RailRiders. “At the beginning of the year when everyone was getting hurt, I knew we had guys that could step up. I saw first-hand in spring training what type of talent we had down in Triple-A and Double-A and knew that these guys could play. So, I was never concerned that much on whether these guys would be able to play when the injuries started happening. It’s been fun to see them produce and get opportunities.” As if the help they’ve been receiving from their Triple-A pool wasn’t enough, the Yankees’ small-scale offseason and in-season acquisitions they’ve made as alternatives to signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado have been paying hefty dividends. New York Yankees' DJ LeMahieu (26) high fives teammate Cameron Maybin after a win against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field back in May. (Steve Nesius/AP) Utility infielder DJ LeMahieu currently leads the AL with a .336 batting average since being signed to a 2-year, $24 million deal, was voted the starting second basemen for July’s All-Star Game on Thursday and could likely be elected as the next mayor of New York City at this pace. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was able to snag veteran outfielder Cameron Maybin from the Indians for just $25,000 back in late April. Maybin was batting .386 with four homers and seven RBIs in 14 games in the month of June before being sidelined with a left calf strain since last Friday. New York Yankees' Edwin Encarnacion "walks the parrot" as he rounds the bases after hitting his first home run in Pinstripes at Yankee Stadium earlier this month. (Kathleen Malone/Van Dyke) And as if the Yankees — who are on pace to break the team single season home run record for the second straight season — needed yet another power bat in their lineup, they dealt Seattle for 15-year slugger Edwin Encarnacion, who leads the American League with 24 home runs in 2019. “Any time you can add the AL leader in home runs to an already potent offense, it’s going to make a splash,” Judge said of the acquisition of ‘EE’ last week. “I know we’re all excited and we’re going to welcome him with open arms, and I can’t wait to hit in that lineup with him. It’s going to be fun.” Among the 30 MLB teams, New York’s American League squad currently ranks in the top 10 of nearly every major offensive category — runs, home runs, RBIs, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and walks, among others. Earlier this week, they broke the Major League record for most consecutive games with a home run as a team, which was previously 27 — set by the 2002 Rangers. After Gregorius and LeMahieu both went deep on Wednesday, New York has now homered in 29 straight contests. To the surprise of many, their pitching efforts have been almost equally as dominant, as they’re top ten in ERA, strikeouts, saves, WHIP, batting average against and strikeout-to-walk ratio. However, the fact they’re still rolling with a four-man pitching rotation and that arguably that whole rotation minus Masahiro Tanaka has been mildly inconsistent this season raises the need for the Yanks to add a top-of-the-line starter before the deadline, especially if ace Luis Severino hasn’t returned by then. Among New York’s believed trade targets are Giants’ postseason wizard Madison Bumgarner, Nationals’ three-time Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer, Blue Jays’ ace Marcus Stroman and Tigers’ southpaw Matthew Boyd. Any one of those four hurlers could be an instrumental piece to bringing an end to the Yankees’ decade-long World Series title ‘drought.’ Will number 28 come to the Bronx this fall? Only time will tell. But one thing is for sure: the Yankees are in a darn good position after 80 games. Marc Malkoskie can be reached at 570-387-1234, ext. 1314, or by email at sports@pressenterprise.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mmalkoskie.
0.00
13
2
0.00
9
1
0.00
9
1
0.00
9
1
rohanjale
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: what sports have taught me about race in America
Sports is one of the few areas in which Americans of all races can talk to each other. Right now, it may be the country’s best hope for meaningful dialogueAs the Guardian’s series on race and sports starts today – and we mark two years since Colin Kaepernick first knelt during the national anthem – I am reminded that whenever an NBA player comes close to shattering one of my dusty old records, eager journalists contact me to ask how I feel. Here’s how I feel: At the time I set those records – most points scored, most blocked shots, most MVP awards, blah, blah, blah – I celebrated them because they confirmed that all my hard work and discipline since childhood was effective in me achieving my goal of becoming the best possible athlete. But that wasn’t my only goal. The even greater significance those records had to me then, and has to me even more now, is in providing a platform to keep the discussion of social inequalities – whether racial, gender-related, or economic – alive and vibrant so that we may come together as a nation and fix them. Historically, that has been the greatness of the American spirit: we don’t flinch at identifying our own faults and using our moral fortitude and ingenuity to become a better nation. In honoring that spirit, I pay tribute to two of my most important mentors, UCLA coach John Wooden and Muhammad Ali. It is Ali’s voice I often hear in my head: “When you saw me in the boxing ring fighting, it wasn’t just so I could beat my opponent. My fighting had a purpose. I had to be successful in order to get people to listen to the things I had to say.” All sports records will inevitably be broken, but the day after they are, the world won’t have changed. But every day you speak up about injustice, the next day the world may be just a little better for someone. Sports is the most popular form of entertainment, with Americans spending about $56bn on sports events last year, compared to about $11bn on movies. Seventy-two percent of 18- to 29-year-olds consider themselves sports fans, as do a majority of those older. This level of popularity has made sports more than just entertainment, it’s also part of our national identity, a source of inspiration for personal achievement, and a means to teach our children valuable lessons about teamwork and social ethics. For African Americans, sports has all those values – but it also has some extra implications. For people of color, professional sports has always been a mirror of America’s attitude toward race: as long as black players were restricted from taking the field, then the rest of black Americans would never truly be considered equal, meaning they would not be given equal educational or employment opportunities. Even after they were permitted to play, sports has been the public face of America, not what we sentimentally profess to believe when waving flags on the Fourth of July, but of our actual daily behavior. That is why whatever happens in sports regarding race, plays out on the national stage. Right now, sports may be the best hope for change regarding racial disparity because it has the best chance of informing white Americans of that disparity and motivating them to act. The problem is that this is not the message that those who profit from disparity want the public to hear. They attempt to silence voices of dissent in sports today just as they have throughout my lifetime and before. And that attempt is always disguised as an appeal to patriotism. They use the flag the way a magician uses a cape: to misdirect the audience from the manipulation. Poof! No racism here, folks. To white America, the history of US sports is a rising graph of remarkable achievements of physical and mental strength. To black America, it’s that, but is also a consistent timeline of attempts to silence the voices of African Americans. In 1964, Ali’s refusal to submit to the draft during the Vietnam War on the grounds that “my conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people” caused him to be sentenced to five years in prison, fined $10,000, and banned from boxing years. He gave up millions of dollars and faced prison to speak his truth. In 1971, his conviction was overturned by the US Supreme Court in an 8–0 decision, but the damage had already been done. During the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood on the podium and raised their gloved fists in the air during the national anthem. As a result, they were kicked off the team and sent back to the US where they were ostracized in the press and received death threats. But many black Americans felt pride that their own anger and frustration had been expressed out loud on an international stage. Carlos later said that it was not a black power salute, but a “human rights salute”. Smith said, “We were concerned about the lack of black assistant coaches. About how Muhammad Ali got stripped of his title. About the lack of access to good housing and our kids not being able to attend the top colleges.”
0.00
3
4
rohanjale
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: what sports have taught me about race in America
Sports is one of the few areas in which Americans of all races can talk to each other. Right now, it may be the country’s best hope for meaningful dialogueAs the Guardian’s series on race and sports starts today – and we mark two years since Colin Kaepernick first knelt during the national anthem – I am reminded that whenever an NBA player comes close to shattering one of my dusty old records, eager journalists contact me to ask how I feel. Here’s how I feel: At the time I set those records – most points scored, most blocked shots, most MVP awards, blah, blah, blah – I celebrated them because they confirmed that all my hard work and discipline since childhood was effective in me achieving my goal of becoming the best possible athlete. But that wasn’t my only goal. The even greater significance those records had to me then, and has to me even more now, is in providing a platform to keep the discussion of social inequalities – whether racial, gender-related, or economic – alive and vibrant so that we may come together as a nation and fix them. Historically, that has been the greatness of the American spirit: we don’t flinch at identifying our own faults and using our moral fortitude and ingenuity to become a better nation. In honoring that spirit, I pay tribute to two of my most important mentors, UCLA coach John Wooden and Muhammad Ali. It is Ali’s voice I often hear in my head: “When you saw me in the boxing ring fighting, it wasn’t just so I could beat my opponent. My fighting had a purpose. I had to be successful in order to get people to listen to the things I had to say.” All sports records will inevitably be broken, but the day after they are, the world won’t have changed. But every day you speak up about injustice, the next day the world may be just a little better for someone. Sports is the most popular form of entertainment, with Americans spending about $56bn on sports events last year, compared to about $11bn on movies. Seventy-two percent of 18- to 29-year-olds consider themselves sports fans, as do a majority of those older. This level of popularity has made sports more than just entertainment, it’s also part of our national identity, a source of inspiration for personal achievement, and a means to teach our children valuable lessons about teamwork and social ethics. For African Americans, sports has all those values – but it also has some extra implications. For people of color, professional sports has always been a mirror of America’s attitude toward race: as long as black players were restricted from taking the field, then the rest of black Americans would never truly be considered equal, meaning they would not be given equal educational or employment opportunities. Even after they were permitted to play, sports has been the public face of America, not what we sentimentally profess to believe when waving flags on the Fourth of July, but of our actual daily behavior. That is why whatever happens in sports regarding race, plays out on the national stage. Right now, sports may be the best hope for change regarding racial disparity because it has the best chance of informing white Americans of that disparity and motivating them to act. The problem is that this is not the message that those who profit from disparity want the public to hear. They attempt to silence voices of dissent in sports today just as they have throughout my lifetime and before. And that attempt is always disguised as an appeal to patriotism. They use the flag the way a magician uses a cape: to misdirect the audience from the manipulation. Poof! No racism here, folks. To white America, the history of US sports is a rising graph of remarkable achievements of physical and mental strength. To black America, it’s that, but is also a consistent timeline of attempts to silence the voices of African Americans. In 1964, Ali’s refusal to submit to the draft during the Vietnam War on the grounds that “my conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people” caused him to be sentenced to five years in prison, fined $10,000, and banned from boxing years. He gave up millions of dollars and faced prison to speak his truth. In 1971, his conviction was overturned by the US Supreme Court in an 8–0 decision, but the damage had already been done. During the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood on the podium and raised their gloved fists in the air during the national anthem. As a result, they were kicked off the team and sent back to the US where they were ostracized in the press and received death threats. But many black Americans felt pride that their own anger and frustration had been expressed out loud on an international stage. Carlos later said that it was not a black power salute, but a “human rights salute”. Smith said, “We were concerned about the lack of black assistant coaches. About how Muhammad Ali got stripped of his title. About the lack of access to good housing and our kids not being able to attend the top colleges.”
0.00
3
4
rohanjale
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: what sports have taught me about race in America
Sports is one of the few areas in which Americans of all races can talk to each other. Right now, it may be the country’s best hope for meaningful dialogueAs the Guardian’s series on race and sports starts today – and we mark two years since Colin Kaepernick first knelt during the national anthem – I am reminded that whenever an NBA player comes close to shattering one of my dusty old records, eager journalists contact me to ask how I feel. Here’s how I feel: At the time I set those records – most points scored, most blocked shots, most MVP awards, blah, blah, blah – I celebrated them because they confirmed that all my hard work and discipline since childhood was effective in me achieving my goal of becoming the best possible athlete. But that wasn’t my only goal. The even greater significance those records had to me then, and has to me even more now, is in providing a platform to keep the discussion of social inequalities – whether racial, gender-related, or economic – alive and vibrant so that we may come together as a nation and fix them. Historically, that has been the greatness of the American spirit: we don’t flinch at identifying our own faults and using our moral fortitude and ingenuity to become a better nation. In honoring that spirit, I pay tribute to two of my most important mentors, UCLA coach John Wooden and Muhammad Ali. It is Ali’s voice I often hear in my head: “When you saw me in the boxing ring fighting, it wasn’t just so I could beat my opponent. My fighting had a purpose. I had to be successful in order to get people to listen to the things I had to say.” All sports records will inevitably be broken, but the day after they are, the world won’t have changed. But every day you speak up about injustice, the next day the world may be just a little better for someone. Sports is the most popular form of entertainment, with Americans spending about $56bn on sports events last year, compared to about $11bn on movies. Seventy-two percent of 18- to 29-year-olds consider themselves sports fans, as do a majority of those older. This level of popularity has made sports more than just entertainment, it’s also part of our national identity, a source of inspiration for personal achievement, and a means to teach our children valuable lessons about teamwork and social ethics. For African Americans, sports has all those values – but it also has some extra implications. For people of color, professional sports has always been a mirror of America’s attitude toward race: as long as black players were restricted from taking the field, then the rest of black Americans would never truly be considered equal, meaning they would not be given equal educational or employment opportunities. Even after they were permitted to play, sports has been the public face of America, not what we sentimentally profess to believe when waving flags on the Fourth of July, but of our actual daily behavior. That is why whatever happens in sports regarding race, plays out on the national stage. Right now, sports may be the best hope for change regarding racial disparity because it has the best chance of informing white Americans of that disparity and motivating them to act. The problem is that this is not the message that those who profit from disparity want the public to hear. They attempt to silence voices of dissent in sports today just as they have throughout my lifetime and before. And that attempt is always disguised as an appeal to patriotism. They use the flag the way a magician uses a cape: to misdirect the audience from the manipulation. Poof! No racism here, folks. To white America, the history of US sports is a rising graph of remarkable achievements of physical and mental strength. To black America, it’s that, but is also a consistent timeline of attempts to silence the voices of African Americans. In 1964, Ali’s refusal to submit to the draft during the Vietnam War on the grounds that “my conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people” caused him to be sentenced to five years in prison, fined $10,000, and banned from boxing years. He gave up millions of dollars and faced prison to speak his truth. In 1971, his conviction was overturned by the US Supreme Court in an 8–0 decision, but the damage had already been done. During the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood on the podium and raised their gloved fists in the air during the national anthem. As a result, they were kicked off the team and sent back to the US where they were ostracized in the press and received death threats. But many black Americans felt pride that their own anger and frustration had been expressed out loud on an international stage. Carlos later said that it was not a black power salute, but a “human rights salute”. Smith said, “We were concerned about the lack of black assistant coaches. About how Muhammad Ali got stripped of his title. About the lack of access to good housing and our kids not being able to attend the top colleges.”
0.00
3
4
0.00
2
5
0.00
2
5
0.00
2
5

drake5updated
Look for Nebraska in 2019
0.00
2
1

drake5updated
Look for Nebraska in 2019
0.00
2
1

drake5updated
Look for Nebraska in 2019
0.00
2
1
0.00
2
0
0.00
2
0
0.00
2
0
0.00
9
0
0.00
9
0
0.00
9
0
0.00
5
10
0.00
5
10
0.00
5
10