A double standard?
The "Yeah, what about" defense of shortcomings big or small can be a scary carousel.
It can start spinning at speeds that are uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. It also allows far too many opportunities for excuses and deflection of the issue at hand or the mistake of the moment.
But the differences in how the people who cover the NFL and the stars in the NFL responded to the Drew Brees comment about kneeling during the anthem and DeSean Jackson posting and praising quotes that he believed to be attributed to Hitler is striking.Brees, who in truth, said the same thing he has said for years but was caught in the tsunami of change and awareness that George Floyd's killing has generated, was vilified. By media big and small and NFL players of all levels of stardom. Brees apologized multiple times and even confronted the President in the aftermath trying to walk it back. (To be fair, the entirety of the Brees' quotes offer a heck of a lot of context and worth re-reading. Also of note, that was only a month ago. Buckets, Corona time both flies and stops. Be gone 2020.)
Jackson, however, for the most part got a pass for posting quotes he believed from Hitler. In truth, the quotes were not from Hitler, but that hardly matters considering a) You never quote Hitler, whether it's Hitler or not, b) the anti-Semitic basis, c) reread answer a.
Two of the more notable responses to Jackson's clearly hate-filled posts against Jewish people were a) the "Yeah, were you this outraged when Riley Cooper said the N-word in 2013 and b) former NBA star Stephen Jackson saying, "He's speaking the truth."
DeSean Jackson's apology was down right laughable and hollow.
I will let ESPN SportsCenter host Elle Duncan have the last word here. Because, as she said, if this was anti-black rather than anti-Jewish the NFL's reaction would have been quickly and overwhelming.
"There is no hierarchy when it comes to bigotry," Duncan said on the ESPN TV show "Around the Horn."
Amen to that.
Which leads us to
U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler has found her way into controversy more than most. Hey, she's a politician and a Trump loyalist. Comes with the territory.
The latest controversy that has found Loeffler is based on her role as part owner of the WNBA Atlanta Dream franchise. (Side note: The fact this will get more ink than Loeffler's dirty stock dealings before the Corona outbreak is quite telling to me.)
Loeffler wrote a letter to the WNBA commissioner calling for the league to no put Black Lives Matter or social commentary on warm-up shirts and uniforms. Her stance has created a storm of backlash from players and others throughout the league because, well, you know.In fact, there are players and others in the WNBA demanding that she sell the team. Wow, pressure to sell things that you own because of things done, said or written is a striking demand. It happened with Donald Sterling. It happened in some ways Jerry Richardson with the Carolina Panthers.It appears to be happening to Loeffler.
But should it?
Does your answer change when you actually read what Loeffler wrote in the letter, which in almost every way sounds more business-savvy than politically motivated?Loeffler's words, according to a copy of the letter the AJC obtained: "The truth is, we need less — not more politics in sports. In a time when polarizing politics is as divisive as ever, sports has the power to be a unifying antidote. And now more than ever, we should be united in our goal to remove politics from sports."
This is a particularly interesting crossroads, since we have long said the shut-up and dribble argument simply never been an option, now or throughout history, considering the role sports play in our society and the importance our society places one them.
Conversely though, Loeffler's thoughts and concerns were in response to the WNBA putting "Black Lives Matter" and "Say Her Name" on uniforms and warm-ups. Loeffler's response was to put an American flag on the uniforms.
In truth, within the last week, we asked a very similar question about the NBA allowing players to put slogans or tributes to certain people or causes instead of their last name on their jerseys.
Because when you allow personal choices and causes in those spaces, what about the noble charities and efforts that you are excluding? Are you saying fighting childhood cancer or against sexual exploitation is not important to the league?
Of course not, but when you start to vary that's certainly not uniform and it could become a real point of contention. What happens if a foreign player wants to put a cause like "Free Hong Kong" on their jersey, which is about liberty and equality but does not fit into the league's agenda?
ESPN lineup change
Wow, so there's that. Tuesday, news started trickling out and then the firehouse of confirmation came from Bristol, and just like that ESPN completely blew up its national sports radio lineup.
It was just last Friday's mailbag that we shared some of the reports and whispers about the ESPN national lineup. A lot of them came true.
Golic and Wingo is no more, and here's hoping ESPN gave Mike Golic Sr. the exit he wanted and more importantly, the exit he earned. It's easy to forget in the forgeability that has been Golic or Wingo for the last two-plus years, but Mike Golic Sr. was the more important half — at least in the beginning — of the Mike and Mike tandem that laid the foundation of building what ESPN Radio has become.
Speaking of Mike and Mike, well, Mike Greenberg is coming back to radio and will have a show from noon-to-2. Yes, that cuts an hour from The Dan LeBatard Show, which is easily my favorite show on national sports radio.
Keysawhn Johnson, Jay Williams and Zubin Mehenti will host the morning show from 6 a.m.-to-10 that Golic or Wingo currently occupies.
Then LeBatard from 10-noon, Greenie until 2 p.m., and Max Kellerman from 2-4 p.m. Mike Golic Jr. and Chiney Ogwumike will have the 4-7 p.m. slot, followed by Sarah Spain and Jason Fitz from 7-9 and Freddie Coleman and Ian Fitzsimmons will do 9-1 a.m.
So there's that.
This and that
— Bubba Wallace went on Jimmy Kimmel Live and called out President Trump and his tweet from earlier this week. Man, it's hard not to be continually impressed with the grace Wallace has shown throughout this time. Wallace has conducted himself in an exemplary manner throughout the conversations of equality during this time. How about this quote from Wallace, after being called out by the world's most powerful man, who actually was factually incorrect to boot: ""When I first read it, I was just, like, man, there's so much more things that are going on in the world that I feel like he should be worried about. It's hard to get people to understand, especially when the facts are delivered on the table, and they've been there for two weeks now. To be late to the party is one thing, and to be wrong on the factual information is another." Well-Played Bubba, well-played indeed.
— We talked about this on Monday, but here's a Yahoo column wondering about the assistance Bryson DeChambeau got to add 40 pounds to his frame — and 20 pounds of muscle during the Corona quarantine — and become FrankenGolfer.
— This feels like a perfect name for Usain Bolt's daughter. Olympia Lightning Bolt. Perfect.
— Cue the Queen lead-in, as another one bites the dust. The Ryder Cup has been pushed back a year. Bleep off 2020.
— One of the benefits of being home more is the chance to read more of the TFP. (Side note: I know I am biased because of where I work, but the TFP is an excellent local paper.) Part of that excellence is local government reporter Sarah Grace Taylor, who has a story this morning on several members of the Chattanooga City Council saying that racism is now a public health crisis. Hmmmm, interesting spin to try to find ways to throw tax-payer money toward racially charged causes. If racism is a public health crisis, is gang violence? Asking for a friend.
— I enjoyed this column on disc golf and Lookouts exec Rich Mozingo from TFP ace sports columnist Mark Wiedmer.
— You know the rules. When TFP college football expert David Paschall writes about college football, we read and link Paschall's points on college football. Here's an update of Steve Sarkisian, the Alabama OC who just had a heart procedure.
— Wow, 10 years ago today LeBron's Decision to take his talents to South Beach happened. That feels like a lifetime ago, no?
Which way Wednesday starts this way.
In regard to the disc golf column from Weeds, which new hobby or activity have you picked up during the Corona? (The 5-at-10 clan is playing a whole lot of cards on the porch these days.)
Which is more offensive to you, Jackson's social media post quoting Hitler or Loeffler's letter to the WNBA commissioner?
Which is more offensive Hitler references or nooses?
Which ESPN radio change do you like the most? Which do you like the least?
As for today, July 8, let's review.
Inception premiered on this day 10 years ago.
Happy 62nd birthday to Kevin Bacon. Dude definitely has a Rushmore, and man he's got a highly enjoyable Rushmore of movies in which he's more of a role player than the alpha dog.
What makes Kevin Bacon's Rushmore? Go, and remember the mailbag.