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Baker Mayfield, Commentary, Hue Jackson, Locker Room Talk -

There were two significant headlines coming out of Week 12 in the NFL: Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson is saving the Baltimore Ravens’ season and Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield is giving hope to Cleveland. In Baltimore, Jackson, stepping in for the injured Joe Flacco, led the Ravens to a 34-17 victory over Oakland. In Cleveland, […]

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Commentary, Jonathan Stewart, Le'Veon Bell, Locker Room Talk, New York Giants, Saquon Barkley -

Last week, New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur challenged rookie running back Saquon Barkley to stick his nose in the scrum a bit more. The shifty Barkley has proven to be great at bouncing to the outside, making home run-type runs, but the Giants want Barkley to make more of those tough, 4- to […]

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Commentary, Jordan McNair, Locker Room Talk, Marty McNair, Maryland Terrapins -

For the last six months, Marty McNair and Tonya Wilson have been dealing with the unthinkable tragedy of losing a child. A tragedy complicated by the fact that the death of their son, University of Maryland football player Jordan McNair, has become a national story. There has been little breathing room, little time to exhale, […]

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Commentary, Harry Edwards, Institute for the Study  of Sport and Society, John Carlos, Locker Room Talk, Mahmoud Abdul Rauf, National Museum of African American History and Culture, NMAAHC, Tommy smith, Toni Smith-Thompson -

This week the nation celebrated the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic moments in U.S. Olympic history: the demonstration by Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the victory stand at the Mexico City Games. Another significant moment unfolded on Oct. 18, 1968, when the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) ordered Smith and Carlos to […]

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Commentary, J.R. Smith, Locker Room Talk, Michelle Roberts, NBAPA, Supreme -

Right pew. Wrong church. That was my reaction to J.R. Smith earlier this week when the NBA reminded the Cleveland Cavaliers guard that the league more or less owned his body. Smith turned his body into a billboard last August when he tattooed the logo of an apparel company, Supreme, on the back of his […]

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HBCU Football, Locker Room Talk, Prairie View Panthers, SWAC, UNLV Rebels -

First-year Prairie View A&M head football coach Eric Dooley sat in the lobby of the team hotel reflecting on the long day and what was turning into a long Friday night. Dooley’s Panthers were scheduled to play the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Rebels on Saturday night. Prairie View arrived in Vegas at 2:30 Friday […]

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Athlete Activism, Colin Kaepernick, Locker Room Talk, Los Angeles Chargers, NFL, Nike, Russell Okung, Social Activism -

In a stroke of genius that would make a chess master proud, Nike made a move last week that simultaneously put the NFL on its heels and made competitors squirm. Most important, the sports apparel giant helped protesting NFL players remind the public that their protests are not an attack on the military but a […]

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Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, Locker Room Talk, Tennis, US Open -

Arthur Ashe Jr. was the Jackie Robinson of tennis. Some make the case that Althea Gibson is Jackie. Gibson became the first African-American tennis player to win Grand Slam events, winning them in 1957 and 1958. She was a lonely warrior who chose not to embrace the role of an activist. Ashe made history on […]

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Arthur Ashe, Locker Room Talk, US Open -

At 11 a.m. Sept. 1, I received a text from Johnnie Ashe saying there was an urgent matter he wished to discuss. Ashe, the younger brother of tennis legend Arthur Ashe Jr., said he planned to shake things up during the flag ceremony at the US Open in New York on Monday evening. When we […]

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Atlanta Falcons, Charlottesville, Cleveland Browns, Kurt Benkart, Locker Room Talk, Marcell Frazier -

Sunday morning, thousands carrying flags, advocating white supremacy and parading under the banner of hatred will gather in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the anniversary of the Unite the Right march that left one dead and many injured. Last year’s march was held in Charlottesville, Virginia, but this year’s was moved by organizers to D.C. when […]

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Commentary, Donald Trump, LeBron James, Locker Room Talk -

Those of us in the so-called mainstream media work in a tricky environment, one in which superficiality has gained an importance approaching that of substance. We must be conscious of and engaged in, but not driven by, clicks; consumed by, but not obsessed with, metrics; and, at the same time, try to fit in journalism […]

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Commentary, DeMar DeRozan, Kawhi Leonard, Locker Room Talk, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors -

We’ve written a great deal during the last couple of years about the empowerment of professional athletes, especially black athletes. Many are speaking out on issues, joining movements and using their considerable platforms to call attention to issues they feel are important. But one thing many young athletes, and many old ones, lose track of […]

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2018 NBA Draft, Chicago Bulls, Locker Room Talk, Wendell Carter Jr. -

Wendell Carter Jr. begins his life in the National Basketball Association today. The former Duke standout will take a flight to Chicago, where he will report for duty with the Chicago Bulls, who made Carter the seventh pick of the NBA draft on Thursday. He will not make the trip alone. He will be accompanied […]

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2018 NBA Playoffs, Golden State Warriors, Locker Room Talk, Michael Eric Dyson -

The Golden State Warriors will hold their victory parade in Oakland, California, on Tuesday, celebrating the franchise’s third NBA title in four years. This season’s accomplishment was heralded as the triumph of a great team and teamwork. The Warriors are a team of stars, superstars, young players, veteran players, strong personalities and unique talents. They […]

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Dell Curry, Golden State Warriors, Klay Thompson, Larry Nance Jr., larry nance sr., Locker Room Talk, Mychal Thompson, Stephen Curry -

When Larry Nance Jr. was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this season, the first person he called was his father, Larry Nance Sr. When Klay Thompson needed advice about an injury, he called his father, Mychal Thompson. When Stephen Curry went through a shooting slump, he called his father, […]

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Boxing, Commentary, Graduation, Harvard University, Locker Room Talk, Muhammad Ali -

The footage is simultaneously exhilarating and haunting. In the rare recording we see a handsome, self-assured Muhammad Ali speaking to the Harvard University graduating class of 1975, where he had been invited to give the commencement address. “I’m very flattered in coming here ‘cause you never could have made me believe years ago when I […]

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2018 NBA Playoffs, Commentary, LeBron James, Locker Room Talk, NBA -

One of the most familiar faces in Cleveland over the past 15 years has not been a player or coach. The face belongs to Maverick Carter, one of the architects of Team LeBron, the most impressive player-driven empire in recent NBA history. Carter is the nominal power behind King James’ throne. Carter and I were […]

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2018 NBA Playoffs, Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens, Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James, Locker Room Talk, Tyronn Lue -

What makes a great NBA coach? A question with a multitude of answers has intensified throughout the NBA playoffs, but especially in the East. The centers of attention are Brad Stevens and Tyronn Lue. Stevens is described as the Celtics’ “bright young coach” who wins with strategy and guile. Lue is the Cleveland head coach […]

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2018 NBA Playoffs, Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James, Locker Room Talk -

By his own admission, LeBron James played more like a commoner than a king against Boston on Sunday. Against a smothering Celtics defense anchored by Marcus Morris, James turned the ball over seven times, made just 5 of 16 shots and scored only 15 points. He also added to Brad Stevens’ rapidly growing coaching legend. […]

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David Fizdale, Locker Room Talk, NBA, New York Knicks, Scott Perry -

NBA postseason ratings are once again robust. Philadelphia fans are hopeful. Boston’s are ecstatic. The Houston faithful are cautiously optimistic, and Golden State fans remain in championship mode. Still, NBA basketball is better when the New York Knicks are playing in mid-May. That has not happened in several seasons. But the fortunes of a franchise […]

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2018 NFL Draft, Joshua Jackson, Locker Room Talk, Troy Vincent -

While the 2018 National Football League draft is over, the transition from amateur to professional athletics is just beginning while also dramatically distinguishing this group of college students from all the others entering the job market after graduation. Their interviews are held at the NFL combine in front of thousands of journalists, scouts, teams and […]

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2018 NFL Draft, Jaire Alexander, Leighton Vander Esch, Locker Room Talk, Sam Darnold -

On the way to Dallas on Wednesday morning, I caught a large part of Condoleezza Rice’s news conference. Rice, the chairwoman of the Commission on College Basketball, offered matter-of-fact, common-sense recommendations for curing the ills of an intercollegiate athletics industry that often defies logic and common sense. It is an industry populated by college coaches […]

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Boston Celtics, Commentary, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Locker Room Talk, NBA -

At halftime of Sunday’s playoff game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston head coach Brad Stevens spoke to the team, with some of his comments aimed at the Celtics young players —especially those who were having their first taste of playoff basketball. The Celtics had played well, all things considered, even though they were trailing 47-44 […]

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Duke Blue Devils, Locker Room Talk, NCB, Wendell Carter Jr. -

Wendell Carter Jr. was prepared to make his announcement on Wednesday. Then he wasn’t. His parents sent a brief text: “Sorry but we are on hold. We thought he was ready but he isn’t.” Carter, who turns 19 on Monday, was not convinced that he wants to leave Duke for the NBA. What a delightful […]

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Commentary, Jalen Brunson, Locker Room Talk, Men's NCAA Tournament, Rick Brunson, Villanova Wildcats -

There are certain childhood experiences you never forget. For Jalen Brunson, it was meeting basketball star Steve Nash for the first time at age 9. Two years ago, there was the unforgettable experience of helping Villanova win the men’s national championship as a freshman. And then there was Monday night. Villanova won its second national […]

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Commentary, Locker Room Talk, Men's NCAA Tournament, University of Michigan, Warde Manuel -

As Michigan prepared to play Loyola in the NCAA men’s Final Four on Saturday, Warde Manuel found himself feeling begrudging admiration for the Chicago-based Ramblers. In a game cast as David versus Goliath, Michigan is the giant. And Manuel is the giant’s director of athletics. He oversees a program with a $182 million budget. While […]

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Duke Blue Devils, Locker Room Talk, Men's NCAA Tournament, NCB, Wendell Carter Jr. -

Wendell Carter Jr.’s brief college career ended Sunday night. Carter, one of Duke’s star freshmen and a certain NBA lottery pick, watched as his Blue Devils lost 85-81 to Kansas in overtime. Kansas will advance to next week’s Final Four, while Carter and his family prepare for the next phase of his journey: the NBA […]

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Florida State Seminoles, Leonard Hamilton, Locker Room Talk -

A day before Florida State played Gonzaga in a Sweet 16 matchup, Leonard Hamilton, the Seminoles’ 69-year-old head coach sat in a vacant room repeating a familiar refrain: No Respect. “Nobody expected us to be where we are. Nobody,” Hamilton said. It’s true. Not just about the Florida State team but also about Hamilton. He […]

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Baltimore, HBCU, Jairus Lyles, Locker Room Talk, Men's NCAA Tournament, UMBC Retrievers -

Freeman Hrabowski spent the past 24 hours fielding piles of interview requests, clearing up misconceptions about the university over which he presides. On Friday, the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) pulled off one of the greatest upsets in NCAA tournament history when it became the first 16th seed to beat a No. 1 seed […]

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Commentary, Ed O'Bannon, Locker Room Talk, NCAA -

In April 1995, Ed O’Bannon’s UCLA Bruins defeated Arkansas to win the men’s NCAA Division I national championship. He scored 30 points, grabbed 17 rebounds that evening, living the dream that many college players never realize. Then he awoke. Twenty years after leading UCLA over Arkansas, O’Bannon handed the NCAA an even greater defeat. In […]

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Big 12, Big East, Locker Room Talk, Pay For Play -

With each passing season, the spectacle of March Madness raises more questions for me than it answers. And every season, the questions come from a wider and wider cross section of critics who watch this ever-expanding commercial enterprise which insists that it is a cocurricular activity. On March 10 at the Sprint Arena in Kansas […]

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Commentary, Locker Room Talk, NCAA, NCB, NFL, Troy Vincent -

The imagery is striking — and fitting. In one gigantic, connected space in Indianapolis, you have the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, where for the past few days hundreds of former college football players have been running, jumping, lifting and taking tests to persuade teams to pick them in June when the NFL […]

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Black Panther, Locker Room Talk, Stanley Nelson, Tell Them We Are Rising -

I have watched Stanley Nelson’s documentary, Tell Them We Are Rising, three times now. The first viewing was in 2017 at the Sundance Film Festival, where Nelson and his team received a standing ovation after the audience watched the film. The second was last summer at a private screening in New York, where Nelson discussed […]

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