Respectfully, please stick to politics!
Allow me to explain.
I work hard every day at a very dirty job. I am a sportswriter, which means I deal with the world’s biggest problems. Teams steal signals, basketball guys dunk on other guys and make mean faces at them, players assault me with clichés and indifference. I worry constantly that Draymond Green and Kevin Durant have never really made up.
Sure, I knew what I signed up for when I decided the world needed another sportswriter more than it needed another balloon-animal blower-upper.
But darn it, when I come home from a hard day’s work and turn on my TVs to CNN and Fox News, I want to escape sports. I want to slurp my canned mai tai and slip into the pure, spa-like cesspool of politics.
Politics is my refuge, it is my island of escape. I can watch the world teeter on the brink of nuclear war, social breakdown, and extinction through disease without having to worry about real wars, like the MLB labor war.
If I want sports, I’ll read the sports page. The front page and op-ed page are my sea of tranquility.
I hear you once owned a pro football team, and you know more about sports than practically anyone, but the other day you went too far.
You tweeted at Drew Brees. After he did a mild take-back of his comments about not supporting NFL players who protest, you lashed out, tweeting “NO KNEELING!”
In the words of the great Ronald Reagan, “There you go again.”
What happened next was stunning. Brees became the first person in history to do a U-turn on the flag-protest issue. Some say his change of heart was phony and too late, but it seemed to pack a punch.
Then Roger Goodell pops onto my TV screen, trying to ease his NFL out of the mess you drove it into four years ago. Looks like you can no longer rely on Roger’s assistance to squelch player protests.
Anyway, there I was rocking my favorite ballcap, which has a little cartoon elephant and donkey duking it out, looking forward to unwinding to the dulcet tones of Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity, and here’s Brees and Goodell. And there comes Kyle Shanahan, and all of sudden I’m dragged right back into the coal mine of sports.
So please stick to politics, or I will cancel my subscription to your Twitter feed.
Deep thoughts, cheap shots & bon mots. . .
• You can bet Las Vegas will put up lines and odds on NBA player protests. How many players will kneel, what stars will protest.
• Though Drew Brees and Roger Goodell have had stunning changes of heart on the protest issue, don’t think for a second that every player, coach and exec in the league is now down with the protests. When the kneeling starts, in all sports, there will be awkward divisions.
• Startling stuff from the Raiders on Twitter, posts that say “BLACK LIVES MATTER” and “8:46.” Something’s happened to Mark Davis, who back in the day was only reluctantly OK with Raiders kneeling.
• Hey, MLB players, here’s a thought: If you can’t work out an agreement with the team owners, bring back barnstorming. It was hugely popular in the old days, with traveling all-star teams fronted by stars like Bob Feller and Satchel Paige. Create your own eight-team all-star barnstorming league, no team owners needed.
• Most surprising sight in the protests: Jim Harbaugh, marching in Michigan. I don’t think Harbaugh’s spiritual mentor Bo Schembechler would have approved, but Harbaugh’s philosophical mentor, Ralph Waldo Emerson, is smiling. And in these times of radical change, good to see Harbaugh still rocking the pleated khakis.
• Nice idea from Bonta Hill of 95.7 The Game: “Drew Brees can start his process of redeeming himself by sitting down with Colin Kaepernick and educating himself on what (Kaepernick) was protesting for.” Although Brees has already started the process.
• Teams might leave Oakland in the dust, but the players don’t forget their roots. Significant that Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and other Warriors chose to march in Oakland. And the bond between Marshawn Lynch and Oakland will never be broken.
• The list of heroes grows every day. Can’t name ‘em all, but here’s one: Darren Baker, Dusty’s kid, is donating to hunger relief in Sacramento, and co-starting a GoFundMe to help local businesses rebuild. Kid with a heart. Zero people surprised.
• What do I know? I recently wrote that it would be great if Joe Burrow lent his support to the protests, but it was unlikely because of all the pressure he’s already under as the No. 1 draftee. Burrow: “The black community needs our help. They have been unheard for far too long. Open your ears, listen and speak. This isn’t about politics, this is human rights.” It’s going to be hard for Bengals’ vets to haze this rookie.
• Quote of the week, from Jaylen Brown, Cal alun now with the Boston Celtics: “There are no more cheeks to turn.”