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January 2020 Archives

Super Bowl sees its first female and openly gay coach

Football fans outside of the Bay Area likely became acquainted with 49ers offensive assistance Katie Sowers due to a new national ad selling Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 tablets during playoff games. Now with the 49ers win over the Packers, Sowers will be the first woman and openly LGBT coach to work the Super Bowl on February 2 in Miami.

NFL has a minority leadership gap

The 2019 NFL regular season has drawn to a close. While some teams move on to the playoffs, a handful of others not playing in January have already opted to change head coaches and general managers in hopes of improving. This is a standard operating procedure in the NFL. What many found upsetting, however, was the lack of minorities hired to fill these four positions – the well-established Ron Rivera, who is Hispanic, was the only minority hire.

Racist chants becoming all too common in European soccer

Many celebrate soccer as the true global team sport. Yet an international cast of players who move from country to country and team to team find themselves embroiled in a cultural shift towards nationalist pride and racial intolerance. It manifests itself in offensive chants meant to antagonize the players (sometimes even ones on the teams they are there to support). There have been various examples, but a particularly offensive one involves a monkey chant directed at players of African ancestry.  

NBA player suspended for two games for going into the stands

The public discourse around the world in recent years has become increasingly confrontational. While European soccer wrestles with issues of racist chats, players on sports teams here in North America have also seen a substantial increase in incidents of bad behavior by fans at the game. This is particularly the case in the NBA. Players typically may not even hear the comments or choose to ignore them, but sometimes the comments are so offensive that they are impossible to overlook.

Are players protected?

Boston Celtics player Marcus Smart recently made national news. Unfortunately, it was not for his play, but for comments by a fan during a November 23 game against the Denver Nuggets. Smart was chasing a loose ball along the sideline and got his foot tangled in the frame of a courtside chair. He then heard the comment from a fan. "That's right, stay on the ground, get on your knees."

Sexual assault accusations force out Yale soccer coach

The #metoo movement has led to the downfall of high-profile celebrities, politicians and sports professionals. It is more than a decade old now, yet the survivors continue to identify perpetrators at all levels, sometimes for actions they committed years earlier. Institutions are aware of this cultural shift, yet they sometimes fail to identify candidates for past transgressions.

NFL hands out hefty fines for Browns-Steelers' melee

Fallout regarding the ugly brawl between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers during the final seconds of Cleveland’s 21-7 win on November 14 continues to make national news. The NFL fined 33 players more than $732,000. Still, the most significant fines go to two leading figures in the melee -- Steelers’ quarterback Mason Rudolph was fined $50,000 and Browns’ defensive end Myles Garrett was fined $45,623 and suspended indefinitely, at least through the end of the season and any subsequent playoff games after this season. This means that Garrett will miss out on an estimated $1.14 million in paychecks for not playing). Steelers’ center Maurkice Pouncey was fined $35,096 and suspended for two games for kicking and punching Garrett. The NFL also docked each team $250,000.

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