Trump claims debate was rigged


At Monday night’s first presidential debate, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off on issues such as taxes, gun control and foreign policy. The candidates also exchanged personal blows, with Clinton criticizing her opponent’s inexperience and sexism and Trump attacking his opponent’s e-mails and temperament.

While the process of declaring a debate winner is subjective, journalists do it in order to provide a summary for those unable or unwilling to watch the debate.

Many national news organizations, including CNN, NBC News and The New York Times, claimed that Clinton won the debate with her preparation and attacks on Trump’s sexist insults and unreleased tax returns.

However, Trump insists that he defeated Clinton during the debate and went so far as to assert that the debate was fixed by moderator Lester Holt.

“I had to put up with the anchor and fight the anchor all the time on everything I said,” Trump told supporters at a New Hampshire rally. “What a rigged deal.”

Trump’s denial of Clinton’s impressive performance shows why declaring a winner of a presidential debate is useless. Regardless of how unprepared Trump may have seemed and how poised his opponent may have been, his supporters will continue to focus on Clinton’s apparent lack of trustworthiness.

Debate coverage dramatizes the event and embellishes the importance of declaring a winner. In reality, the two-party system polarizes the country, and voters watching the debates are unlikely to change their opinions based on the candidates’ performance.  When the candidates themselves deny debate results, supporters are likely to do so as well.

Debate coverage should focus on informing voters and describing the candidates’ opinions on key issues instead of treating the events like the Super Bowl.

Memes play role in debate


The presidential debate definitely provided some cringe-worthy moments Tuesday night. Whether it be Republican candidate Donald Trump fighting to protect his ego or Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton sounding more rehearsed than a Broadway actor at times.

All of these moments provided ammo for Internet personalities to make memes. A meme is a slightly altered picture or video that is made to be shared across the Internet.

These memes were being posted real time as the debate was going on. Clinton or Trump would say something and 30 seconds later it would already be on social media being made fun of.

While this is not a bad thing in and of itself, it does become problematic when that is the only way people get their news from the debate.

Many of my contemporaries told me and even bragged that they did not watch the debate. Instead, they just watched Twitter.

It makes sense that people would gravitate towards memes. They are much funnier than someone droning on about the debate on a live news station. They are also a lot quicker to digest than a late night show host’s take on an issue. Memes are convenient and funny, but they should not be one’s sole source of news.

Memes are convenient and funny, but they should not be one’s sole source of news. They are often too bias and almost never tell the full story. A Photoshopped picture of Trump in a toilet or a video of Clinton being made in a factory is not the same as actually sitting down and watching the debate.

Memes can be used to supplement one’s knowledge about an issue, but it should not be his or her only source of information about the issue.

These clowns are no laughing matter


Sightings of creepy clowns have been terrorizing the country, putting citizens and authorities on high alert.

The sinister circus characters started to gain attention earlier this fall when children in a South Carolina neighborhood complained to their parents about clowns trying to lead them into the nearby woods.

Since then, pictures and videos have been circulating on news websites, as well as on social media sights.

Last week the clown sightings reached Florida and went viral yet again after someone posted a video on Facebook of a clown hiding in the woods in Marian County.

Why are news organizations and people so fascinated and terrified by the concept of creepy clowns lurking outside of their neighborhoods?

Clowns have remained a widespread cultural fear, popularized by Stephen King’s novel It and the subsequent film.

The fact that in today’s society, anyone with access to a computer or smart phone can become a “journalist” by posting pictures and videos makes it easier for these clowns to get national attention.

Because of this, I don’t think the twisted clown phenomenon will end anytime soon. If anything, it might become more popular, especially with Halloween on the horizon.

Real-life “it” sightings could be the perfect money-maker for the Halloween industry, and social media is an easy way to keep the clowns on people’s radars.

Real and perceived slights


Police brutality and the use of excessive force is a major social and political issue, particularly with our nation on the brink of electing a new president. The coverage by the news media of incidents of brutality has caused major disruptions from coast-to-coast, and has many Americans on edge.

Police brutality is not a new phenomenon. If you ask a publisher or editor at one of the country’s African-American newspapers, she or he would tell you they’ve been covering these cases for a long time.

“We’ve been in business for 130 years,” said Robert Bogle, President and CEO of The Philadelphia Tribune. Tracey Williams-Dillard of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, another African-American newspaper, said “It not only feels like there’s more coverage, there is more coverage. It’s not a perception, it’s definitely real,” According to an article written by Eliott C. McLaughlin of CNN, we’re just seeing more mainstream media coverage thanks to cell phones.

Cellphone videos captured by on-the-scene eyewitnesses have brought many stories into the light that, otherwise, would have been swept under the rug. Once the video hits the mainstream, usually via social media forums, journalists can then provide follow-up. Citizens, now armed with evidence, demand accountability and pursue justice.

Black newspaper executives feel that videos lend credibility not only to black victims’ versions of events in specific situations, but also to their versions of events historically. Where a victim’s race could affect a story’s perceived veracity, video permits no such prejudice.

Not only are we in a better position to capture video of police misconduct today, we’re also better equipped to disseminate the footage via social media.

However, news organizations may not be giving the same level of scrutiny, context and analysis to the various groups who face violence at the hands of police.

When you think of police brutality in the U.S., you think of black males being brutalized; however, black females have been victimized as well. According to an article written by Meredith Clark in USAToday, “black and brown women and girls are additionally brutalized in ways that men often aren’t,” says Clark. “And the data shows that police incidents involving women of color occur at a disproportionately high level compared with media coverage.”

More than 20 women of color have been killed in police-related incidents including Sandra Bland, who died in police custody in Texas on July 13, 2015.

Additionally, there are many who criticize the under-representation of incidents of police brutality at the top English-language networks. An article in the Huffington Post Feb. 24, 2015, raised the question of how major television networks cover police violence cases in which the victims are Hispanic. For example, Antonio Zambrano-Montes, a Mexican migrant worker, who was shot and killed by police officers on Feb. 10, 2015 in Pasco, Washington, gained coverage by Univision, the top-rated Spanish-language channel numerous times.  However, the case was not portrayed with the same ferocity by Fox News or CNN, the two leading national news channels.

I am sure that the news media would prefer not to continuously inundate the public with tale after tale of police brutality, as it is an unfortunate reality and construct of our society and justice system.

The question is: Which story is more worthy of attention and, most importantly, why?

Chris Bosh’s NBA career likely over


Miami Heat superstar forward Chris Bosh failed a physical in an attempt to return to NBA action, meaning that he won’t be cleared to participate in training camp for the new season. He has suffered from blood clots that have put an end to each of his last two seasons.

Since he failed the physical, Bosh has fired his agent and Heat president Pat Riley has conceded that his career with the franchise is likely over. Riley also stated that the team is not actively working towards a return.

Bosh is featuring in a documentary-style series on that details his struggle and aspirations to play again. In the series, he said that he felt Heat doctors were quick to write him off.

This situation has the makings of a dramatic end to a great relationship between player and franchise.

While Bosh understandably is pushing to be able to return to what he says he was “made to do,” there is simply too much risk involved for him to be cleared.

The majority of news media coverage has centered on this brewing controversy. What has been largely overlooked, however, is just how dangerous Bosh’s situation is to his health.

When he was first diagnosed with blood clots one of the most prevalent public narratives was that if he tried to play, it would be plausible that he could die on the court.

In general, athletes are told that playing contact sports while on blood thinners can be risky, as there is the potential for internal bleeding or other complications.

This time around, the news media seem more concerned with what Bosh may do to try and play and what that will mean for the Heat. Although it’s been covered before, it seems as if the gravity of his condition is no longer being emphasized as it should be.

Refugee comes to the rescue


With Donald Trump on television, in newspapers, on Twitter, etc., and screaming out horrible things about immigrants and Syrian refugees, it seems rare to find positive publicity about these victims. I feel that many Americans fear influxes of refugees and dislike Middle Eastern immigrants because they have preconceived notions about their culture, religion, etc.

For that reason, it is a breath of fresh air to read an article that the BBC recently published highlighting a moment of camaraderie between a Syrian refugee and his new Canadian neighbor.

The article paints Ibrahim Dudu as a hero after coming to the rescue when the zipper on his neighbor’s bridesmaid dress broke. As a tailor, Dudu was able to help the woman in a kind act. According to the BBC, Dudu recently came to Canada without speaking a word of English in order to escape the violence of his country.

Though this event is not earth shattering and doesn’t affect many people at all, I appreciate that the BBC is making it a point to publish positivity that has come from accepting Syrian refugees.

In this upcoming election, many Americans are letting fear and Islamophobia overpower their sense of humanity and empathy for refugees of the Middle East. If American news networks would share light-hearted stories like the one of Dudu, many people could more easily see that refugees should not be vilified.

There will only be one Fernandez


I’m not the first to write about him. And I won’t be the last.

It seemed like too obvious a choice to write about for this week, yet in the end I couldn’t help myself.

I had to write about Jose Fernandez. Just like many others this week.

The Miami Marlins pitcher was killed in a boating incident early Sunday morning in Miami Beach. The boat hit a rock jetty. Fernandez and two other men were killed. Instantly, I hope.

Coverage of his death on Sunday, tributes made out to him Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and live coverage of his public and family funeral processions Wednesday and Thursday were hot topics.

The uniform blog Uni-Watch covered all sports-related tributes to Fernandez. Among them were the Marlins wearing “Fernandez” jersey’s with his No. 16 for the duration of their Monday game against the New York Mets. Uni-Watch believes this to be the first occasion of a team memorializing a player through uniformly (get it?) dressing the team in that player’s jersey (excluding the league-wide wearing of Jackie Robinson’s “42” for one day of each season).

Local TV stations WPLG 10, WTVJ 6, WSVN 7, and WFOR-TV 4 all aired the funeral procession live, with commentary.

The Miami Herald covered the events of the week extensively. 

The coverage is warranted. Fernandez was an incredibly bright light. He had an infectious smile. He was able to penetrate through to Barry Bonds’ soft side. The courage he displayed through 4 overall attempts to defect from Cuba is immeasurable.

And he was only 24.

We’ll all be left to wonder what more he could have given us.

LeBron to stand for anthem


Colin Kaepernick sparked a major discussion this year when he chose to kneel during the national anthem.  It was done to protest the mistreatment African Americans are facing in the nation.

Kaepernick’s protest has caused many athletes to join his protest. LeBron James, however, will not be one of these athletes. LeBron has stated during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ media day that he will in fact be standing for the national anthem.

“Me standing for the national anthem is something I will do,” James told the news media. “That’s who I am. That’s what I believe in.”

James also made sure to mention that he also does not disagree with Kaepernick’s actions.  The former MVP actually stated that he supports Kaepernick and his right to protest.

“You have the right to voice your opinion, stand for your opinion, and he’s doing it in the most peaceful way I’ve ever seen someone do something,” said James.

LeBron James is arguably the best player in the National Basketball Association. He is probably the most famous athlete in the world and is idolized by millions of people.  When LeBron speaks, people listen.

These words carry a lot of weight because of the one who is saying them.  As a result the media has been all over the statements. Multiple internet articles have been written and his statements have the topic of conversation on TV channels such as ESPN and Fox Sports.

This is very important because LeBron’s message is one that should be heard throughout the country.  Even though he doesn’t share the belief that he should protest, he respects the other athletes enough to recognize that these players have rights and it should be respected.

The news media have recognized this message and are spreading James’ word for the nation to hear.

Candidate stumbles on words


Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president, choked once again during an interview Wednesday night when MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked for his favorite political leader. Johnson was not able to respond.

Bill Weld, Johnson’s running mate, attempted to help Johnson, yet, Johnson failed to come up with an answer even after Matthews asked numerous prompting questions.

Johnson simply responded, “I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment,” referring to his incident of not remembering the war-destroyed Syrian city in a prior interview with MSNBC.

Furthermore, Johnson updated the status of his “brain-freeze” with a tweet:

The 2016 presidential race has been filled with scandals and comparisons of the candidates’ failures. With this mindset, news outlets have vigorously grabbed onto Johnson’s gaffe. The nominee’s inability to think on his feet has only contributed to the pool of reasons many Americans feel like there is no good candidate for president.

Although the information is interesting, a lot of news sources’ energy has been focused on the politician’s dirt. Even if Johnson spoke carelessly or Clinton has reasons to be mistrusted or Trump has no filter, these missteps should not be the only information reported. It is important to know the personalities of future leaders, but what is more pressing is what their plans are for the country’s future.

The focus on the mistakes of the nominees, moreover, restrict the politicians to exaggerated stereotypes. It is unrealistic for a human being to be perfect constantly. As journalists, remaining unbiased should be a priority. The public should be able to understand all viewpoints, the good and the bad, about the candidates.

It is critical that news outlets begin to discuss the election in terms that will truly inform the voters, not continue division, promote pigeonholes and make the election an entertainment spectacle.

#normalizebreastfeeding gains attention


On Sept. 22, Cindy Boren’s article in The Washington Post labeled a woman as an inspiration for pumping breast milk while running a half marathon.

Anna Young completed the Revel Big Cottonwood half marathon in Salt Lake City on Sept. 9, her first race since giving birth to her daughter five months prior.

“I thought it would be something the breastfeeding community would appreciate, but I had no idea I would get such a strong reaction. It’s been mostly positive and I’m grateful for that,” Young said in her e-mail to The Washington Post.

Breastfeeding, whether publicly or privately, has recently caused a social media frenzy, with the hashtag #normalizebreastfeeding popping up on Instagram and Twitter. Women have shared empowering photos of breastfeeding and created a supportive community for breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding mothers.

However, not everyone is expressing overwhelming support for this movement.

Six days later, Kristine Guerra wrote an article for The Washington Post about a man who punched his wife in the mouth after a male doctor witnessed her breastfeeding her newborn in the hospital.

According to a police report, Rafael Orozco became jealous and enraged when his wife exposed herself to feed her child, causing him to punch her and grab her neck. He even slapped the infant on the head before he was confronted by hospital staff.

The Washington Post has done an excellent job presenting both viewpoints of this issue while still remaining neutral in its reporting. However, when does neutrality for the sake of journalism wind up preventing change?

American women have many freedoms and privileges that women in other societies around the world couldn’t dream to have themselves, yet we are still encouraged to be embarrassed of our bodies and their life-giving functions.

With the outward support of respected mainstream news media, such as The Washington Post and The New York Times, society can rid itself of this idea of openly and confidently breastfeeding as taboo. News media are meant to be the voices of the people and progress is unlikely without their involvement.

The loss of a pitching ace


Miami Marlins star pitcher Jose Fernandez died in a fatal boating accident Sunday morning.

The 24-year-old and his friends Emilio Jesus Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25, were killed when Fernandez’s 32-foot SeaVee boat that was going at high speed smashed into a jetty near Miami Beach. Authorities do not believe alcohol or drugs were involved, but are still investigating.

It was later determined that Fernandez was upset after getting in a fight with his girlfriend who is pregnant with his child. He then called some Marlins teammates to go on his boat with him to help calm him down, but they all declined, so he called other friends who accepted his offer.

Authorities are still investigating who was driving the boat and what exactly caused the crash.

Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna, a good friend of Fernandez, told The Miami Herald that he spoke to Fernandez, urging him not to go out that night.

“Everybody knew he was crazy about that boat and loved being out on the water. I told him I couldn’t go out that night because I had the kids and my wife waiting for me,” Ozuna said.

Ozuna continued, “He told me if I didn’t hear from him by 10 a.m. (Sunday) to call him and wake him up so he could get back to the ballpark on time for the game. I told him, ‘yeah no problem, I’ll call you.’”

Ozuna then woke up to some of the worst news of his life on Sunday, Fernandez’s death. He cried endlessly all day.

The loss of Fernandez was severe to not only the Miami Marlins franchise, but Major League Baseball. The news media reports on stories like this, because it is not only impactful due to the tragic death of an ace baseball player, has great significance because it affected the whole baseball world. The Marlins canceled their home game on Sunday against the Atlanta Braves to honor the loss of one of their iconic teammates. Major League Baseball also mandated a league-wide moment of silence before each of Sunday’s games.

The coverage about this death is newsworthy because it appeals to the emotions of the audience. Since baseball is in its final few days before the postseason starts, it is very relevant in coverage this week.

A tragic story about an accident that killed a very good baseball player would be considered very important for the news media to cover. It impacts not only the families of the deceased, but also baseball players around the country, and even fans of Major League Baseball.

The tragic death of a rising star


Rising star Jose Fernandez, pitcher for Miami Marlins, died suddenly in a boating accident early Sunday morning.

The 32-foot fishing boat was found around 3 a.m. flipped onto a jetty off the coast near Miami Beach. The boat was going at a high speed at the time of the accident.

It has not been determined if drugs or alcohol were involved in the incident, but there has been no evidence found on the boat. A toxicology exam will be performed.

Reportedly, Fernandez went to blow off steam after having an argument with his pregnant girlfriend. He had asked multiple teammates to join him on the water, but many declined. The two friends that went with him, however, died as well. They have been identified as Eddy Rivero and Emilio Macias.

Fernandez came from Cuba when he was 15-years-old and arrived with his mother. He had many challenges in his life, but he’s the perfect example of living the “American Dream.” He was a first-round pick in 2012, signing a $2 million contract with the Marlins. He was undoubtedly one of the best pitchers in MLB, on his way to great things.

Many fans have mourned the loss of Fernandez and have created a memorial in his name outside of Marlins Park. The team also memorialized him beautifully Monday night in a game against the New York Mets. The whole team wore number 16 jerseys with “Fernandez” written on the back, and huddled around the mound before the game.

This is a huge loss for the Marlins, the city of Miami and all of Major League Baseball. Jose Fernandez will be missed.

Journalists’ health reporting falls short


Frequently health articles are headlined with words that promote the understanding of possibility as oppose to fact.  The New York Times published many health articles this week.  All of the titles follow this patter.

Commonly used headline words are qualifiers such as “might,” “sometimes” and “most likely.”  Sometimes the headlines are even in the form of questions.

Similarly, when there is a possible cure to an illness, the hypothesis/abstract of the study or experiment is condensed into the title. This discusses the possibility of a cure being discovered/invented.

For example, “When a Spouse Dies, Resilience Can Be Uneven,” “Why Do Obese Patients Get Worse Care?,” “Too Old to Donate Blood?, Immunity Offers Hope to a Cancer Patient,” but there is no certainty.

Scientists as well as the news media do not want to make a statement of fact in case the statement is wrong or simply the “cure” is not successful for everyone.

Journalists, the news media and the scientists/doctors do this to engage and educate people in present day tests,studies, and theories. The article headlines are good at attracting the readers. But almost every article is listing and discussing facts about the respective illness or topic while explaining the thought process and potential outcome.

This is opposed to actually discussing the cure or solution, which would educate the public.

Instead, so many of these types of articles are published that the meaning and purpose lose credibility and causes discussion and confusion.

Kaepernick’s critics go quiet


Last week it seemed as if every reporter had something to say about San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem. A lot of people praised his protest, but a lot of people tried to make it look as if he was being immature about the whole thing.

Fox News writer Larry Taunton asked if Kaepernick was, “a civil rights leader or just another obnoxious athlete with a bad attitude?”

Naysayers tried to skirt around Kaepernick taking a knee by making him seem as if he was just being dramatic. They tried to paint it as if it was just a ploy for attention.

But this past weekend it became abundantly clear why Kaepernick was taking a knee during the anthem.

The video of Terrence Crutcher getting shot in Tulsa with his hands up by police validates everything he has been kneeling for. This man was complying with both hands up and still was fatally shot by a trigger-happy officer.

Now all the news media people who wrote off his movement as childish seem to have disappeared.

Weird right? Instead of addressing the shooting and why Kaepernick is taking a knee they’ve gone silent. I mean they were here defending the national anthem just last week so they couldn’t have gone far.

It is almost like they are avoiding the issue. But I know that’s not true. These are proud Americans. They’re just probably busy standing for the anthem and saluting posters of Uncle Sam.

Maybe if these Americans could take off their star-spangled glasses every once and awhile we could finally start to see some meaningful change in how law enforcement treats minorities in this country.

Hurricanes, Adidas reveal new uniforms


The University of Miami and Adidas revealed Monday the new “Legend of the U” football uniforms, which will make their debut on Oct. 8 when the Hurricanes take on rival Florida State at Hard Rock Stadium.

The new uniforms resemble those of the Miami teams which dominated college football in the 1980s and 1990s.

The design was inspired in part by the hiring of new coach Mark Richt, who played quarterback for the Hurricanes in the early 1980s. The uniforms represent the program’s recognition of past success and optimistic outlook for the future.

While college football uniform unveilings generally receive minimal news media coverage, sports journalists went into a frenzy after seeing the “Legend of the U” uniforms.

Many national sports news organizations, including ESPN and Fox Sports, published articles raving about the new look for the Miami Hurricanes football team.screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-10-36-00-pm

The Hurricanes football program was not only a dominant force on the field in the 1980s, but also a polarizing figure in popular culture.

The Hurricanes popularized the term “swag” with their aggressive play and showy celebrations, but have been mostly irrelevant in college football for the past decade.

The positive response from sports news media to the uniform reveal is reflective of the excitement and optimism surrounding the Miami football program.

Along with Miami fans, sports journalists hope to see Miami echo the success of the glory days in the 1980s, when the teams were exciting both to watch on the field and cover off it.

194 victims and counting


Since the birth of this nation, racism has torn people apart. The last few weeks have been no different as black men continue to be assaulted, gunned down and murdered by police officers without just cause.

Yesterday, the governor of North Carolina declared a state of emergency after protests broke out in response to the shooting deaths of Keith Scott, Tyre King and Terence Crutcher, and the countless others, at the hands of police.

I first became aware of the protest when I was scrolling through my news feed on Facebook. One of the pages I follow shared another person’s live broadcast of the protest. There were more than 44,000 people watching the video that this Facebook user posted.

Watching this video made me realize the true impact that social media are having on television news broadcasting. Live broadcasting, tweeting, etc. allows anyone to function as a journalist. I actually preferred to watch this person’s broadcasting over CNN’s or Fox’s because it felt much more authentic and was entirely uncensored.

According to The Guardian’s police killings database, since the beginning of 2016, 194 black people have been killed by the police, making blacks the most killed race by police officers.  The Guardian also states that black men are nine times more likely than any other American to be killed by police.

The Wall Street Journal reports that in all of 2015, cops killed about 1,200 people, yet not a single officer was convicted of murder.

This lack of accountability of police officers, and their seeming disregard for the lives of people of color inspired Colin Kaepernick, quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, and others around the country, to sit or kneel during the playing of the National Anthem as an act of protest against these injustices.

Though so many people were quick to criticize Kaepernick and his supporters for their peaceful protest calling attention to the injustice, many of these critics have nothing to say about the injustices themselves. People are calling out this tendency with the trending statement “Take a knee, people riot … take a bullet, people quiet.”

Wentz, Prescott are not average rookies


Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott are starting NFL quarterbacks.  They are entrusted with knowing the team inside and out and their restive teams season rest on their shoulders … and they’re also rookies.

This is their first season in a strange city away from their families with a city’s worth of pressure sitting on their shoulders. The similarities continue to stack up. Both were expected to sit on the bench the whole season. Both had questions when they were drafted by there respective teams and both are doing a great job.

Carson Wentz, the second overall pick from North Dakota State, has led his Philadelphia Eagles to a 2-0 start becoming to first rookie QB to win his first two starts without a team turnover.  He is a contender for the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award and looks have a bright future in Philly.

Prescott, a fourth round pick from Mississippi Sate, hasn’t won both of his first to games but has yet to commit a turnover.  he is also a contender for the OROY Award and could be the permanent successor to Tony Romo for Dallas.

With two young figure like this at their disposal, it is no surprise that the news media have constantly talking about these two. On the Fox Sports show, “Skip and Shannon Undisputed,” Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe and a lengthy debate over who is better. One of may discussions comparing the two young stars.

The media also ha the added benefit of these young men playing in the same division.  Went and Prescott will play each other twice a year.  This scenario provides the means for a rivalry to be cooked up among these two and as a result a story that has legs to be covered for 10 to 15 years.

“Wentz vs. Prescott” is a headline you may want to get used to.

NBA’s Steve Kerr speaks out


Colin Kaepernick, however you may feel about him, undeniably started a movement across the sporting landscape that shows no signs of slowing down.

His public protest sparked responses (both in support of and against him) from people involved in every major North American sport. From Megan Rapinoe in soccer, to Adam Jones and Tony La Russa in baseball, John Tortorella in hockey, and now Golden State Coach Steve Kerr (among others) in basketball.

The reaction to each of these people, however, has varied. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Steve Kerr and Colin Kapernick — who are sharing similar messages — have received very different public feedback.

While Kerr may not have made the same grandiose gesture Kaepernick did, he still expressed many of the same sentiments.

“No matter what side of the spectrum you are on, I would hope that every American is disgusted with what is going on around the country, with what happened in Tulsa two days ago, Terrence Cutcher … Unarmed black people are being killed indiscriminately around the country. And that’s what happened two days ago. That’s the message. That’s what matters. The other stuff you can talk about all day. Nobody is right. Nobody is wrong,” Kerr stated.

He even goes on to mention Kaepernick by name and cosign his movement. He says that the statement is “what our country is about” and praises the merits of the nonviolent protest.

The feedback Kerr, a white male, has gotten has been overwhelmingly positive. A simple search of his name on Twitter will yield nearly nothing but positive comments.

Do the same with Kaepernick, however, and the story is much different. The result will be endless streams of hate and death threats – something he publicly acknowledged – sprinkled with little rational commentary.

This discrepancy is both predictable and disturbing. Both men shared honest, eloquent, and important statements to shed light on a troubling situation.

The backlash that only one of them received serves as a fitting juxtaposition. It only adds more evidence of the discrimination that these men are commenting on.

UM’s Richt receives warm welcome


University of Miami Football Coach Mark Richt continues to set a positive example for the UM football players.

Richt was recently named Honorary Head Coach for the 2016 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, an organization that recognizes student-athletes and their efforts in service as well as enriching the lives of individuals in need.

Since becoming the 24th football coach at the university in December 2015, Richt has received nothing but praise for his performance both on and off the field.

Besides his football acumen, Richt is known for his strong faith, emphasis on academics, integrity and community service. According to an article appearing in USAToday, Richt’s greatest virtue is his willingness to do the right thing for the program, even if it was against his self-interest as a coach trying to keep his job. Georgia players, whether star player or backup, were going to face discipline for off-season infractions — usually to a greater degree than their counterparts at other SEC schools.

However, Richt has left a favorable impression wherever he has treaded. The Miami Herald reported that fans attending an Atlanta Falcons game at the Georgia Dome were quite upset when the announcement of Richt’s departure came over the public-address system.  Despite a somewhat tumultuous end to his career at the University of Georgia, DawgNation’s Seth Emerson and Chip Towers quoted Georgia Athletics Director Greg McGarity who said, “Mark has touched thousands of lives over the past 15 years – he has a huge heart and his positive influence has affected many people, young and old.”

While bestowing the Honorary Coaching Award to Richt, Todd Berry, AFCA Executive Director, lavished him with praise. “We get to honor one of our own members, Coach Mark Richt from the University of Miami. His dedication to community service goes hand in hand for why this award was established in 1992”.

The UM fans and alumni are anxiously hoping that Richt will return the football program to its illustrious position in the college football universe. According to The Miami Herald, season ticket renewal rates are at an astonishing 87 percent.

In the midst of football season, this is a hectic, yet lively time for the first year coach of the Hurricanes, and in an interview conducted by the Sun-Sentinel, Richt indicated that he believes his players are adjusting well to changes, and added, “It’s been busy, but it’s been good.”

While I have not had the honor of speaking with Richt, I am looking forward to witnessing this season with the man many believe is currently one of the University of Miami’s best assets.

The pressure on Rodgers increases


Aaron Rodgers is the NFL’s all-time leader in passer rating, a statistic that measures the effectiveness of a quarterback through the course of a game. He leads that category with a rating of 103.8.

No other quarterback with a minimum four years in the league has a rating more than 100.

However, Rodgers has gone almost a complete NFL season without eclipsing 100 mark in the category. For the last 14 games, dating back to last season, Rodgers has underperformed according to his own high standard.

Just don’t bring it up to him.

In a weekly conference with reporters, Rodgers was asked about his recent (and not so recent) struggles. It wasn’t just one question but a platoon of questions. As ESPN’s Rob Demovsky noted, Rodgers knew the questions would be coming his way.

Rodgers responded “abrasively” to the questions, according to an ESPN description.

I can’t blame him. Rodgers, that is. Search “Aaron Rodgers” on Google and practically all of the news articles revolve around his recent performance. Oh, and by “practically” all of the articles, I mean all of the articles. It’s understandable that he would get tired of answering perpetually negative questions. Especially because he is, after all, the all-time leader in passer rating.

I also can’t blame the news media for their persistent questions on his struggles. Especially because he is, after all, the all-time leader in passer rating.

The sword cuts both ways.