A full 66% of our posts so far have been about Jason Collins. Not to beat a dead metaphor horse, here’s some sports and politics news that you might have missed in the last day and half.
Yo, Brittney Griner came out too! Griner, one of my favorite active ballplayers, came out casually, yet directly a few weeks back. It was cool. She didn’t get a big splash about it, hence the headline “Female Sports Star Comes Out as Gay, and Sports World Shrugs.” I think pervasive the sexism that devalues women athletes (amateur and professional) is one part of the story. I do think another part is that the WNBA and its players have been pretty good at making the league queer-friendly in a way that the NBA still struggles with (see Kobe Bryant, Joakim Noah, and Tim Hardaway). Let’s celebrate both.
The Sacramento Kings will not be moving. The NBA relocation committee voted unanimously to reject a move by the Kings to Seattle. Clay Bennett, committee chair, owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder and also the guy who robbed Seattle of the Sonics the first time strikes again! He must really hate Seattle to have denied them of an NBA team twice! We’ll explore this more soon, especially if this is actually going to be a good thing for Sacramento.
The Tsarnaev Brothers were a real American product, a product of a “nation defined and scarred by cruel anti-immigrant policies.” The NY Times traces Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s downward spiral when an anti-immigrant policy of the The Golden Gloves prevented him from competing. Dave Zirin’s reading of the brothers has echoes of Richard Wright’s character Bigger Thomas in Native Son, yet reminds us that we all (and sports too!) have a role to play:
It’s now a nation defined and scarred by pushing people away from that historic safe haven for immigrants otherwise known as competitive sports. It’s a nation that spawned the brothers Tsarnaev. It’s a nation that must change if future tragedies of violence are to be avoided. This won’t happen by accident. Movements and meetings against Islamophobia and for the rights of immigrants are great a place to start. Sports may have been bestowed onto immigrants from the top down, but a shift away from fear and toward a more inclusive future will only come from the bottom up.
Fighting moms kick butt because they’re, well, moms. I am in awe (but not surprised) that women athletes of all kinds regularly do something tremendously physically demanding like give birth, then turn around and keep training. Thanks Picked Last reader Inno for the UFC news tip!
In defense of Chandler Parsons’ unrequited fist-bump. Parsons had a career game last night, extending the Houston Rockets’ season, and preventing a sweep by Oklahoma City. He also left a Houston fan hanging. Having been left hanging before on many a fist bump, I’m sure it was just an oversight like all those times I’ve been denied a bump. In fact, Parsons even gave the fan the classic public figure non-apology apology:
S/O to my man I left hanging with the fist bump. Just now seeing this,I’ll get you next time at game 6!!
— Chandler Parsons (@ChandlerParsons) April 30, 2013
A shout out?! What does that even mean?! But let’s cut Parsons some slack, here’s some reasons why Parsons didn’t do what he didn’t do:
- Parsons only gives one fan fist bump per night.
- Honey Badger don’t give a damn.
- That fan is a jerk. He heckled Parsons all night with chants of “white men can’t jump” despite proof otherwise.
- Parsons really needed to pee.
- Who cares about a random fan who can afford a court-side seat?
Thanks Betty for the tip!