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rantnrave:// My goal for this morning was to lead with something fun. Maybe that camera guy who got drilled in the family jewels. But then Thursday happened. First, there were the quotes from new San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch describing national anthem protests as "divisive." Also in the morning papers: Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale saying all confederate statues should be taken down immediately (he also had some funny lines about Tiki torches). ESPN ran an interview with Kevin Durant, who said he'll skip out on the White House visit if the champion Golden State Warriors are invited. To top it all off, in the afternoon we learned that Red Sox owner John Henry wants to rename Yawkey Way, the famous street across from Fenway Park named after Tom Yawkey, who owned the team from 1933 to 1976. The reason? Henry is "haunted" by Yawkey's legacy of racism. Example: Yawkey's Red Sox didn't sign an African-American player until 1959, last among all Major League Baseball teams and 12 years after Jackie Robinson's first game. So, yeah, probably not the day to lead with the blooper. This, Dan Wetzel argues, may be one of Donald Trump's unintended legacies. The call for "sticking to sports" was always silly; sports are connected to politics and economics and sociology and myriad other serious fields. In the past, athletes and teams and leagues could hide in the shadows. Today, with the world, and the United States in particular, seemingly riding toward a cliff, nobody feels like hiding anymore, and players, teams, leagues and fans all seem headed for uncharted waters. ... "No matter what the NFL does, it devolves into a bunch of dudes arguing about whether or not a woman is a liar." Deadspin's Diana Moskovitz with a killer lede. Her piece on the mess the NFL has made of the Ezekiel Elliott domestic violence case perfectly sums up the issues at hand. Does Roger Goodell genuinely want to combat the problem, or does he only want to look tough? Does he care about doing the right thing, or only about optics? The funny part: The more he tries to play sheriff and judge, the more his image suffers. ... Speaking of the NFL, be prepared for a lockout or strike in 2021. DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, just said as much. ... Colts quarterback Scott Tolzien's favorite app is the weather app? I think we found the perfect adversary for the Dos Equis Man. ... Doesn't look like Las Vegas is exactly embracing its new NHL team. Strange. ... "I didn't want people just to look up on SparkNotes for the answers." High school me would have failed New York Giants linebacker Devon Kennard's book club. (Also, do high school kids still use SparkNotes, or even know what they are?)
The Red Sox have had enough. At a moment when racial tensions have escalated rapidly and the removal of Confederate statues acts as a flashpoint for violent and racially divisive protests, the Red Sox are ready to start taking down a symbol of their own racially tainted history.
Michael Silverman | Boston Herald
The Giants linebacker has created a vibrant book club on Instagram, drawing fans and fellow readers.
Zach Schonbrun | The New York Times
In an unheard-of move, Michigan football lists 11 NFL draft picks on its roster but not freshmen -- and the school won't provide a timely update.
Ryan Dunleavy | NJ Advance Media
We all know the dangers. So, do you let your kid risk his health -- and his brain -- to play? One dad explains the excruciating call he made.
Luke Zaleski | GQ
Why Toronto researchers are questioning the link between the sport and long-term brain damage.
Brett Popplewell | The Walrus
"It's not enough to be smart. You have to be curious."