Category Archives: Sports

Sweet Redemption: Daily Prompt

If you are a fan of college basketball, you are aware by now what this post will be about.

On Monday April 3, one year after a stunning upset at the last second of the title game against Villanova, the University of North Carolina Men’s Basketball team redeemed themselves by beating Gonzaga 71-65 to take home the championship that slipped from their grasps last season.

So since today’s prompt is champion, I thought I’d give the home team a shout out. Congratulations UNC on winning the 2017 NCAA Mens Basketball Championship!!!!!!

unc-title-si-cover

via Daily Prompt: Champion

*Image courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Kaepernick Takes A Seat

I wanted to wait a minute before I posted this, but as it is often heard, there is never a “right time” to do what is right.

Even if you do not follow sports, you know the news about Colin Kaepernick the QB of the San Francisco 49ers.

Colin has decided to not stand during the national anthem. His purpose, as he said, was to protest the police mistreatment of African Americans.

When the world got wind of this, there was outrage and praise.

“How could this man sit during the anthem?!”

“He has no respect for our soldiers!”

“Oh yea, sure a multimillionaire can sit during the anthem. What a crock!”

“I support Kap, go on and sit. It’s his right!”

All the noise drowned out what Kaepernick is actually doing.

He is trying to bring attention to the problems between police and African Americans.

If anyone has seen the news, we know what is going on, what has been going on but hasn’t been caputred on phone and video cameras.

Philando, Alton, Tamir, Walter.

We’ve heard the stories, seen the graphic videos. Again and again.

Kaepernick has finally decided to speak out about it and folks go ballistic.

Why? Is he not allowed to excersise his first ammendmennt rights?

The people claiming that Kap is disrespecting soldiers by not standing for the anthem, saying soldiers “fought and died for that flag, for that song!” Do you not know your first amendment rights? Do you not know what soldiers actually fought for?

Soldiers didn’t fight and die for a song or flag, they fight and die for freedom. For the freedom to choose. The freedom to excersise the rights afforded to us by the U.S. Constitution.

Not for a flag, not for a song. For the FREEDOM TO CHOOSE.

I love that veterans came out on social media in support of Kaepernick with the hastag #VeteransForKaepernick. Stating just that. That they didn’t fight for a song but for every American’s right to exercise their rights and those rights include the freedom to choose.

Kaepernick CHOOSES to sit because he has every right to do so.

No I don’t have a problem with Kaepernick sitting or taking a knee during the national anthem because until something is truly done about the mistrust and mistreatment between police and the African American communities, I’ll sit too.

Until we stop talking and start acting, we can all have a seat. We can refuse to sing a song that in all actually wasn’t suppose to represent African Americans anyway.

I don’t need permission to exercise my rights and neither does Kaepernick.

Those rights had to be fought for years until it applied to ALL of America, and now that we have these rights, people don’t want us to exercise them?? Stop it!

Kaepernick can sit and so can anyone who wants to join him. I applaud him.

If you have a problem, go ahead, have one, but you are missing the point entirely and you are not helping anything.

The point is to bring attention to the tension between officers and citizens.

The point is for Kaepernick to show that yes he is famous, but he is also still an African American man who has said on numerous occaisons that he has had less than desirable experiences with police that many African Americans have. His celebrity status, doesn’t overide the fact that he is a Black man.

And to Rodney Harrison, who claimed Kaepernick wasn’t “Black enough” to speak out about what is going on because he is mixed race, sit down somewhere!

Harrison has since apologized for his comments but it doesn’t take away the fact that he said it. Like Kaepernick and any other mixed race person doesn’t have a right to speak out about the problems within the Black community because they are “half Black.” These people are still Black and they know that being Black is a blessing and a curse and they can speak out on whatever they choose.

Folks who are criticizing Kaepernick by saying he is mixed race so he shouldn’t and can’t have an opinion on the state of the Black race are some of the same ones who criticized Jesse Williams back in June over his BET Awards speech mainly because he is also mixed race. What is the point of that? Mixed race people can’t have an an opinion?? That doesn’t even make any sense.

Kaepernick, Jesse, Zendaya, and any other mixed race person with a platform can speak on Black lives and have every right to do so.

I support Kaepernick and I’ll continue to support him.

 

Damned If They Do

Gabby Douglas, Gold medalist for Team USA gymnastics is the latest celebrity to come under the cruel scrutiny of social media trolls.

Gabby, who burst on the scene in the 2012 London Games winning team gold and individual gold, faced criticism then for her hair of all things.

Ever the professional, Gabby shrugged it off then, but now the criticism has become too much.

It started last week after USA won gold in the team competition. During the medal presentation and national anthem, Gabby stood at attention as the anthem played.

People on social media went ballistic. Claiming that Gabby not holding her hand over her heart was unpatriotic.

Mind you, many American Olympians, do not hold their hand over their hearts as the anthem plays, instead opting to stand at attention, as many of our military service members do when the anthem is played.

Gabby felt she had to issue an apology, stating that she was sorry and didn’t mean to offend anyone, while also reminding people that she loves this country and is honored to represent Team USA.

She shouldn’t have issued an apology in my opinion. She had nothing to apologize for.

Last night Gabby placed 7th in the uneven bars, an event she won gold in four years ago at London.

Her post performance interview, conducted by ESPN can be read in it’s entirety here.

When I read it this morning, it broke my heart and pissed me off.

Gabby tearfully said how much it hurt her to see people on social media attacking her in such a vicious way, saying that the things they were saying about her were untrue.

Why people feel the need to tear down celeberities to the point where they are tearful and hurt is beyond me.

Gabby is an OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST! She has done her job for this country. Twice I might add. Yet it seems Americans aren’t satisfied.

She even said in the interview that she felt like nothing she did would go without criticism.

Damned if they do damned if they don’t. Why, because they are celeberities?

Then you have folks talking about she just needs to get thick skin and get over the criticism.

How can she “get over it” if she is bombarded by it everyday?

Gabby, and no one else who is famous deserves to be bullied like this. It is unecessary, rude, and downright wrong.

While I’m on the subject, everyone is loving Leslie Jones this week, but a few weeks ago they were cursing her and verbally assaulting her on Twitter to the point where she had to leave the site for a while.

Disney star Rowan Blanchard was also subject to online abuse a few weeks ago during the taping of Girl Meets World season 3 finale. Rowan posted this tweet in response to the abuse

https://twitter.com/rowblanchard/status/760275414543589377

So what is it with trolls? What do they get out of this nonsense?

I get so angry when trolls attack people because it shows how much people in this country have lost compassion for others.

How could you attack someone so viciously? How would you feel if someone was attacking you like that?

I just don’t understand why people do these things.

 

 

Sources:

ESPN.com

Twitter

For the Love of the Game: FFFAW

photo-20160807074033992.jpg

My name is Justin.

I’ve been playing soccer since I was 7 years old.

Soccer keeps me sane.

When I’m on the field, I don’t think about anything else.

My parents divorce.

My brother’s addiction.

My best friend’s bruises.

Soccer is my life.

I can’t imagine not being able to play.

That is why I didn’t tell anyone about my leg.

It had been hurting for a while. You get hurt in soccer. I’ll be fine.

The pain didn’t go away.

I couldn’t tell anyone.

I need to be able to play soccer.

I woke up and I couldn’t get out of bed.

My parents rushed me to the hospital.

It was the first time in months that Mom and Dad were in the same room.

The six letter word no kid wants to hear.

I might even lose my leg.

I won’t be playing soccer.

Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers

The Politics of Biking

In large cities it isn’t uncommon to see people of all types riding bicycles.

Young, old, and in between, all powering two wheels with their legs.

Yet, not all cities are bike friendly and there are common misconceptions about people who ride bicycles.

In Europe, bicycles rule the road. In Copenhagen and Amsterdam most of the residents ride bicycles instead of drive cars. There are even bicycle parking decks in town.

That is a sharp contrast to American cities. With the exception of Portland and some large cities like San Francisco, most cities have marginal accommodations for bicycles and cars rule the road.

Bicyclists have to navigate between cars or on sidewalks because of the absence of bicycle lanes.

In the town I reside there has been an investment in making the town more pedestrian and bike friendly.

Investing in bicycle lanes, walkways, and sidewalks require towns to have the budget as well as expressed need for them from town residents.

If it is perceived that people don’t ride bicycles, then there will be no bicycle lanes.

When you think of bicycle riders, maybe Lance Armstrong comes to mind, or maybe you think a college kid biking to and from class.

Yet there are many different types of riders.

People who ride for leisure, people who ride to school or work, and people who ride for competition.

As with everything, there is politics attached to biking.

Income is a major factor in the ability to have a bike as well as reasons to ride one.

Higher income individuals buy top of the line bikes, some of which cost upwards of $5,000. Many of these individuals ride for competition. They compete in triathlons such as the Iron Man.

Bikes in this price range usually come from bike shops. I’ve been in these shops and they usually carry bikes with prices ranging from $300~ to $5,000~.

People who don’t have their entire rent check to drop on a bike, usually frequent Wal-Mart  or Target’s bike selection. Some even hunt on Craigslist or go dumpster diving.

This is where the disparity comes in. People who can’t afford thousand dollar bikes get what they can afford.

These folks ride bikes for leisure or transportation.

In America’s culture, everything is about status. In bicycle culture, the same logic is applied.

If the bike didn’t come from a bike shop, it is thought to be just a pile of crap.

Unfortunately this logic seems to exclude lower-income individuals from “bike culture”. It conveys the stereotype that only rich people ride bikes.

In reality, everyone rides, just for different reasons. Where you buy your bicycle from shouldn’t matter.

In a car dominated town, riding a bike may seem like an oddity. Why ride a bike when you can drive a car? Well some people don’t have a car. Some people use bikes as a means of transportation.

Here is another matter of contention among bike culture.

People who ride bicycles for transportation are thought of as poor or mainly college students. When in reality, especially in bike friendly cities, many people use bikes as a means of transportation.

Bicycle culture in America has grown, but could use some more help. Including low-income communities, women, people of color, and others not often associated with bicycling will expand bicycling to a larger audience and make it more popular in all cities.