In case you missed it, Jason Collins made history this past weekend, becoming the first openly gay athlete to play in one of the four major professional sports. Less than a year after coming out, Collins signed a 10-day contract with his former team, the Brooklyn Nets, stepping onto the court with little fanfare to face the Los Angeles Lakers in the middle of Sunday's game.
Compared to the buzz that has surrounded NFL prospect Michael Sam's coming out in recent weeks, Collins' signing flew under the radar. Many have hailed the quiet nature of the move as a sign of progress -- that we've reached a point in our society at which being gay in professional sports is no longer a big deal. ESPN's Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser postured that Sam's spotlight has eclipsed Collins' (even though Sam has yet to actually make an active roster and his recent performance at the NFL Combine disappointed many scouts). "I think it's no big deal and that's exactly the way it should be," said Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, himself no stranger to lending his loud mouth to seemingly innocuous issues. And while these comments simply serve to downplay the role of one historic moment in a broad arch of progress, others have been more forthcoming about the prejudices that inform their wishes to keep Collins' sexual orientation out of headlines. As many Breitbart commenters predictably stated, "Keep it in the bedroom." (That this is akin to telling Collins to stay in the closet is completely lost on these people.)Read more »
Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse for the New York Knicks, Raymond Felton shows up doing his best Plaxico Burress imitation (minus the championship ring, of course).
The New York Post reports that the struggling point guard was arrested Tuesday morning on three counts of criminal possession of a weapon. The illegal gun in question was reportedly turned in by a lawyer for Felton's estranged wife, Ariane Raymondo-Felton, who filed for divorce last week after less than two years of marriage. According to sources, Raymondo-Felton alleges that Felton pointed the gun at her in the latest of a series of verbal altercations between the couple.Read more »
The Winter Olympics have come to a close, and needless to say, it was an all-around disappointing two weeks for Team USA. As the biggest stars failed to deliver and the team faltered in many marquee events, NBC took a particularly big hit, with ratings down as much as 35 percent from four years ago.
Perhaps it's better that fewer people tuned in to this year's No-Name Olympics. Between technical issues in NBC's valiant effort to stream every event and questionable editorial decisions in the network's prime-time broadcasts, lots of things left me cringing more than Bob Costas's devil eye.Read more »
The Canadian men's hockey team narrowly escaped what would have been a stunning upset by Latvia yesterday, squeaking by with a 2-1 win to advance to the Olympic semifinals. Yet there has been as much buzz over what went on in the stands as over what nearly happened on the ice.
The New York Times' Ben Rothenberg tweeted a photo of a white Team Canada fan watching the game in full-on blackface while wearing the jersey of Jamaican-Canadian player P.K. Subban. Appropriate outrage has ensued, especially given the inexplicable resurgence of blackface in popular culture in the past year. This isn't the first time we've seen horrific displays even from fans attempting to show support for a black player; when Subban first came up with the Montreal Canadiens in 2010, some Habs fans paired "Subbanator" T-shirts with afros and shoe polish on their faces.Read more »
Meryl Davis and Charlie White made history yesterday, becoming the first U.S. pair to win gold in ice dancing at the Winter Olympics. To an American audience that loves watching ice sports, the victory carries the potential to expose a new generation of fans to the event -- and reopen the debate of whether it's really a sport.
Every four years, ice dancing comes under intense scrutiny, largely overlooked by American viewers with more national interest in figure skating and hockey. One camp fervently defends the athleticism ice dancing requires, noting that timing, control and rhythm are skills needed in many sports. The other side disparages the event for its campy, sequined costumes and cheesy soundtrack of musical theater and classical “best of” numbers better suited for the lobby at the Bellagio than an international sporting competition.Read more »
In a Winter Games full of anticlimactic finishes for Team USA, T.J. Oshie of the St. Louis Blues assured that one of the Olympics' most anticipated matchups -- U.S. versus Russia in hockey -- lived up to its hype.
After 65 thrilling minutes that included an American power play and a breakaway by the Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane during overtime, the standoff went to a shootout. Russian Ilya Kovalchuck scored in the third round to send the shootout to sudden death, where the 27-year-old Oshie simply took over, sinking three of the next five shootout attempts, including the final goal that sent the U.S. team to a 3-2 win.Read more »
This week, one of the most successful and lucrative teams in all of sports was forced to face the reality of a future without the face of the franchise.
No, not the New York Yankees, whose shortstop, Derek Jeter, announced he was retiring at the end of this season. I'm talking about the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant.Read more »