Monthly Archives: December 2014

An open letter to Charles Barkley

“Once you were not afraid to ask that all-important question: ‘Who’s afraid of a large black man?’ Tragically, it now seems like the answer might be you.” ETAN THOMAS, a former professional basketball player who played nine seasons in the NBA, an author and radio host. While playing with the Washington Wizards, he spoke out against the Anglo-American war in Iraq at anti-war rallies as well as through his poetry.

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley, former NBA player and current TNT studio analyst, on horseback, accompanied by friend | AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

December 3, 2014

Dear Charles,

Let me say first that you are among the basketball greats. I remember rooting for you in the ’93 Championship Series against the Bulls along with one of my hometown heroes Richard Dumas. You have achieved a level of success on the court that will be cemented in the basketball history books permanently. Eleven NBA All-Star Game appearances, twice All-Star MVP, once voted NBA MVP, one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Dream Team, two-time inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. You are basketball royalty.

Your book Who’s Afraid of a Large Black Man? is sitting on my bookshelf right now. It’s a powerful book that takes on the issue of race and racism in a way that many would’ve shied away from.

“Racism,” you said, “is the biggest cancer of my lifetime. And I know I can’t cure the cancer, but doesn’t somebody have to attack it?”

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Flames owner readying arena demand

fieldofschemes-BurnsRatner(Nov. 26) – The owners of the Calgary Flames haven’t been too aggressive with their hopes for a new arena, beyond occasionally griping about their old one. That all changed yesterday, though, thanks to a major package of articles in the Calgary Herald describing how:

  • Flames CEO Ken King “could be within weeks of announcing their vision” for a new arena
  • The arena will almost certainly require, in King’s words, “some sort of public-private” funding scheme.
  • Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and the city council are vehemently opposed to giving King any cash, though some on the council may be open to providing free land.

According to the Herald, the arena talks have been going on for three years, if by “talks” you mean “the Flames owner asking for money, and city officials telling him to get lost.” More

Source: Field of Schemes

 

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A dysfunctional sports system: amateur athletes forced to juggle jobs and training

The following story inadvertently raises the questions of priorities facing society. Toronto Blue Jays, owned by the Rogers monopoly, forked out $82 million to repatriate Canadian catcher Russell Martin in a five-year contract. Toronto City Council quietly handed over $500,000 to one of the richest sports monopolies in North America, MLSE, for stadium expansion. The Hamilton Tiger Cats received a basically free $145.7-million stadium from Ontario in a neo-liberal scheme. Meanwhile, athletes training for events like the 2015 Pan Am Games often work full- or part-time jobs to fund their training and struggle to make ends meet without a thin dime from the government. Youth participation in sport and recreation is declining. Yet Harper has a billion dollars for another war in Iraq and Syria. 

Canadian pentathlon athlete Kelly Fitzsimmmons is rarely caught standing still, as she juggles training and work seven days a week as she prepares for the Pan Am Games.

Canadian pentathlon athlete Kelly Fitzsimmmons is rarely caught standing still, as she juggles training and work seven days a week as she prepares for the Pan Am Games | VINCE TALOTTA / TORONTO STAR

LAUREN PELLY in Toronto Star

(Nov. 25) – Over lunch on a brisk Thursday in downtown Toronto, pentathlon competitor Kelly Fitzsimmons describes her day.

In between bites of steak, the 29-year-old Calgarian says she started with two hours of swim practice at 8:30 a.m., then went right into client meetings for her consulting business. Next came her interview with the Star, a timeslot doubling as Fitzsimmons’ lunch break. After that, she’d be working on consulting projects until the early evening, then heading to back-to-back training sessions — first a track workout, then fencing training, which wouldn’t end until around 10 p.m.

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Cuba wins Central American and Caribbean Games

With 123 gold medals, this was the 10th time that Cuba has won the games.
Cuban athletes celebrate during the games' closing ceremony | Photo: Veracruz 2014 CACG

Cuban athletes celebrate during the games’ closing ceremony | Photo: Veracruz 2014 CACG

Central American and Caribbean Games logoDespite Mexico dominating the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games (CACG) medal table for almost the whole competition, Cuba managed to emerge as the final winner of the event.

Cuba ended with 123 gold, 66 silver and 65 bronze medals, while Mexico, the host nation, finished in second place with 115, 106 and 111 medals respectively. It was the 10th time Cuba has won the games. It did not participate in the 2010 tournament in Puerto Rico because of restrictions imposed by the U.S. blockade. Continue reading

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St. Louis football players show Ferguson support on-field

St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey (12) and wide receiver Tavon Austin (11) and tight end Jared Cook (89) and wide receiver Chris Givens (13) and wide receiver Kenny Britt (81) put their hands up to show support for Michael Brown before a game against the Oakland Raiders at the Edward Jones Dome. (Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey (12) and wide receiver Tavon Austin (11) and tight end Jared Cook (89) and wide receiver Chris Givens (13) and wide receiver Kenny Britt (81) put their hands up to show support for Michael Brown before a game against the Oakland Raiders at the Edward Jones Dome | Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

teleSUR (Nov. 30) – Five players walked on field with their arms raised in the “Hands up, Don’t Shoot!” gesture that has become widely associated with the Ferguson protests.

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