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The KC Star Forum on Race and Sports was.... WOW. Must-See TV.

Mizzou News for Friday, June 26

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The Kansas City Star’s Forum on Race and Sports that aired on Facebook Live was just... incredible.

Bear with me, you guys, I have A LOT of stuff for you today.

On Thursday afternoon, The Kansas City Star put together an all-star forum on race and sports featuring host Blair Kerkhoff (with help from Vahe Gregorian), Cuonzo Martin, Bill Self, Royals GM Dayton Moore, Chiefs MVP Tyrann Mathieu, KSU hoops star Christianna Carr, and Negro Leagues Baseball Museum president Bob Kendrick.

It was tremendous, and I mean that wholeheartedly.

Some highlights from each member of the panel:

Christianna Carr is a Minneapolis native and has been active on social media about what she’s doing to fight social justice, including driving to Topeka to peacefully protest right after George Floyd was killed, and returning to Minnesota recently to protest with the 10K Foundation and help collect donations. Chrissy received overwhelmingly positive feedback for using her voice, but this tweet below resulted in her receiving many hateful comments after a talk show picked it up, including some death threats. (mutters obscenities about the terrible people who were behind this)

On what she’d like people to know:

“The most important thing is that we get on a level where everybody understands. Everybody understands injustice, and not only when people say ‘I don’t see color’, I want you to be able to see my color, and I want you to be able to accept it and I want you to be able to learn and educate yourself about why I am the way that I am, and why I have to move the way that I do. And it’s not just for African-Americans. It’s for everyone.”

Cuonzo Martin reiterated much of what we had heard from him previously. That he was unsure of what to say and how to say it while making sure he was still protecting his family and his job while also speaking up about the crisis at hand— the killings of black men and women that’s gone on for far too long. After seeing the killing of George Floyd on video, he had to say something. When talking about the conversation with his two sons, aged 18 and 22, he said:

“Guys, I don’t know if I’ll be on this Earth to see total equality.... But I pray that my grand-kids, god-willing, will have a peaceful life... I will do everything in my power to make sure they have a peaceful life.” (he clarified that he didn’t mean to make this sound like he’s receiving threats; he’s not)

Tyrann Mathieu on how George Floyd’s death really opened his eyes and others in the NFL

“We have a long way to go but we are going to be strong together. These last few months (in the wake of Covid) have given us an opportunity to have conversations and be honest and be open and ultimately be REAL with each other...

On the video (below, if you haven’t seen it):

“So much of what we do in sports is psychological. If all of us could kinds get into each others’ minds for the better, it can only bring great change. And I think that sports can absolutely do that for the world. We don’t need to wait on any other entity to do what we can do.”

Bill Self on his personal growth:

“I have probably learned more in this month than ever as far researching and studying. Thinking that as a basketball coach and among those who work with the most diverse groups that I had a handle on things, but I realized now I didn’t have as much of a handle on it as I thought in so many ways... I’m putting myself in a position to SEE from the perspective where others are coming from... this is a time for me as a coach and a leader, though we’ve been vocal to a pretty strong extent, to maybe allow my players and encourage my players to have the voice and have me stand with them and behind them as opposed to standing in front of them.”

Wait, y’all... do I... [SHUDDERS]... LIKE Bill Self?

Dayton Moore on how Major League Baseball MUST do better:

“We have got to have succession plans. The only reason why we get to sit on this panel is that we have had mentors in our life come alongside of us and help us navigate through things. To shape us and mold us. We’ve got to reach down and mold young players and young people to be executives, instructors, journalists, trainers.”

On those holding positions of power in sports (and elsewhere):

“I was raised as a coach, and I was always told that the cream will always rise to the top. But in leadership I’ve learned that’s not always the case. There are people in our communities and in our country that start on second base and third base, and they act like THEY hit the double or the triple. It had nothing to do with them, and everything to do with what type of family you were born into, what color of skin you have...

Bob Kendrick on feeling hopeful:

“When you watch that video (of Floyd)... you go through an array of emotions. From disbelief to outrage to sadness, and then you move into a realm of HOPE and DETERMINATION. And to it stems from seeing young folk who are likely engaged in this kind of effort really to this degree for the first time ever...

On his college-aged daughter’s activism:

“My young kid was part of the Plaza protest, and a situation occurred where the police felt they had to use tear gas, and I told her grandfather, that you know what? 20 years from now, that tear gas episode is going to be a badge of honor because she stood up for something she believed in.”

Here’s a link to the Facebook video. It’s AWESOME, and ran about 45 minutes or so. Seriously, if you have the time, WATCH THIS (you too, Dad). With Coach Martin on the panel and with a lot of the commentariat interested in the west side of the state’s professional sports, this seemed important. And if I hadn’t made it abundantly clear by my posts the last month or so, I clearly think it’s VERY important that we are discussing these things.

On to the links! Happy (i.e. unhappy) last day of work at Mizzou to me! Peace out.

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:


Other Mizzou Sports/SEC/Mizzou-adjacent Sports News

  • BIG YIKES on the dead period.

Football and basketball (are) part of a system in which predominantly white executives, coaches, athletic directors and others profit off the unpaid labor of majority Black players. And with thousands of college athletes being brought back to school for workouts in places where the virus is expanding, not contracting, many college athletes might be forced to choose between their health and safety, and their athletic scholarship.

  • Coaches from the state of Mississippi at the Capitol today to encourage the state flag to be changed to one that will unify people, not separate them.

Interesting/Non-Mizzou News

These are some of the best sports stories & tidbits I found regarding some goings-on in sports and the world— Enjoy!

“I don’t think us playing and wearing those T-shirts and all that is going to do it anymore,” Barton said. “I don’t feel like that’s enough. I think a revolution is the only way at this point.”

  • Y’all, I think I figured out my dream job. It’s might be Rock M graphics guy Levi’s dream too judging from his internet pandering, haha. LOOK AT THESE STATS. Here’s a little teaser of The Springhill Company.
  • Did you get a kick out of the Florida (Flori-DUH as my mom likes to say) people talking like lunatics at a town hall? Well, how ‘bout if you mash it up with Parks N Rec? YESSSSS. Here’s the link to watch it (not embedding it in case it offends some people, lol)
  • Need some positivity these days? Watch THIS from Tyler Merritt.
  • And finally, I could watch this on repeat. Thank you, Internet God, Rex Chapman. And thank you, cutest little boy EVER.
  • If you’re looking to sign up for ESPN+, Rock M Nation now has an affiliate link: click Here for ESPN+ Now! (** RockMNation has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though RockMNation may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.**)