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)
If you don’t support me with this... then don’t support me with that...— christianna mae (@chrissycarr4) June 4, 2020
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
- Nate the Great wrote a recap of the MIZ-ZOOM meeting he attended alongside the Mizzou media, Coach Luper and Daniel Parker, Jr.
- Welcome, BJ Harris! Sam wrote the commitment piece.
- Dive Cuts time! Sam and Matt, our resident cocktail enthusiasts and basketball savants, talked Axel Okongo’s departure and 2022(!) recruiting.
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Dave Matter was back with his weekly chat (largely football, with a little bit of hoops mixed in). Read the Q&A here.
- KC Star: Souichi asked, How are Mizzou players staying safe? It comes down to accountability and respect.
- The Athletic ($$): LOADS of good stuff here from Peter Baugh, who wrote a CFB State of the Program and said that Drink’s plan to elevate Mizzou in the SEC requires boldness and belief. SUBSCRIBE!!!
- Maneater: Eli Hoff took a stab at the quarterback battle. First up? TCU transfer Shawn Robinson!
- PowerMizzou ($): Matt Hamilton analyzed the film of recent transfer, Keke Chism.
- TrumansTales (Fansided): Rilee Stapleton continued the 2020 positional breakdowns with the Tight Ends!
- Travion Ford will be an early enrollee! Well done, sir!
- BJ Harris Commitment Coverage: Souichi Terada (KC Star). Dave Matter (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Max Baker (Columbia Missourian). Sean Williams (PowerMizzou/Rivals). Michael Wayne Bratton (Saturday Down South). Eli Lederman (Columbia Tribune).
- With this commitment, check out this tweet from Gabe DeArmond:
#Mizzou has the No. 19 class in the country right now, which is helped by having 16 commits. By average star ranking (decent barometer for where it might end up), the Tigers are 27th, which would tie the 2015 class for the best ranking since 2010.— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) June 25, 2020
Other Mizzou Sports/SEC/Mizzou-adjacent Sports News
- Did you all catch the new Mizzou Hoops documentary on the perfection of the 1993-94 season? If you missed it, you can check it out on the YouTube. I missed it due to work but heard it was great.
- Mizzou’s COVID-19 testing news: Dave Matter (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Adam Cole (Columbia Missourian). Souichi Terada (KC Star). Eli Lederman (Columbia Tribune).
- Missouri’s athletic department has created a new committee to address inclusion, according to staff reports by the Missourian.
- PowerMizzou’s Gabe and Mitchell were back with some taeks in their Blowing Smoke, Presented by Weston Tobacco series.
- Robin Pingeton’s new squad members have numbers (and Haley Troup switched hers)!
New Numbers for 2020-21 ⤵️— Mizzou Basketball (@MizzouWBB) June 25, 2020
No. 1️⃣ @laurenhansen_1
No. 2️⃣ Sara-Rose Smith
No. 4️⃣ Mama Dembele
No. 1️⃣2️⃣ @shugdickson
No. 1️⃣3️⃣ @haleytroup13
No. 3️⃣2️⃣ @_jkk29 #MIZ #OurTownOurTeam pic.twitter.com/PapccmMjJ3
- BIG YIKES on the dead period.
Recruits won’t be visiting campus or having in-person contact with coaches until at least September. There’s no way kids should be pressured to sign in December. They gotta get rid of the early signing period for this year. https://t.co/cTXuv0qExX— Rob Cassidy (@Cassidy_Rob) June 25, 2020
- Draymond Green and Senator Chris Murphy (Con.) penned a piece for ESPN about how now is NOT the time to stop the debate on the future of college athletics. Not when so many of the athletes involved are minorities and come from environments where some extra money could really help them put food on their families’ tables, take care of bills, live their lives, etc. Here’s just a highlight, but seriously, READ THIS ARTICLE. It’s damn good.
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.
- Jeff Goodman and Brent McMurphy of WatchStadium ranked the SEC’s Athletic Directors on their hires. Where did Mizzou land?
- WHAT A STATEMENT from Alabama. This gave me chills.
“In this moment in history, we can’t be silent.” pic.twitter.com/YF4ndJSpa0— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) June 25, 2020
- 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.
What a picture. All of the college coaches at the State Capitol today. pic.twitter.com/pGfspLUrTx— Nick Niehaus (@nickniehausWAPT) June 25, 2020
These are some of the best sports stories & tidbits I found regarding some goings-on in sports and the world— Enjoy!
- Friends, family and staff wished KOMU Sports’ Chris Gervino a final goodbye and wished him congratulations on his retirement.
- Dave Matter (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) dipped his toe into another non-Mizzou column this week, this one about how there is plenty to learn about Bubba Wallace’s Talladega experience.
- Mike Singer (Denver Post) wrote a phenomenal article on Nuggets player Will Barton, who’s got a lot to say. Wow. From the post:
“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.
Incredibly proud of today’s announcement! We started building this company almost 5 years ago and while I love every project and story we tell…I am most proud of our team. 100+ employees, 64% people of color and 40% female in an industry that avg 25%. https://t.co/UqPTJ341Xz— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 25, 2020
- 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.
PLEASE WATCH: You are so worthy to be loved. No matter who you are, no matter what you have done. Understanding this, means so much more to the people around you (especially people of color) than you can possibly comprehend. We got this. Now, let’s go change the world. Shall we? pic.twitter.com/KPOwWzcM5S— The Tyler Merritt Project (@TTMProject) June 24, 2020
- And finally, I could watch this on repeat. Thank you, Internet God, Rex Chapman. And thank you, cutest little boy EVER.
Bringing this back to the timeline.— Rex Chapman (@RexChapman) June 25, 2020
Just because... pic.twitter.com/CSPNryTuxp
- 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.**)