Indian Country Today
What in the wide world of sports happened this week?!
From the continued fallout from Kyrie Irving and the decision by management of the Brooklyn Nets to not allow him to be a “part-time player,” putting his season at risk until he receives the vaccine, not to mention his now viral Instagram live video Wednesday night; to the resignation of Jon Gruden as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders for insensitive emails he sent nearly a decade ago that were leaked as part of an investigation into the Washington Football Team; a lot has happened in the world of sports.
That sentence was a lot in and of itself. Thanks for sticking with me.
All this overshadowing what so far has been a fun start to the MLB postseason, a great WNBA Finals between the Phoenix Mercury and the Chicago Sky and what was an instant classic Heavyweight bout between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder last Saturday night.
I’ve spoken at length before about Kyrie and I don’t know how much more there is to address. During his Instagram live, he said he is not retiring. That would leave one to believe that he will eventually get the vaccine.
As seen throughout sports, the window to win a championship is only open for ever so long and the Nets are among the top-tier of teams that have a legitimate chance to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy this year.
Could they win it without Kyrie? Sure. Although, their chances take a hit without him.
As he said himself, he knows the consequences of his decisions.
As it relates to Gruden and the NFL, there’s a wide calling for the league to release the full results of the investigation of the Washington Football Team. Gruden was forced to resign for emails he sent to then team president, Bruce Allen, in which he made insensitive remarks that are not fit for publishing.
The investigation started because of the workplace culture and misconduct that has occurred under team owner Dan Snyder.
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For years, Snyder staunchly stood behind and said he would never change the racial slur that was the team name and as much as he tried to portray himself to be, not a friend of Indian Country.
Myself, along with many others, call on the NFL to release all of the emails and full results of the investigation. If Gruden and team executives were comfortable enough disparaging people of color through official work emails, who knows what more could have been said about Native people.
Now, it’s easier to fire a head coach than it is to get rid of an owner and technically, Roger Goodell works for the owners. However, if you ask me, that’s a flimsy excuse to stand behind if it’s the reason the emails and results are not being released.
That’s enough of the bad, especially when there are amazing things happening elsewhere.
There was a game 2 thriller in the desert last night as the Phoenix Mercury tied the series against the Chicago Sky in the WNBA Finals. Brittney Griner threw down a one-handed jam, Diana Turasi was “in her bag” as the kids say and Courtney Vandersloot hit a wild layup to send the game into overtime.
It’s been a fun two games and has the makings of going the distance. Make sure you don’t miss it. Talk about a punctuation mark to the WNBA’s 25th anniversary season.
Speaking of punctuation marks, what a back and forth battle it was Saturday night in Las Vegas in the trilogy making fight of Fury and Wilder!
Not often you get to see five total knockdowns in a fight. A battle of two warriors in what will surely be remembered as one of the greatest boxing trilogies of all-time.
I was live-scoring the bout and at the time of the final knockdown had Fury starting to run away with it. To me, that fight showed when boxing is at its best, it is the number one combat sport.
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In case you missed it, we had another great sports feature on Indian Country Today this week.
Hopi runner Kyle Sumatzkuku finished 48th out of 15,000 runners in the Boston Marathon! Forty-eighth!
Sumatzkuku ran the marathon in 2 hours, 26 minutes and 17 seconds, which is beyond impressive. Check out his in-studio interview on the ICT newscast.
Lastly, I’ve had a up-and-down year picking games against the spread in the NFL, but I am undeterred! Here are my five picks for week 6 (spreads are as of Thursday, Oct. 14 on FanDuel in Pennsylvania):
- Green Bay Packers (-5.5) vs. Chicago Bears
- Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers (+2)
- Los Angeles Chargers (+3) vs. Baltimore Ravens
- Arizona Cardinals (+3.5) vs. Cleveland Browns
- Seattle Seahawks vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5)
Side note, I will be at the Sunday night game with my a few members of my family at Heinz Field. Just might have to make a sign, keep an eye out for some Natives on national TV.
Until next time!