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The Way I See It – Race Hustle, NFL Salary Crisis, Tom Brady Drama

This week, my good mood has been ruined by thoughts of a race hustle, the burgeoning NFL salary crisis and the Tom Brady drama.

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The Way I See It - Race Hustle, NFL Salary Crisis, Tom Brady Drama

The Way I See It

This week for The Way I See It, I’m basking in the warm afterglow of the NFL regular season kickoff. This is generally good news for you guys, because I’m in a good mood and physically drained– no hate or pent-up frustrations that need to be vented. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Uh-oh… too late. My good mood has been ruined by thoughts of a race hustle, the burgeoning NFL salary crisis and the Tom Brady drama. Damn it, I knew it was too good to last.

Do the (Race) Hustle!

We see this every year or so: allegations of some sort of racial injustice, only to have them turn out to be complete fabrications. Yet the disproving of such allegations brings no relief, no repercussions to the alleged victims. Why? Because once allegations are made public, they serve a greater purpose– greater than the truth or racial harmony.

This year’s model involves a Duke University women’s volleyball team player, their opponent and host Brigham Young University, a random fan, the player’s godmother, and– strangely enough– a stand taken by the coach of a different team which participates in a different sport.

According to the New York Times : “At the match on Aug. 26, a Black player for Duke University’s women’s volleyball team said she and her African American teammates had been heckled over their race. A record crowd of more than 5,500 people was in the stands for the match at the university’s arena in Provo, Utah.”

A fan was ejected from the stands and in the immediate aftermath was banned from all events on BYU property. All good, right?

Not quite. Lesa Pamplin, the godmother of Rachel Richardson (the black Duke University player who alleges that the crowd was hurling racial epithets at her), began tweeting about the situation:

“My Goddaughter is the only Black starter for Dukes volleyball team,” Pamplin tweeted. “While playing yesterday, she was called a n****r every time she served. She was threatened by a white male that told her to watch her back going to the team bus. A police officer had to be put by their bench.”

To add a third ring to this circus, Dawn Staley— the South Carolina University women’s basketball coach– announced that her team was canceling its home-and-home series against BYU in support of Richardson.

As you may have heard, in the days after the alleged incident, BYU published a statement:

From our extensive review, we have not found any evidence to corroborate the allegation that fans engaged in racial heckling or uttered racial slurs at the event. As we stated earlier, we would not tolerate any conduct that would make a student-athlete feel unsafe. That is the reason for our immediate response and our thorough investigation. 

As a result of our investigation, we have lifted the ban on the fan who was identified as having uttered racial slurs during the match. We have not found any evidence that that individual engaged in such an activity. BYU sincerely apologizes to that fan for any hardship the ban has caused. 

No video or audio evidence of any racial slurs being hurled at Richardson; over 50 individuals interviewed, no one seems to have heard the alleged slurs. So we should all be happy, right? Perhaps Richardson had simply misheard something from the stands and was not really verbally assaulted by those Mormon thugs. Because if there’s anything Mormons are known for, it’s for their abusive behavior to strangers.

But it turns out that Richardson, Pamplin and Staley are all sticking to their positions. One can understand why Richardson is sticking to her guns– she may actually believe she heard what she says she heard– but the stubbornness of Pamplin and Staley is baffling, considering they weren’t present during the alleged incident and can’t offer up any evidence that the incident actually occurred.

Actually, it’s not all that baffling. According to Outkick.com, Pamplin has tweeted out some racially dodgy, anti-white tweets in the recent past (she locked her account after the Outkick report) and is currently running for office in Texas. Staley, a highly decorated Olympian, player and coach, refused to change her stance towards BYU:

I continue to stand by my position. After my personal research, I made a decision for the well-being of my team. I regret that my university, my athletics director Ray Tanner and others got drawn into the criticism of a choice that I made.

Much like prison lawyers and basement virologists, Staley has done her own research and decided that the official conclusion is a con job. Fantastic! And by fantastic, I mean “idiotic”.

Look, I don’t know what happened that night in Provo, Utah. Maybe a fan called Richardson the “n-word”, maybe not; either way, it really shouldn’t have risen to the level where it is today. Being called a n*gger or a cracker or a sp*c or any other racial slur shouldn’t be anything anyone should have to hear– but the reactions of race hustlers like Pamplin and Staley (even if genuine and sincere) only serve to give more power to those words.

Why are we raising our children to be so fragile that words uttered by complete strangers are like daggers to their hearts? As a free speech absolutist, I will never prevent anyone from speaking their mind; the decision to listen or allow their words to negatively effect me is entirely up to me. The speaker, simply by the virtue of his words, has no power over me because I refuse to allow that to happen.

Maybe that’s the lesson Dawn Staley and the rest of the race hustlers should be teaching their kids.

NFL Salary Crisis

The fallout of the contract signed by Deshaun Watson this summer claimed its first victims: Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. 

The Ravens were looking to extend their star signal-caller but couldn’t reach an agreement before the team’s Week 1 game. As reported by ESPN:

Although Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens have kept details of their contract negotiations private, the star quarterback turned down what league sources believe was an offer worth about $250 million.

The Ravens also balked at Jackson’s wish for a fully guaranteed deal similar to Deshaun Watson’s, sources told ESPN, prompting the sides to table contract talks until after the 2022 season.

While Jackson (acting as his own agent during negotiations) is an exciting young star who deserves to get paid, he is making a huge mistake using Watson’s ill-conceived contract as leverage. Every NFL not named “Browns” realizes Watson’s contract is an anomaly and will not acknowledge it when negotiating with its own QBs. If we go by the ESPN report, Jackson was offered a better contract than Russell Wilson’s ($242.5 million, $161 million guaranteed) and Kyler Murray’s ($230.5 million, $189 million guaranteed). Still, he turned it down because he wanted a fully guaranteed contract.

Unable to reach an agreement, Jackson and the Ravens agreed to put off any more talks until after the 2022 season. In my opinion, Jackson needs the Ravens; no other NFL team is built more around its QB than the Ravens. There’s no other team that would be a better fit for Jackson, and while he’s improving, he’s not a top 10 pocket passer.

Jackson should ask for a dollar more than Kyler Murray received and then set his sights on getting a couple of rings.

Tom Brady Drama

Most of the football fans I know hate Tom Brady. They hate him with a passion. They hate him because of his success, his looks, and his all-around dickishness. However, nothing makes me as happy as the idea that even Brady is not immune to a nagging wife.

Gisele Bundchen
seems to be upset that her husband isn’t sitting at home, being a house-husband. FYI: I know people refer to Bundchen as a supermodel, but I find that hard to believe. She’s a Manhattan 5… six at best.

So why is Brady’s apparent misery at the hands of his wife so entertaining to me? My working theory is that I’m a misanthrope who revels in seeing both the literal and figurative kick to the nuts of successful men.

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Sports Grumblings

As the founder of the original Sports Grumblings brand (1995), FSWA award-winning writer "Big John" delivered on his promise of "All the ATTITUDE you can handle!" while remaining a staunchly independent voice in the burgeoning fantasy sports industry. After selling the business to fellow fantasy sports OG (and good friend) William Del Pilar in 2012, Big John pursued his interests in comedic entertainment. Fast forward 10 years and Big John finds himself back home at Sports Grumblings, where he belongs, still bringing all the attitude you can handle!

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