This past week has been a tough one for sports and football fans everywhere as the NFL found itself in the spotlight. Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Ray McDonald and Greg Hardy plagued the league when scandals emerged involving child abuse and domestic violence. We saw the video of Rice succor-punching his then fiancé smack in the face, and then proceeded to drag her limp body from a New Jersey casino elevator. We saw the horrific photos of Peterson’s 4 year-old son who after a “spanking,” was left with marks and scabs that are clearly an indication that his injuries drew blood. Ray McDonald and Greg Hardy have domestic abuse allegations of their own to deal with and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is in the hot seat as to what he knew and when he knew it. We have yet to see how sponsors will react as some are calling for action from Goodell in order to avoid backlash from potential fans, domestic abuse or child abuse victims support groups, or possible congressional hearings or over sight. Regardless of the outcome, football fans hardly seem phased as some are openly defending these players hoping to see them play this season in hopes for that Super Bowl victory. I will not spend a lot of time on this story as we have all been overwhelmed with the coverage. However, I will say this. I find it disturbing to watch that video and to look at those pictures of that child… no, it is not okay. I don’t care who you are.
The Baltimore Orioles have clinched the AL East, the Los Angeles Angels have clinched the AL West and the Washington Nationals have clinched the NL East as the MLB season winds down. Oakland fans were devastated when the last place Texas Rangers, baseball‘s worst team, swept the A’s in Oakland, leaving the A’s clinging in hopes of a Wild Card berth. However, with their loss on Thursday, they fell out of the AL’s first Wild Card spot and for the bad news. The A’s will play the Texas Rangers again in their last 4 games of the regular season.
Have you heard that the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews is not just for men anymore? On Thursday, R&A’s members voted overwhelmingly to allow women as members.. effective immediately. The vote ends 260 years of male-only exclusivity. As many as 15 women could be invited as members also voted to fast-track a “significant” number of women that they hope to join in the upcoming months.
Jackie Robinson was named 1947 “Rookie of the Year.” Robinson broke the color barrier, becoming the first African -American to play in baseball major leagues. In 1947, Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers after his discharge from the Army in the year 1944. While in boot camp, Robinson was court-martialed and arrested for refusing to give up his seat and move to the back of the segregated bus, under orders of the bus driver. Robinson was eventually acquitted and ended up receiving an honorable discharge. He was not without incident as a baseball player as Robinson fell victim to racism as well. He prepared himself for what he would encounter by having the president of the Dodgers, Ricky Branch, personally test him by shouting out racial slurs that he was sure that he would encounter while playing on the team. Some of Robinson’s own team mates were opposed to him being there as well as fans that would jeer him on the field, even threatening him and his family. In fact, some of the players on opposing teams threatened to not play against the Dodgers. Philadelphia Phillies and their manager, Ben Chapman once shouted derogatory names from their dugout at Robinson in one of their games. At times, even Robinson’s own team mates would threaten to sit out. Leo Durocher, the Dodger’s manager, immediately put a stop to it by letting them know that he would trade them first, before he would even consider trading Robinson. That year, Robinson hit 12 home runs, led the National League in stolen bases and helped the Dodgers win the National League Pennant. What a remarkable accomplishment for a very remarkable player. And the rest is history.
And finally, let’s take a stroll down memory lane. I would like to leave you with one of my favorite videos. Just a little reminder of the great spirit of America. Now please enjoy, “The Greatest Play in Baseball.”