No More Authority Over Sports

sports AWhen ever you needed some sports gear, a bike, or a basketball Sports Authority was one of the places to shop. The sporting goods chain announced that they will be closing down all 450 stores.

The reason for this decision is plain and simple. Money. The company is over $1 billion in debt. They had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March. Although this is one less store to purchase sporting goods you still have businesses like Dick’s Sporting GoodsPro Shop, and Modell’s Sporting Goods to rack up on NikeUnder ArmourChampionUGGThe North Face, etc.

dicks

If you’re smart you will keep an eye out for their going out of business sale to get some goodies. You’re welcome.

– It Is I Jessica Dèsirè

The NBA Adding More Color To Front Offices?

 

diverse                                                                                                                                                              When I think about Affirmative Action I think about underprivileged children getting a chance to reach their highest educational potential. But this policy doesn’t start and end with just education. It translates into sports as well.

rooney

Dan Rooney who the rule is named after and coach of the Pittsburg Steelers Mike Tomlin

In the National Football League (NFL) they have the Rooney Rule established in 2003, which states that NFL teams are required to interview  at least one minority  for a head coaching or front office position.  Its pretty pitiful that in the year 2016 a policy of this nature has to be in place but here we are.

nba

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver

The National Basketball Association (NBA) seems to have joined the club by creating a Basketball Operations Associates Program for ex players and others looking for front office positions. 

Since 201030 positions for front office positions were filled. Only three of those 30 people hired were African American. –Comcast SportNet Chicago

nba logoHowever,  the NBA has had a “good” track record  as far as racial hiring practices go. But to me good isn’t good enough. We have all these black players who go hard day in and day out but they don’t have anyone one in the offices who they can relate to. Im not saying because the league is mostly black that black people need to be in the front office. What I would like is to have black business men and women to be in high positions to show inclusiveness and possibilities for the players and others who may want to pursue that route.

Nonetheless, Im enthusiastic about this news in the NBA and look forward to the doors it will open for people of color. What are your thoughts on the Basketball Operations Associates Program?

– It Is I Dèsirè

The WNBA Discussing Lowering Rim?

The WNBA hasn’t officially made any statements about lowering the height of the ten foot basketball rim however the players are talking.

delle

A couple weeks ago former MVP Elena Delle Donne  of the Chicago Star said, 

“I think it would bring a whole different aspect to the game and bring viewership as well and show the athleticism of our women.We do every single thing on that court that men do, other than the dunking. And, obviously, there is a handful of athletes who can dunk.

If you really think about it Elena has a point in that the women can do everything the guys can do but dunk. The reason why most women can not dunk is because they aren’t as tall as the NBA players (average height is 6 ft). Lowering the rim would place the league at an equal standing to their counterparts don’t you think?

geno

The prestigious head coach of The University of Connecticut “UCONN”,  Geno Auriemma (ten time NCAA Women’s Division I basketball Championships, twenty two time Conference Regular Season Championships,  and twenty one time Conference Tournament Champion) actually agreed with Elena’s idea. Now thats huge for the sake of this conversation because Auriemma’s name holds weight in the basketball world.

Now this is where it gets a little spicy, Geno Auriemma’s most talented player ever to play under his coaching Diana Taurasi disagreed with the whole idea of lowering the rim. The college and WNBA superstar had this to say, 

“Might as well put us in skirts and back in the kitchen.”

diana

Diana is being sarcastic here but she does have a point as well. Women have struggled to be respected by men who play the game. So they might be regarded as being less capable of playing  basketball.  Another con is that women/ girls would have to change their game to adjust to the lower rim and that could be a disaster. 

What are your thoughts? If dunking became the norm in the WNBA would you watch it more? Is lowering the rim the answer? Leave a comment and give your feedback.

–  It Is I Dèsirè

The Pro Athlete Outreach Conference: The Spiritual Side Of Sports

prayer hands

Earlier this month over 150 NFL players, their wives and fiancées came together for a retreat in Colorado to strengthen their connection to God. Like many of you reading this I’ve never heard of such a thing before. The reason we might not be aware of this is because  the media seem to care more about the drama surrounding athletes.

The conference was created by the Pro Athlete Outreach Organization (PAO) to allow a place for pro athletes and couples to get closer to Jesus. It takes place for four days with workshop sessions focusing on faith, finances,and  relationships.   (Visit their website to see athletes and their testimonials).

Pao

One couple that attended was Cincinnati Bengal AJ Green and Wife Miranda Brooke. Here are some takeaways they got from the experience. 

the greens

“I know during season I was miserable to deal with because I had just come from graduating with my masters and thinking that I was going to go and start my career, and then we got married and I wasn’t going to go and start my career and live 800 plus miles away from my husband. So I struggled with that a lot, like who am I now? I don’t want to just be AJ’s wife. I want more than that. And she really touched on find who you are. Yes AJ’s wife is an amazing piece of me, but in Christ he has so much for me.” – Miranda Green

“I got a better understanding of what my wife goes through and what it’s like to be in the shadows of a NFL player, and I got a better appreciation of the things that she does when I’m not at home because I used to think that she was watching Netflix and eating Bon Bons and stuff, but she’s actually working and taking care of the house and taking care of the things that I take for granted.” – AJ Green

Not only did they get a better understanding of thier spouse but these two along with many others got baptized (A Christian practice where one is submerged in water to symbolize purification and declare that Christ is their personal savior).

baptist

A post from Miranda Green’s Instagram

 Isn’t it nice to see the flip side of professional athletes? What are your thoughts?

– It Is I Jessica Dèsirè

Virginia Legalizes Fantasy Sports

If you’re into fantasy sports March 7, 2016 is a turning point in history. The state of Virginia signed into law the Fantasy Contests Act which makes fantasy sport sites legal.

fantasyThis is major news because lawmakers have tried to ban sites like DraftKings and FanDuel siting that it’s illegal online gambling. The following are the rules that must be followed.

– Sites must undergo two independent audits every year

– Pay a $50,000 fee to function in Virginia

– Make sure players are 18 years or older 

– Put in place a ban on employees of fantasy sites from participating in public contest 

– Other protection actions must be practiced

sports

Heres what DraftKings had to say,

“Today, Virgina became the first state in the nation this year to put in place a thoughtful and appropriate regulatory framework to protect the rights of fantasy players,”

If you have no idea how fantasy sports work have no fear! Here is a page that breaks it down in a simple fashion. Fantasy sports for dummies.

fan games

– It Is I Jessica Dèsirè

Meet The Next Possible Tiger Woods: Cheyenne Woods

Black history month isn’t quite over yet! Meet the next Tiger Woods, Cheyenne Woods. The niece of the pro golf legend. I might be speaking too soon but the 31-year -old golfer has made history by becoming the 6th African American to earn a spot on the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour (LPGA).

FullSizeRender-4

 

She told the Guardian,

“An African American woman has never won on the LPGA, so in general I just feel that golf needs to be more accessible and more inclusive.” “Whether it’s women, whether it’s what country you’re from, it would be great to see the game grow in the broadest sense.”

woods twoWoods learned her skills from Tiger’s father Earl and he has proven with the success of Tiger that he knows the keys to the game. However, don’t be fooled she isn’t leaning on the power of her last name. She has said that she wants to be respected as a player and not just as Tiger Woods’ niece. Golf is traditionally a white mans sport and this splash of color and beauty has definitely caught my attention. Are you interested in the LPGA  Tour more now than ever before?

woods three

– It Is I Jessica Dèsirè

Ronda Rousey Admits To Being Suicidal After First Loss

fighterRonda Rousey was having a specular year in 2015. Remember she was undefeated as a mixed martial artist, (12-0) became the talk of the town after challenging boxer Floyd Mayweather, and became the first woman to grace to cover of Men’s Health Magazine. And then it happen. Rousey was beaten savagely for the first time in her career by Holly Holm. After the match Rousey was reportedly suicidal.

holly and rOn her first  public appearance since the match in November, Rousey  appeared on The Ellen Show and professed in tears that she became suicidal after the fight. Watch the clip here below.

 

A few celebrities turned their backs on the fighter but athletes like Mayweather shockingly defended her against online trolls and NBA star Kobe Bryant had this to say according to USA Today.

“I sent her several messages, so yes, we have touched base. That’s what it’s about. It’s not about how you win. A true champion is about how you lose and come back from that. I told her, ‘It’s a beautiful thing’. That’s what I told her. I said, To be a true champion sometimes you have to get knocked down. It happens to the best of us. It happened with my Achilles (when I tore it), (Muhammad) Ali got put down several times – it happens to the best of us.”

Now those messages from Bryant has to an unbelievable pick me up. Yet, the reaction from the public has been brutal. From what I’ve seen people don’t feel sorry for Rousey and think she’s just a sore loser. 

Do you think Rousey is over reacting to her first defeat or do you think this is this a traumatic situation? 

 

– It Is I Dèsirè