While it remains impossible to open a window into a person’s soul to see whether the poison of racism resides there, it is possible to screen those whose words and actions suggest that they harbor such beliefs.
Donald Sterling’s words and actions suggest that he does. And the evidence existed long before TMZ published its tape of his voice.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Sterling agreed in 2009 to a $2.765 million settlement of charges that he discriminated against African-Americans and others at an apartment building he owned. The Times also reports that a lawsuit filed in 2003 accused Sterling of saying “Hispanics smoke, drink and just hang around the building,” and that “black tenants smell and attract vermin.” The case was resolved with a confidential settlement, but Sterling reportedly paid $5 million in legal fees to the plaintiffs.
Amazingly, those claims and the settlements of those claims generated little or no publicity or scorn of Sterling. If an NFL owner were accused of such conduct, the mere allegations would become major national news. If an NFL owner ever settled a case involving such allegations, the league office undoubtedly would be forced to take decisive action or face strong contentions of the existence of a double standard.
It’s all the more reason for the NFL to treat this occasion as the catalyst for ensuring that its house — specifically, its 32 houses — are in order. Existing owners should be warned clearly about the potential consequences of such conduct. Potential owners should be screened even more carefully to determine that they have done or said nothing that would suggest that their hearts are rotten with racism or other qualities that could result in their wealth and power being used to violate the rights of others.
Per a league source, NFL owners already expect Commissioner Roger Goodell to address the situation in some way at the next ownership meetings in May.
It’s often impossible to get to the truth of a person’s attitudes regarding matters of race. But the Sterling situation underscores the importance of taking all reasonably available steps to ensure that the country’s biggest sports business is doing business with people who have not only the wealth to assume such an important responsibility, but also the character.
What a brutal shot. It goes high and then low. I feel for Tuukka Rask who will mocked by this team mates for decades for letting this goal in.
I do love this Gerry Cheevers type response. He just shrugged his shoulders and didn’t seem to let it bother him. If I was him, I may have been tempted to take a chopped Zdeno Chara who broke the rule of never putting your stick down in front of a shot.
With slim chance of landing NHL team, Markham arena project somewhere between risky and outright insane
Which brings us to the city of Markham, which hopes to stake a claim. The city has been wrestling for some time with a proposal to build a $325-million arena that would hopefully house an NHL team. Mayor Frank Scarpitti revealed a modified version of the funding structure on Friday with a murky new $70-million extracted from unnamed developers. The plan is still full of holes, with at least $50-million not covered, and council is expected to vote on a previous version of the funding structure Monday or Tuesday. And between now and then, someone should tell them that they are risking an enormous amount of money for a project that is somewhere between risky and outright insane.
“We have never been encouraging of this project,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, reached by phone on Saturday. “And we have repeatedly said that if this building is built, it should be built with the expectation that they will not get a team.”
Bettman was otherwise loathe to comment on the project, or any other one. Yes, he has always repeated a version of that line to those who hope to join the list, because the NHL does not want cities to bankrupt themselves in the faint hope that they might jump to the front of a queue. Yes, Bettman is widely disbelieved when he says, for instance, that Quebec is not necessarily getting the Nordiques back anytime soon.
But in this case, right now Markham is chasing something that isn’t there. One NHL source with knowledge of the league’s thinking called the Markham project “delusional,” and pointed to Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, already outdated, as an example. The source added that Markham is not a priority for the league, and that building an arena will not make it one. The NHL loves to insist there isn’t a list, but if there is, Markham isn’t on it.
What’s even more delusional are those that say that Saskatoon is going to get a NHL team.
We had a good discussion today on the Saskatoon Afternoon Roundtable about hockey fights and the Mayor’s lack of leadership on active transportation and cutting congestion on Saskatoon City Streets. I may have called him “clueless”. If I would have brought my “A” game, I would have called him the “Gary Bettman of Mayors” and bridged the segments. Next time (we talk municipal politics and hockey in the same segment).
I am not a fan of the The Captain and this post does little to change my mind
But NHL coaches aren’t born, they’re made. Adam Oates is a great example: Extremely intelligent, a student of the game, and a player with name recognition for generations of talent that came after him; but he needed some time as an NHL assistant coach before he could earn a head coaching gig with the Washington Capitals.
Wayne Gretzky is another example, and one Messier shouldn’t follow: He hadn’t coached a game before taking over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2005-06, and proceeded to miss the playoffs for four consecutive seasons – losing 161 games and much of his luster as a man that could master every facet of hockey.
Messier’s coaching experience is limited to coached the Canadian national team in the Deutschland Cup and Spengler Cup in 2010. This hasn’t stopped teams like the Edmonton Oilers and the Rangers from inquiring about his services as a head coach, but in both cases that’s as much about name recognition as it is coaching acumen.
So if the former captain is serious about this stuff, he needs to understand that his name is a foot in the door but that it doesn’t automatically get to appear on that door next to “head coach” just because he’s Mark Messier.
He can take the Oates route and work as an assistant. He could be a rock-star AHL coach, honing his craft and earning experience as a bench boss. He can learn the ropes like any novice and become a better coach because of it.
Or he can just admit that this was about being HEAD COACH OF THE NEW YORK RANGERS and nothing else will do. That’s fine. Leave the other 29 jobs to those with the hunger for the job rather than the job title. Hey, the Rangers will probably be hiring a GM soon.
If you recall, Messier wanted to be named the New York Rangers GM before despite having no experience scouting, coaching or really anything than being a team captain. He doesn’t seem to be willing to do the work to succeed as an executive that he was as a player.
I know he won those rings but it’s almost as if he forgot how he got them.
I challenge you to find one weirder.
News that he was fired as head coach of the New York Rangers Wednesday was an excellent excuse to collect ‘best-of packages’ of his worst moments. They are fun in their own way.
But they tend not to capture some of the quieter moments such as when he’d look to a guy making a miniscule fraction of his salary and needing a clip for the news about … anything … and respond by using the power of his pulpit and his status as the head coach of the mighty Rangers to make whoever it might be feel about two inches tall for doing his job.
Cut ‘em down, smirk, do it again. Up close it wasn’t fun or funny at all.
He’s been the subject of a Steve Porter remix. His explosive rants about the ‘whiny Pittsburgh Penguins stars’ or his battles with Larry Brooks of the New York Post are YouTube classics.
Good for him and undoubtedly good for fans who enjoy a little pepper with what is normally a pretty bland soup.
But from where I sat during the Rangers-Senators series last season, when Tortorella took his obstinacy to a new — low — level that he carried through the playoffs, he was a bully who enjoyed turning convention on its head for no apparent reason — like a kid picking legs off a spider.
Updated: Make sure you check out this video with Nick Kypreos on Tim and Sid on Tortorella. If you are still thinking about the New York Rangers, Doug MacLean, Nick Kypreos and Daren Millard discuss the New York Rangers firing coach John Tortorella and the reaction from the players.
Any media outlet that would hire John Tortorella should be ashamed.
— Larry Brooks(@NYP_Brooksie) May 29, 2013
The Saskatoon Blades won one game this entire post-season which is one more game than they won last post-season. It’s not exactly out of the ordinary for Mollekan, the Blades almost always flame out quickly in the WHL playoffs as you can see in the table below. The team motto could be, “If its spring, we are golfing”.
Regardless of whether or not we have home ice advantage or not, the Blades lose in the playoffs. Even this year where we went all in, traded young players and draft picks away, we still managed to get swept in the playoffs and only win one game in the Memorial Cup. Mollekan’s teams don’t win the in the playoffs or when the games matter.
Despite having one of the largest teams in the WHL, a profitable team, lots of resources at his disposal, and a city where people want to play in, we still can’t win in the playoffs. After a while it’s time to look at the coach.
The upcoming season, the cupboard is bare. Our top taken is playing elsewhere, we have no draft picks (although that can change with the need to ship out so many overage players), and we have ask, if Mollekan the right guy to do this again. He can coach us to the first round of the playoffs but then what?
The Blades need to look elsewhere. They went all in this season and look at the result. A long winning streak and one playoff win. That isn’t good enough in most markets.
Great piece by Eric Francis. If Edwards’ statements are accurate (rather than just marketing talking) then it is going to be a bad stretch ahead to be a Calgary Flames fan.
Just when it appeared the Flames were finally ready to move wholeheartedly in the right direction, Edwards issued the type of directive that got this franchise into this mess in the first place.
Instead of building slowly towards something the city can eventually be proud of again, comments like that suggest the organization is destined to, once again, ignore the virtues of patience and better judgment by aiming for something that is not only completely unattainable but counterproductive.
Not so, argued president Ken King, who heard the rapid backlash.
“Trying to win and rebuilding are not mutually exclusive,” insisted King.
“We are not straddling the line of trying to balance — we are completely committed to the rebuilding process and should be judged on our recent and future moves.”
To think a team can jettison Jarome Iginla, Jay Bouwmeester and likely lose Miikka Kiprusoff to retirement and somehow snap a four-year playoff drought despite receiving no NHLers in return is beyond nonsensical.
So, why even float the idea out there?
While it’s important players continue to strive for wins throughout the process, standings should be irrelevant the next year or two. Improving with a re-stocked lineup should be the goal, however long it takes.
Feaster admitted Monday he hadn’t been as intellectually honest as he could have been the last two seasons by mortgaging the future to help a bad team. Edwards’ stated goal promotes more of the same.
The stage finally appeared to be set the last week for a prolonged rebuild fans have been screaming for. Calgarians are willing to sit through the growing pains absolutely necessary for every organization in pro sport to endure before going from the basement to Cup challengers.
The Flames’ age-old mandate calling for a team to challenge for the Cup every year isn’t realistic. Every franchise in every sport has to eventually take a step or two back to take one step forward.
By trying to emulate the Harlem Globetrotters, the Flames have looked more like the Washington Generals by advancing past the first round of the playoffs once in the last 24 years.
25 years ago the Saskatoon Blades opened Saskatchewan Place with a game against the Brandon Wheatkings. That night I got a phone call with an offer to go to the game. Later that week I watched the Canadian Olympic Hockey Team practice in anticipation of some exhibition games they played at Saskatchewan Place. It was a big deal and an amazing stadium. Over the years I have seen a bunch of concerts, hockey games, World Junior Hockey Championships, and even some curling at now Credit Union Centre. The stadium is rather sterile but it’s ours and it’s fun to go tonight with some friends to watch the Blades play the Lethbridge Hurricanes (who when they were the Calgary Wranglers, where the first WHL team I ever saw play). It should be a fun game night. Monday I have a column out about Saskatchewan Place and stadium economics today. A lot has changed although I am glad the famous Blades Pac Man logo still makes an appearance from time to time.
I have been hearing for a while that Harper’s book on hockey is quite good.
The prime minister is a member of the Society for International Hockey Research. He helped the group erect a memorial to James Creighton, one of the fathers of the game, and has invited several historians to 24 Sussex Drive to discuss his book and show off his collection of sweaters and hockey books.
The book was first mentioned publicly in 2005, when a friend told the Globe and Mail it was a hobby Harper became more serious about over time.
In 2006, Harper told CBC that he had hoped to finish it by then, but found it hard to put in the time. He described the research as “an escape from the pressures of the job.”
In 2010, a friend told a hockey researcher that Harper had completed a manuscript, but that he was unhappy with parts of it. He had personally hired (and personally paid) a full-time researcher — Greg Stoicoiu of Calgary. He has made several visits himself to the Hockey Hall of Fame Resource Centre in Toronto to dig through its collection.
In 2011, Harper said the book would be published in 2012 after eight years of working on it for 15 minutes a day.
It sounds like a cool project and until I read Stephen Maher’s article on it, I had no idea that there was a Society for International Hockey Research. I hope the publishing of the book coincides with a political lull to allow him to hit the sports talk shows. As good as the book is, I would love to hear the Prime Minister sit down with Bob McCown and the Prime Time Sports team for an hour and talk hockey.