On anniversary of Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ raised fists, we are still fighting the same racial battle

On this day in 1968, one of the greatest moments in sports history happened. It was also one of the greatest moments in world history.

Tommie Smith and John Carlos, two runners from San Jose State University (my alma mater), made a demonstration that forever changed history. After having won gold and bronze medals, respectively, in the 200-meter running event, both Smith and Carlos raised a black-gloved fist during the national anthem in a gesture towards human rights. This came at a time in America where racial equality was still a distant dream.

What transpired afterward was equally telling of the times in America. There were people who understood the importance of their message; there were many who disliked the act. Smith and Carlos were immediately sent back home, they (and their families) received death threats. It became discussion over and over about how a sporting event was no place for what they deemed a political protest. What these two did was completely unacceptable and disrespectful.

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End of an era: 49ers say farewell to NaVorro Bowman

I remember writing up a recap of the 49ers drafting Penn State linebacker NaVorro Bowman. I was at my friend’s house and I had brought my laptop with me. At the time I was still getting my footing as a beat writer. But I felt that Bowman was a smart pick. Even though he was not a first round selection, he had a strong pedigree and had potential for growth.

Since then, Bowman was a four-time First All-Pro, three-time Pro Bowl selection and at times, was the best defender on the team. And that’s with Patrick Willis next to him.

Bowman was a great professional to work with and he always gave me respect. He was a beast of a linebacker and it’s a shame injuries prevented him from reaching his best potential.

Regardless, he was beloved by many fans and they will always cherish his pick-six at The Stick. That’s an image that will last a lifetime.

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Free admission to an A’s game next season could reveal an ugly truth

When the A’s announced today that their April 17 home game against the White Sox will have free admission, it sounded like a cool idea but also popped this question in my mind: Would the stadium even be filled for this game?

Columnist Ray Ratto (link above in tweet) shared those exact thoughts.

The idea of a free game is great as it really allows all those people who may never have considered going to a game an incentive to go to a game without the cost of paying for a ticket. I don’t know how the logistics are for parking or concessions, but I will assume that prices for those will remain.

But still, a free game is a pretty nifty novelty. And it would leave people to believe that the stadium will be full for the game since the cost of entry is free. However, it could reveal that the fans or the city don’t have enough people to show up to a free game.

This could be troubling for an organization that desires to build a new stadium in the city. Also, it will lead to many different speculations as to why the stadium isn’t filled — especially for a season that is only a few weeks old.

Do people not care enough? Is the team unappealing? Is the stadium too old?

There are a lot of factors. This might be the A’s trying to find out those answers by doing this promotion.

The divide of the national anthem protests in the NFL

When I took a photo of my TV yesterday and shared the above tweet on Twitter, I didn’t know it would generate so much discussion and impressions. (The tweet has gotten more activity than my last viral tweet.)

But as I read the responses to the tweet (along with seeing how many people were liking and retweeting, including some notable Twitter users like Shaun King) it showed me that the divide is still strong on this topic.

Some people felt that kneeling during the anthem is disrespectful. Others believe that the fight is worth kneeling for. But as I continued to read the comments, it reflected so much to me that our country is in this state of divide. There is an uncertainty and ignorance of the issue.

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The Mayweather-McGregor fight does not have me excited

Perhaps it’s the over-saturated hype, but the Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor fight does not interest me anymore.

At first the idea was an interesting one and something that I might have an interest in. When it became official, I started thinking that this would be a great crossover.

But then the loud profanities and the crazy press tour they did was too much. This no longer became anything I cared about. It was a circus. It was practice videos and sparring partner drama and all this. It didn’t have a big sport feel. It started to become an act.

Do I care about who wins? Not really. Mayweather is in his element so he should win this. But after all that has happened leading up to this fight, I can’t expect anything normal to happen. I don’t know if I can expect a quality fight either.

I’m not going to watch this live. I may take a look at it on Twitter. But I will be at a concert instead. I find that more entertaining for me on a Saturday night.

Nike is off to a rough start with the new NBA jerseys

I didn’t get a chance to address this while I was on vacation but after catching up with all the news, I wanted to ad my two cents on the Nike jerseys that were revealed earlier this week.

Let’s take a look at the Warriors’ new jersey for the upcoming season. I knew that Nike wouldn’t make any major changes to the jersey but there is still a significant change to the collar. The gold has been nearly eliminated, making the collar look very plain. Additionally, the number has been moved more toward the center. Both these moves are downgrades to the overall aesthetic the Warriors used to have. The piping along the side also has changed. Instead of the shoulder loop trim going all the way, the piping interrupts it. This is a lateral move but it seems like it’s change for the sake of change.

The Warriors don’t look too different, but these changes are not necessary.

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Being an A’s fan is tough

I know how this goes. The A’s trade away players because they can’t keep them for financial reasons. It’s a cycle that continues over and over. It hurts seeing fan favorites go. But also it’s so commonplace that it is just normal.

The only way the A’s can win is if they get more money or they catch lightning in a bottle. Sean Doolittle was part of that bottled lightning from 2012-14 where the A’s were serious contenders for the championship. But that time has come and gone and now keeping any player with any trade value would be foolish.

And once again we have to see what’s next for the A’s. Will this new core catch lightning in a bottle again or will this be another lost season?