Recent Articles

Lynx draft four ‘solid players’

Unlike last year’s top-heavy, star-studded draft, the 2014 WNBA Draft was instead more workwoman-like. Filling specific team needs took precedence over obtaining star players. The MSR, during the April 10 pre-draft media conference call, asked ESPN Analysts Carolyn Peck and LaChina Robinson if they foresee “a publicity let-down” from last year’s “3 to See” draft that featured Britney Griner, Skylar Diggins and Elena Della Donne. “I don’t think necessarily we have an Elena Della Donne or Britney Griner in this class,” explained Robinson. “We do have a lot of impact players: Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford), Odyssey Sims (Baylor), Kayla McBride (Notre Dame), Alyssa Thomas (Maryland). Continue Reading →

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Greater diversity unlikely in post-Borton Gopher women’s basketball



Thus far, Gopher AD Norwood Teague is two-for-two in firing coaches in consecutive years. He fired Pam Borton as the school’s women’s basketball coach, seemingly less than 24 hours after her last game last week. She got the ziggy in less time than Tubby Smith got axed around this same time nearly a year ago. Borton was my fifth coach I covered as the longest tenured Gopher women hoops beat writer, She had her faults — no coach is perfect, and for whatever reason, she couldn’t convince too many local Black females to play for her.  

Former Gopher Leah Cotton, who played for Borton (2010-13), recently spoke to the MSR while in town for the team’s Senior Night March 2. Continue Reading →

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Dallas here we come!

It’s all set — the NCAA Men’s Final Four in North Texas this weekend features the best that college basketball has to offer. The Final Four is one of the most anticipated events of the year in college basketball. The East, South, Midwest and West region champions are headed to Arlington, Texas. All four teams, champions of their respective regions — No.1 Florida, Wisconsin, Connecticut and pre-season No.1 Kentucky — have won four in a row in the tournament to reach the Final Four, and all four teams believe they can win it. Let’s break down the finalists. Continue Reading →

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March graduation rate madness



A quick prediction for this year’s NCAAs — Black male basketball players’ graduation rates will remain virtually unchanged. While nearly everyone is filling out their brackets, the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) released on Monday its annual study on the academic performance of the players in the NCAA Division I tournament teams. The study’s primary author, TIDES Director Dr. Richard Lapchick, compares the graduation rate data of Black and White male basketball student-athletes.  

“There is not much good news to report as almost every category examined remained the same or got worse,” wrote Lapchick. The women teams’ report was released Tuesday. A more detailed analysis will be in next week’s “Another View” in the MSR print edition. Continue Reading →

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Record win streak ends for Gopher women’s hockey




Now that “The Streak” is snapped, will it be truly recognized as a historic feat?  Minnesota’s 62-game women’s hockey win streak ended with a 3-2 loss Sunday against North Dakota. The Gophers hadn’t lost a game since February 17, 2012, when they also lost at home in a 2-1 overtime defeat to North Dakota. This reporter vividly remembers when the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team won 90 games in a row over a three-year period (2008-10) and too many mainstream sports know-it-alls dismissed it as only women rather than correctly placing the streak two games better than UCLA’s 88-win streak (1971-74). The UConn’s streak didn’t need an asterisk, and neither should Minnesota. North Dakota Coach Brian Idalski told the MSR Sunday after his team’s one-goal victory to salvage a split in the two-game weekend series, “It [the streak] was a pretty special thing not only for Minnesota but for all women’s hockey. Continue Reading →

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Young White men in crisis: Race, gender link mass shooters

The most recent massacre, the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, took the lives of six- and seven-year-olds. It has shaken our nation to its core. The enormity of this devastation is incalculable. There are the small coffins of the victims killed during a holiday season at a tender age. It is also the death of the safety of a Norman Rockwellian belief in a perfect community. Continue Reading →

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Just the facts! A lack of diversity in Minnesota sports

I hope you had a great Christmas. This time of year grips me like you cannot imagine. It’s a time of joy and reflection. I have taken to social media at FitzBeatSr., my Twitter handle. No Facebook for me. Continue Reading →

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This culture of violence is tearing us apart

Once again the African American is being told he is not human…during the recent acts of murder of 20 innocent children and eight adults in the state of Connecticut. All of a sudden the White majority is outraged because they see themselves as the only human beings. However, we have lost lives across this nation in record numbers — in the city of Chicago, 584 to date this year, with over 1,800 shootings. Over the years in that same city they’ve murdered thousands of human beings. I’ve personally learned through my travels going back and forth across this country that we’ve lost thousands in every major city. Continue Reading →

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United Theological Seminary seeks more diverse students, faculty

MSR speaks with United’s new president, Rev. Dr. Barbara Holmes

By Robin James

Contributing Writer


The United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities is currently celebrating 50 years of service. Since July of 2012, Reverend Dr. Barbara A. Holmes has been the first African American woman at its helm. Her artist’s sensibility, imaginative approach to ministry, and creative problem solving are already being viewed as both inspiring and what’s needed to move the institution forward. Well known as an outstanding leader in theological education and an inspiring lecturer and teacher, Dr. Holmes hails from Memphis Theological Seminary, where she was professor of ethics and African American religious studies and served for five years as vice president/dean of academic affairs. Raised in the Dixwell Avenue Congregational Church in New Haven, Connecticut, Dr. Holmes is an ordained minister recognized in the Disciples of Christ and also a member of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis. Continue Reading →

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Black lawmakers almost killed Title IX

Landmark bill caught in race vs. gender  equity wrangling


Long before Title IX, Black females have been participants in sport. “There [always] has been a strong African American women presence in sport,” notes Ohio State Sport Humanities Associate Professor Sarah Fields, author of “Race v. Gender: How Constructions of Title IX Have Failed Women of Color.”

Blacks and other female athletes of color in action scenes were included in racially motivated “endangered exhibits” at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. “In the 1930s…there were strong [women] basketball leagues in some Black colleges, and they played against each other,” continues the professor. Continue Reading →

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