Minnesota Vikings

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The Rooney Rule is dead

Next Vikings coach “must” be White
 

 
 

 

 

 

 

With the firing of Leslie Frazier December 30, the NFL is down to two African Americans head coaches out of the 32 teams that make up the National Football League (none were hired in the 2013 hiring cycle; Big Ten: none in the last 10 years). This is not about Affirmative Action; this is about affirmative discrimination. With 65 percent of players being African American and most coaches being former players, statistically, all things being equal, to get the best of the best you would have at least 20 Black head coaches. I’d settle now for 10. Statistically the NFL numbers reflect discrimination. Continue Reading →

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Rooney Rule still looking like ‘Rooney Ruse’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“It’s duck season.”

“It’s rabbit season.”

“Duck season!”

“Rabbit season!”

Remember this cartoon debate? Well, both Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck are wrong — it’s football coaches firing-hiring season. Or Black coaches getting bypassed again season. Even before it became official, the media de facto “search committee” already had filled out their next coach list for the Minnesota Vikings like a precocious child’s Christmas wish list. Two such lists include only four Black “top candidates,” with former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith listed twice. Continue Reading →

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Vikings pound Eagles 48-30

First-place Philadelphia, the hottest team in the NFL, winners of five in a row looking to pad their NFC East lead, ran into a frustrated group of Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Playing the next-to-last game in the history of Mall of America Field (the Metro Dome), the Vikings finally put it all together even with starting quarterback Christian Ponder, NFL MVP Adrian Peterson and several others unable to play due to injuries. The Vikings released some frustration by jumping all over the Eagles 48-30. The wrecking ball cranes are all lined up outside the Dome as the countdown has begun to destroy the historic second home of Vikings football since 1982. Reserve running back Matt Asiata, in his first NFL start at running back, scored three touchdowns. Continue Reading →

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Mayor-elect looks ahead to new job: ‘I’m very, very excited’

First order of business: addressing the racial achievement gap
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Betsy Hodges remarked last week that she doesn’t recall ever before meeting in the small den-like room on the third floor of City Hall. However, the room and the area it’s located in will become hers in a couple of weeks. The soon-to-be-former city council member will be sworn in on January 2, 2014 as the city’s second-ever female mayor. “I’m just grateful for the opportunity to talk to you and the community through your newspaper,” said Hodges during a December 10 interview with the MSR. “I campaigned consistently on two main things. One of them is building this city, and the second is closing the gaps that divide us racially and economically.”

Hodges said her “two main pieces of business” include the seemingly widening achievement gap between Blacks and other students in the city’s public schools. Continue Reading →

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Concussion issue raises safety concerns among many contact sports

Is there a connection between playing such sports as football and brain diseases that down the road can produce fatal effects? Medical research indicates that such a connection exists, and athletes and coaches are doing their best to come to terms with the implications. Earlier this fall, Frontline’s League of Denial documentary on PBS in October showed a prominent Black doctor being “blackballed” after he performed an autopsy on a deceased former NFL player’s brain and blamed football for the player’s untimely death at age 50. The two-hour documentary also suggested that the league may have known that playing football could cause permanent brain damage but kept quiet about it. “The brain is the last frontier in medicine,” says Jack Brewer, whose Brewer Sports International group last June held a brain injuries seminar in the Twin Cities. Continue Reading →

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Washington mascot protest heats up in Minnesota

Activists say R-word and N-word equally offensive
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Advocates who consider the Washington professional football team nickname racist and offensive believe that change eventually will come, but not without constant pressure on the team owner to do so. Since purchasing the team in 1999, billionaire Daniel Snyder consistently says he will not change the original nickname given by the team’s founder in the early 1930s. Some argue that Washington’s annual estimated revenue — at $245 million — is largely based on team merchandise and other apparel that feature a racially insensitive logo. But Snyder strongly contends that most fans support him and often refers to a 2004 Annenberg poll of mostly White respondents that found that nearly 90 percent of those polled were not offended by the name. “There is now a national conversation — politicians, journalists, sports figures, activists and leaders of all races — coming together to stand with Indian people in pursuit of respect and dignity,” proclaimed U.S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum

(D-Minn.) last week at a November 5 forum at the University of Minnesota. Continue Reading →

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Mr. Bellecourt is right!

‘Redskins’ controversy heats up again
 
This column identifies with, respects and supports Clyde Bellecourt’s request to NFL, Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, don’t use “Redskins,” even if the NFL does. We stand in unity against racism, for far too long a part of the American and Minnesota landscapes. The Jewish owner of the Washington NFL team, Dan Snyder, is doing one of three things: (1) carrying on the racist legacy of George Preston Marshall’s ghost, (2) being tone deaf to fans who understand how racist it is, or (3) at first didn’t know but now knows and doesn’t care, an example of both #1 and #2. This is a wake-up call to racism deniers: foul racism still exists. George Preston Marshall, the owner who gave the team its name in 1932, was a leader in the NFL movement that officially banned Blacks, league wide, in 1933, a ban not lifted until 1947. Continue Reading →

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Vikings are Giant disappointment!

ESPN could not be happy with Monday Night’s game, two teams going nowhere with one win and 10 losses combined between them. They delivered the type of performance undeserving of prime time. Or Broadway. Or the National Football League and fans everywhere

The Giants dominated with a 23-7 win over the Vikings — awful football played by two of the league’s 32. Twenty-five-year-old Josh Freeman started at quarterback for the Vikings and played poorly, completing just 20 of 53 passes for 190 yards. Continue Reading →

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Watkins eased into coaching for Twins

 Tommy Watkins is one of two Black coaches in the Minnesota Twins farm system.  After his season at Single-A Cedar Rapids concluded in September, he was called to join the major league team’s coaching staff for the remainder of the season. “I thought so as my career went on,” admits Watkins when asked if becoming a coach was part of his post-playing career plans. He spent 12 years in the Twins organization (1998-2009) but played only nine games with the big league club in 2007, mostly at third base after being drafted by Minnesota in 1998 out of high school. “I started helping out at my high school (in Riverside, Florida) in my third or fourth year as [an active] player. I always thought when I got done playing I would want to coach somewhere.”

Watkins completed his fourth season as a coach in the Twins organization. Continue Reading →

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