Star Tribune

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The Washington mascot solution is simple: Change the name!

No U.S. professional team since 1963 has established new mascots or nicknames that use racial stereotypes. Yet the Washington pro football team, which played here last week, continues its offensive nickname and logo. Current team owner Dan Snyder, when asked last May, told USA Today that he will “never” change the team nickname. His refusal, as well as virtually ignoring a new resolution by the District of Columbia City Council urging the team to change its name, as well as a U.S. House bill introduced that would amend the 1946 Trademark Act, banning the term and canceling all trademark registrations of the current nickname, is downright disappointing and insulting. We condemn Mr. Snyder’s stubbornness, greediness or both along with his argument against changing a name that originated and maintained for over eight decades, since 1932, “a legacy of racism” by the team’s late founder George Preston Marshall in. Continue Reading →

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“We didn’t know!” Really?

Everybody pretends ignorance or amnesia on Zygi’s dealings
 

Many intelligent, knowledgeable people purposefully said they were surprised by the 21-year-old court ruling against the Wilfs, owners of the Minnesota Vikings. Really? Why do they think we believe them (Star Tribune wrote of it in 2011)? They quietly believed the Wilfs would win. What they “won” is loss of credibility. Continue Reading →

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Mpls police killed T.T. Franklin for being Black — Racism, individual and institutional, is alive and well in our fair city

 

There was a lot of hatred directed at and rained down upon T.T. Franklin May 10 in that poorly lighted basement at 2717 Bryant Ave. South, away from prying eyes, enabling public safety to once again turn its back on transparently serving the people, enabling public safety officers to engage in another wrongful death as they savagely mutilated and shot to death a young man hiding from them, not burgling. Five SWAT members, all armed, in flak jackets, with a K-9 biting and chewing on T.T. Franklin, would have us believe that multiple shots and almost blowing his head apart was unavoidable as opposed to tasering him. How was that “protecting with courage”? Minneapolis pays millions in wrongful death awards, doesn’t sanction its killers, while institutions that claim they care stay silent. Continue Reading →

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Congratulations, Tubby!

 

 
 Texas Tech hires Tubby Smith while U of M keeps looking

There is no mystery about the well-designed plan to oust six-year U of M Gopher men’s basketball Head Coach Tubby Smith. Well designed, but ill-advised and poorly executed, as seen in various Star Tribune headlines Monday, March 25 through Monday, April 1. 25th: “Firing Smith would be big mistake by Gophers” (Sid Hartman)

26th: “Tubby out, U search in high gear” (Dennis Brackin)

26th: “U: time for a change”

26th: “Tubby’s best not enough”

27th: “Mn in position like sleeping giant”

28th: “Search moves on; Smart to stay at VCU”

29th: “U leaders mold coaching network”

30th: “Stop fretting, Flip [Saunders] is the right fit”

31st: “Flip says no to U”

1st: “Tubby Smith to Texas Tech; Minnesota search continues”

1st: “Minnesota basketball coaching job: Who wants it?”

Have you wondered, as I have, as to why, even when the Gophers were 15-1, the Star Tribune’s little lady from North Carolina [by way of short stints — after graduating from college — at the Boston Globe and the Detroit Free Press] was so hostile in her sports coverage of U basketball? Sources within the U as well as Minneapolis sports scene movers and shakers enable us to connect the dots. The announcement that Tubby found a new job April 1 at Texas Tech was no April Fool’s joke. Continue Reading →

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Gentlemen of the Round Table ready to work on People’s Stadium

 

 

Sometime in late March of 2013, an African American construction trade association, Gentlemen of the Round Table, will be looking forward to its meeting with the Sports Facilities Authority to present its members’ credentials qualifying them to work on the Viking’s People’s Stadium. What a difference a plan makes to enable meeting a dream and vision of minority inclusion. This group of 100 Black men in the construction trades, based in Kansas City, Missouri, was formed seven years ago. All are journeymen. Over half own their own businesses. Continue Reading →

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Is doll-hanging incident a result of ignorance or callousness?

 

Someone once said that “the problem with the past is it’s not quite past.” Ironically, the hanging of a Black doll and the dragging of it through school at Minneapolis Washburn was a reminder that the past is not quite past us in our so-called post-racial society. Why would someone hang a Black doll knowing that at the very least it would be attention getting in young people’s consciousness? Some of the young people who spoke at an assembly at the school about the issue said that the perpetrators didn’t mean anything by hanging the doll. A few others said it wasn’t meant to be racist. Maybe not. Continue Reading →

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Decision announcement days: January 15 & 18, February 1, 2013

Sports Facility Authority and the Minnesota Vikings
 

Will the “Stadium Powers” (Minnesota Legislature, Minneapolis City Council, Vikings, NFL and the Minnesota Facilities Sports Authority that oversees the stadium construction project), all regarding the Vikings (“people’s” “no new taxes”) stadium, stand up for fairness in employment and equity or hide behind the skirts of a “best effort” calendar? January 15, 2013: The Sports Authority is to file its first annual report to the Minnesota State Legislature’s super-commission. Report only. No public hearing. No public comments. 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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City election 2013 candidates face some tough funding issues — Paying for the Vikings stadium is chief among them

 

The City of Minneapolis is preparing for the elections of 2013. It will, in all probability, be a very contentious election, with a three-term mayor on the political ropes. The key factor that will influence candidates to run and determine how citizens will vote centers on developing intended and unintended consequences of the Vikings stadium funding, which in turn centers on four areas:

1. How the mayor deliberately and knowingly violated the City charter by refusing to let voters decide on any stadium bill over $10 million (the mayor being quite comfortable with having the City absorb the stadium debt);

2. How the actual numbers, with interest, are nearly 10 times the original projection for the City’s costs;

3. Continue Reading →

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Minnesota Timberwolves: The ‘Whitest team in the NBA’ has an even Whiter front office

 
Director of basketball operations counts coaching staff as front-office staff to claim diversity 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The National Basketball Association for years has been graded as “the most racially diverse group of players of the major professional sports” by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES). Seventy-two percent of its players are Blacks and 82 percent of its players are people of color. This racial diversity has not yet found its way into the local NBA team, however, as a Star Tribune article recently pointed out with respect to the players, without even mentioning the club’s all-White front office. According to the 2011-12 “NBA Racial and Gender Report Card” by TIDES Director Dr. Richard Lapchick, 13 percent of team presidents/CEOs, 23 percent of GMs, 10 percent of vice presidents, 13 percent of senior administrators, 14 percent of professional administrators, five percent of team physicians and 21 percent of head trainers are Black. However in contrast, the Minnesota Timberwolves has no Blacks in any of the aforementioned positions: Since Billy McKinney, its first-ever player personnel director (1988-1990), the team has not had a person of color in a key front-office position in 22 years, and only three Blacks total in decision-making roles in the franchise’s entire 24 years. Continue Reading →

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