Recent Articles

Lin’s success makes me a believer—But insensitive coverage reminds us all that bigotry lives



It’s been incredible watching the rise to prominence of Jeremy Lin, the star guard of the New York Knicks, whose first eight games as a starter has him ahead of three Hall-of-Fame point guards (Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson and John Stockton) by comparison in their first eight starts. The New York Knicks have been a non-story for over 10 years in New York. But suddenly, thanks to Lin’s emergence, his story has grabbed the nation and knocked the Super Bowl Champion Giants off the front pages. Lin is the first graduate of Harvard to star in the NBA in 58 years. Lin is Asian American, and what he has done has been nothing short of remarkable. Continue Reading →

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The NBA is back! Hip hip!



The excitement, the beautiful people in the house — there’s something about the NBA that draws you in, just like the NFL. This NBA season is coming off of a bitter long lockout by the 30 owners, who demanded mandated concessions from the players. The owners were able to get the players to surrender to their terms, giving up nearly 20 percent annually the leverage they maintained previously to reach a new CBA. The question is will the business profits and growth of the sport be achieved. After 30 games, it’s too early to gauge, but the sacrifices made by the players appear to have saved at least six franchises from drowning in the red. Continue Reading →

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Now the real battle for 2012 begins — Let’s hope it doesn’t get much uglier



The ugliness during the Republican primary in Florida provided us a front-row seat in the arena of negative electioneering that has become a hallmark of the 2012 Republican campaign. To say it has been uglier in the past doesn’t excuse it. It will get worse when Republicans vs. Republicans turn their vicious and ugly campaign against Barack Obama, as Republicans train their sights on just a single target: the president. It began to emerge in Iowa. Continue Reading →

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NCAA contenders looked like Black colleges

But they were not, nor do Black athletes or 
Black colleges share in the sport wealth

A week ago, tens of millions of Americans (with millions more around the world) tuned into the NCAA BCS national championship football game, played at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. A big game. And a big revenue generator. A great payday for all White colleges eligible to get their cut of the media and game-day millions. A big payday for White coaches dependent on winning records. Continue Reading →

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Only in the NFL: super rematch!



Storylines can sometimes make you scratch your head in disbelief. One such story is that of two brothers, John and Jim Harbaugh, both head football coaches of two of the 12 NFL teams that qualified for the 2012 playoffs, getting their teams within one victory of coaching against each other in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis on February 5. John, head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, lost 23-20 to New England; Jim, head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, lost 20-17 in overtime to New York. Then there’s Eli Manning, New York Giants quarterback and little brother of Peyton Manning, the injured superstar of the Indianapolis Colts, proving again he is indeed an elite quarterback, leading the Giants back to the Super Bowl for a chance to win his second Super Bowl before older brother Peyton gets his second in Indianapolis, Indiana — where older brother Peyton plays, of all places, against the same team, Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots, and Tom Brady that he beat in Super Bowl 42 (17-14). Just amazing. Continue Reading →

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A good man departs public service — Fire Chief Alex Jackson to step down Feb. 29, 2012



When Minneapolis Fire Department (MFD) Chief Alex Jackson announced his retirement two weeks ago, it was not necessarily surprising to us in this corner. We saw it coming as far back as April 2010 in the rush to judgment over the April 28, 2010 fire that was used to unfairly yet purposefully undercut Chief Jackson. As I wrote in my April 10, 2010 column, “All the Star Tribune and City Council Member Gary Schiff (DFL, Ninth Ward) have managed to do as shameless, vocal town criers against the department’s Chief Jackson, Assistant Chief Penn, and Fire Marshall Tyner, all African Americans, is get egg on their faces.”

Despite how he has been treated, the good news is that Chief Jackson is leaving for retirement on his own terms, his head unbowed. Due to my long experience as one of the federal court-appointed overseers of the department, I am extremely familiar with the MFD and its demands. It was not always an easy task to convey to the union and the politicians the importance of adhering to the orders of the federal court. Continue Reading →

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Giants dominate Packers 37-20



GREEN BAY — Will history be kind to the Green Bay Packers, considering they were defending Super Bowl Champions, 15-1, the number-one seed in the playoffs for the first time since 1996, second-highest-scoring team (560 points) in NFL history and winners of 19 straight games? The cruel reality of the National Football League is that on any given Sunday it’s for real — you can get your nose bloodied in this league. The New York Giants, the last team to qualify as NFC East Champs for the 12-team playoff field, did the punching Sunday. They shocked the football world on a wonderful 31-degree, sun-splashed January day having come to town confident that they could play with the defending champion Packers, and they proved it. Losing that close 38-35 battle at home to the Packers on December 4 in the regular season in some ways sparked the Giants. Continue Reading →

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We still need help here!

African American children continue to die, and with them our spirits

On Christmas day, December 25, 2011, three-year-old Terrell Mayes, Jr. enjoyed Christmas and the love and warmth of his family. By the late evening of December 26, Terrell Mayes, Jr. was dead, the victim of the continuous, senseless violence that is tearing at the soul of our city. By Wednesday, December 28, politicians were trying to put a favorable twist on this tragic story. But there is no twist, no mirage, no Madison Avenue-driven theme, no so-called “closure.” Death is irreversible. And at three years of age, this child’s death will haunt family, friends and community for the rest of our lives. Continue Reading →

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No contest — Tide rolls over LSU 21-0


NEW ORLEANS — Be careful when you give someone a rematch. The motivation of the agony of defeat can make a huge difference. We saw it when Muhammad Ali defeated Joe Frazier in the rematch. We saw it when the New York Giants shocked the previously unbeaten New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Monday night we saw it again. Continue Reading →

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Vikings done, NFL Second Season begins


PHOENIX — It’s over. The worst season of Vikings football since 1984 has come to an end, 17-13 to the Chicago Bears. Back in 1961 when it all started for the Vikings in Minnesota, they beat George Hallas and the Chicago Bears. Well, Sunday at Mall of America Field at the Metrodome the Chicago Bears ended a five-game losing streak and handed the Vikings a 17-13 loss in what could be the last game the Vikings play in Minnesota. What’s sad is that nobody knows the lease agreement between the Vikings and the Metropolitan Sports Commission officially is over. Continue Reading →

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