Tag: San Jose State

When will we look live at an apology, Brent?

Brent Musburger closed his long sportscasting career Tuesday night with a college basketball game on ESPN, but there’s one thing the 77-year-old needs to do before starting his new job with a Las Vegas gambling information company.

Apologize to Tommie Smith and John Carlos for a very disturbing column.

A little perspective: The late 60s were a troubling time, perhaps more troubling than the times we’re in now (but we’ll let history judge that).

In April 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assasinated in Memphis, Tenn., while showing support for black sanitary workers.

Two months later, Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, who also promoted the causes of the poor and minority groups, was assinated in Los Angeles after giving a victory speech upon winning the California primary.

This year also saw George Wallace running for president on a pro-segregation platform with the American Independent Party.

It was also during these times Muhammad Ali was fighting in court after his heavyweight boxing title was stripped due to his refusal to be inducted in the military.

In October 1967, sociologist Harry Edwards launched the Olympic Project for Human Rights, which called for a boycott of the 1968 Olympics by black athetes.

While the boycott did not come about, it did produce one of the keystone moments in the struggle for human rights, Smith and Carlos’ raised-fist salute in after going 1-3 in the 200 meters at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, setting the stage for social involvement by athletes.

As one might expect, given the times and an era in which the sports media less critical of sports institutions and the dumb jock cliché was in full force in the media and elsewhere, response was swift, and negative.

After threatening to ban the American team from the rest of the Games, International Olympic Committe President Avery Brundage then ordered Smith and Carlos out of the Olympic Village.

Musburger, a sports writer for the Chicago American newspaper, labeled Smith and Carlos “black-skinned stormtroopers.” The text of the column can be found here : https://www.thenation.com/article/after-forty-four-years-its-time-brent-musburger-apologized-john-carlos-and-tommie-smith/

Both were villified when they returned to the States as well, but as time went on and as the cause of civil rights moved forward, the tide turned in their favor.

In 2005, a statue depicting their protest was unveiled at their alma mater, San Jose State, with the spot occupied by silver medalist Peter Norman left empty, at the Australian’s request, so vistors could stand in his spot.

In 2008, the duo received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs.

Both were on hand when SJSU announced the revival of its legendary track and field program last summer, and Smith was on hand last month when the university announced the establishment of the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change, in the company of Edwards, James Brown and Kareem Abdul-Jabbarr, among others.

But where’s Brent? Have his views on Smith and Carlos changed since 1968?

We don’t know. He hasn’t said anything since then, although he’s had plenty to say about the beauty of Katherine Webb, girlfriend of one-time Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, and Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, who was briefly suspended from the team after pleading guilty in the assault of a female student.

So why can’t he say anything about his words on Smith and Carlos? And where is the outrage beyond this corner of cyberspace and a few other publications?

With his play-by-play duties complete, perhaps Musburger will have time to search his soul and atone for his words. Perhaps even learn the way to San Jose, which would be an appropriate venue for his mea culpa. On in 2018, which marks not only the 50th anniversary of the Smith-Carlos protest, but the return of SJSU’s track program.

Otherwise, it remains an ugly blot on a storied career.

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Old Glory and false flags

Another Tuesday, another show … let’s get to it!

  • Flag burning? Really, Donald? Let’s forget that it’s already been declared free speech under the First Amendment (and we’ve seen how familiar Trump is with the Constitution). And let’s also forget this was not an issue in the campaign.

Instead, let’s call it what it really is: A diversionary tactic from a) Monday’s ridiculous and unsubstantiated allegations about illegal voters costing Trump the popular vote, and b) another round of Cabinet appointments destined to generate controversy.

Trump already has a chief of staff in Republican party chairman Reince Priebus. I’m starting to think he needs a nanny on staff as well, that one person who won’t let him tweet until he finishes all his vegetables, cleans his room, takes out the trash, walks the dog AND cleans the cat’s litter box.

Otherwise, it’s another play to his base that may still be pissed that charges won’t be filed against Hillary Clinton, Obamacare may survive in some form or same-sex marriages will remain legal. Or, if you’ll pardon the expression, a false flag.

  • The tweetstorms may play to the base, create a few laughs and provide something new for the cable gabfests, but consider this: In seven or so weeks, he’s going to be president.
  • Coaching vacancies make strange bedfellows, so it’s not surprising to hear former Fresno State football coach Pat Hill may have thrown his hat into the ring for the vacancy at San Jose State.

Some Bulldog supporters seem aghast that Hill would consider taking the gig with the school’s rival, but are these not the same supporters that ran Hill out of town a few years ago, only to wish he’d return before favorite son Jeff Tedford emerged as a candidate and eventually got the job.

Perhaps Hill just wants to get back on the sidelines after a few years in the broadcast booth. Or maybe it really is all about the Benjamins. But playing the loyalty card seems a bit far-fetched.

It’s happened before, perhaps never more famously than in baseball, when Leo Durocher moved across town from the Brooklyn Dodgers to New York Giants in mid season. Bo Schembechler was an assistant coach at Ohio State for several years before becoming head coach at Michigan. And Rick Pitino coached both Kentucky and Louisville sandwiched around a four-year stint with the Boston Celtics.

  • Hill would add a little star power to San Jose not seen since Dick Tomey took the helm. Otherwise, this seems like most other openings in the Mountain West, one for an assistant coach looking to have his own team with an eye on a Power 5 job, ala Mike MacIntyre, who left the Spartans for Colorado, which has a berth in Friday’s Pac-12 championship game.
  • Rumors the Red Sox and Giants were discussing a deal that would return Pablo Sandoval to San Francisco were shot down quickly last week. Not only did it not make baseball sense, but there wasn’t enough time to prepare Bay area restaurants for the return of the Panda, who, apparently, will have to be satisfied by joining Cliff and Norm for the Feeding Frenzy special at the Hungry Heifer.