Tag Archives: dwyane wade

Under The Hood: A New Take On Activism In Sports

By Guest Contributor David J. Leonard

(l-r) Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire. Courtesy: Gothamist.com

As individuals from throughout the United States and in other parts of the world voiced their anger and outrage at the murder of Trayvon Martin, there was an initial frustration from many in the social media world about the reticence and silence from today’s (black) athletes. The wish that athletes, and really black athletes–since it is rare to hear about the failure of white athletes–would uses their platform to shape change has become commonplace. So when the Miami Heat and several other players joined the calls for justice, there was certainly a level of joy and satisfaction.

Whereas individual athletes have a long tradition of protest and using the platform of athletes to express political sentiments, from Tommie Smith and John Carlos to Toni Smith, few teams have collectively taken a stand. Donning hoodies, the Heat stood in solidarity with Trayvon, shining a spotlight on the deferred justice in his case and the real-life dangers of racial profiling. As a team, they stood together as one, although it is clear that both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James were the ringleaders beyond this effort. The picture and the tweet, under the hashtag of #wewantjustice, were in fact the impetus of James himself.

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Trayvon Martin Reaches The Sports Pages–And Online Hoaxes

By Arturo R. García

As the Trayvon Martin case continued to reverberate around the country’s consciousness this past weekend, the calls for justice reached the sports realm, as well.
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What Hockey Fans Think About Basketball

By Guest Contributor Kristen Wright

On June 15, the Boston Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. And on the previous Sunday, June 12, the Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat 105-95 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to secure the franchise’s first championship. The media has celebrated both victories as a triumph of grit and hard work over finesse and pure talent.

The streets of Vancouver may have erupted after the Canucks’ loss, but the team’s most potent offensive weapons – twin brothers Daniel and Henrik Sedin – were relatively silent throughout the Finals. The twins combined for two goals, three assists, and a minus- 4 rating during the Finals, but multiple writers came to their defense when commentator Mike Milbury referred to them as ‘Thelma and Louise’ (an inaccurate and offensive reference to their poor play) during a broadcast. Miami Heat superstar LeBron James has his defenders, but much more ink has been spilled over his shortcomings. While Dallas role players like JJ Barea and DeShawn Stevenson played over their heads, LeBron failed to live up to his hype.

Drafted 1st overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2003 NBA Draft, James was supposed to be the savior of a struggling franchise. He initially appeared to deliver on this promise, leading the Cavaliers to the playoffs every season between 2006 and 2010. The Cavs even made the 2007 NBA Finals, where they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs.

Last summer, LeBron became a free agent. After being courted by numerous NBA organizations, he announced his decision to join the Miami Heat during an hour-long special entitled The Decision. The program was widely ridiculed as a lengthy and unnecessary spectacle, and basketball greats like Michael Jordan argued that it was inappropriate for LeBron to join a team of rivals in an attempt to chase a championship.

But other criticism of James has come from the hockey world. Sam Fels, a Chicago Blackhawks blogger, wrote a piece on his blog Second City Hockey entitled “Viewing LeBron” (on NBC Chicago later cross-posted the piece under the title “What Hockey Fans Think of LeBron”). In his piece, Fels argued that hockey fans are turned off by the “bombast” of LeBron’s free agency and of the basketball culture in general.
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Witnessing The Fall … For Now

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By Site Lead Arturo R. García

Better get comfy now: the case of The People vs. Lebron James might go through a lull or two over the summer – wedding incidents notwithstanding – but it’ll resume in full force when the NBA season starts again this fall.

For now, almost one week after “The Decision,” everybody involved is looking for sympathy. But aside from those poor kids who were herded onto live television to watch their hometown hero drag his one-man show out longer than the Lost finale, they’re all falling short.

James, of course, has to take most of the blame for this debacle. As an alleged lifelong sports fan, he had to know what he was risking by turning his break-up with both the Cleveland Cavaliers and his native Ohio into a one-night-stand with reality television. If James had taken the usual route for this announcement – you know, a faux-solemn press conference, which would’ve still given ESPN some ratings – it’d all be over but the spin control by this point. Instead, it’s only just begun.

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