Bob McNair has become a controversial figure to some in the sports media after a comment made in the heat of a league meeting last year. In that meeting he stated that “we can’t have the inmates running the prison.”
Many took this to mean McNair was comparing players, about 70 percent of whom are black, to inmates literally.
Now as the league turns to its biggest offseason TV ratings bonanza — the NFL Draft — some in the sports media world are now turning their digital pens in to activism to get McNair gone from the league.
One such example comes from The Comeback (a former employer of mine for full disclosure), where writer Adam Patrick took up the case that the racist McNair needs to go. Now, Patrick didn’t outright call McNair a racist, he just chose to insinuate it around every corner of his article.
Of course, a lot of players took McNair’s comment from this past October to heart, and with a less-than-stellar relationship between owners, NFL management and the players of the league there is little trust to go off of in the first place. Such was clearly the case with McNair and his ill-timed and ill-conceived comment.
But rather than explore what was really meant versus the idiom used, Patrick and other writers have ascribed malice, hatred and racism to McNair’s heart.
Patrick would go on to lambast the Texans owner for other supposedly racist and “disgusting” comments. He even went so far to put this down in digital writing:
But McNair’s comments last year were not the first time that the owner’s disgusting thoughts creeped out of his head and into the open air.
His next “disgusting” moment? Having the gaul to not be happy that Barack Obama won the 2008 election and speaking about his displeasure to his team in a meeting.
There’s no doubt that Obama’s election was a historic moment for the country, but McNair clearly isn’t one to support the policies that Obama advocated for. So, why exactly should he be anything but disappointed that the candidate he fought against getting elected won?
It would be the equivalent of getting to the Super Bowl and coming on air and openly celebrating the other team’s victory in the moments after the game. It just doesn’t make sense.
Now, that’s not to say McNair chose the right place to air his thoughts. If anything, McNair is most guilty of not knowing his audience very well. Perhaps that’s the strongest argument for him stepping aside, if there really is one.
McNair was also the center of controversy for pointing out that a public figure should be careful of his/hers surroundings even when in private.
McNair was quoted as saying to the team “to be careful who you have private conversations with, because things that you think are confidential can spread like wildfire.”
This came on the heels of the Donald Sterling recordings, where the then Los Angeles Clippers owner was caught making blatant and awful racist comments by a girlfriend of his at the time.
For Duane Brown and some others that was taken to mean that McNair was saying to just not get recorded being a racist in private.
“In my mind, it would probably have been better if he said ‘don’t be a racist’ instead of ‘be a racist in private and make sure it doesn’t get out,’” Brown said, via The Sporting News.
Nevermind that McNair’s advice is really good for a group of famous people who have a history of being targeted for extortion and all sorts of other things. Watching the company you keep is sound advice, not closeted racism.
But, that’s just the fuel to the fire of the real reason behind Patrick and other media’s new obsession. What Patrick and other writers are mad about is really this — McNair doesn’t support the same politics as them and that means he must go.
Let’s also consider the utter hypocrisy of the sports media in how they took McNair’s comments from inside the locker room and blasted them for the world to know. If there’s one rule in sports that is rarely broken, it is that what is said behind closed doors stays behind closed doors.
Taking it up in a team meeting may not have been the right place or time for McNair to address any of this, but this also isn’t the first time something like this has happened behind closed doors by anyone associated with sports. People say things others in the locker room may not like all the time — players, coaches, trainers and owners alike.
Yet, McNair’s thoughts from a decade-old election and advice to players following an idiot being recorded as an idiot are now reason for his removal?
Thankfully not everyone jumped on the bandwagon of Twitter mob-justice following McNair’s comments last year. There was a voice of reason coming from the world of sports journalism.
Sports Illustrated ran a piece in the wake of the firestorm back in October that took some bravery. In it, writer Michael Rosenborg actually had the audacity to ask the question of what was really meant by what McNair said.
His conclusion? Poor idiom, but what McNair was trying to get across is that they can’t let the players run the league:
Yet, Bob McNair’s comments have been twisted and set on fire. He did not say NFL players are prisoners. I know people are acting like he said that, but that’s clearly not what he meant. He was trying to say players should not run the league. Every owner agrees with him on that.
What CEO of a company would allow the workers to control and run the company? What group of stakeholders or shareholders would allow themselves to be dictated to by the people they employ?
Of course, there’s a difference between that extreme and wielding an iron fist over employees as well. Therein lies the crux of the matter for the NFL and its relationship between the executives of the league, its owners and the players. There are three groups fighting for more and more power and bigger and bigger pieces of the pie and no one cares about building a culture within the overall organization that lifts everyone up.
It’s a dog-eat-dog world in sports, where the next man to get drafted is there to take your job and the next loss could be your last as a player or coach. Being cutthroat and building a positive work culture is walking a fine line and something the NFL clearly has a problem doing. Few on any side are willing to listen to each other and idiotic uses of idioms don’t help.
Rather, they only tend to fan the flames of activist journalism and the Twitter mob of today, let alone cause issues internally. Truth be damned.
Then again, does it surprise you when sports journalism turns in to outright activism today? It shouldn’t, sadly.
Perhaps the most sad part is that those activist journalists haven’t bothered to realize that their dream is coming true anyway. Bob McNair is slowly turning over the day-to-day operations of the team to his son Brian, who is the COO of the Texans anyway.
He’ll be gone soon, just not on your timeline activist journalists…and that’s how it should be.
Clay Travis continues to use hearsay to troll Greg Schiano
Clay Travis isn’t afraid to say what is on his mind, and often times he’s one of the few in national sports media not afraid to speak truth to the prevailing narrative.
However, he isn’t above being wrong and on Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano he is exactly that – wrong.
Travis’ obsession with Schiano started about this time last year as his beloved Tennessee Volunteers (he wrote a book about them if you didn’t already know) were about to hire him as their next head coach. It continued on Tuesday morning as Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer’s retirement and Ryan Day’s appointment as head coach were announced.
The claim by Travis and others was and is that Schiano knew about incidents of child rape involving then Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky back in the early 90’s and did nothing about it.
Travis presents the scenario as if it is established fact and therefore should disqualify him from ever being a head coach of a major college football program again.
But, what was really said in the now unsealed deposition? Well, it paints a vastly different picture than what Travis and his campaign to get Schiano out of the Vols head coaching search painted.
It’s something that Fox Sports college football analyst Joel Klatt pointed out to Travis after he tried to defend his take earlier today.
Here is what the deposition actually says according to StateCollege.com:
In his deposition in the civil case, which was unsealed with hundreds of pages of documents in July 2016, McQueary said that in the mid-2000s, years after he reported it to Penn State officials, he told defensive coordinator Tom Bradley about the 2001 incident in which he says he saw Sandusky abusing a boy in a locker room shower. Bradley, McQueary said, told him he had heard a few similar reports, including one from Schiano in the early 90s.
McQueary claimed that he briefly discussed what he witnessed with Bradley, who had been on the Penn State staff since 1979 and succeeded Sandusky as defensive coordinator after the 1999 season.
“He said he knew of some things,” McQueary testified. “He said another assistant coach had come to him in the early 90s about a very similar situation to mine, and he said that he had — someone had come back to him as far back as the early 80s about seeing Jerry doing something with a boy.”
That’s certainly a different story than what Travis and his ilk would have you believe. If you listen to Travis on this subject you would be led to believe that what he is saying about Schiano is 100 percent fact…end of story.
Instead, the actual truth is that Schiano may have known something at one point in time way back in 1991 or anytime during his tenure in State College, but no one has been able to verify the claim made by McQueary — not even Tom Bradley himself verifies these claims.
In fact, Bradley has denied all knowledge of any acts by Sandusky from the very start. He released a statement through his attorney after the testimony became unsealed.
“At no time did Tom Bradley ever witness any inappropriate behavior. Nor did he have any knowledge of alleged incidents in the 80’s and 90’s. He has consistently testified as such,” the statement read. “Any assertions to the contrary are false. When he became aware of the 2001 incident it had already been reported to the University administration years earlier.”
So, Travis is willing to take the third party hearsay in a civil deposition as the gospel truth? He wasn’t about to back down this morning that’s for sure.
Call me confused, because this is also the same man who will scream to the heavens that a person is innocent until proven guilty.
Where is the proof that Schiano knew and did nothing? There literally is none in existence that we or Travis or anyone else can dig up. The only people that really know are Bradley and Schiano themselves.
Travis is also in danger of being a massive hypocrite. Let’s remember this is also literally the same situation as current Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh went through just a few months ago.
You know who went to bat for Kavanaugh?
You got it…Clay Travis.
If there’s one thing I can’t stand it is someone who has a standard and doesn’t apply it equally.
Why would Travis not believe the Kavanaugh accusers, but believe McQueary? Both sets of people were under threat of either felony or perjury charges. Yet, only one set of these people were labeled a liar by Travis.
Oh, that’s right, Travis had an agenda to make sure the team he loves most doesn’t make a bad football hire. He would go to any lengths to make sure that happens and in this case it is continuing to smear a man with a case of third party hearsay.
He also owes Schiano and his family an apology for dragging his name through the mud based of of unsubstantiated claims. He’s wholly bent on wrecking a man’s life and reputation because he didn’t want his favorite team.
Even worse is that people wholly believe what Travis is selling has 100 percent fact and will repeat it ad nauseam. It’s how tall tales replace real facts across our culture and is very dangerous indeed.
Sports Illustrated uses Tim Green story to push CTE-ALS link as fact
Tim Green was once the backbone of an ever-underachieving Atlanta Falcons team in the late 1980’s and early 90’s. He then went on to become a massive success as a broadcaster, author of children’s books and as a businessman.
But, on Sunday night he also revealed a drastic change to his life, as he announced on CBS’ “60 Minutes” program that he was suffering from ALS — otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Sports Illustrated had a piece on this segment and how ALS and head-trauma from football players are linked.
It’s truly sad to see anyone suffer through this debilitating and eventually fatal disease. Yet, Green remains upbeat and considers what he’s been able to accomplish in his life as a blessing. That much he made clear in his interview with 60 Minutes.
But, for SI.com writer Jack Dickey, Green’s situation seemed a good time to remind everyone that CTE leads to ALS and there’s no question about it.
“Green, 54, is not the first ex-NFLer to develop the disease; the link between the violent game and the degenerative and fatal neurological condition, which causes sufferers to lose most control of their muscles and is diagnosed in two to three out of every 100,000 people annually, has grown somewhat clearer with time,” Dickey points out in his article.
The key words here are “somewhat clearer with time.”
The problem is, studies about CTE and ALS being linked haven’t actually made things any more clear. What has become clear is that people with CTE are seemingly more likely to get ALS than the general population as a whole.
That doesn’t mean the two are actually linked though. Commonality doesn’t equal causation necessarily and a basic biology class or science class in general has taught all of us that.
At least one would think that is the case.
The reality of the research on the issue is vastly different than the conclusion SI.com draws.
In reality, the link is a possibility at best. There simply isn’t enough available data or understanding of CTE or the link to ALS to make a definitive statement.
As raredr.com points out, the study clearly makes a potential link in the fact that about 5 percent of studied CTE cases have also demonstrated symptoms of ALS. But, most importantly, it emphasizes that the two may not actually be linked.
“Approximately 5% of CTE cases result in patients demonstrating the clinical or pathological characteristics of ALS, however, whether the 2 conditions are related has remained a mystery.”
It’s a number that is certainly higher than the average population as a whole. In fact, the study also points out that CTE has also been found in military veterans, who are twice as likely as non-veterans to be diagnosed with ALS.
Yet, Sports Illustrated has taken it a step further in not bothering to point out the actual conclusions of the study to date. Instead, they make that blanket statement made above and then continue on as if that statement is fact.
In fact, the rest of the article doesn’t even bother to mention the study in any factual way. There is no quoting of the study or any further discussion of the link that has been shown to date.
But, SI would have you believe this one paragraph and its conclusions are the only thing that could be possible.
It’s the exact opposite of what the study concludes:
Due to the high complexity of both diseases, more long-term studies are necessary for a full understanding of the connection. The recent analysis warrants a larger study of more people with CTE and CTE-ALS to confirm results, but continued studies could potentially uncover viable CTE-ALS biomarkers and therapeutic options.
Shame on Sports Illustrated for using Tim Green and his situation to promote half-truths and outright falsehoods within an article.
This is exactly how speculation and falsehoods become truth in the popular culture. After all, outlets like SI have become trusted sources of information and if they print it, it must be true.
It is on outlets like SI to give us the honest and unvarnished truth. Anything less than that is malfeasance.
What the Quod? A new era in sports media coverage
First off, for those of you that have come to grow with us at Beat The Coverage — a hearty thank you.
When I started this project my goal was to expose the truth of liberal and social justice bias in sports media and give a different voice on the biggest topics and stories coming out of the sports world.
It’s been a fun journey to date, but as the saying goes “if you aren’t changing, you’re dying.”
So today, we bring you a brand new name — The Quod.
What is The Quod? Well, for those of you that love dead languages, it’s Latin for because, which and fact. What better way to hammer home the point that facts are missing from the sports media world of today, than to put it right in the name?
It also brings up the idea of “The Quad” on your favorite college campus…also known as the area where protest, speech and gathering takes place.
Why the Change?
Well, as some of you likely know, there’s this website called Outkick The Coverage out there. What Clay Travis is doing there is amazing work, and it’s some of the stuff I am doing here on our little corner of the interwebs.
Frankly, considering the messaging, content and ideas behind our sites, it just felt too close to stand out on its own. Beat The Coverage was meant to stand on its own two feet…and today The Quod does just that!
There were months spent trying to come up with sports-driven names. White boards and brainstorming sessions with scribbled names. There were heated discussions and confused looks, not to mention great ideas that were blocked by domain ownership and social media concerns.
Seriously, you won’t believe how difficult it is to come up with a name that no one owns for a domain, let alone via social media.
All of it took place inside my home, as I ran things by my partner in life, my wife Lexi, and a few trusted friends in this business (believe it or not they can and do exist).
So, I want to take some time to thank Lexi for her endless support, her patience (even if she doesn’t think she has it) and most importantly for those rambling talk-through sessions as I wanted to make this change.
I may be the writing and speaking force behind this site, but she’s the one that makes life work at our house and that allows me to take time to do this project.
Thank you dear!
Back to the change at hand though…here at The Quod we continue to evolve our coverage of the Social Justice Sports Writer ( #SJSW) and bias within sports media in general. As we’ve established, the two kind of go hand in hand these days.
Our biggest weapon in the fight to keep sports honest? It’s always been facts. That won’t be changing any time soon. I am promising to double down the efforts to come at you with facts, whether that be laying out what they are on a topic or using them as an argument against a biased article or writer.
Facts, not political ideology or the prevailing mob of opinion will be our driving force. It always has been, but with this name change that’s even more clear.
So, welcome to The Quod — Where Sports Media bias meets fact.
I appreciate your support for what I’m doing here and thank you sincerely for spreading the word as we ramp up our growth! Keep on spreading the good word and giving me the feedback…it’s appreciated more than you know.