Tag: Sports Illustrated

Colin Kaepernick Receives 2017 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award

Colin Kaepernick (GETTY IMAGES)

by Michael Rosenberg via si.com

“If I was walking down the highway with a quarter in my pocket and a briefcase full of truth, I’d be so happy.” – Muhammad Ali, Sports Illustrated, Feb. 19, 1968

Colin Kaepernick made his truth known when he first decided not to stand for the national anthem. He had a lot of football left to play and a lot more money to make when he made his decision. It was late August, 2016. People who were anonymous in life had become famous in death. Philando Castile. Eric Garner​. Alton Sterling. Freddie Gray. They were tragic symbols of a society that had taken a terribly wrong turn. As the anthem played ahead of the 49ers’ preseason game against the Texans, Kaepernick, San Francisco’s 28-year-old quarterback at the time, quietly took a seat on the bench.

It took two weeks for anyone from the media to ask him about it. Kaepernick explained that he was making a statement about inequality and social justice, about the ways this country “oppresses black people and people of color.”

“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” he added. “There are bodies in the street,” he said then, “and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

In the last 16 months, Kaepernick’s truth has been twisted, distorted and used for political gain. It has cost him at least a year of his NFL career and the income that should have come with it. But still, it is his truth. He has not wavered from it. He does not regret speaking it. He has caused millions of people to examine it. And, quietly, he has donated nearly a million dollars to support it.

For all those reasons—for his steadfastness in the fight for social justice, for his adherence to his beliefs no matter the cost—Colin Kaepernick is the recipient of the 2017 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. Each year SI and the Ali family honor a figure who embodies the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy and has used sports as a platform for changing the world. “I am proud to be able to present this to Colin for his passionate defense of social justice and civil rights for all people,” says Lonnie Ali, Muhammad’s widow. “Like Muhammad, Colin is a man who stands on his convictions with confidence and courage, undaunted by the personal sacrifices he has had to make to have his message heard. And he has used his celebrity and philanthropy to the benefit of some of our most vulnerable community members.”

Previous Legacy winners—including Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Brown, Jack Nicklaus and Magic Johnson—were deserving. But no winner has been more fitting than Kaepernick. Ali lost more than three years of his career for his refusal to serve in the military in opposition to the Vietnam War. Kaepernick has lost one year, so far, for his pursuit of social justice.

When Kaepernick first protested during the national anthem, he could not have envisioned the size and duration of the ensuing firestorm. But he knew there would be fallout. So much has changed in America since the summer of 2016, and so many words have been used to describe Kaepernick. But his words from his first explanation remain his truth:

“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”

Kaepernick kept his job for a season before being blackballed by the NFL—and yes, he has been blackballed. This should be obvious by now. Scott Tolzien, Cody Kessler, Tom Savage and Matt Cassel have thrown passes in the league this year, yet nobody has tried to sign Kaepernick, who is fifth in NFL history in touchdown-to-interception ratio. Kaepernick has been called a distraction, which is laughable— his coach last year, Chip Kelly, says there was “zero distraction,” and his 49ers teammates said the same. Most NFL players would rather be “distracted” by Kaepernick than try to tackle the guy who just intercepted Brock Osweiler.

Kaepernick has paid a price beyond missing games and losing paychecks. He has been battered by critics who don’t want to understand him. Some say Kaepernick hates America; he says he is trying to make it better. Others say he hates the military, but on Sept. 1, 2016, as the then-San Diego Chargers played a tribute to the military on the stadium videoboard, Kaepernick applauded.

Nobody claims Kaepernick is perfect. Reasonable, woke people can be upset that he did not vote in the 2016 election. But the Ali Legacy Award does not honor perfection, and the criticisms of Kaepernick are misguided in one fundamental way: They make this story a referendum on Kaepernick. It was never supposed to be about him. It is about Tamir Rice and the world’s highest incarceration rate and a country that devalues education and slides too easily into violence.

When Ali was drafted into the military in 1967 and refused to report, much of the country disapproved. Ali explained his refusal by saying: “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam after so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?”

Time ultimately shined a softer light on Ali. For the last 40 years of his life, Ali was arguably the most popular athlete in American history. But in the late 1960s, he was deeply unpopular and his future was uncertain.

Ali was 25 when he was banned from boxing and 28 when he returned to the sport. Boxing historians sometimes wonder what he would have done in those prime years. But Ali did not look at it that way. Instead of focusing on the piece of his career that he lost, he talked about what he had gained: a sense of self, and of purpose, greater than he could ever find in the ring. He risked prison time. He did not know if he would ever be allowed to fight again. But he knew he was clinging to his truth. As Ali later told SI’s George Plimpton: “Every man wonders what he is going to do when he is put on the chopping block, when he’s going to be tested.”

Someday, America may well be a better place because of Colin Kaepernick. This is hard to see now— history is not meant to be analyzed in real time. But we are having conversations we need to have, and this should eventually lead to changes we need to make. Police officers, politicians and citizens can work together to create a safer, fairer, more civil society. Kaepernick did not want to sacrifice his football career for this. But he did it anyway. It is a rare person who gives up what he loves in exchange for what he believes.

To read full article, go to: https://www.si.com/sportsperson/2017/11/30/colin-kaepernick-muhammad-ali-legacy-award

Serena Williams is Sports Illustrated’s 2015 Sportsperson of the Year

Serena William Sports Illustrated Cover

Real life? For Serena Williams, that’s the easy part now. That’s how it works when you zoom—beyond tennis, beyond $74 million in prize money, beyond one of the greatest late-career runs in sports history—into celebrity hyperspace. That’s how it is when each “Come on!” is taken as a war cry by everyone from “Lean in” women to age-defying codgers to body-shamed kids to #BlackLivesMatter protesters to, yes, the voices of racial conciliation. The outside world accommodates. Real life does you favors.

Indeed, in 2015 Williams hit this rare sweet spot, a pinch-me patch where the exotic became the norm. She danced with Donald Trump on New Year’s Eve. She spent a night telling bedtime stories to the children of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Growing up, Williams had devoured every Harry Potter book, marveled at the business empires of Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart. Now J.K. Rowling was tweeting against a critic of Williams’s body, now Oprah was hustling to watch her at the U.S. Open, now Stewart was calling Williams “the most powerful woman I know.” President Barack Obama, the most scrutinized man alive, told her how great it was to watch her.

Even Williams’s most dubious moves paid off. In July, just as her drive for tennis’s first Grand Slam in 27 years hit the bell lap, she appeared in Pixels, a comedic bomb in which she anticipated a Lincoln Bedroom sex sandwich with Stewart and Peter Dinklage. Yet she escaped critical savaging, and, oh, the movie grossed $243 million. Williams’s November decision to chase down a cellphone thief in San Francisco seemed equally foolhardy—until, that is, the guy gave her phone back. Meekly.

Photo: Yu Tsai for Sports Illustrated

No, this year only the game gave Williams trouble. Only the 78-by-36-foot confines of a tennis court, be it blue asphalt or red clay or green grass, produced the kind of pushback that no amount of money or fame can overcome. If the real world felt like one A-list club after another, eagerly waving Williams in, tennis was the world’s most annoying bouncer, forever checking her ID. Tennis made her desperate. Then it made her hurt.

The results, of course, hardly imply that: Williams, 34, won three major titles, went 53–3 and provided at least one new measure of her tyrannical three-year reign at No. 1. For six weeks this summer—and for the first time in the 40-year history of the WTA rankings—Williams amassed twice as many ranking points as the world No. 2; at one point that gap grew larger than the one between No. 2 and No. 1,000. Williams’s 21 career Grand Slam singles titles are just one short of Steffi Graf’s Open-era record. Such numbers are reason enough for Sports Illustrated to name Serena Williams its 2015 Sportsperson of the Year.

Continue reading “Serena Williams is Sports Illustrated’s 2015 Sportsperson of the Year”

Little League Pitching Star Mo’ne Davis Wins AP Female Athlete of the Year Honors

Mo'ne Davis
Taney Dragons Pitcher Mo’ne Davis tips her hat as she is introduced and recognized before the game between the Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — No one in the sports world had heard of the 2014 Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year until August.

That’s when 13-year-old Mo’ne Davis became an instant celebrity as she took the pitching mound in baseball’s Little League World Series and mowed down batter after batter, giving “throw like a girl” a whole new meaning.

She was the first girl to win a Little League World Series game, and her performance dazzled fans young and old. Her steely gaze and demeanor on the mound were intimidating, while off-the-field, she shined in interviews. She told admirers that if they thought she was good at baseball, they should see her play basketball. Only in eighth grade, Davis already plays for her school’s high school varsity basketball team.

Davis appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, has her jersey displayed in baseball’s Hall of Fame and was named Sports Kid of the Year by Sports Illustrated Kids.

She met the Obamas at the White House, starred in a Spike Lee-directed car commercial (the NCAA said it wouldn’t hurt her eligibility), marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade along with her Taney Dragons teammates and presented Pharrell Williams with Soul Train’s “Song of the Year” award.

Continue reading “Little League Pitching Star Mo’ne Davis Wins AP Female Athlete of the Year Honors”

Mo’ne Davis is Sports Illustrated‘s Sports Kid of the Year

Mo'ne Davis Sports Kid of the Year Cover Sports Illustrated

Another honor for the first girl in history to throw a shutout during a Little League World Series

Monday marks another big moment for superstar teen pitcher Mo’ne Davis.

Sports Illustrated announced the 13-year-old has been named this year’s Sports Illustrated Sports Kid of the Year — with a little help from First Lady Michelle Obama:

Davis caught the world’s attention this summer, when she became the first girl in history to throw a shutout during a Little League World Series. She has since graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, donated her jersey to the Baseball Hall of Fame, landed a commercial shot by famed director Spike Lee, and plans to release a memoir in 2015.

Read more at SIKids.com

article by  via time.com

Little League Star Mo’ne Davis to Release Memoir in March 2015

Mo'ne Davis, the 13-year-old girl who made history as the first girl to pitch a shutout game in the Little League World Series, is taking her inspirational story from the plate to the page.
(Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

Everyone’s favorite Little League pitcher, Mo’ne Davis, landed a deal with Harper Collins Children’s Books and will release Mo’ne Davis: Remember My Name on March 17, 2015.  In August, Davis became the first girl ever to pitch a shutout in the Little League World Series.

The 13-year-old from Philadelphia went on to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated, star in a Chevy commercial, and donate her jersey to the Baseball Hall of Fame to commemorate the historic achievement.

On the book, Davis said, “I hope it encourages people to take a chance and play the sports they want to play and not just the ones people expect them to play.”  Below is an early peak at the cover and jacket copy via harpercollins.com:

Harper Collins Children's Books will release Mo'ne Davis: Remember My Name on March 17, 2015.

An inspiring story of a courageous young girl who learned to play ball with the boys, only to outshine them on the national stage in the most watched Little League World Series of game of all time. Mo’ne Davis’s story is one that will encourage readers to reach for their dreams no matter the odds, young girls to play ball with anyone, and add a new chapter to the rich history of women in baseball.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Princeton University Offers Free Summer Journalism Program for High School Juniors, Deadline to Apply Feb. 21

Members of the Summer Journalism Program pose for a photo at the entrance to The New York Times, one of several news organizations they visited during a visit to New York City. The students also visited CNN as well as Newsweek and The Daily Beast as part of the broad exposure they received on various forms of journalism. (Photo by Brian Rokus)
Members of the Summer Journalism Program pose for a photo at the entrance to The New York Times, one of several news organizations they visited during a visit to New York City. The students also visited CNN as well as Newsweek and The Daily Beast as part of the broad exposure they received on various forms of journalism. (Photo by Brian Rokus)

An all-expenses-paid program for high school student journalists from low-income backgrounds will take place for 10 days next summer on the campus of Princeton University. The program is entering its 13th year; since 2002, approximately 250 students from high schools across the country have participated. The program’s goal is to diversify college and professional newsrooms by encouraging outstanding students from low-income backgrounds to pursue careers in journalism.

Classes at the program are taught by reporters and editors from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, The Daily Beast, Time, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, Sports Illustrated, CNN and NPR, among other media outlets. Students meet with numerous Princeton professors, as well as Princeton’s president and dean of admissions. They report an investigative story, cover a professional sports event, produce a TV segment, and publish their own newspaper. And they receive guidance on the college admissions process not only during the 10 days of the program, but also during the fall of their senior year of high school.

Students selected for the program will have all their costs, including the cost of travel to and from Princeton, paid for by the program, which will run from August 1-11, 2014.  The application process will take place in two rounds. The first round of the application should be filled out online here: https://fs4.formsite.com/pusjp/form1/secure_index.html.  This part of the application must be completed by 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, February 21, 2014.

Continue reading “Princeton University Offers Free Summer Journalism Program for High School Juniors, Deadline to Apply Feb. 21”

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Named Sports Illustrated’s Top-Earning American Athlete in 2013

Floyd Mayweather Jr., right, poses for photos with his father, Floyd Mayeather Sr. after defeating Robert Guerrero by unanimous decision in a WBC welterweight title fight, Saturday, May 4, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Floyd Mayweather Jr., right, poses for photos with his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr. after defeating Robert Guerrero by unanimous decision in a WBC welterweight title fight, Saturday, May 4, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Floyd Mayweather Jr. tops Sports Illustrated’s list of highest-earning American athletes for the second consecutive year, according to Sports Illustrated.  The welterweight boxer is projected to make a minimum of $90 million this year, but could potentially earn as much as $128 million.  The list, entitled “The Fortunate 50,” combines salary, endorsements, and winnings to determine an athlete’s yearly earnings.  This year four out of the top five athletes on the list are African-American.  

Number two on the list, LeBron James, is set to make roughly $56.5 million in 2013, and NFL quarterback Drew Brees is ranked at number three, with anticipated earnings of $47.8 million.  Rounding out the top five are Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant, taking home an estimated $46.8 million, and professional golfer Tiger Woods, earning about $40.8 million.  

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose broke into the top 10 this year for the first time.  Despite sitting out the 2012-2013 NBA season, Rose lands at No. 7 on the list. With several major endorsement deals, including Adidas and Powerade, Rose is expected to make $33 million this year.  Click here to view the whole Sport’s Illustrated “Fortunate 50″ list.

article by Carrie Healey via thegrio.com

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Taking Classes at Auburn

Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers reacts to the cheers of the fans as he leaves the field after a win over the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium on September 16, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 35-27. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers reacts to the cheers of the fans as he leaves the field after a win over the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium on September 16, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 35-27. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Auburn spokesman Kirk Sampson said Tuesday that Newton is taking classes toward a sociology degree. Sampson says Newton isn’t doing media interviews and “wants to focus on school and be a normal student.”

Newton led the Tigers to the 2010 national championship in his lone season after transferring from junior college.

He was then the NFL’s No. 1 overall draft pick and went on to earn Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

Newton posted similar numbers last season, but came on especially strong in the final six games. He completed 66 percent of his passes for 1,474 yards with 10 touchdowns and only two interceptions and ran for 347 yards and four scores during that span.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press via thegrio.com

LeBron James Named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year

LeBron James has taken his talents to the cover of Sports Illustrated as the magazine’s newly-crowned 2012 Sportsman of the Year.

“He was the most dominant athlete this year – MVP of the NBA regular season, MVP of the NBA playoffs, led the Heat to the NBA championship and Team USA to the gold medal in London,” Paul Fichtenbaum, Editor of Time Inc.’s Sports Group tells People.com.

At just 27, the eight-time NBA All-Star and former all-time leading scorer of the Cleveland Cavaliers joins such past Sportsman of the Year athletes as teammate Dwayne Wade, Brett Favre, Michael Phelps, Derek Jeter and Drew Brees.

“The intangibles [James] brought to the court were significant in leading his teams to victory. He was a selfless player, doing whatever it took to will the Heat and Team USA, making all of his teammates better,” Fichtenbaum says.

In addition to his on-the-court accolades, his off-court charitable endeavors also contributed to his new title. The basketball player – who is dad to LeBron Jr., 8, and Bryce, 5, with finacée Savannah Brinson – established a program to benefit children in Akron, Ohio.

Fichtenbaum says: “The program he built and developed in [the] Akron school district for young kids had a profound effect on children who ordinarily might fall through the cracks of an educational system,” he says. “He didn’t just lend his name to a cause, he was directly involved.”

Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2012/12/lebron-james-is-sports-illustrateds-sportsman-of-the-year/#ZKeM5uudHPsh0fZG.99

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
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