Racial justice advocates rallied outside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday to protest the blackballing of Colin Kaepernick by the National Football League.
Last week Chicago Bulls basketball star Derrick Rose wore a T-shirt in warm-ups that read “I Can’t Breathe,” protesting the non-indictment of a New York police officer whose chokehold killed Eric Garner. Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James wore a similar shirt the next night, telling a reporter who asked him after the game if his action was a “Cavaliers thing,” that no, it was a “worldly thing.”
A few days before these pro basketball players’ protests, five members of the St. Louis Rams football team ran out of the team dressing room before kick-off with their hands raised above their heads, a reference to the “don’t shoot” gesture that protesters have been using after the shooting of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Predictable outrage ensued. The St. Louis Police Officers Association issued a statement saying the organization was “…profoundly disappointed” with the five players,
A few years ago, the Los Angeles Times began a practice of selling ads on the front pages of its sections. It was a slow build, with a preliminary announcement in 2007 and, two years later, it actually began to happen. Reaction from readers was not positive. The continued practice is still not exactly popular. At times, it’s clear these things are ads, while in other circumstances, they are designed to look like news articles.
Whether this piece falls into that new tradition, I’m not sure. The “article” was written by Paresh Dave, and tells us about Riddell’s new InSite Impact Response System, a football helmet Riddell says will protect players against concussions. (The system uses sensors inside the helmet, which wirelessly relay to the sidelines data about potentially traumatic hits.) High schools are purchasing the helmets and offering them to parents for free or at a limited cost and,
Driving past Echo Park the other day I saw a cat convulsing in the road. It had plainly been hit by a car and was, hopefully, near death. I considered backing up and driving over the poor thing to end its misery, but I didn’t have the strength.
Francis Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, finds himself in a similar situation in the opening scene of the Netflix series, House of Cards. He strangles a wounded creature (a dog) as he tells us there are two kinds of pain—that which makes you stronger and that which has no purpose and is thus just suffering.
Read Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru’s League of Denial and I promise you’ll be convinced there’s a third, perhaps more complicated category—suffering whose purpose is collective pleasure, incriminating participant and observer simultaneously.
The risks of repeated blows to the head are obvious and have been known for some time.
There is no question that the game of football is dangerous. National Football League players get injured on the job – so many that an “injury report” section is ubiquitous in our sports pages. In fact, a study run by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that the risk of death associated with neurodegenerative disorders is about three times higher among NFL players than the rest of the population.
NFL athletes are not merely players, they are also employees.
Their employers are now trying to take away their collectively bargained right to workers’ compensation benefits in California. It is not right, and it sets a dangerous precedent.
Assembly Bill 1309 singles out one group of workers, professional athletes, and treats them differently than other employees by denying them the right to file for California Workers’ Compensation benefits.
AB 1309 is an attempt by the insurance companies and professional teams to shift the cost of care for injured players from the companies to state agencies like Medi-Cal and federal agencies like Medicare.