Willes’ Musings: The NFL must discover a place for Colin Kaepernick


OPINION: NFL should do one thing a couple of league the place virtually 70 per cent of the gamers are black and fewer than 10 per cent of the pinnacle coaches are black.

It’s been three months since I wore a jacket and tie so the lockdown hasn’t been all unhealthy. Now right here’s extra blissful information: the Monday morning musings and meditations on the world of sports activities.

You wish to consider Roger Goodell and the Nationwide Soccer League institution plumbed the depths of their collective souls earlier than they introduced, “We had been unsuitable for not listening to NFL gamers earlier.”

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You wish to consider that announcement got here after sober reflection and the conclusion that black gamers have been attempting to inform them one thing about their lives. You wish to consider they now perceive Colin Kaepernick’s silent protest wasn’t about disrespecting the American flag however was about an institutional abuse of authority that shamed your entire nation.

You wish to consider all these issues and, ultimately, perhaps it isn’t vital how the NFL received there so long as they received there.

So let’s depart it at that. Let’s give the NFL the advantage of the doubt they by no means gave Kaepernick or the opposite gamers who joined his trigger. Sure, they’re late to the celebration and so they solely took this daring stand when it was clear America was altering and their fan base was altering with it.

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However they’re right here now and so they can take a management position on this motion they declare to care so deeply about. For starters, they’ll apologize to Kaepernick and get him a job. They will do one thing a couple of league the place virtually 70 per cent of the gamers are black and fewer than 10 per cent of the pinnacle coaches are black. They will stand as much as that menace within the White Home who stands for every little thing the NFL now says it’s in opposition to.

They will do any variety of issues that exhibit they are going to be an agent of change; that their dedication gained’t finish with a press launch.

They are saying they’ve seen the sunshine. Nice. Present us. We’ll be watching.

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On a associated notice, you surprise what sparked the flood of posts on social media from NHL gamers on this topic however I’d prefer to assume it’s a mirrored image of a generational change.

Judging by the scenes on the streets, 20- and 30-somethings have had sufficient. They’ve seen the violence. They’ve heard the lies. And so they’ve determined they’re going to do one thing about it.

My era needed the identical issues. We needed change. We needed a brand new day. Then one thing occurred and we misplaced our means.

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We must always have achieved much more and that’s on us. We let ourselves down and everybody who got here behind us.

I’m sorry for that. I hope you do higher.

Didn’t have the house to suit this into the weekend piece on Michael Olajide Jr., the Vancouver prize fighter who’s now the non-public coach to the celebs in New York.

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At his peak, Olajide was the IBF’s No. 1 ranked middleweight contender earlier than a collection of losses later in his profession led to his retirement. However his half-brother, Tokunbo Olajide, may need been a extra proficient fighter.

Like Olajide Jr., Tokunbo, was educated by his father, Michael Olajide Sr. He gained his first 17 fights, 16 by knockout, earlier than he suffered a damaged fibula and dislocated ankle in a first-round loss to Epifiano Mendoza.

He retired in 2002 with a 20-2 document, He was 27, The identical age as Michael Jr., when he retired.

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Canucks blueliner Quinn Hughes in motion in opposition to the Anaheim Geese in a November 2019 NHL sport in Anaheim, Calif.

Harry How /

Getty Photos information

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And at last, with the NHL season now formally over we’ll spare you a full recitation of our picks for the league’s main particular person awards and concentrate on two which concern the Vancouver Canucks.

The Calder race, after all, comes right down to Quinn Hughes and Colorado’s Cale Makar and it’s a photograph end. Hughes has a slight edge in factors however he additionally performed 11 extra video games than Makar. The Avs’ blueliner has the benefit in targets. Hughes averaged virtually a minute extra per sport in ice time. The flowery stats are just about even.

That leaves us with the attention take a look at and I preserve coming again to the identical place with Hughes. By way of influence on his staff, by way of general worth, the child from Michigan was extra vital to the Canucks than Makar was to the Avs.

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Possibly you needed to sit via the unhappy years in Vancouver to completely respect every little thing Hughes delivered to the desk however in a single season he gave the Canucks a top-five energy play, helped improve their per-game aim common from 2.75 to three.three. and gave them one thing resembling a authentic NHL blueline.

Colorado was already a playoff staff when Makar turned a full-time participant this season with a top-five energy play. As for the supporting forged, there’s no comparability between the Avs and the Canucks.

My vote goes to Hughes and in the event you assume that’s a hometown bias, take heed to Winnipeg centre Mark Scheifele who mentioned Hughes has, “achieved extra to assist his staff (than Makar).”

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Vancouver Canucks head coach Travis Inexperienced reacts from the bench throughout the third interval in opposition to the Detroit Pink Wings at Rogers Enviornment.

Anne-Marie Sorvin /

USA TODAY Sports activities

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The opposite Canuck to notice is head coach Travis Inexperienced. We’re not going to make a case he deserves to be an Adams finalist as coach of the yr. We’ll simply say this. Dave Tippett is getting loads of run as an Adams finalist for lifting the Oilers into second place within the Pacific and there’s no query Tippett deserves credit score for bringing order and construction to the Oil. 

However on the time of the pause his staff had 83 factors in 71 video games and the Canucks had 78 in 69 video games. On a factors per sport foundation that’s 1.16 for the Oilers to 1.13 for the Canucks.

A have a look at their respective rosters additional reveals the Canucks don’t have Leon Draisaitl or Connor McDavid on their staff.

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There have been a variety of excellent teaching jobs within the NHL this season — Bruce Cassidy in Boston, Alain Vigneault in Philadelphia, John Tortorella in Columbus — and Inexperienced’s work in Vancouver wasn’t in that class.

However you simply by no means hear his title talked about in that dialog and that’s an oversight.

ewilles@postmedia.com

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