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Sports Illustrated Messed Up On This One

 How could Sports Illustrated do a cover story on protesting and sports without including the man who started it all, Mr. Kaepernick?

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This week, Sports Illustrated released its latest issue with a controversial cover featuring the words “A Nation Divided, Sports United.” The picture accompanying the headline is what really sparked some controversy, on an already firey subject. The image on the cover was of Steph Curry locked arms with LeBron James and Roger Goodell and other sports figures who have been protesting lately, with one major person missing… Colin Kaepernick. How could Sports Illustrated do a cover story on protesting and sports without including the man who started it all, Mr. Kaepernick?

Last year, Colin Kaepernick, the then quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, took a knee during the National Anthem to protest police brutality that was sweeping the nation. This single act of defiance set the sports world on fire and started a whole movement for equality and equal rights for all humans, no matter their race, sex or sexual orientation.

The fact that Sports Illustrated would leave his image off of the cover is unacceptable and downright wrong. There would be no national discussion of this horrible social and cultural issue we have in this country and we owe a lot of this to Colin Kaepernick. He is even putting his money where his mouth is by donating over $1 million to charities all over the world.

Steph Curry, who was on the cover, spoke out about it to reporters at the NBA’s preseason media day saying, “That was terrible…, if you don’t have (Kaepernick) front and center, something’s wrong.” Speaking to ESPN.com’s Chris Haynes, Curry added that the magazine was, “capitalizing on the hoopla and the media and all that nonsense.”

Sports Illustrated’s excuse was that Colin Kaepernick may not have been on the cover but his presence was all over the article, which sounds like a total cop-out to me. I wish those big companies would just admit their mistakes for once and move on, it’s pretty much that simple. All they have to do is make a statement and say that they will make it right by doing a Colin Kaepernick piece in the next issue, see is that so hard?

We all know that they will never admit to any mistakes or oversights and this story will eventually be forgotten, but that is the problem. Our country is divided and we have sports acting as a connecting force, so we should support that connection, not exploit it.

 

This latest controversy was sparked when the current POTUS tweeted out about Steph Curry and his team not accepting the invitation to the White House. Like most of his tweets, this one has blown up in his face and caused all sorts of controversy. The entire sports world has rallied around each other showing incredible unity and solidarity, the exact opposite thing that the POTUS expected.

All I know is that the country may be divided, but sports are showing how we all can unite under one cause, even if this cause is to crush a certain powerful figure…
Bye Felicia…!

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COVID-19 Study: Screen Recovering Athletes Heart for Inflammation before Allowing Them to Play

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Recent research asserts that doctors need to make sure that athletes who previously contracted COVID-19 are cleared from any kind of heart inflammation before they are allowed to play. This suggested protocol, the athletes COVID-19 study says, helps ensure the safety of the athletes as they get back to doing strenuous physical activities.

New Athletes COVID-19 Study Detects Myocarditis

Done by researchers of Ohio State University, the new study discovered that conducted 4 cardiac MRIs (magnetic resonance images) among 26 of the university’s roster of athletes recovering from the said coronavirus disease showed myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart causing its reduced ability to pump blood effectively.

In a letter published in the JAMA Cardiology journal, the said researchers stressed the importance of ensuring athletes heart health before providing them the permission to return to their games.   “Our objective was to investigate the use of cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging in competitive athletes recovered from COVID-19 to detect myocardial inflammation that would identify high-risk athletes for return to competitive play,” they assert.

MRI tests were done on the athletes at the university’s sports medicine clinic after discovering that they tested positive for COVID-19 between June and August. The said athletes specialized in various sports including basketball, football, lacrosse, soccer, and track. All of them did not display severe symptoms that necessitated hospitalization.

Examined Athletes Have Myocarditis

While more than half of them were asymptomatic, exhibiting no visible symptoms of the coronavirus disease, 12 of them mentioned that they experienced mild symptoms such as shortness of breath, sore throat, and fever. Cardiac MRI was done on them after at least 11 days of quarantine period.

Imaging results manifested that 4 or 15% of the athletes had myocarditis while 8 or 30.8% showed prior myocardial condition. The said study does not clearly mention whether the said injury is temporary or permanent.

The researchers report that such myocardial injury must be taken into account when deciding to allow athletes to return to their games. Cardiac MRIs help determine when it is safe to return to physical activities and how to prevent the games’ corresponding adverse effects especially on those currently displaying the said injury. “CMR may provide an excellent risk stratification assessment for myocarditis in athletes who have recovered from COVID-19 to guide safe competitive sports participation,” the researchers add.

More Research Needed

Although this new athletes COVID-19 study suggests this MRI protocol, more research is necessary. Determining whether or not this condition emerges on a number of other athletes across the different colleges and universities is essential.

This summer, Ohio State joined the Big Ten conference that announced postponement of all fall sports participation. Similarly, the said university was among the different schools that reported massive COVID-19 infection among their athletes. The said athletes COVID-19 research can certainly help protect university and college athletes as they prepare themselves for future participation in the different sports tournaments.

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Did Serena Williams Win? Another U.S. Open Run

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On Wednesday, Serena Williams won against Tsvetana Pironkova, allowing her to reach the semi-finals round against her friend and rival, Victoria Azarenka. Winning the upcoming semi-finals would bring Williams to the championship match, permitting her to accumulate 24 single major titles as Margaret Court who has the same number of wins.

Making a huge comeback during the 2020 ASB Classic after being on maternity leave, Williams won against Jessica Pegula in the finals. During last Wednesday’s United States Open quarter-finals, top-seeded Williams nearly succumbed to unseeded Pironkova’s line. Incidentally, unseeded Pironkova is also unranked, playing her first ever tour after her inactivity of more than three years. Even Williams who is 38 years old, has not been away for that long.

32-year-old Pironkova, a Bulgarian veteran, made headlines due to her ecstatic rhythm. Some even liken her moves to the popular song, Bohemian Rhapsody with its ever-changing tempo and eclectic vocal crescendos. Giving birth to her son, Alexander, in April 2018, she was allegedly unsure of returning to the game. Nonetheless, she nearly made an enormous victory on Wednesday had Williams not butted her out of the game by winning 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

“It just shows me how tough moms are,” asserts Williams who has a 3-year-old daughter herself named Olympia. “Whenever you can give birth to a baby, honestly you can do anything. And I think we saw that with Tsvetana today,” she adds, admitting that she nearly lost the match to a worthy counterpart.

Nevertheless, bagging the quarter-finals match brings Williams to the semi-finals round, facing Victoria Azarenka on Thursday.

Consequently, Azarenka and Williams met in two consecutive US Open finals, in 2012 and in 2013. During both games, Williams won the matches and led their series, 18-4.

Previously, Williams and her coach Patrick Mouratoglou saw Azarenka as Williams’ biggest rival and threat. Azarenka beat Williams during the 2016 BNP Paribas Open finals that occurred in Indian Wells, California and even went on to win the Miami Open, permitting her to accomplish the famous Sunshine Double.

Nonetheless, Azarenka soon became pregnant and had to temporarily leave the tour. She returned to playing in 2017 but was often caught up with her personal problems due to a lengthy custody battle over Leo, her son, who is now 3 years old.

Both Williams and Azarenka are friends, having been reported to exchange notes and visits in 2017 right before Williams found herself pregnant which prompted her to leave the tour as well. They played against each other again last year, having Williams win the match with scores of 7-5, 6-3. For her part, though, Azarenka won the quarter-finals against Elise Mertens with scores of 6-1, 6-0 on Wednesday.

“Can it get any better? For me, it can’t. I’m so excited about it. An amazing opportunity to play against a champion, someone I respect a lot who is my friend,” says Azarenka, referring to their match-up with Williams. 

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Los Angeles Lakers Lead 2-1 Past Trail Blazers

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Los Angeles superstars Anthony Davis and LeBron James lead the Lakers to another win against the Trail Blazers on Saturday night. Through a stunning performance of dominating defense, the Lakers now lead Portland 2-1.

Power Plays

The Lakers defeated the high-scoring Trail Blazers in two straight games after a roaring James scored 38 points, made 12 rebounds, and eight assists, combined with Davis’ 29 points, 23 of which were scored in the second half. The game ended at 116-108 in favor of LA, who is now starting to look like the best team in the West.

As the Lakers rallied to conquer Game 2, Anthony Davis stepped up to the plate and shared a message to his teammate. “I told LeBron at half I’ve got to take some of the pressure off of him,” said Davis.

Portland has been outstripped of its number one spot after losing Game 1 to Los Angeles. The second game is the Trail Blazers’ highest-scoring game in the series, yet the effort wasn’t enough to overcome the impressive performance of the Lakers.

Scoring Points

Damian Lillard raked in 34 points even with a dislocated finger, and CJ McCollum contributed 28 points for Portland. The Trail Blazers tweaked their lineup, playing a big starting five with Hassan Whiteside and Jusuf Nurkic. This strategy kicked-off a great first quarter for Portland as they managed to ease through the second quarter with a lead. McCollum scored 13 points in the quarter, capped with a three-pointer at the buzzer ending the first half at 57-53.

James continued to execute 5 for 6 for 15 within an eight-minute period in the second quarter, preventing the Trail Blazers from outscoring the Lakers. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and James added a total of 12 consecutive points to pull the lead down to six at 70-64. Davis answered back with three straight jumpers and a dunk, tieing the game at 72. 

Los Angeles went on a shooting spree with a 10 to nothing run that easily ranked up the scoring to 89-78 as they entered the fourth quarter leading by seven points. 

Catching Up

The Trail Blazers quickly caught up and were only down by three in the fourth quarter with nine and a half minutes of playtime. But then, Davis re-entered the game all fired up, making perimeter shots and dunks, closing the period with 12 points.

A pressing defense handled the rest for the Lakers as the Trail Blazers were put off-track, making only three field goals in over seven minutes in the quarter. Los Angeles was able to escalate the lead to 109-98, with only over 2 minutes left in the game.

Everything came down to the fourth quarter, in which Lillard’s dislocated finger started to affect his ball-handling and shooting, causing the veteran to miss all four attempts from the three-point arch at the crucial last quarter. 

Where It Boils Down

Tery Stotts, Portland Trail Blazers’ coach, said, “It came down to a fourth-quarter game. Anthony Davis made his perimeter shots, and we came up empty too often.”

The Trail Blazers will attempt to make a comeback and even the series on Game 4.

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