Jerry Jones Doesn’t Need to Apologize for his North Little Rock 6 “Curiosity,”- He Needs to Elaborate

We need to talk about Jerry Jones. Again. 

The Washington Post recently published an article chronicling Jerry Jones’ history as an employer of black men in a league that has been at the forefront of debates over the relationship between race and opportunity for decades now. 

As its “jumping off point,” the article used a 1957 photo of a then 14-year-old Jerry Jones standing in the background while his white classmates attempted to intimidate six black students as they became the first to desegregate schools in Little Rock Arkansas. 

That photo has understandably ignited some furious debate online, and it’s been fascinating to watch people put fairly recent historical events through the modern meat grinder of what some refer to as cancel culture, and others maintain as consequence culture.

I’m not here to talk about the way we’ve come to conflate social justice and social media justice. There’s not anything you or I can do to stem the tide of social media platforming everyone’s feelings all at once. The reality of the situation is that Jerry Jones isn’t losing the Cowboys over this. I’m asking you to acknowledge that reality so that we can talk about one way that Jerry Jones could actually do some good here. 

Tensions in this country might feel at an all-time high right now, but the truth is this might not even be a top 5 era for American division. Sometimes we get caught up in the idea that because white people don’t agree on major issues across party lines, that’s the definition of division. How about the division that existed in the 1950’s- when it was an everyday public debate whether or not Melanized people like myself were worthy of basic Constitutional protections? There wasn’t a public consensus on whether or not we were even human beings.

Jerry Jones cited “curiosity” as his reason for making his way into the photo that day. On some level, I believe him. After all, curiosity isn’t the absence of hate, it’s often just attraction to spectacle. Cowboys fans should know this better than anyone- 90% of the people tuned in to watch the Boys in Blue on any given Sunday are active haters who are attracted to spectacle.

Jerry Jones likely spent his childhood in a homogenized environment surrounded by people that carried the popular public sentiment of the time, which was one that was coming to grips with the idea that black people weren’t quite property, but they also weren’t quite people. And it’s Jerry Jones’ direct connection to that time period that gives him an opportunity to talk about the exact path he and others like him had to travel to evolve out of that mindset. 

I know for some, it’s never going to be enough for someone to repeatedly denounce the popular sentiment of the era they were raised in, they have to be a leader in every facet of every kind of socially progressive movement to perpetually atone for the sins of themselves and their kin. My message isn’t for people that carry that standard.

But for everyone else, with more realistic expectations of a billionaire born in the American South at the height of Jim Crow, what we really need is honesty. 

We’re living in a time when the very idea of educating people on the history of how the dehumanization of black people has shaped our experience as a nation has become too bitter a pill to include in the educational curriculum of some Southern states. We can spend a semester talking about the revolutionary spilling of unjustly taxed tea, but we can’t spill the tea on the subsequent injustice of an unfairly taxed race.

Jerry Jones’ experience as a still-living, still-thriving, white, southern, American billionaire whose boyhood friends gathered to hatefully block the path of children whose only crime was desiring equal access to education has value. 

Encouraging Jerry Jones to slink away into obscurity with billions in cash like Donald Sterling isn’t going to bring society maximum value here. Forcing an apology for something that happened seven years before the Civil Rights Act was passed, and 20 years before Tom Brady was born isn’t going to accomplish anything either. What we need from Jerry Jones at this moment is for him to open up about his time in a segregated south, and to use his platform to put context to all facets of that photograph. The visible anger. The fear. The spectacle. The bravery of the North Little Rock 6.

I’m not suggesting that Jerry Jones can solve racism, but I am saying that there are plenty of curious people gathered around the spectacle of this story- craning their necks for a better view. A story that at its root is one of triumph over hate. A story whose main characters shouldn’t be Jerry Jones, but instead be about Richard Lindsey, Gerald Persons, Harold Smith, Eugene Hall, Frank Henderson, and William Henderson, who showed up to North Little Rock High despite the school board telling them not to. 

Jerry Jones has the opportunity here to make sure we know those names, and how their courage in the face of his “curiosity” helped push this country toward a more just future for everyone. 

It’s an opportunity I hope he’s curious enough to take. 

Let that sink in. 

NIL and the Transfer Portal Can Take You From the Outhouse to the Penthouse, Or Vice Versa

We need to talk about the new age of parity in college football.

It’s never been harder to be great in college football, but it’s never been easier to be good.

One of the things that has kept the NFL the most compelling American sport is its parity- the ability for a team that is completely out of the playoff picture to make a couple of staff adjustments, hit on a few draft picks, and make a splashy free agency signing to all of the sudden flip from pretender to contender. 

But it also means that the opposite can happen. Look no further than last year’s Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams sitting at 3-8, the worst record in the entire NFC. 

I’m not sure college football fans are ready for that kind of volatility, but they better get ready, because we’re already seeing it to a certain extent. 

With the emergence of the transfer portal, and the ability of schools to tap into Name, Image and Likeness as an enticement for athletes looking to monetize their skillset, every school could potentially be its wealthiest donors shifting focus toward direct player benefits away from being immediately competitive.

Yesterday, at the introductory press conference of new Arizona State head coach Kenny Dillingham, a booster in attendance publicly pledged $1 million dollars toward NIL opportunities

Arizona State went 3-9 this year. Could they be 9-3 next year? With looming sanctions, it’s unlikely, but in this new age of college football, it’s not impossible. 

Look at USC. They were 4-8 last year, hired Lincoln Riley away from Oklahoma, they started buying up players through their NIL collective and now they’re one win away from a College Football Playoff appearance. 

Look at Washington. They went from 73rd in the country in passing offense in 2021 to being the best in the country in one year thanks in part to the transfer portal. 

Tennessee used to have to fill McDonalds bags with recruiting enticements, and now they can do it out in the open. Not only did they just put together a 10-win season with a victory over Alabama, they have one of the top incoming freshmen QBs in the country headed their way with reportedly the largest sum of NIL money to date involved. 

It’s never been easier to spark positive change in a program. If your school has an alumni base with deep pockets, you might just find yourself in the hunt. Shoot, if Donald Trump and Elon Musk wanted to make nice and stop competing with each other for world domination, they could put together a hell of a football team at University of Pennsylvania. 

But the trick is going to be staying good, and making that spark into a flame. Michigan State went from 11-2 last year, and Mel Tucker getting a market-resetting contract extension, to 5-7 this year. And what the football gods gave to USC this year, they took away from University of Oklahoma, who finished the season with their worst record since yours truly was in high school.

And all these sparks will come at the expense of someone. It’s going to be harder and harder for Nick Saban to run the table. Are Alabama fans ready for that? 

Look, just because college football is changing, and things might be more volatile, doesn’t mean you’re not going to still get solid, homegrown, underdog teams that go on magical runs like Cincinnati last year, and TCU this year, who despite changing head coaches, isn’t overly reliant on transfers. Sometimes the volatility of everyone else actually provides more of an advantage for teams with a steady hand and a brick-by-brick mindset. Just look at University of Utah. 

But if you’re a fan of the sport, and you want to keep being a fan of the sport, you need to be open to the idea that the new reality is that anything can happen in any given year. 

And maybe next year could be your year.

Let that sink in.

NFL Week 12 Best Bets

Time to take stock of my NFL bets. The good: I continue to nail the underdog of the week. The bad: The best bets have been mediocre. That said, Week 12 is when I get back to .500.

*Lines as of 11/27 at 9:00 AM ET on FanDuel

NFL Week 12 Best Bets

Dolphins -14 vs. Texans

I hate betting double-digit lines. However, the Texans are the NFL’s worst team by a country mile. Houston will turn to QB Kyle Allen in this game, which means the fourth-worst offense in terms of rushing yards per game will try to run the ball, run the ball, and run the ball some more. There is the trap game narrative with the Dolphins facing the 49ers this week, but I don’t see the Dolphins’ offense struggling against a Texans defense that allows 389.6 yards per game. Coach Mike McDiesel will have the Fins ready.

49ers -8.5 vs. Saints

Not to be that guy, but I predicted the 49ers to make the Super Bowl before the season began. After last week’s beatdown against the Cardinals, I feel great about my selection. The Niners have arguably the best roster in the NFL, with studs at every key position besides QB. I’m a Jimmy G guy, and I believe he can make the Super Bowl for the second time. Five of the Niners’ six wins have been by double digits, and the injury-riddled Saints could be missing DE Cam Jordan and CB Marshon Lattimore, who hasn’t played since Week 5. I’ll take the Niners to suck the life out of the Saints.

NFL Week 12 Underdog of the Week

Falcons +3.5 vs. Commanders

As someone who has nailed the underdog of the week all season, this is the first week where a game did not jump out to me upon my first viewing of the lines. After perusing the lines, I settled on the Falcons +3.5, who are 7-4 ATS in 2022. The Commies might be the hottest team in football, with a record of 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6. Taylor Heincke is a fun story as the Commies make a play for a wild card. This will come down to the Falcons’ third-best rushing attack (159.4 yards per game) vs. the sixth-best rushing defense (103.1 yards per game). The Falcons might be missing RB Caleb Huntley while the Commies will be without LB Cole Holcomb, and Chase Young will not make his debut. I’ll take the Falcons to cover in a close one.

NFL Week 12 Teaser of the Week

7 POINTS: Dolphins -14 > -7, 49ers -8.5 > -1.5

I have to stop overthinking things. The Dolphins and the 49ers are going to win this week. Why bring other teams into the mix? If the Dolphins win, it’s not going to be close. If the Niners win, recent history says it won’t be close. Don’t let me down, Mike and Kyle.

2022 NFL Season So Far

Bets of the Week: 6-11-1

Underdog of the Week: 6-3

Teaser of the Week: 4-5

Total: 16-19-1

This Thanksgiving, I’m Grateful for Bo Nix

It’s Thanksgiving Season, and this year, the thing I’m thankful for is something I never could have expected.

I’m thankful for Bo Nix.

Last year at this time, I was still healing from Oregon’s 38-7 beatdown at the hands of the Utah Utes, and was convinced that the loss would cause then head coach Mario Cristobal to redouble his efforts to chase after a National Championship in Eugene.

A lot changed in a very short amount of time.

Mario Cristobal went to Miami. Georgia won a National Championship, and the Ducks hired Defensive Coordinator Dan Lanning as Cristobal’s replacement. 

It wasn’t hard to get behind Dan Lanning, but when I heard Bo Nix was transferring in from Auburn to reunite with former Tigers Offensive Coordinator Kenny Dillingham?

Like any cranberry sauce that wasn’t made by yours truly, that was a hard bit to swallow. 

You can check my Twitter history, I’m not sure I’ve been harder on any college quarterback over the previous three years as I was on Bo Nix. I thought he stunk.

His first college game was against my Ducks, and outside of one throw, I thought he looked terrible. It would be one thing if it was just a random Auburn freshman that had won the job, but this was the #1 Pro Style QB in the class of 2019 according to Rivals, while 247 had him as the #1 Dual Threat QB. 

When I watched at Bo Nix, I didn’t see the #1 anything. And after the first game against Georgia? I might have used the number two to describe some of what I saw. But definitely not #1.

But after the Georgia game, Bo Nix quit being a turkey, and started bringing the stuffing. The stat stuffing. 

Nine wins, 3,500 yards of combined offense, and 40 combined touchdowns later, not only did the Bo Nix help my Ducks get revenge over Utah, they’re on the verge of playing for a Pac-12 title against fellow 5-star transfer QB Caleb Williams and the USC Trojans. 

The job’s not done, but this is a heck of a redemption story for what everyone who knows him swears is an excellent human being. Whether it’s this year or next, he’s going to have a shot at making his NFL dreams a reality, and might even find himself in New York for the Heisman ceremony.

One thing that anyone that has overcome adversity will tell you, is that it teaches you gratitude. Bo Nix has been through a lot as a college quarterback, and while I’m sure he’s grateful for his situation in Eugene, I can speak for the entire Oregon alumni and fan base by saying that after the roller coaster of temporary coaches and inconsistent QB play we’ve had over the past couple seasons, we’re just as grateful for Bo Nix, if not moreso. 

Happy Thanksgiving, and Let that Sink In. 

The Perfect Job for Deion Sanders in 2023 is the One He Already has- Head Coach of Jackson State

We need to talk about Deion Sanders.

Coach Prime has been at Jackson State for three seasons, and has won 11 games each of the last two years. Jackson State is on the verge of repeating as Southwestern Athletic Conference champions. Their last championship before the Deion Sanders era came in 2007.

Under normal circumstances, a coach that won back to back conference championships at an HBCU, and somehow managed to convince the consensus #1 recruit in the country in Travis Hunter to come and play for him, would be a hot name for any potential Group of 5 suitors. 

But this is Deion Sanders we’re talking about.  

His name has been linked to every opening in the country, and even some jobs that aren’t open, like his alma mater Florida State. Charles Barkley said he wants Deion at Auburn. Fans at last weekend’s Nebraska game against Wisconsin were spotted holding up “Bring on Neon Deion” signs. Arizona State President Michael Crow said on a radio interview that the name people feed him most often about their opening is Deion Sanders.

This week a report from Carl Reed at 247 Sports came out that Deion is at the top of two school’s lists– University of Colorado, and University of South Florida. Before this season, Deion was actually in the mix for the jobs at Colorado State and Texas Christian.

But there’s one school nobody seems to be talking about that is a perfect fit for Coach Prime’s personality, coaching style, and personal value system, plus is comfortable with both his past history as co-founder of the ill-fated Prime Prep Academy, and his business relationship with the often controversial Barstool Sports.

Deion Sanders’ next employer should be none other than his current employer.

That’s right, I’m saying Coach Prime should ride things out at Jackson State.

Deion Sanders got ESPN’s College Gameday to come to Jackson, Mississippi, and helped the show pull in its best week 9 viewership in 13 years

Deion Sanders convinced 22 NFL teams to fly representatives to Jackson State for an all-Mississippi Scouting combine, and called out the 10 NFL teams that didn’t make the trip. He also helped James Houston IV become the first Jackson State player to be drafted by an NFL team since 2008.

Deion Sanders helped Jackson State navigate an ongoing clean water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi that kept the team from being able to stay on its own campus, while calling attention to the issue nationwide, and pressuring the state’s Governor into action

At Jackson State, Deion Sanders has had the privilege of coaching his sophomore QB son Shedeur Sanders, who has thrown over 6,000 yards and 60+ touchdowns.

And most importantly to my point, when rival Alabama State head coach Eddie Robinson Jr. called Sanders out by saying he “ain’t SWAC,” Deion responded by saying “If I ain’t SWAC, who is SWAC?

The best way for Deion Sanders to prove that he’s SWACv is to stick around in the SWAC and not make a jump to a middling FBS school that we can all agree would only be a brief stopping point until he proves to the SEC or ACC powers that be that he’s ready for the big leagues. 

Why jump from stepping stone to stepping stone when Jackson State provides you with the perfect platform to be who you are, and to do what you do? 

Just like Deion made 22 NFL teams fly to Jackson, if his ultimate goal is to be at Auburn or Florida State, or even to succeed his Aflac commercial co-star Nick Saban at Alabama, I believe he should make them come to him. 

Let that sink in.

If The New York Jets Want To Salvage Their Season, Zach Wilson Needs To Be Benched

We need to talk about the New York Jets and their quarterback problem.

Yesterday, the New York Jets had more punts (10) than pass completions (9). 

They lost a 10-3 game on a last second punt return to the rival New England Patriots, and after the game, second year QB Zach Wilson, who is supposed to be the franchise player, told the media that he didn’t feel like the offense let the defense down. 

The New York Jets defense had six sacks, eight tackles for a loss, and didn’t allow a touchdown for the first time since 2019, and Zach Wilson stood in front of the New York media and said “not my problem.”

Wilson is young. He’s going to make mistakes as he learns about the act of taking public accountability in this league. There are a lot of people piling on to Wilson for what he said, and I’m not going to join in. 

Partly because I’m not going to say anything that Dan Orlovsky or Colin Cowherd haven’t already said. But mainly because there’s no point in wasting energy scolding a quarterback that shouldn’t even be in the game. 

The Jets are in last place right now in what looks like the best division in football, and are wasting an opportunity to go to the playoffs for the first time in 12 years by attempting to develop a QB that might be ready for the moment someday, but definitely isn’t ready right now. 

Head Coach Robert Saleh choosing to play Zach Wilson over Joe Flacco, who has started four less games this season than Wilson but still has more touchdown passes, is going to alienate Wilson from his teammates, and stunt the development of everyone on the team for the sake of trying to bring along one guy. 

Wilson is having trouble seeing open receivers downfield, he’s repeatedly floating balls on short to intermediate routes, there’s no zip or urgency on his checkdown throws, and when he does hit an open receiver, the balls often get dropped because receivers start pressing when their opportunities are limited. 

Maybe the Jets are afraid of another Geno Smith situation, who got his jaw broken by a teammate in 2015, leading to Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing for a team-record 31 TDs in a 10-win season that still didn’t result in a playoff berth. Maybe they see Geno Smith balling out for the Seahawks seven years later and don’t want to miss out on a chance to patiently develop their own franchise QB- but Geno Smith is an extreme outlier. 

The Jets are much closer to ruining Zach Wilson the way they ruined Sam Darnold. The New York media has already latched onto Wilson saying he didn’t let the defense down the same way they latched onto Darnold saying that he was seeing ghosts on the field. The chances that Wilson lives that moment down are slim to none, especially if he can’t lead the team to a win this weekend against the QB the Jets passed on in Justin Fields.

The right thing to do for the New York Jets fans, the locker room, and for Zach Wilson himself, is to let Joe Flacco go out there and be the boring statue he’s always been, so you can limit mistakes and let this defense cook. 

The goal for the Jets down the stretch needs to be reaching 10 wins, and they’re not going to do that behind the arm of a man who can’t even get 10 completions in a game.

Let that sink in.

NFL Week 11 Best Bets

It’s honesty hour in my betting column. It hasn’t been a good year for me. My bets of the week have been less than stellar. However, I somehow nail the underdog of the week more often than not. Plus, the teasers have been solid. With all of this information, should I sit out for Week 11 Best Bets?

Not a chance.

*Lines as of 11/19 at 4:00 PM ET on FanDuel

NFL Week 11 Best Bets

Eagles vs. Colts Over 45.5

Last week, I chose the Raiders because I had no idea what to expect from Jeff Saturday. Once Matt Ryan was named the starter, I immediately regretted my decision to bet on the Raiders. Unfortunately for Indy, the pissed-off Eagles are coming to town after their first loss of the season. Both teams will look to establish the run early, but Indy does a much better job stopping it (10th-ranked rushing defense) than Philly (20th-ranked rushing defense). For the over, Philly is 6-3 while Indy is 2-8. I’m expecting the Eagles to establish their first-half scoring dominance (19.4 points per first half) and Indy to get a few garbage scores to satisfy the over.

Bills vs. Browns Over 49.5

If this game was in the Buffalo snowstorm, the o/u would have been set at 19.5. With the venue change to Detroit, the points will soon follow. The Browns have the best over record in the NFL at 6-2-1. They average the 5th most rushing yards per game in the league. However, the Browns can’t stop a nosebleed as they give up the second-most points per game at 26.4. Even though the under has cashed in 6 of their last 7 games, Josh Allen and the Bills are determined to prove that they belong at the top of the AFC. Expect the Bills to make a statement on offense, leading to a victory and more importantly, the over.

NFL Week 11 Underdog of the Week

Chargers +5.5 vs. Chiefs

The Chargers always play Mahomes tough. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. Four of the last five games between these two teams have been decided by 6 points or less. The Chiefs are 26-3 in regular season games played in November or later since 2019. However, Mahomes will be without Juju Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman. For the Chargers, Just Herbert could be getting back his top two receivers, Mike Williams and Keenan Allen. If the Chargers get both of those guys back, they’re good enough to cover the line.

NFL Week 11 Teaser of the Week

7 POINTS: Bills -7.5 > -.5, Vikings +1.5 > +8.5

Sunday’s teaser is brought to you by the “bounce-back game” and the “come back to Earth game.” Josh Allen is not living up to the MVP expectations placed upon him at the beginning of the year. Blowing second half leads to the Jets and Vikings in losing efforts is unacceptable. Leading the league in interceptions isn’t the end of the world, but making reckless throws into tight coverage, like last week’s game-sealing INT, is a big deal! With the game in the Detroit dome due to the weather, I’m expecting the Bills to come out with a chip on their shoulder and score, score, and score.

The Vikings are still high off their upset win over the Bills. This week screams letdown, which is why the Cowboys are favored over the Vikings by a point and a half. The Dallas defense will keep this a low-scoring affair, but that same defense allows the 3rd most rushing yards per game (143.1). Have fun stopping Dalvin Cook! This game feels like a coin flip, and the Vikings are too talented to lose by more than a touchdown, even if they’re due for regression.

2022 NFL Season So Far

Bets of the Week: 5-10-1

Underdog of the Week: 5-3

Teaser of the Week: 4-4

Total: 14-17-1

Hiring Jacque Vaughn Was the Right Call for the Brooklyn Nets

Sometimes boring is better.

And it doesn’t get more boring than the Brooklyn Nets hiring Jacque Vaughn to be their new Head Coach.

After Steve Nash, who never should have been brought back this season to begin with, and the Brooklyn Nets agreed to part ways last week, rumors immediately began circulating that owner Joe Tsai wanted to replace Nash with current suspended Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka.

It’s one thing to erroneously add water to a grease fire, like the Nets did when they traded for Ben Simmons. It’s another thing to try and put out a grease fire with a completely separate grease fire.

Ime Udoka is suspended for an entire season for allegedly carrying on a drama-filled affair with the spouse of someone else in the organization, with the added bonus of the affair also being with a subordinate. The rumors of Udoka’s willingness to leave the Celtics might not have been a surprise to anyone that cringes at the thought having people that were caught up in what Jada Pinkett-Smith would call “an entanglement” having to be in an office together, but the Celtics players were definitely caught off guard, and Udoka not getting the Nets job adds another level of drama to what’s going on in Boston.

While Udoka would have been a home run hire on the basketball end, between his personal life, Kyrie Irving’s personal beliefs, Ben Simmons’ personal vendetta against shooting the basketball, and Kevin Durant’s personality online, there might have been one too many issues to overcome.

Enter Jacque Vaughn- the most boring, but dependable, hire the Brooklyn Nets could have made. 

Jacque Vaughn was a steady and solid point guard at Kansas that benefited from having several first round picks around him, like Scot Pollard, Greg Ostertag, Raef LaFrentz and Paul Pierce. Despite never averaging more than 11 points and 7 assists per game in college, he was able to put together a 12-year NBA career.

The NBA has a long history of decent role playing guards with a solid college pedigree going on to be championship coaches. The obvious ones are Pat Riley and Steve Kerr, but you also have Rick Carlisle, Ty Lue and Doc Rivers. 

There’s something about guys that get the absolute most out of their talent as players that have the ability to unlock the same trait in others. That’s not to say that Steve Nash didn’t maximize his talent, he went from Santa Clara to winning multiple NBA MVP’s. But Nash was a star in college, and a lottery pick for a reason. He had elite base-level talent. We can’t just be saying that every good thing a white player accomplishes in this league is due to hard work.

But let’s get back to talking about the guy that ironically ended Steve Nash’s college career by holding him to 1/11 shooting in the 1996 NCAA Tournament, Jacque Vaughn.

Not only does Vaughn have the credibility of pushing himself past the limit of what he should have been able to accomplish in the NBA, he also has the credibility of having gone up against both Michael Jordan and LeBron James in separate NBA finals. How many coaches can say that?

Vaughn has both played in a playoff game as a member of the Nets, as well as coached the Nets in the 2020 playoffs after Kenny Atkinson resigned. He’s been around as a Nets assistant for the last seven years, so if anyone is aware of all the issues facing this franchise, it’s gotta be him. 

Sure, Jacque Vaughn’s first go-round as a head coach was a disaster, but he was in his mid-30’s and trying to make an Orlando Magic team relevant that had Aaron Affalo as one of its best players. Not even Phil Jackson would have had a chance down there. 

Sometimes it takes a coach getting an early shot and failing to find their footing. Just look at what Monty Williams has been able to do in Phoenix after flaming out in New Orleans.

The Nets have arguably the most talented starting five in the East, and have obviously been missing a focused, steadfast, diligent locker room voice to channel that talent into wins on the court. 

I’m not saying Jacque Vaughn is going to win this team a title, but now that his point guard’s suspension is coming to an end, if he can get Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Ben Simmons all rowing in the same direction, he’ll have worked a basketball miracle and earned himself the respect that he’s long deserved. 

Let that sink in. 

Kyrie Irving’s Suspension Is Ending, But We Still Need an Explanation For Its Length

It might be coming to an end, but we still need to talk about the length of Kyrie Irving’s suspension.

On November 3rd, Kyrie Irving was given a suspension of a minimum of five games. He missed

The reason for the suspension is that he had posted a link to a documentary that made the case that African Americans were of Hebrew heritage, and that the reason that’s not common knowledge is that there has been a century’s long cover-up that includes exaggerating the Holocaust. 

It was definitely something that Kyrie Irving needed to clarify, and when given the opportunity, it became clear to any honest observer that the only information that Kyrie had retained from this so-called documentary is the overall concept of black people in America having a much richer history than just being the descendants of slaves, and that he felt no need to apologize.

I’ve talked before about the factors that make people like Kyrie Irving search for meaning in their ancestry, and even got into the fact that as an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, there are millions of white Americans that actually do believe that the Book of Mormon teaches Irving’s heritage goes back to lost Israelite tribes. 

The backlash has never been about whether anyone believes they have Ancient Hebrew Heritage. The backlash was about whether Kyrie believed the anti-Semitic tropes presented by the film, and whether there has been a Jewish conspiracy to keep black people down.

That particular unanswered question might have justified Kyrie’s initial suspension, but Nets owner Joe Tsai said that he’s met with Kyrie and his family, and that ” it’s clear… that Kyrie does not have any beliefs of hate towards Jewish people or any group.”

Well if it’s so clear, why wasn’t Kyrie Irving back on the court right away?

According to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, “Whether or not Kyrie Irving is antisemitic is not relevant to the damage caused by the posting of hateful content.”

Maybe Adam Silver is right here, but his own track record in this area makes Kyrie’s continued suspension at the hands of the Nets seem rather excessive. 

Back in 2011, the NBA dropped a $100,000 hammer on Kobe Bryant for shouting a gay slur at at a referee. Kobe was allowed to apologize and make it clear that what he said was not a reflection of his feelings toward the gay community. David Stern was commissioner at the time. 

After Adam Silver took over as commissioner, Rajon Rondo did the same thing, calling a referee a gay slur in a much more aggressive manner. That official responded by publicly coming out of the closet as gay in an effort to help NBA players realize the impact of their words. And on top of that, Rajon Rondo lied about what he said, and only apologized on Twitter after witnesses and video review showed that Rondo was lying. 

Rondo received a one-game suspension amounting to an $86,000 fine. 

Kyrie is seven games and almost $500,000 deep in fines, has offered another $500,000 to the anti-defamation league, and is going to lose out on tens of millions of dollars in Nike endorsement deals

And in the words of Joe Tsai, does not hate Jewish people OR ANY GROUP.

The suspension was objectively excessive. It was historically excessive. And at the end of the day, it’s all because Kyrie Irving watched a documentary that it’s extremely clear he didn’t comprehend, and posted a link to it without context. 

Look, if a baseball pitcher posted a link to a place where he bought a “I love the KKK” t-shirt, we’d all be demanding answers. But if the answer was earnestly that he’s not racist, but instead that he’s just a little bit dumb and thought the K’s stood for strikeouts, how much punishment would be necessary before he was allowed to take the mound again?

The longer this suspension went on, the more backlash Adam Silver and Joe Tsai are risked. LeBron James has already called for Kyrie Irving’s reinstatement. NBPA president Jaylen Brown has taken it a step further, publicly blasting Nike and pointing out that Joe Tsai’s investment in companies that supply China with the technological means to spy on, and ultimately persecute, it’s Uygher Muslim population.

Influential players being willing to take on both of the NBA’s traditionally bulletproof untouchables- Nike and China, to get Kyrie Irving back on the court, is something I guarantee no one has a plan to handle.

It’s as simple as this- once it was determined that the comments cam from a place of ignorance and not malice, they should have immediately let Kyrie play, and do the work of learning about the very real history of the persecution of the Jewish people while on the court. 

Let that sink in.

Pac-12 Apostles Podcast (11/17/2022): George Mourns an Oregon Loss, Jayden de Laura’s Revenge Game Approaches, and is USC Our Last Hope?

On this Episode of the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast, Ralph Amsden consoles George Wrighster over the Oregon Ducks loss to the Washington Huskies, and the guys break down an insane week of Pac-12 football that included a UCLA home loss to Arizona. Topics this week include Jayden de Laura making things personal ahead of his match with his former Wazzu coach Jake Dickert, Arizona State hiring a very familiar search firm, and whether USC is the Pac-12’s only hope at a postseason payday. The guys preview week 12, and answer your questions.


Apple Podcasts // Spotify // PocketCasts // Google Play // Stitcher // RadioPublic // iHeart

You can also watch Pac-12 Apostles on YouTube!

Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’, Content Director for, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. . Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.