Tamika Catchings, she gets it. She’s one of the all-time WNBA greats, far and away the best player to ever don an Indiana Fever uniform. There’s a reason she has four Olympic gold medals.
Stephanie White gets it, too. There’s a reason she’ll soon be coaching one of the country’s elite college basketball programs.
Unfortunately for the Indiana Fever, it takes more than one great player and one great coach to make a great team.
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Flashback: Ralph Wiley: An athlete with the freedom to speak
Young people who major in sociology ask questions about historical matters like the 1968 Olympic Games, or the 1936 Olympic Games, or the 1972 Olympic Games, or the Trail of Tears, or any of a thousand atrocities, and the many wars that continue to occur. Young people who major in sociology are given pause once they learn and process the bloody history of this or any other “civilized” country.
We live, love, learn. Even if we are athletes. Imagine that. To say athletes and sports are precluded from this process is, in fact, insulting, that a Tommie or a Toni Smith are like cattle and should just give their milk and moo and shut up and not have their own feelings. We should be proud of them. What they are doing is actually an act of love.
But we’re not proud of them.
Feyisa Lilesa, the marathon runner who made an anti-government protest gestureduring the Olympic Games, has not returned to Ethiopia. Reporters aboard the Ethiopian team’s return flight from Rio yesterday (Aug 24) said Lilesa was not on the plane.
Sports officials did not mention the 26-year-old’s name during a welcome ceremony where government officials greeted the team and decorated them with garlands. Ethiopian state media also omitted mention of him in news reports of the athletes’ return. Lilesa’s agent, Federico Rosa, said the athlete had stayed on in Rio but that he does not know Lilesa’s plans.