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  • 18 Feb
    导出博客文章The kneeling was noticeable quickly enough. To some, the raised fists seem
    almost ominous.On the first week of the NFL season there was almost as much
    going on during the national anthem as there was on the field. Players were
    making statements, and they didnt seem afraid of disrupting the highly
    choreographed spectacle that is an NFL game.At some point the league may have to
    find a way to deal with the newfound social consciousness of some of its
    employees. Theres no upside for the NFL if images of players holding clenched
    fists aloft during the national anthem begin to overshadow those of men
    colliding with each other on the field of play.So far that hasnt happened,
    though the season is young. Still, the sight of players making silent protests
    during the national anthem has to be disconcerting to a league that has always
    demanded conformity and blind obedience from its workers.It barely qualified as
    an NFL issue before Colin Kaepernick took a knee during an exhibition game. Now
    Commissioner Roger Goodell walks a fine line, voicing support for the right of
    players to speak out while in the same breath saying he wants them to respect
    the flag and most everyone who has ever put on a uniform.Goodell has so far been
    relatively restrained, and he has reason to tread lightly. The league he heads
    has profited greatly over the years, in no small part because it wraps itself
    around the flag and embraces the military and police at every opportunity.But
    two-thirds of its players are black. And they -- fueled by the constant feedback
    from social media -- are finding their voice about things they see wrong in the
    communities they grew up in.And sports may never be the same.I think weve come
    to a point in the history of sports that really for the first time in my
    lifetime -- and Ive spent 50 years doing this -- youre seeing athletes getting
    involved in social justice issues, said Richard Lapchick, director of The
    Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central
    Florida. You had the occasional heroic athlete stand up in the `60s or `70s, but
    they were very few and far between and they paid the price for it.Some may pay
    the price for this, too. Denvers Brandon Marshall quickly lost two endorsements
    after he took a knee before last weeks opener. The outcry against Kaepernick and
    others on social media has been ugly at times.And in a league where players are
    desperate to make rosters, it wouldnt be a surprise if taking a stand meant a
    greater chance of being told to hit the road.That wasnt an issue when LeBron
    James and fellow members of the Miami Heat donned hoodies in 2012 for a team
    picture in support of slain Miami teen-ager Trayvon Martin. Too much star power
    there, and the NBA is a little more socially aware than the NFL.Lapchick points
    to the hoodie protest as the start of a new generation of athletes becoming
    socially active. Some WNBA members also took a stand, wearing warmup shirts on
    behalf of Black Lives Matter this summer.The handling of that by the WNBA was
    botched a bit, and surely the NFL learned lessons from that. Goodell has said
    all the right things so far, but its still early in the game.Its an issue that
    sports is going to have to make an informed decision on how they are going to
    treat it, Lapchick said. This isnt something that is going to go away, whether
    its in the form of the national anthem or wearing T-shirts or other
    paraphernalia. From my viewpoint its here into the indefinite future.That may
    worry some, but it pleases Lapchick to no end. Hes not only crusaded for civil
    rights his entire life, but paid the price for it himself.Lapchick was a
    5-year-old when he looked out his bedroom window in New York to see men hanging
    an image of his father. Joe Lapchick was the coach of the New York Knicks, and
    his crime was to sign Nat Sweetwater Clifton, the first black player in the NBA
    in 1950.Years later, as an anti-apartheid activist, Lapchick was attacked by two
    men in a library at Virginia Wesleyan College, who held him down and carved the
    N-word into his stomach.Hell be watching closely as Goodell navigates his way
    through uncharted waters. Well all be watching to see how a commissioner who
    fancies himself to be a disciplinarian deals with things that discipline cant
    solve.The way the NFL handles anthem protests may turn out to be as significant
    in the long run as the protests themselves.----Tim Dahlberg is a national sports
    columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org or
    http://twitter.com/timdahlberg
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    . The nimble-footed quarterback got his wish, dashing through the snow and a
    weary defence all the way into the NCAA record book.
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    . This should be celebrated because it will not always be this way. With the
    amount of money given to players by their clubs these days, it is a wonder that
    so many of those teams allow the sport to continue to take away many of their
    assets so they can play for a different team in the middle of their season.The
    Calgary Flames announced Wednesday that the team has hired Robbie Ftorek as an
    assistant coach with the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League and Todd
    Woodcroft as scouting director. "In light of our commitment to rebuilding, and
    providing our young players with a chance to play, there is even greater
    importance being placed on development and getting our prospects ready to
    contribute as quickly as possible in Calgary," said Flames General Manager Jay
    Feaster. "In support of that mission, we are thrilled to be able to add such an
    experienced coach and teacher as Robbie Ftorek to our organization. Robbies
    experience at every level of hockey, from the CHL to the AHL to the NHL,
    provides our players, and our coaching staffs, an incredible wealth of hockey
    knowledge on which to draw, and we believe he and Troy Ward will do a ggreat job
    together in developing players for the Flames.dddddddddddd" Ftorek will work
    under Abbotsford Heat head coach Troy Ward. Ftorek coached two years each with
    the Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils and the Boston Bruins, while most
    recently working as the bench boss of the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey
    League from 2007-12. Ftorek has also led the Albany River Rats to win the Calder
    Cup as their head coach in 1995. As a player, Ftorek played over 700 career
    games split between the WHA and NHL and has numerous accolades including league
    MVP and scoring records. Woodcroft will assist Director of Amateur Scouting Todd
    Button and Assistant General Manager of Player Personnel John Weisbrod. He most
    recently scouted in Europe for the LA Kings and formerly with the Minnesota Wild
    and Washington Capitals organizations.
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