The modern-day news cycle is goddamn exhausting in just about every way imaginable. Everyone hates everything and sometimes there seems to be no end in sight to the onslaught of stories that make you want to plant your face firmly into a pillow and let out your most primal scream.
In its best moments, sports can provide sweet reprieve from the cesspool of misery that we’ve come to expect from the average newscast. There really is only so much we can take from the constant reports on death, destruction, political corruption – and worst of all – traffic and weather together.
But when the shittier aspects of society get packaged together and tangled up in the sports news, it’s no less disheartening. Here are three sports stories from the past week that made me say, “What the fuck?”
IF THE BRAVES ARE DISTANCING THEMSELVES FROM THE TOMAHAWK CHOP, THIS IS A WEIRD WAY OF DOING IT
Publicly, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has said that the Atlanta Braves are doing their part to dissuade fans from participating in the Tomahawk Chop at their games. For the uninitiated, this is where a stadium full of baseball fans makes a chopping motion meant to simulate a tomahawk while bellowing out the most blatant caricature of a Native American chant you could possibly conceive.
So if the Braves are indeed relegating the Chop to the garbage can of history, someone needs to explain what the damn hell the shirt pictured above is doing in their official team store. I mean, what is that other than what can only be described as an instructional diagram?
I remain hopeful that we will eventually do away with the chop, along with Chief Wahoo of Cleveland Indians notoriety, as well as the explicitly racist name of the Washington football team. But I also understand a concept voiced most eloquently by the late, great George Carlin: “Progress is slow. Smallpox is fast.”
UPDATE: This note from Craig Calcaterra at NBC Sports clarifies that the Braves have not and are not making an attempt to distance themselves from the Chop.
Channel 11 in Atlanta, citing “sources with intimate knowledge of this situation” reports that Manfred misspoke when he praised the Braves for getting rid of the Chop. He meant to praise that Braves for getting rid of the mascot Chief Noc-a-Homa, which the Braves ceased featuring in 1986. No I am not making this up.
EVERYTHING ABOUT THE ROBERT KRAFT PROSTITUTION STORY HAS BEEN FUCKED…NO PUN INTENDED
Look, I’m the furthest thing from a Bob Kraft fan. If you read my first post on this site, you know I’m certainly no fan of his New England Patriots either. Kraft has been charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution. Now, I could go off on a whole thing about the unnecessary, unwarranted stigma surrounding sex workers. But let me focus up a bit here.
It seems to me that because Kraft is the most famous figure named in the Orchids of Asia Day Spa story, many of us are either treating him as a punchline, or somehow the most nefarious figure involved. And let’s be clear, that is NOT the case.
The arrests associated with this case are the product of a six-month police investigation that revealed that human traffickers were luring vulnerable girls to the States under the guise of giving them work as a masseuse. Needless to say, that’s not all that the job entailed, and these girls were intimidated and shamed into keeping quiet about what they were being forced to do. That is supremely fucked up.
Honestly, I think it’s ok if you’ve gotten a giggle out of one of the most powerful men in the NFL being caught up in a prostitution story. But holy shit. If Kraft’s role in this story is the only thing you’ve taken out of all of this, you are majorly missing the forest for the trees.
Also, the fact that the spa itself instantly became a hot spot for selfies is such an indictment of what we’ve become as a society…it kinda just bums me out a little.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE, A COLLEGE BASEBALL GAME WAS DELAYED BY A BIRD FIGHT
I contemplated continuing with the theme of stories that make me upset. But why do that when I can leave you with a WTF moment from this past week that will make you smile instead?
It comes to us from a college baseball game between Jacksonville University and Jacksonville State. As chronicled by Deadspin, the game was delayed in the 8th inning because an osprey dropped a fish into the outfield after being startled by an aggressive bald eagle, who clearly had designs on stealing that fish for his own dinner.
As pictured above, the eagle circled around ready to swoop in to pick up the discarded meal, but one of the players on the field beat him to it…you know, because there was still a baseball game left to finish. In my mind, the eagle then pursued that player and lifted him up into the sky to be devoured along with the fish. But sadly, I can’t confirm and seriously doubt that’s what actually happened.
This concludes my recap of some of the “WTF?” sports stories of the last seven days. Maybe I’ll make this a regular feature? Also, please sound off in the comments if there’s a story that has you all what-the-fuck that I missed.
While I’m here, thanks for everyone who’s reading! My numbers have been steadily going up every week I do this, so let me take a minute to appreciate you for giving a shit! I love you all. See you next week!