Yenagoa set for 3rd Governor Dickson Wrestling Classics – Vanguard

By Solomon Nwoke

AT least not less than over 500 athletes from different states of the federation and clubs are expected to participate in the 3rd Governor Seriake Dickson National Wrestling Classics scheduled  for 24th to 30th June, 2018  at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Samson Siasia Sports Complex Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

Wrestlers size each other during a bout.

The competition organised under the auspices of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) will feature all the three wrestling styles (Greco Roman, Freestyle and Women Wrestling) in the senior (20 years and above) and cadet (15 to 17 years) categories with 10 new weight classes in the senior level, as well as five Olympic classes for the cadet athletes.

Already, invitation letters have been sent out to the chairmen of the different state wrestling associations, who have been advised to present the necessary documents for their cadet athletes.

President of the Federation Dr. Daniel Igali in a chat with Sporting Vanguard,  informed that the Classics will be used as a trial for upcoming global tournaments, including the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, later this year.

“We are going to have the Governor Dickson National Wrestling Classics from the 24th to the 30th of June, 2018. That is going to be the tournament that we would use to select our national teams for the World Championships, for the Cadet World Championships, the Junior World Championships and the U-23 World Championships,” the Vice-President of the Commonwealth Wrestling Committee disclosed.

“So, it is going to be a very interesting tournament.

“We are still not decided whether a couple of countries from Africa will attend, but hopefully, in the next two weeks, I will be able to give you that briefing.”

The Bayelsa State Lawmaker also informed that the competition level at the tournament will be very high, as the country’s elite athletes will all be part of the event.

“It’s going to be a high level tournament,” the Olympic champion said. “We are hoping to have over 500 athletes.

“We will have all our top guns there, they obviously have to be able to finish first in their weight classes to qualify for the World Championships.

Preparation the key to Rugby World Cup success – The Japan Times

I’ve got a calendar here and it says 495 days, four hours, five minutes and 23 seconds to the World Cup. We track it very closely.

We started a strategic plan for the World Cup in 2016, not long after I took over the England team. You look at it not only from a logistic point of view but also from a physiological point of view, selection point of view, tactical point of view. You’re putting that all into one strategic plan to get yourself to be at your absolute best for the World Cup when it starts.

Everything is geared toward being at our best for the World Cup. But along the way you have to win games of rugby. You can’t just follow long-term strategy. Sometimes the short-term and long-term strategies conflict but that’s part of the process — knowing when to prioritize the longer term and when to prioritize the shorter term.

For instance, in our games in November last year, we didn’t play Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell because they’d come off the British and Irish Lions tour. We felt we needed to give them a break to ensure that two years down the track, at the World Cup, they’re going to be in as good condition as they can be. So you are always looking to get the balance right.

We would ideally have liked to base ourselves in one place in Japan and then travel to the games, but at the end of the day the World Cup organizers decide where you can and can’t stay. Once they make their decision, you’ve got to follow their decision and come up with the best plan you can.

You can only control what you can control. We don’t control what the World Cup organizing committee does. So we know where we’re going to stay and it’s up to us to come up with the best plan, the best logistics, the best environment for our team to flourish.

I think it’s great for the local community to host the World Cup teams, there’s no doubt about that. Having England in Sapporo, Yokohama and Tokyo is great for the community and great for rugby.

The support of the crowd at any event is important. Our aim is to be the second-best-supported team, after Japan. Everyone loves the All Blacks but there’s no reason why they can’t love us. I’ve got a fairly strong connection with the Japanese rugby community and I hope that will hold us in good stead.

We’ve just finalized our squad for our June tour to South Africa, and we’ve probably got about 20 players unavailable for various reasons. That makes it a challenging tour but it also creates an opportunity for young players coming through. If they show they can handle test rugby in South Africa and continue to improve, they could force their way into the World Cup squad.

In the week before we go to South Africa, we’re setting up our training center to be the same temperature conditions as Tokyo. It will give the players the experience of those conditions. It’s not the same as being there but we’ve got to be able to control what we can control and give our players the best preparation we can.

Everyone likes to keep winning but high performance is not linear. If it was, everyone would do it and it would be easy. It involves crests and troughs, and the ability of a team to get out of a trough quickly is the test of a good team.

Us having a bad patch was always going to happen. We weren’t going to keep winning at 96 percent. No team in test rugby does that. The All Blacks win at about the high 80s. This was always going to happen and it’s how we respond to it that’s the important thing.

Peaking at the World Cup comes down to experience. Experience of the preparation. You want to go into the World Cup with momentum. You want to feel like you’re a team that is improving, not just hanging on.

But you also need to peak for certain games. You have to win your seven games, and within that you have one or two crucial pool games. You’ve got a quarterfinal where, if you’re ranked in the top four as we are, then you’re generally going to be playing against a lower-ranked team, and that’s always a tricky game. And then in the semifinal and final it’s best foot forward. You just have to be able to do it on the day.

Preparation is everything. You’re either prepared to win or you’re prepared to fail. There’s an old quote by Muhammad Ali’s trainer, Angelo Dundee. He said: “Never go into a fight unless you’re the best-prepared fighter.” It’s the same in rugby.

A well-prepared team can beat a team that’s better physically and athletically. We did that with Japan against South Africa in 2015. If you’re better-prepared tactically, you can beat other teams. When it comes to the World Cup, you have to maximize your resources and that means maximizing your preparation.

Eddie Jones is the head coach of England’s national rugby team. He coached Japan from 2012-2015.

NFL Rookie Minicamp Roundup: Ravens Will Unleash Rookie Lamar Jackson Upon NFL – Bleacher Report

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Baltimore Ravens are prepping their offense so Lamar Jackson can make some noise this fall. 

    These preparations don’t automatically entail Joe Flacco’s demise as the team’s franchise quarterback, but the Ravens will find ways to get the rookie involved. One sentiment from minicamp should strike fear into all Baltimore’s future opponents.

    When asked what stood out during the year’s first practice, one Ravens staffer told The MMQB’s Albert Breer, “Lamar’s speed. Wow.”

    Quarterback succession plays are often messy. Ben Roethlisberger’s recent comments and Joe Flacco’s usual stoicism highlighted the conundrums organizations face: trying to prepare for the future without upsetting the team’s starting quarterback.

    The Ravens present the most intriguing situation since Flacco has been a mediocre to below-average quarterback the past four seasons and because general manager Ozzie Newsome decided to trade up for the most exciting player in this year’s draft class.

    Quarterback life drives the NFL news cycle. 

    The Cleveland Browns are making plans to tailor their offense around Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield’s similar skill sets. The New York Giants took the opposite approach by leaning heavily on their 37-year-old quarterback. The Dallas Cowboys, meanwhile, know Dak Prescott is well on his way to becoming the league’s highest-paid signal-caller.

    Also, roles for Washington Redskins running back Derrius Guice and three rookie offensive tackles are being decided.

    Jackson’s dynamism already has those in Baltimore excited, though, and rightly so.

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    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Jackson’s mere presence in the lineup will keep opposing defensive coordinators up at night, even if he’s relegated to a small package of plays. 

    Baltimore’s coaching staff understands the fine line it must walk regarding the quarterback’s overall development while still utilizing his extraordinary athleticism, raw speed and ample arm strength. 

    John Harbaugh and Co. are taking a Victor Frankenstein-like approach to building a role for the rookie.  

    “We do it in the laboratory,” Harbaugh said, per Ryan Mink of the team’s official site. “We do it on the practice field. We ran a lot of stuff out here…you guys probably saw. We’re going to always try to get our players making plays for us, and Lamar is a guy who can help us win games.”

    Jackson ravaged the collegiate ranks with 9,043 career passing yards, 4,132 rushing yards and 119 total touchdowns. A package of plays for the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner should extend beyond the typical zone-read approach.

    “They want me on the field to utilize my talent and be a quarterback,” Jackson said, per Mink. “So it’s cool with me.” 

    Rest easy, Ravens fans. Baltimore plans to use Jackson, and the offense should be far more potent and unpredictable after ranking 27th overall last season.

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    The Cleveland Browns are short on quarterbacks. No, wait, that description fits previous incarnations of the team. This Browns staff is quite excited about two short quarterbacks. 

    The Baker Mayfield-Tyrod Taylor combination is arguably the franchise’s most talented since Tim Couch and Kelly Holcomb led the team to its last playoff appearance in 2002. 

    Both lack ideal height, though, and new offensive coordinator Todd Haley will tailor his offense to highlight each quarterback’s strengths while downplaying their stature. 

    “The offense is going to be very similar,” NFL Network’s Steve Wyche reported after speaking with head coach Hue Jackson. “In the passing game, they’re going to have a deeper pocket setup. Both of the quarterbacks are about 6’1”, and they said the way they can create passing lanes without a whole lot of schematic things is just have a deeper drop. 

    “It’s something Mayfield did well at Oklahoma, and they think should translate well to the Browns.” 

    Jackson, meanwhile, reaffirmed Taylor is the Browns’ starting quarterback and “that won’t change,” according to the’s Mary Kay Cabot. 

    Concern does arise with deeper drops. They will make protection more difficult for both offensive tackles. How quickly and efficiently the Browns’ quarterbacks release the ball will have a profound effect on any success the offense experiences.

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The New York Giants either made an inspired choice or monumental blunder by selecting running back Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick in April’s draft. 

    The decision came down to how the team felt about 37-year-old quarterback Eli Manning, and new head coach Pat Shurmur is fully invested in the two-time Super Bowl-winning signal-caller. 

    “No, I didn’t see the age,” Shurmur said after reviewing Manning’s 2017 performance, per Breer. “There’s no substitute for experience, and he’s got it. So no, the age doesn’t bother me.”

    Manning’s numbers say otherwise. The aging quarterback hit four-year lows in completion percentage, passing yards, yards per attempt, touchdowns and quarterback rating. But Shurmur stated his signal-caller’s case:

    When you have a quarterback that’s won as much as Eli, that played through a year like last year, the way to get him back to where he needs to be, we need to block them better, and then the best friend for the quarterback is the running back, where you turn around, hand the ball off and gain yards. It all goes hand in hand. Play action’s way more believable.” 

    The Minnesota Vikings’ 501 carries ranked second-last season with Shurmur calling the play. Barkley can expect a heavy load to help Manning.

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    Michael Perez/Associated Press

    The Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan became the NFL’s highest-paid player after signing a five-year, $150 million contract extension earlier in May. 

    Quarterbacks are waiting in line to usurp Ryan’s title, and Dak Prescott’s time is coming. 

    “You know, at that position, it kind of is what it is,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Wednesday, per the Dallas Morning News‘ Kate Hairopoulos. Jones continued:

    I know Dak is going to have a great year this year. I hope it’s up there. It’s going to be as he deserves. He was a fourth-round pick. No one deserves to get paid fairly more than he does. We all see what some of the other guys who aren’t [Green Bay great] Aaron Rodgers, who aren’t Matt Ryan [are earning]. He’s going to do well.

    “We certainly know that’s going to happen. We’ve got that planned in our budgeting for the salary cap. And I just want Dak to go out there and be the MVP this year of the NFL, that’s what I want.  And we’ll deal with that.

    Jones clearly hedged his praise in an indirect attempt to temper expectations before the two sides reach the negotiating table next offseason.

    Prescott regressed after winning the 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Anything less than an MVP-caliber season, and the Cowboys can argue Prescott’s value doesn’t quite reach Ryan or Rodgers’ level.

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    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    How could anyone forget Adrian Peterson’s time with the New Orleans Saints? 

    After all, the future Hall of Fame running back played four games for the Saints and averaged 3.0 yards per carry before being released. 

    The inevitable decline began, but Peterson hasn’t noticed. 

    “I’m healthy, and I’m ready to roll,” Peterson told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. “If you want someone to help you win a championship and be productivebe very productiveyou know how to contact me.”

    The 33-year-old back didn’t fare much better once he signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Peterson managed 448 yards and averaged 3.5 yards per carry in the desert before landing on injured reserve with a neck injury. 

    The Saints, meanwhile, must deal with Mark Ingram’s suspension for the first four games of the 2018 campaign because of a violation of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances

    Peterson said he would “definitely be open” to a return. 

    “For whatever reason, it just didn’t work out [in New Orleans], but when I got my shot in Arizona, I showed what I was able to do,” the seven-time Pro Bowl performer said. “I know once I get back out there, I’ll be blessed with a healthy season and show people I’m still the best in the league.”

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    Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press

    Derrius Guice’s first-round grade didn’t survive the league’s predraft evaluation, and the talented running back tumbled to the Washington Redskins with the 59th overall pick. 

    Immaturity and unreported incidents supposedly caused the free fall. How much is true can be considered moot since he’s in Washington. 

    The first-year runner will fill an immediate hole in Jay Gruden’s offense. 

    “He has some improvement to do in the pass pro, without a doubt, and I think he’ll be the first one to tell you,” the head coach said, per’s John Keim. Gruden continued:

    That’s something that sometimes in college, with only 20 hours of practice per week, some of the fundamentals as far as pass blocking sometimes gets swept by. He’s more of a first-, second-down banger. But I’ve seen him at his pro day catch the football. He can catch the football fine, but really, our role for him is quite easy to see. It’s first, second down.

    Guice earned the designation of being the best between-the-tackles runner in this year’s class. He isn’t needed on third down, either, because Chris Thompson is special in said role. Thompson caught 39 passes for 510 yards and four touchdowns last season before suffering a fractured fibula.

    These complementary pieces should boost Washington’s 28th-ranked rushing attack.

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    The 2018 offensive class lacked quality prospects and depth. Yet multiple rookies could be starting at left tackle this fall.

    The Oakland Raiders traded down and selected Kolton Miller with the 15th overall pick. Donald Penn’s presence on the roster may push Miller to right tackle or the Raiders could favor youth and athleticism over experience.

    “That’s where he has recently played,” head coach Jon Gruden said at rookie minicamp, per’s Paul Gutierrez. “We like him at left tackle. We think he’s a prototype left tackle. He can bend, he’s got the length that you’re looking for and he’s a sharp kid…that doesn’t mean that’s where they’re going to end up, though.”

    Miller fits the mold of an NFL left tackle. Isaiah Wynn and Austin Corbett don’t. Although both may be protecting their respective quarterbacks’ blind sides this fall.

    New England Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia didn’t mince his words regarding Wynn’s potential. 

    “He’s played left tackle in the best conference, [the SEC], in America,” Scarnecchia said, per’s Mike Reiss. “Played it pretty good. We’re going to take a look at it and see how it goes.”

    The Browns plan to do the same with rookie lineman Corbett. 

    “You will see [Corbett] out there [at left tackle],” head coach Hue Jackson said, per’s Dan Labbe. “There is no question he will be out there, but I think you will see him moved around too.”

    If they falter, their teams will find another spot for them. But left tackle is too important not to start there. 

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    Brandon Wade/Associated Press

    The Dallas Cowboys haven’t given up on defensive end Randy Gregory.

    Gregory could be available for the 2018 campaign after missing all of last season because of violating the league’s substance abuse policy for the third time. The 25-year-old defender is expected to apply for reinstatement, according to the Dallas Morning News‘ Kate Hairopoulos and Jori Epstein.

    “He’s being very diligent in preparing his information and preparing his application,” owner Jerry Jones said Wednesday. “I have been proud of Randy during this offseason. I’m very aware of how hard he’s working to get back in the league and get back on the field.”

    Dallas took a chance on Gregory in the second round of the 2015 draft because his attributes make him perfectly suited for defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s scheme.

    Being away from the game can be difficult, though. Relapses can easily occur when a professional athlete lives outside of team structure because of a lack of support.

    “It’s best he’s back in the locker room, he’s back around us,” fellow defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford said. “I think it will be good for him and good for us.”

    The 45-day window between application and a potential ruling places Gregory on the field for Cowboys training camp in Oxnard, California. His presence will provide depth behind Demarcus Lawrence, Taco Charlton and Kony Ealy.

NCAA Men's Tennis Championships: Four from Pac-12 advance to Sunday –

Five teams from the Pac-12 played Saturday in the 2018 NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament, with four advancing to Sunday’s second round.

[Related: 2018 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships bracket (]


Cal started its tournament on an upset high after downing NC State in its first-round match on Friday, but the Golden Bears’ luck came to an end Saturday with their 4-0 loss to 11th-seeded Texas on the Longhorns’ home court.

Texas took charge from the outset, winning its doubles matches on courts 1 (6-3) and 3 (6-2) to take the first available point. The Longhorns then won four of six first sets in singles play and only needed to claim three courts to sweep the match. Texas’ Colin Markes took down Cal’s Jacob Brumm (6-1, 1-6, 6-1) to end things on court 6.

Cal concludes its season with a 12-10 record but gets to cheer on Billy Griffith in the NCAA singles tourney starting May 23. Griffith will also join fellow senior J.T. Nishimura in the NCAA doubles tournament, set to begin May 24.

UCLA cruised from there, winning all six first sets and picking off the Vandal opposition on courts 2, 5 and 3.

Here’s the team clincher from court 3, courtesy of Keegan Smith:

Up next for UCLA is San Diego, the WCC’s tournament champion, starting at 9 a.m. PT on Sunday.


On the Cardinal’s home court, Stanford completed its 11th shutout of the season Saturday with a 4-0 win over New Mexico State.

Stanford’s Axel Geller and Timothy Sah attacked right out of the gate, posting a 6-0 doubles win on court 3. That left Eric Fomba and Sameer Kumar to clinch the doubles point (6-4) on court 2.

Fomba stifled his singles opponent with a 6-0, 6-0 win on court 4 to bring the team score to 2-0. Two more dominant performances by his Cardinal teammates followed on courts 5 and 3, where David Wilcynski notched a 6-0, 6-3 victory over NMSU’s Mauri Benitez, and Sameer Kumar finished 6-1, 6-1 over Sergi Espias.

Stanford faces Ole Miss in the second round Sunday at 2 p.m. PT. It’s been 21 years since these teams have matched up, but how’s this for a fun fact: Stanford head coach Paul Goldstein was a junior on that 1997 squad that defeated Ole Miss in the NCAA semifinals and went on to win the national championship.


Another Pac-12 team, another sweep: Oregon took down Dartmouth, 4-0, on Saturday, advancing the Ducks to the second round of the tournament for the third time in as many years.

Simon Stevens and Ty Gentry got things going for the Ducks in doubles play, winning 6-3 on court 2. That set up Armando Soermarno and Charles Roberts for the doubles clincher on court 3 and, indeed, they locked it up with a 6-4 victory.

In singles, five of six opening sets went to Oregon. Akihiro Tanaka was the first to win his singles match, going 6-4, 6-1 over Dartmouth’s Dan Martin on court 3. Thomas Laurent, a junior from Montpellier, France, was next in line with a straight-sets sweep over Charlie Broom on court 1 (6-3, 6-3). The final team point came from court 4, where Ty Gentry defeated Max Fliegner (6-4, 6-1).

Oregon takes on No. 9 seed Texas Christian on Sunday at 11 a.m. PT on the Horned Frogs’ home court in Fort Worth, Texas.


The 10th-seeded USC Trojans wrapped up a long day of winning for the Pac-12, bouncing UC Santa Barbara, 4-1, Saturday evening.

USC secured the doubles point with ease, courtesy of a 6-1 win on court 1 from Brandon Holt and Riley Smith, followed by a 6-3 victory on court 3 by Daniel Cukierman and Tanner Smith.

But the Trojans only won two of the six first sets in the singles competition, and four of the matches ended up going to three sets. Thibault Forget scored first for USC on the singles courts, topping Santa Barbara’s Anders Holm (6-2, 6-3) on court 3.

Victor Krustev kept UCSB in the match with a court 6 win over Jake DeVine, but that would be the Gauchos’ last win of the day. USC’s Riley Smith secured court 5 in three sets, leaving courts 1, 2 and 3 to jockey for the final team point. It would be Brandon Holt clinching on court 1 with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 win, sending the Trojans to the second round.

USC awaits a 1 p.m. PT date with Harvard on Sunday.

'Heroic, But He's No Hero': Revisiting Football Great Jim Brown – NPR

Jim Brown, a star running back for the Cleveland Browns in the late 1950s and early 1960s, is the subject of a new biography by The Nation sports editor Dave Zirin.

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Jim Brown, a star running back for the Cleveland Browns in the late 1950s and early 1960s, is the subject of a new biography by The Nation sports editor Dave Zirin.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Many consider the running back Jim Brown the greatest American football player ever. But he’s known as much more than an athlete — he’s an activist, an actor, a thinker and a man with an alleged history of violence against women.

Here’s how he’s described in the opening paragraph of Dave Zirin’s new biography, Jim Brown: Last Man Standing.

Football is the closest thing we have in this country to a national religion, albeit a religion built on a foundation of crippled apostles and disposable martyrs. In this brutal church, Jim Brown is the closest thing to a warrior Saint.

Zirin, sports correspondent for The Nation, spoke to NPR about this complicated figure, who is now 82 years old.

“I think it’s important that when we look at these icons of the past, that we look at them not as these kinds of immortals,” Zirin says. “Because if we do that, when we deify people, the problem with that is then there’s nothing to learn from them or their lives. It’s a story of somebody who is very flawed, but somebody who also did heroic things. As Howard Bryant, the great sportswriter, said, he said: Jim Brown is heroic, but he’s no hero. And I think that’s the best way to look at his life.”

Interview Highlights

On why he chose Jim Brown as a subject, and why now

There’s a discussion happening right now — not just in the world of sports, but I think nationally — about masculinity, and about what it means to be a man, what it means to be a real man. And I think we are assessing some of what we’ve been taught. And I think Jim Brown, for the last 50 years, has been this kind of icon of the old way of looking at manhood: somebody who defined his manhood by not showing a great deal of emotion; by playing in the National Football League and never missing a game for injury, and being lauded for that; as being somebody who stepped inside the black power movement and was an icon; as someone who stepped into Hollywood, and was thought that he could be the black John Wayne and participated in the blaxploitation era, which was a very hyper-masculinized form of cinema at the time; and as somebody who stepped to the terrain of the gang battles in Los Angeles in the 1980s, and did a tremendous amount of activism to try to bring warring gangs together and bring peace to the streets of South Central Los Angeles. And all of these landscapes he did with this resolute focus on teaching people of what it means to be a “real man.” And one of the things I try to argue in the book, and this connects with the discussions which are happening right now about masculinity, is whether or not that discussion of manhood is positive or negative. And so I also look in the book about Jim Brown’s history with women, which is the dark side, if you will, of this discussion about masculinity — particularly the issue of violence against women.

On where Jim Brown grew up, and how it influenced his particular type of activism

Well, it’s a fascinating story, because Jim Brown was raised by women on St. Simons Island, which is off the coast of Georgia. And St. Simons was a place that was built on self-sufficiency because the ground was so rough that when enslaved people were brought from Africa, their communities were largely left alone. And this, I think, made a mark on Jim Brown throughout his younger years, of this idea of not being an integrationist, not being someone who supported the goals of Dr. Martin Luther King [Jr.], of being someone who more was on the side of: How do we, as black Americans, build our own institutions of power and self-sufficiency? …

Retired NFL greats Jim Brown (left) and Ray Lewis address the media after meeting with then-President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York in late 2016.

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Retired NFL greats Jim Brown (left) and Ray Lewis address the media after meeting with then-President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York in late 2016.

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And this is something I think we forget historically, is that there was a black freedom struggle in this country, but there was a left wing and right wing to that freedom struggle. It’s not like everybody believed in marching, or everybody believed in the Montgomery bus boycott, sit-ins. There was a wide variety of thinking about how black liberation could be achieved. And Jim Brown was, you could argue, on the conservative wing of that camp. And I think it connects to why Jim Brown today is a supporter of Donald Trump … and why he supported Richard Nixon in 1968, as did other figures of that era like the singer James Brown and Sammy Davis Jr. Like, there was black support for Richard Nixon in 1968, and it was built around this idea of economic self-sufficiency.

On Jim Brown’s stance about Colin Kaepernick and modern sports protests

It’s fascinating to me, because Jim Brown said just the other week, on the NFL Network, that if he was the general manager of a team, he would not sign Colin Kaepernick. Last year he walked into the locker room of the Cleveland Browns — the team that of course made Jim Brown famous — and he told players who had been kneeling that they needed to cut it out. And so Jim Brown is really acting as an agent of [NFL] ownership in these cases. …

See, this is what I’m trying to argue with this book, because a lot of people in the sports world were shocked when he said these things, saying: How could Jim Brown, this icon of the black freedom struggle, how could he possibly bury Colin Kaepernick in this way? How can he possibly go into the locker room and tell players to stand up and shut up during the national anthem? And part of what I’m arguing is that: No, these have always been his politics. He’s always had this strain of conservatism in his politics that black people do not achieve advancement through the politics of protest, but through the politics of earning as much money as possible, and trying to get out of the capitalist system whatever they can for the purposes of building economic self-sufficiency. And protest is an impediment to that in the mind of Jim Brown. And those have always been his politics.

What I find so interesting is that his stature on the field, I think, blinded people to what his politics were. I’ll tell you an example of this that I find so interesting, is I scoured the black press in 1968 for when Jim Brown endorsed Richard Nixon, and there are scathing editorials against other black celebrities who were endorsing Nixon, and you could not find a bad word about Jim Brown.

On the history of accusations against Jim Brown of violence against women

It’s a series of accusations that go from the 1960s through the 1990s, and without a conviction. … The repeated accusations and descriptions lead you to look at this as a situation where Jim Brown, at times in his life, definitely saw women as part of the problem, as something that would bring down the black family if they asserted themselves too much in the context of his life. And the accusations against Jim Brown are horrific, and they should be viewed as horrific. But it’s important to say that when they took place, that’s not how they were viewed — they were viewed with a nudge and a wink. And so part of what I’m writing this book is getting us to reassess those times and say: The time of nudging and winking and violence against women has to end — it has to go into the graveyard of history.

Sarah Handel and Viet Le produced and edited this story for broadcast. Patrick Jarenwattananon adapted it for the Web.

NJ Today: Metuchen Junior Girl Scout Troop installs library –


What’s happening and what you need to know in Central Jersey.

Metuchen Junior Girl Scout Troop installs library

Metuchen Junior Girl Scout Troop 80751 is spreading its love for reading to earn a Bronze Award. The girls have coordinated and installed a Little Free Library in Oakland Park in Metuchen to encourage literacy and provide a convenient opportunity with easy access of books for people of all ages. The troop started creating awareness for the program with flyers in shops on Main Street. It also visited kindergartners at Moss School to inform them about the library and presented to other sister scouts locally. Troop members performed an informational skit for the students, read books aloud and helped each student make their own bookmark. Moss students donated close to 50 books to the library.  A grand opening ceremony was held May 5. The library is a small house-looking box in a public place that has books for individuals to borrow or swap.

Raritan Township police blotter

Four individuals were charged by Raritan Township Police with possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana from April 30 through May 6. Charged were Devon Degrasse, 23, of Flemington; Glenn Spearman Jr., 28, of Philadelphia; Nicholas Sapienza, 36, of Elizabeth; and Shanna Kwasnik, 19, of Bushkill, Pennsylvania. Sally Elkholy, 23, of Lambertville, was charged with drunken driving, reckless driving and failing to maintain lane on Route 202 at 3:17 a.m. May 5. Matthew Petras, 39, of Middlesex Borough, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana and possession of an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle after police found him sleeping in a car parked at Lowe’s at 4:53 p.m. May 5. Nicole Parah, 30, and Jonathan Guild, 30, both of Hamilton, were charged with shoplifting from Walmart at 1:22 p.m. May 5. The two were also charged with possession of heroin and hypodermic syringes. James Picklo, 47, was charged with possession of oxycodone on Route 202 at 1:14 a.m. on May 6.

Man in lady’s clothes sought in theft

Watchung police are seeking a man dressed in woman’s clothes in connection with shoplifting from Old Navy at Watchung Square Mall at 11:50 a.m. May 2. The suspect is described as 5-foot-8, weighing 140 pounds with long black hair, wearing a pink sweater, blue jeans and white shoes. The other suspect was a heavyset woman, about 5-foot-5 with a gray t-shirt and blue jeans. Both fled the store with bags of clothing.


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Music registration open

Registration is open for The Princeton Festival’s popular Music That Tells a Story, a free introduction to opera that includes an interactive workshop, led by professional singer and educator Dr. Rochelle Ellis, plus admission to a fully-staged performance of the Puccini favorite Madama Butterfly. More information and an online enrollment form is available at Participants have a choice of workshop sessions: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, in Princeton; 10 a.m. Saturday, June 9, in Trenton; or 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, in Lawrenceville. The opera performance takes place at McCarter Theatre in Princeton at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 14. Information on the entire 2018 season of The Princeton Festival is available at

Lance calls for debate on languishing bills

U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-District 7) recently signed a discharge petition calling for a debate and vote on a series of immigration reform bills languishing in the U.S. House. Lance is the first New Jersey Republican to lend his name to this effort. A discharge petition can be brought up only on the first and third Monday of the month when the House is in session. June 25 is the next time the House is in session on one of those Mondays. Visit

Freeholder challenges youth to simultaneous chess games

Somerset County Freeholder Deputy Director Brian D. Levine will challenge up to a dozen chess players from the area schools to a Chess Challenge (simultaneous chess games) at the Mary Jacobs Library, 64 Washington St,, Rocky Hill, part of the Somerset County Library System. The challenge will begin at 5 p.m. Monday, May 14. All are welcome to view the activity. “I love working with kids and I love playing chess,” said Levine, “so this chess exhibition is perfect for me.” The former mayor of Franklin Township, Somerset County, Levine — last year named “Freeholder of the Year” by the New Jersey Conference of Mayors — learned the moves as a seven-year-old when he watched his father and cousin playing chess. He went on to study the game, becoming high school champion at J.P. Stevens in Edison, and top player in the conference in which his high school competed. Before the games begin, the attendees will receive a brief chess lesson form International Chess Master Dean Ippolito, of the Dean of Chess Academy in Branchburg. Anyone who manages to outstrategize Freeholder Levine will receive a gift, complements of the Somerset County Library. Levine is donating half-a-dozen tournament quality chess sets and boards to the library, in addition to giving a “chess pin” to all who challenge him.

Award, scholarship luncheon

The 200 Club of Somerset County has announced the recipients of its 2018 Valor Awards, who will be honored at the 45th annual Valor and Scholarship Luncheon on Wednesday, May 16, at The Palace at Somerset Park, 333 Davidson Ave., Franklin. Valor Award recipients include: Corporal Keith Hermann of the Franklin Township Police Department, Officer John Granahan of the Manville Police Department and Detectives I Michael Leonardi and Stephen Riefler of the Intelligence and Criminal Enterprise Section of the New Jersey State Police. Contact Denise Maria at 908-526-2565. Visit

M&T Bank announces tax credit funding

M&T Bank announced $985,000 in tax credit funding for four deserving nonprofit organizations in New Jersey through the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program (NRTC). This investment acts as part of the banks ongoing pledge to help grow and develop neighborhoods throughout its footprint in NJ. The organizations receiving this funding through the tax credit program include: New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC); Garden State Episcopal Community Development Corporation (GDECDC); Unity Square in New Brunswick, a project of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen; and Interfaith Neighbors. Visit

The second annual Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Rainbow Run 5K was held on April 22, at White Oak Park in Branchburg. (Photo: ~Courtesy of Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity)

Rainbow Run 5K held

Habitat Youth, a group of civic-minded students from seven high schools in Somerset and Hunterdon counties, hosted the second annual Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Rainbow Run 5K on April 22, at White Oak Park in Branchburg. More than 75 participants came out to support the students’ efforts. The Rainbow Run raised more than $1,800, which will help area residents create better lives and financial stability by partnering with Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity to build affordable homes for their families. If you attend a school in Somerset County or Hunterdon County and are interested in starting a Habitat service club, contact Rebecca Maier at or call 908-704-0016, ext. 18. Information:, 908-704-0016. 

Shown participating in a special presentation are (from right) Tony Rose, Columbia Bank’s first senior vice president, marketing director; Bria Barker, EVERFI’s Financial Education account executive; and Michael Campbell, Columbia’s senior vice president, community development officer. (Photo: ~Courtesy of Columbia Bank)

Columbia Bank receives award

Columbia Bank has been awarded the 2018 Financial Capability Innovation Award from EVERFI, Inc. for sponsoring financial education programs at several local high schools. EVERFI’s online course, funded by Columbia Bank at no cost to schools districts and students, uses interactive activities to promote financial literacy. Columbia currently sponsors the EVERFI financial literacy program at Passaic County Technical Institute (PCTI), Hawthorne High School, Fair Lawn High School, South Plainfield High School and Maple Shade High School. Visit

READ: NJ Today: Central Jersey Daily Rundown, Saturday, May 12

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