LeBron James has done so much more than just open a school for at-risk children.
1. LeBron James didn't just open an elementary school for at-risk children on Monday. He's setting these kids up for life and saving lives. The kids who complete the I Promise School program get free tuition at the University of Akron. He's also set up a program for the parents of the students to complete their high school education. There's plenty more according to CNN's Don Lemon:
- Tuition is free
- Uniforms are free
- Transportation is free for every student who lives more than two miles away
- Every student gets breakfast, lunch and snacks
- Food pantry for families
- Every student gets a free bicycle and helmet
You should watch the entire video below in which Lemon interviews James and gets a tour of the impressive school, but if you don't have time for the full six minutes, fast forward to the four-minute mark and watch the reaction of the kids when LeBron enters their classroom.
Talk about living up to the nickname, "King." Oh, and there's also this important fact, too.
2. For some unknown reason, ESPN went above and beyond to bring Alex Rodriguez to Sunday Night Baseball. The move hasn't really paid off in the ratings or in terms of buzz. However, A-Rod has finally gotten attention for something he said during a telecast. On Sunday night, Rodriguez tore into injured Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish, saying the following:
"It has been a very sobering year with the debacle of the Yu Darvish who has been devastating, A guy to start a six-year contract with three of the worst months you could ever see. ... It's gotten so bad, they let him bascially police and take control of his own rehab, which is scary because they don't want to create anything he can push back against. He'll let the team know when he's ready, which, and let me tell you what that means to a clubhouse, you lose respect quickly. And, my concern for him, because he's a great young talent, is it may take two or three or four years and you may never get that back."
Cubs manager Joe Maddon was very polite in his response to A-Rod, saying, "I totally disagree with that. Everyone knows what’s going on. We know there is an injury there. We support his recovery. Everybody in there knows and everyone in the coaches’ room knows also, throughout the organization."
Darvish's agent Joel Wolfe, though, wasn't nearly as polite. He went after A-Rod hard, telling The Athletic, “If this story had come from a credible journalist, we might have shown some concern. But it came from A-Rod, so we’re paying it little attention.”
Wolfe was not done firing back at A-Rod and passive aggressively bringing up Rodriguez's extremely checkered past as a player, saying, "During A-Rod’s absurd comments, the video shows that Darvish was right there on the top step in the dugout cheering on his teammates, which is what you want from somebody like that. He wasn’t hiding out in Mesa at the spring-training complex or back home like A-Rod was when he was suspended.”
Rodriguez has worked hard to rehabilitate his damaged reputation, but, as Wolfe proves, people may forgive, but they don't forget, and that's the dilemma for ESPN. Few things will get a broadcaster more attention than ripping a player, but when the person ripping the player was once suspended for a full year for PEDs, while also being known for having an inferiority complex to Derek Jeter, people can always fire back and question their credibility and their words don't have the same impact as you'd hope.
3. I wrote about the trend of athletes getting exposed for offensive and hateful tweets from their past in Monday's Traina Thoughts. Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle shared his thoughts on the matter and summed up things brilliantly.
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for baseball on twitter. It sucks to see racist and homophobic language coming from inside our league - a league I’m so proud to be a part of that I’ve worked really hard to make a more accepting and inclusive place for all our fans to enjoy.— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) July 30, 2018
We have to start caring as much about the content of the posts as we do about when they were made and how they came to light.— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) July 30, 2018
The answer isn’t for athletes to leave social media. Social media can be great for an athlete. I met my wife on twitter (long story). It helps athletes share their stories and personalities and connect with their community. Besides, it’s not like you can accidentally post a slur.— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) July 30, 2018
A lot of the tweets that have surfaced are from several years ago - from a time in their lives when they may not have realized the impact those words have. But as you learn from and grow out of that youthful indescretion, delete those posts to reflect that growth.— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) July 30, 2018
Between all the people you meet and the places you go, there is a lot of opportunity for personal growth in baseball. It’s entirely possible that those old posts no longer reflect that person’s views. But actions will speak louder than words.— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) July 30, 2018
It’s a reminder that words matter, and that the impact the of words matter more than the intent. Rather than feeling like this platform makes us targets and we have to censor ourselves, find a way to use the platform to lift others up and make a positive impact.— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) July 30, 2018
It can be tough for athletes to understand why these words are so hurtful. Most of us have been at the top of the food chain since HS, immune to insults. When all you’ve known is success and triumph it can be difficult to empathize with feeling vulnerable or marginalized.— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) July 30, 2018
Homophobic slurs are still used to make people feel soft or weak or otherwise inferior - which is bullshit. Some of the strongest people I know are from the LGBTQIA community. It takes courage to be your true self when your identity has been used as an insult or a pejorative.— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) July 30, 2018
It’s a privilege to play in the major leagues and we have an obligation to leave the game better than we found it. There’s no place for racism, insensitive language or even casual homophobia. I hope we can learn from this and make the MLB a place where all our fans feel welcome.— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) July 30, 2018
4. Don't sleep on this roster move on trade deadline day.
5. If you're one of those ignorant people who think you may get rich gambling now that it's legal, think again.
Nevada sports books won $20.1 million in June. It is the 59th consecutive month that the books have come out ahead. Last losing month: July 2013.— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) July 31, 2018
6. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones remains one of the worst people in sports.
“It’s incredible to me, that a player can beat up a woman and play for the Dallas Cowboys, a player can use illegal and still play, but you take a knee to protest the racial injustice in America and now you’ve crossed a line that he will not allow."— Apple Cider Papí (@BLASTography) July 30, 2018
- UNCLE Dale Hansen pic.twitter.com/qIMyq0eFOu
7. The latest SI Media Podcast features an interview with Jenn Sterger, who talks about everything she has done from the day Brent Musburger made her famous to today. Sterger talks about her myriad jobs in sports media and the time she tried out to be a WWE superstar. She also discusses how she looks at the Brett Favre controversy through the lens of today's #MeToo movement, what that saga has done to her, and who has and hasn't apologized for it. She also discusses what it's like to be a woman in sports media, her stand-up comedy career, and much more. You can listen to the podcast below or download it on iTunes. Please, please, please subscribe if you haven't already and leave a review.
Traina Thoughts is the best of the Internet, plus musings by SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina. Get the link to a new Traina's Thoughts each day by following on Twitter and liking on Facebook. Catch up on previous editions of Traina Thoughts right here.And make sure to listen to and subscribe to the SI Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina.
IN CLOSING: I don't think I've ever seen a story in my life with more twists and turns than the Nikki Bella-John Cena relationship saga.