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Grantland’s Bill Simmons apologizes for errors concerning Dr. V’s Magical Putter story about transgender inventor

Oracle GX1 putter

A story published by Grantland last week has captured the attention of the online journalism and LGBT communities, and it has sparked debate about the roles of writers, reporters and editors, and the media’s treatment of transgender people.

Last week, Grantland, a subsidiary website of ESPN founded and overseen by Bill Simmons, published a long feature about the story of a special golf putter. The feature told the story of the putter and the person behind it, and it exposed the inventor as a liar who made many false claims about her background. The story also outed the founder of the putter as a transgender. The woman who invented the putter committed suicide in October, likely at least in part because of the writer digging into her personal background against her wishes, and outing her to one of her top investors.

If you are curious to learn more about this story so that you can properly be informed about the issue, you have to read the entire feature to gain an understanding about it. But I’ll do my best to summarize.

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Tony Parker, Nicolas Anelka in trouble for making controversial ‘quenelle’ gesture

Nicolas-Anelka-quenelle-gestureSan Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker and Premier Leaguer striker Nicolas Anelka — both natives of France — have found themselves in hot water for making a controversial gesture that many perceive to be anti-Semitic. Anelka made the gesture, known as the “quenelle” salute, after scoring a goal on Saturday. A photo of Parker making the gesture alongside French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala surfaced over the weekend.

Some people believe the gesture is an inversion of the Nazi salute that has been made popular by Dieudonne. Parker, who said the photo of him and the comedian was several years old, released a statement of apology on Monday.

“While this gesture has been part of French culture for many years, it was not until recently that I learned of the very negative concerns associated with it,” Parker said, via ESPN.com. “When l was photographed making that gesture three years ago, I thought it was part of a comedy act and did not know that it could be in any way offensive or harmful.

“Since I have been made aware of the seriousness of this gesture, I will certainly never repeat the gesture and sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding or harm relating to my actions. Hopefully this incident will serve to educate others that we need to be more aware that things that may seem innocuous can actually have a history of hate and hurt.”

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Fritz Pollard Alliance wants to end N-word use in NFL

Fritz PollardThe Fritz Pollard Alliance is calling on the NFL to end all use of the N-word by players on the field.

The issue of players using the N-word has received attention recently because of separate events involving Washington Redskins OL Trent Williams and Miami Dolphins OL Richie Incognito.

Williams complained on Sunday that referee Roy Ellison cursed at him during the game. But Williams has been accused of dropping an F-bomb and N-bomb on Ellison to elicit the response. Williams denied doing so.

Incognito is being accused of directing the slur at Jonathan Martin, whom he’s being accused of bullying.

Fritz Pollard was the first African-American coach in the NFL, and the organization has been instrumental encouraging the league to adopt policies such as the Rooney Rule that encourages the hiring of minority candidates.

In response to the aforementioned incidents, the alliance’s director and chair sent a statement calling for the end of the N-word in the NFL. Here is the statement sent by Harry Carson and John Wooten.

“As former players (along with thousands of others) who have worked hard in different eras of the game to leave proud legacies for those who follow us, we are appalled and extremely disappointed to learn that the worst and most derogatory word ever spoken in our country is being used during games as well as casually in the locker room,” the statement reads, per ESPN.

“We are not asking players to point fingers or to report who said what when. We are simply asking that you respect the dignity of your teammates, fellow players, officials, coaches, fans, and yourselves. Most importantly, we ask that you respect every man who has worn the uniform but especially those men who helped make the National Football League what it is today and have made it possible for you to follow in their footsteps.”

The statement mentions former players who were called that name in a derogatory fashion.

Per ESPN, the Alliance has called for the league to eject and fine players who use the word on the field.

Charles Barkley doesn’t want White America dictating N-word rules (Video)

charles-barkleyCharles Barkley expressed his thoughts on the N-word and says he doesn’t want White America dictating his use of the word.

Barkley shared his thoughts on TNT Thursday. The subject came up because of Matt Barnes, who was fined $20,000 on Thursday in part for his foul language in a tweet sent after his ejection from Wednesday’s game. In the tweet, Barnes called his teammates “niggas.

Barkley defended Barnes’ use of the term, but he said Twitter was not the proper forum to use the word.

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Idaho girls’ basketball coach fired over boob grab photo

Laraine Cook boob photo

Laraine Cook, the girls’ basketball coach at Pocatello High School in Idaho, was fired last month because of a photo she posted on her Facebook account that featured her boyfriend grabbing her breast. The boyfriend, who is the school’s football coach, was not fired and only reprimanded.

Cook was fired on Oct. 22 over the supposed immoral photo, which was posted to her Facebook account in July for less than a day before being removed. She was told that only she, not her boyfriend, Tom Harrison, was fired because she was the one who posted the photo. The photo was posted in July, but the district supposedly did not receive it until Oct. 21, leading to Cook’s firing the next day.

No specific reason has been given for the firing, but district superintendent Mary Vagner pointed to the Code of Ethics of the Idaho Teaching Profession, which states that teachers “shall not engage in conduct which is offensive to the ordinary dignity, decency, and morality of others.”

In an interview with ABC 8, Cook spoke about the firing for the first time. She says she is appealing the decision.

“In my personal opinion, I don’t feel that photo is something to have me terminated on. I don’t feel that it’s an immoral photo, and that’s what the termination is based on.”

Cook hopes that other teaching or coaching opportunities will come up if she is unable to get her job back.

Cook led her team to a third-place finish in the state tournament last season. The parents of her players were upset with the firing and met with the district to argue for her to get her job back. Keep in mind that Harrison has won 10 state championships during his football coaching career.

There is suspicion that an opposing program is responsible for the photo being sent to the district.

The whole thing is pretty darned ridiculous. Who would have known about the photo if it hadn’t been sent in to the district? Did they even consider that it was only posted for a day? Do they really feel that that photo makes her a poor leader of the team? I think this is a slight overreaction, to say the least, not to mention a totally inconsistent penalty.

Tip via @ccronlife

NBA prospect Wayne Washington calls out Bill Simmons for comments about dreads

Wayne-Washington-Jr-NikeKevin Durant and James Harden have teamed up with Nike to host a pickup basketball game this Friday. The promotion is called “Summer is Serious,” and it has involved thousands of players from across the country submitting their videos to Nike on social media sites in hopes of becoming one of the eight people selected to each team. One of those players is Wayne Washington Jr. from Woodbridge, Va.

Grantland’s Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose have also been involved in the selection process, and they discussed some of the contenders during a segment last week. One of the prospects they spoke about was Washington, who was mentioned as one of the best dunkers of all the submissions. For whatever reason, Simmons called attention to Washington’s hair as he was breaking down his highlights with Rose.

“Where do you stand on cornrows in 2013?” Simmons asked Rose.

Rose corrected Simmons and informed him that Washington’s hairstyle was dread locks, to which Simmons replied “or whatever.” Rose said he had no problem with dreads but agreed corn rows had their run.

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Tony Scheffler, Louis Delmas use racial slurs as sign of friendship

Tony-Scheffler-LionsLouis-Delmas-Lions

Riley Cooper’s recent racist outburst has brought a significant amount of attention to the issue of racism in the NFL this month. Many fans and players are outraged over his use of the N-word, while others have expressed a willingness to forgive Cooper and move on.

For some, it is the way Cooper used the word that is disturbing, not the fact that he used it. Detroit Lions tight end Tony Scheffler and safety Louis Delmas admit they are guilty of using racial slurs toward one another, but they say it is a sign of friendship.

“Me and (Scheffler) have a relationship many people do not have — both black and white,” Delmas told Terry Foster of The Detroit News. “I look at him like my brother. I love him to death.

“He greets me, ‘What up, n—–?’ But I understand it. So I say, ‘What’s up, cracker?’ But we would never take it outside the building.”

Scheffler said he considers Delmas family, but that he understands why the way they talk to each other would not be acceptable for everyone.

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