Richard Sherman implies Eagles cut DeSean Jackson and kept Riley Cooper because of race

DeSean JacksonOne of the arguments many people have made against the Philadelphia Eagles cutting DeSean Jackson is the team’s decision to keep Riley Cooper. After the season, the Eagles signed Cooper to a five-year, $25 million contract. Apparently his racist outburst from last summer is a thing of the past.

Jackson, on the other hand, was released shortly after a report surfaced indicating he has connections to members of a gang in Los Angeles. In a column he wrote for Monday Morning Quarterback on Wednesday, Richard Sherman defended Jackson for not alienating the people he grew up around who supported him when his father passed away in 2009. He also implied that race played a role in the Eagles’ decision to cut Jackson.

This offseason they re-signed a player who was caught on video screaming, “I will fight every n—– here.” He was representing the Philadelphia Eagles when he said it, because, of course, everything we do is reflective of the organization. But what did they do to Riley Cooper, who, if he’s not a racist, at least has “ties” to racist activity? They fined him and sent him to counseling. No suspension necessary for Cooper and no punishment from the NFL, despite its new interest in policing our use of the N-word on the field.

Commit certain crimes in this league and be a certain color, and you get help, not scorn. Look at the way many in the media wrote about Jim Irsay after his DUI arrest. Nobody suggested the Colts owner had “ties” to drug trafficking, even though he was caught driving with controlled substances (prescription pills) and $29,000 in cash to do who-knows-what with. Instead, poor millionaire Mr. Irsay needs help, some wrote.

Sherman makes some very valid points, especially regarding Irsay. The amount of cash the Colts owner had in his possession could easily be viewed as gang-related or drug dealing activity if he was somebody else.

As for Cooper, you can understand why it looks bad that the Eagles chose to send a white player to counseling after his racist tirade. The only thing I would say about that is that situations like the Aaron Hernandez murder trial have made teams increasingly paranoid when they hear the word “gang.” If a white player reportedly had ties to a gang, you would probably see the team react the same way.

I believe the risk of gang involvement currently has NFL teams on high alert, whether the claims are founded or not. That said, Sherman presented a very well-thought argument that certainly makes you think.

CJ Wilson seemed upset about having to walk Robinson Cano

CJ-Wilson-AngelsLos Angeles Angels pitcher CJ Wilson was asked to do something a bit unusual during his team’s 8-3 loss against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night — walk a left-handed hitter. Wilson, a lefthander, was instructed to walk Robinson Cano with runners on second and third and two outs in the third inning.

Mike Scioscia had Wilson walk Cano to get to first baseman Justin Smoak, who is a switch-hitter. Cano entered last night’s game 11 for 30 (.367) against Wilson in his career. Smoak is just 6 for 29 (.207) against Wilson and has hit .233 in his career from the right side. Of course, numbers don’t always tell the full story.

Smoak ripped a double to left-center field and gave Seattle a 4-0 lead. The Mariners never looked back. A reporter asked Wilson after the game if he found it strange that he was told to walk a lefthanded hitter to get to a switch-hitter.

“Yes,” he said, via Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times. “No more questions on that one.”

Wilson later admitted that he threw a lousy pitch to Smoak, but it was obvious he was upset with the decision to walk Cano. Scioscia defended the decision by saying he was trying to take the bat away from Cano as much as possible.

“Right now, if you look at their lineup, Cano is a guy you want to try to minimize as much as you can,” the Angels manager said. “Smoak, give him credit, he got some big hits [Monday] night, some big hits [Tuesday] night, and if that continues, Cano will get some pitches to hit. But right now, you want to make Smoak swing the bat instead of Cano.”

I agree. The numbers favored the decision. Despite it being a lefty-lefty matchup, Cano obviously has not had much trouble hitting Wilson in his career. Give me a choice and I’ll pitch to Smoak over Cano 10 times out of 10.

Rapper Wale takes shot at Chip Kelly while hanging with DeSean Jackson


DeSean Jackson visited the Washington Redskins on Monday, and there are many who believe he will not leave without a contract. On Monday night, Tim McManus of Philly Magazine reported that a source close to Jackson said the 27-year-old signing with the Redskins is a “done deal.”

The photo you see above shows Jackson hanging out with rapper Wale, who is a known Redskins fan and good friend of Robert Griffin III, as well as Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall and wide receiver Pierre Garcon. Wale took a shot at Chip Kelly with the caption he included.

“I was on my hippy schwag dear Chip Kelly this is a peace sign,” he wrote.

Wale is of course making light of a recent report that links Jackson to gang members. Last year, Jackson threw up a set on Hall during a game and flashed the same sign in a photo he posted on social media. Or, if you ask Wale, it was simply a peace symbol.

In any event, all signs point to DeSean signing with Washington. He seemed to be having a great time with his potential teammates on Monday and reportedly met with RG3 in Los Angeles before flying to the nation’s capital.

Roy Hibbert on Pacers: There’s some selfish dudes in here

Roy-Hibbert-Relaxation-ExercisesThe Indiana Pacers are one of the most frustrated first-place teams in NBA history. With just eight games remaining in the regular season, Indiana is poised to lock down home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. However, they closed out the month of March with an 8-9 record on Sunday and have lost five of their last seven.

This type of play won’t lead to success in the postseason, and Roy Hibbert knows it.

“Some selfish dudes in here,” Hibbert said after Friday’s loss to the Washington Wizards, per NBA.com’s David Aldridge. “Some selfish dudes. I’m tired of talking about it. We’ve been talking about it for a month.”

The Pacers scored just 78 points in that game. They followed it up with a 90-76 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. You can’t win if you don’t score, and Hibbert seems to think the problem is that Indiana is relying too heavily on perimeter shooting.

“When I first got here, it was a perimeter team with [Mike] Dunleavy, Granger — Danny, and Troy Murphy,” he said. “Then, we got D-West. We were gonna be a power post team, wear guys out. But that’s how things are in the NBA. Things change. It is what it is.”

As Aldridge noted, the Pacers fed Hibbert early and often in a win over the Miami Heat last Wednesday. He scored 17 points in the first half and ended up taking 15 shots in the game. David West was likely making the same complaint as Hibbert when he recently said that the Pacers don’t play a good brand of basketball.

Defense typically wins in the playoffs, but the Pacers have to find a balance. If that means feeding Hibbert and West in the low post, it’s something they’ll have to work on over the next two weeks. Otherwise, their frustrations will turn into a disappointing early end to the season.

H/T Beyond the Buzzer

Ryan Braun gets standing ovation in return (Video)

Ryan Braun was given a hero’s welcome in his return to the Milwaukee Brewers’ lineup for Opening Day on Monday. A few boos could be heard from the fans at Miller Park, but the overwhelming majority gave Braun a standing ovation in his first at-bat.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. For the most part, baseball fans just want to see production. Braun is the Brewers’ best player and Milwaukee was a far less exciting team to watch after he was suspended for the final 65 games of the 2013 season. The fans cheered even louder later in the game when he picked up his first hit of the year.


You could argue that Braun is worse than most steroid users. Not only did he cheat, but he also let his lying get to the point where he almost cost innocent people their careers. He lied repeatedly to protect his name at the expense of others, and Monday was yet another example of how most baseball fans ultimately care about one thing — the long ball.

DeMarcus Cousins, aka Boogie Smooth, has an R&B album coming out


DeMarcus Cousins has all this emotion built up inside him. The Sacramento Kings big man has been known to flip out on referees and refuse to shake opponents’ hands, so you have to wonder if he could benefit from some type of therapy. What better way to blow off steam than to make some music?

Cousins — I’m sorry, Boogie Smooth — announced on Sunday that he will soon be releasing an R&B album. The lead single on the album is called “Emotional” and it features Chance the Rapper, who appears to be a legitimate artist with nearly 300,000 Instagram followers. There is also a rumor that there will be a bonus track called “Big Fellas” that features Rick Ross.

You know how people say if it seems too good to be true then it probably is? As long as this isn’t some sort of elaborate joke from Cousins, there’s no way that phrase applies in this situation. An album from Boogie Smooth that features a track called “Emotional” truly is too good to be true.

UPDATE: Well, my day is officially ruined. The Kings claim this was just a hoax from Cousins. I’m still praying thats a smokescreen.

Julius Randle’s mom had to leave at halftime to get home for work

Julius-Randle-KentuckyJulius Randle dominated the interior post during Kentucky’s win over Michigan on Sunday. His 16 points and, more importantly, 11 rebounds helped the Wildcats hang on down the stretch in what was one of the most exciting games of the tournament. And Randle’s unlucky mother didn’t even get to stick around to watch the end of the instant classic.

Randle’s mother Carolyn Kyles, whom the freshman credits for making him such a great basketball player, had to leave at halftime.

According to The Dagger, those who were sitting near Kyles said she was in tears at the thought of leaving with her son’s team down four in the most important game of his life. Kyles, a 6-foot-2 former basketball player, told The Courier Journal last week that she gave Randle everything she had on and off the court when he was growing up.

“I would push him around. He’d fall down and hop up all mad,” she said. “I’d throw hook shots on him, and it would just kill him. I couldn’t feel guilty, because this was the position I was in. I had to be both mother and father. I couldn’t be weak. I had to be strong. I couldn’t baby him. I had to make sure my kids were strong, show them how to get out there and fight for what they wanted. That’s what they saw in me every day.”

Fortunately, the story has a happy ending. Aaron Harrison knocked down a game-winning 3-pointer to send Kentucky to the Final Four in Arlington, which is located less than an hour from where Kyles lives in the Dallas area. She should have no problem arranging her work schedule around the Saturday night game.