Shaka Smart is Wreaking Havoc on College Basketball

Shaka Smart's college basketball coach, Bill Brown, is only half-joking when he boasts, "There's not a home in America that Shaka can't get in." Smart's players testify to his ability to effortlessly switch roles between that of coach, father figure, brother and friend. X's and O's? He'll crouch down and perform defensive slides. Music? Wale is up there. Something to eat? He'll be there in 10 minutes. What are you craving?

The NBA's Plan to Go Beyond the Anthem

In more than a dozen interviews...a range of NBA figures...laid out a different vision for how a predominantly black league, with a long tradition of social activism, will be part of the movement. Players are still speaking out, but they are eschewing silent protest in favor of actively engaging with law enforcement, civic leaders, children and their communities—demanding change over symbolism because, as Memphis Grizzlies star Mike Conley Jr. said, “Silence isn't going to change anything.”

‘I Can’t Be Silent’ -- The Running Backs of Baton Rouge Know How to Protest

No one is naive enough to believe a sport can repair this wounded place. Still, Baton Rouge needs a unifier to power hope when emotions get stirred, not unlike when the New Orleans Saints captured the Super Bowl a few years after Katrina, when the Superdome transformed from an evacuation center into a house of joy. “I feel like if we go out and win football games, and win a championship, just imagine how that would pay off for Baton Rouge and the whole community,” said LSU cornerback Tre’Davious White.
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