Rapid Fire: Sports Edition

The flavour of the week has been talk of the NFL trying to ban the use of the N-word on the field. Where do you stand on athletes of any ethnicity using that word?

STEPHEN NIXON

 I don’t think that the NFL or any sport should be trying to ban the N-word on the field. Professional sports are all focused around trash talk and trying to get under other athletes skin. As long as the word is not being used in an incredibly racist way, I think you have to leave it. It’s obviously not a word that should be thrown around in press conferences but on the field, it’s a totally different thing.

ERIC DOWDALL

 Well it is clearly a sensitive issue, and I think the easiest solution is to try and eliminate the use of it altogether. While many athletes use it in different contexts, the fact remains it is a slur, and therefore is inappropriate no matter the context. This is especially true in a work environment, which is exactly what professional sports are.

JOHN MIGNELLI

 I understand that it is common practice for black people to use this word when they’re at home or out in the street. I’ve even heard Charles Barkley say on T.V. that he uses it with his close white friends too. So I don’t have a problem with that, but my opinion on this is that when an NFL player is on the field, he’s technically in his workplace and this isn’t a word that should be used in the workplace just like you wouldn’t use curses or say other racial slurs. If the NFL wants to ban it’s use on the field, I think that’s just fine.

Russell Wilson recently stated that he wants to own a pro football or baseball team. At 25 years old, is he biting off more than he can chew?

NIXON

He is definitely not biting off more than he can chew. I’m sure he’s not going to be able to afford to buy 100 per cent of a NFL or MLB franchise as that costs in the billion dollar range but I can see him doing something like Jay-Z did with the Nets. He’s a young and ambitious guy and could probably do a lot for a franchise, even if he only owned a small percentage.

DOWDALL

 I don’t think he is taking on more than he can handle. He is a young guy with high aspirations, and who can blame him? He has lots of money, is very athletic, and is striving for bigger and better things all the time, something that is hard to criticize of anyone.

MIGNELLI

Ron Washington denied him at-bats last week so it doesn’t look like baseball is going to blossom into a potential second sport for Wilson. However, owning a team would presumably require a lot of his time and effort, and for a young NFL quarterback that does worry me.

Who was an athlete or varsity team that stuck out for you at Brock University this year?

NIXON

 After missing the playoffs last year, the men’s hockey team had a solid season, despite losing to Ryerson in the first round. Veteran forwards, Matt Abercrombie and Thomas Stajan just signed pro contracts in the Central Hockey League and East Coast Hockey League respectivley, so that definitley sticks out for me.

DOWDALL

The sport I covered the most this year was men’s lacrosse, so that was the team I became most invested in throughout this year. I thought they had a great season although the disappointing loss to end the season was a tough way to finish. Despite this, I think they have a solid core moving forward and should be a presence for years to come

MIGNELLI

I spent a fair share of time watching and covering the women’s hockey team and I must say that even though they didn’t make the playoffs, their turnaround was praiseworthy to say the least. Their second half of the season was superb, but their first half was so dreadful that they couldn’t recover into a playoff spot. But hey it’s how you finish that’s important, right?

Do you think the NHL trade deadline is too commercialized?

NIXON

 Of course it is too commercialized, but at the same time, people are going to watch it. I for one will be posted up on my couch watching all of the pointless trades roll in because when it comes to hockey, I want to see it. The NHL trade deadline in Canada to me is very similar to the NFL combine in the States. No matter how unimportant the event seems, people are going to watch it.

DOWDALL

The NHL trade deadline is definitely overblown, however if the demand is there then I don’t see any reason not to meet it. Some can argue they overdo it with the deadline shows and weeks of coverage leading up to it, yet if people are curious on the issue, especially in Canada, then you might as well take advantage of it.

MIGNELLI

No question: there is too much emphasis on the deadline. Teams overhaul in the summer or over multiple seasons, so blockbuster trades rarely happen. Because of this, we get an all day affair of panelists covering the pro’s and con’s of Steve Sullivan for a 7th round pick. I think I’d rather watch Classic billiards.

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