- How Chiefs' release of Berry blindsided leagueYahoo Sports' Charles Robinson and Terez Paylor report on the Kansas City Chiefs' abrupt release of safety Eric Berry. They examine how none of the common indicators that a player is about to be cut were signaled by the Chiefs or Berry's representation and gauge the Dallas Cowboys' interest in the ex-Chief. Hear the full conversation on the Yahoo Sports NFL Podcast. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.Yahoo! Sports
- Who will win the 2019 World Series?Yahoo Sports' Hannah Keyser, Tim Brown, and Mike Oz make their predictions for American and National League pennants and who will ultimately win the 2019 World Series.Yahoo! Sports
- What Burfict brings to the Raiders defenseJohn Newby of the Oakland Raiders on 247Sports joins Kevin Boilard to break down the addition of Vontaze Burfict.CBS Sports
Nick Wright reacts to Russell Westbrook's verbal altercation with 2 Jazz fansFOXSports2:50
How Chiefs' release of Berry blindsided leagueYahoo! Sports4:18
Who will win the 2019 World Series?Yahoo! Sports4:26
What Burfict brings to the Raiders defenseCBS Sports1:38
Best of Dwayne Haskins' pro dayNFL2:59
Buy or beware: How high should top prospects go?NFL2:13
When will McGregor return to the octagon?Yahoo! Sports2:01
How will Gruden utilize Brown?NFL4:41
Best of Alabama's pro dayNFL3:59
What else could you get worth the Mike Trout deal?Sports Media Group1:17
Foolish to let stars such as Zion skip college basketball?FOXSports3:48
The ACC in the NCAA TournamentACC Digital Network1:22
Bayless: Berry, Cobb could impact the Cowboys if signedFOXSports2:17
Wright isn't buying Gettleman's comments on dealing OBJFOXSports1:44
Potential first-round March Madness upsetsSports Illustrated1:35
Gymnastics sensation Ohashi on how she found out her routine went viralFOXSports1:01
On Monday night Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook was caught on tape telling a Utah Jazz fan "I'll (expletive) you up. You and your wife."
NBA fans quickly seized on the moment, calling it a bad look and expecting a suspension to come from the league. A suspension may still be on its way for Westbrook, or at least a fine, for the verbal altercation.
Then Westbrook told his side of the story, saying that the fan had told him to "get down on your knees like you're used to," which provoked a response from Westbrook.
Then people found the fan on social media.
This morning my colleague Ted Berg wrote a column asking if we know too much about sports. If there was too much information, too deep an understanding of games that are meant to be distractions. He concluded we did not, and (for the most part) knowledge is a good thing.
This Westbrook incident is another one of those instances where I am glad we have the internet. Fifteen years ago, we would have labeled Russell Westbrook a problem or worse for what he yelled at a fan on Monday night.
Today, we can (more quickly and easily) learn about the fan, and begin to understand and empathize with, if not exactly condone, what Westbrook did. It took people less than 12 hours to not only figure out who the fan was, but that this fan has a social media presence that contains racist, violent and xenophobic language. (Warning: The above link contains all of the language just described.)
For some fans, I imagine this entire episode will be exhausting. Sports used to be simpler, because we were presented with limited viewpoints. We cheered for the home team. Our guys were good guys and the other guys were bad guys. If someone yelled at a fan or griped about a contract, they were a "bad locker room presence" or a "distraction."
Did any of that reflect reality? Not really. But things were simpler. Things made sense.
Now we have to have a lot of information, at all times, from everywhere. It forces us to think, to hold more than one idea in our heads at one time. We can no longer blindly root. The guy griping about his contract, we now know, is concerned for the longterm future of his health, has a frighteningly quick career on average, and is being squeezed by a team owner worth billions, an owner who is a symbol of the income inequality our nation and world is dealing with.
The point guard screaming at the fan isn't just an immature malcontent, especially when the fan allegedly said something horrible and has a history that appears to show extremely racist and violent thinking. Not to mention, many of our willingness to condemn Westbrook shows our eagerness to side with the white person, a reflection of implicit racial bias that infects far too much of our country.
This is all messy. It's all tough to deal with. It's easier to just fall back on cliches and long for the good old days when things made sense. We want to root for guys who want to win for the ball club. We don't want the real world creeping in.
That's all understandable, to a degree, but it's not what it is to be a responsible citizen, or sports fan, in 2019. You have to do the work.
Related slideshow: Best of the NBA season (Provided by imagn)