Recall that the Brooklyn Nets put Kyrie Irving on ice at the beginning of the season because he refused to be vaccinated and because NYC and Brooklyn had local ordinances on the books requiring him to have one-shot of the vaccine to play in the venues where games were being played. The Nets said they did not want a part time player and asked Irving to stay away. Given all the hullabaloo over that story at the start of NBA Training Camp and through until now, it is amazing how little it seems to have mattered. You would have thought the Earth was going to reverse its rotation and the sun would be coming up in the west by now given the back-and-forth over that issue.
In the last 48 hours, I have run across 3 reports that seem to run in different directions related to the Kyrie Irving/Brooklyn Nets “situation”:
- CBSSports.com reported that the Nets might be willing to have Irving back on the team as a part-time player and there was cautious optimism about making that happen.
- The Athletic reported that as of 15 January, the Canadian government would require NBA players who come to Toronto to play to be “fully vaccinated”. If that means two shots plus a booster shot – separated by the appropriate time spans – that would keep Irving out of any game(s) in Toronto until a potential late-round playoff encounter.
- Various news outlets reported that NYC would require “full vaccination” – – two shots but not a booster – – for all adults and children over 5 years old when they are dining indoors or are at an “entertainment venue.”
Unless Kyrie Irving has relented and taken a shot and not let anyone know about it, I think the Nets’ cautious optimism may be trumped by the increasing levels of vaccine protection required by localities germane to the NBA. Obviously, I have no knowledge of Kyrie Irving’s thinking on this matter as of this morning; but somehow, I doubt that he has been “secretly jabbed” and is ready to get back on the floor.
Switching gears … Last week, I read that RG3 announced that he is writing a book that will be out in August 2022 and that it will be a “tell all book” about his time with the Washington Football Team – – under the team’s previous name. Griffin is out of the NFL now and is not likely to get any significant offers to return to the league for reasons having to do with his performance and nothing to do with any sort of “tell all” activities. What RG3 is doing now is color analysis of college football games for ESPN. At the time he signed on with ESPN, he made sure to make it clear that he had an “out clause” in that contract should he get an opportunity to go back to the NFL.
The working title for Griffin’s book is Surviving Washington. In the announcement of the impending release of the book, RG3 obliquely referred to sexual harassment which is a smoldering topic pertaining to the Washington Football Team in the wake of that “investigation” for which there is no final report. The statement was obviously very carefully worded to be sure to use the hot-button phrase “sexual harassment” but not to reveal what he might have to say about it and the team environment. When pressed, he responded:
“The book is not about other people’s experiences with sexual harassment in Washington. It’s about my experience with sexual harassment in Washington.”
Reading that response, the door is left wide open to address that issue from a variety of standpoints. Was RG3 harassed? Was he a harasser? Was he encouraged to harass? Obviously, the idea is for everyone to buy the book to get the answers to those sorts of tantalizing possibilities.
There is an aspect of Griffin’s time in Washington that could make for interesting reading. All during his time with the team, there were sporadic reports that Griffin had a sufficiently cozy relationship with owner Danny Boy Snyder that allowed him to end-run the coaches and the team Front Office when he felt that he needed something from the team he was not getting. There were no first-hand accounts of any such player/owner interactions or dealings nor were there any denials. There is something that RG3 can clear up – or at least shed light on – in his “tell all” narrative.
Until I read reviews, I am not signing up to buy a copy of the book the day it hits the shelves. There have been a couple of tell all books that have been important contributions to sports. Ball Four by Jim Bouton and Juiced by Jose Canseco come to mind. If folks who review Griffin’s book say it is of a similar caliber, I will surely buy it and read it – – but I really do not understand why he is writing the book and why now.
As I noted, RG3 is a color analyst for college football games on ESPN and in the times I have heard him on a broadcast, he is already far above average among the cadre of college football color analysts. As I said, he is not likely to get another shot at playing QB in the NFL, so TV talking is his most logical career path forward. And that brings me to a failure to comprehend:
- How does a “tell all” book about things that happened between 2012 and 2015 advance the author on a career path as a TV color analyst?
- If happenings back then were sufficiently dire to create a book title as stark as Surviving Washington, why the silence until 2022?
Finally, let me close today with an observation by Bertrand Russell that just seems appropriate:
“Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………