Monday links

1) On First Take this morning, Stephen A. and Skip devoted extensive time to a discussion of Mayweather. Both acknowledged OTL’s devastating Friday report. Stephen A. has, it would appear, been chastened by some of the recent criticisms directed at him. For example, he made a point today of saying that anyone, man or woman, should be appalled by domestic violence and Mayweather’s actions, an apparent response to his ludicrous comment to First Take moderator Cari Champion three weeks ago that she was upset about Mayweather because she was a woman.

Smith made the reasonable point today that there is a lot of hypocrisy to go around – lots of money-making celebrities, in sports and otherwise, have gotten passes because they are good for someone’s bottom line and because we, their fans, like to be entertained, regardless of their personal behavior.

Overall, an improvement.

(the relevant segment is from about 30:00 to 43:00).

2) With the Kentucky Derby approaching, here’s a classic Hunter S. Thompson piece, penned at Derby time in 1970.

The title kind of gives away the tone of Thompson’s dispatch: “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved.”

Be prepared for lots of references to vomiting.

3) Greg Howard has been following the soon-to-launch Jason Whitlock site, the Undefeated. It’s supposed to be – to use a shorthand – a Grantland-like micro-site at ESPN, focused on black sports and culture. Howard’s roughly 10,000 word piece (at least that’s what my Word count says) criticizes Whitlock’s vision and leadership style. I’ve been following this story with interest – Howard also wrote at length about it last year – because Whitlock occupies an important if problematic place in the sports commentariat. More often than not, I find myself aggravated by what he has to say. But the project itself could contribute positive to the larger sports conversation in this country, especially if some of the talented young writers Howard says Whitlock is assembling are given enough latitude to show their wares.

Howard is not optimistic. Maybe he’ll be proved wrong.

On a minor but related note, while confessing to be an ignoramus about such matters, it appears that Whitlock had blocked me on Twitter. Someone who I follow had retweeted a link Whitlock tweeted out this weekend, but in my timeline, Twitter informed me that I couldn’t access the Whitlock link because I’d been blocked by that account.

It’s not that I think I am really bombable, but maybe one of my less charitable posts about (the other) JW came to his attention.

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