From the top highlights to culture and politics, “Out of Bounds” covers all the highs and lows from the past two weeks, plus a look at what’s ahead to make sure you’re all caught up on the news from the sports world. This week: Basketball, Football, Golf, Hockey, Snow Sports, Soccer, Surfing, Tennis
The NBA has announced that some NBA arenas will be used as polling stations, as part of the NBA and NBPA joint agreement to resume playoffs.
Chelsea Gray of the Los Angeles Sparks has partnered with the L.A. Sparks, Equality California, and Rock the Vote to launch the Chelsea Gray Assist for Equality Program. For every assist Gray records during the 2020 WNBA series, she will donate $50 to Equality California and Rock the Vote, and the L.A. Sparks have committed to matching her final proceeds.
Natalie Achonwa of the Indiana Fever has partnered with the Madame C.J. Walker Legacy Center, to provide grants and development training to four start-up businesses owned by Black women in Indiana. On behalf of Achonwa, the WNBA has donated $10,000 to the Madame C.J. Walker Legacy Center. Achonwa has also received the 2020 Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award, which was very well-deserved.
The players of the WNBA will be awarded the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award from the Women’s Sports Foundation during their Annual Salute to Women in Sports on Oct. 14. The WNBA has been championing social action in basketball for years, and this award will honor their continued and unified commitment to creating actionable change even in the face of adversity.
Maya Moore, former WNBA champion, met Jonathan Irons, who was wrongfully convicted, in a prison ministry program when she was eighteen. Thirteen years later and after putting her career on hold for two years in order to help free him from prison, Moore and Irons have just announced their marriage.
Courtney Vandersloot of the Chicago Sky has made WNBA history as the first player to average double-digit assists throughout the entire regular season. Meanwhile, Diana Taurasi has secured the highest-scoring average (18.7 PPG) in an age-38-or-older player. Oh, what’s that? Just G.O.A.T. things.
The Memphis Grizzlies have hired Sonia Raman as an assistant coach. Raman spent the past 12 seasons as the women’s basketball coach at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Skylar Diggins-Smith of the Phoenix Mercury has become the fastest WNBA player to reach 3k career points, 900 assists, 500 rebounds in under 200 games.
Is that HERSTORY I hear? Doris Burke will be the first female game analyst for the NBA Finals and Conference Finals.
After Jacob Blake’s shooting, the Detroit Lions (NFL) cancelled practice and addressed reporters in front of their building to address police brutality in the United States.
Frank Reich, the head coach for the Indianapolis Colts, knelt during their season opener.
Emily Zaler has joined the Denver Broncos as the team’s first full-time female coach ever in the franchise’s history.
The Big Ten Conference is reversing their previous decision to indefinitely postpone the fall football season. NCAA DI and DII football has had a long and confusing road back to playing, since each conference has individually chosen to address COVID-19 concerns.
Just three weeks ago, Sophia Popov was caddying for an LPGA event. Now, she’s become one of the most notable players in LPGA history. Popov made history when she won the AIG Women’s Open as the first female golfer (and second ever) to win a major ranked outside the top 300 (Popov was ranked 304). It’s Sophia Popov’s first major title, and tour win, and she entered the event on a special-qualifying pass. Sophia Popov is definitely my new golf hero.
Cameron Champ, who is one of only four Black golfers on the PGA tour, has decided to wear one black and one white shoe emblazoned with messages in support of the Black Lives Matter movement on each day of the BMW Championship.
After five seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Kasperi Kapanen (along with Jesper Lindgren and Pontus Aberg) has been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. In return, the Maple Leafs will acquire the Penguins’ 2020 first-round pick (#15), Evan Rodrigues, Filip Hallander and David Warsofsky). In terms of who “won” the trade, the Maple Leafs came out of it with a contract-for-contract trade, some depth players, and a first-round pick. Both teams have some soul-searching to do after their struggles to succeed in the post-season, but a part of me can’t help but wonder: What was Pittsburgh thinking?
As a devout hockey fan and hopeful analyst, I thought it would be fun to throw out some predictions on how the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs would fall. (If you haven’t read the previous Out of Bounds, you can check out my predictions here).
Eastern Conference: Tragedy has struck. The Philadelphia Flyers are no longer in the running for Lord Stanley. As a stalwart Flyers fan, losing to the Islanders in seven games hurts a little bit. But there’s always next year —whenever the NHL decides that is. The Tampa Bay Lightning stomped the Boston Bruins in five games. The New York Islanders then met The Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final, where the Lightning pulled out a series victory over the Islanders in six games.
Western Conference: The Colorado Avalanche were eliminated in seven games by the Dallas Stars, which most likely surprised Stars fans themselves, since the Colorado Avalanche had the higher betting odds of winning the Cup. The Vegas Golden Knights sent the Vancouver Canucks home after a very impressive seven-game run for the Canucks, but the end has come for the Golden Knights. The Dallas Stars will be heading to the Stanley Cup Finals in a surprising turn of events after suffocating Vegas in five games. I might as well burn my bracket now because the Western Conference did not perform the way I, or any other hockey fans, thought it would.
So, the Dallas Stars will be meeting the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Finals. As a casual fan of neither team, I have no personal stake in who wins, which means that this will be a fun series to watch. Don’t get me wrong, I still wish the Philadelphia Flyers were in the finals. But I have enough stress in my life as it is, and kicking back and watching what is sure to be an electrifying series sounds very relaxing and enjoyable. That being said, just for fun, I’m going to throw out some predictions (especially since my bracket is moot at this point): the Tampa Bay Lightning will be the 2020 Stanley Cup Champions, in six games.
(Sorry, Stars fans).
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, a ski resort in Northern California, has released a statement announcing that the resort will be dropping the word “squaw” from its name, because of its offensive history. A renaming committee will select a new name in the next year.
The NWSL is back, baby! As a Chicago Red Stars fan, I’m ready for my favorite team to redeem themselves after the NWSL’s Challenge Cup loss in the finals to the Houston Dash. The NWSL announced their Fall Series, to be played from Sept. 5 to Oct. 17.
In international soccer news, the Swedish Men’s National Team has pledged to forego pay for their Autumn matches in order to better help financial negotiations between the Swedish Football Association and the Women’s National Team. Sweden joins the list of Brazil, Australia, Norway, New Zealand, and England who have all committed publicly to equal pay.
Alex Morgan joins the ranks of other USWNT players who have chosen to sign with European teams ahead of this upcoming season. Morgan will be joining the Tottenham Hotspurs.
Maya Gabeira, a Brazilian big-wave surfer has set the world record for the largest wave surfed by anyone: a 73.5-foot wave. In doing so, Gabeira broke her own Guinness World record for the largest wave ever surfed by women.
Tyler Wright, a two-time WSL world champion, knelt ahead of her heat at the Tweed Coast Pro event for 439 seconds — one second for every First Nations person in Australia who has lost their lives to police since 1991.
Congratulations are in order to the queen of the courts, Serena Williams, for becoming the first player to record 100 wins at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Naomi Osaka defeated Victoria Azarenka to win her third Grand Slam title at the US Open. Osaka has been an incredible voice for social action in the past few months.
Some tournaments have returned, while others, like Wimbledon, have been cancelled for this year. You can find a schedule for matches here.
Dan McNeil, a Chicago radio host, was fired after sexist comments regarding ESPN sideline reporter Maria Taylor’s outfit. Bye, Dan. Nike is launching its first-ever maternity line. If you’re a Nike fan then you’ll love it.