Maryland football is not so merry. • Tennis gave us a whole new meaning to “Kiki do you love me?” • We’ve got some MUST SEE moments! • Women made HER-STORY in MLS soccer. • Serena Williams stood up for Colin Kaepernick and we love it. • The NFL has its very own Regina George. • We’ve got another blog post! • And, see what’s up dis week.
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The GIST: The University of Maryland’s NCAA football organization is under piping hot water after an exposé completed by ESPN showed that their head coach, D.J. Durkin, fostered a “toxic team culture”, which included overworking his athletes.
But why was ESPN snooping around?: Well, on June 13th, Jordan McNair, a 19-year-old offensive lineman for Maryland, died. How? McNair was hospitalized after an exceptionally gruelling team workout where he collapsed after running 110-yard sprints. Two weeks later, McNair unfortunately passed away due to heatstroke. His body temperature was a whopping 106 degrees when he was admitted to hospital.
What exactly did ESPN find?: ESPN exposed that Durkin and his staff found some sort of sadistic pleasure in weeding out weaknesses and humiliating their players. For example (and keep in mind this is just ONE example), a player the coaches wanted to see lose some weight was FORCED to eat candy bars while watching his teammates work out. We’re sorry, but what kind of sicko makes someone do this?!
What now?: Head coach Durkin and two of his staff members have been placed on paid (YES PAID!!!) administrative leave until further notice. The university’s board is now conducting an internal investigation and looking into next steps. This situation, similar to the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal, demonstrates how the power dynamic which exists between coaches and young impressionable athletes can be a dangerous one. It’s time for the institutions to stop focusing solely on winning trophies and to put policies and processes in place that will protect their athletes.
Master of None
The GIST: The Cincinnati Masters tennis tournament finished up yesterday with Kiki Bertens winning it for the women and Novak Djokovic (pronounced JOKE-oh-vitch) takin’ it for the men.
Kiki do you love me?: OKAY, how well does Drake’s “In My Feelings” famous lyric go with this piece?! We are FEELIN’ it. Anyway. Yesterday, No. 17 ranked Bertens upset No. 1 ranked Simona Halep, 2-6, 7-6, 6-2. What a comeback! This win was not only the biggest of Bertens' career, but also marked the first Dutch winner at a singles hardcourt tournament since 2006.
#ForTheBoys: No. 10 in the world Djokovic (aka The Joker) wiped the floor with No. 2 in the world (but number one in our hearts), Roger Federer, winning in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. This win was HUGE for The Joker as it put him in the record book as the first male player to win each of the nine Masters 1000 events in his career. Legendary.
Whatchu Gotta See
TBH guys, it was a bit of a slow sports news week. So instead of givin’ ya another story, we’re gonna hit ya with some highlights. Yes, this is just as exciting as watching your friends’ Instagram stories the morning after a big night out on the town.
- It’s only a coupla weeks into the EPL soccer season, and we think we’ve already witnessed the goal of the year. Check out the nifty goal by Brighton FC’s (pppssstttt FC stands for “football club”) Glenn Murray here against Manchester United.
- OKAY. You gotta watch Sister Mary Jo Sobieck throw out the first pitch at the Chicago White Sox game. She threw a curveball better than some of the Toronto Blue Jays’ closers (pitchers who are called in to play at end of a game to secure the final outs). Yeah, we’re chirping, don’t @ us!
- MLS’ D.C. United and former EPL Manchester United superstar, Wayne Rooney, had not one, but TWO highlight-worthy moments this week. Watch his jaw-dropping defensive play here, and his fire of a goal here.
GIST some Other sh!t you Should Know
- HISTORY… or shall we say HER-STORY IS MADE!!!! Yesterday in MLS action, D.C. United hosted the New England Revolution with a final score of 2-0 United. But, who gives a heck about the game! We’re reporting on it because for the FIRST TIME EVER, an ALL-FEMALE broadcast team was featured for a men’s professional soccer game in the USA. HYFR!!! Learn more about the terrific trio here.
- The goddess herself, Serena Williams, graced the cover of Time Magazine and we’re obviously obsessed with her interview (she also talks about Colin Kaepernick - you know, that quarterback that started #TakeAKnee). Procrastinate starting work this morning by giving the article a read here.
- To say WNBA’s 6’8” star, Elizabeth Cambage, is on a tear would be an understatement. As of Sunday morning, Cambage set a league record scoring 309 points in just 10 games. Casual. Get to know Cambage on and off the court by reading this article.
- The NFL has their very own Regina George. Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback, Jalen Ramsey, basically released his very own burn book earlier this week when he trash talked some of the huge names in the league to GQ. Read the jokes interview here. The NFL season starts September 6th and we’re salivating at the bit thanks to this dah-rama.
Get it in the Cal.
Right Now: This time up, our gal Jacie deHoop took her first turn at writing for The GIST in her blog post “I Wish There Wasn’t a Need for The GIST”. We may be biased (okay, we’re completely biased), but we gotta say, this post is a must read!
All Week: The Blue Jays are in town all week except for Thursday. You can catch ‘em play the Baltimore Orioles Monday to Wednesday or watch ‘em play the Philadelphia Phillies on the weekend by getting your tix here.
Saturday: Toronto FC is hosting the Montreal Impact at 8 p.m. You can get a discount to the game by getting one of your friends to sign up for The GIST using your unique referral link below. You’re welcome.