Happy Juneteenth, friends and fans!
This day marks an especially important date in our nation’s history. On June 19, 1865, the final enslaved African-Americans in the United States were freed under the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, Texas. Fast-forward to today, and it’s by far this country’s longest lasting celebration commemorating African-American freedom. In the link below provided by the Oklahoma Sooners’ Athletic Department, you can learn more about what makes this day so special and how you can show your support.
While not yet recognized as a federal holiday, 47 states and Washington D.C. recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday, including the great state of Oklahoma ever since its legislature passed the bill in 1994. Today is an amazing opportunity to reflect on the positive steps we’ve taken as a nation over the last 155 years while also looking forward towards a future of love and unity.
For more on the pertinence of this day in regards to the current issues of race and race relations in America, I recommend you check out this conversation with University of Oklahoma professor of African and African-American studies, Karlos Hill.
While the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation technically freed slaves in Confederate states, thousands weren't made aware of their freedom until June 19, 1865.— Vox (@voxdotcom) June 19, 2020
This celebration serves as the basis of Juneteenth — a holiday celebrating emancipation in the US: https://t.co/7BetpOmTZu
Now onto today’s Hot Links! The coronavirus takes its first hit against the Oklahoma football team, ‘K9’ and his Chargers are this year’s ‘Hard Knocks’ team, Baylor adds Iowa defender via transfer and more!
- Lincoln Riley was back at Vermejo Reserve this week where he reeled in this beautiful specimen. I wonder if he ever had dreams of becoming a professional fisherman back in the day. If anybody could do both, I’m betting Riley totally could. He is the head football coach at ‘Two Sport U’, after all.
- Speaking of Riley, he couldn’t be more proud of senior safety Chanse Sylvie for the work he’s doing to improve the relationships between police men and women and the African-American community. His ideas for reform have led him to meetings with state legislators, and he’s not stopping there. You’ll need a subscription to enjoy the full article, but Jason Kersey’s work always speaks for itself. Another great read.
“I’m as proud of him as I’ve ever been of any player that I’ve ever had.” — @LincolnRiley on @ChanseSylvie, whose passion for police reform led him to meet with three state legislators last week.https://t.co/VTg18cTUnK— Jason Kersey (@jasonkersey) June 19, 2020
- On Thursday, Riley linked up with ESPN’s ‘Golic & Wingo’ to address his stance on player activism and the social unrest that is ongoing around the nation. Riley has always stood with his team, and maintains that their voice holds value by allowing them to speak up for what they believe is right.
- Also from his interview with Mike Golic and Trey Wingo, Riley stated that “one or two” OU players have either been exposed or tested positive for COVID-19. Oklahoma is still on track to resume its offseason workouts on July 1, writes Sooners Wire’s Kegan Reneau.
- The one-and-done era of college basketball began in 2007, and since then there have been some sensational individual seasons from some big name student-athletes. ESPN recently ranked the best of the best, and three Sooners made the top 11. Of course, those guys are Blake Griffin, Buddy Hield and Trae Young. Boomer!
ESPN has released the top 50 individual seasons of the one-and-done era...and there are 3️⃣ #Sooners in the top 1️⃣1️⃣.— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) June 19, 2020
No other school has multiple players in the top 12.
- Kenneth Murray will be part of this year’s ‘Hard Knocks’ show as the critically acclaimed HBO series is set to document the Los Angeles Chargers leading into the 2020 NFL season. The first round pick at LB is expected to make an impact on and off the field in L.A., and this should give fans an up-close look into his life as a rookie behind the scenes.
- In case you forgot, we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you have to experience it without some flare. Check out these sweet Oklahoma Sooners-themed face coverings courtesy of Fanatics! Additionally, a portion of the proceeds go to the All In Challenge Foundation.
Around the Sports World
- Junior LB Dillon Doyle, the son of former Iowa Hawkeyes strength coach Chris Doyle, has announced his decision to migrate south and join the Baylor Bears. Considering the unique circumstances of his transfer, time will tell if he’s eligible to participate this fall.
- New York Jets star safety Jamal Adams, a former No. 6 overall pick and two-time Pro Bowler, has reportedly requested a trade ahead of his fourth season in the league.
- Free-agent WR Josh Gordon has applied for NFL reinstatement after being indefinitely suspended by the league on Dec. 16, 2019. The former Cleveland Browns receiver has been suspended five times throughout his career for substance abuse violations since 2013.
- Earlier this week, Texas Longhorns LB Juwan Mitchell shared a post on Twitter expressing his thoughts on the social unrest going on in today’s America, and he concluded said post by stating he no longer feels comfortable representing UT.
- On Friday, the statue of former Minnesota Twins owner Calvin Griffith outside of Target Field has been removed in light of several racist statements he made in 1978.
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