Mayweather-McGregor: A lot of money for a fiasco
Reflections on sports happenings of the last week …
• ITEM: The Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor bout stands as the most lucrative in the history of combat sports, with both men expected to receive more than $100 million.
Mayweather will get 70 to 75 percent of the purse, meaning he will likely pocket well in excess of $200 million. It was the largest single boxing night in the history of multiple sports books throughout the world.
COMMENT: I didn't see a second of the fight and had little interest in watching a 40-year-old defensive boxer take on a mixed-martial artist who was venturing into a pro boxing ring for the first time.
If you're not turned off by the competitors' behavior in the contrived media tour prior to the event, you must love arrogance. I didn't think anyone could make me root for Mayweather, but McGregor's homophobic/racial/braggadocio rants almost got me there.
Turns my stomach to think these despicables can reap that kind of money for that kind of fiasco.
• ITEM: Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned by an NFL team.
COMMENT: Kaepernick isn't being blackballed for his take-a-knee actions during the playing of the national anthem. Executives of teams aren't influencing executives of other teams not to sign him.
But it would be foolish to suggest front-office types and coaches aren't figuring in Kaepernick's behavior and political beliefs right there alongside his quarterback and leadership skills. And, from an ownership standpoint, the reaction of that team's fans to signing the man.
While Kaepernick is within his rights to take a stand on the racial scene in the U.S. today, NFL folks are within theirs to decide what type of player and person they want to lead their teams.
Kaepernick has kept quiet in the months since his kneel-downs, turning down every one-on-one media request. I'd like to see him end his silence and explain himself. If he really wants to play football again, it could be an important first step.
• ITEM: After a physical examination of Isaiah Thomas' not-yet-healed hip, the Cleveland Cavaliers seek further compensation from Boston in the trade that is to send Kyrie Irving to the Celtics.
COMMENT: I don't get this one.
When the trade was announced, I'm not aware that it was contingent upon Thomas passing a physical. The Cavaliers knew Thomas had injured the hip in last year's playoffs. Also, that it was likely he would start the 2017-18 season at less than 100 percent, or perhaps on the sidelines for awhile.
Has buyer's remorse crept in? Have the comments by several Cleveland players — that they don't want Irving to leave — made owner Dan Gilbert have second thoughts?
The Celtics gave up more — including probable starting small forward Jae Crowder and the Nets' first-round pick next season, which could be the overall No. 1 selection — than any other team would have. If the Cavaliers can re-sign a healthy Thomas before he goes into free agency next summer, I'm not sure they didn't get the better end of the deal.
Don't get me wrong — Irving is the best player in the trade, and at 25, three years younger than Thomas. But if I'm Boston GM Danny Ainge, I'm very reluctant to give up Marcus Smart, or another first-round pick, to placate Gilbert and his minions.
• ITEM: Seattle Mariners become first major-league team in 40 years to commit five errors in one inning in 10-1 loss at Yankee Stadium.
COMMENT: With Moe at shortstop, Larry at third base and Curly Joe in left field, what do you expect?
Even so, the Mariners began the week only 1 1/2 games out of the second wild-card berth in the American League. They're still in it, but so is almost everybody else. Seven teams, led by Minnesota, are within three games in the battle for the final wild card. I can't remember so many teams, so close together, vying for a single spot.
It's going to make for one of the craziest-ever final months of the regular season.
ITEM: An announcer is re-assigned from calling a Virginia football game because his name is Robert Lee.
COMMENT: I thought I'd heard everything.
Robert Lee the broadcaster is Asian-American, and not a descendant of Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general who never had the pleasure to watch college football.
White nationalists gathered in Charlottesville a couple of weeks ago to protect the removal of a statue of General Lee. One woman was killed and several others injured when a white supremacist drove a car into a group of counter-protestors.
So ESPN naturally pulled Robert Lee the broadcaster from its Virginia-William & Mary game last Saturday "because of the coincidence of his name."
One report said Lee agreed he should call a different game — he wound up with Pittsburgh-Youngstown State — to avoid potential heckling or taunting or, pray tell, riots because of his name.
I mean, really?
There is security protecting the press box, right? Give him an armed guard if necessary, all the way from his limousine to the broadcast booth, and back.
I think Lee agreed to this because he likes his job, and ESPN calls the shots.
He's just fortunate his name isn't Colin Kaepernick.