Sports News

Michael Jordan’s cruel N-word firing isn’t his only blunder

Michael Jordan's cruel N-word firing isn't his only blunder

Michael Jordan’s Hornets have fired first-season radio play-by-player John Focke for mistakenly tweeting the N-word when he thought he’d typed Nuggets into his cell phone.

Focke was typing on the fly, trying to keep Hornets fans on top of an NBA game.

Unless Jordan and company believe the preposterous — that out of the blue, for no contextual reason, Focke decided to share a racial slur and commit career suicide — this is another senselessly cruel decision that costs a man his career and reputation.

If only Focke had been in arrears to pay his DraftKings debt, they could have worked things out.

Help me on this one: How does losing your money to Michael Jordan make gambling on sports any more enjoyable?

Or as Howie Long — Fox’s new face and voice of network-attached and titled sports gambling, Fox Bet — claims, is gambling on sports both fun and educational? According to Long, “A way to entertain, educate and enhance the sports experience for fans.”

Jordan last week continued to remind all that he has a gambling predilection, signing on with DraftKings as an “adviser” though he is the majority owner of the NBA’s Hornets.

As we head down the road of sports degradation, legalized gambling — predicated on losing one’s dough — has become the latest desperate savior. The route to sports’ financial salvation is now paved with vulnerable dopes targeted by greed-addicted managements and ownerships.

Michael Jordan
Michael JordanAP

Thus, if you don’t have a bet or bets on the games in front of you and those instantly updated on your cell phone, you’re not the target audience, not anymore. You’re a secondary sports fan, baggage.

Once upon a time not long ago, the NBA tried to keep a healthy distance from gambling. Gambling was the widely suspected reason that then NBA commissioner David Stern sentenced Jordan to a one-season timeout. And it seems more than a few, including ESPN’s Dan Dakich, have a story about being stiffed by Jordan for losing bets.

Now Jordan is both an NBA team owner with a piece of The House, the latter a gambling enterprise that entices fans to bet — and lose — as much and as often as possible, even if they have to beg, borrow and steal to attain possible.

But, as we’re often reminded in a weak, half-explanation and rationalization, times have changed.

It was the Great Capitulator, Roger Goodell, who once testified that gambling destroys families. Now his NFL is addicted to gambling operations because money makes a mockery of morality. Or is habitual gambling no longer considered a vice?

And heroic Michael Jordan allowed John Focke to be fired — to be ruined — for a typo.

When replay actually helps the viewer

Replay of the Week: Good TV starts and ends with paying attention, thinking two steps or two seconds ahead.

During Game 5 of the Islanders-Flyers series, Isles star Mathew Barzal had to leave the game, bloody, after taking an unintentional stick blade to the eye by Philly’s Claude Giroux.

Soon, NBCSN provided a video of Giroux looking up at the center ice scoreboard to view a replay. As he saw his stick connect with Barzal’s face, Giroux was seen wincing and shaking his head in remorse.

That wasn’t good TV; that was great TV.

Mathew Barzal's right eye was patched up in time for Game 6.
Mathew Barzal’s right eye was patched up in time for Game 6.NHLI via Getty Images

ESPN continues to do whatever it can to destroy or vandalize sports.

Reader Brian Cooney provides some detail on the demise of vulgar, N-wording, women-degrading rapper Juice WRLD, proudly chosen by ESPN to sing the new “anthem” attached to its college football telecasts:

This past December, 21-year-old Juice — real name Jarad Higgins — died of an opioid overdose in a Chicago hospital. The drugs were alleged to have been ingested as law enforcement boarded his rented private jet — where they found 71 pounds of pot, sealed for sale in 41 bags, six bottles of liquid prescription codeine cough syrup, three guns ( two 9-millmeter pistols and a .40-caliber pistol) metal-piercing bullets and a high-capacity ammunition magazine.

And this is the guy ESPN chose — boasted about in a news release — to serve as its come-on man for college football.

Now back to ESPN’s latest forum on social, racial and feminist activism.


Leave it to ESPN’s No. 1 guy, Stephen A. Smith, to holler “Fire!” in a packed movie theater.

Though nine of the Nets’ head coaches since 1989 have been black — including the latest, interim Jacque Vaughn, Smith decried the hiring of Steve Nash as “white privilege,” thus again putting the jerk in his knee-jerk.

Coming from Smith, that’s fascinating. Given his steady willingness to make outrageously defamatory statements and his presentations of comically inaccurate “facts,” he has been steadily promoted and enriched by ESPN. How would he explain that? White privilege?

Nash is a bad choice in that he was exceptionally good at five-man team basketball, hitting open men for lay-ups, giving then going, fast-breaking, making sure his team’s up-tempo offense wasn’t predictable.

With the 3-point shot becoming the main dish on the menu, coaching strategy in the NBA is becoming irrelevant. Plus, all Nets’ changes must be met with the approval of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Nice to meet you, Mr. Todd

Who is Brendon Todd? Funny you should ask.

Twice last Saturday, NBC golf announcers identified him as “one of the best golfers in the world.”

Really? So how come we’d so rarely seen him on playing on TV, including NBC, as opposed to the usual best golfers in the world? Don’t tell us, show us! It’s television!

Other than that, he’s a 35-year-old from Pittsburgh who has won three PGA events, two in the past year.


Would Tom Seaver have been Tom Seaver if Aaron Boone had been his manager?

Twenty bucks to the first reporter who asks an NFL coach if his team plans to run uphill or downhill this season.

YES’ Paul O’Neill has shattered his own record for beginning sentences with, “I’ll tell ya what …”

Because no one says no to TV money, the BYU at Navy football game on ESPN is scheduled to kick off sometime after 8 p.m. Moday night, Labor Day, thus it should end after 11.

After three years at Louisville, Jets rookie offensive tackle Mekhi Becton clearly has his priorities in order. He spent $175,000 on a necklace that dangles his nickname, perhaps in case he forgets it.

Once DJ LeMahieu improves his launch angle and exit velocity, I think he’ll become a pretty decent hitter.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

About the author

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Christine Watkins

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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