The intersection of Green + Sports was incredibly busy in 2016—and very interesting to cover. Thank you for reading, recommending and sharing our content. GSB will bring you more of the same in 2017—the best in Green-Sports news and commentary—along with some innovations and new wrinkles.
Unless there is breaking Green-Sports news to report, we will be taking the holiday week off. Since some of you might be saying, “Wait a minute, no GreenSportsBlog for a week? What am I going to do for reading material?!” Fear not! What follows are links to six stories: Two are Green-Sports related if you really stretch your imagination, two are Sports themed and the other two are Green only. They are a mix of the serious and the (hopefully) fun. There, that should tide you over! We will be back the week of January 3rd, ready to bring you the stories and interview the newsmakers at the intersection of Green + Sports in 2017. In the meantime, no matter what holidays you celebrate, I hope they are happy and healthy.
Here, for your holiday reading pleasure, are links to six thought provoking and/or eyebrow raising stories I’ve read over the past month or so:
- “Tragedy Made Steve Kerr See The World Beyond The Court,” by John Branch, New York Times, December 22. This is a compelling story about how and why Kerr, who’s won NBA Championships as a player and now as head coach of the Golden State Warriors, became an ex-athlete/coach who speaks out thoughtfully on political issues, gun control in particular. This is in the Green-Sports section only because I hope climate change becomes an issue Kerr chooses to engage in down the road as the movement could use his voice.
Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors. (Photo credit: Emily Berl/New York Times)
- “NFL Owner Encourages Athletes to Use Platform for Social Change,” by Marshall Terrill, ASU Now, Arizona State University. Terrill reports on the “thumbs up”given by Miami Dolphins principal owner Stephen M. Ross to the recent increase in athletes speaking out on social injustice and other issues (Colin Kaepernick being Exhibit A). Ross’ comments are a departure for owners of North American sports teams; speaking out on political issues has, for the most part, been frowned upon by most team managements. This story is slotted into Green-Sports because I hope Ross’ statements lead to more eco-athletes going public.
- “The Soccer Star Refugees of Eritrea: Athletes from the National Team Plan a Mass Defection,” by Alexis Okeowo, The New Yorker, December 12. Eritrea, locked in a seemingly intractable and unending war with much bigger neighbor Ethiopia in East Africa, basically operates as a police state to ensure it has a supply of fighters. Okeowo’s tale takes the reader inside the indescribably difficult lives of some members of the Eritrean national soccer team, their life-risking decisions to defect and their aftermath.
Sanson Arefaine, one of the leaders of the Eritrean National Soccer Team’s decision to defect in 2015. (Photo credit: David Chancellor, The New Yorker)
- “Most Memorable Sports Stories of 2016,” by the SportsIllustrated/si.com staff, December 16. Sports Illustrated has, since its founding in 1954, named a Sportsman/Sportsperson of the Year. In American sports, “Sportsman of the Year” is a pretty big deal. LeBron James, won it for the second time in 2016, joining Tiger Woods as the only 2-time winner. Far less well known than “Sportsman/Sportsperson,” is SI’s ranking of the top 20 sports stories of the year. It says here the Top 20 list is more interesting because 1) it includes sports stories from beyond North America—”Sportsman/Sportsperson” has had a distinctly North American bias, and 2) “Sportsman/Sportsperson” doesn’t let the reader know who came in second, third, etc. “Most Memorable” gives you a 1-20 ranking. I’ll let you read the piece for yourself so you can see if LeBron won both awards this year.
- “Report: Cities Need $375 Billion in Green Investment,” by Michael Holder, GreenBiz, December 2. According to a report by Arup and the C40 Cities Climate Group, the world’s cities must invest around $375 billion in climate action and low carbon infrastructure over the next four years in order to avoid the most catastrophic effects of global climate change. If you want to read the entire report, here’s the link. If not, Holder’s piece does a great job of summarizing the perils of insufficient investment and the opportunities that would result if climate actions are taken at the necessary scale.
- “Visualizing the Invisible Drivers of Climate Change,” by Nicholas St. Fleur, New York Times, December 16. This mesmerizing, 1 minute 35 second visualization from NASA shows how carbon dioxide, per St. Fleur, “dances in the atmosphere.”
Finally, here’s a bonus link to send you off to 2017 on a positive note: Courtesy of Amelia Heathman, writing in Wired, we offer up “2016 Wasn’t All Bad! 16 Positive Things that Happened Over the Past 12 Months.” Check it out, especially the “Climate Change was Taken Seriously” section.
Enjoy and see you next year!