Liked Inside the Knicks’ secret attempt to lure Michael Jordan from the Bulls by Anthony Olivieri (espn.com)

For decades, rumors have persisted that in the 1996 offseason, Michael Jordan considered leaving the Bulls to play for the Knicks. We go behind the scenes of the incredible, potentially league-shifting 24-hour dance between MJ and the Knicks.

Liked Joel Wilkinson, the AFL and the search for racial justice by Tracey Holmes (ABC News)

“Years ago I wanted to create a council of black players, past and present, to improve the support we have access to and enhance our collective bargaining power,” he says.

“So to prepare I thought it was best to attend the Indigenous camp for a few days. The AFLPA made me spend my own money to go, where they didn’t care if I slept on the floor.

“I said, ‘look, I’ve already spent over $1200 for this trip, you have funds as the AFLPA and you’re covering club staff and have a lot of money budgeted for the trip, why can’t you let me sleep in one of the player allocated rooms?

“I don’t want to mention where I slept, it’s degrading.

Replied to Gary Ablett Jnr was the champion who exceeded football’s greatest expectations by Russell Jackson (ABC News)

The game asked him to be nothing less than perfect, on the field and off it. It demanded that he fill the giant space in the sporting landscape once occupied by his father β€” the man they call God.

And somehow β€” drawing upon a strength of character that defies explanation β€” Gary Ablett Jnr did it, the exemplar of champions and a credit to himself.

Thank you Russell for providing the human side of greatness.
Bookmarked Would an AFL ‘Boo Ban’ stop punters jeering the likes of Gary Ablett and Scott Pendlebury? (ABC News)

The AFL is considering implementing a Boo Ban which, given the game’s recent history, comes across as absurd, writes Richard Hinds.

I find this interesting. Although I do not boo and never have, I think that it is a part of who we are. It reminds me of the Two Minutes of Hate in Orwell’s 1984:

The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.

If it is not sport, then it will be something else. Banning misses the bigger picture in my opinion.

Liked Israel Folau’s sacking isn’t the end of this tricky story (ABC News)

Sport is to be commended for striving to uphold the best values of a modern society, but what happens when those values clash β€” the human right of sexual orientation versus the human right to freedom of religion?

Marginalia

Terminating Folau’s contract will not make this issue go away.

The Religious Freedom Review found that while there was a vast amount of public interest around these issues it was in no way matched by the number of formal complaints, “which shows that discrimination on the basis of religion is a little-used ground of complaint, as is discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and related attributes by religious bodies”.

This may be sport’s first legal test case pitting religious freedoms against the freedom of sexual preference.