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I love everything about the Gonzaga basketball program. Gonzaga was the #2-odds choice — right behind Duke — to win the national championship. But, after this past week, God made sure that would not happen. Loyola-Ill won in 1963. USF with Bill Russell won in 1955-56. And even our own Seattle U (with Elgin Baylor) made the championship game in 1958. But then the Jesuits went off the deep end with radical liberal identity politics. Of course God would not want such nonsense from a university representing him in the Final Four. And so, for Gonzaga, it was a great season. What a shame — you could’ve won it all.
Today’s intersection of race, politics and sports harks back to the 1960’s. They could be setting themselves up for years of regret, knowing that when the times called for action they did nothing. Today’s NFL players have their reasons for engaging in the protests, or not. Those who are quietly sympathetic to the cause, but aren’t saying or doing anything about it, should take heed of Bob Cousy, a man from a different time and sport. But that’s what Cousy is doing. In answer to his conscience, Cousy wishes that, as team captain, he had privately pulled aside Russell during those seasons between 1957 and 1963 and said, “Russ, I’ve got your back.” He also wishes he had spoken out, even telling Boston’s white sportswriters, “I understand Russ’s feelings. When conscience comes into conflict with the wallet, conscience rarely wins – perhaps especially so in the NFL. San Francisco cornerback Richard Sherman, an African-American, says it “would mean a great deal” if more white players took part in the protests or spoke out in support of them. Sherman understands an NFL player’s need to protect his job: “This is your livelihood. At long last, Cousy had answered to his conscience.