Sports

Sports Headlines Hot off the Press

Compiled by D. Kevin McNeir

Michael Jordan Joins NASCAR – First Black Principal Team Owner Since 1973

On Monday, Sept. 21, Michael Jordan announced that he’ll be joining forces with three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin to form a NASCAR Cup Series team and Bubba Wallace, the Black NASCAR driver who recently severed ties with Richard Petty Motorsports after three seasons, will be behind the wheel.

“Growing up in North Carolina, my parents would take my brothers, sisters and me to races, and I’ve been a NASCAR fan my whole life,” Jordan said in a statement. “The opportunity to own my own racing team. . . is very exciting for me. Historically, NASCAR has struggled with diversity and there have been few Black owners. The timing seemed perfect as NASCAR is evolving and embracing social change more and more. In addition to the recent commitment and donations I have made to combat systemic racism, I see this as a chance to educate a new audience and open more opportunities for Black people in racing.”

Jordan becomes the first Black principal owner of a full-time Cup team since NASCAR legend Wendell Scott drove his own race car in 495 races from 1961 to 1973, according to ESPN. Scott, with his 1964 victory at the Jacksonville 200, remains the only Black driver to win an event in Cup history.

‘Prime Time’ Deion Sanders Assumes Head Coach Duties for Jackson State’s Football Team

Deion Sanders, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame following a stellar NFL career during which he also played Major League Baseball, now adds more to his impressive resume, becoming a first-time head coach at the collegiate level.

“I am truly blessed to be the 21st head football coach of Jackson State University [JSU],” Sanders said in the school’s statement on Monday, Sept. 21. “It’s my desire to continue this storied tradition and history of JSU and prayerfully bring more national recognition to the athletes, the university, the Sonic Boom of the South and HBCUs in general.”

“It’s very big for Jackson State University,” Athletic Director Ashley Robinson said, according to the Clarion Ledger. “Not only for Jackson State University, this is very big for the country right now. Very big for the state of Mississippi. To Coach Prime, Jackson State University – a blue blood program full of Hall of Famers – it’s just a great time.”

Sanders stated, according to the Clarion Ledger, “God called me to Jackson State.”

Three NFL Coaches Net Hefty Fines for Not Wearing Face Masks

The NFL has fined several head coaches $100,000 for not wearing face masks on the sidelines – a safety precaution now required at games during the COVID-19 pandemic. The coaches’ teams also faced punishment with each team slammed with a $250,000 fine.

The coaches include: Pete Carroll of Seattle; Kyle Shanahan of San Francisco; and Vic Fangio of Denver, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. A league source confirmed details about the fines to NPR on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

The fines were issued after the NFL completed the second week of games, all of which have been played in stadiums that were either empty of fans or at sharply reduced capacity due to concerns about the possible spread of the coronavirus. Carroll, Shanahan and Fangio have all worn neck gaiters during their teams’ first two games but each of them has often been seen with the covering pushed down below their chin.

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