SPORTS TALK: Careful what you say – your kids might pay for it in 30 years

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If you’re going to criticize Donald Trump – and there are plenty of ways to do so because he makes it way, way too easy – make sure the image you’re using to accompany said criticism matches your argument.

Slate tweeted out an article authored by Heather Schwedel on Aug. 30 which talked about Trump doesn’t use a computer two years into his presidency. Good enough but the photo which was published with both the tweet and the article showed Trump aboard Air Force One, his official air transportation, at his desk talking to people. If you look close, there’s something which resembles a laptop over his left shoulder and it looks like it’s operational. I will repeat this because people don’t seem to get it: stop giving him ammunition.

Anyway…

Sins of the father?

You may not have heard of Conor Daly until now. He’s a professional race car driver who made his debut on the NASCAR circuit on Aug. 25 and found himself in a pretty bad state of affairs recently – none of which was his fault.

Daly lost a sponsor, Lilly Diabetes, days before the race after it was revealed his father, Derek Daly, himself a former professional driver in Formula 1 and the former CART circuit, used a racial slur during a radio interview in the early 1980s. Not Conor Daly himself but his father.

The elder Daly admitted to using the term when doing an interview with his new team in the U.S. but claimed it was a common saying in Ireland, his place of birth, and he had no idea back then it was offensive in the U.S. He issued a statement saying because he was the only foreign driver on an American team with an American sponsor, he meant it to mean he would be the scapegoat, which is apparently what the term he used means in Great Britain and Ireland.

The sponsorship made sense as the younger Daly suffers from Type 1 diabetes but why Lilly Diabetes pulled its sponsorship doesn’t. The company said its sponsorship was intended to raise awareness about treatment options for people living with diabetes but the elder Daly’s comments all those years ago distracted from that focus so they were pulling the sponsorship.

I’m not condoning what Derek Daly said. It was awful. Should his son pay the price, though, considering the term was uttered several years before he was born? I don’t think so and many other people don’t think so either. Punish the father, yes, but don’t punish the kid because his dad uttered something insensitive before he was even conceived. Be careful what you say nowadays because 30 years down the road, apparently, your children may pay the price.

Is that legal?

Nick Kyrgios needs a lot of things, several of which I can’t publish, but the one thing he doesn’t need is encouragement from the chair umpire during his matches.

Nick Kyrgios got some encouragement from the chair umpire during his second round match at the U.S. Open on Aug. 30. Right or wrong, the umpire shouldn’t be a cheerleader for anyone in any sport. photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

This actually happened during his second round match at the U.S. Open on Aug. 30. Kyrgios was playing Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France and was trailing in the second set, 3-0, after dropping the first set, 6-4. For some reason, Mo Lahyani, the chair umpire, came down out of his chair and began to implore Kyrgios to start trying.

No joke – the courtside microphone caught Lahyani saying things like, “I want to help you,” “You’re great for tennis,” and, “I know this is not you.” Now, the rules state that there can be no courtside coaching from a player’s coach during a match but would this constitute coaching of some kind? I think so. It’s not the first time I’ve seen an official in a sport try to encourage a player but I’ve never seen it in tennis. Lahyani’s pep talk seemed to work as Kyrgios went on to win the second set, 7-6, and the match.

Ben Rothenberg, who covers tennis for the New York Times, reported that the U.S. Tennis Association was looking into whether Lahyani’s actions warranted action.

This apparently isn’t the first time Lahyani has done this. He did the same thing with Gael Monfils of France at a tournament in Valencia, Spain a few years back. All this does is open up a can of worms officials don’t need – favouritism. A smart player would look at this and wonder why the umpire/referee is offering up encouragement to an opponent but not him or her.

Officials need to stick to their jobs. They aren’t psychologists.

And finally …

Good Idea: Spain’s 12-year-old pitcher at the Little League World Series.

Bad Idea: Trying to convince people Spain’s pitcher at the Little League World Series is 12 years old.

So Honolulu, Hawaii won the 2018 Little League World Series by beating South Korea in the final. That was cool to watch, especially the coaches telling the kids to stay humble even in victory.

We even had the excitement about Big Al – real name Alfred Delia – and how he likes to hit dingers.

But you may have missed the 12-year-old playing with the team from Barcelona, Spain. Ronald Vizcaino is his name and he stood 6 ft. 1 in. and weighed 248 pounds. At the age of 12.

You know there were several people looking at this kid and thinking how this kid managed to make it past the age check. Little League is absolutely paranoid about being made fools of when it comes to this sort of thing, especially after the incidents involving the Rolando Paulino team from New York that had its title stripped thanks to its stud pitcher, Danny Almonte, being 14 years of age instead of 12 following a huge investigation, and the 1992 team from Zamboanga City in the Philippines that fielded a team that was entirely overage.

Apparently, all was fine as Vizcaino was within the age boundaries and there wasn’t even a hint of controversy. Canada showed he was nothing special when we beat Spain by a score of 2-1 in the international bracket playoffs. Size ain’t everything.

Until next time, folks…