Spotlight

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

I’ve said it before and will say it again: The University of Nevada, Reno and all of us who graduated from the university, or taught there, or even just took an afternoon stroll around the campus, should be proud that an alumnus from our little university took advantage of his time in the national spotlight to make a simple gesture that’s altered the course of political discourse in this country.

There’s a part of me that thinks that Trump keeps trash talking Colin Kaepernick and other current and former NFL players because he wants to distract the American people from his saber-rattling brinksmanship with North Korea, or his efforts to roll back American commitments to environmental protections, or his failure to provide adequate financial support to American territories (i.e. Puerto Rico) that have been devastated by natural disasters.

Still, the fact remains that professional sports—like just about everything else—are a political arena. And professional sports—a meritocracy where financial connections can be less helpful than natural ability or work ethic—is a realm where people from minority and repressed communities can excel, and then use that fame to shed light on issues like the systematic racism in American law enforcement.

And the fact that this discourse has managed, to some small degree, to cut through the matrix of beer and car commercials, of violence and committee meetings, is profound—and a much bigger accomplishment than winning the Super Bowl.

On an unrelated note, I’m really excited about this week’s issue. It’s always fun to take on a taboo subject. Props to our special projects editor, Jeri Chadwell-Singley, for writing the feature story and editing the end-of-life Health Guide, and props to our creative director, Serene Lusano for the great job on our Edward Gorey-inspired cover illustration.