Cliven Bundy Was Unavailable for Comment


Sometimes the outside-the-lines part of the sports world creates a ripple effect that has consequences within a given game. And sometimes those consequences are uni-related.

That was the case yesterday in Oakland, as the Clippers’ players felt the need to respond to the racist remarks attributed over the weekend to team owner Donald Sterling. They staged a multifaceted silent protest, which included the following:

1. When the Clippers came out for pregame warm-ups, they met at center court, removed their warm-up jackets, and left them on the floor.

2. They then warmed up while wearing their warm-up tops inside-out, so the Clippers’ logo wouldn’t be visible.

3. During the game, the Clippers wore black socks and black armbands.

4. Chris Paul wore a black base layer (instead of his usual white).

And there was more. Shortly after the Clippers/Warriors game ended, the Rockets and Trail Blazers tipped off for their own playoff game, with both teams wearing black socks as a gesture of solidarity with the Clippers. And there was even a cross-sport gesture from Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, who was mentioned in the Sterling tape and responded by changing his walk-up music yesterday to Michael Jackson’s “Black or White.”

This all presents a tricky situation for the NBA. I’m sure there’s some sort of regulation about warm-up tops, which means the players would normally be subject to a fine for wearing the tops inside-out, but it’s hard to imagine that the league would levy the fine in this case.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to think of other situations in which a team has come up with a uni-centric silent protest in response to ownership or management, but I’m drawing a blank. Wasn’t there a situation a year or two ago in which a college baseball team blacked out its chest insignia in response to something or other..? Can’t recall the details. I suspect there have been other examples, but I’m coming up empty. Little help..?

Update: Thanks to the many excellent suggestions that many of you came up with in today’s comments, I’ve been able to whip up this ESPN column on team-wide uni protests. Thanks, people — couldn’t have done this one without you.

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Apocalyptic fun: Most of you are probably familiar with Sports Illustrated’s long-running “Signs of the Apocalypse” feature, which, amazingly enough, has now been running for 20 years (and a fair number of the entries have been uni-related).

The “Apocalypse” series has now been compiled into a book, The Sports Illustrated Book of the Apocalypse: Two Decades of Sports Absurdity, and our friends at Diversion Books are making the e-version of that book available to Uni Watch readers for the exclusive low price of $1.99 — that’s half off the Kindle price.

That price will only be good for this week. This one seems like it should be right in the wheelhouse for many of you — go for it.

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PermaRec update: A bunch of old doodles created by a high school student in 1922 (including the baseball player shown at right) are featured in the latest Permanent Record entry.

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Baseball News: Diamondbacks pitcher Oliver Perez was forced to remove his undershirt during Saturday’s game against the Phillies after Phils skipper Ryne Sandberg complained about the slits that had been cut in Perez’s sleeves (thanks, Brinke). … The Rockies wore their black vests on Saturday — first time since September of 2012. The culprit was manager Walt Weiss, who said, “I’m going to take credit for that one, that’s my idea. I’ve been pushing the black vest since I got the job, really. I think it’s a good connection to our past. The run we had in ’07 [when they wore black at almost every opportunity until the World Series, where they lost to the Red Sox], I think it’s very important to stay connected to that stuff” (from Perry Sailor). … Still more photos from Wrigley’s 100th-anniversary game, this time from Leo Strawn, who was in attendance. Of particular note (at least to me): Arizona pitcher Oliver Perez didn’t have his jersey buttoned to the top like his teammates did. Also: The ushers wore birthday party hats! … I was listening to Saturday’s Yankees/Angels game on my bike radio when Yanks color analyst Suzyn Waldman offered this pearl of wisdom regarding backup catcher John Ryan Murphy: “He’s a backup now, but he played every day in high school.” Um, I’d like to think every player good enough to make it to the bigs played every day in high school. … Good story on the identity design of the Richmond Flying Squirrels. ”¦ The Sugarland Skeeters wore autism-awareness jerseys yesterday (from Chris LaHaye).

NFL News: When does Pats coach Bill Bellichick not wear a hoodie? When he’s running a half-marathon, apparently (good one, Brinke). … The NFL will once again use an eighth official for preseason games this year, and is contemplating other changes. ”¦Brice Wallace spotted this helmet with a DIY 49ers logo at a thrift shop in Ogden, Utah. “Dang cute,” he says, and I agree.

College Football News: Rutgers QB Gary Nova changed his uni number for the team’s spring game as a tribute to a friend who recently died from cancer. Meanwhile, what’s on his back of his helmet?

NBA News: Former NBA player Steve Francis attended yesterday’s Bulls/Wizards playoff game and wore his own Rockets jersey. ”¦ Interesting note from Matt Manley, who writes: “I just turned 33 years old and immediately thought, ‘I’m turning Larry Bird.’ Does anyone else thinks of numbers as uniform numbers? As a rugby guy, my list would look different from those of most American sports fans, but it would be interesting to hear who people associate with certain jersey numbers.”

Soccer News: Soccer-centric designer Stephen Wong has launched his World Cup Brasil collection. ”¦ Thieves in Rio de Janeiro stole a van with 300,000 collectible soccer stickers featuring stars of the upcoming World Cup (from Yusuke Toyoda).

Grab Bag: I just scored this really nice vintage varsity jacket. More details when I receive it from the seller. … Nike may be moving away from the “wearable technology” sector. … New brand identity design for the Jewish Museum in NYC. Key quote: “Everything from the logo mark, logo typography, patterns, and illustrations were drawn on the same geometric grid from which the Star of David was formed” (from Jim Mason). … Daren Landers was out for a drive and spotted a caboose sitting on Central Manitoba Railway with a buffalo-head logo that looks a lot like the old Buffalo Sabres logo.

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What Paul did last night: Back in early February I wrote about the death of musician/artist/filmmaker Ricky Luanda, the former frontman of Chain Gang and all-around bohemian genius. There was no funeral service for Ricky at the time, but yesterday there was a memorial service/celebration at a gallery in the East Village, and I was very happy to be among the dozens of people who showed up to celebrate Ricky’s life and work.

I first encountered Ricky in 1982, when I was still in high school. I had just recently discovered punk rock and had scored a ticket to see the L.A. band X at the Palladium in NYC. The opening act was Chain Gang, who I’d never heard of and, frankly, didn’t care for. I remember thinking, “What the fuck is this, and how soon can it finish so X can start playing?” My sonic parameters weren’t yet broad enough to process what Chain Gang was doing, although I’d later become a huge, huge fan.

Anyway: That night I bought an X T-shirt. At some point I cut the sleeves off of it (I no longer recall why, but it seemed to make sense at the time) and I still have it — it’s the oldest T-shirt I own. Since the shirt has a Chain Gang connection, I figured it made sense to wear it to Ricky’s memorial service yesterday. I explained all of this to Ricky’s widow, Randi, who looked at me with amazement and said, “The Palladium show? That’s the night Rick and I met!”

Amazing. I offered to give her the T-shirt, but she declined and asked if we could take a photo together instead:


Thanks, Randi. And RIP, Ricky.

140 comments to Cliven Bundy Was Unavailable for Comment

  • Mainspark | April 28, 2014 at 7:14 am |

    Typo for Chris Paul. Should say “white” instead of “where.”

    Saw X in LA some years back. Unbelievable show/band.

    • Paul Lukas | April 28, 2014 at 7:18 am |

      Thanks. Fixed.

  • Skye McLeod | April 28, 2014 at 7:16 am |

    I think it was Cal baseball after the school announced it was dropping the team. I also feel like BU’s football team took the school logo off their helmets after it was announced that they were being dropped, but I could be wrong.

    • Jack | April 28, 2014 at 7:59 am |

      “On Nov. 1, for a game at Connecticut, the Terriers protested BU’s decision by discarding their usual game shirts in favor of generic white jerseys provided by unhappy alumni. Some players taped an X over the BU logo on their pants and called themselves University X. They lost the game 45-7 but won the support of the BU community.”

    • Bill Abbate | April 28, 2014 at 2:22 pm |

      BU’s football helmet in that final season was simply red with no logo. Once the announcement was made that the program was being cancelled the players wanted to put an X on the side of their helmets for the final game. However, the administration threatened to take any player’s scholarship from them if they did. Supporters then went through the stands and sold the X’s to mount a campaign to continue the program. I bought one and still have it somewhere.

  • BurghFan | April 28, 2014 at 7:22 am |

    Did the Clippers wear their “Los Angeles” alternates as part of the protest?

    • Paul Lukas | April 28, 2014 at 7:27 am |

      Their regular road uniforms also have “Los Angeles.”

      • BurghFan | April 28, 2014 at 7:32 am |

        Okay. It’s been that long since I paid attention to the team.

        • Jackie Mason | April 28, 2014 at 1:24 pm |

          Vot? No mention of Donald Stoiling? Vot you tink Adam Silvah vill do to him? De same ting David Stoin did? Oy, vot a problem!

  • DenverGregg | April 28, 2014 at 7:26 am |

    Typo for Walt Weiss‘ name.

    • Paul Lukas | April 28, 2014 at 7:27 am |

      Got it. Thanks.

  • Bernie | April 28, 2014 at 7:30 am |

    A few years ago, the Astana cycling team wasn’t paying its cyclists (or its employees), and so the team blanked out the sponsors’ names on their uniforms:

  • matty blue | April 28, 2014 at 7:32 am |

    i don’t want to make too much of this, but…where’s belichick’s bib? is he running as a bandit? seriously – races take a gigantic amount of planning and are really expensive to run, between closed roads and security and runner refreshments and on and on. the biggest way to pay for them is to pay the entry fee. did he not do that?

    • Iain | April 28, 2014 at 7:49 am |

      he’s in the race results so he was an official entrant. Not sure why he doesn’t have a bib

  • Adam R. W. | April 28, 2014 at 7:42 am |

    The Rutgers QB is wearing a Schutt Vision camera.

    • Paul Lukas | April 28, 2014 at 7:48 am |

      I’m not doubting you, but the photos on that page all show cameras mounted on the *front* of the helmet, while the Rutgers QB had something attached to the *back* of his helmet.

      Am I missing something?

      • The Jeff | April 28, 2014 at 8:11 am |

        Look at the side view of the Rutgers helmet on that page, specifically the left edge of the helmet.

      • Chris LaHaye | April 28, 2014 at 8:19 am |

        I think the part on the back on the helmet is a battery pack/ memory card unit. I’m not sure if those cameras will have live/ instant replay capabilities…yet. Or if they are going to be worn in regular season games.

      • Kevin Kurz | April 28, 2014 at 8:22 am |

        The back of the Rutgers QB’s helmet is where the electronics for the Schott Vision helmet camera are stored. http://www.schuttvis

  • scott | April 28, 2014 at 7:47 am |

    Geez, Suzyn Waldman is sure obsessed about John Ryan Murphy’s high school career. During the postgame Saturday she said his high school success shows that he can be an everyday big leaguer. Well, what about his minor league career? That would seem more relevant since it’s more recent and presumably against better competition.

  • Matt | April 28, 2014 at 7:58 am |

    The college baseball team was Towson. There was talk of ending the baseball program.

    • Paul Lukas | April 28, 2014 at 8:00 am |

      Ah, yes — thanks!

    • Judy | April 28, 2014 at 12:27 pm |

      I was just going to post that it was Towson, my alma mater – but since I’m on the west coast, I’m way too late.

  • Shane | April 28, 2014 at 7:59 am |

    I want to say it was Towson that blacked out their baseball unis.

  • Phil Hecken | April 28, 2014 at 8:00 am |

    Would this count as a silent unicentric (team) protest?

    • Paul Lukas | April 28, 2014 at 8:05 am |

      Yeah, I thought of that, but it’s not quite the same thing. They’re not protesting ownership/management/etc. of the team. (Well, except that they were USA Olympians and they were protesting about certain aspects of the USA, so maybe it IS the same thing…)

  • Big O | April 28, 2014 at 8:01 am |

    Last year Towson University Baseball lost their funding so they played a game with tape over the School name on their jerseys.

  • jon | April 28, 2014 at 8:06 am |

    Taken from Reddit:

    Jerry Kramer’s invitation letter. Simply beautiful

    • Connie DC | April 28, 2014 at 9:47 am |

      That’s terrific!

  • mike d | April 28, 2014 at 8:12 am |

    Do the Clippers go with the “Los Angeles” powder blues at home?

    • Mike Engle on iPad | April 28, 2014 at 8:21 am |

      Those have sleeves, and are thus rarely liked. Red vs Blue would similarly un-Clipper the game and look acceptable without growing sleeves.

  • Kevin Kurz | April 28, 2014 at 8:21 am |

    The back of the Rutgers QB’s helmet is where the electronics for the Schott Vision helmet camera are stored.

  • w_c_hughes | April 28, 2014 at 8:26 am |

    As much as I wish James Harden was a Bull, the Trail Blazers played the Rockets, not the Bulls.

    • Paul Lukas | April 28, 2014 at 8:32 am |

      D’oh! Now fixed.

  • Mark | April 28, 2014 at 9:04 am |

    “There was a lot of movement there with the delivery. It was fairly obvious with that much movement on it that it would be distracting.”

    Oh please, is this golf or baseball?

    • Ben Fortney | April 28, 2014 at 12:07 pm |

      It’s pretty common gamesmanship. Larry Bowa is mentioned in the article, I’m pretty sure he was in NY with the Yankees when Ollie was on the Mets. He knows OP is a headcase, was trying to rattle him.

  • Big CK | April 28, 2014 at 9:06 am |

    “I just turned 33 years old and immediately thought, ‘I’m turning Larry Bird.’ Does anyone else thinks of numbers as uniform numbers?

    That’s not something I’ve done before in terms of my age (though I might start not…sigh) but when I was getting my most recent cell phone number a few years back, the last 4 numbers (broken down in 2 sets of 2 digits each) had to be numbers of players I admired. I ended up with Ronnie Lott-Dan Marino.

    • Big CK | April 28, 2014 at 9:06 am |

      *start now

    • terriblehuman | April 28, 2014 at 9:53 am |

      In Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind”, there’s a line, “If Jeezy’s paying LeBron, I’m paying Dwyane Wade”, which is a reference to Young Jeezy’s “24-23”.

      Jeezy’s line was “I used to pay Kobe, now I pay LeBron”, which meant he used to pay $24,000 for a kilo of cocaine, but now he pays $23k for the same amount (this was before LeBron changed his number to 6). Jay-Z is joking that he’s getting an even bigger discount, at $3,000 a kilo.

    • Brayden | April 28, 2014 at 10:39 am |

      Me and my college buds actually do this. Our favorite is the use of our own jersey numbers, if we so happened to play in high school. As well as our 23rd year, which is the MJ year.

      • Simply Moono | April 28, 2014 at 11:20 am |

        I recently hit the MJ mark a month and-a-half ago.

    • Cort | April 28, 2014 at 11:40 am |

      Dick Butkus.

      I look forward to many happy years of offensive linemen numbers. With luck and a stronger commitment to daily exercise, I may enter wide receiver territory. My genes are a mixed bag, but if I’ve inherited my Polish grandfather’s longevity, I’ve got a reasonable shot at Yanic Perrault, although I accept that Wayne Gretzky is pie in the sky. And non-roster invitee to Yankees Spring Training is completely out of the question.

    • brinke | April 28, 2014 at 11:55 am |

      I do this. But only associated with, curiously, the 1971-72 Cowboys.

      I’m @ Chuck Howley, headed towards Lee Roy Jordan.

    • Devern Hansack | April 28, 2014 at 1:24 pm |

      I never have as far as age goes (currently Red Sox Manny Ramirez), but I’ll frequently remember driving directions and phone numbers through uniform numbers. For instance, I’d consistently use Kevin Youkilis West instead of Julius Peppers in order to get to Vikings Randy Moss from Worcester. My last license plate also included Wade Boggs and John Hannah.

    • arrScott | April 28, 2014 at 3:24 pm |

      Never really thought of that before, and since it means that I just turned Bartolo Colon, I may wait until next year, when I turn Tom Seaver, to start thinking of it that way.

      How about this: Who’s the best player who ever wore your birth year as his number? I’m looking at maybe Ugueth Urbina or Merlin Olsen.

  • Padday | April 28, 2014 at 9:10 am |

    About two years ago Liverpool made a silent unicentric gesture of protest when the team wore shirts during warmups featuring a picture of Louis Suarez on the front and his name and number on the back after he received an 8 match ban from the FA. The irony of course is that on that occasion, the gesture was in support of someone accused (and found guilty) of making racist remarks.

    Here’s a link:

    • George Chilvers | April 28, 2014 at 10:03 am |

      And I was there. The gesture did not go down well with us Wigan fans – or in fact anyone else other than Liverpool supporters.

      • Chance Michaels | April 28, 2014 at 10:16 am |

        I don’t know a ton of Liverpool supporters, but the ones I do know all thought it classless.

        • terriblehuman | April 28, 2014 at 10:18 am |

          Liverpool fan here – very embarrassed by the t-shirt affair. I still think Suarez got a raw deal, but both he and the club dealt with the aftermath horribly.

  • Graf Zeppelin | April 28, 2014 at 9:17 am |

    Looks like Michael Vick is going to wear #8 with the Jets.

    I thought he might go with 1 (although punter Ryan Quigley currently has that) or 4, but I guess 8 makes sense. In a way it’s interesting; could he be tacitly acknowledging his presumptive backup status, or deferring to Geno Smith, by choosing a number behind Smith’s #7?

    It’s also notable that #8 doesn’t have much of a history with the Jets; the only arguably-significant player who wore it is Nick Lowery (unless you consider Browning Nagle “significant”). Maybe Vick thinks he can create a legacy with the Jets in that number.

    Or maybe he and Nike have some “V8”-based marketing ploy in mind.

    • Paul Lukas | April 28, 2014 at 9:25 am |

      As Phil just informed me, it’s apparently a shout-out to Steve Young:

      • Graf Zeppelin | April 28, 2014 at 10:00 am |

        Makes sense; another lefty.

        • DenverGregg | April 28, 2014 at 10:44 am |

          . . . and a guy whose greatest success came after a few false starts elsewhere.

      • Graf Zeppelin | April 28, 2014 at 11:19 am |

        …and after being a good-soldier backup for a few years. (Albeit behind an all-time great, but still…)

    • Padday | April 28, 2014 at 9:33 am |

      Forgive me, I’m not one who generally pays much mind to number assignments but I have to say that just reading your comment Graf has set off my bullshitometer. Just the thought that some people put this level of inane speculation into something as utterly, utterly inconsequential as a jersey number assignment makes me weep for humanity. It reminds me of bullshit celebrity gossip where people try to discern if Lindsay Lohan is pregnant becasue she was spotted wearing a thick coat.

      (Update: I wrote the above, then refreshed the page to make sure there wasn’t something else posted and see that Paul linked to TMZ. I rest my case)

      • Graf Zeppelin | April 28, 2014 at 9:58 am |

        Lighten up, Francis.

        If random musings about uni numbers on a uni-centric website are enough to make you “weep for humanity,” you might want to recalibrate that “bullshitometer” just a tad. Sheesh.

        • Padday | April 28, 2014 at 10:20 am |

          I generally come here because the tone is generally much more than just “random musings on a uni-centric website”. I come here because Uni-Watch is about an acknowledgment that aesthetics matter, that the visual culture of sports has a greater meaning beyond the purely trivial or academic. Especially on a day like today where the lede is a very visceral reminder of that, I hope you’ll understand why I found such blathering gossip about the state of mind of some overpaid, overpublicised jock based on his choice of jersey number particularly obnoxious.

        • Graf Zeppelin | April 28, 2014 at 10:54 am |

          Uni-Watch is about an acknowledgment that aesthetics matter, that the visual culture of sports has a greater meaning beyond the purely trivial or academic.

          If that’s the case, then I really don’t know what your problem is. If you want to argue that “aesthetics matter” and that “the visual culture of sports has a greater meaning,” but a player’s choice of what number to wear doesn’t, or that a player’s choice of number is not part of that player’s “aesthetic” or is not part of “the visual culture of sports,” fine. We can have that discussion.

          I think a player’s number is aesthetic, and is part of “the visual culture of sports,” and for a lot of players the number they choose does have meaning.

          One minute you’re on your fainting couch “weeping” over someone being interested enough in that “utterly inconsequential” aspect of sports aesthetics and visual culture to simply write some thoughts about it in response to the news, and in the next you’re on a pedestal waxing profound about your deep appreciation for sports’ visual elements’ “greater meaning.”

          No offense, but make up your effing mind, and in the meantime get a grip and spare me the melodrama.

          And as for that bit about the “lede,” believe it or not it is possible for a person to care about one thing and write about something else at the same time, and for more than one piece of news to be relevant and worthy of discussion on the same day. You’re free to ignore any comments posted here by me or anyone else whose subject matter you find too trivial or “inconsequential” for your clearly-superior sensibilities.

        • Padday | April 28, 2014 at 12:14 pm |

          Just like the seemingly endless obsession with Michael Vick, this conversation has gone on way too long. I’ll just say that sure, maybe there can be meaning in uniform numbers – when they’re retired, when they’re used in a tributary fashion etc. But what got me riled up in the first place was that this is nothing more than bloody celeb gossip and the kind of idle speculation you employed in trying to discern why Vick picked no.8 demonstrates that. I despise this society’s obsession with wanting to get ‘inside the minds’ of people for whom there is little if any mind actually there. Michael Vick’s uniform number is completely inconsequential, I suspect even to Michael Vick.

          “…but we may happily repose on dulness, drift with the tide of nonsense, and gain an agreeable vertigo by lending our ear to the endless controversies.”

        • Graf Zeppelin | April 28, 2014 at 12:39 pm |

          …this is nothing more than bloody celeb gossip and… idle speculation…

          Which you were perfectly free to ignore. Instead you chose to make an extravagant show of your outrage and ostentatiously “weep for humanity.”

          I despise this society’s obsession with wanting to get ‘inside the minds’ of people for whom there is little if any mind actually there.

          I see. So this has to do with a personal judgment you’ve made of the subject (Vick himself), not the subject matter (uniform numbers) as you originally claimed. So you lied about that too.

          Michael Vick’s uniform number is completely inconsequential…

          Says you. I suppose only your superior judgment should be considered and consulted as to what the rest of us are permitted to think, talk, write or care about.

          …I suspect even to Michael Vick.

          What was that about not “wanting to get ‘inside the minds’ of people”?

          I agree this conversation has gone on too long; if you can’t make a point without lying or contradicting yourself at every turn, you should probably stop talking.

        • Padday | April 28, 2014 at 12:56 pm |

          I see. So this has to do with a personal judgment you’ve made of the subject (Vick himself), not the subject matter (uniform numbers) as you originally claimed. So you lied about that too.

          No, what I was saying was that your original point was a personal judgement (i.e. what’s up with that Vick guy for picking #8?). Please don’t go calling me a liar over things you have merely misunderstood. Thanks.

        • Graf Zeppelin | April 28, 2014 at 1:22 pm |

          My “original point” cannot have been a “personal judgment” because the original comment contained neither any judgment nor any “point.” Note the use of conditional and interrogatory language (“…could he be…maybe…Or maybe…”), and the complete absence of any affirmative or conclusory statements with respect to Vick or his choice of number. Nice try.

          And you are a liar, because you claimed in your original response that you had a problem with the topic of uniform number assignments generally, not Michael Vick himself or Michael Vick’s uniform number choice:

          Forgive me, I’m not one who generally pays much mind to number assignments but I have to say that just reading your comment Graf has set off my bullshitometer. Just the thought that some people put this level of inane speculation into something as utterly, utterly inconsequential as a jersey number assignment makes me weep for humanity.”

          That’s “a jersey number assignment,” not “this jersey umber assignment,” “this player’s jersey number assignment,” “Michael Vick’s jersey number assignment,” or “a jersey number assignment involving someone like Michael Vick.”

          When I pointed out that jersey numbers are included in aesthetics and “the visual culture of sports,” you then had to backtrack and say your objection was to discussion of Michael Vick, and Michael Vick’s uniform number:

          I despise this society’s obsession with wanting to get ‘inside the minds’ of people for whom there is little if any mind actually there. Michael Vick’s uniform number is completely inconsequential, I suspect even to Michael Vick.

          Ergo, the former comment was a lie. Then you compounded the lie by directly contradicting yourself, viz., saying you “despise” mind-reading in one sentence and engaging in mind-reading in the very next sentence.

          I understood perfectly well what you actually wrote. If what you wrote is not what you meant, that is your failure, not mine. If you don’t want to be called a liar, don’t lie; say what you actually mean.

        • Padday | April 28, 2014 at 2:04 pm |

          You’ve just been picking apart my argument and putting it back together out of context. I can’t help but look like a liar if you’re just going to do that.

          Can I establish that there is the general aspect of my argument: inane speculation of peoples’ frame of mind based on uniform number assignments
          AND the particular: Michael Vick, as per your original post.

          They are not contradictory as you state but complimentary aspects of the one argument. Not that anybody reading the bastardised version you’ve served up would be able to gather.

          My problem is that you’ve made a statement of speculation about the personal motives of an individual player and used uniform numbers to justify it (not personal “judgement” as I erroneously stated, though I will say that out of the two, at least a judgement would have had the merit of conviction while speculation is merely shit-stirring). It really could have been anybody, but since the original subject was Michael Vick, he has been the example given throughout. When I said “people for whom there is little if any mind actually there” that was not necessarily a dig at Vick, but rather at the general braindead celebrity culture. I also described him as an “overpaid, overpublicised jock”, which again could describe any number of sports stars currently being gawked at by a populace disinterested in anything but the most trivial and inconsequential.

          Seriously though, this whole conversation has been me just having to repeatedly clarify my position because you keep misunderstanding my argument. I refuse to debase my argument because you can’t be bothered to read it properly. It’s people like you, who put the onus on others to “say what you actually mean” (i.e. say it in a way I can understand (in a way that agrees with me)), who drive the level of debate ever closer to the lowest bloody common denominator. I steadfastly reserve the right to be obtuse, abstruse, self-contradicting, ironic, Byronic, on the nose, off the cuff, below the belt, over the head and anything else because sometimes, that’s the only way the truth comes out. She’s a slippery old thing the truth.

        • Paul Lukas | April 28, 2014 at 2:26 pm |

          Both you: Enough.


      • Cort | April 28, 2014 at 11:46 am |

        Athletes are perhaps the world’s greatest collection of sign seekers, talisman keepers, and omen hunters. Some players choose their uniform number with greater thought than went into planning the D-Day invasion, and treat that number like it’s a relic of True Cross.

        The whole psychology of number choosing seems like a pretty interesting line of thought….

    • Toddro | April 28, 2014 at 9:34 am |

      I have never heard of a player choosing a number behind the starter as them accepting their role as backup. Frankly, I would not want them on my team if that were ever the case.

      • Connie DC | April 28, 2014 at 9:57 am |

        #8 is the dream number I wore during my long internal MBL career at the Orioles. I was #70 in my NFL time, when Chuck Bednarik and I were among the last of the great two-way hardnoses. And then, of course, that was me wearing #13 on the Richie Guerin-era Knickerbockers.

      • Graf Zeppelin | April 28, 2014 at 10:03 am |

        Me neither, but I was thinking it might be a subtle show of class. Vick’s been going out of his way to do that lately.

        • Toddro | April 28, 2014 at 11:12 am |

          I wouldn’t see that as class as he believes he can still start for an NFL team and he very well could beat Geno out for the starting QB spot in NY. The whole idea of him accepting a backup spot just doesn’t hold water to me. (even more so since TMZ is saying it is a tribute to Steve Young) What I am saying is that no player would pick a number based on the number the starter is wearing. Not a chance.

        • Graf Zeppelin | April 28, 2014 at 11:16 am |

          I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s absolutely, utterly, entirely, unequivocally and in all other ways impossible and inconceivable, but OK.

    • Phil Hecken | April 28, 2014 at 10:15 am |
      • Paul Lukas | April 28, 2014 at 10:38 am |

        Yeah, but that wasn’t team-wide. More of a “Look at me” thing than a silent protest thing, at least from my perspective.

        • Phil Hecken | April 28, 2014 at 10:48 am |

          Yeah, I know — sorry — that was meant to be tongue-in-cheek more than anything serious.

        • Jackie Mason | April 28, 2014 at 10:41 pm |

          Vy dey making such a protest? Stoin and Silvah will settle dis matter wit Stoiling. Maybe he should lose de team, but dey should NEVAH take his MONEY.

    • Big CK | April 28, 2014 at 10:46 am |

      I am reminded of an anecdote about one of the greatest #8’s of all time, Carl Yastrzemski. One of his teammates recalls seeing Yaz lying down on a training table somewhere near the end of his career. He noted that the #8 on it’s side resembled the symbol for infinity and it struck him that perhaps that was the way Yaz recharged, allowing him to continue playing at a high level for so long, and at that moment he got the sense that Yaz could go on playing forever.

    • Graf Zeppelin | April 28, 2014 at 3:49 pm |

      According to ESPN, “Vick used social media to help him with his decision, tweeting Sunday that he wanted fans to help him choose between No. 8 and No. 3.”

  • Joseph | April 28, 2014 at 9:26 am |

    In the 30 for 30 documentary on the Fab Five Jalen Rose explained how the group felt exploited over Michigan and Nike making money off of Fab Five related merchandise (shoes, T-shirts). Rose said they staged a number of silent protests but only mentioned one- wearing plan navy blue shirts during player introductions- no Nike logo, no Michigan logo, nothing.

    • terriblehuman | April 28, 2014 at 9:42 am |

      It’s pretty apt then, that Rose was the one who hinted at the protest on the ESPN pregame show.

  • Tom Foolery | April 28, 2014 at 9:38 am |

    Good to see that the Clippers players and coaches are laser focused on winning a title and will let nothing get in the way… Not even the chance to make a substantive act to combat racism in this country. Eyes on the prize Clippers (as long as the prize we’re talking about is the O’Brien Trophy).

    • terriblehuman | April 28, 2014 at 9:46 am |

      This is kind of a shitty response. Look, it would’ve been a bigger deal if they had sat on the court, but you’re getting all snarky because they decided to maintain their professionalism?

      While Sterling is the owner he’s not the only one they’re playing for. Fans are just as much the boss as the owners are.

      • Padday | April 28, 2014 at 9:49 am |

        While Sterling is the owner he’s not the only one they’re playing for.

        Nor is Sterling the only racist worth taking a stand against.

    • Pedro | April 28, 2014 at 1:25 pm |

      As a die-hard Clipper fan I was very proud of the players for the actions they took. At the same time I was disapointed by their effort yesterday, it was a very bad showing basketball wise. I really thought that they would band together and show strenght for the fans. Like Billy Crystal said “He (Sterling) may own the team but they belong to us!” I say all this fully understanding that its easy for me to say because I’m not in their place. I fully hope that they dont allow the owner’s ignorance to distract them for their basketball mission. Success amid all the turmoil would be very symbolic in the more important and grand scheme of things.

  • terriblehuman | April 28, 2014 at 9:47 am |

    Not an anti-management protest (and in fact, it was endorsed by the management), but the Suns played in their “Los Suns” jerseys against the Spurs in the 2010 playoffs to protest the Arizona immigration law.

  • Will S | April 28, 2014 at 9:49 am |

    Re: Uni-centric silent protest in response to mangement/ownership.

    Was mentioned here back on Sept 29/13 – had link to Teebz article on how WHA’s Cleveland Crusaders team wore black armbands for at least one game to protest management. [Note: Uniwatch article then mistakenly referred to them as WHA’s Cleveland Cavaliers]

    • Cort | April 28, 2014 at 11:47 am |

      Does Jim McMahon’s “ROZELLE” headband count?

  • Bando | April 28, 2014 at 9:59 am |

    Ohio State’s players wore Earle headbands under their helmets after Earle Bruce was let go prior to the Michigan game in 1987.

  • walter | April 28, 2014 at 10:05 am |

    Didn’t Oakland A’s players wear Mike Andrews’ number on their sleeves in the 1973 World Series, after Charlie Finley tried to waive him for making two errors?

  • terriblehuman | April 28, 2014 at 10:08 am |

    Meanwhile, the Wizards owner Ted Leonsis protested the injustice of Nene’s suspension by wearing his #42 jersey.

  • Mike Engle on iPad | April 28, 2014 at 10:17 am |

    Last paragraph
    The nba refs went inside-out to protest a colleague’s suspension.

    • Paul Lukas | April 28, 2014 at 10:25 am |


      My thanks to everyone for coming up with these — there are more examples than I had realized!

  • arrScott | April 28, 2014 at 10:30 am |

    I’m curious whether anyone in the WNBA will do anything, if the Sterling scandal drags on for a while. The recording made public has Sterling speaking despicably about black people, but it has him behaving despicably toward his girlfriend. Yet the sexism has so far received little note or objection.

  • Mainspark | April 28, 2014 at 10:38 am |

    RE: Jim McMahon’s 1985 “headband” protest was deemed fairly significant at the time.

    • Paul Lukas | April 28, 2014 at 10:52 am |

      Yeah, but that’s just a one-player “Look at me” thing. There are LOTS of those. I’m looking for team-wide things.

    • Cort | April 28, 2014 at 11:48 am |

      I shoulda kept reading…

  • Bill S | April 28, 2014 at 10:42 am |

    1985 St. Louis Cardinals (NFL)

    From the Chris Creamer Forum…
    “Their owner Bidwell, for some reason, gave the team red or “maroon” colored stockings or socks that had no white portion to them to wear. They were colored all the way down from the knee to the toe. Them team hated that look so much that players took the white medical tape from the trainers and wrapped the lower portion of the socks with the tape down into their cleats. This made Bidwell so mad that the next week he had the trainers replace the white medical tape with maroon colored tape. This got so out of hand the league stepped in and fined Bidwell. ”

    Not sure if this qualifies as a ‘team revolt’ but more or less an ‘owner revolt.’

    A “revoltin’ development” either way for sure!

  • terriblehuman | April 28, 2014 at 10:52 am |

    South Africa’s rugby team protested a teammate’s suspension with white armbands with the word “JUSTICE”. That did not end well.

  • Ian | April 28, 2014 at 11:22 am |

    The Blazers also dropped their warmup jackets at midcourt prior to their game last night. Sadly, I’m on my iPhone, so I can’t link properly, but the Blazers tweeted a photo of it.

  • Iain | April 28, 2014 at 11:32 am |

    Would love to see some plaid jacket tributes to Jack Ramsay from NBA coaches or announcers.

    • Mike Engle on iPad | April 28, 2014 at 11:48 am |

      I fully expect Portland to affix a 77 patch for him. (I hate retired numbers for non-uniformed personnel, but Dr. Jack really does have that honor. Side note, the Blazers have way too many undeserved retired numbers.)

  • Mike Engle on Android | April 28, 2014 at 11:44 am |

    Follow-up to Ian, I combed the Blazers’ Twitter just now. This article at least confirms it happened:

    • Ian | April 28, 2014 at 1:09 pm |

      It appears the Blazers deleted their RT and the original poster deleted their tweet, as well. I’m glad you were able to confirm! Thank you!

  • Cort | April 28, 2014 at 11:50 am |

    I didn’t get a chance to see Part 3 until today, but ArrScott’s “King Ralph League” in UniWatch Weekend was very enjoyable, and well worth a look.

  • All Hail The Swoosh | April 28, 2014 at 12:13 pm |

    My apologies if this was already posted but,

    im pretty sure the Pittsburgh Steelers team and fans wore Orange Arm Bands on November 13, 1995. This was the last time the two teams would meet in Pittsburgh (until the browns came back in 1999). The Orange Arm Bands were a protest to the Cleveland Owner Art Modell moving the team to Baltimore following the 95 season. Pgh owner, Dan Rooney and Buffalo owner Ralph Wilson were the only two to vote against the move. Im still looking for an image to share

  • ChaosRWM | April 28, 2014 at 12:15 pm |

    I already have an issue with people wearing jerseys to games of teams not playing, add in the that fact Steve Francis was wearing his own jersey and that equals completely pathetic.

    • terriblehuman | April 28, 2014 at 12:22 pm |

      For what it’s worth (which is to say, not very much), he was wearing an All-Star jersey, not a Rockets jersey (which is why the Rockets logo was on the back above his NOB).

    • Mike Engle on iPad | April 28, 2014 at 12:43 pm |

      I can’t have a problem with third-party jerseys, because I do it! I like wearing hockey jerseys to hockey games, I live next door to the Mausoleum, but I only own Habs jerseys (my favorite team) and a USA jersey. The Islanders can have my ticket, beer, and hot dog money, but not my clothing money. Sorry.
      But how awkward it must be to wear YOUR OWN jersey. “Dude, sick Steve Francis jersey! Favorite player or something?” “Yeah, I’m still a pretty big fan of his.” Or, “I AM Steve Francis, let’s take a picture so you can put it on Facebook, and maybe I’ll retweet it for you.”

  • All Hail The Swoosh | April 28, 2014 at 12:20 pm |

    RE: Steelers – Orange Armbands

    after reading this, maybe it wasn’t a happy send-off for Cleveland…,561975

    • The Jeff | April 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm |

      That sounds about right. No one outside of Cleveland and Baltimore cared about the Browns being relocated. Steelers fans were going to hate the Browns no matter where they played, simply because they’re a divisional rival. I still think it’s sad that the NFL caved to Cleveland’s whining and forced the team to change its name. The Baltimore Ravens should be the Baltimore Browns, and Cleveland probably shouldn’t even have a team.

      • arrScott | April 28, 2014 at 3:17 pm |

        The Baltimore Ravens should be the Baltimore Browns

        Just like the Baltimore Orioles should be the Baltimore Browns, right? Also, these teams:

        Minnesota Twins should be Minneapolis Senators
        Chicago Bears should be Chicago Staleys
        Kansas City Chiefs should be KC Texans
        Indianapolis Colts should be Indianapolis Seahawks
        Milwaukee Brewers should be Milwaukee Pilots
        Philadelphia Eagles should be Philadelphia Yellowjackets
        Detroit Lions should be Detroit Spartans
        LA Lakers should be Los Angeles Gems
        Washington Nationals should be DC Expos

        • terriblehuman | April 28, 2014 at 3:58 pm |

          Also, Los Angeles Clippers should be Los Angeles Braves and Tennessee Oilers shouldn’t have renamed. Not sure if Atlanta Braves should be Atlanta Red Caps or Atlanta Beaneaters.

          And the confusion caused by next year’s Charlotte Hornets/New Orleans Hornets matchup will be well worth it.

      • Tony C. | April 28, 2014 at 4:21 pm |

        why shouldn’t they have gotten a team?

        • timmy b | April 28, 2014 at 5:31 pm |

          Carolina Whalers
          Colorado Nordiques
          Dallas North Stars
          New Jersey Scouts
          Phoenix Jets
          Winnipeg Thrashers

  • Attila Szendrodi | April 28, 2014 at 12:32 pm |

    Love the COTD. Made me smile to see Tioronda Hat Works (it’s the current site of Madam Brett Park. I’m there at least twice a week for hiking).

  • Bob A | April 28, 2014 at 12:43 pm |

    This goes back a long way but when Loyola-New Orleans dropped athletics in 1972 the basketball team (at least) removed the school name from the front of the uniforms as a gesture. I was an undergrad at the University of Houston when the came here to play that final season and remember that we were puzzled by what we saw until some L-NO fans clued us in.

    Odd coincidence is that a member of that year’s L-NO team transferred to Houston the next year and played out his college eligibility here. He and I became friends and remain so to this day.

    L-NO started it’s program up in the early 90s as I recall.

  • Paul Lukas | April 28, 2014 at 1:15 pm |

    Thanks to everyone’s fine suggestions, I was able to whip up this ESPN piece on notable uni protests over the years:

    • The Jeff | April 28, 2014 at 1:20 pm |

      Towson University baseball players responded to the news of the school scrapping its baseball program by wearing black tape of the Towson insignia on their jerseys. They continued doing this for several games.

      “of” should probably be “over”

      • Paul Lukas | April 28, 2014 at 2:02 pm |

        Thanks, Jeff — I’ll have my editor fix that.

  • arrScott | April 28, 2014 at 1:53 pm |

    Assume that at some point in the near future, the Clippers have new ownership that does not include Sterling. After the scandal, isn’t a major rebranding pretty much mandatory? Definitely a new logo, but possibly even a change in colors? (Even if just a significant change in emphasis among the existing color scheme.)

  • name redacted | April 28, 2014 at 2:22 pm |

    Would the most famous uniform protests be John Carlos and Tommy Smith at the 68 Olympics?

    • Paul Lukas | April 28, 2014 at 2:23 pm |

      Yeah. But as I said when Phil mentioned that earlier, it’s not really the same thing, because it’s not a team-wide thing.

  • Eric | April 28, 2014 at 2:32 pm |

    First thing I thought when reading Matt Manley’s comments about turning Larry Bird is that I turned Dave Preston a few months ago.

  • G. Mendez | April 28, 2014 at 2:45 pm |

    Regarding Matt Manley’s comment, I’ve been doing it since I turned Keith Hernandez (Mets) and I”m currently Chuck Muncie. Turning Jessie Orozco in December.

  • russ | April 28, 2014 at 3:45 pm |

    Did anyone else notice this or was I seeing things?

    Sunday’s Cubs-Brewers game, I first noticed Eric Hinske’s back – it looked like the number font did not match the number font on the rest of the player’s backs. I assumed Hinske had on the wrong road jersey but then later in the inning I noticed the uni front was the same as the other players. Did the Cubs put the wrong numerals on Hinske’s back? (Sorry, no screen caps)

  • Jeano Roid | April 28, 2014 at 4:24 pm |

    Kudos on the “Under the Big Black Sun” shirt! I saw X in Ft Lauderdale on that tour. Great album!

  • Ryan | April 28, 2014 at 7:28 pm |

    I’m a little late to the party, but I remember reading/hearing that Germany’s Olympic uniforms were something of an unofficial protest of Russia’s anti-gay laws.

    What’s interesting is, in that article, the designer states the uniforms were an homage to the “great atmosphere” of the ’70s, but if you’re talking ’70s, Olympics, and Germany, I’m pretty sure there’s something less feel-good-y that comes to mind for most.

  • JessF | April 28, 2014 at 9:28 pm |

    Tattoo of Fantasy Island was an SF Giants fan…who knew?

  • EddieAtari | April 29, 2014 at 2:38 am |
  • caveman diet | April 29, 2014 at 5:50 am |

    The two of them had searched for the perfect house
    to buy, and after months of looking, decided on the perfect home in Charleston,
    SC. Not to mention, their evening aerobatic sessions are a whole lot of fun to watch.
    Perfect if you want to be able to use the boat inside waters.

  • Allan G | April 30, 2014 at 6:35 am |

    I woke up on my recent 33rd, angry that I hadn’t gotten myself a Larry Legend jersey to wear for the day.