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A long-rumored move occurred Friday as the New England Patriots promoted inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo to replace head coach Bill Belichick, the legendary leader who mutually spilt with them this week after winning a record-tying six Super Bowl championships in 24 seasons.

The first person picked to fill one of the NFL’s eight openings for head coaches, Mayo, who turns 38 on Feb. 23, becomes simultaneously the NFL’s youngest head coach and only the fourth Black one in the 32-team league. And while there’s so much to unpack about the Patriots’ groundbreaking coaching succession, here’s the other big news: The league’s hiring cycle began with a bang.

Club owner Robert Kraft wasted no time in executing his vision for the Patriots’ future, promoting Mayo to the team’s top coaching position while the league (heck, the nation) still was processing the end of Belichick’s tenure. The fact that Kraft put his plan in place so quickly, with the news cycle about Belichick’s departure likely continuing for a good stretch as the NFL playoffs kick off Saturday, confirms that the owner was set for some time on installing Mayo whenever Belichick’s staggering run atop the team’s football operation ended.

To say that Mayo is a Patriot is akin to saying that former New England great Tom Brady was a successful quarterback. Such a description doesn’t reveal the full story.

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New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo (right) look on before the snap against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 20, 2015, in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

Jim Rogash/Getty Images

An outstanding middle linebacker for the Patriots, Mayo spent his entire eight-year career with the franchise after it selected him 10th overall in the 2008 NFL draft out of Tennessee. As a rookie, Mayo emerged as one of the league’s best at his position and was named the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year. He went on to become an All-Pro and Pro Bowler who was known for being cerebral, tough and an inspirational leader.

What’s more, Mayo’s work ethic and attention to detail became the stuff of legend around the franchise’s Foxboro, Massachusetts, team headquarters. Mayo arrived early, stayed late and devoured game film. Clearly, his impressive approach made a strong impression on Kraft.

After retiring in 2015, Mayo returned to the franchise as inside linebackers coach in 2019. Ever since, there has been speculation that Mayo could be in the mix to eventually replace the venerable Belichick. That list was believed to have included several names of coaches with long ties to the franchise, including former Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel, who was fired on Tuesday, and former Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels, who was fired on Halloween night in 2023.

But Kraft’s next head coach was in-house all along. And make no mistake, the fact that Kraft’s new top man on the coaching staff is a Black one is significant for myriad reasons, said law professor N. Jeremi Duru.

“The Patriots hiring Jerod Mayo is a huge deal,” said Duru, a professor of sports law at American University in Washington and one of the nation’s foremost experts on the NFL’s hiring practices. “This is an iconic franchise replacing the greatest coach in NFL history. Historically, those jobs have rarely gone to Black candidates.”

Mayo becomes the team’s first Black head coach. In the context of Mayo’s ascension from being a position coach to the Patriots’ head coach, it’s relevant to discuss the history of racial discord in the metropolitan Boston area.

Remember comedian Chris Rock’s trenchant line about Boston? “I was walking down the street in South Boston the other day, or was it Johannesburg?” Although Rock was making a joke, the fact that he put Boston in the same category as a city in a foreign country famous for apartheid, well, that’s really all you need to know.

“This is an iconic franchise replacing the greatest coach in NFL history. Historically, those jobs have rarely gone to Black candidates.”

— N. Jeremi Duru, American University professor of sports law

Before the 1960s, the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball mirrored the city’s mood. In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s modern color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Until 1959, the Red Sox, MLB’s last team to have a Black player take the field, remained all white.

The NBA’s Boston Celtics made legendary center Bill Russell the first African American coach in the league. The civil rights icon, however, endured despicable racial abuse while leading the Celtics to 11 Finals championships in 13 seasons. Russell received death threats. Once, his home was invaded. The vandals wrote racial epithets on his walls. They left feces in his bed.

Clearly, Mayo’s promotion represents ongoing progress on this front for the Boston area, and for the NFL in its efforts around inclusive hiring writ large.

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New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (right) and inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo (left) talk on the sideline in the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on Jan. 9, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Mark Brown/Getty Images

This hiring cycle is the most important for the NFL, which has been building toward it for years, many NFL proponents of inclusive hiring said.

Repeatedly recently, the NFL has moved to strengthen the Rooney Rule. For the first time, it implemented hiring mandates in coaching and the front office with an eye toward improving diversity, equity and inclusion at the club level. And the league also established a meet-and-greet program to put club owners in the same room with NFL minority employees who aspire to climb the ladder.

Kraft’s decision to empower Mayo to run his own shop cannot be linked to any specific league program or hiring initiative, per se. Mayo is a longtime member of the Patriots. No one needed to educate Kraft about what Mayo would bring to his new role.

But the impact throughout the NFL of Mayo’s promotion cannot be overstated, according to Rod Graves, executive director of the independent group that advises the NFL on diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

“The immediacy of Bob Kraft’s decision to hire Jerod Mayo reflects on him as a principled, fair, and deliberate businessman,” Graves, executive director of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, wrote to Andscape in a text message.

“Bob Kraft has the pulse of his team. He understands the gravity of his decision, and he tags a dynamic leader and fine football coach. Mayo has had a front-row seat to the greatest coaching career in NFL history.”

Perhaps in the history of sports, period. Now, the Patriots begin a new day: Their first one with a Black man in charge.

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By: Jason Reid
Title: New England Patriots’ promotion of Jerod Mayo important for Black coaches
Sourced From: andscape.com/features/new-england-patriots-promotion-of-jerod-mayo-important-for-black-coaches/
Published Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2024 21:02:38 +0000

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Adam Silver says the NBA may be ‘past the point’ of having a competitive all-star game

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Adam Silver says the NBA may be ‘past the point’ of having a competitive all-star game – originally posted on Sportslens.com

A hot discussion topic around the NBA over the last few years has been the overall product of the all-star game. In the past, the competition level in the all-star game has come into question. Specifically, on defense. The all-star game has turned into a glorified three-point and dunk contest. Not what fans want to see. 

Ahead of Game 3 in the 2024 NBA Finals last night, the NBA Commissioner sat down with the NBA Countdown desk. Silver was asked if any changes could be made to improve the all-star game. Reluctantly, the Commissioner noted that players don’t have any real incentive to play at a high level of competition. Has the NBA given up on trying to make the all-star game competitive again?

What can the NBA do to increase the level of competition in the annual all-star game?

ESPN’s Michael Wilbon asked Commissioner Adam Silver about the possibility of a US vs. International all-star game. He offered this idea as a way to bring a new level of competition. While Silver listened to the idea, he responded saying that the league may be past the point of making the all-star game competitive again. Silver noted that it’s hard to get players to give 100% effort in a game that has no real incentives or meaning. Additionally, players do not want to risk getting injured in an all-star game.

In 2024, the all-star game was out of hand. The league returned to the East vs. West format this season. With no defense being played in the all-star game, the East won by 25 points and scored 211 total. That’s simply not a realistic score for a basketball game no matter how talented the players are. Before this year’s all-star game, NBA legends like Larry Bird went into the locker rooms and discussed the level of competition. Despite the speech from Bird, the all-star game was an offensive showcase. Hardly any defense was played.


The most exciting part of this year’s all-star weekend was the three-point shootout between Steph Curry and Sabrina Ionescu from the New York Liberty. Their shootout was a refreshing twist on all-star weekend, Compared to the product they’ve been putting out of the last several years. Is there anything the NBA can do to save the all-star game? Surely Adam Silver and his colleagues will tackle that issue this offseason.

From Sportslens.com – NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB News, Rumors & Betting Picks

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By: Zach Wolpin
Title: Adam Silver says the NBA may be ‘past the point’ of having a competitive all-star game
Sourced From: sportslens.com/news/adam-silver-says-the-nba-may-be-past-the-point-of-having-a-competitive-all-star-game/
Published Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2024 14:20:59 +0000

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Adam Silver hinted at three potential cities for NBA expansion teams in the future

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Adam Silver hinted at three potential cities for NBA expansion teams in the future – originally posted on Sportslens.com

While the NBA Finals are still going on, the offseason is approaching. Twenty-eight of the league’s 30 teams are already in their offseason. Boston and Dallas are still battling for the rights to be the 2024 NBA Champions. Ahead of Game 2 on Sunday night, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sat down with NBC Sports Boston. 

Silver was asked about possible expansion in the NBA and where potential teams could be located. He was not able to give much detail, but Silver did mention how the NBA is working to see what is the best move for their league. Commissioner Silver mentioned Seattle, Las Vegas, and Mexico City.

When will the NBA expand the league past 30 teams?


As it stands, 29 of the 30 current teams in the NBA play in the United States. The Toronto Raptors are the only franchise not in America. What cities would be best for future NBA expansion? Talking with NBC Sports Boston, Adam Silver mentioned Seattle, Las Vegas, and Mexico City. Seattle is a market that would certainly be a fan favorite. They used to be home to the SuperSonics before the team was relocated and changed to the OKC Thunder. There’s no doubt Seattle would love to have a professional basketball team back in Washington.

There’s also Las Vegas, which would be a no-brainer. Several expansion teams have been added in other professional sports leagues. The NBA could follow their lead and make an expansion team in Nevada. Commissioner Silver also mentioned Mexico City as a possible expansion destination. The NBA has played a few games in Mexico City in the past. If made an expansion team, Mexico City would become the second team in the league not in the United States.


Expansion is not going to happen this offseason and the league needs some time to make that happen. They are currently in deep negotiations with NBC, ESPN, and Amazon for a new media rights package. Once that is all settled, then the league can start doing more research on expansion cities and teams. To keep the league at an even number, two cities will get an expansion team. One in the East and one in the West.

From Sportslens.com – NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB News, Rumors & Betting Picks

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By: Zach Wolpin
Title: Adam Silver hinted at three potential cities for NBA expansion teams in the future
Sourced From: sportslens.com/news/adam-silver-hinted-at-three-potential-cities-for-nba-expansion-teams-in-the-future/
Published Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2024 17:56:25 +0000

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https://mansbrand.com/yankees-vs-dodgers-weekend-match-up-could-be-world-series-preview/

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Yankees vs Dodgers Weekend Match Up Could Be World Series Preview

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Yankees vs Dodgers Weekend Match Up Could Be World Series Preview – originally posted on Sportslens.com

The New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers entered the 2024 MLB season as two of the favorites to win the World Series, and not much has changed in that regard over the first 2+ months. Both have commanding and growing leads in their respective divisions, and are still at the top of the odds list when it comes to championship likelihood.

Yankees vs. Dodgers Could Be World Series Preview

This weekend, the two powerhouses will meet for a three-game series in New York, which could very well be a preview for this October’s World Series.

Despite being 6 games behind the Yankees and in 5th place overall when it comes to the best record in the major leagues, the Dodgers are still the heavy championship favorites. Los Angeles will enter the weekend with a +290 designation to win the World Series, given their balanced attack and brutal batting order. They are currently 8 games up in the NL West, and have the second-best record in the entire National League behind the Phillies.

The Yankees are currently in second on the World Series odds list with a number of +500, but are arguably the best team in baseball right now. They have the most wins in the majors with 45, and are one of two teams (along with the Phillies) who have yet to lose a 20th game. They’ve won 8 in a row and 19 of their last 24, and have lengthened what was the smallest division lead in the majors to 4.5 games over the Orioles.

Both Teams Are Minus Money For This Weekend’s Series Overall

When it comes to the odds for the upcoming series, both teams are listed as minus-money. The Dodgers will be the slight favorites at -115, with the Yankees coming in at -105. The pitching matchup for the first game of the series on Friday will be Yoshinobu Yamamoto against Cody Poteet.

The success of the Yankees has plenty to do with star players Aaron Judge and Juan Soto, who are listed as the two favorites to win the American League MVP award.

From Sportslens.com – NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB News, Rumors & Betting Picks

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By: Anthony R. Cardenas
Title: Yankees vs Dodgers Weekend Match Up Could Be World Series Preview
Sourced From: sportslens.com/news/yankees-vs-dodgers-weekend-match-up-could-be-world-series-preview/
Published Date: Fri, 07 Jun 2024 18:36:38 +0000

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