Along with others from Team Dig, I was deep in the heart of Texas (or liberal artsy Austin, actually) when five police officers were killed by a gunman during a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally held in response to epic and horrific police violence nationwide. With the nation’s sanity and safety in the balance, and with a heated presidential race underway to boot, I was seriously taken aback by the number of people on my flight back to Boston who, instead of watching the news unfold in real time on a cable feed, chose to watch ex-jocks discuss the afternoon’s athletic happenings on any number of college and pro sports stations. Do they not give a shit? Don’t they want to know what Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer think? (I know, I’m nosy, but that’s the curse of Jet Blue.) A sports hater of sorts, I was mystified, disappointed. Until I took a seat upon my return with George Hassett’s excellent feature for this week’s issue. A story about Boston blacktop basketball then and now, the piece reminded me that sports aren’t always merely a distraction—for many individuals and communities as well, in Boston and in any number of other places where people face hardships, athletics can serve as a significant and critical coping mechanism. Hassett’s is in part a sad story, as Hub hoops culture seems to be slipping at a time when we need it most. At the same time, major props to those who are carrying on tradition and to the young people who will break down barriers all summer in the city’s youth leagues. As for the intensity and protests afoot, we will be following developments in the Hub and beyond all this week and as long as it takes. Be sure to check us out in print next Thursday, and stay tuned to DigBoston.com for the latest.
CHRIS FARAONE, NEWS+FEATURES EDITOR
OH CRUEL WORLD
Dear Contemporary America,
What the holy fuck! I go away for a lousy eleven days and you completely self-destruct? I mean, I probably could have predicted this—anyone with cable news could have—but this is especially absurd, what with the Trump-hued lily-whiteness of the problems gumming up our gears. I guess I’ll give you this—the last thing that I ever expected was for police brutality to dominate the mainstream media like this, or for your dually ridiculous national party conventions to be on such a deserved crash course. It kind of sucks to see you burn like this, but let’s just hope it’s for the better in the end.