Nike hits a homerun with Kaepernick

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published September 24, 2018

Nike’s decision to use the controversial Colin Kaepernick to headline the 30th anniversary of their “Just Do It” ad campaign was the right move financially and historically.

Nike latest anniversary ad campaign featured the controversial Colin Kaepernick … and it was a hit.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” This famous quote is often wrongfully attributed to Edmund Burke with philosopher John Stuart Mill being the likely source. In 1867 in an address at the University of St Andrew, Mill said, “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends than that good men should look on and do nothing.”

In 2016, Colin Kaepernick – then the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers – thought he had to do something. For years, for centuries even, individuals who possessed a certain pigmentation have been discriminated against by entrenched systems within the fabric of the American society. This discrimination is not unique to the United States, but for several African-Americans, the American justice system, including the police force have not treated them fairly in comparison to other ethnic groups. Kaepernick felt that he had to give a voice to highlight these injustices and hopefully disinfect them from the American society. Continue reading


Cooky, the last of a dying breed of Test specialists

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published on September 10, 2018, in the Western Mirror.

Alastair Cook bucks the trend in an era where the demand for T20 cricket specialists is high. He is a specialist Test cricketer and likely the last of a dying breed.

Alastair Cook announced his retirement from Test cricket.
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Last week, Alastair Nathan Cook announced that he would be retiring from Test cricket at the conclusion of the enthralling England-India Test series this week. For the average cricket fan engulfed in the razzmatazz of Twenty20 cricket, Cook would hardly feature on their radar.

For the better part of 12 years, Cook has been a mainstay in the English cricket team, albeit, mostly their Test team. Before his last Test match which begun last Friday, Cook has appeared in 161 Test matches for England, scored over 12,000 Test runs, amassed 33 centuries and 57 half-centuries, at a respectable average of 45.35 runs per dismissal. Continue reading

Can Kohli & India emulate Bradman & Australia?

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published September 3, 2018, in the Western Mirror

Kohli and India are poised to comeback from 2-0 down in the five-match series to defeat England. Their fightback would rival Bradman and Australia’s in 1936-37 against England.

Kohli and India can emulate Bradman’s Australia during the 1936-37 series against England.
(Source: Cric Wizz)

Eight one years ago in his 29th Test match, Sir Donald Bradman stood as captain of Australia for the first time in his career. Though Bradman had pretty much dominated the world rankings and the world records since his seventh match, captaincy of Australia was not bestowed upon him until eight years after his debut.

Interestingly, Bradman was given the captaincy after the leanest period of his Test career and after facing a near-death experience. His career-best batting average of 112.29 runs per dismissal after his 19th Test fell to an astronomical 89.55 runs per dismissal by his standards after his 26th Test. Bradman had not seen his career average fall so low since prior to his seventh Test.

After attaining his career-high batting average in February 1932, Bradman and Australia were commissioned for an extensive promotional tour of North America during the summer of 1932. Bradman and the Australians played 51 one-day matches in 76 days across Canada and the United States of America. Unfortunately, upon Bradman’s return to Australia, he grew gravely ill. Bradman’s poor health and mysterious illnesses would linger for two years into the English summer of 1934 when Bradman was struck down by appendicitis and then peritonitis – a condition which was often fatal in 1934 and for which drugs were in the experimental stage at the time. Continue reading

The Wilder-Fury Battle is On

by Zaheer E. Clarke

Published August 27, 2018, in the Western Mirror

The long-awaited clash between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury has been tentatively set for later this year. Expect blood, sweat and fireworks when it’s finalized. 

Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder will do battle for the WBC world heavyweight title in November or December.
(Source: Yahoo Sports)

By all accounts, a clash between Deontay Wilder, the WBC heavyweight champion, and Tyson Fury, the last lineal heavyweight champion, is set for the end of this year in Las Vegas. Fans and pundits were hoping to see a unification clash between Wilder and Anthony Joshua, the reigning WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO champion. However, those plans collapsed and in its place fell the long-awaited yet surprising clash between Wilder and Fury.

Two years ago, long before Fury was stripped of his IBF heavyweight title; admitted to having drug and mental health problems and vacated his WBA, WBO and IBO titles, he and Wilder were rumoured to fight in the spring of 2017. The fight was supposed to revive the appeal of the heavyweight division in the US and worldwide with the unification of the WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts. However, Fury’s troubles shelved the then glorious possibility of a unification bout to determine the undisputed champion in the heavyweight division. Continue reading

Both Golf & Tiger need each other

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published August 20, 2018, in the Western Mirror

Tiger Woods and Golf are mutually beneficial to each other. One gives the other peace of mind while the other brings the fans in droves.

Tiger Woods at the Masters Golf Tournament in 1997.
(Source: CNN)

The first time I saw Eldrick Tont Woods, better known as a Tiger Woods, was on a golf course via my telly in 1997. It was my first week back at school after the Easter Holidays, and by the middle of the week, something was not right with me. It turned out that after being at a church camp the week prior, I had contracted the dreaded Herpes Zoster virus, more popularly called, chickenpox. I swear on my life I never ate any chickens that week but somehow I came down with varicella. Seriously, I am just kidding about the chickens.

By the Friday of that week though, while quarantined to the living room of my parents’ house, 21-year-old Woods was creating a clangour in the professional golf world as he stormed to the top of the leaderboard at arguably golf’s most prestigious major, the Masters Tournament. Seeing Woods, the three-time defending US Amateur (1994-96) and three-time defending US Junior Amateur (1991-93) champion, at the top of the leaderboard elicited a weird but great feeling. For several years prior, through the then Johnnie Walker Golf Championship held in Jamaica, I had become a devout fan of golf. The players I had grown fond of seldom looked like me. Back then, Ernie Els, Nick Faldo, Greg Norman and Fred Couples were the players I spent hours watching and emulating. With Woods, a black golfer at the top of the leaderboard that Friday, all that was about to change. A sense of unrelenting pride bubbled in my chest while I rubbed my bump covered black skin. I was watching history in the making. The world was watching history in the making. The world was watching the Tiger Woods show. Continue reading