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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Tony La Russa questions Colin Kaepernick’s ‘sincerity’ regarding anthem protest

09.15.16 at 8:10 am ET

Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
NFL: Jets at Bills, 8:25 p.m. (CBS, NFL Network)
College football: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Alcorn State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Houston at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA: Mystics at Dream, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, AS Saint-Etienne at FSV Mainz, 1 p.m. (FS2)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Manchester United at Feyenoord, 1 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: EUFA Europa, Schalke 04 at OGC Nice, 3 p.m. (FS2)
Soccer: Women’s exhibition, United States vs. Thailand, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)


Tony La Russa

Tony La Russa

— Former major league manager Tony La Russa jumped headfirst into the racial debate that’s gripped the nation, refuting Orioles outfielder Adam Jones’ comment about baseball being a “white man’s sport” and questioning Colin Kaepernick’s “sincerity.”

La Russa spent two years working for Major League Baseball after his retirement from managing, and while he acknowledged there is an issue — only 8 percent of MLB is African-American, according to USA Today — he said attempts have been made to bring the game to the inner city.

“When he says it’s a white, like elitist, kind of sport, I mean, how much wronger can he be? We have tried so hard, the MLB, to expand the black athletes’ opportunity,” La Russa said in an interview on ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard program. “We want the black athletes to pick not basketball or football, but want them to play baseball; they should play baseball. And we’re working to make that happen in the inner cities. We have a lot of Latin players. We have players from the Pacific Rim.”

As for Kaepernick, La Russa said he’s not impressed with the 49ers quarterback’s decision to protest the national anthem.

“I was there in the Bay Area when he first was a star, a real star. I never once saw him do anything but promote himself. And all of a sudden now he’s a second-stringer and he’s got this mission … and I just don’t trust his sincerity,” La Russa said. “And even if he was sincere, there’s ways to express your belief in some of the issues that face blacks around this country without disrespecting the country you live in or the flag that it represents.”

La Russa said he “absolutely would not allow” one of his players to sit during the anthem, forcing him to leave the field until the song ended.

“I would tell [a player who wanted to protest the anthem to] sit inside the clubhouse,” La Russa said. “You’re not going to be out there representing our team and our organization by disrespecting the flag. No, sir, I would not allow it. … If you want to make your statement, you make it in the clubhouse, but not out there. You’re not going to show it that way publicly and disrespectfully.”

— The ACC became the latest organization to pull events from North Carolina due to the state’s law limiting protections for LGBT people, as the Council of Presidents voted to relocate the league’s championships until the law is changed.

The ACC, whose headquarters are in Greensboro, North Carolina, did not announce where the games would be moved. This includes the ACC football title game, which had been scheduled for Charlotte.

“The decision to move the neutral site championships out of North Carolina while HB2 remains the law was not an easy one,” said Clemson President James P. Clements, chairman of the league’s council. “But it is consistent with the shared values of inclusion and non-discrimination at all our institutions.”

On Monday the NCAA announced that the 2017 men’s basketball tournament first- and second-round games slated for Greensboro would be moved, along with six other championship events.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Sept. 15, 1979, which Red Sox player hit for the cycle (in order, no less) and in the process became the first player to hit for the cycle in both leagues?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m going to tell you we’re the [expletive] best because I believe it. Let me [expletive] say it. And if it doesn’t work, I’ll be the first [expletive] that goes. And everyone one of you, I [expletive] know you’ve got my back. All I want is every [expletive] thing you’ve got. I’ll take every f[expletive] bullet known to man.” — Bills coach Rex Ryan, trying to inspire his team in a training camp speech filmed as part of a team-produced documentary

STAT OF THE DAY: 13-1 — Rick Porcello’s record at Fenway Park this season, as he lost his first home game with Wednesday’s 1-0 setback vs. the Orioles

‘NET RESULTS: Angels center fielder Mike Trout lays out for a catch against the Mariners.

Things get heated in Atlanta, with Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez objecting to an inside pitch by hitting a batter, then getting a pitch thrown over his head.


SOOTHING SOUNDS: Kelly Keagy, singer and drummer for Night Ranger, was born on this day in 1952.

Read More: Colin Kaepernick, tony la russa,