Sports Rain Man: RIP To Two Game-Changers, Mets Make Trades

EL BARRIO, EL FALLSHappy Monday. Congrats on the first day of August. Can’t believe 7 months have already passed this calendar year. I can’t really get into what else happened so let’s dig in. Here’s the menu: RIP To Two Game-Changers, Mets Make Trades.

RIP To Two Game-Changers 

Sunday brought us back-to-back gut-punches in America; particularly the Black American subculture. Early yesterday, news came that Bill Russell had passed. A giant on all fronts on and off the basketball court. Before the day was over, we also lost Nichelle Nichols – aka Lt. Uhura – from the original Star Trek. I will try my best to capture the importance of these 2 game changers in different industries.

Bill Russell

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Bill Russell was a winner. Two NCAA Men’s titles with the University of San Fransisco. An Olympic gold medal. 11 NBA titles with the Boston Celtics. He played for Boston when it was one of the most racist and segregated cities in America – from 1956 to 1969. The amount of abuse he took has been chronicled but still tough to believe. See the clip below from an interview with his daughter. Beyond that he was part of the Ali Summit with¬†Muhammad Ali and Jim Brown. He continued in his retirement to be at the front of the fight for civil rights. He was outspoken but never loud, if that makes sense… quiet leadership was his strength.

Nichelle Nichols, was a game-changer, which people now don’t realize. She was the first black woman in a non-traditional role (not a secretary, housewife or even nurse). She also shared the first interracial kiss with William Shatner on American TV. She went on to actually help NASA recruit more women and minorities just because her character was forever weaved with her as a person. Unfortunately, in her later age, some caretakers abused her and her son had to take over. There is a lawsuit pending and though she passed, the case goes on, so please donate if you can, Fundraiser by Marian Nichols Smothers : Nichelle Nichols, Shields Up! (

The first one through the door gets it in the teeth, as the saying goes. These two legends had to deal with that pressure, the death threats, attacks on their homes, as well as isolation. It is never easy being the first and it is extremely lonely. However, these two held on and held down the fort until more arrived. The NBA is now predominantly black, so the days of Bill Russell seem like a bygone era. Since Nichelle Nichols, there have been several non-traditional black female roles, too many to even count. They thought of the generations behind as they endured their current situation, may the two Rest in Power.

Mets Make Trade

Junoir Blaber

The Mets acquired outfielder Tyler Naquin and lefty relief pitcher Phillip Diehl from the Cincinnati Reds for multiple prospects. The Mets sent pitcher Jose Acuna and infielder Hector Rodriguez in the deal, which was announced by both teams Thursday night. Adding another bat and a reliever seems like how the Mets will go this year. I know fans are pleading for a big splash move like Juan Soto but with Scherzer back and deGrom coming back, maybe staying put might not be so crazy. The team needs tweaks not wholesale changes for someone they must sell their future to get. This might make the team competitive for the future as well.

Thanks for reading, feel free to comment below. Come back tomorrow for our Ben Whitney, who is ordering the Yankees to get Ohtani, Soto, Sandy Alcantara and Trea Turner.

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About Junoir Blaber 537 Articles
Junoir Blaber is from Ghana but was transplanted to the Bronx as a young lion chaser. Blaber is the Rain Man of Meet The Matts and is a featured contributor on MTM global partner, Rugby Wrap Up. The name "Junoir" is not a cool African name. Instead, Blaber mis-typed "Junoir" on his Facebook page. But proving that two wrongs indeed do make a right, he embraced his new persona - [June-noire]... Manute Bol is his uncle and his teams are the Mets, Jets, Knicks & NY Rangers... And Manchester United. He knows soccer. [Vomit]. P.s... He has webbed toes and came be followed on Twitter here: @JunoirBlaber