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And the Winning Cover Design is.....

Created by Alex Tibio, this cover design was the highest ranked among the six final designs. No doubt a tough decision. What convinced me that this was the right cover was the overwhelming response from you. Thanks to everyone who participated in the  selection process.  
In other news, on Saturday, September 17, I will be delivering my first Under One Roof  book talk, which will occur at Baywood Court Retirement Community (21966 Dolores Street) in Castro Valley, California (my hometown). The event is sponsored by  Osher Lifelong Living Institute (OLLI). The cost is free for OLLI members and Baycourt residents and $5 for the general public. It begins at 1:30 p.m.

And on Monday, September 19, I will be speaking at Lake Park Retirement Center (1850 Alice Street, near Lake Merritt) in Oakland, California. This event is also sponsored by  Osher Lifelong Living Institute.  The cost is free for OLLI members and Lake Park residents and $5 for the general public. This event begins at 2:00 p.m.

In addition, I'll be speaking at the annual Contra Costa's Jewish Under One Tent Book & Art Festival on Sunday, October 30 at 4:00 p.m. Tickets are now available online.  

In other news, I wanted to thank Nancy H., Jen A., and Scott B. for posting their Amazon reviews of Under One Roof. If you would like to post a review (every review helps and it's easy to do!), feel free to do so by clicking here (click on "write a review").

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Adam’s Pick

Prior to this season, Colin Kaepernick was just another star-studded NFL quarterback, who, it seemed, had his best days behind him. Now, his name has symbolized something much more. Having decided not to stand during the pre-game National Anthem because he does not want to "show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick has ignited a firestorm of controversy. Even President Obama has offered his take on the issue. 

Given the quarterback's audacious policial actions, something that rarely occurs among professional athletes (especially well-paid superstars), sports historians and journalists have been using this episode to compare Kaepernick to others who have ignited similar debates such as the late boxing great Muhammad Ali and Olympians John Carlos and Tommie Smith. Ali stirred his own controversy when he decided not to serve in the US Army during the height of the Vietnam War, while Carlos and Smith are best remembered for their Black Power Salute during the medal ceremony at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games, protesting America's racial inequality.  As a result, all three men suffered severe economic and professional consequences. 

Oddly, one name that hasn't surfaced much during this current debate is the late St. Louis Cardinal Curt Flood.  In 1969, Flood, who was a three-time All-Star and Gold Glove recipient seven consecutive times for his splendid play in the outfield, decided to contest Major League Baseball's insurmountable "reserve clause" policy, which essentially denied the right of a ballplayer to choose whom he could play for. Since Flood was African American, racism made its way into the controversy.

Although Flood was not victorious in his legal battle, in the end, however, he--like Ali, Carlos and Smith--was vindicated. Although there remains debate over the impact of modern day free agency, which has created thousands of multi-millionaire professional athletes in baseball, basketball, and football, it did culminate in a tremendous honor for Flood. In 1998, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Curt Flood Act, which legally prevented Major League Baseball from reverting back to the reserve clause.

What will result from Kaepernick's actions?

Who knows, but if there is one thing that is certain, as President Obama has maintained, Kaepernick has "generated more conversation about issues" of race, patriotism, and the definition of freedom of speech than any other celebrity and for that, he should be commended rather than condemned. 

To learn more about Curt Flood's battle against Major League Baseball, I highly recommend reading Brad Snyder's excellent A Well Paid Slave. You can read my review of Snyder's book by clicking here
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