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What Had Happened Was: 8/22/17

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  • A group of Cleveland Browns players became the latest in the NFL to protest the national anthem. Before Cleveland’s preseason Monday Night Football matchup with the New York Giants, 11 Browns players knelt and huddled during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” while five more stood in solidarity with the group. Throughout the preseason, players across the league have continued to participate in silent national anthem protests against racial injustice in the United States, which began in 2016 with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel. The latest stance taken by Browns players came in the wake of head coach Hue Jackson saying last week that he hoped national anthem protests wouldn’t happen with his team.
  • During the same game, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. left the field with an ankle injury. In the second quarter of Monday night’s matchup with the Browns, Beckham was knocked out of the game with what his team deemed to be a sprained ankle after a low hit from Browns defensive back Briean Boddy-Calhoun. The superstar wideout limped off the field under his own power before jogging to the stadium’s tunnel, where cameras caught him writhing in pain. X-rays came back negative, although Beckham will undergo further examination.
  • Green Bay Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix honors fallen police officers on his cleats. During his team’s Aug. 19 preseason matchup with the Washington Redskins, Dix played with the names of four Florida officers, who were all killed in the line of duty in the past year, handwritten on his cleats. Dix, a native of Orlando, Florida, who majored in criminal justice at the University of Alabama, honored Matt Baxter and Sam Howard of the Kissimmee Police Department, as well as Norman Lewis of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and Orlando Police Sgt. Debra Clayton. This summer, Dix interned for Brown County, Wisconsin, Circuit Court Judge Don Zuidmulder to earn six credits toward his undergraduate degree.


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On this day in sports history

On Aug. 22, 1950, Althea Gibson competed in the United States Lawn Tennis Association annual championship tournament in Forest Hills, New York, making her the first African-American player to participate in a national tennis competition. In her first career match on the U.S. tennis tour, the then-23-year-old Gibson defeated Barbara Knapp in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, before losing in the second round to three-time defending Wimbledon champion Louise Brough. Six years after breaking tennis’s color barrier, Gibson became the first black player to win a Grand Slam title when she captured the title at the 1956 French Open. In 1957, she also became the first black player to win at both Wimbledon and the US Open (then called the U.S. Nationals).


Aaron Dodson is a sports and culture writer at Andscape. He primarily writes on sneakers/apparel and hosts the platform’s Sneaker Box video series. During Michael Jordan’s two seasons playing for the Washington Wizards in the early 2000s, the “Flint” Air Jordan 9s sparked his passion for kicks.