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June 10, 2020

Eytan Shander: Change doesn't just happen on the front lines, and that's where sports comes in

Opinion Protests
george floyd protest saturday Janis Chakars/For PhillyVoice

Demonstration participants gathered on the Philadelphia Museum of Art's steps Saturday to protest police brutality and racism in the eighth day of Philly demonstrations following the killing of George Floyd.

This past week saw some faces speak out – thankfully – against police brutality and in support of the Black Lives Matter message. It was no coincidence two of the strongest trends on Twitter this past Sunday were Mitt Romney, and NASCAR's Bubba Wallace. I strongly urge you to NOT use any social media platform as any barometer for human behavior, so let’s examine the real-world ramifications.

Statements are like preseason games; they look great but don’t count until there’s action. Romney might have had his 13-for-13 Sammy Sleeves moment, but it’s nothing without meaningful action that has a larger impact. The same goes for NASCAR. But let’s be real here, their fight isn’t to convince any protestor, member of the black community, or anyone else on the front lines fighting for root change. 

No, their energy is best served elsewhere. Add league owners. Throw the NHL players in there. If they are all serious about putting action behind their statements for change, simply turn around and address your majority base. This fight will be won on multiple fronts. It’s having people who can force change within their base – the majority of whom disagree – which can be a key factor in anything from adding numbers to a protest to swinging votes in November. 

It’s not on the victims of police brutality or of systemic racism for centuries to convince people who don’t believe it exists. Instead, have Romney and Kevin Harvick take on that fight. Have them turn around and change minds within their own base. 

The other front will be handled just fine by the current leaders of the protest movements, as well as the millions of black people across the country who are currently who are opening up and sharing their own experiences and ideas on how we can begin to fix this deep-seeded problem in our country.

And we must not only listen, but also amplify those voices who need to be heard. Last week I had three important people in my life, who I’ve worked with and respect. Exavier Pope is a friend and mentor. Robert Littal has been a vocal supporter of me since day one. Anthony Gilbert is one of the smartest people I’ve had the pleasure of working with, from the NBA to life.

We turned over the radio show to them, and now will do the same in this column space because it’s important for you to hear their message.

Exavier Pope

Robert Littal

Anthony Gilbert 

Coping with the COVID-19 Virus from Wuhan

I want to keep this as open of a forum as possible. Please send any questions you have to my DM on Twitter.

Dr. Aryeh Shander MD, FCCM, FCCP, FASA

Director of TeamHealth Research Institute; Emeritus Chief Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Hyperbaric Medicine, Englewood Health; Courtesy Clinical Professor, UF College of Medicine; Adjunct Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology, Medicine and Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York; Adjunct Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ

Pop culture pick of the week: “Word of the Year” 


I saw this pop up online about a month or so ago and as we move towards the second half of the year, there’s still some value here. Social Distancing is my play at +200, knowing that we haven’t used this term before the pandemic hit. But as we always do, let’s weed out the other contenders.

Take off the odds-on favorite right now — COVID-19 isn’t a general enough term to win the award. Sure, it will be added and referenced, but the popularity of the word comes in the form of a searchable hashtag. As we hit the fall, we may see a second wave, we may see things become milder. While the term itself won’t go away, it won’t be as prevalent as it was initially.

Unfortunately, the term – and actual viruses – “coronavirus” has been around for a little bit. This one is called COVID-19. While we are using the term and variations like ‘rona, it’s not enough to put it in the forefront to win the coveted Word of the Year.

I haven’t heard anyone call anyone in real life a covidiot. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen that term on Twitter.

We are past any self-quarantine and should be hitting the middle or final phases of reopening in the next month. That’s enough to remove that term from our memory, long enough to knock it out of contention.

Pandemic would be tricky if things get worse than they currently are  – thankfully they are not. Spikes, second waves, it would have to get really bad for the term to come back to the stage in conversation.

Work from home has a shot, mainly because this practice isn’t going to change for a lot of people even when they can technically return to an office. The odds are pretty good here with a chunky return. When we see a drop in numbers and people continuing to stay home, this term might have enough staying power to hold on and win in longshot fashion.

Zoom and Epidemiologist are the long-shots worth taking a look at, if not hedge both. Zoom meetings will still roll on and might be bet on pretty significantly over the next month or two. Jump in now before that drops to +500 in September. I don’t trust Epidemiologist at +1000 despite the term gaining a lot of steam over the past two months. People are already fed up being told to stay at home.

Courtesy of BetOnline (Twitter: @betonline_ag).

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Follow Eytan on Twitter: @shandershow

You can listen to Eytan on SB Nation Radio (Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; weekends from 6-9 p.m.) and @foxphlgambler (Mon.-Weds., 6-8 p.m.). You can also catch him on FOX 29 Good Day.

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