The ReCap by Laina Stebbins: 6.6.18 Podcast / by HWTP Sports Talk

 NFL Network's Jeffri Chadiha

NFL Network's Jeffri Chadiha

David is joined by NFL Network’s Jeffri Chadiha to talk about Bobby Kennedy and Rosey Grier on the 50th anniversary of RFK’s assassination. Later, New York Times reporter and author Joe Drape joins the show to break down a little league baseball bat scandal and give his take on Justify’s upcoming Triple Crown attempt.

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NFL senior writer Jeffri Chadiha on “Rosey & Bobby”

June 6, 1968 was a day that shocked the country and the world – and left a national wound that we are still assessing to this day. After his victory speech following the California primaries, Robert F. Kennedy, the beloved activist and the leading Democratic candidate for president, was assassinated in Los Angeles.

Wednesday marked the 50 year anniversary of RFK’s sudden and tragic death. David is joined by award-winning writer Jeffri Chadiha to discuss Chadiha’s compelling piece for NFL.com about the relationship between Robert “Bobby” Kennedy and NFL star Roosevelt “Rosey” Grier. The night of the assassination, Grier was guarding the Senator’s wife, Ethel Kennedy.

Chadiha says that everything in Grier’s life had changed after he was asked to be a part of Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1968.

“Bobby Kennedy really loved people, and he and Rosey Grier had that in common from the start...It was a natural bond that they created,” Chadiha says. The two also had football in common; like Grier, Kennedy was also a former football player at Harvard.

“Rosey Grier was probably at some point going to do something to help people, to help humanity, because that’s in his soul,” Chadiha says, but “in so many ways, Bobby Kennedy taught Rosey Grier about how to...not just love people, but how to help people.”

“He wanted to change the world, but he ended up changing Rosey Grier in the process.”

Kennedy was well-known and beloved for his fervent social justice advocacy. He confronted issues that America still grapples with today, including economic equality, racial injustice and immigration.

“The world was divided, the country was divided back then, and I think Rosey felt like [Kennedy] was the person who was going to change that,” Chadiha says.

Chadiha goes on to talk more about the long-lasting impact Kennedy’s life, friendship, and death had on Grier, and how it changed the trajectory of his life and career post-1968.

Read Chadiha’s full piece on NFL.com, "Rosey & Bobby,” here.

NYT writer Joe Drape on youth batting, sports betting

This season’s new standards for youth baseball equipment came with a big price tag, and are being met with outrage and frustration from young players and their parents.

Reporter and author Joe Drape writes about the controversial new standards in his latest New York Times article, “New Rules for Bats Leave Youth Baseball Parents With the Bill.” He talks with David about the updated standards, how they are being received, and the potential consequences of raising the price of youth sports.

Back in the day, David points out, all you needed to play baseball was a bat, a ball or two, and a street or field to play on. “It wasn't something that was costing parents hundreds of almost thousands of dollars to keep kids competing,” he says.

So, what gives?

“They put in, like, OSHA standards of how the bat is built and what effect there would be,” Drape says. But not for safety reasons, as one might presume.

“USA Baseball…[they] didn't think it was competitive enough,” Drape says. The new models apparently make good hits – and thus, home runs – harder to come by.

The approved bats, stamped with the USA Baseball logo, can range from $45 to $350. Drape’s article also reports that retailers are having a hard time keeping them in stock.

“Team sports has definitely become an economic divide,” Drape says. “There's no doubt, when you raise prices like that and make the barrier to entry about bucks, that you're discriminating against people.”

Drape adds that when team sports have this monetary barrier to entry, lower-income children are only able to participate if they can already demonstrate a high level of ability; whereas for children whose families can afford the costs, their talent level is not a factor in their inclusion.

It’s all about the money.

“They basically have sold sports to the folks who can afford it,” Drape says. “Doesn't mean they're the most gifted.”

In the last part of his and David’s discussion, Drape also weighs in on the upcoming potential for Justify to win the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes.

To catch the whole conversation, listen to the full show below.