All posts by jakebmeister2020

The challenges when lesser known athletes speak out on societal issues

By Jake Meister
Medill Reports

Athletes are bringing candid and influential voices to social concerns as barriers denying them the opportunity to speak out vanish.

Within the past five years, players from multiple sports in addition to the big four (men’s basketball & hockey, football and baseball) are more willing to voice their stands on gender equality, movements including Black Lives Matter and police brutality.

The U.S. women’s national soccer team filed a class-action lawsuit in pursuit of earning pay equal to their male counterparts last year and players in the WNBA protested in multiple demonstrations in support of Black Lives Matter in 2016.

Continue reading

Game preview: Chicago Fire travel to defending MLS Champions Seattle Sounders for season opener

By Jake Meister
Medill Reports

After finishing preseason training in Tampa and Los Angeles, the Chicago Fire began preparations for their season-opening match Sunday against the defending Major League Soccer Champions the Seattle Sounders.

New head coach Raphaël Wicky said he couldn’t see much of a change in the players’ responsiveness at their first practice back home. They have continued to go about their training prior to opening day as planned, but have had to adjust to a brisk windchill hitting their faces instead of balmy Florida or California breezes.

Continue reading

The life of an NBA team PR person at All-Star weekend

By Jake Meister
Medill Reports

Whether Luka Doncic was behind the podium at the Rising Stars Media Day, All-Star Media Day or after the actual games, one man stood by his side as if his life depended on it.

It essentially does.

Scott Tomlin is the Director of Basketball Communications for the Dallas Mavericks. Anytime Doncic, the second-year Mavericks star, spoke with the media during All-Star weekend, Tomlin  was never too far away, and listened closely to ensure no conversation went in a direction that could tarnish the team’s or his young superstar’s reputation.

“He’s always with me,” Doncic said. “He’s a great guy, and always takes care of me. There’s a lot of media.”

Continue reading

The evolution of Bam Adebayo into a modern NBA big man

By Jake Meister
Medill Reports

Former Chicago Bulls forward Will Perdue and 2020 NBA All-Star Bam Adebayo share roots in Kentucky.

When he’s not working as a studio analyst for the Bulls at NBC Sports Chicago, the three-time NBA champion heads down to his home in Louisville. During Adebayo’s lone collegiate season with the Kentucky Wildcats, Perdue got the opportunity to watch the Newark native first-hand many times.

“He was pretty raw coming out of Kentucky,” Perdue said.

Continue reading

NBA names All-Star MVP award for Kobe Bryant

By Jake Meister
Medill Reports

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Saturday that the All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player trophy would named in honor of the late Kobe Bryant.

The 18-time All-Star and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles on Jan. 26.  They were among nine deaths in the tragedy.

“I know it will be especially meaningful to that player that wins the first Kobe Bryant MVP,” Silver said.

Continue reading

For legacy Wrigleyville stores, change is good

By Jake Meister
Medill Reports

Upscale new commercial venues and stalwart old ones are making Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood a year-round destination even when the Cubs’ season ends at Wrigley Field.

Whether it’s the slew of swanky new bars and restaurants such as Happy Camper Pizza on Clark Street or the bright lights that populate Gallagher Way’s Christkindlmarket during the holiday season, the Wrigleyville of today looks quite different than even five years ago.

Continue reading

Chicago Fire media day connects coaches and players with supporters

By Jake Meister
Medill Reports

Chicago Fire head coach Raphaël Wicky is trying to build a winning culture for the men’s soccer club that has struggled to find success over the course of the last decade.

“The message to the players on the first day was I want a team of passion, and you have to run and fight,” Wicky said.

This process started when the team began its preseason training recently and will continue to build as the first-year head coach and his staff establish a rapport with the roster.

Continue reading