freedom torch

Gary Norris Gray-BASN-Newsroom-Staff Reporter

The United States of America is on the verge of a political and social breakdown. It is no longer about the right or the left, no longer about Democrat or Republican. It’s about our nation and its leader at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and his mental state. The man from New York City doubled down on his statements about the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia on Monday August 14th. He did not call out the White supremacist and in a sneaky backhanded way tried to blame the counter-protesters for the violence.

Question, why would you bring chains, bricks, bats, guns, and wear combat helmets to a protest? The right wing has no answer.

Many Americans including my father are in disbelief and shock that this president is currently defending White Nationalist and fascism. These veterans faced death every day in the South Pacific and Germany to free the world in the 1940 global war.  These 80 and 90 year olds are upset that this dark political force has re-entered the United States.

NAZI 45credit@sirmitchell 

Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah stated “We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”

America’s top-ranking military officers spoke out against racial bigotry and extremism. It was a rare public foray into domestic politics, revealing growing unease at the Pentagon with some of Number 45’s policies and views. Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff all posted messages on their official Twitter accounts to denounce the far right extremist behind Saturdays violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

General Milley said, “The Army does not tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks. It’s against our values and everything we’ve stood for since 1775.”

The message did not mention Number 45; the rebuke seemed clear after the furor over the president’s insistence that “both sides” were to blame for the violence around the rally.

Admiral Richardson stated “The Navy will forever stand against intolerance and hatred. We want our Navy to be the safest possible place-a team as strong and tough as we can be, saving violence only for our enemies.”

  The message from America’s military leaders had special resonance because several of those who played prominent roles in the far right rally had served in uniform.

Marine commandant General Neller stated “No place for racial hatred or extremism in USMC”

Air Force General Goldfein tweeted he stood “with my fellow service chiefs in saying that we’re always stronger together.”

The military has also moved to publicly disavow White nationalists who were photographed wearing military-affiliated clothing or gear.

CNN reporter Don Lemon could not have made it clearer.  “The history of this country came out of racism, it came out of slavery and those people who were there (protesting)  want to keep people like me enslaved.

That’s why they are protesting. And to talk about the removal of monuments at Robert E. Lee High School. Can you imagine having to go to school that has the name of your oppressor on it? Or walking into a building and seeing a Confederate flag? (EVERYDAY)

 Imagine you’re a Jewish person in Germany and you had to go to Hitler High School or Goebbels Elementary School or Middle School. That would be completely offensive to you on the deepest level and that’s how people of color feel in this country. When we have to deal with figures like Robert E. Lee, like Confederate flags, it is no different than flying a swastika. It is insulting.

The president is ignorant of history, he does not know context. He should be ashamed of himself. He should go back to school and get an elementary education on how this country started and about protest groups and how this country works and who he represents and who he should represent.

So for Republicans: When is enough, enough? What is the breaking point? What is the moral compass of your party? Who is the moral conscience and compass of this country right now? WE ARE LEADERLESS, MORALLY.”     

This is another racial wakeup call for everybody just as there was a call to end segregation, a call to end Jim Crow, a call for voter’s rights, a call for equal education now there is now a call to end the Radical Right or Alt Right Movement.

The last time the world citizens were silent against white nationalists, more than six million people died and the Jewish Nation does not let anyone forget.

Months ago the man at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue told everybody what he was going to do. NOBODY believed him. He stated ” I can shoot somebody in the middle of a New York street and they would still vote for me.”

We now have a man in the White House that has little or no compassion for anybody outside of his own culture.

Number 45 used every political racial dog whistle he could find and used it for eight months to gain the White House.

He also stated 25 years ago that he could run as a Republican candidate for president and win because their fan base was not intelligent…

He has told his followers during the 2016 presidential campaign to beat and punch people then throw them out of his rallies if they did not agree. That was a warning sign. America did not listen. Does this sound familiar?

My history teacher in Edgewater Park, New Jersey told the eighth grade history class if we don’t pay attention to past history we are doomed to repeat it, we are on our way to repeating the 1930-1940 German national mistake.

We now have a person with a moral credibility issue, a person who has no conscience, and a bully. Just as Germany promoted Adolf Hitler, to lead their country into war, America put a business man in office to lead the country into a state of continuing confusion.

Number 45 claimed that Barack Obama was born in Africa only to recant that near the end of the campaign. He told a story that thousands of Moslems in New Jersey cheered when the Twin Towers fell September 11th.  He repeated the claim that three million to five million illegal votes caused him to lose the popular vote. He calls the news media he does not like fake news. These are just some of the inaccurate statements this country’s leader has stated.


white privilege

When the United States deals with this openly and honestly we as a nation can move forward. Number 45 is a recipient of White Privilege; his father gave him lots of money to start his own company.

The current President has taken more vacations and has spent more money on security in 8 months then the former President, Barack Obama took in 8 years, guess who complained the loudest about President Obama’s vacation and security details? NUMBER 45

1.) White males can create problems in the street marching with Confederate and Nazi Flags all day and then fade into the community without a trace.

2.) White males have friends in the police department. For example, how many officers are sitting in jail for shooting anybody by mistake?

3.) Flying the confederate flag 160 years after the war to intimidate people. THEY LOST, at least that is what we are told. Question, when was the last time the losing side of any war kept flying their flag?

It is interesting on Saturday these young Caucasians carried and marched with the Confederate Flag along with the Nazi swastika flag. Is this not respecting America?HMMMM!!! Then again that is the privilege card.


This president has not been fair on this issue and it has to be addressed. Number 45 has targeted immigrants from South America and Central America and wants to send them home.

He targets individuals from Islamic States like Syria, Somalia, and Afghanistan but he never mentions the undocumented immigrants from Mainland China or Indo-China that move to Washington State, California, and Arizona.

He never speaks about the undocumented immigrants that fly in from Eastern Europe and Russia without legal papers and stay in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Central Pennsylvania.  We all have to ask why?

Number 45 focuses on Latino and Muslim undocumented immigrants because they are defenseless and poor. He focuses on them because they are brown. He focuses on them because they are mostly manual laborers. One group is looking for a better life in the United States the other group fleeing from the horrors of war. Number 45 thinks they cannot help his business so he has no use for them. They are expendable. This is the new attitude in Washington. What this president does not understand that there are Latin American and Muslim American nurses, doctors, lawyers, and politicians that truly make America great.


President Kennedy spoke about this issue over 60 years ago. This is how a real President shuts down racism.

 This Nation was founded by many nations and backgrounds.

It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal and the rights of every man is diminished when the rights of one man are threaten.

It ought to be possible, in short, for every American, to enjoy the privilege to be American without regard to his race or color.

In short, every American ought to have the right to be treated as he wish to be traded as one wished his children to be treated.

But this is not the case. 100 years of delay have passed since President Lincoln freed the slaves yet their heirs, their grandsons, are not truly free. They are not yet freed from the bonds of injustice.

They are not yet freed from social and economic oppression. And this nation for all of its hopes and all of its boast will not be fully free until all of its citizens are free.

We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the Scriptures and is a clear as the American Constitution.

It cannot be met with by repressive police action. It cannot be left to increased demonstrations in the streets. It cannot be quieted by token moves or talk.

It is a time to act in the Congress, in your state, and local legislative bodies, and above all in all of our daily lives.

Those who do nothing are inviting shame as well as violence. Those who act boldly and recognizing right as well as reality.”      

While all of this is going on The American Justice Department is requesting information on Americans who protested at Number 45’s inauguration in Washington, D.C. eight months ago and who visited the web site DreamHost.com who had information coordination Inauguration Day protest. There is a chill covering America.

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian, Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston, Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com


©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod





negroes america hates

Gary Norris Gray-BASN-NEWSROOM-Staff Reporter

Who does America hate more? The United States of America created the inequities with its Black population and compounded the problem with white supremacy, racism, and white male privilege. Every decade there is a new list of Black American men that this country despises.

This decade it is, Orenthal James O.J. Simpson, Mike Vick, Colin Kaepernick, Bill Cosby, or President Barack Obama. These five individuals have one thing in common and the United States of America has to come to terms with itself. This country has to come to terms with its double standard. Caucasian Americans see it this way Cosby, OJ, and Vick are all guilty of pretty horrific crimes. All three of these males are a threat to their secure America. Obama and Kaepernick are both so called distant heroes because they do not threaten that security. White Americans continue to see it this way because they are told that Black males cannot be heroes.

                     rise-fall-o-simpson   O.J. Simpson1228670_APTOPIX_OJ_Simpson_Parole_3-250x250

Let’s begin with “If the gloves don’t fit, you must acquit.” O.J. Simpson from Northern California Bay Area and the city of San Francisco at Galileo High School. Simpson became a football star with the University of Southern California football team. The Trojans gained fame with NCAA records, a National Football Championship in 1967, and the Heisman Trophy in 1968.

In 1979 he divorced his first wife Marguerite and five years later marry Nicole Brown that same year he was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Marguerite would have kept O.J. out of trouble. Nicole was too young to understand the racial, political, and economic dynamics around this marriage, add drugs to the mix and BOOM.

America had no feelings for Simpson until Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Mr. Ronald Goldman were found dead outside of her Los Angeles – Brentwood condominium on July 12, 1994. Simpson was and still is the only suspect in this case. This are the hypocrisies of the United States if Mr. Simpson had killed his first wife who was BLACK nobody in America would have notice or cared. BLACK LIVES MATTER. Mr. Simpson became public enemy number one with the help of the American news media. The attack on African American men had just started with Simpson became the easy symbol for white America because he (allegedly) killed one of their golden girls. Women did not like Simpson because he was an (alleged) abuser and African Americans did not like him because he wanted nothing to do with Black America. Simpson was isolated from his community, isolated from his culture, with a streak of anger expressed through football became his downfall.

America still hates O.J. (guilty until proven innocent) because this country still believes he got away with double murder. The American press did not inform the American public about the drug issues with this family and the South American connection until after the conclusion of the trail. Remember facts get in the way of the truth.

The troubling racial feelings are returning twenty years later at his televised parole hearing for burglary and armed robbery charges with the potential release from a Las Vegas jail cell in October, the racist venom has begun to flow once again.

KnowYourRightsSweatshirt.jpg  Colin Kaepernick

Black males who take a positive stance on behalf of African Americans receive a negative image for life. This has been historical.

Number two quarterback Colin Kaepernick wanted to make a statement to the United States of America. He thought taking a knee during the Star Spangled Banner before San Francisco 49ers football games would be the most efficient way to communicate this message. The message is that too many unarmed Black men were being shot and killed in this country.

Many Americans lost their minds because Mr. Kaepernick did not respect the country’s national song. A song that has a racial tone in the third stanza, “Just play football and don’t get political.”  That had been the mantra for white fans who were upset with Black athletes for over 60 years.

This is what Black men are supposed to do just play their sport. Kaepernick thumped at the heart of America’s problem respecting Black men.

At the start of the 2016 season he was voted the most disliked player in the National Football League by the fans but his fellow teammates voted him the most courageous for his political stance. HMMMMM interesting. Kaepernick did not drink and drive, kill anybody, rape anybody, or broken any NFL laws.

Number seven received death threats for his freedom of speech. Burning his jersey became normal all over the country, while at the same time his jersey became the number one selling jersey for the 49ers. HMMMMMM Apparently the flag is more important than human lives, apparently the racist words in the third stanza in our anthem does not matter either.

Boomer Esiason former quarterback and MVP for the Cincinnati Bengals called Kaepernick’s actions an embarrassment to the N. F. L. I guess Boomer forgot what Muhammad Ali, Carlos and Smith, and WNBA stars Seimone Augustus and Maya Moore stood for.

Mr. Kaepernick now helps the people of Africa with relief food and funds. The Mission of The Colin Kaepernick Foundation is to fight oppression of all kinds globally, through education and social activism. This fine brother is the football version of Roberto Clemente.

          mike vick    Michael Vick

Number three former quarterback Michael Vick showed how America’s deep emotion of hate toward African American males.

At the time Vick was the highest paid player in the league (DO NOT FORGET THIS) and one of the best quarterbacks ever on the field, changing the landscape of this position forever from a drop back passer to a running quarterback.

Vick had to be brought back down to earth because he was changing the landscape in the game and the white ownership did not like it. Vick made the issue of a Black quarterback as their leader; this conversation would not go away. Who is the defacto field general? THE QUARTERBACK, and the owners did not want that to be a BLACK man.

Once again with the help of the American news media Vick became enemy number one. The American public used dog fighting to fling hate arrows at Vick. The media did not inform the public that there were other football players had their hands in dog fighting but why brother when you have the attention of Middle America.

The American press did not inform the masses about the events at dog racing tracks sponsored by the Pittsburgh Steeler ownership where dogs are ethnicized everyday. No, it’s easier to slay a Black man then to defend helpless dogs running around the track. NOT A WORD!!!!

Dogs became more important than Black men and just another reason why BLACK LIVES MATTERS. Now before we get get crazy I love dogs so don’t go there.

0520-hugh-hefner-bill-cosby-tmz-5                                                                      Bill Cosby

Let’s begin with this statement nobody has the right to violate another person’s body no-matter what the cause or situation.

Bill Cosby (allegedly) drugged and rapped over fifty women. Cosby is currently in court with numerous sexual assault charges. One thing African American males must understand and comprehend they cannot indulge in the same activities as white males. Black Males are not equal in the eyes of the United States and Barack Obama, Bill Cosby, Mike Vick, Colin Kaepernick, and O.J. Simpson understand this now. Are they all bad guys? Maybe, did they commit the crime? Maybe, but they are not given the same opportunities as white defendants or the chance to be tried by their peers (Black people)? NO, and that is the hypocrisies in this great land.

Bill Cosby real crime was trying to purchase (NBC) the National Broadcasting Company, a major broadcasting network. His real crime was to inform the Black nation what was going on through mass television media. It could not happen, question how do you receive information quickly, it’s through the television mass media Bill Cosby knew this  understood this and wanted to use this.

Hypocrisies- White male directors, producers, and television presidents have used the casting couch repeatedly to find new young female actors and very few said a word. Bill Cosby (allegedly) just followed the script but he became a sexual predator, excuse me what is Hugh Hefner-(Playboy Inc.), Stephan Collins-(Seventh Heaven) or the difference between Baltimore running back Raven Ray Rice compared to New York Football Giant kicker Josh Brown. Rice was suspended not once but twice while Mr. Brown got a new contract from the Giant Football organization. Rice did not play a single game after the girlfriend-elevator incident while Mr. Brown’s domestic problems followed him to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii.


Mr. Cosby -Mr. Huxtables-The upward mobile and educated Black Family-Mr. American Family, the Cosby Kids and lovable joking actor, producer, and director threaten America’s security trying to acquire a national network (NBC) and make Black America Great Again through information.

president obama                                                               President Barack Obama

Last and the most threading figure in America today dared America with the “Audacity of Hope.” He challenge America and asked why not a Black man leading the country? He put forth a vision for the future. This man instilled pride and joy in a community that was in dire need of a positive male image outside of sports. Mr. Barack Hussein Obama the esteem Black junior senator from Illinois ascended to the highest office in the country, the President of the United States of America from 2008 to 2016. This mixed cultured gentleman gave hope to many American children not just African American kids who now could truly say I want to be president and mean it.

This event upset that racial apple cart and the United States turned to a business man in 2016 that would “Make America Great Again,” what he really meant was make America white again. This country had to regain that power and control with the snake oil salesmen Donald J. Trump.

In 2017 the racial hate towards African American men continues to flow in the United States of America.

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian, Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston, Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com


hockey, Uncategorized




Gary Norris Gray- BASN Newsroom-Staff Reporter

All of the weak shooters and sloppy goaltenders have vacated the playoffs. Now it becomes a game of skill and grace. It now becomes a race for the Cup.

The Montreal Canadiens might be rethinking that monster trade a year ago sending the talented P.K. Subban to Nashville for the older, taller, defenseman Shea Weber. Many Canadian fans may never forgive the Montreal brain trust after the Habs lost to the New York Rangers in six games. The regenerated Nashville Predators moved on to the second round for the first time in their short history with P.K. Subban as their defensive leader. Montreal learned a lesson you can’t teach, it’s called heart. The Montreal Canadiens might have the best goalie on the planet (Carey Price) but P.K. Subban is the best defenseman in the National Hockey League.

The Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks, and Montreal Canadiens all went down hard and unexpected in the first round.

The Boston Bruins made too many mental errors early with delay of game penalties. The Ottawa Senators capitalized on those mistakes to take the series.

The Chicago Blackhawks were simply outscored 13-3 in four games. Despite this loss in Blackhawk land fans should be happy with their rebuilding program, as it points out the probable future success.

On the west coast, this could be the end of the Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, and Patrick Marleau era in San Jose as the Sharks made another early exit. This time as the young upstart Edmonton Oilers took them out. The Sharks might have problems in net as goalie Martin Jones was not impressive letting in 3 easy goals during this series. The new players of the Edmonton Oilers and the new Toronto Maple Leafs are the wave of the future.


Nashville vs. St. Louis

Edmonton vs. Anaheim


Ottawa vs. New York

Pittsburgh vs. Washington


The National Hockey League blew this one. The number one team in the east will be playing the number two, instead of by conference. This matchup could happen again. It is not fair for the teams (Washington-Pittsburgh) that have worked hard all season to win their division and get these high seeds only to have face each other in the second round. The playoff system was cute to watch the first four years with close rivalries, but it is time to go back to the old 1 through 8 seeding in conference, not division.

That being stated the Washington Capitols should shake off the President’s Trophy Curse (Best record) and defeat the injury-rattled Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Penguins should be called the MASH unit of the NHL with Matt Murray, Chad Ruhwedel, Chris Kunitz, Carl Hagelin, and Kris Letang all on the injured reserve list.

The Penguins continue to use Marc-Andre Fleury in net when everybody knows that Matt Murray is the future net-minder. Murray will not play in this series.

Goal Brother Defenseman Trevor Daley had a good series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, initiating Pittsburgh rushes for scoring chances. Pens need Kris Letang in this series to help Pittsburgh’s defense.

The Washington Capitols might have finally found a way to win. The rested Braden Holtby in the Capitols net could be the key to victory for the men in red. Backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer really helped Washington during that mid-season run.

Kevin Shattenkirk stopped the speed of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the last series. Can he do it again against Pittsburgh?

Washington is number one this year in defense; they will need it against Pittsburgh. The two headed monster in net will have to stop Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin AGAIN.

The Capitol firepower will have to come from Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and T.J. Oshie. Justin Williams earned stardom with three critical goals in the Toronto series.

The Capitols are 1-7 vs. Pittsburgh so the odds are in favor of number 8-Ovechkin and crew in our nation’s capitol.

Washington finally enters the conference final with upset victory over Pittsburgh. Caps find a way.



The Original Six of Hockey are down to one, the orphan child, the New York Rangers who will play the upstart Ottawa Senators. This will be a knockdown drag-out defensive struggle with two great goalies; Mr. Craig Anderson for the Sens and the self anointed King Henrik Lundqvist for the Blueshirts. If you like low-scoring games, this is the series to watch.

For those who don’t know, I call Craig Anderson “Mr. Anderson,” in reference to the 1990 movie “The Matrix.” The way he defends and moves in the net reminds me of Keanu Reeves mysterious character.

The Senators block teams at the blue line, disrupting the offensive flow, as the Boston Bruins found that out the hard way. The New York Rangers have to watch out for Ottawa’s LONG strong stretch-passing late in games, zipping the puck into the offensive zone creating scoring chances before the defensemen can react. The Bruins never found the answer and lost. The Rangers could be looking at the same fate if they don’t find a way to stop this.

The Senators are the New Jersey Devils twin. Ottawa employs the 1-3-1 zone just like New Jersey in their glory days. The League outlawed the left wing lock defense so this is the next best thing.  The lock is a defensive strategy. This strategy is very much like New Jersey’s neutral zone trap.

This is when the puck changes possession and the left winger slides back with his two defensemen into their zone pushing the offense into the left side boards squeezing the team into a box or into a given area. This tactic also ended the odd man rush to the goalie.  The Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils were masters at this, and were defensive teams of the year. When the Devils played the Wings for the Cup in 1995 (strike shorten season) the league decided to change the rules because scoring had dropped 35 per cent. The 1-3-1 is now the modern version of the Left Wing Lock.

The Ottawa Senators might be scrambling to find offense and defense with the foot injury (hairline fracture) to defenseman Captain Erik Karlsson. This hurts Ottawa because he is the heart of the team.

The Ranger right wingers are on fire.  Mats Zuccarello and Jesper Fast are playing well and center Rick Nash finally showed up to defeat the Montreal Canadiens.

My heart is with the Senators but my mind is with the Rangers.



The Edmonton Oilers are in good hands with young center rookie Connor McDavid who has Mila Lucic on his left and Jordan Eberle on his right; it’s a speed skating scoring machine.. McDavid is one of the fastest skaters I’ve seen in a while.  Toronto’s Auston Matthews is another player as the new wave continues to change the landscape of the NHL

Goalie Cam Talbot played well against San Jose but this writer is not impressed with his play in the net, he could be the Oilers weakest link. The Anaheim Ducks will exploit this weakness because they will pressure the Edmonton defense. The two-headed Duck monster in the nets with Josh Gibson and Jonathan Bernier could stop the young Oilers.

The Ducks are powerful up the middle with centers Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler. The player to watch in this series would be right winger Patrick Eaves.

This series will come down to experience for the Anaheim Ducks vs.  The young Oilers, this will be the first time in ten years for Edmonton in the playoffs.

Watch the Conner McDavid-Ryan Kesler matchup in this series.



The St. Louis Blues are kind of “the new kid on the block” and are the first expansion team to make it to the Finals, four years in a row in the early 1970’s. Nashville is really the new version. The Blues played in the old Checker Dome but could not beat any of the Original Six. The past seven years they had to deal with another one of the Original Six, the Chicago Blackhawks. Some hockey fans are calling the Blues snake- bitten but this year they defeated the Minnesota Wild in the first round in a spirited series. They are just happy not to meet the red, black, and white of Chicago-AGAIN.

The Nashville Predators are part of the last NHL expansion package in 1998 with the Florida Panthers, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, the relocation of the Minnesota North Stars to Dallas to become the Stars, and the Quebec Nordiques to Colorado to become the Avalanche. The next season two more teams would move before the league finally settled down, the old Winnipeg Jets moved to Arizona to become the Phoenix Coyotes and the Hartford Whalers moved to North Carolina to become the Carolina Hurricanes.

The St. Louis Blues and the St. Louis Cardinals are the only two professional teams in town and they do not have to share the Gateway City fan base with the old St. Louis Rams. The Blues have the second best goalie in the mid-west Jake Allen, but Allen has to share the spotlight with Chicago’s Cory Crawford.

The first line for St. Louis is the key for victory. Right winger David Perron, Center Paul Stastny, and left winger Alexander Steen must produce. Right winger Goal Brother Ryan Reaves and center Patrik Berglund are the players to watch in this series.

Reaves is the de-facto enforcer because of his size and many teams respect his play on the ice.

For Nashville this will be their first trip to the second round. Goal Brother defenseman P.K. Subban has changed the culture for the Predators. Subban gives the line in front of him the confidence and drive to make aggressive moves. If that line makes a mistake they know that P.K. will cover up for that mistake.

Left winger Filip Forsberg reminds me of another Forsberg, Peter who played with the Colorado Avalanche many moons ago. Filip carries the same swagger on the ice as Peter.

The Preds power line would be Right winger James Neal, Center Mike Fisher, and Left winger Kevin Fiala. Success are in defensemen Ryan Ellis and Yannick Weber hands. This team can shut-down any team with that strong defense.

Goaltender Pekka Rinne has become hot at the right time and could guide Nashville to the Western Conference Finals. A hot goaltender can carry a team to the Stanley Cup Finals; so far Rinne has been standing on his head the past month. For those who do not know what standing on his head means, it means the goalie is stopping every puck he sees.


Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com


©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod








Gary Norris Gray-BASN-Newsroom Staff Reporter

These are the following nine reason African Americans are still slaves in the United States, yet some people say ALL LIVES MATTER. If that were true, everybody would be working to change the criminal justice system. This justice system only reinforces institutional racism: propping up white supremacy.

Black people are imprisoned in exceptionally high numbers.

 People should be asking how 12.5 percent of America’s population can be 54 percent of America’s prison population. That is 2.3 million BLACK people.

The numbers exploded during President Richard Nixon’s War on Drugs but what the American media will never tell you, is how those drugs came into America.

NOW THINK REALLY HARD. How many African Americans owned a boat or a plane in 1970’s?

Black people are more likely to be arrested for nonviolent offenses.

Question, how many white individuals get arrested for Jay-walking, DWB, Driving While Black, selling loose cigarettes on the streets, or walking in the middle of the street? Black people are 3.2% more likely to be arrested for possession of marijuana than their white peers, even though blacks and whites use the drug at similar rates.

The wheel of justice turns very fast for Blacks but slowly for whites when it comes to penalties for crack cocaine vs. powder cocaine. African Americans receive a five year sentence for crack cocaine while suburban Caucasians get five months or less for powder cocaine. This is the American justice system.   

New Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions appears to be seeking a return to higher incarceration rates. Will this really MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN?

Black people are more likely to be sentenced to death for crimes against white people.

White citizens who kill Black people receive lesser sentences at trial (life in prison) than when African Americans take a white life (death row).

The death penalty was reinstated in 1976: 80% of people who have been executed have been put to death for crimes against white people. Again, the news media will never inform the American public about this fact.  Blacks and whites are likely to be murder victims at roughly equal rates.

Black people are less likely to be judged by a jury of their peers in criminal trials.

All- white-juries are commonplace in the American court system, but it is rarely seen an all-Black-jury at a criminal trial. Is this equality under the law for African Americans? The law states you shall be judged by your peers. African Americans never get this opportunity. Government studies have found that racism is common in jury selection.

Black children are more likely to be disciplined in school than their white peers.

African American children are sometimes physically assaulted and are assessed harsher punishment by school authorities when that child breaks any rule.

Black children are suspended and expelled from school twice as much as their white counterparts for the same offense.

This begins the school-to-prison pipeline which starts at preschool. The path to incarceration begins.


Each day, 500,000 people fill America’s jails awaiting trial because they are too poor to afford bail.

 Americans technically are innocent until proven guilty, but if you are poor that can be a problem, because they are sent to jail until their trial date because they do not have the funds for bail. The Vera Institute found that 50% of people awaiting trial couldn’t afford bail of $2,500 or less.

Even Black men who do not have criminal records are less likely to be hired for jobs than white men who’ve been convicted of felonies.

Discrimination runs rampant in the job market. NBC News reported in 2015 that if the applicant had an African sounding name he/she did not get a second interview but white individuals with European names received phone calls after the first interview. This was also true with apartment hunting in major cities.

Key findings include:

  • Both Black and Hispanic men were less likely to receive a positive response from employers—including a call back or email for an interview or a job offer—compared with white men.
  • Men with criminal records were more likely than women with criminal records to receive a negative response from employers.
  • White men with a criminal record had more positive responses than Black men with no criminal record.

Black Disabled Americans are literally the last hired and the first fired.

The Disabled Revolution of the 1970s favored most white disabled community and left African American disabled folk behind. Many leaders of the movement stated that they modeled their revolution after the Civil Rights Movement, but they forgot one thing: BLACK PEOPLE. America’s Black disabled had to play the game of catching up in the 1980s. African American disabled women fared much better then disabled Black males.

Mental health assistance is not as available in the African American communities as it is in the white communities.

The recent murder on Easter Sunday of 75-year-old Mr. Robert Godwin in Cleveland by a distraught African American, Steve Stevens and who later suicide in Erie, Pennsylvania just magnifies this problem of mental health in the Black communities.



In World War I and World War II, African-Americans were sent overseas to defend our nation. They all went there, abled and willing to fight against fascism.

These young men were fighting for freedom in a foreign land and when they came home to America they did not have that same freedom. Under the Red, White, and Blue these veterans returned to be second class citizens AGAIN…

Shannon Sharp explains why Colin Kaepernick is protesting, kneeling for the National Anthem.

Mr. Sharp makes it clear why Kaepernick is taking that knee.

Mr. Sharp states, Some Americans insist that Black Lives Don’t Matter but All Lives Do…Now think about these Black men who go to Germany to fight for people who they have nothing in common with and gain their freedom, only to return home and sit in the back of the bus for 15 more years. DOES THIS MATTER?

Black men are being killed, beat up, shot, and arrested for noncompliance, when white criminals who stab, kill, and rape get tased, pepper sprayed, and handcuffed. In other words they live to tell the story. DOES THIS MATTER?

Another young white male travels miles and miles then walks into a church in South Carolina and joins their prayer group. He stands up and shots nine members to death, premeditated. The arresting officers take this young man to Burger King because he is hungry…BLACK LIVES DON’T MATTER…

Noncompliance to a Black man is a death sentence.

Mr. Sharp continues: If I don’t tell you my Religion, If I don’t tell you my political affiliation, If I don’t tell you my mom’s name, The one thing that I’ve been for 48 years is Black and that’s what America sees.

Americans don’t see my religion, they don’t see my orientation, they don’t grasp my political affiliation, but they see the Black skin.

This is what upsets many African Americans: the double standard that permeates the country.

In 2008 President Barack Obama tried to invite the United States into a bi-racial community, a multi-racial family.  It did not happen and President Donald J. Trump is currently pushing in the opposite direction, creating a clear racial division among Americans. The forces of white supremacy would not let President Obama succeed.

Slavery is still here under a new name, and new political, social, and economic face. This country lacks a moral compass when it comes to the issue of race.

This is a sad commentary on the United States of America.

Special Thanks to Jamilah King-Sr. Editor of MicDaily

The Justice Center-The Council of State Governments

Arizona State University

Shannon Sharp

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com


©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod




Part II

Gary Norris Gray-BASN-Newsroom Staff Reporter

Could it be that we are witnessing the changing of the guard with all of the new teams entering the playoffs? The old guard Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins, winners of the last two Stanley Cups are defending their turf.  The pre-playoff favorites are the Penguins in the East and the Blackhawks in the West.

The New Kids on the Block; The Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Nashville Predators, and Columbus Blue Jackets will have plenty to say about this in the first round. There will be eight Goal Brothers (Black Players) on the ice this year and all eight will make an impact on this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

This is what the playoffs would look like under the old system. Many NHL old-timers do not like the new playoff system because teams will not play each other within their conferences. If the Washington Capitols and Pittsburgh Penguins win their first round series they will meet in the second round. This is not good for hockey having the number one and two seeds meeting in the second round.

Eastern Conference

  1. Washington vs. 8. Toronto
  2. Montreal vs. 7. Boston
  3. Pittsburgh vs. 6.Ottawa
  4. Columbus vs. 5. New York Rangers

Western Conference

  1. Chicago vs. 8. Nashville
  2. Anaheim vs. 7. Calgary
  3. Minnesota vs. 6. San Jose
  4. Edmonton vs. 5. St. Louis


Minnesota Wild vs. St Louis Blues

The Blues are just happy they are not facing the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round. The Hawks have put them out each year.

Everybody dismisses the Wild and Blues because they are both unknown. They do not pay attention to these teams because they are not in the glamour cities or glamour states.

Long time St. Louis Head coach Ken Hitchcock was relieved of his duties on Feb. 1, of this year and the Blues were blowing in the wind until Mike Yeo took control. Hitchcock’s firing was moved up four months after the Blues hit rock bottom

Goal Brother Ryan Reaves was drafted by St. Louis in 2005 in the 5th round. The big 6′ 1″ right winger has to get more time on the ice. This year he only missed one game that shows his durability.  

Goalie Jake Allen could be the downfall of the St. Louis Blues, he has not played well the last two months. Forwards Ryan Reaves and right winger Vladimir Tarasenko could be the key to Blues victory.

For Minnesota, Devan Dubnyk has to carry this team in net. He is still the unknown goalie and the Blues will find this out the next week.

The Wild are a collection of ex-eastern players and young stars. Ex-New Jersey Devil Zach Praise, Ex-New York Ranger Eric Staal, and Mikael Granlund have to carry the Wild offense. Goal Brother Chris Stewart will hit the ice again playing against his former team. Stewart will add pop to the Minnesota left side with 13 goals and 6 assist.

The St. Louis Blues have to stop center Mikko Koivu and left winger Nino Niederreiter or they will be heading home again.

Both teams use the same offensive systems so they will be looking in the mirror at themselves on the ice.

Take your pick.


Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks

The Nashville Predators are not the same team as last year. They have the firebrand head coach Peter Laviolette who could fly off the handle at any time. The Blackhawks are counting on that.

The Preds have added a fiery sparkplug, Goal Brother P.K. Subban from the Montreal Canadiens. The Preds offense can bury teams in the first period. Subban changed the culture in Tennessee from “we should win” to “we will win.” 

Subban elevated the Preds this year to a real playoff contender.

Forward Viktor Arvidsson, center Ryan Johansen, and young left winger Filip Forsberg have confidences with Subban on the team; then you cannot forget the veterans Mike Fisher and James Neal who have been there before and will teach the young ones what to expect. The second line of right winger Craig Smith, Austin Watson, and Kevin Fiala could be the difference in this series.

Goaltender Pekka Rinne has had an up-and-down season and at 34 years old the clock is beginning to tick. Nashville’s defense has to help Rinne if he goes into playoff slump. Defensemen Mattias Ekholm, Ellis and Roman Josi are up for the job this year. Watch the blocked shots.

This will be the Nashville Predators third try to win a series.

The Western Conference Hockey royalty, The Chicago Blackhawks, are back again one year older. The Chicago Blackhawks got the number one seed in the west-AGAIN. This could be their fourth Stanley Cup in seven years if they get passed the determined Nashville Predators.

The Hawks plug in five rookies, and re-signed Goal Brother Johnny Oduya from the Dallas Stars who is a model stay-at- home defenseman. Oduya could teach the younger defensemen the tricks of the trade.

Chicago kept their core of forwards Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Marian Hossa with defensemen Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook. These guys are just a step slower than last year and this could be their last run at the Cup. Jordun Tooto adds bounce to the right side of the Hawk offence.

The Blackhawk’s weakest  point is goaltender Corey Crawford as teams are beginning to figure him out, shooting high to his glove side. As a former goalie, I find this very noticeable. The Hawks might install Scott Darling in net in games 3 and 4 to give Crawford rest on road playoff games.

The Chicago Blackhawks have the experience and could overwhelm the Nashville Predators; but this is where P.K. Subban and the Nashville determination could be the difference.

NASHVILLE IN SEVEN- the upset of 2017 playoffs

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

The Pittsburgh Penguins are called The Eastern Conference Team of Royalty. They have the longest playoff streak with 11 years. This team has not played well the past two weeks so it will be interesting to watch how the Penguins start this opening series. Injuries have been a major issue of why Pittsburgh has slipped the past two weeks. Center Evgeni Malkin will return to the team after recent injuries.  Left wingers Carl Hagelin, Chris Kunitz, and defenseman Zach Werenski are all expected to play in this opening series; again, the injury bug has hit them all.

Former Dallas Star and Chicago Blackhawk, Goal Brother, defenseman, Trevor Daley returns to the playoffs with the Penguins. Daley is the picture of consistency around the net and should help either Murray or Fleury around the net.

Veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury will be handing over the goal tending duties to young Matt Murray this year as we are witnessing the transition of power in the Penguin net.

The old horses will carry this team to the conference finals if they can get past their trips to the doctor’s office. Veterans right winger Phil Kessel, centers Sidney Crosby, and Bryan Rust, defensemen Trevor Daley and Kris Letang will protect Murray or Fleury around the net.

Super -brat Sidney Crosby has a target on his back and teams have done this all year. He has hit opponents low in the undercarriage a few times this year and teams are not in love with him. Expect the Columbus Blue Jackets to do the same as other teams, blanketing or shadowing number 87.

Columbus, New Jack City goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky had his best season in net and is a candidate for the Vezina Trophy-Best Goalie of the Year. He shed pounds during last summer to play this year and he has more mobile skills in the net.

Goal Brother Seth Jones might be on his way to Stanley Cup Finals with the Jackets. His stats are the best in 5 years with 12 goals and 30 assist. Jones has to score in order for New Jack City to move on to round two.

Defenseman Jack Johnson has to rock some Penguins off the boards to disrupt the Pittsburgh offense. The Jackets have to get an early lead in each game to be physical against Pittsburgh. Columbus cannot let Pittsburgh fly by them on an offensive rush or this series could end quickly.

Pittsburgh has the experience but the Columbus Blue Jackets have the will and the coach, John Tortorella. Tortorella can lose his temper at times and he must control himself in these playoffs.


Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com


©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod






Gary Norris Gray-BASN-Newsroom Staff Reporter

The National Hockey League walked into a sweet situation. Many hardened hockey fans were not happy with the playoff format and complained that no Canadian team would challenge for the Cup in 2016. Last year the NHL playoffs had something missing,.. It was a team north of the border.

The possibility of Lord Stanley’s Cup returning north of the border greatly increased this year, with five Canadian teams playing in the first round. That no Canadian team will play each other in the first round also increased their chances to raise the Cup in the great white north.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be gunning for their 2nd straight Cup and no team has repeated since the Mario Lemieux 1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Edmonton Oilers return to the playoffs after ten years and that is a good thing for the sport because history follows the orange crush, the expansion team that could

Under the new playoff system teams will play within their division unlike the old system of 1 through 8. This will be the fourth year under this system but I think it is time to return to the old 1-8 system. The reason that fans are unhappy is that if the Washington Capitols win and the Pittsburgh Penguins win. It would be number 1 vs. number 2 in the Eastern Conference in the second round. This is not acceptable and needs to be changed.

The experiment is over. It was fun to see the New York Rangers play the New York Islanders in the east and Chicago play St. Louis in the mid-west and last the San Jose Sharks play the Los Angeles Kings in the west but how many times do you want to see this?

Under the old system the playoffs would look like this

Eastern Conference

  1. Washington vs. 8. Toronto
  2. Montreal vs. 7. Boston
  3. Pittsburgh vs. 6.Ottawa
  4. Columbus vs. 5. New York

Western Conference

  1. Chicago vs. 8. Nashville
  2. Anaheim vs. 7. Calgary
  3. Minnesota vs. 6. San Jose
  4. Edmonton vs. 5. St. Louis



The Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers

If you are a goalie fan this is the series to watch with two veteran star goaltenders, Montreal’s Carey Price and New York’s Henrik  Lundqvist a.k.a. the self proclaimed king. The King might get dethroned by the Canadiens, Lundqvist has not played well the last two months and the Rangers have not scored, that is a bad combination.  Ranger goalie Antti Raanta might be the one to save Rangers in the latter stages of this series.

Montreal’s Shea Weber and Andrei Markov could be the stone wall for the Rangers to penetrate the net, then the Blueshirts have to get past 6′ foot Carey Price standing in net to block Blueshirt goals.

The New York Rangers are leaning on Henrik Lundqvist to carry them to the Cup but his up and down season makes many wonder how far they can go with number 30.

The right side of the New York Ranger offense is loaded with Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello who have to score early to relieve the Ranger defense. Marc Staal and Ryan McDonagh have to hold the fort in front of Lundqvist for Blueshirts to win.


The Ottawa Senators vs. Boston Bruins

My favorite goalie Mr. Craig Anderson of the Ottawa Senators will try to fend off the high power offense of the Boston Bruins. Backup goalie Mike Condon did not let the ceiling fall down when Anderson left the team for family matters. So Ottawa could use a two-headed monster in nets for the playoffs if needed.

Forwards Erik Karlsson and ex-New York Ranger Derick Brassard will carry the Sens as far as they can with their offensive power. Right winger Bobby Ryan is also a great sniper (shooter) in the middle. The Sens went through horrid middle of the year and ended up near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Then head coach Guy Boucher lit into them during a game and they motored into playoffs. This is a muck and grind team, they will have to be to beat the Boston Bruins.

The Boston Bruins are dealing with defensive injuries coming at the close of the regular season ex-Winnipeg Jet  Drew Stafford has put a spark in the Bruin offense but Boston will still look to David Krejci to score Bruin goals. The veteran defenseman Captain Zdeno Chara will play old school and bounce Senators off of the TD Gardens boards.


The Washington Capitols vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

The Washington Capitols won the President’s Trophy this year for most points in season but it might not be the kiss of death for winning the Stanley Cup as the Caps have improved this year. The past eight years the winner of the trophy has made the finals only once. History will not repeat itself because the Capitols will be going to the finals since 1998. This is the best Washington team since 1998 and they have one of the best goaltenders in the league with Braden Holtby. Holtby has taken many days off this year so he has rested legs for the playoffs. This team will be difficult to beat with their balance.

Center Nicklas Backstrom and number 8 Alex Ovechkin will carry the Capitols offense and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk will help Holtby around the net.

The Washington Capitols have to forget about the past and move on with this new and improved team.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have brought fresh air to the National Hockey League with young stars and probable rookie of the year, with 40 goals, center Auston Matthews . The Leafs lack playoff experience, with forward Leo Komarov being the only one who has played in the playoffs.

The centers will carry the men in blue with sniper Nazim Kadri, and the steady hand of Brian Boyle. This will be a learning experience for the young Leafs.


The Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks

The San Jose Sharks are in deep water. Too many Sharks are injured going into these playoffs. Joe Thornton and Logan Couture could miss this series because of their injuries and San Jose needs both of them to out skate the young Oilers. The Shark led the Pacific Division early in the year before the mid-season collapse sending them out of the playoffs. The Sharks finally got it together in mid-January to make it back into the playoffs picture.

Goalie Martin Jones has been inconsistent in the nets and it has cost San Jose many games. Home ice does not mean what it did years ago in the South Bay. Teams are not afraid to come into the Tank. The second line of Marc Vlasic, Brent Burns, Goal Brother Joel Ward, and Patrick Marleau, Thomas Hertl have to step up for the Sharks first line. Center Joe Pavelski could change the men of teal season by scoring goals. Ward has stabilized the San Jose defense and can strike at the blue line with his wicked slap shoot. Wherever Ward has played the team wins in the playoffs. This could be his last chance at Lord Stanley’s Cup at 36 years old. Number 42 stats are 10 goals and 19 assist for 2017.

The Edmonton Oilers created the new energy in the western conference. This team may have built a team for the future with many young players. Goal Brother Darnell Nurse should keep the Oiler defense in line, with young gun center Connor McDavid and left winger veteran Milan Lucic should keep the Oilers in the playoffs on the offensive side. The Oilers finally got into the playoffs for the first time in seven years. The only question would be the man in net; goaltender Cam Talbot is an unknown, both nations will see him for the first time.

Nurse’s big body will protect Cam Talbot and can score if needed with 11 points the highest in three years.

This team is so talented but they just don’t get it done. They lack leadership on the ice. Joe Thronton should have been the enforcer but he has not shown up.

Sorry, Bay Area, but too many injuries to start this series…..


The Anaheim Ducks vs. Calgary Flames

Those freaking Ducks will not go away. You can’t kill them. Early in the season the Anaheim Ducks were in last place in the Pacific Division. General Manager Bob Murray found a new coach to fire the Ducks up in the middle of the season and it worked, the Anaheim Ducks won the Pacific Division the last month of the year. Goalie John Gibson has stabilized the Duck defense and has put confidence in the Anaheim defense.

The Ducks have retooled on the fly and kept moving; veterans Center Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Eaves will carry this team with the new bloods. Ryan Kesler and Antoine Vermette are Anaheim snipers and should keep the offense rolling.

The Calgary Flames have made the province of Alberta remember the old days of the 80’s and 90’s with both Edmonton and Calgary in the playoffs at the same time AGAIN. The Flames are leaning on rookie Matthew Tkachuk and veteran Johnny Gaudreau to make the Flames dangerous on the left side. I love T.J. Brodie because he is my kind of defenseman, playing hard and feisty.


Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com


©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod




Goal Brothers on Ice-2017

Gary Norris Gray-BASN-Staff Reporter

As the National Hockey Leagues doors are opening up to Black players, have to keep making their point and continue the notion that they too belong on the ice and can play the game. We scan the rink preparing for the playoffs with these new faces on the ice and acknowledge the challenges they face.

This year’s Black players are making strong influences in the National Hockey League with speed and power. They are also having a strong presence and influence on their own teams. We at BASN salute the Goal Brothers on ice.

#88 Jarome Iginla-Los Angeles. Kings- The Black God-Father on Ice.

Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunie Tig Junior Elvis Iginla is his birth name. Jarome was born in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. He was the first 18 year old that played for the providence rival Calgary Flames in 1996.

He was named the 18th captain in 2003 and has often been mistaken for the first Black captain in the NHL. Your’s truly learned that lesion too. That honor belongs to number 33 Dirk Graham of the Chicago Blackhawks .

Iginla is the 7th player to score 30 goals in 11 consecutive seasons but he still cannot get respect because he has not raised Lord Stanley’s Cup in victory.

The Los Angeles Kings tried to get the Black Godfather of hockey to the playoffs but the future looks dim with Los Angeles 12 points away from a wild card spot with 12 games left.

#23  J.T.Brown-Tampa Bay Lighting. Mr. Brown is one of the brightest African Americans in the National Hockey League. He was born in Burnsville, Minnesota. He made his Stanley Cup appearance against the dominate Chicago Blackhawks in 2014.  On June 24, 2016, the Lightning announced the re-signing of Brown to two-year contract extension. Brown played in 78 regular season games during the past season, recording eight goals and 22 points. Brown was tied for third on the team with a plus-16 rating. He set career bests in games played, goals, points, plus/minus and penalty minutes last season. He also appeared in nine Stanley Cup Playoff games, recording two assists and two penalty minutes. Brown has skated in 198 career NHL games, all with the Lightning over four seasons, registering 15 goals and 51 points. He also has skated in 37 playoff games, recording a goal and six points.

J.T. Brown is giving back to the sport he loves — and encouraging more minorities to join him on the ice — via a unique hockey mentoring program in Tampa. He is becoming the Willie O’Ree of the 2000 era.

#33 Dustin Byfuglien-Winnipeg Jets– Mr. Byfuglien is my favorite player and another African American on the ice. Dustin is the best defenseman in the NHL. Buff is also one of the biggest defensemen that ever played the game and he uses his size to block offensive players and their shots on net. Dustin won the Stanley Cup with the 2010 Chicago Blackhawk team over the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Hawks won the Cup on Philadelphia ice and the crowd was cordial until Dustin Byfuglien held the cup, skating around the rink. Boos and catcalls could be heard throughout Wachovia Arena, but that’s South Philly.

Teams forget that Buff has scoring power and can put the bisket in the basket. Byfuglien was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2003. Originally a defenseman at the start of the 2007–08 season, he was moved to a right wing position to give the team a larger body near the net. The experiment that proved successful. Buff should have stayed there but the Atlanta Thrashers moved him back to the defensive position. Too bad nobody is noticing.

This year in Winnipeg he has scored 12 goals and 35 assist. The League has conveniently tucked him away in Mid-west CANADA so Americans never get to see him play.

# 10 Anthony Duclair-Arizona Coyotes- Duclair was drafted by the New York Rangers in 2013. The Rangers never gave him a chance. He scored 5 points in the 2014 pre-season and was shipped to the Arizona Coyotes. Duclair has blossomed in the desert scoring 23 goals and 32 assist.

#66 Joshua Ho-Sang- New York Islanders- Ho-Sang sparked a minor controversy amongst hockey purists when he chose to wear sweater number #66 for the Islanders. Ho-Sang stated he chose the number to pay homage to Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hockey fans in Pittsburgh still do not like it. He was the second player, after Calgary Flames defenseman T. J. Brodie to wear the number after Lemieux in a regular season game. The League wants to retire number #66 just as the league retired Wayne Gretzky’s number #99. Until the league retires number 66. Anybody can still wear the number, so let the kid wear it and leave him alone.

This is the fastest man on the ice I’ve ever seen. Ho Sang is very aggressive in the offensive zone, pressuring other team’s defense and disrupting their flow. Number 66 should have been with the parent team months ago but the NHL continues to play the color game. As a Goal Brother he had to prove once again that he belonged. Ho-Sang scored three goals in one week with the Islanders when he was called up three weeks ago, pushing the Islanders toward the 2017 playoffs.  Can’t wait to see this player get his wings and fly in the NHL.

# 3 Seth Jones-Columbus Blue Jackets- The son of basketball star Popeye Jones. The African American invasion can be seen in full force in 2017. Jones should have been the number one draft pick in 2013 but ended up being the fourth overall pick at 19 years old. Seth is dedicated to the game and proves it on the ice with his play.

Jones was shocked when the Nashville Predators traded him to the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets in the middle of the season last year 2015-16. He is up to 39 points, 124 shots, 101 blocked shots and a plus-15 rating for the campaign while averaging over 23 minutes of ice time per game. Jones is never going to pile on the PIM or hits. He’s also worth a look in daily contests when Columbus faces an inferior opponent.

Jones knows how to win because he has been on four IIHF medal winning American teams in Russia, Czech Republic, and Germany. Now he is transferring this knowledge to the Bluejackets in the NHL.

# 4 Caleb Jones- Edmonton Oilers  The little brother of Seth Jones drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the fourth round in 2015. He had a bust out year with the Western Hockey League Portland Winterhawks with 64 points and 9 goals. The NHL will be seeing him next year in the great white Northwest Territories.

#25 Darnell Nurse-Edmonton Oilers- Nurse was the first part of the rebuilding blocks for the future in Edmonton and it has finally showed up this year with a playoff position for the first time in seven years.

Nurse was drafted 7th overall in 2013 but his career was slowed by ankle surgery in 2016 that took him out of the season.  The sports gene runs deep in this family Darnell is the son of former Canadian Football League wide receiver Richard Nurse. He is also the nephew of former NFL star quarterback Donovan McNabb-Philadelphia Eagles-Washington Football Club, who is married to Darnell’s aunt, Raquel Nurse McNabb.

After years of frustration the Edmonton Oilers might be on the right track toward another Stanley Cup Champion.

#21  Kyle Okposo, #9  Evander Kane, #56  Justin BaileyBuffalo Sabers

The Buffalo Sabers may be the NHL’s best kept secret as they keep driving towards improving the product on the ice in 2017 with midseason trades.

The New York Islanders let Kyle Okposo head north while the Winnipeg Jets sent Evander Kane east and drafted Justin Bailey. There is a buzz around this team of the future if they keep this trio.

Okposo missed two weeks with rib injuries but has been a very welcome addition to the Sabers offense this season, scoring 19 goals and 43 points in 63 games, He has scored at least 40 points the fourth straight season

Kane has been on fire the last three weeks and has put fear into the eyes of the eastern conference powerhouses, New York Rangers, Washington Capitols, Montreal Canadiens, and Ottawa Senators.

Kane while the sniper, has lit the lamp 10 times in the past 14 games and has contributed three assists over that span. Kane’s ability to put pucks on net and past goalies will continue to make him an asset in Buffalo. He has passed the 25 goal mark last week and will continue to fight hard for the Sabers.

Justin Bailey, A home town guy born, the son of Buffalo Bill linebacker Carlton Bailey, and raised in Buffalo and is another African American with sports lineage,  He could not wait to be a part of this new exciting team in the northeast. Justin was drafted in 2013 and has yo-yo-ied from Buffalo to the AHL Rochester Americans the past three and half years.

He was reassigned to Rochester on February 18, only to be recalled again three days later following an injury to Ryan O’Reilly. He scored his first NHL goal on January 3, 2017 against THE KING goalie Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers. The right winger might be the needed addition to the firepower. This team could be the new scoring machine in the east and challenge the Pittsburgh Penguins  next year

#29 Johnny Oduya-Chicago Blackhawks– The Black Swede got drafted in 2001 by the Washington Capitols and was then traded a year later to the New Jersey Devils only to become the stallworth on defense for this northeast team. Oduya returns to his 2nd home solidifying the Hawk defense. He has played in the Stanley Cup playoffs and won two of them, scoring 19 goals in 8 years.

In June 2013, Oduya won his first Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks, who defeated the Boston Bruins in six games in the Finals.  In Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Oduya assisted on the Cup winning goal scored by Dave Bolland. Oduya’s shot came from the left point and deflected off the stick of Michael Frolík. Bolland, in position in front of the Boston goal, pushed the deflected shot past Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask to give the Blackhawks their second Stanley Cup in four years.

#17 Wayne Simmonds-Philadelphia Flyers – Number 17 is the heart, body, and soul of the Philadelphia Flyers. Wayne Simmonds exemplifies what this teams stands for, The Broad Street Bullies of the 1970’s. Wayne the Train, leaves everything on the ice every night. Simmonds became a favorite among L.A. fans for his strong work ethic on and off the ice, a trait he has said was instilled in him by his parents. Coming to the City of Brotherly Love Simmonds worked even harder to please the fans in Philly.

Wayne Simmonds was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings and played well in Hollywood in 2007-2011. Hockey fans love a mucker and grinder because that means he is working hard to get the puck.

On September 22, 2011, during a preseason game in London, Ontario between the Detroit Red Wings and the Flyers, a banana was thrown onto the ice while Simmonds was making a shootout attempt. This was seen as an act of racism. The following day, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement regarding the events of the previous day. “We have millions of great fans who show tremendous respect for our players and for the game,” said Bettman in the statement, “the obviously stupid and ignorant action by one individual is in no way representative of our fans or the people of London, Ontario”. Chris Moorhouse later pleaded guilty to engaging in a prohibited activity under the Trespass Act and was fined $200 but did not need to appear in court.

#76 P.K. Subban-Nashville Predators– P.K. has found a southern home in Nashville after the Montreal Canadiens released him last year.

The Canadiens drafted him in 2nd round in 2007 and won the James Norris Trophy in 2013. He was the best player on the team and should have been named captain but because of the French Canadien pedigree Subban never had a chance

Subban then played all 82 games during 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, in which he registered a total of 53 points, ten of which were goals. During the 2014 playoffs, he was one of Montreal’s most important assets, registering 14 points in 17 games as the Canadiens ultimately reached the Eastern Conference Finals, falling to the New York Rangers.

He is also the stallworth of the Montreal community by giving funds to various agencies but he could not win the hearts of Les Habs fans and went off to Nashville, Tenn. and a peace of mind.

On September 16, 2015, Subban announced his donation of $10 million to the Montreal Children’s Hospital.  The hospital called it “the biggest philanthropic commitment by a sports figure in Canadian history. After his donation, Subban continued his commitment as spokesman and organized the Winter Wonderland with Air Canada at the hospital before the holidays. In 2017, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division) in recognition of how his “generous gift stands as an example of how professional athletes can positively change lives in their communities”.

#70 Malcolm Subban-Boston Bruins- The brother of P.K. Subban is the goaltender for the black and gold Boston Bruins. Malcolm keeps being shuttled back and forth to the parent team, the Providence Bruins. He has played only a single game this year and might be heading out of the Hub City with free agency the end of the year.

The Boston Bruins sometimes put Subban in unwinable situations and the talented goalie has trouble dealing with it. He has a tough time following in his star studded brothers footsteps.

#25 Devante Smith-Pelly-New Jersey Devils– Smith Pelly moved from the West Coast- Anaheim Ducks to the East Coast-New Jersey Devils.

Drafted in 2010 by the Anaheim Ducks and has played in the Stanley Cup twice, one for the Ducks and one for the Montreal Canadiens

In the 2015–16 season, Smith-Pelly got off to a strong start with the Canadiens as they started a franchise best 9 straight wins to start the year. With a mid-season collapse in progress and despite contributing with a career best 6 goals through 46 games, he was dealt by the Canadiens to the New Jersey Devils, just a little over a year from when he was acquired on February 29, 2016, in exchange for Stefan Matteau.

Smith Pelly is now the elder for the young Jersey Devils. He has become the teacher and on ice coach.

#75 Ryan Reaves-St. Louis Blues- The invisible man come from a athletic family, his father played for the CFL Winnipeg Blue Bombers and his brother suited up for the Rough Riders of Saskatchewan.

Reaves is the NHL modern day enforcer with a quiet voice. His size speaks for him. Reaves has scored 20 goals in his NHL career.

#42 Joel Ward-San Jose Sharks-  Ward, has been called Mr. Consistency standing at the blue line snapping hard slap shots for goals. Can’t believe it’s been 10 years already and his first  start in Minnesota. He changed the Washington Capitol defense system where the defensemen could be part of the offence.

In the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs The Boston Bruin crowd rode Ward the whole series. In the seventh game Joel Ward shut them down with an overtime goal from the point eliminating the defending champion Boston Bruins.

Ward has improved the San Jose defense which sometimes forgets to screen out players fly by the blue line creating havoc for the Shark defense.

Our Asian brothers are also beginning to hit the ice with style and grace.

#16 Matt Dumba- Minnesota Wild- Dumba is one of the first Filipino players on the ice. The Wild selected him with the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Dumba previously played junior with the Red Deer Rebels in Alberta.

He has bounced back and forth in the minors and the American Hockey League. Dumba returned to the parent club this year and is on a tear with 10 goals and 16 assist.  

#22 Devin Setoguchi- Calgary Flames  Devin is of Japanese descent and was a crowd favorite in San Jose In the 2010–11 season with the Sharks, on February 19, 2011, Setoguchi scored his first NHL Hat-trick in a 4-0 win against the Colorado Avalanche. On April 19, 2011, Setoguchi scored the game winner in overtime against the Los Angeles Kings to make the 1st round playoff series 2-1. On May 4, 2011, Setoguchi completed a hat trick in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semi-finals against the Detroit Red Wings by scoring an OT goal to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead in the series. Devin is currently playing with The Los Angeles Kings after a two year stay in The Swedish League.

#15 Andong Song- New York Islanders  Song played the Beijing International Ice Hockey League before moving to Canada at the age of ten.  The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey filled his teenage years on the ice. The Native Chinese got hooked watching the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils.

Song was drafted by the New York Islanders in the sixth round  and will be on the ice soon. Currently Song is playing for the BIG RED at Cornell University.


Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com


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