The New Yorker gives a welcome reprieve from its Chicken Little routine around the Trump administration with the story of Becky Hammon, the first female assistant coach in the NBA. The former WNBA star cultivated a rapport with San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich, who was so impressed with her basketball IQ that he decided to bring her onto his staff in 2014, making her “the first full-time female coach in big-time American men’s sports.”
The article contends that in America, sports is a place where “the segregation of the sexes is not only tolerated but sanctioned.” Hammon has turned down other head coaching jobs since joining the Spurs and pulled out of the running to be head coach of the men’s team at Colorado State, but she is seen as the most likely candidate to shatter the NBA’s glass ceiling.
Over at Harper’s, Thomas Frank, of “What’s the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America” notoriety, is waxing Cassandra-like with a cautionary tale for liberal democrats in the Age of Trump. The cover fits the tone of his piece perfectly, with a blissfully serene president floating above warring throngs of graying elites. His beef: folks upset with Trump, believing that a humanist savior, this time not Hillary Clinton but Special Counsel Bob Mueller, will rise from the ashes that is the current political scene and guide the righteous to the promised land of Democratic Party rule. Sorry, Frank says. If that’s the best the left can do, rather than fix the message for those poor people still waiting in Kansas (Frank published that book back in 2004) for an answer to their troubles, then yep, it’ll be four more years of Trump coming January 2021.
The Atlantic takes a look at why evangelicals are holding tight to Trump despite his many apparent moral failures. Michael Gerson writes, “Trump’s unapologetic materialism — his equation of financial and social success with human achievement and worth — is a negation of Christian teaching.” Evangelicals are said to want to meet with Trump in June over their concerns about his reported affair with porn star Stormy Daniels.
And on the theme of why people think the way they do, Ben Healy examines the landscape of rooting for sports teams, offering the eye-popping stats that after a loss, fans are more likely than usual to eat unhealthy food, be unproductive at work, and — in the case of the Super Bowl — die from heart disease.