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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Thursday, May 13

a new WNBA documentary

Leeds United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Hi, all!

Congratulations to Graham Potter for winning yesterday’s poll and getting 70% of the vote. For your records, Brendan Rodgers and Other were joint second at 11%.

Ramble of the Day

Ahead of the start of the WNBA season, ESPN is airing 144, a documentary about the league’s 2020 season that was played entirely in a bubble in Florida. The documentary naturally captures the unique challenges playing during a pandemic brought, but also covers the players’ commitment to acts of anti-racism during the season.

Per the Guardian’s review, the documentary provides a lot of context for the end product we tend to see in terms of shows of solidarity with the victims of police violence. The Guardian review spotlights a particular scene that took place before player opted not to play in the wake of Jacob Blake’s shooting:

The shooting of Jacob Blake impacts the players and they discuss not playing as a boycott. We get to witness their player-only meetings and discuss why and how it remains important to use the most powerful platform of basketball to disseminate information and help people learn about the intersections of sports and racial equality. ...

After the players unanimously decided not to play that day, Elizabeth Williams of the Atlanta Dream read a statement in which the players demanded change. As the film pans from players supporting each other, basketball commentator LaChina Robinson is heard in a voiceover saying that “this was their way of putting their arms around a community – from a distance.”

As someone who has an interest in the intersection of sports and the rest of the world, this seems like a fascinating watch. For pandemic-related reasons alone, the WNBA bubble and others like it will be worth remembering. A year later, though, it’s very obvious that the WNBA (and similarly, the NBA) played an influential role as athletes became the faces of anti-racism campaigns across the world. It’s a snapshot of a pretty significant moment in our lifetimes, and I always end up fascinated with works like that.

Links of the Day

Barcelona, Juventus, and Real Madrid face a two year ban from European competition if they do not withdraw from the European Super League.

Casey Stoney resigned as Manchester United manager, ending her three year spell at the club.

Virgil van Dijk will not play for the Netherlands at the Euros as he continues to recover from an ACL tear.

Orlando City was sold to the Wilf family, owners of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.

Transfer updates: OL Reign signed Eugénie Le Sommer on loan from Lyon until the end of the 2021 NWSL season; Ryan Bertrand will leave Southampton at the end of the season; Bayern signed Saki Kumagai from Lyon

A longer read: Rory Smith on how Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski has perfected the art of scoring for The New York Times