Latest SI Cover Shows Sports Figures Arm In Arm, But One Key Person Is Missing
The Oct. 2 issue of SI features 10 figures front and center in the national discourse following President Trump's comments last weekend in Alabama, and SI Exec Editor Stephen Cannella said the magazine with the cover wanted to capture both the "news of the weekend" and the "enduring message of what we saw." Cannella noted this was a "historic weekend for both sports and the country," and the lasting image from the NFL action on Sunday was a "sense of unity." The cover includes figures like NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Cavaliers F LeBron James, Warriors G Stephen Curry, Jaguars Owner Shahid Khan and A's C Bruce Maxwell and carries the headline, "A Nation Divided, Sports United." Cannella said, "We’re not pretending everything is solved, we’re not pretending that sports has it licked. But what we saw in various ways ... is the way the sports world is coming together, and the sports world is acknowledging they’re not perfect." He said Goodell was put on the cover in part because he "represents The Shield." Cannella: "There was a lot of debate over how strong his statement was ... but I thought he came out fairly stronger than I expected.” Meanwhile, conspicuous by his absence is Colin Kaepernick. Cannella said, "In some ways, even though his picture’s not there, Kaepernick is there. I think we all know that. Colin Kaepernick -- for lack of a better word -- is looming over everything that happened this past weekend and looms over many issues in society right now.” Cannella added, “What we were trying to capture with this cover was the way new voices emerged this weekend and the way this ... protest movement has evolved even beyond Colin Kaepernick" ("SI Now," FACEBOOK.com, 9/26).
SOMEONE'S MISSING: SB NATION's James Dator writes the SI cover "aims to present sports as a unified force amid a country in turmoil," but it fails to "depict why protests began in the first place." SI's may have gone with "more prominent, current figures" instead of Kaepernick, but he is "still more qualified to have a spot" than Goodell, Khan or Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (SBNATION.com, 9/26). THE DAILY BEAST's Hayley Jones writes the cover "has the world asking, 'Where's Kap?'" Kaepernick "began the movement of players kneeling during the national anthem, and yet, he is missing" (THEDAILYBEAST.com, 9/26). Meanwhile, VOX.com's German Lopez notes the cover "could show the evolution of the protests." However, as the "demonstrations have grown in response to Kaepernick taking a knee ... his original message about police and systemic racism has gotten lost" (VOX.com, 9/26).