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Sometimes in the wake of untoward events, it's the smallest gestures that make the biggest difference. Other times, it seems, a grand gesture may be necessary. Yes, this is about racism. No, this isn't just about getting Donald Sterling out of the NBA.

This is an interesting time in all sports to look at the impact of racism, from the NBA issues to recurring instances in the world of international football to lingering thoughts about social change in both Major League Baseball and the National Football League. So, no, this isn't just about Sterling's recent comments, but those comments can serve as a catalyst for a much bigger conversation, and afford all of us in sports the opportunity to reflect and react.

It means a lot that people, such as LeBron James and Michael Jordan, have publicly admonished the comments reportedly made by Sterling about not wanting his then-girlfriend to bring black people to Los Angeles Clippers games. The league needs its leaders—past and present—to be united against any form of hatred and bigotry, especially when it comes from one of its owners.

Magic Johnson saying he will never go to a Clippers game as long as Sterling is the owner means a lot too. The most important basketball figure in Los Angeles in the last 40 years publicly denouncing Sterling is a very big deal.

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AP Images

It is not news that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is racist. It becomes news, however, when Sterling saying ridiculously racist things gets leaked to TMZ, which released a tape that claims to be the Clippers owner arguing with his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, about bringing black people to games with her and posing for pictures with other minorities on Instagram.

Again, Donald Sterling being a racist is not news. Donald Sterling being this blatantly racist, on tape, is.

It would also be news if the NBA acted on this scandal, forcing Sterling to sell the team in an effort to finally disassociate the league from his horrendous set of beliefs.

It would certainly be news if, failing the NBA's iron fist coming down on Sterling once and for all, everyone working for him just up and quit.

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This sure gives new meaning to the term "one-and-done," doesn't it?

Mitch McGary, the standout big man for the Michigan Wolverines who missed most of this NCAA basketball season with a back injury that required surgery, announced this week he is officially declaring for the NBA. McGary had been debating a return to Michigan after his tough sophomore season but opted to turn pro after the NCAA banned him for a full year for smoking weed. Once.

From Dan Wetzel over at Yahoo:

A few days later, Michigan head coach John Beilein invited McGary to dress for one of the team's NCAA games as a way of motivating the team, even though everyone knew McGary was not fit to play.

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The 2014 NFL schedule was finally released Wednesday night, ending weeks of speculation as to who is playing where and when this coming fall. The NFL Network marked the occasion with a three-hour televised eventshowing us that, yes, only the NFL can put a show in prime time that has but one function: to tell viewers when their actual show will be on this season.

Thankfully, the league didn't wait until the end of their three-hour tour of the schedule to release it to the masses, creating a feeding frenzy of trip-planning, ticket-brokering and NFL-division-prognosticating well into the night on Wednesday and trickling on through to Thursday's news cycle.

The NFL schedule is a big freaking deal in this country, and it's great to finally get a chance to break it all down.

And while far smarter footballing minds than mine are scouring the 17-week slate for the best matchups, toughest schedules and easiest roads to the postseason, I find myself far more fascinated with breaking down the logic of the NFL schedule-makers.

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USA Today

I have always—always—been a fan of being right.

And yet, the more I watch the referees, umpires and officials policing our modern-day sporting events, the more I realize our efforts to be right at all costs have begun to hurt the integrity of the games these rules were put in place to help.

Is it possible that being right…can be wrong?

Players make mistakes all the time, but our officials are now being held to a standard of competence none of them is equipped to uphold. When referees are accused of a mistake, most sports have put in place a series of complicated rules to verify and, if necessary, correct these errors.

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Alex Morgan is stealing the World Cup trophy for America! Or, more appropriately stated, Morgan—one of the best women's soccer players on the planet—is leading a group of celebrities and stars of the game, along with Coca-Cola, to bring the World Cup trophy to America as part of a multi-national tour to Brazil this summer.

I spoke with Morgan this week about the World Cup tour as well as her thoughts on the current state of the game—for both the men and women's United States national teams—heading into a very important time for soccer in this country.

Morgan and I also discussed how hard it has been for her to miss time due to a prolonged ankle injury, how her recovery is going both physically and emotionally and what advice she has for some of the stars of the men's game that may miss the World Cup due to injury.

Additionally, Morgan shared some thoughts about the future of the game in America, and we had a laugh at the insanity of seven-year olds playing travel soccer. Morgan didn't begin playing travel and select soccer until she was a teenager, and didn't focus just on soccer until high school, which makes me wonder if my six-year old playing three days a week is a great sign for the future of the sport in this country, or absolutely insane.

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In some ways, it's hard to believe it has already been a year since a series of bombs went off at the Boston Marathon. In other ways, specifically for those most closely affected by the impact of the explosions on Boylston Street in Boston, Mass., that occurred just before three in the afternoon on April 15, 2013, the year could not have felt longer.

The truth is, when my editor came to me and asked me to write about the one-year anniversary of such a terrible time in our country's recent history, I didn't want to write about it any more than I assume many of you wanted to read about it.

Commemorations are never easy, and while time offers many of us perspective on things we find impossible for our minds to properly process at the time, this one—and others like this that lead back to the events that took place on an early autumn morning in 2001— still seems particularly painful to remember.

It feels hard to believe it has been a year since two 20-something brothers decided to attack a major United States city, putting our entire country on notice that no one is ever truly safe, especially at a major public event. That feeling is as terrifying today as it was a year ago.

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The Masters tournament was decided by a risk-taking lefty who outplayed a wonderfully talented field, paced by a phenomenal player in his 20s the entire golf world should suddenly start to fear.

No, it is not 2004.

Yes, the game of golf will be just fine without Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.

Bubba Watson is now a two-time Masters champion, besting a field of contenders led by 20-year-old Jordan Spieth, who told us more about both his talent and maturity in defeat this weekend than most tournament champions ever show in victory.

Watson displayed championship mettle all tournament, shooting three rounds in the 60s to win his second green jacket in three years, this time by a margin of three strokes over Spieth and Jonas Blixt.

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Every major golf tournament seems to have a theme on the opening day, and the theme for day one of the 2014 Masters—at least if we go by nearly every commentator working the various video streams for CBS, ESPN and Masters.com—is that the absence of Tiger Woods may serve as a catalyst for a youth movement that may create history this weekend.

There are 24 first-time participants at the Masters, a number that includes six amateurs and 18 professionals, and every time one of those rookies hit a good shot on Thursday, we were reminded that this year could be a year for a Masters rookie to win. Consider the narrative hammered home.

Of course, the host of former champions in the field could have something to say about that actually happening.

There are three former champions in red numbers after one round, including the last two winners in Bubba Watson and Adam Scott who both shot three-under 69. The third? It's ageless wonder Fred Couples, who shot a one-under 71 and always seems to be in the mix on Thursday at the Masters.

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Ten years. Ten years? TEN YEARS!?!?

It has been 10 years since Phil Mickelson won his first major championship, besting Ernie Els with a miraculous putt on the 18th green at Augusta National, transforming Lefty from the best player to never win a major into a bona fide Hall of Famer.

Ten years.

(I mean technically it has been 11 years since Phil first won the Masters, but the numeric connection of 2004 and 2014 makes this anniversary much cleaner to chronicle. And yes, I clicked the above link and suddenly can't stop imagining John Cusack starring in a movie about Mickelson's career with Jeremy Piven playing the role of caddy Jim "Bones" Mackay.)

It has been a decade since Mickelson put together one of the great second nines in Augusta history, carding a five-under 31 over the final stretch on Sunday to beat Els by one stroke. It may have taken him a while to win that first major, but Mickelson has certainly managed to make up for lost time.