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Disclaimer: This is not as a substitute for going to the hospital, especially if you’re in the highest risk category. These are firsthand tips on how to improve your situation at home if you get COVID-19.

Lt Col (Ret) Richard Angel 

My name is Dr. Richard Angel, an ER Doctor & Former Special Forces Medic. I’m 50 years old and I want to help as many people as possible get through having Coronavirus and keep them well enough to stay out of the hospital. I have Coronavirus and am recovering after 2 weeks of symptoms. Here is what I have done to stay relatively well and recommend these measures to you.

Dr. Angel’s Coronavirus Care:

1. Hydration: drink plenty of fluids, water, tea, warm beverages. Especially important for the elderly who are often dehydrated. This flushes the kidneys of toxins, keeps plenty of fluid in the body to keep secretions as liquid as possible – not allowing thick mucous to fill the lungs. An occasional toddy or hot herb tea with honey and lemon is great. (If unable to take much, sip small amounts of regular Gatorade or sports drinks and water. This will give you potassium, sodium and glucose, vital nutrients.)

2. Immune support: I like Zicam zinc throat lozenges 4 x a day, especially at night before going to bed to keep viral loads low. Also maybe Emergen-C, other supplements like Vitamin D 5000 U per day, perhaps some immune supporting mushrooms. Gargle and drink diluted apple cider vinegar may help, you may warm and add honey if needed.

3. Diet: Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and quality proteins. Oranges daily are great! Lemons and honey for your tea. This is not a time for a minimal diet: you want to be well fed with nutritious foods to prepare your body for potential loss of appetite. If you get sick enough to require hospital respiratory support, your body needs to be fueled up to “run a marathon”.

4. Medications: Zicam lozenges for prevention and treatment of symptoms. Plenty of cough drops. Vicks Vaporub is excellent and a must have item to decrease cough, open and soothe bronchial passages. Delsym 12 hr dextromethorphan extended release (the flat bottle) is a great baseline cough suppressant. You may add day and night cold and cough medicines, Tylenol (acetaminophen) as needed. NyQuil is good to help sleep with Vaporub and warm tea. Afrin or neti pot may help clear your nose as will over the counter sinus medications. There is an excellent old cough syrup that you can generally take with other medications, it is like liquid menthol, called “Buckley’s Original Mixture”. I highly recommend having some available—can be found on Amazon.

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5. Equipment: Vaporizer machine and Vaposteam. Get the old school one that heats up not cool mist. This is a lifesaver. I would also recommend a simple nebulizer machine ($50) and saline ampules (the pink ones). These are available on Amazon. You may need an albuterol ampule prescription as well. In addition to a thermometer, a fingertip pulse oximeter can be very useful. A general “cutoff” for being sick is about 94%—below this you may need to see a doctor. Shortness of breath and work of breathing are signs you are getting sicker and need to see a physician. (Or call in!)

  • [[Note: this is only intended for at home use while in quarantine. The use of these products might contribute to greater risk of infection for those around you. More info here.]]

6. Exercise: sunshine, light walking if you are ill is always great. If not symptomatic, keep workouts relatively light. Now is not a great time to suppress your immune system using energy recovering from a hardcore workout. However keeping fitness—especially cardiovascular at optimum levels which may pay big dividends if you get really sick.

7. Hot baths: hot tub soaks for 15 minutes twice a day may help with an “artificially induced fever” that makes you a less hospitable host for the virus among other benefits.

8. Hygiene: Shower/bath daily with clean clothes daily, brush teeth, etc. This cannot be underestimated—decreases the virus and the morale boost is very important.

9.[Update] Tylenol, NOT Ibuprofen: For pain and fever, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is preferred. For now it is probably best to avoid NSAID’s (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), aspirin. Studies and information are inconclusive about the safety of NSAID’s at this point but that may change in the near future. GORUCK will keep you posted.

In summary, the goal is to keep your body and immune system functioning at optimal levels, stay hydrated and make yourself unattractive to the virus!

So make some homemade chicken soup, do all the right things to avoid spread and we will get through this difficult time.

Wishing all of you good health and a speedy recovery.

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Coronovirus Medical Alert

This medical news is unverified, but worth considering

Doctor from NYU:
Information from Vienna’s laboratory studying COVID-19 say that the vast majority of people who died had ibuprofen/Advil in their system, so do not take it. Those who recovered did not take ibuprofen, so if you have symptoms, take Acetaminophen only. Looks like this virus thrives on ibuprofen so don’t do it and tell everyone you can.

The studies are still coming in; however, ibuprofen has had some adverse reactions to COVID19. Not all the NSAIDs have that problem though and NSAIDs like Tylenol, and Naproxen can be used to battle a fever if you have one… the treatment for a fever is NSAIDS. Please exercise caution with limited ibuprofen.

We are learning is that Advil makes the virus 10x worse. Tylenol only for the time being. Hearing is that Advil kickstarts the virus into pneumonia. Finding that some people in their 40s and 50s, who were previously healthy are being put on ventilators and having major SOB, with difficulty in breathing because they took Advil. No Advil or any NSAIDS.

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Chronicling the career and life of Kobe Bryant

Kobe, thanks for all the memories. Rest In Peace.

By Marc J. Spears

People have asked me time and time again: What’s Kobe Bryant like?

“Simply the best,” I always answered.

I first learned about how much he cared when he showed up for a charity game for Hurricane Katrina victims in Houston on Sept. 11, 2005. I will never forget the image of him sitting next to a young black boy on the bench during the charity event. Nor will I forget how he took the time to ask me questions about my New Orleans-based parents and family, who were affected by Katrina. It meant the world to me. There were other NBA stars there that day, including LeBron James and Allen Iverson, but Bryant was the star of the stars.

I first learned about Kobe’s graciousness on Oct. 24, 2008, when my former college basketball teammate Troy McCoy took his 7-year-old son, Cameron, and two of his friends to a Los Angeles Lakers preseason game as a birthday present. After hearing the kids cheering loudly for the Lakers in an otherwise quiet game, Lakers media relations director Alison Bogli gave McCoy and the kids postgame passes to meet some players. Long after the game, Bryant came out of the locker room looking around and saying, “Where’s Cameron at? Where’s Cameron?”

A stunned Cameron put his hand up in the air, but was too shy to say anything. Kobe walked up to the boy and said, “Hello, my name is Kobe. What’s your name?” Bryant got Cameron to respond, then offered the kids words of wisdom and took a picture with them.

Kobe Bryant (right) of the Los Angeles Lakers high-fives fans after the game against the Charlotte Hornets on Dec. 28, 2015, at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina.NATHANIEL S. BUTLER/NBAE VIA GETTY IMAGES

Kobe approached many of the people he was asked to meet postgame with attention to detail and focus, much like how he played ball.

“He would do a lot of due diligence on his own,” Michelle Obeso-Theus, who worked for Bryant from 2011-15, once told The Undefeated. “Regardless of how people view him, he is a genius. Very tenacious. Resilient.

“He taught me dedication and sacrifice to be great. His vision to see the future was crazy. When he said he wanted to meet someone, he always wanted to know what made them great. It didn’t matter if they were a wood-carver. He wanted to understand the mentality of what it takes for them to be a wood-carver.”

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On Sunday morning, Bryant died at age 41 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others. He leaves behind a basketball legacy as one of the greatest NBA players of all time and one of its fiercest competitors. He was an NBA MVP, five-time champion, 18-time All-Star, 11-time first team all-NBA selection and two-time Olympic gold medalist. But he was so much more.

Kobe wasn’t just another player I covered.

After he suffered a torn Achilles tendon injury in 2013, Bryant, showing his competitive fire, said via e-mail: “Please do me a favor though and write a piece about what I was doing prior to getting hurt and the numbers I was putting up and bringing the team to the footstep of the postseason. I feel they are forgetting how good I was for ANY age. And that nothing in my career suggests that I won’t come back just as good or better next season.”

Another time, when I mistakenly asked a question and referred to his four NBA championships, he quickly corrected me — it was five — and gave me that Mamba glare.

Kobe was often accommodating to me when doing interviews after games and practices. He called me “Big Spears” and used to give me a hard time for asking thought-provoking questions, once saying, “Man, you always asking me those Dr. Seuss a– questions.” He knew I could take his joking. Kobe had a sharp sense of humor.

Marc J. Spears (left) interviews Kobe Bryant (right) at NBA-All Star weekend in 2013 in Houston.MARC J. SPEARS

One time with his Nike right-hand man Nico Harrison by his side, he playfully objected to doing an interview with me after a Lakers practice unless I changed my wardrobe that day: an adidas sweatsuit and shoes. Keep in mind that Kobe was then a Nike endorser who had a bad breakup with adidas. After some good-natured ribbing, he did the interview.

But when it came down to it, Kobe was thoughtful. In March 2016, I landed a job as the senior NBA writer for ESPN’s The Undefeated and I gave him the news via e-mail. Bryant responded by writing: “Happy for you my brotha!!! Write from the heart!!! Always here for you.”

On Dec. 17, 2018, I was on hand as the Lakers retired both his No. 8 and No. 24. It was his night, but on his way out, he caught a glimpse of me and yelled, “Big Spears.” We shared an embrace and had a brief conversation before he was whisked away. And I am far from the only reporter who Kobe was gracious to, as he made time for countless other media people in sports and beyond.

I last had an in-depth conversation with Kobe in a phone interview last February. He told me about his busy schedule when I asked if he was keeping an eye on the Lakers.

“Look,” he said, “between building an entire studio from scratch, hiring a publishing-production company, licensing, building an animation studio, writing the book, between that and coaching my daughter’s team every single day, I have no time. I mean I have no time. None.”

He remained driven and dedicated to his family.

On March 19, 2019, Bryant released his first sports-fantasy book, The Wizenard Series: Training Camp. Written by Wesley King, Bryant’s youth series features characters of different races and background. He believed his daughters needed to see characters who looked like them.

“There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that the characters would be children of color, mixed-race, because that’s what I have at home,” Bryant said. “And that’s what I grew up with. But in the industry, itself, it is very hard to find that. Very, very hard to find that because we tend to … the general argument is that, ‘Well, they can’t appeal to the masses.’ ”

Kobe did.

The basketball world won’t be the same without him. Neither will mine. Rest in peace, Kobe.

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You’ll soon see these black college quarterbacks in the NFL

One of them could be the next Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson

By Donovan Dooley December 27, 2019

A new era of football has emerged. Black quarterbacks have transformed the sport.

And while doing so, they have helped to reconstruct an image of the black signal-caller that was misguided.

Players such as Russell WilsonPatrick MahomesDeshaun Watson and MVP front-runner Lamar Jackson have ushered in another shift in the perception of the black quarterbacks.

Next up are some of the best black quarterbacks who are taking over the college game and may become the next NFL stars.


Quarterback Kelly Bryant of the Missouri Tigers looks to pass against the Troy Trojans in the first quarter at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium Oct. 5 in Columbia, Missouri.ED ZURGA/GETTY IMAGES

After becoming a starter at Clemson, Kelly Bryant decided to take his career to Columbia, Missouri, where he became the man for the Missouri Tigers. Bryant’s season was slightly hampered by nagging injuries but he still managed to throw for 15 touchdowns and 2,215 yards in 2019. The dual-threat talent was able to compile a 138.6 passer rating and 62% completion rate.


Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields looks downfield during the Big Ten Football Championship game between the Wisconsin Badgers and Ohio State Buckeyes on Dec. 7 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.ZACH BOLINGER/ICON SPORTSWIRE

Ohio State Buckeye Justin Fields was a Heisman Trophy finalist as a true sophomore. The Georgia transfer left for Ohio State and had a dynamic first season for the Buckeyes. He threw for 2,953 yards and 40 touchdowns while only throwing one interception this season. Fields ranks in the top five of FBS quarterbacks in passing efficiency and passing touchdowns. He’s also rushed for nearly 500 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Fields will help lead Ohio State against Clemson in one of the college football playoff semifinals.


Utah Utes quarterback Tyler Huntley looks to pass during the second half of the Pac-12 Football Championship Game against the Oregon Ducks at Levi’s Stadium.KIRBY LEE-USA TODAY SPORTS

Tyler Huntley of Utah is second in FBS in completion percentage (73.7%) and ranks in the top 10 in the FBS in both yards per completion and passing efficiency. He has thrown for 2,966 yards and 18 touchdowns on the season and ended his 2019 campaign with a 181.8 passer rating. Huntley also ranks in the top 25 of FBS quarterbacks in passing yards. He led the Utah Utes to an 11-win season and will looks to cap off his career against the Texas Longhorns in the Valero Alamo Bowl.


Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts (right) fakes the handoff to running back Kennedy Brooks (left) during the Big 12 championship college football game between the Oklahoma Sooners and Baylor Bears on Dec. 7 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.MATTHEW VISINSKY/ICON SPORTSWIRE

Jalen Hurts’ historic journey in college football culminated in a stellar 2019 season that resulted in him becoming a Heisman Trophy finalist. The Oklahoma quarterback finished the regular season first in the FBS in passing yards per completion, third in passing efficiency, fourth in completion percentage and sixth in passing yards. Hurts threw for 3,634 passing yards and 32 touchdowns while completing 71.8% of his passes. He also ran for more than 1, 200 yards and 18 touchdowns in his senior campaign. Hurts led Alabama to a national title while he was the quarterback for the Crimson Tide in 2017.


Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Kellen Mond (center) drops back to pass in the Southwest Classic between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Texas A&M Aggies on Sept. 28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.JOHN BUNCH/ICON SPORTSWIRE

Kellen Mond will lead Texas A&M into a showdown with the Oklahoma State Bulldogs in the Texas Bowl. After a stellar career for the Aggies, Mond finished the 2019 season with 2,802 yards passing and 19 touchdowns. He accumulated a 131.3 passer rating and completed 61.3% of his passes for the Aggies.


Wake Forest Demon Deacons quarterback Jamie Newman (center) during the Birmingham Bowl between the Memphis Tigers and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Dec. 22, 2018, at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.MICHAEL WADE/ICON SPORTSWIRE

Jamie Newman led the Wake Forest Demon Deacons to an 8-4 record this season and a matchup with Michigan State in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. The dual-threat quarterback passed for 2,693 yards in 2019 with 23 touchdown passes. Newman finished in the top 30 of all FBS quarterbacks in passing touchdowns and completed 62.3% of his passes. He ended the regular season with a 146.7 passer rating while rushing for close to 500 yards.


Virginia Cavaliers quarterback Bryce Perkins runs with the ball to score a touchdown against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the first quarter at Scott Stadium.GEOFF BURKE-USA TODAY SPORTS

Bryce Perkins ranks in the top 20 of FBS quarterbacks in passing yards. He has thrown for 3,215 yards in 2019 while connecting on 18 passing touchdowns. Perkins finished the season completing 64% of his passes and accumulating a 131.5 passer rating. He rushed for close to 750 yards with 11 rushing touchdowns. He helped lead the Virginia Cavaliers to the ACC title game this season and will hope to lead UVA to a win in the Capital One Orange Bowl against Florida.


Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate passes against Stanford in the first half of an NCAA college football game Oct. 26 in Stanford, California. Ben Margot/AP Photo

Khalil Tate, the dual-threat quarterback for Arizona, threw for more than 1,500 yards and rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 2017. This season, Tate ended the year throwing for 1,954 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Wildcats quarterback also rushed for just over 400 yards and completed 60% of his passes.

Donovan Dooley is a Rhoden Fellow and a multimedia journalism major from Tuscaloosa, AL. He attends North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University.

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How racism impacts the NCAA cases of James Wiseman and Chase Young

Colleges athletes won’t be compensated until fans decide they should be treated fairly

James Wiseman (left) of the Memphis Tigers and Anthony Mathis (right) of the Oregon Ducks battle for position during the second half of the game at Moda Center on Nov. 12 in Portland, Oregon. Oregon won the game 82-74. Steve Dykes/Getty Images

By Matenzie Johnson

Every summer since his freshman season, Georgia junior quarterback Jake Fromm has traveled to the same farm located a half-hour away from the Athens campus. Fromm, according to a Sports Illustratedreport from September, uses the trips as an “escape” ahead of the season, an opportunity to “just relax.” The farm sits on 182 acres of land, where estates in Athens-Clarke County half that size can go for $1.2 million.

The farm doesn’t belong to the Fromm family, who are from Warner Robins, Georgia, some two hours away from the University of Georgia. According to the report, it belongs to a nameless family of a friend of Fromm’s, who has allowed the 2017 SEC freshman of the year and 2018 Rose Bowl winner to use the property whenever he pleases.

Despite what is clearly an “extra benefit” for Fromm solely for being the starting quarterback for the No. 4 team in the country, there has been no (publicly announced, at least) investigation of Fromm’s use of the farm or a self-imposed suspension of him by the university. If that same benefit were not “generally available” to regular students, NCAA bylaws forbid it being available to athletes like Fromm.

Ohio State Chase Young before a game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Indiana Hoosiers on Sept. 14 at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana.JAMES BLACK/ICON SPORTSWIRE

It must be pointed out, for reasons that will make sense in a bit, that Fromm is white.

Which brings us to the cases of Ohio State football player Chase Young and Memphis basketball player James Wiseman. On Nov. 9, after Young sat out Ohio State’s game against Maryland, ESPN reported that Young could be suspended up to four games by the NCAA for accepting a small loan from a family friend to help fly his girlfriend to last season’s Rose Bowl. (On Wednesday, Ohio State announced Young, a defensive end, would have to miss two games, including the Maryland game.)

On Thursday, Memphis declared Wiseman, a freshman center, ineligible and will be held out while it awaits reinstatement from the NCAA. On Nov. 8, Memphis announced he had been ruled ineligible by the NCAA because his family accepted $11,500 from then-high school basketball coach Penny Hardaway in 2017. Hardaway is now Wiseman’s coach at Memphis.

Young and Wiseman, who are both black, could be the No. 1 overall picks in their respective drafts next spring but will likely miss a large portion of their seasons. The two, along with Fromm, clearly received benefits non-athletes at their schools would not have available to them, yet the role of race caused Young and Wiseman to be punished while Fromm hasn’t missed a start the past two seasons.

The NCAA has always used the excuse of competitive balance, fairness or amateurism to prevent athletes from being compensated for making the NCAA a multibillion-dollar corporation. And while there could be some merits in wanting to prevent dynasties in college sports (though the NCAA has failed in that regard; see: Alabama and Clemson football), what’s actually driven the organization’s continued policing of these improper benefits is the racism of the college sports fan base.

(Here’s where I have to say that white athletes have also been ruled ineligible due to violating NCAA rules, including former BYU basketball player Nick Emery and former Baylor football player Silas Nacita. Those infractions are few and far between.)

Until its fan base decides it no longer opposes black athletes being treated fairly, the NCAA will have no obligation to actually do the right thing.

Paying college athletes or allowing them to be compensated for their highly valuable likenesses could mean two things for the NCAA: 1) less money for coaches, administrators, universities and; 2) the risk of offending their majority-white fan base.

Despite, according to the NCAA, black athletes making up a majority or plurality of Division I college football (49%) and men’s (57%) and women’s (52%) basketball rosters, a 2013 Nielsen report found that 82% and 80% of its audience for football and men’s basketball bowl and tournament games that year, respectively, were white, compared with black fans at 13% and 14%.

With that in mind, a 2017 Washington Post and University of Massachusetts Lowell national poll found that 54% of black Americans supported players being paid by schools while 59% of white Americans were opposed. When it comes to image and likeness — which is in the news due to California recently signing into law the Fair Pay to Play Act and the NCAA subsequently voting to pave the way toward compensation — 89% of black Americans support pay compared with just 60% of white Americans.

Critics of paying players — such as Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney, who has a 10-year, $93 million contract and said in May he would consider quitting his job if players were paid — point to the “professionalization” of college sports as the reason for their reservations. The thinking goes that if players were paid for their labor, they would lose their supposed “love of the game” and begin behaving like the so-called divas in professional sports who coincidentally are predominantly black (the NFL is 58.9% black and the NBA is 74.8% black, according to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida).

In layman’s terms: Black athletes subsidize the scholarships of white athletes.

There’s also the argument that if players in basketball and football, colleges’ lone revenue-generating sports, were paid, it would negatively impact the standing of non-revenue sports such as track and field, golf, hockey and wrestling. And what do those sort of sports all have in common? They’re all predominantly composed of whites. In the Big Ten and American Athletic Conference, the two conferences Young and Wiseman play in, black athletes make up 58% of basketball players and 48% of football players but only 1% of golfers, 1% of hockey players and 7% of wrestlers.

In layman’s terms: Black athletes subsidize the scholarships of white athletes.

Wiseman and Young weren’t ruled ineligible specifically because of the color of their skin. But the system that ruled them ineligible was built on catering to the racist ideologies of the system’s customers. Fromm wasn’t not punished because he is white, but because handouts for white people are perceived wholly differently than they are for black people.

It’s commendable that the NCAA is taking steps toward allowing players to be paid, but until its fan base decides it no longer opposes black athletes being treated fairly, the NCAA will have no obligation to actually do the right thing.

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Is Jay-Z going to the NFL to get paid?

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (left) and Jay-Z (right) greet each other at the Roc Nation and NFL partnership announcement Aug. 14 at Roc Nation in New York City. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation

By Bomani Jones

Welcome to this month in 2019, when Jay-Z looked more like a billionaire than ever. His company, Roc Nation, signed a deal with the NFL to produce entertainment for events including Super Bowl halftime, ensuring diverse acts for the show. This is an entertainment deal, one that might get more progressive acts to feel better about performing at NFL events. But Roc Nation will also amplify the league’s Inspire Change initiative, which could be roundly described as “social justice stuff.”

He has also supported Colin Kaepernick — who, as you may have heard, still doesn’t have a job — turned down an opportunity to perform at halftime of the Super Bowl and bragged about his defiance of the league on “APES—.”

August also saw Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross — the man behind the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), an organization dedicated to fighting racial discrimination in sports — holding a fundraiser for President Donald Trump at a moment when the White House and white supremacy were inextricably linked.

Ross supported his protesting players in 2016 until he felt their demonstrations were offending the public, at which point he led the charge to get players to be cool during the national anthem. He was a face of that request because of the goodwill he had built up as a known ally on the side of right.

Jay-Z and Ross are trying to play both sides. Each wants the world to know he may be an apex predator capitalist, but, beneath the cold cynicism that made each rich, there’s a heart of gold and he wants to fix the wrongs of the world. I mean, it’s possible that’s true. But few become billionaires by being good. Helping uninvested parties isn’t as lucrative as hurting them.

Remember that while watching two men, ostensibly trying to improve race relations in America via sports but doing business with people many think — and, in some cases, know — are aligned on the opposite side of that fight. Notice that they’re moving the same way. Both are billionaires before all.

The NFL got into the social justice business — everything it gets into is business — in 2017, when it started Inspire Change with the Players Coalition, which emerged in the aftermath of Kaepernick’s 2016 protests. But no nonprofit can succeed unless it’s clear that those behind it care about its aims, and the NFL had done little to engender that trust.

The NFL uses Ross and Jay-Z for credibility the league doesn’t have. RISE allows the league to show that one of its owners — sweh fo gawd — really cares about this stuff, and Ross can serve the NFL’s interests while seeming like a voice of reason because of his good works.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports is correct in noting that Jay-Z serves perfectly as the “figurehead” Bills owner Terry Pegula thought the league needed to present itself to the public as dedicated to the matters that concern its players. Jay-Z is respected by black people, and his voice is so big that no owner would ever need to speak on the matter again.

People listen when billionaires talk, and these guys can send the same message to different rooms. But what each has done, with the NFL, is work to effectively take the voices away from the players. On Tuesday, Jay-Z presented Inspire Change as a potential alternative to on-field demonstrations. Ross and his fellow owners must love that. On Wednesday, Jay said he supported protest as long as it’s effective but gave no indication of how to measure that.

Bottom line is, if Jay and the league have their way, no one’s going apes— on their watch.

But Kaepernick’s impact was so great specifically because he did it on the field. He made his point where cameras would be, rather than having to drag them along with him in the streets. He used a specific platform, an NFL football field, to call for a respect for humanity the same way the league uses that platform to venerate the military and save the lives of those fighting cancer. The league knows time and place can be worth more than dollars, but it and its newest partner want to deprive Inspire Change of its most valuable setting while saying that they care. After all, the man who once sold “Occupy All Streets” T-shirts and didn’t share the profits with the Occupy Wall Street protesters is on board, and he said Wednesday, “I think we’re past kneeling,” as if he were one of the players on a knee.

While this happens, Ross is free to do the loudest thing he could: help raise eight figures for the express purpose of amplifying the president’s message. That’s more than the NFL donated to Inspire Change in 2018.

Look, supporting the president and fighting racism may not be antithetical, but the Venn diagram of those most dedicated to fighting racism and those most supportive of the president might be Jim Brown and a few Twitter bots.

For Jay-Z, doing business with the NFL, even with the potential to help “millions and millions of people,” as he put it Wednesday, is hard to reconcile with the indefensible unemployment of the man who spurred the league to get involved in these matters, whom Jay has called “an icon.” It’s glaring that the Roc Nation partnership will serve a program Kap believes is a subversion of his initial message (and one where the league, not the Players Coalition, controls the board). Similarly, while Ross is clear that he and his friend in Washington disagree on race, the money he’s raising will fund a campaign that will almost certainly feature the president’s views on race.

These two might think they can play both sides. The rich always have. But 2019 feels a bit different.

The rich still move with relative impunity, but it’s harder for them to ignore the noise surrounding their decisions. The dedication to dollars seemed more admirable in stronger economic times, and one’s credibility can be checked by the public in ways it couldn’t before. Millennials are strident and demonstrative with their opinions, and they can be performative and principled about their purchases (as Ross’ Equinox and SoulCycle fitness companies learned last week). RISE donors and supporters may wonder if the man they’re supporting is working against him when they turn their backs.

As for Jay-Z, he entered talks with the NFL less than a year after those “APES—” lyrics. If he didn’t need the NFL then, why would he want them now?

Ross and Jay-Z got rich because, duh, that was the point. That is what they’re about first and foremost, like most great athletes are dedicated to their craft above all else. No one gets from Detroit or the Marcy Projects to Park Avenue by accident. They did what it took to get there, and they’ll do more to stay. To expect anything else is naive.

But for men like them to position themselves as anything else is disingenuous. When in conflict with the president, Ross has chosen his friend and what that friend can do for him over his purported principles. While Jay’s support for Kaepernick was almost certainly genuine, he is in bed with Kap’s primary enemies, those who fought the hardest to silence him and his message.

No matter where Jay started, he’s now got more in common with NFL owners than with NFL players. His perspective is informed by his past and, presumably, his blackness, but his actions are largely determined by his present and his portfolio. He’s a billionaire like Stephen Ross and his buddies, and now they’re all doing business. And maybe Ross and Jay-Z can play both sides, helping the world and making beaucoup profits at the same time.

But if they’re forced to choose one, it’s pretty clear which way Ross and Jay-Z will go — the same way they’ve always gone, the one that made them billionaires. How that will play out remains to be seen.