Sports, civics and a possible McCain problem

Republican candidate for governor and state Rep. Knute Buehler seems to be having a problem much like Sen. John McCain had in 2008. No, he doesn’t have an inept running mate. Instead, he seems to be struggling with trying to prove that he’s a conservative and not a right-leaning moderate. It’s almost like he’s afraid that maybe the Oregon Republican Party really wanted Trump-wannabe Sam Carpenter. 

The best thing to come out of New Jersey is still Bruce Springsteen. But here’s an idea that could rival the Boss: The Civic Info Bill. State leaders have included $5 million in their state budget to support innovative projects to improve local news coverage. This could be a civics lesson for Eugene — and the state of Oregon — to start pitching in to help out local journalism. 

• In back-to-back stories that broke this week, a pair of big-name pro athletes spoke out against racism, taking their criticism right to the top. First, San Francisco 49ers defensive back Richard Sherman — never one to mince words — blasted Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for his recent decision to bench any player who kneels during the National Anthem. “The owner of the Dallas Cowboys, with the old plantation mentality,” Sherman told USA TODAY. “What did you expect?” And then, in an interview with CNN, Lakers forward LeBron James, perhaps the most famous athlete in the universe, said that he would never sit across from Donald Trump. “We’re in a position right now in America where this whole race thing is taking over,” James told CNN. “One, because I believe our president is trying to divide us. He’s dividing us, and what I’ve noticed over the last few months is that he’s kind of used sport to kind of divide us.” Unlike FOX News host Laura Ingraham, who earlier this year suggested on air that James “shut up and dribble” instead of talking politics, we applaud these athletes for speaking out — as famous sports stars, yes, but also as concerned citizens in a country backsliding into bigotry, intolerance and, in the case of Trump and the NFL, a serious shredding of our Bill of Rights.

• Did you make it out to Sunday Streets and the EUG Parade this past July 29 weekend? We did and it was awesome. We still miss the Eugene Celebration, but we’re glad the city hasn’t forgotten how to celebrate what makes it a fun, quirky place to live. On that note, the SLUG queen application deadline is Aug. 3. Is it your time to slime? Go to