All That and a Bag of Mail

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It’s Friday, time for the mailbag to help you get through the last day of the week.

Without further ado, here we go.

Given that the NBA draft was last night, I want you guys to look at the 247 composite list of top basketball recruits and then compare it with the top draft picks last night. Seven of the top eight prospects in the class of 2016 were the top picks in last night’s draft.

This makes it all the more absurd, as I argued on this morning’s radio show, that 18 year olds aren’t allowed to go straight to the NBA.

On to the mailbag.

“A bunch of you asked, what should happen to Johnny Depp for saying that an actor should assassinate Donald Trump?”

If you haven’t seen or heard it yet, Depp said as follows:

“I think he (Trump) needs help and there are a lot of wonderful dark, dark places he could go,” Depp said, before continuing. 

“When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” he asked. 

“I want to clarify, I am not an actor. I lie for a living,” Depp said. “However, it has been a while and maybe it is time.”

I bolded the last line because it’s an indefensible thing to say. Now you guys know I’m a First Amendment absolutist and I certainly don’t believe Johnny Depp was personally threatening the president here, but Depp has millions of fans all over the world and many of those fans are deranged and mentally unstable.

We already know that a crazy man tried to kill Ronald Reagan to impress Jodie Foster. Is it possible that a mentally deranged Johnny Depp fan could see these remarks and decide to try and kill Trump to curry favor with Depp? Certainly.

Which is why these remarks are indefensible.

I can’t believe I have to say this, but if you’re a public figure — or just a normal person on Twitter or Facebook — you can’t endorse or condone the assassination of a democratically elected leader anywhere in the world. I’m incredibly troubled that this has even become a trend. If you don’t like the president, try to beat him in the next election and combat his policy objectives as best you can in the political process. But stop arguing that violence should befall him. It is, frankly, unacceptable.

I would imagine that a liberal like Johnny Depp wouldn’t dream of dropping a racial or gay slur while addressing a public audience. If he wouldn’t do that, why does he remotely think it’s acceptable to suggest violence against someone with different political opinions than his own? I’m glad that liberals are so tolerant and inclusive of differing viewpoints.

Now, at the same time, I don’t want statements like these to be prosecuted as crimes because I’m a first amendment absolutist and I don’t believe Depp was threatening the president himself. But I do believe that public response should be swift in condemning the remarks. And if you personally want to exercise your first amendment rights and choose to spend your entertainment dollars in ways that don’t benefit Johnny Depp, his films, or his partners, I think that’s a perfectly fine message to send.

Josh writes:

“As you have probably heard, California’s Attorney General has banned all state travel to several states (Texas, Alabama, South Dakota and Kentucky are the most recent) owing to his perception that those states hate LGBTQ people. Well, Fresno State is scheduled to come to Tuscaloosa this year for a good old game of American football. Also, off the top of my head, at least one bowl (Alamo Bowl) has a Pac 12 tie-in and it is in Texas. I’m sure with all of the schools in California and all of the schools in those other states, there are probably a ton of other cases like that. Does Fresno State (and all the other schools this probably applies to) have to forfeit or will California fold like a little bitch? If they do refuse to let Fresno State travel, what are the repercussions? All of those tickets that fans bought, advertising that’s been paid for. Who has to pay that? I really hope California sticks to its guns.”

Right now California bans state travel to eight states — the four mentioned above and also Tennessee, Kentucky, South Dakota and North Carolina. This year UCLA is scheduled to travel to Memphis and Cal is scheduled to travel to UNC for football games. But those games are exempt from the ban because they were scheduled before January 1st. I’m assuming the new state restrictions will also have an exemption for games scheduled before a set date with the new regulation as well so I’m sure Fresno State will still travel to Alabama.

Having said that, this is a pretty insane prohibition. Because in theory it would mean that no home and home games could be played between teams from Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama and Kentucky and teams in California. So UCLA-Tennessee and UCLA-Cal, both of which were home and homes for the Vols in the past decade, would be prohibited under California law right now. The same thing is true of the Texas A&M-UCLA series and, for instance the UCLA and Kentucky basketball games we saw the past couple of years.

USC and Texas presently have a home and home series scheduled in 2017-18, but since USC is a private institution I wouldn’t think the prohibition would apply to them. However, think about the massive ramifications this policy could have in, for instance, conference realignment. What if Texas decided to join the Pac 12? Would Cal and UCLA sports teams really not be able to travel to play the Longhorns in Texas?

Here’s an even wilder question for you — what would happen if UCLA or Cal made next year’s playoff game in Dallas, Texas? Since they are public, state institutions, would they be allowed to travel to the game under state law? And if not, doesn’t that prohibition directly conflict with the contractual obligations to attend the playoff that UCLA and Cal have as Pac 12 member institutions? Can you imagine this uproar if the state of California tried to prohibit UCLA and Cal from traveling to play this football game? What about NCAA tournament games? Could Cal or UCLA not travel to games hosted in any of these eight states?

This California law is just a really bad idea which defeats the purpose of American democracy. Under the dictates of federalism states are supposed to be laboratories testing out different laws to see whether or not they work. Allowing one state to tell another state what they can and can’t do — and restricting travel based on those decisions — seems to directly impact interstate commerce in a negative way and negate the impact of federalism. California law should stop at California borders.

Do we really want individual states getting in political disputes because they disagree with individual state laws? It’s just an awful precedent to set.

And given the potential legal conflict between NCAA contractual regulations and California’s travel ban, I have legitimate doubts about whether this rule, as applied to college athletics, is legal.

Dale writes:

“I’ve always respected you perspective on life’s issues and wanted to get your opinion on something. I’m a full fledged freckle faced, red haired, nicknamed in high school “fire from down under” ginger and have gotten a lot of flack over the years for being one. I wanted to get your take on why gingers get such a bad rap? Why do people think Andy Dalton is never going to win a super bowl because he’s a ginger and could a guy like Sam Darnold change the narrative? If one of us breaks through and wins a championship could we, for once be the cool kids and people would want to be ginger?”

I think it’s because you guys can’t tan. So while everyone else is having fun on the lake or at the beach or just living it up in summer, you guys are sitting underneath trees trying to avoid sunburns.

If Andy Dalton had been drafted by the Miami Dolphins he would be dead right now.

It would be great if a ginger became the best athlete in America, but I think the key to the rise of the gingers is really a desperate need for women to want to bang gingers. Everyone takes their lead from who women want to bang and no women want to bang gingers.  So you need for a ginger to become the next Dicaprio or Clooney. But, alas, there’s the big problem, could Dicaprio or Clooney have become the stars they are if they were the exact same people, but had red hair?

For instance, is there anyway that Dicaprio gets the role as Jack in “Titanic,” if he’s got red hair? I don’t think so. Because no one would have cared if a ginger died in the ocean.

You may just be fucked. (And not the good kind of fucking).

Time to dye your hair if you want pussy.

Matt writes:

“I would love to get your take on the Officer Yanez Philando Castile murder case. This last week a lot of the evidence has been released to the public and, as always, people are losing their minds up here in the Twin Cities where I live.

To sum it up the officer pulled him over for a broken tail light and thought he matched the description of a suspect of an armed robbery. When he pulled him over, Castile was in the car with his girlfriend and his 4 year old daughter. Castile told the officer he has a gun with a permit and reached for his ID. The officer told him not to reach for his gun and he and his girlfriend both screamed that he wasn’t and the officer shot Castile 7 times. This whole thing took about 7 seconds. The officer was found not guilty because he feared for his life and was doing what he thought was right. However, immediately after the verdict he was fired.

I have 2 questions about this. Is there any legal ramifications of him being found not guilty but still being fired since the civil case hasn’t ended? Second, everyone up here is pointing out that there is no NRA response from a person with a concealed carried permit being killed after telling the officer he had a permit and was legally carrying a gun. Why do you think they’ve said nothing?”

The jury heard the case for two weeks and unanimously agreed that the police officer in this case didn’t commit a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Included on that jury were two black people, a man and a woman. Presumably those jurors were not racist against black people.

I think what often happens here is two-fold: 1. skilled lawyers can convince jurors that the state has not met its burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and 2. these cases are more complicated than just watching a viral video. Most people with opinions in these cases just watch viral videos absent of any context. The jury in this case watched these videos, but then they also heard two weeks of testimony. That suggests there was much more to the story than just the videos.

It’s also possible the jury got it wrong — juries are made up of humans and humans are imperfect — but getting 12 people to agree to the same verdict is not an easy thing. Hell, just try and get 12 people in your office to agree to the same lunch place. It’s virtually impossible. And look at the Bill Cosby case, where Cosby’s lawyers persuaded two jurors not to vote to convict him. The fact that all 12 jurors unanimously agreed the police officer here was not guilty suggests that the evidence wasn’t as clear cut as the videos that went viral would have suggested.

Remember, beyond a reasonable doubt means that an individual is 98 or 99% — or whatever high percentage you want to assign — guilty. It doesn’t mean that someone is necessarily innocent. It can certainly be the case that a defendant didn’t commit a crime, but that he’s still 80% likely to have done it. And that’s why the Castile family will likely win millions of dollars in civil damages, where the standard for liability is just a scintilla over 50%.

As for why the NRA has been silent, it’s because Castile is black. Of course, if this had been a white guy guy shot by the cops — as happens more frequently in this country than black people being shot by cops — this story would have never received any attention.

The media only covers police shootings when black people are victims. And the media typically covers police shootings of black men the most aggressively when the shooter is a white man. There have also been recent police shootings of a black man by a black man and a black man by a white woman — both also on video — and both of those cases also went to trial and received a fraction of the Castile case coverage.

In order for one of these stories to really take off you need a white cop to shoot a black guy.

Walter writes:

“Why do players drafted pretty high in the MLB draft play in the college world series? If the NBA or NFL draft happened before the NCAA tournament, or Bowl games, wouldn’t many players skip the post season? Heck, right now, the top college football players are already sitting out bowl games.”

I suspect it’s because the risk of injury in baseball is pretty low.

If you saw a top draft pick blow up his knee or tear up his arm in the College World Series that conversation might begin to happen.

I think it’s even crazier that NFL players start practicing with the teams that draft them before their contracts are signed. Why would you go to a rookie mini-camp without your contract in place?

Christopher writes:

“Will people ever get the fuck over this Colin Kaepernick thing? One of my coworkers and I just had a 15 minute discussion on him after we saw a tweet that he doesn’t have a job because he’s “fighting for justice.” Even the black people responding to this tweet are saying “No, he just sucks.” Do we think that it’s people who really don’t pay close attention to football that are just using this as a platform to get their ideas out? I’m a Jets fan, and we suck, and we beat them…and it was because of HIS turnovers and missing receivers. Do you think this is just people who don’t know what the fuck their talking about that are using him to push their thoughts on people? Educate them, please.”

Colin Kaepernick is being used by liberal sports writers and “social justice activists” to make political arguments that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to make. The Kap story allows a sports writer who otherwise has no entry point to rip Donald Trump and advance progressive politics to do so through this story. This means Kaepernick’s a pawn and he’s not smart enough to realize he’s been used.

The real reason Kaepernick is not employed is because his talent doesn’t exceed his problems. And make no mistake about it, his protest is a business problem for 32 billionaires.

The point of the discussion here that I think receives no attention is that everyone else who joined Kaepernick in his protest is now on an NFL roster. Every single other player that took a knee! NFL teams made the decision that those players had talents that outweighed their problems. The same wasn’t true for Kap. Fair or foul, our standard of behavior for a quarterback, as the leader of a team, is different than our standard of behavior for every other position on the field.

As I’ve said and written for months, if Aaron Rodgers had taken a knee to protest the national anthem 32 NFL teams would still try to sign him. Because Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL. Kap’s problem was he protested and he didn’t have enough talent to overcome that protest.

Here’s one other question for you — aren’t Kap and RGIII pretty much in the same situation right now? Mobile quarterbacks who had incredible success in the NFL and then the league caught up to them. Yet we don’t hear a word about RGIII not being signed. Ultimately you have to make a living in this league as a pocket passer. It’s the only thing NFL defenses can’t take away. Now you can scramble when a pocket breaks down like Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and, to a certain extent, Marcus Mariota and Dak Prescott all do.

But you can’t make a living doing it.

Kap’s 29 and he’s a running quarterback. That’s roughly the same age as Tim Tebow and RGIII. Neither of those guys are employed as quarterbacks right now either.

Andrew writes:

“I’ve found the limit of hot girl privilege. I’m a civil defense lawyer, currently defending a case where the plaintiff is a complete smoke show (relatively minor injuries sustained in a car wreck). Recently, I was in an unrelated deposition with a big-time plaintiff’s lawyer and, knowing that I needed to report to my client on the hot girl case, I asked him how the attractiveness of his client impacts his evaluation of the worth of the case. His response: “Hot chicks never get what they deserve. Unless they are disfigured or dead, a jury just doesn’t feel sorry for them and they get screwed on the pain and suffering.” So, there you have it. Civil juries do not like giving good looking women money for pain and suffering, outside of catastrophic cases.”

You know who doesn’t like giving good looking women money?

Women on juries.

I guarantee you it’s not the men saying good looking women deserve less. Less attractive women combat #hotgirlprivilege whenever they can because less attractive women see the advantages that hot women get and hate them for it.

Thanks for reading Outkick and hope y’all have great weekends.

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.