Sanneh Foundation Trains North Minneapolis Hmong, Latino Soccer Players

Last week, 40 North Minneapolis soccer players poured into Farview park for the Sanneh Foundation spring soccer clinic.Most of the soccer players were Hmong and Latino.  Many of the Hmong soccer players were born in Thai refugee camps.Several times during the year, the Sanneh foundation comes to north Minneapolis and provides training for players from poor families who could not normally afford this type of coachingSanneh Foundation fits donated soccer shoes on the feet of North Minneapolis soccer playersIn addition, the Sanneh Foundation has donated soccer shoes, soccer balls, water bottles, backpacks and shirts to the players.  The Sanneh soccer camps emphasize soccer as a fun part of a healthy lifestyle of exercise and good  eating.  Both veteran soccer players and those trying soccer for the first time enjoy coming to the clinics.  This April, in addition to learning soccer skills, players learned about good sportsmanship,  and even learned  a little Italian.  In  October,  the Sanneh foundation combines its soccer clinic with a Halloween party.  Sanneh Foundation Halloween Party and Soccer ClinicIn the fall, the North Minneapolis  Hmong and Latino soccer players play in the Minneapolis Parks League, for the Farview Park and Bethune Park soccer teams.  All the players have gotten training and soccer balls from the Sanneh Foundation, and most wear soccer shoes donated by the Sanneh Foundation.2014 Farview 13u soccer team celebrates winning Minneapolis Parks regular season championshipWith the Sanneh Foundation’s help, the Farview Park soccer team has won two city-wide tournaments and six regular season championships in the past three years, and the Bethune soccer team has won two city-wide tournaments and been runners-up in a third city-wide tournament.2014 Bethune 13u soccer team, finalists in Minneapolis Parks city-wide tournamentEach March, the Sanneh Foundation holds its major fundraiser, Gala4Goals.    And every year the Farview soccer team comes down and tells the participants how the Sanneh Foundation helps North Minneapolis soccer players.Farview soccer players at Sanneh Foundation’s Gale4Goals fundraiserIt is the soccer players’ way of saying Thank You Sanneh Foundation. Continue Reading

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Twins’ new season comes with new Black coach

The Minnesota Twins earlier this week opened its 2015 season with a new manager and its first Black coach since 2012. Butch Davis was hired in January as first base coach.Photo courtesy of the MN TwinsButch DavisDavis worked for 20 seasons in the Baltimore Orioles organization as a minor league coach after eight seasons as a major league baseball player (1983-1994). This is his first major league coaching job.“I’m very easy to get along with,” said Davis during a conference call with reporters, including the MSR, shortly after his hiring.Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said he brought Davis on board for his base-running teaching expertise.When asked, Davis downplayed the fact that he is the team’s only Black on staff. “I’m not adding to the diversity,” he told the MSR. “I like to think I am just one more staff member. I just want to be on the staff to help make the Twins better.”Ryan, however, didn’t shy away from the question when asked later: Having more diversity on the staff “was one of the objectives to make sure that we covered all the areas,” responded the Twins GM. Continue Reading

Miles Thompson signs autographs for the youth in the Twin Cities Native American Lacrosse Club, who came to welcome him as he arrived in Minneapolis on Jan. 2. (Photo by Alfred Walking Bull)

Native community welcomes new lacrosse star

Miles Giaehgwaeh Thompson, co-winner of college lacrosse’s top honor last year with his younger brother Lyle, arrived in the Twin Cities on Jan. 2 to a hero’s welcome before he had even played in his first National Lacrosse League game.Twin Cities Native American Lacrosse Club youth players, coaches and families joined other members of the local Native community to greet Thompson with banners and an honor song as he arrived at the Minneapolis airport. He was all smiles as he posed for photos and signed autographs for the fans in the airport’s baggage claim area.The next night, Thompson scored three goals and one assist in his NLL debut at the Xcel Center before a crowd of almost 9,000 fans. Although the Swarm lost 20-13 to Colorado, the team’s native players – forwards Thompson (Onondaga from New York), veteran Corbyn Tao (Nishga First Nation from British Columbia) and returning Swarm star Dean Hill (Turtle Clan Mohawk from Six Nations) – accounted for more than half the scoring, with Tao and Hill adding two goals each.When Hill fed Thompson the ball for one of his goals, a group of fans in the corner of the arena held up a large Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy) flag and danced.It was just the sort of welcome and excitement for the Creator’s game that Thompson was expecting.“When I was talking to different (National Lacrosse League general managers) and trying to decide where I wanted to play, my brother Lyle told me about Minnesota,” Thompson said by phone before he boarded his flight to Minnesota. “He said the Swarm draws a big crowd and they really love lacrosse. Continue Reading

Photo by Fibonacci Blue, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. 

Mascot protest spurs continued momentum

In the weeks since thousands of native people and their allies converged on TCF Stadium to protest the Washington NFL team’s offensive name, those involved in the #NotYourMascot march and rally have continued the conversation with a focus on maintaining momentum toward a name change.“Five hundred and twenty-two years of stereotypes is difficult to eradicate,” Robert DesJarlait, a Red Lake elder, said. He carried the eagle staff to lead the People’s March from the American Indian OIC to the stadium on the University of Minnesota campus on Nov. 2 as an organizer for Save Our Manoomin. “We need to use education as a means of dislodging decades of stereotypes. [Washington owner Daniel] Snyder’s team is just the starting point. Continue Reading