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Myron Medcalf

Columnist | Local

A longtime Minnesota resident, Myron Medcalf has previously worked as a news and sports reporter for the Star Tribune, and is now a national writer for ESPN. His column appears in print on Sundays twice a month and also online. 

Medcalf is currently a senior college basketball reporter and nationally syndicated radio host with ESPN. He's a former Star Tribune news and sports reporter.
Recent content from Myron Medcalf
Myron Medcalf and his childhood friend Bruce Henderson

Medcalf: How to reconnect with friends you've lost touch with during the pandemic

It can be a struggle to find our social stride now that the world has opened up again.
Marlena Myles, artist

Medcalf: Minnesota artist's work is a form of activism and connection for Native American community

Marlena Myles is among the featured speakers at an upcoming anti-racism book club community discussion
Shekiala McMillan-Washington, of Twin Cities Sneakers

Medcalf: Inside the world of Minnesota sneakerheads

A growing community of sneaker aficionados sees footwear as a mode of self-expression
Jean Mendoza, left, and Debbie Reese

Medcalf: An invitation to learn U.S. history from an Indigenous perspective

Upcoming Mary Ann Key Book Club event features former teacher who helped adapt popular book for young people.
The next book is “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States For Young People,” by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortizcq and adapted by Jean Mendoza a

Medcalf: Next book club selection to focus on 'America's most overlooked community'

Mary Ann Book Club's next selection is "An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States For Young People."
A man held a sign saying “Amir Locke” as cars lined all lanes of three blocks in downtown Minneapolis on Friday, Feb. 4, during a car caravan to p

Medcalf: What happened to Amir Locke feels like it could happen to any Black Minnesotan

If it happens to me, what happens to us, investigate the investigation.
Warren Herreid

Medcalf: Friendly encounter with war veteran in greater Minnesota is a reminder of empathy's power

The pandemic has contributed to an erosion of our collective empathy – a tool that helps unite us.
As the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. pursued equality, America had nearly broken him. In his final weeks, he was beset by doubts and concerns about the

Medcalf: Getting to know the real Martin Luther King Jr.

Let's honor him by studying the full story of his struggle and not just excerpts from his famous speeches.
The author bell hooks at her apartment in Manhattan on Sept. 13, 1995. hooks, whose incisive, wide-ranging writing on gender and race helped push femi

Medcalf: Minnesota women speak about bell hooks' impact on their lives

The late scholar and author birthed a generation of Black women who were empowered by her ideas.
Arbuey Wright and Katie Bryant, the parents of Daunte Wright, left to right, celebrated outside the Hennepin County courthouse after former Brooklyn C

Medcalf: Verdict won't end the pain for those closest to Wright

Testimony showed the trauma friends and family have suffered
Medcalf: What Black Minnesotans are feeling hopeful about

Medcalf: What Black Minnesotans are feeling hopeful about

'The greatest privilege of this space is the people I've met through this journey'
Daunte Wright, shown with his son, Daunte Jr., was shot and killed in April by then-Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter, who reportedly bel

Medcalf: A letter to Daunte Wright's family

Let's not lose sight of the fact that we will never know his potential because his life was cut short.
Prepackaged bags of side dishes and fixings sat in boxes during ICA Food Shelf’s Turkey Distribution Day on Saturday in Minnetonka. The food shelf h

Medcalf: For many Minnesotans, hunger is part of their new normal since pandemic

Hunger is closer to all of us than we may realize.
Dave Chappelle in New York, Sept. 30, 2017.

Medcalf: Why I chose not to attend Dave Chappelle's Minneapolis show

The comedian, an influential voice on racism, has the power to shape the perception of the LGBTQ community, another marginalized group that is full of Black folks he claims to defend.
JaNae Bates speaks during the Yes On 2 Election Night Party at the Gold Room Restaurant & Lounge, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021 in Minneapolis.

Medcalf: Minneapolis election result feels like the start, not the end, of police reform fight

To ignore that view is to dismiss the diversified push to create systemic change and to avoid another tragedy.
Cathy Park Hong at a 2016 “Poetry, Publishing & Race” discussion

Medcalf: Minnesota book club to encourage solidarity with Asian American communities

"Minor Feelings" has been filled with reflections on the parallels between the Asian American and the Black communities.
Jeff McCray, left, and Josh Lemonade, friends who met at Skateviille in Burnsville.

Medcalf: For joy on 8 wheels, roll onto Burnsville rink

At the roller rink, there is equality and diversity that illustrate the possibilities within the Twin Cities.
ShaVunda Brown, a native of Texas, is an award-winning actress and spoken-word poet who has been recognized in Minnesota and internationally. As a sin

Medcalf: It's time to start seeing and valuing Black, single mothers in Minnesota

Single, Black mothers are held to an impossible standard without substantial support.
landing page image from

Medcalf: Minnesota's 'teen whisperer' humbled by support he's received during cancer fight

Accustomed to providing support for others, Jason Clopton recently displayed his own vulnerability as he discussed his next steps.
London Bean, 12, was a sixth-grader at Sojourner Truth Academy in Minneapolis. He was shot and killed recently after a dispute with another child. (fa

Medcalf: Black children continue to lose their lives to gun violence. It's a Minnesota problem.

There is a long line of young victims and, in many cases, young shooters.
A memorial set up after the discovery of 215 unmarked graves at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, June 18,

Medcalf: In Minn., boarding school trauma inflicted on Indigenous communities must be acknowledged

Native American history has been buried by a country that knows it cannot be discussed without the admission of complicity.
Bradley Taylor, founder of The Donut Trap.

Medcalf: Donut Trap owner offers a message of hope for a Black community navigating a turbulent world

Through his doughnuts, he has created a platform for dialogue.
Hundreds of Asian Americans and supporting communities gathered in front of the Minnesota State Capital in March to remember the victims of the Atlant

Medcalf: Next book chosen for anti-racism book club focuses on Asian American reckoning

The goal of this choice is to demand respect for the perspectives of our Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
A new barricade and a new fist sculpture are at the south and north entrance to George Floyd Square a day after part of the square was cleared in Minn

Medcalf: Changes to George Floyd Square threaten to scrub history

The city's move to reopen the intersection follows the playbook in a country that loves to move on when race is involved.
Trinity Ottoson-Smith, 9, was caught in crossfire while jumping on a trampoline on May 15. ORG XMIT: MIN2105272026100384

Medcalf: A love letter to the young Black men in Minneapolis I failed

Our children have a right to live.
Over the past year, artists worldwide have created murals of George Floyd — including these from Kenya, Belgium and Milwaukee — after he was murde

Medcalf: Will powerful white Minnesotans live up to promises made after George Floyd's murder?

Until white people collectively commit to the empathy necessary to unravel systemic racism, this place will be ripe for more horror.
“Caste,” by Isabel Wilkerson ORG XMIT: MIN2007221333450079

Medcalf: Antiracism book club explores caste in America

In Chris Rock's 2008 comedy special, "Kill the Messenger," he discusses the limited diversity in his affluent neighborhood in Alpine, N.J. At the time, the…
The casket of Daunte Wright was removed from Shiloh Temple International Ministries after his funeral in April.

Medcalf: Compliance during Minnesota police encounters is only strictly required if you're Black

Reform, in the future, will be tested in a place now known for police killings,
This May 25, 2020, file image from a police body camera shows bystanders including Alyssa Funari, left filming, Charles McMillan, center left in light

Medcalf: Chauvin trial verdict offers glimmer of hope of what Minnesota can become

Although the darkness still lingers, the sun poked through the clouds on Tuesday.
Candles at the base of the fist sculpture that is now installed at the place where Daunte Wright was killed by a Brooklyn Center police officer.  JEFF

Medcalf: Gawking at Black pain steals our humanity

What's the line between reporting atrocities and feeding fascination with Black trauma?
People inside the Brooklyn Center Police Department reacted after first seeing the police body camera footage being live-streamed from a nearby news c

Medcalf: Blackness too often seen as act of resistance by Minn. police

Once again we are asked to tell the world how bad this feels.
Organizer Anthea Yur gathered Asian women in a circle and read their signs as they gathered March 18 at Levin Park in Minneapolis in solidarity with t

Medcalf: In Minnesota and across country, Asian Americans are under attack and need our support

Minutes into my FaceTime conversation with Anthea Yur about the recent anti-Asian attacks around the country, I was struck by her vigor for change, as…
Myron Medcalf’s great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Ann Key, is shown with Medcalf’s great-grandfather, Jolly Key, right, and his great-uncle, Wil

Medcalf: Join a local anti-racism book club for all Minnesotans

The Mary Ann Key Book Club is a collaboration with Hennepin County Library, the Friends of Hennepin County Library and the Star Tribune.
Chain link fence with barbed wire, concrete barriers, and concertina wire surrounded the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility, the Hennepin County G

Medcalf: Security buildup before Derek Chauvin trial risks stifling voice of marginalized communities

If the line between protesters and opportunists isn't drawn and respected, it could create more challenges for all involved
The construction of Interstate 94 tore a hole through Rondo, St. Paul’s historic black neighborhood.

Medcalf: Racism, not a highway, tore apart St. Paul's Rondo neighborhood

They didn't just build a major highway through a Black neighborhood in the 1950s and 1960s. They killed dreams.
Nur-D had the audience on their feet during his performance at the MLK celebration in St. Paul in 2020.  GLEN STUBBE • M

Medcalf: Minnesota artists uphold, demonstrate the timeless power of Black music

I've loved hip-hop music since I was a kid. It's filled with vivid imagery, anchored by defiance. Local rapper Nur-D, real name Matt Allen, and…
Lena K. Gardner

Medcalf: For far too long, voices of Black women in fight for justice have been ignored

Throughout the history of the movement for equality, Black women have been denied the recognition they've deserved.
KG Wilson, shown in 2012.

Medcalf: White Minnesotans who ask why BLM protests police shootings, not homicides, aren't being honest

Those who ask why BLM protests police shootings, not homicides, aren't being honest
George Floyd’s tombstone.

Medcalf: In 2021, Minnesotans shouldn't need another tragic image to commit to change

I remember pressing a gray button to get my voicemail messages and hearing the menacing voice. I was 20 years old, serving as the editor-in-chief…
William Green said Minnesotans were surprised that “George Floyd could happen here,” in part because so many hadn’t grappled with the state’s

Medcalf: How can Minnesotans face the truth about racism, past and present? Start with a book

To ponder the past is not an optional quest for a Black person in this country.
Myron Medcalf

Medcalf: Our duty is to students of color falling behind

The great fight for any family of color in this state is to magnify the brilliance, potential and progress of our children against the undercurrent of discouraging statistics in Minnesota.
Connie Sheehan, the founder and owner of PUSH Fitness.

Medcalf: With a positive vibe, Black trainers push virtual fitness among a vulnerable group

It's hard to fight a pandemic — and winter inertia — while also shouldering the disproportionate health impact of the virus, Myron Medcalf writes. But these motivators help.
Brittany Wright at the March on Washington 2020.

Medcalf: For Black Minnesotans fighting injustice, finding joy is itself 'an act of resistance'

In the middle of struggles for racial equality, it's OK to be tired, too. And it's important to do whatever's necessary to reboot.
Myron Medcalf

Medcalf: To be Black in Minnesota is to constantly barter for acceptance

Value often feels like something you have to earn here when you're not white. Value seems conditional.

Summer of Reckoning: Tyus Jones in 2011

An occasional series following 15-year-old Tyus Jones' summer of basketball on a national stage.
Ralph Sampson III

Sampson doesn't regret decision to forgo NBA

The Gophers center considered leaving for the pros but decided his education came first.
Tubby Smith, shown at media day, watched last year’s Gophers tumble from the top 15 to not even making the NIT. He’s hoping for better things with

Tubby Smith putting on his bravest face

After a nightmarish end to last season, Gophers men's basketball coach Tubby Smith enters this season with a squad short on experience but long on potential.

Five things the U men's basketball team must do to win now

1 FIND A POINT GUARD Last year the Gophers fell from the national rankings and ultimately missed out on the NIT as they struggled to…

Six-time winner McGregor finishes 10 Mile in 4th place

As race officials offered commentary on the USA Women's 10 Mile Championship over loudspeakers near the finish line Sunday, many spectators sighed when they learned that Minnesota's Katie McGregor, a six-time winner of the event, had dropped to sixth in the field.
Leane Guerrero

She found running, and left troubles in the dust

Leane Guerrero's first marathon epitomizes her triumph over addiction.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford scrambled out of the pocket as Kansas City outside linebacker Tamba Hali tried to sack him last week. Hali didn’t

Lions' passing weapons are a secondary concern

The Vikings defensive backs are more worried about their own performance, especially the part that happens in the second half.
North Dakota State coach Craig Bohl, center, celebrated with assistants after the Bison defeated the Gophers in 2007. The teams meet again Saturday ni

Thundering herd coming down I-94 for Gophers-Bison game

As many as 20,000 North Dakota State fans are expected to descend on the Twin Cities on Saturday when their Bison take on the Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium.
Miami's Jeff Tanner (74) congratulated Gophers coach Jerry Kill on the field after Saturday's game.

Gophers coach gets a reward for fortitude

After spending five nights in the hospital this week, Jerry Kill got his first victory as Gophers coach.
Sans helmet, Vikings defensive tackle Keith Millard went after Bears quarterback Mike Tomczak at Soldier Field in 1988.

Former Vikings star revels in memories, coaching

Keith Millard, a standout defensive tackle in the 1980s, has found new life teaching his style of intense football.
University of Minnesota vs. New Mexico State football. New Mexico State won 28-21. Medical personnel administered to Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill a

U coach suffers seizure on sidelines

Jerry Kill collapsed in the closing seconds of a home-opening loss to New Mexico State.
Then-Vikings rookie Adrian Peterson set an NFL single-game rushing record with 296 yards against San Diego in 2007. Four years later, the two teams me

Chargers have 296 reasons to remember No. 28

The last time Adrian Peterson faced San Diego, he ran for a record 296 yards, which should be fresh on the Chargers' minds.
Former Gopher DeWayne Walker has a 5-21 record since taking the New Mexico State coaching job in 2008.

Walker down Memory Lane as ex-Gopher, now coach

New Mexico State's leader has a warm spot in his heart for his old teammates, but Saturday, it's all business.
Vikings strong safety Jamarca Sanford, shown wrapping up the Bengals’ Cedric Benson in a 2009 game, never forgets he was a seventh-round draft choic

Sanford ahead at strong safety

The Vikings have yet to declare him the starter over Tyrell Johnson, but his preseason play has been sure and decisive.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Christian Ballard

Lineman Ballard on the rise following his big fall

A report of a positive test for marijuana likely hurt Christian Ballard's draft stock, but the versatile rookie is making a mark.
Gophers wide receiver Da'Jon McKnight (6) wanted to be the next Michael Jordan in a Dallas high school, but football coaches convinced him to return t

Gophers receiver McKnight brings hoops skills to football

Da'Jon McKnight was chasing hoop dreams in high school before some football coaches made him an offer he couldn't refuse. And now, he's glad he switched.
Gophers running back Lamonte Edwards (left)

Gophers banged up, but Kill knows things could be worse

During Wednesday afternoon's Gophers football practice, redshirt freshman running back Lamonte Edwards stood on the sideline in shorts and a jersey after tweaking his hamstring.
Max Shortell (11, shown playing quarterback last season at Bishop Miege (Kan.) High School, has been impressive as a freshman for the Gophers in prese

U freshman QB Shortell keeps making strides

Max Shortell has put together a string of impressive performances,
Tyus Jones 15, worked on his jump shot during tryouts at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Co.

Part II: A 'feel for the game'

With his selection to the USA's 16-and-under team, Apple Valley's Tyus Jones is living up to his rank atop the national list of class of 2014 point guards.
Tyus Jones, 15, and his mother, Debbie Jones, already have a shoe box full of letters from colleges interested in his basketball exploits. Minnesota a

Part I: Summer of reckoning

The next few months will be critical in the development of the 15-year-old basketball phenom.
Jason Litzau jumped rope during his training session. He jumps over the rope twice with each jump and did 140 without stopping and celebrated with a b

Boxer Litzau fights against the odds

Jason Litzau knew tough times growing up in St. Paul. But now, he is on the verge of winning a world title, going up against undefeated prospect Adrien Broner in Mexico on Saturday.
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany

Indianapolis to play host to Big Ten football title game

The Big Ten Conference decided to keep its football championship game in Indianapolis from 2012 to '15.
Linda Ambard, who is running in the Minneapolis Marathon Sunday. Her husband was killed in Afghanistan.

Minneapolis Marathon runner fulfilling husband's wishes

Colorado gym teacher Linda Ambard will run this weekend in honor of her husband, a serviceman killed in April in the Afghan war.
Caleb Truax, left, and Andy Kolle weighed in Thursday in Coon Rapids before Friday’s fight.

Local middleweights dream big

Duluth's Andy Kolle and Caleb Truax of St. Paul battle for a shot at the big-time fights outside Minnesota.
Gophers athletic director Joel Maturi

U's academic performance scores drop, but no penalties assessed

Soccer, with another perfect score, remains the academic standard for Gophers sports teams.
Referee Joe Cortez held up the arm of Ray Edwards after he was declared the winner of his professional debut Friday night.

Ray Edwards wins debut fight, but it was hardly a crowd-pleaser

The four-round unanimous decision notwithstanding, Ray Edwards was the first to admit, after his pro boxing debut, that he has a lot of work ahead.
Gophers basketball coach Tubby Smith

Tubby Smith: Cancer's gone

Gophers men's basketball coach Tubby Smith said Wednesday he recently learned he had early stage prostate cancer and underwent an April 21 procedure at the Mayo Clinic.
Ralph Sampson III

Sampson will return to Gophers

The 6-11 junior center withdrew from the NBA draft and was welcomed back in a statement by coach Tubby Smith.
Ralph Sampson III, left, hit the floor against Cornell as a sophomore, along with Blake Hoffarber and Lawrence Westbrook.

Signs pointing to Sampson's departure from U

As the deadline passed for underclassmen to remove themselves from the NBA draft, it didn't appear as though Ralph Sampson III was planning on returning to school.
Gophers men's basketball coach Tubby Smith has had his name linked to, among other schools, Oregon, Virginia, Arkansas and Georgia Tech; add Maryland

Could this rumor be right one for Tubby?

Maryland is the latest school that could have an interest in the Gophers coach, who does nothing to quash the speculation.
Minnesota's Ralph Sampson III was happy with his successful dunk against Wisconsin at Williams Arena this season.

Sampson opts for draft

Despite not appearing on many -- if any -- lists of top college prospects, the Gophers' junior center will at least consider turning pro.