Daily Distraction: Spend some time getting to know Defector

Andy Downing

Prior to a mass staff exodus that followed a private equity firm insisting that writers "stick to sports" in their posts, Deadspin was generally the first site I visited most mornings. Even now I'll occasionally begin typing d-e-a-d-s into my browser before remembering that zombie Deadspin is not the sight it once was, lurching forward mindlessly, living off a name and a reputation built by others.

Thankfully, a group of ex-Deadspin staffers (check this masthead) banded together to launch the employee-owned Defector, which, so far, has resuscitated the best elements that I used to love about vintage Deadspin.

Here's just a sampling of what the site has posted since its launch:

Lauren Theisen rightfully eviscerated Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman for the flimsy apology he issued after making a homophobic slur on-air. "Brennaman himself is noticeably cagey in the quotes," she writes, "as he confesses to the word he said without reckoning with the longstanding homophobia it implies."

Barry Petchesky examined the opening night of the NFL, homing in on the pregame, during which the league packaged months of Black Lives Matter protests into an easily digested brochure. "And so we got multiple gauzy packages attempting to render palatable and heartwarming the act of protest, which by definition is neither. Stirring music swelled over slick-looking footage of multiracial coalitions marching together hand-in-hand—in one clip, even with a cop. There was no whiff of conflict. No video of militarily equipped police cracking heads, no strangling clouds of tear gas, no video of armed right-wing vigilantes trying to intimidate and hurt protestors," he wrote. "All of this led to some awkward displays and explanations of what, exactly, the players are so upset about. 'It’s not about the flag,' Tony Dungy said (correctly), and 'it’s not about black and white' (uhhhhh)."

Consider the site bookmarked.