… Plus, Arthur Ashe, in another example of moral authority.

Parole for drug lord Rayful Edmond? Ask permission from Coach Thompson: 

A mind-boggling story just out about one of Washington, D.C.’s most notorious drug kingpins brings to mind one of the finest hours of former Georgetown University basketball coach John Thompson, Jr.

It also shows how, in the right hands, athletic leaders can be powerful forces for good. Here’s how this afternoon’s new story begins:

“Federal prosecutors Friday requested early prison release for Rayful Edmond III, the notorious D.C. drug kingpin who oversaw a massive cocaine ring in the 1980s that authorities said fueled the crack epidemic in the nation’s capital. In a nine-page filing in U.S. District Court, prosecutors said Edmond had been working with the government over many years, helping authorities understand the workings of the drug trade and convict other dealers.”

11/12/1984 President Reagan Patrick Ewing and John Thompson during a photo Op for the cover of Sports Illustrated in the Map Room

Well, Edmond may have been a violent crack kingpin, but one man didn’t fear him. Thompson, the legendary, national-championship-winning coach noted for a rough style and an insistence that his players actually study and graduate, was surely the most respected man on the streets of the nation’s capital throughout the 1980s. … [Note from Quin: This goes on to tell one of the favorite stories I have ever heard. The full column is here.]

Amid Virginia mud, Richmond rises to Ashe: Amid the tawdry spectacle of Virginia statewide officeholders stumbling through racial indiscretions, the city of Richmond this week provided a much-needed grace note. After decades of punting away the idea, the Richmond City Council voted Feb. 11 to rename a majestic street, known simply as the Boulevard, for tennis champion and Richmond native Arthur Ashe….[Part of this is behind a firewall if you don’t subscribe to the Washington Examiner. You may well want to subscribe. If you don’t, and want to read this, please email me at Qhillyer@Gmail.com and I will send you this full tribute and reminiscence about when Ashe taught Jimmy Connors a thing or two —  including about the importance of patriotism.]