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What Had Happened Was: 6/28/16

Oh, you don’t know? We got you.


With the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro looming, the United States men’s basketball team was officially unveiled in Harlem, New York, on Monday. The team has star power, no doubt — there’s Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving and Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, among others. But the team is also missing stars like Stephen Curry and LeBron James. That roster construction has something to do with those bigger names seeking rest, but it also has something to do with guys trying not to catch that Zika virus.

Not everyone is so afraid of it, though. Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozen said if the Zika virus was such a big deal they would have moved the Olympics or canceled it, so he’s not terribly worried. Golden State’s do-it-all forward Draymond Green said something even stronger. Seriously, check this man out:

“I looked into it,” Green said of the Zika virus concern. “I was going, regardless. So I didn’t have to look into it before I made the decision. My mind was made when I committed and said I wanted to be part of this. My decision was made and there was nothing changing that. I have looked into it, obviously, and do what I can do to help myself.”

What you mean “regardless,” though? This, of course, begs a question.


Y’all don’t let anything slide, do y’all? We can feel the tension radiating off of this photo.

The reveal and these kids’ reactions were also pretty dope, too.




Black folks + dandyism = excellence

Does it matter that Sylvia Mendez’s parents, who fought to desegregate their daughter’s mostly white school in California in 1954, had a school named after them and said school is now predominately hispanic? Duh, it’s sort of an enormous deal.

Rapper Drake was in South Africa speaking at the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Here’s a physical graph to show you how President Barack Obama’s ratings have fared since Donald Trump became the presumptive 2016 Republican presidential nominee.

Check out the Aperture magazine cover if you get a chance. One issue, two covers.


Every morning we’ll hit you here with the best of what we saw on social media the previous night. Why? Why not?






Our man Tim Keown penned a fascinating story centered around Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen and the idea that high-priced travel ball is excluding poor blacks from Major League Baseball:

Stricter NCAA academic standards set to begin in the fall could further erode the meager percentage of black college baseball players. C.J. Stewart, a former minor-league player who runs the L.E.A.D. Academy in Atlanta for inner-city youth and high school baseball players, said higher admission standards and a loss of scholarships for poor academic progress ratings (APR) could drop the percentage of African-American players in Division I baseball to 1 percent within five years. “Once that happens, we’ll start peeling back the layers to see that those are the ones coming from private schools whose dads played in the big leagues or are doctors and lawyers,” said Stewart, whose work as a hitting coach includes training Jason Heyward and Dexter Fowler. “It’s not even intentional, but it’s institutionalized racism. It’s crazy to ask a college coach to recruit a black kid with new requirements for APR. You lose scholarships if kids don’t perform in the classroom. When you’re a coach and you’ve got to get them in and graduate them to keep your scholarships, you’re doing the right thing by recruiting the kids that come through the established system. I commend these coaches.”

There’s little question that heightened academic standards and increased scholarship punishments for college baseball programs will amount to unofficial – and, again, unintentional and perhaps inevitable – redlining of poor and low-achieving high schools in rural areas and inner cities. “The way the system is set up,” Stewart said, “if you’re a black kid, you’re crazy for trying to play baseball.”


Rhiannon Walker is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a drinker of Sassy Cow Creamery chocolate milk, an owner of an extensive Disney VHS collection, and she might have a heart attack if Frank Ocean doesn't drop his second album.

Ryan Cortes is a staff writer for The Undefeated. Lemon pepper his wings.