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What Had Happened Was

What Had Happened Was: 8/29/16

Oh, you don’t know? We got you.


Where to even begin after a weekend like that? There was Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards and rapper Kanye West’s — BROOOOOOOO! — free four-minute reign. There was football on the screen almost all of Sunday, but Cincinnati Bengals dart-catcher A.J. Green might already be injured. And then there was Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Seriously, was.

Most weekends, that would be a pretty full and entertaining slate of events. But most weekends don’t include San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick taking a bold and courageous stand that is going to be talked about all week. If you missed anything the man had to say to reporters about why he is choosing not to stand for the national anthem until he sees tangible change, we have you covered:

There is a lot to unpack about Kaepernick’s statements, and we will throughout the week, but one important thing to note is this: The NBA has stars speaking out on social issues that matter to people of color, and not just stars, some of its best players in the league — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony. The NFL doesn’t have that. Peyton Manning, Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers haven’t taken similar routes, for many different reasons.

But the NFL does have Kaepernick now, giving one of the most fearless statements by an athlete on social issues we’ve seen in recent memory. No matter how right Kaepernick is, his message will get swallowed up whole and forgotten the moment Kaepernick is on the bench, losing his job to fellow 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert. For this statement to resonate and continue to reach the amount of people the NBA stars reach, Kaepernick needs to be a monster this year. We can only hope.


When you and bae have a dope pregame routine. Fellas and ladies take notice of how to properly “love & football” out here.



A woman identified as Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade’s cousin was fatally shot while pushing a baby stroller on Chicago’s South Side.

Actor/director Nate Parker spoke with Ebony magazine about rape culture, homophobia and his 19-year-old self.

How social media star Demetrius Harmon is changing the conversation around mental illnesses.

“No matter how badly you think of Richard Nixon, you have not thought badly enough.” Learning from the slaughter in Attica.

Why isn’t the media talking more about Maylin Reynoso’s death? “The 20-year-old Bronxite of Dominican descent,” whose body was recovered from the Harlem River almost a month ago, was a member of “the Bronx-based skate crew Brujas — a group of female skateboarders fighting the patriarchy and empowering marginalized communities in the midst of rampant gentrification.”


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



3. HOL’ UP


Our brother Justin Tinsley spoke with former NFL defensive lineman and current host of ESPN’s SportsNation Marcellus Wiley about the perils of a “shoot first, ask questions later” mentality:

Nearly 20 years later, Wiley is a full-fledged advocate for eradicating guns. He respects the law-abiding Second Amendment gun owners, but he refuses to budge from his stance. He’s seen the carnage. He’s still haunted by the destruction he nearly caused to a family, one whose husband-brother-uncle-son was simply looking for the right street to turn on. Most of the time, he says, people who own guns don’t realize the power of the gun. Himself included. “I ask people all the time: Have you ever shot a gun?” he said before biting into his sandwich. “Have you ever seen the flame, the kick, the destruction it does to a person? Have you ever seen it hit flesh? When you go through those steps, I don’t see how anybody in sound mind would want to be a participant in that existence. I’ve seen so many people killed by it, people killed others by it. It has to stop.” Wiley says he’s told this story at least three or four times on air over the years, but on countless occasions off camera. Especially to NFL newcomers. He empathizes with the lunacy that comes with trying to juggle new personal and financial responsibilities while playing in America’s most violent, but beloved gladiator contest. He’s walked into houses and sat in cars with so many guns he could have easily mistaken them for a military outpost.


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

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.