You can clown them all you want, but Stephon Marbury was trying
10:14 AMStephon Marbury is a real one.
The Coney Island native, who not only made it out of the Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood but made it to heights that most jokers who claim to like basketball will never respect, is the subject of the latest in Spike Lee’s Lil’ Joints series. $15 Kicks, directed by Jenn Shaw, takes a look at how the former NBA point guard tried to revolutionize the shoe game that NBA legend Michael Jordan so dictatorially wrecked for generations. Full disclosure: I love Steph. And if you’ve never heard writer Frank Isola’s story about him, you need to.
“He was a superstar NBA point guard, but wanted to try to do something different and change the game,” Howard Schacter, former chief executive officer of Steve & Barry’s, the retail clothing chain that launched the shoe, said in the film. “He just didn’t believe that the price tag that kids, particularly in the inner city, were paying for shoes was fair.”
If you’re not familiar with the scorn the Starbury shoes garnered, or how this product completely realigned how people looked at Marbury on a certain level, this movie cuts right to it. When it came down to it, Marbury made people happy. I know plenty people who wouldn’t be caught dead in these shoes, but still respect why he did it. If you think income inequality in America isn’t a real thing, just ask them if they’ve ever considered buying a pair of Starburys.
The short film takes a look at all of that from a style, economics and basketball standpoint. You also get a lot of fun throwbacks, like vintage looks at ESPN sportscasters Stuart Scott and Scott Van Pelt with hair. Not to mention it barely scratches the surface of Marbury’s downright god-like status in China, which could be a whole series unto itself. The next time you get a statue built of you in any country is the first time you should make fun of Marbury.
Also, make sure you stay for the credits.
Shaq descends on Cuba
to teach kids to play basketball
3:26 PM[protected-iframe id=”48a6762509adb253e99e75ee80254abe-84028368-105107678″ info=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” class=”twitter-video”]
When President Barack Obama announced the beginning of normalized relations with Cuba just before Christmas of 2014, it was referred to as a thaw. Soon enough, tourists were showing up on the shores of Havana, and Major League Baseball was playing games there. Over the weekend, the U.S. Department of State sent our grandest human export to the communist nation as a sports envoy: NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal.
“The Diesel” was joined by Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Kaleb Canales, the first Mexican-American coach to ever lead a team in the NBA, when he served as the head coach of the Portland Trailblazers for 23 games in 2012. According to the State Department, the mission of the trip was to “demonstrate how sports can serve as a means of developing academic, leadership and teamwork skills,” as well as to “highlight the importance of social inclusion and respect for diversity.”
Photographs from the island nation of the 7-footer are tremendous. He’s not only lifting kids up to dunk, he’s also taking photos with random people. Imagine waiting effectively your whole life to see a country that’s been effectively isolated from an entire world for decades and running into O’Neal there. You’d take a picture, too.
— tri tri (@tristwa) June 27, 2016
“We just want to come over here and extend our friendly hand and just start smoothing things out,” O’Neal told The Associated Press. “It was great for [President Obama] to reopen the door, regain a better relationship with this beautiful island.” The plan is for O’Neal to do more than just shoot hoops. He’ll also be visiting historical sites and spreading his trademark cheer.
I guess we’ll have to call him “The Big Diplomatic” from here on out.
Everything else from the BET Awards
that you might not have caught if you weren’t watching live
9:59 AMBeyonce, Jesse Williams and Prince were clearly the most important three things that happened at Sunday night’s BET Awards in Los Angeles. But they were far from the only fun topics to talk about it. In no particular order, here were some other highlights, none of which involve who won what.
• Chloe x Halle. The two actual sisters, and Beyonce’s proteges, wowed the audience with a performance of their song Drop. They’ve been on the come up since singing covers on YouTube, and have signed with Beyonce’s Parkwood Entertainment label for a six-album deal. Their album, Sugar Symphony, is out now, if you want to cop.
— The_Joker (@lilspeedy30) June 27, 2016
• Desiigner. Panda is obviously the song of the year in hip-hop to this point, so it was clear he was going to perform. But if you’ve never seen the 19-year-old Brooklyn, New York, native perform, you were in for a surprise. Just ask rapper Fabolous. He had a stare on his face so blank, you just had to assume he did not know that this was potentially the future of the game. Personally, I’d love to see Desiigner and DJ Esco in a dance off.
• Birdman. He might have been sitting next to his boo, Toni Braxton, but when he was on stage he brought Jacquees with him to do the nominations, in a silent role. If you are a serious Cash Money Records fan, you might be familiar with his work in such songs as Come Thru. Either way, his nearly identical appearance to, ahem, Lil Wayne was obvious for everyone to see. Awkward.
— Morgan Murphy (@morgan_murphy) June 27, 2016
• Scott Disick. The Kardashian man was in the crowd Sunday night, chewing gum and apparently having a not-so-great time. Alas, they didn’t pan the camera his way when his homeboy French Montana was ripping the stage with Fat Joe and Remy Ma, who was rocking the best outfit of the night, by the way.
Daily Dose: 6/27/16
Jesse Williams is the wokest of them all in Hollywood
9:16 AMBefore we get to the BET Awards, we need to point out that it aired on a couple different Viacom networks, which included Nickelodeon. That must have easily been the realest program ever on that network.
The United Kingdom is borderline embarrassing itself at this point. Following the Brexit vote, in which tons of people voted to leave the European Union — while not even understanding what they were voting for — there are now reports of xenophobic attacks on foreigners taking place across England, because, of course. The financial markets across the globe have taken a decent hit as well, which means that the U.K. will be hard pressed to prove that it can stand on its own, without panicking. ABC News’ Brian McBride has the details.
If you missed the BET Awards Sunday night, you missed quite a bit. Singer Beyonce opened the show with a surprise appearance from rapper Kendrick Lamar. She then promptly got on a plane to London for a show and had her mom accept her awards. There were the Prince tributes, as well. My personal favorite was crooner Maxwell, although Jennifer Hudson got up there and took us to church with her rendition of Purple Rain. The moment of the night, however, came from actor/activist Jesse Williams. Here’s the full speech. ABC’s Candice Williams recaps the rest.
I don’t love pizza and I don’t particularly like puzzles. But there is something sort of intriguing about puzzles about pizza. The history of pizza cutting is a funny one. No. 1: Who decided to first make it in a circle? And why when making a pizza in a square do most people then cut it into squares? Some of life’s mysteries we’ll never get an answer to, but thanks to FiveThirtyEight’s The Riddler, here’s one question that will get solved. If a robot cut your pizza by picking two chords along the circumference and making three cuts, what is the expected number of pieces?
The best soccer player on the globe will no longer be playing for his country. In a somewhat surprising moment of emotion Sunday night, Lionel Messi, who’s never won a major international tournament playing with Argentina, said he was done with the national team after it lost in penalty kicks to Chile in the Copa America final. He’s only 29, but this loss was particularly painful because he took the opening penalty, and missed it. It’ll be a shame to never see Messi in the Albiceleste again, but it’s his life. ESPN FC reports.
Coffee Break: Because of where I’m from and the nature of the jobs I’ve held, discussing politics is something that comes second nature. But in the sports world, things are a tad different. The two things quite obviously overlap all the time. But for reporters, how appropriate is it to have those convos in public? Here’s a discussion on the matter.
Snack Time: Former pro running back Herschel Walker thinks he can still play in the NFL. Why he would want to, or why he feels the need to say this every three years, who knows? But Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe is definitely not here for any of that talk.
Dessert: Singer Miguel’s new song is a good one for walking home on a summer night after happy hour.
is one of the most well-rounded guys the NBA has ever seen
4:58 PMYou might remember Desmond Mason from the NBA. A high-flyer who came out of Oklahoma State and won a dunk title with the Seattle SuperSonics, he was a fun player to watch for a good few seasons. Now, he’s a full-time artist, who’s created works for the likes of actor George Clooney and former league commissioner David Stern. It’s not a remotely new venture for the 6-foot-5 Texas native, though. He majored in studio art in college.
Now, he’s done an interview with Just Not Sports — a podcast that describes itself as sports talk with any talk about sports. It’s a fun listen, with Mason discussing how he got into graffiti and where he draws his inspiration from. He really is a fascinating, multi-faceted guy. He describes himself as an “abstract expressionist.”
They talk about the worlds of street vs. gallery art and what it means to hone your craft at the highest level in multiple disciplines. Also, in case you didn’t know, Mason has bars, too. Back in 2007, he made a song called We Dem Hornets about his team at the time. As far as music either by or about basketball players, or both, it’s pretty solid. It’s no You Da Man, but then again, nothing is.
“I always say, you evolve or you dissolve,” Mason said at one point on the podcast, regarding his approach to life. Pretty good advice from a guy who’s found his place and really understands that, for some people, ball is not life.
Go Skateboarding Day
was a fun one. Here are some highlights.
7:00 AMIf you don’t know what Go Skateboarding Day is, it’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s a quasi-holiday in which people from around the globe celebrate their love for the sport, law enforcement be damned. Here are some highlights from the day, which was Tuesday.
— Beats By Dre (@beatsbydre) June 22, 2016
— GoPro (@GoPro) June 21, 2016
— Venture Trucks (@VentureTrucks) June 23, 2016
Here’s what it looked like in Munich.
And Barcelona, Spain.
And Tampa Bay, Florida.
And lastly, Surabaya, Indonesia.
Go skate, kiddos.
invited M.I.A. to perform, a decision disappointing many
3:10 PMAfropunk, what are you doing?
The festival started in 2005 in Brooklyn, New York, and featured black acts that didn’t necessarily fit the mold of “urban,” but were certainly popular enough to draw large crowds. The event held a special place in the black community as a haven for weird, in a certain sense, without all of the pejorative stigmas that come with that word.
So, when M.I.A. was announced as the headliner of the inaugural show in London, things went sideways. If you don’t recall, M.I.A., who very much considers herself a part of the hip-hop community, decided to take what many have called an anti-black stance regarding the Black Lives Matter movement, specifically regarding Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime show.
“It’s interesting that in America the problem you’re allowed to talk about is Black Lives Matter … Is Beyoncé or Kendrick Lamar going to say Muslim Lives Matter? Or Syrian Lives Matter? Or this kid in Pakistan matters? That’s a more interesting question,” she said.
So, having her headlining Afropunk is obviously a problem. People reacted accordingly, and then the festival brass got weird. They defended her.
A message about AFROPUNK LONDON pic.twitter.com/Tg4YqAzMmY
— AFROPUNK (@afropunk) June 23, 2016
OK, well, actually … no.
an anti-black artist to perform at a festival meant to empower black people, which is the most foolish thing ive heard of @afropunk
— Tracy Boomeisha-Ann Clayton (@brokeymcpoverty) June 23, 2016
Afropunk's statement on MIA is so disappointing. It completely ignores how the festival has become a safe space for Black people.
— Seve Chambers (@SeveChambers) June 23, 2016
afropunk must have already paid MIA and can't afford or can get a replacement
— Steph BMore (@StephBMore) June 23, 2016
In an awkward about-face, M.I.A. then said that she won’t be performing there after all, because according to her, she’s been told to stay in her lane. Then, Azealia Banks defended her as well.
Bottom line: None of this is a good look. This year’s show is scheduled for Aug. 27-28.
Black skin matters
and the Cleveland Cavaliers had plenty on display
2:34 PMIt started with J.R. Smith, then it spread to Kyrie Irving. Next thing we knew, Iman Shumpert was showing off, too. Mo Williams then jumped in on the fun. As the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers celebrated with their hometown fans in downtown Cleveland on Wednesday, the hyperbole was flying about the rebirth of the city, pride and any number of other forms of motivation that Northeast Ohio natives gained from the title. But the strongest message was sent in its purest form: black skin.
Thursday night at the NBA draft, the newest basketball bodies showed themselves off to the world, dressed in their greatest outfits, in full “look at me” mode, as they should be. When you present yourself to the world for the first time, it’s a big deal.
But Cleveland was on a different level. The city has been outwardly showing its pride for years, as losers, to be frank. This is the same NBA. The association where people regularly complain that they don’t see enough white American bodies for their taste. The same league where former commissioner David Stern felt the need to implement a dress code, because the way that the very players that were making him money were clothing themselves in a manner that he deemed unfit.
The Cavaliers parade was as close as we’ll get to the NBA’s full capitulation to the black body. In a city where a 12-year-old named Tamir Rice was gunned down by a police officer for carrying a toy gun, with no repercussions, grown men who won a basketball title were parading around with their shirts off, displaying their truest selves, with no qualms.
Good Lord, some of the Cavaliers couldn't even put shirts on for a celebratory parade? That is lame.
— BS (@KentuckyHoss) June 22, 2016
— L.Richard (@lrhamiel) June 22, 2016
#Cavaliers parade summary. Cavs players like champagne, cigars, trophies and nice cars. Cavs players dislike shirts.
— Daniel E. Dobish (@danieledobish) June 22, 2016
On Tuesday, a columnist named Joe Soucheray from Minnesota’s St. Paul Pioneer Press was beside himself that Smith dared to present himself to the world without a shirt. As if the shirt won the NBA title. He could barely understand the notion that kids might actually *prefer* self-expression, rather than clutch their nonexistent pearls.
“Am I asking too much that when you get off the airplane for the photo opportunity that you at least wear a shirt?” Soucheray wrote. “I wonder what impact it might have had on kids all across the country to see the Cavs get off their airplane dressed to the nines. I would think it might give a kid pause. Wow, look at those guys. I have to get a tie like that.”
Let’s be clear about the impact it had on many young black men across America. The statement was obvious: My skin is not a threat. This might strike some people as a revelation, or even inflammatory. But think about how empowered one must feel in order to show themselves off in such a way. It’s a privilege that few can enjoy safely. Ask any woman.
Days since J.R. Smith last wore a shirt: four
Today he was shirtless on a golf course pic.twitter.com/tM0vChGgXD
— SportsBlogNewYork (@SportBlogNYC) June 23, 2016
Sure, President Barack Obama might have joked about it. But there were thousands of kids and adults in that crowd, who for once might have gotten to respect the athletes they cheered for, for more than just the name on the front of their shirts. They were looking at the actual humans they rooted for.
More importantly, they had little choice but to like it. Now, let me go find my shirt.
Daily Dose: 6/24/16
The UK is on its way out of the EU
10:07 AMSo, how about that NBA draft? Guys in suits walking across the stage, yeah? In all seriousness though, the Phoenix Suns are like Kentucky West now, which is cool if you care about that sort of thing. I’m just over here crying for my Washington Wizards.
It actually happened. The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, a decision that is completely shocking if you want to do the math on how this will affect the rest of the puzzle pieces on that continent. Don’t get it twisted, this is nothing short of a super wow, on many levels. It was an extremely close vote, too, comparatively — and it’s a referendum that everyone over 21 will be talking about for the rest of their lives. But, whatever, I’m not British, but you know who is? Prime Minister David Cameron. Oh, guess what? He’s stepping down. ABC News reports.
In a complete stunner, slash not at all, your boy Donald Trump loves Brexit. In that way that dudes of a certain age do, he’s all concerned about taking things back, as if they ever “owned” them in the first place, and as if that matters anyway. “It’s one of the big votes in the history of Europe and Scotland and everywhere.” That’s what he said. Think about that quote. Let’s be clear about something: the referendum was bad news for Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, and he knows it. Check out what he had to say, while he was in Scotland. Katherine Faulders and Veronica Stracqualursi have the details.
Internet commenters. Let’s talk about them. In my life as a person who writes his opinion onto your computer screen, I’ve dealt with quite a bit of these people. Here’s how it goes: HI, I HATE YOU, LET ME SPIT SOME VITRIOLIC FOOLISHNESS THAT SOUNDS GOOD SAYING IT TO MYSELF IN THE MIRROR. Reply: Hey, thanks for reading/listening/watching, much appreciated. I don’t understand why you feel that way, considering [devastating minor point they overlooked.] Commenter: Oh, well, hey, sorry, I didn’t realize you’d reply and were a real person. FiveThirtyEight’s Christie Aschwanden wants to know why you comment.
Back to the NBA draft. Do I love basketball? Absolutely. Do I care about who plays for which team? Yes, no, maybe so? For me, the draft is really all about watching how guys hug their families and rep their sets. It’s also about how disappointing it can be when you go from guaranteed money to having to actually play to get that cash. But most importantly, it’s about fashion. If you had one big coming-out party in front of the world, what would you wear? Me, I’d go with jeans, a T-shirt and Vans. But pro hoopsters don’t do that. Check out what they did do Thursday night.
Coffee Break: There should be a National Sweatpants Day. Like, for real. Not one of these bunk cosmetic days that don’t count, I mean a national day in which we honor the glory of sweatpants. You know who loves sweatpants? The Hungarian men’s national team goalkeeper, that’s who. And he has no shame in his game about it. Salute.
Dessert: Rapper Gucci Mane put a new song out for the weekend and for the culture. YOU. ARE. WELCOME.
Affirmative action is not dead
Supreme Court upholds University of Texas’ policy
5:12 PMIf you read all the headlines, affirmative action as we knew it was dead. When a young lady named Abigail Fisher went full privileged and took the University of Texas to court because she thought she wasn’t admitted based on the school’s policies about race, many people thought it could have marked the end of a practice that began in the 1960s, designed to level the playing field.
Alas, nope! The Supreme Court actually voted 4-3 in favor of the institution, shocking not only every black person in America, but also most of the education world, too. Before we get to Fisher getting dragged on Twitter via the #BeckyWithTheBadGrades hashtag (a twist on the previous #StayMadAbby), let’s take a look back at how ominous the expectations were among experts.
“Supreme Court Justices’ Comments Don’t Bode Well for Affirmative Action,” the New York Times surmised. “End race-based affirmative action? Yes,” the NY Daily News offered. “This Move By The Supreme Court Probably Means The End Of Affirmative Action,” Think Progress asserted. “The End of Affirmative Action?” The Atlantic wondered.
The argument, as unfortunate as it seemed, made a fair amount of sense. Maybe we’ve come far enough that we don’t need such rules anymore. Most people know that the fundamental discrimination that exists in the academic world would never be unraveled by 50 years of affirmative action, but with the Supreme Court, there’s no way to predict what will be done.
So this, in many ways, was a victory for progressives.
I remember when a white student in my class said that we should get rid of affirmative action¬ include our race on our apps. Ha ha haaaa
— Mulan (@kayyweeezy_) June 23, 2016
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) June 23, 2016
— Olivia A. Cole (@RantingOwl) June 23, 2016
To be clear, Fisher not getting into that college had a lot more to do with its stringent standards, not what anyone looked like. Earlier this year, ProPublica broke down exactly why that is.
“Race probably had nothing to do with the University of Texas’ decision to deny admission to Abigail Fisher,” Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote. “In 2008, the year Fisher sent in her application, competition to get into the crown jewel of the Texas university system was stiff. Students entering through the university’s top-10 program — a mechanism that granted automatic admission to any teen who graduated in the upper 10 percent of his or her high school class — claimed 92 percent of the in-state spots. … But Fisher failed to graduate in the top 10 percent of her class, meaning she had to compete for the limited number of spaces up for grabs.”
Score one for learning.
we’d love to see as video game characters
2:35 PMIn the early 2000s, there was a golden era of hip-hop fighting video games. Def Jam and Electronic Arts got together and licensed musical artists to appear in games that allowed you to get in the ring as one of your favorite rappers. First came Def Jam Vendetta in 2003. Then there was Def Jam: Fight for NY. They were classics.
But on Wednesday, New Orleans’ Curren$y Spitta got us to thinking. He was apparently just having a session and thinking, when it occurred to him that rapper Desiigner looks like something he’s seen before.
Desiigner reminds of one of the fighters on the original Tekken….
— Spitta (@CurrenSy_Spitta) June 22, 2016
He would have hella moves man definitely that move when law runs up your body like a ladder then flips and slams into u…
— Spitta (@CurrenSy_Spitta) June 22, 2016
And that turbo milli rock he does would be when he charges a fireball to throw at u like a haduoken..
— Spitta (@CurrenSy_Spitta) June 22, 2016
Based upon this premise, it’s time for someone to create an updated version of the original roster that included Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Lil Kim, Redman, Method Man, N.O.R.E. and DMX among many. Desiigner, the man responsible for Panda, is just one of many we’d love to see in the ring on the sticks. Let’s run down the list.
Obviously, he has to be involved if only because he’ll probably the one that makes it happen. He’d have an array of super dope outfits and could whoop you without even getting his sneakers dirty. Come to think of it, he’d probably make the title track to this game, too.
Standing at 6-foot-4, he obviously would be a character with quite a bit of reach. And that sinister, yet hearty, laugh would certainly come out after any victory. His finishing move would obviously be called the “Taylor Gang” in which he drops a hot bar, then his squad appears from nowhere and brutalizes the opponent.
Dressed in all white, Mr. Worldwide would clearly be the one that pummels you to death with fist pumps and foot stomps. His finishing move, “Dale,” would involve a grand buildup after which the force of the music from the drop would instantly floor you, while the rest of the crowd just danced around your lifeless body.
Armed with a skateboard and getting extra power from various Styrofoam cups of liquid, Wayne would be a formidable character. Although a tad diminutive, he’d use that to his advantage by being able to duck your short-range attacks. Plus his grill makes for a nearly impenetrable defense system.
The key is to pay attention to the hat. It would serve as a Peaky Blinders type weapon (or Oddjob from James Bond for our older readers), which would be devastating from long range. That and his dance moves would also double as defensive dodges in the ring.
His weaponry is in his name, but you’ve got to go to the Bands A Make Her Dance remix to figure out his real tool of precision: four bracelets. With all this jewelry shining on you and coming at you, he’s almost impossible to get at. Let us also not forget that Mr. Chainz also played college basketball, so his hops would off the charts.
A one-eyed guy from New Jersey that rides motorcycles and ATVs? Yeah, he’s making the list. I have no idea what his powers would be, or why. But he would be the default character if you chose to play in story mode, just because.
Wielding the most vicious door-knocker earrings you’ve ever seen in your life, if you even get close to her face, expect a serious clapback. Her natural defensive stance, obviously, is the Lean Back making it nearly impossible to actually connect on any offensive charges.
Scissors, folks. Scissors. Remember when she said she’d go full Lorena Bobbitt if she caught her then-man Nick Young cheating? Yeah, she’s about that action. So, good luck avoiding those blades when you’re trying to level up.
This is the guy you face right before the boss levels. At home in a kitchen that doubles as a recording studio, he’d have an arsenal of knives, pots and mics to swing your way and get you hemmed up in his web. His finishing move would be a delicious meal that you ate thinking you were regaining power but, alas, you were being poisoned.
DJ Khaled – First Boss
This is obvious. With a keychain full of major keys, unlocking this man’s defense is unlikely. Just imagine him firing those things at you while yelling, “Another one!” the whole time. Then when you’re finally defeated, he hits you with his tagline: “Congratulations, you played yourself.”
Kanye West – Second Boss
Able to embody everyone else’s fighting styles, West’s strategy is to make you think he’s doing one thing, then devastate you with an entirely different approach you’ve never seen. Dressed in overpriced rags, it’s tough to get a grip on him. But if you can disrupt his creative process long enough then you can find yourself at the biggest boss of them all …
GUCCI MANE AKA BIG GUWOP
You had to know this was coming. If you think there is anyone that embodies rap video game super boss more than the Atlanta supernova, you’re bugging. Here’s how it would go: At first, you’d get a tough, wiry six-packed Gucci that hits you with his prison fighting skills at close range. Then, after you defeated him and you think you’ve won the game, up from the ashes rises Spring Breakers Gucci, who rains ice cream cones down from the sky, all controlled by his face tattoo. If you can avoid or consume the dizzying volume of mixtapes and albums he throws at you all the while, only then are you victorious.
Please, someone, make this game happen.
Another not guilty
verdict in the Freddie Gray case
11:31 AMIt was considered the biggest one of them all.
In the case of Caesar Goodson Jr., the Baltimore City police officer who was the van driver in the incident that eventually killed Freddie Gray Jr., Goodson was acquitted of second-degree, depraved-heart murder, among other charges Thursday. It’s also another blow to the reputation of Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who very publicly pledged to bring justice to those responsible for Gray’s demise. She reportedly shook her head repeatedly in the courtroom as the verdict in the Goodson case was read.
“All six, murderers!” the protesters yelled outside of the courthouse Thursday morning. Goodson was the third officer charged in the case, and the third who has had no guilt assigned his way. The first officer’s trial ended in a hung jury, the second was acquitted. Most depressing, of course, is how incredibly unsurprising this result is.
"Justice is blind when it's convenient for them…and today it was convenient for them." Man outside of court #FreddieGray
— ABC 7 News – WJLA (@ABC7News) June 23, 2016
Freddie Gray is dead at the hands of police and no one is going to be held responsible.
— Bey Phi Bey, Philly Chapter President. (@brownandbella) June 23, 2016
Once again, this is how institutional injustice works. If you can spread the plausible deniability of intent across multiple people, and you have a dead man who can’t speak for himself against others, it’s difficult to prove anyone specifically is responsible. Six people saying, “It wasn’t me, I didn’t mean to do it,” when the actual tool of harm has an engine and four wheels becomes a tough burden in a courtroom to overcome. Apparently, Gray’s neck just broke itself.
The next trial is set for July 5.
Daily Dose: 6/23/16
Sleepover on Capitol Hill
9:32 AMOn Wednesday, as a staff at The Undefeated, we were asked what our favorite NBA playoff moments of all time are. Here’s mine. It’s important to note that Allen Iverson is also my favorite basketball player of all time, too. What’s your favorite moment?
The House floor has turned into even more of a spectacle than it already is. After Republican inaction on a gun control bill, representatives en masse took to the floor and plainly just didn’t move. It’s a very old-school move, which from an optics standpoint can be highly effective. Whether this is the series of bills that Democrats should be doing this for is a different matter. (Meanwhile, Republicans voted to take their ball and go home.) That said, there is the small matter of survival if you’re going to be having a sleepover at work, ABC’s David Caplan reports.
There will be developments in the case of Freddie Gray on Thursday. Caesar Goodson was the van driver for the rough ride that eventually claimed Gray’s life and he faces charges of manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. Interestingly, he opted to forgo a jury trial, and leave his fate up to a judge. That ruling comes down on Thursday at 10 a.m. If acquitted, he’ll be the third of six officers involved in that death who will not be going to jail, just yet. ABC News’ Serena Marshall has details.
College is an interesting thing. If you come from a certain part of the world, you assume that once you’re done with high school or gap year, you go to college and get on with it. But alas, that’s not how most of America works. On the campaign trail, however, higher education is a hot topic because candidates always throw it out there as a path into a more successful economy. But is that even a realistic goal for most families in the U.S.? Check out the latest episode of FiveThirtyEight’s Kitchen Table Politics podcast, in which they discuss said topic.
Today is draft day in the NBA. You’ll get to see a couple dozen extremely tall guys walk across the stage and shake hands with shorter guys. Then, you’ll get to look at various families in different states of pride as well as a few pockets of maniac fans reacting as if they have any clue how one random guy is going to pan out in a league full of opportunities. Ben Simmons is expecting to go at the top, then Brandon Ingram (whose hair is looking great these days) second. Perhaps most important, though, is that Simmons is signing with Nike, ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports.
Coffee Break: Are you having trouble watching all the television you need to? You have a couple of choices. One, put down the device and get outside of your house, but no one wants to do that. Or two, watch them all in fast-forward. Seriously, one guy is actually doing this, and claiming it works. Ironically, it feels like a giant waste of time.
Snack Time: The Brexit vote is today, which is only going to determine the economic future of all of Europe, but, that’s it. The best part, however, is that people are bringing their dogs to the polls and taking pictures. It’s back!
Dessert: Wiz Khalifa is a fool for the album art on his new track. Very well done, however.