What Had Happened Was Trending stories on the intersections of race, sports & culture

Are Drake and Rihanna about to drop a project?

Or maybe they’re getting married

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When Drake and Rihanna carried on in their usual way last weekend at the MTV Video Music Awards, fans of both artists speculated wildly about what was going on in their relationship. Aubrey nearly ruined her Video Vanguard Award presentation by going full sensitive, looking like he might actually pull out a ring and ask for her hand during a moment that was supposed to be about her.

There was an awkward kiss, all sorts of memes, then we all went back to our lives. But then, drakeandrihanna.com popped up. With a countdown clock. Which means it’s time for our favorite game: Reckless Speculation! First though, let’s get the details.

An All Day Investigation reveals that this domain was registered in the United Kingdom on Monday. The date at the end of the clock is Sept. 8, a Thursday. It happens to be the day between two show dates in Los Angeles on Drake and Future’s Summer Sixteen Tour. That’s 6 p.m. in Calabasas, if you’re counting. Drake’s regular and clothing sites are created through GoDaddy.com (stars, they’re just like us!). RiRi’s site is created through NetworkSolutions.com. So, this could easily be an outside job. Or an elaborate hoax to throw people off the scent, not dissimilar to Drizzy being late for the VMAs due to “traffic.”

Anyway, back to the game. The first guess, again, presuming this isn’t all a hoax, is an album. They’ve certainly made music before and they’re both at the peak of their powers from an artist’s standpoint. The other option is, of course, that the two are getting hitched. According to Entertainment Tonight, the two are now officially dating. And, again, the countdown date is between concerts in Los Angeles. That’s enough time to get to Las Vegas and back.

The larger question is which would we prefer? A union, an album or … both? This country’s two favorite non-American performers might soon make us all much happier.

Bummer. Or, brilliant?

Tina Knowles shares her thoughts on Colin Kaepernick

She’s definitely in his corner

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The people that are so offended and apppalled by Mr. Kaebernick's protest. I 'd like to know if they are as outraged by all the senseless killing of minorities, all of the racial injustices in America, that people are okay with. We turn a blind eye to it and as long as it is not affecting us personally we avoid thinking , discussing , protesting , and doing a thing about it. Here is a man that is taking a non violent stand to bring attention to this horrible problem. He is not saying he does not love or respect his country or our flag,but the flag is supposed to be a symbol of freedom , equality, and justice for all !! Is that really what the flag stands for??? He is saying that it is hard to hear the song that says " The land of the Free and the home of the brave." Because it's not true!!!!! He is truly being brave. Please support him for stepping out and taking a stand . Let's not let them ostracize him let's support him . Mr. Wade said it best "Enough is Enough" What will we do today to contribute to change no mater how small. ❤️

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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has set the sports take world on fire with his comments about why he plans to sit during the national anthem before games. It’s sparked a firestorm of debate, and now, musical artist Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Knowles, has also chimed in.

The “Mr. Wade” Knowles is referring to here is Dwyane Wade, whose cousin was killed in a shooting in Chicago recently. The Chicago Bulls guard was part of the group of players who stood up before the ESPYS to speak about the police brutality problem in this country. Meanwhile, rookie linebacker Myke Tavarres of the Philadelphia Eagles is also joining in on the protest.

This entire discussion will become very interesting from a TV production standpoint, if once the regular season starts, not only more players refuse to stand, but people in the stands do, too.

Behold, the greatest Vine of 2016

Beyoncé blessed Chance The Rapper with her presence and her touch

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There are moments that are genuine in the music industry, but many more that are super fake. Award shows tend to be cauldrons for the latter, simply because there’s no real reason any of these people would be in the same room, save a paycheck. But every once and again something happens that makes you smile, laugh and squee all at the same time. The MTV Video Music Awards are typically good for OMG moments, but typically of the more shocking, quasi-offended variety.

Chance The Rapper is having a crazy summer. His Coloring Book project is doing the most, and his life is at the point where he’s wearing matching overalls and hats to public appearances. Back to the point, this interview is incredible. Let’s break things down frame by frame.

First off, there’s Meredith Graves, who clearly has no idea she’s about to be a part of history. I mean, she knows she’s with Chancelor Bennett, obviously, but the grace with which the queen just swings through and dominates the situation is borderline unreal. Peep the long approach. Appearing in a gorgeous white gown, Beyoncé’s walk alone has everyone else in the frame wondering just what she is going to do. Then, the best part is the casual look off before coming into frame, as to not *completely* photo bomb the set.

Meanwhile, Chance is getting his shoutout on, grabbing the microphone WWE-style, when Auntie Yoncé rocks his world. Seriously, look at this.

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Beyoncé smiles for the camera, makes the requisite contact and moves on. Let’s take this moment to discuss Chance’s gear. First of all, the hat is tremendous. He’s been designing with the Chicago White Sox and New Era recently, so we know that he’s on point on that front. Most importantly, however, is that button. First off, who wears buttons anymore? I wouldn’t know where to buy a button if I tried, and if the place wasn’t called the internet.

The reaction afterward is perfect, and Mrs. Carter is beyond gracious. Meanwhile, Michael Jackson is cold chilling above the buckle. And the Newport definitely got smoked immediately afterward.

Daily Dose: 8/29/16

Colin Kaepernick is not here for games

12:04 PMI’m over summer. August always feels like the longest month and it’s finally drawing to a close. In better news, I went to Trillectro this weekend. I was the oldest person there and I had zero problem with it.

Chicago is not a war zone. Chicago is exactly what you get when you segregate, defund, disrespect and disorganize people to the point of chaos. Over the weekend, after The Undefeated’s town hall conversation on the South Side in which we tried to discuss how to come up with solutions for the city’s violence issues, Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade’s cousin was shot and killed while pushing a stroller. Summertime is fighting season in urban America, and if those quarrels are settled with guns, many people die. ABC News reports on the latest spike in violence for the windy city.

I thought Aubrey was going to propose to Rihanna on Sunday night. The MTV Video Music Awards were held Sunday night in New York City and it was a fun one. It’s still the best awards show out there, whether you want to admit that to yourself or not, and rapper Kanye West didn’t disappoint. He also didn’t go nuts, but showed his family love and told his fans why he’s famous. Also, Rihanna. Like, seriously. RIHANNA. Anyways, here’s the full list of winners, in case you’re the kind of person who actually cares about who wins these awards. Rihanna.

Dentists are terrifying. A buddy of mine from college is a dentist, as is a girl I crushed on in middle school. I haven’t seen them in years. Every time I have to even think about the concept of someone putting their fingers in my mouth, I sort of freak out. Luckily, I’ve never had a cavity and never had the unfortunate pleasure of someone drilling into my teeth. In the dentist world, apparently there’s a big question as to whether or not flossing actually does anything. FiveThirtyEight’s Katherine Hobson explains how to keep your kid out of that scary chair.

The Colin Kaepernick discussion has your boy genuinely hopping mad. Playing The Star-Spangled Banner before sporting events is a genuinely pointless tradition that needs to go based on the merit of entertainment, never mind politics. In case you didn’t know, that little ditty that Francis Scott Key penned from Baltimore is actually extremely racist and completely not cool. Sorry. Stay woke. Back to Kaep, the whole point of what he’s sitting down for is why people who work, fight and live under that flag exist. Here’s what he said.

Free Food

Coffee Break: In the world of bad hair decisions, NBA free agent Carlos Boozer is a legend. But who would have thought that someone with his very same initials would make the exact same mistake? Actually, the bit was rather funny and it actually helped the Texas Rangers win a game. The announcers here say it all.

Snack Time: We told you about the Brujas, an all-female skate crew in New York, a while back. They not only empower their own, but they help their own. And when one of them went missing and was found dead in a river, they made sure she was properly memorialized.

Dessert: You didn’t have this much fun this weekend. Goals.

Speaking of Chicago

They’ve got some great public art

7:00 AMAs we’ve mentioned, it’s been a long week in Chicago. I was lucky enough to get the chance to walk around downtown a little bit and look at what was on the walls. This is what I found.


“Harmony” is my favorite.

It’s a California weekend

so watch Kevin Romar skate

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There’s really not a lot to explain here, expect that skateboarder Kevin Romar does the most and does it well. Sun is shining, heels are flipping and everyone’s having a good time. The camera work here is particularly tremendous, by the way. If you’re wondering, Romar wasn’t lying about running into NBA legend Dennis Rodman.

Fun Friday!

Dwyane Wade’s cousin killed in Chicago

Mother of four was pushing a stroller

12:15 PMIn the 1983 movie Scarface, the lead character establishes a position: no wife, no kids. A ruthless drug dealer who has no problem murdering men he felt deserved it, had a moral code that he didn’t defy, however twisted it might be. In Chicago these days, there are no such rules. Friday afternoon, Nykea Aldridge, cousin of Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade, was killed while walking her children in a stroller, the result of crossfire.

A day before, Dwyane had participated in The Undefeated’s town hall conversation, held at the South Side YMCA, at which he discussed what he felt were root problems for not just the issues in his hometown, but also for black folks in general. Alas, his kin were not immune to the very problems discussed that day.

According to Chicago’s ABC7 News, “two men approached another man in the vicinity and opened fire … the altercation between the men had nothing to do with her.” She was shot in the head and arm. Aldridge was 32 years old. On a basic level, it’s heartbreaking. Four children no longer have a mother, due to what rapper Guru of Gang Starr once called the “stupid n—– playoffs.”

Not to be outdone by an unfortunate tragedy, comes Donald J. Trump, who is running for president. “Dwayne Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!” he tweeted this morning. Call it heartless, call it crass, call it craven, call it whatever you want. It happened. A person who wants to be in the White House is using the death of a black woman to promote his own brand.


Daily Dose: 8/26/16

Let’s take a trip to the South Side of Chicago

12:00 PMIt’s been quite the week here in Chicago. On Thursday night, The Undefeated hosted a conversation on sports, gun violence and social responsibility from the South Side YMCA, which aired on ESPN. There were so many stories, do check them out.

Englewood is a section of Chicago that many people are afraid of. Some call it one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods. On Thursday, my colleague Brent Lewis, a Chi-Town native, and I went to get haircuts. The shop was about what you thought it would be and the owner/barber had a screen door, as you do around these parts. It was quite the experience and I was glad to hear his wisdom. Anyway, in jail, being a barber is an even higher level of prominence in the community. Check out this fascinating tale from VICE on what it’s like to cut hair in the joint.

In France, the continuing of policing women’s bodies has taken a step in the right direction. One particular town had decided to ban burkinis, which are basically full-body bathing suits, that allow Muslim women to go to beaches and still be veiled, per tradition. But because many French people think it’s an insult to women to force them to do that, there was a regulation against it, which ultimately backfires conceptually. So while they’ve now overturned the ban, there’s an argument the damage has been done. ABC News reports.

Baking cakes is fun. It’s one of those cooking processes that you can participate in as a child, so it sticks with you as an experience through life, if you were lucky enough to do it with someone back then. For me, it was my Aunt Nell who would make chocolate cakes just to have around her house, but she’d let me lick the bowl when the batter was poured, a privilege I heartily cherished for years before she died. I don’t eat cake anymore because it’s not as fun without her. Anyway, for The Riddler on FiveThirtyEight, the question this week is: Can you bake the optimal cake?

Running back Ezekiel Elliot is perfect for the Dallas Cowboys. That’s not exactly funny, but for a team that used to take pride in taking players with questionable pasts, they are still very on brand. So as the team’s top draft pick, the Ohio State University product Elliot has already been involved in a domestic violence accusation, all before ever taking the field. He did that Thursday night, but not before he found himself at a marijuana dispensary in Seattle beforehand. Like, seriously. The level of poor decision-making in this situation is off the charts. ESPN’s Todd Archer reports.

Free Food

Coffee Break: There are insane catches in Major League Baseball and there is what Jarrod Dyson did Thursday night. My man robbed a homer in truly one of the best catches I’ve seen in a very long time. You need to see this play and watch it over and over again.

Snack Time: Twitter comes up with beautiful hashtags that serve as tremendous content ideas. The latest one I love is #MakeTVHipHop, which some people think should actually become real programs.

Dessert: Let this glorious photo of rapper Yung Joc take you into your weekend.

Radio coverage of ‘An Undefeated Conversation’

Here are the details for coverage before and after Thursday’s town hall

3:47 PMOn Thursday night, The Undefeated will host An Undefeated Conversation: Athletes, Responsibility and Violence, broadcasted on ESPN at 9:30 p.m. EST from the YMCA in South Side Chicago.

Before the event, Undefeated senior writer and All Day Podcast host Clinton Yates will host a live half-hour pre-show on ESPN Radio from 9-9:30 p.m. EST with Jonathan Hood, co-host of ESPN’s Dickerson and Hood show, from ESPN 1000 studios in Chicago.

After the town hall, Yates and Hood will host a live wrap-up show from 11 p.m. to 12 a.m. EST, during which they’ll take calls from viewers and listeners.

Tune into Thursday night’s radio coverage on ESPN Radio.

Daily Dose: 8/25/16

Leslie Jones, we got your back

10:20 AMI’ve been in Chicago for a couple of days now in preparation for our town hall conversation about athletes, responsibility and gun violence. I’ll be on one of the panels and hosting an ESPN Radio special before and afterward. Tune in.

Just saying the word “welfare” makes me uncomfortable. It’s such a loaded term that every time it’s used, I have a physical reaction that I can’t explain. It’s sort of like when I hear the word “ghetto” used as a random adjective for things that are marginally unpleasant. Anyway, for the people who are actually on public assistance in this country, things have changed quite a bit over the past 20 years. FiveThirtyEight’s Andrew Flowers explains how these days, the people who actually need the money are not always the ones getting it.

At the height of her career, people have done everything they can to tear down Leslie Jones. As a black women who tells jokes and acts for a living, a lot of people just can’t handle the fact that she’s winning at life. She faced a ton of harassment online earlier this summer, then this week, she was doxxed and all sorts of details about her life, including nude pictures were leaked online. It’s unfair, it’s racist and it’s vicious. Thankfully, some people have come to her side during this painful time.

If you knew there was a new planet that you could live on, would you do it? And I don’t mean like those people who want to go to Mars, knowing full well they would die there, I mean an actual planet like Earth that is inhabitable by humans, that just wasn’t Earth. Well, they found one. Apparently it’s called an “exoplanet,” which is just a really fun thing to say no matter what. People love tackling the challenge of a new neighborhood, imagine how crazy people would act over the prospect of a new planet. ABC News’ Avianne Tan has the story.

There are vicious dunks, then there are full posterizations. There was a time when certain acts of crammage lived in lore like old fairy tales, getting more extensive and ridiculous with each retell of the story. But now that everything we have is on video, a disrespectful throwdown lives on in infamy forever. Then, some high school junior from South Carolina blows up the internet with something insane. Seriously, watch this. Then watch it again, then a third time.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Olympian Katie Ledecky is the best competitive swimmer on earth. Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is one of the best baseball players on earth. But when it’s time for Ledecky to play baseball, Harper holds her gold medals while she does it. You’re not going to get a role reversal much better for a first pitch.

Snack Time: I don’t know that I’ve anticipated a TV show as much as Atlanta in an extremely long time. It’s going to be black as hell, and for all the right reasons, because everyone who writes the show is black. Yay.

Dessert: Musical artist Frank Ocean is likely to have a lawsuit on his hands, alas. But he’s a great wingman.