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

Daily Dose: 12/5/16

What does Ben Carson know about housing and urban development?

11:30 AMWhat’s up, gang? Hope your weekends went well. I’m finally recovered from a rough week, healthwise, but we’re good.

When you hear the word “urban,” do you think about black people? Because it appears that’s why Dr. Ben Carson was initially nominated to be the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Now, he’s accepted that position even though he quite literally has no experience in such matters, considering he’s a brain surgeon. It should also be noted that Carson said rather publicly a while back that this wasn’t something he was interested in from a work standpoint. Alas. ABC News has the details.

Protestors scored a huge victory at Standing Rock over the weekend. Basically, the U.S. Army said that no, it won’t be routing the Dakota Pipeline close to the Native American reservation land in North Dakota. This comes after a few weeks of really ugly disputes that did not sit well with many people who believe in basic decency. Police had used power hoses to douse demonstrators with water during subfreezing temperatures, which does not remotely exemplify decency. VICE reports on the latest.

Advice columns are as old as journalism itself. So, when FiveThirtyEight launched its version of the stalwart feature, I was rather interested in what type of topics they’d explore, considering it’s a data-based site. Most people giving out advice are doing it based on gut, not numbers. But there’s a twist to this. They run polls based on questions they’re asked. Check out how people thought someone should handle leaving his or her office Bible study group (who knew that was a thing.) They call it Survey Says.

Joe McKnight’s tragic death has been a very sober reminder of what race means to justice in America. It’s not just police officers who get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to working the system after they’ve done something wrong. The former University of Southern California and New York Jets running back was gunned down in the street in New Orleans in a road rage incident, which nobody seems to be able to really explain, from a motive standpoint. The guy who killed McKnight was released, with no charges, somehow. ESPN explains.

Free Food

Coffee Break: ICYMI, a terrifying situation unfolded over the weekend in Washington, D.C., in which a guy brought an assault rifle into a pizzeria and decided he wanted to investigate a claim he’d heard on the internet. They’re calling it the “Pizzagate” scandal, but it’s actually far more dangerous than that when you hear the details.

Snack Time: I’m not typically huge on random videos of humans interacting with animals, but this one of a guy punching a kangaroo in the face to prevent it from messing with his dog is completely wild.

Dessert: Under Armour’s global dominance continues. The company is taking over Major League Baseball uniforms.

So, who will be the star of Space Jam 2?

We thought it was LeBron James, but there’s also Blake Griffin

4:00 PM

So, do we have a controversy in Space Jam land? Because I’m totally confused.

First, it was surmised that the star of Space Jam 2 or whatever it’s going to be called, the sequel to the 1996 film that grossed over $230 million in the box office and was a cultural touchstone between cartoons and sports that we hadn’t seen since Bugs Bunny was striking out the side on one pitch, would be none other than LeBron James. This, of course, made a ton of sense. Nike guy, international superstar, etc.

But then Michael Jordan said that he wanted Blake Griffin to be the guy. This didn’t make any particular waves because it was just one man’s opinion, albeit the most important person in the original production. He actually told a basketball camp full of people that he preferred Griffin. To be fair, this is not a bad pick. But to sort of publicly take what amounts to an anti-LeBron stance was a tad odd, but that’s it. It’s just a cartoon.

Then this commercial dropped this morning. The new Space Jam 20th anniversary Air Jordans are coming out in a couple of days, so Foot Locker’s got a new ad out. Who does it star? Blake Griffin and Jimmy Butler. This is the closest thing we’ve seen to an official announcement that Griffin will not only be in the movie, but will be playing a significant role. We realize that James was a bit busy with winning an NBA title, but still.

If we’re being honest, it wasn’t until this commercial that it occurred to me this role is way better for Griffin than James. On some level, this is beneath James. But it is very much so in Griffin’s wheelhouse and that’s obvious based on the few seconds he’s on screen in this 90-second clip. The Los Angeles Clippers forward is funny. While James certainly has his comedic chops, I guess maybe there’s just a part of me that wants to see Griffin get this shot. Mainly, we just want to see his brother, Taylor Griffin, find his way into this movie as some sort of long-lost villain from Griffin’s past.

The only real question here anyway is who’s going to be on the soundtrack, because that’s going to be harder to live up to than the first actual movie.

Will there finally be a Marvin Gaye biopic?

Jamie Foxx is the latest to produce a limited series about the artist

1:00 PMWhat’s Going On is the name of Marvin Gaye’s 11th studio album, but also an apt question for the situation regarding a production about the legendary musician’s life. Now, it appears that responsibility has fallen to Jamie Foxx. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it will be a limited-edition series that has yet to find a distribution deal.

In an era in which biopics are all the rage in an attempt to cash in on the nostalgia crowd, a Gaye movie or series would likely be quite popular, never mind a needed story for those who aren’t particularly familiar with his life and career. The tale of his demise is well-documented. Shot and killed by his father in his own home, as tragic as it was, sounds like something out of a movie.

[Justin Tinsley: How Marvin Gaye’s NFL tryout changed his career]

Of course, over the years, quite a few attempts have been made to put this story on the big screen. None have been authorized by the family (see above) until this latest development with Foxx. Typically, Marvin Gaye III has found himself in court over his father’s work. You might recall the situation with the song Blurred Lines and that whole fallout. To the casual observer, it was arguable that his family had become excessively obsessive keepers of a legacy that most people had established in their own minds, anyway.

But, that’s how these things work. We’ve seen what happens when someone dies and whomever’s in charge of the estate, reputation, image or whatever is either too splintered, too distracted or too greedy to responsibly handle what is an image, or a bank account, in perpetuity. James Brown and Martin Luther King Jr. come to mind. It’s really no different from normal families, except it takes place in public.

Which brings us to the most important portion of the news regarding this latest project about Gaye’s life. By tackling this as a series, from a storytelling standpoint, you’re not limited to the same constraints as a movie. It’s not just about Los Angeles and Detroit. He grew up in Washington, D.C., a clearly formative time in his life. Yet, with Berry Gordy also giving his blessing, you feel like something right might finally be happening with this.

Couple that with Foxx’s level of competence, skill, taste and experience and it’s time to look forward to what may be one of the better biopics in a while. No word on Chadwick Bozeman’s involvement, though.

Daily Dose: 12/1/16

More bad news from Charlotte, North Carolina, where the system is in full effect

12:00 PMYour boy officially got into the holiday spirit Wednesday night, by watching Christmas In Rockefeller Center on NBC, in which they called The Roots “an iconic R&B group” in the opening, but whatever.

Another police shooting will go unchecked in America. This time, it’s Keith Lamont Scott’s killer, a man named Brentley Vinson, an officer in Charlotte, North Carolina. For a refresher, this is the scenario where police saw a man with a gun and decided that he was a threat, then after a standoff, shot him to death. The district attorney in Mecklenburg County ruled that the officer acted lawfully, which beyond the decision, is precisely the problem. This is absolutely lawful behavior, which is inherently not OK. ABC News has details.

There’s always one gift that completely takes over a year’s gift cycle. Sometimes it’s something for small children, other times it’s something for people a little too old to be playing with certain types of toys. Last year, that toy was the so-called hoverboard, which had half of America making videos of themselves wiping out on said vehicles, much to everyone else’s enjoyment. Then, all of sudden they started exploding and that was the end of that. FiveThirtyEight’s Ritchie King looks at just how injurious last season’s hot item was.

HIV/AIDS is still a joke to many people. Maybe not the government, but you certainly don’t have to go far to hear someone make a snide remark about “The HIV” or something along those lines. But back in the day, it was not only a source of material for standup artists, it also was openly mocked in the White House. Thankfully, those days are over at this point. But it’s worth remembering just how awful coverage of the virus and disease were, as a result of attitudes from elected officials and the health care industry, Harmon Leon writes for VICE.

Haven’t been following Major League Soccer? Welp, the season’s almost over. But Wednesday night in the second leg of the Eastern Conference finals, we got one of the best playoff games the league has seen in quite some time. With two Canadian squads facing off, Toronto and Montreal, it was an interesting twist to a rivalry that has yet to take off the way many thought it might. Either way, Toronto managed to get the win, so the club will host the MLS Cup, where the Reds will face the Seattle Sounders next Saturday. ESPN’s Doug McIntyre has a game report.

Free Food

Coffee Break: If you don’t know who Tomi Lahren is, she’s the blond woman you see on social media all the time making extreme statements about where we are in America. Well, she went on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on Wednesday night, and let’s just say that it did not go well for her.

Snack Time: Apparently, in the new administration, Donald Trump will have the ability to text every single person in America at once. Somehow, I do not see this ending in a good way for the commander in chief.

Dessert: New Curren$y mixtape is out, if you’re into that. I very much am.

Daily Dose: 11/30/16

Childish Gambino gave us a present

3:30 PMShoutout to Donald Glover one time. On Wednesday at 2:14 a.m., he tweeted this out.


Just a link no explanation. Check it out. I promise you will not be disappointed.

More details on the Ohio State attack are arriving. After the horrifying events that happened Monday in Columbus, there are more details coming to light on the incident. On Tuesday, the Islamic State group claimed that the perpetrator, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, was one of its “soldiers.” ABC News has been gathering more details on the situation.

Parents are arranging for the kidnapping of their child so there is a consumer demand for people to come into their homes and then have them take their child away. These people are essentially “escorting” these kids to places where they then fix their lives and steer them down the right path. Think of the show Beyond Scared Straight, but outside of jail. I hope that explains it. VICE describes more about the world of legal kidnapping.

Is college basketball broken? In this week’s Hot Takedown podcast, FiveThirtyEight sat down with basketball guru Ken Pomeroy. To me, the only way that basketball can be broken is when someone dunks and breaks the rim. I’m not an expert, though. The crew talks about the stats and insights from kenpom.com and tells us about the fate of the sport.

Lamar Jackson not No. 1?! In the early happenings of the season, the Louisville quarterback had such a huge lead in the Heisman race. His stats were unreal and had people trying to give him the trophy before the season ended. With his last couple of performances, it seems like Jackson has driven over a couple of Mario Kart banana peels and red shells in the Heisman race. With all the recent developments, is he still the best player in college football?. Some writers over at ESPN mull this over.

Free Food

Coffee Break: For all those times that you just wanted to watch your show on the Metro. For all those times that your data plan didn’t want to let you be great. For all those times that you didn’t want to pay for airplane Wi-Fi to watch your shows. Netflix has decided to bless us.

Snack Time: Remember Alpha 5 from the Power Rangers? This is him now … feel old yet?

Dessert: Do you like dogs in Christmas sweaters? (Yes. The answer is yes.)