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

Daily Dose: 8/16/16

Blac Chyna is officially ready to take over

9:55 AMWe’re down to one black guy on Bachelor in Paradise. Also, we need more Jorge. Come on, producers.

The dog days of summer are certainly upon us. It’s hot as blazes on the East Coast and if it weren’t for the Olympics and the presidential campaign, much of the news cycle would be incredibly slow and largely boring. The weather is so intense that beyond the disastrous floods it caused in Louisiana, it’s also apparently causing former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani of all people to make ridiculous statements about the effectiveness of radical Islam. Luckily, the Obamas are above that fray, and the president is spending his vacation golfing with NBA stars. Let’s follow along in Martha’s Vineyard.

For the majority of the world’s nations, the Olympics are bad business. Never mind the situation with the International Olympic Committee, oftentimes on the ground it’s too difficult to get everything ready in time and ultimately you end up costing yourself more money than you would have spent to simply sit still. For this reason, there are theories floating that the Olympic Games should actually just go away forever. FiveThirtyEight’s Clay Dillow breaks down a study from the University of Oxford that analyzes the last six decades of Olympic budgets.

America’s favorite television family, the Kardashians, have a new program in the mix. In case you forgot, Rob Kardashian is now an item with Blac Chyna, a reality star who rose from the ranks of exotic dancer to work her way into the most famous clan in Hollywood. Their new show is called Rob and Chyna and a trailer was released Monday. The two are having a baby, of course, and in typical family fashion, their relationship is a tad volatile. Here are five things we learned from the teaser. The show debuts Sept. 11.

Whether you like it or not, the NFL season is upon us. ESPN is holding fantasy football marathons, training camp sites are coming to a close and fans are getting their hopes up. It also means the return of scandalous news stories. Remember that report from Al-Jazeera that implicated various football players, including, ahem, Peyton Manning in a wide-ranging investigation about doping? Well, that’s back. The league is saying if players still playing on rosters don’t answer for their involvement, there will be consequences. Jeremy Fowler reports.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Aside from the iconic music that Mos Def and Talib Kweli made back in the ’90s with their Black Star album, there was also the imagery of the project that touched so many as well. The album art was next level and it all started with an English photographer named Eddie Otchere. Check out this interview with him about how it went.

Snack Time: I’m extremely biased when it comes to Tiny Desk concerts at NPR, but if you haven’t seen Anderson .Paak’s latest offering to the genre, we highly suggest that you get it in your life. It’s incredible.

Dessert: We love badminton. Now we love what the players do in their off time, even more.

Let’s go to Rio

and check out some murals, aside from the Olympics

7:00 AM

The street art in Brazil is an interesting beast. Long a more character-driven type of style, the nation that’s hosting the Summer Olympics has long been a major player on the scene. So, while you’re watching records being broken in Rio de Janeiro, take some time to look at what people are doing in the streets.

This video comes to us via Luci Westphal, who makes one-minute videos of all types that feature places around the world. Anyway, make sure to check out the abstract style of Brazil’s scene, which we’ve always been a huge fan of. Some people call it the “New York of South America,” which I think is rather pointless, comparison-wise, but if you want a deeper look into what they do down there, check it out here.

Board on Saturday

Logic is a better skater than YG

and he has the video to prove it

7:00 AMWhen you’re on tour in the summertime, there’s a lot of time to kill. Traveling, setup, soundchecks, etc., which all means that if you’ve got nothing else to do, you’re going to resort to the basics to have fun. Some people play hoops, others make music, but some like to skateboard.

California native rapper YG and Maryland native rapper Logic got together for a session on the Endless Summer tour, and let’s just say that one of them got completely dominated. To be fair, YG can definitely skate, but he wasn’t ready for what Logic had for him.

Locker Room Lawyer

Locker Room Lawyer, Episode 4: Deon Long

The NFL wide receiver got cut during training camp for having a woman in his room, giving The Undefeated its latest case

3:12 PMIn Friday’s edition of Locker Room Lawyer, Clinton Yates and Domonique Foxworth take the case of Los Angeles Rams Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Deon Long to The Undefeated courtroom.

On Tuesday’s season premiere of HBO’s Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Los Angeles Rams, everyone (well, those who have HBO) saw the wide receiver get cut from the Rams by head coach Jeff Fisher for committing a violation of team rules: having a woman in his dorm room at training camp.

Long is a second-year player out of the University of Maryland. Domonique also attended Maryland before he was drafted to the NFL in 2005. So Deon, that means representation from the Locker Room Lawyer FOR FREE *Drake voice*.

Check out the video, and if you have any professional athlete in mind (past or present) who needs the Locker Room Lawyer’s representation, feel free to email us at allday@andscape.com with episode ideas. Also, check out our weekly All Day Podcast.

Daily Dose: 8/12/16

‘Rogue One’ gives us our Darth Vader fix

2:00 PMI went all the way to Philadelphia and back Thursday night to see the homey DJ Trayze at the Red Bull Thre3style USA DJ Championships. I got back at 5 a.m., but whatever: He won. Good times in Pennsylvania.

THERE’S A NEW STAR WARS TRAILER OUT. I scream that because I care deeply about said series, always have, always will, idc idc. The first Rogue One teaser was just an indication of what we might actually be in for. The second one, released Thursday night, actually has some storyline to it beyond the initial concept. Also, there is an absolutely great hyperdrive hit that I cannot wait to see on the big screen. Just, here, take my money.

Back when my dad lived in South Africa, I’d be there with him when I could. I worked in Pretoria and one of the things that was always interesting to me was how people interacted on a public, romantic level. Grown men who were friends would hold hands walking down the street as an indicator of their love, but actual gay people were routinely targeted for hate crimes. Messed up. VICE‘s latest issue takes a look at South Africa’s lesbian community. (NSFW, sorta)

Donald Trump is flailing desperately. Which means that Hillary Clinton, provided nothing completely catastrophic goes down, has the clearest path to the presidency at this point. We’ve talked about polls here before, and how they can be so misleading, yet accurate — but let’s be serious. It’s all Hillary Rodham Clinton at this point. Once again, FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten breaks down how she could win this thing, even without Florida and Ohio.

LeBron James just did the Cleveland Cavaliers a favor. After bringing a championship to Cleveland for the first time in a lifetime, he signed a deal that at $100 million is beyond undervalue on so many levels. For the life of me, I cannot understand this. After all the crap that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and the fans in Cleveland gave him, he could have easily just said, ‘I’m not playing any basketball game in Quicken Loans Arena for less than a million bucks ever again.’ He’s better than me.

Free Food

Coffee Break: There are people in the world who believe that the movie Scarface is too good for a remake. First, the ’80s version already is a remake, so there’s that. Also, that character is basically a superhero, so redoing the flick makes complete sense.

Snack Time: You know by now that Simone Manuel made history Thursday night, but if you were watching on NBC it took you an hour to see her get the full glory. You can check it out here.

Dessert: NBA free agent Martell Webster has a new EP out. Check him out. Dude can rhyme.

Cam Newton came to Baltimore, and it wasn’t pretty

We’re gonna need a course correction, son!

11:27 AMOnly one thing could pull me away from watching Miss Simone Biles on Thursday night capture the gold medal in the women’s gymnastics individual all-around competition in Rio de Janeiro. That would be the appearance in these Twitter streets of a high-profile fashion crime. Thursday’s unfortunate victim: Cameron Jerrell Newton. As we have seen time and again, the Carolina Panthers quarterback often looks pretty damn amazing. But he’s also been known to make very questionable clothing decisions. Cam, would you please stop playing with my fashion writer emotions and focus?

Honestly, this particular outfit had me feeling concerned. Thursday night was the NFL preseason opener, and the Panthers traveled to hot-and-sweaty Charm City to match up against the Baltimore Ravens. Should have been an easy game for the Panthers, who are the NFC defending champions. Newton, lest we forget, is still the league’s legit reigning MVP. And yet, here he is coming off the team bus looking like he’s going to sleepaway theater camp in the Canadian Rockies. Newton has sworn off dabbing, and (we think) rapper/producer Pharrell has finally sworn off that hat, so let’s call it even. Wait. Dude, are those Capezios? When is tight Superman shirt-wearing Cam or tight Versace pants-wearing Cam going to make a triumphant return? Until that happens, we’ll just have to reminisce on this and this. Fashion prayers going up!

President Obama has that heat for the summer

His new mixtape is out for summer ’16

3:09 PM

President Barack Obama is back at it again with the fire mixtape. If you want one single thing that having a president of color in the office has done, it’s simply changed the basic cool factor of what does and does not work from the White House. Sure, certain presidents did things that were marginally impressive, but there are few things more fun than daytime/nighttime playlists.

Don’t get it twisted, there are some heat rocks on this. We’re willing to forgive him starting things off with Wale due to the fact that he’s got Gary Clark Jr. and Chance The Rapper on there too, not to mention Corinne Bailey Rae. This is his second year posting a playlist to Spotify, which is just another reminder of why America is going to miss this dude so much when he leaves office, politics aside.

We’d like to imagine that he bumps this in the Volvo SUV while his kids are in the back secretly listening to something completely different on their phones.

Locker Room Lawyer

Locker Room Lawyer, Episode 3: Josh Norman

The NFL cornerback’s recent decision to appear on Fox during the season gives The Undefeated its latest case

1:21 PMIn this week’s edition of Locker Room Lawyer, Clinton Yates and Domonique Foxworth take the case of Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman to The Undefeated courtroom.

Norman recently agreed to a deal with Fox to appear on the network’s pregame show during the season. Originally, it was believed that no team officials knew about the deal, though Norman has since squashed those rumors.

The cornerback’s defense of his decision? “It’s my off time. I can do whatever I choose,” he told ESPN’s Dianna Russini on Wednesday.

Domonique, a former NFL cornerback, takes on the role of Locker Room Lawyer and defends Norman.

The question is what verdict will the judge come to? (Yes, this week, there is a judge.)

Check out the video, and if you have any professional athlete in mind (past or present) who needs the Locker Room Lawyer’s representation, feel free to email us at allday@andscape.com with episode ideas. Also, check out our weekly All Day Podcast.

Daily Dose: 8/11/16

The Aussies gave the Americans some trouble in Brazil

11:03 AMWe lost a great one. John Saunders, ESPN broadcaster for the better part of three decades, passed away at the age of 61. He had just been at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) convention, speaking about his latest passion project. I’ll never forget the sound of his voice.

Do you know who founded ISIS? Donald Trump does. I’ll give you one wild guess as to who he thinks it is. Santa Claus? Ooh, ball one. Cookie Monster? Ball two, good guess. The tooth fairy? Strike one. Get a grip. Perhaps, could it be Harry, of Harry and the Hendersons? Ah, you missed. Strike two. Gotta protect the zone. Dan Quayle? Not bad. Ball three. Oh, right, of course. Trump is putting it out there that President Barack Hussein Obama is the “founder of ISIS.” OK, pleighboi. Keep thinking that’s going to make any sense at all.

There are two different levels of this game. One is called ping pong. The other is called table tennis. The third is called beer pong. How are they related? Well, they’re all played on the same table. Two of these games will help your table last forever. One will ruin it after one semester. (Just trust me on this.) Anyway, if you play table tennis, you can crush anyone that only plays ping pong. But the question is, can you play beer pong as a result? VICE decided to go play with a guy who’d gone to the Olympics twice, for table tennis. Tons of fun.

A couple of weeks ago, I played soccer. It had been a while since I got on the pitch, and your boy almost passed out in the sun. It was marginally embarrassing as I mentioned at the time, and it was humbling, because I was forced to play in the net so that the numbers on the field weren’t screwed up. News flash: playing goalkeeper/netminder, or whatever you want to call it, is not easy. FiveThirtyEight’s Allison McCann and Reuben Fischer-Baum take a look at who in the Olympics has the hardest time playing the position.

If you didn’t watch the U.S. men’s basketball team Wednesday night, you missed a great game. The Australians lost the game by 10 points and it wasn’t until about halfway through the fourth quarter that I legit believed that the Americans would win. The Aussies played a fantastic game, and didn’t necessarily ball out their minds, and gave Coach K’s squad a heck of a matchup. It wasn’t a complete disaster, but it was also a serious eye-opener for all of you expecting blowouts every night. ESPN’s Marc Stein was in the arena.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Houston is the most American city in America. Every single important thing that’s happened in this nation from a topic standpoint has been a local story there, first. Anyway, H-Town has a mosque for Latinos. Seriously, if you’ve never been to that city, take a trip down there. You’ll learn a lot.

Snack Time: I will never not be here for celebrity couples. Sorry, I just like them. And if I like both celebrities independent of one another? Even better. Now, A$AP Rocky and Kendall Jenner are together. HERE FOR IT.

Dessert: This is gross. And it makes me sad because it’s my favorite memorial.

‘The Simpsons’ to tackle hip-hop episode

We’re side-eyeing this one until further notice

9:20 AMWhen FOX announced earlier this week that The Simpsons will celebrate its 600th episode with its first hourlong show — one dedicated to a hip-hop homage, no less — many were excited. The most successful television cartoon of all-time was finally turning its lens on the rap world in a significant manner. Of course, multiple rappers have appeared as themselves in the 27-year history of the program. Ludacris, 50 Cent, Cypress Hill and Sir-Mix-A-Lot to name a few.

The question is: Do we trust the show to handle this?

That’s the problem with having a largely non-hip-hop presence for most of your existence. If you decide to go all-out, not everyone is necessarily going to believe that the joke won’t be completely on us, as in, the culture. “We haven’t done a huge amount of stories in the world of hip-hop and rap culture, so we just went for it,” executive producer Matt Selman told Entertainment Weekly. Let the side-eyeing begin.

The story is set at Mr. Burns’ mansion and the story revolves around a revenge tale, in two parts. According to EW, some side components include Lisa getting a rich boyfriend (likely Drake, if you ask us) and Marge opening a high-end boutique. Selman said, “It’s kind of like a two-part rap album.” Side groan, but OK. The episode is scheduled to air in January.

Of course, the Simpson family is yellow in color, but let’s be real. They are the normative, which means in America, they’re white. That aside, the show’s history with characters “of race” isn’t the greatest. Again, we’re talking about cartoons here, but for the purposes of this discussion it’s worth making the delineation. Think about the wild stereotype that is Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. You just can’t create a character like that anymore.

And while the show has a reasonably decent history with black folks, a show entirely about hip-hop is another matter. This might be a good time to note that the show’s most regular black characters are voiced by nonblack actors. First of all, “The Great Phatsby” as the episode’s title already sounds like something straight out of 1996. To add some credibility to the project, actress Taraji P. Henson of Empire and actor Keegan-Michael Key of Key & Peele will guest star, as well.

We want this to work. We need this to work, on some level. But throwing in a couple of celebrity voices and asking music producer Jim Beanz (of Empire) to drop some original tracks doesn’t mean that this is going to work. This could be legitimately great, and we hope so. We’d hate to see the show get dragged on its big anniversary.

Shouts to Carl Carlson, though.

Chance The Rapper debuts new song in Nike ad

New video ‘Unlimited Together’ features USA Basketball

2:11 PMhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DFLoN3JosA

Chancelor Bennett can’t lose. For his latest trick, he’s teamed with Nike and director Hiro Murai for a new song and video titled “Unlimited Together.” According to the company, it “celebrates the strength of unity and power of team.” Aside from that, it’s just cool.

Focusing on the U.S. men’s and women’s basketball teams, we see a series of images projected on to buildings while Chance sings and raps over an inspirational piano-led track. It’s vintage uplifting music from the Chicago artist and if you’re the type who’s super into fist pumping for the red, white and blue every two years in the Olympics, this is a song for you. The choice of black and white as a color scheme makes this a particularly powerful visual.

While you’re at it, you might want to check out some more items from Nike’s Unlimited series, which have been dropping all summer.

DOJ: Baltimore Police Department is racist

New report details rampant unconstitutional, illegal practices

1:44 PMA new report released Monday by the Department of Justice confirms what many in the black community have said for years: the Baltimore Police Department has been violating people’s constitutional rights for some time, based on race. The 164-page report outlines a pattern of illegal behavior, a culture of discrimination and “systemic deficiencies (that) lead to constitutional violations and erode community trust,” according to the report.

The obvious reaction here is: no shit. One need not look any further than a half-dozen officers receiving no punishment in the death of Freddie Gray Jr., recently to understand how a system built to protect law enforcement first, residents second and more cynically, if you’re a black resident, not at all.

“Public trust is critical to effective policing and public safety,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement released shortly after the report went public. “Our investigation found that Baltimore is a city where the bonds of trust have been broken, and that the Baltimore Police Department engaged in a pattern or practice of unlawful and unconstitutional conduct, ranging from the use of excessive force to unjustified stops, seizures and arrests. The results of our investigation raise serious concerns, and in the days ahead, the Department of Justice will continue working tirelessly to ensure that all Baltimoreans enjoy the safety, security and dignity they expect and deserve. I am grateful to all of the community members, local officials, faith leaders and current and former police officers who spoke with us during the course of our inquiry, and whose input will remain critical to our efforts as we move forward. Additionally, I commend the city and BPD for its proactive and collaborative approach to our inquiry and for demonstrating a strong commitment to restoring public confidence by already taking steps to make needed changes. I look forward to continuing our work together to implement urgent and necessary reforms.”

It’ll take us a while to comb through the entirety of the document, but some reporters have already highlighted some extremely disturbing details. Huffington Post‘s Ryan Reilly excerpted one particular passage that appears to indicate an extremely problematic ground rule.

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Of course, there are always people who don’t understand how the concept of institutional injustice works and why the very underpinnings of the system are based on the basic notion of white supremacy. The idea is basic: If you are black and are believed to be doing anything wrong, any punishment up to and including death is not only what you deserve but effectively, also your fate. Hence, #BlackLivesMatter.

You never want to call it a victory when the simple fact of being heard and believed that the very people paid by tax dollars to protect you are in fact the ones preying on you is validated. But for anyone who’s grown up black in the United States of America, you know that Baltimore isn’t even close to the only place where this has been going down for decades, at minimum.

Daily Dose: 8/10/16

Dwayne Johnson is not here for your petty games

12:00 PMOn Tuesday’s podcast, Justin Tinsley talked about his experiences as someone who doesn’t know how to swim. You can also watch him learn to swim with Olympian Cullen Jones.

Dwayne Johnson is coming for necks. Considering his size and smarts, that’s not something you want if you’re working with him. The man formerly known as “The Rock” recently wrapped up filming of Fast 8, a franchise he joined back in 2010 with Fast Five. But in a lengthy social media post, he’s gone after a few of his male co-stars. This is extremely out of character for Johnson, who is largely considered an extremely nice and fun guy. ABC’s George Costantino breaks down exactly what he wrote.

In soccer tournaments, there’s a definite home-field advantage. In professional sports, it certainly matters to an extent. But when it comes to something as widespread as the Olympics, where the entire globe is descending on one country, one must assume the potential perks are probably dissipated. I feel like it might actually be harder, because you don’t want to let your countryfolk down while they’re there. FiveThirtyEight’s Stephen Pettigrew and Danyel Reiche break down how the the theory of home-field advantage works when it comes to the Summer Games.

We’ve established in this space that Donald Trump says a lot of really scary things. Between the Republican presidential nominee’s flippant use of insults on the campaign trail and the murky at-best foreign policy tactics he plans to employ, rhetoric is not his strong suit, even if he believes it to be. On Tuesday, however, things went to another level. (I feel like I say that every three days, which again, is terrifying.) He made a loosely ambiguous reference to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton getting assassinated at best. Yikes. VICE has the video.

I’m old enough to remember when Prince Fielder was 12 years old and hitting baseballs out of Major League ballparks. His past was an interesting one. Similar to his dad, Cecil, he was a man of larger carriage, playing first base and hitting bombs. But Fielder’s relationship with his dad soured, and one of the great father/son duo stories never really played out that way. Then, he went vegan, a move that shocked almost everyone. Then, he started getting injured all the time. Now, it appears his career is pretty much over. Sad.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Even when you volunteer to help the police, you might get killed. That’s what happened to a 73-year-old lady in Florida recently, who was shot in what was supposed to be a simulation drill at a police academy. This accident is going to haunt a lot of people for a long time.

Snack Time: If you like Currensy Spitta and Wiz Khalifa, you know they’re great friends. They’ve made music together and generally are just funny dudes. They dropped another song together Tuesday, in their classic style.

Dessert: Into old hoops footage? Check out Allen Iverson vs. Kevin Garnett from their high school days.