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

Gwen Ifill dies at 61

The longtime journalist was a legend in the industry

3:40 PMWe weren’t ready.

The year of 2016 continued its devastating run of people we love who have died, this time touching the journalism world again. Gwen Ifill, host of PBS’ Washington Week died Monday at the age of 61. She was an old-school reporter who had worked at The Washington Post, The New York Times and NBC. News of her death caught many by surprise who were unaware that she was dealing with health issues. She had taken a leave of absence as a result of breast cancer.

“Gwen was a standard bearer for courage, fairness and integrity in an industry going through seismic change,” PBS said in a statement. “She was a mentor to so many across the industry and her professionalism was respected across the political spectrum. She was a journalist’s journalist and set an example for all around her. So many people in the audience felt that they knew and adored her. She had a tremendous combination of warmth and authority. She was stopped on the street routinely by people who just wanted to give her a hug and considered her a friend after years of seeing her on TV. We will forever miss her terribly.”


She moderated the 2004 and 2008 vice presidential debates and won countless honors during her career. Talking about his former MSNBC colleague on Monday afternoon, a teary-eyed Pete Williams said she had so many awards piled up in her office you could barely see out of the window.

In an era in which blaming the media seems to be all the rage, we can all agree that we’ve lost one of the greatest to ever do it.

Daily Dose: 11/11/16

Protests continue as Trump makes first visit to White House as president-elect

11:33 AMToday is Veterans Day, a day in which we show gratitude to everyone who has served in our nation’s armed forces. That means different things to different people, but to those who gave, thank you.

Barely a day in to his pre-presidential time, Donald Trump is already complaining. See, people are still standing up in protest, not because they necessarily have a specific cause they want to support, or a narrow goal in mind. Folks are demonstrating because, frankly, they likely don’t know what else to do. They just know they have a problem with the man who was elected to the White House. However, the Republican moving in doesn’t seem to understand that people will likely be doing this for four straight years. ABC News reports.

Alas, we’re going to be talking about the specifics of the election for quite some time. There were just so many trends that were bucked, polls that were incorrect, pundits proved wrong and projections that didn’t pan out that we’re forced to look at exactly just what happened a little more closely. Among GOP candidates, there was worry that Trump’s perceived lack of popularity might negatively affect races down the ticket. That was nowhere near the case. FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten explains how straight-ticket voting dominated this time around.

My older sister is a vegan. I have no idea how she does it, to be honest. It’s a healthier lifestyle but difficult to maintain. I feel like in college is where I met the most outwardly self-identifying vegetarians, who went to extremes to explain to everyone why this was their choice. For a while, it was something I’d do once a week, just as a way to feel better about all the other crap I was constantly cramming into my face. Check out this story about a guy who almost died because he was pretending to be a vegetarian in college.

Every once and again, there’s a story of an athlete losing an opportunity that’s so heartbreaking it almost seems unreal. Jonnu Smith is a tight end at Florida International University. He’s a senior and the kind of guy who through a reasonable amount of hard work probably had a chance at a decent NFL career. However, the mother of his yet-to-be-born child decided she wanted to harm him by pouring scalding hot water all over him. Now his season is done. ESPN’s Andrea Adelson has the details.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Yesterday must have been a strange one for President Barack Obama. First, he welcomed the new president-elect to the White House. Then, he turned around and honored the Cleveland Cavaliers for their NBA title, which led to a very awkward juxtaposition at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Snack Time: If you’re looking for a rather ominous parallel to what many believe is going on in America right now, this story about bald eagles stuck in a Florida sewer will do the trick.

Dessert: Just in time for the weekend, the new album from A Tribe Called Quest is out. Enjoy.

Donald Glover’s heat rock of 2016 continues

His new track, ‘Me and Your Mama’ is incredible

3:39 PM

Donald Glover continues to have an incredible fall. After the success of his television series Atlanta on FX, which has been renewed for another season, some eagle-eyed fans of Childish Gambino noticed that he has a new album, Awaken, My Love dropping on Dec. 2.

That info surfaced because a crafty Reddit user saw a sign with the title at his local FYE. Everything about that sentence feels bizarre, but, hey, long live record stores! Let us also not forget that he’ll be playing Lando Calrissian in the new Han Solo Star Wars film, due for a 2018 release.

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Anyway, this new song is fire. It starts off with a bit of an Organized Noize type fantasy world of sonic bliss that conjures up a feeling not dissimilar to OutKast’s ATLiens vibe, specifically the “You May Die” intro. (Probably why it opens the album’s tracklist, at that.) Then, two minutes in, we switch to a remarkably more fuzz rock tone, with Gambino channeling his inner Gary Clark Jr., or Benjamin Booker. Clearly, a good way to go.

Great new show, well anticipated new album and iconic role to come under his belt? It’s been a good 2016 for Donald Glover.

Stan Van Gundy is not here for Donald Trump

The NBA took another step toward progressivism via the Pistons coach

1:44 PMA little over a year ago, Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy made his debut on Black Twitter with a photo from a bike ride that looked like it should have been a mixtape cover. Now he’s making waves by criticizing the president-elect. Welcome to the new NBA.

In a time in which players are speaking up about police brutality and violence and the league itself is taking a stand against gender discrimination, it’s still relatively surprising to hear a head coach completely blow off all discussion of the sport he’s employed to instruct to discuss what he thinks about the man just elected to the Oval Office. SVG held nothing back, either.

“I don’t think anybody can deny this guy is openly and brazenly racist and misogynistic,” Van Gundy said, according to the Detroit Free Press. “We have just thrown a good part of our population under the bus, and I have problems with thinking this is where we are as a country.”

Alrighty, then. The full extent of his remarks was even more explicit as Van Gundy touched on George W. Bush, the feelings of his team, his concern for his family, Martin Luther King Jr., Hillary Clinton’s viability as a candidate, evangelical Christians, voting precincts in Michigan and Latinos in the United States. He clearly has had a lot on his mind.

It should be noted that Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr agrees with Van Gundy.

There’s a larger question here, though, about how the league chooses to handle this. It’s one thing for players to wear T-shirts and voice their opinions about politics, it’s quite another for the so-called leaders of men to follow suit, not only in solidarity, but often of their own free will to do the same. BTW, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has had lots to say, too, about how we treat each other in this country.

It’s almost a completely opposite turn from what happened in Philadelphia when a black woman singing the national anthem wanted to wear a shirt reading “We Matter.” The 76ers were largely criticized for pulling her from the stage, and ended up apologizing, backtracking and completely reversing course publicly about that decision.

When it became clear that the NBA, with its blackness, with its youth and with its guaranteed contracts, would be the sports league most likely to represent the face of “the movement,” it germinated from a place in which the president was black and most reasonable people could recognize that police brutality was a problem. That entire equation has now changed. If more coaches follow Van Gundy’s lead, what mainstream America thought was going to be a potential distraction during national anthems is now an every-night discussion in the NBA.

“While personal politics in general can be a divisive topic. And for Donald Trump, during his candidacy, he became a polarizing candidate, which included along the way, insulting a lot of people,” Jalen Rose said on NBA Countdown. “So those same people today as American citizens have to digest that he’s going to be the next president of the United States. How it’s going to affect sports? Unlike Tom Brady, when his team won the championship, and he chose not to go to the White House, saying it was a scheduling conflict when Barack Obama was in office. What we’re going to see in professional sports — NBA and NFL — mark my words, there will be players that decline the opportunity to visit the White House under his presidency.”

Let’s not forget that various players have found reasons not to visit the White House for championship celebrations during Obama’s presidency. But if Trump’s presence means that sports teams no longer want to show their faces at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., you’ll likely be able to credit the NBA for that.

Daily Dose: 11/10/16

President Obama set to meet with Donald Trump

11:39 AMBefore Election Day, we did record a podcast. We talked about what it’s like to be in President Barack Obama’s presence, the 25th anniversary of Magic Johnson’s announcement and of course, animal videos. Tune in or download here.

Clearly, many people are unhappy with Donald Trump’s victory. All across the country last night, thousands of people took to the streets to express their displeasure about the president-elect. You might ask yourself what the purpose of protest is at this point. The purpose is to express displeasure at the current state of affairs. Whether you might think that’s an effective method, this is not the time. ABC News reports on the unrest.

Back at the White House, Obama is doing his best to hold things together. A lot of people think that all of the hard work of his administration is going to be effectively erased, which is a sobering thought at best. Yesterday, when he addressed the nation about how the transition of power would go, he did his best to stay positive. The looks on the faces of his aides was a little more indicative of how many others felt, though. Yet, Obama and Trump will meet today, after all.

The evolution of Afrobeats as a genre is a slightly troubling one. While the Internet has made the sounds of West African musicians accessible all over the globe, there is still very much a concern about culture vultures ultimately gutting the realm for what they want it to be, not what it actually is. One such artist fighting that battle of perceived identity is Mr. Eazi, who wasn’t really that into music until he realized how important his place was in the culture. VICE reports.

Colin Kaepernick would like you to know that he voted for neither candidate. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback said he had little faith in either Trump or Clinton, and as a result, didn’t head to the polls on Tuesday. If you’ve been paying attention, this is a stance that’s consistent with what he’s said is his main cause overall, highlighting the oppression of people of color. ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss reports on how Kaep explained his decision.


Coffee Break: In a development almost more surprising than the election is that shoe company New Balance came out in full support of President-elect Trump, a decision angering many black folks who wear their sneakers, particularly in my hometown of D.C.

Snack Time: Luc Besson is one of my favorite movie directors of all time. So, when I heard that he’s got a new flick coming out with Rihanna involved, all I needed was a GIF to get excited.

Dessert: If you haven’t seen the Oregon Symphony Orchestra’s #mannequinchallenge, you should.

Daily Dose: 11/9/16

Donald Trump beats Hillary Clinton in race to White House

12:15 PMThe first line of Mario Puzo’s 1970 film The Godfather is simple. “I believe in America,” a man named Bonasera says. His name means “good evening” in Italian. On this day, the irony is difficult to avoid.

A man who openly bragged about sexual assault and was endorsed by the KKK was elected president of the United States. Last night, in a move that shocked many a pundit, never mind citizens, Donald Trump won the presidential election and it wasn’t particularly close, either. In short, every single thing people assumed about what voters might do was absolutely false and rural America came out in droves to put a real estate baron turned reality star in to commander in chief. ABC News explains how it happened.

As important as the Oval Office is the matter of Capitol Hill. The GOP not only won the highest office, but also maintained control of the Senate, a situation that in the context of actual legislation is arguably more important than who happens to live in the White House. The GOP also kept control of Congress, which again, is incredibly crucial when it comes to how Trump plans to enact whatever it is he wants to do. Take a closer look at the down-ballot races, which were also very poorly predicted by analysts.

Needless to say, many people were unhappy with the results last night. A guy who’s been openly disrespectful to pretty much everyone on the planet who doesn’t look and think like him is now the so-called leader of the free world, and that prospect is terrifying to many. Last night, with results making it clear Hillary Clinton would not be the 45th president of this nation, people took to the streets to protest. Welcome to the next four years of all of our lives.

When England voted to leave the European Union, we all laughed at them. Maybe not publicly and maybe not so bluntly, but in our hearts, many Americans chose to poke fun at a nation that would cut off its nose to spite its face when it comes to the concept of immigration and economic growth. Welp, no one’s laughing now. One of the most divisive campaigns in U.S. history was well-watched by the entire globe, as are most of our political moves, but this one was obviously a big one. Check out how the rest of the world reacted to Election Day.

Free Food

Coffee Break: On the Democratic side, it was a tough one. People just assumed Clinton would win. There were victory parties everywhere, including one from the campaign that included an actual glass ceiling. That was never broken and we all learned once again that the first privilege is male privilege. Here’s someone who was there.

Snack Time: At the end of the day, the man who is currently president has to say something about the person succeeding him, and on Wednesday afternoon, President Barack Obama will do exactly that.

Dessert: Give this a spin today and think about a time that seems so far away.

All Day Podcast: 11/8/16

Reflecting on Barack Obama’s presidency and Magic Johnson’s HIV announcement — plus two crazy animal videos

5:15 PMIn honor of Election Day, the crew kicked things off on this week’s podcast by celebrating the 44th president of United States, Barack Obama. Our #EncountersWithObama are all different — whether that involves meeting him, seeing him deliver a speech or even running into him on a lunch break. They’re stories we don’t get a chance to share that often, but ones we’ll never forget.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed

In case you missed it, Justin Tinsley wrote a piece on the 25th anniversary of Magic Johnson’s HIV announcement. We discuss this groundbreaking moment in sports history, and Justin goes into further detail about his mother’s relationship with her friend who died of AIDS.

Last but not least, two videos have gone viral on social media this week, and we’re not talking about the #MannequinChallenge. One video features two male penguins fighting over a female penguin. The other shows an iguana escaping a gang of snakes. So, we debate about penguin relationships and admire the fleet-footedness of iguanas.

Give it a listen, and if you have any feedback or show ideas, feel free to email us at allday@andscape.com.

Daily Dose: 11/8/16

It’s Election Day — the most American day in our country

1:46 PMIf you didn’t watch the best duo on television Monday night on VH1, you need to. It was everything we wanted it to be.

All right, this long national nightmare will finally be ending soon. After a while, we’ll be able to look back on these past 600 days with all the fondness of a paper cut and wonder how we got through it all. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both cast their ballots, and across the country, lines are wrapped around every corner for people to fulfill their civic duty. There’s a certain part of me that loves this day. It’s like a dozen Super Bowls at once if you like politics, but it’s also an emotional day for far more people than just those at the top of the ticket. Here are 10 storylines to follow.

Across the pond, the Brits are dealing with an interesting case of racism with the royal family. Prince Harry’s girlfriend is black. Apparently, this is an issue for quite a few people, who seem to believe that dating a black woman is beneath him. The media over there has been offering up all sorts of coded language about the fact that them being together is a problem, and Harry has had enough. To the point that he released an official letter from the palace, basically telling everyone to screw off and leave him alone. Good for him. ABC News reports.

I thought I had found the best mannequin challenge yet, but I’m told I might be wrong. The homey Aaron Dodson hipped me to this one that features an R. Kelly type scenario unfolding in a bedroom. Overall, though, this trend has completely taken over the country, and you can find a mannequin challenge anywhere from a classroom to a corporate boardroom, which is just odd, on a couple different levels. Some are good, most are decent. Viceland‘s Desus and Mero discuss just how far this trend has gone.

Wisconsin’s football team has had enough. The Badgers are the latest squad to take to social media to air their thoughts regarding racial issues on campus. If you missed it, someone attended a game dressed in a Barack Obama costume with a noose around their neck over Halloween weekend, which while an extreme case makes a larger point about how black players are treated on campus, as they see it. Wisconsin basketball player Nigel Hayes also let his voice be heard on the matter. ESPN’s Jesse Temple reports.

Free Food

Coffee Break: While you’re turning out to turn up when it comes to voting, don’t forget that in some places taking pictures of yourself or your vote at the polls is a violation. You know who didn’t know that? Donald Trump’s own son, who voted in New York.

Snack Time: The How I Built This podcast from NPR is an interesting one, and this week, they got L.A. Reid to talk about how he constructed his massive music empire. It’s a fascinating listen from a guy who knows the game well.

Dessert: Smart move, Orlando. This is as classy as it gets.