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.
Here are Steve Kerr’s complete comments on Donald Trump and the election. Do read: pic.twitter.com/SxOTduQL4z
— Erik Malinowski (@erikmal) November 10, 2016
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: 11/9/16
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.
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.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daily Dose: 11/8/16
It’s Election Day — the most American day in our country
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.
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.
Kevin Garnett wants you to get out and vote
But his camera skills need some work
Tuesday is Election Day, so folks of all sorts are encouraging their followers and fans to head out to the ballots and exercise their constitutional rights. It’s not a particularly long message, but it’s good to hear from the former NBA star and future Hall of Famer.
But what’s up with this camera angle? Clearly, my man was alone filming this on his own, because the sideways look is almost worse than a vertically aligned video that should be horizontal. He does curse once, which is understandable considering our political climate these days, but there’s one particularly funny thing that happens at the end.
“Stand for something, aight? Salute.” Cool, makes sense, right? Well, except if you look at it closely, it appears that he is sitting down. Unless Garnett has elevated his Bentley so high that the grill itself is at eye level, with a nearly 7-foot tall man. Also, if you look at the reflection of his glasses, it looks like the view of a kid getting ready to knock on the door for Halloween treats.
All jokes aside, it’s a good message. Down-ticket races, too.
You can shut down the #MannequinChallenge
This family pulled one off that is legendary
11:35 AMIf you’re not familiar with the #MannequinChallenge, what’s wrong with you?
For the past two weeks, droves of people have been executing the social media video feat, which basically involves a large group of people posing like, well, mannequins, while a person goes through the crowd filming everyone in their still poses. At its best, it’s an artistic composition that shows incredible stage blocking skills and creativity. At its worst, it’s a well-planned group activity that one person can ruin by either not knowing what’s happening around them or by not being able to hold their look. Either way, it’s way better than Ice Bucket Challenges or flash mob so-called Harlem Shakes.
They are literally everywhere. The New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys did some pretty memorable ones. These things lend themselves well to sports teams from the high school level on up, because No. 1, presumably people are athletic enough to do the task, and you typically have an environment in which a lot of random people come together to make a funny scene. This also works well on movie sets and the like, yet we digress. Pretty soon, entire music videos will be using this. The only real requirement, obviously, is that Rae Sremmurd and Gucci Mane’s Black Beatles be playing in the background. Sidebar: They pulled off their own fantastic version of the stunt, themselves. It started here, by the way.
Some of the better ones are truly glorious. This pingpong one comes to mind. But there is one that bested them all, and it’s not even close. Check this out. And watch to the end.
At first, this appears to be relatively bland. A dad/uncle/father figure on the couch, chilling, watching the game. No one’s around, so he’s lounging. Alas, down the hall, are his badass kids and whoever else they have over. The next 90 seconds are pure cinematic genius. Taking the medium to new heights, the video goes through a series of scene changes, while sticking to the mannequin poses. Beyond that marvel of direction is the actual storyline itself.
As he hears the kids wilding in the other room, he heads down the hall. But by the time he arrives, the children (hearing his footsteps, whooping belt by his side) have managed to all get back under the covers. This is a move that all of us, while staying at our cousins’ house, know so well. A whole lot of “quit playing” and/or “stop making all that damn noise” is met with a physical encounter with an authority figure. At which point, to avoid recrimination, it’s a team effort to show any semblance of order. Once victory is achieved, taunting behind the back of said opponent is a must.
All of that family ritual is perfectly captured in this sequence. This video deserves an Oscar.
ComplexCon excels in first year
Inaugural event brings together art, fashion, music, food and education
#ComplexCon is a real life twitter
— YoungKing (@Malique4k) November 7, 2016
When Pharrell Williams and Complex announced in May that they were launching ComplexCon, nobody was really sure what to expect. Of course, the superproducer and media site both hold separate and important places in society, but with the massive expansion of “cons” (conferences) in the past 10 years in other realms of culture, who knew what to expect. Done in conjunction with Williams‘ creative outlet “i am OTHER,” the two-day event in Long Beach, California, from all appearances, appeared to be a rousing success. They did it by sticking to their strengths in creating what Marc Ecko called an “intellectual discovery event,”described as Art Basel meets Bonnaroo.
Snoop Dogg headlined in his hometown, Skrillex performed and Kid Cudi made a triumphant return to the stage after checking himself into a mental health treatment facility and dealing with Drake’s low blows. The hypebeasts were out in full force to support their patron media saints’ inaugural affair.
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And there were sneakers upon sneakers upon sneakers. Speaking of Long Beach, their new prince Vince Staples also stopped in to do some shopping for kicks while he was there. Note the plastic-wrapped sneaks, which is just perfect.
It wasn’t all just fresh fashion and banger performances, the panels included a discussion about the future of our schools (which featured Pusha T and Jesse Williams) as well as a talk about the growing business of legal marijuana (featuring, unsurprisingly, Wiz Khalifa and Action Bronson, among others). WWE wasn’t left out, either. The ever-present generation gap in rap was up for debate, too.
Overall, this event was all over the TL with the aforementioned events, art installations, #MannequinChallenge feats and otherwise tremendous fanperson moments. With an historic election coming up Tuesday, it was the perfect antidote to the craziness of campaign season.
Daily Dose: 11/7/16
Janet Reno dies after battle with Parkinson’s
10:30 AMIf you didn’t get a chance to tune in on Friday to Highly Questionable, you missed a fun one. If you want the audio podcast, check it out here. Also, Miami is always a solid business trip, as Domonique would say.
A day before a momentous election, we have sad news from the executive branch. Janet Reno, the former U.S. attorney general who was appointed by former President Bill Clinton, died Monday morning. You might remember that she battled Parkinson’s disease for a long time, something that she revealed publicly while she was still in office. She was the first woman to ever serve in the position and her tenure featured a doozy of 1990s legal scandals, including Elian Gonzales, the Branch Davidian compound and Monica Lewinsky. She was 78.
There’s something especially troubling about people being shot and killed at funerals. But that’s what happened in Chicago over the weekend, at the hands of an off-duty police officer, no less. This story has all the trappings of the usual. An official in an unmarked car allegedly does something provocative. When called on it, the person indicates he or she is legally carrying. Things escalate, and a black person dies. All of this during a funeral procession. ABC News has the details on the latest shooting to produce demonstrations. Meanwhile, by the way.
If Hillary Clinton loses the presidential election, many people will blame James Comey. The FBI director who came out of pocket with a reckless letter indicating that maybe his organization might be reopening an investigation in to the Democratic presidential nominee’s emails, creating a real panic nationally. Then, he backtracked, offered up an awful “my bad” and basically made everyone extremely uncomfortable, very unnecessarily. FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver wonders: How much damage did Comey actually do?
For Brandon Marshall, things are getting better. The Denver Broncos linebacker who decided to start taking a knee during the national anthem before NFL games has decided that he’ll no longer be doing such, citing improvements, as he sees it. Marshall isn’t bugging; he’s not saying the problem is solved. He’s saying that in the time since he started his protest, he’s had meaningful conversations with Denver police that have allowed him to feel good about where things are headed. ESPN’s Jeff Legwold reports.
Coffee Break: Last weekend, in things people said that we wish they hadn’t, Dave Chappelle made some very unexpected criticisms of Hillary Clinton, which, as we see it, puts a major dent in the momentum he’d built up following the announcement that he’s hosting Saturday Night Live next week, with A Tribe Called Quest as the musical guest.
Snack Time: I haven’t watched The Simpsons in years, but it just got extended for another two seasons, pushing the total to 30. Thirty years is a record for a scripted television program, never mind one that’s animated.
Dessert: If you’re voting Tuesday, you might want to read this. What your ballot looks like matters.