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

We’re talking to President Obama

The sit-down from Greensboro, North Carolina, is in a week

1:00 PMIt’s been a good couple weeks for President Barack Obama on the community outreach front. First, he held a star-studded affair at the White House to commemorate the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Then, he brought in many of the country’s latest minds for his South by South Lawn pop-up on Monday. Now, he’ll be sitting down to talk with ESPN’s Stan Verrett for The Undefeated’s A Conversation with The President: Sports, Race & Achievement on Oct. 11.

It airs at 10 p.m. EST (ESPN and WatchESPN) from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina, which means it promises to be lit. Why? Because the Aggies have been in the news a lot recently, unfortunately due to completely separate reasons, both good and bad.

Over the weekend, two students were killed by gunfire after a fight broke out at an off-campus party. According to reports, Alisia Dieudonne, 19, and Ahmad Campbell, 21 were not part of the melee. Details of the altercation are very sad, with social media playing a large part in how an otherwise normal situation spiraled into a fatal encounter. In addition, the situation is so bad that the university held a town hall over the matter.

While the president is not necessarily expected to address matters of college-related gun violence, his mere presence will provide a spark to a campus that needs it. You might also recall that N.C. A&T board of trustees member Janice Bryant Howroyd was appointed by Obama to serve on his Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) back in May. As you can see from the clip above, they ride hard for the president in Aggie land.

On a better note, the school has also been in the spotlight because of its star running back Tarik Cohen. He’s a senior with NFL aspirations, who keeps showing out every time he gets the chance. The team took down Kent State University in a surprise win over an FBS team last month. The week before Obama arrives, the Aggies take on Norfolk State University in a game televised live on ESPNU.

Perhaps most importantly, though, is that Greensboro is the home of one of the most significant protests in the history of the civil rights movement. The Greensboro sit-ins at Woolworth’s lunch counter started a wave of demonstrations that were focused on the economic impacts of segregation and used as a change agent for progress. At the site of that old lunch counter is the International Civil Rights Center & Museum. Also, police brutality issues are still as real there as anywhere else in America.

President Obama. The Undefeated. Greensboro. N.C. A&T. Enough said.

Trump hotel vandalized in Washington, D.C.

It was caught on video and Twitter is like …

5:20 PMIt’s one thing to disagree with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s political views, but it’s quite another to actively vandalize a building with his name on it in broad daylight, no less. Over the weekend, video surfaced of a person tagging the front of the Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington, D.C., which is now a Trump Hotel. The end result was “No Justice, No Peace” written on the left side of the door and “Black Lives Matter” on the other. You can watch his work below.

There are a couple things about this worth noting. Most obviously is the brazen nature of the act. It’s certainly not the dead of night, and people are walking by, watching this guy go to town with a paint can. He finishes his work and then just casually crosses Pennsylvania Avenue to roll out. Just another Saturday for my man, I guess.

Reaction has been fascinating. The person who originally uploaded the photo, a Twitter user who goes by @AngryBlkManDC, was sent the video by someone, and his mentions were promptly set on fire with people implying that he should have done something to stop said act of vandalism.

Reached for comment afterward, @AngryBlkManDC explained, “Folks want me locked up. Calling me all kind of names. I don’t even respond. I was getting 20 mentions per minute. For like six straight hours.” The scrawls were cleaned up by the next day, but we’ll always have the video.

Daily Dose: 10/3/16

Master P was a mogul, but a horrible sports representative

1:00 PMOn Monday at the White House, President Barack Obama is holding South by South Lawn, a festival of sorts that mimics Austin, Texas’ similar function. I’ll be there, and you can check this space for updates on the proceedings.

Last week was a mess for Donald Trump. After the debate, the GOP presidential nominee completely fell apart and found himself in multiple quagmires, including and up to him appearing in a porn movie. But the other half of Trump’s ticket is on display tomorrow night in Farmville, Virginia. Mike Pence, the GOP vice presidential candidate, will likely be far less unhinged than his compatriot when he faces off against Tim Kaine. But Kaine will be on his home court, and Pence has a lot to lose. ABC News reports on how the former is preparing for Tuesday’s events.

Back when Master P was a relevant artist and music executive, he took a foray into sports. It was and felt super gimmicky at the time, but one player bought The Ice Cream Man‘s sports representation act. That person was Ricky Williams, the 1998 Heisman Trophy winner from Texas. He was a top 10 draft pick and signed this absurd deal that basically forced him to be the best producer on the field anyone had ever seen in order to be paid what he deserved. FiveThirtyEight’s Reuben Fischer-Baum analyzes the details of the worst deal in NFL history.

Life as a Kardashian isn’t easy. You’ve got endless personal appearances, weirdo stalkers and scores of paparazzi constantly trying to invade your space. It’s easy to claim that such a life isn’t that hard, but you try living a life where every time you leave your house someone is trying to take 20,000 pictures of you. Yes, is their popularity how they make money? Of course. But there are downsides to being such a public figure. VICE reports that Kim Kardashian West was robbed at gunpoint in a hotel room in Paris during fashion week.

The Dallas Cowboys got a win Sunday. They faced off against the San Francisco 49ers in a matchup that felt like it would have been way cooler 20 years ago. Alas, we’ve now got Dak Prescott vs. Blaine Gabbert instead of say, Troy Aikman vs. Steve Young. Anyway, internally Dallas is struggling. Wide receiver Dez Bryant didn’t play because of a hurt knee, an injury that owner Jerry Jones questioned slightly over the course of the week. Now, ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Bryant has a serious behavioral problem.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Every week it seems now, another person gets shot and killed by the police. They are often unarmed, and it occurs all over the country. The latest happened over the weekend in Los Angeles, where a kid was issued a death sentence over a stolen car.

Snack Time: I don’t like it when comedians fight. Sure, it may offer up good content for all involved, but sometimes it feels gratuitous. But, you have to feel for Dave Chappelle, who feels like Key & Peele stole his entire show concept.

Dessert: The homey Sonny Digital has a new EP out, and we like it a lot.

Daily Dose: 9/30/16

A week from being eligible to return to playing, Josh Gordon is entering rehab

2:00 PMIt’s the last day of September, which means Halloween is right around the corner. I already know who I’ll be dressing up as this year, and I’ll give you a hint. He’s the most famous backup quarterback in the NFL.

America’s most dangerous terrorist has been dead for five years. This is part of the headline of a story I couldn’t help but click on this morning. I thought I knew who the story was about, but I was wrong. Like many of you, I figured the article was about Osama bin Laden, who has, ironically, also been dead for five years. I know that because he was shot and killed during my senior year of high school, which at the time was a major victory for the Obama administration. “America’s most dangerous terrorist,” however, is not bin Laden, but American-born al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. He was killed five years ago today, but his legacy has lived on as he’s inspired many terrorist attacks in the past few years. ABC News’ Lee Ferran reports.

One can only dream to get paid after retiring like Bobby Bonilla does. Every year, on July 1, the former New York Mets player’s name comes up for one reason and one reason only: Though he hasn’t played since 2001, he’s still getting paid — and I mean PAID — by his former team. In 1999, Bonilla signed a deferred contract with the Mets that will earn him a paycheck every year until 2035. This year, he made $1.19 million on July 1. So, how did Bonilla swing (no pun intended) this deal? FiveThirtyEight takes a look at the contract in the first installment of the new Contracts video series, while The Undefeated’s Ryan Cortes explains why Bonilla should be remembered for more.

Some people know more about fun than others. One of those people is Ben Fincham, a professor at the University of Sussex in England and the author of The Sociology of Fun. His job is literally to study and analyze the art of having fun, which is weird to think about, because “fun” is such a subjective concept. There’s no question, however, that some people seem to have more fun than others. When I was in college, the football team had a “Supervisor of Morale,” who I spent a day with for a story. VICE‘s Hannah Ewens spent a day with Fincham, the man she calls the “Professor of Fun.”

Josh Gordon has finally decided to seek help. Three years ago, the Cleveland Browns wide receiver caught 87 passes for 1,600-plus yards and nine touchdowns. For many people, Gordon was destined to be one of the NFL’s next great wideouts. But since that 2013 season, Gordon has proven to fit into the the classic, heartbreaking archetype of a player who has so much talent, but can’t seem to put it all together off the field. He only played five games in 2014 because of a DWI, missed the entire 2015 season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy and was also suspended for the first four games of this season. Gordon was eligible to return to the field next week, but announced Thursday that he’d be entering rehab. As much as we’d all like to see him suit up again, you have to commend him for confronting his problems and getting help. ESPN’s Pat McManamon has the story.

Free Food

Coffee Break: With the start of the NBA season less than a month away, it’s beginning to sink in that the Golden State Warriors, with the addition of Kevin Durant in the offseason, just might shape up to be the best shooting team of all time. Though it’s just practice footage, check out 75 seconds of Durant and Klay Thompson straight splashing jumpers.

Snack Time: Deshaun Watson vs. Lamar Jackson this weekend. Nuff said.

Dessert: Relationship Pettiness 101, taught by Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna.

Daily Dose: 9/29/16

Dateline, Southern California — the protests continue

11:58 AMIf you’re in New York City on Thursday, you might want to check out this Ad Week panel I’ll be moderating with The Undefeated’s Editor-In-Chief Kevin Merida, actor/activist Jesse Williams and Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.

You can add “pointing a vape at an officer” to the list of things that will get you killed if you’re black in America these days. That’s what happened in a town outside of San Diego, where a woman called the police because her brother had been acting strange and she needed help. A confrontation ensued, and by the time it was done, Alfred Okwera Olango, 38, ended up dead. Per usual, the video of the aftermath is heartbreaking. She explains that she knew his behavior was a death sentence. It shouldn’t be, though. ABC News reports.

On many levels, the Olympics are a complete boondoggle. The International Olympic Committee has managed to take this racket to some of the most vibrant cities across the globe, leaving a bunch of old equipment and failed housing projects in their wake. Ask Sochi, ask Brazil. Ask Sarajevo, for crying out loud. In this latest cycle, officials in Rome pulled out of the running for the 2024 Games, because they determined it just probably wasn’t a smart move. Meanwhile, Tokyo has already been awarded the 2020 Olympics. Experts say it’ll cost the country (ahem) $30 billion. Yikes.

I fear that one day, my life will consist of me sitting in a room, being entertained only by screens. This is pretty much how I spend my days now, but at least on the other end of those screens are typically actual human beings. These days, though, you never know. Algorithms and bots control quite a few aspects of life, including, unfortunately, your news intake. But what if we used those powers for good, instead of scaring people about imminent robot takeovers? FiveThirtyEight’s Laura Hudson explains.

The Dallas Cowboys have become the real-life version of some team in HBO’s Ballers. After last week’s win against the hapless Chicago Bears, wide receiver Dez Bryant was reported as hurt with a knee injury. So, aside from annoying the heck out of fantasy football players across the country, his coach and team were a tad concerned, since he’s a key part of the team’s offense. One problem, he decided to skip treatment day. He was supposed to get an MRI that day. Um, shady. ESPN’s Todd Archer reports.

Free Food

Coffee Break: If you ever wonder why people protest, why it makes sense beyond what you can understand, make sure your eyes are open enough to see everything. Check out this video of a guy in a gorilla mask harassing Black Lives Matter demonstrators on a college campus.

Snack Time: It appears that Jon Favreau will be remaking Lion King. This doesn’t bother me at all, considering that this movie was actually good. The only problem will be trying to recreate the music, which is excellent.

Dessert: Villanova is going to be looking VERY fresh on the court this season.