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

What Are Those?! Podcast: 2/10/17

Steph Curry’s beef with Under Armour and Black History Month sneaker releases

11:58 AM

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed

The What Are Those?! podcast is back! It’s our first episode in 2017, so that means we’ve got to talk about some of the releases we’re anticipating most this year — and, unfortunately, some of the shoes we’ve already whiffed on. Co-host Marcus Matthews missed out on the “Chinese New Year” Air Jordan XIIs. And, I still have yet to secure a pair of Yeezys.

Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry recently made major off-the-court headlines when he called out the man who signs some of his checks, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, for supporting President Donald Trump. Curry is sponsored by UA, and makes the company a great deal of money, so is his stance justifiable? We surely think so. Plank and UA better hope Curry doesn’t dip.

We’re here for black excellence. And we’re obviously here for sneakers. The connection between the two has been mighty strong this year. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick donated his entire sneaker collection to homeless shelters and children’s orphanages. After reaching two milestones in their lives, both former President Barack Obama and tennis great Serena Williams got the custom kicks treatment, courtesy of Michael Jordan. Now, Nike and Jordan Brand have released their annual lines of Black History Month sneakers. We discuss the best, and the worst, in each collection.

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

Nike launches ‘EQUALITY’ campaign

with film to air during the 59th Annual Grammy Awards

7:50 PM“Is this the land history promised?”

That’s the question Michael B. Jordan asks in the new short film EQUALITY, launching Nike’s new campaign of the same name, the goal of which is to encourage “people to take the fairness and respect they see in sport and translate them off the field,” the company says. Back in January, to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Nike announced partnerships with two community organizations, PeacePlayers International and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership.

Now, Nike is coming into your living room with its message. The film is set to air during Sunday night’s Grammy Awards and again during NBA All-Star Weekend. Nike brought the stars out to help push the message, too. As far as athletes go, LeBron James, Serena Williams, Kevin Durant, Megan Rapinoe, Dalilah Muhammad, Gabby Douglas and Victor Cruz all make appearances. On the nonsports entertainment side, Alicia Keys appears in addition to Jordan. Directed by Melina Matsoukas, who’s won a Grammy for her work on Rihanna’s “We Found Love” video, the 90-second black-and-white treatment sends an upfront message about changing impressions regarding the concept of boundaries.

“Here within these lines, on this concrete court. This patch of turf. Here, you’re defined by your actions. Not your looks or beliefs,” Jordan continues. “Equality should have no boundaries. The bonds we find here should run past these lines. Opportunity should not discriminate. The ball should bounce the same for everyone. Worth should outshine color.”


Courtesy of Nike.

As the scenes continue and overhead drone shots of urban playing spaces take up the frame, the unforgettable sound of a spray paint can interjects. Using a street art metaphor to make a point about in-your-face activism is not only effective, but for many who’ll likely see this ad, perhaps familiar.

The EQUALITY initiative’s social media and clothing efforts are also a big part of this push. Hashtags and T-shirts make the world go ’round these days, and Nike certainly has plenty to offer as part of its “unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion.” Needless to say, the tees fit right in thematically with the rest of their annual Black History Month collection.

Daily Dose: 2/10/17

More Patriots say they’ll be skipping the White House

12:00 PMThis feels like it’s been the longest week ever. Thank God that baseball’s back soon.

If you take someone to court, there’s always the possibility that you might lose. That’s exactly what happened to President Donald Trump on Thursday, when a federal appeals court upheld the decision to temporarily stop his immigration ban. Needless to say, he’s pretty unhappy about the decision and has taken his tweets to the all-caps level, which we presume means that he’s REALLY serious. If you listen to legal experts though, this was more than just a decision, they basically told Trump that he has no chance of his executive order holding up.

Here’s what you should never do if you’re not black: talk about the N-word. It’s just a losing strategy and something if you haven’t been on the wrong side of being called it, you just aren’t in a position to understand the true meaning of how it can affect a person. So, when CNN’s Chris Cuomo went on SiriusXM this week and said that the cable network being called “fake news” is akin to being called the N-word, he upset quite a few people. Eventually, he apologized, but I’m still not entirely sure why he went there to begin with.

The Grammys are Sunday night, which we like. It’s easily the best awards show of them all, mainly because there’s actual music that people like to be performed and the artists take it extremely seriously. Chance The Rapper will be performing this year, too, which I’m excited about. The show overall is doing its best to create a more inclusive environment. This year, a man and a transgender woman will be part of the group, known as the “trophy girls,” which brings the actual awards to the stage. Pretty cool.

Another day, another New England Patriots player passes on the White House. First, it was Martellus Bennett. Then, it was Devin McCourty. Now, LeGarrette Blount and Chris Long say they won’t be joining the team to celebrate its Super Bowl LI win with Trump. Over the years, all sorts of players, including Tom Brady have skipped this event, for various reasons. But these particular withdrawals have been particularly political, considering. Whenever the Pats finally do come to Washington, D.C., it could be a pretty awkward ceremony.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Too often, grown men aren’t really allowed to express their true feelings about things like love and friendship, because for whatever reason we view that as soft and unappealing. But Jim Jones talking about the fallout of Dipset and other career setbacks is one of the realest things I’ve ever seen.

Snack Time: We’ve all seen the photos of Barack Obama windsurfing with his squad, but I almost forgot that one cool thing about him leaving the Oval Office is being able to wear things other than suits. Check out your boy.

Dessert: Need something to bump this weekend? TDE’s got you.

All Day Podcast: 2/7/16

Danielle Cadet joins to talk about the Grammys and White House visits by sports teams

10:57 AM

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed

We finally came up with a name for the studio. Taking a page out of the Versace retail store’s book, we now call our humble podcast abode Studio D410. Back in December, a former employee sued the fashion designer after he says he was fired for being of mixed race. He explained that the store in California had a practice of making the staff say “D410” whenever black people entered the store, the same code used for black clothing for the luxury retailer. Real smooth, guys. Anyways, we’re reclaiming that for ourselves.

As for the show, Undefeated senior editor for production Danielle Cadet joined and regaled us with tales of Justin Tinsley’s birthday, which sounded like a fun one. Also, we talked about what White House visits for championship teams are going to look like now that President Donald Trump is in the White House. Two players from the New England Patriots have already said they won’t be taking part in the festivities when the team heads to Washington, D.C.

Of course, the 2017 Grammy Awards are coming up next Sunday, as well. Aaron Dodson wrote a story about the categories we’re paying attention to, so we discussed it. Most importantly, however, Aaron and Justin gave us a quick rendition of Justin Bieber, which was fantastic.

Some other highlights include Trap Karaoke, the Kennedy Center and West Indian accents.

Stephen Curry doesn’t think Donald Trump is ‘an asset’

The Warriors star is at odds with the opinions of his sponsor’s owner

4:19 PMStephen Curry has always been that likable guy. His dad was in the league. We’ve known him since he was a child shooting buckets during Charlotte Hornets pregames and his family life seems like something straight out of a Disney sitcom. He has never really been the guy to rock the boat, from a controversy standpoint. Then someone asked him about the president.

Curry didn’t waste his shot. He straight-up called President Donald Trump an ass, in so many words. Under Armour owner Kevin Plank called Trump “an asset” to the country, and the Golden State Warriors star said, “I agree with that description, if you remove the ‘et.’ ” Well now.

To be fair to Plank, he gave his star player a serious explanation as to why he said what he did. Basically, he felt like from a business standpoint, whatever the real estate magnate-turned-commander in chief was likely to do was going to help the company, all the other stuff aside. But for a company like Under Armour, which is still trying to knock Nike off of its perch from a global brand iconography standpoint, having your owner seemingly aligned with a much maligned president is a tough place to be.

It’s particularly difficult when the face of your franchise is one of the most likable people in American sports and he isn’t on the same page. UA is major, but it certainly can’t afford to lose Curry, one of the brand’s top endorsers. It’s worth pointing out that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is also a UA guy and we all know what his history is as far as making this country great again.

“At Under Armour, our culture has always been about optimism, teamwork, and unity,” Plank wrote in the statement looking to clarify his views. “We have engaged with both the prior and the current administrations in advocating on business issues that we believe are in the best interests of our consumers, teammates, and shareholders. Kevin Plank was recently invited at the request of the President of the United States, to join the American Manufacturing Council as part of a distinguished group of business leaders. He joined CEOs from companies such as Dow Chemical, Dell, Ford, GE and Tesla among others, to begin an important dialogue around creating jobs in America. We believe it is important for Under Armour to be a part of that discussion.”

So, basically, he wanted to show Trump some love for doing the same for him. Understandable, but if the #BoycottUnderArmour hashtag is any indication of how far that strategy will take you, Plank might want to do better when it comes to protecting his house.

Daily Dose: 2/9/17

Stevie Wonder might not be blind?

4:04 PMI watched that show So Cosmo on E! last night and I can’t get enough. It occurred to me that I would watch pretty much any reality show about a media operation. There should be a whole network of only those shows.

What do you do when your own people don’t like you? You lie and act like they do. That’s what President Donald Trump is dealing with right now in his administration, on several different levels. No. 1, the amount of leaks from the White House is astounding. Secondly, the very guy Trump nominated for the Supreme Court called the president’s comments about the job of the judiciary branch “disheartening.” Of course, the president claims all that’s not true. Every day, quite literally, seems to be a mess in the news cycle for this lot.

A while back, I heard a theory. It came from my colleague Bomani Jones. The theory went as follows: Stevie Wonder isn’t blind. On the surface, it sounds completely outrageous, if not borderline offensive. But, it is not without merit. He has done quite a few things to lead us astray. I was in the same restaurant as him once. I swear to God he looked me in the face and we weren’t even talking. Now, the man himself is fueling the fire to the rumors that he can actually see. For the record, I think Stevie can see. I guess we’ll find out soon.

I spend a lot of time on Instagram. For whatever reason, the visual stylings of that app really appeal to me and, generally, if your Insta game is poppin’, I respect your social media imprint a lot. And for some people, it’s a full-time job. For the #linkinbio crowd, you can legit make serious dollars from the pictures of your life that you take. I can’t even imagine how hard that is to maintain as a lifestyle. But one guy decided to take it up, even if for just a week. Here’s how it went.

Mike Tirico is one of my favorite sportscasters. In my lifetime, he became the proverbial safety blanket of guys doing play-by-play when a game was on. If Tirico was there, the game wasn’t necessarily the hugest deal, but you knew it was going to be a fun one. Now that he’s moved on to NBC from ESPN, there were questions about what he would do, beyond football. Now, the network has announced that he’ll be taking over Olympics duties for Bob Costas. This is excellent news.

Free Food

Coffee Break: We all know that Barack Obama loves to play basketball. It was effectively one of the most fundamental parts of his time in office, if we’re being honest. But he wasn’t always necessarily the best player. But if you put him in a video game and let him loose, what could he do? Oh, it’s lit on NBA 2K17.

Snack Time: Netflix is finally making a television show out of the movie Dear White People and folks are certainly uptight about it. Here’s the trailer.

Dessert: This story is sad, but it is redeeming.

Daily Dose: 2/8/17

Baylor gets docked pay from the Big 12

12:45 PMDanielle Cadet joined us on the podcast Tuesday. We talked about the upcoming Grammy Awards, teams visiting the White House and Justin Tinsley’s birthday goings-on. It was a fun one. Listen in here.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a strong woman. So, when she took to the Senate floor Tuesday night to point out just why she thought fellow Sen. Jeff Sessions wasn’t fit to be attorney general, people got upset. By people, I mean Sessions’ friends, like Sen. Mitch McConnell. Warren was quoting the late Ted Kennedy and Coretta Scott King in her remarks, but McConnell found them to be out of line, so he cut her off. He then said something that will be seen on protest signs and tombstones for the rest of time, which he wasn’t trying to do.

When Donald Trump leaves office, the books will be best sellers. And he’ll probably try to take credit for creating such a masterful story for everyone else to profit on, while he paints himself the misunderstood clown. It would be a far cry from the emperor-with-no-clothes act that he’s on now, because the transparency is becoming awkward. He’s lashing out at retailers for dropping his daughter’s jewelry line. His wife is suing for her ability to make money from being first lady. He’s lying directly to police officers. And complaining about hand towels. Sad.

You know what a butcher is? Someone who cuts meat. A person who knows the literal ins and outs of an animal and uses said expertise to break down meat and sell it to the public. It’s a magnificent profession, one that in a certain day and age had a fair amount of prestige to it. You don’t just walk onto a farm and start hacking up cows and pigs and thinking you’re going to make a buck. Now, in a Whole Foods in Manhattan, New York, they have something called a produce butcher. A PRODUCE BUTCHER.

The Big 12 is coming for Baylor’s pockets. The school that’s been in the news for allowing sexual improprieties in its athletic department is now going to have its pay docked from the conference as a result. Look, the way Baylor handled said allegations is a disaster. Covering up sexual assaults and the like is truly awful. Good for the conference for finally standing up to the school. The conference will withhold 25 percent of the school’s future revenue if satisfied that proper changes have been made. It also sets an interesting precedent for what these conferences will be willing to do to their member schools.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Comedian George Lopez popped off crazy at a black woman in the crowd where he was performing Tuesday night, and the video went viral. Say what you want about what comedians should be allowed to do, this rant felt personal and very hateful. You can watch it for yourself.

Snack Time: I don’t keep up with hip-hop beefs anymore because I just don’t have that kind of time, but apparently the one between Jim Jones and Jay Z is over, since the former just signed to the latter’s label.

Dessert: It me, science. This gecko is my spirit animal.