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

Locker Room Lawyer, Episode 11: LeBron James takes on the #WaterBottleChallenge

The Posse is most definitely on Broadway

12:06 PMWhat do you do during a blowout in an NBA game? Me, I like to watch the people who mop up after players hit the floor. They’ve got such an intense job and get no credit. Anyway, what LeBron James and friends like to do is play the water bottle challenge. On the court. During play. We’ve all got Phil Jackson to thank for this, who with his rather poorly phrased and intended comment about James’ posse last month, clearly upset The King.

The question is: If you’re an NBA ballplayer, should you be playing silly games on the sideline when the one in front of you has lost your interest? We took this one to court, and a new judge had an interesting verdict. And this is a gratuitous reason for me to mention the two greatest songs ever involving the word posse. Here’s the first. Here’s the best.

Daily Dose: 12/8/16

Learning about Dylann Roof’s rage

3:28 PMOn Wednesday, a few of us in the office learned that oxtails aren’t actually made of oxen. So, with that news in mind, check this out. Happy Thursday.

The details from the case of Dylann Roof have been horrifying. On a macro level, obviously, a person walking into a church and murdering anyone is terrible, now in the trial, the descriptions of how Roof went about this rampage have been revealed. It’s not like he just walked in and started spraying bullets. His method was far more calculated and cruel. Again, this is all relative, considering what we’re actually talking about, but again, this dude was 21 years old at the time of this massacre. ABC News has the details.

Donald Trump is obsessed with Twitter. It’s seriously the most interesting thing to watch. As someone who enjoys the medium, to see how a guy elected as president of the United States acts on a social media site is actually quite revealing and, unfortunately, he’s got enough reach that it’s actually harming other people’s lives when he talks about them. That’s what happened in the case of Carrier, where The Donald punched down to a union boss. VICE’s Desus and Mero discuss why this man can’t stay off the TL.

If you didn’t know, Waffle House is open 24/7. That’s their big claim to fame, outside of the fact that they’re food is pretty solid if/when you’re drunk or just really in need of something relatively greasy. But, seriously, if there’s a situation happening on earth that serious enough to close a Waffle House, you need to make sure you’re paying attention. One such case is a natural disaster. FiveThirtyEight’s Maryn McKenna details exactly how the company holds up and gets things done when it looks like they might have to shut the doors.

Aroldis Chapman is a very popular player. Aroldis Chapman also is a man who fired a gun multiple times in his own garage during a domestic dispute, and then claimed he didn’t do anything to hurt anyone. Aroldis Chapman was suspended by Major League Baseball for his role in said incident. Aroldis Chapman can also throw a ball over 100 mph on a pretty consistent basis. Aroldis Chapman was also a critical part of the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series this year. Now, Aroldis Chapman is going to be an extremely rich man, courtesy of the Yankees.

Free Food

Coffee Break: So, back when I was in high school, Baywatch was a thing. Bouncy lifeguards, doing quasi-police work on a beach, with a bunch of goofball laughs mixed in. I didn’t even really remember what it was about, but the brand was strong. Now, this movie remake with Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron is on deck, and it looks amazing.

Snack Time: If you’ve ever wanted to see what it was like for a bunch of dudes to break into a water park and ride their BMX bikes everywhere, you’re in luck. They paid a decent price for it, though.

Dessert: J. Cole, Ab-Soul and The-Dream all having music dropping at midnight Thursday. Get that work, y’all.

What Are Those?! Podcast: 12/7/16

Missing out on Yeezys and Boosts, DJ Khaled’s partnership with Champs and the Air Jordan XI Space Jams

3:44 PM

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed

Welcome back to another edition of The Undefeated’s sneaker and sports fashion podcast, What Are Those?! We’re in the midst of holiday release season, so this week, Marcus Matthews and I talked about some kicks that have recently hit the scene.

I missed out on copping a pair of Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2s … again. And whiffed on the triple-black Adidas Ultra Boosts. Maybe one day I’ll get a pair of Yeezys and Boosts. Probably not.

We also chatted about superproducer DJ Khaled’s personal Champs Sports store, which is interestingly connected to his music studio. Is Khaled on the Mount Rushmore of celebrity sneakerheads?

Lastly, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the 1996 film Space Jam, which means the iconic Air Jordan XI Space Jam sneakers will drop on Saturday. The Space Jams are my favorite Jordans of all time. There’s supposed to be a widespread release, so I hope Marcus and I don’t miss out on them.

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

All Day Podcast: 12/8/16

The death of Joe McKnight and a breakdown of the 2017 Grammy nominations

3:00 PM

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed

Senior researcher Martenzie Johnson joins the podcast this week — with host Clinton Yates, senior style writer Jill Hudson and sports and culture writer Justin Tinsley — to lead a conversation on the recent shooting death of former University of Southern California and New York Jets running back Joe McKnight.

As Martenzie recently wrote, the killer in the situation, like we’ve seen many times before, was a white man, and as a result he was given the benefit of the doubt even though McKnight, a black man, was the one who lost his life. We approach these situations with hope, though the outcomes remain the same.

The crew also takes a look at the nominations for the 2017 Grammy Awards, which were released Tuesday. Brace yourself. There are quite a few hot takes in this segment.

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

Daily Dose: 12/7/16

The new contestants on ‘The Bachelor’ are revealed

3:00 PMWe taped another podcast Tuesday, and this time, our friend and colleague Martenzie Johnson joined us. We talked about the Grammys and the situation surrounding Joe McKnight’s death. Listen or download here.

Donald Trump is going to buy TIME magazine. I’m kidding, but judging from how the president-elect handles most things that have to do with his reputation, it only makes sense. The magazine named him the 2016 Person Of The Year, which fits in with a long line of people who’ve earned that honor, including you, YOU, back in 2006. But, anything that’s laudatory to his brand is something he supports, and anything that isn’t, he finds a way to knock. Now, he’s got another magazine cover to his credit. ABC News reports.

Living by yourself has its benefits. Nobody’s going to tell you when to wash the dishes, and if you want to fall asleep on the couch watching The Jamie Foxx Show every night, you can do that. But there are also downsides. That thing you need to lift to get out in to the trash? Yeah, you’re on your own. Get sick? Alas, hope your doctor makes housecalls. But if you want to worry yourself about what could possibly go wrong when you’re alone, you should probably read VICE‘s Mike Pearl’s story about what he should be afraid of.

THE NEW BACHELOR BIOS ARE OUT, AND THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS. For those of us who are heavy in these dating show streets, it’s a big day on the internet. The day that the world reveals to us who the ladies are that will vie for the heart of one random dude on national television for all of us to watch. It needs to be noted that there are quite a few women of color in this year’s cast, which is almost as many as the previous seasons combined. This is going to be a great season.

Speaking of big nights, it’s definitely one in the NBA. The Cleveland Cavaliers take on the New York Knicks, a game that’s got a surprising amount of relevance considering it’s not yet even Christmas. Also, the Golden State Warriors head to Los Angeles to play the Clippers. FYI, LeBron James won’t be staying at any Trump hotels in New York and Phil Jackson is still going on about that reckless “posse” comment he made a while back. But, the big story, of course, is Kevin Durant and how incredible his play has been so far. ESPN’s Marc Stein explains how his efficiency has gone through the roof.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Trevor Noah is doing a lot these days. After that interview with Tomi Lahren, not only did they go out to drinks together, but my man decided to send her cupcakes on the side, too. Cupcakes, fam. The extra special ones. With the glittery sprinkles on top. Now he’s backpedaling and explaining what “really” happened.

Snack Time: There’s a rumor going around that Kim Kardashian is looking to divorce Kanye West. Let’s be clear: If that happens, you can pretty much expect a hole in the universe to open up and swallow us all.

Dessert: If you’re looking for a Christmas gift for a vinyl lover, this might be a good place to start.

Daily Dose: 12/6/16

Black Santa is what we’re here for

4:22 PMQuick programming note: Domonique Foxworth and I will be hosting NFL Nation on ESPN Radio on Dec. 11 from 7-10 p.m. If you want to hear a couple of mid-30s dudes from the East Coast talk trash, tune in.

Police finally arrested the man who shot and killed former NFL player Joe McKnight. But that’s not even half the story. Earlier today, at a press conference to simply announce the charges in the case (manslaughter, btw) Sheriff Newell D. Normand of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, went completely off the rails and blamed basically everybody other than the shooter, Ronald Gasser, for the death of McKnight. We will have more on this later, but if you want to watch the whole thing, here it is. ABC News has the details of the actual case, which it took a long while for homey to get to.

Did you know that Santa Claus isn’t real? Because he’s not. Like, there is no person who lives on the North Pole, there are no elves, yadda yadda. You know what else? Because that person is not real, he is not, technically, a white person. Just because you see images of said character all over the shop as a white guy with a beard, THAT IS NOT REAL. When, in Minneapolis, they put a black Santa Claus in the mall, people freaked all the way out. VICE’s Desus and Mero are not here for that nonsense.

It’s holiday season, which means it’s time to cozy up in a movie theater. All the big flicks are out, and if you don’t have anything better to do, you will likely find yourself slamming popcorn in a dark room for at least a couple of sessions before the end of the year. But it’s hard to know what’s worth your time and what’s not. Some people are into reviews, others do ratings systems, like say, Rotten Tomatoes. FiveThirtyEight’s Walt Hickey investigates when you should buy into a film or not.

So, Ron Rivera is apparently acting like he didn’t completely play himself. That whole situation with Tiegate, or whatever you want to call it, has the Carolina Panthers reeling from a team standpoint. Not to mention the fact that the squad is four games under .500 and all anyone is talking about is what Cam Newton wears on a team plane. Anyway, for Rivera, it’s a relatively tough spot, because they basically have no real chance to make the playoffs, which is rather disappointing coming off a Super Bowl appearance. ESPN’s David Newton has the story.

Free Food

Coffee Break: The building that burned down in Oakland, California, wasn’t just a warehouse, it was a haven for people who didn’t have anywhere else to go and an artists commune of sorts. Specifically against the backdrop of a gentrifying city, it was an important edifice, overall. Check out what it looked like before it and many lives were lost there.

Snack Time: There will be no love lost anytime soon between Jeremih and PartyNextDoor. The former was acting very reckless on the latter’s tour, including sending stunt doubles out to perform instead of him, which is nuts.

Dessert: I guess we’re supposed to believe that Optimus Prime is a bad guy, now? Sure, OK.

Mistrial declared in case of Walter Scott’s killer

Jury unable to reach unanimous decision to convict Michael Slager in North Charleston

5:15 PMWhen police officer Michael Slager pulls up in his cruiser, Everlast is playing so loud on 98 Rock that the dash cam can pick up every word of his 1998 pop country jam that tells the stories of three down-and-out characters who know what it’s like to have the blues. Now, after a judge declared a mistrial in his murder case, Slager really knows what it’s like to be white.

Monday afternoon in North Charleston, South Carolina, the jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision about on a verdict in the killing of Walter Scott, a black man who was unarmed. This happened in April 2015 and at the time was one of the more clear-cut visuals we’d seen of an officer doing something that most people found atrocious. Because the system is stacked against nearly everyone who ends up on the business end of a police bullet, there was no reasonable expectation of a conviction. White fear trumps black lives, and this has been the case since the dawn of the nation.

But, in this case, enough things had happened that might have led some to believe we’d see more than the usual. No. 1: Slager was actually fired from his job. No. 2: He was charged at all. No. 3: He was actually charged with murder, not some form of a manslaughter charge. Lastly, let’s not forget that the mayor and the police chief both indicated they had problems with Slager’s actions, a borderline stunner considering that most authorities will rarely take a stance on sensitive matters like these. Even within the intellectually fraught world of respectability politics, people felt bad for Scott versus, say, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

To review, Slager shot Scott in the back while he was running away. He then cuffed Scott. If it wasn’t for a random person filming this, we might have never seen any of this at all. Later, the officer was heard talking rather lightheartedly about the adrenaline that comes with shooting at a suspect, if you’re wondering.

So, in short, one juror basically could not bring himself/herself to putting a white officer in jail for killing an unarmed black person. Literally, could not. Slager pleaded not guilty. He will surely be retried and also faces a federal case in this matter, but it’s an another obvious example of how inherent biases and institutional forces can sway even the minds of those who consider themselves the most righteous.

Art Basel 2016: Our favorite moments

The Miami art festival had no shortage of them

3:30 PMEvery year, tastemakers from across the globe flock to the annual Art Basel show in Miami to check out the latest and greatest from the contemporary world. It’s popularity has boomed to the point that the 305 during the week of the festival becomes a bit of a catch-all celebrity trap, where brands launch items and the pop-up musical performances make headlines.

So, with that in mind, here our some of the things that caught our eye from Wynwood and adjacent.

Sammy Sosa is still about that skin-lightening life

Ever since the legendary Major League Baseball slugger turned up on a red carpet looking like someone had sucked the melanin not just from his soul, but also his skin, sightings of the onetime Chicago Cub have been relatively rare. But here he is turning up with squad, and the look is still in full effect. Then again, this should be no surprise, because back in 2009, he didn’t even try to hide behind the skin condition excuse. Not that he needs to, your skin is your own, but my man is very committed to the cause.

Ti-Rock Moore’s “Flint”

It doesn’t take an art genius to understand what’s going on here. While Flint, Michigan, isn’t segregated by law, it might as well be when it comes to what’s happening with the city’s water crisis. The image of the “colored” sign, paired with the brown (colored) water, evokes an interesting emotion and raises a question that cuts to a larger concern: Is toxic synonymous with people of color in the eyes of authorities and elected officials? This could have been a static installation with just the stains of the dirty water indicating what flowed from the fountain. The fact that it’s moving makes it even more poignant and, well, depressing. Want more Ti-Rock? Check her out here.

Adidas, Pusha T launch #TLKS

[protected-iframe id=”41c5c9543715a2928cd754ed47b4df13-84028368-105107678″ info=”https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fadidasoriginals%2Fvideos%2F10155073180428888%2F&show_text=0&width=560″ width=”560″ height=”315″ frameborder=”0″ style=”border:none;overflow:hidden” scrolling=”no”]

The Virginia gawd has been everywhere recently, but in Miami, he joined Ben Jones and Adwoa Aboah to talk about all sorts of topics from creative motivation to world affairs. Of course, where this series lands next and with whom is up for debate, but with the next four years ahead of us, it’s a good start for a platform of talks that surely will be needed for the culture.

Reefa’s work put on display

Three years ago, Israel “Reefa” Hernandez was killed by police officers, by a Taser, specifically. It was obviously a sad case, but in the last year, his work as a street artist and otherwise has gotten its due. In August, a children’s book based on Hernandez’ life was released, titled Isra & Lito. This year, his work was displayed as part of a series at Blank Canvas Gallery.

Amazon has high hopes for its new shopping service

but it’ll be a long time before we trust this technology

3:00 PM

At a time when reasonably large amounts of people are protesting the fact that a shopping mall has a black Santa Claus, Amazon wants us to believe that walking in and out of a store without having to ever do so much as pull out a wallet to buy things is going to fly.

The online retailer is unveiling a new grocery store that due to various forms of microchip and other technology will allow shoppers to check in, shop as they choose and walk out without having to ever stand in line, deal with a cashier or pull out money. In theory, this is a beautiful system. In practice, most people who’ve grown up under the watchful eye of shopowners their entire lives wouldn’t set foot in this place.

Seriously, think about it. At the Mall of America in Minneapolis, the largest in the country, after 24 years, they’ve finally got a black Santa. His name is Larry Jefferson, by the way. He seems to be a great guy from all accounts. But his blackness alone has people on guard, when he’s playing a character that hands out toys to children. People don’t even want black folks conceptually handing out freebies to their children in fictional form, that’s how serious it is.

So, you just imagine how this will go once someone who doesn’t fit the bill of person with enough disposable income to be able to readily afford to shop at an Amazon Go snack shop walks in. We can barely get in and out of our homes without someone thinking we’re breaking in to sleep in our own beds and eat our own food.

https://twitter.com/MordMaman/status/805843847574093824

The fact that they call it the “just walk out” technology is doubly fascinating. The ad is particularly interesting because of the type of people they choose to represent shoppers they presume will be using this service. Because we sure as heck don’t see any black men there. Maybe they’re at the mall, waiting in line with their kids for Santa.

Daily Dose: 12/5/16

What does Ben Carson know about housing and urban development?

11:30 AMWhat’s up, gang? Hope your weekends went well. I’m finally recovered from a rough week, healthwise, but we’re good.

When you hear the word “urban,” do you think about black people? Because it appears that’s why Dr. Ben Carson was initially nominated to be the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Now, he’s accepted that position even though he quite literally has no experience in such matters, considering he’s a brain surgeon. It should also be noted that Carson said rather publicly a while back that this wasn’t something he was interested in from a work standpoint. Alas. ABC News has the details.

Protestors scored a huge victory at Standing Rock over the weekend. Basically, the U.S. Army said that no, it won’t be routing the Dakota Pipeline close to the Native American reservation land in North Dakota. This comes after a few weeks of really ugly disputes that did not sit well with many people who believe in basic decency. Police had used power hoses to douse demonstrators with water during subfreezing temperatures, which does not remotely exemplify decency. VICE reports on the latest.

Advice columns are as old as journalism itself. So, when FiveThirtyEight launched its version of the stalwart feature, I was rather interested in what type of topics they’d explore, considering it’s a data-based site. Most people giving out advice are doing it based on gut, not numbers. But there’s a twist to this. They run polls based on questions they’re asked. Check out how people thought someone should handle leaving his or her office Bible study group (who knew that was a thing.) They call it Survey Says.

Joe McKnight’s tragic death has been a very sober reminder of what race means to justice in America. It’s not just police officers who get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to working the system after they’ve done something wrong. The former University of Southern California and New York Jets running back was gunned down in the street in New Orleans in a road rage incident, which nobody seems to be able to really explain, from a motive standpoint. The guy who killed McKnight was released, with no charges, somehow. ESPN explains.

Free Food

Coffee Break: ICYMI, a terrifying situation unfolded over the weekend in Washington, D.C., in which a guy brought an assault rifle into a pizzeria and decided he wanted to investigate a claim he’d heard on the internet. They’re calling it the “Pizzagate” scandal, but it’s actually far more dangerous than that when you hear the details.

Snack Time: I’m not typically huge on random videos of humans interacting with animals, but this one of a guy punching a kangaroo in the face to prevent it from messing with his dog is completely wild.

Dessert: Under Armour’s global dominance continues. The company is taking over Major League Baseball uniforms.