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Daily Dose

Daily Dose: 9/15/17

Conspiracy theories about Kenneka Jenkins’ death were nonsense

1:51 PMWhat up, gang? I’m on my way to Los Angeles for the weekend and very happy about that. On Thursday, I joined the Around The Horn squad again, which is getting to be really fun. I’ll be on SportsNation at 3:30 p.m. EST on Friday.

Well, things are getting awkward around here with the White House. Ever since the situation with Jemele Hill unfolded, there have been opinions all over the shop about what should happen regarding her job status and, in general, this network’s stance on President Donald Trump. Now, Trump himself is back to yelling on the internet via Twitter, this time saying that ESPN should apologize for what happened. For what it’s worth, here’s what former anchor Dan Patrick had to say about the matter.

When it comes to crimes committed, people love blaming black folks. There’s a reasonably long history of people either entirely fabricating crimes that we allegedly committed or doing something to themselves and claiming it was a black person’s doing. The latest incident of the like happened in Minneapolis, where a campus security officer shot himself, then made up a story about a gunman because he was afraid he might get in trouble. Well, that’s exactly what happened. He got fired.

The internet failed Kenneka Jenkins. The 19-year-old Chicago teen was found dead in a walk-in freezer last week after a party at a hotel, and almost immediately Twitter sleuths created a theory that Jenkins was sexually assaulted and murdered and her body was deposited in the freezer. There were Facebook Live videos that purportedly showed the assault of the teen reflected in another woman’s sunglasses and Jenkins being heard yelping, “Help me” in the background. Amateur doxxers posted the home addresses and phone numbers of multiple men who were allegedly at the hotel that night and were possibly involved. Jenkins’ friends allegedly set her up. The police allegedly didn’t care enough about black girls to properly investigate — which is not out of the realm of possibility. A #JusticeForKenneka hashtag was created well before a police investigation was complete or a medical examiner could rule on a cause of death or evidence of sexual assault. And in the end, on Thursday, Chicago activist Andrew Holmes said video from the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel shows Jenkins, possibly inebriated, walking into the freezer by herself, the door closing behind her.

The Indianapolis Colts continue to play themselves. On Friday morning, NFL.com reported that the Colts plan to start second-year quarterback Jacoby Brissett this week against the Arizona Cardinals. Not only was Brissett acquired just 13 days ago from the New England Patriots, where he was the team’s third-stringer, but he has just two career starts, throwing for 308 yards and no touchdowns. The Colts have known since January that they may be without starter Andrew Luck (shoulder surgery). But they rolled with Scott Tolzien, a mediocre quarterback at best. This is not to say the team *had* to sign Colin Kaepernick, but if they were going to start a quarterback whose main weakness is accuracy (Kaepernick’s 59.8 career completion percentage vs. Brissett’s 62.1) and strengths are “strong arm” and “fast feet” and would need minimal time to prepare, why take an untested backup over a former Super Bowl starter? Remember, this is all about “football reasons.”

Daily Dose: 9/14/17

Is President Trump becoming a team player?

2:35 PMAll right, kiddos, if you missed it, I made my second appearance on Around The Horn on Wednesday. I’ll be on again Thursday, so that’s fun too. Tune in, 5 p.m. on ESPN.

Wednesday night was a doozy at Fenway Park. Some people unfurled a sign reading “Racism is as American as baseball,” not a particularly controversial topic. But because it was on the field of play, it had to be removed immediately. Well, let’s just say this was a little awkward overall, considering where this went down. You might recall that a fan yelled racial slurs at Adam Jones there, and, yanno, it’s Boston. We’re not quite clear on who is responsible, but who cares. The message is accurate.

When you’re a black boy, certain things are expected of you. You’re expected to be smart, but not so smart that you make people feel dumb. You’re expected to be tough, but not so tough that if someone insults you, you clap back. You’re expected to be strong, but not so strong that if challenged you actually hurt someone. It’s a vicious form of programming that in turn creates an emotional scale that makes it nearly impossible to emote effectively when something goes wrong. It’s not easy for a grown man to learn to cry.

Nobody knows what President Donald Trump is doing. After a pretty tenuous relationship with the Democrats, suddenly he’s decided to work with them. Now that he’s in such a quandary with the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program, he has to do something. The problem is that he played this backward politically. By first saying that he would rescind it before using it as a piece of negotiation, he’s compromised his own position. In short, it looks like he’s caving because he finally figured out that, hey, “this is how politics works.”

If you’ve ever seen Last Chance U, you know how serious it is. Basically, it’s about football players who’ve had trouble staying around programs for one reason or another in their careers, but sometimes it doesn’t work out. Now, two of the brothers featured in the show are being charged in connection with a stabbing in Tennessee. The two didn’t have the easiest upbringing, but seeing it come to this is heartbreaking. They weren’t the only ones charged in the situation.

Free Food

Coffee Break: If you’re a real Beastie Boys fan, you know that Adam “MCA” Yauch insisted that the band’s music never be used to sell products. So when he died, it was one of the legacies that he left behind. But, also, Mike D and Ad Rock have made exceptions since his death and have recently made another. That’s their choice, I guess.

Snack Time: Good news, NFL fans: Games are actually getting shorter! Oh, you had no idea that was even part of the plan, and you didn’t even notice? That’s probably a good thing too.

Dessert: Here’s a video of Yung Joc in a dress. That is all.

 

Daily Dose: 9/13/17

Serena Williams wins hearts with story for newborn

12:51 PMWe all know Jemele Hill. She co-hosts SportsCenter’s The 6, and her presence alone with Michael Smith in that space has been more than important to this industry. Check out this profile of her and the future of this nation.

There’s gentrification and then there’s GENTRIFICATION. In what is one of the most blatantly disrespectful moves I’ve ever seen, a couple of former Google workers are trying to make bodegas obsolete, by creating vending machines that they’re calling … Bodega. The gall. Look, corner stores are not just places where you get items, in some cold, transactional way — like, say, I don’t know, getting something from a machine. There are actual humans (and cats) that operate these things and make them what they are. This idea is galactically stupid.

Her name is Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., and you will respect her as such. Serena Williams has introduced her newborn to the world and done so in the most adorable way ever. Let’s be clear, Serena is my favorite athlete of all time, so I can’t say I’m not biased, but I’ve watched this thing 10 times now and I can’t stop crying because it’s so perfect. So many celebs have children and are so private and closed in that you can’t really enjoy it, but Serena is giving so much to her fans. The video is literally perfect.

Will & Grace is a great show. It was never something I watched in real time, but rather through reruns and syndication, so I came to love the program well after its initial run. Now the show is coming back to NBC, which is an interesting move on multiple levels. But more importantly, they’ve managed to pull off one of the best promotional moves I’ve ever seen. There will now be Will & Grace milkshakes at Shake Shack. But most importantly, one of those shakes will be blended with prosecco, which is a game-changer that has officially blown my mind.

Russell Westbrook is officially in the fashion game. The Oklahoma City Thunder guard and NBA MVP has been an icon for sometime in that regard, but now, sources say that he’s signed a 10-year deal with Nike’s Jordan brand, and they’re planning to go big with it. It also sets up an interesting shoe rivalry with Kevin Durant, who just released a new shoe of his own that’s on wild levels of petty with what’s written on it. Anyways, what this means is that we’re going to get a whole lot more Brodie in the mall, which is dope.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Fat Kid Deals is the best promo Twitter feed out there. Period. Every single time something happens in pop culture, they’ve found a way to tweet about it to push a completely random product, and the brilliance is in how often they do this every day. And with the Apple Event on Tuesday, they nailed it again.

Snack Time: I’m all for retiring numbers, and Kobe Bryant getting two of them is a rather unique situation. But Paula Abdul thinks she should get recognized in Staples Center herself. I tend to agree.

Dessert: Quavo’s new track is not quite a banger, but it’s good, kiddos.

 

Daily Dose: 9/12/17

Apple unveils its newest iPhone and watch

4:43 PMHey, gang, sorry for the late arrival Tuesday. Been dealing with a ton of stuff familywise, and you know how that goes. In other news, I’ll be appearing on Around The Horn both Wednesday and Thursday, so check it out!

Tuesday was Apple’s big day. Whenever the company rolls out new products, it’s global news, and this one was no different. Now there are three new iPhones, so if you want to be that person who stands in line for hours just to pay the nerd tax and have something first, then November will be your month. Personally, I’ll wait until prices come down to re-up, but that’s just me. The company also unveiled a new Apple Watch, for those of you looking to get your Penny from Inspector Gadget on. Here’s the rundown.

Remember Daniel Dae Kim? The guy who decided to walk from CBS’s Hawaii Five-O after they decided he wasn’t going to get paid as much as his white counterparts? Well, for one, that move was awesome. There’s absolutely no reason for that to happen, and calling their bluff was a boss move. Relatedly, remember the guy who walked away from the Hellboy reboot when he found out that his role was originally cast for an Asian-American character? That guy is awesome too. Well, his replacement is now Kim, which is just perfect.

When it comes to black folks on film, things aren’t easy. What you might not know is that the way the actual film is engineered, it’s not designed to highlight darker skin. So when it comes to how we look in major motion pictures, there is quite a bit of adjustment that has to happen to make things right. For HBO’s Insecure, the person tasked with that job is Ava Berkofsky, and this feature about how she pulls all that off is a fantastic look into one of the lesser known tasks in show-making.

The BIG3 is superfun. It’s not my particular brand of 3-on-3, but the fact that the league not only got off the ground but also managed some level of success is ultimately a good thing. Personally, I still think it could use some tweaks — the games are too long, and the 4-point shot is a bit ridiculous. But it’s definitely decent basketball, if you like watching old stars do their thing. Now, something novel has happened. One of the players is getting a tryout with an actual NBA franchise, which is borderline amazing.

Free Food

Coffee Break: If you’re a Star Wars fan like me, you know the people who direct the flicks are obviously superimportant. Holding onto the story’s canon while also spinning it forward is a very tricky maneuver for a franchise that’s so beloved by many. Well, now, J.J. Abrams is back on board.

Snack Time: The folks at Facebook aren’t playing when it comes to this reality show life. First, they launched Ball In The Family, which is tremendous. Now, they’ve signed up Marshawn Lynch. Fantastic idea.

Dessert: Here’s the best video you’ll see all day. Enjoy.

Daily Dose: 9/11/17

Things are getting awkward in the Golden State locker room

4:04 PMIt looks like the gang at The Dan Le Batard Show is going to be out all week, as no one is being let back into Miami at this point because of Hurricane Irma. We made it through the show Monday, even though the start was interesting.

We’re starting to get a better idea of the damage Hurricane Irma has done. The rain is still coming down, but the recovery efforts have begun, and that work will take years to complete. Six people have been found dead so far in Florida, but getting power back to many communities is not an overnight process. One estimate says the damage from the event could cost as much as $290B. That is an eye-popping number. But we’re not out of the woods yet, and the storm is still sucking water out of the actual ocean, which is nuts.

Monday is Sept. 11. Which means that we remember what happened to this nation on that fateful Tuesday morning that forever changed us. Of course, for those who had friends, family and other acquaintances who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks, the day is never easy. It is now the 16th anniversary, if that’s even the right word, of the attacks. Here’s how they commemorated the moment at various memorials across the country.

When it comes to sex, my philosophy is: to each their own. Until it ventures into the world of illegal or harmful, I personally employ a “do whatever you want” policy. So for me, trying to buy a robot that you can have sex with is not exactly my idea of fun, but for quite a few people, there is quite the market for this. Which, I guess, in some ways, is a good thing if it keeps people happy. But the headline “Hackers could program sex robots to kill” is just too awesome not to highlight.

Kevin Durant might have caused an issue in his locker room. Not intentionally, but while making a point about sneakers, he basically dissed his own teammate. The gist of it is that Durant thinks kids don’t want to play in Under Armour versus Nike, which affects recruiting at colleges, among other things. One problem — his teammate Stephen Curry is signed to Under Armour. K.D. said that on a podcast for The Ringer, and the team had to have a talk about the matter as a result, which is very awkward.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Have you ever thought, I’d love to see a movie about a black man who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan? Interesting, right? And if you thought about two people who might be good at making that movie, who would come to mind? Spike Lee? Maybe Jordan Peele? Well, how about both of them? This should be good.

Snack Time: There are still people in this country who think segregated schools are the life and are actively trying to live it. This story about an Alabama town is incredible.

Dessert: It’s been 10 years since Kanye West’s Graduation dropped. Here’s a ranking of his work.