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

Daily Dose: 4/27/17

Gift Ngoepe breaks new ground in MLB

12:45 PMAll right, kiddos, the NFL draft is Thursday night, and if you’re looking for something to do in the hours leading up to it, The Morning Roast crew has you covered from 4-7 p.m. EST, filling in for Bomani Jones. For Friday tho? I have a surprise.

If you say you’re going to do something and you don’t, there’s an easy out. It’s called apologizing, and if you’re an earnest person, it’s really not impossible to do. Whether you mean it is a different discussion, but for the purposes of other people’s feelings, saying, “I’m sorry” can be a valuable resource for maintaining relationships. But that’s not how President Donald Trump rolls, alas. So when he said he was going to blow up NAFTA, well, Mexico and Canada were like, nah. Now, he just says his plan is delayed. Easier option: My bad.

Remember that situation with SheaMoisture from earlier this week? Controversies like that crop up because people don’t have a clear understanding of just how weaponized black hair is. So when a company that has been largely supported by black folks suddenly seems to turn on its base, people feel betrayed. Why? Because of things like what happened in Texas this week, where a kid was nearly suspended from school for having two freaking lines in his hair. You can’t fix fly, pleighboi.

Rick Ross is one of my favorite rappers of all time. Not because I’m superfond of his lyricism, though I do enjoy that, but because as a dude, he just strikes me as the kind of person whom I would want to be around, for various reasons. Now he’s on his health kick, and he’s letting the world know that seizures are not the move, if you can avoid them. He’s also got a new album out, but he made an appearance on Desus & Mero, and it might be the best interview they’ve ever done.

You all know how much I love baseball. You also know how much I enjoy the game being exposed to various new cultures so more people can play and enjoy the sport as I do. That said, Wednesday night in Pittsburgh was an incredible moment. For a quick backdrop, the Pirates earlier this week pitched Dovydas Neverauskas, the first Lithuanian-born player in the bigs. Then, on Wednesday night, Gift Ngoepe came into the game to play second base — and got a base hit in his first at-bat. He’s the first African player in the MLB, so, yeah, cue all the tears.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Wednesday was a brutal day to be an ESPN employee. Many colleagues and friends lost their positions because of layoffs, and at the end of the day, nobody wants to see that. So salute to everyone who helped make this company a better place.

Snack Time: Today is Take Your Child To Work Day. We see all your fun pictures and goofy updates, but look, there is only one of these that matters. It is this one. You know this.

Dessert: I’m just going to go ahead and blindly be happy about this photo.

Daily Dose: 4/25/17

Drake to host ‘NBA Awards’ show on TNT

12:08 PMIf you’re looking forward to the NFL draft, you might be happy to know that we’ll be filling in for Bomani Jones on The Right Time on ESPN Radio leading up to the event on Thursday. Should be a fun time.

While you were sleeping, Arkansas executed two men. On the same night, Jack H. Jones Jr. and Marcel Williams were executed just hours apart. The state put another man to death four days ago. Another man is set to be killed this week. Why the sudden flurry? Because the three-drug cocktail that they use for these state acts is expiring, as it’s presented all kinds of problems. As an aside to the barbarism of capital punishment, this thread about the specifics of Williams’ trial is an indictment on exactly how flawed our judicial system can be.

You know who might run for office someday? Chelsea Clinton. You know who might not run for office someday? Chelsea Clinton. But because she is the daughter of a former president, a reasonable number of lazy reporters have decided that she owes them a definitive reply on this matter, as if their concerns are more important than her desires. Things got really predictable yesterday, when multiple dudes on Twitter who cover politics decided to show their behinds about the matter.

Here’s a tale of two police forces. One is in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where, after hearing that a group “fit the description,” officers decided to pull out their guns on a group of children headed home from a community center. I need not point out that these kids were black. The video from the body cams is terrifying, and the extremely condescending explanation to one of the mothers is even worse. Then, there’s the right way to handle a matter. Checking out a noise disturbance? Show up, then dance if you like the music. Great job out of this cop.

The NBA is really pushing its postseason awards show. Instead of just releasing the names of the winners after the regular season like other leagues, allowing teams and fans to celebrate with the victors while they’re still actually playing basketball, the NBA decided that a whole awards show is a better idea. It’ll obviously be a TNT production with the usual cast of characters, but now they’ve got a celebrity host. If it takes you more than one guess, you haven’t been paying attention. Obviously, it’s Drake.

Free Food

Coffee Break: I don’t use SheaMoisture products, but I know what they are. So when I saw that new ad they have about hair hate, or whatever they’re calling it, it was extremely cringeworthy and obviously offensive to their core. They caught all the backlash and apologized, and now people are understanding the value of black dollars.

Snack Time: Kendrick Lamar is clearly all the rage these days, and deservedly so. But are you just a casual KDot fan or a real Kung Fu Kenny stan? Take this quiz to figure out how well you know Kendrick Lamar.

Dessert: Here’s a beat tape fresh off the bandwidth to get you through the day.

Daily Dose: 4/24/17

Should we remove Confederate statues? New Orleans says yes

1:47 PMIt was a busy weekend. I was on Outside The Lines on Friday, and we discussed the New England Patriots at the White House, Serena Williams, U.S. women’s national soccer team’s Mallory Pugh and MLB umpires. And, per usual, The Morning Roast was a blast.

To be the president of the United States of America, you’ve got to be sharp. There are so many things to handle that any outside distractions or lack of concentration can mean bad news for the rest of the world, which depends on that stability. So when the commander in chief sits down with The Associated Press and says a bunch of things that are rambling, illogical and not really making sense, there’s reason for pause. Also, because a lot of it was unintelligible. Also, I had no idea that President Barack Obama did this when it came to the Oval Office.

How should we celebrate our history? Is it by removing all the scars and thus possibly risking erasure of a time that, though horrible, still existed? Or do we leave standing symbols of hate, oppression, discrimination and inequality to teach us that we were once an awful place and we should never forget that? That has the alternate effect, however, of normalizing the existence of very harmful cultural norms. Well, New Orleans is taking the former stance and tearing statues down. Meanwhile, states are recognizing Confederate Memorial Day.

As a kid, I watched a lot of cartoons. I was one of those children who had a television as a baby sitter, so quite a few were on my radar, going back decades. But because characters are typically not humans, there’s always a way to interpret who they are through race that will be singular to each person. Of course, depending on who voices them, you’ll feel differently about their identity. But most of the best are black. This story manages to break that down but somehow manages to leave out Hong Kong Phooey and Panthro from ThunderCats.

Fred Hoiberg picked a really odd time to voice his concerns. After the Boston Celtics beat the Chicago Bulls to tie the series up Sunday, the Chicago head coach tried to say that Isaiah Thomas, and basically the whole way he plays, is illegal. Sounding like an extremely old white guy, he basically said that IT4 is impossible to guard if he’s cheating. Mind you, for one, we’re still only a week away from the death of Thomas’ younger sister. Also, what league has Hoiberg been watching his whole life? This is how people play basketball now, Fred. Sorry not sorry.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Some folks have no home training and will do anything to win. So when this jerk decided to hit a little kid in an arena timeout game to gain an advantage, the Utah Jazz mascot decided to take matters into his own hands. The dude got everything he deserved and lost the race, to boot.

Snack Time: Every time I see Baylor’s name in a headline that doesn’t have a score, I just assume something bad has happened. Now, a guy who supports former football coach Art Briles is trying to rebrand himself. Gross.

Dessert: Y’all can have your promposals. This dress is as woke as it gets.

Daily Dose

Daily Dose: 4/21/17

A shooting death last night on the campus of NC A&T

1:00 PMClinton Yates is not here today. He’s hard at work on a $500 device that puts milk in your cereal. Take that, Juicero.

There was a fatal shooting at North Carolina A&T on Thursday night. Campus police said a female visitor at the historically black university was approached by an armed man at one of the school’s residence halls, and after a struggle the gun was discharged. The woman wasn’t shot, but once officers responded to the area they found another man suffering from a gunshot wound. He later died at a local hospital. There’s not a lot of information out at the moment, but this was reportedly the third fatal shooting in Greensboro over the past 24 hours and the third shooting-related death involving NC A&T in the past six months.

(Update: the Greensboro Police Department have stated the man who was killed was not an NC A&T student. The shooter has still not been identified.)

The NBA playoffs continued last night. Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson was back doing Lance Stephenson things, and Paul George scored 36 points — but LeBron James showed who’s owned the playoffs the past six seasons, bringing the Cleveland Cavaliers back from a history-making 25-point halftime deficit to go up 3-0 in the series. The Memphis Grizzlies snapped a 10-game postseason losing streak against the San Antonio Spurs, and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo blocked a shot WITH HIS ELBOW!

It’s been one year since the death of Prince. This time last year, the world was shocked when TMZ broke the news that the 57-year-old singer’s body was found at his Paisley Park compound in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Since that time, there have been moving tributes — from Bilal at the BET Awards, as well as Bruno Mars and Morris Day and the Time at the Grammys — mass re-viewings of 1984’s Purple Rain and, of course, controversy. A former Prince producer tried to release an unauthorized new album for the anniversary, but the singer’s estate scuttled that in court earlier this week. The New York Times reported recently that Prince concealed his painkiller addiction by “mixing various prescription pills in bottles for everyday products like Bayer and Aleve.” Nevertheless, The Undefeated is celebrating The Purple One all day.


Quick notes:

1. If you haven’t come across it yet, writer Ijeoma Oluo Ethered/SHEthered/Takeovered/Hit Em Uped Rachel Dolezal.

2. The NFL schedule was released last night. Sixteen teams will play 16 other teams. It doesn’t matter in April.

3. The entire city of Wyoming, Minnesota, might be high. From the police department setting “#420” traps on Thursday to this local man who narced on his own wife because he thought her cocktail straw was drugs.