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

Daily Dose: 4/28/17

LaVar Ball overplays his hand

11:42 AMWe all know how much President Donald Trump loves Twitter. It’s basically his main mode of expression, which is a tad concerning for the man leading the free world, but it is what it is at this point. The funny thing is that if you go back and read his history, there’s basically a tweet outlining a stance that is completely contradictory to what he’s doing now that he’s in office. It’s genuinely quite remarkable. That said, we’re nearing the 100-day mark, so let’s take a look back at that time in his social media feed.

The franchise of Dear White People holds an important space in the cultural landscape. The film, released in 2014, was an eye-opening look at what black college life can be like at predominantly white colleges, which is basically all of them that aren’t historically black universities. The film clearly made waves in the mainstream, mainly because of the title, which automatically put a lot of people off. They’re back with a new series for Netflix, which is a fantastic evolution for this story. We need this show.

If you’re wondering, Michelle Obama will not be running for office. It’s been a strange pipe dream for quite a few of her fans who seem to think, understandably, that she would make an excellent public official. But one would think family time would be a priority after eight years in the White House. Getting involved in an election is a time commitment that takes over your life — never mind doing the actual job. Can’t imagine she’s looking to uproot all that anytime soon. But she was more definitive than Chelsea Clinton is about it, recently.

LaVar Ball is finally dealing with the big boys. For all of the entertainment he’s provided from a media and meme standpoint, his antics are not looked upon well by major corporations. Which, ultimately, was everyone’s concern to begin with: that he might actually be hurting his children’s ability to earn money at this point. Well, that’s exactly what’s happened. Nike, Under Armour and Adidas have all said that they don’t want to sign Lonzo Ball, who could potentially be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. Mega wow.

Free Food

Coffee Break: The 25th anniversary of the L.A. riots is this week, which is kind of wild to think about. It feels like far longer ago. But from a media standpoint, that moment in history was made all the more intense by the fact that we had so much footage of everything. It was early in the 24-hour-news lifetime, and video really shaped a lot.

Snack Time: We use Slack at our office. Most people do. It’s a fun little chat system that, when utilized well, really can improve productivity. Why a dating service needs to be integrated with it, we have no idea.

Dessert: New Gorillaz. Get on it.

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: 4/26/17

Barack Obama is taking money from Wall Street

12:49 PMThe Houston Rockets did something crazy last night, but it worked out. They sold beer for a dollar before the game last night, and thankfully they didn’t end up with a Ten Cent Beer Night situation from the ’70s in Cleveland.

In the latest edition of ‘Should we be worried about this?’ we have two cases. Number one is the situation in South Korea. The military is effectively girding its loins for what could be a dangerous situation should North Korea decide to make a move on that front. Today’s the day that elected officials gather at the White House to be briefed on the circumstance. Secondarily, President Donald Trump has decided that he’s going all the way to the wall over the matter of sanctuary cities, claiming he’ll be taking them to court if they don’t change their ways.

Barack Obama has done plenty for this nation. Aside from being commander in chief for eight years, he served the country as an elected official for years before that. Point being, his record as a stand-up person is solid. But now that he’s out of the Oval Office, he’s free to do as he pleases, taking speaking fees and the like. But taking $400K from Wall Street is not a good look. It’s worth noting that, back in the day, he criticized said fat cats for their greed, so taking their money now seems disingenuous.

People love playing with their faces on the internet. It’s basically the reason why Snapchat got popular and, in general, is basically never going to get old. Manipulating one’s image is as old as humankind itself. So when the latest version of said filter, a thing called FaceApp, hit the market, it was obviously popular. I’m still creeped out about people posting photos of what they’ll look like when they’re old, as that’s just not a smart thing to do, IMO. Shockingly, it turns out the app was racist as hell.

It seems like a whole lot of people are looking to play pro basketball. Ever since they relaxed the rules to allow college players to participate in combine drills and NBA evaluations if they don’t sign with an agent, far more players have been declaring just to make sure that there isn’t a chance they might skyrocket up a draft board at some point. What that’s also done is let players be evaluated by other non-NBA folks, which is still playing ball for money. This year, 182 players declared for the NBA draft. Wow.

Free Food

Coffee Break: You know how people say that hip-hop has more references to drugs than any other genre of music? Welp, turns out that’s a huge lie. According to a new study, that crown goes to country music, but I can tell that it’s flawed because it’s counting Wu-Tang Clan and Method Man mentions of “meth” as drug references.

Snack Time: Why anyone would want to own a pair of jeans that looked like they were extremely dirty, legit muddy, when they had in fact done no work is beyond me. But Nordstrom is selling them for $400, if you’re into that.

Dessert: When it comes to crossover, do not EVER come for Allen Iverson. Ever.

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.