Daily Dose: 6/13/16
The United States witnessed the deadliest mass shooting in history this past weekend
11:00 AMOur thoughts, condolences and prayers this morning go out to the families and friends of the victims in Sunday’s massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The tragedy exposes — again — the horrific reality of gun culture and gun violence in this country. Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, Century 16 movie theater, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. How many more mass shootings can this country endure before definitive action is taken to get the guns away from violent and mentally unstable people and those bent on terrorism?
The tragedy in Orlando was much more than a shooting. It was an act of terrorism, connected to the Islamic State group. It was also a hate crime committed against the LGBT community, which celebrates its pride month in June. An armed man was arrested, just hours after the killings at Pulse, reportedly heading to a gay pride parade in West Hollywood, California. Though there is no evidence of a connection between the two events, it is apparent that this month of celebration has unfortunately given people a platform to commit violence. The Associated Press’ Christopher Weber and Andrew Dalton have the details.
Certain details surrounding the Orlando shooting are heartbreaking. If you’ve followed the situation in the last day or so, you’ve probably read a lot of information about the gunman, Omar Mateen. But what about the victims? The mother of Eddie Justice, one of the 49 people killed at Pulse, has released a text message conversation between her and her son from the moments leading up to his death. If you haven’t read it yet, brace yourself. ABC News’ Morgan Winsor has the report.
U.S. terrorist attacks have increasingly involved the use of guns. The effect Sept. 11, 2001, has had on our nation extends much further than increased security at airports. The 9/11 terrorist attacks, which until last weekend were the deadliest our country has seen, completely changed the makeup of terrorism in the United States. While it might seem like explosives are a common method of violence, that hasn’t been the case since 9/11, given the fact that federal authorities track their use. Guns are now what terrorists in the United States are turning to. FiveThirtyEight’s Carl Bialik breaks down the numbers.
The sports world reacted to the Orlando mass shooting. Professional athletes are often looked up to as heroes — their voices are as powerful as anyone’s. Taking this into account, it’s always interesting to see how they react when a major world event, specifically a tragedy, occurs. Many U.S. athletes, some of who are openly a part of the LGBT community, responded through social media. ESPN compiled some of the best reactions.
Coffee Break: Remember Rachel Dolezal? The white woman who was a civil rights activist, African-American studies professor and NAACP chapter president though she lied about her racial identity? Well, she’s back in the news, apparently now filming a documentary at Howard University. Random, right?
Snack Time: When a draft is 40 rounds, it’s hard not to waste a pick or two. That’s exactly what the Seattle Mariners did in the 2016 Major League Baseball draft when they selected Trey Griffey, the son of 2016 Hall of Fame inductee Ken Griffey Jr., in the 24th round. The funny thing is, this pick was simply to pay tribute to Trey Griffey’s father, a former Mariner great. Trey Griffey is a college football player and hasn’t played baseball since he was 11. Don’t think he’ll be signing an MLB contract anytime soon.
Dessert: Artist Fred Martins used the symbol of an Afro comb to commemorate activists, including Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela, who were imprisoned while fighting for freedom and racial justice.
Daily Dose: 6/10/16
Follow along with us in remembering the champ
8:06 AMToday, we remember the life of The Greatest. The late Muhammad Ali will be celebrated at an interfaith memorial service Friday afternoon at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. Thousands are expected to attend the service, which begins at 2 p.m.
Thousands are also expected to pay their respects during a processional this morning that will pass landmarks in Ali’s life, including the gym where he began training and his childhood neighborhood.
We will also be collecting thoughts from readers on Ali throughout the day.
— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) June 4, 2016
— Mike Wise (@MikeWiseguy) June 10, 2016
Clinton and Trump Twitter beef?
We’re here for it
4:38 PMAfter President Barack Obama endorsed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Thursday, Clinton’s opponent, Republican candidate Donald Trump, couldn’t hold his tongue.
Obama just endorsed Crooked Hillary. He wants four more years of Obama—but nobody else does!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2016
Minutes later, Clinton responded.
Delete your account. https://t.co/Oa92sncRQY
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 9, 2016
Maybe rapper Drake was right when he said, “Trigger fingers turn to Twitter fingers” in his 2015 diss record Back to Back. Based on the language, there’s little doubt surrounding whether Trump’s words were a result of his own Twitter fingers. He’s never shy to speak his mind and even has a history of getting into Twitter tiffs with people, including rapper Mac Miller.
As for whether Clinton tweeted the response for herself, there’s no telling. The accounts of many politicians are run by their staffs, so someone else could have typed the response (maybe even an intern), after she approved it, of course. Regardless, Thursday’s brief social media back-and-forth was amusing for the simple fact that we rarely see presidential candidates go at it outside of debates.
The best part of the beef was not Clinton’s “Delete your account” response, which received more than 100,000 more retweets (and counting) than Trump’s tweet. The best part was that Clinton herself went back-to-back on Trump, tweeting this not long afterward:
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 9, 2016
Shade? Maybe a little.
Black Twitter claps back
to three white eulogists speaking at Muhammad Ali’s memorial service
4:00 PMAs the world continues to mourn the death of Muhammad Ali, some have taken to Twitter to express disappointment in the makeup of Ali’s interfaith memorial service at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky, on Friday.
Former president Bill Clinton, actor Billy Crystal, Sen. Orrin Hatch and sportscaster Bryant Gumbel are all scheduled to deliver eulogies at the service.
Though Ali himself chose who would speak, push back on social media has surrounded the fact that three white men and only one black man will speak at the service, which will memorialize to the public one of the most influential African-American figures in the history of this country.
Why all these white ppl speaking at Muhammad Ali funeral smh
— Big God ✊ (@SinDaddy_7_56) June 5, 2016
White ppl must steal everything. Why is nobody black giving eulogies at #MuhammadAli funeral? 😡
— Alessandria Lutz (@Dria_Pals1) June 7, 2016
How do Bill Clinton & Billy Crystal speak at Muhammad Ali's funeral? The family says those were Allah's wishes but I don't buy that at all
— The M.I.L.F Whisperer (@_Uncensorable) June 7, 2016
Neither Bill Clinton or Billy Crystal had anything good to say about Muhammad Ali when he was alive so what right do they have now?
— The M.I.L.F Whisperer (@_Uncensorable) June 7, 2016
#Rulesofracism: When Muhammad Ali dies, more white celebrities speak at his funeral than black ones
— Boyce Watkins (@drboycewatkins1) June 6, 2016
Muhammad Ali was my second cousin by marriage and from my hometown. I wish more black men could speak at his funeral
— Boyce Watkins (@drboycewatkins1) June 6, 2016
When I die, 99% of so-called leaders and 95% of so-called preachers/ministers will NOT be allowed to preach my funeral or deliver my eulogy.
— Black Data Analysis Matters (@BmoreDoc) June 4, 2016
Is it really fair to criticize the men Ali wanted to pay tribute to him based upon their race? This way of thinking seems to arise from as limited view of the man Ali was. We should remember Ali not only as the outspoken man who used sports as a platform to speak out about racism, but also for his accepting nature. He acknowledged that “not all white people are racist.”
set to cover the next issue of ESPN The Magazine, available June 17
3:20 PMYou’ll want to pick up one of these.
Here's the cover of our Ali issue, on newsstands next week: pic.twitter.com/KOMbcm0yRa
— Chin Wang (@ChinWangESPN) June 9, 2016
The late Muhammad Ali will cover ESPN The Magazine‘s June 27 issue, which will officially hit newsstands June 17. The cover is beautiful, featuring a black-and-white photo of the champ and one of his most famous quotes, “I shook up the world!” which he said, among many other quotable things, after knocking out Sonny Liston in 1964 at the age of 22.
There’s no official total, but Ali might have covered more magazines than any athlete in history. From Boxing Illustrated to Time, GQ, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Jet and more, the number of magazine covers Ali appeared on (many of which he did so on several different occasions) is yet another reason that he is The Greatest.
Daily Dose: 6/9/16
The trial of another officer in the Freddie Gray case has started
11:00 AMThe NBA Finals series has been less than exciting. Blowout after blowout — a 15-point spread in Game 1, a 33-point spread in Game 2 and a 30-point spread in Game 3 on Wednesday night. Obviously, with the win Wednesday, the Cleveland Cavaliers have made things somewhat interesting by avoiding a sweep. The series now stands 2-1 in the Golden State Warriors’ favor. But please, can we get at least one close game?
The third trial in the Freddie Gray case has begun. Baltimore police officer Caesar Goodson, one of six officers involved in the April 2015 arrest of Freddie Gray, who died after sustaining a spinal cord injury in a police vehicle, now stands trial. Goodson is the third officer to be tried, following trials of officers William Porter and Edward Nero. prosecutors have been unable to convict any of the officers — not even Nero, who initially arrested Gray. While this case has been a vital part of the Black Lives Matter movement and the stand against police brutality involving white police officers, it’s worth remembering that not all of officers in the Gray case are white. Goodson is black. ABC News’ Mariam Khan has the report.
Support for Brock Turner is wavering. Two female character witnesses for Brock Turner, a former Stanford University swimmer who was convicted of rape and sentenced to just six months in jail, are now expressing regret for their support of him. Turner’s case has been in the news all week, from the long-awaited release of his mug shot to the shocking comments from his father, who said Turner shouldn’t suffer a six-month sentence for “20 minutes of action.” Brian McBride of ABC News has the latest development in the case.
Aaron Hernandez has hired a high-profile defense attorney. The former New England Patriots tight end, convicted in the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd and subsequently sentenced to life in prison, has brought in attorney Jose Baez on to his defense team. Baez represented Casey Anthony, who was acquitted of murder following the death of her 2-year-old daughter, and other celebrities such as NBA player Thabo Sefolosha. Baez will also defend Hernandez, who still faces murder charges in a 2012 incident at a nightclub, where two men were gunned down. ESPN provides the details on Hernandez’s latest addition to his defense team.
The X Games are all about the jumps. I’m not big into skateboarding and BMX. I do, however, appreciate the things the athletes in those sports are able to do. From an outsider’s perspective, and maybe even for avid skateboarding and BMX followers, the best part is the CRAZY jumps the athletes take on. It’s hard to even imagine daring some of the ramps they ride on. I’ve never been to the X Games or up close and personal to a large ramp. Now, I feel like I have. FiveThirtyEight’s Brent Rose provides a close look to the biggest jumps at this year’s X Games.
Coffee Break: Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban filed for eight trademark applications surrounding nicknames and phrases connected to him and his brand. On Thursday, the trademarks were allowed, though not yet registered. You definitely have to respect this man’s hustle.
Snack Time: In honor of the late Muhammad Ali, Sony Pictures announced the 2001 film Ali, which stars actor Will Smith as the champ, will return to theaters this weekend. Smith will also be a pallbearer at Ali’s funeral.
Dessert: Am I the only one who is sick of these random “holidays” that pop up on social media every day? Wednesday was #NationalBestFriendsDay. Today is apparently #ThankfulThursday. When will it stop?
Maria Sharapova’s doping ban …
reminds us of the racial body-shaming Serena Williams has endured
4:46 PMOn Wednesday, the International Tennis Federation suspended 29-year-old Russian player Maria Sharapova from competition for two years because she tested positive for the banned substance meldonium.
The ban is ironic, taking into account the No. 1-ranked player Serena Williams, whom critics have body-shamed throughout her career, often because she is an African-American. Williams, 34, has never been sanctioned for using a banned substance.
For years, Williams’ muscular build has led to criticism and accusations of doping, which at times goes too far with extremely hateful labels surrounding her identity as a black woman.
searching for "serena williams gorilla" is enough to make you wanna fight. well, make ME wanna fight. wow, man.
— El Flaco (@bomani_jones) July 7, 2012
Serena Williams looks like a gorilla, and sounds like a gorilla when she grunts while hitting the ball. In conclusion, she is a gorilla.
— Jeremy Frary (@Zonkednerd) June 6, 2015
On the other hand, Sharapova’s taller and slimmer frame has led to the “Is Maria Sharapova the most beautiful woman in tennis history?” topic of debate. Sharapova has never been a part of ESPN The Magazine’s annual Body Issue, but Williams put her oft-criticized body on display when she covered the first Body Issue in 2009. Since then, the hateful comments have persisted, even leading Williams to wear long sleeves during Wimbledon in 2015.
At Sports Illustrated‘s “Sportsperson of the Year” ceremony, Williams addressed the body-shaming in her acceptance speech.
“I’ve had people look down on me, put me down because I didn’t look like them — I look stronger,” she said. “I’ve had people look past me because the color of my skin. I’ve had people overlook me because I was a woman. I’ve had critics say I [would] never win another Grand Slam when I was only at No. 7 — and here I stand today with 21 Grand Slam titles, and I’m still going.”
It is hoped that the body-shaming of Williams will be put to rest for a while.
Will this year’s birthday celebration top last year’s?
4:00 PMKanye West turned 39 years old Wednesday. The rapper, who gave us The Life of Pablo in February, has been relatively quiet on social media, so we don’t know how he’s celebrating.
We surely remember his 38th birthday celebration, though. His wife, Kim Kardashian West, rented out the Staples Center (reportedly dropping $110,000 on the occasion), so West and his friends could play some hoops in the home arena of the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers.
Singer Justin Bieber was there, along with NBA players Russell Westbrook, John Wall and James Harden. John Legend even kicked off the East-vs.-West-themed game by singing the national anthem.
Here’s a clip from last year’s bash. Rarely do you see West smile like this:
Like many rappers, West has immersed himself in the sports world, and has benefited from the access his fame affords him. He proposed to his wife at AT&T Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants, in 2013, and attended longtime Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant’s final NBA game in April at the Staples Center.
Extravagance has been a trademark of West’s, so we expected something big for this 39th birthday. You never know, maybe he’ll celebrate at Game 3 of the NBA Finals Wednesday night. I’m sure Kardashian West could get tickets cheaper than $110,000.
Daily Dose: 6/8/16
Hillary Clinton makes history
12:00 PMAn everlasting debate — in-depth analytics aside — surrounds this question: Which team in the history sports has had the greatest dynasty? The early 1970s Howard University men’s soccer program might not be a dynasty, but it came close. Redemption Song, a Spike Lee Lil’ Joints film on the program, was released Tuesday. In addition, The Undefeated’s Justin Tinsley chronicled, in story form, the rise and fall of Howard soccer, which the NCAA stripped of a title in 1971. Definitely check out these pieces on this dynasty that never was.
Hillary Clinton became the first female presumptive presidential nominee of a major party in U.S. history, following wins in the California, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota primaries Tuesday night. Are we surprised? Not really. It seemed as if the former secretary of state and first lady was destined to represent the Democratic Party in the 2016 presidential election. As Clinton celebrated, her main opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, vowed he would keep fighting. Though it’s likely that Clinton will remain the nominee, can you really blame Sanders for standing tall after coming this far? ABC News reports on Clinton’s feat, including David Muir’s exclusive interview with her.
Donald Trump has been waiting, and now has his opponent. Trump has been the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee for more than a month now. With Clinton’s Democratic nod, the 2016 election (as well as the conclusion of President Barack Obama’s two terms in the White House) seems to be creeping up on us. And as controversial as Trump been for some, the reality is setting in that he could be the nation’s next president. As November approaches, the question seems to be, “Will Trump screw up everything we know about elections?” which the FiveThirtyEight staff attempted to answer. The conversation is fascinating.
The U.S. men’s national soccer team made a statement with its win over Costa Rica in the Copa America Centenario on Tuesday. The United States crushed Costa Rica, 4-0, in a game that striker Clint Dempsey called a “must-win” following the 2-0 loss to Colombia last Friday. Dempsey had a goal and two assists, putting the United States in the position to advance to the knockout stage of the tournament. The victory may have provided some relief for U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who has received his fair share of criticism over the years, including after the loss to Colombia. ESPN’s Doug McIntyre broke down the takeaways from the win.
If you don’t believe in the power of smartphones, you should after this. The 1-year-old daughter of a woman in Australia stopped breathing, and with the simple words, “Hey Siri, can you call the ambulance,” help was soon on the way while the mother did what she could to help her baby. Siri, the iPhone’s voice-recognition personal assistant, is certainly helpful for everyday tasks such as looking up the name of a song or checking sports scores. You’d like to think Steve Jobs, the late Apple co-founder, envisioned his products having extraordinary capabilities such as this. ABC News’ Lena Masri has the story on the baby, who is still alive, thanks in part to Siri.
Coffee Break: The Women’s College World Series yielded an EPIC game between Auburn and Oklahoma on Tuesday night that featured a home run-robbing catch from Auburn to extend the contest, and then an Auburn walk-off grand slam. Never have I seen a softball game like it. Here are the two amazing plays in one tweet.
Snack Time: In case you missed it, Atlanta’s ONE Musicfest will bring back one of the best hip-hop collectives, the Dungeon Family, for the first time in 10 years at the September music festival. This gives me hope for another Outkast reunion down the road at the Super Bowl LIII, also in Atlanta in 2019.
Dessert: This re-enactment of the Manny Machado-Yordano Ventura fight from Tuesday night’s Baltimore Orioles-Kansas City Royals game made me laugh.