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

Daily Dose: 6/15/16

More details trickle in about Orlando shooting tragedy

9:09 AMIt feels good to be back. Italy was fun, but we can get to that part later. It’s time to work. Check out my interview with former Los Angeles police officer Ron Shipp and director Ezra Edelman about the 30 for 30 O.J.: Made In America. Don’t forget, Part 3 is Wednesday night on ESPN at 9 p.m.

Being overseas during a mass shooting in the United States is a bizarre experience. As an American, we are often immediately identifiable before any words come out of your mouth, and once they do, people want to ask you about two things: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and guns. In the case of the Orlando mass shooting, many foreigners were completely perplexed and I had one answer — this nation values bullets more than lives. That aside, the latest update in the case is the wife of Omar Marteen, the man who shot and killed 49 people at nightclub, is now being investigated about what she might have known regarding his intentions on that horrific night in Central Florida.

Speaking of guns, South Africa is not far behind the U.S. In that nation, the regard for property protection far outweighs everything, because there was a time when it was literally the law for the minority white nation to suppress and abuse the black people who surrounded them. Their culture of violence overall puts ours to shame, to some degree. Point being, for as bad as Oscar Pistorius — an Afrikaner — might feel about shooting and killing his girlfriend, it’s entirely possible he might not feel he genuinely did anything wrong. With sentencing coming up in his case, he entered the courtroom Wednesday on his stumps, not his blades. ABC News has the details.

Reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton is a full-blown superstar in every sense. Incredible football player, media darling and truly talented guy in many respects. We’ve often seen him singing and, well, dancing, even though he recently retired the dab (thank God.) Anyway, the Panthers quarterback made an appearance on a Charlotte morning show and got his karaoke on. He got stuck with Usher’s Nice & Slow, which is an extremely difficult song to nail, particularly with a live audience listening. Power 98 not only managed to get him to sing it, but he did it pretty well, reminding us all that when it comes to the ‘oke, it’s about feeling, not your voice. ESPNW’s Tory Barron reports on the fun.

I love Nate Robinson. My man has been 10 pounds of muscle and hustle in a 5-pound bag for his entire career. Now, the former NBA player is trying to make the Seattle Seahawks as a defensive back. The thought isn’t that outlandish. He played for the University of Washington in college after initially getting there on a football scholarship. He switched his focused to hoops, and later — at 5-foot-9 — ended up as the only three-time NBA dunk contest champion, as dubious as that title may be. But, as a 32-year-old man, breaking into the NFL is not an easy task. ESPN’s Sheil Kapadia asked head coach Pete Carroll about his chances.

Free Food

Coffee Break: There’s a thing people are doing now in order to calm themselves down and relax (or sleep at night) that might remind you of when you were a child. It’s called AMSR, and it’s wildly popular. Folks are just listening to a woman whispering in a light voice and doing random things like rubbing brush bristles in a 3-D mic. Wow, fam.

Snack Time: My friends tend to give me a lot of flak because I genuinely enjoy Wiz Khalifa as an artist and always have, but my man is doing more than just making mega-hits and getting into spats with Kanye West. He’s a legit style icon.

Dessert: Johnson Publishing sold Ebony and Jet magazines. This is flat-out, terrible news. End of many eras.

Daily Dose: 6/14/16

Michael Jordan’s ‘Last Shot’ is one to remember

10:46 AMMonday was my 23rd birthday and the Golden State Warriors lost. While I’m not necessarily Warriors fan, I was hoping that they’d be able to clinch a NBA Finals win as a special present to me, because I’m not sure how much more of this series I can take. None of the five games have been decided by single digits — less than 11 points, if we’re being exact. It might just be the worst Finals series in recent memory. Let’s hope that Game 6 isn’t another blowout.

New developments surrounding the Orlando shooting make the label of this tragedy as a hate crime more perplexing. The shooter, Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub Sunday, had a history of anti-gay prejudice, frequently going on rants about gay people, according to his father. But now, it’s been revealed that Mateen also had a history of regularly attending gay nightclubs, according to ABC News. He even was a patron at Pulse, the scene of Sunday’s mass shooting. This has become not only a story of terrorism and the recurring debate over gun control, but one of a struggle of self-identity. ABC News has the details.

Donald Trump has beef with The Washington Post. What’s new about that? Well, the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee stripped the news outlet of media credentials for all future campaign events. This decision, which Trump announced on Facebook, came after the presidential candidate made comments about the Orlando shooting surrounding President Barack Obama, and the newspaper wrote about it. The Washington Post story Trump had a problem with was headlined “Donald Trump suggests President Obama was involved in Orlando shooting.” It was changed, but Trump is standing firm on his decision to revoke the newspaper’s access to his events. ABC News’ Noah Fitzgerel and Paola Chavez have the report.

How will the Orlando shooting affect the 2016 presidential election? The short answer: It’s too hard to really tell. Obviously, we’ve seen the two presumptive nominees from both major parties already comment on the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. And, in the past, the response presidential nominees deliver after such acts in the United States, or even the world, has led to increased support during campaigning. However, there are many other factors to consider when considering this question — especially when the election gives rise to candidates such as Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten breaks it down.

Curious about where Draymond Green watched Game 5 of the NBA Finals? The Golden State Warriors’ All-Star forward, who was suspended from playing in Monday night’s Game 5, was forced to spectate from outside Oracle Arena, where his team failed to clinch the NBA title as the Cleveland Cavaliers forced a Game 6. Green watched the game from a suite at the Oakland Coliseum, next to Oracle Arena, with former NFL star and Oakland, California, native Marshawn Lynch. He was close by in case the Warriors won, but they didn’t. The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears has an inside look at Green’s agonizing night.

Free food

Coffee Break: The Cavs wore their black, sleeved jerseys in Game 5 on Monday night. LeBron James scored 41 points in the sleeved jersey, which is shocking because last November he criticized sleeved jerseys and even ripped one in a game.

Snack Time: With tickets going on sale Saturday for Kanye West’s upcoming Saint Pablo Tour, I can’t help to think back to 2012’s Watch The Throne Tour, when West and Jay Z performed N—– in Paris 12 times in a row. Good times.

Dessert: On this day, 18 years ago, Michael Jordan hit “The Last Shot” to give the Chicago Bulls a win in the 1998 NBA Finals, his sixth championship.

Judge Gonzalo Curiel

receives support from Kappa Alpha Psi after Donald Trump’s negative comments

12:10 PMCertain words come with consequences, which Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has had to learn the hard way in the past year. During a campaign rally in late May, Trump attacked U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over the civil-fraud, class-action lawsuit against him.

Curiel is an American who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrants who were naturalized citizens — not, as Trump said to the crowd while criticizing the lawsuits — “happens to be Mexican.”

Curiel is a member of the fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., and in recent days, one of the consequences of the negative comments has been nationwide criticism from Curiel’s fraternity brothers. Members of Kappa Alpha Psi, a predominantly black fraternity, have taken to social media, using the hashtags #Nupes4Curiel and #NupesAgainstTrump, to express support for the judge.

Besides tweets, fraternity members have also launched a petition on Change.org, titled “Men of Kappa Stand In Solidarity with Judge Gonzalo Curiel.” The petition does not call for any member to avoid voting for Trump, but rather provides information about Curiel’s identity as a Hispanic man who also identifies with black culture — the information Trump made no attempt to consider.

While the petition, which was started by the Montclair, New Jersey, alumni chapter, is not affiliated with Kappa Alpha Psi’s national organization, the fraternity’s national president, grand polemarch Thomas L. Battles Jr., released a statement of support on the fraternity’s website.

“Kappa Alpha Psi stands firmly against the practice of judging a man solely by his race, creed, or national origin,” Battles wrote. “We believe all Americans are entitled to the freedoms afforded by the Constitution without regards to race. Our fraternity will continue to oppose all forms of racism and rebuke those who promote this evil.”

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.

Free food

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.

Follow our live coverage of the day’s events here. Be sure to check out all of the coverage we’ve produced so far this week to celebrate the life of the champ.

We will also be collecting thoughts from readers on Ali throughout the day.