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Daily Dose: 7/13/17

Venus Williams will be playing in the Wimbledon final

1:08 PMI was on the radio again Wednesday, filling in for Bomani Jones. This time I did it live from U.S. Bank Stadium, where the X Games begin Thursday in Minneapolis. You can listen here: Hour 1, Hour 2, Hour 3. It was a fun one.

drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrop!

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Venus Williams doesn’t care if you’re English. Wimbledon is her home court. Jo Konta stepped to the grass with the support of a nation behind her (she’s naturalized, but whatever) and gave Williams her best shot. It wasn’t enough, although it was quite the match. Konta’s power game forced Williams to switch things up a little bit, but now the five-time champ will face Garbine Muguruza in the final. I wish Serena Williams were there, if only just to watch. But that kind of stress would not be good for the baby.

More than 15 years ago, I nearly died in a car crash. I was alone, but for weeks, months and even years afterward, I always wondered why I was spared, if you want to look at things from a more cosmic level. It doesn’t bother me anymore, but then again, it was just me. I can’t imagine what that would feel like if, as one man believed, other people had died in the crash. But for the people who survived the apartment fire that killed more than 80 people in London, the guilt exists in a very different fashion.

Hasbro, get your act together. Over a year ago, when Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out, the company somehow managed to create a board game that did not feature Rey, the protagonist of the film. How does this happen? Let me tell you. Certain dudes think that dudes only like things with dudes. So, if there isn’t an active reason to include a girl or woman, they have problems understanding why they should anyway. Even if she’s in the lead role. Now, even after promising to change up, they’re reneging, saying there isn’t enough interest. Wow.

For all you doubting Lonzo Ball, that can be put to rest. Homeboy put up major numbers last night in summer league, showing the league what he’s capable of if he gets hot. But more importantly, he did not wear the Big Baller Brand shoes. What? How could that be? The answer was pretty simple: He can do what he wants. Which, if you think about it, makes a whole lot more sense than anything else. If your shoe is your own, you don’t HAVE to wear it every night, because no one is forcing you to. Sounds weird, you know why? You’ve been programmed.

Free Food

Coffee Break: It breaks my heart to hear that SoundCloud is basically on its last legs. It was such a clean platform and available to such a wide variety of artists that it was the perfect site for curious but not necessarily supercommitted music fans. But it had devotees too. Now, it looks like it’s all going away, and it won’t be pretty.

Snack Time: My boss wants you to know that he met Rachel Lindsay, the Bachelorette, at The ESPYS LOL. Credit: Kevin Merida. And, according to my radio co-host Mina Kimes, she’s very pretty.

Rachel Lindsay, star of ABC’s The Bachelorette, at the 2017 ESPY Awards show.

Kevin Merida/The Undefeated

Dessert: P.K. Subban, ladies and germs. Still one of the coolest dudes in sports.

Daily Dose: 7/12/17

The MLB All-Star Game was a major success

10:43 AMIn case you missed it, I filled in for Bomani Jones from Minneapolis on Tuesday. Of course, it was MLB All-Star Game day, so we talked quite a bit about the Midsummer Classic. Here’s the show: Hour 1, Hour 2, Hour 3.

Donald Trump Jr. thinks he’s slick. Once it became clear that he sat down with someone who claimed to be with the Kremlin, he decided to get out in front of things and drop the emails of correspondence himself. Meanwhile, the Russians are getting tired of constantly seeing themselves on American television. Junior went on Fox News last night to try to explain himself, and that didn’t exactly go very well. His basic defense was “I’m not very good at collusion, so my bad.” His father, the president, was pleased.

Everyone loses when the family feuds. Those were the words of Jay-Z on his most recent album, but it sometimes applies to black media. Take for example the recent case of Dr. Umar Johnson, who made an appearance on Roland Martin’s TV One show. I guess Martin felt like he needed to bring Johnson β€” who, by the way, I find extremely harmful and ridiculous β€” to task, but in the process he embarrassed everyone involved. Here’s a fact-check of all the wild claims that were made during this televised shouting match.

When I think of Halloween, I think of … Michael Jackson? Not quite, but I guess if you want to throw Thriller into that mix, then you’ve got pretty much everything you need. I feel like every Oct. 31, MTV or some other channel runs that video on a loop for the night, which makes complete sense. But outside of that? The King of Pop is not particularly ghoulish. However, CBS has created an animated special that will feature his music and a storyline involving his dance moves. This will probably be pretty popular either way.

The MLB All-Star Game was fantastic. The Home Run Derby was a huge hit. There were all sorts of new players in the game, and because it didn’t “count” for anything for the first time since 2003, players got to have fun. Fox also did a great job with the broadcast, allowing Alex Rodriguez to roam the infield between innings to talk to players, and at one point players were mic’d up talking to the broadcast booth while on the field. But the best moment came when Nelson Cruz straight up took a picture with umpire Joe West before an at-bat. So much fun.

Free Food

Coffee Break: You never want to hear the words “iceberg breaks off in Antarctica.” You also never want to hear that in the same sentence as “size of Delaware.” Adding on “maps need to be redrawn” to that means that something has likely gone very wrong. Something has definitely gone wrong.

Snack Time: Don’t ask me how this is possible, but somehow, the people trying to make a live-action version of Aladdin are having trouble finding actors to play the lead roles. Every. Single. Side eye. In. The. World.

Dessert: Sevyn Streeter knows how to party, folks. Take notes for your summer ragers.

Daily Dose: 7/11/17

Baseball is set to celebrate itself

12:20 PMAll right, kiddos, I’m headed off to Minneapolis Tuesday for the X Games, which should be fun. I’ve never been there, and I hear it’s nice during the summer. Should be a fun time.

Welp, we’re about to find out just how much the Trumps like each other. There are some families who will go to jail for the squad. And there are some who will throw each other under the bus, even at the highest level. Now that it’s been revealed that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer, with full knowledge that there was an attempt to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, somebody’s going to have to say something. And if President Donald Trump is willing to throw his own son under the bus, he’ll do it to anyone.

For whatever reason, a police officer is suing Black Lives Matter. And by “whatever reason” I mean twisted, racist logic that allows people to assume that black people are to blame for every single thing in the world. After some guy ambushed a bunch of police officers in Louisiana, they’re blaming DeRay Mckesson for inciting violence against police. If this suit is successful, what that basically means is that if you speak out against police brutality, you will have to pay for it. Which is foul. Here’s a breakdown of this ridiculous situation.

There’s old and crotchety, then there’s just plain mean. When you’re a kid and some old guy yells, “Get off my lawn,” it sounds like everything else you hear from an adult: Stop. But what you also hear is that you should get out and do something with your life instead of sitting inside letting your brain rot while staring at the internet. So when a kid decided to mow his 68-year-old neighbor’s lawn, he thought he was doing him a favor. But, since no good deed goes unpunished, that neighbor called the cops on him.

The MLB All-Star Game is Tuesday night in Miami, and if Monday night’s Home Run Derby was any indication, this should be a pretty incredible game. In general, the Midsummer Classic is hit or miss, which prompted the league to tie it to the World Series for so many years. But if you like baseball, it is fun, if for no other reason than the pageantry. I couldn’t tell you who won one in any given year, but I do watch every year. Some guys, though, make the team entirely too much. Check out this look at who are the all-time leaders in undeserved honors.

Free Food

Coffee Break: As someone who watches a lot of television, I have a lot of experience with remotes. A bad remote setup in a house can make the viewing experience a real drag, and with so many different devices out these days, it’s getting more difficult. For nostalgia’s sake, the history of the universal remote is a fun one.

Snack Time: If you’ve been thinking about getting solar panels for your home, you might want to hurry up and get on that. Because, yes, power companies are doing everything they can to put this practice out to pasture.

Dessert: It’s Amazon Prime Day. Try not to drain your wallets too much.

The only reason Eric’s still around is because he’s black

Classic case of dating game affirmative action

10:52 AMProps are due for the people working behind the scenes on The Bachelorette. They can craft a teaser like nobody’s business and have millions of people running full-speed to their TVs at 7:59 p.m., tripping over LEGO bricks and last week’s laundry to get a sneak peek at the drama about to unfold. Thing is, the teasers rarely deliver, and Monday night was no exception to the glaring disconnect between the teasers’ A-plus editing and the downright confusing editing of the show itself.

Case in point:

OK, maybe that’s what the show was going for when it duped us into thinking Peter, aka gap-tooth bae, had Rachel crying her eyes out. Who would have guessed that he was just telling a weirdly vague story about the time he broke a girl’s heart? But here’s what I’m really getting at:

The running joke all season has been the success of Matt and Adam, the shadows of the competition. For real, who are these guys? Every week Rachel has given each of these two men a rose, and every week we’re left wondering what she could possibly see in these men with whom she’s spent a total of two on-screen minutes. But then this oh-so predictable episode aired, and both men were sent home. Good riddance, right? Except, not so fast.

Our girl Rach, knowing what was to come, seemed visibly upset as both Adam and Matt brought up sweet memories of them together that we have never seen. Like, legitimately cute moments. Matt actually seemed like a cool guy, and Bachelor nation wept as he got into the limo (with the champagne flute, what a legend), but we didn’t know why we were weeping! We don’t know this man! If the editors on this show are going to include crazy heartfelt moments like that, they need to give us the backstory, full stop. Do better, ABC.

At the end of this (again, insanely predictable) episode, Bryan, Peter, Dean and Eric are the last men standing. The first three make sense. Eric, though? Rachel is as annoyed by him as she was with Josiah (remember him?), but he stays. After Bryan, Peter and Dean got their one-on-one roses, I’m sure Rachel could have just ended right there, but she had to give one more out to one of three equally unappealing prospects. Heck, why not pick the black guy? Keeps the dream alive for everyone hoping a brotha wins.

Highly doubt that will happen though. Can’t wait for these hometown dates.

Daily Dose: 7/10/17

Blac Chyna speaks out about Rob Kardashian

12:24 PMMonday is July 10, 2017. Aka 7/10/2017. That’s a palindrome. Palindromes are really cool to me. That is all.

If you haven’t been paying attention, President Donald Trump and his people know Russia well. How well, we don’t exactly know, but a lot of people around the administration have been spending a whole lot of time trying to explain it. Turns out, Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer very soon after his father clinched the Republican presidential nomination, which is dicey. Meanwhile, Trump is sharing vacation slideshow videos of his vacation, aka the G-20 summit, which is not a leisurely getaway by any stretch.

Rob Kardashian has violated Blac Chyna. There’s no way to deny that, but how the rest of this plays out will be very messy. The Kardashians are known for subsuming people into their circle and then spitting them out, be it in good taste or not. But this is different. Rob is sort of known as the problem child, the son who simply couldn’t cope with the life the same way his sisters do. And he decided to go the revenge porn route to apparently shame her for what happened in their relationship, which is not cool. Now, she’s speaking out.

The phrase “if money was no object” is always fascinating to me. Mainly because I’ve never once in my life been in a situation in which that was the case, so to hear it thrown around so casually is funny. And with an economy that scares people, with soaring costs for things like college, health care and housing, there’s a reasonable question to ask if you’re a young adult: When should I get it together? The weird thing about growing up is realizing how many people really never do. The staff at Vice decided to ask the people they knew who did it best: parents.

We don’t get to see the Obamas very often in public these days. Ever since they left the White House, it’s been scarce. And good for them, for that matter. With all that’s going on in Washington these days, if I were just getting out of that mess, I wouldn’t be making any appearances, either. But if you tune in to The ESPYS on Wednesday night, you’ll get to see Michelle Obama on your screen. She’ll be honoring Eunice Shriver Kennedy, which means that we’re in for an absolutely classy speech.

Free Food

Coffee Break: There are such things as bad ideas. You know what’s almost always one of those? The concept of randomly blowing things up to “see what happens.” And you know what’s especially bad? Doing that with actual things in space. So “what would happen if we blew up the moon?” is not exactly a reassuring question.

Snack Time: I have a long-standing theory about umbrellas. Basically, they’re useless. They’re not worth keeping, and they don’t keep you that dry. So this story about an “umbrella-sharing service” should make you laugh.

Dessert: This video will put you in a good mood. No doubt about it.