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

Daily Dose: 7/7/16

Ciara and Russell Wilson tied the knot

10:31 AMWe taped a podcast on Wednesday. Staff writer Justin Tinsley told a scary story about his night on Saturday, senior style writer Jill Hudson espoused her love for ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue and I explained why there are things you just don’t wear on a basketball court. Tune in.

In two days, two black men have been killed by police. One murder was caught on camera. The other didn’t show the act, but the aftermath was captured. Both were terrifying. Both were awful. Both led to protests. Both were not unusual. Both videos will be watched. Some people will refuse to watch both. Both will infuriate people on both “sides” of the equation. Sadly, many people believe that both men who pulled those triggers will likely never see the inside of prison cell. People didn’t even have the chance to mourn Alton Sterling, before they killed Philando Castile. It is hard to bear.

On a far more uplifting note, singer Ciara and NFL quarterback Russell Wilson got married. They pulled the baller move of getting married on a weekday, which is a move I absolutely love. It’s hard not to root for this marriage. Wilson, for all the flack he gets, seems like a pretty nice dude, overall. I do sort of feel bad for his ex-wife. She was PUMPED when he got drafted. Anyway, for all the foolishness that my dude Future (Ciara’s baby father and ex-fiancé) has been pulling on social media, it’s good to see they managed to get hitched. ABC News’ Lesley Messer reports.

Every time we have an election in which two candidates are polarizing, third parties come up. In my lifetime, the only person to make any real impact as a candidate other than someone from the Democratic or Republican Party is Ross Perot. But now that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the front-runners, people are starting to believe that there might actually be another candidate to get behind. For that to be the case, it’s got to start somewhere. FiveThirtyEight’s Julia Azari explains which states might go for it. Introduce yourself to Gary Johnson, folks.

The Williams sisters are giving me life right now. These two are smoking people all over the shop at the All England Club during Wimbledon, and Serena completely dismantled some poor girl this morning. Venus is on the court as I write this, but I have no problem saying that I’m actively rooting for an all-Williams final. Serena will be in her ninth final Wimbledon, overall. I don’t want to overstate this, but black America could absolutely use a match like that as somewhat of a healing device, if you ask me.

Free Food

Coffee Break: There was a time when the only way black folks could get news about other black folks, that didn’t involve something terrible, was from black newspapers. Some are still around, but for the most part, they are a rare breed. Check out this breakdown of how their circulation has dipped over the years.

Snack Time: I love Vans. I wear them every day, everywhere. This new collaboration between the sneaker company and artist Robert Williams is mega dope, kiddos. That slip-on is extra fire, too.

Dessert: If you need an uplifting song that came out just last week, here you go.

All Day Podcast: 7/6/16

Alton Sterling, Kevin Durant to the Warriors and ESPN’s 2016 Body Issue

5:39 PM“Do I really want to watch this? Do I really want to see this cycle of destruction all over again? But I watched it anyway. I don’t know why I did, but I just wanted to watch it. It wasn’t peace watching it. I wanted that confirmation that what people were saying about that video was true.”

These are the words of Undefeated staff writer Justin Tinsley, regarding the video released Tuesday night of Alton Sterling being killed by a police officer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. On Wednesday morning, Tinsley, host Clinton Yates and senior style writer Jill Hudson gathered to discuss yet another death of a black male at the hands of a police officer.

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Hudson shared how her two young sons reacted to Sterling’s death while Yates brought up the biggest problem he has with the situation.

The crew also chopped it up about Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors and ESPN’s 2016 Body Issue. Bet you can’t guess who Hudson’s favorite naked athlete was in this year’s issue.

Give it a listen, and if you have any feedback or show ideas, feel free to email us at allday@theundefeated.com.

Daily Dose: 7/6/16

Protests erupt in Louisiana over CD man killed by police

9:12 AMLet’s get right to it. Tuesday night was another mess and we don’t have time for pleasantries right now.

You can add “selling CDs” to the list of things that might get you killed by the police in America, if you’re black. That appears to be the case in Baton Rouge, where a video circulating (trigger warning: it is graphic) shows a man named Alton Sterling in an altercation with police in a parking lot. As he’s being held down by police, three shots go off. People took to the street, and in the horrifying cycle of watch, kill, rinse, repeat that is a lot of how so-called “justice” goes in this nation, we’ve started all over again. ABC News has the story, with pictures.

Just being around places that feel “slavey” is rather difficult for me sometimes. There are certain parts of the country and the world where the history and tension is so palpable that just being present physically is not easy. Historic Charleston, South Carolina, and Île de Gorée in Senegal come to mind. Some people find this less problematic and one Michigan man went looking for a plantation his great-grandfather owned and found it. He then went and stayed there with his own family, and the residents, who are his cousins. Wow. Good Morning America explains.

When Kevin Durant finally arrives in the Bay Area, the assumption is that Golden State will never lose. In all seriousness, though, it’s a super team unlike any we will ever really see as far as how its assembly goes. But will it work? Will this look more like adding Dennis Rodman to the Chicago Bulls, or the Boston Celtics and The Big Three? Or are we looking at a Karl Malone on the Los Angeles Lakers situation, which ended up just being rather sad. For the Golden State Warriors, it seems impossible for it not to work out next year. But FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine points out that there’s a decent chance it doesn’t.

It’s summertime, so in general, you’re probably seeing the most human flesh you will all year. Beach trips, day parties, sporting events, whatever, it’s time to take it off. For this year’s edition of the ESPN Body Issue we’ve got quite a few characters who were more than willing. I need you to know that NFL players Vince Wilfork (yes, big boy) and Von Miller of celebratory thrust sack dance Super Bowl MVP fame are both in this edition, as well. Oh, and Olympian Greg Louganis, too. What a time to be alive.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Frank Ocean might not necessarily have any music dropping soon, but it doesn’t mean he’s not doing work. Check out rapper Young Thug and him in a new series of Calvin Klein ads, that are sure to have old-school heads yelling about what real hip-hop is, yatta yatta.

Snack Time: Looking for a quick salad to whip up that isn’t going to suck all your energy on a hot day? Here’s a pretty solid one that’ll take you no time at all to make.

Dessert: If you like rapper Oddisee, you’ll wanna check out this interview with him.

I wanna be like Mike

Sometimes I dream that he is me

3:58 PM

“It’s late in the day and I ain’t been on the court yet,” Will Smith, aka The Fresh Prince, rapped on the opening of the third verse of “Summertime,” his 1991 hit with DJ Jazzy Jeff. “Hustle to the mall to get me a short set. Yeah, I got on sneaks but I need a new pair. ‘Cause basketball courts in the summer got girls there.”

One guy this week in Spokane, Washington, took that whole concept to its most illogical extreme, donning a full Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls outfit in a pickup game in which he was actually on the skins side, not shirts. There are so many questions to be had in this, but his commitment to the bit is not one of them. He’s got the sweatband, and the knee brace deal, never mind the shoes (Air Jordan XI’s) themselves and the jersey also appears to have an NBA Finals patch on it. Wow.

My man is apparently a regular at this, too.

https://twitter.com/J_Hardiman23/status/750398015190425601

The obvious wackness of rocking a full uniform for a pickup game need not be stated. Wearing basketball jerseys in general to ball, if you are not on said team and out of say, college age, is enough to get a side eye from me, as is. If a dude showed up to any court I’ve played on in the last 10 years in that getup, he’d be mercilessly clowned off the court. The ONLY way this works is if you choose someone way off the path of genuine NBA celebrity, like, say former NBA player Derrick McKey. But Jordan? You might as well put a Superman outfit on and try to fly.

So, how’d this go viral? A man by the name of Justin Hardiman. He was smart enough to whip out a phone and catch this faux Jordan playing some pretty serious defense on the baseline. He was visiting his dad in Spokane and decided to hit a local court for some run on the holiday weekend.

“I hear out of the corner of my ear that there’s this guy, that when he takes off his warmups, he’ll have his entire Jordan kit on. I didn’t really think anything of it,” Hardiman, 20, told The Undefeated on Tuesday. “As soon as I posted the video, my phone died. And then when I turned my phone back on, it already had like 8,000 retweets. It was a really weird experience. I just see this guy, I have no connection with this guy.”

As for his new internet fame, Hardiman is not quite sure yet. “I’m still trying to figure that out,” said Hardiman, who attends Xavier University. “I never thought that anything [of mine] would go viral like this.”

Things just got real

between Future, Ciara and Russell Wilson. Or maybe not

12:18 PMThe tumultuous ups and downs of rapper Future and singer Ciara’s relationship have been circling around gossip sites for some time, but the latest update is cause for concern. According to TMZ, Ciara filed legal documents as part of her defamation suit against Future, saying that she thought the father of her child might kill her fiancé, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Yikes.

For what it’s worth, Future, née Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn, hasn’t made things easier in the fallout of the custody battle for his fourth child, who is actually named Future. Whether it’s a bunch of passive-aggressive tweets, Instagram notes directed toward Ciara and Wilson or random radio interviews discussing the Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Future has employed the exact opposite of the “keep my name out your mouth” strategy.

Making this whole matter even more unfortunate is that apparently her concerns are over emoji threats. For real. Yes, they are admissible in court, if you’re wondering. His decision to once post “🏈🏈🔫🔫🔫” has Ciara worried. Nobody wants to see the intimate details of their bad breakup spread all over the internet. But at this point, it’s starting to feel like with football season around the corner, this story is only going to continue to hang around, particularly if the NFL starts to take it seriously, too.

https://twitter.com/IntenseDesire/status/750330510530924544

Sadly, it’s not really funny at all.

Daily Dose: 7/5/16

President Barack Obama is still just a dad

10:00 AMHope everyone had a good holiday weekend. While you were busy worrying about what Kevin Durant was planning to do with this life, NASA was busy putting a spacecraft into Jupiter’s orbit. That’s pretty wild.

It’s an important day for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. That’s because it’s the day that President Barack Obama will make an appearance with her on the trail. His endorsement was pretty obvious considering the way that the race is shaping up at this point, but for two people who once fought so hard against each other, for Democrats this is a big moment, optics-wise. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would love nothing more than for a president to show up somewhere with him. ABC News’ Meghan Keneally has the story on what they’ll be doing.

Speaking of the president, we are going to miss the first family so much in the White House. It’s not just the four of them, it’s the guests at the state dinners and the invitees to the parties, among other things. So, for Obama’s oldest daughter Malia’s 18th birthday, you can bet the list was relatively star-studded. And in typical dad fashion, even with rapper Kendrick Lamar and singer Janelle Monáe in the building — two Grammy-nominated artists — Obama decided to sing Happy Birthday himself. It’s not like we haven’t heard him break out in song before. ABC’s Brian McBride reports.

To say that I’m skeptical of self-driving cars would be a supreme understatement. If I had my druthers, I’d be happy going the rest of my life without ever sitting in a vehicle operated by a robot. But, they’re everywhere. Tesla has one, and recently a guy died while driving it. How did that happen? Well, the computer screwed up and a tractor-trailer slammed into the car. But can you blame the car? FiveThirtyEight’s Maggie Koerth-Baker explains how we can ever really expect any technology to be perfect or safe.

The Golden State Warriors turning into the most hated franchise in the NBA was unexpected. But there were quite a few moves around the league that turned heads. Mainly because the new TV money has ballooned the salary cap, readjusting what we once thought were big contracts. There’s also the small question of what happens with free agent Dwyane Wade. The Miami Heat are in a tough spot because he had a solid year last season with the team, but he’s also getting up there in age. So, paying him what he deserves is going to cost them a lot. ESPN’s Michael Wallace reports that $40 million might not be enough.

Free Food

Coffee Break: With Independence Day just behind us, let’s have a little history lesson. It’s easy to presume that the men we call the Founding Fathers were old, wise gents, relying on years of life experience to form this nation. Alas, that’s not really true. They were all pretty young, as these things tend to go when it comes to revolutions.

Snack Time: If you haven’t seen this week’s cover of The New Yorker magazine, you should check it out. They’ve been on a great run, recently.

Dessert: There’s a way to play basketball on a public court. This is not the way to do it.

Summer, summer, summertime

so just sit back and unwind

7:00 AM

The 2016 Roskilde Festival is underway in Denmark, and Greek artist Insane51 is here for it. The culture and music event has been around since 1951 and its purpose is to “support initiatives benefitting children and young people and to support humanitarian and cultural work,” according to festival’s website.

This piece, however, is perfect. Stateside, it’s officially summer and this Super Soaker redux looks extremely vivid. In case you forgot, that water gun was invented by an African-American engineer named Lonnie Johnson back in 1982. He’s from Alabama, went to Tuskegee University and holds over 80 patents.

Whether the artist or anyone at the festival is aware of that or not, who knows. But now, you know.

Independence Day goodies

Big Dick’s Hardware style

7:00 AM

We’re not necessarily here to highlight people’s promotions, but when it comes to the Fourth of July, some retailers really let it all hang out. This particular setup was just so clean and so cool that it needed to be shared. Three MTN spray paint cans in a six pack of beer type container? Genius.

More importantly, though, is that Big Dick’s Hardware, the all-purpose streetwear and art supply store, was started by the iconic Los Angeles graffiti writer, Slick, whose work you probably first saw in the form of the cover of hip-hop group The Pharcyde’s 1992 classic album, Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, from record label Delicious Vinyl.

Last year, Slick opened the location as kind of an art/retail/workshop hybrid in Gardena, California, where he’d moved his studio two years prior. “I never thought that I’d be doing a retail spot here. It wasn’t so planned as it just happened organically out of necessity,” Slick told The Hundreds when BDH opened. “I needed paint for my projects and there was nothing for miles.”

So, he started his own. That’s the American way.

Adidas’ ‘Away Days’

feature-length skate film is dominating the summer

7:00 AMAway Days, the first-ever, feature-length skate film from Adidas that was released in May, is excellent on many levels, particularly for a debut. The footage comes from three years worth of skating and rounds out at just over an hourlong. It is more than worth the $5 or so it’ll cost you to get it.

Things really turn up when DGK skater Rodrigo TX gets his feature, with him nailing incredible tricks in the tightest of spaces while wearing a variety of soccer jerseys. The story follows your basic “have board, will travel” model, with a ton of great cityscape scenes shot in between. The soundtrack moves from anywhere between airy cloud pop to trap hip-hop. The best part of the movie is watching a young Nakel Smith (pictured) imitating the late soul artist James Brown in a home video, before the film cuts to Smith and a few others shredding to Brown’s song, I Feel Good. Skater Benny Fairfax is a monster, too.

Anyway, the film is dope. On Tuesday, The Skateboard Mag caught up with skater Miles Silvas to talk about his five favorite tricks from the movie. It’s always interesting to see which tricks impress other skaters the most.

Here’s a more in-depth interview TransWorld SKATEboarding magazine did with Adidas. You can rent/buy the whole film here.

Chaz Ortiz

has some new action, and sports specific, earphones for you

7:00 AMhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYk4sznW3UA

If you don’t remember skater Chaz Ortiz, let me remind you. As a kid, he burst onto the scene — a Chicago native who catapulted to relative fame after going pro, then became a street-league star and found himself cleaning up parks with model Kate Upton and skating with rapper Lil Wayne.

Now, he’s the latest face for the speaker company JBL, which has a new line of earphones out called the “Grip 100,” specifically designed for action sports. The Zoo York rider is repping his team in Barcelona, before heading out. It’s a short, albeit fun, video, but these appear to be some pretty sturdy earbuds.

No word on whether he’s rocking Lil Wayne while laying down those tricks.