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

Daily Dose: 8/21/17

Dick Gregory’s legacy is more than just as a comedian

10:46 AMIt was quite a D.C. weekend for your boy, y’all. I spoke at the memorial celebration for a hero of mine, Cool “Disco” Dan, which was a thrill, an honor and really quite the all-encompassing experience. He got a proper send-off.

At around 2 p.m. Monday, I’m going to turn on my television. I’m going to watch a bunch of idiots with boxes on their heads and goofy glasses staring at the sun. In all honesty, eclipses are cool but way low on the list of natural phenomena that catch my eye, pun intended. Aurora borealis? Dope. Double rainbows? Very cool. Looking into the biggest star in our world to see if a satellite will block it? No thank you. Not trying to burn my retinas for that cheap thrill. But here’s all you need to know about the fun!

Dick Gregory died last weekend. He was not only a comedian but also a civil rights activist and a food pioneer, as far as I’m concerned. He was big on healthy eating as a lifestyle, and his business ventures on that front were how I was first introduced to him. As a kid, it was fun to learn that his history with America was wildly different from just pitching veggie smoothies. Nonetheless, he died at the age of 84. The following tweet sums up pretty much everything he was about.

If you show up on a historically black college campus wearing a Make America Great Again hat, you’re looking for trouble. Not because historically black schools are intolerant, but with all that’s been happening in America, people are understandably upset. So if two high school girls show up at Howard University claiming they were just looking for lunch and then start posting on social media about how they believed they were mistreated, I ain’t buying it. Obviously, that was going to happen, and quite frankly, now they know how a lot of black folks feel on predominantly white campuses.

Magic Johnson might have a serious issue on his hands. He recently took over as president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers, and everything seemed to fall into place. They landed Lonzo Ball without much headache, considering, and from the rumor mill, it appears that all sorts of players want to join after this season. LeBron James’ name has been on that list, but Paul George is the one who most actively seems likely. One problem: You can let him say it, but the team can’t pursue him. Magic and the Lakers are being accused of such.

Free Food

Coffee Break: No good deed goes unpunished. When San Jose, California, tried to erect some tiny houses for the city’s homeless population to have somewhere to live, the residents at the original site raised complaints, saying they basically didn’t want them. It’s unbelievable how heartless people can be.

Snack Time: I have no idea why people insist on challenging real-life NBA players to one-on-one battles. You are going to get embarrassed, period. The latest victim found himself done at the hands of Dennis Smith Jr.

Dessert: If you haven’t listened to A$AP Ferg’s Still Striving, you need to. Joint knocks.

Daily Dose: 8/18/17

Tina Fey wants to let us all eat cake

3:55 PMThe week is over for me at The Dan Le Batard Show. I’d like to thank everyone who tuned in and contributed, and if you didn’t catch it Friday, here’s the podcast.

Another one bites the dust. Steve Bannon, the man whom many people consider to be at the root of President Donald Trump’s plans for global destruction and domination, is out at the White House, which is not exactly stunning, but most certainly significant. Let’s not forget that he’s one of the founding members of Breitbart, which as far as the right wing is concerned, is a major media outlet. There are rumors that he’ll return to the company, which means he’ll have the platform to basically smear his former boss. Once again, what a mess.

Tina Fey means well. She also happened to go to the University of Virginia, so the situation that unfolded in Charlottesville last weekend is close to her, clearly. But when she went on Saturday Night Live‘s Weekend Update: Summer Edition for a bit about how to cope with the news of the week, her message came from a place of extreme privilege and tone deafness. Most of us cannot legitimately even think about ignoring neo-Nazis and eating sheetcake. This is a truly serious situation. Her message was not exactly well-received. Here’s a thread.

Now that we’re tearing down Confederate statues left and right, we’ve got some plans to make. What are we going to do with all of them? And should we be putting other things in their place? If you listened to Angela Rye last night on Desus & Mero, quoting a friend from NPR, we should put them all in a museum that speaks to their specific crimes and horrific acts so people can learn in real time how awful they were. There’s also a grass-roots movement to design new monuments, and some of them are incredible.

Kevin Durant on Twitter is the best. He was off for a while, but now that’s he’s got his ring and his Finals MVP trophy, my man is outchea breaking people off in a way that you have to love. He’s already spoken his mind regarding whether or not he wants to go to the White House as a team with his NBA champion Golden State Warriors, and he is in full clapback mode at this point. He took a shot at ESPN for that fantasy football auction bit, and now he’s turned his lens to a former ESPN employee. Slim ain’t playing.

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Coffee Break: If you’re of mixed race, specifically white and black, I could see how the situation in America right now could be more trying than ever. But those mixes come from somewhere. This story about how Trump ruined one son’s relationship with his white mother is truly fascinating.

Snack Time: Speaking of the president, The New Yorker has a new issue coming out soon, and the cover image is a definite doozy. Wow.

Dessert: Allure magazine is officially invited to the cookout.

Daily Dose: 8/17/17

Terror attack hits Barcelona

3:18 PMThe week is rolling along on The Dan Le Batard Show. On Thursday we had the homey Domonique Foxworth, as well as DeMario Jackson, whom you may know from his time on The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise. Here it is.

Tearing down monuments is not an easy task, both physically and symbolically. Folks don’t seem to understand that erecting statues to white supremacy is damaging on multiple levels, so when you go to remove something they’ve looked at for so long, it’s jarring. And in the case of Takiyah Fatima Thompson, who was charged with injury of a statue among other things, people were not happy. Now, three more people have been charged in the case. And in an incredible show of support, hundreds of residents showed up to turn themselves in for the same crime.

While the U.S. is still reeling from its own terrorist attack, across the globe, apparently there are copycat artists. In Barcelona, someone slammed a car into people in a busy tourist area on Thursday. At least 13 people are dead, in a scene that is remarkably similar to the scenario in which a woman was killed in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend. It’s a very trying time in a lot of places, but this feels really bad considering it just happened stateside too.

Apparently, there’s a solar eclipse coming up soon. I know this because people keep trying to sell me random sunglasses so that I can look at it, without blinding myself, or something like that? If I’m being honest, I don’t really see what the big deal is. I guess it’s the first time in a century that the whole country will be able to see this, so we’ll all be standing on the street staring in the sky when our enemies come attack us. In all seriousness, though, don’t get got by someone hawking phony shades.

When it comes to protest, the aggrieved aren’t the only ones who can help. Often it’s those who in fact look like the offenders, but don’t side with them in principle, who can do the most. Why? Because people trust those like themselves most. So when it comes to taking a stand at NFL games, if a white player decides to do something on the field, it will resonate differently than it does coming from others. Michael Bennett thinks that’s how real change will come along. Then again, 49ers GM John Lynch says that protests are divisive. Sigh.

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Coffee Break: You know who Martin Shkreli is. Pharma Bro, who somehow found himself getting involved in random hip-hop situations, basically because he could afford it — that guy? Well, he’s being charged with securities fraud. And the transcript of his jury selection is completely incredible. Shouts to the Wu.

Snack Time: It’s amazing how racism in tech industries can affect things. When it comes to programming common machines, if you don’t account for black folks, things like this happen.

Dessert: Easily the best first pitch of all time. Indisputable fact.

 

Daily Dose: 8/16/17

Another day, another statue downed

3:37 PMOn The Dan Le Batard Show on Wednesday, we tried to have some fun after a very sobering day in America. Pablo Torre joined the show, and we talked about fried chicken, MLS and Filipino baseball players. Take a listen.

The United States is different today. There’s no way to describe the hardened disappointment that nearly everyone in the country feels after President Donald Trump took to a podium to defend neo-Nazis and white supremacists after a speech that was supposed to be about infrastructure. You don’t need to take a political side to be appalled by that. As a result, people all over the place are bailing out of various links to the administration. There are not two sides, unless you’re legitimately going to call yourself a Nazi sympathizer.

Speaking of presidents, Barack Obama remains as popular as ever. While all this other nonsense and violence overtakes parts of our nation, 44 tweeted a picture of him talking to babies in a window. For one, the photograph is adorable on every level. Secondly, the caption is even better. It’s currently got more than 1 million retweets and 3.5 million likes. You gotta know that this drives Trump crazy, even though he should probably be concerned with more important things. Behold the most famous tweet ever.

Baltimore is about that action. Instead of waiting for a situation like the one in Durham, North Carolina, in which protesters toppled a Confederate monument on their own, Baltimore handled it discreetly. Under the cloak of night, the city removed four more. Of course, people started in with jokes about how the situation mirrored that of the Baltimore Colts, famous for leaving town overnight in 1984. Those jokes aren’t funny. Statues that salute white supremacy and football teams ain’t even close to the same thing.

I don’t normally turn to the NFL for progressive thinking. But the way the league has handled the Ezekiel Elliott situation has been rather forward-thinking, if only because of the fact that the basic concept of believing women when it comes to accusations against athletes is not something we normally see. And now that the National Football League Players Association is appealing the Dallas Cowboys running back’s suspension, the league has responded rather forcefully, issuing a statement pointing out that victim-blaming and shaming is not the move, at all. Good for them. Here’s the rebuttal.

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Coffee Break: Kicks magazine is doing the Lord’s work. The publication about sneakers recently put out an edition featuring the Top 20 basketball shoes of all time, and I have no idea how they managed to whittle this thing down. But they’ve also got 20 different covers, which is tremendous.

Snack Time: You know what happens when you antagonize people at a rally inspired by hate groups? Well, people don’t like you, because that’s not OK. And that antagonism can come back to haunt you, big time.

Dessert: This is guaranteed to make your day.

Daily Dose: 8/15/17

Durham goes hard in the paint

10:53 AMI’m back in the saddle with The Dan Le Batard Show on Tuesday, but if you missed it Monday, here you go. And for those of you in Bachelor Nation, you’re going to want to tune in Tuesday. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. EST on ESPN Radio.

Durham, North Carolina, ain’t messing around. Instead of letting their government get involved in tearing down a Confederate statue, residents did it themselves in plain view of everyone. And the memes that came out of that act are nothing short of amazing. Not only is a dude on the City Council dunking on people in his official email correspondence with constituents (see above), but folks are posing for pictures with the toppled monument, which is legitimately inspiring. But the best one, of course, involved Bubbachuck.

The Bachelor is back, this time in Paradise. Let’s not forget what happened over the offseason, if you will, which was that production of the show was shut down since a situation that unfolded between DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios was deemed inappropriate for the show. It was addressed on the program in a very strange manner, one that involved a) nearly showing the whole encounter and b) teasing it the entire show as if it were just some garden-variety controversy. Once again, it felt super slimy. Here’s a recap of the first episode.

It’s a well-known fact that strip clubs have some of the best food in Atlanta. Some would say the best chefs in the city, period, work at dancing establishments. There was a time when that would sound ridiculous, but when people tell you they’re going to the spot to eat the food, that’s the 2017 version of someone saying they subscribe to Playboy magazine to read the articles (which was a thing, for a while). Nonetheless, BET is capitalizing on this, and Yung Joc is hosting Plates and Poles, which highlights that culture.

The sports journalism business is hard. As is all of journalism. But in sports, because you have such a structured setup of teams, leagues, wins and losses, any coverage of a team has to be thorough by default for the effort to be worth anyone’s time. SB Nation built an empire on people basically doing that work for free or on a quasi-volunteer basis. Well, as it turns out, that system is pretty unfair and might actually violate labor laws. Here’s an in-depth look at how it all works.

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Coffee Break: There were a lot of rebukes sent the president’s way Monday. Stephen Colbert’s was funny, and Jimmy Fallon’s was a tad disingenuous because we all know who ruffled Trump’s hair on TV after he called all Mexicans racist. But Seth Myers’ was the best. Period.

Snack Time: We’re coming up on the end of summer, which means fall is around the corner. Which means that it’s time to get your pumpkin spice game up, whether you like it or not.

Dessert: Cardi B might drop a Spanish version of Bodak Yellow. God bless her soul.