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

Daily Dose: 9/14/17

Is President Trump becoming a team player?

2:35 PMAll right, kiddos, if you missed it, I made my second appearance on Around The Horn on Wednesday. I’ll be on again Thursday, so that’s fun too. Tune in, 5 p.m. on ESPN.

Wednesday night was a doozy at Fenway Park. Some people unfurled a sign reading “Racism is as American as baseball,” not a particularly controversial topic. But because it was on the field of play, it had to be removed immediately. Well, let’s just say this was a little awkward overall, considering where this went down. You might recall that a fan yelled racial slurs at Adam Jones there, and, yanno, it’s Boston. We’re not quite clear on who is responsible, but who cares. The message is accurate.

When you’re a black boy, certain things are expected of you. You’re expected to be smart, but not so smart that you make people feel dumb. You’re expected to be tough, but not so tough that if someone insults you, you clap back. You’re expected to be strong, but not so strong that if challenged you actually hurt someone. It’s a vicious form of programming that in turn creates an emotional scale that makes it nearly impossible to emote effectively when something goes wrong. It’s not easy for a grown man to learn to cry.

Nobody knows what President Donald Trump is doing. After a pretty tenuous relationship with the Democrats, suddenly he’s decided to work with them. Now that he’s in such a quandary with the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program, he has to do something. The problem is that he played this backward politically. By first saying that he would rescind it before using it as a piece of negotiation, he’s compromised his own position. In short, it looks like he’s caving because he finally figured out that, hey, “this is how politics works.”

If you’ve ever seen Last Chance U, you know how serious it is. Basically, it’s about football players who’ve had trouble staying around programs for one reason or another in their careers, but sometimes it doesn’t work out. Now, two of the brothers featured in the show are being charged in connection with a stabbing in Tennessee. The two didn’t have the easiest upbringing, but seeing it come to this is heartbreaking. They weren’t the only ones charged in the situation.

Free Food

Coffee Break: If you’re a real Beastie Boys fan, you know that Adam “MCA” Yauch insisted that the band’s music never be used to sell products. So when he died, it was one of the legacies that he left behind. But, also, Mike D and Ad Rock have made exceptions since his death and have recently made another. That’s their choice, I guess.

Snack Time: Good news, NFL fans: Games are actually getting shorter! Oh, you had no idea that was even part of the plan, and you didn’t even notice? That’s probably a good thing too.

Dessert: Here’s a video of Yung Joc in a dress. That is all.

 

Daily Dose: 9/12/17

Apple unveils its newest iPhone and watch

4:43 PMHey, gang, sorry for the late arrival Tuesday. Been dealing with a ton of stuff familywise, and you know how that goes. In other news, I’ll be appearing on Around The Horn both Wednesday and Thursday, so check it out!

Tuesday was Apple’s big day. Whenever the company rolls out new products, it’s global news, and this one was no different. Now there are three new iPhones, so if you want to be that person who stands in line for hours just to pay the nerd tax and have something first, then November will be your month. Personally, I’ll wait until prices come down to re-up, but that’s just me. The company also unveiled a new Apple Watch, for those of you looking to get your Penny from Inspector Gadget on. Here’s the rundown.

Remember Daniel Dae Kim? The guy who decided to walk from CBS’s Hawaii Five-O after they decided he wasn’t going to get paid as much as his white counterparts? Well, for one, that move was awesome. There’s absolutely no reason for that to happen, and calling their bluff was a boss move. Relatedly, remember the guy who walked away from the Hellboy reboot when he found out that his role was originally cast for an Asian-American character? That guy is awesome too. Well, his replacement is now Kim, which is just perfect.

When it comes to black folks on film, things aren’t easy. What you might not know is that the way the actual film is engineered, it’s not designed to highlight darker skin. So when it comes to how we look in major motion pictures, there is quite a bit of adjustment that has to happen to make things right. For HBO’s Insecure, the person tasked with that job is Ava Berkofsky, and this feature about how she pulls all that off is a fantastic look into one of the lesser known tasks in show-making.

The BIG3 is superfun. It’s not my particular brand of 3-on-3, but the fact that the league not only got off the ground but also managed some level of success is ultimately a good thing. Personally, I still think it could use some tweaks — the games are too long, and the 4-point shot is a bit ridiculous. But it’s definitely decent basketball, if you like watching old stars do their thing. Now, something novel has happened. One of the players is getting a tryout with an actual NBA franchise, which is borderline amazing.

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Coffee Break: If you’re a Star Wars fan like me, you know the people who direct the flicks are obviously superimportant. Holding onto the story’s canon while also spinning it forward is a very tricky maneuver for a franchise that’s so beloved by many. Well, now, J.J. Abrams is back on board.

Snack Time: The folks at Facebook aren’t playing when it comes to this reality show life. First, they launched Ball In The Family, which is tremendous. Now, they’ve signed up Marshawn Lynch. Fantastic idea.

Dessert: Here’s the best video you’ll see all day. Enjoy.

Daily Dose: 9/11/17

Things are getting awkward in the Golden State locker room

4:04 PMIt looks like the gang at The Dan Le Batard Show is going to be out all week, as no one is being let back into Miami at this point because of Hurricane Irma. We made it through the show Monday, even though the start was interesting.

We’re starting to get a better idea of the damage Hurricane Irma has done. The rain is still coming down, but the recovery efforts have begun, and that work will take years to complete. Six people have been found dead so far in Florida, but getting power back to many communities is not an overnight process. One estimate says the damage from the event could cost as much as $290B. That is an eye-popping number. But we’re not out of the woods yet, and the storm is still sucking water out of the actual ocean, which is nuts.

Monday is Sept. 11. Which means that we remember what happened to this nation on that fateful Tuesday morning that forever changed us. Of course, for those who had friends, family and other acquaintances who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks, the day is never easy. It is now the 16th anniversary, if that’s even the right word, of the attacks. Here’s how they commemorated the moment at various memorials across the country.

When it comes to sex, my philosophy is: to each their own. Until it ventures into the world of illegal or harmful, I personally employ a “do whatever you want” policy. So for me, trying to buy a robot that you can have sex with is not exactly my idea of fun, but for quite a few people, there is quite the market for this. Which, I guess, in some ways, is a good thing if it keeps people happy. But the headline “Hackers could program sex robots to kill” is just too awesome not to highlight.

Kevin Durant might have caused an issue in his locker room. Not intentionally, but while making a point about sneakers, he basically dissed his own teammate. The gist of it is that Durant thinks kids don’t want to play in Under Armour versus Nike, which affects recruiting at colleges, among other things. One problem — his teammate Stephen Curry is signed to Under Armour. K.D. said that on a podcast for The Ringer, and the team had to have a talk about the matter as a result, which is very awkward.

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Coffee Break: Have you ever thought, I’d love to see a movie about a black man who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan? Interesting, right? And if you thought about two people who might be good at making that movie, who would come to mind? Spike Lee? Maybe Jordan Peele? Well, how about both of them? This should be good.

Snack Time: There are still people in this country who think segregated schools are the life and are actively trying to live it. This story about an Alabama town is incredible.

Dessert: It’s been 10 years since Kanye West’s Graduation dropped. Here’s a ranking of his work.

Daily Dose: 9/8/17

Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin receives racist mail at home

2:17 PMAnother week in the books, kiddos. Aaron Dodson joined me Friday on The Dan Le Batard Show, which was fun. Their gang has been dealing with Hurricane Irma stuff, so we wish them well.

Speaking of, it’s definitely crunch time for people in South Florida. We’re in that stage where if you’re hanging around, it’s because you’re either too stubborn to leave or incapable of doing so, or you’re there for work. The governor is urging people to be safe and smart and just get out of town and head north. The Federal Emergency Management Agency chief says straight-up that the storm will devastate the United States, which is just scary to hear on multiple levels. Of course, President Donald Trump has an extra eye on this because, you know, he’s got quite a bit of property down there.

Here’s the thing about kicking people out of the country. For many, they’ve been here long enough that “going back to your homeland” isn’t exactly the easiest option. In many cases, it can be downright dangerous, for a whole host of reasons. And the same goes in reverse. Just because you make it to the United States, that doesn’t mean that people are going to treat you with the respect you deserve. If you’re part of the LGBTQ community, that makes things even tougher. Read this story about the challenges of resettlement.

A new adaptation of Stephen King’s It is in the theaters. Why? I have no idea. The television miniseries looked terrifying when it first came out, so I didn’t watch that. I’ve certainly never read the book, and I don’t plan on seeing this version either. But there’s a larger question at hand here, which is why are clowns still a thing. Are they REALLY that entertaining? It’s certainly a craft that is far more multifaceted than people realize, and irrespective of individual clowns, it’s stunning that this form of entertainment is still around. Read this hilarious piece about it.

Texas A&M lost a bad football game last week. Up a ton on UCLA, the Aggies managed to botch it in the final seconds and gave away a game they should have probably won. Afterward, a guy on the A&M Board of Regents logged on to Facebook and ripped head coach Kevin Sumlin in a post that felt like it was more suited for a message board. That was one thing. Now, Sumlin’s wife is saying that people are sending racist letters to their home, which is obviously way too far to go. It’s just football, people.

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Coffee Break: Fat-shaming is not what’s up. But it’s one of those things that’s so ingrained in our society that for even the smallest of children, it happens. So when one mom was faced with a child who called her fat, she took matters into her own hands with an incredible teaching moment.

Snack Time: We’ve all heard some very harrowing stories about deathbed wishes in our time, but this story from Jae Crowder about his mother’s passing is heartbreaking.

Dessert: Let’s try to end things on a good note. Here’s Pharrell and Rick Ross vibin’ out.