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

Michael Bennett speaks to ‘The Breakfast Club’

Seahawks defensive lineman covers a wide range of topics on sports and politics

5:27 PM

You know Michael Bennett. He’s the Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman who wears dashikis on TV, has pulled out of NFL events because of his personal beliefs and generally speaks up about what he feels is right and wrong in America. He’s a smart dude and also knows when not to take himself too seriously. Overall, a good dude.

You also know The Breakfast Club, the radio show based in New York City featuring Charlamagne Tha God, who recently penned a book called Black Privilege. Well-known for stirring up controversy, the sit-down with Bennett was guaranteed to be solid. It was.

It was a wide-ranging conversation in which Bennett touched on all sorts of topics, from Colin Kaepernick to 21 Savage.

“Of course I think Kaepernick’s being blackballed,” Bennett said when asked about the former 49ers quarterback. “Obviously, all the stuff to do with the issues, nobody likes race and politics in sports. I think that’s one of the things that nobody really wants to talk about. For him to bring [it] up, I think it struck a lot of people in the wrong way. I mean, the people that really watch football, it’s middle America. … And for him to bring that into that crowd was one thing that people felt like shouldn’t have been there.”

Overall, he’s just a guy doing all this because it feels right and he wants to set a good example for the people who matter most to him: his family.

“I don’t want my daughters to look back and be like, ‘Where were you when they were talking about Black Lives Matter?’ ” Bennett said. ” ‘Where were you when they were talking about women’s equality?’ I want my daughter to be like, ‘Daddy, thank you for being a man that stood up at the time when it was time to stand up.’

“You can’t really care about the Nikes, the brands that are behind you. Because those brands, they’re going to outlive you. That’s just how it is. Your legacy in your community is what’s going to live on, and that’s important for you to always think about.”

Oh, and he’s writing a book called Things That Make White People Uncomfortable. Welp.

Daily Dose

Daily Dose: 6/12/17

DeMario’s disastrous year on camera continues

12:53 PMThe Morning Roast was exciting this week, with Mina Kimes back on the East Coast for some family stuff. But I’ll also be filling in for Bomani Jones on The Right Time on Thursday and Friday, so if you’re into solo Yates, set your alarms.

Another week in Washington that we can expect to get hectic. Ivanka Trump was on Fox and Friends this morning, saying that she didn’t expect D.C. to be so vicious in terms of how people acted. Yeah, this is the big leagues. Speaking of, as it turns out, one of President Donald Trump’s insiders is trying to get involved with the FBI building contract, which is clearly a conflict on so many levels. Also, Maryland and D.C.’s attorneys general are suing Trump. Meanwhile, the notion of firing special counsel Robert Mueller is seriously under consideration.

So, things are getting very dicey in Bachelor Nation. One of the spinoff shows, Bachelor in Paradise, has had production halted amid allegations of sexual misconduct. First off, this is really disheartening. After all, it was the most fun show in the franchise, and to think that it’s spiraled out of control to the point of making people unsafe is really sad. Secondly, the story is no joke. I won’t wildly spread rumors, but what I’ve heard makes it seem like that show, and possibly the franchise, might end up being done forever. Details are extremely bad for DeMario.

While last weekend was Pride, there were also graduations to be had. (It is also the one-year anniversary of the Pulse shootings in Orlando, Florida. Condolences.) And for one student in Washington, D.C., since the two things fell in the same window, he gave the crowd a little extra on that commencement stage, and it was absolutely glorious. Every time I see one of these, it makes me wish I had done something ridiculous when I walked at 18 just to be able to say I did. I would hire this kid instantly.

The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup Sunday night on the Nashville Predators’ home ice. It was a decent skate, but it was marred by a really bad call that took a goal off the boards for the Preds, which would have opened the scoring and given them the lead. Instead, it was called back because of a random whistle, which is such an awful rule. On top of that, it can actually be reviewed and corrected, and the league chose not to do that. I can’t even imagine how angry I’d be if I were a Preds fan. They got jobbed. It was a good run, though, for sure.

Free Food

Coffee Break: When I was a kid, you either held planes in your hand and acted like you were flying them or you let someone else do the flying of whatever super mechanical toy you had and let them handle the hard part. But one guy (an engineer) put together a model Lego Space Shuttle and made it fly, which is tremendous.

Snack Time: In its rush to sign more talent, Amazon decided that it was going to sign a bunch of Indian comics. Alas, none were women. Not one among the 14. So Netflix went out and got Aditi Mittal. Well played, and smart.

Dessert: On this day in 1990, Mariah Carey dropped her eponymous first album. The rest is history.

‘Black Panther’ teaser trailer is serving looks

Marvel blessed us during the NBA Finals, and it’s visually stunning

10:42 AM

We were sitting around a table, casually discussing whatever we had to catch up as a group of friends. We weren’t all facing the television, so one person said, “Shut up, the Black Panther teaser is on.” Another friend continued, not realizing that this wasn’t just the first time he’d seen it, but the first time anyone had. “Look, I’ll address that after this ends,” he was told again. We all stared.

I don’t really remember if it was between the first two quarters of the game or somewhere in the second, because it felt like time stopped. At the point where Chadwick Boseman is executing whatever midair flip in slow motion he was doing, my body naturally stood up from the table and gravitated toward the television that was hanging on a wall in the bar. By the time it was done I turned around to look at the squad, and we all had the same looks on our faces.

“Holy s—, that was incredible.”

Black Panther was real and happening, and it looked amazing. The game instantly became a secondary conversation to what we’d just witnessed from the Marvel Universe. What I enjoyed so much about it was that it appealed to everyone, off the break. Of course, there are serious megafans of the comics who will have various things to deconstruct and dislike, but coming out of the gate, the clear distinctions were great.

For one, Wakanda is clearly not some Third World wasteland. Its technological advancements are clearly on par with most things in that universe, which is dope. This is the capital city, and vibranium, the mineral that the nation has major reserves of, allows it to stay on the cusp of what’s modern. Also, look. At. That. Ship. The last thing we wanted was a bunch of souped-up tribesmen to further create disastrous stereotypes in the superhero world.

Here are some of our favorite still shots.

Wait till y’all see me at the function next spring rocking this joint until Future’s “Mask Off” comes on. Then I’m turning all the way up.

This is a look goal if I’ve ever seen one. Lupita Nyong’o, no stranger to action movies, is not here for your nonsense.

When you’re trying to address the congregation but someone’s phone keeps going off.

Oh, that’s my phone? Do something. That’s what I thought.

When you waited all weekend to get fly for your little friend at school and they were home sick that day.

Meanwhile, the shade being thrown is predictable and, in many cases, very funny. What folks act like when this movie comes out is going to be serious. Nobody in America is ready for the squad cosplay that the film could bring to the theaters and premieres. It’ll be the blackest big-budget superhero movie. Not to mention it’s actually about a fictional African place. Believe that folks will be deep at the box office. And it comes out during Black History Month? Sheeeeeeee … just kidding. That doesn’t matter at all.

In all seriousness, that moment Friday night was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. My phone was blowing up with texts, and my whole TL was taken over by Wakanda jokes and the like. We don’t need that Coming to America remake. Black Panther, from the looks of it, will do just fine. This is dope, though.

This is a full shot-by-shot breakdown of the teaser trailer with story analysis. It’s with director Ryan Coogler and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.

The Morning Roast: 6/11/17

Will the NBA Finals end Monday?

9:57 AMWhen I walked into the studio Sunday, Domonique Foxworth was halfway done with his venti iced coffee already and we still had a half-hour until the show. I knew it was going to be a wild one because he was yelling at me already and it wasn’t even close to go time, ha ha. And Mina Kimes was on the East Coast? Yeah, it was dope.

Hour 1

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In the first hour, we broke down what happened in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, which the Cleveland Cavaliers won, sending the series back to Oakland, which would allow the Golden State Warriors to win the series on their home floor. But Friday night in Cleveland was a strange one, in a game that included a bunch of technicals and an appearance from Khloe Kardashian, which Jeff Van Gundy appreciated. He came to her and her family’s defense over the matter of their so-called “kurse,” which was classy of him.

Also, I defended my love of 3-on-3 basketball — which is not streetball, by the way – and its addition to the 2020 Olympics, while Mina called it every name in the book other than trash. In all seriousness though, being the only one who’s ever watched it with any regularity, I’m looking forward to it becoming a medal sport, personally. Some people think it might require NBA stars to be important, but I don’t know.

Hour 2

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There’s a question as to whether LeBron James might actually leave the Cavaliers to go somewhere else at this point in his career, but there is also the question about what happens if the Warriors manage to blow this. Let’s not forget that they had a 3-1 lead last year and got beat three straight games. We all know this. But this year is a tad different because they were up 3-0, first. In general though, this leads to a larger question about what the Warriors’ legacy is going to be since they weren’t perfect through the playoffs.

Outside of the hoops world, there was a soccer game last night, and a men’s World Cup qualifier at that. The United States traveled to Mexico to take on El Tri at Azteca Stadium, which is always an adventure. We discussed it with ESPN FC’s Sebastian Salazar ahead of the game, who also talked about what effect Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic is going to have on the national team now that he’s made his mark and broken through to the starting lineup.

Lastly, as a result of Domonique not being a fan of Ray Charles’ hit “Hit the Road, Jack” as the go-to arena song when players are ejected from games, we decided to workshop it. The results were glorious. We broke down the Top 5 songs for ejections we’d love to hear. It ranged from Sarah McLachlan to Ludacris. Loved this segment.

Hour 3

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The third hour began with a convo with Kyle Wagner of FiveThirtyEight.com (aka the Math Boys) about the NBA Finals. The numbers surrounding each team at its best are fascinating, and in general, the use of their model is always interesting to learn about. He basically said their prediction is it’s impossible for the Cavs to come back, save one factor: LeBron. Exactly.

Of course, we had to talk The Bachelorette, which means we got to hear the return of Christian Yates, who was just returning from the opera the previous night. We learned of his dinner selection and the wine pairing, too. In reality though, pardon the pun, the whole scenario surrounding that show has taken a slimy hit, and Domonique learned about just how awkward the whole thing is going to be going forward regarding Lee and his bigoted tweets and how that will affect the house. All this before we learned about the Bachelor in Paradise news, which is a real mess.

Basketball, soccer and dating. Enjoy!

Derek Fisher is back at it again

and the former NBA coach was driving Matt Barnes’ car when arrested for DUI

3:57 PMAlready a first-ballot Dirty Mack Hall of Famer, Derek Fisher is gunning for the unanimous selection. Not only is Fisher still dating his former teammate Matt Barnes’ ex-wife, but he’s now driving Barnes’ cars around too — and crashing them at that, according to TMZ. Look, as someone who’s crashed a car and nearly died, I realize this isn’t something to joke around with, but come on. Derek, what you doing?

Fisher is officially in the Hall of Fame. Let’s not forget the other parts of this story. Gloria Govan is the ex-wife of Barnes, the Golden State Warriors forward. She is now dating Fisher. Two years ago, Barnes drove 95 miles to administer a beatdown to Fisher after his kids called him saying they were uncomfortable with Fisher at the house, a house that Barnes owns. Fisher got touched up enough to miss a New York Knicks practice. It contributed to why he was let go by the Knicks.

But dag, Derek. You don’t have your own cars to drive around? Gloria, her house and kids weren’t enough? Clearly, Fisher has zero regard for what Barnes thinks about him on any level. The savagery is so real.

Daily Dose: 6/9/17

NASA selects black woman as part of new astronaut class

11:05 AMI’m in Bristol, Connecticut, on Friday to appear on Outside The Lines, so if you’re around a television at 1 p.m. EST, tune in to give your boy a look-see talking about the best stories of the week. I will not be wearing a hat this time, I promise.

In the classic film White Men Can’t Jump, there is much trash talk. And in one particular scene, a guy decides that “your mama’s an astronaut” is a serious insult. It’s so off the wall and ridiculous that his opponent takes mega offense and loses it. But let’s be clear, being an astronaut is awesome. And for Jessica Watkins, her childhood dream of becoming one just came true. A researcher at the California Institute of Technology, she was one of 12 people picked by NASA for its newest class. This story is so excellent that it makes me want to cry.

If you don’t know who Gwen Bunn is, you will soon. She’s a producer, an artist and a songwriter who came to fame when she linked up with Top Dawg Entertainment’s ScHoolboy Q for the song “Collard Greens.” But she chose to stay independent instead of signing with a big label because she wants to maintain her flexibility as an artist. Here’s a cool story about how she got there. But, while you’re here, make absolutely sure you check out SZA’s new album CTRL, because it’s incredible.

When it comes to being progressive, the NBA is as good as any league in the U.S. And not just in terms of what its players are saying when the cameras are on, but also in regard to what happens behind the scenes to keep their league diverse. Now a few teams are working with Jopwell, which places minority candidates in positions with major firms. And they don’t just work with the NBA. They’ve got agreements with the U.S. Tennis Association, and in general they keep these pipelines open. Half of the startup team is a former Yale guard.

Last night in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, something foul happened. At one point, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators decided to renew their little rivalry in a game that was otherwise a blowout. Sid The Kid at one point was grinding Subban’s head into the ice as a way to tweak him. OK, whatever. But then NBC’s Mike Milbury gets on the camera saying that he deserved it, for God knows what reason. Oh, wait. Yeah, Milbury’s the reason that hockey will be forever stuck in the Stone Age.

Free Food

Coffee Break: It’s summertime now, so you’re going to be dealing with something that we all hate: bugs. Whether it’s keeping them off your body, out of your food or out of your house, they’re a problem. Some of us use the old magazine/newspaper method for the latter, but if you’re a humane person, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has something you can work with.

Snack Time: There are people actually paying money to walk around Brooklyn, New York, in tour groups as part of some “ghetto safari” experience, and these people are the worst. I’m so angry at just the concept, never mind execution.

Dessert: Sometimes, it’s rough with the fam. But we’re all gonna make it if we try. Happy weekend, kiddos.

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Daily Dose: 6/8/17

Sen. Kamala Harris steals the show at Comey hearing

12:55 PMThe bars were packed in Washington, D.C., to watch of a bunch of politicians talk. Adults, babies, reporters, everyone. Wild.

James Comey was ready for his close-up. On Wednesday, the former FBI chief submitted his written testimony about what he felt happened between himself and President Donald Trump, with some interesting details about a dinner they had. There were also references to Russian sex workers, which we all know is a pretty salacious topic. But he didn’t even read that statement, instead making different opening remarks that basically included him saying that Trump was dishonest. This is all obviously a huge deal. California Sen. Kamala Harris was the real star, tho.

Typically, if I’ve had a few drinks, I smoke cigarettes. It’s something I’ve done since college and have on occasion put down, but I justify the smoking by saying it’s something that only happens when I drink, which is true. I otherwise find smoking pretty gross. But what is that? Is there such a thing as addiction that’s dependent on something else? Sort of like how every time I eat yogurt I immediately want mandarin oranges? It turns out it has to do with your memory as much as anything. Weird.

In case you forgot, Bill Cosby is still on trial. Andrea Constand, the woman who worked for Temple’s basketball team and accused the comedian of raping her, took the stand this week. But Wednesday, her mother did too. And while she was on the stand, she testified about a conversation she had with Cosby after her daughter told her what happened. Frankly, the details are horrifying and you’re left with the conclusion that Bill just didn’t see anything wrong with what he did. Which is the scary part.

The Stanley Cup Final resumes Thursday night, and the Nashville Predators officially made it a series. They not only won two in a row against the Pittsburgh Penguins at home to tie the series, but they also did so in glorious fashion, including a 5-1 bangout in Game 3 that had Nashville going completely wild. Now they go back to Pittsburgh, and things have changed entirely. But let’s be clear, this is not some flash-in-the-pan situation for the Preds. Their comeback is very real, and there are people in this world who think they could actually win the Stanley Cup.

Free Food

Coffee Break: We love sports kids, but sometimes they get overexposed. Some children want to be just that, without letting the fame of their parents affect who they are. But for some kids, the spotlight is natural and warranted. Now, Chris Paul’s and Dwyane Wade’s sons have a web show together. It’s great.

Snack Time: Everyday Struggle is continuing its way into making it one of the more important hip-hop shows of record across the diaspora. They had SZA on recently; she’s got a new album out, and we learned about crystals.

Dessert: Alchemist has a big new project coming out, which means I’ll be buying a new Alchemist project.

Top Dawg Entertainment’s studio rules are giving us life

Also, ScHoolboy Q is a fool with it

10:47 AM[protected-iframe id=”b7b8175e4a5ddf498733be4654b34a75-84028368-105107678″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

Top Dawg Entertainment, record-label home of Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q among others, is doing it big these days. King Kenny is obviously a major superstar right now, and Q is still holding it down. In an interview with Montreality, an extremely stoned ScHoolboy explains various things, from how he lost his virginity to the fact that a full Black Hippy group album will likely not happen. Overall, the video is funny.

But more importantly, the regulations posted for their studio are hilarious. Over the years, hip-hop and the music industry in general have legendary stories about over-the-top sessions, but these rules are fantastic. I’m here for random clips of the guidelines and quirks that rappers are dealing with while they handle their creative process. It’s far more interesting to me than, say, what they have on their concert riders.

It reminds me of my high school, where in the senior lounge, in the corner with the couch and the video games, we had to establish some order after the first week. There were two TVs and three game systems, so when you had a bunch of dumb kids in there trying to assert their gaming dominance, arguments of fairness frequently came up. So one day, I wrote the Unacceptable Excuses for the nearest wall. I can remember them to this day.

  1. My controller’s messed up. There’s always going to be something kinda glitchy with a couple of the sticks in a shared space that’s not your house, so deal with it, pleighboi.
  2. These aren’t my settings. Dudes would love to think they were slick when they lost and sneaked this stupid reasoning in. It applied in maybe 5 percent of all cases in terms of all the games being played overall.
  3. I didn’t get my team/character. Basically, it was all fighting and sports games, so the characters and teams you got were clearly of major importance. But again, if you’re good, you’re good.
  4. This isn’t my system. These days, at the highest level, this is a valid concern. For example, in the FIFA Interactive World Cup, the championship game is actually played in two halves split between Xbox and PlayStation. In the ’90s? Nah, fam.
  5. You play like a punk. I specifically recall writing this rule so I didn’t tell on myself. Because it would infuriate me when some dolt found a glitch to exploit and ran it into the ground. It annoyed me, but I had to respect it.

Anyways, rap twitter: more studio rules snaps, less pictures of drugs and guns. Stay ugly, y’all.