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

Severe head injury hospitalizes Tennessee State football player

Linebacker Christion Abercrombie remains in critical condition after suffering injury Sept. 29

3:31 PMIt was a routine play.

Even hours after the game, upon further review of the play that sent Tennessee State middle linebacker Christion Abercrombie out of the matchup against Vanderbilt University on Sept. 29, coaches determined there was nothing foul about the hit that took place shortly before halftime.

“It was just a football play,” TSU coach Rod Reed said Sunday morning on a radio show, according to The Tennessean. “He was taking on a block and it wasn’t anything malicious or dirty or anything like that. Just an unfortunate situation.”

Yet, after the play, Abercrombie made his way to the sidelines and complained to trainers about a headache. While being assisted to the locker room, Abercrombie collapsed. Medics took over to help him, and Abercrombie was soon rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he underwent emergency surgery for the head injury suffered during the play.

Christion Abercrombie played linebacker for the University of Illinois walks before transferring to Tennessee State.

Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire

Abercrombie remained in critical condition Wednesday but is said to be showing signs of improvement daily, according to his uncle, Kevin Richardson.

“It’s been a hard time, but we’re going to get through it,” Richardson told The Tennessean. “God is here with us and Christion. He knows it, and he’s going to be just fine. He is improving daily, and we’re looking forward to seeing more from him.”

Since Sept. 29, the Tennessee State community has rallied around Abercrombie. On Tuesday, hundreds of supporters gathered at a vigil organized by student leaders to pray for him. There, TSU president Glenda Glover also added information about Abercrombie’s improving condition.

“First [Abercrombie] made it through the surgery,” Glover said, according to The Tennessean. “And then he made it through Saturday night. Then he made it through the 24 hours. And then through 48 hours. So as each day [goes by] he continues to show just small signs of improvement. He’s fighting. Christion is a fighter and each day when we see him raise his hand or do any little thing that shows a sign of improvement, we’re grateful.”

A second prayer vigil has already been scheduled for Monday at Abercrombie’s alma mater, Westlake High School, in his native Atlanta. A GoFundMe page has also been set up for the injured player with a goal of $250,000. As of Wednesday afternoon, the account had raised $34,212.

Before transferring to Tennessee State his sophomore year, Abercrombie played in 11 games and made 11 tackles as a redshirt freshman at the University of Illinois in 2017. This season, Abercrombie had established himself as the second-leading tackler on the Tigers’ roster.

WNBA president Lisa Borders leaves post to become president and CEO of Time’s Up

Borders will continue to lead the charge for equality and justice for working women

1:55 PMWNBA president Lisa Borders is stepping down from her current post to become the first president and CEO of Time’s Up.

Borders’ decision to step down as WNBA president comes after three seasons of continuous growth in the league. Since announcing Borders as its new president in 2016, the WNBA has seen its highest regular-season attendance in years, and 2018 was the most watched season in four years. Borders helped to establish player recognition and engagement by livestreaming games on social media platforms such as Twitter, and, for the first time, the popular NBA Live 18 video game included a full roster of WNBA players and teams, according to a press release.

Deputy commissioner Mark Tatum will step in on an interim basis to oversee WNBA operations as the league searches for a new president.

“It has been an honor and my absolute privilege leading the WNBA and being part of what it stands for,” Borders said in a statement. “I want to thank [NBA commissioner] Adam [Silver] for giving me the opportunity and support to help grow this league. I am most proud of the W players for their amazing talents on the court and their dedication to making an impact in their communities. I look forward to continuing my support for the W in my new role with Time’s Up. I will always be the W’s biggest advocate and fan.”

Before joining the WNBA, Borders was vice president of global community affairs at The Coca-Cola Co. and managed and maintained relationships in Mayor Shirley Franklin’s administration during her time as vice mayor of Atlanta. Borders continues to serve on the advisory board of the Association of National Advertisers’ #SeeHer initiative, which was created to eliminate bias against all women from advertising and media. The campaign seeks to increase the accurate portrayals of women and girls in U.S. advertising and media by 20 percent by 2020.

Borders’ new role will allow her to continue the fight for the equality of working women on an even larger platform.

The Time’s Up organization, created in January by women in the entertainment industry to address systemic inequality, sexual assault and harassment in the workplace, has gained traction from celebrity supporters and has raised more than $20 million for its legal defense fund. Since February, more than 20,000 donors and 200 lawyers have volunteered their services to support the movement. And now, with Borders leading the efforts to ensure equality for women in the workplace, the organization is establishing its longevity and proving its dedication to the cause.

“The pursuit of safe, dignified and equal treatment in the workplace as a solution to the abuse of power is a mission that can be fulfilled. With Lisa’s skills and leadership, Time’s Up is now in the best position to achieve what we all started — to create a more positive future for workplace culture and a more powerful network for working women of all kinds,” said television producer and Time’s Up seed funder Shonda Rhimes.

Let’s celebrate Lil Wayne’s ‘Tha Carter V’ like it’s our birthday

23 tracks, but so much more to bump to on his much-anticipated fifth album

8:18 PMRap legend Weezy F. Baby (the F stands for “finally”) celebrated his birthday by giving his fans the best gift ever. He dropped his fifth and much-coveted album, Tha Carter V (C5), at midnight Thursday and folks were hype.

The artist, also known as Lil Wayne, Lil Tunechi or, formally, Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., finally broke a three-year album drought, and he didn’t disappoint. Lil Wayne showed off the wide range of his artistry throughout the 23-song album, successfully appealing to the varying tastes of his fan base.

Want a song to get your shoulders moving, shoot right to track four for “Uproar” with the classic Swizz Beatz production, guaranteed to get your head bobbing. Need motivation to reclaim your worth or “get back into your bag,” jump right to track three, “Dedicate.” Longing for love or a sense of family, then tracks one and 11 will satisfy you. For something more romantic, check track nine, “What About Me.” For the culture followers who are into gossip blogs, yes, he included his daughter, Reginae, on track 11, “Famous.”

From a man who has dominated rap with mixtapes with only his voice, C5 had a wide variety of features, as well as samples on almost every song. His last mixtape, Dedication 6: Reloaded, was released in January.

You can’t spell fame without me, and may my hall of fame speech be short and sweet, like thank God, f— fame, and thank me,” said by Weezy on “Famous.”

Lil Tunechi definitely threw his name into the hat as one of the greatest lyricists regardless of era, after jumping into a sparring battle with current rap king Kendrick Lamar on the song “Mona Lisa.”

If you ask me, he cemented his title as the Best Rapper Alive. He not only reminded fans of his classic storytelling skills, but in an era that is now dominated by mumble rap, he also showed his style isn’t changing for anyone.

Tha Carter V isn’t flawless. I gave it a B-plus because some of the songs on the album don’t have the best replay value. Also, contrary to popular opinion, I think Nicki Minaj ruined his song on “Dark Side of the Moon” with her vocals. I’m not the only critic. Some tweets called the album “just mediocre.”

However, Lil Wayne still flows effortlessly, and his style of lyricism is still uncanny and unmatched, even when rappers are biting each other’s flows constantly (Desiigner being a carbon copy of Future.) Wayne has carved out his own space among the legends, from his double and triple entendres to his corny yet tasteful metaphors. Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. showed he can compete with not only your favorite rapper in this generation but your father’s favorite rapper too.

The icing on the cake was the shoutout to former President Barack Obama. You can hear No. 44 saying, “They might think they got a pretty good jump shot, or a pretty good flow, but our kids can all aspire to be LeBron or Lil Wayne,” on the track “Dedicate.” Wayne took this from Obama’s speech at the 100th anniversary of the NAACP. Brilliant.

Let us know what you think. Contact me on Twitter @ReyZach_