Spike Lee announces rally for Colin Kaepernick
to be held outside of NFL headquarters in NYC
— Spike Lee (@SpikeLee) August 8, 2017
To call it the cause of only Colin Kaepernick would be shortsighted. He’s but one quarterback and one person, but his efforts to call attention to police brutality in America have officially gained the attention of the biggest names, even outside of the sports world.
On Tuesday morning, Spike Lee tweeted about a rally for Kaep outside of NFL headquarters in New York City on Aug. 23. In conjunction with Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., The People’s Consortium for Human and Civil Rights Inc., and Justice League NYC, among others, the goal presumably will be to express displeasure at the perceived blackballing/collusion/whisper campaign or whatever you want to call it that’s kept the Super Bowl XLVII starting quarterback out of the league.
Why now? Well, that’s easy. Once the Baltimore Ravens flirted so closely with the idea, went so far as to tell fans that they were considering the move, and even had owner Steve Bisciotti asking fans to “pray” for the franchise (uh, what?), they backed off. The team in the one city that knows and fully understands the real-time effects of police brutality gone unfettered had a chance to make a real statement in a place where he likely would have been decently well-received, got this close and then backed off. It was the first official stance from any team that was officially no longer about football.
In the interim, a Change.org petition to boycott games if Kaepernick doesn’t play this season is up to nearly 80K in signatures. Tuesday, they reacted to the news. “We love seeing football fans use our platform to speak out and shape public dialogue on causes they care about,” they told The Undefeated. “This is the biggest NFL-related petition we’ve seen this year, which speaks to Americans’ interest in sports figures who take on social issues. It’s just one example of how people use Change.org to spur action, in football and other parts of society.”
Perhaps most interesting about this entire situation is the involvement of Kaepernick’s fraternity. For a Greek organization to be at the forefront of what will effectively be a national protest is not standard operating procedure.
Whether nearly 100,000 people turning off their televisions, cutting their satellite packages or not showing up to games will make a huge difference in what an NFL owner thinks (because this clearly isn’t just a GM or coach decision), who knows? The Dolphins went and ripped a guy out of the broadcast booth from retirement before he even had a chance to start that job, instead of deal with Kaepernick.
Of course, there are timing issues related to training camp, not to mention Kaepernick turning off a decent amount of the Miami fan base with a shirt featuring Fidel Castro, so that comparison is probably a tad unfair. Nonetheless, he’s not playing there and they’re paying Jay Cutler $10M a year.
The date comes almost a year to the day on which Kaepernick first sat during the national anthem, a situation that didn’t really get much notice until a couple of weeks later when he took a knee before a game. That game was at home against Green Bay, the third preseason game. The 23rd, this year, is the day before the third NFL preseason week. So the timing makes sense.
Too bad they misspelled his name on the flyer.
Daily Dose: 8/7/17
Baseball’s Don Baylor dies at 68
1:18 PMHey, gang, I’m back from the West Coast and Connecticut after a long week hosting Mike & Mike and finally making my debut on SportsNation! It was a really fun experience, and I’d like to thank everyone involved.
I can turn on CNN & see black folks get terrorized and brutalized and not get justice. Don't need to spend $15 at a movie theater for that. pic.twitter.com/ODirs32rHy
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) August 6, 2017
Google has a bit of a diversity problem. And by that I mean the people who work there don’t love the idea of mixing things up just for the sake of it. So much so that one employee sent a rather scathing and completely idiotic memo to the company about why men and women should not be treated the same in the workplace, citing biological differences and abilities, which is archaic. Tech gets a bad rap for being too bro-ey, too white and too exclusive, and now we know exactly why. This is a horrible look for the company.
When it comes to a life in baseball, Don Baylor lived it. He played 18 seasons in the big leagues for six teams and managed for nearly 10 more for two others. He was an All-Star, a World Series champion and an American League MVP. He died Monday at the age of 68. He wasn’t the flashiest dude, and certainly wasn’t a superstar by any stretch, but his name and his work around the game were a constant for fans of a certain era. Oh, and he also is one of four people to win both an MVP and a Manager of the Year award.
Working for certain bosses can be tricky. Some are mean, some are more kind, but ultimately, you’ve got to do what they ask, because that’s how it works. But what about extracurricular things? If the boss has a holiday party, are you obligated to go? Would you ever consider asking one to attend your wedding? The relationship can get weird if you go too far, but also, you want to be friends with the person signing your checks. FiveThirtyEight asks an interesting question: Is it fair to make everyone in the office pitch in for a gift to the boss?
Monday night is the season finale of The Bachelorette. It’s been a long season, and we’ve come quite a way since Rachel Lindsay was first named as the star. We’ve dealt with racist contestants, awkward parental relationships and a lot of dudes just being real jerks. But that’s the show, and we sort of love it for all that. Now we get to see who she’ll pick, and there doesn’t appear to be any real front-runner. I imagine this will be an extremely well-watched show and the first black Bachelorette will definitely be making TV history.
Coffee Break: HBO’s attempt to recreate a world in which slavery didn’t end has not gone well. The creators of Game of Thrones have gotten all sorts of backlash for a show that was titled Confederate, and the detractors have been vociferous. Ta-Nehisi Coates says we should not be giving them the benefit of the doubt with this program.
Snack Time: Everything Beyoncé does is news in these parts, so when she makes a video of just her and her squad roller-skating, you’ll definitely need to see it. This looks rather fun.
Dessert: My love for Cardi B knows no bounds. Check her out rocking with Migos like a true boss.
Daily Dose: 8/4/17
Barack Obama celebrates his 56th birthday
12:19 PMWhat up, gang? I’m in Los Angeles right now, and Thursday night I went to see the premiere of a show called Comrade Detective from Channing Tatum and it’s funny. Anyway, I’ll be on SportsNation Friday. Tune in, kiddos.
— NESSA (@nessnitty) August 3, 2017
Friday is Barack Obama’s birthday. He’s moving closer to 60, and he’s living his best life. I wonder what he does on his born day. Can you imagine what his notifications and texts are like? You were America’s favorite and one of the most hated president for eight years, now you’re out of office AND you have a summer birthday? His phone is going to be buzzing heavy for a legit 24 hours. It’s also his first birthday since he left the White House, so you KNOW it’s gonna be lit. And because she’s the absolute best, Michelle shared a throwback picture for the ages. I love this family.
One of the difficult things about police work is consequences. Our judicial system is not set up to punish people in positions of authority unless it is a widespread, consistent and documented abuse of power. And even then, it’s not easy. It’s legitimately hard, due to the way things are structured, to fire an officer and keep him out of law enforcement going forward. In fact, after termination, quite a few appeal their cases and make their way back onto the force. Check out this investigation into the numbers and reasons as to why that occurs.
I love Aziz Ansari. There’s just no other way to put it. Between his TV work, his comedy, his book and basically everything else, my man is just dope. Remember when he showed up in the Otis video and people freaked all the way out? That was just another Tuesday for your boy. And this latest interview he did with GQ reveals that he owns a rare painted portrait of Soulja Boy, which is basically the most amazing thing of all time. I love the fact that it’s all really come together for him.
The long fight between Charles Oakley and the New York Knicks is over. A while back, the franchise legend decided he wanted to put hands on the team’s owner, or at least try to, and he ended up getting thrown out of Madison Square Garden by six dudes. Then, owner James Dolan banned him from the arena. So, they ended up in court. Now, Oakley has accepted a deal to not go to the facility for a year, but left open the possibility of civil charges. Fighting a retired man with nothing to lose in court for his dignity is not a winning battle, but good luck, Dolan.
Coffee Break: I just want to give a shout-out to my man Joel Anderson, who joins us at ESPN to cover college football and basketball. Joel is a personal friend and a great dude. He also played football at Texas Christian University and is a great Twitter follower. I’m so happy he’s part of the team and I say that with no shame whatsoever.
Snack Time: Nardwuar and D.R.A.M. seem like those two dudes who ended up getting stuck with each other as college roommates and it ended in a beautiful relationship that no one expected. This interview is total gold.
Dessert: Only musicians can make amusement parks seem this fun. Lil Yachty is having a great summer.
Daily Dose: 8/3/17
Dave Chappelle ain’t what he used to be
12:43 PMClinton Yates is not here. He’s currently watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button to find clues as to how White House senior adviser Stephen Miller is only 31.
- The Baltimore Police Department, much like the professional football team in the city it protects, is quickly realizing the jig is up. For the second time in three weeks, video footage has surfaced of police officers allegedly planting drugs. This time, from a stop last November recorded on body cameras, an officer can be seen squatting by the driver’s side door, stepping back, and another officer moving in and finding a bag of heroin and marijuana. The charges against the suspect were eventually dropped, and Maryland prosecutors dismissed more than 30 cases after the release of the first video in July.
- Dave Chappelle, as much as it hurts to say, is struggling. On Wednesday night, he held the first of 16 shows at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, and the reviews weren’t great. Chappelle tried, and failed, to make jokes about the trans community … again, and he apparently had trouble finding the humor in the perpetual-gift-that-keeps-on-giving President Donald Trump. Between this first night of the residency, his 50-50 performance on Saturday Night Live (asking the audience to give Trump a chance), his largely forgettable two-part special for Netflix, and the countless times he’s been booed this decade, it might be safe to say that the Chappelle we knew from the early 2000s is long gone.
- The leaks continue for Trump. Days after firing the man who said he’d kill leakers and hiring a new chief of staff looking to install military-style discipline at the White House, the commander in chief’s most private moments have been released to the public again. The Washington Post got hold of transcripts of the president’s calls with heads of state in Mexico and Australia from earlier this year. Trump Keith Sweat-begged Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto to stop telling the media Mexico wouldn’t pay for his billion-dollar border wall, and the next day told Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a U.S. ally, that their call was “the most unpleasant call all day,” and a previous talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin “was a pleasant call.”
Things that make you think …
- For the first time in history, WNBA players will be featured in a video game. Electronic Arts, the video game developer responsible for the NBA Live franchise, announced that NBA Live 18 will include all 12 WNBA teams and rosters exactly 20 years after the inaugural season of the all-women’s league.
- The Texas football program replaced the nameplates on players’ lockers with 43-inch TV monitors for the upcoming season. Keep in mind, the Longhorns pay new head coach Tom Herman more than $5 million a season, one of the top salaries in the country, and had the second-highest total revenue in the NCAA last season ($187,981,158) while having the highest expenses ($171,394,287), which will no doubt increase with the purchase of more than 100 new TVs. If you wonder why college players don’t get paid, here’s why.