UEFA’s Euro 2016 final was blacker than ever
Which is no surprise, considering who hosted it
11:45 AMWhen Éder came on for Renato Sanches for Portugal in the 79th minute of Sunday’s match against France in Saint-Denis, it was clear: This was the blackest UEFA European Championships final we’ve ever seen. One dreadlocked brother came on for another, and the latter scored the goal that won the tournament.
Between the two sides, they fielded 18 black players, which isn’t counting Dimitri Payet — who was born on the French island of Réunion, off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. There are three reasons for this: colonialism, globalization and FIFA itself. For decades, both nations’ history as colonial powers served as a recruiting tool for sports, particularly soccer. Over the years, that fact has sparked discussion about conflicting concepts of nationalism with certain nations.
How French is France is the basic question. With people calling it the “French National Team of Africa” and various other snide monikers, other nations with less inviting immigration situations have long called the practice unfair, to an extent. Take Denmark, for example, where a far-right political party posted messages referring to Europe as “Africa’s backyard.”
Alternately, some people in France, particularly players, have used it as a rallying cry. In 2013, Nike released a version of the French away jersey with the phrase, “nos differences nous unissent,” sewn into them, which means, “our differences unite us.” Over the past 20 years, the French team has gone from looking like the main cast of the 1995 movie La Haine, starring Vincent Cassel, Said Taghmaoui and Hubert Koundé, to a far blacker, immigrant melange.
Though eight of 11 of France’s black players (again, not including Payet) were born in France, many of them are first-generation Europeans, who have parents from the vast expanse of nations and territories that France colonized over the years: Senegal, Guinea, Guadeloupe and Mali. Three players were born in the Congo, Senegal and Cameroon. France’s Samuel Umtiti actually grew up in Angola, before moving to Toulouse, France. Portugal’s roster includes two players born in Guinea-Bissau, one in Cape Verde and another in Angola. Looking back, Eusebio, arguably the best player in Portugal’s history, was born in Mozambique.
More largely, though, FIFA in the past decade has loosened rules to make this easier for most nations. One need not necessarily have a history of invading and pillaging in order to draw from a wider field to naturalize into your roster pool anymore. Now, you can play for more than one team at the youth level, and if a relative as distant as a grandparent is from the nation you wish to play for, you can.
As an example, take Belgian midfielder Adnan Januzaj. When those rules changed in 2013, he became eligible to play for Belgium, Albania, Serbia, Turkey and Croatia. He chose Belgium, where he was born, a nation that also had one of the most diverse squads at this year’s Euros with nine black players.
The wave of immigrants coming from global tragedies pouring into Western Europe has likely forever changed what the so-called traditional faces of rosters look like. It’s already infiltrated the largest soccer nations. England has long been one of the more progressive rosters, and nations like Germany and Switzerland have been steadily diversifying as well. The next phase we’ll likely see this shift in is international basketball rosters.
That aside, when the preening peacock Cristiano Ronaldo left the game in the 25th minute, it was presumed that Portugal’s Seleção was doomed against Les Bleus. Instead, a man born in Africa changed that fate in extra time with what ultimately was the game-winning goal. Portugal manager Fernando Santos said of Éder after the match, “the ugly duckling scored — he is now a beautiful swan.”
A black swan, if you will.
African Skateboarding Championships
are underway in Madagascar
We’ve highlighted skate programs in Africa before, but today, the African Skateboarding Championships kick off in Madagascar. It’s part of a 10-country tour that began in June and includes Angola, Ethiopia, Egypt, Morocco, Mozambique, Mauritius, Madagascar, Senegal, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The World Skateboarding Federation (WSF) first sanctioned the tour after the International Olympic Committee announced that skateboarding will be a part of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
At the time, WSF also unveiled its plans for an elite training program called the African Skateboard Academy, designed to help develop the best young skaters in Africa. WSF will sponsor all travel and training costs.
“Last year, a record 32 participants competed in the WSF-sanctioned African Championships. Since then, we have had overwhelming interest in sanctioning National Championship programs in 10 other African countries,” WSF president Tim McFerran said in May. “In addition to WSF’s support of the first-ever Ethiopia skate park, we are looking to support three new skate parks in Africa in 2016-17. The African Skateboarding Academy was a natural concept to support other grassroots development programs and to help support Africa’s best in the hope of one day competing in the Olympics. With skateboarding’s potential of being named to the 2020 Olympics, it was the right time for us to activate the African Skateboarding Academy. We hope to further develop the growing number of elite-level skateboarders across Africa who don’t have the means to hone their skills in world class skate parks like the top U.S. skateboarders do.”
Skateboarding making it to the Olympics is one thing, as far as cultural wow moments go. But to see organizations creating grassroots level programs to make sure that the globe can compete on similar levels is rather remarkable. The continent’s history with skating isn’t entirely new. South Africa hosted the Maloof Money Cup World Championships back in 2011, which has since been replaced by the Kimberley Diamond Cup and is the biggest skate competition in Africa.
Winners of each national championship will qualify for the Skateboarding World Championships in October.
Daily Dose: 7/8/16
Heal yourself first, America
11:00 AMThis has been one of the more devastating weeks in this nation I can remember. If you’re the kind of person that considers it a “sides” issue, fine. But either way, everyone is hurting. Know that. And try to be nicer. Please.
Thursday night was another awful one in America. After a protest in Dallas, a group of people decided that they wanted to take matters into their own hands and try to kill a bunch of police officers and unfortunately succeeded in that goal. Five officers were killed, seven more were injured. If I’m being honest, I’d tell you that I can’t even deal with this. It’s not about black vs. blue, no matter what your local television may tell you. But understand that Dallas, among many other places, is suffering. ABC News has the story.
Let us not forget that just the day before, a man was shot and killed by the police in Minnesota. A woman named Diamond Reynolds managed to do something like we’ve never seen and documented the whole thing, all while her 4-year-old daughter was watching. As far as completely terrifying things that have happened in the past week go, this was absolutely up there. Nobody knew where she was for a while, but now she’s back home and talking about how the incident went. ABC’s Morgan Winsor reports.
So, let’s talk about a different country. One that’s having its own problems, on a different level. While we’re out here killing each other left and right with firearms of all types, in Great Britain, they’re passive-aggressively trying to ruin each others’ lives. There are people who believed that Brexit was legit going to make the country a better place, and there are others who, well, didn’t. The bottom line is that all this comes down to money, and how people can make it and where. FiveThirtyEight’s Anil Kashyap explains why this matters.
Rajon Rondo does not have the best reputation. The NBA point guard has gone off the chain a couple of times in his career about things that some would consider understandable, but now, he’s on a team that thinks it has a chance to contend in the Eastern Conference. The Chicago Bulls don’t, of course, because any conference with LeBron James in it is the one that The King is going to win. All that aside, James’ homey Dwyane Wade is on that Chicago team now, which is awkward, on some level. No worries, though. Rondo says it’s Jimmy Butler’s team! Yikes.
Coffee Break: There are so many drops in the business: Metro Boomin, Mike Will, DJ Mustard. You know them all. But Cookin Soul’s drop just might be my favorite. Here’s a story about him, his whole deal and how he makes beats. If you claim to care about hip-hop, you should care about the producers. It’s 2016, they matter the most again.
Snack Time: I live in a place where the concept of bringing your kids somewhere is controversial. Almost as much as where you can bring your dog. Check out this wild story about a place that says: No kids after 8 p.m. (Read the comments.)
Dessert: This is a good song. You might like it, you might not. But it helps me heal.
That can only mean one thing
France’s Antoine Griezmann breaks out the dance moves at the Euros
Monsieur Antoine Griezmann, salut, mec.
After opening the scoring in the semifinals of the 2016 UEFA European Championship with a blistering penalty kick against the best goalkeeper in the world, Germany’s Manuel Neuer, the 25-year-old Griezmann hit his full Drake, and broke out one of the many dances from the rapper’s 2015 “Hotline Bling” video. He did it again in the second half, which felt a tad gratuitous.
It isn’t the first time he’s broken it out but it’s certainly better than the last time he did, in the game against Ireland in the round of 16. Still doesn’t beat Phoenix Suns guard Devon Booker, though.
Actually, Griezmann ended up with two goals on the night for France, and the host nation has moved on to the final on Sunday in Marseille against Portugal. So yeah, Griezmann wins.
Beyonce has spoken
so you might want to tune in
In typical Queen Bey fashion, she shows up when she wants, kicks the truth, then whisks away with the towering presence that few entertainers of her stature have ever dared to reach, even if they had the power and wherewithal to do so.
As a sidebar to this message, which was posted Thursday on the homepage of the musical artist’s website Beyonce.com under a tab called “FREEDOM,” a definition of the word is offered.
“We all have the power to channel our anger and frustration into action,” it reads. “We must use our voices to contact the politicians and legislators in our districts and demand social and judicial changes.” Underneath, there are options to click to contact your local congressman or congresswoman, as well as links to protest the deaths of both Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
At her show in Glasgow, Scotland concert Thursday night, she displayed names of police brutality victims and held a moment of silence.
— Will (@TheAussieSide) July 7, 2016
For all of you out here saying that talking on Twitter and writing essays won’t do anything, Beyoncé is giving not only her “hive” but also anyone who claims to care, an avenue to at least try to make a difference. She isn’t just out here singing about formations at the Super Bowl and making your local PTA go crazy, she’s literally trying to line people up.
Woke or Not Woke
It’s America’s favorite game show!
1:27 PMLet’s play a little game of Woke or Not Woke. *cue game show music, alert Steve Harvey*
Here’s how we play, kiddos. I show you a picture, then I tell you, if it’s woke or not. Now’s not the time to get into the discussion of whether or not that term has been fully bastardized into a mocking insult in all cases or not — two men are dead at the hands of police and celebrities are talking about it on the internet.
First contestant: Mischa Barton, star of the 2000s television series The O.C.
Next contestant: Olivia Wilde, also a star of The O.C. and many other things.
Thanks for playing, kiddos!
Daily Dose: 7/7/16
Ciara and Russell Wilson tied the knot
10:31 AMWe taped a podcast on Wednesday. Staff writer Justin Tinsley told a scary story about his night on Saturday, senior style writer Jill Hudson espoused her love for ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue and I explained why there are things you just don’t wear on a basketball court. Tune in.
In two days, two black men have been killed by police. One murder was caught on camera. The other didn’t show the act, but the aftermath was captured. Both were terrifying. Both were awful. Both led to protests. Both were not unusual. Both videos will be watched. Some people will refuse to watch both. Both will infuriate people on both “sides” of the equation. Sadly, many people believe that both men who pulled those triggers will likely never see the inside of prison cell. People didn’t even have the chance to mourn Alton Sterling, before they killed Philando Castile. It is hard to bear.
On a far more uplifting note, singer Ciara and NFL quarterback Russell Wilson got married. They pulled the baller move of getting married on a weekday, which is a move I absolutely love. It’s hard not to root for this marriage. Wilson, for all the flack he gets, seems like a pretty nice dude, overall. I do sort of feel bad for his ex-wife. She was PUMPED when he got drafted. Anyway, for all the foolishness that my dude Future (Ciara’s baby father and ex-fiancé) has been pulling on social media, it’s good to see they managed to get hitched. ABC News’ Lesley Messer reports.
Every time we have an election in which two candidates are polarizing, third parties come up. In my lifetime, the only person to make any real impact as a candidate other than someone from the Democratic or Republican Party is Ross Perot. But now that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the front-runners, people are starting to believe that there might actually be another candidate to get behind. For that to be the case, it’s got to start somewhere. FiveThirtyEight’s Julia Azari explains which states might go for it. Introduce yourself to Gary Johnson, folks.
The Williams sisters are giving me life right now. These two are smoking people all over the shop at the All England Club during Wimbledon, and Serena completely dismantled some poor girl this morning. Venus is on the court as I write this, but I have no problem saying that I’m actively rooting for an all-Williams final. Serena will be in her ninth final Wimbledon, overall. I don’t want to overstate this, but black America could absolutely use a match like that as somewhat of a healing device, if you ask me.
Coffee Break: There was a time when the only way black folks could get news about other black folks, that didn’t involve something terrible, was from black newspapers. Some are still around, but for the most part, they are a rare breed. Check out this breakdown of how their circulation has dipped over the years.
Snack Time: I love Vans. I wear them every day, everywhere. This new collaboration between the sneaker company and artist Robert Williams is mega dope, kiddos. That slip-on is extra fire, too.
Dessert: If you need an uplifting song that came out just last week, here you go.
Two days, two shootings, two dead black men
This time, it was live-streamed on Facebook
8:00 AMPhilando Castile is his name. He was 32 years old.
You can add it to the list of black people in the past [insert whatever number you want] years that have been killed by the police for one reason or another, during what are supposed to be routine interactions. This time, however, the aftermath was streamed live on Facebook.
WARNING: This video contains graphic content and may be upsetting to some viewers
This is what social networking is these days: a woman videotaping her boyfriend getting killed in the driver’s seat of a car by a police officer, after being stopped for a broken taillight, while her 4-year-old daughter looks on from the backseat.
As of early Thursday morning, no one knew where to find the woman who captured the video from the passenger’s seat.
— Eugene Scott (@Eugene_Scott) July 7, 2016
She was later found, and identified herself as Diamond Reynolds, Castile’s girlfriend, before speaking on the situation.
— Leila Navidi (@LeilaNavidi) July 7, 2016
“I did it [took the video] so that the world knows that these police are not here to protect and serve us,” Reynolds said. “They are here to assassinate us. They are here to kill us because we are black …”
“Minnesota court records show only misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors on Philando Castile’s record,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune‘s story reads, as if that has ever mattered. Castile worked as a cafeteria supervisor at a Montessori school. After he was killed Wednesday night, hundreds gathered outside Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton’s mansion residence in St. Paul, where they remained overnight in protest.
— Wendy R (@WendyRMonkey) July 7, 2016
It was just the night before, on Tuesday, when the people of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, had been tasked with shouldering the burden of the death of Alton Sterling, who was killed in a parking lot after an altercation with police that left him on his back, dying on the asphalt. His son, understandably, couldn’t handle it.
It’s only Thursday.
— ABC News (@ABC) July 7, 2016
Here’s Minneapolis NAACP president Nekima Levy-Pounds discussing the matter on the scene.
— Andy Mannix (@AndrewMannix) July 7, 2016
Less than a day ago, a woman named Nakia Jones offered a powerful soliloquy on Facebook about what it’s like to be black and be a police officer who joined the force to do the right thing. It should be noted that she’s from and works in Cleveland, where we’ve seen multiple cases of outrageous police shootings in the past five years. It’s a harrowing look at how the job affects actual humans every day.
It will not be obsolete anytime soon.
All Day Podcast: 7/6/16
Alton Sterling, Kevin Durant to the Warriors and ESPN’s 2016 Body Issue
5:39 PM“Do I really want to watch this? Do I really want to see this cycle of destruction all over again? But I watched it anyway. I don’t know why I did, but I just wanted to watch it. It wasn’t peace watching it. I wanted that confirmation that what people were saying about that video was true.”
These are the words of Undefeated staff writer Justin Tinsley, regarding the video released Tuesday night of Alton Sterling being killed by a police officer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. On Wednesday morning, Tinsley, host Clinton Yates and senior style writer Jill Hudson gathered to discuss yet another death of a black male at the hands of a police officer.
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | RSS | Embed
Hudson shared how her two young sons reacted to Sterling’s death while Yates brought up the biggest problem he has with the situation.
The crew also chopped it up about Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors and ESPN’s 2016 Body Issue. Bet you can’t guess who Hudson’s favorite naked athlete was in this year’s issue.
Give it a listen, and if you have any feedback or show ideas, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daily Dose: 7/6/16
Protests erupt in Louisiana over CD man killed by police
9:12 AMLet’s get right to it. Tuesday night was another mess and we don’t have time for pleasantries right now.
You can add “selling CDs” to the list of things that might get you killed by the police in America, if you’re black. That appears to be the case in Baton Rouge, where a video circulating (trigger warning: it is graphic) shows a man named Alton Sterling in an altercation with police in a parking lot. As he’s being held down by police, three shots go off. People took to the street, and in the horrifying cycle of watch, kill, rinse, repeat that is a lot of how so-called “justice” goes in this nation, we’ve started all over again. ABC News has the story, with pictures.
Just being around places that feel “slavey” is rather difficult for me sometimes. There are certain parts of the country and the world where the history and tension is so palpable that just being present physically is not easy. Historic Charleston, South Carolina, and Île de Gorée in Senegal come to mind. Some people find this less problematic and one Michigan man went looking for a plantation his great-grandfather owned and found it. He then went and stayed there with his own family, and the residents, who are his cousins. Wow. Good Morning America explains.
When Kevin Durant finally arrives in the Bay Area, the assumption is that Golden State will never lose. In all seriousness, though, it’s a super team unlike any we will ever really see as far as how its assembly goes. But will it work? Will this look more like adding Dennis Rodman to the Chicago Bulls, or the Boston Celtics and The Big Three? Or are we looking at a Karl Malone on the Los Angeles Lakers situation, which ended up just being rather sad. For the Golden State Warriors, it seems impossible for it not to work out next year. But FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine points out that there’s a decent chance it doesn’t.
It’s summertime, so in general, you’re probably seeing the most human flesh you will all year. Beach trips, day parties, sporting events, whatever, it’s time to take it off. For this year’s edition of the ESPN Body Issue we’ve got quite a few characters who were more than willing. I need you to know that NFL players Vince Wilfork (yes, big boy) and Von Miller of celebratory thrust sack dance Super Bowl MVP fame are both in this edition, as well. Oh, and Olympian Greg Louganis, too. What a time to be alive.
Coffee Break: Frank Ocean might not necessarily have any music dropping soon, but it doesn’t mean he’s not doing work. Check out rapper Young Thug and him in a new series of Calvin Klein ads, that are sure to have old-school heads yelling about what real hip-hop is, yatta yatta.
Snack Time: Looking for a quick salad to whip up that isn’t going to suck all your energy on a hot day? Here’s a pretty solid one that’ll take you no time at all to make.
Dessert: If you like rapper Oddisee, you’ll wanna check out this interview with him.
I wanna be like Mike
Sometimes I dream that he is me
We gave the guy who played pickup basketball in a full Jordan uniform the NBA on NBC treatment. (via @J_Hardiman23) pic.twitter.com/giWFmxWIVf
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) July 5, 2016
“It’s late in the day and I ain’t been on the court yet,” Will Smith, aka The Fresh Prince, rapped on the opening of the third verse of “Summertime,” his 1991 hit with DJ Jazzy Jeff. “Hustle to the mall to get me a short set. Yeah, I got on sneaks but I need a new pair. ‘Cause basketball courts in the summer got girls there.”
One guy this week in Spokane, Washington, took that whole concept to its most illogical extreme, donning a full Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls outfit in a pickup game in which he was actually on the skins side, not shirts. There are so many questions to be had in this, but his commitment to the bit is not one of them. He’s got the sweatband, and the knee brace deal, never mind the shoes (Air Jordan XI’s) themselves and the jersey also appears to have an NBA Finals patch on it. Wow.
My man is apparently a regular at this, too.
The obvious wackness of rocking a full uniform for a pickup game need not be stated. Wearing basketball jerseys in general to ball, if you are not on said team and out of say, college age, is enough to get a side eye from me, as is. If a dude showed up to any court I’ve played on in the last 10 years in that getup, he’d be mercilessly clowned off the court. The ONLY way this works is if you choose someone way off the path of genuine NBA celebrity, like, say former NBA player Derrick McKey. But Jordan? You might as well put a Superman outfit on and try to fly.
So, how’d this go viral? A man by the name of Justin Hardiman. He was smart enough to whip out a phone and catch this faux Jordan playing some pretty serious defense on the baseline. He was visiting his dad in Spokane and decided to hit a local court for some run on the holiday weekend.
“I hear out of the corner of my ear that there’s this guy, that when he takes off his warmups, he’ll have his entire Jordan kit on. I didn’t really think anything of it,” Hardiman, 20, told The Undefeated on Tuesday. “As soon as I posted the video, my phone died. And then when I turned my phone back on, it already had like 8,000 retweets. It was a really weird experience. I just see this guy, I have no connection with this guy.”
As for his new internet fame, Hardiman is not quite sure yet. “I’m still trying to figure that out,” said Hardiman, who attends Xavier University. “I never thought that anything [of mine] would go viral like this.”
Things just got real
between Future, Ciara and Russell Wilson. Or maybe not
12:18 PMThe tumultuous ups and downs of rapper Future and singer Ciara’s relationship have been circling around gossip sites for some time, but the latest update is cause for concern. According to TMZ, Ciara filed legal documents as part of her defamation suit against Future, saying that she thought the father of her child might kill her fiancé, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Yikes.
For what it’s worth, Future, née Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn, hasn’t made things easier in the fallout of the custody battle for his fourth child, who is actually named Future. Whether it’s a bunch of passive-aggressive tweets, Instagram notes directed toward Ciara and Wilson or random radio interviews discussing the Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Future has employed the exact opposite of the “keep my name out your mouth” strategy.
Making this whole matter even more unfortunate is that apparently her concerns are over emoji threats. For real. Yes, they are admissible in court, if you’re wondering. His decision to once post “🏈🏈🔫🔫🔫” has Ciara worried. Nobody wants to see the intimate details of their bad breakup spread all over the internet. But at this point, it’s starting to feel like with football season around the corner, this story is only going to continue to hang around, particularly if the NFL starts to take it seriously, too.
So future has been commenting on Ciara's IG football and gun emojis? And none of us caught it?
— Sade Badderthanya (@HollyGoNightly1) July 5, 2016
Sadly, it’s not really funny at all.
Daily Dose: 7/5/16
President Barack Obama is still just a dad
10:00 AMHope everyone had a good holiday weekend. While you were busy worrying about what Kevin Durant was planning to do with this life, NASA was busy putting a spacecraft into Jupiter’s orbit. That’s pretty wild.
It’s an important day for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. That’s because it’s the day that President Barack Obama will make an appearance with her on the trail. His endorsement was pretty obvious considering the way that the race is shaping up at this point, but for two people who once fought so hard against each other, for Democrats this is a big moment, optics-wise. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would love nothing more than for a president to show up somewhere with him. ABC News’ Meghan Keneally has the story on what they’ll be doing.
Speaking of the president, we are going to miss the first family so much in the White House. It’s not just the four of them, it’s the guests at the state dinners and the invitees to the parties, among other things. So, for Obama’s oldest daughter Malia’s 18th birthday, you can bet the list was relatively star-studded. And in typical dad fashion, even with rapper Kendrick Lamar and singer Janelle Monáe in the building — two Grammy-nominated artists — Obama decided to sing Happy Birthday himself. It’s not like we haven’t heard him break out in song before. ABC’s Brian McBride reports.
To say that I’m skeptical of self-driving cars would be a supreme understatement. If I had my druthers, I’d be happy going the rest of my life without ever sitting in a vehicle operated by a robot. But, they’re everywhere. Tesla has one, and recently a guy died while driving it. How did that happen? Well, the computer screwed up and a tractor-trailer slammed into the car. But can you blame the car? FiveThirtyEight’s Maggie Koerth-Baker explains how we can ever really expect any technology to be perfect or safe.
The Golden State Warriors turning into the most hated franchise in the NBA was unexpected. But there were quite a few moves around the league that turned heads. Mainly because the new TV money has ballooned the salary cap, readjusting what we once thought were big contracts. There’s also the small question of what happens with free agent Dwyane Wade. The Miami Heat are in a tough spot because he had a solid year last season with the team, but he’s also getting up there in age. So, paying him what he deserves is going to cost them a lot. ESPN’s Michael Wallace reports that $40 million might not be enough.
Coffee Break: With Independence Day just behind us, let’s have a little history lesson. It’s easy to presume that the men we call the Founding Fathers were old, wise gents, relying on years of life experience to form this nation. Alas, that’s not really true. They were all pretty young, as these things tend to go when it comes to revolutions.
Snack Time: If you haven’t seen this week’s cover of The New Yorker magazine, you should check it out. They’ve been on a great run, recently.
Dessert: There’s a way to play basketball on a public court. This is not the way to do it.