Category Archives: sports

Michael Jordan to Donate $2 Million to Hurricane Florence Victims

Michael Jordan announced that he would be sending 2 million dollars to anyone affected by Hurricane Florence.

Jordan’s breakdown of the money he’s offering finds him giving $1 million to the American Red Cross along with $1 million to the Foundation For The Carolinas’ Hurricane Florence Response fund.

Jordan’s NBA team —the Charlotte Hornets, are also set to donate food boxes to victims in need. Along with that, the Charlotte Hornets have created a shirt that says “Carolina Strong” with the intention of giving 100 percent of proceeds to victims in need.

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Artist Blasted for Racist Depiction of Serena Williams at U.S. Open

Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper came under fire for artist Mark Knight’s cartoon depiction of Serena Williams’ incident at the U.S. Open, which many see as racist.

The photo went viral online, with celebrities like Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling blasting the photo on Twitter, writing, “Well done on reducing one of the greatest sportswomen alive to racist and sexist tropes and turning a second great sportswoman into a faceless prop.”

Jemele Hill also added that the photo is “About as subtle as Fran Drescher’s voice.”

Herald editor Damon Johnston backed Knight’s cartoon in a statement, which read, “A champion tennis player had a mega tantrum on the world stage, and Mark’s cartoon depicted that. It had nothing to do with gender or race.”

Knight also reacted himself, stating, “I drew this cartoon Sunday night after seeing the US Open final, and seeing the world’s best tennis player have a tantrum and thought that was interesting,” he said. It’s been picked up by social media in the US and my phone has just melted down. The world has just gone crazy.”

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Nike’s Colin Kaepernick TV ad is inspirational, not controversial

The question Friday morning wasn’t whether President Trump would tweet about the debut of Colin Kaepernick’s Nike commercial but whether it would be the first thing he would tweet about after waking up.

And there it was, first thing on the presidential docket at 6:56 a.m.

“What was Nike thinking?” Trump tweeted rather briefly and directly.

But if you actually watched the commercial that aired on NBC during the third quarter of season-opening games between the Falcons and Eagles, it’s pretty obvious what Nike is thinking – and it’s not whether to take a knee during the national anthem.

All you need to know about Nike’s ultimate goal with the Kaepernick campaign is contained in the ad’s first minute. It begins with a skateboarder falling off a rail, a child with no legs on a wrestling mat, an African-American boy who couldn’t be 10 years old running down a dirt road, a young shadowboxing woman wearing hijab, a surfer, a Pop Warner football game and a blond girl playing high school football against boys.

This isn’t about consumers Nike might lose in their anger over Kaepernick. It’s about cultivating an entire generation of consumers who are up for grabs at a moment where the lines between culture, politics and activism are blurry – a notion that might make older people uncomfortable but is now the coming-of-age reality for anyone under 18.

Ironically, if you take Kaepernick out of the ad, there is nothing controversial about the images and words contained inside of it. “Don’t ask if your dreams are crazy; ask if they’re crazy enough” seems like it could be a tag line to practically any Nike ad campaign, a direct link to the “Just Do it” slogan the company is celebrating with a 30th anniversary push.

Every one of those images connects to the overall theme of being different, of overcoming some type of obstacle or stereotype, which fits in well with why Kaepernick is here in the first place rather than playing quarterback in the NFL.

But it also seems designed to appeal to teenagers, without making it necessary to align with Kaepernick’s political and social justice views.

Yes, it’s Kaepernick’s voice and his image at the end, walking down a city street wearing a black mock turtleneck underneath a tan coat. But there is nothing in the ad that connects him to football or the NFL, even though his own backstory – being adopted by white parents, getting one college scholarship offer from Nevada and ultimately quarterbacking a team to the Super Bowl – contains some of the same inspirational threads as the people he’s narrating over.

Moreover, the commercial’s only allusion to the protest he sparked is subtle. As the camera brings Kaepernick into view from behind – you recognize him by his Afro – he’s standing and looking at a waving American flag being projected onto a building.

Then, as Kaepernick walks out of the frame, the images of the young people from earlier in the ad appear on those buildings and the words are flashed on the screen: “It’s only crazy until you do it. Just do it.”

Casting Kaepernick in this light is interesting because he’s the only person in the ad who isn’t shown playing a sport or wearing some type of Nike gear. That seems intentional, as if to acknowledge that he’s moved beyond the sports context and into the zeitgeist of these political and cultural times.

And when you think about what Nike’s actually trying to accomplish here, it makes perfect sense.

Though Nike has been the country’s preeminent sneaker and sports apparel company for a generation, Adidas has steadily been making headway, particularly with younger people. In the second quarter of 2018, Adidas posted a $485 million profit, shattering Wall Street expectations. That followed nine consecutive quarters in which the company’s sales increased by at least 20%.

Fueled by its alliance with pop culture stars such as Kanye West and Pharrell Williams, Adidas has made up significant ground and surpassed Jordan Brand (a Nike subsidiary) last year as No. 2 in the sneaker game.

Nike didn’t really have a comparable face, and many of its preeminent athletes they’ve been associated with outside the NBA (such as Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Serena Williams) are at the back end of their careers and don’t necessarily identify with teenagers. But that’s what shoe companies have to do: Figure out not just who their customers are now, but who their customers are going to be in five years, 10 years and beyond.

That’s who this is aimed at. We’re on the cusp of welcoming a generation of kids into adulthood who grew up with politics being injected into practically every area of their lives. Whether that’s a good thing will be for others to determine, but it’s a moment that’s happening and Nike is looking for a way to capitalize on it.

Kaepernick probably won’t sell a lot of shoes to my contemporaries. But would the ad that played Thursday night resonate with high school kids who are growing up in a confusing, polarized, politically active era? Nike is counting on it.

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NFL Denied from Getting Kaepernick Collusion Case Dismissed

News broke Thursday concerning the ongoing collusion case against the NFL, filed by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Arbitrator Stephen Burbank made the announcement that the case would move onto trial, effectively denying the league’s attempt at dismissing the case. Burbank’s statement read:

“On August 28, 2018, the System Arbitrator denied the NFL’s request that he dismiss Colin Kaepernick’s complaint alleging that his inability to secure a player contract since becoming a free agent in March 2017 has been due to an agreement among team owners and the NFL that violates Article 17, Section 1 of the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA.”

At the moment, Kaepernick’s former teammate Eric Reid is still waiting on a decision regarding his grievance filed against the NFL alleging collusion on the same grounds as Kap.

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Michael Cohen pleads guilty to 8 federal crimes

President Donald Trump’s former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight federal charges on Tuesday, including campaign finance violations related to hush money payments he made to porn actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election.

What’s more, Cohen admitted that he did so at the direction of Donald Trump, and with the goal of influencing the election.

Cohen pleaded guilty to a total of eight counts, including five counts of tax evasion involving nearly $4 million, one count of making a false statement to a financial institution, one count of willful cause of unlawful corporate contribution from June 2016 to October 2016, and one excessive campaign contribution on October 27, 2016.

The last charge — one excessive campaign contribution — is related to a $130,000 hush money payment Cohen arranged to Stormy Daniels to keep her silent about an affair she says she had with Trump in 2006. Cohen wired the $130,000 to Daniels’s lawyers on October 27, 2016.

Cohen has been in deep legal trouble since April 9 — when the FBI raided his residence, office, and a hotel where he was staying and seized several of his electronic devices.

And though Cohen’s conduct has been examined in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference with the 2016 election, this indictment is separate from the Mueller investigation.

Several months ago, federal investigators in New York convened a grand jury to investigate Cohen for “criminal conduct that largely centers on his personal business dealings” and “finances,” as they put it in a court filing. They also secretly obtained search warrants on several of his email accounts.

This led to the high-profile April 9 raids. At that point, prosecutors were looking for information on Cohen’s hush money payment of $130,000 to Daniels on Trump’s behalf, hush money payments to other women, efforts to suppress negative information about Trump during the 2016 campaign, and information about taxi medallions Cohen owns.

ow Cohen appears to have reached a deal with prosecutors. It’s not quite clear what this might mean for President Trump, now that the man who’s been one of his closest associates for decades may be facing serious legal consequences.

Cohen, who once said he’d take a bullet for Trump, seems to have soured on his old boss as the months wore on. He gave several public signals that he might be willing to cooperate with prosecutors, including releasing a secret recording of himself and Trump discussing a payoff to former Playboy model Karen McDougal. A CNN report also suggested Cohen was considering telling Mueller that Trump had advance knowledge of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting where Russians offered “dirt” on Hillary Clinton — something the president has repeatedly denied.

Cohen’s plea agreement doesn’t call for cooperation with prosecutors, including those on Mueller’s team. But Cohen’s revelations in court certainly deal a blow to the president, and Trump is clearly listed as “Individual 1” in the charging documents.

“There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the president in the government’s charges against Mr. Cohen,” Rudy Guiliani, Trump’s attorney, told the New York Times.

But it’s not good news either. Cohen is the latest member of Trump’s inner circle charged with federal crimes, and Cohen’s plea came just as a jury returned a partial guilty verdict in the trial of Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

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Ralo Bond Hearing Reportedly Cancelled Until Further Notice

Ralo was arrested in April 2018 after authorities found 440 pounds of marijuana aboard his private plane.

Since then, the rapper has been looking to get released from jail as he awaits trial. His team was even able to get over 11,000 signatures on a petition asked for him to be released. However, that seems to not be up for consideration anymore according to his team.

Via an Instagram story post, Ralo’s team posted a photo with the statement “Ralo bond hearing has been cancelled till further notice. #FreeRalo.”

Previously, a judge denied Ralo’s bond because he believed the rapper was still running a drug empire while in jail.

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41-Year-Old Vince Carter Signs One-Year, $2.4M Deal with the Hawks

Vince Carter may be far from his days as “Vincanity” but the 41-year-old vet still has a desire to lace them up. According to reports, Carter has agreed to a one-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks worth $2.4 million. ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski said that the Hawks are bringing Vince in to be “around its young locker room,” which features the rookie out of OU, Trae Young.

Vince told Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee,”I’ve worked extra hard just to be able to last because I love this game, […] It’s not a money thing. Obviously you want to be compensated for what you bring to the table, I get that, but it’s not the end of the world. I put the extra work in, whatever the case may be to be able to do this, to play games, to compete.”

For his 2017-18 campaign, Carter averaged 5.3 points on 40.3 percent shooting from the field and 34.5 from three on 17.7 minutes per game.

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