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Rob Parker on RGIII’s blackness
Dec-13-2012 1274 0


Robert Griffin III has been asked about his race repeatedly this season. He has not, to my knowledge, ever brought the subject up himself. Every time he’s been asked about it, he has managed to appear thoughtful and considerate without possibly offending anyone.

I’m not sure he’s ever handled the race question better than on last week’s Comcast SportsNet special, when Chick Hernandez talked about being a black quarterback in D.C.

“Whenever you can relate to the population of the team that you play for, I think it makes it that much more special,” Griffin said. “I don’t play too much into the color game, because I don’t want to be the best African American quarterback, I want to be the best quarterback.

“But to the fans, and to the fans who think that way and look at me as an African American, it’s important that I succeed, not only for this team, but for them,” he continued. “Because it gives them that motivation, that hey, you know, an African American went out and played quarterback for my Washington Redskins. So I appreciate that; I don’t ever downplay anything like that. Whoever I can go out every week and motivate to do better and to try to go after their dreams, I’m up for that.”

Again, I don’t know how he could possibly have handled that issue — which he did not raise himself — any better.

But people keep asking. The rookie was asked about race yet again on Wednesday, this time by an ESPN reporter. He delivered a similar answer. It was an answer that showed he’s actually thought about the issue, but it was steadfastly non-controversial.

“I am [aware] of how race is relevant to [some fans]. I don’t ignore it,” Griffin said Wednesday. “I try not to be defined by it, but I understand different perspectives and how people view different things. So I understand they’re excited their quarterback is an African American. I play with a lot of pride, a lot of character, a lot of heart. So I understand that, and I appreciate them for being fans.”

Well. This led to a Thursday discussion on First Take, ESPN’s abysmal debate program. Panelist Rob Parker was asked, ‘What does this say about RGIII?”

“This is an interesting topic,” Parker said. “For me, personally, just me, this throws up a red flag, what I keep hearing. And I don’t know who’s asking the questions, but we’ve heard a couple of times now of a black guy kind of distancing himself away from black people.

“I understand the whole story of I just want to be the best,” Parker continued. “Nobody’s out on the field saying to themselves, I want to be the best black quarterback. You’re just playing football, right? You want to be the best, you want to throw the most touchdowns and have the most yards and win the most games. Nobody is [thinking] that.

“But time and time we keep hearing this, so it just makes me wonder deeper about him,” Parker went on. “And I’ve talked to some people down in Washington D.C., friends of mine, who are around and at some of the press conferences, people I’ve known for a long time. But my question, which is just a straight honest question. Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?”

What does that mean, Parker was asked.

“Well, [that] he’s black, he kind of does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause, he’s not one of us,” Parker explained. “He’s kind of black, but he’s not really the guy you’d really want to hang out with, because he’s off to do something else.”

Why is that your question, Parker was asked.

“Well, because I want to find out about him,” Parker said. “I don’t know, because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancée. There was all this talk about he’s a Republican, which, there’s no information [about that] at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper as to why he has an issue. Because we did find out with Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods was like I’ve got black skin but don’t call me black. So people got to wondering about Tiger Woods early on.”

Then Skip Bayless asked Parker about RGIII’s braids.

“Now that’s different,” Parker said. “To me, that’s very urban and makes you feel like…wearing braids, you’re a brother. You’re a brother if you’ve got braids on.”

Then Stephen A. Smith was asked for his take. He exhaled deeply.

“Well first of all let me say this: I’m uncomfortable with where we just went,” Smith said. “RGIII, the ethnicity, the color of his fiancée is none of our business. It’s irrelevant. He can live his life any way he chooses. The braids that he has in his hair, that’s his business, that’s his life. I don’t judge someone’s blackness based on those kind of things. I just don’t do that. I’m not that kind of guy.

“What I would say to you is that the comments he made are fairly predictable,” Smith went on. “I think it’s something that he may feel, but it’s also a concerted effort to appease the masses to some degree, which I’m finding relatively irritating, because I don’t believe that the black athlete has any responsibility whatsoever to have to do such things.

“Let me say this clearly. I don’t know of anybody who goes into something trying to be the best black anything. We understand that. That’s a given,” Smith said. “But I do think it’s important to acknowledge a level of pride and a feeling of a level of accomplishment for being somebody who happens to be of African American descent, who competes and achieves and accomplishes things on the highest level while also bringing attention – to some degree anyhow – to the pride that they feel being black. Because they’re allowing themselves to be a reminder to those who preceded them, who worked so hard, accomplished and achieved so much, but were denied the accolades that that individual is receiving.”

Later, Parker was given an opportunity to clarify whether he was judging Griffin’s blackness.

“I didn’t mean it like that,” he said. “We could sit here and be honest, or we can be dishonest. And you can’t tell me that people in the barbershops or people that talk, they look at who your spouse is. They do. And they look at how you present yourself. People will say all the time, you’re not gonna get a job in corporate America wearing those braids. It happens all the time. Let’s not act like it doesn’t, because it does.”

The only conclusion I’m willing to make about all of this is that the show would have been much more thoughtful had Griffin been on the panel. Or had he replaced the panel.


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Jul-06-2015 189 0
Bill Cosby admitted in 2005 that he got quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women he wanted to have sex with, and that he gave the sedative to at least one woman and "other people," according to documents obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

That woman and a second woman testified in the same case that they knowingly took quaaludes from him, according to the unsealed documents.

The AP had gone to court to compel the release of the documents from the deposition in a sexual abuse lawsuit filed by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand — the first of a cascade of sexual abuse lawsuits against him. Cosby's lawyers had objected on the grounds that it would embarrass their client.

Cosby settled that lawsuit under confidential terms in 2006. His lawyers in the Philadelphia case did not immediately return phone calls Monday. Constand consented to be identified but did not want to comment, her lawyer said Monday.

Cosby, 77, has been accused by more than two dozen women of sexual misconduct, including allegations by many that he drugged and raped them in incidents dating back more than four decades. Cosby has never been criminally charged, and most of the accusations are barred by statutes of limitations.

Cosby, giving sworn testimony in the lawsuit accusing him of sexual assaulting Constand at his home in Pennsylvania in 2005, said he got seven quaalude prescriptions in the 1970s. The lawyer for Constand asked if he had kept the sedatives through the 1990s — after they were banned — but was frustrated by objections from Cosby's lawyer.

"When you got the quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?" lawyer Dolores M. Troiani asked.

"Yes," Cosby answered on Sept. 29, 2005.

"Did you ever give any of these young women the quaaludes without their knowledge?"

Cosby's lawyer again objected, leading Troiani to petition the federal judge to force Cosby to cooperate.

Cosby later said he gave Constand three half-pills of Benadryl, although Troiani in the documents voices doubt that was the drug involved. The two other women who testified on Constand's behalf said they had knowingly been given quaaludes.

Three of the women accusing Cosby of sexually assaulting them have a defamation lawsuit pending against him in Massachusetts. They allege that he defamed them when his agents said their accusations were untrue. Cosby is trying to get their case thrown out before discovery.

Cosby had fought the AP's efforts to unseal the testimony, with his lawyer arguing the deposition could reveal details of Cosby's marriage, sex life and prescription drug use.

"It would be terribly embarrassing for this material to come out," lawyer George M. Gowen III argued in June. He said the public should not have access to what Cosby was forced to say as he answered questions under oath from the accuser's lawyer nearly a decade ago.

"Frankly ... it would embarrass him, (and) it would also prejudice him in eyes of the jury pool in Massachusetts," Gowen said.

U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno asked last month why Cosby was fighting the release of his sworn testimony, given that the accusations in the Temple woman's lawsuit were already in the public eye.

"Why would he be embarrassed by his own version of the facts?" Robreno said.

Cosby resigned in December from the board of trustees at Temple, where he was the popular face of the Philadelphia school in advertisements, fundraising campaigns and commencement speeches.

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nicole hensley Jul-06-2015 90 0
A bullet intended for Antonio Brown rang out amid the loud blasts of fireworks above and fatally struck his 7-year-old son outside a northwest Chicago home late Saturday.

Amari Brown died in what Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy described as a “senseless murder.”

An unidentified gunman opened fire outside the 1100 block of West Harding Avenue just before midnight as Amari played with more than a dozen children.

The shooting left Amari helpless on the sidewalk where his father, who had been standing nearby, scooped him up and jumped into the back of a car.

He held his dying boy in his lap for the five-mile car ride to a local hospital where Amari died.

“I was in the back seat, I was talking to him the whole time. I was like, ‘You cool, I know you cool,'” Brown recalled to the Tribune.

He continued to wear the white pants soaked with his son’s blood Sunday morning.
The heartbreaking tragedy quickly turned to a blame game as Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy flashed his frustration at a press conference and put Brown’s extensive criminal history as a high-ranking gang member on display.

Investigators tallied up 45 arrests, most a variety of gun, burglary and assault charges, for Brown. The latest was in April when he allegedly led police on a vehicle chase. He has since been out on bond for gun charges ever since, authorities said.

“Quite frankly, he should not have been on the street. This is exactly what the men and women of Chicago (police) are up against,” McCarthy said. “I’m angry, I’m frustrated that we’re here again talking about a senseless murder. This has got to stop.”

McCarthy is wary that more police officers on the street could put a stop to the streaks of violence that have plagued Chicago. He lobbied for better gun laws in Illinois citing New York's tough firearm restrictions as an example. McCarthy was NYPD's deputy commissioner of operations until 2006.

In the hours before Amari’s death, he spent his final hours playing at his grandmother’s house as relatives barbecued, according to the Chicago Tribune.

"Who would shoot a 7-year-old in the chest? Who would do that to a baby,” Vedia Hailey told the Tribune outside John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital where her grandson died.
The shooting left the boy’s grieving mother sobbing into a SpongeBob SquarePants pillow while surrounded by friends and relatives.

“I don’t know how me and my family is going to go on. My baby was everything,” Amber Hailey cried.

The shooting also wounded a 26-year-old woman who is in stable condition after being shot, authorities said.

Brown was expected to start second grade this year.

His aunt, Andrina Hailey, called Amari’s death “a waste” and pleaded on Facebook for a stop to violence.

“Please stop killing our FUTURE! All my nephew wanted was to eat candy, sneak freeze pops, laugh and dance. WHY was he murdered?” Hailey wrote. “Now he is gone too soon.”

The boy was excelling in science and loved to show off a ribbon he earned for a science project, his family told the Tribune.

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KELDY ORTIZ Jul-06-2015 83 0
A 22-year-old mother was found stabbed to death inside a Bronx park early Sunday, and the father of her 2-year-old son was accused of killing her and trying to cover up his bloody tracks.

The body of Jasmine Gonzalez of the Bronx was discovered in Bronx River Park after her ex-boyfriend — the alleged killer — called 911 at 5:58a.m., claiming he had stumbled upon the corpse while walking a dog belonging to the dead woman’s family.

Khiry Borden, 25, was taken into custody after police found his book bag, containing bloody clothes, in the Gonzalez family home just seven blocks from the park, relatives said.

He was charged Sunday night with murder, manslaughter and weapons possession, police said.

“He came back here while everybody was sleeping. He changed his clothes to a new set of clothes he had in his bag,” Gonzalez’s sister, Jayselle, told the Daily News.

The sister said police found Borden’s book bag behind a curtain in the living room of the family’s E. 225th St. house. Inside it were a pair of bloodstained jeans and a towel, along with an empty package for kitchen knives, Jayselle Gonzalez said.

“He asked my mom for the dog chain. So my mom gave it to him,” she said. “So, I guess when he took the dog down there (to the park), he made it seem like he was walking the dog and found his baby’s mom dead.”

Police said Jasmine Gonzalez, whose body was found in the park near E. 226th St. and Bronx Blvd., was stabbed multiple times in her midsection. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gonzalez’s inconsolable family rushed to the park from their house when they learned what happened.

“That’s my little sister laying down over there,” said her sobbing brother JJ.

“Oh my God! Oh my God! That’s her,” said Gonzalez’s mother, who was not identified.

The mother identified a hat lying near her daughter’s body as belonging to the ex-boyfriend, whom she called “the devil.”

She said the father was given custody of the boy, even though he lived in a Brooklyn homeless shelter.

“They got into a dispute,” the sister recalled. “It was physical and the baby was around when it happened. So they took both of them to jail. They called child services on my sister.”

She said an uncle was caring for the child Sunday.

Police said Borden has seven prior arrests. Those crimes include slapping a pregnant woman in the Bronx in 2010 and robbing a 17-year-old girl, cops said.

“My mom is going through it right now,” Jayselle Gonzalez said. “That was my only sister. I was crying this morning, but I feel like, am I going to cry forever? She’s gone. There’s nothing I can do to bring her back. She’s always going to live in my heart.”

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AP Jul-05-2015 118 0
Police in Newport News, Virginia, say a 23-year-old man was fatally shot by police after he ignored their pleas to put down a sawed-off shotgun.

Police Chief Richard Myers said Kawanza Jamal Beaty was shot early Saturday in the ship-building city. He says the three officers involved in the fatal chase were put on paid administrative leave while separate investigations are conducted.

While Myers said his department has been a leader in equipping its force with body cameras, none of the officers involved in the chase was wearing one.
Police Chief Richard Myers said Kawanza Jamal Beaty was shot early Saturday in the ship-building city.
Myers said someone nearby had heard the police warning "Drop the weapon! Drop the weapon!" but had not witnessed the deadly encounter.

Myers said he met with clergy and civil rights officials and promised a transparent investigation. Beaty was African-American

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As Bobbi Kristina Brown spends her remaining days in hospice care, "ET" can confirm that someone took photos of her from inside her room.

"ET" was one of the media outlets solicited on Friday but has declined the unseemly offer. At the time, the pictures were going for a rate in excess of $100,000.

Her aunt, Leolah Brown, took to Facebook to express her disgust, saying that she will have anyone who came near Bobbi Kristina take a lie detector test to reveal the source shopping the photos around. "You took that picture thinking you gon get some money for it...and thats gon be it!" she wrote. "...guess what!????!!!! I will myself if no one else does-see to it that -YOU be revealed!!!!"

Leolah added, "YOU will not do to my niece what YOU did to Whitney! Everyone knows who YOU ARE!"

While stories about Bobbi Kristina's health have reached a fever pitch, there has been no change in her condition. There have been plans, however, to tent the hospice's entrance to protect the entire family from cameras and curious on-lookers, but security hasn't been increased yet.

Bobbi Kristina has been at Peachtree Christian Hospice in Georgia since mid-June. Family members, including her father Bobby Brown, and friends have been holding bedside vigils for her.









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Jennifer Fermino Jul-03-2015 114 0
A former top aide to Mayor de Blasio’s wife served as a backchannel messenger to both the mayor and the Rev. Al Sharpton, emails released to the Daily News Thursday reveal.

Rachel Noerdlinger provided Sharpton, her former boss, with insider info and delivered “talking points” to Sharpton to have him attack unfavorable stories on de Blasio, the emails, provided to the News as part of a Freedom of Information request, show.

She also got Sharpton to lend a hand when de Blasio was under fire for interceding on behalf of a supporter, the Rev. Orlando Findlayter, who’d been arrested for outstanding warrants related to traffic violations and a civil disobedience arrest.

On Feb. 14, 2014, Findlayter announced he would address questions about the arrest at a press conference to be held at Sharpton’s National Action Network headquarters in Harlem.

Rachel Noerdlinger, embattled aide to NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray, leaves office as mayor slams 'repulsive' scrutiny by media

That afternoon Noerdlinger - who was on the city payroll as a $170,000 chief of staff to First Lady Chirlane McCray - emailed Sharpton from her City Hall email address.

The subject line was “Bishop Orlando Findlayter to Address Press tomorrow.” Noerdlinger stated, “Sorry I have been at a speaking engagement with Chirlane is there a way for this not to happen? It is an unnecessary distraction."

Sharpton promptly canceled the event, telling the News Thursday, "The rationale was if he's in a legal proceeding, he shouldn't say anything."

Noerdlinger also served as City Hall’s conduit when they needed Sharpton’s help combating what they perceived would be an unfavorable Wall Street Journal story.

At the time, de Blasio was dealing with the Findlayter headache and sparring with the press after his drivers were caught speeding and running a stop sign.

She also got Sharpton to lend a hand when de Blasio was under fire for interceding on behalf of a supporter, the Rev. Orlando Findlayter, who’d been arrested for outstanding warrants related to traffic violations and a civil disobedience arrest.

The mayor’s then-top spokesman, Phil Walzak, sent a long list of talking points to Noerdlinger to forward to Sharpton so he could defend the mayor to the Journal.

“Pls share w Rev our thanks for his help on this. Below are background and talking points,” Walzak wrote.

She immediately forwarded them along, stating, “Rev. Sharpton: Please see below. I am going to find out the timing and whether it needs to still happen today.”

It also went the other way.

On Feb. 19, 2014, days before the public was told the city was going to settle the contentious stop-and-frisk case, then-mayoral aide Peter Ragone circulated a memo to “senior cabinet” members, including Noerdlinger.

The memo revealed the city was about to settle “the racial profile lawsuit” within days. Noerdlinger then emailed de Blasio’s top political aide, Emma Wolfe.

“Emma can I be helpful at all with validators/community endorsers (RAS) let me know. This is a big deal.” RAS stood for the Rev. Al Sharpton.

In the emails Ragone considers letting the law enforcement unions, including the Patrolmens Benevolent Association, in on the settlement the morning it’s announced.

It isn’t clear from the emails when the unions were actually told, but Wolfe told Noerdlinger to give Sharpton the heads up at 5:45 p.m. that day.

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Elizabeth Vanmetre Jul-03-2015 150 0
Charges for assault and battery against the rapper, 45, have been dropped.

A spokesperson of the Los Angeles County district attorney's office announced no felony charges will be issued and instead the star's case has been moved to city court to decide if the dispute should be listed as a misdemeanor.

"We are thankful that the district attorney rejected felony charges in this matter," Diddy's attorney, Mark Geragos, told the LA Times. "This case never should have been part of the criminal justice system to begin with."

The mogul was originally arrested after he reportedly attacked the school's assistant football coach and an intern with a kettlebell during an incident after a football practice.
UCLA defensive back Justin Combs made a splash when he signed to play for UCLA.

The coach, Sal Alosi, allegedly rubbed Diddy the wrong way when he mocked his son by posting photos of him sitting courtside with his dad during football practice in the gym, then later kicking him off the field during a workout.

"While you guys were training, this guy is sitting courtside with his dad," he allegedly told the team.

When the rapper approached Alsoi later about his actions the reported fight began.

UCLA has not released a detailed statement of the incident although Diddy has continued to say that he acted out in self-defense.

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RACHELLE BLIDNER Jul-02-2015 161 0
Two girls jumped out of a third-floor window moments before flames burst through their Georgia apartment, dramatic video shows.

The girls broke the glass after seeing smoke Tuesday, screaming as they leaped out of the building in Sandy Springs, about 15 miles north of Atlanta, according to video by 11 Alive.

A 17-year-old girl dove head-first out the window and a 6-year-old girl followed her, falling into the arms of two neighbors below, resident Thomas Lemon told My Fox Atlanta.

"They were frantic and they were crying and they were upset and you could actually see the fire was approaching them, going from one apartment to another apartment, getting closer and closer to them," witness Amber Vannoy told CBS46

Fire officials did not learn the girls' names, ages, relationship or current conditions because of patient confidentiality laws.

The girls were transported with lacerations to a children's hospital, where they were listed in stable condition Tuesday, Sanders said. They were the only people injured.

The girls were so disoriented that they could not remember their mother's number, neighbors said.

The girls did the "smart thing" by exiting through the window instead of trekking through the smoke, Sanders said.

"That was the only way the girls could get out," Sanders said. "To predict how people react, no matter if you're a teenager or an adult, is impossible when they feel their lives have been threatened."

A resident accidentally started the fire about 1:20 p.m. by discarding a burning cigarette in a box filled with paper in the back of the building, Sanders said.

The flames soon spread to the roof, burning it off.

Twenty-nine people who lived there have been displaced, and they are receiving assistance from the Red Cross.

Sanders said he did not expect to file charges against the resident who started the fire.

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Jul-01-2015 172 0
DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis was found guilty of attempted extortion and perjury Wednesday, and several deputies immediately escorted him from the courtroom into custody.

A jury was unanimous in convicting Ellis on the four felony charges related to allegations that he strong-armed county contractors into contributing to his 2012 re-election campaign. Ellis was found not guilty on five other charges.

Ellis and his wife didn’t move or show emotion as the jury foreman read the verdicts after deliberating about 27 hours over six days.

Ellis will be sentenced July 8. The maximum sentence for the three perjury counts is 10 years imprisonment, and the attempt to commit theft by extortion count carries a five-year maximum sentence.

The conviction brought an end to Ellis’ political career, where he had reached the pinnacle of leadership in the 700,000-person county in 2008 and then convincingly won a second term four years later.

Ellis, his attorneys and his family didn’t comment. Neither did District Attorney Robert James, who is bound by a gag order until after sentencing.

Walton, who agreed to wear a wire so he would not be charged with lying to a special purpose grand jury when he was asked if he got gifts or services from county vendors.

The extortion count involved accusations that Ellis shook down Power and Energy Services, which serviced generators for the county. Jurors heard a recording in which Ellis solicited contributions from Brandon Cummings, the president of the company.

“If I’ve got to sit down and explain to you why you would want to support this county government … ” Ellis said on the recording. “You obviously have an interest in DeKalb County … I’m not asking you to make a charitable contribution. I’m asking you to make a campaign contribution.”

The three perjury charges dealt with Ellis’ testimony to a special grand jury, when he said under oath that he doesn’t get involved in county contracting.

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