All Articles Tagged "ESPN"
ESPN Digital & Print Media announced today, Amy Barnett will join their company as the Executive Editor of Jason Whitlock’s new site, which will feature commentary on sports and culture news targeted for an African-American audience. Barnett’s role will be to regulate editorial operations for the site. Whitlock, who will serve as Barnett’s supervisor, says of employing Barnett for the role: “Amy’s impressive resume across a wide range of publications and brands, as well as her leadership experience, will ensure that the site will be at the forefront of news and commentary relevant to African-Americans. Together, we aim to serve audiences with quality and innovative journalism when the site debuts.”
Barnett led the redesign Ebony magazine and relaunched its website Ebony.com. Prior to Ebony, Barnett served as the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar, served as the Managing Editor of Teen People and also worked at Honey and Essence magazine.
This past spring MadameNoire interviewed Barnett; she spoke to us about leaving Ebony magazine in high regard and how she helped pay it forward to a past coworker. At the time we wrote:
Barnett’s willingness to talk about a magazine she no longer works for is interesting, but can best be explained by the high esteem in which she holds both the publication and its new EIC. Barnett hired Miller years ago when she was editor of Honey magazine. “I have watched her grow into a smart, unique voice,” Barnett said. And she says it’s great to “pass the torch” to Miller at Ebony, who she wishes “nothing but tremendous success.”
After leaving Ebony, Barnett became an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University. She taught, “The Shifting Business Framework in Media and Entertainment” at NU’s Kellogg School of Management. As a Brown and Columbia University alumnae, we are sure Barnett will set the latest media trends at ESPN with her new position.
Well we’ve finally solved the mystery of who told Harpo to beat Sophia?
It was Stephen A Smith.
No, I’m kidding. This is what he actually said in his commentary about the Ray Rice suspension (according to this transcript from The Talking Points Memo):
“I think that just talking about what guys shouldn’t do, we got to also make sure that you can do your part to do whatever you can do to try to make sure it doesn’t happen … but at the same time, we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation,” he added. “Not that there’s real provocation, but the elements of provocation, you got to make sure that you address them. Because we’ve got to do is do what we can to try to prevent the situation from happening in any way. And I don’t think that’s broached enough, is all I’m saying.”
Well, I will say that Smith is pretty consistent in his victim blaming. Back in March of this year, he was the lead scout in the cavalry to save Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, who believes that everybody is a little bit racist and, in particular, are scared of Black men in hoodies. I mean, it’s only natural to be, right?
Back then, he didn’t “give a damn” what Black Twitter had to say and told us old time-y black folks we needed to chill because Cuban also mentioned some other prejudices he had against other “others” too. So you kind of expected him to hold the same level of ferocity when Michelle Beadle, co-host of SportsNation of ESPN 2, checked him via Twitter for his pretty foolish domestic violence victim blaming comments.
Instead he got all apologetic and accepting of his week-long suspension – even wishing the Twitterverse a heavenly “God Bless!” Now I’m not trying to say that Smith ended up looking like a flip-flopping, kowtowing shook one, but that’s what Kermit said…
And thank goodness the White woman did care enough to say something on behalf of Ray Rice’s wife, which last I’d recall was a Black woman, and check what are largely inaccuracies. A Black woman, who Smith had just got finished violating again (with his inaccuracies), after she had already been violated by her boyfriend/turned husband and by the Ravens organization in general.
Unlike what Smith believes, women needing to contemplate all they have to do “to try to prevent the situation from happening” has been “broached” before in our national dialogues around intimate partner violence – most times it has been “broached” to death In fact, these conversations about how women should go about not “provoking” our own victimizations has been drilled into the heads of little girls and women everywhere since we were old enough to be left alone with our first male relatives. We are taught about the dangers of our mini-skirts and how that is going to get us raped. We are taught about the dangers of drinking alcohol and how that is going to get us raped. We are taught to stick with friends in bright and crowded places, to avoid ponytails, buy special underwear and other anti-rape paraphernalia, scream “no” as loud and as long as we can – but not too loud because dudes hate it when you talk to much, stop dating thugs, being golddiggers and a whole host of other things, which are supposed to not “provoke” our getting raped or beat up.
The problem is that whenever we “broach” the single golden ways men can do to prevent crimes against women – and that is “don’t do it” – that’s when folks – mostly men but a few women-hating women too (I see you Whoopi), will start pulling out their Smokey the Bear-hat and reminding women again that it is up to them to prevent forest fires.
And yet in spite of all that teaching of women how to stop getting in the way of those flying fists and loose penises, the US Department of Health and Human Services, says that even to this day, between 85 to 90 percent of domestic violence victims are female. Likewise, domestic violence constitutes 22 percent of violent crime against females and 3 percent of violent crime against males. And even more startling, 70 percent of intimate homicide victims are female, and females are twice as likely to be killed by their husbands or boyfriends than murdered by strangers.
Perhaps the womenfolks are just not listening and doing enough to prevent stuff from happening to them. But according to the DHHS:
“Some people believe domestic violence occurs because the victim provokes the abuser to violent action, while others believe the abuser simply has a problem managing anger. In fact, the roots of domestic violence can be attributed to a variety of cultural, social, economic, and psychological factors.49 As a learned behavior, domestic violence is modeled by individuals, institutions, and society, which may influence the perspectives of children and adults regarding its acceptability. Abusive and violent behaviors can be learned through: Childhood observations of domestic violence; One’s experience of victimization; Exposure to community, school, or peer group violence; Living in a culture of violence (e.g., violent movies or videogames, community norms, and cultural beliefs).50”
Learned behavior. The kind that says, boys will be boys. The kind that teaches our children that the onus for all violent acts against women are women themselves. The kind that would like to conflate straw man arguments about these exceptional Amazonian women capable of inflicting physical harm with her bare hands and mighty spit, who runs up on dudes and phone checking them for their manhoods than what the reality is: some of y’all got issues.
It’s funny how Smith, along with the supporters of this “provocation” doctrine as an justification for the right to abuse women, usually are eerily silent when discussions around violence against Black men happen. There was no talk about whether Black men should start hitting back when those Staten Island cops allegedly choked Eric Garner to death or how the Jersey cop killer’s widow might have had a point – none of those eye for an eye advocates dared touch that one. Funny how many of these burly tough guys, who are so easily provoked into violence at their own alleged injustice can’t be moved to “treat like men” all the knuckleheads in the community, who rape and pillage. But there are plenty of marching and pontificating behind podiums with petitions and calls to stop the violence though.
And even Smith, who never backs down from his own Bill Cosby-esque sass and provocation of the black community and Black women, suddenly submits, when his own livelihood is at stake. Now he understands self-control.
Apparently, ESPN is taking a stronger stance against domestic violence than the NFL. Last week Stephen A. Smith made some pretty flagrant comments about women provoking domestic violence. After defending the comments for a while not only on his show “First Take” but also on Twitter, Smith finally felt the strong arm of the network and eventually apologized. First on Twitter and then on air.
Initially, the network said that they found his apology to be sufficient:
“We will continue to have constructive dialogue on this important topic. Stephen’s comments last Friday do not reflect our company’s point of view. As his apology demonstrates, he recognizes his mistakes and has a deeper appreciation of our company values.”
“ESPN announced today that Stephen A. Smith will not appear on First Take or ESPN Radio for the next week. He will return to ESPN next Wednesday.”
I know many of you, our readers, and even some of the MN editors don’t think Smith’s comments were that offensive. That women shouldn’t put their hands on men. I certainly agree with that sentiment. No one should attack anyone else, ever but especially in the context of a relationship. I agree with Smith on that end.
But personally, I think the suspension is warranted. Given Smith’s comments about T.I. and Tiny and their drama and now this one about Ray Rice and Janay Palmer, it’s clear that his sensitivity to women’s issues is a bit off. And I don’t think it’s such a bad idea that he sit on the bench for a minute and think about the gravity of his words. I don’t believe they have a place in this particular discussion. Not only is the notion that Palmer hit Rice all speculation–because there’s no footage of her hitting him– it sends the very dangerous message that a man can somehow be justly provoked to knock a woman unconscious and drag her body around like a piece of trash.
Is Lamar Odom something like the cat with 9 lives, or what?! After alleged drug and alcohol addictions, people are still willing to give the brother a chance. According to ESPN, Laboral Kutxa, a Spanish basketball team, announced that they’ve reached an agreement with the 34 year old former Laker. Odom has signed a two month contract with the option to extend it to the remainder of the season.
He comes to the team filling a roster spot that opened due to an injury.
ESPN reports that these types of deals usually contain clauses that leave room for veterans to return to the NBA if the opportunity presents itself. But sources claim Lamar’s plan is to play out the entire season before determining whether or not he wants to come back to the NBA.
Odom could make his Laboral Kutxa debut as early as this Saturday against Valladolid. Laboral Kutxa is ninth in the 18 team Spanish league and last in the Euroleague group.
Laboral president, Josean Querejeta said in a statement, “We’re very happy to have signed a very important player who has had a long and fruitful career in the NBA. We’ve worked very hard over the last couple of days to make this happen, we felt we needed a boost and had to break the collective cloud that has been hanging over us over the last while so we could get back to winning.”
Lord knows we wish Lamar the best and hope he is able to find some type of peace and whatever healing he may need on the court, over there in Spain.
When you tell people you work for a black women’s website, they love to share the stories they think you should cover. Some of them are terrible and would never work and some of them fit perfectly in line with what we are trying to do here. This was the case last month when my sister’s friend Brittany sent me a link about Sasha Menu Courey. Sasha was a woman of color, a swimmer who attended the same college as I did: the University of Missouri. We affectionately call the school Mizzou. Sasha and I were on the campus at the same time; but to the best of my knowledge I never got to meet her. I’ll always remember Mizzou fondly. As the place where I met some of my best friends, learned about myself and learned the skills I would need to survive at my job and in the world. I love Mizzou. But for Sasha the experience was different. Though her journals and testimony from close friends seem to suggest that Sasha loved our school, something happened to her during her time there that perhaps changed the rest of her life.
Sasha, a Toronto native, was raped while she was a student at Mizzou. And presumably the aftermath of the rape and other subsequent events led her to take her own life 16 months later. She was 20 years old. It was tragic. And what made a terrible situation that much worse is that though several university officials knew about the rape, evidence suggests that the University, my university, didn’t report or investigate. I read the story and naturally was immediately saddened that this had happened first to Sasha and then secondly that nothing had been done to address it. This was a terrible story that had largely been underreported and it pained me…for about 20 minutes. And then like Mizzou, I forgot about her.
Two weeks later, the story of Micheal Sam, the gay NFL prospect came out and Mizzou was being celebrated in the media for “producing” a star athlete and also providing an environment where a black, gay man felt comfortable to come and live “out.” I knew our campus was pretty progressive when it came to LGBTQ issues, especially since Missouri can be quite conservative and has a long history of being flat out racist. But that’s a story for another day. The notoriety and praise that the university was receiving because of Sam’s announcement felt a little one sided. And I couldn’t really put my finger on why. And then I remembered Sasha. ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” conducted a six month investigation into Sasha’s story, interviewing school officials, medical professionals and consulting Sasha’s own journals to obtain the information you’ll read in this story.
And in an effort to tell her story, to hold my beloved university accountable and maybe inspire someone in her situation to step forward, I’m passing it on to you.
Sasha Menu Courey was a sprinter and relay specialist on the university’s swim team from 2009-2011. A Toronto native, she had been recruited by Mizzou and several other schools to compete. She was given a near-full scholarship. Before Sasha had come to Mizzou, at the age of 16 she had attempted suicide after a breakup with a high school boyfriend. She took several Tylenol before calling the ambulance. The incident was written off as teenage angst and she stopped counseling shortly afterward. Once she got to Mizzou, she was a straight A student and was named Student Athlete of the Week during her sophomore year.
Then in February of 2010, after a night of drinking Menu Courey went back to Gil Moye, a male friend’s apartment where the two had consensual sex. Afterward Menu Courey believed she was raped by another man. She described the incident to a rape counselor. Here is her word for word account of the incident obtained from her school records.
“[We] were falling asleep & then i heard the [door] open & some other guy walked in & locked the door & i couldnt really see who it was & i never saw a face the whole time…. but i remember just sitting upright in bed at the sound of someone walking in. & i just remember feeling really scared thinking that the two guys had planned this or something. so my first thought was figure out who this other person was in case so that if i needed the informaton i would have it later… the guy told me his name & then he pulled down his pants & put on a condom & just knew i was screwed …”
Menu Courey went on to describe the assault in detail, mentioning that she tried to reach a friend and former boyfriend on the phone during the assault:
“… I started to panick & as i still on the phone trying to reach one of them tears start going down & the guy just lift up my dress & next thing i knew he inserts from behind. by that point tears were falling more but i wasnt loud & didnt anything. and then i just snapped and kind pushed him away & yelled no! and then he just left.
“Leaning in” and adding value to the conversation is essential to getting ahead in your career, whether you have worked for a company for a while or you are a rookie. Being bold and fearless is particularly important in the male-dominated industry of sports journalism.
ESPN production assistant Kayla Johnson and associate producer Talaya Wilkins are providing support to one another as they make their presence known at ESPN. Johnson and Wilkins both grew up playing sports. Out of this love, they developed career interests in sports journalism. They are proving that women know what they are talking about in the world of sports beyond cheering from the sidelines.
“Keeping yourself relevant, being vocal in meetings and challenging your male counterparts is all a part of the game,” says Wilkins. She has worked at ESPN for the last seven years. When Wilkins first started at ESPN she could count on her fingers how many African-American women worked in her department.
“We see each other everywhere so I admire the growth… something to be proud of,” Wilkins says, noting the mentor relationship she has with Johnson.
Johnson graduated from Stetson University in May with her degree in Media and Communication studies, and a minor in Sports Management and Journalism. She did not wait to jump start her career. Wilkins is giving Johnson the extra push needed to move her career along, from entry-level “tasker” to someone called on for specific projects. As a production assistant, Johnson does content screening, reformatting and cutting highlights for Sports Center. She is the daughter of former NFL player Tim Johnson and grew up around a culture of athleticism, playing high school basketball. She knew that she was most passionate about sports, writing and loved speaking to people. Pursuing sports journalism only made sense.
“I’ve taken her under my wing so to speak and encouraged her on ways stay ahead of the game… It’s always a challenge not to get lost in the shuffle competing with so many others so I try to advice when I can,” Wilkins says.
According to a 2012 study released by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports, 90 percent of sports editors are white and the same percentage are men. Whites make up at least 86 percent of all assistant editors, columnists, reporters and copy editors covering sports too. At least 80 percent of those in each category are men.
“In three to five years I see myself producing a show and beginning to develop my own shows or working as a reporter for ESPN.com,” Johnson said. In February, she will have the opportunity to work on a project she’s passionate about, College Women’s Basketball.
Brittney Griner To Be First Openly Gay Athlete To Sign With Nike–And She’ll Be Modeling Men’s Apparel
Brittney Griner, the former First Team All-American center for Baylor and now the 1st overall draft pick for the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA, is having a great year. And it’s definitely getting better as it has been confirmed that she has signed a deal with Nike, making her the first openly gay athlete to sign with the company. What also makes her new business venture all the more unique is that her contract will actually allow her to wear and model men’s apparel for the sports brand. It all makes sense considering it has been a long time since anybody, including Griner herself, has seen the star athlete in women’s apparel. As the Houston Chronicle put it: “The contract reflects Griner’s personal style and her discomfort with traditional women’s fashion.”
In the ESPN cover story on Griner’s life, the partnership was confirmed by Nike spokesman Brian Strong, and the writer, Kate Fagan discussed androgyny and the need for the Nikes, Reeboks, Adidas and other big sports apparel companies to step up and start appealing to the “gender fluid” crowd:
“No sports apparel company has taken it a step further and expressly targeted the gender-fluid crowd — and whether Nike is willing to ride the edge with Griner remains to be seen. ‘We can’t get into specifics,” says Nike spokesman Brian Strong, “but it’s safe to say we jumped at the opportunity to work with her because she breaks the mold.’”
In that same cover story, Griner discussed her affinity for men’s clothes:
“When Griner goes shopping, she often looks for clothes in the men’s section. People will say, “Hey, you’re in the wrong place.” But as she explains, “It’s what I feel comfortable in. It’s my dress identity.” She tells a story from when she was younger: “I remember my mom doing my laundry, and my dad being like, ‘Whose boxers are these?’ And I said, ‘They’re mine’ [raises hand slowly]. I’ve always been totally out there — just on a limb.”
Despite what apparel she puts on for the brand, it’s definitely a great move for her and she’ll be representing for people like her who need to see a confident lesbian woman comfortable with herself and ready to do things her way at all times: “I am 100-percent happy. When I was at Baylor, I wasn’t fully happy because I couldn’t be all the way out. It feels so good saying it: I am a strong, black lesbian woman. Every single time I say it, I feel so much better.” Kudos to you, boo.
“Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts will publish a memoir in 2014 with Grand Central, the publisher announced Wednesday.
The book, which is not yet titled, will include Roberts’ story of her battle with MDS. The disease affects bone marrow and the creation of new blood cells.
“I am humbled that many have an interest, and draw strength from my ongoing journey,” Roberts said. “I’m grateful for the prayers and well wishes of so many people. I’m thrilled that Jamie Raab and Grand Central Publishing will help me tell my story.”.
Read more at EurWeb.com
For 40th Anniversary Of Title IX, ESPN Doing “Nine For IX” Documentaries On Women In Sports, Including Ava DuVernay’s “Venus VS.”
For years, I’ve been a massive fan of most ESPN documentaries (I don’t think there’s one I’ve seen that I haven’t enjoyed), including the very creative “30 for 30″ docs, which give many up and coming and little known but exceptional directors the chance to show their talents and tell stories from a different yet immensely deep angle. Maybe that’s why I’m so excited about the new “Nine for IX” series, an ode to the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the civil rights law of ’72 that “requires gender equity for boys and girls in every educational program that receives federal funding,” according to the Title IX website. It has allowed young women everywhere to have the opportunity to play the sports of their choice, obtain higher education through these opportunities, employment and more. The nine films will be directed by women, and Robin Roberts, anchor for Good Morning America, is an executive producer for the project.
Among the nine films are a few big notables centered around black women, including Venus VS., by Middle of Nowhere director, Ava DuVernay. The film chronicles Williams’ choice to challenge the fact that female tennis players were being paid less than the males for huge tournaments like Wimbledon and the French Open, and her battle, which she won, made her the first women’s champion (during her win in 2007) to take home the same reward money as men’s winner Roger Federer.
DuVernay put out a statement about the film and to speak on the little-known impact of Williams in this particular equal earnings fight:
Venus is a superior athlete, a legend; but she is also an activist who revolutionized her sport off the court with her fight for prize equality. I don’t believe this story should be relegated to dusty history books and UK newspapers. People in the United States should know of her true professional bravery and personal tenacity in making sure women athletes are regarded and rewarded on par with their male counterparts. This is my mission.
Another great feature during the “Nine for IX” series will be Swoopes, a doc on the life of WNBA icon Sheryl Swoopes, as she has “defied a multitude of labels.” And Shola Lynch is behind the documentary, Runner, about Mary Decker. Of course, Decker had her Olympic moment stolen in the worst of ways when she collided with a fellow runner after being thought as being in the forefront for the gold medal in the 3,000m final during the ’84 Olympics.
But these of course are just a few of the documentaries ESPN is offering. You can check out the full lineup here. Starting on July 2, ESPN will debut the films, beginning with Venus Vs., and they will air until August 27. Check out the preview video for all nine films below!
Will you be watching?
Well, it was good while it lasted. I guess. Maybe.
The NY Daily News is reporting that radio personality Tom Joyner and his wife, fitness guru and ESPN correspondent Donna Richardson, are no longer together. A source has told them that Joyner and Richardson split up weeks ago in a “mutual but not exactly amicable” decision. They’ve been married for 12 years.
The source also added that there were “outside parties” involved which lends to this divorce. One can only assume that “outside parties” are another man or woman, suggesting that there was infidelity. This could get ugly, folks.
Unfortunately, I’m not able to hear the Tom Joyner Morning Show where I live anymore but I’d heard that he hadn’t been mentioning Donna’s name on the show as often as he used to. At one point, Tom would add a “You know, Donna and I…” to just about every sentence. They’ve always come across as a really good couple so it is unfortunate to hear that it has come down to this.
The couple have no children and neither Tom’s nor Donna’s reps returned calls or emails from the Daily News.
Did you think they’d make it or were you one of the people who didn’t really see how the two of them got together in the first place?