All Articles Tagged "ESPN"

Back To The Court: Lamar Odom Signs Contract To Play Ball In Spain

February 18th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Lamar Odom Signs Contract To Play Ball In Spain

Source: WENN

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.

You Know Michael Sam But Not Sasha Menu Courey. Were Her Rape & Death Ignored?

February 13th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: University of Missouri Athletic Department

Source: University of Missouri Athletic Department

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.

Two Women Forge Career Paths In The Male-Dominated World Of Sports Journalism

December 10th, 2013 - By Priscilla Ward
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Kayla Johnson (left) and Talaya Wilkins

Kayla Johnson (left) and Talaya Wilkins

“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,” 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

June 5th, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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AP Images/Bill Shettle / Cal Sport Media. (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

AP Images/Bill Shettle / Cal Sport Media. (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

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.

“I’m Thrilled To Tell My Story:” Robin Roberts To Publish Memoir

May 23rd, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN


From EurWeb

“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.”.




For 40th Anniversary Of Title IX, ESPN Doing “Nine For IX” Documentaries On Women In Sports, Including Ava DuVernay’s “Venus VS.”

February 20th, 2013 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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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?

Is This The End? Are Tom Joyner And Donna Richardson Calling It Quits?

December 22nd, 2012 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"TomJ DonnaR pf"

Katherine Christine/WENN

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?

What Does Jeremy Lin Have to Do With Black People?

February 23rd, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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A lot of people have gone Lin-sane lately, and it’s not just sports fans. Of course New Yorkers and those who support the Knicks are grateful for what Jeremy Lin’s athletic prowess has brought to the team, but others who are watching the social commentary time clock say the recent scandal surrounding racist terms used in reference to the Chinese American basketball player serve as a teaching moment for the black community.

With the good there always comes some bad, and unfortunately when the Knick’s lost their first game under Lin’s reign, we saw the bad come out of a writer and a news anchor who alluded to the loss as a “chink in the armor.” The dismissed writer who created the offensive headline insists the use of the racial slur was an honest mistake, while the suspended anchor said his offense was unintentional. Regardless, ESPN took action against both. But what do racial slurs used against an Asian man have to do with black people? Let sports commentator Stephen A. Smith tell it, our hypersensitivity to racism has paved the way for incidents like this. On an episode of ESPN first take, he said:

“The black community has to recognize that we share a level of culpability in any kind of incident like that that transpires because the heightened sensitivity that exists in our society today we have a lot to do with.

“That heightened level of sensitivity has had a contagious effect on other communities so suddenly everybody is sensitive because their saying, ‘well if the black community gets to be sensitive about anything that may be perceived as racist what about what I find racist.’ Then you have people from the white community saying, ‘wait a minute, what about what we find offensive,’ and then the Hispanic community, ‘what about what we find offensive,’ now you have folks from the Asian community saying, ‘what about what we find offensive,’ and the list goes on and on…. And here’s what happens, we’re in an unforgiving society now…

“You have to get to a point where you don’t erase what you’re sensitive to but you have to be forgiving from the standpoint that if somebody apologizes genuinely, let’s try to be a bit more forgiving because if we’re not, other people aren’t going to be so forgiving when something goes down with us—whether its other ethnic groups or the homosexual community.”

Sounds like a Roland Martin reference. While I agree that black people ought to use the R word sparingly, are we really to blame for the disciplinary action taken toward these careless employees? I will say there seems to be a growing trend of calling for immediate dismissals of writers, commentators, etc. who cross the racial lines, and employers are no longer willing to take a chance and wait for backlash before implementing immediate disciplinary action against offenders. But rather than these calls for action having to do with a lack of compassion, as Stephen Smith suggests, I think they are more so an example of  people who are tired of racial attacks being swept under the rug.

“She’s The Boss” Episode 5 – Karine Méhu, Director of Digital Marketing at ESPN

September 15th, 2011 - By madamenoire
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About This Episode

Karine Méhu is proof that sometimes you really can have it all. As the Director of Digital Marketing at ESPN, Ms. Méhu oversees the creation and implementation of ideas that must be as practical as they are creative. ESPN’s advertisers depend on her to execute campaigns that capture consumers’ attention and spending money.

This dedicated young professional gets up at 4 am everyday and is somehow finding the time to plan her wedding even as she racks up professional accolades and puts in long hours at a job she loves.  Soak up some of her career wisdom and find out why she’s the boss!

Karine Mehu ESPN

Want More She’s The Boss? Check out these other episodes:

Coaching and Commenting a Double Foul?

June 13th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(New York Times) — Does this look right? Mark Jackson is an ABC analyst for the N.B.A. finals and the coach of the Golden State Warriors. Can one man do that? Should he? Shouldn’t there be a panel of wise men to decide this?   In March, the Fox News Channel took Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum off its air because of the likelihood that they would run for president, as they eventually did. But that’s politics.  Jackson as a coach-analyst is just sports. Just the way things are. Jackson was hired by Golden State before Game 4 of the Dallas-Miami series. At most, his tenure on ABC will last through Game 7.  So why not keep him around for more of LeBron and Dirk and Dwyane and Kidd?

Read More…