All Articles Tagged "football"

Ciara And Russell Wilson, How About A Little Discretion?

July 8th, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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 Credit: FayesVision/WENN.com


Credit: FayesVision/WENN.com

We are bombarded with pop-culture gossip 24/7.  From Tyga allegedly getting caught red-handed sending out nude pics and being accused of cheating on his under-aged girlfriend, to the ubiquitous Draya Michele and Orlando Scandrick drama, so little is left to the imagination. But somehow, for me, out of all the stories, the Ciara and Russell Wilson celibacy headlines felt like an embarrassing intrusion.

The public can be hard on Ciara and I never really understood why. She is undeniably an amazing dancer, she’s beautiful, and she seems genuinely sweet, if not a tad bit shy as far as pop stars go. She dated Bow Wow and 50 Cent and went through a very rocky relationship with Future, which left many calling her a big dummy for choosing him. Echoes of her intimate missteps can be heard from many gossip blogs and Twitter timelines: “He got 5 baby mamas. Why would she think she was gon’ change him?” “Why did she name her child after him?” “Bow Wow, for real? lol”

What did Ciara ever do to deserve such vitriol from the public?

She fell in love. Few among us can say that we haven’t fallen for a person who was 100% unequivocally the worst for us at a given time. Chances are you may have even fallen in love with a couple of bad seeds. So why is Ciara always being dragged within an inch of her life for it? Sure, she should’ve known better given the track records of her exes, but “should’ve known betters” usually occur with the gift of hindsight. We can’t choose who we love or don’t love.

But we can choose what information we share with the public. Would people be nicer to Ciara if she had tried to keep her relationship with Future on the low? Does an attempt at privacy garner our respect nowadays? For me it does. That is why I felt some type of way when I came across the headline, “Ciara and Russell Wilson Aren’t Having Sex.”

The story contained a viral clip of Wilson talking with Pastor Miles McPherson about his faith and his lady.

“I met this girl named Ciara, who is the most beautiful woman in the world…She’s the most kind person, the most engaging person…I knew that God brought me into her life to bless her.”

He seems to adore her, but it is strangely arrogant to me that Wilson believes he’s a gift from God sent to save Ciara. This entire situation reads like the makings of a terrible sketch on Saturday Night Live. After checking out the clip, I was overcome with gloom. As he continued to talk, I wondered to myself:

Did she know he was going to put their private sexual decision on blast? Did she feel pressured into this? What happens if this doesn’t work out? I think I’d feel differently if she were next to him and they divulged this information together…

Seriously though, why did this information need to be shared? It was none of our business until they made it our business.

Being celibate in this day and age is deemed equal parts noble and naïve. I’ve always felt that it is supposed to be an intimate commitment between two people who made such a vow together. But over the years, it’s been used as a means to get attention. I thought it was an unbecoming publicity stunt when the Jonas Brothers showed off their promise rings years ago, but that was only the tip of the exploitation-for-public-image iceberg. Publicity-wise, abstinence and celibacy are having a terrible month. Bristol Palin, the literal poster child for abstinence a few years ago, and a woman who said she was going to be celibate after having her son, has done her damnedest to make a joke of the entire thing. She’s not the first, nor the last to do so.

Look, I can understand why two Christian adults with a few troubled relationships in their rear views might try to be celibate, but the public proclamation before the relationship has really collected steam just doesn’t sit right with me.

We live in a transparent time. The Internet allows us to peer in and out of situations that we wouldn’t be privy to a decade ago. We want to know now, and we want to know everything. Some people have dodged many public bullets. With the exception of hackers making celeb nudes public and the occasional video vixen tell-all book, some celebs are able to keep their bedroom secrets to themselves.

There is beauty in a celebrity’s ability to control their public narrative. I love that we only knew what Beyoncé’s wedding dress looked like when she and Jay wanted us to know. I love when celebrities can get married or have a baby without a headline popping up about it until much later. Heck, Janet Jackson is easily one of the biggest stars in the world, and she had an almost decade-long marriage and we didn’t know much about it until it was over. I love Rihanna. As outgoing and active on social media as she is, I don’t know what’s happening in her bedroom. There’s wild speculation, of course, but she isn’t saying a damn thing about any of her purported conquests. She seems as open and carefree as possible in her unique positions (it’s definitely a part of her narrative), but she does manage to keep some things to herself. I applaud that. These people prove that discretion is possible.

I do not think that because of their fame, we the people deserve complete and total access. But when they make the access possible, it gives us the validation to pass harsh judgment loudly with little moral consequence.

While discretion may breed speculation, exposing everything about yourself offers the public an invitation. For some, this may be a good thing as many deem any publicity to be good publicity, but for others it damages your public perception. I root for Ciara. I want her to be happy and if being celibate with Russell Wilson is it, then good for her. I genuinely wish her well. But in the meantime, I will continue to yearn for the time when stars were a little more cautious about what they shared with the world.

 

Is Brigham Young Exploiting Motekiai Langi?

February 6th, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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Is Brigham Young Exploiting Motekiai Langi

Source: BYU Twitter

There are sports. And there is the sports industrial complex.

And it is latter of those two concepts of which I am the least fond.

More specifically, I really can’t stand how young men, who have barely graduated into manhood, let alone from high school, are being sold off to the highest bidders. And yes, I’m talking about the spectacle, which is called #SigningDay.

As Deadspin reports:

The most intriguing news out of signing day—at least for those who find tracking every tiny movement a bit weird—was that a 6’7″, 410 pound manchild signed a letter of intent to play football at Bringham Young University (BYU). The problem was, nobody knew jack shit about Motekiai Langi. No grainy highlight reel, no photos of him in a football uniform, no profile on a recruiting website. Nothing.

But there was a good reason for that: apparently his own future head coach has only spent 15 minutes with him, and he was recruited because a BYU assistant coach thought he was light on his feet during a game of pickup basketball two years ago.

Seriously.”

Seriously.

The Deadspin piece has a picture of Langi; and as the article accurately notes, he is a very big kid. Also you can watch BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall’s  full comments about why they chose him for the squad, here. Please pay attention to how Medenhall damn near objectifies the kid as he gushes over his size. And although he is not sure what position Langi will play on the football team, Mendenhall is sure, “he can play something.”

A couple of things irk me here: firstly, a college team recruiting in this manner just seems a bit unethical – or at the least, contrary to what higher education is supposed to be about. As opposed to demonstrating skill and actual knowledge of the game, they’re picking the kid who looks the part and hoping to mold him into what they need.

I feel like if I was a skilled player who had been training and studying to keep my grades up all my life just for the chance to play college football at BYU (look, it happens), I would definitely feel slighted. And even as a student with non-football aspirations, I would feel some kind of way about a learning institution randomly admitting a person not only into their football program, but by default, into college as well. Meanwhile, my non-athlete behind had to jump through hoops and dash through 50 yard lines, for admittance.

Seriously, if we are recruiting based off of his size alone, surely no one is even concerned about whether or not he is even academically ready for such an intensive, and independent, learning environment. Not to mention, what if this kid actually sucks?

I remember reading the story of former University of California, Berkeley football player James Grisom, who found out the hard way that football scholarships are not always permanent. And after his was rescinded, it not only forced him out of school but pushed him into a world of unnecessary debt. Now, Grisom’s situation might seem extraordinary; however when we recruit kids based on arbitrary reasons like size as opposed to skill, the abuse of the one-year scholarship, particularly to weed out undesirable players, is a valid concern.

Honestly, everything would be much more fair here if these institutions would just drop the charade and just start paying these kids for their services. I mean, if we were going to have unqualified players “sign” onto college programs like they are contracted NFL players – all because they serve an institution’s immediate needs – then they should be compensated like them too. Granted, they get a free, or low-cost education (at least for a year), but even that is contingent upon your academic commitment. Not to mention that there are other living expenditures too. If you are in practice, on the game field and on the road, most of the time you’re not in the classroom. Where is the time to hold down a part-time gig to otherwise feed and clothe yourself?

These are the questions I have about this whole #SigningDay business. I’m certain folks feel differently, so feel free to enlightenment me in the comment section below.

Richard Sherman’s Potential Dilemma: Superbowl or Childbirth?

January 30th, 2015 - By Rich
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Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is on baby watch. We’ve all been there and as a father it is more stressful than moms-to-be realize (Yes, you may have the harder job; but the insults and everything else that come along with it? Sheesh!). The Superbowl is coming up this Sunday in Tempe, AZ and Sherman is an integral cog in the Seahawk defense that propelled them there in the first place. Sherman’s girlfriend could go into labor at any moment…including right before the game.

What should Richard Sherman do?

So far, he hasn’t stated whether or not he would miss the game to be there for his significant other and the birth of his first child. Sherman’s girl is in Tempe and if she were to give birth it would be at a nearby hospital. It’s Friday and there have been no reports of labor just yet; so this could come down to a newborn son on Sunday. Labor is a process. So let’s just say his girlfriend’s water broke or began to have contractions every five minutes and/or her cervix is four centimeters dilated so the doctors are going to keep her (Clearly I’ve been through this) this afternoon. The baby probably will not have taken his first breath until Saturday morning the earliest and he’d be in the clear for game day.

The truth is that while there is a good chance that Richard Sherman could miss the birth of his son he has plenty of time. Yes, on Saturday and Sunday there will be meetings, film sessions, and other forms of preparation; but I am sure that he and his coach, Pete Carol have something already worked out.

Being an athlete is his job; so I don’t think that he should miss the Superbowl. There’s too much riding on it that is much bigger than Richard Sherman. I know that may sound a little rash; but it’s the truth. The outcome of the game has billions of dollars invested into it between marketing, advertising, the NFL–the organization he works for, as well has vendors/small business owners all over especially in the state of Washington. If it was the regular season, I’d think it’s alright if he missed the game. The playoffs? He should play as well; but there would be a smidgen of reasonable doubt. The culmination of the last year of work and be one of few teams to win back-to-back Superbowls? Once in a lifetime.

However, it’s also once in a lifetime that you become a father. There’s just a difference in how we see the world that changes everything. We don’t have the same connection to our child because they’re not living in us. Therefore, seeing that baby for the first time is the moment. While it may be a fairly gruesome sight to see something you love so dearly expand to the point of beyond recognition, a head peaking out of it, and maybe some tearing as it is a beautiful moment. When my daughter was born-granted things happened so quickly there wasn’t time to process-the first thought was “Holy sh*t that’s the kid and she’s mine[?]!” No matter how many children you have you only become a parent once and it is one of the best feelings in the world.

It’s a tough call; but at this point it’s all hypothetical. Richard Sherman could luck out, win the game, and his girl not have gone into labor yet. I’m pretty sure that’s what they both want.

“I think he’s going to be a disciplined young man and stay in there until after the game. He’s going to do his father his first favor and stay in there for another week or two.”

Exclusive Interview With Ray Edwards: The Boxer, Model And Dad Talks Family And Fatherhood

December 24th, 2014 - By Kweli Wright
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Former football player Ray Edwards says he’s a “do what I want” kind of guy. But don’t get it twisted, the professional boxer thinks more about his family and community than anything else. Read our exclusive chat with Ray to find out about his career transition, what his fiancée won’t let him get away with, what kind of dad he is, and the thing that he admits being his kryptonite!

Mommynoire: You played in the NFL, but it’s all boxing no?
Ray Edwards: Strictly boxing and modeling.

Tell us about the modeling, did that start from you being on the football field and someone spotted you?
That just came from me wanting to have fun. Football is a very taxing sport and a lot of people said I should model so I just did it. [laughs]

Ray-Edwards

Just that easy, huh?
Definitely football gets you in the door because being an athlete means you’re known more than the average person, of course. But like I said, it’s fun for me, I love to joke around and just have a good time. I’m very comfortable in my own skin like everybody should be no matter what you look like .

So what kind of modeling do you do?
I’m more about whatever moves me, there are no boundaries…except nude. My fiancée and wife-to-be would be like “negative” on that one.

Speaking of which, are you engaged now?
Yeah I’m engaged now.

Congrats! Besides the modeling tell me how boxing came to be your new career.
It’s always been a passion of mine since I was a little kid, So I was steady training for it when I was playing football, some of my coaches didn’t like it, but I’m a “do what I want” kind of guy sometimes [laughs] so I just continued to do it. Once I got to the NFL I just kept training, and then when things started going north in the NFL with the lock out and not knowing the future, I just kept at it. When I got released out of my contract in 2011, I kept going full on with it.

I love football but boxing has given me more freedom to be a dad. Football is very taxing and very hard on you being a father, pretty much, and being a husband, or anything, due to the demand of it. So boxing gives me more freedom. I don’t have my youngest son, he lives with his mother in Minnesota, so it give me the freedom to see him more often. My youngest son, Emmanuel, is three, my older son, Abel, just turned five.

What other ventures are you working on?
I’m working on a clothing line, True Ink, I want to change how we look at clothing in the urban community and how we look at ourselves in the urban community…just being more positive and striving to do better. There’s no reason for anything to go on that we don’t want to go on, we have that type of power in our communities to make that big of a difference.

That’s a great message to send to our youth, anything we can do helps.
Exactly. Just to inspire others and let people know that you can do anything you put your mind to. It’s all about your mindset. Positive things can happen.

How did you get that mindset? Was it how you were raised?
It came at a young age, I was blessed to have that kind of focus. I saw my mother struggle—I was raised by my mom until I was like 10 years old—but just to see the struggle that family members went through with dead-end jobs and not having careers, I always told myself that I wasn’t going to be like that. [I wanted to] be able to take care of my family, to be able to–because my dad wasn’t in my life—work hard enough so that my sons wouldn’t need to rely on anybody else.

I never used the excuse, well my mom and dad wasn’t there, people nowadays rely on excuses instead of heading out there and trying to do things for themselves.

Sometimes people don’t believe they can take themselves out of a situation they’ve been born into…
Nothing is foretold if you believe in yourself.

What kind of dad are you? Strict? A pushover?
How can I say this? My fiancé says I’m very authoritative. I don’t take too much. I’m not a pushover.

But they’re four and five, how much could they really be doing?
[Laughs] Two boys? Yeah, they definitely are a handful, they’re great and get along but they definitely have their moments. They want to figure out who is going to try daddy or mommy today. I let them know, “this ain’t that type of party.”

What do you guys do for fun?
Any and everything they want to do. We’ll go see the latest kid movie that’s out. Got to Dave & Busters. Whatever they’re in the mood for…go in the backyard and just have fun.

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Do you see either of your sons being athletes?
I’m not going to force them but they’ll be in shape so they might as well do something, but I’m not going to force them.

You’re engaged now, but at some point you were a single dad who was dating. What did your fiancé have to go through to let you know she was right to be in their lives?
Just a mother, someone who is caring, loving attentive just like I am.

Were you dating women who were also mothers?
Well my fiancé is the mother of my oldest son. When we met she had a son and is a great mother. We didn’t bring the kids into the mix until we got a lot more serious. So that let me know that not just everyone is around her kid.

Besides the boxing and clothing line, any other projects?
I’m working on a promotional company, Lionheart Promotions, with my boxing. A lot of promotional companies take advantage of the fighters. I’m self-promoted, I don’t work with anyone. I set my own fights. Can’t nobody tell you what you want to do—you know how you want your career to go, at least I do. Playing football, it’s their way or the highway, pretty much. If you know what you’re doing you don’t need to rely on anyone to make the decisions.

Who do you rely on for advice or tips? It seems like a lot to do all yourself.
It’s a lot but I work for a manager as well, but I know the ins and outs of the game and make it happen. Like James Brown said, why can’t I be the show and the business? Because I look at it this way. Everyone thinks I’m boxing because I’m broke—which I’m not—I could be retired, stay-at-home dad, but I have bigger goals. I want to reach out to more kids and give kids the opportunity to become more, and also where they have a safe-haven to go. I don’t fight for me, I fight for my family and my community.

How will you be spending the holidays? Cooking?
The wife won’t let me do that. She tells me to sit down and I don’t have any problem doing that. I’m looking forward to the macaroni and cheese, and beans, and sweets. Whatever she’s making, I’m ready for it. But sweets? That’s my kryptonite. I’m a junk food junkie—I’m a cookie, brownie guy.

What are your kids asking for on Christmas?
They love Ninja Turtles so I’ll be the best dad in the world if I hook them up with those. This is the age when they’re easy, it’s the teenage years when the crazy demands come. But I’m loving it.

Wife Beating Permitted?: Ray Rice, Janay Palmer And The NFL

September 9th, 2014 - By Rich
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She was on the floor out cold. No matter how many times I watch the video, I can’t get past the fact that Janay Palmer was laid out on the floor of an elevator like a dead body. The man responsible was her soon-to-be husband NFL star Ray Rice. And as he tried to drag her out of the elevator of the Revel Casino in Atlantic City–her body halfway inside and halfway out–she barely moved. My fear of elevator accidents and an active imagination had me worried that her body would be crushed by the doors or mutilated in some freak accident where the elevator suddenly dropped while the doors were opened. But instead, Rice just tries to wake her up and a hotel worker stands in the door. Rice doesn’t seem scared. Actually, he’s very calm. And it all seems a little too normal for him.

Rice was originally suspended for two games when the news of this domestic violence incident first hit the wire back in February. At a press conference in May, Rice appeared with his wife, apologized and said the two of them were gong through counseling. Janay also apologized, saying she regretted “the role” she played in the incident. Then, months later, TMZ leaks the elevator footage and it gets ugly. People are outraged, women especially. Twitter wars are sparked between individuals who have strong opinions and their own interpretation. The pressure from the public forces the Baltimore Ravens to drop Rice from the team. The NFL suspends him indefinitely.

For Janay Palmer, getting knocked unconscious was just the beginning. Now, after getting dragged out the elevator, it’s time to get her name dragged through the mud as well. No one knows what was really going through her head, but everyone is quick to judge her for getting married only a month after she and Rice owned up to the incident. She must either be blind or be a golddigger, it’s been said. “He’s wrong, but she’s wrong, too.” How could she stay after that?, everyone is asking, Hashtag campaigns #whyIstayed and #whyIleft are launched on social media. Janay’s situation sparks people to speak out against domestic violence. The issue becomes way bigger than Ray Rice and Janay Palmer.

Though TMZ says that the NFL had the video for a while, the NFL said in a statement that the video had not been made available to them until Monday when it posted on TMZ. Earlier coverage of the physical altercation suggests that the NFL had seen the tape. Originally, they were criticized that their punishment was too lenient. Back in March, Rice was indicted by a grand jury of third degree assault. Rice struck a deal with prosecutors, which led to the charges being dropped. The NFL stood behind him throughout, protecting their investment. But since the elevator video has become splattered all over the internet, the football league has been acting like it cares. Now that people are watching, they’ve got to do the right thing. The video was too disturbing and they had to act quickly. And above all, they won’t tolerate domestic violence (at least not after the footage exists!).

But despite all the media attention, the twitter hashtags and the NFL chatter, at the end of the day, it comes down to the two of them. Do people really care about her well-being or do they dismiss her as a victim because she went ahead and married him? Back in that elevator, it was clear she needed help. He punched her, she hit him back, he punched her again, her head hit the rail, and she fell to the floor. And afterwards, he dragged her on the ground. And she was out cold.

 

Bengals Keep Player On Squad To Help Pay For Daughter’s Chemo

September 7th, 2014 - By Courtney Whitaker
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I may not be a huge football fan but the Cincinnati Bengals are my new favorite team. The NFL team made the executive decision to keep defensive tackle Devon Still on their practice squad, after cutting him, to help him pay for his 4-year-old daughter’s cancer treatment. Leah, Devon’s four-year daughter has a potentially fatal, rare form of cancer called neuroblastoma.

By keeping Still on the practice squad, he will be able to benefit from medical insurance and maintain a salary of $6,300. He will also be required to travel less and can spend more time with Leah.

The 25-year-old football player has expressed nothing but gratitude towards the team and his followers. In an interview with ABC he stated,

 I completely understand where the Bengals were coming from when they cut me because I couldn’t give football 100 percent right now,

Our thoughts and prayers are with Devon and Leah.

NYC High School Football Player Collapsed And Died During Practice

September 3rd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Twitter

Twitter

 

From The Grio 

A high school football practice took a tragic turn Monday.

Curtis High School junior defensive tackle Miles Kirkland-Thomas collapsed and died following a series of wind sprints, his father told the New York Daily News. 

 

Kirkland-Thomas, 16, showed up late for practice and was asked by coaches to complete some sprints to make up for his tardiness. The Daily News reports he stopped after completing two sprints.

 

He then collapsed while talking to one of his coaches. He went into cardiac arrest and later died at a Staten Island hospital.

Read more about this tragedy at TheGrio.com 

 

Evening Eye Candy: MN’s Super Bowl Fantasy Football Team

January 31st, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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Fantasy Football
Super Bowl Sunday is upon us and while we haven’t quite decided whether we’re rooting for the Broncos or the Seahawks, we have come up with a team of our own that we can get behind. Most — not all — but most women watch football for the eye candy and that’s why we’ve come up with our own fantasy football team of NFLers who we would watch on the field any given Sunday. Enjoy!

FOX Sports Attacks Richard Sherman with Spoof Featuring Kids

January 24th, 2014 - By Rich
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When Jimmy Kimmel had kids reenact one of Kanye West’s typically angry, defensive interviews, it was really funny and kind of adorable. But this FOX Sports video where kids reenact Richard Sherman’s speech? It’s not really funny and it’s kind of strange.

If you’ve missed the news this week, Sherman, a Stanford grad, has been called a thug and everything else for an emotional post-game speech that people have labeled a rant.  The now-famous interview lasted all of a few seconds and it wasn’t like Sherman was all over the place or wasn’t making sense. We can think of some talking heads who are a lot less coherent. If you’re a young NFL player on your way to your first Super Bowl and you were a big part of the team’s success, why wouldn’t you go in during an interview? His play was a huge adrenaline rush; any one of us would be excited. It’s another case of white people fearmongering and pointing fingers at the uppity Negro. Different day, same ish.

And now pulling in a group of kids, all white, who can barely get the words out and who don’t even  really seem to know what they’re doing seems to add unnecessary fuel to a fire that shouldn’t have gotten started in the first place. I guess FOX Sports was playing for laughs but this misses the mark.

What do you think of the video?

Adorable Baby Football Gear For Your Lil’ MVP

January 11th, 2014 - By Rich
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If you want kids to appreciate the game, you have to start them young–very young! Check out the cutest baby football inspired gear we could find. Touchdown!

Adorable Baby Football Gear for your Lil’ MVP