All Articles Tagged "NBA"
Sneak Peek: Jason Collins Tells Oprah He Wishes He Would Have Told His Ex-Fiancee The Complete Truth
Before announcing to the public that he is gay, NBA athlete Jason Collins was engaged to be married to his college sweetheart, former WNBA player Carolyn Moos. The two were together for eight years before Jason called off the wedding in 2009, leaving Carolyn heartbroken and confused as to why the relationship ended. The truth wouldn’t be revealed to her until years later — just a few days before Jason publicly announced his homosexuality in Sports Illustrated.
In this clip from his interview with Oprah for “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” Jason opens up about being engaged to Carolyn while struggling with his sexuality, explaining that he was still working through several different emotional stages that prevented him from accepting the truth about himself.
“At that point, I hadn’t reached acceptance in myself yet,” Jason tells Oprah in the clip. “Being in the closet… it really is going through the 12 steps of denial and shame and anger and all of that. I hadn’t reached acceptance yet.”
Read more at BlackVoices.com
From Jackie Robinson To Jason Collins: What’s Really The Big Deal About Being The First To Do Something?
There are lots of different discussions to be had around this Jason Collins story, particularly what does it mean to be the first of something?
According to the website True Blue LA, when asked to share his thoughts on Collins’ coming out, Don Mattingly, the current Dodgers manager, said, “It seems a little bit like a Jackie Robinson type thing to me. He’s kind of crossing some barriers,” Mattingly said. “It will be interesting to follow to see what happens.”
I’ve seen this comparison all throughout the media and the reaction to it has been pretty polarizing. As many people have noted, Collins is not the first openly gay athlete in sports. Last week, WNBA forward Brittney Griner came out rather casually and to little fanfare and/or criticism, and many other female athletes have done the same. Yet some have noted, the spectacle of his coming out might have something do with him being male and in a sport, which some would like to believe could come off more homophobic than the rest of society. Even still, it is hard to deny that there is a certain Robinson-esque quality to Collins’ story. And like the “first” before him, he will likely go down in history as an important trailblazer in the world of sports and sports politics. But outside of the historical significance, what is really the big deal about being the first?
Yvette Carnell, writer with Your Black World, noted recently that despite Robinson’s personal achievements, his inductions as a “first,” didn’t really serve the black community, outside of opening the doors for a few other black athletes to buy-in into a politically racist and socially unequal system (by way of professional baseball), which worked against the interests of black people. As pointed out by Carnell, while a big part of Robinson’s legacy hinges on him being the first, many folks are unaware of Robinson’s more patriotic and conservative leaning, which often was opposed to the general consensus of black folks at the time, including his support of Richard Nixon against John F. Kennedy for president; his testimony before the House Un-American Committee in hearings against black activist and artist Paul Robeson; and his support for the Vietnam War and inquiry into the patriotism of Dr. Martin Luther King when he announced his opposition to the war. She writes, “For some, celebrating Jackie Robinson’s integration into baseball boils down to the idea that blacks needed to be liked by even the most racist whites in order to have any real shot at the American dream. So to them, it was acceptable for Robinson to do whatever it took, even if it meant going so far as to unleash the Congressional hounds on Robeson, as long as it ensured that the doors to white baseball were opened to Robinson.”
There is no doubt that Collins out-coming will inspire more gay athletes, who have been hiding in the closet out of fear of reprisal, to not feel ashamed to live their lives publicly as well. And I imagine that it will also go a long way in changing mindsets – or at least creating the appearance of tolerance – and creating a more gay-friendly environment around that particular league. I can certainly see even the most hardened homophobic basketball fans willing to adjust their beliefs about gay men or gay rights–anything if it meant getting his/her team a championship. Heck, I know of a few of those such fans, who were very protective over Dennis Rodman – and he was a straight guy in a dress. However, outside of being able to identify with Collins, what exactly will his contributions be to advancing gay rights and equality outside of symbolism? In his essay in Sports Illustrated, Collins writes:
“The strain of hiding my sexuality became almost unbearable in March, when the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments for and against same-sex marriage. Less then three miles from my apartment, nine jurists argued about my happiness and my future. Here was my chance to be heard, and I couldn’t say a thing. I didn’t want to answer questions and draw attention to myself. Not while I was still playing.”
As many people (including many folks in my timeline) would say, timing of his announcement matters. Collins is currently a free agent from the Washington Wizards. His stats put him, at best, as average in a league covered with top tier ballers. And as many have speculated, Collins’ out-coming could be of benefit to his fledgling career. But that’s all assuming that upper management, and its players, would be accepting of a gay teammate. And it is also assuming that even if they did manage to put aside prejudices and accept Collins with open arms, that he would be allowed to be as vocal politically on gay rights issues. What are the odds that the league would use him other than as a poster child for how far the National Basketball Association has progressed?
Historically speaking, a major part of Robinson’s appeal was his carefulness not to participate publicly on many issues and incidences related to blacks and civil rights while playing baseball in the mainstream professional league. Instead, he focused on home runs and helping his team win. It was that dedication to the game and overall carefulness, which served as the base for his squeaky-clean public image. Collins also acknowledges that his image too has a sort of contrary appeal to it and writes in his essay the following:
“I go against the gay stereotype, which is why I think a lot of players will be shocked: That guy is gay? But I’ve always been an aggressive player, even in high school. Am I so physical to prove that being gay doesn’t make you soft? Who knows? That’s something for a psychologist to unravel. My motivations, like my contributions, don’t show up in box scores, and frankly I don’t care about stats. Winning is what counts. I want to be evaluated as a team player.”
Like Robinson, being a team player is as of much importance as the relevance of his sexuality. In some respects, that is very admirable and at the very core of an equal society. It means that a person is truly being judged by his character and abilities, rather than some other arbitrary characteristic. However, as a culture, we are nowhere close to being equatable. And while Collins might be more in line with the dignified resilience of Robinson, what is probably needed to really push society forward is the righteous arrogance of a Muhammad Ali. It is also important to note the emphasis that Collins puts on being black in addition to being gay in the NBA in his Sports Illustrated essay. It means that despite the inroads made by Jackie Robinson, race – even when discussing sexuality in sports – remains largely a factor. We are reminded of this whenever we think about the dismal percentage of black coaches, owners and management in the NBA and college basketball compared to the percentage of players on the court. We’re also reminded of this when we read news reports about the deplorable conditions in which young ballplayers from Africa are forced to live in for the benefit of professional teams in the United States. Surprisingly, it was Bryant Gumbel, who during the last NBA lockout, compared league commissioner David Stern to a “modern plantation overseer, treating NBA men as if they were his boys …” That might be a first for Gumbel. But if he can be bold enough to speak that candidly, what is stopping others from doing the same?
“Why Not Live Truthfully?” Jason Collins Opens Up To ABC About Coming Out, His Attempt To Marry A Woman, And His Future Hopes
Yesterday, Sports Illustrated unveiled their newest issue with the face of Jason Collins on it, who by announcing to the world on the cover that he was gay, would go on to be the first openly gay and active male athlete. It wasn’t that deep to some who could count the many women who have played sports and have come out as gay, but considering the fact that he is the FIRST male athlete to finally feel comfortable enough, while still in the NBA, to come out, it is a bigger deal than we think.
Collins sat down for an interview with George Stephanopoulos, his first since coming out, and talked about previously living a lie, why he wanted to come out, trying to “play it straight,” and what he hopes will come from his choice to open up to the world.
On living in misery for years and what pushed him to come out:
“When you keep telling yourself a lie, at some point you buy your own cover story.”
“[The bombings] reinforced the notion that I shouldn’t wait for the circumstances of my coming out to be perfect. Things can change in an instant, so why not live truthfully?”
“I knew that I tried everything in the book as far as trying to convince myself to lead the life that you should…calling off the wedding, it was a tough decision, but it was the right one because I knew I wasn’t getting married for the right reasons.”
On his aunt (the person he came out to first) saying she always knew he was gay:
“She was the first family member. I have a special relationship with my aunt. I love my parents and my brother and everyone else in my family, but there’s just something about the way I get along and relate with her.”
“She had her suspicions about me. She was extremely supportive. She’s a judge in San Francisco so I guess she’s good at reading people [laughs].”
As for how his coming out changed his relationship with his twin brother (who unlike his aunt, hadn’t suspected he was gay)…for the better:
“I’m really good at playing it straight [laughs]. No, uh, maybe he needs to hang out with my aunt a little bit more and get a discerning eye like she has. But he’s been incredibly supportive…I’ve always had the big brother role…and I was protective of my little brother, but now he’s sort of taken on that role of protecting me.”
And what he hopes for his teammates and for other athletes afraid to come out:
“From my teammates, I’m expecting support because that’s what I would do for my teammates. A team is like a family and the NBA is like a brotherhood.”
“I hope every player makes a decision that leads to their own happiness. Whatever happiness that is in life. I know that I’m the happiest that I’ve ever been in my life.”
Check out his full interview with George Stephanopoulos for ABC on the next page and let us know what you think below. Good luck to Collins and we’re happy for his newfound happiness!
The regular NBA season may have come to an end yesterday, but you don’t have to wait until the playoffs to see more of those deliciously athletic players. Why? Because we’ve got the best of the best all right here for you. Muscles, sweaty bodies, strong jaw lines, luscious lips — these men are just too much for us to handle. But we sure would give it a try if we had the chance. Take a look at some of the finest men on the paint (in our opinion).
When Shannon Brown first came into the league, he was definitely known for more than just his skills on the court. Now at age 27, the Phoenix suns guard is still just as fine, except unfortunately for all the single ladies, he’s now married to singer Monica.
Awwwwwww! Who doesn’t love toothy smiles from the babies? And it makes sense that this child’s smile would be so bright, his parents have some sparkling pearly whites themselves that they often show off at events or in magazines (and on Instagram of course). Little man’s father is one of the biggest names in basketball, and currently, his NBA team is smooth sailing with a 17 game winning streak. If they can keep it up, this player could be taking home another ring in the near future. His dad has been an NBA MVP, an NBA Rookie of the Year and NBA Finals MVP, and when he’s not killing on the court, he’s making some killer shoes for his fans and up-and-coming ballers and proving his naysayers and haters wrong (and there were a bunch of them for a while there).
As for his lady, his high school sweetheart, she’s a doting mom and fashionista who used to dabble in modeling and is now full-time support to her man. The two are set to be wed later this year in the fall, and we’re glad because they’re too cute for school as a couple. Gotta love black love! So whose cute kid is this? You’ve probably guessed already…
At this point, Lil Wayne’s antics are starting to scare me. It seems like his extracurricular activities are starting to negatively affect his art and his business. In other words, at least once or twice a week, he’s starting to act more and more like a buffoon. His latest shenanigan took place during All Star weekend at an “LIV on Sunday” at Stereo Live in Houston, Texas. The Young Money Crew and several other celebrities were there celebrating Birdman’s birthday.
Anyway, Wayne claims that the Miami Heat had him banned from attending the All Star game. (Have you noticed the NBA really doesn’t mess with him like that anymore?) Naturally, being the sports fan that he is, Wayne was not happy about this decree and when he took the stage to perform, he made sure to let the audience know about it, in probably the most classless way possible. This is what sources are saying Wayne said that night.
“If you’re wondering why you didn’t see me at the All Star Game,” Weezy began his rant, “It’s because I was banned from attending all NBA events. The Miami Heat got me banned.” You may remember last week when Lil Wayne was escorted out of a Heat game for cheering for the Lakers. Allegedly being kicked out of the game was just the beginning and now Lil Wayne is officially blacklisted from the NBA. Ouch! That’s not the worst part though. Before leading the crowd in a “F*** NBA!” chant, Lil Wayne decided to say one last thing, “F*** NBA! F*** Lebron! F*** SheWade! F*** Chris Bosh! And I f***ed Chris Bosh wife!”
In addition to questioning Dwyane Wade’s sexuality, calling him “SheWade,” and allegedly claiming he slept with Chris Bosh’s wife, Wayne instructed the crowd to participate in a little call and response.
“When I say fawk, ya’ll say NBA.”
The groupies, male and female alike, were all too happy to participate.
Ok. But you all spent hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, to attend one of the NBA’s biggest events of the year. You can yell fawk the NBA as much as you want, but you think they care about any of that while they’re counting your hard earned money? Probz not.
I’m sure Wayne was probably drunk at minimum; but seriously, is that a valid excuse for a man his age? Not at all. I’d love for him to do better.
In case you find this story hard to believe, check out the video below.
Dwyane Wade was suspended from Friday night’s Miami Heat game against the Detroit Pistons for an incident that occurred during Wednesday night’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats. Wade allegedly kneed guard Ramon Sessions in the groin. The Miami Heat issued a statement disagreeing with the judgement, according to the Associated Press.
“While we accept the decision of the NBA regarding Dwyane Wade, we do not agree with it,” read the statement. “In his 10 years in the league, Dwyane has never been suspended, and has been an exemplary player and positive influence to his teammates and fans and we have been honored to have him as part of the Miami Heat family. Unfortunately, he is the type of player, along with other players on our roster, that defense take privileges with. We stand with Dwyane and support him in this situation and have made our feelings known to the league office.”
Fair enough. You can read the rest, including Wade’s reaction to the incident, on ESSENCE.
Unfortunately domestic abuse among celebrity couples has become a far to common news story these days, but there’s a special type of emotion that comes along with learning that violence was carried out in front of children– especially while someone was in the midst of caring for a child.
That appears to be the case with Javaris Crittenton, a former NBA player who has been accused of slapping the mother of his child in the face while she was breastfeeding their 1-day-old son. According to TMZ:
Crittenton has temporarily been ordered to stay at least 100 yards away from Tyress Daniels and their newborn son … after she filed court docs outlining a pattern of domestic violence.
In the docs, filed in L.A. County Superior Court, Daniels claims JC attacked her on three separate occasions. The first incident allegedly took place when she was pregnant and he roughed her up in a hotel room.
According to Daniels, the 2nd incident occurred at a hospital on Nov. 1 — less than 24 hours after she gave birth to their son.
Daniels claims, “I was breastfeeding the baby and we got into an argument over what the baby would wear for pictures. Javaris hit me in the face while I was breastfeeding because he said I had a smart mouth.”
Daniels claims Javaris tried to grab the baby and leave … but hospital security rushed in and stopped him. He was eventually kicked out of the room.
According to the docs, Daniels claims JC got rough with her a 3rd time on Nov. 26 … scratching her face and busting her lip. She also claims Javaris later sent her a text message saying she would end up like her “dead mother” and he will have the child.
After Daniels filed the docs, a judge awarded temporary custody of the kid to Daniels — and set a hearing for next month … when the judge will decide if the restraining order will become more permanent.
What’s even more disturbing than having a child with an abusive man is that Javaris may have actually committed an even more serious crime. TMZ also notes that the 24-year-old former Washington Wizards player is also facing a murder charge for the shooting death of a 22-year-old woman in 2011. Though he has denied any wrongdoing, that type of background certainly makes Tyress’s claims that he threatened to kill her sound much more malleable. Let’s hope that restraining order sticks — for good.
Former L.A. Lakers star and current Philadelphia 76ers player Andrew Bynum is in an all-out war with his neighbors.
According to TMZ, Bynum filed a lawsuit against neighbors, Ramond and Cindy Beckett. According to the papers filed, Bynum has lived in his Westchester, CA home for more than 7 years and during this time, he’s been subjected to constant harassment and racism from the Becketts. In the lawsuit, he states they have objected to his “profession, his race, his friends, his cars and his taste in music.”
But what he probably didn’t expect was for the Becketts to immediately countersue Bynum, claiming they are the ones who always had problems with him. In their lawsuit, they accuse Bynum of brandishing guns in an attempt to intimidate them, blasting loud rap music, using drugs and letting weed smoke drift onto their property, blasting video games at “window shaking” volumes, letting his dogs run loose around the neighborhood and more. In fact, the Becketts state the only reason Bynum is suing them is because he knew they were planning a lawsuit of their own.
Oddly enough, Bynum says in his filed papers that the Becketts have moved out of their house so why are they even suing each other at this point? Lifestyle of the rich and bored, I suppose.
MEET Melissa Dawn Johnson: As the President of Atlanta headquartered, Velvet Suite Marketing Consulting Group, Melissa Dawn Johnson has worked with professional athletes, including NFL players, corporate executives and influential leaders. Her clients she have included Common, NBA-All Star, Carmelo Anthony, World Cup soccer star, Oguchi Onyewu, Mary J. Blige, MillerCoors, and more. This brand strategist has also had her own segment on CNN and contributes to Essence and The Huffington Post.
MN: What did you dream of becoming when you were a young girl?
MJ: I had about 15 careers as a little girl. I wanted to be a dancer and a doctor. I also wanted to do hair and makeup. One thing that remained constant was my love for people. This passion is what attracted me to marketing. However, it was a book I read when I was 14 years old that changed my life… written by Myles Monroe [and] titled, Understanding Your Potential. In his book, Myles talked about the importance of knowing what you want to be. He said the greatest discovery you can have is to learn why you are on Earth. Miles also wrote the forward to my book, Brand Me: Make Your Mark, Turn Passion Into Profit.
MN: What types of services does Velvet Suite Marketing Consulting Group offer?
MJ: We… specialize in elevating the influence of leaders through consulting, curriculum and coaching. We show clients the power brand leadership method. Our overall mission is to change the world one leader at a time. We work in the business and sports spaces. My job is also to help our clients think about the “what ifs” that could occur and threaten their brand (i.e. lawsuits, negative media coverage) and help them develop strategies so they can continue to move their brand forward should unfortunate events occur.
MN: How do you ensure you focus your marketing efforts to suit each individual client’s specific needs?
MJ: That’s a great question. The universal challenge leaders face is understanding how to take what is valuable about them and making it invaluable to the world. What I tell my clients is that every great company is built one leader at a time. Understanding human motivations, understanding what drives humans to succeed as well as getting in tune with our clients’ needs is how we achieve our goals. We take a holistic lifestyle approach with our clients, challenging them to look at their leadership skills in every facet of their lives.
That said, we have turned clients away. Many who want success don’t understand the process… to achieve the success they want. I’ll tell you this, when you get clear about what you want, opportunity will come to you.
MN: What resources did you use to finance your business?
MJ: I started my business three years before I actually opened the doors in October 2006. I got a roommate to make it easier to pay off debt. I also started a business plan. I thought about the people I knew who could be potential clients, and I started developing relationships with those people. I studied the industry. I did my best to pre-sell my business before I left my job.
Regarding the money I initially invested in my business and a friend from high school gave me a couple of thousand dollars to start my business. It was enough to get me through the first two months until I got clients. I started my business in my home.
MN: Is it easier to get results while working with celebrities and top firms than it is with lesser known artists and businesses?
MJ: It’s not easier to get results working with celebrities. Celebrities are about 20 percent of my business. [C]lients need to be open to feedback. It’s important to be open to grow as a leader. Mindset is more important that status (i.e. celebrity).