All Articles Tagged "nfl"

A First Look At Will Smith’s Latest Biopic, “Concussion”

August 31st, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Will Smith's Latest Biopic


Will Smith’s latest biopic Concussion tells the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu , the Nigerian forensic pathologist who discovered the disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after performing an autopsy on Mike Webster, a retired Pittsburgh Steelers’ player, in 2002. Usually found in football players and wrestlers, CTE causes early-onset dementia which potentially leads to death.

In the film, Dr. Omalu (Will Smith) is faced with opposition from the NFL after he diagnoses several football players with the disease. Instead of addressing the health problems their athletes face, the NFL intimidates Dr. Omalu in order for him to deny CTE is real. Not backing down, Dr. Omalu makes it his mission to make the public aware about CTE and how it affects the mental health of athletes.

See how Dr. Omalu’s story unfolds in the trailer below.

Concussion premieres in theaters on Christmas Day.

Game, Set, Match: 15 Black Athletes Who Are Dominating

July 15th, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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Serena Williams Wimbledon


The world’s biggest athletes will receive honors for their achievements at the 2015 ESPY Awards tonight. With so many Black athletes commanding their courts, fields, stages, and rings, we decided to look at 15 of today’s biggest and most dominant Black athletes in the world of sports.

Atlanta Falcon Linebacker Released After Killing Ex-Girlfriend’s Dog

May 30th, 2015 - By Courtney Whitaker
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Prince Shembo might want to think through his decisions next time.

The 23-year-old Atlanta Falcons linebacker has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty and a felony after his ex-girlfriend accused him of killing her dog! According to E News,

 The Gwinnett County Police Department states that Denicia Williams called the cops on April 19 to report that four days prior, she had taken her dog with her to Shembo’s apartment and, after leaving them alone for a time at some point, she returned to find the dog unresponsive. Williams then took Dior to Duluth Animal Hospital, where he died shortly after arrival.

Police also confirmed that Shembo made multiple comments about hurting and kicking the dog. The comments were made to ex-girlfriend after she broke up with him. Also, a necropsy performed on the puppy, showed he had sustained intensive internal injuries and the cause of death was blunt-force trauma.

The incident not only cost him a slap on the wrist, but the Atlanta Falcons have also decided to waive Shembo.


Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department)

Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department)

Why The NFL’s ‘DeflateGate’ Ruling Is A Slap In The Face To Women

May 12th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Tanvier Peart Baltimore Ravens NFL Fan

I’m an NFL gal through and through who can sip on a cocktail (not into beer) and quote stats with the guys. The game has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My uncle played for the Baltimore Colts before they quietly left Charm City in the midnight hour to call Indianapolis home. My dad was recruited by the Dallas Cowboys but ended up turning them down as basketball was his game. While it would’ve been cool to have a father who played in the league, I more than likely wouldn’t have been born if he did.

Coming from Baltimore, I proudly bleed black and purple for my Ravens. I remember when we first got the team from Cleveland and voting on the name. Even though I no longer live on the East coast, I make sure to catch every game and stay abreast of what’s going on.

When news and video broke that Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice hit his wife unconscious in an Atlantic City elevator, I was appalled and angry. Yes there should be room in our hearts for forgiveness, but that doesn’t take away the consequences of our actions. Who knows what went on behind closed doors (that’s their business), but I thought the league was a bit soft on Rice, only suspending him for two games. Sure he was indicted and took a reduced deal (a 12-month intervention program), but they still had video of what happened. At least to me and other female fans, two games was a light tap on the wrist and doesn’t show a strong stance on the issue.

After heavy scrutiny and reports revealing the NFL had prior knowledge of what happened, the Ravens eventually released Rice that later led to an indefinite suspension. He has since been reinstated and allowed to play.

While I’m happy the NFL finally had to take a look at their policies on violence against women, you mean to tell me New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gets twice as many suspended games because it’s “more probable than not,” he knew about deflated balls during the AFC Championship game? The team also received a $1 million fine and the loss of draft picks for 2016 and 2017.

How does that make sense?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of the Patriots and am well aware of their questionable dynasty, including “Spygate” where coach Bill Belichick and the team were fined for illegally filming their opponents for five years. At some point karma will come back to bite you in the butt.

Obviously the two incidents — a repeat of cheating in the case of the Patriots — are different. I get that. What infuriates me and other women I know who love the game is how quickly the NFL was to reprimand the New England Patriots and how long it took to get a consequence with a more serious issue. Folks want to say they don’t agree with domestic violence…but since it did not happen on company time, he can still play. While it might not be normal practice, there are way too many examples of celebrities and regular people getting fired from their job due to poor off-the-clock behavior.

Does the NFL not realize that women in many cases are the backbone of the game? Sure we don’t play or coach, but we surely do make up 45 percent of the fan base. We also happen to the be the fastest-growing fan demographic with our viewership rising each year. I don’t think it’s a smart move to drag your feet when dealing with players involved with domestic violence, especially when you have clear footage.

Since news broke about “deflategate,” comments and opinions have questioned what the heck the NFL is thinking. Conversations on and offline have also been interesting. While many of my gal pals and guy friends think a two-game suspension for beating your wife is ridiculous, there are some who think it was enough for Rice. Here’s my question, if the roles were reversed–and Tom Brady was Black and Rice was White–do you think there would be a bigger outcry of injustice?

main image courtesy of Tanvier Peart

NFL Introduces More Strict Conduct Policy

December 17th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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The National Football League has instituted a new, more strict conduct policy after months of scrutiny and backlash over the handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case and other issues within the NFL ranks.

Among the new policies, as outlined by The Chicago Tribune:

-“The appointment by the commissioner of a league office executive with a criminal justice background to issue initial discipline.” This is a new position, with the appointee determining punishment for violations.

-“[A]  new league conduct committee comprised of representatives of NFL ownership that will review the policy at least annually and recommend appropriate changes with advice from outside experts.”

– “A baseline suspension of six games without pay for violations involving assault, battery, domestic violence, dating violence, child abuse, other forms of family violence, or sexual assault, with consideration given to possible mitigating or aggravating circumstances.”

There’s also an emphasis on education and services for survivors.

Commissioner Roger Goodell, making the announcement last week, said that he’s consulted with a number of outside organizations to come up with the policies. Among them was the Black Women’s Roundtable, who we spoke to about their recommendations last month. We were in touch with some specific questions about whether some of their recommendations were taken or how they felt about the policy and only got this statement in return from Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the organization: “The Black Women’s Roundtable is reviewing the NFL’s new personal conduct policy. We plan to provide feedback as the NFL works to implement its new policies.”

More definitively, The Huffington Post called the policy merely a start.

The NFL’s updated conduct policy is by no means a cure-all. But it is a step in the right direction. It clearly articulates consequences. It shows support for and provides resources to survivors. It tells the fan base that domestic violence and sexual assault are not ok under any circumstances–in the NFL or frankly in society at-large.

Any thoughts on the policy?

NFL Player Darnell Dockett Defends His Creepy Malia Obama Post

December 4th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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A photo posted by Darnell Dockett (@dockett90) on

Earlier this week, we told you about the now infamous Instagram post from NFL player Darnell Dockett featuring Malia Obama.  While I found it disgusting, some argued that it “wasn’t a big deal” because it was a repost and he only included the caption “LMAO” and “OMGGG” not the initial “When her prom?” comment. Anyway, after all the negative media attention he’s received, Darnell took to Twitter to explain himself and scold the media and social media users for reporting or misreporting the story. Here’s what he had to say.

Ok, Darnell. Since you have a daughter, perhaps you should ask yourself how you would feel if a grown man posted a picture of your daughter. And not a picture of her face, but her behind. And then said, “I didn’t say anything.” It was just a repost.

Nah, B!

You were wrong. And you’re right, you can post whatever you want but not without consequence. So, perhaps deleting your Twitter account until you get your mind right might not be such a bad idea.

She’s Only 16! NFL Player Comments On Malia Obama’s Body On Instagram

December 2nd, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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NFL Player Comments On Malia Obama's Body On Instagram

Source: Instagram

A lot of people, women and men alike, have dismissed the whole movement to end street harassment, claiming that it’s not that big of a deal. It should be ignored. The comments strange men direct toward us women, about our bodies, on the street, are compliments.

But the problem is these comments in the manner and prevalence with which they’re directed to all women and apparently young girls, represents a sick type of entitlement. Men feel entitled to our bodies, to the point where they feel comfortable to say these things to a complete stranger, someone’s daughter, sister, friend.

You need look no further than football player Darnell Dockett’s Instagram page to see this entitlement. Against better judgment, Dockett posted a picture of the President Obama’s eldest daughter Malia Obama walking out of the Portrait Gallery. In the blurry image, you can see Malia’s shape. The image was circulated all over the internet, specifically Twitter with men well over 18 commenting on her behind, as if she weren’t still a minor…and the president’s daughter.

Source: Instagram

Source: Instagram

And Dockett posted this image on his Instagram account. Actually, it was a repost. Which is much of the problem. The original poster wrote: “When her prom?” Darnell reposted it with an “Lmfaooo.” 

Some of you might not consider that to be a major offense, but in Internet speak, an “Lmfaooo” is basically a cosign. So, no Darnell doesn’t get a pass for this one.

As you might assume, with Dockett being a public figure and all, his followers let him know this was wrong…and stupid.

He deleted the photo but not before someone had a chance to grab a screenshot.

Poor Malia. She has Secret Service Agents with her when she leaves the house and even she is not immune. And after the ridiculous and disgusting Elizabeth Lauten comments, I think we can all agree that she’s had enough, right?

What do you think should happen to Dockett? Should he be reprimanded by the NFL for this? Should he be suspended? After all, with sexualizing and sex trafficking underaged girls so common in this country, it’s not an attitude that should be taken lightly. Or should we ignore it since he deleted the comment, seemingly grasping the error of his ways?

As I mentioned before, Dockett wasn’t the only one. Should his status as a professional athlete/celebrity result in him being used as an example to discourage this type of behavior? How do we let men know that directing their sexual urges toward underaged girls is never appropriate? And more importantly, why don’t they know this already?

What do you think? Either way, Darnell needs to watch his mouth—or social media presence–before he ends up missing. Barack and Michelle don’t play that.

Black Women’s Roundtable Offers Recommendations To NFL On Domestic Violence Issues

November 20th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Ray Rice publicly apologizes to his wife, Janay Palmer, for Valentine's Day assault.

Source: AP

Last Friday, representatives from the Black Women’s Roundtable met for a second time with Roger Goodell, commissioner of the National Football League, spending two hours discussing recommendations to both handle existing domestic violence issues and, hopefully, eradicate the problem entirely.

“The key that we honed in on was prevention and intervention strategies,” Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and the convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable.

Campell couldn’t discuss the details of the recommendations because she wanted to give the NFL a chance to consider the options and decide on next steps. However, among the suggestions were a number of organizations that are led by women of color that can serve as resources in cities across the country that have NFL teams, according to a press release about the meeting.

What Campbell did discuss was the need for diversity on the panel that is making decisions about how to proceed on this issue. A single women of color has been appointed to the panel the NFL created to address these issues, but, as Campbell says, “We feel they can do more. Hence the recommendations.”

To be sure, domestic violence is an issue that’s larger than the NFL.

“Cultural change needs to happen,” Campbell continued. “Domestic violence is a problem in this country. There’s an opportunity to hone in on that. To be able t work and engage with [the NFL] is the best we can do.” And, perhaps, the NFL can serve as a model for how the country can move forward.

In terms of diversity, the Black Women’s Roundtable sees its role as one of bringing cultural nuance to the table. One example Campbell used was where Black women turn for help. Traditionally, it’s not a hotline, but rather a church or family member. So any strategies moving forward should take that into account.

But whether the league ultimately does what needs to be done is up to them.

“The devil will be in the details when it comes to their policy changes,” Campbell told MN. “It’s up to us to make sure this isn’t lip service.”

There’s no deadline for feedback on the recommendations, but Campbell says communication continues.

“Surely this is something that won’t get fixed overnight. But it’s important to stick with it. We’re talking about people’s lives,” she said.

#GoMommy: The NFL Tween Apparel Collection Kicks Off With China Anne McClain

October 10th, 2014 - By Kweli Wright
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Football season is here and it’s always a great time to bond with family and friends, and get out into the crisp fall air and stay in shape. The NFL knows this all too well so I was excited to join them recently at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, for the NFL Tweens/Juniors Father & Daughter Day event.

#GoMommy: The NFL Tween Apparel Collection Kicks Off With China Anne McClain

Could Constant Head Injuries Be The Reason Why So Many NFL Players Are In Trouble For Domestic Violence?

September 24th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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If you’ve been watching the news lately, I’m sure you’re probably wondering, what’s going on with so many NFL players that they are being accused of domestic violence one right after the other? And while NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league are working to find the right ways to punish these players for their actions, the folks at “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” (great show by the way) are wondering if there is something behind these assaults that the NFL hasn’t yet looked into.

In the preview for an upcoming episode of the show, correspondent Jon Frankel talks with not only doctors, but the wife of late San Diego Chargers safety, Paul Oliver. The NFL player, 29, committed suicide on this very day last year, shooting himself in front of his wife and two sons in his home. His widow, Chelsea Young, says that before he took his own life, Oliver gradually became more violent with her. She says that she had known him since college and he was never abusive before, but when he started to be, she says that he told her “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

In the piece, Young sends Oliver’s brains to Boston University to have them examined and it’s discovered that he had advanced CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). And while it’s not yet been proven that repeated concussions can cause CTE, the condition can be caused by exposure to a major blast or blow and the subsequent movement of the head afterwards. Symptoms of CTE, including depression, aggression and memory loss, can appear years or even decades after the injury.

It’s an interesting question to ask, whether or not the injuries NFL players sustain play a part in them acting out in such violent ways, and it looks like one Frankel will seek an answer to in his segment, which airs in full on October 21 on HBO. Check out the preview below and share your thoughts.