Black Basketball Players Expelled From School for Making 3 Point Sign

This one is so ridiculous, it just makes you mad…

Hand signals are used in basketball frequently to signal the next offensive play, or defense. That is done because in an enclosed stadium simply shouting won’t be heard by the other players over the noise of the crowd. Hand signs are also used by players as signs of success at a particular move or goal (to the crowd), or taunting another player.

High School Suspends Black Basketball Players, Claiming Gang-Related Hand Signs

A Wisconsin school district is standing by its decision to suspend two black basketball players because the signals they were making with their hands looked gang-related, saying that proper procedure was followed, the Raw Story reports.

 It all started at the beginning of the month when a local newspaper, the Sheboygan Falls News, ran what was supposed to be an upbeat story about three brothers, Jordan, Jamal and Juwaun Jackson, who moved to the district and now play basketball with Sheboygan Falls High School. As is normal, the paper did a mini photo-shoot for the article, and ultimately the decision was made to publish a “goofy” picture of the boys fooling around in their team’s uniform, making gestures with their hands.

However, things didn’t end up well for the boys. The high school suspended two of the brothers because parents who saw the story in the sports section of the paper thought the boys were making gang signs. The police department was even called in to investigate at the school’s request, the Raw Story notes.

“I did it like every other kid does it when they make a three [pointer],” Jordan Jackson explainedto TMJ News. “When you make a three, everyone does this sign. You’ve probably seen LeBron James or someone do it. I did the three in the picture, and my little brother pointed at the camera.

“I had no idea, they told us it meant blood,” he said referring to infamous Bloods gang.

Jean Born, the district superintendent, is sticking firm to the decision, saying that the school followed the athletic code. Police Chief Steve Riffel claimed that he was “able to confirm that the sign was indeed a gang sign,” even though he admitted the boys weren’t a threat.

The Sheboygan Falls News is siding with the boys on this issue, shocked at the mess the article has caused, expressing their disappointment in the school.

“The sign made by Jordan Jackson (on the far left side of the photo) is also commonly used by NBA players, such as James Harden, Lebron James and Brandon Jennings, after making a three-point shot,” the paper’s editor, Jeff Pederson, wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday. “The good intentions surrounding a positive article about high school student-athletes adjusting to a new school and contributing to an SFHS sports program has somehow taken an ugly turn.

“We are disappointed and saddened by the negative reaction and subsequent outcome, which has resulted in two high school basketball players being forced to miss a game against the team’s biggest rival,” he added. “In my 20 years in mainly small-town newspaper journalism, I have fielded plenty of complaints from readers. However, I have never seen anything published in a paper I have been a part of escalate to this very unfortunate and negative magnitude.”

The ACLU of Wisconsin has also stepped up in the boys’ defense, saying that they will be investigating the case themselves.

“It appears as if the Sheboygan Falls school district and police department are unprepared to respond to the increasing diversity in the schools in an appropriate and educationally sound manner,” ACLU Executive Director Chris Ahmuty said, according to the Raw Story. “The ACLU will be seeking information from the schools in order to assess their compliance with pupil non-discrimination rules. The ACLU asks the district to immediately make the brothers eligible to play in tomorrow’s game.”

Now, I don’t know where they recruited this particular group of school administrative morons from but obviously they have never attended a Wisconsin-Michigan Game…

Wisconsin Badger Frank Kaminsky makes a “gang sign” after making a 3 pointer. Michigan’s Nick Stauskas with “3 points in your eyes” 

Or a pro game.

Lebron James gives the three point signal

Celtics Great Bill Russell Detained At Airport For Carrying Loaded Gun

Things that make you go…Hmmmm…

 

Bill Russell detained at Seattle airport

 

 

Celtics legend Bill Russell was briefly detained and cited for bringing a loaded handgun into a Seattle airport in his carry-on bag on Wednesday night, officials said.

Perry Cooper, a spokesman for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, said Russell was cited for having a weapon in a prohibited area, and he was released to continue his travels after being detained for about 30 minutes. The gun was confiscated, Cooper said.

A spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration said the loaded .38 caliber Smith & Wesson was detected during routine screening of carry-on luggage.

Russell was scheduled to fly to Boston. It was not clear if he boarded his intended flight or a later one.

Michael Jordan’s New Beau

 Yvette Prieto and Michael Jordan   Looks like MJ has locked on to a new Beau…

Now… If he can just find a coach.

Michael Jordan is engaged to Yvette Prieto

One of Charlotte’s most eligible bachelors is now engaged, NewsChannel 36 has learned.

Charlotte Bobcats majority owner and NBA legend Michael Jordan got engaged over the Christmas holiday, a Jordan spokeswoman first confirmed to WCNC Thursday afternoon.

Several celebrity gossip websites reported MJ proposed to longtime girlfriend Yvette Prieto recently. Jordan was spotted courtside at the Bobcats game against the Bucks on Monday with friend and New York Yankees baseball star Derek Jeter.

One website is reporting the couple is celebrating on a private yacht overseas.

Jordan was married for 17 years to wife Juanita, but the couple divorced in 2006. They have three children.

Jeremy Lin – Race Matters

Growing up in the 60’s I was pretty comfortable in my ignorance about Asian people. They were short, small folks weren’t they? During segregation black folks didn’t much socialize with Asians, as the few Asian kids that were here went to the white schools. That comfortable ignorance was shattered my freshman year of college when I went to the Penn Relays and a friend introduced me to a 7′ tall Chinese High Jumper, who educated this poor brainless twit to the fact that Asia is huge, and peopled by a lot of different folks…

With the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 eliminating racial quotas and restrictions on immigration (not to mention putting us all in the same schools in more enlightened parts of the country) – you would think folks would have learned a hell of a lot about each other by now.

I guess not in the last bastion of bigotry – Sports.

Jeremy Lin - The Kid's Got Game, Y'all

Opinion: Man to man defense

Last Friday, Jeremy Lin – the Knicks’ sensational out-of-nowhere superstar – finally sealed the deal.

Despite his record as one of the most exciting talents to come out of the Bay Area in years, leading Palo Alto High to a stunning 32-1 record in his senior prep year, he was recruited by none of the top basketball schools, finally opting to attend Harvard University after being offered a guaranteed spot on their team.

He subsequently dominated the Ivy League, and put up numbers in his senior year that should have gotten any NBA scout excited, becoming the only player in the NCAA’s Division 1 to rank in the top 10 in virtually every performance category.

And yet Lin went undrafted, finally accepting an offer of a deep backup slot on his hometown team, the Golden State Warriors – who gave him a handful of garbage minutes, shuffling him back and forth between the bench and the NBA’s development league, before finally releasing him in December.

The Houston Rockets, who’d lost center Yao Ming to retirement the previous season, briefly picked up Lin as a potential ploy to retain their substantial Asian fanbase, but dropped him a few weeks later – on Christmas Eve.

The Knicks, ravaged by injuries to all their big-name, big-ticket stars and reeling in the standings, picked him up to ensure they could field a full team on the floor. In the past week, Lin has led New York to a string of victories with a set of incredible individual and team performances.

And last Friday, after dropping 38 points on an elite Los Angeles Lakers squad, he convinced his remaining critics and doubters that they’d been wrong all along.

Most of them.

Minutes after Lin’s amazing game, with the streets of midtown still in the throes of LINsanity, Fox Sports News personality Jason Whitlock issued a flip, ostensibly satirical tweet that probably can not be reprinted in full here. Suffice it to say that it suggested that Lin would be celebrating his victory by entertaining “some lucky lady,” while also reiterating an ugly and cliché stereotype about Asian anatomy.

Why Jeremy Lin’s race matters

After heavy pressure from a range of sources, particularly the Asian American Journalists Association, on Sunday, Whitlock apologized for the joke, calling his remark “immature [and] sophomoric” and one that “debased a feel-good sports moment.”

While many people, including, apparently, Fox Sports News’s leadership, have been willing to let things go based on this act of contrition, I think Whitlock dodged addressing the larger cultural context behind his statement.

I think that’s unfortunate, especially in light of a few other recent in-the-news events.

The first is another offhand tweet by a television personality. Roland Martin, a commentator for the news channel behind this blog, CNN.

Just a week before Whitlock’s unfortunate gibe, as the Giants were headed for a shocking Super Bowl victory over the Patriots, Martin blurted a response to H&M’s sexy underwear commercial featuring David Beckham – suggesting to his followers that any men expressing enthusiasm for the ad should be slapped upside the head. The remark drew a firestorm of backlash from LGBT activists, who interpreted it as an anti-gay statement. Martin was subsequently suspended “indefinitely” from CNN appearances.

There is a connection between the two incidents, and it’s not just that they both related to prominent news figures caught out on social media. Both Whitlock and Martin are African-American men. And both were speaking from a position that illustrates a particular entrenched attitude among men of color about masculinity.

This isn’t the place to go deep into the record of how sexuality, gender and race have intersected in black, Latino and Asian American history, with tragic and sometimes horrific results. Suffice it to say that as a consequence of that history, within each of these communities, manhood – its definition, its expression and yes, the defense of it against those who would question it – plays an outsized role.

Whitlock’s joke said more about his own male insecurities, reinforced by mainstream culture’s stereotypes about black men, than it did about Lin’s anatomy.

And Martin’s joke was ultimately less of an attack on homosexuality than it was a rejection of “sissyhood”: Beckham has long been held up as an exemplar of the “metrosexual male” – the sensitive, fashion-forward guy who, gay or straight, presents an image that runs counter to the rugged and bellicose sensibility of organized team sports, particularly football.

As NFL cornerback turned sportswriter Alan Grant noted in an essay some years back for ESPN.com, “the athletic world – that realm of all things male, musky and aggressive – is the final frontier of masculinity,” which is why it’s so frequently a cesspool for, as he put it, “crude, old-fashioned, sophomoric statements about sexuality.” Like Whitlock’s. And Martin’s.

Whether they intended to or not – and even if they’re oblivious to the fact – with their comments, Whitlock and Martin injected themselves into a much larger conversation of what it means to be a “real man” in an era where manhood is constantly perceived to be “under attack.”

But maybe the particular male archetype that Whitlock, Martin and many others have held up as a benchmark is one that deserves to be under attack.

It celebrates physical parameters that few men can reach – certainly not Whitlock or Martin, or me, for that matter: Big, burly, massively muscled, inhumanly endowed. It reinforces the notion that manhood is best expressed through violence – giving women “pain,” per Whitlock, or “slapping the ish” out of someone, per Martin.

It is, quite frequently, accompanied by words and actions that are deeply misogynist or nastily homophobic, or both.

It presents manhood as the fruit of harsh treatment and abuse – as exemplified by the viral video of the so-called “Eagle Dad,” Chinese businessman He Liesheng, forcing his four-year-old son to run around Central Park in the snow in his underwear to make him more manly: “When the old eagle teaches its young, it takes the young eagles to the cliffside, beats them, and pushes them to teach them to use their wings,” explained He.

One of the things that’s most incredible about the Jeremy Lin phenomenon isn’t just that he’s had so much success, but that he’s done so without relying on or embracing the tenets of raw, rugged, roughneck notions of manhood…

Wayman Tisdale – The Music Doesn’t Stop

Wayman Tisdale wass best known as a hoops superstar. What is less known about him was his love for music.

Faced with cancer, Tisdale lost a leg – and a career in sports. But the music remained.

Here is Wayman in a live performance, back in April 2009, a month before he passed away. Wayman is still an inspiration.

NBA Lockout – Racial Dimension

Not a big NBA fan. College Basketball was, at least until it got screwed by the destruction of the good college basketball leagues by schools pursuing that college football money, my favorite spectator sport.  What I would like to see is separate Football and Basketball leagues in College. One of the major reasons college bound potential basketball stars wanted to play in the Big East or the ACC (before they sold out to football) quite frankly was the level of competition.

In any event, as the NBA strike/lockout staggers on, becoming more acrimonious by the day, there is the increasing chance of issues, which shouldn’t even be issues – becoming key impediments. Bryant Gumbel was waaaaaay out of bounds – it’s hard to have sympathy for a bunch of guys, almost all of whose annual income puts them in the top 1%, and sometimes in the top .05%.

NBA lockout: Negotiations could be hijacked by racial perceptions

The owners “lied to you,” Derek Fisher said, moments after the players’ union president walked out of fruitless labor talks in Manhattan on Thursday night. And with that the mutual distrust and name-calling began anew.

Now the NBA is again facing the prospect of a bye year. Soon, it won’t be about money. Soon, the Rev. Jesse Jackson worries, it will be personal and irreconcilable and no longer about the color green.

“I hope it doesn’t degenerate into names and language that’s hard to take back once it’s started,” Jackson said from his Chicago office late Thursday afternoon. “If it goes down this road, that could amount to irreparable damage. If it goes away from labor negotiations, things could become irretrievable.”

I called Jackson to see what he thought of Bryant Gumbel’s portrayal of NBA Commissioner David Stern as a smug and pedantic bully in his dealings with the players during his closing remarks this week on HBO’s “Real Sports.” Gumbel’s commentary included the misguided characterization of Stern, widely known as the most forward-thinking, ethnically inclusive commissioner in modern pro sports, as a “modern plantation overseer.” Continue reading

Bill Russell – Mentor Golf Challenge

Guys are still kickin’ it – and seem to be doing well. Bill Russell, Jim Brown – two of their respective sorts most accomplished heroes. This event was for Bill Russell Mentoring, part of the Bill Russell Legacy Project which is supporting the National Mentoring Foundation focused on youth mentoring.

Bill Russell Legacy Project Includes Grants for Youth Mentoring

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 – The Mass Mentoring Partnership, a MENTOR affiliate, is partnering with the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation and the City of Boston on the Bill Russell Legacy Project, which includes an annual grants program for youth mentoring organizations in Boston so that more local children have access to quality, structured mentoring.

At an event last week, Russell and more than 400 supporters and community leaders were at Fenway Park, along with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino; Boston Celtics Co-owner and Managing PartnerPresident of the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation Stephen Pagliuca; Boston Celtics LegendTommy Heinsohn; and Founder of the Sager Family Foundation and Chairman of PolaroidBobby Sager to discuss the Legacy Project.

In addition to establishing the Bill Russell Mentoring Grant Program, which Mass Mentoring will administer, the project will erect a statue of Russell in Boston to celebrate his achievements as the greatest champion in the history of professional sports, as a national leader in human rights and as a dedicated advocate for youth mentoring.

“We are so proud to play a role in this effort that Mayor Menino and the Celtics have made so reflective of Bill’s lifetime of activism, as well as his many iconic accomplishments in Boston,” Mass Mentoring Partnership’s Chief Executive Officer David Shapiro said. “They have created a living legacy of Bill’s catalytic social justice leadership that will inspire future generations of our city’s youth through the proven impact of mentoring.”

As part of last week’s event, the Mass Mentoring Partnership presented Russell with a Lifetime Achievement Champion of Mentoring Award and the Boston Celtics with its 2011 Champion of Mentoring Award, which honor individuals and organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to youth mentoring and have championed the strategic growth of high-quality mentoring throughout Massachusetts.

“We are delighted that Bill Russell’s many accomplishments are being recognized in this way,” said MENTOR President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Larry Wright. “Bill has been an active member of MENTOR’s board of directors since 1996, so the collaboration to make youth mentoring grants in his name is particularly meaningful.”

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