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Former New Orleans Saint Murdered In Road Rage Incident

Why the gun culture is a bad thing. Former DE Will Smith and his wife shot after being rear ended in an auto accident…

Ex-Saints DE Will Smith killed; wife shot after traffic accident

Former Saints defensive end Will Smith was shot to death in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District on Saturday night following a traffic collision, the coroner’s office confirmed.

Smith, 34, was shot after exchanging words with the driver of a Hummer H2 that rear-ended his Mercedes G63 SUV, causing him to strike another vehicle, police said.

Smith was shot multiple times, and his wife, Racquel, also 34, was shot twice in the right leg, according to police. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene, while his wife was taken to a hospital.

Smith’s family released a statement Sunday morning.

“On behalf of the Smith family, we are thankful for the outpouring of support and prayers. We ask that you continue to respect the family’s privacy as they grieve the loss of a devoted husband, father and friend.”

Police said the driver of the Hummer, Cardell Hayes, 28, has been charged with second-degree murder and that the handgun used in the shooting had been recovered.

Former Saints running back Pierre Thomas was on the scene shortly after the incident and reportedly had been out with Smith and his wife.

Smith was drafted by the Saints with the 18th overall pick in 2004 out of Ohio State. He spent all nine of his seasons with the Saints and last played in 2012. He was a Pro Bowler in 2006 and ranks fourth in Saints history with 67.5 career sacks. He had a career-high 13 during the Saints’ 2009 Super Bowl season.

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2016 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Alan Page – Purple People Eater, Lawyer, Judge

If you have ever heard the stereotype about football players being mostly brawn and few brains…Think on this. Alan Paige was part of the most feared defensive front line in football during the 80’s. As Defensive End, Paige’s quickness gave offensive lines fits. I saw a game in the mid 70’s where after some trash talk by opposing players after a holding penalty, Paige went on to sack the Oakland Raider’s quarterback, Ken Stabler 3 times in a row on successive downs.

Paige also was, from the beginning committed to improving the community though education.

Justice Alan Paige, with some of the Black Americana collection at home.

Twice Retired, Ex-Purple People Eater Is Still Passionate About Goals

JUSTICE ALAN PAGE has retired twice.

Elected to the Minnesota State Supreme Court in 1992, Justice Page stepped down from the court last summer, having reached its compulsory retirement age of 70. The first African-American on the court, Justice Page is well known in Minnesota legal circles for his carefully crafted opinions (occasionally livened with quotes from Dr. Seuss), his concern for civil rights and, more lightheartedly, for his colorful bow ties.

“I witnessed him focusing on getting the law right,” said his former Supreme Court colleague, Justice Paul Anderson (also retired). “He was very focused on equity and the elimination of discrimination.”

Justice Page doesn’t ring a bell? You might know him better from his previous career as a professional football player for 15 years, mostly with the Minnesota Vikings and, toward the end, with the Chicago Bears. A graduate of Notre Dame, Mr. Page was a remarkably quick defensive tackle, the most feared of the Vikings’ legendary front four, the Purple People Eaters.

He made six All-N.F.L. selections, and nine straight Pro Bowls. He retired from football in 1981. Seven years later he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In person, Mr. Page is considerate and thoughtful, reflecting carefully before answering a question. At age 70 he still moves with the grace of an athlete.

But having reached pinnacles of success in two very different careers, surely it must be time to kick back, maybe hit the golf course and the nostalgia circuit? Hardly.

“Once I left the court, that experience was behind me and I am trying to figure out the new thing,” he says. “I have the sense that I want to do something with educating young children.” (Later, he added that golf is a “good walk spoiled,” and rather than look back, he prefers “looking forward.”)

Mr. Page has visited a lot of classrooms, observing that in the early years of elementary school all children are curious, eyes bright and lively. Yet for some the lights have dimmed by the time they reach the fifth, sixth and seventh grades, especially among young people from deprived backgrounds.

“My thinking is if you can get these young people thinking critically early on — first, second, third grade — things will change dramatically in terms of educational achievement,” he said. “Maybe I am naïve, but I don’t think it is mission impossible.”

Mr. Page is unusually accomplished, but he is far from alone in searching for another meaningful act at his stage of life. The word “retirement” still suggests that it’s time to stop working and embrace leisure full time. That’s not the case for growing numbers of aging Americans. They want to stay engaged in the broader society and economy, continuing to be useful by tapping into their accumulated skills and experience.

“He has always been committed since he was quite young to really make a difference in society and to create and leave a legacy,” said Mr. Page’s wife, Diane. She also “retired” after a career of four-plus decades as a marketing research consultant. Retired isn’t the right word for her, either.

The power of education to make a positive difference is one of Mr. Page’s core beliefs. Even in his 1988 talk at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he focused on the transformative value of education, highlighting in particular the need for investing in black teenagers, “the most unemployed and undervalued people in our society.”

Looking ahead to new challenges and not back on old glories, Mr. Page asked the audience: “What contribution can I still make that would be truly worthy of the outpouring of warmth and good feelings I have received today? And the answer, for me, is clear: to help give other children the chance to achieve their dreams.”…Read The Rest Here

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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Major Businesses Slam Georgia’s Anti-Gay “Religeous Freedom” Bill

Another conservative idea from the extremist right which is a stupid idea has put Georgia in the headlights of major corporations in the state, and has opened the door to exodus of at least one corporation.

The NFL has decided it really doesn’t want a Superbowl in a state where it’s paying customers can be discriminated against because someone’s “religion” tells them they don’t have to deal with gays, minorities, or other religions based on whatever whack-job interpretations some back-alley ignorant arsed so called preacher comes up with.

The bill’s Senate sponsor, Greg Kirk, a Republican

NFL Wants to Sack Anti-Gay Bill in Georgia

The NFL’s threat to re-evaluate Georgia’s Super Bowl dreams has the governor thinking twice about signing a controversial bill that would allow faith-based organizations to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

Roger Goodell, chairman of the National Football League is on the cusp of becoming America’s newest gay icon.

Goodell, who has an openly gay brother, and the NFL, have emerged as staunch allies in gay rights advocates’ efforts to defeat HB 757, the controversial religious freedom bill that passed the Georgia legislature late last week.

HB 757 began the year as “the Pastor Protection Act,” a measure giving clergy the right to refuse to perform same-sex weddings. But after two trips through the Georgia state House and Senate, the bill now gives faith-based organizations the right to hire and fire people who violate their “sincerely held religious beliefs,” as well as the right to refuse to rent facilities for events they find “objectionable.”

The bill would also make it illegal to force an individual to attend a gay wedding.

With every expansion of the bill, Georgia legislators were warned by local business leaders not to do to Georgia what Indiana legislators did in 2015, when their own Religious Freedom Restoration Act led to an immediate nationwide backlash, including more than 400 million #BoycottIndiana tweets in the week the bill passed.

A year later, local tourism officials estimate the city lost at least 12 conventions and $60 million in direct business as a result.

Brandon Lorenz, communications director with the Human Rights Campaign, called Georgia’s HB 757 “an Indiana-style bill that blatantly promotes discrimination.”

“The Georgia legislature took a bad bill and made it worse.” Lorenz said. “This is a bill that has all kinds of avenues for harm and discrimination for Georgians.”

Along with LGBT advocates, major players in Georgia’s business community have ripped the legislation.

Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and Delta Airlines oppose it. Michael Dell, Richard Branson, and Jack Dorsey have all spoken out against it. SalesForce CEO Mark Benioff, who has 16,000 employees in Georgia, has warned he’ll pull as much of his business as possible out of the state, tweeting last week:

“Once again Georgia is trying to pass laws that make it legal to discriminate. When will this insanity end?”

But in a state where football is practiced like a religion, it has been the loud and unanimous objections of the sports community that has raised the greatest doubts about whether Gov. Nathan Deal will sign the bill.

In addition to the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Braves, who called the bill “detrimental to our community and bad for Georgia,” Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank warned the bill would have a “long-lasting negative impact on our state and the people of Georgia.”

“One of my bedrock values is ‘Include Everyone’ and it’s a principle we embrace and strive to live each and every day with my family and our associates, a vast majority of which live and work in Georgia,” he said.

Blank has taken the lead in the city’s efforts to bring the Super Bowl to the city, including with a new $1.7 billion Mercedes-Benz stadium already under construction in downtown Atlanta. But on Friday, Goodell and the NFL dropped a bomb on Atlanta’s hopes of hosting the 2019 or 2020 Super Bowls when it said the RFRA bill would endanger the city’s bids if Deal signs it into law.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2016 in The Definition of Racism, The New Jim Crow

 

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Cam Newton’s Historic Blindness

Cam Newton is a great quarterback, and he has led the Carolina Panthers to the Superbowl. He may wind up to be one of the best ever to play the position. Only time will tell.

Along the way, there has been some media flack about his touchdown dance and other sports related bar talk. To which he has responded …

“I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to,” Newton told The Charlotte Observer yesterday (January 27). 

Uhhhh Cam…Doug Williams ring a bell? The primary storyline surrounding Super Bowl XXII was that Washington’s Doug Williams was the first African-American quarterback ever to start in a NFL league championship game, let alone a Super Bowl. He became the first player in Super Bowl history to pass for four touchdowns in a single quarter, and four in a half. Williams was the first black starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl in 1988, and the only one until Russell Wilson won Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014. Just to jog your memory, Cam…

And Russell Wilson isn’t anyone’s slouch.

And he (Williams) did that on one good leg, after being injured in the first quarter. .

They ain’t scared because you are black, Cam. And you ain’t Doug Williams…Yet. A guy who played for years on some crappy Tamp Bay Teams with mediocre receivers until he was traded to he Redskins, and lit things up with what was then one of the best receiver corps in the league. And Doug went through weekly crap about black players “not being smart enough” to play the position, and left Washington after winning the Superbowl.

The Carolina Panthers quarterback dropped hard truths during a recent interview. 

Even as he lead the Carolina Panthers on a steady march toward this year’s Super Bowl, star quarterback Cam Newton caught flack for his unapologetic self-assurance and penchant for celebratory “dabbing.” In a new interview, Newton spoke frankly about why he has gotten more scrutiny and criticism than most other NFL players.

“I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to,” Newton told The Charlotte Observer yesterday (January 27). He then added, “People are going to judge and have their own opinion on certain things that I don’t have control over, nor does anybody else.”

Newton has faced this kind of criticism from journalists, commentators and football fans alike ever since he was drafted to the Panthers in 2011—all of it focused on behavior that doesn’t draw nearly as much scrutiny for White  players. One Seattle Seahawks fan even petitioned to ban Newton from CenturyLink Field, calling him “one of the most unprofessional, unsportsmanlike individual [sic] on the face of the planet.” We need not spell out the subtext behind much of this criticism.

Besides his legions of fans, Newton has an ally in Doug Williams, who in 1988 was first Black quarterback to play in the Super Bowl. Williams won the MVP award (for which Newton is considered a front-runner) during that game after leading theWashington NFL Team to a 42-10 victory over the Denver Broncos—the same team that Newton and the Panthers will face in the 50th Super Bowl on February 7. Speaking to USA Today, Williams discussed the culture of denial surrounding criticsm of Newton:

“I’m not going to be the one who says what my thinking is, because sometimes it don’t matter what I think,” Williams said. “It ain’t going to matter what he thinks. Because at the end of the day you’ve got a lot of people denying [racism is behind the criticism of Newton], that that’s not true. Even if it’s true, they’re going to deny it.”

When Newton squares off against the Broncos’ veteran QB Peyton Manning in San Francisco, he will be only the sixth Black quarterback to start in the Super Bowl.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Concussions Likely Cause of Degenerative Brain Disease in Football Players

This one has been stewing for a while. The league began to take things more seriously a few years ago, banning certain types of hits, and upgrading helmets and rules.

What is terrifying about this though is that even people who played Pop Warner football as kids may suffer this level of brain damage.

New: 87 Deceased NFL Players Test Positive for Brain Disease

A total of 87 out of 91 former NFL players have tested positive for the brain disease at the center of the debate over concussions in football, according to new figures from the nation’s largest brain bank focused on the study of traumatic head injury.

Researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University have now identified the degenerative disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in 96 percent of NFL players that they’ve examined and in 79 percent of all football players. The disease is widely believed to stem from repetitive trauma to the head, and can lead to conditions such as memory loss, depression and dementia.

In total, the lab has found CTE in the brain tissue in 131 out of 165 individuals who, before their deaths, played football either professionally, semi-professionally, in college or in high school.

Forty percent of those who tested positive were the offensive and defensive linemen who come into contact with one another on every play of a game, according to numbers shared by the brain bank with FRONTLINE. That finding supports past research suggesting that it’s the repeat, more minor head trauma that occurs regularly in football that may pose the greatest risk to players, as opposed to just the sometimes violent collisions that cause concussions.

But the figures come with several important caveats, as testing for the disease can be an imperfect process. Brain scans have been used to identify signs of CTE in living players, but the disease can only be definitively identified posthumously. As such, many of the players who have donated their brains for testing suspected that they had the disease while still alive, leaving researchers with a skewed population to work with.

Even with those caveats, the latest numbers are “remarkably consistent” with pastresearch from the center suggesting a link between football and long-term brain disease, said Dr. Ann McKee, the facility’s director and chief of neuropathology at the VA Boston Healthcare System.

“People think that we’re blowing this out of proportion, that this is a very rare disease and that we’re sensationalizing it,” said McKee, who runs the lab as part of a collaboration between the VA and BU. “My response is that where I sit, this is a very real disease. We have had no problem identifying it in hundreds of players.”

In a statement, a spokesman for the NFL said, “We are dedicated to making football safer and continue to take steps to protect players, including rule changes, advanced sideline technology, and expanded medical resources. We continue to make significant investments in independent research through our gifts to Boston University, the [National Institutes of Health] and other efforts to accelerate the science and understanding of these issues.”

The latest update from the brain bank, which in 2010 received a $1 million research grant from the NFL, comes at a time when the league is able to boast measurable progress in reducing head injuries. In its 2015 Health & Safety Report, the NFL said that concussions in regular season games fell 35 percent over the past two seasons, from 173 in 2012 to 112 last season. A separate analysis by FRONTLINE that factors in concussions reported by teams during the preseason and the playoffs shows a smaller decrease of 28 percent.

Off the field, the league has revised safety rules to minimize head-to-head hits, and invested millions into research. In April, it also won final approval for a potential $1 billion settlement with roughly 5,000 former players who have sued it over past head injuries.

Still, at the start of a new season of play, the NFL once again finds itself grappling to turn the page on the central argument in the class-action lawsuit: that for years it sought to conceal a link between football and long-term brain disease.

The latest challenge to that effort came two weeks ago with the trailer for a forthcoming Hollywood film about the neuropathologist who first discovered CTE. When the trailer was released, it quickly went viral, leaving the NFL bracing for a new round of scrutiny over past efforts to deny any such connection.

The film, Concussion, starring Will Smith, traces the story of Bennet Omalu, who in 2005 shocked the football establishment with an article in the journal Neurosurgery detailing his discovery of CTE in the brain of former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster. At the VA lab and elsewhere, CTE has since been found in players such as Hall of FamerJunior Seau, former NFL Man of the Year Dave Duerson, and Indianapolis Colts tight end John Mackey, a past head of the player’s union.

While the story is not a new one, for the NFL, it represents a high-profile and potentially embarrassing cinematic interpretation of a period in which the league sought to refute research suggesting football may contribute to brain disease.

From 2003 to 2009, for example, the NFL’s now disbanded Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee concluded in a series of scientific papers that “no NFL player” had experienced chronic brain damage from repeat concussions, and that “Professional football players do not sustain frequent repetitive blows to the brain on a regular basis.”

In the case of Omalu, league doctors publicly assailed his research, and in a rare move, demanded a retraction of his study. When Omalu spoke to FRONTLINE about the incident for the 2013 documentary, League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis, he said, “You can’t go against the NFL. They’ll squash you.”

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2015 in News

 

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Former NFL Player Now Farms for Charity

After my last post on idiots behaving badly on a NYC Subway, it’s easy to lose faith.

Then there is this inspiring story.

Why a star football player traded NFL career for a tractor

LOUISBURG, N.C. – At one point number 60, Jason Brown, was one of the best centers in the NFL.

At one point he had a five-year, $37 million contract with the St. Louis Rams.

And at one point he decided it was all meaningless – and just walked away from football.

“My agent told me, ‘You’re making the biggest mistake of your life,'” said Brown. “And I looked right back at him and I said, ‘No I’m not. No I’m not.'”

So what could possibly trump the NFL?

You wouldn’t believe.

Jason Brown quit football to be a plain, old farmer — even though he’d never farmed a day a in his life.

Asked how he learned to even know what to do, Brown said:

“Get on the Internet. Watch Youtube videos.”

He learned how to farm from Youtube.

Thanks to Youtube and some good advice from other farmers here in Louisburg, N.C., this week Jason finished harvesting his first, a five-acre plot of sweet potatoes.

“When you see them pop up out of the ground, man, it’s the most beautiful thing you could ever see,” said Brown. He said he has never felt more successful.

“Not in man’s standards,” said Brown. “But in God’s eyes.”

But God cares about the NFL, right? There are people praying to him on the field all the time.

“Yeah, there’s a lot of people praying out there,” said Brown. “But, when I think about a life of greatness, I think about a life of service.”

See, his plan for this farm, which he calls “First Fruits Farm,” is to donate the first fruits of every harvest to food pantries. Today it’s all five acres–100,000 pounds–of sweet potatoes.

“It’s unusual for a grower to grow a crop just to give away,” said Rebecca Page, who organizes food collection for the needy. “And that’s what Jason has done. And he’s planning to do more next year.”

Brown has 1,000 acres here, which could go a long way toward eliminating hunger in this neck of North Carolina.

“Love is the most wonderful currency that you can give anyone,” said Brown.

“Are you sure you played in the NFL?” I asked.

“Yes.”

“Because I feel like cuddling you right now.”

“Don’t do that!” he said.

Brown may have left the NFL, but apparently holding is still a penalty.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2014 in Giant Negros, Men, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Adrian Peterson’s Son Murdered

Most times in professional sports when you see a player’s name in the headlines for something other than the game they play – it is bad news of the player’s own making.

This brutal tragedy, isn’t.

I don’t know how Peterson is dealing with this, or how anyone in the same situation could, but I think it is fair to say everyone’s heart goes out to him and his family in this tragedy.

Adrian Peterson’s Son Dies After Allegedly Being Assaulted

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson mourned the death of his young son Friday, while words of support poured in from all corners of the sports world.

Authorities said a 2-year-old boy died Friday of injuries suffered in an alleged child abuse case in South Dakota, and a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press the boy was Peterson’s son.

Lincoln County State’s Attorney Tom Wollman confirmed the death of the child, who had been in critical condition in a hospital with severe head injuries since Wednesday. The boy died at 11:43 a.m. at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls after being removed from life support, Wollman said.

Wollman said he’ll review police and medical reports before making further decisions about criminal charges, possibly by early next week. Joseph Patterson, 27, was charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery in the child’s death. He had a court appearance Friday and was ordered held on $750,000 cash bond.

Peterson declined to talk about the case after practice Friday, and prosecutors and police in South Dakota declined to confirm the boy was his son. However, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed the connection to the AP on condition of anonymity because Peterson had requested privacy.

Speaking to reporters about an hour after the time of death, Peterson said he was certain he’ll play Sunday against Carolina.

He smiled politely and spoke softly while taking questions at his locker.
“I’ll be ready to roll, focused,” Peterson said. “I will be playing Sunday, without a doubt.”

Peterson is second in the NFL with 421 yards rushing and first in the league with five touchdowns. He came back from reconstructive knee surgery to rush for 2,097 yards and win the league MVP award last season.

“Football is something I will always fall back on,” Peterson said. “It gets me through tough times. Just being around the guys in here, that’s what I need in my life, guys supporting me. … Things that I go through, I’ve said a thousand times, it helps me play this game to a different level. I’m able to kind of release a lot of my stress through this sport, so that’s what I plan on doing.”

Later Friday, after news of the boy’s death spread, Peterson thanked his family, fans and even fans of other NFL teams for their support.

Joseph Patterson, the accused has a history of domestic abuse and battery charges. Patterson was indicted in June 2012 on several counts of simple assault involving an ex-girlfriend and her 3-year-old son, according to the Argus Leader. Patterson was later charged for violating a no-contact order. He was sentenced to one year in jail for both cases but that time was suspended on the condition he attend domestic violence counseling.The victim in that case said in a request for a protection order that Patterson had spanked her 3-year-old so hard for misbehaving in church that he needed ice for welts on his buttocks, according to the Argus Leader.

He tweeted: “The NFL is a fraternity of brothers and I am thankful for the tweets, phone calls and text messages from my fellow players.”

Dozens of current and former professional athletes wished Peterson well on Twitter, expressing support, offering prayers and voicing disgust about the alleged abuse.

“Sick for my friend. Strong guy but this one will bring the strongest down,” tweeted NBA star LeBron James.

The Panthers, this week’s opponent, were sympathetic.

“It’s absolutely terrible. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family, and hopefully things work out,” coach Ron Rivera said.

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said he thought Peterson practiced as well as he could Friday considering the circumstance.

“He seems like he was into it, engaged in what he had to get done,” Frazier said. “Obviously, tough. He’s human. But he was into it mentally, best as he could be.”

Fellow running back Toby Gerhart said: “It’s hard for any man to admit that he’s hurting or he needs help or anything like that. For us to be around him and tell him we’ve got his back, if there’s anything he needs that we’re there for him, I think that goes a long way.”

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2013 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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