Posts Tagged ‘Muhammad Ali’

Quick Slants – 8/15/16

Monday, August 15th, 2016

by Fred Perdue

FP

 

 

 

 

QS

We are just two weeks away from kickoff and things are heating up around the nation and big decisions are being made by choice or by force.

Jimbo’s decision for a starting QB just got a bit easier.

The Alabama vs Maurice Smith saga is over.

The Ali Legacy Lives On

College Football: Where Dreams Are Realized

QB’s from Netflix Series “Last Chance U” both signed at SEC Schools.

 

Fred Perdue for War Room Sports

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Melanin Mount Rushmore

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

by OGICIC

MMR

I’ll be honest, I’ve never participated in the “Kobe v. LeBron” or “Kobe v. MJ” debates and I’ve refrained for a simple reason. None of the aforementioned names come anywhere close to being the “greatest” in basketball. I love Floyd Mayweather and he has a success story which is filled with hard work and dedication, yet in still he can never be the “greatest”. I just watched the Super Bowl and was rooting for the Patriots, though after the victory I refused to engage in the “is Tom Brady the greatest?” discussion. Why? Because the greatest is named Jim Brown! The greatest in basketball are named Bill Russell & Kareem Abdul-Jabbar! The greatest boxer is named Muhammad Ali!

How do I define greatness, or the “greatest”? I define it by one’s performance on and off the field. To be the “greatest” means that you persevered through far more than anyone else, emerged victorious and uncompromised. How can Michael Jordan, or LeBron James, or Kobe Bryant be the “greatest”? I’ve never heard of MJ speaking up for the inner city youth that die for his shoes, much less the Chinese youth that make them. I appreciate LeBron’s speaking up on issues and his philanthropic efforts, but how does any of that exist without Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? If we are to talk hardware, Bill Russell won 11 NBA championships and did so as both a player and coach in one of the most racially hostile cities in America (Boston). Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (aka Mr. Never White America’s Negro) won 6 NBA championships. If we are to talk about more than championships, Bill and Kareem have been avid advocates and spokespersons for Melanin/Hebrew/African-American people! They stood with boxing’s “greatest” Muhammad Ali, as he took on the racist and biased institution.

Jim Brown? Well he only won 1 NFL Championship, yet his fight of racism and injustice, his youth work and his constant advocacy have more diamonds in them than any ring!!!!

Thats how I define greatness……so sorry….MJ never has a chance, Kobe not even close, LeBron (I guess we can wait and see) can be 3rd at best! Brady, no way, Montana, never heard of him. Marshawn………heeeeyyyyy……..ask Jim about that one!

Zachariah Ysaye Oluwa Bankole “OGICIC”, for War Room Sports

What Happens After Floyd Mayweather?

Monday, July 21st, 2014

by K Doz

KDoz

 

 

 

(Photo courtesy of thisissportszone.com)

(Photo courtesy of thisissportszone.com)

Floyd “Money” Mayweather is one of the most polarizing people, not only in the sport of boxing, but in sports period. He, in my opinion, has single handedly allowed the sport of boxing to remain relevant. Since Mike Tyson, no other fighter has accumulated as much money, notoriety, and casual fan attention besides Mayweather. With that being said, “What Happens After Floyd Mayweather”?

There are hundreds of boxers all over the world but are there any up and coming fighters that possess the skill and theatre quality that Mayweather brings to each fight/show? Besides Ali, no one in the fight business can promote a fight like “Money” Mayweather, which is why he makes more cash than any athlete in the world. Mayweather has a unique relationship with fans, many hate him and many love him. I’m pretty sure there are fight fans who order Mayweather fights to see if some fighter will finally shut him up. Which again I ask, What Happens After Mayweather? There were so many candidates who were supposed to be ready to take the place of Mayweather but have not succeeded to keep their star or win loss record in a positive state. Though undefeated is hard to go against, none of the present fighters have the charisma that Mayweather has, nor his work ethic. Prime example, Adrien Broner, who was almost anointed next to take Mayweather’s throne as pound for pound king, until he was embarrassed by Marcos Maidana. Andre Ward, to many, has been pinpointed to match Mayweather in skill and an undefeated record, but lacks the crossover appeal that Mayweather has to sell pay-per-view. Saul Alvarez had a shot but Mayweather out-classed him in their bout on 9/14/2013.  Gernady Golovkin has a shot to be a special figure in boxing but he needs to have more meaningful fights to get anywhere near where Mayweather is ranked. “What Happens After Mayweather”? Even if he loses his next bout vs Marcos Maidana scheduled for 9/14/2014, is it safe to say that “Money” Mayweather has been boxing’s “savior” for the last decade?

So who will be the next money-making fighter to bring about paydays as Mayweather did? Andre Ward and Gernady Golovkin have the chance to really do numbers but neither will have formidable foes to make their careers have more relevancy. Who is out there that these two can really face to pose any threat to their undefeated records? Will Ward ever show a more promotional side or will he remain the clean-cut, boring nice guy we like but not love or love to hate? Not saying it’s bad to be clean-cut but boring is not good for business. Mayweather’s fights are not the most exciting, usually because he has already won the fight mentally before the event begins. Floyd “Money” Mayweather may be the last of his kind. “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Ali, Roy Jones Jr, Mike Tyson, Oscar De la Hoya, etc. Boxers should see these next 2-3 years as an opportunity to make their own case for “What Happens after Floyd Mayweather”. Will the sport stay afloat or will it decline even more?

 

KDoz of KDOZMEDIA, for War Room Sports

The Lighter Side of Black

Friday, September 14th, 2012

By Maggie Mangiel

 

 

 

One of the most prevalent but unspoken of issues in the black community, in any part of the world, is colorsim.  Even in a day-to-day conversation, we seem unable to escape color references such as, “I’m sure you know Nikki, the tall light-skinned girl”, or, “look at that boy; he’s so dark, he is midnight blue”.  We have been demanding for years that the white community acknowledge, address, and terminate racism, but if we continue to point out the differences in our shades of blackness, how do we expect them to overlook it?  To make matters worse, some of us commit a truly horrific act.  So called “lightening creams” have created one of the most atrocious epidemics encountered by the black community since slavery; bleaching our skin in an unsuccessful attempt to conform to the “norm”.  Whose norm exactly?  In a recent article written  by a New York Times journalist on the issue; he quoted one of the men interviewed, “you have to change yourself, dilute yourself in order to fit into the Western norm and live in White America”.  So in order to succeed, one has to look the part.  This is the message some black celebrities seem to be projecting.  In 1999, North America was mesmerized and captivated as we all watched the home-run record race between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire play out.  I was on team Sosa and even got the jersey to prove it.  There was immense support for Sosa, not only from Chicago Cubs fans, but also from African Americans who didn’t even follow baseball.  An athletic brother with a Latin spice, can’t go wrong with that.  Then two years ago, pictures of a lighter skinned Sosa surfaced and I was wondering many things, but first was “how?”  Apparently, Sosa has undergone a skin-lighting treatment.  Well I was flabbergasted.  What would compel a successful role model to do such a thing?  He is in the spotlight; hell, he is in the record books.  His name has been immortalized.  I felt so ashamed and let down by someone I once idolized.  However, Sosa is not the first black person to do so.  Many other black celebrities, Michael Jackson not included, have been accused of doing it, from Roberta Flack, the Jacksons (Latoya and Janet), to Rihanna and Beyonce.  Many celebrities do it so they can be more acceptable to White America, therefore having more marketability, resulting in an increase in income. 

During the pre-Olympics campaign, US hurdler Lolo Jones was front and center as the face of the US Track and Field team, even though Dawn Harper, the reigning world champion in that discipline, is also an American.  But why was Harper commercially neglected in favor of a less accomplished athlete?  Was it for Ms. Jones’ closer to European features and olive skin color?  We can blame the media for favoring the lighter over the dark all we want, but the ugly truth is; it is not just White America who like it “light”.  The Black community is more than culpable.  Not long ago, HBO released a documentary about the Ali-Frazier saga.  Some of the people interviewed have admitted that one of the reasons Black America was on Ali’s side was the fact that he was the lighter complexioned fighter.  “He was prettier,” they said, and Ali himself, kept re-enforcing that notion by referring to Frazier as a “gorilla”, a “big ugly bear”, and saying things such as; “we can’t let the Asians think that brothers look like that”, even though Frazier’s physical attributes had no merit nor bearing on the sport of boxing.  I do not have to go as far back as the 1970’s to cement this fact.  In the recent history of Hollywood, Pop, and Hip-Hop cultures, the lack of women of darker complexion has been noticeable in those arenas and we would only see them in roles such  as slaves, overweight maids, prison inmates, “crack-whores”, and so on.  None of the women of darker complexion are given a chance at the glamorous roles which portray beauty.  Many rappers for example, including Kanye West, have declared that they prefer women of mixed races, hence lighter complexion as models in their videos.  Since the targeted demographic for Hip-Hop music is predominately African American, it leaves us with one conclusion; we like it “diluted”. 

Last year, a close relative of mine was gazing through my modelling portfolio and said, and I quote verbatim, “why don’t you use some lightening creams like ‘Fair and Lovely’?  Your pictures would look so much better and that would help your career.  You know magazines don’t like dark women.”  So hearing that I was wondering, were the likes of Rihanna right in choosing magazine covers and higher record sales over their own skin color?  Is bleaching the route to follow in one’s journey toward success?  Or am I being too self-righteous for thinking that what they did cannot be justified?  Should the Black youth listen to the lyrics of Vybz Kartel urging them to use the “Cake Soap”?  Is “fair” really “lovely” and should my sisters shed their skin to be considered attractive and marketable?  My answer to all of these question is a resounding N-O!.  It is time we faced this problem head on, shed the self-hatred, and say enough is enough.  I will stand up and may my sisters and brothers help me shout it to the heavens, “I’m black, I’m dark, and I’m beautiful”!

 

Maggie Mangiel, Fitness Model & Personal Trainer, for War Room Sports

Is Michael Jordan Really a Sellout?

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

By Devin McMillan

Charlotte Bobcats majority owner Michael Jordan walking into a labor meeting last week.

 

Last week, before the news of child sexual abuse at Penn State University rocked the sports world, the newswire was abuzz with another story.  It had been rumored that certain circumstances in the NBA labor negotiations were causing current NBA players to see their childhood idol and proverbial hero, Michael Jeffrey Jordan, in an entirely different and negative light.  Much of the subsequent conversation surrounding  this topic was sparked by a column written by Jason Whitlock for Fox Sports, labeling “His Airness” as a “sellout” for being the “hard-line front man” for NBA ownership’s eagerness to roll back the amount of revenue shared with the players on a yearly basis. 

Jason Whitlock calls “MJ’s” stance the “ultimate betrayal” due to the fact that the league is now filled with young, Black players who grew up worshipping Jordan and purchasing his overpriced shoes and apparel, ultimately helping to make him and his brand the financial titans they are today.  He thinks Michael Jordan is betraying the same players’ union that went to bat for him and forced the Bulls to pay him $30 million per, in his final two seasons in Chicago.

Though all the aforementioned information is indeed fact, there is one huge flaw in this overall line of thinking.  Michael Jordan is no longer an NBA player.  He is the owner of an NBA franchise.  On behalf of that franchise, Jordan has recently been engaged in negotiations where he’s sat on the other side of the table from the players.  Michael Jordan is no longer obligated, nor would it be intelligent for him to think along the lines of, or fight for the wants/needs of NBA players.  He is majority owner of the small-market Charlotte Bobcats; a team that has struggled in the standings as well as in the stands.  The team’s average attendance last season was 15,846, leaving 16.9% of Time Warner Cable Arena’s seats empty on a nightly basis.  The team does not have a transcendent superstar, nor could they afford to keep one succeeding the years of a rookie contract, if they were lucky enough to acquire one in the draft in the first place.  His team also resides in a city that has once already failed as an NBA market, losing its first NBA franchise to New Orleans.  The franchise has been losing money since the moment Jordan purchased it from BET founder Bob Johnson in February of 2010.

So why is it again that Jason Whitlock, NBA players, or anyone else with interest in this story, thinks that Michael Jordan should go out of his way to be the voice of the NBA player in these negotiations, to the detriment of his business?  I don’t think anyone should be labeled a sellout for giving a damn about their bottom-line as a business owner.  The current economic landscape of the NBA is not beneficial for many owners of small market franchises.  So why shouldn’t they fight to change it?  Why is there a growing sentiment that Michael Jordan owes the current crop of NBA players anything?

This isn’t the first time Michael Jordan’s name has been synonymous with the term “sellout”.  Jordan has never been of similar pedigree of socially-conscious superstar athletes of the past, such as Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Jackie Robinson, etc.  He has always garnered criticism for never lending his name or using his power, influence, or iconic status to get on the front lines of any pressing social issues.  So, if social activism is what you look for in your influential, superstar athletes, call him a sellout for that.  You’d still probably be toeing that fine line of ignorance, but at least the sentiment would be somewhat understandable to at least a certain rational portion of the population.  But to imply…or to flat out say that a business owner is a sellout for looking out for the best interest of his business, is absolutely ridiculous, in my opinion.

I attribute this line of thinking to the overwhelming “employee mentality” prevalent in our society.  Everyone wants to walk around calling themselves “bosses” but think in a manner opposing everything a boss stands for.  I often hear fans sing cries of empathy for athletes while lauding the position of ownership in sports.  No one (obviously Jason Whitlock included) puts themselves into the shoes of the men who invest hundreds of millions of dollars into sports franchises.  People who live lives content with working for comfortable pay while making the next man rich do not seem to understand the risks involved with investments on this level…or any other level for that matter.  They’ve been brainwashed to believe that the person who could potentially get injured on the next play takes all the risks in a labor relationship.  But none of the “employee-minded” realize the risk of leveraging a fortune to run a sports franchise.  When your biggest work-related investment is a full gas tank or a functional bus pass, I expect you to think this way. 

For Jason Whitlock or anyone else to hold these types of expectations of Michael Jordan just because he was once a player is reminiscent of how struggling Black people expected their struggles to be eradicated because Barack Obama got elected president.  Michael Jordan is a team owner now and Barack Obama is president of America, not Black America.  He would have had to have been elected the president of Zamunda to remotely have a shot at fulfilling those silly expectations. 

In actuality, I wish this story wasn’t even about Michael Jordan.  I say this because I’m certain that many people will agree with my sentiments, albeit for the wrong reasons.  People will agree, not due to any profound business-related points I may have think I’ve made regarding this topic; but simply because negative-speak about “MJ” has been deemed as blasphemy in many circles.  Well, this isn’t one of those circles.  Michael Jordan has personality flaws, just like the next man.  If you’ve ever met your hero in person, outside of a camera-filled setting, then you probably know exactly what I mean.  It is also trendy in many circles (especially Black ones) to vehemently oppose anything written by Jason Whitlock.  I don’t subscribe to that methodology either.  As with any sportswriter or writer in general, each piece is met with the same high level of objectivity and my opinion of that particular piece will be formed as I read it.  I don’t allow myself to form an overall opinion of the man based on each of his individual writings.  Whitlock has written plenty of material that I have absolutely agreed with, but he has also written plenty that I’ve thought to be utter malarkey (to borrow a term from my sports media colleague, Brandon Pemberton).

So yes, Michael Jordan has made a fortune selling overpriced shoes, sugarless juice, and horsemeat burgers to idol-worshipping, Black, inner city youth.  Feel what you will about that fact, but keep in mind that we all had a choice.  Yes, Michael could have been more active in the plight of “his people”, but I guess that just wasn’t his thing.  Yes, MJ’s “brand” has always been more important to the man than anything that you and I have tried to deem important for him.  However, Michael Jordan’s example taught today’s players how to be “brands” in the first place.  Without the path that he laid, the Lebrons, the Kobes, the Wades, and the Durants of the world would have never even begun to realize their full earning potential in this league.  “MJ” has done more than enough for these players.  He doesn’t owe them anything more.

Devin McMillan of The War Room, for War Room Sports