Category Archives: Entertainment

Houston Players Kneel in Protest to Owners Comment

Houston Texans players kneel before Seahawks game.

Houston Texans players kneel before Seahawks game.

By MCNS Staff

As the NFL protests and boycott gain momentum, more controversial incidents fuel player demonstrations.

In the wake of racist comments made by Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, nearly all of the team players knelt during the national anthem before their game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. The players were widely expected to engage in some form of demonstration going into the game.

CBS did not broadcast the anthem at 4 pm Eastern Time, instead showing a golf event. Pictures and video surfacing on news and social media show around 40 of the 50+ member team kneeling in lines with arms linked, with only a few players standing behind them.

McNair caused a furor among players and across the country when it was revealed in an ESPN story that he said, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison” when referring to players.

McNair apologized to the team for the comment, but suggested that instead of describing players, he was analogizing the relationship of team owners to the league and Commissioner Roger Goodell. Many players weren’t convinced of McNair’s remorse, since there are no organized NFL owner protests happening, and discussed a response. Reports indicate that DeAndre Hopkins and D’Onta Foreman walked out of the team’s practice on Friday after hearing about the remarks.

“I think it was ignorant,” Texans’ offensive lineman Duane Brown told reporters. “I think it was embarrassing. I think it angered a lot of players, including myself. We put our bodies and minds on the line every time we step on that field, and to use an analogy of inmates in prison, that’s disrespectful. That’s how I feel about it.”

Across the field, several members of the Seattle Seahawks sat on the bench during the anthem, including Michael Bennett, Sheldon Richardson and Cliff Avril. Linebacker Michael Wilhoite again took a knee.

National Black Theatre Festival Honors Ron Himes

By MCNS Staff

Ron HImes

Ron Himes

According to local sources, Ron Hines, founder and producing director for the St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre, has received the Black Theatre Network 2017 Larry Leon Hamlin Producer Award for his 40 years of work with the historic acting troupe. Himes is also the Henry E. Hampton, Jr. Artist-in-Residence in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

Himes was honored during the opening gala of the National Black Theatre Festival, which took place in Winston-Salem, N.C. this summer, according to Washington University’s The Source.

The Larry Leon Hamlin Producer Award recognizes contributions African American producers have made to the theater and the entertainment industry. It is named after the late Hamlin, founder, executive producer and artistic director of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company.

Himes founded The Black Rep in 1976 while still a student at Washington University, and has built one of the nation’s largest and most respected African-American theater companies.

Kaepernick Files Grievance Against NFL

By MCNS Staff

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick, former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, filed a grievance against NFL teams for colluding to keep him out of the league, his legal representatives stated.

Kaepernick retained Los Angeles-based attorney Mark J. Geragos as counsel. Geragos’s firm stated that the grievance was filed “only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives.”

In a statement, the law firm also said: “If the NFL . . . is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful political protest — which the owners themselves made great theater imitating weeks ago — should not be punished and athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation by the Executive Branch of our government. . . . Protecting all athletes from such collusive conduct is what compelled Mr. Kaepernick to file his grievance.”

Colin Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers following last season, thus making him a free agent who was eligible to sign with any team. Additionally, the 49ers stated that they would have released Kaepernick as opposed to retaining him under the terms of that agreement. Since that point, he has also been over-looked by other NFL teams that needed a quarterback.

Teams such as the Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens both courted Colin Kaepernick. The Seattle Seahawks had an offseason visit with him and the Baltimore Ravens were in contact with him, however a deal was not signed with either team. The most recent example is the Tennessee Titans signing Brandon Weeden to back up Matt Cassel when their starting quarterback, Marcus Mariota, was sidelined due to injury. That signing poured salt in the wounds of Kaepernick supporters who cited the fact that Kaepernick led the 49ers to a Super Bowl and two NFC championship games, not to mention the fact that he threw 16 touchdown passes with only four interceptions last season.

Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the US national anthem before games last season.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL media. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

This season, protests have continued with numerous other players, even though Colin Kaepernick has not been in the league.

Jemele Hill Suspended for Cowboys Boycott Tweet

By MCNS Staff

Jemele Hill

Jemele Hill

ESPN has suspended Sportscenter host Jemele Hill for what they say is the second break with company social media policy in the past few weeks.

The suspension was a reaction to critical tweets from Hill about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’s announcement that any player that did not stand during the national anthem would be benched.

“Jerry Jones also has created a problem for his players, specifically the black ones. If they don’t kneel, some will see them as sellouts,” she stated, among a stream of tweets.

In a second tweet, Hill wrote, “If you strongly reject what Jerry Jones said, the key is his advertisers. Don’t place the burden squarely on the players.”

“This play always work. Change happens when advertisers are impacted. If you feel strongly about JJ’s statement, boycott his advertisers,” Hill specifes.

ESPN found the online comments in violation of their social media guidelines. A statement from the network reads, “Jemele Hill has been suspended for two weeks for a second violation of our social media guidelines. She previously acknowledged letting her colleagues and company down with an impulsive tweet. In the aftermath, all employees were reminded of how individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such actions would have consequences. Hence this decision.”

Hill, 41, is the co-host of “Sportscenter” with Michael Smith. According to national reports, Smith declined to host the first 6pm edition of Sportscenter without his co-host and Matt Barrie filled in. The Washington Post states Smith returned to the show Tuesday and is expected to host SC6 by himself for the next two weeks until Hill returns.

The president took time out of his schedule to tweet on Hill, saying “With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have ‘tanked,’ in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!” But, his attention may not be only due to the suspension. In September, she drew ire with network executives and others when she tweeted that President Trump was a “white supremacist.” Following the tweet, Hill apologized for having “painted ESPN in an unfair light.”