Eddie Murphy Recounts Fabled Basketball Game Against Prince Featured on ‘Chappelle’s Show’
“Do what you’re good at. Do the category that you do,” he said. “I play football because I’m the best at playing football, I’m no politician. If I’d been a politician, I would be doing politics. This is the first mistake famous people do when they become famous and come into a certain status. For me it is better to avoid certain topics and do what you’re best at doing, because otherwise it doesn’t look good.”
James did not publicly respond to Ibrahimovic until Friday night, after the Lakers’ 102-93 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. It was the Lakers’ first win in more than a week, but the focus of the postgame news conference soon turned to James’ activism.
In a lengthy response, James reiterated that he will never not speak out about injustice he says and pointed to his past results like his I Promise School and helping Renee Montgomery buy the Atlanta Dream. At the end, he pointedly called out Ibrahimovic’s own past statements that could be construed as not sticking to sports.
Here’s the whole thing:
At the end of the day, I will never shut up about things that are wrong. I preach about my people and I preach about equality, social justice, racism, voter suppression, things that go on in our community because I was a part of my community at one point and saw the things that were going on, and I know what’s still going on because I have a group of 300-plus kids at my school that are going through the same thing and they need a voice. I’m their voice and I use my platform to continue to shed light on everything that might be going on, not only in my community but in this country and around the world.
There’s no way I would ever just stick to sports, because I understand this platform and how powerful my voice is. He can just ask Renee Montgomery if I would have shut up and just dribbled, just seeing that beautiful Black woman today be part of a group — she’s part of the ownership group with the Atlanta Dream.
It’s funny he’d say that because I believe in 2018 he was the same guy who said, when he was back in Sweden, talking about the same things, because his last name wasn’t a certain last name, that he felt like it was racism going on when he was out on the pitch. Right? He did say that, right? I thought he said that. I speak from a very educated mind. I’m kinda the wrong guy to actually go at, because I do my homework.
That 2018 story James references is almost certainly when Ibrahimovic complained of the media’s “undercover racism” over his Muslim background.
From Bleacher Report:
“What does the Swedish media do? They defend me, or do they jump on and attack me? They still attack me, because they cannot accept that I am Ibrahimovic.
“If another player would do same mistake I do, they would defend him. But when it comes to me, they don’t defend me.
“This is about racism. This is about racism. I don’t say there is racism, but I say there is undercover racism.
“This exists, I am 100 percent sure, because I am not Andersson or Svensson. If I would be that, trust me, they would defend me even if I would rob a bank. They would defend me, I tell you.”
Obviously, an American athlete’s broad activism and a Swedish player’s discussion of his personal experience are difficult to compare fairly, but it’s not hard to see James’ point. We’ll see if and how Ibrahimovic ends up responding.
Black Austin Musicians Collective forms to give a voice to local artists
AUSTIN, Texas — Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World, and while not much live music is happening these days, a group has formed to bring together, highlight and create a voice for Black musicians in our area.
The Black Austin Musicians Collective formed after listening to the experiences and frustrations of Black Austin musicians.
Austin group Magna Carda posted a tweet in June 2020 saying, “We would like to hear from ATX Black musicians and artists specifically! Please DM us your experiences with Austin music venues + music organizations and what, specifically, you would like to see change.”
They received a number of responses, including from artist Jackie Venson saying, “What’s it like to be a Black Austin musician? Even one that’s had success locally? It’s being rejected & told ‘we can’t have two Black soul singers on one bill.’”
Austin musician, Mobley, said, “I think this country in general, and this city in particular, has a long way to go before we can claim to have achieved anything like equality or equity or racial justice.” He added that Black musicians face discriminatory booking, discriminatory practices around the way their audiences are treated, the way they’re paid, and requirements on things like insurance.
The Black Austin Musicians Collective is centered around three pillars: policy and reform, artist sustainability and community outreach.
“Our purpose is to create a voice and to preserve and cultivate community for Black creators in the music industry in Austin,” said Megz Kelli from Magna Carda. “… we fight for a better system, a better overall picture for Black musicians. And by doing that, that honestly sets up every musician to have everything that they need.”
Mobley said the group has started involving themselves in policy at the city level, will provide professional development for Black musicians and foster community. They also curate a playlist of Black Austin musicians.
Golden Globes criticized for absence of Black Hollywood Foreign Press members
Stars like Sterling K. Brown and Kerry Washington are speaking up about the lack of diversity in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s ranks, namely the fact that the organization does not currently have a single Black member.
This wave of criticism comes ahead of Sunday’s 78th Annual Golden Globes ceremony. HFPA board chair Meher Tatna told Variety on Friday that the organization of international journalists has not had any Black members in at least 20 years.
On Friday afternoon, #TimesUp posted an image of a cracked Golden Globe statue to social media, featuring the message, “Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Not a single Black member out of 87.” The organization captioned the post, “A cosmetic fix isn’t enough,” and the added hashtag “#TimesUpGlobes.”
Washington, Jurnee Smollett, Amy Schumer, Sean Hayes, Simon Pegg, DeVon Franklin and Alyssa Milano were among the celebs to repost the image and caption. Ellen Barkin asked, “What price HFPA?” in her post. Rashida Jones took to her Instagram story, adding, “Representation Matters. A cosmetic fix isn’t gonna cut it,” while Amber Tamblyn wrote, “How far have we come, you ask? Not far enough.”
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who became the first Black woman nominated for Best Director by the HFPA in 2015, captioned her post, “Old news. New energy.” DuVernay also retweeted a 2017 post from Jada Pinkett Smith, who had posted, “I have so much to say on why [her ‘Girls Trip’ co-star] Tiffany Haddish was not nominated for a Globe…but I wont.”
Other prolific creators speaking up include Damon Lindelof, J.J. Abrams (and his Bad Robot company) and Shonda Rhimes, who wrote, “Enough is enough” in her post. Judd Apatow added, “So many crazy things about the @goldenglobes and the Hollywood Foreign press but this is awful.”
“Love & Basketball” and “The Old Guard” filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood reposted the image with additional sentiment, writing, “No excuses (there are none). No apologies (we don’t believe you). No empty gestures (cosmetic fixes are not enough). Change the game.”
Brown, a Golden Globe winner and two-time nominee, posted a different photo to Instagram, writing a lengthy and thoughtful caption.
“To be nominated for a Golden Globe is a tremendous honor. To win one is a dream come true. It can affect the trajectory of an individual’s career…it certainly has with mine,” Brown began.
“I’m presenting at the telecast this weekend to honor all the story tellers, especially those of color, who have achieved this extraordinary moment in their careers…AND I have my criticisms of the #HFPA,” he continued. “87 people wield a tremendous amount of power. For any governing body of a current Hollywood award show to have such a lack of voting representation illustrates a level of irresponsibility that should not be ignored.”
“With the power you have HFPA, you simultaneously hold a responsibility to ensure your constituency is fully reflective of the world in which we live,” the actor concluded. “When you know better, you must do better. And having a multitude of Black presenters does not absolve you of your lack of diversity. This is your moment to do the right thing. It is my hope that you will.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association posted a statement in response to the criticism: “We are fully committed to ensuring our membership is reflective of the communities around the world who love film, tv, and the artists inspiring and educating them. We understand that we need to bring in Black members as well as members from other underrepresented backgrounds, and we will immediately work to implement an action plan to achieve these goals as soon as possible.”