*Rob Parker, a Fox Sports Radio broadcaster and contributor to the sports news website Deadspin, isn’t convinced that the Los Angeles Dodgers are favorites in the National League.
The Dodgers finished the regular season with Major League Baseball‘s best record. But Parker, now half of the popular “The Odd Couple” with former National Basketball Association insider Chris Broussard, pointed to their recent playoff failures.
The start of college football season is a “money grab,” says Parker, by conferences like the Pac-12, that are worried more about financing their athletic programs than the well-being of unpaid student athletes.
A Hall of Fame baseball voter who was also an NBA beat reporter, Parker had no problem with the Los Angeles Clippers firing former coach Glenn “Doc” Rivers after the team blew a 3-1 series lead to the Denver Nuggets. Many experts had projected the Clippers would win the western conference and face the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA finals.
Parker talked baseball playoffs, the NBA and the start of the Pac-12 college football season with Mark Gray.
(Edited by Allison Elyse Gualtieri and David Martosko)
Meet Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Biden’s Freshly-Appointed Ambassador to the U.N. (Watch)
*President-elect Joe Biden on Monday named Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a Black woman who held a top diplomatic post in the Obama administration, as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Born in 1952, Baker served as the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the United States Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs from 2013 to 2017. She’s also a senior counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group in Washington, DC.
The decorated diplomat grew up in Baker, La., where segregation and racism were harsh realities of her early life and college years at Louisiana State University. But life’s biggest test would come during her service in Rwanda during the genocide in 1994 where she found herself held at gunpoint. What do you do when faced with that kind of adversity? How do you survive?
In the gripping TED Talk below Thomas-Greenfield describes that surreal moment, the choice she made and the lesson her mother taught her that helped her survive.
Jada Pinkett Smith Announces Animated Short ‘Cops and Robbers’ About Police Brutality [VIDEO]
*Jada Pinkett-Smith has announced her timely new animated short “Cops and Robbers,” is set to premiere Dec. 28 on Netflix.
Directed by Arnon Manor, the project was written and performed by Timothy Ware-Hill in response to the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. Manor used one of Ware-Hill’s poems for their collaboration, Variety reports.
The duo said they made this film “for all the Black men, women and children who have been victims of racial profiling, police violence, loss of life and other injustices just for being themselves.”
Pinkett-Smith apparently serves as a producer on the animated short, and she spoke with Variety about getting the title to Netflix, and why the message resonates with her.
Hear/watch the actress tell it via the clip above, and check out a few excerpts from her interview below.
I’m so proud of this project and I can’t wait for you to see it🖤✨ https://t.co/mZfpUgEZgM
— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) November 23, 2020
“Over 30 individual artists, students and VFX companies from around the world collaborated to each create a short segment of the poem with their own visual interpretation of the subject matter and individual animation technique. Half the animators on the “Cops and Robbers” are Black animation artists,” per Variety.
“I’m so proud of this project and I can’t wait for you to see it,” Pinkett Smith wrote on Twitter. Here’s what she told the publication about the upcoming film:
Why was it important for you to be a part of “Cops and Robbers?”
As an African American woman, it was one of those pieces that I could feel powerful messaging with such compassion from the perspective of the African American community. It was this explanation with this bleeding heart of what we are experiencing during this particular time.
For me, it was this emotional connection that pierced my heart and soul.
It was also written by a very talented African American male, and then, I realized how many minorities had contributed their talent as animators to the project. It’s important that I flow resources in any way that I can to voices and the talent I feel as though doesn’t always have equal opportunity.
My friend Ramsey Naito is president of Nickelodeon animation and she said, ‘I wish there was something we could do with it at Nickelodeon.’ I told her I wanted to be involved and I was down with it. I had a conversation with Lawrence Bender who is a producer and I wanted to help.
The story is such a powerful one with its messaging.
It had so much vulnerability. A lot of times, you could get this messaging and sometimes it can be militant and have power to it. The way this particular expression that we don’t often see while talking about topics of this kind had so much vulnerability, especially through the lens of a Black man. You do not see that a lot and that for me was important because it humanizes Black men. It also humanizes Black people and marginalized communities.
We can talk about the issues, but if you don’t feel, if you don’t really see and understand that and see that there’s nothing to fear — we are human and we bleed just like you. I found that be a very powerful component.
“Cops and Robbers” didn’t find a home at Nickelodeon. It found a home at Netflix, which is global and will raise this global awareness to Black Lives Matter and police brutality, how did that happen?
We got together and had a conversation with quite a few people at Netflix who had seen the project and absolutely loved it. As a team, we just came together. We said, ‘Look, you know as well as we do that this is a powerful piece. It’s not only powerful, but it’s important. We feel that your platform is the place that this piece needs to be.’ And thank goodness they were in agreement and they took it on. We really felt that Netflix was the best place for the short.
Read her full interview here.
Barack Obama Makes TikTok Debut to Promote New ‘Promised Land’ Memoir
*Former President Barack Obama made his TikTok debut Friday, amid the release of his new memoir titled “A Promised Land.”
On TikTok, Obama launched the “pass the book” challenge, telling fans that his new book “expresses the incredible hope I have in you. Take this and pass it on,” he says in the clip, holding his book before “passing it on” to the next person.
To celebrate the memoir’s release, Obama shared a list of “memorable songs from his administration, check it out below via the Twitter embed.
“A Promised Land” sold nearly 890,000 copies in the U.S. and Canada in its first 24 hours after release on Tuesday, in all formats including pre-orders, e-books and audio.
The first-day sales was a record for publisher Penguin Random House.
Music has always played an important role in my life—and that was especially true during my presidency. In honor of my book hitting shelves tomorrow, I put together this playlist featuring some memorable songs from my administration. Hope you enjoy it. pic.twitter.com/xWiNQiZzN0
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 16, 2020
“Music has always played an important role in my life—and that was especially true during my presidency,” he wrote in a tweet along with the playlist. “In honor of my book hitting shelves tomorrow, I put together this playlist featuring some memorable songs from my administration. Hope you enjoy it.”
The playlist includes Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Beyoncé, Bob Dylan, Brooks & Dunn, Bruce Springsteen, Eminem, Frank Sinatra, Gloria Estefan, Fleetwood Mac, JAY-Z, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Phillip Phillips, The Beatles, Sade, Stevie Wonder and U2.
View this post on Instagram
We previously reported, Obama made time to surprise popular YouTube twins Tim and Fred Williams on their channel, “TwinsthenewTrend,” after they reacted to a song on his latest playlist.
The song that sparked the virtual chat is “The Times They Are a-Changin’” by Bob Dylan.
The twins posted a video Thursday of them listening to the song, and later shared footage of their video conference with Obama.
“Hey people, what’s going on? I hear you guys were asking questions. I decided I’m just going to go ahead and come here live,” said Obama.
The New York Times bestselling author then explained how he curates his popular playlists.
“I do playlists all the time just for fun, and I did that when I was president. But one of the things I did was do a playlist because I released my book about the first part of my presidency called ‘A Promised Land’ and music’s kind of a theme in the book.”
Watch the moment via the YouTube player below.
This was fun. I heard Tim and Fred were listening to some of the songs on my A Promised Land playlist, so I decided to drop in and surprise them. We talked about a lot, from Bob Dylan to old-school mixtapes to the role music played in my memoir. https://t.co/8A0cuVNHZI pic.twitter.com/rQwW8r0wBX
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 19, 2020
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