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handed, hot-footing, joke-busting kids are discovered goofing and shooting hoops on some cracked concrete court in the New York City borough, then whisked to sudden fame in cities around the world on the basis of their awesome tricks and mugging comedy. But the name is deceiving. The Globetrotters actually started when five South Side Chicagoans teamed up with a 5’3” Jewish guy to play basketball games in the local gyms of small-town Illinois.
The five players were graduates of the renowned basketball program at Wendell Phillips High School, and wanted to play semi-pro. Somehow they came in contact with Abe Saperstein, a North Sider who loved sports and worked as an athletic director in the Chicago Parks System. In 1926, Saperstein became their manager (and substitute player, if someone got injured), and the team set off to play in nearby towns such as Hinckley, Illinois. They had a winning record of 101-6 in their first full season.
In 1928, the fledgling team finagled a residency at the new Savoy Ballroom in Bronzeville, where musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington played. There they became the Savoy Big Five, but Saperstein and several of the players quickly left after a dispute over money and once again rebranded themselves, as the Harlem Globetrotters. The name was a marketing gimmick concocted by Saperstein: “Globetrotters” made it sound as if they had an international schedule, and “Harlem” denoted the center of African American culture, telegraphing the makeup of the team to his small-town white audiences, many of whom had never seen black basketball players before.
The world-traveling, internationally known Globetrotters of today are very different from the team at its beginning
Those same audiences, surprised and delighted by the Globetrotters’ fast-break style, often shunned the black players after the game, despite the joy they got from watching them play. As the team gained popularity, it also grew in skill. The barring of African Americans from the professional basketball leagues meant the Globetrotters had their pick of black talent, and signed such players as the clowning “Goose” Tatum and fleet Marque Haynes, who eventually became the first Globetrotter to be inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
The team’s skill eventually led them to win the World Professional Basketball Tournament in 1940, and then to beat the best team in the all-white precursor to the NBA in 1948. The following year, two leagues merged to form the NBA, yet still professional basketball remained unintegrated, despite the talent evinced by the Globetrotters and other black players. (Jackie Robinson broke the color line in baseball in 1947.)
Then in 1950, the Boston Celtics drafted Chuck Cooper as well as Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, who played for the Globetrotters, and professional basketball started to integrate. Rumor has it that Saperstein had a deal with the NBA in its first years to keep the best black players for the Globetrotters to ensure that the NBA would remain all-white.
Wilt Chamberlain played one season for the Globetrotters, which he called the happiest year of his lifeAnd there have been other muted accusations of racism – or at least exploitative business practices – against Saperstein, such as disputes with players over wages. Especially in the ‘60s, the Globetrotters began to be criticized by some in the black community for being Uncle Toms, degrading themselves as buffoonish minstrels for the entertainment of white people.
But the team also did offer some valedictory moments for African Americans, as on a 1951 trip to Germany. The track star Jesse Owens, who had won gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics but was snubbed by Hitler, occasionally helped promote the Globetrotters. Saperstein invited him to a game in 1951, and he was welcomed there by the mayor of Berlin, who embraced him, saying, “In 1936, Hitler refused to give you his hand. Today I give you both of mine.”
The Globetrotters continued to incubate talent – Wilt Chamberlain played with them for one season, which he called the happiest year of his life – and grow in popularity, traveling to more than80 countries. In 1966, Saperstein died of a sudden heart attack, and the team was sold. In 1976, the team moved its base from Chicago. By the ‘80s, despite television shows, it was declining, and in 1993 it was bought again, this time by a former player: Mannie Jackson, who became the first African American to own a major sports franchise. Jackson revitalized the franchise with a new emphasis on competitive games as well as corporate marketing deals.
And thus the Chicago team with a New York name continues to this day.
Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned Bill Cosby’s sex assault conviction Wednesday after finding an agreement with a previous prosecutor prevented him from being charged in the case.
Cosby has served more than two years of a three- to 10-year sentence at a state prison near Philadelphia. He had vowed to serve all 10 years rather than acknowledge any remorse over the 2004 encounter with accuser Andrea Constand.
He was charged in late 2015, when a prosecutor armed with newly unsealed evidence — Cosby’s damaging deposition from her lawsuit — arrested him days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired.
The court said that District Attorney Kevin Steele, who made the decision to arrest Cosby, was obligated to stand by his predecessor’s promise not to charge Cosby when he later gave potentially incriminating testimony in Constand’s civil suit. There was no evidence that promise was ever put in writing.
Justice David Wecht, writing for a split court, said Cosby had relied on the former prosecutor’s decision not to charge him when he later gave potentially incriminating testimony in the Constand’s civil suit.
They said that overturning the conviction, and barring any further prosecution, “is the only remedy that comports with society’s reasonable expectations of its elected prosecutors and our criminal justice system.”
The 83-year-old Cosby, who was once beloved as “America’s Dad,” was convicted of drugging and molesting the Temple University employee at his suburban estate.
The trial judge had allowed just one other accuser to testify at Cosby’s first trial, when the jury deadlocked. However, he then allowed five other accusers to testify at the retrial about their experiences with Cosby in the 1980s.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said that testimony tainted the trial, even though a lower appeals court had found it appropriate to show a signature pattern of drugging and molesting women.
Cosby was the first celebrity tried and convicted in the #MeToo era, so the reversal could make prosecutors wary of calling other accusers in similar cases. The law on prior bad act testimony varies by state, though, and the ruling only holds sway in Pennsylvania.
The justices voiced concern not just about sex assault cases, but what they saw as the judiciary’s increasing tendency to allow testimony that crosses the line into character attacks. The law allows the testimony only in limited cases, including to show a crime pattern so specific it serves to identify the perpetrator.
In New York, the judge presiding over last year’s trial of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, whose case had sparked the explosion of the #MeToo movement in 2017, let four other accusers testify. Weinstein was convicted and sentenced to 23 years in prison. He is now facing separate charges in California.
In Cosby’s case, one of his appellate lawyers said prosecutors put on vague evidence about the uncharged conduct, including Cosby’s own recollections in his deposition about giving women alcohol or quaaludes before sexual encounters.
“The presumption of innocence just didn’t exist for him,” Jennifer Bonjean, the lawyer, argued to the court in December.
In May, Cosby was denied paroled after refusing to participate in sex offender programs during his nearly three years in state prison. He has long said he would resist the treatment programs and refuse to acknowledge wrongdoing even if it means serving the full 10-year sentence.
This is the first year he was eligible for parole under the three- to 10-year sentence handed down after his 2018 conviction.
Cosby spokesperson Andrew Wyatt called the parole board decision “appalling.”
Prosecutors said Cosby repeatedly used his fame and “family man” persona to manipulate young women, holding himself out as a mentor before betraying them.
Cosby, a groundbreaking Black actor who grew up in public housing in Philadelphia, made a fortune estimated at $400 million during his 50 years in the entertainment industry. His trademark clean comedy and homespun wisdom fueled popular TV shows, books and standup acts.
He fell from favor in his later years as he lectured the Black community about family values, but was attempting a comeback when he was arrested.
“There was a built-in level of trust because of his status in the entertainment industry and because he held himself out as a public moralist,” Assistant District Attorney Adrienne Jappe, of suburban Montgomery County, argued to the justices.
Cosby had invited Constand to an estate he owns in Pennsylvania the night she said he drugged and sexually assaulted her.
Constand, a former professional basketball player who worked at his alma mater, went to police a year later. The other accusers knew Cosby through the entertainment industry and did not go to police.
Scottie Pippen is all in on calling Phil Jackson a racist. The former NBA player was openly unhappy that Phil Jackson didn’t give him the final shot in a game back in 1994, and apparently he felt the legendary coach’s decision was racially motivated. Pippen spoke about the incident during an interview with GQ, and he said you “need to read between the fine lines” to understand why he was so upset. He believes Jackson wanted to elevate Kukoc’s status.
“I been through all the ups and downs, the battles with the Pistons and now you gonna insult me and tell me to take it out? I thought it was a pretty low blow,” Pippen said. “I felt like it was an opportunity to give [Kukoc] a rise. It was a racial move to give him a rise. After all I’ve been through with this organization, now you’re gonna tell me to take the ball out and throw it to Toni Kukoc? You’re insulting me. That’s how I felt.”
Today Scottie was on the Dan Patrick show, and didn’t want to take back his comments on Phil. In fact, he confirmed what he said before, and called out Phil Jackson for being a racist.
EUGENE, Ore. — For the past week, the national anthem has played one time per evening at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials. On Saturday, the song happened to start while outspoken activist Gwen Berry was standing on the podium after receiving her bronze medal in the hammer throw.
While the music played, Berry placed her left hand on her hip and fidgeted. She took a quarter turn, so she was facing the stands, not the flag. Toward the end, she plucked up her black T-shirt with the words “Activist Athlete” emblazoned on the front, and draped it over her head.
“I feel like it was a setup, and they did it on purpose,” Berry said of the timing of the anthem. “I was pissed, to be honest.”
Berry’s reaction to the “Star-Spangled Banner” was as notable as anything on the track on a blazing-hot Saturday, the second-to-last day at U.S. Olympic trials. With temperatures reaching 101 degrees (38 Celsius) on the field, DeAnna Price won the event with a throw of 263 feet, 6 inches (80.31 meters), which was nearly 7 feet longer than Berry’s throw. Price broke the meet record on four of her six throws, and the last two of those throws also broke the American record.
Second place belonged to Brooke Andersen, while Berry grabbed the third spot by a scant 2 inches over Janee Kassanavoid. Berry, heading to her second Olympics, has promised to use her position in Tokyo to keep raising awareness about social injustices in her home country.
“My purpose and my mission is bigger than sports,” Berry said. “I’m here to represent those … who died due to systemic racism. That’s the important part. That’s why I’m going. That’s why I’m here today.”
Berry found it to be no matter of coincidence that she was front and center during the anthem. Unlike the Olympics, anthems aren’t played to accompany medal ceremonies at the trials. But the hammer throwers received their awards just before the start of the evening session, which has been kicking off all week with a videotaped rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
USA Track and Field spokeswoman Susan Hazzard said “the national anthem was scheduled to play at 5:20 p.m. today. We didn’t wait until the athletes were on the podium for the hammer throw awards. The national anthem is played every day according to a previously published schedule.” On Saturday, the music started at 5:25.
And so, while Price and Andersen stood still on the podium with their hands over the hearts and stared straight ahead at the American and Oregon flags, Berry fidgeted and paced on the third step. Then she turned away and finally grabbed her T-shirt.
“They said they were going to play it before we walked out, then they played it when we were out there,” said Berry. “But I don’t really want to talk about the anthem because that’s not important. The anthem doesn’t speak for me. It never has.”
Her gestures drew virtually no reaction from the still-filling stands. And they were something far less than two summers ago, when Berry raised her fist on the podium after winning the Pan-Am Games.
“Consumers likely would have purchased the Yeezy Foam Runner were it not for the cheaper, knock-off imitation shoe,” according to Kanye West’s complaint against Walmart.FilmMagic; Getty Images; Walmart
Kanye West and his Yeezy sneaker label have sued Walmart, accusing the retail giant of selling fake shoes.
Specifically, the billionaire rapper’s complaint, filed Thursday in California court in Los Angeles, claims the giant discounter has been selling fake versions of his bizarre-looking Foam Runner slides.
Introduced last year at a retail price of $75, the genuine Yeezy slides initially drew unflattering comparisons to Crocs. Nevertheless, they “instantly” sold out, and now sell for upwards of three times that on the secondary market, according to the suit.
The knockoffs on Walmart’s site, meanwhile, have been retailing for between $21.99 and $33.99 a pair. While Yeezy has sent Walmart legal warnings demanding that it yank the ripoff sneakers from its site, it has thus far failed to do so, according to the suit.
Yeezy is concerned partly because the lookalikes being sold on Walmart.com appear to be “virtually indistinguishable” from the real thing, the suit says. “My son has been wanting the Yeezy slides but these look similar and are much more affordable,” one customer wrote on the site, according to the suit.
“Consumers likely would have purchased the Yeezy Foam Runner were it not for the cheaper, knock-off imitation shoe,”
In addition to stealing Yeezy’s market share, the fake sneakers are of “subpar quality,’ which in turn is hurting the “reputation and the goodwill of the Yeezy brand,” according to the suit. It cited various customer complaints that the shoes fit poorly and “ripped after 20 minutes of wear” with one advising, “Don’t buy this garbage.”
Walmart appears to have removed most of the counterfeit Foam Runners from its web site, though some could still be found in a search of its site on Thursday afternoon. Indeed, a review of Walmart.com pulls up other fake Yeezy merchandise, including a pair of “Yeezy Inspired Slides” that sell for $38.99. Yeezy is exclusively sold by Adidas.
In a statement, Walmart said “The product referenced in the complaint is not sold by Walmart, but rather by third party Marketplace sellers. We take allegations like this seriously and are reviewing the claim. We will respond in court as appropriate after we have been seen.
Thursday’s suit comes on the heels of a trademark dispute between West and Walmart over a “rays from the sun” logo design West wants to use for Yeezy, but which Walmart says looks too similar to its 13-year-old sun logo.
In response, people close to Yeezy have scoffed at the idea West’s upscale brand — whose shoes typically retail for hundreds of dollars a pair — wanting to piggyback off Walmart’s image.
“Celebrities are regularly photographed wearing Yeezy clothing and footwear and using Yeezy products, which enhances the brand’s popularity and appeal to the general public,” according to the Thursday lawsuit. “Some celebs include, Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Jay Z, Hailey Baldwin, Gigi, and Bella Hadid, and Snoop Dogg.
There have been at least a dozen carjackings reported in the city and suburbs since Friday, shining a light on the growing problem in the city.
Chicago police said they are working around the clock to keep up with the large spike in carjackings as investigators try to find the offenders before they do it again.
“Many times we have individuals – whether it’s a juvenile or an adult – that run up, they are masked due to the pandemic and have a hoodie that covers everything but the whites of their eyes, they stick a gun in their face and take their car,” said CPD Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan.
“Immediately two men got out of a tan SUV, one of them came running up to me, and I remember saying, ‘please do not hurt me.’ Begging for my life,” said carjacking victim Kelly Milan. “He just kept saying, ‘where are your keys – where are your keys?'”
Milan is now one of hundreds of carjacking victims, as reported incidents pop up across the city. It’s a scenario that is becoming all too common in the city of Chicago.
“It all happened so fast,” she said.
Milan said she was carjacked on Friday morning. She said she had just pulled up in front of a Hyde Park elementary school when three men surrounded her car, stole her keys, then took off.
“It is happening everywhere,” Milan added. “It does not matter where you are or what neighborhood you are in. It is happening.”
Erin Grobel’s story is similar, except this time it was in the Wicker Park area. She said she was carjacked on Saturday afternoon by an armed teenager.
“[A] car pulls up really quickly behind me and two teenagers came out and I was trying to lock the door and start the car all at the same time,” she recalled.
Within seconds, the crew was gone and so was Grobel’s car.
“It is playing out in my head that it could have been so much worse,” she said.
Chicago police confirm at least five carjackings were reported in the city’s Wicker Park neighborhood over the weekend.
In the first incident, police said a 32-year-old woman was sitting in the driver’s seat of a car in the 1200-block of N. Milwaukee when two suspects approached and physically removed her from the vehicle around 1:25 p.m. Saturday. Around 7 p.m. Saturday, a 50-year-old male rideshare driver said he was carjacked by two men who implied they had a weapon in the 1400-block of N. Leavitt around 7 p.m. Around two hours later, a 40-year-old male rideshare driver said he was carjacked by two men he believed were his passengers who flagged him down in the 1100-block of North Winchester. Another rideshare driver, a 29-year-old male, told police he too was flagged down by two men he believed to be his passengers around 10:35 p.m. in the 2100-block of West Charleston. Police said the men got into the backseat of the vehicle, then showed the driver a weapon and began making threats. Police said another male rideshare driver was targeted by two men who flagged him down in the 1700-block of W. Le Moyne just before 4 a.m. A 41-year-old woman told police she was working delivery when two armed carjackers attempted to steal her vehicle in the 1200-block of W. Columbia around 7:25 p.m. Sunday, but she was able to scare them off.
“Now with this huge uptick in carjackings, it appears that many of them are just taking the cars, using them for 24 hours, and then dumping the cars and moving to another carjacking,” Deenihan said.
43rd Ward Ald. Michele Smith is now pushing for more to be done. She’s hosting an online forum with police so people can learn more about the brazen attacks.
“This is not random, it is organized,” Ald. Smith said. “There are groups involved in this and this is what we need information about.”
Smith announced the forum on Saturday. Moments later, she said there were two more carjackings in her ward, which includes Lincoln Park and some of the Gold Coast.
“Now 10 carjackings in my ward since December,” Ald. Smith said.
So, where are the offenders taking the stolen cars? Chicago police said the criminals, who are usually teens, use them as getaway cars to commit more crimes.
“But there are vehicles being carjacked and are subsequently being used in shootings, or additional robberies,” Deenihan said. “And then lastly, it is not a higher percentage, but there are certain cars, higher-end cars, that they are taking the cars and selling them retagged in different states and overseas.”
Ald. Smith said her forum will be hosted on Feb. 2 and she plans to include the state’s attorney’s office in the conversation.
Weekend carjackings reported in western suburbs
The trend is also growing out in the suburbs. Just in the last 48 hours, there have been carjackings reported in Naperville, Aurora and an attempted carjacking in Elmhurst.
Just in the last 48 hours, there have been carjackings reported in Naperville, Aurora and an attempted carjacking in Elmhurst.
The Aurora attack left a woman in critical condition after police say she was shot as the offenders stole her car in the parking lot of this Wendy’s.
Investigators said the offenders are tied to at least one other carjacking this weekend.
Aurora police are still working to track down the victim’s car and those who were involved.
Police are asking for the public’s help locating the vehicle stolen from Aurora. It is described as a red 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe with Illinois license place AE89203.
A man has been living in a secure section of Chicago’s international airport for three months, apparently telling police he was too afraid of coronavirus to return home to Los Angeles, according to multiple reports.
The 36-year-old man, Californian Aditya Singh, was arrested this weekend and charged with criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport, a felony, and theft, a misdemeanour, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Prosecutors said on Sunday that, according to police, the man arrived on a flight from Los Angeles to O’Hare international airport on 19 October. Nearly three months later, on Saturday afternoon, Singh was approached by two United Airlines employees who asked to see identification. Singh allegedly showed them an airport ID badge that had been reported missing by its owner, an airport operations manager, on 26 October.
Assistant state attorney Kathleen Hagerty told Cook County judge Susana Ortiz that other passengers had been giving food to Singh, who does not have a criminal background. Hagerty said Singh had found the badge in the airport and was “scared to go home due to Covid”.
Ortiz reportedly told the court: “You’re telling me that an unauthorised, non-employee individual was allegedly living within a secure part of the O’Hare airport terminal from 10 October, 2020, to 16 January, 2021, and was not detected? I want to understand you correctly.”
After finding Singh, the United Airlines employees called 911. Police took him into custody on Saturday morning.
Singh has a master’s degree in hospitality, is unemployed and lives with roommates in Orange, Los Angeles, according to assistant public defender Courtney Smallwood.
“The court finds these facts and circumstances quite shocking for the alleged period of time that this occurred,” said Ortiz. “Being in a secured part of the airport under a fake ID badge allegedly, based upon the need for airports to be absolutely secure so that people feel safe to travel, I do find those alleged actions do make him a danger to the community.”
Singh’s bail was set at $1,000. Should he be able to post bail, he is barred from entering the airport.
The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) said in a statement: “CDA has no higher priority than the safety and security of our airports, which is maintained by a coordinated and multilayered law enforcement network.
“While this incident remains under investigation, we have been able to determine that this gentleman did not pose a security risk to the airport or to the traveling public. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners on a thorough investigation of this matter.”
In 1969, actor Samuel L Jackson was expelled from historically black Morehouse College for locking board members in a building for two days in protest of the school’s curriculum and governance. Included in this group of people who were held hostage was Martin Luther King Jr.’s very own father, Martin Luther King Sr.
In 1966, during the height of the civil rights movement, Jackson enrolled at the historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta, the alma mater of Martin Luther King Jr. In 1968, when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, Kings body was brought to Atlanta to lie in state at Spelman College, the historically black woman’s school adjacent to Morehouse. Jackson attended King’s funeral as one of the ushers and then flew to Memphis to join an equal rights protest march that radicalized him and changed the way he thought. “I was angry about the assassination, but I wasn’t shocked by it. I knew that change was going to take something different — not sit-ins, not peaceful coexistence,” he stated in an interview with Parade about his reactions to King’s death.
In 1969, as mentioned before, he and a group of radical Morehouse students held the college’s board of trustees hostage, demanding that changes be made in the curriculum of the school and stating that they wanted more blacks on the governing board of the institution. Morehouse eventually gave in and agreed to change but Jackson was expelled for his actions.
That summer he became connected with people in the Black Power movement including Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown and others.
“I was in that radical faction,” Jackson told Parade. “We were buying guns, getting ready for armed struggle. ‘All of a sudden,’ he said proudly, ‘I felt I had a voice. I was somebody. I could make a difference. ‘But then one day,’ he added quietly, ‘my mom showed up and put me on a plane to L.A. She said, ‘Do not come back to Atlanta.’ The FBI had been to the house and told her that if I didn’t get out of Atlanta, there was a good possibility I’d be dead within a year. She freaked out.’”
Jackson was one tough dude even before all his movies.