01-27-2021  8:53 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Veteran Immunologist, Dean of HBCU Medical School, on Covid Vaccines

Dr. James Hildreth is an expert on engaging the Black community to overcome healthcare disparities.

Seattle-area Hospital System Rebuked After Offering Vaccine to Donors

Governor Inslee said, "We need to give everybody a fair shot at the vaccine … We’ve got to maintain public credibility in the system"

Police Find No Bias, Terror Motive in Portland Road Rampage

Police identified the driver as Paul Rivas of Oregon City. He was booked on initial charges of second-degree murder, assault and failure to perform the duties of a driver.

Mayor Ted Wheeler Decries Ongoing Violence

At a news conference Monday, Wheeler also said he had filed a police report about an “incident” that happened to him, but he did not elaborate

NEWS BRIEFS

BLM Seattle Demands Mayor Durkan Halt Bargaining With Seattle Police Officers Guild

The demand follows a storm of condemnation against SPOG President Mike Solan, who tweeted that the Black Lives Matter movement was in...

Everybody Reads Program to Hold Event with Author Ross Gay

Ross Gay, author of The Book of Delights will speak at a special event in April—free for people in financial hardship ...

The Mayor Turns 90: A Paul Knauls Celebration to be Held Friday, January 22

Albina legend Paul Knauls, Sr. will be celebrated with a virtual event featuring public officials, musicians, and community...

People For the American Way Supports Congressional Gold Medal for Officer Eugene Goodman

Goodman, a Black U.S. Capitol Hill police officer, diverted a white mob away from the unprotected Senate chambers during the violent...

St. Andrew Parish Announces 2021 Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Awards

The Community Service Award went to cameron whitten of the Black Resilience Fund ...

Driver accused in Oregon road rampage pleads not guilty

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A motorist accused of hitting pedestrians, bicyclists and killing a 77-year-old woman Monday in Portland, Oregon, has pleaded not guilty to murder and has given detectives bizarre explanations about the incident, according to court documents.Paul Rivas, 64, through a...

States lift restrictions gradually amid fears of new variant

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — States are loosening their coronavirus restrictions on restaurants and other businesses because of improved infection and hospitalization numbers but are moving gradually and cautiously, in part because of the more contagious variant taking hold in the U.S.While the...

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri.Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the head coach of...

Music City Bowl between Iowa and Missouri canceled

The Music City Bowl between Missouri and Iowa was canceled Sunday because COVID-19 issues left the Tigers unable to play.The game scheduled for Wednesday in Nashville, Tennessee, is the second bowl called off since the postseason lineup was set on Dec. 20, joining the Gasparilla Bowl. Overall, 18...

OPINION

Demos President K. Sabeel Rahman Issues Statement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2021

We see painful parallels between the America in which King lived and the present day ...

This is America: White Privilege, Black Lives Matter, and Violence at the Capitol

The violence we witnessed in the United States Capitol on January 6 is nothing new. ...

SPLC Action Fund President: Attempted Coup Displays Organized, Extremist Violence Plaguing the United States

Insidious racism took the form of an American president openly encouraging with “love” violent extremists ...

Commentary: Exit in Disgrace

Will Trump leave in the middle of the night, embarrassed by his four years of crude, rude, lying, and beyond belief incompetence? Or will he be escorted out by a secret service detachment? ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

San Francisco to strip Washington, Lincoln from school names

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The names of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and other prominent figures including California Sen. Dianne Feinstein will be removed from 44 San Francisco public schools, a move that stirred debate Wednesday on whether the famously liberal city has taken the national...

Maryland Episcopal church commits 0,000 to reparations

(RNS) — A historic Episcopal church in Baltimore has committed to setting aside 0,000 to reparations, an initiative that will contribute to local racial justice causes.Memorial Episcopal Church also pledged to contribute an additional 0,000 for reparations and justice over five...

Biden's pick for UN post calls China 'a strategic adversary'

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Linda Thomas-Greenfield called China “a strategic adversary” that threatens the world and expressed regret at a Senate hearing Wednesday on her nomination as United Nations ambassador for a speech she gave in 2019 that praised China’s initiatives in...

ENTERTAINMENT

Cannes Film Festival, canceled in 2020, is postponed to July

NEW YORK (AP) — The Cannes Film Festival, canceled altogether last year by the pandemic, is postponing this year's edition from May to July in hopes of having an in-person festival.Cannes organizers announced Wednesday that this year's festival will now take place July 6-17, about two months...

Queen Latifah 'stoked' to land post-Super Bowl slot for show

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Queen Latifah thrives on going big. From writing and rapping at the start of her career to being an Oscar-nominated actress to producing, she has upended expectations for years. Her latest chapter comes in the new CBS series "The Equalizer” as the first Black woman...

NFL picks 3 honorary captains, Amanda Gorman for coin toss

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL has selected three people who have served during the coronavirus pandemic as honorary captains for the Super Bowl along with inaugural poet Amanda Gorman for an original poem.Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Wednesday that educator Trimaine Davis, nurse manager...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

The Hammer makes one last trip to spot where he hit No. 715

ATLANTA (AP) — The Hammer made one last trip to the spot where he hit No. 715. After a nearly three-hour...

Oscar-winning, 'irreplaceable' Cloris Leachman dies at 94

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cloris Leachman, an Oscar-winner for her portrayal of a lonely housewife in “The...

In duel with small investors over GameStop, big funds blink

Across most of America, GameStop is just a place to buy a video game. On Wall Street, though, it's become a...

'We owe this to them': Shoah survivors in vaccine spotlight

VIENNA (AP) — Hundreds of Holocaust survivors in Austria and Slovakia got their first dose of a coronavirus...

Auschwitz survivors mark anniversary online amid pandemic

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Jewish prayer for the souls of the people murdered in the Holocaust echoed...

New protests as Polish court seals divisive abortion ruling

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — New anti-government protests broke out in Polish cities Wednesday, shortly after the...

MLK Breakfast 2021 Watch Now
LeBron James plays for Cleveland Cavaliers against Knicks
Omar Tyree

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) drives past New York Knicks' Cole Aldrich (45) during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

I was prepared this week to write an article on sports and fatherhood. Instead, I was struck by the season opening basketball game of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, October 30th, featuring the return of Akron, Ohio's native son, LeBron James. With hours of national sports coverage and thousands of fans who traveled downtown to enjoy a free concert from Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons—including live commentary from Charles Barkley and jokes from comedian/actor Kevin Hart—the event was overwhelming.

The city unveiled a new 10-story high LeBron James banner, featured six hours of fan experience from Nike, invited fans to game watching parties at more than 40 bars and restaurants, and unveiled a humungous, state-of-the-art scoreboard inside Quickens Loan Arena, where those with tickets to the game received free LeBron James T-shirts, a season schedule magnet for their refrigerators and twenty-thousand glow-in-the-dark wands to wave during the game announcements in high-definition 3D.


Of course, the game was sold out, with superstar musician, Cleveland native and part team owner, Usher Raymond and his protégé Justin Bieber sitting courtside, along with filmmaker, Spike Lee, football Hall of Famer turned TV star, Michael Strahan, and dozens of other national and local celebrities all to see the homecoming of LeBron. Nike even unveiled a new commercial, where "King James" invites the entire city of Cleveland into a team huddle and prep-talk to win a championship in classic black and white film. 


It felt like I was watching the NFL Super Bowl, but it was only Cleveland's first game of the season with LeBron back, featuring his new teammates; Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Deon Waiters, Tristan Thomas and more. It was also the season premiere of new Cleveland head coach, David Blatt.
By the way, the game included NBA All-Star an Olympian Carmelo Anthony and his New York Knicks, with the second game of their new head coach, Derek Fisher. And after all of the crazy build-up, LeBron James went on to have a horrible outing in a 95-90 loss. At one point in the first half, he was 1-9 shooting with four turnovers, on his way to 17 points and eight turnovers.


I felt sorry for the dude. I could only imagine how anxious he was to get it all over with. At the end of the day, he still needed two and half hours worth of energy to play a basketball game before granting a hundred post-game interviews about the loss. Not only that, I read his wife Savannah finally gave birth their first baby girl to add to his excitement and exhaustion on Monday night, October 27th.


But with all of the sports commentators speaking about how amazing the opening night was, I couldn't help thinking about the American hypocrisy of sports and race. I've been to the city of Cleveland on several occasions and know people from the area, as well as from other cities of Ohio. And it's the same old American story; blacks live on one part of town in poverty, while whites live on the other in wealth. And race relations still don't mix like you would think they would in year 2014.


So I watched the rehashed stories of white Cleveland Cavaliers fans who angrily burned LeBron James jerseys just four years ago when he left the city to take his talents to South Beach, and I chuckled at their audacity. Thousands of these same angry white fans now profess to love him again, including Cavaliers owner, Dan Gilbert, who was forced to humble himself and apologize for his tantrum and public letter, which lambasted LeBron and his character.


I'm sorry, folks, I know we all look at sports as the perfect meeting ground between race, gender, class, creed and culture, but it continues to astonish me how the white American populace could care less about Lebron James' twin brother, if he wasn't blessed with the same freakish athletic skills to play basketball. And if James had such a twin brother, would these fans bother to even buy him a drink? Not unless he brought LeBron with him.


As we inch closer to year 2015, we still have millions of white Americans who would never read this sports column just because it has the word "black" in it, identifying a people and culture that they refuse to learn anything about. And if black athletes couldn't dunk, shoot, rebound, or pass a basketball; run, pass, catch, intercept, kick or punt a football; or throw, catch, hit or pitch a baseball, white Americans wouldn't care to know them either.

Omar Tyree is a New York Times bestselling author, an NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Fiction and a professional journalist @ www.OmarTyree.com

 

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