07-05-2020  10:23 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Black Community Frustrated as Violence Mars Protests

Black leaders condemn violence from small group of mostly-white activists as Rose City Justice suspends nightly marches

Protester Dies After Car Hits Two on Closed Freeway

Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle died and Taylor and Diaz Love of Portland were injured. The driver, Dawit Kelete has been arrested

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

Inslee Heckled Off Stage During Tri-Cities Appearance

Speaking outdoors in Eastern Washington, the governor was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers as he urged residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

NEWS BRIEFS

Trump Blows His Twitter Dog Whistle on America’s Fair Housing Policies in the Suburbs

The president could be Tweeting on unemployment or COVID-19 infections but instead pushes housing discrimination ...

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Awards Historic $100,000 Founders' Centennial Scholarship

Zeta celebrates 100 years with largest single recipient scholarship awarded by a historically Black Greek-lettered sorority or...

Nominations Being Accepted for the Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award

Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1994 to honor Multnomah County residents who have contributed outstanding...

Shatter, LLC Launches to Elevate Diverse Voices in Progressive Politics

A collaboration of leading female political strategists aims to fill a void in the world of political consulting ...

New Director Takes Helm at Oregon Black Pioneers

In its 27-year history, the organization has never had an executive director, and has expressed confidence and optimism in Zachary A....

Police: Men yelled racial slurs at Black family in Oregon

LINCOLN CITY, Ore. (AP) — Seven men were arrested after police say they taunted a Black family by yelling racial slurs and using Nazi salutes during a Fourth of July incident in an Oregon beach town.The men challenged police to a fight when officers arrived to the beach in Lincoln City and...

Portland protesters clash with police, throwing fireworks

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — More than 12 people were arrested in Portland early Sunday after throwing fireworks and mortars as they clashed with police during the latest rally decrying police brutality. Police used tear gas and crowd control munitions to stymie protesters who they say broke...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

Banana Republic or Constitutional Democracy? The US Military May Decide

Will the military, when and if the chips are down, acts in accord with the Constitution and not out of loyalty to its commander-in-chief? ...

To Save Black Lives, and the Soul of Our Nation, Congress Must Act Boldly

For too long, Black people in America have been burdened with the unjust responsibility of keeping ourselves safe from police. ...

Racial Inequalities - Black America Has Solutions; White America Won't Approve Them

The problem is we have to secure approval of the solutions from the people who deny the problem's existence while reaping the benefits from it. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

'Lift Every Voice and Sing' hymn ignites hope across nation

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Black national anthem was born more than a century ago, but the popular hymn within the African American community called “Lift Every Voice and Sing” has resurrected a beacon of hope during nationwide protests.In recent weeks, countless rallies were held...

Bottas shows he can handle pressure in winning Austrian GP

SPIELBERG, Austria (AP) — Valtteri Bottas insisted before the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday that he has what it takes to win the Formula One world championship.That’s a tall order with six-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton as his teammate at Mercedes. Especially as...

Anti-racism groups in Paris call out colonizer street names

PARIS (AP) — Paris police blocked anti-racism groups from leading a “de-colonial tour” of Paris on Sunday to call attention to monuments and streets honoring historical figures tied to the slave trade or colonial-era abuses.Instead, the protesters marched around a monument in...

ENTERTAINMENT

Hugh Downs, genial presence on TV news and game shows, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Hugh Downs, the genial, versatile broadcaster who became one of television’s most familiar and welcome faces with more than 15,000 hours on news, game and talk shows, has died at age 99.Downs died of natural causes at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Wednesday, said...

Review: A master class by Catherine Deneuve in 'The Truth'

Family may be the great subject of Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, but he doesn't draw straightforward portraits. In Kore-eda's hands, family is more malleable. He tends to shift roles around like he's rearranging furniture, subtly remaking familiar dynamics until he has, without you knowing...

Union tells actors not to work on pandemic film 'Songbird'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The union that represents film actors told its members Thursday not to work on the upcoming pandemic thriller “Songbird,” saying the filmmakers have not been up-front about safety measures and had not signed the proper agreements for the movie that is among...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Fewer will attend camp this summer; some camps won't survive

FAYETTE, Maine (AP) — Camp Winnebago was founded during the Spanish Flu and weathered all manner of health...

Naked men and drunks: England assesses the reopening of pubs

LONDON (AP) — It seems to have been more like a typical Saturday night than a drunken New Year's Eve.The...

'Lift Every Voice and Sing' hymn ignites hope across nation

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Black national anthem was born more than a century ago, but the popular hymn within...

Muti conducts Syria musicians in memorial concert amid ruins

RAVENNA, Italy (AP) — Nine musicians from the Syrian diaspora in Europe are playing Sunday in the 24th...

Israeli leader's son takes center stage in corruption sagas

JERUSALEM (AP) — As scandal-plagued Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands trial for corruption, his...

Naked men and drunks: England assesses the reopening of pubs

LONDON (AP) — It seems to have been more like a typical Saturday night than a drunken New Year's Eve.The...

McMenamins
Venus Williams
Omar Tyree, The Black Athlete

"Venus Williams" by Edwin Martinez from The Bronx - US Open 2013 Licensed under CC via Wikimedia Commons 

After watching a half dozen college football bowl games and the first two rounds of the NFL Playoff over the past two weekends, I continue to be proud of how many women are now involved in covering professional and college sports. My favorite sport of football seems to employ the most women. I can’t even name all of the professional sports broadcasters now, with a line-up of women that includes Whites, Blacks, Asians and Latinas. It’s great!

I was only a kid when CBS first hired African-American actress and model Jayne Kennedy for reporting and interview duties on The NFL Today. WHAT? Jane Kennedy is covering football? It was the coolest thing in the world for a kid who had a bunch of Jet magazine “beauties of the week” taped on his walls, wearing swimsuits. But to have a bonafide fox like Jayne Kennedy covering my favorite game and football stars on TV was way cooler.

With a weekly subscription to Sports Illustrated magazine before I was even teenager, my original love for women in sports started with track and field. I remember watching the television movie of Olympic track star, Wilma Rudolf, with my mother and being inspired by it. From there, we watched the 1980s Olympic track stars together, including my mother’s favorite, Evelyn Ashford, alongside Mary Decker Slaney, Valerie Briscoe-Hooks, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and who could ever forget Florence “Flo Jo” Griffith Joyner. In the 1990s, we watched Gail Devers and Gwen Torrence.

My mother and I also watched Carol Lewis—the younger sister of decorated Olympian, Carl Lewis—go from being an Olympic long jumper in her own right, to becoming one of the first African-American women to cover track and field broadcasts. I was very proud of Carol for that. Don’t just compete in sports, become one the experts who analyze it. I was as proud to see Carol on TV for every track event as I was to see the athletes. I loved listening to Carol speak her calm knowledge about track and field. You go get it, sister!

Before there were the Williams girls—Venus and Serena—in professional tennis, my mother told me stories about she and her friends rooting for African-American legend, Althea Gibson, when they was younger. Althea Gibson played tennis and golf with passion, fearlessness and dignity, inspiring a nation of Black women to not only dream about it, but to do it.

However, my most intimate love for women in sports came from my own hometown of Philadelphia. In my last few years of high school at Central in the late 1980s, there was this city-wide hype and conversation about a girl from North Philly.

People were crazy excited about this girl, explaining the scene in all of their Philadelphian vernacular. “Yo, you gotta see this girl play, cuz. She ballin’! Straight up!”

So I caught the train and bus into the heart of North Philadelphia—where I had no friends, family members or security detail—to attend a girl’s basketball game at Murrell Dobbins Tech High School for my first glimpse of Dawn Staley, up close and personal. My friends thought that I was crazy.

“You went to Dobbins by yourself just to see a girl’s basketball game?”

Yes, I did. And my mind was blown away forever. Dawn Staley was not only the point guard at Dobbins, she led the team in scoring, steals, rebounds, assists, blocked shots and highlight moments before ESPN ever existed. She had the whole Harlem Globetrotter thing going on in with the around the back passes, dribbling through the legs, stop and gos, twists and turns, look-aways, finger rolls, girls tripping and falling down in front of her, and then she would stop and pop 3-pointers on fast breaks before Steph Curry was even born.

You could barely drink a cup or a can of soda when Dawn Staley played. People were constantly screaming, yelling, pointing, jumping and grabbing you every couple of seconds, whether she was on offense or defense.

“Did you see that steal? You see that block? You see that pass? You see that shot?”

Dude, I’m watching her just like you’re watching her. Of course, I saw it! Now can I enjoy the game in peace for a minute, please? God!

After winning several Philadelphia Public League Championships and a national high school player of the year award, Staley went on to star at the University of Virginia, where the Cavaliers were never quite able to get over the hump for a national championship, but she kept them in the hunt for a title every single year. She then played balled overseas, became a WNBA star, a 3-time Gold Olympian, and the head coach at North Philadelphia’s own Temple University—my mother’s proud alma mater—before coaching the University of South Carolina, where Staley’s undefeated Gamecocks are presently the number #1 ranked women’s basketball team in the country.

And me? I went on to cover dozens of live sports events and write interview features as a print journalism major at Howard University, including plenty of exciting girl’s games and track meets, all up and down the East Coast. I’ve also rooted for national television legends; Cheryl Miller, Sheryl Swoops, Chamique Holdsclaw, Candace Parker, Angel McCoughtry, Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins on the college level, as well as for Cynthia Cooper, Tina Thompson, Teresa Edwards, Diana Taurasi, Lisa Leslie and Seimone Augustus in the WNBA.

I could go on and name many more competitive women, including Marion Jones, Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards-Ross, Dee Dee Trotter, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and dozens of young girls, who have competed inspirationally in track and field at Philadelphia’s annual Penn Relays carnival, hailing from Vere Tech Jamaica to Long Beach Poly, California. Don’t forget about Dominique Dawes, Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles in American gymnastics, along with Claressa Shields, Marlen Esparza and the gifted veteran, Liala Ali, in boxing.

And what about Philadelphia’s Mone Davis, pitching a no-hitter in Little League Baseball this past summer?

The point is that women’s excellence in sports is here stay, and it will continue to grow. So there should naturally be more professional women available to broadcast, prognosticate and critique their peers, as well their husbands, sisters, brothers, cousins, nephews, nieces, sons and daughters.

I stand as a proud supporter of women being involved in sports in every capacity. If it’s good for the competitive and professional spirit of men, then it’s also good for that of women. And I will continue to watch, report, listen, enjoy, learn from and be inspired by you all.

Omar Tyree is a New York Times bestselling author, an NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Fiction, and a professional journalist, who has published 27 books, including co-authoring Mayor For Life; The Incredible Story of Marion Barry Jr. View more of his career and work @ www.OmarTyree.com

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