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Suge Knight gives insight into Tupac’s final words.

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Showtime just released a documentary featuring conversations with Suge Knight, his parents, and his uncles that was recorded in 2011. The documentary movie gives Suge Knight an uninterrupted opportunity to tell his story of growing up in Compton , playing college and NFL football and then rising to be the founder of Death Row Records and one of the most influential music executives of the 21st century. The documentary takes a detailed look into Suge as a child and even showcases video footage of him rapping with his high school football team. The conversation then turned to Suge’s brief time with the Los Angeles Rams and his decision to start working as a security guard for the likes of Bobby Brown and other celebrities. The documentary covers some of the well known incidents through Death Row and hip hop culture, but it brings light to Suge’s account of Tupac’s last words. In what might be new information for some, Suge was shot in head during the Tupac assault. A bullet grazed the top of Suge’s head causing blood to drip down his face.

We found a clip of Suge explaining in 1996 the same information found in the Showtime documentary almost word for word. According to Suge Knight, these were the words that Tupac Shakur said to him jokingly as he was dealing with his wounds.

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Basketball

Dwyane Wade: #Girldad

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It still feels surreal to type out that Kobe Bryant passed away on January 26th, 2020. It still feels painful to talk about Kobe, as a father, passing away with one of his daughters, Gigi. In part, that pain comes from just how passionate a father Kobe was. In a touching clip, Sportscenters’ Elle Duncan described to us an encounter she had with Kobe, and the enjoyment he had being a “girl dad.”

“Without hesitation, I would have five more girls if I could. I’m a girl dad,” Kobe told her. The strength of Elle to push through the tears and share that story went viral. Twitter, Instagram, and other social media outlets became flooded with #GirlDads everywhere, and men across the country used her moment on Sportscenter to show how proud of their own daughters they are.

This week, Dwyane Wade also used his public platform to show us how proud he is in the strength of his daughter, Zaya. Zaya, who was born Zion, has asked the family for support in transitioning into who she wants to identify as. Wade spoke publicly about his 12 year old daughter on Ellen DeGeneres’ show Ellen.

The family has only continued to love and support Zaya in her transition. Gabrielle Union took to twitter to put her love into words.

The Wade family’s oldest child, Zaire, took to Instagram to show similar sentiments:

As Dwyane told Ellen, Zaya has an opportunity to one day be a leader in the LGBTQ+ community’s push for equality. And for now, since she’s just a 12 year old kid, Dwyane and Gabrielle have taken it upon themselves to be those leaders and allies.

While Zaya’s contributions to the world are in the future, her loving parents, with the power they have as public figures, are making a large one right now.

Dwyane Wade, the retired pro basketball player, will soon be a Hall of Famer. Dwyane Wade, the retired pro basketball player, has 3 NBA championships. Dwyane Wade, retired pro basketball player, has played in 13 NBA All Star games, won medals at two Olympics, led the league in scoring, been on multiple all-Defensive teams, and even won an NBA Finals MVP. Dwyane Wade, the retired pro basketball player, played with a reckless toughness he earned growing up on the South Side of Chicago. Dwyane Wade, the retired pro basketball player, grew up without a father and found his role model in Michael Jordan playing for the Chicago Bulls across town.  

But Dwyane Wade, the girl dad, is beginning something that may have an even longer impact, and becoming a role model for a lot more than just kids with hoop aspirations.  

Wade could have been a supportive father in private, been there for his daughter when she needs him off camera, and truthfully he wouldn’t have been any less of a father. There are a lot of great, loyal, and caring parents that don’t have or use the platform that Wade used on Tuesday.

But Dwyane Wade decided to be as public as possible. Wade’s public support, and his dedication to being his daughter’s father and an ally, will have an impact that’s hard to measure today. LGBTQ+ children that will know, regardless of who isn’t an ally, that an NBA hero is their ally.

Wade has been philanthropic in a way that exceeds expectations since he entered the league in 2003. His work with youth in Chicago and South Florida is noted, his donations to relief work is nearly annual. His presence at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital is strong. And now? He is a face for the parents of trans children everywhere.

Wade chose to be that face on Tuesday when he spoke with Ellen. He chose to tell the world he is a girl dad and an LGBTQ+ dad because he loves his child and puts her needs above his own. The strength in doing that publicly is awe inspiring.

And still, it pales in comparison to Zaya’s strength in coming to her family, and now the world, as her real self.

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Basketball

WTF BD – S1 | E1

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Episode 1: Ball Out

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WTF Baron Davis Season 1 has some Curb Your Enthusiasm style with a little influence from Friday. Here’s Episode 1 where @iambarondavis takes @bdotadot5 under his wing in an unusual mentorship program. More episodes coming on the @slic IGTV Channel.

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College Football

Thanksgiving and Football

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I know our menu, annually, like the back of my hand. There are more side dishes than there are people, enough dessert alone to feed a family of four, and the whole day surrounds large fowl being the second most carved up thing that day, only out gashed by the Dallas Cowboys secondary.

I also know the day’s schedule, annually, without having to speak with anyone about it. After claiming “we’ll run it this year,” we walk a long Turkey Trot, come home, sit around with coffee and kolaches. As we catch up with the folks who stayed home, we hear a lot about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and watch a bad Detroit team get beat down by half. When that game is officially only interesting enough to be background noise, we eat. With our dessert, we drink more coffee to fight off the tryptophan and hope that the Cowboys keep our spirits high. Usually they don’t, so we replenish those spirits with liquid ones as we watch the night game… What used to be a night of college football rivalries in the cold has shifted to NFL Network and a warm fireplace.

For whatever reason, Turkey Day and the pigskin have become emphatically linked as two uniquely American traditions. That’s not to say other countries don’t do Thanksgiving, or that they don’t have some form of football or a game they treat like it…. But the particular connection is distinctive to the 50 states. Families in every region, state, city, and neighborhood do the day differently, but everyone is also doing things more or less the same. I may enjoy my dark meat Turkey off of the Turkey leg, my neighbor may enjoy a deep fried Turkey breast. I call it dressing, my college teammate from across the country called it stuffing. I cheer for the Cowboys, much of America has a better holiday when they lose… While we may differ in the minutiae, the Sparknotes version of thanksgiving frequently reads the same

So what is the connection to football? Why are there countless college rivalry games the week of Thanksgiving? Why do we slot three pro games on Thanksgiving day? In giving thanks, we ought to be spending time together, enjoying each other, but most families have chosen to do that at, while watching, or while discussing football for what feels like generations. Why is that?

In part, football is a great game for conversation. Structurally, there’s roughly six seconds of action a minute. You can chat for the other :54 without missing much. Thus, when that one Aunt is talking your ear off about how ya just need to meet her young coworker, you don’t miss the action while politely keeping up.

Football is also a weird combination of super easy to understand and super complex. The goal is to move the ball, as a team, into the end zone. You can run it or pass it, and the defense tries to tackle you to the ground and keep you from doing so. This fight for territory is split into 10 yard chunks you need to get at least every four plays before turning it over. That all seems simple, but there are plays every week where veteran NFL officiating crews debate for hours what is or isn’t a catch. So sure, anyone can understand the marching of a football team… But you can also get lost in debating the details. “Do you think he got the first down?” can easily spark a conversation in a quiet room of awkward relatives.

What ties the game of football to Thanksgiving day may be its connection to the fall. The start of school, the cooling of the temperature, and the kick off for everyone’s favorite football team all mark the beginning of autumn. Thanksgiving marks the transition from fall to winter. As the orange and red leaves have all fallen and winter snow is starting, these important rivalry games and traditional games can wrap up the season and shape its memory.

The ties between football in America and Thanksgiving seems both odd and inseparable. But, it may perhaps be a perfect match. What better game to sit and slip into a food induced coma than football? What better game to have playing next to the fireplace than football? We can dissect Christmas and basketball at a later date… but for now, while we give thanks, let’s watch a few kickoffs, touchdowns, and see what happens.  

Let the spirits flow, both into glasses and in orchestrated yells. Are you ready for some football?

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