On Friday, a group of Black Lives Matter activists in Philadelphia placed a giant Ku Klux Klan mask over the head of a statue of Frank Rizzo, a former city mayor, less than two weeks after a petition was started to have the statue taken down.
Asa Khalif, one of the BLM representatives, explained to Philadelphia Magazine his reasoning for putting a KKK mask on the Rizzo statue:
He was a racist bigot. He was the king of bigots, and this is his crown, the KKK mask, and I think it’s a hell of a match.
The inspiration for Khalif's actions seems to have been an online petition started 11 days prior by another Black Lives Matter activist, Erica Mines. Mines's petition, #FrankRizzoDown, details some of Rizzo's controversial conduct during his tenure as Philadelphia police commissioner and mayor, citing it as grounds to have the statue removed:
According to the petition:
Frank Rizzo's racist relationship towards Philadelphia's African-American community has always been one of violence, devastation and despair. Two of his most violent legacies to date involve members of Philadelphia's local chapter of the Black Panther Party being publicly stripped. The display of their naked bodies appeared on the Daily News' front page in August 1970, while the organization was preparing for a Peoples Revolution Convention to address police violence in the city and throughout the country.
Swimmer Simone Manuel made history Thursday night at the Rio Olympics, tying for first in the 100 meter freestyle to become the first African-American woman to win gold in any individual swimming event.
However, intead of airing the monumental moment when Manuel accepted her medal live for the whole country to see, NBC decided instead to stick to their previously planned schedule and show pre-recorded gymnastics. Deadspin caught the mistake, and posted a video contrasting NBC's feed with that of BBC, who aired the medal ceremony live.
While NBC did evenutally air Manuel's medal ceremony, the moment clearly should have been shown live. Changing the schedule on the fly can be extremely difficult, but wouldn't a medal ceremony such as Manuel's be the exact instance where shifting coverage would be appropriate? This was an important moment in the history of American athletics, and it's shocking to think the American provider of Olympics coverage still decided to air an event from hours earlier.
NFL league officials informed the Dallas Cowboys Wednesday that the team would not be allowed to wear a helmet decal honoring Dallas police in preseason or regular season games this year.
The Cowboys unveiled the "Arm in Arm" decal on July 30, the first day of training camp, during a ceremony meant to promote unity between the Dallas community and local law enforcement. That same day, players, coaches and officials walked onto the field arm-in-arm with Dallas Police Chief David Brown, Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings and family members of the officers murdered during the shooting in Dallas last month.
However, the decal was deemed unacceptable for wear during games by the NFL, which has long had a staunch, almost cold-hearted, uniform policy. According to Fox Sports:
Just last season the league denied the request of Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams to wear pink gear all season in honor of his mother, who passed away from breast cancer. Williams was also fined for having the message "Find the cure” printed on his eye black during a game.
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones seemed unsurprised by the league's refusal of the team's request. He told the Dallas Morning News Wednesday:
Almost a week in to the Rio Olympics, organizers continue to struggle with filling the stands at almost every venue and event. These attendance issues prompted some strong words from IOC Vice President John Coates, who called the 2016 iteration of the Summer Games the "most difficult" Olympics ever.
In an interview with BBC Thursday morning, Coates expressed his frustrations with the poor turnouts so far:
This has been the most difficult games we have ever encountered [...] I wish there were bigger crowds. We did understand that they were distributing tickets to poorer folk and school kids, but we are still not seeing them at any of the venues. That's a disappointment, but the quality of the sport is certainly rising to the occasion.
While several events at the London Games four years ago were sold out long before competition began, the same cannot be said for most sports in Rio. Dozens of seats are unfilled at practically every event, and it remains unclear if that trend will change.
While playing hit smartphone game "Pokemon Go" has put several people in hazardous situations, no one has actually claimed the app attacked them -- until now.
According to reports, a young, Russian woman submitted a formal complaint to Moscow police, asserting that she woke up one morning to find a giant Pokemon raping her.
For those unfamiliar, "Pokemon Go" allows users to search for and collect virtual little monsters called Pokemon in real-world locations. Pokemon can only be generated on the phone screen while playing the game, and have no physical contact with anything.
The woman, who is married and had been playing "Pokemon Go" before falling asleep, reportedly told police that she awoke to find a Pokemon on top of her, and that she felt an "assault." When she jumped out of bed, the Pokemon disappeared, but according to her, the app still detected that the creature was still in her room.
She immediately woke up her husband, who naturally didn't believe a Pokemon had raped his wife, and said she should see a psychiatrist. The police also dismissed the woman's claim.
This fall, the hit smartphone game "Pokemon Go" will join the ranks of academia, as several colleges are designing fitness courses centered around the cartoon critter-catching app.
Just last Saturday, Fresno City College (FCC) in California announced a new one-credit class called "PE-6 Pokemon Go!" on Facebook:
After several people understandably questioned the legitimacy of the class, the school clarified in a comment that the post was "not a joke" and that the class would start in October.
According to the Fresno Bee, the class will reward students with one transferable credit, and will be taught by women's soccer coach Oliver Germond.
“My dean approached me about it and at first, I thought she was joking. She explained it to me, and I agreed to teach it. It’s a fun way of making a fitness class work and attracting more students to physical fitness," said Germond.
Reportedly, FCC is continuing to look for ways to create more Pokemon Go courses, along with including locations of Pokemon gyms and Pokestops on campus maps.
A Layton, Utah police officer was hospitalized Monday after an 18-year-old Subway employee allegedly laced the cop's drink with both methamphetamine and THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
Tanis Lloyd Ukena was arrested Monday night and remained in Davis County Jail Tuesday in lieu of $10,000 bail after surveillance footage reportedly caught Ukena holding something in his hand while preparing the officer's beverage.
"In the video, (Ukena) is seen filling the drink portion of the order at the drive-up fountain area," the Davis County Jail report states. "For some unknown reason, he walks away from the fountain machine out of camera view. He then returns to the drink where he is seen spending what seems to be an unusual amount of time getting it ready to deliver to the sergeant."
The officer, who was in uniform and driving his police cruiser, began to feel strange after taking a sip of his drink, according to the Salt Lake Tribune:
As he drove away, the sergeant — whose name was withheld — sipped the drink and noted that it tasted strange. He soon began suspecting he had been drugged; he experienced difficulty applying his car's brakes when he approached an intersection.
Dozens of law enforcement officers converged on a Amherst, N.Y., Walmart Monday afternoon after a suspected meth lab was discovered in the sewer running beneath the superstore's parking lot.
According to WGRZ, local police found the meth lab in a culvert under one of the roads adjacent to the Walmart while on a routine patrol. Various officials, from fire officers to state troopers to Homeland Security, were called to the scene to investigate.
"The State Police SORT [Special Operations Response Team] Team is what came out. They're the ones, the Hazmat, they're the ones that have the expertise in this. We brought them in. They did a fantastic job collecting, photographing the scene and bringing the items out here," Amherst Police Captain Scott Chamberlin told reporters.
American swimmer Lilly King talked a big game before taking on Russia's Yulia Efimova in the 100 meter breastsroke final Monday night, and then she backed it up in the pool with an exciting gold medal-winning performance, setting a new Olympic record in the process.
After calling out Efimova Sunday for the Russian's history of doping with some strong words and a well-timed finger wag, King outswam the Russian (who received boos upon introduction) Monday in a record-breaking time of 1:04.93, beating Efimova by just over half a second.
“It’s incredible, just winning a gold medal, and knowing I did it clean," the 19-year-old from Indiana told reporters afterwards in one final jab at Efimova, and the governing bodies that had allowed her to compete.
A group of nearly 30 LGBT advocacy groups penned a letter to Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby Monday, urging the conference to deny Brigham Young University's bid to join the conference because of BYU's "homophobic, biphobic and transphobic policies and practices."
Bowlsby has recently been exploring how to expand the conference to 12 or 14 teams, and BYU was immediately considered a front-runner for a spot. However, Athlete Ally, the nonprofit spearheading the petition, argues that BYU's honor code and other policies are inconsistent with the Big 12's message of inclusivity:
Currently, the Big 12 as a conference is overwhelmingly LGBT-inclusive. Nine out of ten of your member schools have explicit protections for students based on their sexual orientation. Eight out of ten of your member schools have explicit protections for students based on their gender identity. And nine out of ten of your member schools have LGBT resource centers to proactively make their schools safe and welcoming for LGBT people.
BYU, conversely, actively and openly discriminates against its LGBT students and staff. It provides no protections for LGBT students. In fact, through its policies, BYU is very clear about its intent to discriminate against openly LGBT students, with sanctions that can include suspension or dismissal for being openly LGBT or in a same-sex relationship. The LGBT climate is so bad at BYU that it is ranked the 6th worst school in the country for LGBT students.