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June 4, 2016
[img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/4ab8f68000065a5a6cd616e257a9754b_view.jpg[/img] Muhammad Ali, the eloquent, colorful, controversial and brilliant three-time heavyweight boxing champion who was known as much for his social conscience and staunch opposition to the Vietnam War as for his dazzling boxing skills, died Friday. Ali, who had a long battle with Parkinson's disease, was taken to a Phoenix area hospital earlier this week where he was being treated for a respiratory issue. He was 74. Once the most outrageous trash talker in sports, he was largely muted for the last quarter century of his life, quieted by a battle with Parkinson's. [img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/852ef98063e71b9d074edd9bcf52e760_view.jpg[/img] Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on Jan. 17, 1942, in Louisville, Ky., Ali learned to box after his bicycle was stolen when he was 12 years old. When young Clay vowed to "whoop the behind" of the thief, a local police officer encouraged him to learn to box to channel his energy. He would go on to become known as "The Greatest," and at his peak in the 1970s was among the most recognizable faces on Earth. He was known for his tendency to recite poems while making predictions about his fights – "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can't hit what the eyes can't see." – as well as for giving opponents often unflattering nicknames. He referred to Sonny Liston as "the big ugly bear," George Chuvalo as "The Washerwoman," Floyd Patterson as "The Rabbit" and Earnie Shavers as "The Acorn." But his most controversial, and some would say cruel, nicknames were reserved for his fiercest rival, Joe Frazier. He first dubbed Frazier "Uncle Tom" and then later called him "The Gorilla." [img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/c63233b38213f7b69a69892fd8de4b12_view.jpg[/img] When Ali prepared to meet Frazier for a third time in Manila, Philippines, on Oct. 1, 1975, he frequently carried a toy rubber gorilla with him. At one news conference, he pulled the gorilla out of his pocket and began punching it as he said, "It's going to be a killa and a thrilla and a chilla when I get the gorilla in Manila." Frazier, though, took it personally and harbored a decades-long grudge. "It sure did bother him," Gene Kilroy, Ali's friend for more than 50 years, told Yahoo Sports. Kilroy said Ali was simply promoting the fights and meant no harm, and said Ali regretted the impact his words had upon Frazier. "I used to tell Ali, 'Someday, me, you and Joe are going to be three old men sitting in the park laughing about all that [expletive],' " Kilroy recalled. "And Ali said, 'That would be great!' I talked to Joe and Joe said, 'No, [expletive] him. I don't want to be with him.' But he loosened up later and they mended fences." Not long before Frazier's death in 2011, he attended an autograph signing and memorabilia show in Las Vegas. Frazier grabbed a copy of an old Sports Illustrated magazine that had a photo of the two fighters and promoter Don King on the cover. "Man," he said, sounding wistful, "we gave the people some memories, me and Ali." Ali was at the peak of his professional powers after knocking out Zora Folley in New York on March 22, 1967. He battered Folley throughout and stopped him in the seventh. After the bout, Folley shared his thoughts with Sports Illustrated. "The right hands Ali hit me with just had no business landing – but they did. They came from nowhere," Folley said. "… He's smart. The trickiest fighter I've seen. He's had 29 fights and acts like he's had a hundred. He could write the book on boxing, and anyone that fights him should be made to read it first." Ali's boxing career came to a screeching halt after that fight. He'd refused induction into the U.S. Army because he stated he was a conscientious objector. Ali had converted to Islam in 1964 after the first of his two wins over Liston, and changed his name from Cassius Clay. He said Islam was a religion of peace and that he had no desire to engage in combat with those who'd done him or his family no harm. This all went down at the height of the civil rights movement. "Shoot them for what?" Ali asked in an interview after he refused induction. "They never called me nigger. They never lynched me. They never put dogs on me. They didn't rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father. What do I want to shoot them for, for what? Why do I want to go shoot them, poor little people and babies and children and women? How can I shoot them? Just take me to jail." [img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/0976b33d9f47045f14c523768a53cfc9_view.jpg[/img] He went on trial in Houston on June 20, 1967. The jury deliberated for only 21 minutes before finding him guilty. He was fined $10,000, faced five years in jail and had his passport taken. He was stripped of the crown and deprived from making a living, but he wasn't silenced. Ali would go on a lecture circuit, speaking at colleges for as little as $1,500 and as much as $10,000. He desperately needed the money because he wasn't making a lot after being stripped and he was paying an expensive team of attorneys. Always conscious of his image, Ali joked in one interview that he couldn't allow people to see his car. "I didn't want people to see the world heavyweight champion driving a Volkswagen, while all them guys were driving their Cadillacs," he said. At first, there was a lot of tension in the crowds, as opposition to the Vietnam War had only just started. Gradually, though, Ali swung the crowds to his point of view as the country's opinion of the situation in Southeast Asia turned dramatically. Ali said that on one series of lectures he was set to make $1,500 a speech for talking to students at Canisius, Farleigh Dickinson and C.W. Post. He opened his wife's piggy bank and found, he said, $135, which he needed to buy gas and food for his trip. Kilroy said that whenever Ali was paid, the first thing he did was find a Western Union. "Whenever he'd get paid, he'd go send some money to his mother and father so they were OK and then he sent what was left to his wife and kids," Kilroy said. Despite his financial difficulties, Ali never lost the courage of his convictions. At one of his speeches, he insisted he had no regrets. While many tried to convince him of the errors of his ways, he remained steadfast and resolute. He told the crowd that sticking for his beliefs led him to come out on top. "There have been many questions put to me about why I refused to be inducted into the United States Army," Ali said in the speech to students. "Especially, as some have pointed out, as many have pointed out, when not taking the step I will lose so much. I would like to say to the press and those people who think I lost so much by not taking the step, I would like to say I didn't lose a thing up until this very moment. One thing, I have gained a lot. Number one, I have gained a peace of mind. I have gained a peace of heart. I now know I am content with almighty God himself, whose name is Allah. I have also gained the respect of everyone who is here today. "I have not only gained the respect of everyone who is here today, but worldwide. I have gained respect [from] people all over the world. By taking the step, I would have satisfied a few people who are pushing the war. Even if the wealth of America was given to me for taking the step, the friendship of all of the people who support the war, this would still be nothing [that would] content [me] internally." The Supreme Court would reverse Ali's conviction in 1971 by an 8-0 vote. But by then, Ali was already back in the ring. He actually returned from exile in 1970. Georgia didn't have an athletic commission and so he wasn't banned there. He faced Jerry Quarry on Oct. 26 in Atlanta, a fight Ali won via a third-round stoppage. After one more fight, a knockout of Oscar Bonavena in the 15th round, Ali was ready to face the undefeated Frazier. According to boxing promoter Bob Arum, the fight nearly took place in Las Vegas, with then-Nevada Governor Paul Laxalt endorsing the fight. "The bad luck was [when arranging the fight] we stayed at the Desert Inn," Arum told Yahoo Sports. The Desert Inn was owned by Moe Dalitz, a one-time bootlegger and racketeer who was the most powerful figure in Las Vegas. He was also a reputed mobster. Dalitz didn't care for Ali because he didn't serve in the war. He saw Arum and Conrad eating breakfast and asked Conrad why they were there. Dalitz went crazy, Arum said. "He said, 'I don't want that [expletive] draft dodger in this town,' " Arum said. " 'It's not good for the town.' " And so the biggest fight in history went not to Las Vegas but to New York a few months later. [img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/be9a2e532ed1aebd00399124b8fcb022_view.jpg[/img] It was an epic night that featured scores of celebrities in the crowd. Frank Sinatra was a ringside photographer. Burt Lancaster did color commentary. It was an outstanding fight, but Frazier's pressure carried the day. He floored Ali in the 15th round with one of the most famous and perfectly executed left hooks in boxing history, sealing the fight. But Ali would have his days against Frazier, defeating him twice, in a non-title bout on Jan. 28, 1974, in New York, and for the heavyweight title in Manila on Oct. 1, 1975. That was a fight for the ages, remembered as one of a handful of the best in boxing history. Ali won by 14th-round stoppage when Frazier's trainer, Eddie Futch, asked referee Carlos Padilla to stop the fight. There has long been question about whether Angelo Dundee, then Ali's trainer, would have allowed Ali to go out for the 15th had Futch not stopped it. In his brilliant 2001 book, "Ghosts of Manila," Mark Kram wrote, "After the press conference, Joe retired to a private villa for rest. He had been sleeping for a couple of hours when George Benton entered with a visitor. The room was dark. 'Who is it?' Joe asked, lifting his head. 'I can't see. Can't see. Turn the lights on.' A light was turned on and he still could not see. Like Ali, he lay there with his veins empty, crushed by a will that had carried him so far and now surely too far. His eyes were iron gates torn up by an explosive. 'Man, I hit him with punches that bring down the walls of a city. What held him up?' He lowered his head for some abstract forgiveness. 'Goddamn it, when somebody going to understand? It wasn't justa fight. It was me and him. Not a fight.' " Ali wasn't nearly the same fighter after that. He'd taken a fearsome pounding in his second career, after his return from exile. His three fights with Frazier, his 1974 fight with George Foreman in Africa and his 1980 bout with Larry Holmes were particularly brutal. Ali's win over Foreman became known as "The Rumble in the Jungle," fought in then what was called Zaire and is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He employed his famous "Rope-A-Dope" strategy in that fight. Foreman was a fearsome opponent at the time, the hardest hitter in boxing with a 40-0 record and 39 knockouts. There were many sportswriters and boxing experts of the day who feared for Ali, such was Foreman's reputation at the time. "I thought I was going to go in there and just go out and go, 'Boom, boom, boom,' and hit him and get him out of there and then go home," Foreman told Yahoo Sports in 2014. "That was my mistake. This was Muhammad Ali. He was 'The Greatest,' and they called him that because he was, but he was also the smartest. He knew what to do. And he did a great job of it." Ali no longer had the foot speed or the elusiveness to dance away from Foreman as he'd done with Liston a decade earlier. Instead, he figured out the best strategy was to lay back against the ropes, lean back as far as he could, cover his face with his gloves and as much of his body as he could with his arms and let Foreman pound at him. Foreman obliged and threw crunching, punishing shots. Ali took them and waited until Foreman became so tired he could no longer raise his arms. When he couldn't, Ali struck back and knocked out Foreman in the eighth round in the most remarkable upset of his career. "It was my honor to get beaten up by that man," Foreman said, chuckling, in 2014. "I hated him at the time, because I didn't understand. But we grew to love each other. I love him like a brother." Ali slowed down even more after the win over Frazier and never again looked like the electric, blazing-fast athlete he'd been years earlier. "Nobody would have beaten Ali prior to the three-and-a-half years he lost [objecting to the Vietnam War]," Arum, who has promoted boxing for 50 years, told Yahoo Sports. "Nobody, and I mean nobody, could have come close to him. He was as fast and as elusive as Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Leonard, and he was a heavyweight. His punching power was way better than people gave him credit for, but you never saw it a lot in those days because he was up on his toes moving." [img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/c7ee2d47378ae059d60306133496d999_view.jpg[/img] Muhammad Ali, simply 'The Greatest,' dead at 74 Kevin Iole,Yahoo Sports 13 hours ago Comments Sign in to like Reblog on Tumblr Share Tweet Email What is the greatest Game 7 in history? Yahoo Sports Videos Scroll back up to restore default view. Muhammad Ali, the eloquent, colorful, controversial and brilliant three-time heavyweight boxing champion who was known as much for his social conscience and staunch opposition to the Vietnam War as for his dazzling boxing skills, died Friday. Ali, who had a long battle with Parkinson's disease, was taken to a Phoenix area hospital earlier this week where he was being treated for a respiratory issue. He was 74. Once the most outrageous trash talker in sports, he was largely muted for the last quarter century of his life, quieted by a battle with Parkinson's. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on Jan. 17, 1942, in Louisville, Ky., Ali learned to box after his bicycle was stolen when he was 12 years old. When young Clay vowed to "whoop the behind" of the thief, a local police officer encouraged him to learn to box to channel his energy. He would go on to become known as "The Greatest," and at his peak in the 1970s was among the most recognizable faces on Earth. He was known for his tendency to recite poems while making predictions about his fights – "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can't hit what the eyes can't see." – as well as for giving opponents often unflattering nicknames. He referred to Sonny Liston as "the big ugly bear," George Chuvalo as "The Washerwoman," Floyd Patterson as "The Rabbit" and Earnie Shavers as "The Acorn." But his most controversial, and some would say cruel, nicknames were reserved for his fiercest rival, Joe Frazier. He first dubbed Frazier "Uncle Tom" and then later called him "The Gorilla." [Slideshow: Muhammad Ali's life in photos] When Ali prepared to meet Frazier for a third time in Manila, Philippines, on Oct. 1, 1975, he frequently carried a toy rubber gorilla with him. At one news conference, he pulled the gorilla out of his pocket and began punching it as he said, "It's going to be a killa and a thrilla and a chilla when I get the gorilla in Manila." Frazier, though, took it personally and harbored a decades-long grudge. "It sure did bother him," Gene Kilroy, Ali's friend for more than 50 years, told Yahoo Sports. Kilroy said Ali was simply promoting the fights and meant no harm, and said Ali regretted the impact his words had upon Frazier. "I used to tell Ali, 'Someday, me, you and Joe are going to be three old men sitting in the park laughing about all that [expletive],' " Kilroy recalled. "And Ali said, 'That would be great!' I talked to Joe and Joe said, 'No, [expletive] him. I don't want to be with him.' But he loosened up later and they mended fences." Not long before Frazier's death in 2011, he attended an autograph signing and memorabilia show in Las Vegas. Frazier grabbed a copy of an old Sports Illustrated magazine that had a photo of the two fighters and promoter Don King on the cover. "Man," he said, sounding wistful, "we gave the people some memories, me and Ali." Ali was at the peak of his professional powers after knocking out Zora Folley in New York on March 22, 1967. He battered Folley throughout and stopped him in the seventh. After the bout, Folley shared his thoughts with Sports Illustrated. "The right hands Ali hit me with just had no business landing – but they did. They came from nowhere," Folley said. "… He's smart. The trickiest fighter I've seen. He's had 29 fights and acts like he's had a hundred. He could write the book on boxing, and anyone that fights him should be made to read it first." Ali's boxing career came to a screeching halt after that fight. He'd refused induction into the U.S. Army because he stated he was a conscientious objector. Ali had converted to Islam in 1964 after the first of his two wins over Liston, and changed his name from Cassius Clay. He said Islam was a religion of peace and that he had no desire to engage in combat with those who'd done him or his family no harm. This all went down at the height of the civil rights movement. "Shoot them for what?" Ali asked in an interview after he refused induction. "They never called me nigger. They never lynched me. They never put dogs on me. They didn't rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father. What do I want to shoot them for, for what? Why do I want to go shoot them, poor little people and babies and children and women? How can I shoot them? Just take me to jail." Muhammad Ali arrives at the Veterans building to appeal his 1A draft classification. (AP) He went on trial in Houston on June 20, 1967. The jury deliberated for only 21 minutes before finding him guilty. He was fined $10,000, faced five years in jail and had his passport taken. He was stripped of the crown and deprived from making a living, but he wasn't silenced. Ali would go on a lecture circuit, speaking at colleges for as little as $1,500 and as much as $10,000. He desperately needed the money because he wasn't making a lot after being stripped and he was paying an expensive team of attorneys. Always conscious of his image, Ali joked in one interview that he couldn't allow people to see his car. "I didn't want people to see the world heavyweight champion driving a Volkswagen, while all them guys were driving their Cadillacs," he said. At first, there was a lot of tension in the crowds, as opposition to the Vietnam War had only just started. Gradually, though, Ali swung the crowds to his point of view as the country's opinion of the situation in Southeast Asia turned dramatically. Ali said that on one series of lectures he was set to make $1,500 a speech for talking to students at Canisius, Farleigh Dickinson and C.W. Post. He opened his wife's piggy bank and found, he said, $135, which he needed to buy gas and food for his trip. Kilroy said that whenever Ali was paid, the first thing he did was find a Western Union. "Whenever he'd get paid, he'd go send some money to his mother and father so they were OK and then he sent what was left to his wife and kids," Kilroy said. Despite his financial difficulties, Ali never lost the courage of his convictions. At one of his speeches, he insisted he had no regrets. While many tried to convince him of the errors of his ways, he remained steadfast and resolute. He told the crowd that sticking for his beliefs led him to come out on top. "There have been many questions put to me about why I refused to be inducted into the United States Army," Ali said in the speech to students. "Especially, as some have pointed out, as many have pointed out, when not taking the step I will lose so much. I would like to say to the press and those people who think I lost so much by not taking the step, I would like to say I didn't lose a thing up until this very moment. One thing, I have gained a lot. Number one, I have gained a peace of mind. I have gained a peace of heart. I now know I am content with almighty God himself, whose name is Allah. I have also gained the respect of everyone who is here today. "I have not only gained the respect of everyone who is here today, but worldwide. I have gained respect [from] people all over the world. By taking the step, I would have satisfied a few people who are pushing the war. Even if the wealth of America was given to me for taking the step, the friendship of all of the people who support the war, this would still be nothing [that would] content [me] internally." The Supreme Court would reverse Ali's conviction in 1971 by an 8-0 vote. But by then, Ali was already back in the ring. He actually returned from exile in 1970. Georgia didn't have an athletic commission and so he wasn't banned there. He faced Jerry Quarry on Oct. 26 in Atlanta, a fight Ali won via a third-round stoppage. After one more fight, a knockout of Oscar Bonavena in the 15th round, Ali was ready to face the undefeated Frazier. According to boxing promoter Bob Arum, the fight nearly took place in Las Vegas, with then-Nevada Governor Paul Laxalt endorsing the fight. "The bad luck was [when arranging the fight] we stayed at the Desert Inn," Arum told Yahoo Sports. The Desert Inn was owned by Moe Dalitz, a one-time bootlegger and racketeer who was the most powerful figure in Las Vegas. He was also a reputed mobster. Dalitz didn't care for Ali because he didn't serve in the war. He saw Arum and Conrad eating breakfast and asked Conrad why they were there. Dalitz went crazy, Arum said. "He said, 'I don't want that [expletive] draft dodger in this town,' " Arum said. " 'It's not good for the town.' " And so the biggest fight in history went not to Las Vegas but to New York a few months later. Joe Frazier, left, hits Muhammad Ali during the 15th round of their 1971 title fight. (AP) It was an epic night that featured scores of celebrities in the crowd. Frank Sinatra was a ringside photographer. Burt Lancaster did color commentary. It was an outstanding fight, but Frazier's pressure carried the day. He floored Ali in the 15th round with one of the most famous and perfectly executed left hooks in boxing history, sealing the fight. But Ali would have his days against Frazier, defeating him twice, in a non-title bout on Jan. 28, 1974, in New York, and for the heavyweight title in Manila on Oct. 1, 1975. That was a fight for the ages, remembered as one of a handful of the best in boxing history. Ali won by 14th-round stoppage when Frazier's trainer, Eddie Futch, asked referee Carlos Padilla to stop the fight. There has long been question about whether Angelo Dundee, then Ali's trainer, would have allowed Ali to go out for the 15th had Futch not stopped it. In his brilliant 2001 book, "Ghosts of Manila," Mark Kram wrote, "After the press conference, Joe retired to a private villa for rest. He had been sleeping for a couple of hours when George Benton entered with a visitor. The room was dark. 'Who is it?' Joe asked, lifting his head. 'I can't see. Can't see. Turn the lights on.' A light was turned on and he still could not see. Like Ali, he lay there with his veins empty, crushed by a will that had carried him so far and now surely too far. His eyes were iron gates torn up by an explosive. 'Man, I hit him with punches that bring down the walls of a city. What held him up?' He lowered his head for some abstract forgiveness. 'Goddamn it, when somebody going to understand? It wasn't justa fight. It was me and him. Not a fight.' " Ali wasn't nearly the same fighter after that. He'd taken a fearsome pounding in his second career, after his return from exile. His three fights with Frazier, his 1974 fight with George Foreman in Africa and his 1980 bout with Larry Holmes were particularly brutal. Ali's win over Foreman became known as "The Rumble in the Jungle," fought in then what was called Zaire and is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He employed his famous "Rope-A-Dope" strategy in that fight. Foreman was a fearsome opponent at the time, the hardest hitter in boxing with a 40-0 record and 39 knockouts. There were many sportswriters and boxing experts of the day who feared for Ali, such was Foreman's reputation at the time. "I thought I was going to go in there and just go out and go, 'Boom, boom, boom,' and hit him and get him out of there and then go home," Foreman told Yahoo Sports in 2014. "That was my mistake. This was Muhammad Ali. He was 'The Greatest,' and they called him that because he was, but he was also the smartest. He knew what to do. And he did a great job of it." Ali no longer had the foot speed or the elusiveness to dance away from Foreman as he'd done with Liston a decade earlier. Instead, he figured out the best strategy was to lay back against the ropes, lean back as far as he could, cover his face with his gloves and as much of his body as he could with his arms and let Foreman pound at him. Foreman obliged and threw crunching, punishing shots. Ali took them and waited until Foreman became so tired he could no longer raise his arms. When he couldn't, Ali struck back and knocked out Foreman in the eighth round in the most remarkable upset of his career. "It was my honor to get beaten up by that man," Foreman said, chuckling, in 2014. "I hated him at the time, because I didn't understand. But we grew to love each other. I love him like a brother." Ali slowed down even more after the win over Frazier and never again looked like the electric, blazing-fast athlete he'd been years earlier. "Nobody would have beaten Ali prior to the three-and-a-half years he lost [objecting to the Vietnam War]," Arum, who has promoted boxing for 50 years, told Yahoo Sports. "Nobody, and I mean nobody, could have come close to him. He was as fast and as elusive as Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Leonard, and he was a heavyweight. His punching power was way better than people gave him credit for, but you never saw it a lot in those days because he was up on his toes moving." After the Frazier fight, Ali became a personality as much as an athlete. He appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation" in 1976 during the Ford-Carter presidential race. He was asked whom he favored, and he declined to answer, saying he didn't know enough and didn't want to influence people who followed him and would vote for whomever he would say. He officially retired from boxing in 1981 after a unanimous decision loss to Trevor Berbick, ending his career with a 55-5 record. He remains the only three-time lineal heavyweight champion, having won titles in 1964, '74 and '78. As he aged, Ali began to think of his role in the world and what he could do to improve it. And he talked on "Face the Nation" about his desire to do charitable acts. "We only have so many hours a day to do what we have to do, so many years to live, and in those years, we sleep about eight hours a day," Ali sad. "We travel. We watch television. If a man is 50 years old, he's lucky if he's actually had 20 years to actually live. So I would like to do the best I can for humanity. "I'm blessed by God to be recognized as the most famous face on the Earth today. And I cannot think of nothing better than helping God's creatures or helping poverty or good causes where I can use my name to do so." In a 1975 interview with Playboy that was released around the time of his third fight with Frazier, he spoke of how his view of the world had changed. He said it was his responsibility to take advantage of his notoriety by helping his fellow man. "You listen up and maybe I'll make you as famous as I made Howard Cosell," he said in the Playboy interview. "Wars on nations are fought to change maps, but wars on poverty are fought to map change. The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life. "These are words of wisdom, so pay attention, Mr. Playboy. The man who has no imagination stands on the Earth. He has no wings, he cannot fly. When we are right, no one remembers, but when we are wrong, no one forgets." Kilroy, King and Arum said they knew of many charitable acts Ali had done. Kilroy said Ali, who was the most popular athlete in the world for years and commanded attention everywhere he went, would always be willing to do charitable acts, but said he didn't want cameras or reporters around because he didn't want anyone to think he was doing it for the publicity. In 1973, for example, Ali learned that a home for elderly Jewish people was going to close because it was out of money. "I'll never forget that night," Kilroy said. "It was a cold January night and we saw it on the news. Ali really paid attention to it and you could tell it bothered him, that all these people were going to be put out. They had nowhere to go. He told me to find out where it was, so I called the TV station and got the address. "We drove over there and walked in and some guy comes up to me. I said, 'We're looking for the man in charge. Where is he?' And the guy says, 'I am. What do you want?' And Ali tells him he wants to help. He wrote him a check for $200,000 and tells him to put it in the bank that night. And then he writes another check for $200,000 and tells him to wait four days, because he has to get home and put some more money in the bank to cover the check." [img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/26dfdfc856229a7c4062e1c75cbcadc9_view.jpg[/img] In 1990, shortly before the first Gulf War between the U.S. and Iraq, he flew to Baghdad to speak with Saddam Hussein to secure the release of 15 U.S. hostages. Hussein agreed to release the hostages. For the rest of his life Ali worked to promote the cause of peace and charity. In December 2015, he condemned ISIS and took a shot at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (without mentioning Trump's name) when Trump suggested temporarily banning all Muslims from entering the U.S. After the terrorist shootings in San Bernardino, Ali released a statement through his publicist. The headline said, "Statement From Muhammad Ali Regarding Presidential Candidates Proposing to Ban Muslim Immigration to the United States." "I am a Muslim and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino or anywhere else in the world," Ali said in the statement. "True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so-called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion. "We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda. They have alienated many from learning about Islam. True Muslims know or should know that it goes against our religion to try and force Islam on anybody. "Speaking as someone who has never been accused of political correctness, I believe that our political leaders should use their position to bring understanding about the religion of Islam and clarify that these misguided murderers have perverted people's views on what Islam really is." It's the last major public statement Muhammad Ali ever made.

Admin
February 6, 2016
[img]http://blacksnetwork.com/file/attachment/2016/02/2cdc3c9a82a154c9997e5d5ad85765c5_view.jpg[/img] It was a total knockout for Michael B. Jordan at the NAACP Image Awards in a ceremony that took several jabs at Hollywood for the lack of racial diversity. The star of the boxing drama Creed was honored Friday as both the entertainer of the year and outstanding actor in a motion picture for his role as Apollo Creed’s son. “I used to sneak into the Image Awards, and now I’m standing here as the entertainer of the year, which is mind blowing,” he said. Straight Outta Compton, which tells the story of the pioneering rap group NWA, picked up the outstanding motion picture prize. “I want to thank the NAACP for this because without you riding for us for the last 100 years, we would not be standing here,” director F. Gary Gray said. Image Awards host Anthony Anderson kicked off the ceremony by invoking NWA for a rap about the lack of racial diversity at other awards shows. [img]http://blacksnetwork.com/file/attachment/2016/02/fb67b291093f26abcf7fe372516114e0_view.jpg[/img] The black-ish star donned a gold chain and a baseball cap with the words “Nominees With Attitude” to sing about such snubs as Beasts of No Nation and Jordan at the Academy Awards. “Listen, y'all, I don’t mean to sound cocky, but the movie’s called Creed, not Rocky,” he rapped. Anderson later joked during his opening monologue that he didn’t want the Academy Awards to go overboard in response to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy by honoring a movie like Madea Goes Trick or Treating in Compton as best picture or handing out Kevin Harts instead of Oscars. “Hollywood needs to know that this is what diversity is supposed to look like,” a more serious Anderson told the crowd at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. When he walked on stage to present Creed as an outstanding motion picture contender, Sylvester Stone was surprised to be greeted warmly by the audience. “I certainly didn’t expect that,” said the Rocky star, who failed to recognize Jordan and Creed filmmaker Ryan Coogler in his acceptance speech at last month’s Golden Globes. He later returned to the stage to thank them and apologized on Twitter. Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee were among this year’s Image Awards attendees who said they won’t attend this year’s Oscar ceremony after a second year of mostly white nominees. Despite several comments — both mocking and thoughtful — about the lack of racial diversity in Hollywood, it was mostly show business as usual for the 47th Image Awards, which are presented by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to honor people of color in entertainment. black-ish swept the TV comedy categories Anderson winning the award for outstanding actor, while the show was selected as outstanding comedy series and his co-star Tracee Ellis Ross was honored as outstanding actress. On the TV drama side, Empire dominated with wins for outstanding drama series, actor and actress for Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. [img]http://blacksnetwork.com/file/attachment/2016/02/8729b121d2b5a4ef9c49b8d4d831f552_view.jpg[/img] “We don’t need to ask for acceptance from anyone,” Henson said. “We are enough.” Sanaa Lathan was awarded the trophy for best actress in a motion picture for The Perfect Guy. John Legend received the NAACP President’s Award, which recognizes those who have achieved career success and public service. In his speech, the singer-songwriter lauded activists who fight for social justice. “Despite the daunting problems, I am hopeful that our generation will demand and achieve radical change in our lifetime,” said Legend after he performed “All of Me.” “Some will take offense when we have to assert that our lives do, indeed, matter,” he added. “But we know better.” For the first time, the NAACP Chairman’s Award, which honors distinguished public service, was presented to eight recipients, including pastor Jamal Bryant, Empire actor Jussie Smollett and the activist group Concerned Student Collective 1950 at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Here’s the complete list of winners at the 47th Annual NAACP Image Awards: Entertainer of the Year: Michael B. Jordan President’s Award: John Legend Motion Picture Categories Outstanding Motion Picture Straight Outta Compton (Universal Pictures) Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture Michael B. Jordan – Creed (Warner Bros. Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures) Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture Sanaa Lathan – The Perfect Guy (Screen Gems) Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture O’Shea Jackson Jr. – Straight Outta Compton (Universal Pictures) Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Phylicia Rashad – Creed (Warner Bros. Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures) Outstanding Independent Motion Picture Beasts of No Nation (Netflix) Television Categories Outstanding Drama Series Empire (Fox) Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Terrence Howard – Empire (Fox) Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Taraji P. Henson – Empire (Fox) Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Joe Morton – Scandal (ABC) Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Regina King – American Crime (ABC) Outstanding Comedy Series black-ish (ABC) Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Anthony Anderson – black-ish (ABC) Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Tracee Ellis Ross – black-ish (ABC) Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Mike Epps – Survivor’s Remorse (Starz) Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Marsai Martin – black-ish (ABC) Outstanding Television Movie, Miniseries, or Dramatic Special The Wiz Live! (NBC) Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Miniseries, or Dramatic Special David Alan Grier – The Wiz Live! (NBC) Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Miniseries, or Dramatic Special Queen Latifah – Bessie (HBO) Outstanding News/Information (Series or Special) Unsung (TV One) Outstanding Talk Series The Talk (CBS) Outstanding Reality Program/Reality Competition Series Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s (OWN) Outstanding Variety (Series or Special) Family Feud (Syndicated) Outstanding Children’s Program Doc McStuffins (Disney Junior) Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Miniseries) Marcus Scribner – black-ish (ABC) Outstanding Host in a News, Talk, Reality, or Variety Program (Series or Special) – Individual or Ensemble Steve Harvey – Family Feud (Syndicated) Recording Categories Outstanding New Artist Jussie Smollett (Columbia Records) Outstanding Male Artist Pharrell Williams (Columbia Records) Outstanding Female Artist Jill Scott (Atlantic Records) Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration “Conqueror” – Empire Cast feat. Estelle & Jussie Smollett (Columbia Records) Outstanding Jazz Album Miles Davis at Newport 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series Vol.4 – Miles Davis (Columbia Legacy Recordings) Outstanding Gospel Album (Traditional or Contemporary) It’s Personal – Tina Campbell (Gee Tree Creative) Outstanding Music Video “Shame” – Tyrese Gibson (Voltron Recordz) Outstanding Song – Traditional “Back Together – Jill Scott (Atlantic Records) Outstanding Album Woman – Jill Scott (Atlantic Records) Outstanding Song – Contemporary “You’re So Beautiful” – Empire Cast feat. Jussie Smollett & Yazz (Columbia Records) Literature Categories Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction Stand Your Ground – Victoria Christopher Murrary(Touchstone) Outstanding Literary Work – Nonfiction Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga – Pamela Newkirk (HarperCollins/Amistad) Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author The Fishermen – Chigozie Obioma (Little, Brown & Company) Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/Autobiography Between The World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates (Speigel & Grau) Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional Soul Food Love: Healthy Recipes Inspired by One Hundred Years of Cooking in a Black Family – Alice Randall, Caroline Randall Williams (Clarkson Potter) Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry How to Be Drawn – Terrance Hayes (Penguin Books/ Penguin Random House) Outstanding Literary Work – Children Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America – Carole Boston Weatherford (Author), Jamey Christoph (Illustrator) (Albert Whitman & Company) Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens X: A Novel – Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekia Magoon(Candlewick Press) Documentary Categories Outstanding Documentary – (Film) The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (PBS Distribution/Firelight Films) Outstanding Documentary – (Television) Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champ (BET) Writing Categories Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series Kenya M. Barris – black-ish – “The Word” (ABC) Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series Mara Brack Ali, Jameal Turner, Keli Goff – Being Mary Jane – “Sparrow” (BET) Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (Television) Lawrence Hill, Clement Virgo – The Book of Negroes (BET) Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (Film) Ryan Coogler, Aaron Covington – Creed (Warner Bros. Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures) Directing Categories Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series Don Cheadle – House of Lies – “The Urge to Save Humanity Is Almost Always a False Front for the Urge to Rule” (Showtime) Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series John Ridley – American Crime – “Episode 1″ (ABC) Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Television) Dee Rees – Bessie (HBO) Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Film) Ryan Coogler – Creed (Warner Bros. Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures) Animated or Computer-Generated Image (CGI) Category Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance (Television or Film) Loretta Devine – Doc McStuffins (Disney Junior)

Admin
January 20, 2016


Yes, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has a major problem, and it extends to Hollywood as a whole.

Talk is cheap. People believe a soundbite can absolve them of guilt, acquit them of charges, and ensure that their heart is seen to be in the right place. It is happening right now in Hollywood, a so-called bastion of liberalism where the hypocrisy was exposed for the second straight year when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences failed to nominate any persons of color for acting Oscars. Forty nominations; forty white people.

Black Twitter fired the opening salvo, reviving the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite to shed light on this ridiculous slight. Voices from Hollywood followed, with Spike Lee, Jada Pinkett Smith—strangely speaking on behalf of her husband, Will Smith—and others vowing to boycott this year’s ceremony.


Will & Jada Pinkett-Smith


Spike Lee

“A year ago, I did a film called Selma, and after the Academy Awards, [Academy president] Cheryl [Boone Isaacs] invited me to her office to talk about what went wrong then,” actor David Oyelowo said Monday night. “We had a deep and meaningful [discussion]. For 20 opportunities to celebrate actors of color, actresses of color, to be missed last year is one thing; for that to happen again this year is unforgivable.”


David Oyelowo

Allies like George Clooney, Hollywood’s de facto spokesman, have come out criticizing the Oscars for “moving in the wrong direction.” Even conservatives, sniffing out an opportunity, have branded it the “accidentally racist” Oscars—which also happens to be the name of a woefully misguided Brad Paisley song. But this is no accident.


George Clooney

Every time an inclusion issue like this comes up, the (typically right-wing) racists will come out of their holes insisting that there just weren’t any deserving nominees this year, and to impose race on the Academy Awards is, in and of itself, racist. It’s a dreadfully silly argument couched in such a way as to mask its discriminatory intent. For starters, yes, there were many impressive, “deserving” performances by people of color this year. Idris Elba’s terrifying Commandant in Beasts of No Nation; Jason Mitchell’s poignant turn as Eazy-E in Straight Outta Compton; the quiet dignity Will Smith lent to Concussion; the raw heroism of Michael B. Jordan in Creed; Benicio del Toro’s enigmatic hitman in Sicario; Oscar Isaac’s diabolical tech wizard in Ex Machina; Samuel L. Jackson’s deliciously verbose bounty hunter in The Hateful Eight; the list goes on.

The question we should be asking, however, is what led to this unbearable whiteness of being, and how can we fix it?


'Straight Outta Compton.' (Jaimie Trueblood/ Universal Pictures)

The Oscars are voted on by the Academy whose president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, is a black woman. In light of the controversy, she released a statement on behalf of AMPAS stating in part:
“I’d like to acknowledge the wonderful work of this year’s nominees. While we celebrate their extraordinary achievements, I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion. This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes. The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership. In the coming days and weeks we will conduct a review of our membership recruitment in order to bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond.”

It’s no secret that the Academy is not diverse. A 2014 study found that its membership was 94 percent white, 76 percent male, and an average of 63 years old—so the most prestigious awards are governed by the tastes of very old white men.

“I know many members who wouldn’t even see [Straight Outta Compton] because it represented a culture that they detest or, more accurately, they assume they detest,” an Academy member recently told Entertainment Weekly. “If we’re being honest, my bet is most Academy members didn’t see it,” another voter told the magazine. “I think the older members, those in their 60s and 70s, didn’t think it was a movie for them, and they didn’t watch it.”

Despite Boone Isaacs’ promise of bringing “much-needed diversity” to future classes of Academy members, it will be a painfully slow slog, given that invitees tend to lean heavily toward those nominated for Oscars—thus perpetuating the vicious cycle of nominating white actors and filmmakers, and funneling more white people into the 6,000-plus Academy.

Boone Isaacs may be president, but almost all of the other senior figures at AMPAS are white, including the Academy’s Board of Governors, who directs the “Academy’s strategic vision,” and the members of the committees that determine the award’s rules and the Academy's membership. Of the 51-seat Board of Governors, the only people of color are Boone Isaacs and Daryn Okada of the cinematographers’ branch.

The Academy not only needs to diversify its leadership, but should also institute a cut-off age of 65 for members whose tastes no longer reflect the current zeitgeist.


Michael B. Jordan in 'Creed.' (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

It’s not just the Academy that’s lacking diversity, either. Researchers at the University of Southern California analyzed the 700 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2014 and came to some staggering conclusions. They determined that, of the top 100 highest-grossing films of 2014, only 17 of the top movies featured non-white leads or co-leads, and the overall breakdown of actors was: 73.1 percent White, 12.5 percent Black, 5.3 percent Asian, 4.9 percent Hispanic, and 4.2 percent Other.

These frustrating numbers inspired “Every Single Word,” an eye-opening Tumblr by Dylan Marron that highlights every single word spoken by a person of color in a mainstream film. Marron’s shocking findings show, among many examples, that in the entire Harry Potter film series, only five minutes and 40 seconds are spoken by characters of color (they total over 20 hours). In The Lord of the Rings trilogy, it’s 46 seconds (if you count the Orcs). E.T.: nine seconds. Into the Woods: seven seconds. Moonrise Kingdom: 10 seconds. Last year’s Best Picture winner, Birdman: 53 seconds.

Hollywood is also a business, so some of the explanation for the lack of diversity is financial. A decade ago, the U.S. box office comprised 51.3 percent of worldwide gross. Today, it’s less than 40 percent, so over 60 percent of a movie’s overall take is international. But a big problem that the industry doesn’t know how to address is the tastes of international audiences, which are, quite frankly, far more narrow-minded than that of Americans. With the exception of the Fast and the Furious franchise, many films with mainly black casts don’t travel too well abroad. Look at Straight Outta Compton, which made just $39 million internationally out of $200 million total, or Creed, which took home $30 million of its $137 million total outside the U.S (the previous entry with a white lead, Rocky Balboa, made $70 million domestic and $85 million abroad). In the Sony hack, a controversial email surfaced from a producer to Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman Michael Lynton decrying the tastes of international movie audiences.

“I believe that the international motion picture audience is racist—in general pictures with an African American lead don’t play well overseas,” the producer wrote in an email pegged to the Denzel Washington-starrer The Equalizer. “But Sony sometimes seems to disregard that a picture must work well internationally to both maximize returns and reduce risk, especially pics with decent size budgets.”



So how do you change the tastes of international audiences? Well, by putting people of color in blockbuster entertainments—and I’m not talking about giving an Asian actor or actress tenth billing to court box office in China, Japan, or Korea. Blockbusters travel well abroad because audiences don’t have to rely on the foreign dialogue, instead reveling in a film’s tantalizing imagery. Take the aforementioned Fast and Furious films or J.J. Abrams’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which has thus far grossed over $1 billion abroad with a black co-lead—though China shrunk him on the poster.
There’s also the issue of perception. Historically, the Oscars—and its mostly white voting body—have failed to honor modern heroes of color, instead opting to award those in historical dramas who are typically either subservient or oppressed, from Gone with the Wind’s Mammy to Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years a Slave, or that head-scratching time Driving Miss Daisy triumphed over Do the Right Thing. Hell, there was a 40-year gap between Sidney Poitier becoming the first black Best Actor Oscar winner and Denzel Washington being the second.

Back in 2006, upon accepting his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Syriana, George Clooney proclaimed, “This Academy, this group of people gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar in 1939 when blacks were still sitting in the backs of theaters. I’m proud to be a part of this Academy, proud to be part of this community, and proud to be out of touch.”

Well, Hattie McDaniel played a house slave, and Clooney’s next film, Hail, Caesar!, features an all-white cast.

We can do better.

By: Marlow Stern

Admin
January 8, 2016

The Los Angeles District Attorney has declined to file criminal charges against Bill Cosby, officials said Wednesday.

After evaluating two separate allegations of sexual misconduct from 1965 and 2008, the D.A.'s office determined that they could not file charges of forcible rape, misdemeanor sexual battery or misdemeanor indecent exposure because the statute of limitations on those charges had expired, according to court documents.

The D.A.'s office also wrote that they considered filing a felony charge of sexual battery by restraint, but there was insufficient evidence to support it. There was no evidence to support charges of sexual assaults by intoxication or of an unconscious victim, attempts to commit such crimes, or assault with intent to commit a sex offense, they added.

"We are satisfied that the Los Angeles DA's Office fully and fairly evaluated all the facts and evidence, and came to the right conclusion," Cosby's attorney Chris Tayback told ABC News.

According to the paperwork, the office investigated crimes alleged by two Jane Does.

Jane Doe #1 claimed that she was forced by Cosby to have sex with him in 1965 when she was 17 years old. Jane Doe #2 alleged that in 2008, Cosby drugged her and molested her at the Playboy Mansion when she was 18.

Currently, the comedian, 78, is facing a charge of aggravated indecent assault stemming from a 2004 alleged incident in Pennsylvania. He was released on $1 million bail and is due in court later this month.

"The charge by the Montgomery County District Attorney's office came as no surprise, filed 12 years after the alleged incident and coming on the heels of a hotly contested election for this county's DA during which this case was made the focal point," said Cosby's attorney, Monique Pressley, in a statement to ABC News. "Make no mistake, we intend to mount a vigorous defense against this unjustified charge and we expect that Mr. Cosby will be exonerated by a court of law."

Lawyer Monique Pressley accompanied Bill Cosby and lawyer Brian McMonagle at a criminal court appearance in Elkins Park, Pa., last month.

BlacksNetwork Note
The Mr. Bill Cosby accusations were staged to damage his reputation, it's ridiculous.

If the accusation was true while do they waited for that long (10-20 years) before voicing out. You see something is wrong here. Someone is behind the movement to destroy Mr. Bill Cosby reputation, and being one of the blacks figure that achieved highly in our society, they want all means to bring him down and destroy history just as they did to Michael Jackson (may his soul rest in peace) if you remember his case.

Admin
January 1, 2016
Natalie Cole has passed away at the age of 65. The daughter of Nat King Cole, the singer was known for her strong voice with hits like "This Will Be."


"We are very saddened to learn of the passing of one of music’s most celebrated and iconic women, Natalie Cole, " Recording Academy President Neil Portnow said in a statement. "...We’ve lost a wonderful, highly cherished artist and our heartfelt condolences go out to Natalie’s family, friends, her many collaborators, as well as to all who have been entertained by her exceptional talent."

Born Feb. 6, 1950, in Los Angeles, Cole had music in her genes. Her father was legendary crooner Nat King Cole, and her mother, Maria Cole, sang with the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

At age 6, Cole recorded a duet with her father, I’m Good Will, You’re Christmas Spirit. By age 11, she was performing alongside him on his television show.

When Cole was 15 and attending boarding school across the country, her father died of lung cancer. As she grew up without her father’s guidance, Cole never abandoned music. She studied Psychology in college at the University of Massachusetts and sang in clubs on weekends, where she was billed as Nat King Cole’s daughter. Yet she was about to find her own voice.


While performing at a club called Mr. Kelley’s, she was discovered by R&B producers Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancy (whom she married in 1976 and with whom she had her son, Robbie, in 1977). In 1974, she had her first hit, This Will Be, from her debut album, Inseparable. The song won her the Best New Artist Grammy in 1975, the first of nine she would win throughout her career.

Hits and awards kept pouring in as Cole released two more platinum albums (Unpredictable and Thankful, both in 1977). On the outside, Cole was fulfilling her father’s legacy and drawing comparisons to Aretha Franklin. On the inside, she was battling drug addiction. In her 2000 autobiography, Angel on my Shoulder, she wrote that her addiction incapacitated her so severely that she was barely able to escape a fire in her Las Vegas hotel in 1981.

In 1983, she spent several months at the Hazelden Clinic in Minnesota and, with her health intact, released her come-back album, Dangerous, in 1985.

As her career progressed, Cole began to drift away from the pop and R&B styles that had defined her early music and gravitated toward a more jazz-oriented style that drew from the likes of Ella Fitzgerald — and her own father. Her best-known album to date, Unforgettable ... With Love, featured a technology-assisted duet for the song Unforgettable with her father’s original recording.

Years after reclaiming her life from drug addiction, Cole was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2008. Exhausted, she continued performing until her rapidly declining health was tied to kidney disease, likely a result of the medication she was using to treat her hepatitis C.

Cole continued to tour, receiving dialysis three times per week between performances. During a March 2009 appearance on Larry King Live, her fans’ love for her was apparent. The show received dozens of emails from fans offering her replacement kidneys.

While fighting her own battles, Cole was helping her sister, Cookie, battle cancer. Her sister died the morning Cole got a successful kidney transplant in May 2009.

Her own life saved, Cole was devastated at the loss of her sister, but grateful to the family of the woman whose kidney she received.

"To have your life saved by someone you don’t even know — oh, God. God bless them," Cole told AARP Magazine in 2009.

Just months later, she was itching to get back onstage.

"The volume of work that I’ve had before, I can’t do it," she told USA TODAY in 2009. "Instead of 90-minute shows, maybe I’ll only do 60. Instead of dancing around the stage, maybe I’ll just walk elegantly."

Cole released a second memoir in 2010 titled Love Brought Me Back, a chronicle of her quest for a kidney transplant.

In recent months Cole had cancelled many appearances citing a medical procedure and subsequent stay at the hospital.

Admin
December 16, 2015


It was easy to look upon Michael Jordan as a Grinch of sorts in his lawsuit against the Jewel/ Osco and Dominick’s brand of grocery stores. At least one good thing – or 23 good things – has come of the $8.9 million a judge awarded the former Chicago Bulls legend.

The now-defunct chain, which inserted a Jordan-themed tribute ad in Sports Illustarted that featured $2 off Dominick’s steaks in 2009 in response to Jordan’s induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame, will pay out the entirety of its settlement cash to 23 different non-profit organizations in the Chicagoland area.

Following what Jordan has to pay off to his legal representatives.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Jordan's spokeswoman Estee Portnoy on Tuesday declined to state the size of the donations to 23 charities including After School Matters, Casa Central and the Greater Chicago Food Depository, citing the confidential terms of the settlement with Dominick's and Jewel-Osco.
[…]
But even after Jordan paid the attorneys who waged a six-year court battle after both supermarkets used Jordan's name without permission in a 2009 issue of Sports Illustrated that commemorated Jordan's elevation to the basketball Hall of Fame, there were still millions of dollars left over to donate on Tuesday, sources said.
"I care deeply about the city of Chicago and have such incredible memories from my years there," Jordan said in a news release. "The 23 charities I've chosen to make donations to all support the health, education and well-being of the kids of Chicago. Chicago has given me so much and I want to give back to its kids — the city's future."
[…]
Portnoy said Tuesday that Jordan's staff had "a fun week" calling the recipients of Jordan's donations, which also included Chicago Scholars, Chicago Youth Programs, Children's Literacy Initiative, Christopher House, Common Threads, Erikson Institute, Gary Comer Youth Center, Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund — Illinois, KEEN Chicago, La Casa Norte, La Rabida Children's Hospital, Make-A-Wish Illinois, New Moms, New Teacher Center, The Ounce of Prevention Fund, Project Exploration, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Sinai Health System, SOS Children's Villages Illinois and Tutoring Chicago.


Jordan first levied the lawsuit in 2009. According to the chain, just two different people actually used the discount in a transaction, hardly a massive advertising coup for Jewel/Osco and Dominick’s and completely understandable given the fact that the ad was carried in a commemorative issue of Sports Illustrated – a collector’s item that fans were loathe to cut up in order to take in some late summer savings.



Even dumber on Dominick’s part? They put the coupon on the inside cover of the magazine, meaning Jordan fans had to cut off the lower part of a one-off publication in order to save those two bucks.

For some that are mindful of the fact that Jordan lords over his Jordan Brand empire and a Charlotte Hornets team that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, his decision to sue the grocery chain came off as callous and needless. Especially for those of us that are Chicago natives, also mindful of another fact – the Dominick’s stores that we grew up walking around are no more, thanks in small (very small) part to this lawsuit.

Once one steps back, though, it’s more than understandable that Jordan would want to set a precedent here.

Dominick’s did not place that ad in Sports Illustrated to draw customers in to buy discounted steaks. They did as much in order to align themselves with Jordan’s lower-case “brand,” and his accomplishments. By putting an approximation of his famous Jumpman logo on an ad, they posited that this was an unofficial endorsement of sorts. That Jordan, who hasn’t played a game for the Bulls since 1998 and has mostly moved away from the city that he called home for a couple of decades, was still associated with your local grocer.

Greedy, on Jordan’s part, even with the nod toward charity? Perhaps. He’s still well within his right to have the final say on whatever companies (which include two other steak-related endorsement brands) his image is aligned with. Companies for decades have been placing “hey, congrats on your career, slugger!” ads in all manner of programs, billboards, magazines and newspapers; but when a company also uses the ad to offer an incentive to buy their product, things tend to change a bit. Legally, if not morally.

Jordan at least helped assuage those concerns by giving that settlement money away to associations that need it far more than a former grocery conglomerate.

By: Kelly Dwyer
Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports.

Admin
December 14, 2015


Bill Cosby is fighting back against several of the women who have accused him of sexual assault, misconduct, and rape.

via TMZ:

Cosby just countersued the women, claiming they have made “malicious, opportunistic, false and defamatory accusations of sexual misconduct against him.”

The comedian is claiming emotional distress against Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis and Angela Leslie … claiming the allegations of drugging and then sexually assaulting them is flatly untrue.

Cosby claims the motivation of the women was to torpedo his television return. Cosby had signed with NBC to star in a new family comedy series, and he says when the women got wind of it they trumped up phony allegations. He also says they’re just in it for the money.

The countersuit says the claims of the women have caused him shame and mortification by their “morally repugnant conduct.”

Cosby says the women are out to assassinate his character.

Admin
October 30, 2015

Michael Jackon has earned an estimated $1 billion since his death in 2009, a study has revealed.

He’s still the King of Pop.

Michael Jackson has earned an estimated $1 billion since his death, according to Forbes.

The superstar passed away in 2009 but has raked in more than $115 million in album and merchandise sales in the last year alone.

“When a composer [or] a performer dies, that’s it,” Josh Rubenstein, National Chair of Trusts and Estates at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, told Forbes.



“It’s no more ... once they’re dead and there can’t be any more [work], all of the sudden everybody comes in and says, ‘Oh, we’ve got to get this guy.’ ”

Other top-earning dead celebrities of 2015 included Elvis Presley at number two with $55 million and “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz at three with $40 million.

Schulz’s millions come thanks to the enduring popularity of his characters, which include Charlie Brown and Snoopy. “The Peanuts Movie” is also set for release on November 6.

How Michael Jackson's legacy lives on 6 years after his death


+ Michael Jackson wax figure at Madame Tussauds, 2014

Michael Jackson may be gone, but his legacy lives on! The former "Thriller" singer can remembered by his wax figure Madame Tussauds in Hollywood, California and London, England, posing in his iconic dance move.


+ Cirque du Soleil's "Michael Jackson One" 2013


+ Michael Jackson Movie " This is IT" premieres 2009


+ Michael Jackson Album "Michael" album 2010


+ Michael Jackson MoonWalk celebrates 30th Anniversary 2013


+ Michael Jackson recieves LifeTime Achievement Award 2010


+ Michael Jackson Historic Costumes and Memorabilia auction 2011


+ Michael Jackson Holographic performance at Billboard Music Awards 2014


+ Michael Jackson "XSCAPE" album 2014


+ Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour, 2011


+ Michael Jackson Honored with HandPrint ceremony 2012

It is the fourth year in a row that the "Thriller" singer has topped the list.
Reggae legend Bob Marley ($21 million) and Hollywood star Elizabeth Taylor ($20 million) also make the top five of the list.


Bob Marley makes $21 million


Elizabeth Taylor makes $20 million


John Lennon was seventh in the list.

Jackson’s fortune has been generated by the Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil show “Michael Jackson One,” his Mijac Music catalog, recorded music sales and ownership of half of the Sony/ATV publishing empire.

It is the fourth year in a row that the former Jackson 5 singer has topped the list.

Since his death, Michael Jackson's estate have released two albums of previously unreleased track; 2010’s “Michael” and 2015’s “Xscape,” which topped album charts around the world.

The remaining stars to make the top 13 were Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, Albert Einstein, Paul Walker, Bettie Page, Theodor (Dr. Seuss) Geisell, Steve McQueen and James Dean.

Admin
August 24, 2015


The 2009 Dominick's advertisement that resulted in a lawsuit.

It took Michael Jordan nearly six years, but he's finally come out victorious in the long-running Chicago court case over the use of his identity without permission in a grocery store advertisement.

A jury of Jordan's peers — ha! — ruled Friday in favor of the Chicago Bulls legend and Charlotte Hornets owner, ordering a grocery-store chain to pay the Hall of Famer $8.9 million for the unapproved and unlicensed use of his name in an ad. The decision brings an end to a legal action that actually outlived the supermarket that ran the ad in a special edition of Sports Illustrated commemorating His Airness' enshrinement in Springfield, Mass.

As we laid out a couple of summers ago, the beef stems from steak:

When Jordan was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009, and prior to the wildly inappropriate speech he gave in the induction ceremonies, local Chicago grocery chain Dominick’s released an ad congratulating Jordan on his accomplishment, while pointing out that, while you’re at it, you can use your Dominick’s card or a coupon in the ad to take in the tasty two dollar savings on a “Rancher’s Reserve Steak.”



Jordan found out about it and decided to sue Dominick's for $5 million. The real kicker for Safeway, which bought Dominick's in 1998 for $1.2 billion, comes courtesy of ESPN.com's Darren Rovell:

In addition, the ad itself was of little benefit to the company. Since the ad was in a commemorative Sports Illustrated issue, those who bought the magazine were hesitant to tear out the ad. Only two people were found to have redeemed the $2 steak coupon.

Not exactly a killer return on investment, there.

While one judge took Jordan to task for attempting to make a "legal mountain" from a "legal molehill" by calling for Safeway, the parent company of the now-defunct Dominick's chain, it always seemed that the case had merit. Dominick's did use Michael Jordan's name without his permission in an ad aimed at selling discounted steaks; it stands to reason that this would irk M.J., considering he's already in the business of selling his own steaks.

Plus, as our Eric Freeman noted earlier this week, "the chain does not deny wrongdoing," meaning the main matter left to resolve was how much money to award Jordan. From Michael Tarm of The Associated Press:

Steven Mandell, the Dominick's attorney, [...] said Jordan's attorneys overvalued their client's name, saying jurors should award Jordan no more than $126,900.
Evidence presented during trial provided a peek at Jordan's extraordinary wealth, including the $480 million he made from Nike alone between 2000 to 2012.


That evidence included testimony from sports economist Andrew Zimbalist, who pegged the "fair market value" of Jordan's identity at about $10 million per business deal. That squared with the testimony of Estee Portnoy, the marketing executive who's been described as Jordan's "consigliere" and "the buffer between Jordan and the world", and who said Jordan will not do business with anyone unless the deal will ultimately be worth more than $10 million. (Subsequent answers, however, indicated that M.J. occasionally makes exceptions to that platinum rule.)

After six hours of deliberation, the jurors settled on a figure far closer to Jordan's $10 million asking price than Safeway's sub-$150,000 figure; at one point, according to Tarm, they sent a note to the judge reading, "We need a calculator." Those zeroes sure do add up, after all.

The mammoth award apparently won't be added to the top of billionaire Jordan's Scrooge McDuck vault, though. More from Rovell:

"I'm pleased with today's verdict," Jordan said in a statement. "No one — whether or not they're a public figure — should have to worry about their identity being used without their permission. The case was not about the money as I plan to donate the proceeds to charity. It was about honesty and integrity. I hope this case sends a clear message, both here in the United States and around the world, that I will continue to be vigilant about protecting my name and identity. I also hope the size of the monetary reward will deter others from using someone else's identity and believe they will only pay a small penalty."

If nothing else, it certainly gives Jordan and his representatives encouragement to continue their concerted efforts to protect M.J.'s brand, image and likeness from those who might look to leverage those valuable assets for their own benefit.

Jordan recently lost a trademark lawsuit against a Chinese footwear company he claimed was using a name and logo similar to his Nike brand, but he's still got one big iron in the fire: a suit filed at the same time as the one against Dominick's, calling Jewel Food Stores to task for running a similar ad featuring a pair of Air Jordan basketball sneakers with Jordan's number 23 on the tongues, juxtaposed with a congratulatory message capped with Jewel's "just around the corner" slogan.

That case has also wended its way through the courts for more than a half-decade, and is scheduled to go to trial in December. Depending on how quickly things move, that could mean a very happy holiday season for more Chicago-area charities.

By: Dan Devine

Admin
August 21, 2015


Forbes has released its list of best-paid actresses, and it will come as no surprise at all that 25-year-old J.Law is crushing it at the very top. Lawrence raked in $52 million pre-tax during Forbes’ 12-month time frame — nearly $20 million more than in 2014. She stole the top spot from Sandra Bullock (who went from $51 million to $8 million).

Not so close on J.Law’s heels are Scarlett Johansson and Melissa McCarthy, who bagged $35.5 million and $23 million, respectively, for the second and third spots.

Forbes notes this is its first "global" index — though only one non-American, Chinese star Bingbing Fan, made the cut. The numbers reportedly come from box-office data and reflect the earnings before management fees and taxes; they also include endorsement deals.

#2 - Scarlett Johansson


#3 - Melissa McCarthy


#4 - Bingbing Fan


#5 - Jennifer Aniston


Here are your leading women:

1. Jennifer Lawrence: $52 million
2. Scarlett Johansson: $35.5 million
3. Melissa McCarthy: $23 million
4. Bingbing Fan: $21 million
5. Jennifer Aniston: $16.5 million
6. Julia Roberts: $16 million
7. Angelina Jolie: $15 million
8. Reese Witherspoon: $15 million
9. Anne Hathaway: $12 million
10. Kristen Stewart: $12 million
11. Cameron Diaz: $11 million
12. Gwyneth Paltrow: $9 million
13. Meryl Streep: $8 million
14. Amanda Seyfried: $8 million
15. Sandra Bullock: $8 million
16. Emma Stone: $6.5 million
17. Mila Kunis: $6.5 million
18. Natalie Portman: $6 million

Forbes also points out that although the figures at the top might look large, the findings underscore that Hollywood’s gender pay-gap is still a veritable chasm. The magazine published its leading-men list earlier this month, which included 34 people earning a total of $941 million. The cutoff to make the women’s list was $6 million, while the men’s was $13 million.

Four women notched more than $20 million; 21 men did the same. The move toward wage equality is proceeding glacially.