RIP: ESPN Sportscaster John Saunders Dies At 61
Veteran sportscaster John Saunders, who hosted ESPN’s The Sports Reporters for the last 15 years, has died, the Associated Press reported. Saunders was only 61.
His family said he hadn’t been feeling well the past couple days, but didn’t believe it was serious, ESPN noted. The cause death is still unknown.
“John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades. His wide range of accomplishments across numerous sports and championship events is among the most impressive this industry has ever seen,” ESPN President John Skipper said in a statement.
Saunders, who had worked for ESPN for the past 30 years, was a versatile journalist having covered and commented on a range of sports including hockey, baseball, football, college football, and college basketball. During his long career, the African-Canadian served as a role model and a mentor for all sportscasters, but especially those of color.
On Wednesday, ESPN’s Jamele Hill in tears talked about how much Saunders meant to her, how we fought for other Black journalists like herself in the workplace and how “devastated” she is by his death.
“I can’t even relay to people the kind of champion John Saunders was for people like us. He was so invested in who we were. I am devastated. I am really devastated,” she said wiping away her tears.
“All I can say is there are a lot of people who are on TV, who have their own agenda, who are in it for themselves, but his main message last Friday at [a Black journalists conference in D.C.], was that he wanted and accepted the role of being a mentor. That’s what he wanted more than anything,” Hill stressed.
Saunders is survived by his wife, Wanda, and his two daughters.
RIP, John. You will be missed.
Justice Department Finds Baltimore Police Practices Are Racially Biased
The U.S. Justice Department recently released the findings of an ongoing investigation of the Baltimore police department. And what they found should come as no surprise: Local law enforcement was overwhelmingly racially biased.
According to NBC News, by reviewing data and reports from the past five years, local law enforcement routinely stopped, searched, and even arrested Black residents without incitement, which they wrote destroys the community’s trust in law enforcement. They also cited deficiencies in training, policies, and supervision “that fail to equip officers with the tools they need to police effectively and within the bounds of federal law.”
For example, the DOJ found that of the 300,000 pedestrian stops in a five-year-period for minor offenses and little-to-no suspicion of breaking the law occurred in mostly African-American areas. Another example included an African-American man who said he was topped 30 times in less than four years, yet none of those times had he been charged or ticketed, NBC noted.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who asked the Justice Department to conduct the investigation after the death of Freddie Gray, said this is a wake-up call and a first step in reforming the Baltimore P.D.
“The findings are challenging to hear. I never sugar-coat our problems, nor will I run away from our most pressing challenges. The transparency of the report offers crucial a crucial foundation if we are going to move forward,” she said.
Rawlings-Blake said these reforms may come with a hefty price tag of $10 million, but her main priority is mending this fractured relationship between police and her city’s residents.
“We have to figure out how we can repair this relationship, because that is how we will see a much safer city,” she said.
We will see.
MLK’s Daughter Is ‘Disgusted’ By Trump’s Assassination Comment
Everyday, it seems GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump continues to make one gaffe after another, but his latest one, where he insinuated Hillary Clinton should be assassinated if elected, rubbed one of Martin Luther King’s daughters the wrong way.
According to The Huffington Post, Bernice A. King took issue with Trump telling a crowd at a rally in Wilmington, North Carolina: “If [Clinton] gets to pick her judges ― nothing you can do, folks. Although, the Second Amendment people. Maybe there is. I don’t know.”
Obviously, the nation’s Second Amendment is the right to bear arms and King wasn’t having it. She took to Twitter and wrote: “As a daughter of a leader who was assassinated, I find Trump’s comments distasteful, disturbing, dangerous. His words don’t #LiveUp #MLK”
The Trump campaign has continued to put out conflicting messages about this gaffe, saying it was a joke, but then saying he was referring to the NRA. Either way, those watching interpreted it as him insinuating the president of the United States should be assassinated. And in no world is that acceptable.
Hopefully Trump’s supporters are paying attention and not liking what they see.