November 21, 2013
Richard Sherman; Poised to be Great, Look what Seattle found from Compton
By Kenneth D. Miller
Assistant Managing Editor
The first thought of Compton is not a proving ground for Stanford intellectuals and National Football League stars who challenge the game’s biggest names and then back it up with their play off the field.
However, that’s because you’ve never met Compton’s Richard Sherman, a dreadlock wearing Stanford alum who prepped at Dominguez High in the Hub City and was passed over until the 5th round of the 2011 NFL draft.
Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll saw what Sherman did to his former team USC in college and figured that this was his best chance to finally beat Jim Harbaugh and he was right.
The 6’3, 195 pound Sherman played receiver for the Dons coach Keith Donnerson and averaged 30 yards a catch in high school.
During his senior year when he led the Dons to a victory over powerful Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, he caught just 28 passes for an amazing 14 touchdowns. That’s a TD on ever other catch, you’d think on that alone he would have been a hot commodity.
That he was, but the Seattle Seahawks star defensive back had aspirations far beyond the football field so he left Compton for prestigious Stanford where again he had to prove himself on the football field.
Sherman returned to the Southland last summer to share his story with youths attending a Brotherhood Crusade event on Crenshaw Blvd. to deliver a powerful message that hit home, and reminded him of just how far he has come.
“We all have options in life and I have told many of my friends that they could have done what I did, but instead they took another path and found themselves in jail or dead,” Sherman told the youths.
He reminded them that one bad decision does not have to define their future.
“Everybody makes bad decisions, I have a made a few bad decisions, but you have to move on and make better decisions and learn from those decisions,” he implored.
Usually when an athlete returns to his roots when his playing career is over, the lights have dimmed and the money is gone.
What makes Richard Sherman unique is that he spoke to a group of youngsters wearing his Seahawks number 25 game jersey and said very little if anything about his career.
That is because at the age of 25-years old he is eligible for the Masters program at Stanford and while he grew up in Compton it is not the city’s negative reputation that defines him.
Much like Venus and Serena Williams who hailed from the Hub City, he had the strong foundation of two guiding parents who inspired him to reach for the sky and not limit himself to just athletics.
He credits his family as his most import source of inspiration.
“It’s always been my family. You spend all of these years and sometimes having it kind of tough out here. I always thought I had a good life, but once you realize how hard your parents are working to keep a roof over your head to make everything seem great, you kind of want to pay them back and that’s been my motivation,” Sherman told LAWT.
That motivation has inspired him to become one of the best shut down corner backs in the NFL in just three seasons. He is also one of the primary reasons the Seahawks are favorites to win the Super Bowl and finished this week with an NFC leading 11-1 record.
Sherman is currentlysixth on the team in tackles with 31, but he also has four interceptions for 124 yards including a 58-yard touchdown.
During his visit he spoke candidly of being rewarded for his play on the field and miffs at players such as Derrelle Revis of the Tampa Bay Bucs who makes a staggering 13 million, while Sherman is collecting peanuts at $555,000.
Statistically he is better than five of the highest paid defensive backs in the NFL including the Broncos Champ Bailey ($9 million), Cortland Finnegan of the Rams ($9 million), Houston’s Johnathan Joseph ($7.5 million) and the San Francisco 49ers Carlos Rogers ($5.5 million).
He’s already scheduled to be vastly underpaid in 2014 when his paltry pay will increase to $645, 000.
In just three seasons in the league he has 16 interceptions and that’s rather high considering teams do not like to throw in his direction.
“I'm intelligent enough and capable enough to understand that you are an ignorant, pompous[ER1] , egotistical cretin. I am going to crush you on here because I am tired of hearing about it.” He told Bayless he was “better at life” than the First Take analyst.
Sherman was also involved in a Twitter feud with fellow cornerback Revis, telling him that he was the best corner in the NFL.
He also spurned former Stanford Coach Harbaugh during the Seahawks victory over their rivals this season because he says that his former Stanford coach didn’t respect him.
Sherman repeatedly taunted Patriots’ star quarterback Tom Brady during an October 2012 game. After the game, Sherman posted to his Twitter account a photo of himself yelling at Brady with “U mad bro?” Now, the “U mad bro” is a top selling T-shirt on Sherman’s website richardsherman25.com.
It is that edge that makes this Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. member poised to be great, and an example that you can come from Compton and keep your swag all at the same time?
November 14, 2013
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) —It took about 24 hours for Kyle Williams to find a new job.
The wide receiver and return man was claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Chiefs on Wednesday, one day after his release from the San Francisco 49ers.
Williams’ agent, Wynn Silberman, said Williams would fly to Kansas City later Wednesday to join his new team and be reunited with former San Francisco teammate quarterback Alex Smith, who has led a turnaround for the franchise under coach Andy Reid.
“It’s interesting, certainly, with the Bay Area connection there and being reunited with Alex,” said Silberman, who was confident his client would land with a new team in short order.
The Chiefs (9-0) released wide receiver Chad Hall to clear roster room for Williams’ arrival. Williams had already changed his Twitter profile Wednesday to refer to himself as a “KC Chiefs WR” and posted a tweet that read only “Chiefs!”
“He was a good friend. Sad to see him go,” San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick said.
Williams missed the late run last season to the Super Bowl — a 34-31 loss to the Ravens — because of a serious knee injury that required surgery. He remained a key member of the team and was honored with the team’s Ed Block Courage Award.
“Kyle Williams, in his case, fought back from injury, rehab and a great testament to him,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. “So, it’s tough. A really, really hard decision.”
The 25-year-old Williams, a native of nearby San Jose, has 12 catches for 113 yards and no touchdowns this season after starting as the No. 2 receiver opposite Anquan Boldin. Williams also had 12 punt returns for 61 yards and seven kickoff returns for 134 yards.
A sixth-round pick by the 49ers in 2010 out of Arizona State, Williams returned this season from a torn ACL in his left knee that required surgery and ended his 2012 season in late November.
Just when Williams was on a nice roll last year, he got hurt in a Nov. 25 win at New Orleans. He had 13 catches for 212 yards and a touchdown in the first 11 games of 2012.
Williams dedicated this season to former Sun Devils teammate Tyrice Thompson, who died Feb. 2 from injuries suffered when he was stabbed Jan. 27 while working at a Scottsdale, Ariz., nightclub. Williams added a No. 81 tattoo on his inner left forearm to honor Thompson.
Williams will long be remembered for his two costly fumbles in a 20-17 overtime loss to the New York Giants in the NFC championship game following the 2011 season. That included losing a fumble on a punt return in overtime that set up Lawrence Tynes’ winning field goal. Williams took responsibility for the mistake, but received death threats and was harassed on social media.
The 49ers gave him a fresh start last year.
In April 2012, a recording came out of former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams instructing players in January to “put a lick” on Kyle Williams to see if he had lingering effects from a concussion he sustained in 2011. The NFC West champion 49ers beat Drew Brees and favored New Orleans 36-32 in the NFC divisional playoffs. Gregg Williams oversaw and contributed money to the illegal bounty fund for planned vicious hits on opponents.
Williams will be joining a Chiefs team off to a surprising 9-0 start despite an offense that has struggled to score points. The biggest reason for their ineffectiveness has been the passing game, where wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has been the only big-play option.
Bowe is now facing a possible suspension after he was arrested over the weekend for speeding and possession of marijuana. Bowe will play in Kansas City’s game Sunday at Denver.
The Chiefs have turned to the 49ers to address their dour wide receiver situation already this season. They claimed Hall when he was released by San Francisco in August, and then sent Jon Baldwin to the 49ers for A.J. Jenkins in a trade of disappointing former first-round picks.
None of the moves has worked, though. Hall had just one catch for nine yards while active for seven games, and Jenkins has one catch for six yards in nine games.
By GARY FINEOUT and KAREEM COPELAND
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State quarterback James Winston is under investigation in an alleged sexual assault reported nearly a nearly a year ago.
The university and Winston's attorney confirmed Wednesday that the Tallahassee Police Department is conducting an investigation.
Winston has been spectacular for the No. 2 Seminoles in his first college season and the redshirt freshman is one of the leading contenders for the Heisman Trophy. He has passed for 2,661 yards and 26 touchdowns to help Florida State win its first nine games and move into position for a spot in the BCS national championship game.
Tallahassee Police Department officials refused to answer any questions, although they did release a heavily redacted two-page incident report. The report does not mention Winston by name, but it says the incident took place between 1:30 and 2 a.m. last Dec. 7.
It describes the suspect in the sexual assault case as being between 5-foot-9 and 5-11. Winston is listed by Florida State at 6-4.
Timothy Jansen, a Tallahassee attorney, said Winston hasn't been interviewed by police. Jansen said that at one point he had believed the matter had been resolved.
"We basically hope it will be resolved quickly and that Winston will be exonerated and he will be able to focus all his attention on academics and football," Jansen said.
The school and coach Jimbo Fisher wouldn't comment because the investigation wasn't closed. The school also said there was no change in Winston's status for the Seminoles' home game Saturday against Syracuse.
November 14, 2013
By Hazel Trice Edney
The chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a federation of more than 200 Black-owned newspapers, says the Washington Redskins’ team — under fire from a Richmond, Va. publisher — is in sync with the entire National Football League in its apparent oppressive treatment of Black businesses and consumers.
“It’s almost a slave mentality. They put us on the field and we entertain the master but we’re not reaping any benefits from the business side of it,” Campbell says. “It’s not just the Redskins. If you look around the country, the NFL as a whole pretty much neglects Black businesses and the Black community,” said Campbell, publisher of the Arizona Informant Newspaper.
He continued, “Here in Arizona, our Arizona Cardinals does zero with the Black community. Every now and then they might show up for a token Black event. But, I don’t see our African-American newspaper here in Phoenix or in Arizona being supported by the Arizona Cardinals. I believe if you called other newspapers that have [teams] in their markets, I don’t believe they’re doing much for them either. I believe the NFL as a whole takes the Black community for granted although we are their major product on the field.”
Campbell was responding to questions pertaining to a conflict between NNPA member Ray Boone, editor/publisher of the award-winning Richmond Free Press, and the Richmond-based Washington Redskins Training Camp, which is partially owned by Bon Secours Health System.
In a letter to NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock and CC’d to Campbell, Boone states that the team contracted no business with Black-owned or locally owned businesses at its first Richmond training camp between July 25 and August 16. That includes the failure to advertise in the Black-owned Richmond Free Press while advertising with the White-owned conservative daily, the Richmond Times Dispatch which has a history of pro-segregation leadership. The conflict is steeped in an age-old battle constantly waged by Black newspapers, which are historic targets for advertising discrimination.
While Bon Secours placed paid advertisements for the training camp in the Times Dispatch, the Free Press was sent press releases, Boone said in an interview.
Brock, who has served as NAACP chair since 2010, is vice president for advocacy and government relations for the Bon Secours Health System, Inc., in Marriottsville, Md. Boone believes her corporate position has caused her to compromise her stance for economic justice in the Richmond case.
“Bon Secours, along with Mayor Dwight C. Jones and the Washington team, blatantly denied, contrary to the Mayor’s pledge, black businesses and other local businesses the opportunity to receive vendor contracts inside the training camp,” Boone wrote in a Sept. 27 letter to Brock. “Characteristic of Richmond government and big businesses, this Bon Secours decision disgracefully enhanced Richmond’s shameful reputation as ‘The Capital of Poverty,’ with 25 percent of Richmond’s population suffering in poverty.”
When Brock had not responded to his letter for more than a month, Boone followed up with a Nov. 1 email pointing out, “This raises the unavoidable question of whether Bon Secours is restricting you from living up to your responsibility to honor the NAACP mission?”
He continued, “In the interest of fairness and the image of the NAACP, I respectfully suggest that you break your silence.”
Brock responded to Boone by email that same day, stating, “The matter you reference in your letter is local in nature and should be handled directly by the Richmond Branch NAACP and Salim Khalfani at the Virginia State Conference NAACP. I have forwarded your correspondence to them and shared the information with the leadership of Bon Secours Health System in Richmond.”
In an email, responding to a question from the Trice Edney News Wire this week, Brock said that she had not publically commented on Boone’s complaint because it is a local issue.
Brock’s email said she had “also discussed the matter in detail with” Campbell, who is serving his second term as NNPA chairman. At a Sept. 17 reception in D.C., Campbell, Boone and other NNPA publishers praised Brock for her leadership and gave her an award for social justice.
While Campbell verbally blistered the NFL, including the Redskins, he balanced his response by saying he agrees with Brock that the issue in Boone’s case is local since the economic decisions appear to have been made by the mayor and Bon Secours’ Richmond entities.
“At the end of the day, I think [the criticism of her] is unfair just because she works for Bon Secours. That’s her day job. We all volunteer at some time with the NAACP,” Campbell says, referring to Brock’s volunteer chairmanship. “While we want to see Mr. Boone and his publication get what it deserves and more so; that is definitely a local issue.”
Boone, who recently announced he has stopped using the term “Redskins” in the Richmond Free Press because it is “racist”, argues that the Redskins’ and Bon Secours’ exclusion of Black businesses underscores and illustrates the team’s mentality under the controversial name, which is receiving growing national pressure for change.
In her email to the Trice Edney News Wire, Brock also clarified that the NAACP has long stood against the Redskins name because of its roots in racism. “The NAACP passed a resolution more than ten years ago against racial slurs being used as mascots. In the last few months the NAACP signed on letters with the Oneida Tribe, based in Washington and the National Coalition on American Tribes especially in support of their efforts to change the Redskins name,” she wrote.
Neither Mayor Dwight C. Jones; nor Virginia NAACP President King Salim Khalfani could be reached for comment by deadline. Bon Secours representatives did not return repeated phone calls.
Meanwhile, Boone, a recipient of the State NAACP's Oliver W. Hill Freedom Fighter Award, remains focused on his quest for economic justice, promising Brock “fairness and balance” in upcoming coverage of her leadership positions with the NAACP and Bon Secours.
Such economic battles have been hard fought in Richmond and in Black and grassroots communities across the nation. Former Richmond City Councilman Chuck Richardson, known for his historic advocacy for Black businesses and contractors, recalls researching Washington Redskins’ racism as far back as 1961. That’s when he wrote a research paper in junior high school about the team and how the Redskins was “the last professional football team to allow Blacks to play for them,” he said in an interview. “This harkens back to that painful time. It hurt then and I would have thought that a greater degree of change might have occurred, but the mentality still exists. It seems so much has changed and yet so much remains the same.”
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