W E E K E N D E R
L.A. Watts Times Vol. XXX, No. 1202
COVER ART BY DAVID G . BROWN
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Inside this Edition
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L.A. Watts Times WEEKENDER Published Weekly – Updates 3800 S. Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90008 Administration – Sales – Graphics – Editorial 323.299.3800 - office 323.291.6804 - fax Beverly Cook – Publisher, Managing Editor 1976 – 1993 Charles Cook – Publisher, 1976 – 1998 Melanie Polk – Publisher 1998 – 2010
Black Facts Oct. 21, 1994 Charles Edward Anderson, the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in Meteorology, dies. In 1960, Charles Edward Anderson earns a Ph.D. in Meteorology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. Oct. 22, 1906 Three-thousand Blacks demonstrate and riot in Philadelphia to protest a theatrical presentation of Thomas Dixon’s The Clansman. Sixty-two Blacks are reported lynched. Oct. 24, 1935 Italy invades Ethiopia. American Blacks held mass meetings of protest and raised funds for the Ethiopian defenders. Oct. 24, 1923 The Department of Labor says some 500,000 Blacks had left the South in the preceding 12 months. Source: blackfacts.com
WWW.LAWATTSTIMES.COM Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. ..........Executive Publisher & Executive Editor Brenda Marsh Mitchell ................................Executive Vice President Tracy Mitchell........................................................................Controller Brandon I. Brooks ............................................Co – Managing Editor Yussuf J. Simmonds..........................................Co – Managing Editor Samuel Richard..........................................................Associate Editor Willa Robinson..................................................Director of Advertising Benjamin Samuels ..............................................Production Designer Chris Martin ........................................................Production Designer EMAIL: email@example.com Circulation ................................................................................50,000 The opinions expressed by contributing writers are not necessarily those of the L.A. Watts Times. The L.A. Watts Times is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, CDs or tapes.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
L.A. Gets $546M Loan For Crenshaw Light-Rail Line Sen. Barbara Boxer (DCalif.) talks to reporters after voting in her campaign for re-election, at the RegistrarRecorder’s office in Riverside, Calif., Oct. 12.
AP Photo by Reed Saxon AP Photo by J. Scott Applewhite
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa talks to reporters at the White House following a meeting with President Obama about repairing the nation’s transportation infrastructure, Oct. 11, in Washington. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood listens at right, with former Secretary of Transportation Samuel Skinner at far left. Listening second from right is Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS LOS ANGELES — The federal government will loan Los Angeles County $546 million to help build an 8 1/2-mile light rail line that would run from the city’s Crenshaw district to a station near the airport, officials announced Friday. Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, who’s been helping the county and the Department of Transportation reach the deal, said the loan will help create about 5,000 jobs and improve the
Black Facts Oct. 24, 1948 Rep. Kweisi Mfume is born Frizzell Gray in Baltimore. In 1996, Mfume became president of the NAACP. Oct. 23, 1911 Three organizations — the Committee for Improving the Industrial Conditions of Negroes in New York; the Committee on Urban Conditions; and the National League for the Protection of Colored Women — merge, under the leadership of Dr. George E. Hayne and Eugene Kinckle Jones, to form the National Urban League. Jones is named executive secretary. Sixty Blacks are reported lynched in 1911. Oct. 23, 1947 NAACP petition on racism, “An Appeal to the World,” is presented to the United Nations at Lake Success. Oct. 23, 1775 Continental Congress approves resolution barring Blacks from the army. Source: blackfacts.com
regional transit system. The loan is the first federal commitment to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s effort to construct a dozen transit projects in 10 rather than 30 years. Los Angeles County voters agreed two years ago to pay a half-cent sales tax over the next three decades to extend train and rapid bus lines. Villaraigosa has been seeking federal loans to accelerate those projects, then repay the government later with proceeds from the sales tax. As part of the deal, the gov-
ernment is shelling out $20 million in credit assistance to defray the cost of the loan. Villaraigosa said the loan will cover a third of the costs of the estimated $1.4-billion Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor, which will serve as a critical link to two light-rail lines. The money will allow construction to begin late next year with completion expected in 2018. Originally, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority had planned for completion in 2029.
Health Care Law – How Does It Help People Without Insurance, Jobs, Papers? Below are some of the frequently asked questions NAM has heard since President Obama signed the health care reform law in March.
Q: I am a 32-year-old male who has just been released from prison. I have chronic hypertension and diabetes. It has been difficult to find a job and even more difficult to access health insurance. What can I do now and how will that change in 2014 when the health care law is fully implemented? A: Currently, in California individual counties are responsible to provide basic health care services to persons who can’t afford them and are not eligible for other public programs. There may also be a non-profit clinic available where you live that takes patients on a sliding fee scale depending on your income. However, after January 1, 2014, when the affordable care act is fully implemented, you will be eligible for Medi-Cal.
Q: My husband and I are both working but do not get health insurance from our jobs and cannot afford to buy private insurance. Although we are currently without legal status, our two children are U.S. citizens and are enrolled in California's child health insurance program, Healthy Families. Is there anything in the new health care law that could help our family get affordable health care? A: Your children and other family members who have legal status will remain eligible for Healthy Families, Medi-Cal, Medicare, and will also be able to buy affordable health insurance in the new insurance marketplace. Californians without legal status will still be able to enroll in Emergency Medi-Cal to cover emergency treatment (if they meet other eligibility rules) and can continue to obtain affordable health services at their local community health centers and pay based on their income. In addition, due to the existing Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) requirements, hospitals will continue to be required to treat and stabilize uninsured individuals who need emergency treatment under the new health care reform law.
Q: I am a 45-year-old female who just got laid off. I don’t qualify for COBRA – the temporary continuation of health coverage former employees or their spouses get at group rates – and I can’t afford private insurance. Can I get help from the new law? A: Today under the existing system, if you have children at home, you may be eligible for Medi-Cal coverage or if you do not have children at home, you may be eligible for county health care. You are also eligible to receive health care through community clinics. Several of California clinics have already begun to receive new funding that is provided by the Affordable Care Act. In total, the Act will provide $11 billion in new funding to Federally-Qualified Health Centers over the next five years. If you have any questions about the health care law, call: (800)-871-9012 712389#, or e-mail your question to firstname.lastname@example.org or send by regular mail to P.O. Box 410447, San Francisco, CA 94141-0447. You can find more resources at www.calendow.org/healthlaw.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
NEWS IN AFRICA ‘Years of Heartache’ Recounted in New Mandela Book SPECIAL TO THE NNPA FROM THE GLOBAL INFORMATION NETWORK A new collection from the private papers of former president Nelson Mandela reveals years of heartache due to missing his family while in prison and his discomfort at becoming a national icon. “Conversations with Myself”
draws on Mandela’s personal archive to offer unique access to the inspiring world leader. The records include journals kept on the run during the anti-apartheid struggle of the early 1960s; diaries and draft letters written while on Robben Island and in other South African prisons during his 27 years of incarceration; notebooks from the post-apartheid transition; private recorded conversations; speeches and correspondence written during his presidency. The book illuminates a heroic life forged on the front lines of the struggle for freedom and justice and reveals his thoughts on everything from the danger of corruption in power to his grief at his son’s death.
Hollywood Descends on Sudan as Date for Referendum Nears SPECIAL TO THE NNPA FROM THE GLOBAL INFORMATION NETWORK Visitors, including veteran actor George Clooney, are flocking to Sudan, which in less than 100 days will give south Sudanese the choice whether to stay united with the North or
become an independent country. Clooney, a designated “U.N. Messenger for Peace” was among several U.N. officials, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, hoping to head off a resumption of fighting, if the scheduled plebiscite is delayed. So far, preparations for the voting are seriously behind schedule — voter registration has not started and is unlikely to be ready on time for a Jan.9, 2011 vote, say local sources. There is not even a North-South border. The referendum is a key provision of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended a decades-long north-south civil war. At a recent meeting with parliament, Sudanese President Omar alBashir gave assurances that the referendum was on track and predicted unity of the north and south would prevail. But U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed a widely heard view that southerners will break away, and called independence “inevitable.”
British Banks in Cohoots with Corrupt Nigerian Politicians SPECIAL TO THE NNPA FROM THE GLOBAL INFORMATION NETWORKS A new report by the watchdog group Global Witness charges British banks with accepting millions of dollars from Nigerian politicians accused of corruption. One former governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, brought some $6
million into Britain and deposited it with the Royal Bank of Scotland. “This account received $4 million,” said a Global Witness spokesman. “Of that, $2 million was a corrupt bribe paid by a contractor to secure a contract.” The report, called “International Thief,” covers 1999 to 2005. It is based on court documents from cases brought by the Nigerian government to win back funds it said had been stolen by former governors. By taking money from corrupt governors between 1999 and 2005, said the report, Barclays, NatWest, RBS, HSBC, and UBS helped to fuel corruption and entrench poverty in Nigeria. The banks have all denied the charges. A full copy of the report may be found online at www.globalwitness.org.
Nigeria: More Troops May Come To Violent Region MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — A Nigerian military spokesman says more soldiers could be stationed in the nation’s troubled northeast, a region where a feared Muslim sect has committed a series of targeted killings. Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, the Nigerian Army’s Chief of Staff, told journalists Monday that the security forces had identified a series of “black spots” where more soldiers could hunt for members of the Boko
Haram sect. However, any additional deployment depends on the Borno state governor approving it. Followers of Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sacrilege” in Hausa, went into hiding after a July 2009 riot, which they began, and a subsequent security crackdown that left 700 people dead. They attacked a federal prison last month and freed 750 inmates.
Protesters In E. Congo Demand Soldiers Leave KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Witnesses and an official say civilians are protesting after three residents were killed when soldiers looted homes in Congo’s South Kivu province. Katana county resident Emmanuel Mburungu says soldiers forced themselves into homes Sunday, demanding money and mobile phones. Mburungu says all 11,000 residents in the county have taken to the streets to demand the troops’ removal. Local official Dezire Balezi says the civilians died while resisting the looters, and one soldier was shot over a money dispute. Army spokesman Col. Vianey Kazarama denies soldiers are involved and blames local gangs. Congo’s first lady led thousands of women Sunday in a march to demand end to mass rapes, some allegedly by soldiers, in volatile eastern Congo.
On November 2,
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Thursday, October 21, 2010
BRIEFS NAACP’s Jealous Recognized by Time Magazine SPECIAL TO THE NNPA FROM THE AFRO-AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous received two honors recently as he was named among
Under 40’ and The NonProfit Times’ ‘Power and Influence Top 50’ lists,” NAACP Board of Directors Chairman Roslyn Brock said in a statement. “In a little over two years, President Jealous has led the Association in tackling some of the hardest issues facing the American
Benjamin Jealous Time magazine’s “40 Under 40 public, including healthcare reform, Rising Stars of U.S. Politics” and the financial crisis and predatory one of the “Top 50 people of Power lending. His hard work and commitand Influence” by The NonProfit ment to justice allows the AssoTimes. ciation to continue in the struggle “The NAACP congratulates for better jobs, education and equalPresident Benjamin Todd Jealous on ity for all Americans.” making the Time magazine ‘40 Jealous, who is a former execu-
tive director of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, was included in the first group of rising political stars ever singled out by Time in a feature to be published in the issue dated Oct. 23. In August, he was named, along with AARP CEO Barry Rand, among the 50 most powerful and influential leaders in the non-profit arena.
Judge Williams’ ‘White boys’ Comment Spurs Action, DA to Look into Judicial Bias BY CHRISTIAN MORROW SPECIAL TO THE NNPA FROM THE NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER Allegheny County (Pennsylvania) District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala said he would investigate concerns of racial bias raised after Common Pleas Judge Joseph K. Williams Jr. refused a plea agreement recently. Williams made national headlines when he declined a plea deal for a first time offender because he said prosecutors only make those deals for White boys. Williams, who recused himself from the case, declined to talk to the New Pittsburgh Courier regarding his statement. “I don’t see a racial component here, but if a judge raises the issue, it’s incumbent upon me to look into it,” Zappala said. “Judge Williams is in a responsible position, so we take this seriously.”
Williams made his comments Oct. 5 when presented with a plea deal for Jeffery McGowan, 24, of Franklin Park, who had initially been charged with aggravated assault for putting his hands on a police officer after a traffic stop. The plea was to reduce the charge to disorderly conduct. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, when presented with the plea agreement, Williams said prosecutor Brian Catanzarite “comes up with, I think, ridiculous pleas whenever it’s a young White guy.” “I’m just telling you what my observation is,” said Williams. “If this had been a Black kid who did the same thing, we wouldn’t be talking about three months probation.”
Obama Courts Black Votes BY ZENITHA PRINCE SPECIAL TO THE NNPA FROM THE AFRO-AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS The ethics trials for U.S. Reps. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., and Maxine Waters, D-Calif., have been set for after the elections on Nov. 15 and Nov. 29, respectively. The announcement, made recently, prompted the ire of at least one Republican, who said it was motivated by politics. “This is obviously being pushed back to avoid negative publicity before the Nov. 2 elections,” said Illinois Republican Timothy Johnson in a statement. “If the accused were Republicans, I have no doubt
the timing would be different.” But political analysts and observers said holding the hearings any earlier would have little to no impact on the incumbents’ success at the polls because their majority-Black constituencies would vote for them. “Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters would have to get in an Eddie Long scandal for voters not to vote for them; they’re set,” said Jason Johnson, professor of political science at Hiram College in Ohio. And other members of the Congressional Black Caucus are also set, Johnson added. “Ultimately, it’s a very small bubble they’re operating in. Black people in these districts think, ‘These folks (lawmakers) may be old and (maybe) corrupt, but that’s all we have.” The centrality of Black voters to Democratic hopes was confirmed last week by President Barack Obama’s personal appeal at a rally at Bowie State University, located in one of Maryland’s majority-Black counties. “Right now you have pundits saying the other party’s supporters are more excited,” Obama said. “They’re saying they’ll turn out [to vote] in higher numbers. They’re saying that all of us who worked so hard in 2008 might not be as pumped up, might not be as energized or might not care as much. Maryland, I think the pundits are wrong, but it’s up to you to prove them wrong. Don’t make me look bad now.” See BRIEFS, page 23
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Named Champion for Children Lee Held a Hearing on the Growing Nationwide and Local Epidemic of Bullying and called for Passage of a Federal AntiBullying Statute along with a Local Response Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is one of the most ardent supporters of NNPA and she was recently named a “Champion for Children.” She has championed the cause for NNPA and the disenfranchised for many, many years. It is very important to make her look good because she supported the NNPA and made the institution look good. The First Focus Campaign for Children, a national, bipartisan child advocacy group, released the names of Members of Congress identified as the most valuable leaders on issues important to children. The announcement today launches the group’s inaugural campaign to recognize the top 100 Members of Congress who make improving the well-being of children a national pri-
ority. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee was among those named, and in fact she recently held a hearing in the district about the well-being of children and proposed legislation to curb a growing problem among the youth. Below is a report of that hearing: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee held a Local-Federal factfinding hearing to address the growing nationwide and local epidemic of bullying to call for passage of a Federal anti-bullying statute. She was joined by other local, state and federal elected officials including Congressman Al Green, Texas State Senator John Whitmire, Texas Representative Alma Allen, and Houston City Council Members Wanda Adams, Al Hoang, and C.O. “Brad”
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee among those who she championed: children. Bradford. Also joining Rep. Jackson Lee was Harris County District Attorney Judge Patricia Lykos and Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia. The hearing also included testimony from parents of bullying victims and representatives of HISD; HPD; community, civic, civil rights and faith organizations; and experts on children, education, mental health and social services. “As a member of the House Judiciary committee, I have been overwhelmed by one episode after another of children losing their lives and
w w w . l a w a t t s t i m e s . c o m
the lack of a coordinated response to incidents of bullying,” Jackson Lee said. “At this hearing, we will seek the best practices from the many good initiatives offered from our own community. Also, we will hear firsthand some of the troubling personal stories of bullying victims. This is our wake up call to this national crisis. Our children have to be our first priority,” she continued. According to statistics, bullying is now increasingly viewed as a contributor to youth violence, including both homicide and suicide. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, teenagers say that revenge is the strongest motivation for school shootings — 87 percent said shootings are motivated by a desire to “get back those who have hurt them.” Furthermore, 46 percent of males and 26 percent of females reported that they had been in physical fights. Those in lower grades reported being in twice as many fights as those in higher grades — a sign that bullying is impacting our youth at younger and younger ages. Statistics like these show that there is a direct correlation between bullying and school safety and heighten the need for bullying to be addressed quickly and effectively. Furthermore, there are reports
that state many of the deadly cases of bullying arise when children are teased and tormented simply for being different. There has been a recent upswing of suicides amongst lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) teens as a result of bullying. Almost 85 percent of LGBT teenagers are harassed in high school because of their sexual orientation, with 61 percent of gay youth reporting that they felt unsafe in school and 30% staying home to avoid bullying. “By law, we require our children to go to school. Therefore, we have a duty to maintain a safe and healthy environment for children, one in which they should not be afraid. It is important that our children know that bullying will not be taken lightly, and that there will be consequences for such actions. “The problem of bullying has been a persistent issue for years, but it is now becoming a national crisis,” the Congresswoman went on to say. “Newspaper headlines and news broadcasts across our Nation have been flooded with chilling stories about victims of bullying. This hearing will be an opportunity to hear from Houstonians in order to help establish National solutions,” she concluded.
The Congresswoman greeting her little constituents.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Strong Black Voter Turnout Could Determine Outcomes of Key House, Senate, and Gubernatorial Races Joint Center Releases Midterm Election Analysis SPECIAL TO THE NNPA FROM THE JOINT CENTER OF POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC STUDIES Less than three weeks before
Election Day, a new analysis shows that African American voters are strategically located in states and districts where, if they turn out in sub-
AP Photo by M. Spencer Green
Merlyn Robinson, left, and Tequria A. Brown show off their early voting receipts after casting their ballots in the 2008 Illinois primary on Martin Luther King day during the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners grace period, Jan. 21, 2008, in Chicago.
stantial numbers, they could make a difference in who controls the House, the Senate, and up to 14 governorships. The report, In Anticipation of Nov. 2: Black Voters and Candidates and the 2010 Midterm Elections, was released by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a leading authority on the black electorate that has consistently surveyed and reported on the opinions of African Americans since 1970. The analysis was conducted by David A. Bositis, Ph.D., Senior Political Analyst at the Joint Center, and discussed with a standing room only roundtable of journalists and other political organizations in Washington, D.C. Dr. Bositis said this election could echo mid-term elections in 1986, when significant Black turnout helped Democrats gain House seats and take control of the Senate, and again in 1998, when Democrats picked up governorships in Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia. â€œThere are 20 House seats
AP Photo by Susan Walsh
In this Oct. 7, 2010, file photo, President Barack Obama greets people after speaking at a campaign rally for Maryland Gov. Martin Oâ€™Malley at Bowie State University in Bowie, Md. Despite polls indicating many minority voters are discouraged and won't turn out Nov. 2 like they did for Obama two years ago, a solid showing among blacks could still swing several House, Senate and gubernatorial races, according to some analysts. and 14 Senate seats in addition to 14 gubernatorial races where the Black vote has the potential to determine the outcome of this yearâ€™s elections,â€? Dr. Bositis said. Widespread predictions that Democrats will endure sweeping losses may be premature, if party leaders are abel to play a strong
ground game that includes persuading African Americans to go to the polls in greater numbers than they have in some other mid-term elections, added Dr. Bositis. â€œThe extent of the Democrats' losses will depend on their ability to turn out their most loyal voters, and no voting bloc will See BLACK VOTE, page 21
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Thursday, October 21, 2010
HBCU Graduate Sworn In as Indiana’s First Black Federal Judge (NNPA) — Tanya Walton Pratt, 51, a graduate of a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), has been sworn-in as Indiana’s first Black federal judge. Judge Pratt, who earned her undergraduate degree from Spellman College, in Atlanta, and her law degree from the Howard University School of Law, in Washington, D.C., said, “I did not attend college or law school at Ivy League institutions. I am a proud product of His-
torically Black Colleges and Universities,” The Associated Press reported. Pratt who took her seat on the court last week was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, 95-0, in mid-June. Pratt was sworn in to the U.S. District Court seat formerly filled by Judge S. Hugh Dillin, who ordered thousands of Black students from Indianapolis Public Schools to attend township schools in the early
1980s, reported The Indianapolis Star. “Judge Dillin would be so pleased having you as his successor,” Judge Sarah Evans Barker told Judge Pratt during the searing-in ceremony. “Surely his spirit is in this place.” Judge Pratt’s parents, both the grandchildren of slaves, were activists in the Indianapolis community. Her father, Charles Walton, was an attorney and state legislator. Her mother, Joan Blackshear Walton, taught in the Indianapolis Public Schools for 40 years. AP reported Judge Pratt’s great-grandfather, who was born into slavery in the mid1850s in Georgia, was a brick mason and purchased his own property. His work ethic is what has inspired members of our family, said Judge Pratt. On the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Judicial Excellence Political Action Committee website, Judge Pratt was recommended by her peers to judicial office by nearly 90 percent. Pratt stated: “The past 13 years as a judicial officer
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Tanya Walton Pratt in a major felony court have been rewarding, despite the often difficult nature of cases. I have a strong work ethic and Court One tries on average; 40 jury trials each year. It is important to me to treat everyone that enters the court environment with courtesy and respect. I have a strong commitment to my community … From May 2001 until July 2007 I served as Chair of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Indiana Holiday Commission. I received the 2006 Career Achievement Award
from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the 2007 Career Achievement Award from Cathedral High School. It remains my goal to bring conscientious, patient, and thorough consideration to matters entrusted to me.” Pratt, who succeeds Judge David Hamilton, is married to defense attorney Marcel Pratt, who she met at Howard University School of Law. They have been married 26 years and have a 19year-old daughter, Lena.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
No Update On NFL Players: Whatâ€™s Injured Rutgers Happening to The Game? Playerâ€™s Condition After 3 Days BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
with Hackensack University Medical Center, where LeGrand had surgery and is being treated, he was unable to comment on the case because of federal privacy laws. The family has authorized Rutgers to release information about the LeGrand, a 20-year-old from Avenel who grew up roughly 15 minutes from Rutgers Stadium. Vingan said there are basically two types of spinal-cord injuries, complete or incomplete, and that a complete injury is irreversible. He also said that roughly 85 percent of the people with incomplete injuries show some kind of functional improvement. Linebacker Antonio Lowery looked down at the believe sticker on his helmet after practice yesterday and said it was a â€œperfectâ€? way to sum up the feelings of LeGrandâ€™s teammates. â€œWhen I see that, it explains everything,â€? Lowery said. â€œItâ€™s just believe every aspect from school, social life, football. It hits home.â€?
PISCATAWAY, N.J. â€” The 72hour window of hope has passed for Eric LeGrand of Rutgers without word on whether he has had any feeling or movement below his neck. Coach Greg Schiano had no medical update on LeGrandâ€™s condition after practice. LeGrand, a junior defensive tackle, was paralyzed from the neck down while making a tackle on a kickoff return Saturday against Army. Some doctors believe if a person who suffered a spinal-cord injury does not have some feeling or movement within 72 hours, there is little chance of recovery. Schiano is adamant in his belief that LeGrand will walk again. To honor their teammate, Rutgers players have put a sticker on the fronts of their helmets with the word â€œbelieve.â€? â€œWhen they look at it, they will see it,â€? Schiano said of the sticker. Dr. Roy Vingan, a neurosurgeon with the North Jersey Brain and Spine Group, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that there is set time to determine the extent of a spinal-cord injury. From his personal experience, however, Vingan said that spinal-cord patients who show no evidence of neurological function below the area of injury within 24 to 72 hours do not make significant recoveries. He said there have been one or two exceptions in the time he has practiced but that the number is very low. â€œSeventy-two hours is a reasonable amount of time I think, and many would agree, to access the patient; that if there is no function within 72 AP Photo/Rutgers University hours, it is unlikely This undated photo provided by Rutgers University there will be a shows football player Eric LeGrand. LeGrand is in a recovery,â€? Vingan bed at the Hackensack University Medical Center in said. Hackensack, N.J., unable to move from the neck A l t h o u g h down after being injured making a tackle in a game Vingan is associated against Army on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2010.
inherent violence that makes it Americaâ€™s most popular sport, with soaring television ratings and strong attendance. â€œThere is still going to be great collisions â€Ś itâ€™s still going to be a physical game,â€? said Eagles coach Andy Reid, who witnessed firsthand the brutal collision between Robinson and Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson on Sunday that left both players with concussions. â€œWe just have to eliminate that helmet as a weapon; that son of a gun is pretty hard material right there. If we could just get that out of the picture there on some of the shots, I think thatâ€™s all the league is asking for.â€? Some players think the NFL is asking for something much more difficult: a complete change in playing style. Not surprisingly, defensive players are most critical. â€œWhat theyâ€™re trying to say â€” â€˜Weâ€™re protecting the integrityâ€™ â€” no, youâ€™re not,â€? Bears cornerback Charles Tillman said. â€œItâ€™s ruining the integrity. Itâ€™s not even football anymore. We should just go out there and play two-hand touch Sunday if we canâ€™t make contact.â€?
AP Photo by Michael Dwyer
In this photo taken Oct. 17, New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather (31) hits helmet-to-helmet with Baltimore Ravens tight end Todd Heap (86) in the second quarter of an NFL football game, in Foxborough, Mass. Meriweather was fined $50,000 by the NFL on Oct. 19, for his helmet-to-helmet hit. BY BARRY WILNER AP PRO FOOTBALL WRITER NEW YORK (AP) â€” NFL players are wondering whatâ€™s happening to their game. One day after the league said it will begin suspending players for illegal hits, many players were asking if this still is pro football. â€œWeâ€™re going to be playing flag football in about five years,â€? Cowboys linebacker Bradie James said Wednesday. Baltimore Ravens star Ray Lewis echoed those thoughts. â€œMy opinion is play the game like that game is supposed to be played, and whatever happens, happens,â€? said Lewis, among the most physical linebackers the game has known. â€œIf you go into the game thinking about any of that stuff, Iâ€™m telling you, the game will be diluted very quickly.â€? The NFL imposed huge fines on three players â€” Pittsburghâ€™s James Harrison, Atlantaâ€™s Dunta Robinson and New Englandâ€™s Brandon Meriweather â€” on Tuesday for dangerous and flagrant hits last weekend and warned that, starting with this weekâ€™s games, violent conduct will be cause for suspension. â€œYou look at the James Harrision hit, all these hits, whatev-
er they may be, the bottom line is those are hits that you go into your defensive room and youâ€™re getting praised for,â€? Lewis added. â€œBecause
â€œSome players think the NFL is asking for something much more difficult: a complete change in playing style. Not surprisingly, defensive players are most critical.â€?
thatâ€™s the way the game of football is supposed to be played.â€? Except, according to the rules, when players are launching themselves at defenseless opponents, often leading with their heads even when the direct contact is not made by the helmet. Shoulders and forearms to the head also are illegal, and the league is ratcheting up punishment for offenders. By doing so, though, is the NFL stripping the game of the
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