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Sging to her former me forward with bclaims, a wom- but testing inidence can help lawgn. “Not onthe was bigger t out to chec ly is it prohim over a face boyfriend w th loody cloth r-old lice found he turned Anim enforcemenconfronted mask wasan wearing is case wou ven a house as al Cothat the eviden ing the bloodie Even thoth ntrohe t so ld t. to lv l co o an e ffi m cr ce u an ce over toho was a violent crim e im d destroyed it. g rs rushed ca imal hospit protection against es, thetrcoronavirus. the police, - is bold, he is treadh Newsom’s decisioat no cost the ble to al th au African Am , w e m h st a. er at e e. n but they issue that in it ” According to the lawsuit, the woman made sexual in g w ericans, His ca as diagn the Cooper refu panics and case inside D watching. California voters acllroy on a potential risti jacket advances, ther. K man’s his chest, ose Krauseto, acaress other mino ly polarireached sh He is keep e ss ex v th p et ec zi e er n p rities liv- C ts in g bac and ripped oliti specgrabbed his theoff ing his focu 11his -pomask. ontinued und (5-kiloarian, tells th trum are crotch k into the w s on fairncaeslthen on page A grahad il m) cat to d player said he and a man flying with s anThe af te d just r 2 M it cGuire visit regaihim ice th ns stgave re ed complained several times flight attendants, who at if htoe two th sees it again e bobcat on nFgth. , hother the woman one verbal warning but ignored requests to riday. e’ll issu e intervene when the harassment continued, according atotick theet for ja lawsuit. Lawyers for the player and the second man filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The men were not named in the lawsuit. The football player lives in Essex County, New Jersey, and the second man lives in Philadelphia, according to the lawsuit. They are seeking unspecified damages from the airline. United confirmed that an incident occurred on the flight from Newark, New Jersey, to Los Angeles, but gave few details. By Pete White Mutual aid programs are a part of the legacy and tradition of day responsibilities since COVID hit in order to better service “The safety and well-being of our customers is always our Op-Ed Black communities throughout America and the Diaspora. From the immediate, and often life-or-death needs of the neighbors we top priority. In this instance, the customer involved was moved We’ve heard the rally cry, “stay home to save lives” echoing sou-sou origins in West Africa to the Black mutual aid societies service. throughout our communities across the nation during the during Jim Crow and the Black Liberation Movements in the We’ve partnered with local nonprofits and volunteers in to a different seat,’’ airline spokeswoman Leigh Schramm said pandemic. But for thousands of our houseless community 1960’s, our communities have always been able to tap into our order to kick our mutual aid program into high-gear. While our in a statement. “Because litigation is now pending, we’re unable members and those without stable homes, this mandate to remain collective power by using mutual aid programs as a way to care organization’s pre-COVID plan for counting houseless people to provide further comment.’’ inside isn’t a realistic option. Now, as restrictions on businesses and look out for one another. during the 2020 census survey was less than desirable because of The lawsuit said the woman was white and the two men begin to slowly lift and the state continues to introduce its plans While we are overjoyed with gratitude for the local business the difficulty of the task, the situation is now very dire. Census are black. During the incident, it said, the football player for reopening, it will be up to the people to determine how we owners and volunteers who are supporting our most vulnerable enumeration must be adapted to ensure an adequate response will continue fighting this pandemic day-by-day—and make community members during this time, 2020 is the year that rate is achieved. That’s why we’ve included My Black Counts pleaded with the woman to stop because he was fearful “of the sure our houseless community members are not left behind. requires more from everyone in America; and in a big way. In educational materials in our mutual aid support bags for houseless perception of being a male victim and the racial stigma of being Thankfully, this month U.S. District Judge David O. Carter has addition to the upcoming November elections — our more community members to learn more about our Get-Out-thea young African American male.’’ ordered L.A. county and city to find shelter for the nearly 7,000 immediate civic duty is to ensure that everyone in our community Count movement. The men said United gave them each a $150 travel voucher people living near local freeways. This is just one step of many participates in the 2020 census. The census takes place every 10 New and creative methods of outreach should be considered for their trouble. that we must take if we truly intend to win the long-term fight years and is administered by the U.S. Census Bureau. It is designed during this time. It may mean non-traditional methods are utilized against houselessness. to make sure that everyone living in America is represented as part to provide a count that realizes the actual needs of the houseless At the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LACAN) of our democracy, whether houseless, native-born, an immigrant and other vulnerable communities. Without an accurate count, we know all too well how everyday difficulties are magnified for this or a refugee. When we are all accurately counted in the census, our communities are at risk of being under-resourced if another vulnerable community. Houseless communities face a higher risk our communities receive their fair share of public resources. pandemic impacts us in the future. of contracting diseases and illnesses like COVID-19 due to pre- Billions of dollars are directed to programs that impact our daily Following the 2010 census, more than more than 300 existing conditions, and they are often unable to self-quarantine lives and that our communities need to thrive. federally-funded programs relied on census data to determine in a stable and clean environment. Our mutual aid program is LACAN is a part of a coalition of more than 30 grassroots where and how to distribute resources. Unfortunately, more than helping to maintain the health of our houseless neighbors from organizations headquartered throughout California. We are a Hub $650 million in federal funding was lost in Los Angeles County financial assistance to food to hygiene products. We feel the of community-forward organizers who have bonded together and alone, because of low participation. Billions of dollars in public pressure like never before to also educate our community on the are calling on communities of color to participate in the 2020 funding are at stake. Join us. Your participation in the 2020 best ways to stay safe and civically engaged, in an effort to help census. Our campaign and anthem is, My Black Counts. census could help save lives. avoid this type of mayhem from happening again in the future. At LACAN, we’ve had to pivot our priorities and day-to-
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ALL Houseless Residents MUST BE Counted & Cared For Amid COVID-19
Rules for Church Reopenings
By STEFANIE DAZIO and ROBERT JABLON LOS ANGELES (AP) – Rabbi Shalom Rubanowitz looks forward to reopening his synagogue doors _ if his congregation can balance the laws of God and California during the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, the state released a framework that will permit counties to allow in-person worship services. They include limiting worshipers to 100 or less, taking everyone’s temperature, limiting singing and group recitations and not sharing prayer books or other items. The Orthodox congregation of Shul on the Beach in Los Angeles County’s Venice Beach will follow the guidelines, consulting with rabbinical authorities who place a high
importance on preservation of life, Rubanowitz said. “We can do it, it’s just a question of how,’’ he said, noting that Orthodox believers are barred from using technology or carrying many personal items on the Sabbath. The path of reopening provides “a great deal of hope,” he added. “That’s what people need.” Houses of worship are the latest focus as the state eases mid-March stay-at-home orders that shut down all but essential services and kept 40 million Californians at home to slow the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing precautions are cited for reducing rates of hospitalizations and deaths and most of California’s 58 counties are deep into phase two of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s four-stage plan
to restart the battered economy. The state on Monday cleared the way for in-store shopping to resume statewide with social distancing restrictions, although counties get to decide whether to permit it. Individual counties also will decide whether to allow the reopening of in-person services for churches, mosques, synagogues and other religious institutions. In-person religious services are relegated to phase three, which Newsom had said could be weeks away. But they could come much sooner under the guidelines. Counties that are having success controlling the virus are likely Continued on page A2
New Rule Denies Black Developers Access to State Housing Funds $4 Billion-Plus
Veronica Smith, founder of Smith Impact Brands, Inc. based in Sacramento. (Courtesy Photo)
Ebone Monet California Black Media A f r i c a n American developers across California are worried about a rule change the state Department of Housing and C o m m u n i t y Development (HCD) is considering. The regulation proposes a new requirement that developers have more experience before becoming eligible for contracts awarded from a $4 billion fund set up to construct housing for the homeless. the Multifamily Housing
The taxpayer-funded project is called Program (MHP). “We urge the department to not make this change,” wrote Kevin Murray, a former California Assemblymember who represented the California’s 47th district in San Bernardino County from 1995 to 1998. From 1999 to 2006, he was a state Senator, representing the 26th district in Los Angeles. In the letter addressed to the HCD, Murray, who is African American and a developer, did not refer to the racial implications of the rule change. Instead he pointed out five technical reasons the proposed HCD tweaks would be neither efficient nor advisable. Murray is now President and CEO of the Weingart Center, a Los Angeles-based non-profit that provides services to homeless people, including developing affordable housing. “This change will further limit the eligible pool of housing providers that can apply for this funding source at a time when
affordable housing is most direly needed,” Murray’s letter continued. If HCD applies the rule change, developers and the organizations backing housing projects would have to have previously owned or operated apartments for the population the housing development targets, which, in this instance, are homeless individuals. The guideline changes would apply to Special Needs
and Supportive Housing projects such as housing for survivors of domestic violence and people with disabilities. HCD’s current focus is housing for the chronically homeless. Under current guidelines, an individual developer can qualify for funding to build MHP projects by employing people who have the required experience. Continued on page A2
Bob cat Recov NFL Player Sues e A f t e r United Over Being Hi olice Car IncidentPwith Another Passenger
National Civil Rights Attorney to Represent Family of Man Killed by Minneapolis Police
Minneapolis, Minn.— Nationally renowned civil right and personal injury attorney Ben Crump has been retained by the family of George Floyd, a man who died in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25 when he was pinned to the ground by his neck. Floyd was stopped for a nonviolent forgery charge when police detained and killed him. Attorney Crump has issued the following statement: “We all watched the horrific death of George Floyd on video as witnesses begged the police officer to take him into the police car and get his neck. This abusive excessive and inhumane use of force cost the life of a man who was being detained by the police for questioning about a non-violent charge. We Will seek justice for the family of George Floyd, as we demand answers from the Minnesota Police Department. How many “while black” deaths will it take until the racial profiling and undervaluing of black lives by police finally ends?”
Warehouse Fire Devastates San Francisco’s Fishing Industry
Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A huge fire that tore through a warehouse on San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf has destroyed fishing gear used to deliver about two-thirds of the city’s fresh seafood, threatening to disrupt the upcoming Dungeness crab season, local fishermen said Sunday. The fire erupted before dawn Saturday and wiped out the warehouse the size of a football field near the end of Pier 45. Larry Collins, who runs the San Francisco Community Fishing Association, estimates that thousands of crab, shrimp and black cod traps worth up to $5 million were lost in the blaze. He told the San Francisco Chronicle the numbers could be far higher since port officials changed the warehouse’s function into a storage facility in February because it lacked proper fire sprinklers. “Pier 45 is the heart and soul of commercial fishing out of the Bay Area,’’ Collins said. “To take a hit like this, it’s a bad one. Most people don’t think about where their salmon, crab or black cod come from, but that’s where: It’s Pier 45.’’ The concrete pier is home to a mix of seafood and maritime businesses and tourist attractions, including the Musee Mecanique, a museum devoted to historic arcade games, and the SS Jeremiah O’Brien, a historic World War II liberty ship. They are among numerous tourist attractions on the wharf. Visitors also come for the Dungeness crabs, clam chowders served in sourdough bread bowls, the sea lions that lounge on the floating docks and shops on Pier 39. The Chronicle reported that most of the salmon gear was saved because it’s currently on boats. The black cod traps are largely in place for next week. However, the crab pots that were packed to the ceiling in the warehouse couldn’t be salvaged. With the Dungeness crab season expected to begin in mid-November, local crab boat owners launched a campaign to raise $1 million to buy new gear. Crab pots cost up to $300 each. “We’ve got to get this fixed,’’ Collins said. “The fleet that fishes out of here is basic to our food security.’’\ Investigators were assessing any damage to the pier and were looking into the cause of the fire.
THE VALLEY’S NEWS OBSERVER
Thursday, May 28, 2020
World & Nation
“I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy,” Biden stated after the comments to The Breakfast Club host, Charlamagne Tha God, went viral. (Photo: Black Enterprise.com)
Joe Biden Clarifies Message to Black America By Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent Presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden clarified his message to Black America after the GOP, and others, seized on a remark he made in jest while wrapping up an interview with the famous Breakfast Club. “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy,” Biden stated after the comments to show host, Charlamagne Tha God, went viral. “I shouldn’t have been so cavalier. No one should have to vote for any party based on their race, religion, and background.” As the Breakfast Club interview wrapped and a Biden aide said he was running short on time, Charlamagne asked the former vice president to stop by the studio when Biden returns to New York. “It’s a long way until November,” Charlamagne told Biden. “We’ve got more questions.” Biden replied, “You’ve got more questions?” “Well, I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for Trump or me, then you ain’t black.” Republicans seized on the remark, with some sending emails to NNPA Newswire claiming that Biden was “race-baiting.” In response, NNPA Newswire asked members of the GOP to address what many in the African American community believe have been the racially-charged remarks and actions of the president. There was no response. “The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest, but let’s be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump’s
any day. Period,” Biden’s senior advisor Symone D. Sanders wrote on Twitter. “Vice President Biden spent his career fighting alongside and for the African American community. He won his party’s nomination by earning every vote and meeting people where they are, and that’s exactly what he intends to do this November,” Sanders stated. In a “Meet the Black Press” segment of an interview on the web-based show, “Make It Plain,” National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) President and CEO, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, said people should react favorably to the exchange. “Charlamagne always asks pointed questions, he takes no prisoners and he’s a great brother,” Chavis stated. “But, the vice president is a street fighter who comes from Wilmington, Delaware. Remember, he was speaking directly to Charlamagne.” Pressed further, Dr. Chavis noted that the issue boils down to the current administration verses a possible Biden administration. “What Black people have to decide is not all of the prerequisites, but given what we know today, what is our aspirations? Who can best improve our quality of life? That’s the issue,” Chavis stated. “We can’t get caught up in personality politics. I would rather have a president who speaks from the heart, from the gut, than a president who speaks from a teleprompter. I want to know what Biden is thinking about. That he’s thinking about Black, White, Latino, about the oneness of man. “I would prefer to hear what he has to say, rather than to muzzle him. I tell hip-hop artists that they have freedom of expression, but they have to be responsible for what they put out. You have the freedom to say what you want, but after you say it,
you have to be accountable.” In an interview with NNPA Newswire in February, Biden said the Black vote was critical to anyone with aspirations of winning in November. He then laid out his plan for Black America. Last month, he called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to collect more data regarding how COVID-19 is affecting communities, including breaking down its impact by race. “The data we’ve seen so far suggests that African Americans are dying from COVID-19 at a higher rate than whites. Longstanding systemic inequalities are contributing to this disparity – including the fact that African Americans are more likely to be uninsured and to live in communities where they are exposed to high levels of air pollution,” Biden stated. Barack Obama’s former vice president’s plan for Black America includes: • Advance the economic mobility of African Americans and close the racial wealth and income gaps. • Expand access to high-quality education and tackle racial inequity in our education system. • Make far-reaching investments in ending health disparities by race. • Strengthen America’s commitment to justice. • Make the right to vote and the right to equal protection real for African Americans. • Address environmental justice. Biden, who this month fiercely denounced the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, noted that he spearheaded the Community Oriented Policing Services program, which authorized funding
both for the hiring of additional police officers and for training on how to undertake a community policing approach. However, the program has never been funded to fulfill the original vision for community policing. He said he would reinvigorate the COPS program with a $300 million investment. As a condition of the grant, Biden stated that hiring police officers must mirror the racial diversity of the community they serve. Additionally, as President, Biden promises to establish a panel to scrutinize what equipment is used by law enforcement in our communities. He said he would invest in public defenders’ offices to ensure defendants’ access to quality counsel, and create a $20 billion grant program to support criminal justice reform at the state and local level. Biden pledged to work with Congress to reform federal sentencing and provide incentives to state and local systems to do the same. He said he would end once and for all, the federal crack and powder cocaine disparity, decriminalize the use of cannabis and automatically expunge all prior cannabis use convictions. The Democrat also promises to end the criminalization of poverty and cash bail, which he called the modern-day debtors’ prison. “We need a comprehensive agenda for African Americans with an ambition that matches the scale of the challenge and with a recognition that race-neutral policies are not a sufficient response to race-based disparities,” Biden noted.
Worshippers who are allowed to return will find some jarring changes. The state guidelines limit gatherings to 25% of building capacity or 100 people, whichever is lower. Choirs aren’t recommended. Neither are shaking hands or hugging. Worshipers are urged to wear masks, avoid sharing prayer books or prayer rugs, keep their distance in pews and skip the collection plate. Large gatherings such as for concerts, weddings and funerals should be avoided. The guidelines say even with physical distancing, inperson worship carries a higher risk of transmitting the virus and increasing the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths and recommend houses of worship shorten services. Each county will have to adopt rules for services to resume within their jurisdictions and then the guidelines will be reviewed by state health officials after 21 days. Some church leaders aren’t eager to reopen. The Rev. Amos Brown, pastor of Third Baptist Church in San Francisco and head of the local NAACP chapter, led a protest Monday against reopening. “We are not going to be rushing back to church,’’ he said
by phone, noting that many leaders of his denomination have been sickened or died nationwide. Freedom of religion is “not the freedom to kill folks, not the freedom to put people in harm’s way. That’s insane,’’ he said. But a few churches have defiantly reopened their doors already, a handful have sued the governor, and several thousand were threatening to ignore his orders and reopen for Pentecost on May 31. Cross Culture Christian Center, a Lodi church that defied the governor and then sued him, said the guidelines were welcome but didn’t change anything. “Our church and places of worship across California have suffered greatly because our leaders chose to marginalize and criminalize faith-based gatherings,” Pastor Jon Duncan said in a statement. “If we are to remain free, we must never allow this to happen again.’’ Some places of worship around the country opened over the weekend after President Donald Trump declared them essential and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines for reopening faith organizations.
But some of the largest religious institutions in California are taking a more cautious approach. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange announced last week that it is phasing in public Masses beginning June 14, starting with restricted numbers of worshipers. At first, choirs will be banned, fonts won’t contain holy water and parishioners won’t perform rituals where they must touch each other. “We know that God is with us, but at the same time we have to be careful and make sure that we protect each other in this challenging time,’’ Bishop Kevin Vann said Friday. Two church services that already were held without authorization have been sources of outbreaks; one in Mendocino County and the other in Butte County. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. As of Monday, California had at least 94,558 confirmed cases of COVID-19, more than 3,000 hospitalizations and 3,795 deaths.
each year since 1996 when the state passed Prop 209, a law outlawing consideration of race and gender in hiring, awarding state contracts, college admissions and policymaking. The CHD proposal to update MHP contracting criteria comes at the time when Gov. Newsom has prioritized fast tracking housing for the state’s homeless population, which accounts for nearly one fourth of all unsheltered people the United States. African Americans — about 6 percent of California’s population — make up nearly 40 percent of the state’s homeless population. Last week, Gov. Newsom announced that he slashed funding for education, public health, and other state programs in his May Revise budget plan for the 2020-21 fiscal year. At the same time, he called for “increased housing affordability and availability,” as California struggles to contain financial losses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. That may explain why the MHP dodged deep cuts that trimmed other parts of the state budget, African American developers say. Alicia Murillo, Communications Analyst at the DHCD, explained that the proposed amendments are not final. “The guidelines are still in draft form and are evolving as we speak,” she told California Black Media. “A decision whether to publish any or all of proposed changes will not be made until after consideration of public comments.” Murillo said, adding that the recommended updates to the regulations came from staff and stakeholder feedback as the HCD worked to process applications for the voter-approved Proposition 1 funds. In 2018, voters authorized $4 billion in general obligation bonds to kick start affordable housing projects for lower-income households. The Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act (Proposition 1) approved $1.5 billion for the state’s Multifamily Housing Program. According to the CHD, more than 660 homeless Californians will be housed. Thanks to the December release of $127 million to fund 17 new MHP projects. The next round of Prop 1 funding is $262 million set to be allocated in June. Awardees will receive, on average, about $12 million per award with a maximum limit of $20 million. Opponents of the HCD rule change say MHP loans are an incentive for developers to sign on to projects for lower-income renters. “There is no affordable housing that gets built without these capital subsidies,” said Riverside-based housing developer
William Leach. As the founder of Kingdom Development Inc, Leach has produced about 30 affordable housing projects in the state. Leach says, as California faces a housing shortage, the HCD should not be making “a d m i n i s t r a t i v e statements.” In Los Angeles County, Murray’s organization, the Weingart Center is located a mile from Skid Row, a tent city where an estimated 4,757 people lived, according to pre-COVID-19 calculations. Weingart estimates it helps 40,000 Kevin Murray, President and people a year, CEO Weingart Center, a Los Anincluding providing geles based nonprofit developing temporary shelter affordable housing and other serand services. The county also vices. (Courtesy Photo) has the highest concentration of homeless people in the state and it is the epicenter of the states’s COVID-19 illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths. Smith says in communities like Los Angeles County, with large numbers of African Americans and other minorities, developers can play a critical role. “There’s power in developers who understand issues, and understand development, and understand how to advance issues that could be getting things done had they not been excluded,” Smith points out that it is red tape — not a lack of skill keeping people sidelined. There are “millions and millions of dollars that are wasted because the right people are not at the table,” she says.
California Lays Out Pandemic Rules for Church Reopenings Continued from page A1
to move quickly. Others with outbreaks _ such as Los Angeles County, which has about 60% of California’s roughly 3,800 deaths _ may choose to delay. Orange County supervisors may consider a resolution being introduced Tuesday to reopen houses of worship next weekend under federal and state health guidelines.
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New Rule Denies Black Developers Access to State Housing Funds
Continued from page A1
Murray agrees with the current rules. “An organization is only as good as its staff,” he argued in the letter that he submitted to the HCD during the public comment phase for the rule change, which closed on May 5. S o m e African American developers say race and gender are factors when it comes to contracting in California, and adding more rules could turn off even experienced developers in a state where landuse restrictions are stricter than in most states. Those advocates say minorities William Leach, founder of King- and women are dom Development Inc. based in often discouraged when they try Riverside. (Courtesy Photo) to participate in programs like MHP even if they are qualified. “They may say [forget] this affordable housing because it is political. ‘Go do other things,” says Veronica Smith, founder of Smith Impact Brands, Inc, a project management and affordable housing consulting service based in Sacramento. Smith is an African American woman who has development experience. In California, less than 1% of developers are Black, according to estimates by NewHawk, a Rialto-based consulting firm specializing in demographics and policy analysis. The California Legislative Black Caucus estimates women-owned and minorityowned businesses in the state have lost an estimated $1.1 billion
Thursday, May 28, 2020
THE VALLEY’S NEWS OBSERVER A3
FILM REVIEW: The Lovebirds
kidnapped and then drawn into a sex cult. Can they make it through the night? Nice setup. Actor turned screenwriter Aaron Abrams delivers a screenplay that has as a solid foundation for comedy. Odd characters, continuously evolving unimaginable situations and a beginning, middle and end frame the hysterics. A formulaic, TV sensibility thwarts those good intentions. The script persists in giving Jibran and Leilani too much dialogue. Add in the two leads penchant for running their comic mouths, and tedious scenes turn into verbal quagmires with no exit plan. A little, pointed back and forth is fine. Incessant talking tests patience. If the writer doesn’t know how to end a scene, it would be helpful if the editors (Vince Filippone and Robert Nassau) did. They don’t. They cut the footage down to 86 minutes, so the overall film is short, but most of the vignettes drag.
Every happy couple has one moment that defines their relationship. #TheLovebirds stars Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjani. (Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures)
By Dwight Brown NNPA News Wire Film Critic It probably looked really good on paper. Bickering couple gets caught up in a murder and goes on the lam. It’s just enough of a framework for two comic geniuses to flaunt their comedy licks. Kumail Nanjiani made a name for himself on the series Silicon Valley and hit it big with the romantic comedy The Big Sick. His screenplay, written with wife Emily V. Gordon, won an Oscar nomination. Issa Rae turned her YouTube series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl into opportunity after opportunity; from HBO’s Insecure to the very romantic film The
Photograph. The two are hot commodities in the entertainment world. They are as contemporary and edgy in this day as Eddie Murphy was in his, when he stumbled into Beverly Hills Cop and his career blew up. The key difference? That film’s director (Martin Brest), writer (Daniel Petrie Jr) and editors (Arthur Coburn and Billy Weber) flung a door open for him. Jibran (Nanjiani), a documentary filmmaker, and his lover Leilani (Rae) are a very modern couple. Not because they are multi-cultural, Pakistani American and African American, though that is very au current. More because they are so caught up in their Instagram, entrenched in Google calendars and
deeply neurotic. They barely function as humans, barely make a connection. Communications are usually verbal jabs and cryptic feelings that when expressed send mixed signals at best. After years of living together they still can’t read each other: “Is that your I wanna kiss you face?” says Leilani. Sister, if you have to ask him, you two need therapy. One fateful night in New Orleans, benign antagonism rises to a level of no return. “I don’t want to be with someone who is so f---ing insecure!” “I don’t want to be with someone who is a failure.” At the height of their squabbling they drive into a cyclist, who cracks the window of their Subaru Forester and starts them on a chain of mishaps. They’re carjacked by a murderer,
Filmmaker Michael Showalter displayed a great ability to direct urbane romantic comedy (The Big Sick). His stab at action/comedy/crime is less exact. The fight scenes, getaways and skirmishes suck. From the car sequences, to the fistfights, to the torture chamber (barn). Showalter’s background is in TV (Grace and Frankie, Love, Search Party) and that doesn’t translate well to action films. If he had taken some time to watch In Bruges, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels or even Pineapple Express, he might have created a style for The Lovebirds that was more fluid, cagey, smart and kinetic. Nanjiani and Rae do their thing. The direction does not. Some plot points don’t make sense. Why would the couple run away from an accident when they could just drive away? Too many times if feels like the actors and director are searching for the comic highpoint of a scene, never finding it, but continuing anyway. Hence, what’s on view often seems stiff and forced. The exception is the couple screaming along to the Katy Perry song “Firework,” in the back of an Uber. Or towards the end when it looks like their relationship may be mendable. These moments are precious. Cinematographer Brian Burgoyne’s lighting is far more flattering to Rae’s complexion than it is to Nanjiani’s, for no apparent reason. His inability to shoot action scenes with any zest makes the footage dull visually. Clayton Hartley’s production design, Neil Floyd and Selina van den Brink’s set decoration and Megan Coates costume design are definite assets. Michael Andrews’ musical score adds certain spirit. Nanjiani and Rae, separately and together, are fun to watch. Their take on humor seems innate. They‘re photogenic. They are likable—nearly loveable. Whether on a talk show, cable TV or on-screen, something about their personalities wants you to look, listen and laugh. Their insights on being Asian and African American today is so timely and engaging you want to ride along them on their life journeys. A really smart producer would reimagine the 1934 film The Thin Man and adapt it for this very talented duo. In that classic film, a former detective named Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora investigate a murder case, mostly for the fun of it. Nanjiani and Rae would know how to work those roles. With the right team, they could turn that film into a popular franchise (a la Rush Hour, but less manic). The Lovebirds had potential. Nanjiani and Rae were up to the challenge. Stilted direction, a persistently talky script and imprecise editing left them performing without a net. Regardless, this talented duo should have a bright future. Visit NNPA News Wire Film Critic Dwight Brown at DwightBrownInk.com and BlackPressUSA.com.
AUTONETWORK ON BLACKPRESSUSA: By Frank S. Washington NNPA Newswire Contributor DETROIT – We did not get as much seat time in the 2020 Nissan Sentra as we would have liked thanks to the lock-down brought about by the coronavirus. But we did spend enough time to come away with an opinion about the car – it is big in a good way. We do not mean physical size but the 2020 Nissan Sentra drove big. That is not bad for a compact car and a new chassis did not hurt. Nissan made what it called extensive upgrades to the Sentra’s platform. The most important was a new independent rear suspension. This opened rear seat room; enough to accommodate a six-footer. We did not climb in the back seat during our really short time behind the wheel. But we did note the openness of the back seat and we did not need to sit in it to tell that it was spacious and comfortable. To handle the bigger dimensions of the 2020 Nissan Sentra, the car got more oomph under the hood. For 2020, the Sentra’s engine was bumped up from a 1.8-liter four cylinder to a 2.0-liter four cylinder. Horsepower increased to 149 which was a 20 percent improvement over the previous model. And more importantly, torque was improved 17 percent to 146 pound-feet. This engine provided more than enough power for the day in day out routine of driving. We found it responsive and more than powerful enough. About the only thing we did not like was the continuously variable transmission or CVT. But it was not just this one, we do not like them period. Still, for a CVT the Sentra’s was not bad. The car’s acceleration, a weak point for most CVTs, was enhanced with a D-mode step shift program that simulated shifts, giving the Sentry a more natural acceleration feel without holding a high rpm constant, letting rpms build as speed builds. The D-step logic control helps provide enhanced drivability with a stable, natural and crisp shift feel. We had to concentrate on the drivetrain to make sure the Sentra had a CVT. That is how well the Xtronic transmission worked. Fuel economy was 29 mpg city, 39 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined for the S and SV grades and 28 mpg city, 37 mpg highway and 32 mpg combined for the SR grade which is the trim line we test drove. It is hard to believe that the Nissan Sentra has been around for almost 40 years. And over that time, it has evolved. Because of its new platform, the new generation was two inches lower and two inches wider. That gave it a presence that most compact cars in the past just did not have. The press material said the Sentra’s premium presence of the exterior was highlighted by Nissan’s signature V-motion grille,
2020 Nissan Sentra SR
The 2020 Nissan Sentra (Photo: Frank Washington)
available thin LED headlamps and floating roof. Designers used sharp creases that blended into the muscular body sides. The rear had a lower roofline and wider shoulders, with wheels flush to the body enhancing the strong stance. We had the top of the line SR, thus, it had LED lights all round: headlights, rear lights, DRLs and fog lamps. Our test car
had a two-tone paint job, rear spoiler, 18-inch alloy wheels and black heated exterior mirrors. We thought the heated front seats and the heated steering wheel on our test model especially noteworthy. The test vehicle had leatherette seats front and rear. There was a six-way power driver’s seat with a two-way power lumbar support.
There were extra things that you would not expect like automatic dimming mirrors, an around view monitor and a quilt pattern interior with orange stitching. The 2020 Nissan Sentra SR was a lot of car for what we thought was very reasonable $25,325 as tested. Frank S. Washington is editor of AboutThatCar.com
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THE VALLEY’S NEWS OBSERVER
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Privacy Bill: Kobe Bryant’s Death Inspired Moves Forward Antonio Ray Harvey California Black Media On May 20, the California Assembly Public Safety Committee approved a bill that would make it illegal for first responders to take pictures or record video of a deceased person at the scene of an accident or crime. Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Los Angeles) authored the bill, AB 2655, titled the “Invasion of Privacy: First Responders” act. AB 2655 is one of the few non-coronavirus-related bills that has moved in the legislature since the global pandemic began. Now that the Public Safety Committee has approved the legislation, it has been referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for review. “No person, including our first responders, should ever take photos of a deceased person for their own personal gain,” Gipson reacted to his colleagues’ yay vote. “I am grateful that the Assembly Public Safety Committee agrees and helped move this bill forward.” First responders like police officers, fire department personnel, emergency medical technicians, and medical examiners have special access to the scenes of accidents and other incidents involving deaths. Those public employees have many legitimate reasons to capture images of a deceased person, but AB 2655 draws a line, pushing the notion that obtaining photos for personal purposes exceeds the scope of their duties. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is sponsoring the legislation. “I was very pleased our bill cleared its first hurdle in the Legislature today as it seeks to address a significant deficiency in current law and brings peace of mind to the families of accident victims,” Sheriff Villanueva said. “I look forward to its continued success through the process.” The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department announced in March that eight of its deputies were responsible for sharing images taken at the site where retired NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna “GiGi” Bryant died in a helicopter crash. Seven other people, including the pilot, also died in the fatal accident that happened on Jan. 26 in Calabasas, a city nestled in the hills northwest of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles County Fire Department also became the focus of the investigation of the photos that were posted online and in some public places like bars. Existing law generally prohibits “the reproduction of any kind of photograph of the body, or any portion of the body, of a deceased person, taken by or for the coroner at the scene of death or in the course of a post mortem examination or autopsy, from being made or disseminated.” If passed, AB 2655 would specifically make that prohibition a misdemeanor. This bill would also authorize a search warrant to be issued on the grounds that “the property or things to be seized consists of evidence that tends to show that a first responder has engaged or is engaging in the crime established by AB 2655.” On March 2, Sheriff Villanueva went on record to acknowledge that eight of his deputies participated in capturing and sharing graphic photos of the accident scene after the helicopter Bryant, his daughter and friends were traveling in crashed into a hillside on a foggy Sunday morning.
“When I first got word of this information I just felt devastated,” Villanueva responded to the allegations in March. “To have any action of our deputies compile (the families’)
Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board. The legislation would require that all helicopters be fitted
helicopter, it is likely the tragic crash could have been avoided.” Other Assemblymembers who voted yes on AB 2655 are: Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles),
Kobe Bryant at a game at Arco Arena in Sacramento January, 2016. (Photo Credit: Antonio Ray Harvey)
suffering, that breaks my heart. It’s a sense of betrayal because these are my own employees.” A few days after Bryant’s death, U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA-30) introduced a bill in the United States Congress titled, “The Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act.” The legislation proposed tightening federal safety standards for helicopters implemented by the Federal Aviation
with a Terrain Awareness and Warning System. Currently, these systems are recommended by the FAA but they are not enforced, Sherman said in a written statement. They cost between $25,000 to $40,000 per helicopter. “Kobe Bryant’s helicopter did not have this system when it crashed Jan. 26,” Sherman stated. “Had this system been on the
who is the chair of the Public Safety Committee; Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda); Wendy Carrillo (D-Boyle Heights): Tyler Diep (R-Westminster): Sydney Kamlager (D-Los Angeles): Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles); and Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland).
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Janelle Monáe, Jidenna, Angela Rye, Wondaland and Inglewood Unified School District Invite You to
Wondalunch Event in Inglewood will Provide Free Meals to Thousands of Local Families
LOS ANGELES – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (aka Auntie Maxine) invites her community to receive free, prepackaged lunches at the “Wondalunch” in Inglewood event on Friday, May 29, 2020 from 12-3pm at Crozier Middle School (120 West Regent St, Inglewood, CA 90301). The event is being hosted by singer, songwriter, actress, and producer, Janelle Monáe, Jidenna, Angela Rye, Wondaland, Congresswoman Waters, and the Inglewood Unified School
District in an effort to provide thousands of meals for families that have been impacted by COVID-19. Other event partners include KJLH Radio, Project Isaiah, the Billups Foundation, and the Social Justice Learning Institute. All residents of the community are welcome. Please wear a mask. Drive-thru and walk-up service will be provided in accordance with local public health guidance. All families are asked to pre-register by visiting: tinyurl/wondalunchonus.
Kobe Bryant taking questions at a press conference in Sacramento January, 2016. (Photo Credit: Antonio Ray Harvey)
COVID-19 California Church Reopenings Statement by Pastor “J” Edgar Boyd, Senior Minister, First AME Church of Los Angeles The DOORS of FAME Church are open and have been throughout this Shelter in Place order given by Mayor Eric Garcetti. While no in-person assemblies being are being held for worship, Bible Study, prayer groups, and other related gatherings, FAME’s full menu of ministries and services have never ceased. Our telephone, email, and social media platforms are managed each day, providing a response to needs and requests. The FAME Food Pantry is operated outside, on-campus each fourth Saturday. All three of our worship services are streamed each Sunday, and our clergy are responding to the spiritual needs of the congregation. Like many other religious congregations, we have effectively adapted all of our religious functions to distance
ministry, available through communication technology. We have benefitted from the leadership of our governor, mayor, and county officials related to safe practices on and off-campus, at FAME. While many church leaders have found it necessary, for various reasons, to re-open their doors and resume worship, FAME Church is carefully setting in place necessary protocols for health and safety, while we are guided by the data provided by the Centers for Disease Control, and other civil authorities before re-opening our doors for in-person worship and religious gatherings. While we respect the decisions made by other religious leaders in resuming their in-person religious activities, we believe our approach is safe for us. First African Methodist Church of Los Angeles (www.famechurch. org)
Thursday, May 28, 2020
THE VALLEY’S NEWS OBSERVER A5
NFL Announces Major Steps to Incentive Teams to Hire Minorities for Top Posts By Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent National Football League teams must now interview at least two minority candidates for head coaching positions under new resolutions that the league hopes will improve diversity among its 32 teams. In an expansion of its Rooney Rule, which had previously called on teams to interview minority candidates, the league said teams must also interview at least one minority candidate for coordinator openings and one external candidate for positions in teams’ front offices. “While we have seen positive strides in our coaching ranks over the years aided by the Rooney Rule, we recognize, after the last two seasons, that we can and must do more,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said during a media conference call. “The policy changes made today are bold and demonstrate the commitment of our ownership to increase diversity in leadership positions throughout the league.” Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations and second-in-command to Goodell, said the league is now in a better position to not only hire minorities and women but to retain their services. “What the chairman (Art Rooney II) and the commissioner did today and what the ownership voted on today has been a fight for decades to get mobility that has disproportionately affected people of color,” Vincent stated. “Just the ability to get an interview, you don’t get hired unless you have an interview. The mobility resolution today was significant and historic, because it has been a fight for decades. That’s the foundation. Frankly, we would call that the linchpin of these inequalities. With these initiatives, the enhancement of the Rooney Rule, which is a tool; it just allows us to have a broader
scope of how we look at things.” The new rules include a provision that begins in 2021, which states that teams will no longer restrict staff from interviewing with other clubs for “bona fide” coaching or front office positions. Goodell called the commitment to improving diversity throughout the league is “critical” for future success. “While we have seen positive strides in our coaching ranks over the years aided by the Rooney Rule, we recognize, after the last two seasons, that we can and must do more,” Goodell said. “The policy changes made today are bold and demonstrate the commitment of our ownership to increase diversity in leadership positions throughout the league.” Clubs also will be required to “include minorities and, or, female applicants in the interview processes for seniorlevel front office positions such as club president and senior executives in communications, finance, human resources, legal, football operations, sales, marketing, sponsorship, information technology, and security positions,” according to the expanded rule. Also, league officials stated that they would use an advisory panel to further strategies aimed at fostering an inclusive culture of opportunity both on and off the field. Goodell also promised to improve the league’s pipeline for minority coaching and player personnel candidates with assistance from its Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship. “This fight has been going on for a long time,” said Vincent, who could one day become the league’s first African American commissioner. “The facts are we have a broken system, and we’re looking to implement things to change the direction in where we’re going, and it’s been south. Not a gradual south but a direct south.”
Brian Custer Introduces the Last Stand Podcast
By Cameron Buford whatsgoodinsports.com If you’ve watched college football or basketball on FOX in recent seasons, or even watched some Premier Boxing Championship fights on Showtime Championship Boxing, you’ve heard the passion and exuberance of one of the busiest men in sports. The Emmy Award-Winning Brian Custer has been a sports broadcaster for over 14 years now. Brian also finds time to work as a commentator for CBS on their coverage of the BIG 3, in addition to hosting an NBA Show on Sirius XM Radio. I recently had the opportunity to discuss Brian’s journey in sports, as a motivational speaker, his bout with Prostate Cancer along with the purpose of his new podcast, Last Stand. This article will summarize our introspective discussion. The Columbus, Ohio native is a self-proclaimed “mommas’ boy,” largely as a result of losing his father in a horrific car accident, while his mother carried him before his birth. Brian openly says, ”I didn’t really figure out that I didn’t have one until… I was like 5 or 6 when kids would tease me about it saying, ‘“You don’t have a daddy.”’ When asked about the impact of growing up without a father, Brian shared, “I had strong people who raised me: my grandmother and my mother. They were both Christian, and always made sure my brother and I, A) Had a spiritual side to us, and B) be proud of who we were.” He explained that he was taught to, ”make sure you treat people with respect.” ”When you have females raising you,” he continued, ”You have great respect for women, and they make sure you are raised to be a good man. No matter what happens to you, be proud of who you are, and know you can accomplish anything that you want to accomplish. I think those are the key values that my mother, my grandmother, and my (new) father, have given me.” Having played multiple sports growing up, Brian like many others, “had dreams of being in the NBA,” adding that “he loved television as well.” Interestingly enough, Custer admits to being a big fan of Nightline in middle school, which gave him the desire to combine both industries. He explained, “I knew when I was younger, whether it was Junior High or High School, I was going to be a sports broadcaster. I was one of the kids that was always focused, so I knew this was going to be part of my life.” With regards to his motivational speaking, Custer, a Hampton University alum, and a lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi, shared a touching quote, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you realize why you were born!” Having admittedly gone through “some really extenuating circumstances that have made me who I am today,” he said, ”I think that I like to share those types of things with people.” Aside from being a living inspiration himself, I was very interested to know from Brian how he incorporated motivational speaking into Sports Broadcasting. “I think it really goes hand in hand…, “he said. ”When I’m not on the road, I’ve always loved to give a good message to inspire someone. I just love sharing my message, and a lot of times when you’re doing sports, it’s the same thing. You’re sharing a message, whether it’s a game, or it’s about a player… it really goes hand in hand.” When asked which sport he has the most fun with as a commentator, Brian told me, “Whatever sport is in season!” If you are familiar with his work, you’ll know that he has many options to choose from. As he continued to say, “I’m feigning now because we usually would’ve just wrapped basketball season. Lately, I’ve been doing BIG 3 in the summer for Ice Cube’s league. While getting ready to gear up for college football. So, for me, its whatever sport is in season, that’s the one I’m fully enthralled in. Luckily for me, boxing is every month.” Understanding that Brian is very confident in his knowledge and abilities, I wanted to know what he would consider his “ah-ha” moment in broadcast sports. “Hosting and covering Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, and Mayweather vs. MacGregor, on Showtime Pay Per View, may have been the oddest of events because all of a sudden, so many people were watching, and it was like you were trending,” he re-
calls. “You were trending on different things, whether it was on social media or Facebook. Suddenly, people were contacting you who you went to elementary school… and high school with.” I then asked Custer, what has been the most exciting event you’ve covered? He, without hesitation, said, “Mayweather vs Pacquiao would be #1, and Mayweather vs MacGregor #2.” He did expound on that by saying, “Mostly, Mayweather vs MacGregor because it was so out there. That one had me shaking my head a little bit because I was just doing my job. But then all of a sudden, that was the first time my voicemail was full.” Growing up in the 1970s, and being infatuated with Bruce Lee, Brian decided to fulfill a lifetime desire to do Martial Arts training. Though it took about 30 years, he finally walked into a Tae Kwon Do studio, and loved the training, just as he expected. “The first day I loved and the instructor was great. He talked about (how) it’s an art; it’s the way you live, and it’s going to teach you not only the self-defense part, but a way of living, and how to be so strong mentally.” Brian shared more on the virtues of Martial Arts by saying, “that’s really what Martial Arts is about. It’s not being more physical than someone else, but you’re mentally tougher than someone else. I just loved it; I ate it up… The journey to become a Black Belt, it took a good 5 years to become a black belt. Then, you just want more, and another couple of years to get the 2nd Degree.” After being diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in July 2013, Custer told fellow Sports Broadcaster, Scott Ferrell that he was “shocked, surprised and embarrassed” upon receiving the diagnosis. He had his prostate removed in August 2013, then endured 39 radiation treatments, the last one in March of 2018. I was curious about how much Brian attributed his Tae Kwon Do training to his overcoming Prostate Cancer? He told me, “It goes hand in hand. When I got diagnosed, I was 42. I was strong, tough, and in the best shape of my life. You get that surgery, they cut six spots in your stomach. For a lot of guys, it takes months upon months to recover from that, and I think I had surgery, in August, and I was back at work at the very beginning of September. As opposed to someone that really recovers after 3 or 4 months. I think I was back to work in about three weeks.” He followed that up by saying, ”I wouldn’t recommend that to anybody. One of the reasons why is because I was in phenomenal shape from Martial Arts. A lot of abs, and a lot of pushups, so my core was really strong.” He continued to tell me about a visit he received from his Martial Arts trainer who told him, “You’re a Martial Artist, you’re tougher than anybody.” He continued to say, “It’s here in your mind, he was right. Doing those little things every other day snapped my body back into shape. It helped me from a mental aspect too. I wasn’t going to let this thing beat me; anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer knows it’s more mental than physical. It’s the mental that would bring you down quicker. You have to fight that, and that’s probably the reason I recovered so quickly.” I wanted to ask this Emmy Winning Broadcaster what was the best advice he has received. He eloquently stated, “Never say, I can’t, and never say something is overwhelming! Make sure to surround yourself with people who are strong where you are weak!” Knowing that Brian has a lot on his plate, I was also interested in understanding his motivation to create his Last Stand podcast. He explained, “This is what I call a labor of love. Once the pandemic hit, I found this was the best opportunity to bring this labor of love to fruition. I wanted to make sure we [give our audience] unfiltered, straight talk, great stories, and yet people come away with something. Everyone keeps saying, Joe Rogan is the Podcast king, maybe I’ll become the black Joe Rogan.” Custer’s Last Stand Podcast came out the gates strong with guests like future NFL Hall of Famer Donovan McNabb, then Hip Hop and Movie mogul Ice Cube. He’s got more exciting guests on deck including Dusty Baker, the new Manager of the Houston Astros, which drops next week; (Welterweight Champion) Errol Spence Jr, and Villanova Head Coach Jay Wright the following weeks. Then we can expect comedian Michael Blackson, and Terrence Bud Crawford. Lastly, I asked Brian what’s the best example you’ve seen of someone paying it forward? He shared with me a thoughtful story that happened within his own home. “I haven’t been paid in 3 months. We were watching church not too long ago and my wife went right upstairs and came back downstairs with a $1,000 check and sent it to the church.” In a note to the pastor she wrote, ‘”Aside from the offering, this is for COVID Relief, give it to somebody in need.”’ It was a pleasure to learn about Brian’s past, his passion for life, and his work, through our discussion. Be sure to tune into his new podcast, Last Stand, for more great dialogue on sports and life. You can also hear our complete conversation by scanning over this stories photo by using your “Observer Interactive” App. Kindly share your thoughts on this article and what you may have learned about Brian’s Sports Broadcasting career, by reaching out to me on Twitter @whatsgoodnsport or forward your thoughts to email@example.com. Additionally, be sure to subscribe to our weekly “Voice of the Fans Podcast” which is available for you on most podcasting platforms, Apple and Google Podcasts including Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio. As always, Thank You for making our voice, your choice!
National Football League (NFL) Commissioner Roger Goodell delivers remarks during an event at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., launching an initiative between the Army and the NFL to work to raise awareness about traumatic brain injury. (Photo: U.S. Defense website / SSG Teddy Wade / Wikimedia Commons)
Hall of Famers Patrick Ewing and Dave Bing share a moment at the Mohegan Sun HOF ring ceremony. (Photo Credit: Earl Heath)
Basketball Great Patrick Ewing Test Positive for Virus By Earl Heath Contributing Sports Writer Basketball Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing has tested positive for the coronavirus, in an announcement last week. The current Georgetown coach was under care and isolated for a few days in the hospital. He was released and sent home after a brief stay. “I want to thank all the doctors and hospital staff for taking care of my farther during his stay, as well as everyone who reached out to us with thoughts and prayers to us since his diagnosis.” Ewing Jr. tweeted. One of those who reached out was former Hoya and NBA star Dikembo Mutombo. “We are praying for my brother, coach Patrick Ewing,” said former Hoya Mutombo in a statement. “He is going to be okay.” Ewing who began to coach the Hoyas in 2017 is the only member of the men’s basketball program to have tested positive for the virus during the ongoing pandemic. During his college career Ewing led the Hoyas to three NCAA titles games helping
them win their only national championship in 1984. He earned first-team All-American honors in three consecutive years from 1983 to ‘85. He was named the Naismith College Player of the Year award in 1985. Ewing was an 11-time NBA All-Star with the New York Knicks averaging 22.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocks during his 15-year career with the Knicks, Seattle Super Sonics and Orlando Magic. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008. Following his famed NBA playing career, Ewing took over as Georgetown’s head coach in 2017 after spending 15 years as an assistant coach for four NBA franchises. “I want to share that I have tested positive for COVID-19. This virus is serious and should not be taken lightly,” Ewing said in a statement. “I want to encourage everyone to stay safe and take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Now more than ever, I want to thank the health care workers and everyone on the front lines. I’ll be fine, and we will all get through this.”
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Thursday, May 28, 2020