ATHLETES AND POLITICIANS: CHILDREN ARE STILL NOT FIRST–GUNS ARE!
In December 1968 Kids In Trouble host its first Christmas toy party. Santa Claus is my Virginia Sailor teammate, the late LB George Kelly. The Sailors were a minor league football team for the Washington Redskins.
Santa’s Helpers: Redskin LB Dave Robinson–LB Harold McLinton (Santa)–WR Roy Jefferson listen as DC Superior Court Judge Luke C. Moore gives the welcome address during the annual KIT toy party.
In 1968 NFL legend and Hall of Fame player Willie Wood of the Green Bay Packers along with U. S. Marshall in-Charge Luke C. Moore and I walked arm in arm down the U Street NW corridor during the 1968 riots. Our goal was to save as many lives as possible in one of the worst riots in DC history.
Little kids looting during the riots and today are dying in those same streets
Young people’s blood is flowing in the streets in DC and nearby Baltimore at record rates. Today, 50 years later I have lost count of how many young people I have lost (gun violence, jail, drugs, incarceration, etc.) too many to count. DC and Baltimore are on track to add to its data base a record number of homicides. Guess who the victims are!
I am more familiar with how many lives I have saved at this stage of the game. It seems like they are popping up everywhere. Robert Glen a young man who lived across the street from my mother-in-law in Suitland, Maryland. He is a graduate of Morehouse College. He is in the class where billionaire philanthropist Robert F. Smith paid off 40 million dollars in student debt. Little Robert was a 12-year-old hotshot basketball player in the neighborhood with a hoop attached over his garage door. He challenged me one day and I took him to hoop and beat him. He was in shocked. He asked me to play another game and I refused (I was 70 years old). We played friendly games of H-O-R-S-E thereafter. He recently thanked me along with his parents for being a role model to him. I guess he never got over the shock of an old man beating him. You never know who is watching.
In June I encountered another one of my young men driving a UPS truck on a busy street corner on Capitol Hill. I was there preparing for my “We Remember Muhammad Ali” tribute at the Miracle Theatre. He was once a young wannabe thug hanging out on the corner of 7th & T Streets, NW. I was trying to be a mentor, but he disappeared without a trace and no one seems to know his whereabouts. He told me he had been locked up in jail for the past 8 years and he had just been released a year ago. UPS gave him a second chance to get his life back on track and he wanted to thank me for reaching out to him when he was a knucklehead. I cannot remember his name if it would save my life!
Antonio Logan-EL was a two-year-old kid hanging out with his grandfather when I met him. I watched him grow into a 300 pound promising All-American football player at Forrestville High School in Forrestville, Maryland. The story of how he got from Point A to Point B (elementary to high school) is interesting.
Three-year-old Antonio Logan-El is front and center sitting on a Baby Grand Piano at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown DC. The occasion, the Kids In Trouble Life Time Achievement Awards. His proud grandfather a recipient is standing on the left George Logan-El.
Santa’s helpers (NFL, NBA, MLB) have played important roles in my community endeavors, for example; Marc Logan is a 10-year vet and a former NFL RB he played with the Redskins from 1995-1997.
Antonio and his Little League teammates were the guests of Marc Logan at Redskin Park in 1996 and his guest as he co-hosted several KIT toy parties.
Antonio’s grandfather the late Dr. George Logan-El was my friend and partner in the community. He was a native Washingtonian, a dropout, former ex-con, junkie and well-known drug abuser in The Hood. George is the best example of someone who pulled himself up by his bootstraps without the straps. He led by example, he cleaned himself up and went back to school and earned his GED, college degree and his Ph.D. in social work. He helped find “The Untouchables” a group of at-risk young men in the Alexandria, Virginia school system.
In the meantime, George a single parent was trying to go to school and raise his daughter Nichole a single parent with a young son named Antonio and nephew Chris.
The late Dr. George Logan-El and Grandson Antonio Logan-El today.
Marc was an inspiration to Antonio and KIT youth. He reached back with no strings attached. He didn’t just talk the talk, he walked the walk.
Marc congratulates pro boxing Featherweight Champion Mark ‘Too Sharp’ Johnson. L-R DC Boxing Commissioner the late Dr. Arnold McKnight, NFL legend Lenny Moore, NFL RB George Nock, NBA legend Sam Jones and I look on.
Antonio’s grandfather died of cancer before he was supposed to make his ill-fated college football debut at Penn State. I promised George on his death bed that I would keep a close eye on his grandson, but sometimes you have to let go and let God (see link below).
Despite failed NFL dreams, a few hiccups in his life’s journey, Antonio graduated college and has followed in his grandfather’s footsteps. Today he is somewhere working with at-risk children in the DMV.
Marc attends KIT gospel concert at Bible Way Church in NW DC as Apostle James Silver makes a presentation as I look on. He picked up where former Redskins left off, the late LB Harold McLinton, Roy Jefferson, Ted Vactor, Dave Robinson, and Doug Williams. Marc is back home in Lexington, Kentucky with his eyes on the prize. He is looking for a building to open a Charter School.
President Trump’s recent attack on Baltimore and its popular congressman, Elijah Cummings didn’t go over well but it had some merit. In Baltimore, there were 175 victims with fatal head wounds in 2018 which accounted for 57% of the homicides. More than 150 people have been killed through the end of June of 2019 a 17% increase in homicides over the same period last year. Counting non-fatal gunfire more than 500 people were shot–an increase of more than 25%. Their neighbor 30 miles to the south Washington, DC the homicide rate is up 5% from 93 in 2018 to 98 in 2019. There is a “Health Crisis” in DC and Baltimore in the black community, but no one seems to care, especially the black athlete. There is one exception in DC, meet Washington Mystics’ player Natasha Cloud. She has more balls than most male role models and superstars Bradley Beal and John Wall of the Wizards. In a video she called out Mayor Muriel Bowser and leadership in Ward 8 one of the most dangerous communities where the Wild-Wild West is played out on any given night. Leadership is pretending to be deaf-mutes to the violence surrounding them, but it all starts at the top! (see link). https://wjla.com/news/local/wnba-player-demands-answers-after-dc-school-shooting?fbclid=IwAR2z0qQ5SHA33OAvFefxjjhOEug_2O3LNB0w_ipcvHyPEDQoWsAnyOr3jbM
I remember it was 1974 because of the violent overtones of the name Washington Bullets, the late owner Abe Polin wanted to change the name before moving the team to DC from Landover, Maryland. After much debate the new name would be Wizards–still 45 years later the murder rate has skyrocketed–much to do over nothing.
The Wizard’s organization and its players are under the impression of going into the community and giving away toys, and turkeys will help bring the crime rate down in the community. A recent press release read, “NBA All-Star John Wall and the John Wall Family Foundation (JWFF) will host a Back to School Backpack Giveaway on Saturday, Aug. 3rd. This is the sixth consecutive year that Wall and his foundation have held this event. After this year’s event, the JWFF will have donated over 6,500 backpacks to students in the Washington, D.C. and Raleigh, NC areas.
It is too bad that John and the Wizard’s organization didn’t think to make the backpacks equip with bulletproof vests.
I hated to see Paul Pierce leave the organization he could have help these young guys grow into men.
The organization is clueless for example, their PR staff had a racist leader in charge and he despised blacks in media including me. The Roundball Report a PG County cable television show had made a request for press credentials for several of their female reporters including Christy Winters Scott (now a Wizard’s contributor). The PR guy gave them a hard time and the run around on several requests. Andrew Dyer the host and producer of the show ask me to see what the problem was. I requested a meeting with the PR guy. Instead, I meet with another member of the staff, Scott Hall and one of his go-fers by the name of Darren Jenkins. Problem solved, but I smelled a rat. They fired the problem PR guy and put Scott Hall in charge, years later they bring the racist PR guy back through the “Back Door” (he now works for the Mystics).
I have said on many occasions that some white folks don’t know when they are being racist because they have never had to walk in a black man’s shoes—meet Ted Leonis and Scott Hall all this BS starts at the top and filters down.
The organization recently fired GM Ernie Grumfield after 16 years of FREE money and no progress (White Privilege). With Grumfield gone Ted Leonis decided to restructure the Wizard/Monumental Sports with a new leadership team.
According to Leonis, “We have formed a new leadership team with a forward-thinking structure to adapt to the ‘new NBA’ that requires every possible strategic advantage to compete and win. We are building a leadership brain trust with deep Wizards/NBA experience and with sports professionals from inside and outside the NBA to challenge our thinking and adapt to an ever-increasing competitive environment.”
The New Brain Trust: Ted Leonsis, Tommy Sheppard, Sashi Brown, Daniel Medina, John Thompson III, and Mike Thibault.
When I saw the name John Thompson III I knew it was the blind leading the blind (‘Today’s Good Old Boy Network’ welcomes a few token blacks). Anyone in bed with John Thompson II could careless about people of color. Thompson was quoted in the Washington Post Magazine saying, “My favorite color ins green”!
Pro basketball fans in the DMV have little or no opportunity to see NBA championship basketball in their lifetime. Racism is so thick in today’s America you could easily cut it with a knife. I received the press release relating to the organization structure the day after the event. It was emailed to me by one the team’s designated Go-fers, Darren Jenkins! Did anyone notice they quietly slipped Dwight Howard out that same “Back Door” hoping no one would notice! They finally realize he brought too much baggage to the organization and everyone seem to know but Ernie Grumfield.
PR man Scott Hall tried “Back Door” me by sending Howard to one of our juvenile facilities to talk with at-risk kids. The entourage included, a Washington Post beat writer and former Washington Post/NBA TNT analyst Dave Aldridge. I immediately called Hall out for No. 1 assigning Howard with all his baggage to talk with young black boys who maybe aware of the baggage he brings with him. No. 2 he assign his in-house media who had no history of working in the inner-city with at-risk young boys, and had never been in a juvenile facility in the DMV! The visit and photo opt never took place, Howard developed a strange problem with his ‘Backside’!
P. S. When they didn’t resign play by play man Steve Buckhantz, I was through with them. Steve was the best play by play man to ever step in the building. He was a class act for 22 years and he carried himself accordingly. Steve I wish you nothing but the best. You deserve better.