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This ain’t April and this blog is not “April Fool.”

According to The Eonomic Policy Institute. It said, 50 years after a major study on inequality, no gaines seen for Black America.” In 1968 the Kerner Commission convened to examine the causes of civil unrest in black communities. The Presidential Commission issued a report with a conclusion: America was moving toward two different societies, ‘One black, one white—separate and unequal.’

Fifty years after the historic Kerner Commission identified “White Racism” as the key cause of pervasive discrimination in employment, education, and housing “There has been no progress in how African-Americans in comparision to whites when it comes to homeownership, unemployment, and incarceration, according to a report released in the last week of February—Black History Month.

In some cases Afro-Americans are worse off today than they were before the civil rights movement culminated in laws barring housing and voter discrimination, as well as racial discrimination.

For example, 7.5 percent of African-Americans were unemployed in 2017, compared with 6.7 percent in 1968—still roughly twice the white unemployment rate.

The rate of home ownership has remained virtually unchanged. For African-Americans in the past 50 years. Black homeownership remains just over 40 percent, trailing 30 points behind the rate for whites, who have seen modest gains during that same time.

The share of incarcerated Afro-Americans nearly tripled between 1968 and 2016–one of the largest and most depressing developments in the past 50 years , especially black men, researchers found, African-Americans are 6.4 times more likely than whites to be jailed or imprisoned, compared with 5. 4 times as likely in 1968.
How much more praying do we have to do?

We have not seen progress because we still have not addressed the issue of racial inequality in this country,” said John Schmitt, an economist and vice-president of the Economic Policy Institute.

The wealth gap between white and black Americans has more than tripled in the past 50 years. according to Federal Reserve data. The typical black family had zero wealth in 1968. Today the median net worth of white families –$171,000–10 times that of black families.

The lack of economic progress is especially startling given that black educational attainment of both high school diplomas and college degrees has improved sigbificantlyin the past five decades.

Unless we can find away to get rid of this black skin and blend in with white folks, our children are in a world of trouble. To clearly understand why, for the past 50 years we have sat on our hands styling , profiling and singing “We Shall Overcome Someday!”

Black America you have “Widen Home Plate” to understand what I am talking about read my recent blog and don’t blame the messenger.



“Just because you ignore me; don’t mean that I’m not here.”

–James A. Green, Pastor
Indianapolis, Indiana

TRAIL BLAZERS: “The road to success is not a path you find, but a trail you blaze”.

Washington DC ‘back in the day’ talk show host Ralph Waldo “Petey” Greene, Jr. would soon turn the nation’s capital into ‘P’ town with his on-air delivery, and off-air style. What is generally not known is that Harold Bell, in 1967, got his start in radio Sports Journalism on “Petey Greene’s Washington.” Oh, there were days of hammering out scripts on a manual typewriter, chasing down local sports teams and a variety of sports stars, and putting together a show that kept him, Petey and the DC market happy, humming and asking for more.

These days, Bell after close to five decades of making his debut (1970) on sports talk radio and changing the way we talk sports in America, he continues to write, interview and produce blogs titled: “The Original Inside Sports and Black Men in”. He still makes the rounds of the DC market, whether it’s a Wizard’s game, or watching pee-wee football or talking with sports ‘newsmakers’, checking in with old friends, or keeping up his passion for helping Black youth to achieve their dreams behind the microphone and in the locker room. He still mentors a few young men by taking them out to learn the craft of Sports Journalism from the street and high school levels on up. He is the most decorated media personality in the country. Some of the sports media on air personalities who came through Inside Sports before their 15 minutes of fame include, Dave Bing (NBA),James Brown (CBS), Michael Wilbon (ESPN), Dave Aldridge (TNT), Sugar Ray Leonard (ESPN), John Thompson, Jr. (ESPN), Bill Rhoden (ESPN), Larry Fitzgerald, Sr. (ESPN), Grant Hill (ESPN) and Cathy Hughes (Radio & TV One) to name just a few.

Bell shows no signs of slowing down. His energy in the pursuit of truth on the court, on the field, or in the Game called life is well known. So well known, in fact that it drew the admiration of one well-known sports icon: Muhammad Ali. He met Ali on the campus of Howard University in 1967. Their unique relationship and conversations are now Legendary. Bell did the unthinkable more than 40 years ago in 1974…scooping ABC sports icon Howard Cosell, 60 Minutes’ Ed Bradley, and NBC’s Byrant Gumble. This was just days after Ali had become the heavyweight champion of the world again, in Zaire, Africa. The match was the iconic ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ against then-undefeated champion George Foreman. The Foreman/Ali match up had Ali as the underdog. History was made that night in Africa against all odds by Ali. The interview focused on an unfiltered view of Ali’s life, immediately after one of the more crucial boxing matches of his career. It was a no holds barred interview real life, with Ali as he was.

Bell left the entire sports media world scratching their heads again in 1975. He became the first black to host and produce his own television sports special in prime time on NBC affiliate WRC-TV 4. His special guest was “The Greatest.”
There is a short “Teaser” of the interview on You Tube with an introduction by Emmy Award winning actor Robert Hooks, who is also a big fan of Bell’s and Ali. It’s a step back in time; to a time where reporting was made by heart, hustle, and ‘have mercy’. Bell makes the grade with this look at the champ. As Black History is being oppressed and told by others with hidden agendas, there is still hope that Bell’s piece of exclusive Black sports history will be seen by more eyes, and heard, by more ears. The late sports columnist Dick Heller of the Washington Times called Bell “The God Father” of sports talk, his sports media journey and one of a kind interview with Ali makes it difficult to call Heller a liar.

He has been called a lot of things by people who requested anonimity, but the one title given him that use to bother him, the word ‘Activist.’ He says, “I could not understand why using truth to power and being an advocate for children long before Columbine and Parkland made me a ‘Trouble Maker’? I am thankful, I have lived to see where being an Activist and Making Children First have become a part of the American landscape.” I have even called him ‘The Original Black Panther!’

To understand the mindset of Harold Bell, you would have to understand his heroes were not the black athletes he admired like Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, Paul Roberson, Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, John Carlos, Tommie Smith and Muhammad Ali. His heroes could not run the 100 yard dash in 9 seconds, hit a baseball out of the park, throw a football 60 yards in the air or hit a jump shot. His heroes were black women, his mother, Mattie and his grandmother, Amy Tyler Bell.

Bell says, “It does not get any better than to sit on the Mountain Top with Ali

Mike Ramey is a Minister, Reviewer and Syndicated Columnist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. He brings current and lesser-known titles to light to re-kindle a love for reading and thinking in a sea of modern technology. Feel free to reach him via email at © 2018 Barnstorm Communications.

Lift up Christ and lay the sinner low. –C. H. Spurgeon


Assistant Chief of Police Tilmon O’Bryant DC’s first “Community Cop of the City.”
Mediating a truce on Harrison playground with boys in the hood in NW DC: Officer Charles Robinson of the 3rd District talk with me, Ricky Dargan and Kirby Burkes.
A Police Community Relations success story was when Mayor Marion Barry came up with the idea of ‘Cops and Robbers’ on the same team to ‘Play Ball’ together. Harrison Playground coached by me won the city championship.

NBC WRC-TV 4 aired a Black History Month special on Sunday February 25, 2018. The program looked back on the 1968 riots in Washington, DC without an eye witness account. NBC WRC TV4 relied on he say, she say to tell our story and history. I was on the U Street corridor during the riots for 4 days. I was working as a Roving Leader (Youth Gang Task Force) for the Department of Parks & Recreation aka the DC Department of Recreation.

There were no present day reporters working for news outlets in 1968. The stations were, TV-4, TV-5, TV-7 and TV-9. The print media outlets like the Washington Post and the Evening Star had all white reporters and none dared to venture out into the inner-city for a eye-witness news report during the riots.

Max Robinson, Jim Vance, Fred Thomas, Paul Berry were all hired after the fact.

The eye-witnesses seen and heard on the NBC Special “April Up Rising” were all frauds especially, Saundra Butler Truesdale who was seen being interviewed in Ben’s Chili Bowl. She was nowhere to be found. The exception was Mayor Walter Washington. He spoke with me and my co-worker NFL Hall of Fame player Willie Wood at 7th T Streets, N. W.
iN 1967 Mayor Washington made a bold move when he hired Patrick Murphy the former Police Commissioner of the New York City Police Department to overseen the DC police and fire departments. Mr. Murphy was known as “The God Father of Police Community Relations. One of the first things he did on his arrival was to make arrangements to meet once a month with The Roving Leader Program (youth gang task force). When the riots hit DC we were prepared to hit the streets. Thanks to Mr. Murphy and Mayor Washington many lives were saved.
Burtell Jefferson was the first black Chief of Police in DC and he followed Tilmon’s lead in reach back efforts in the community.
Mayor Washington and ‘Boys in the Hood’ gather on Bannecker Playground on Georgia Ave. after the riots. The Mayor told us that FBI Director J Edgar Hoover wanted to shoot looters on sight. His response to him, “Not on my watch!” He earned our respect forever.
Former U. S. Marshall and DC Superior Court Judge Luke C. Moore and Chief Judge Gene Hamilton.

Luke was the first modern day U. S. Marshall appointed by the President of the United States. He joined Willie and I to walk arm and arm down the U Street corridor. The first businesses owners we spotted were Ben’s Chili Bowl owner Ben Ali and John Snipes. They were standing in front of the bowl with several other residents. Snipes came over to talk with me and Willie and Luke went over to talk with Ben.

Luke returned to tell us that Ben had received a call telling him to close his business. Luke was not a happy camper, he could not understand the order because there would be nowhere for the cops and military personnel to eat if all the restaurants were closed. He left us promising to return,

in the meantime, I had been summoned to the 3th District Police HQ by my friend “Mr. Community Policing”, Assistant Chief Tilmon O’Bryant. To my surprise he swore me in and gave me police badge and no gun. The badge was to assist me in getting through the police and military barricades being put into place around the city. I was not a happy camper with this idea, but Tilmon stroked my ego and send me on my way. He rose through the ranks as the civil rights movement was taking root in the nation. He was a tough-minded, but fair officer who spoke out on race issues. He was committed to his job. He withstood pressure and prejudice to become a leader. He encountered opposition when he moved to end segregation in the department even while some of the “Good Old Boys” didn’t particularly like what he was doing.

He began his career as a patrolman in 1947 in what was then the 2nd Precinct, a notoriously crime-ridden area of the city. Within six years, he achieved the rank of captain. His promotion came at a time when few black people held supervisory ranks in the department. It was widely believed on the force that that the highest position a black could attain was detective sergeant, a non-supervisory role. The so-called “Glass Ceiling” in the department never stopped him. In fact he shattered it, when he was named Assistant Chief in 1972 making him the highest ranking black in the history of the department.

In 1959, the police department installed a merit system for promotions that combined written examinations and supervisor’s ratings. Shortly after, Chief O’Bryant and then officer, Burtell M. Jefferson, started an off-duty study course in Jefferson’s basement for black officers interested in taking the promotion exams. In the first two years that the classes were held, 20 out of 21 of their “students” received promotions.

Burtell congratulates my brother Earl as he graduates from the DC Police Academy

When the city administration had difficulties attracting minority candidates to fill vacancies on the police force in 1968, it turned to Chief O’Bryant. He recommended that the times and locations of the tests be changed to accommodate the average worker. In his recruiting, Chief O’Bryant visited churches, civic associations and bowling alleys. His aim was to destroy the twin myths about police: “the department doesn’t want {blacks} and that {blacks} don’t want to be police officers.” In 1957, black policemen made up roughly 12 percent of the force. By 1969, the percentage had climbed to 30. Thanks to Tilmon.

Three months after he started his recruiting efforts, Chief O’Bryant was named commander of the 13th Precinct in my old neighborhood in NE DC, which had been heavily damaged during the riots that followed the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in April of 1968. By then he had gained popularity from rank-and-file officers, as well as residents of the city.

In 1970, he became director of a newly created training and personnel division. His recruiting methods were innovative and sometimes controversial. It was his ideal to create an all-day radiothon to recruit cadets and dropped the minimum age to 20. Three years later, he was promoted to assistant chief in charge of field operations, becoming the highest-ranking black officer in department history at that time.
Kids In Trouble Police & Youth Gang Forum: Congressman Tom Davis (R-Va) and NFL legend Jim Brown are the co-host.

In the meantime, the Chili Bowl was allowed to remain open thanks to Luke calling President Lyndon Johnson and asking him to allow Ben’s to stay open to help with the feeding of the military personel and cops. The President gave Luke the okay and he called the Chief of Police and had the order rescinded. Any thing else is made up BS.

I was out there for 4 days and I never saw Marion Barry, Congressman Fauntroy, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Petey Greene or anyone from Lee’s Flower Shop and no one from Industrial Bank were on the U Street corridor during the riots. Snipes and Ben were always present. Ben’s Chili Bowl “Historian” Bernard Demczuk did not come to town until after the “April Uprising” but there he was acting like an expert witness on the black community? The Fake News account was orchestrated by NBC TV 4 who had no clue.

The rest of the “Usual Suspects” may have community ties, like Saundra Butler-Truesdale who was seen being interviewed in Ben’s Chilli Bowl telling lies about her community involvement, but was nowhere to be found during the riots. She was even quoted saying how change in the U street corridor has improved the lives of the black community. Evidently, she has not read the recent Washington Post story compiled by the Economic Policy Institute saying, “50 years after a major study on INEQUALITY, no gains seen for blacks!”

Some people will say and do anything to be seen and heard on radio and television. Most of these expert eye witnesses emerged after the tear gas and smoke had cleared. I am not sure about the body count stats that were given–my count was three dead, one on Minnesota Ave. NE and two in NW DC.

Another “Little known Black History Fact” as it relates to the media: The television format for 7 On Your Side was first heard on W-U-S-T Radio. Former WJLA TV 7 anchorman Paul Berry got the idea and concept for the first ever television consumer help program in a guest appearance on Inside Sports. I piggy-backed off of my mentor the legendary radio and television icon, Petey Greene. In 1967-68 I was the sports voice of “Petey Greene’s Washington” heard on W-O-L Radio on Sunday evenings.

Paul Berry made an appearance as a guest on my Inside Sports talk radio show in the early 80s. He was surprised by the number of phone calls I was receiving from my listeners asking me for advice and help. The problems would range from employment, politics, school, DC Superior Court Court, police harassment, sports, etc. The callers were all seeking my advice and assistance in these matters. One caller ask Paul for his advice relating to her boyfriend liking the Dallas Cowboys and she was a Redskin fan. She wanted to kick him to the curb. Paul took the 5th and she was not happy with his response. She than ask me if I was on her side and I said, “Lets see what the next caller has to say about that” and I took the next caller.

Paul and I co-host a Inside Sports Celebrity Fashion Show

After the show Paul asked me if the calls were like that every Saturday and I said, “Always.” He thought I should expand the show to another hour, but I was happy with the one hour time slot. He also tried to convince me to leave DC and go to a smaller market and come back to one of the major outlets here in DC.

His advice went in one and out the other, there was no way I was leaving my home town of Washington, D. C. for parts unknown. Anyone who was someone would eventually find their way to the Nation’s Capitol and I was right.

Two months later I turn to TV 7 NEWS and there was Paul with 7 On Your Side. He had convinced the management at the station to allow him to bring 7 On Your Side to the airwaves and the rest is television history. Now every local television media outlet in America has a 7 On Your Side or something similar. It all started in Washington, DC on Inside Sports.

Paul became a big star in TV news and would spent decades in the news department winning several Emmy Awards. In the 90s in a contract dispute the station refused his salary demands and shown him the door never to be seen on local news again.

Melvin Lindsey, Jim Vance and Dave Dupree attend Kids In Trouble toy benefit.
Jim Vance and I volunteer at ‘The Roy Jefferson Reading Center’ on K Steet, NW

The print, radio and television media personalities that came through Inside Sports and Kids In Trouble in there first ever reach back efforts in the community read like a who’s who in media. The list include, the late Jim Vance (TV 4), Fred Thomas (TV 7), Maureen Bunyan (TV 7), Paul Berry (TV 7), Lark McCathy (TV 5), James Brown (CBS), Cathy Hughes (TV One), Michael Wilbon (ESPN), Dave Aldridge (TNT), Melvin Lindsey (WHUR Radio), Donnie Simpson (WKYS/BET), Bill Rhoden (ESPN), Larry Fitzgerald (ESPN), sports personalities who turned TV personalities, John Thompson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Adrian Dantley, and Adrian Branch. The only trail blazer and media pioneer to escape my community and sports talk show programs was the great television pioneer Max Robinson (TV 7).

The gang is all here: The Kids In Trouble Board of Directors.

Max and I were like ships passing in the night. We would see each other at press conferences and wave or blew our horns as we encountered each other on the then mean streets of DC . Max would later become the first black news anchor on national television. He co-anchored ABC World News Tonight with Frank Reynolds and Peter Jennings from 1978-1983.

Maureen Bunyan, Lark McCathy and Donnie Simpson during Foxtrapp toy drive.

There was a moment I will never forget, the popular CIAA Basketball Tournament was being played in Max’s hometown of Richmond, Virginia. I was sitting in the Marriott Hotel where I was staying and having breakfast one morning when I looked across the room and spotted Max. We went through our usual ritual and waved to each other and I kept on eating and reading the paper. The next thing I knew, I was looking up and he is standing in front of me. He said, “Come on over I want you to meet someone.” I followed him over to his table and he introduced me to his mom and dad.

The next words that came out his mouth left me speechless, he said, “Mom and dad I want you to meet my friend Harold Bell, he has the best sports talk show in Washington, D. C.” It was a very emotional scene for me, because it was like I had found a long lost brother and he was introducing me to our parents. I knew he was seriously ill and fighting several demons. Two years later he died. I have never forgotten that morning at the Marriott in Richmond, Virginia–talking about a kodak moment—Priceless with a giant in media–my friend Max Robinson.


Red Auerbach

NBA legend Red Auerbach and abolitionist John Brown had more in common than the color of their skin. These two white men stood up for black folks when they could not stand up for themselves.

John Brown for example, is famous for leading a small group on a raid against a federal armory in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia), in an attempt to start an armed slave revolt and destroy the institution of slavery (sounds like Red Auerbach to me).

John Brown was born in Connecticut in 1800 and raised in Ohio, Brown came from a staunchly Calvinist and anti-slavery family. He spent much of his life failing at a variety of businesses–he declared bankruptcy at age 42 and had more than 20 lawsuits filed against him. In 1837, his life changed irrevocably when he attended an abolition meeting in Cleveland, during which he was so moved that he publicly announced his dedication to destroying the institution of slavery. As early as 1848 he was formulating a plan to incite an insurrection.

In the 1850s, Brown traveled to Kansas with five of his sons to fight against the proslavery forces in the contest over that territory. On May 21, 1856, proslavery men raided the abolitionist town of Lawrence, and Brown personally sought revenge. On May 25, Brown and his sons attacked three cabins along Pottawatomie Creek. They killed five men with broad swords and triggered a summer of guerilla warfare in the troubled territory. One of Brown’s sons was killed in the fighting.

By 1857, Brown returned to the East and began raising money to carry out his vision of a mass uprising of slaves. He secured the backing of six prominent abolitionists, known as the “Secret Six,” and assembled an invasion force. His “army” grew to include 22 men, including five black men and three of Brown’s sons. The group rented a Maryland farm near Harpers Ferry and prepared for the assault.

On the night of October 16, 1859, Brown and his band overran the arsenal. Some of his men rounded up a handful of hostages, including a few slaves. Word of the raid spread, and by morning Brown and his men were surrounded. A company of U.S. marines arrived on October 17, led by Colonel Robert E. Lee and Lieutenant J. E. B. Stuart. On the morning of October 19, the soldiers overran Brown and his followers. Ten of his men were killed, including two of his sons.

The wounded Brown was tried by the state of Virginia for treason and murder, and he was found guilty on November 2, 1859. The 59-year-old abolitionist went to the gallows on December 2, 1859. Before his execution, he handed his guard a slip of paper that read, “I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.” It was a prophetic statement. Although the raid failed, it inflamed sectional tensions and raised the stakes for the 1860 presidential election. Brown’s raid helped make any further accommodation between North and South nearly impossible and thus became an important impetus of the Civil War.

The black folks (NAACP) protesting the Boston Police Department for honoring Boston Celtic Coach Red Auerbach during Black History Month, should be reminded, “You don’t throw bricks when you live in a glass house!”
HBell, Red Auerbach and Earl Lloyd celebrate Black History Month

I remember when the black community in the late 70s was accusing the Boston Celtics of being the most racist team in the NBA on sports talk radio in Washington, DC. It was during an interview with Washington Post sports editor George Solomon on my Inside Sports talk show, I suggested that I write a column proving them wrong and I did.

I reminded black folks who didn’t have a clue, in 1950 Chuck Cooper of Duquesne University and a second team All-American was drafted by coach Red Auerbach and owner Walter Brown. Cooper would become the first black player drafted and signed by an NBA team. The NBA is now the most integrated pro sports organization in America. Despite that fact, the plantation mentality still lingers, but the Boston Celtics are no longer the bad guys. The NBA history today is a watered down version of the history that I lived.
Boston Celtic coach Red Auerbach and owner Walter Brown shake hands after drafting first black player, Chuck Cooper.

Red was the first coach to play five black players at the same time. He was first to hire the first black coach, Bill Russell and the first to hire a black General Manager, aka Bill Russell. During the tenure of owner Walter Brown and Red Auerbach the Boston Garden was a “Racial Free Zone.” The stifling racial strife in the city of Boston for the past several decades was not allowed in Boston Garden during Celtic games. When games were played in the garden the Redneck riff-raff had to check their KKK robes and hoods at the gate and replace them with shirt and tie, or blue jeans and tee-shirts. Boston Garden security had orders to show the exit to those who did not comply.

When the basketball hall of fame had forgotten the contributions of pioneer Earl Lloyd the first black player to play in an NBA game in 1950, Red, sports columnist Dick Heller and I reminded them. When Earl brought the omission to my attention and ask for my help, I invited Boston Celtic Hall of fame player Sam Jones, CBS/NFL studio host James Brown, WOL Radio One talk show host, Butch McAdams, Andrew Dywer and Christy Winter-Scott of The Round Ball Report to have lunch with me at Union Station to discuss a Game Plan to get him inducted into the hall of fame.

NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd

The timing could not have been better, the NBA All-Star Game was to be played in Washington, DC at the MCI Center in February 2001 and it was just a few months away. I laid out the plan to honor Earl during that weekend. First event would be in his hometown of nearby Alexandria, Virginia with a Earl Lloyd Day. There would be a youth basketball clinic and a tribute in his honor later that evening in Washington, DC at the historical Bohemian Caverns. James Brown had agreed to co-host the tribute with NBA/Playground Basketball legend Sonny Hill.
Sam Jones, HBell, James Brown and Earl Lloyd celebrate Black Histoy Month

In a conversation with James on our exit from Union Station he asked me, “Harold did you check with Abe Polin?” I pretended I did not hear him and I ask him to repeat himself and he did. I could not believe my ears, my response, ‘I don’t work for Abe Polin and he ain’t my father!’ He said, ‘OK’ and made his exit never to be seen again. The next time I saw him and questioned him about his disappearance. He said, ‘I don’t remember making that committment’ and he has been lying ever since.
CBS/NFL Studio host Jame Brown a benefactor of Inside Sports

“Harold has always been a voice for people who didn’t have a voice. He has always called them as he saw them. He has been an inspiration and motivation for me and a lot of other black broadcasters.” James Brown (NFL CBS Sports)

The evening turned out to be a winner, my ace in the hole was NBA Godfather Red Auerbach. There was a sabortage attempt, and I detected Earl getting a little weak in the knees, he regrouped when I told him Red Auerbach would be at the tribute. The tribute was a success and it was the only All-Star event Red participated in that weekend. Basketball royalty was in attendance, K C Jones, Al Attles, Earl Monroe, Phil Chenier, Jim ‘Bad News’ Barnes,Sonny Hill, Sam Jones, Wizards’coach Leonard Hamilton, and Clarence ‘Bighouse’ Gaines.

Earl Lloyd was finally inducted into the Naismith Basketball of Fame in 2003 over fifty years later. Thanks to Red Auerbach, and the late Washington Times sports columnist Dick Heller without them Earl never would have made it, better late than never.

EARL & DAVE Scan0003
Earl Lloyd’s 2003 induction into the NBA Hall of Fame–NBA legend Dave Bing looks on.

There is a familiar warning, “If you don’t know your history you are bound to repeat it!”

We were warned by the Kerner Commission in 1968 assembled to find out the reason for the disturbing uprisings in the inner-city. The Commission “forewarned that we were headed for two different societies, one black and one white, seperate and unequal” and here we are 50 years later.

The Kerner Report was released on February 29, 1968, after 7 months of investigation. The Report became an instant best seller, and over 2 million Americans brought copies of the 246 page document. Its finding was that the riots resulted from black frustration at lack of economic opportunity. Dr. King pronouced the report a “A Physician’s warning of a approaching death, with a prescription for life.” The prescription had no refills.

The Kerner Report suggested that one main cause of urban violence was white racism and suggested that white America bore much of the responsibility for black rioting and rebellion.

The report berated federal and state governments for failed housing, education and social-service policies. The report also aimed some of its hashest criticism at the mainstream media, “The press has too long basked in a white world looking out of it, if at all, with white men’s eyes and a white perspective.”

For the past 50 years black leaders, politicians, ministers, judges, educators, law enforcement, media personalities and especially my hero, Congressman John Lewis and the Congressional Black Caucus have sit on their hands singing, “We Shall Overcome” while doing absolutely nothing to improve the plight of the poor and down-trodden.

First, they made Bill Clinton “The First Black President” to keep hope alive and he did absolutely nothing. The first Black President Barack Obama took the country by storm and at last the caucus was singing a brand new song, “Free at Last!” By the time President Obama made his decision to attend his first ever Black Caucus Week End Dinner, his first words to them were, “Stop complaining.”

Enter surprise, President Donald Trump. His first words to Congressman John Lewis after Lewis called him a illegitimate President, “All talk and no action.” Trump’s response is equivalent to Obama’s shoutout to the Congressional Black Caucus. The problems that people of color are having were decades in the making, long before Donald Trump. You cannot lay all this BS at Trump’s White House, despite the fact he does have issues.

There is a familiar warning, “If you don’t know your history you are bound to repeat it!”

Dotie and Red Auerbach they just didn’t talk the talk, they walked the walk.

Red and Dotie on Inside Sports share a laugh with telephone guest tennis icon, Jimmy Connors.

The Red Auerbach effect was evident in 2011, NBA awards were handed out to Ray Allen of the Celtics, the Player of the Year, Dwight Howard of Orlando the Defensive Player of the Year, and Coach Mike Brown of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Coach of the Year. Rookie of the Year was Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose and the Sixth Man of the Year was Dallas Mavericks, Jason Terry. The NBA’s leading scorer, rebounder, and assist leader, the recipients were all black. The footprints in the sand left by Red Auerbach and Walter Brown can still be seen all over the league.

Red Auerbach’s won-lost record in Human and in Civil Rights was nothing to sneeze at—-he was in a class by himself. The NAACP needs to read its own history, they honored Red in 1960 during Black History Month for his many contributions to human and civil rights. This is the same honor the Boston Police Department has bestowed on him 58 years later, where is the beef?

When I coined the phrase, to close my sports talk show in the 70s “Every black face you see is not your brother and every white face you see is not your enemy”, Red and President Richard Nixon were the inspiration.


How can we make February Black History Month and ignore the contributions of white folks? Two wrongs don’t make a right. Red Auerbach, and the Brown Boys, Walter and John–the common denominator, they freed a lot of people. My question to the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus—whats in your wallet?

Red has the last word /



In the February issue of ESPN the magazine the cover story is title “The State of the Black Athlete!” When I opened the magazine and saw the editor-chief was a former Washington Post writer and go-fer by the name of Kevin Miranda I knew right away this was a Fake News Story. Kevin has no clue as it relates to the black community or to the black athlete. ESPN in Connecticut has long been the outpost for “Washington Post North.” Former Washington Post columnist Jill Nelson wrote a book titled “Volunteer Slavery: My Authentic Negro Experience” The book details her experience as a volunteer slave while writing for the Washington Post in the 80s.

I remember a Washington Post senior sports writer confiding in me that Sports Editor George Solomon ran the sports department like Adolf Hitler. Former columnist Michael Wilbon use to cry on my shoulder of how Solomon use to look over his shoulder and change his column. Former employees called the paper “The Plantation on the Potomac”. When one of their writers John Walsh hijacked my tag and title “Inside Sports” in 1978 I was disappointed but not surprised. Newsweek now owns the copy rights to Inside Sports and the Washington Post owns Newsweek. I guess you could call this the luck of the draw!

Let me tell you about The State of the Black Athlete in America and how much progress he has made as it relates to pro sports. An equal opportunity employer they are not, for example, when it comes to the hiring of blacks as coaches, managers and sharing ownership is almost non-existent. In 2018 there are four major sports franchises, the NBA, NFL, MLB and the NHL. Each franchise has 30+ teams and at the end of the day that is a total of 120 teams with a total of maybe 14 coaches and managers (give or take). There is only one Afro-American/Black owner among the 120 sports franchises. To call this a plantation is an understatement. NFL owners have locked out and blocked black ownership and stunted the growth of Black America.

Someone please explain to me why are there folks mad at NFL players for not standing for the flag during the playing of the national anthem in NFL stadiums? This protest was started last year when 49er QB Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and the racism taking place in stadiums across the NFL. Unarmed black men were and still are being used as target practice in police departments across America.

The media, politicians, and NFL owners changed the narrative to Colin Kaepernick was disrespecting military men who gave their lives for this country.

I don’t know how many of you are aware that the first professional athlete was a slave on the plantation in the early 1800s and he played without a contract and free agency was out of the question. The only difference is the modern day slave is paid millions of dollars to put his life on the line betting he won’t develop CTE and too many are losing that battle. The owners make billions of dollars to watch the mayhem from their sky suites with their wives and children safely out of harm’s way cheering on the slaves. This is today’s, “Good Old Boy’s Club” with their motto, “If you are black its best you get back, if you are brown you can stick around, and if you are white you are all right!”

Two of my favorite people, NFL Hall of Fame LB Sam Huff and Willie Wood both are victims of CTE.

Super Bowl 52, the final score on Sunday January 4th 2018 Philadephia Eagles 41 NE Patriots 33. The Price was still not right—let me explain.

On a Saturday morning 26 years ago January 25, 1992 Super Bowl 26, the Washington Redskins were playing the Buffalo Bills in the Hubert Humphrey Metro Dome. I interviewed Minnesota Spokesman columnist and talk show host Larry Fitzgerald Sr. He had become a regular on my Saturday morning Inside Sports Media Roundtable. His son Larry Jr. would often answer the telephone on those mornings and yell, “hey dad its’ Mr. Bell in Washington, DC. Now that same little 8 yr old Larry is now considered one the greatest Wide Receiver to ever play in the NFL and a first round ballot hall of fame player.

In that interview with Larry Fitzgerald Sr. We talked about the hiring of Dennis Greene the first black head coach for the Minnesota Vikings and the hiring of Clem Haskins as the first black head basketball coach for the University of Minnesota and one month later the university hires its first black Athletic Director, Dr. McKinley Boston. All these historical events took place 26 years ago.

Larry Fitzgerald remembers NFL Coach Dennis Greene and Super Bowl 1992


The first NFL world championship game was played in 1958, the participating teams were the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants. It was the first ever sudden death overtime world championship game. The Colts beat the Giants 23-17. The game was called the greatest game ever played in the NFL. On the winning Baltimore Colt team, there were two players who wore the number 24, running back Lenny Moore and a brash rookie cornerback named Johnny Sample.

In 1959 the world championship game was re-named The Super Bowl, because the upstart AFL had wiggled its way into the league and they wanted a piece of the pie. In 1959 the NFL Green Bay Packers faced off against the upstart AFL champions, the KC Chiefs. It was no contest the Packers beat the Chiefs like a drum 35-10. In 1960 the Packers returned to play the AFL rep Oakland Raiders and it was no contest again, the final score was 33-14.

There was a black player who played in those two back to back Super Bowl games as a member of the Green Bay Packers, he was the co-captain of the team. He wore No. 24, his name was Willie Wood. Willie graduated from Armstrong High School in Washington, DC and he took his education to the next level by attending Coalinga Jr. College in California. He spent two years there and transferred to the University of Southern California.

It was there he became the 1st black quarterback in the school’s history. In 1958 he was a walk-on for the Green Bay Packers and a starter as a free safety his second year on the job. The rest is NFL history, he was named to 7 NFL All-Pro teams, led the league in interceptions and punt returns. Legendary coach Vince Lombardi called him “My Coach on the field.” He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1989.

The AFL had been embarrassed the first two Super Bowls, but guess who was coming to dinner in 1969, the New York Jets and CB Johnny Sample, he was the co-captain and the Jets were given no chance of beating the NFL’s best, the Baltimore Colts. The AFL would finally get its revenge the Jets beat the Colts 16-7. Some have called this the greatest upset in American sports history! Jet QB Joe Namath was named the MVP but according to him his teammate Johnny Sample could have easily won the award. Willie and Johnny both wore No. 24 and were the QBs on the defensive side of the ball.

In that 1959 game against Kansas City, Willie broke open a close game with a timely interception thrown by QB Len Dawson and he returned it to the four yard line. KC was never able to recover.

Similar Johnny had a back breaking interception against QB Earl Morall and the Colts never recovered. Remember there was no love lost between these two teams, Johnny played for the Colts in 1958 when they beat the Giants in that sudden death overtime. Over a decade later Johnny can’t wait to meet his old team, he talked trash all the way up to kick-off and was still talking trash when the gun went off to end the game.

Lenny Moore was the other No. 24 who played in that 1958 sudden death overtime for the Colts. He was named the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1956. He played 12 years in the NFL and he put the catch in the running back position. He caught so many passes out of the backfield the Colts creative a position that would later would become known as “the flanker back!” In the 60s the Colts were the deadliest passing team in the NFL with TE John Mackey, the great WR Ray Berry and Lenny Moore. The greatest QB of that era was a man they called The Ice Man—Johnny Unitas. Lenny scored a touchdown in a NFL-record 18 consecutive games starting in 1963 and continuing through the entire 1964 season, the streak ended in 1965. This record stood for 40 years until being equaled by LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005. He was selected to the Pro Bowl seven times. Lenny was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1975.

Johnny Sample had the distinction of beginning and ending his career with championship wins in two of the most famous games in professional football history, he won a NFL championship (1958), a AFL championship (1969), and a World Championship (1969). He is the only player to play on two different World Championship teams in two different leagues. The NFL Baltimore Colts in 1958 and the AFL New York JETS IN 1969. In 1963 Johnny was playing for the Washington Redskins when his friend and teammate Gene Big Daddy Lipscomb was allegedly to have died from a drug overdose in Baltimore at a friend’s apartment. According to a press release from the NFL and Commissioner Pete Rozell the drug was heroin. Johnny disagreed because he knew Big Danny was scared of needles. He sued the NFL to clear his friend’s name—he won and lost at the same time. The NFL blackballed him from participating in anything connected to the league including the Hall of Fame. Big Daddy was like a brother to Johnny.

In retirement Johnny taught himself how to play tennis and went on to become the USTA No. 1 ranked player in the 45 and over age group. He organized and ran the largest youth tennis program in the city of Phila. He was a respected linesman on the pro tennis circuit at the US, French, and Australian Opens. These assignments earned respect and helped him to become the first black chair umpire.

willie wood
Lenny, Johnny and Willie were the first NFL players to reach back into the community to enhance the growth of inner-city kids using my non-profit organization Kids In Trouble, Inc. as a vehicle as early as 1968.

In 1970 Johnny wrote a book titled “The Confessions of Dirty Football Player” in a Legends of Inside Sports Roundtable, I teamed him up with All-Pro safety Willie Wood, All-Pro WR Roy Jefferson, young CB JB Brown of the Miami Dolphins, sports talk show host Sonny Hill and celebrity host All-Pro NFL legend, Jim Brown. / stay tune the screen goes blank for 2 minutes.

Johnny should be in the NFL Hall of Fame, I understand there is a move underfoot to petition the hall of fame. The problem, there are no Harold Bells, or sports columnist like the late Dick Heller of the Washington Times or Presidents of NFL teams with the mentality of NBA Red Auerbach to right these kinds of wrongs in pro sports. Today’s radio and television sports host and talkers like NFL/CBS studio host James Brown, ESPN’s Michael Wilbon, ESPN’s Kevin Blackistone, all came through Inside Sports before their 15 minutes of fame, they are all talk, but no walk.
Willie thanks the late Dick Heller for helping to get him inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame

Let us not forget Phila. native son ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and my mentor and Johnny’s good friend, talk show host Sonny Hill. I would think that Sonny would be leading the petition drive to get his friend inducted, but I have no clue! I know James Brown was once a close friend of Johnny’s daughter Evelyn. Elmer Smith is a former sports columnist of the Phila. Inquirer would be a great asset, that is a great foundation to get the ball rolling, but what do I know!
Someone might really need to throw a cold bucket of water on James to wake him up.

Note Worthy: There is a documentary titled “The First to Play” the life story of NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd the first black to play in a NBA game. The documentary is a scam organized by a scam artist named, Arka Senguta of Indian descent. He has already scammed thousands of dollars from NBA players as investors. He bounced several checks to his researcher in Alexandria, Virginia and has reneged on paying his office staff. I requested that my scene in the documentary be deleted.

The documentary is to be aired during Black History Month during the NBA All-Star Game. I have already alerted, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, San Antonio Coach, Greg Popovich, Michelle Roberts (NBPA), Michael Wilbon, James Brown, Mike Wise (ESPN’s Undefeated), Dave McKenna (ESPN’s Dead Spin), Sonny Hill, it looks and sounds like all my contacts are deaf and dumb with exception of one, but he is on an Island. I never had a major media platform to toot my horn. Inside Sports was heard on low-signal AM stations if you drove around the corner you could not hear my show. Despite the odds I still campaigned and help get two pro athletes inducted into their respective hall of fames. They were Willie Wood (NFL 1989) and Earl Lloyd (NBA 2003). They were both black balled and ignored by their peers and beat writers on the voting committee.

In the final analyst, The State of the Black Athlete, he is on a runaway train going to hell in a hurry with no station in sight.

You can read my Bleacher Report blog on Johnny Sample titled, “He was a Dirty Football Player—but he was a stand-up brother!” and my other blogs can be read on and


John Scolinos was a hall of fame college baseball coach. He coached Pepperdine University from 1948-1960 and Cal Polytech Pomona University from 1953 to 1991.

This is one of the most inspiring stories I have ever read when it comes to making America really GREAT. If you are truly interested in making America GREAT, don’t ignore this GREAT presentation by the late GREAT Coach John Scolinos who takes us on a journey of truth to power.

The story is told by Chris Sperry a baseball consultant who develops players and amateur coaches, assists professional scouts, and counsels families of prospective college-bound student-athletes. He holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from the University of Portland, the same institution at which he served as head baseball coach for 18 years. His key interests are in player and personal development as they pertain to a life in and beyond sports. In January 1996 he attended his first American Baseball College Association Convention.

It all started in Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA’s convention.
While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh, man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who is John Scolinos, I wondered. No matter; I was just happy to be there.
In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.
Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy?
After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.
Then, finally …“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate
around my neck,” he said, his voice growing testy. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility. “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.” Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?”
After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches?”, more of a question than answer.
“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth’s day? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?”
Another long pause. “Seventeen inches?” a guess from another reluctant coach.
“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”
“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.
“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”
“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.
“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?” …………“Seventeen inches!”
“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in
the Major Leagues?”
“Seventeen inches!”
“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls. “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello !” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter. “What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy. You can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider
still, say twenty-five inches.’”
“Coaches…” pause, “… what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice? When our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven? What if he gets caught drinking? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate? The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold. He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the
crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”
Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag. “This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”
Silence. He replaced the flag with a Cross. “And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate for themselves! And we allow it.”
“And the same is true with our government. Our so called representatives make rules for us that don’t apply to themselves. They take bribes from lobbyists and foreign countries. They no longer serve us. And we allow them to widen home plate, and we see our country falling into a dark abyss while we watch.”
I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curve balls and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.
“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools & churches & our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”
With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside, “… dark days ahead.”
Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach. His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players — no matter how good they are — your own children, your churches, your government, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.”
And this my friends is what our country has become and what is wrong with it today, and how to fix it.
“Don’t widen the plate.”

Note Worthy: Coach Scolinos was much like Muhammad Ali, He spoke truth to power. It was in the 1990s the Catholic Church was receiving significant media and public attention as it related to sexual abuse. The abuse included boys and girls, some as young as 3 years old, with the majority being between the ages of 11 and 14 aka Dr. Larry Nassar U. S. Olympic team. Education has spiraled out of control, discipline has become a thing of the past, grade fixing and violence has made it all but impossible for a child to learn in a safe environment. The parents are lost, the government and our preachers are looking for love in all the wrong places (the bank). Thank you to all the GREAT men and women who have inspired and touched my life as I have tried not to “Widen the Plate” against all odds. The question, “Have I made my community a better place than I found it–I tried! Thanks to Mike Ramey for bringing this GREAT and inspiring story to my attention.


Has anyone seen my old friends–you look around and they are gone?

In 1906 the cry “Read All About It” (metaphor) was a headline found on the front page of a San Francisco newspaper “Earthquake and Fire San Francisco in Ruins.” The newspaper was, The Call–Chronicle-Examiner.

I decided to research the history of today’s local newspapers and what role did they serve and play in local communities!

The Library of Congress BLOG has an interesting take on their role in a blog written by Matt Raymond on June 7, 2009.

He said, “Resources for local history, no form of publications captures the day to day life of a community and its citizens better than the local newspaper. Alongside the headlines proclaiming great and small events are editorials, human interest stories, obituaries, sporting events and business reports that as a whole provide a record of the community in which those events take place.

For historians, genealogists, and other scholars, newspapers provide first-hand and sometimes the only account of local news. Even in the most extreme instances, when the editorial content of the newspaper reflects journalism at it outrageous, the ordinary details of life can still be found and appreciated. As a primary source of local history information, all newspapers metropolitan dailies, suburban papers, rual weeklies and the rich ethic press are worthy of retention and preservation by libraries and archives”.

The only exception I found is the news and stories bypassed in the black community. We are given little credit for living and no credit at all for dying when it comes to local media. And many times it has nothing to do with whether the messenger is black or white. Fatty and Gary were born with strikes against them. Being born black in America was one strike for Fatty and two strikes for Gary. He was born black and later at the age of five lost an arm.

James Brown (CBS/WUSA TV 9), Michael Wilbon (ESPN), David Aldridge (TNT/, Kevin Blackistone (Washington Post/ESPN), Coby King (Washington Post), Courtland Milloy (Washington Post)and Bruce Johnson (WUSA TV 9)all received the memo and email alerting them of the passing of these three sports/community icons. I heard hall of fame GT coach John Thompson even paid his respects at both celebrations. On the way into the church I saw playground basketball legend Sandy Freeman leaving. Sandy was John’s protector on the playgrounds. Sandy was a knockout artist and one of the nicest people you ever wanted to know until you got him wrong. He said, “Harold, Big John said “You hold a grudge too long” and we both laughed. You can forgive, but you don’t ever forget. Once again, a lie will change a thousand times, but the truth never changes.


Sam Jones, James Brown, HBell and Earl Lloyd Black History Month Bolling AFB

Michael Wilbon, a former Washington Post sports columnist and co-host of ESPN’s Pardon the Interuption. He is a benefactor of Inside Sports and he was in attendance for a 2011 Inside Sports Black History Month tribute to Gary Mays.

Dave Aldridge is a benefactor of Inside Sports and native Washingtonian. He is a former Washington Post sports columnist. He is now an NBA sideline reporter for TNT. Dave received the memos and he lives only minutes from the 19th Street Baptist Church (one of the “Good Guys” hopefully he was out of town).

Kevin Blackistone is a native Washingtonian before his 15 minutes of fame with ESPN and the Washington Post he was a benefactor of Inside Sports. He got the memos. Courtland Milloy a career Washington Post columnist holding on for dear life at the paper as they are looking for an excuse to force him out. He got the memos. Colby King a native Washingtonian and long time columnist for the Washington Post. He was a student at Dunbar High School next door to Armstrong High School. This was during the era when the One Arm Bandit Gary Mays was the talk of the town. In 2011 Gary was visiting my home in Bowie and I put him on the telephone with Coby. The two relived their high school days for at least an hour. Colby promised to attend the tribute and write a column relating to Gary’s unbelievable success as a athlete and a man. Colby thanked me for the connection and said, “Harold you know my son is an editor for ESPN and I am going to connect him and Gary.” Famous last words, Colby was a no-show for the tribute and never contacted Gary again. He also lived only minutes from the 19th Street Baptist Church and he got the memos.

Bruce Johnson a long time reporter and anchorman for WUSA TV 9. His career in television is similar to the “Cat with 9 Lives.” Through no fault of his own he is clueless when it comes to the DC community, but he faked his way through it all. I remember he would show up in the black community so often after a shooting, the residents nick named him “Black Death!” This was simply because if he was on the scene they knew someone was dead. He got the memos.

The recent passing of Norris Roy, Roland ‘Fatty Taylor’, and Gary Mays aka One Arm Bandit, is the best example of what the media thinks of black life. I will never forget how the Washington Post published a PAGE ONE story to promote a DVD about the life and crimes of Rayful Edmonds. In the 80s Rayful was considered the Nation’s Capitol most notorious drug dealer. The paper did not publish the positive stories and contributions of Norris Roy, Fatty Taylor and Gary Mays, but published the story of a drug dealer who took lives of countless black young men. And to be honest, only a few of these media personalities can take a camera crew out on their own without the consent of an assignment editor who usually does not look like us. The one think they can do on their own is show some respect by showing up.

The three were great athletes and community icons. Their passing was just a blur on the local media radar screens in Washington, DC. You had to go to social media to find their stories of their lives and deaths.

There was a great tribute paid to Gary written by his friend, sports columnist Dave McKenna on the ESPN blog “Deadspin.” Wilbon became a deaf, dumb and blind.


“I read of a friend who stood to speak at the funeral of his friend. He referred to the dates on his tombstone from the beginning to the end.
He noted first came the date of his birth and spoke of the following dates with tears but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. For that dash represented all the time he lived here on earth and only those he loved knew how much that little dash was worth.
He said, for it matters not how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash. What matters is how he lived and loved and how he spent that dash.
So think about this long and hard are there things you like to change? For you never know how much time is left—–that you can still re-arrange.
If we could just slow down enough to consider what is true and real and try to understand the way other people feel. Be less quick to anger and show appreciation more—love the people in our lives like we have never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect and often wear a smile remembering this special dash will only last for just a little while.
So when your eulogy is being read and your life’s actions are being rehashed will you be proud of the things they say and how you spent your dash?”

The celebrations of life of Norris, Fatty and Gary have left me thinking will I be proud of the way my “DASH was spent?”

Santa’s Helper, first black DC Police Chief Burtell Jefferson

Lets take a look and see how my DASH has been spent so far? I was the First, community advocate to host and coordinate a Christmas toy party that benefited thousands of needy elementary school children in DC, Md. and Virginia without grants or loans. First, community advocate to coordinate a city-wide DC Public Elementary School touch football league. First, student/athlete to pay tribute to his Spingarn High School administrators and teachers for their dedicated service. First, black to host and produce his own radio sports talk show in DC. First, radio and television personality to encourage pro athletes to reach back to enhance the growth of inner-city kids. First, black to host and produce his own television sports special in prime time on NBC affiliate WRC-TV 4. My special guest, Muhammad Ali. First, sports media personality to be named Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine. First, sports media personality to be cited in the Congressional Record on three different ocassions for work with inner-city kids. First DC Nike Sports & Marketing rep and the first DC Anheuser Busch Sports & Marketing rep. The first student/athlete to recieve “The Clarence Bighouse Gaines Community Service Award, Coordinated the first Celebrity Tennis tournament for the first ever Congressional Black Caucus Weekend at Hilton Hotel. The first sports media personality to campaign and get two pro athletes inducted into their halls of fame, Willie Wood (NFL 1989) and Earl Lloyd (NBA 2003). The radio and television personalities who came through Kids In Trouble and Inside Sports before their 15 minutes of fame read like a Who’s Who.

willie wood
Willie Wood NFL Hall of Fame

Earl Lloyd NBA Hall of Fame

Note Worthy: The Earl Loyd documentary “The First to Play” is a scam. All have received the memo including the NBA Commissioner.

A DASH well spent.