The Washington Post reveal the obstacles facing blacks in radio and television sports departments in the Nation’s Capitol in the 70s and 80s.The Washington Star’s radio and television critic columnist William Taaffe tells the story how the Inside Sports talk format changed the way we talk sports in America and around the globe.
Hattie and I were invited by Professor Jackie Jones and DeWayne Wickham, the Dean of the School of Communications and Journalism at Morgan State University as their guest for Black History Month. The historical HBCU is located in Baltimore, Maryland. We are surrounded by future journalist students and members of the Morgan faculty. Black students in 2020 will still face an uphill battle to land jobs in journalism. We must remember major media at their deadline is second only to a church on Sunday morning when it comes to racism in America and those who make it are not reaching back to pull other young blacks along with them. We are allowing folks who have never walked in our shoes to tell our history!
“Until the lions hire their own PR firm–the glory of the hunt will always go to the hunter.”
I don’t normally participate in telephone conference calls with folks I don’t know, especially when I don’t have a clue to the format, but there is so much “Fake News” circulating I made an exception when I saw a familiar name in my text message. The call was scheduled for between 8:30 pm and 9:00 pm on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. I was watching the ESPN special “OJ Simpson Made in America!” Those of you not familiar with the story, it’s about an NFL superstar who crossed over and could not or would not find his way back to the other side of town, he was not the first and he will not be the last. OJ and his NFL running partner Jim Brown have a lot in common when it comes to domestic abuse.
I asked my wife to excuse me, I needed to watch “OJ Simpson Made in America” like I needed to watch a re-run of Rodney King that was also made in America.
I made the conference called at 8:45 pm late for the 8:30 starting time and early for the 9:00 pm starting time. I successfully joined the conversation and I listened for several minutes while someone I assumed was talking about the state of America’s newest crisis, the corona-virus and where do we go from here!
I didn’t know whether the person who was doing the talking was the moderator or a participant who had been asked to join the call as I was. When the person doing the talking paused I waited a moment for someone else to jump in and add their two cents, but no-one did, so I did what I do best and added my two-cents.
I am always amazed at how it takes a tragedy for Americans to understand that we are all in this together. The September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City is now known as 9-11. It took a hurricane in 2005 the costliest national disaster in American history. They named it Katrina in the state of Louisiana. The latest disaster the Corona-Virus America welcomes Black Americans to be a part of the landscape. We are now all ONE and in this together—I have seen, read, heard and lived through these acts of disasters!
For example, I have read the accounts of Black Wall Street, Tulsa race riots in 1921, I was in my first year of high school when Emmit Till was lynched in 1955, I was in my my senior year at Winston-Salem State University when four little black girls were blown up in church in Alabama, and Civil Rights leader, Medgar Evers was murdered in his driveway in 1963. I was caught physically in the middle of the race riots before and after the Martin Luther King assassination 1968. I was working in the streets with youth gangs for the DC Department of Recreation & Parks on that April 5th day when our Prince of Peace was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee. The Rodney King beat down in 1991 (videotape), teenager Trayvon Martin murder in 2012, Eric Gardiner choked to death on a New York street in broad daylight by New York’s finest. He was murdered by cops for selling loose cigarettes (videotape). I remember all of these events and how it was back to business as usual when the major newspapers ran out of ink to print and NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox News lost their signals and appetite to broadcast the truth. We have cable television to thank for keeping hope alive!
What about the children?
This was “White Privilege”, thanks to Justice & Just-Us. America houses more prisoners than anyone else in the world, 80% are Black Americans and we make up only 13% of the population? It would be 90% when you add Hispanics to the mix.
The 1% owns 40% of the nation’s wealth. This is the highest wealth ownership in 50 years. In 10 years it will be 50% and 20 years it will be 60% greed knows no limit.
There will never be any Reparations or an Even Playing Field when it comes to black people who help build this country. They will never give us our “40 acres and a Mule” as promised.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTWMUhYG0Y8/ Dallas sportscaster Dale Hansen and White Privilege.
Racism is embedded in the American DNA. We were forewarned in 1968 when President Lyndon Johnson in an Executive Order 11635 asked Michigan Governor Otto Kerner to convene a commission to look into why there was so much unrest in America’s inner-cities (1967 riots). The Kerner Report was completed in February 1968 and it said, “Our nation is moving toward two different societies, one black, and one white.”
The report was a bestseller and over two-million copies were sold. It looks like whites were the only ones who read the report. It is often said, “If you want to hide something from a black man or woman put it in a book”. Fifty-two years later in 2020 the Kerner Report was right, there are two different societies, “One black and One white, separate and unequal! Welcome to the real America! Fifty-two years later it looks like Black folks sat on their hands and did absolutely nothing!
In 1968 Washington, DC was once known as Chocolate City. The last 52 years black mayors have ruled, we have had black school superintendents, a black majority city council, black police chiefs, black DC Delegates, and the Congressional Black Caucus. Still health care (hospitals closed), our public schools are among the worst in the nation, DC leads the nation in HIV AIDS cases, this deterioration of the black community took place during the watch of black leaders who all claimed they were in charge.
There is an annual contest at Duke University for the most
appropriate definition of a contemporary term.
This year’s term was: “Political Correctness”
The winner wrote:
“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of do-do by the clean end.” Sounds like the winner knew DC politicians!
My first home was a one room shack with an outhouse on Douglas street in NE DC, but still I had enough Common Sense, Street Sense and Book Sense to crossover the politic isle (Republican and Democrat) and find a way to help to enhance young people’s lives that once resembled my very own.
We cannot keep pointing the finger at white folks for our lack of leadership. We keep “Talking the talk, but we are not walking the walk!”
Speaking of an “Even Playing Field”, Dr. Harry Edwards is the architect of the Mexico City Olympic Games in 1968, it was there track and field stars, sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos after receiving their medals raised their black gloved fist on the podium to protest racism in America. The sacrfice by Tommie and John is still etched in my memory. They were ostracized by the Olympic Committee and banished from the village and only recently in 2005 they were honored by their college San Hose State with a 22 foot statue of their protest titled “Victory Salute”!VICTORY SALUTE!
Dr. Edwards said in reference to my pioneering Inside Sports talk radio format, “Harold, congratulations, your archives are valuable and should be given the broadest possible exposure. Your discs and videos of your programs belong in the new Smithsonian Institution of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). A wing of the new museum will be dedicated to the struggle in sports and will be titled “Leveling the Playing Field”. Your work was a major force over the years in leveling the playing field, especially in terms of the struggle to define and project ‘Our Truth!’
I want to quote my late friend, Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings, he said,
“When you are dancing with the angels the question will be asked in 2019, what did you do to make sure we kept our Democracy intact. Did you stand on the sidelines and do (and say) nothing?”
Hopefully, when I am dancing with Angels and not with the devil, when the question is asked, “What did Harold Bell do?” When they look me up on GOOGLE or on You tube they will see and read “When I saw something I said something!” Now ask yourself, ‘What will be in my wallet when I am dancing with the Angels?’ Congressonal Black Caucus & Kids In Trouble Remember and Honor Congressman Elijah Cummings
Noteworthy: Jesse Jackson became a prophet when he said, “When White America catches a cold, Black America catches pneumonia” Amen!
WHEN A HERO AIN’T NOTHING BUT A SANDWICH IN BLACK AMERICA!
While I was making children first, people around me were making money first and going to the bank by any means necessary–My Bad!
I know exactly where I was when our Prince of Peace Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. I was standing on the corner of 9th and U streets NW with my co-worker the late Green Bay Packer great Willie Wood on that fateful April 4th day in 1968. In the 60s and 70s I worked with youth gangs and with at-risk children in the NW Cardozo/Shaw corridor of Washington, DC. Willie would work as a teacher in the NFL off season before he joined the DC recreation Department’s Roving Leader Program. The riots almost destroyed our town.
Children were coming up missing and being murdered in Atlanta, Georgia. I celebrated my birthday at the Foxtrappe to raise money to help search for the killer or killers. TV news anchors Maureen Bunyan, Lark McCathy and DJ Donnie Simpson were in attendance.
During the 1968 riots little children were seen in the streets taking home the booty–cops had taken the day off.
I met Muhammad Ali in 1967 on the campus of Howard University and we became life-time friends. After his speech to the students I took him on a tour of the Georgia Avenue NW corridor which led us to 7th T Street, NW. The common denominator–we both loved children.
The No. 1 theme song in Black America in 2020 is still “WE SHALL OVERCOME.” This is 60+ years after our Prince of Peace Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis,Tennessee on April 4, 1968. President Lyndon Johnson would convene a panel to study urban unrest led by the Governor of Illinois, Otto Kerner. The final analysis, the “Kerner Report” said, “We are headed for two Americas, One Black and One White!” Here we are in 2020 just as the report predicted–no one was listening.
In 1969 I encountered my old friend President Richard Nixon on that same NW 7th street corridor while he was inspecting the riot area. His Secret Service detail would not let me anywhere near him and one suggested that I write the President a letter and I did.
Coincident, I will never know, but the Nixon encounter would lead me to a Presidential appointment. In the late 50s I caddied for him on the weekends at the all-white exclusive Burning Golf Course in Bethesda, Maryland a suburb of Washington, DC. The appointment would lead to a position on the Presiident’s Council on Physica Fitness & Sports and finally I switched jobs to the Department of Defense under the leadership Melvin Laird in November 1969.
In 1970 I found the first ever half-Way House for juvenile deliquents on a Military Installation on Bolling Air Force Base in SE DC. The in-house residents were from the overcrowded facilities in DC.
In 1972 with the blessings of my mentor radio and television legend Ralph ‘Petey’ Greene I became the first black to host and produce his own radio sports talk show in Washington, DC. “Inside Sports” would change the way we talked and reported sports in America. The show was the first ever to blend sports and politics in a talk radio format. The show was heard on W-O-O-K Radio on the 1340 AM dial the worst signal in broadcast media. The station was own by Richard Eaton and was called the United Broadcasting Company. It had a black format but was white own (little has changed).
W-O-O-K would help lay the foundation for my success in broadcast media. Bud Myers (GM), Cliff Holland (Community Relations), on air personalities, John “Turk” Edwards, Ernie Fields, Carl Furgerson, and Ralph Colbert all help make my transition smooth and without a hitch–we were family. The first legend to be a guest host on my show was NBA Coach Red Auerbach and his lovely wife Dotie.
Dotie and Red are both taken by surprise by my guest, tennis legend Jimmy Connors via telephone.
My broadcast odyssey would take me from W-O-O-K radio to NBC affiliate WRC-TV 4 in 1975. It was here I would become the first Black to host and produce my own television sports special in prime time. My special guest was Muhammad Ali.
I had no clue this broadcast odyssey would lead to over 20 potenial millionaires appearing on my sports talk show or being assisted by my non-profit organization Kids In Trouble before their 15 minutes of fame.
I remember in the late 70s as I became an influential radio personality in the Nation’s Capitol, the familiar cry was “Brother Harold can you help me please!” Some familiar names of some of those seeking support or vying for time on my popular talk show reads like a Who’s Who.
Former kids in trouble benefactors were little Alfred and his mother Cathy Hughes. When Cathy was working as receptionist for W-H-U-R Radio and struggling as a single parent she asked me to be a Big Brother to her father-less child little Afred. Former boy friend and kid in trouble benefactor, Jeff Majors and his Harp were also kicked to the curb. Networth $460 million.
Adrian Dantley played 15 years in the NBA, I contacted his mother Virginia in 1981 that I had inside information that Adrian’s agent David Fark was using money out his account to invest in his own endeavors and not his. She was a non-believer. His new wife Dinitri decided to do an audit, she discovered that millions of dollars went unaccounted. Dantley sued in court, but for some reason decided to settle out of court with a non-disclosure clause (he also represented Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Morning, John Lucas, etc)! It is little wonder that Dantley can now be seen working as a school crossing guard. In 2020 his networth is $1.5 million dollars and Falks networth is $50 million!! Several years ago I was walking down Georgia Avenue in NW DC in the rain. A Rolls Royce pulled over to the curb, It was Adrian Dantley offering me a ride. I said, “No thanks”, I remembered, he had forgotten how to say, ‘thank you’. I would rather get soaking wet!
DC Superior Court Judges Luke Moore, Eugene Hamilton and Harry Alexander give NBA players Larry Wright, Adrian Dantley and Kermit Washington “Kids In Trouble Citizenship Awards” during a charity basketball game at Georgetown University.
Then along comes John, better known as John Thompson, Jr., basketball coach at Georgetown Unversity. He was the first black to win a NCAA Division One Basketball Championship. I knew him when he was attending my alma mater Brown Middle School in NE DC. There was a popular basketball court directly across the street from the school. Players would come from all over the city to play. One evening I chose Big John to play on my team, I needed a rebounder.
For some reason Big John became little John and started to take jumpshots. I found myself rebouding the ball–that was a no-no. I was the shooter and he was suppose to be the rebounder. I banished him from the court. He had to sit on ‘The Hill’ until Sandy Freeman or Bob ‘Batman’ Grier his mentor shown up.
When he was named the first black coach at Georgetown University and had trouble winning a game his first couple of years, I gave him five-minutes on Inside Sports every Monday evening to promo and support his team. He repaid me by selling me out to Nike Shoes. In 1978 I was the first ever Nike rep in the DMV. I approached John about becoming my first college client, he said, “Lets talk tomorrow”, tomorrow became today. He went behind my back and called Nike and made his own shoe deal. He later named someone outside of-our community to be his play-by- play voice (W-O-O-K Radio) for Georgetown basketball. He named someone other than Ron Sutton, or Greg Mosso of W-H-U-R Radio. He claimed he confronted DC drug czar Rayfield Edmonds, telling him to back off of hanging out with his players.
The Police Chief was Maurice Turner a native Washingtonian during those trying times with drugs in this town. DC was then known as “Chocolate City.” I met with Maurice after the so called confrontation and he said, “Big John was calling me every 15 minutes to check to see if I had his back, he was scared to death, I convinced him he was never out of our sight.” His wife Gwen is one of the nicest people that I know and he cheated on her and his best friend an assistant coach Bob Grier. Bob was engaged to Mary Finley the acedemic advisor for the team when he took her to Las Vegas and everything they did in Las Vegas didn’t stay in Las Vegas. During the divorce proceedings he was threatening his wife hiding behind trees outside of her residence.
She was frighten and didn’t know what to do and finally her lawyer called me for some advice. Mrs. Thompson took Big John to the hoop and slammed dunked on him and they settled out of court. After the settlement she didn’t forget Kids In Trouble and made a substantial donation to the program. Georgetown rewarded John with a building bearing his name on campus proving crime does pay.
Merlin Wilson and his Georgetown teammates help serve the children at my Kids In Trouble annual Christmas toy party at the Twin-Bridges Marriot Hotel in Alington, Virginia. This was before Big John became a race-baiting intimidator among white college coaches. How soon we forget! Networth: $5 million dollars.
Nike store manager Laura Somerset and I present Nike shoes and apparel to Congressman Walter Fauntroy in his DC office.
FAMILIAR NAMES OF BENEFACTORS OF KIT & INSIDE SPORTS: MILLIONAIRES WHO FORGOT (THEIR NETWORTH)
CATHY & ALFRED (URBAN ONE RADIO & TV) $460 MILLION
GEORGE FOREMAN (BOXER) $300 MILLION
DON KING (DON KING PRODUCTIONS) $150 MILLION
GRANT HILL (NBA) $250 MILLION
SUGAR RAY LEONARD (BOXER) $120 MILLION
JIM BROWN (NFL) $50 MILLION DOLLARS
JAIR LYNCH (OLYMPIC GYMNAST) $13 MILLION
TONY PAIGE (NFL) $15 MILLION DOLLARS
TIM BAYLOR (MORGAN/NFL) $25 MILLION
BILL RHODEN $8 MILLION (MORGAN STATE/NY TIMES)
MAUREEN BUNYAN (TV ANCHOR) $10 MILLION
JAMES BROWN (CBS/NFL) $10 MILLION
OLDEN POLYNIECE (NBA) $10 MILLION
MICHAEL WILBON (ESPN) $16 MILLION
PAUL BERRY (TV ANCHOR) $16 MILLION
DAVE BING (NBA) $5 MILLION
DONNIE SIMPSON (BET) $5 MILLION
JOHN THOMPSON (GT BASKETBALL) $3 MILLION
VIRGINIA ALI (BEN’S CHILI BOWL) $2 MILLION
DAVE ALDRIDGE (ESPN, TNT) $1.5- MILLION
ADRIAN DANTLEY (NBA) $1.5 MILLION
LARRY FITZGERALD, SR (ESPN) $10 MILLION
TRACY JACKSON (NBA) 1.5 MILLION
KEVIN BLACKISTONE (ESPN) $100,000-ONE MILLION DOLLARS
DOUG WILLIAMS NFL / $100,000-ONE MILLION
CALVIN HILL NFL / $100,000-ONE MILLION DOLLARS
WILLIE WOOD NFL HALL OF FAME PLAYER AND PIONEER DIED IN FEBRUARY HIS NETWORTH AT THE TIME OF HIS PASSING–DEAD BROKE!
IF THERE IS A MIS-CALCULATION MY TELEPHONE NUMBER IS 240-334-7174
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTWMUhYG0Y8/ Dallas sportscaster Dale Hansen speaks for Stephan A. Smith, Michael Wilbon, James Brown, Kevin Blackistone, and on and on! Some liars-liars with their pants on fire meet Michael Wilbon and James Brown
THE WILLIAM JAMES FAMILY TREE
MUHAMMAD ALI and me sitting on a mountain top somewhere in the Pocono Mountains in 1973
DONOVAN MITCHELL, SR (HOUSTON ASTROS MINOR LEAGUES) somewhere in the minor leagues in the1990s
DONOVAN MITCHELL, JR (NBA UTAH JAZZ) somewhere in the NBA in 2020
When my wife Hattie came up with the tag “INSIDE SPORTS” in 1972 for my new sports talk show, we had no idea that the tag would travel globally. Every media vehicle in the world now uses INSIDE in some shape or form to introduce news stories for their network, unheard of before “INSIDE SPORTS” and Hattie Bell in Washington, DC.
I remember we were having dinner one evening when I told her I needed a title for my new show. I don’t think she looked up from her plate and said, “INSIDE SPORTS.” From the very beginning I knew it sounded like a great fit, but I had to ask her how did she come up with the tag. Her explanation was logical and made sense to me. She said, “You come up with behind the scenes news before anyone else in news media.” I had gotten my start in radio sports talk with my mentor the legendary radio and television talk show host Petey Greene on WOL Radio in the late 70s. He had the No. 1 radio talk show ‘Petey Greene’s Washington’ heard every Sunday evening on WOL Radio. He gave me 5 minutes every Sunday to talk sports. The rest is sports talk show history.
For the first time in American history a virus has shutdown pro sports in America. The NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, WNBA, pro tennis, golf, soccer all have cacelled, delayed or postponed their seasons. Sports on college campuses have cancelled or postponed games in every sport.
Once again, 48 years later I am a part of the INSIDE story. NBA Utah Jazz All-Stars, center Rudy Gobert and guard Donovan Mitchell tested positive for the conronavirus. Gobert tested positive minutes before the Jazz were to face the Houston Rockets in Houston. The game was postponed just before tip-off and the confusion could be seen on the faces of the players standing on the court.
The postponements has turned into an unwanted family affair for me. The 2018 Rookie of the Year and Slam Dunk Champion Donovan Mitchell, Jr. is my cousin. His father Donovan Mitchell, Sr. is the Player Relations Director for the New York Mets Major League Baseball team. He has been a member of the Mets for two-decades. He played in the minor leagues for 7 years before moving to the front office of the Mets. Donovan Sr. was just honored by the team for his two-decades of service with the organization. The Mets cancelled spring training and will delay the start of the regular season for at least two-weeks.
Donovan, Jr. tested positive for the virus shortly after his teammate and friend Rudy Gobert was tested. Out of 58 others tested in the Utah Jazz family only Gobert and Mitchell tested positive. The two have been a one-two punch for the Jazz for the past two seasons. Donovan averaged 24 points a game during his rookie year, adding 4 assist and 4 rebounds to make him a rising star in the NBA. He won the NBA Slam Dunk contest his rookie year, but decided not to defend his championship at this year’s All-Star Game, but he was on pace to match last year’s stats, averaging 22 points a game, adding 4 assist and 4 rebounds before the virus interuppted the 2020 season.
Donovan, Jr. hails from Elmsford, New York, during his younger years he could be found hanging out in Major League baseball lockerrooms, but a injury playing baseball as a teenager would change his career path that would take him to the NBA. He played AAU Basketball for the city and the Riverside Hawks both programs out of New York City. In 2010 he was present at the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich Village when his idol LeBron James announced to the world he was signing with the Miami Heat.
His next stop after graduating from high school in New Hampshire would lead him to the University of Louisville, instead of one and done he would spend two-years in college before opting out for the 2018 NBA draft. He was selected as the first pick in the 13th round by the Utah Jazz.
To me he was just another rising star among the dozens that enter the NBA every year via the draft or as a free agent, but my Aunt Elaine Stone would change all of that.
The Bell/Mitchell Family Tree: My mother was born in Sumpter, SC and came to Washington, DC at an early age after the sudden deaths of her parents who were educators. My great-uncle Attorney William James was the first black lawyer to pass the bar in Sumpter. Donovan Sr. is the son of Tina Mitchell whose parents were Frankie and Louis, my mother’s first cousins. Donovan would spend his early years being raised by his grand parents Frankie and Louis. When he was around the age of 4 or 5 his grandfather Louis had a health problem and Donovan, Sr and his grandmother Frankie went to live with Aunt Elaine. My Aunt Elaine is a member of the James Family Tree and my Uncle Billy’s favorite niece. I was Uncle Billy’s least favorite nephew. I heard him telling my mother one day, “Mattie you have got to stop spoiling that kid.” I thank God she never did!
I am holding the plaque honoring my uncle William B. James induction into the South Carolina Black Hall o Fame. It reads 2000 Honoree William B. James–Attorney and Civil Rights Activist. Presented by The United Black Fund of The Midlands, Inc. June 30, 2000 Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center, Columbia, South Carolina. Other than my mother my uncle Billy was the only one I wanted to please in the James Family Tree. I would think he is looking down and saying, “Job well done my son.” My wife’s father Dr. Charles H. Thomas a Civil Rights icon in Orangeburg, SC was inducted into the same hall of fame in 2007. The connection proves “An apple does not fall too far from the tree” especially, when one takes a stand to help others.
When Uncle Billy came to visit at my Cousin/Aunt Evelyn’s or Aunt Mary’s homes, my mother would say, “Your Uncle Billy is looking for you.” I would disappear without a trace until it was time to eat. He would sit across the dinner table and say, “Where have you been boy, are you staying out of trouble?” My response, ‘Yes sir, Uncle Billy.’ He was inducted into the Black South Carolina Hall of Fame in 2000 as a Civil Rights Activist and Attorney. I was to attend his induction ceromonies in Columbia, South Carolina, but for some reason I missed that great honor.
My work as a outspoken Youth Advocate and sports talk show radio pioneer can be found in my DNA Family Tree with Attorney William James.
I found my cousins Donovan Sr. and Donovan Jr. by accident while attending a dinner at my Cousin Charlita’s house during the Christmas holidays in 20017. Unbeknownst to me my Aunt Elaine had been living less than an hour away in Columbia, Maryland for close to a decade. We exchanged numbers and before I knew it she was celebrating her 100th birthday in June 2019. I marked my calendar for this blessing. Aunt Elaine was the first member of my family that I knew lived long enough to celebrate a 100th birthday. As faith would have it my car went south on me (no brakes) and we missed her 100th birthday celebration. How many times does one get to celebrate the 100th birthday of a family member–they only turn 100 once. I kept promising Aunt Elaine that Hattie and I would drive to Columbia one day and carry her to lunch.
Meeting my Aunt Elaine for the first time with Hattie T during the Thanksgiving holidays at my cousin Charlita’s home in NE DC in 2017 was a blessing in disguise.
In the meantime, I was trying to put the finishing touches on my book and Ali documentary. As it is often said. “TIME waits for no one!” I looked up and it was November 2019 and I still had not gotten to Columbia, but Aunt Elaine and I had been talking on the phone. I decided to mail her a copy of my new book “Harold Bell’s Walk Through American Sports History With Champs & Chumps!” Several days later I received a call from Aunt Elaine saying how much she enjoyed the book, and I was not the only Super-Star in the family! I laughed and said, ‘Aunt Elaine you are definitey a Super-Star,’ Her response, ‘No not me, you have a cousin that plays in the NBA, Donovan Mitchell.’ I really didn’t have a clue to whom Donovan Mitchell was, I seldom watch the NBA All-Star Game anymore and therefore I missed the All-Rookie game and slam dunk contest. All these showcases belonged to Donovan his rookie year. I did a little research and discovered this young brother was truly a rising star in the NBA.
My Aunt Elaine had another bomb to drop on me. She revealed that Donovan Mitchell, Sr. was the Player Relations Director for the MLB New York Mets’ team. More research, I discovered he had been a player in the Minor League system for almost a decade, he was hired in the Mets front office after his career move to the major leagues was stalled. I made a call to the Mets administrated office and asked for Donovan Mitchell and IDed myself as his long lost cousin via his Aunt Elaine.
In November my Muhammad Ali documentary was ready to make its debut on the Big Screen 45 years after the fact. The vehicle would be the Miracle Theatre on Capitol Hill, Sunday November 24, 2019. Hattie and I decided to invite Aunt Elaine and celebrate her 100th belated birthday. I called Donovan, Sr. and invited him to be a part of the celebration live or by memorex, he chose memorex.
The documentary debute of “I Remember Ali” celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Rumble in the Jungle was a smashing success. Aunt Elaine stole the show when I introduced her to the audience and gospel vocalist Robin Sugar Williams led us into singing “Happy Birthday” to her. MC Sylvia Traymore (comedian), Black Men in Americ.com (CEO and Publisher) Gary Johnson and Marc Clarke (W-H-U-R Radio) presented her with a bouquet of flowers. She enjoyed every moment and so did we. The video tribute from Donovan Sr. arrived late and I could add to the program.
VIDEO TRIBUTE FROM DONOVAN SR. IN HIS OWN WORDS!
“Hey Aunt Elaine,
Its Donovan, I just wanted to wish you a happy belated birthday—I know I am late please don’t hold that against me, but I love you and I miss you. I am wishing you the best. Wish I could have been there with you for your birthday, but I just been running around doing a lot of things. I know it has been awhile since I seen you and the family, but a lot of things have changed. I got my two-kids. I am still working with the NY Mets. I have been in professional baseball for 27 years. But all the love and support you guys gave me when I was growing up I am still chasing these dreams! I want to wish you the best, thank you for everything—and I hope you are well–take care of yourself.”
On February 28, 2020 I would meet my young cousin Donovan Mitchell, Jr. for the first time. The Utah Jazz would be visiting the Washington Wizards at the Capital One arena in downtown, DC. I almost blew the opportunity to meet the rising NBA star. I had mis-read the Wizard’s schedule. The game was played on a Sunday evening. Things got worse I could not find Donovan on the floor or on the bench during the first half of the game. I was beginning to think he didn’t make the trip or had taken ill. During half-time I checked with one of the security people for the Wizards and discovered Donovan was being held out this game and was relaxing in the lockerroom. The Jazz coaching staff was right, they didn’t need him to beat the Wizards.
My editor Larry Law and I waited outside the lockerroom waiting for the all clear signal to enter. The first player in the door way to the lockerroom was Donovan. He was standing and talking with a friend/fan with a big smile on his face. I waited my turn to introduce my self. Finally, I was able to say hello and tell him I was his long lost cousin via the James Family Tree. Like most of today’s young people he was not aware of his family history.
Aunt Elaine smelling the flowers on her belated 100th birthday on November 24, 2019 at the Miracle Theatre in Washington, DC and me and Donovan in the Jazz lockerroom at Capitol One Arena.
His broad smile never left his face during the conversation. I told him I had talked with his father in New York several days ago giving him an update. I asked him if he was aware that he had a great-aunt living here in the area who had recently turned 100 years-old? His eyes got bigger with the response, “I had no idea!” You could tell he was a people person. There are times when young pro athletes experience his kind of early success early in their careers, they are withdrawn and sometimes hard to find. Donovan was a class act and as I like to say, ‘He was an officer and gentleman.’ He took the time-out to take a couple of photos and we exchanged numbers. You could tell he was very polished when it came to the media. All the credit I am sure goes to Donovan Sr. who exposed him to star athletes and media personalities in MLB lockerrooms during his minor league playing days and front office duties with the New York Mets.
This was one time in my media career I could have done without being INSIDE SPORTS. Since Donovan and his teammate Rudy Gobert were tested positive for the virus a total of 58 front office personel and players of the Utah Jazz have been tested and only the two players have tested positive. Donovan Sr. was tested on Thursday. Father and son were together when the Jazz played in New York against the Knickerbockers recently.
Let us keep the entire family in prayer along with the entire NBA family and friends. Donovan Jr. was recently on the televison news saying, “Whats up everybody Donovan Mitchell here just want to thank you guys so much for your continued support man it means a lot to me I feel fine things are going well just taking the proper precautions I have been told by the health authorities I have to stay in isolation, so lonely in here playing video games all day. I cannot wait to get back out there on the floor and play in front of some of the best fans in the world, really missed playing in front of you guys—I see you guys soon.” Last report Donovan Sr. was tested and given the “All Clear” and Donovan, Jr. has been seen on the television news saying, “I am feeling great!” Lets keep praying!
Up Date: Local boy Kevin Durant and three Brooklyn Nets have tested positive for virus joining Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.
KOBE BRYANT AND DAUGHTER GIGI KILLED IN HELICOPTER CRASH ON SUNDAY JANUARY 26, 2020
His wife Vanessa paid tribute to him and her daughter Gi Gi and the seven other victims at the Staples Center home of the LA Lakers on February 24, 2020. Kobe was known in the NBA as the Black Mamba. The Black Mamba is one of the world’s deadliest snakes and the fastest land snake in the world. Kobe adopted the name from a character in a Quentin Tarantino movie, “Kill Bill” an assassin. He thought the description would fit his play on the basketball court. He did a little research and took the name. He was anything but a snake after his NBA basketball career. He became a teacher and hero to his daughters and other young children when he opens the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oakes, California to train young athletes. RIP Black Mamba.
NFL & HALL OF FAME PLAYER WILLIE WOOD DIES OF DEMENTIA
Willie’s homegoing service was held at the Bible Way Baptist Church in his hometown of Washington, DC on February 19, 2020. He was truly a pioneer, the first black starting QB for the University of Southern California. He was overlooked in the NFL draft and wrote a letter to Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers and the rest is NFL history. Willie was selected to the Pro Bowl 8 times and was an All-Pro 9 times during his 12-year career. The Packers won 5 NFL Championships and two Super Bowls on his watch. Coach Vince Lombardi called him “My Coach on the field.” Willie led the league in punt returns and interceptions. He was the first black head coach in modern-day pro football when he was named to coach the Philadelphia Bell in the WFL. The league folded and he became the first black head coach in the Canadian Football league for the Toronto Argonauts. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1989. RIP my friend.
SOMEONE HELP BLACK WBC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION DEONTAY WILDER HE HAS FALLEN AND CANNOT GET UP!
Tyson Fury predicted he would knockout Wilder in the second round of their rematch. On February 22, 2020, he was five-rounds late and took him out in the 7th round. A third and rubber match would be more of the same. Deontay Wilder’s days in pro boxing have come and gone at the age of 35. The late boxing historian Bert Sugar and I often talked about finding our own “White Hope” in pro boxing to carry us to the bank. We missed the Klitschko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir from the UK and now Tyson Fury.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nygALb50FV4 / Geraldo-Bert Sugar-Jack Newfield and I talk boxing and “The White Hope!”.
We always want to blame others for our station in life, for example, from 1969-2020 Black Mayors have been in charge (50+ years). We can start with our first black mayor, Walter Washington and present mayor, Muriel Bowser. When I read in a community newspaper that Ward 5 City Councilman Ken McDuffie had to write a bill into law to have a course in Black History added to the DC Public School’s curriculum, I could not believe my eyes. Black History Month February 2020 marked 50+years of blacks in-charge of the city and no classes were being taught in BlackHistory? Every Superintendent/Chancellor of education has been a person of color! Something is wrong with this picture. DC Mayor the late Walter Washington and I tour the 1968 riot corridor of Georgia Ave. NW with a stop at Banneker playground.
DC PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND BLACK HISTORY / Mayor Muriel Bowser is often seen hugging and kissing black babies while selling out black children. We often question why high profile government officials like President Obama and others bypass the DC Public School system–look no further than a lack of leadership!
The Mayor’s co-conspirators are the DC Police Department, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, School Chancellor Dr. Lewis Ferebee, Council Persons, Vincent Gray, Arnita Barnes, and Trayon White, and any other city official who claimed to be a person of color. Mayor Bowser just signed on to support “The King of Stop & Frisk”, former New York City Mayor, Mike Bloomberg. He is campaigning to become President of the United States. She is campaigning for a job if he becomes President, her time runs out in the Mayor’s Office in 2020.
On Thursday, February 27, 2020, I was the guest speaker at the School of Communications on the campus of HBCU Morgan State University for Black History Month. I was sad that I had to bring breaking news from my hometown Washington, DC that Black History was being suppressed had taken a turn for the worse, but there was some light at the end of the tunnel. DC City Councilman Ken McDuffie (Ward 5) had just written a bill into law that Black History will be added to the curricullum of the DC Public Schools. I had no clue that a course in Black History was not being taught in our schools when I served on the Community School Board in the late 80s under Superintendent Andrew Jenkins. I took for granted that Black American History was being taught in our classrooms. The students pointed out to me that their city was also in crisis. The former Black Mayor Catherine Pugh had just been sentence to three-years in prison for corruption.
STOP & FRISK IN WASHINGTON, DC WITH TICKETS GIVEN TO 70% BLACKS and 86% WERE STOPPED FOR NON-TICKET OFFENSES? These “Stop & Frisk” tactics were used by the DC Police Department. They are against the law, but evidently, DC cops think they are above the law. This tactic has been declared unconstitutional in cities around the country. The buck should have stopped at the Mayor’s office.
Montgomery County, Md. motorcycle cops take a lunch break at Ben’s Chili Bowl in Washington, DC with historian Harold Bell.
In the meantime, Black on Black murder spikes in DC. In the first two months of the year it is the worst it has been since 2010. All on the watch of DC Police Chief Peter Newsome.
STOP & FRISK IN WASHINGTON, DC WITH TICKETS GIVEN TO 70% BLACKS and 86% WERE STOPPED FOR NON-TICKET OFFENSES? These “Stop & Frisk” tactics were used by the DC Police Department. They are against the law, but evidently DC cops think they are above the law. This tactic has been declared unconstitutional in cities around the country. The buck should have stopped at the Mayor’s office.
WHEN BLACK WAS NOT BEAUTIFUL!
In 2017 Mayor Bowser hands the keys to the city to DC Police Chief Peter Newsome. Newsome is a known alcoholic and has a history of domestic violence. TV channels 4, 5 and 9 have all done exposes on his law-enforcement career. Crime has spiked every year he has been in office! Ward 8 the home of City Councilman Trayvon White is considered the most dangerous place to visit after dark.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH FEBRUARY 2020
FIRST EVER: BLACK PG COUNTY COP ARRESTED FOR KILLING HANDCUFFED BLACK MAN!
BLACK COPS FIRED FOR ARRESTING SIX-YEAR-OLD BLACK FLORIDA SCHOOL CHILD!
BLACK BALTIMORE MAYOR SENTENCED TO 3 YEARS IN JAIL FOR CORRUPTION!
NO PERSONS OF COLOR PARTICIPATING IN SUPER TUESDAY!
The front-runners for the Democratic Party are former Vice-President Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
Hopefully, March will blow ill-winds and blow ill people out of office and out of our community in November 2020.
This is a Black American History Moment
We are given little credit for living and get little or no credit in death for our life here on earth.
The Washington Post broke the mold during Black History Month on Thursday, February 6, 2020. In a story written in the obituary section titled, “Packer’s star defensive back key to Super Bowl l Victory!” In an unusual turn of events, the Washington Post gave native Washingtonian Willie Wood credit for living and dying in America, but it backfired on them.
The last DC Public School black coach/athlete whose obituary appeared in the Washington Post and whose name was not Joe Gallagher or Morgan Wooten, was my Spingarn High School coach, Dave Brown (Elgin Baylor), thanks to sports editor George Solomon I wrote his obituary. Legendary athletes and coaches like Fairmont Heights HS basketball coach, Kenny Freeman, Spingarn HS coach, William Roundtree (Dave Bing), Gary ‘One-Arm-Bandit) Mays (Coach Charlie Baltimore) are given no credit for their accomplishments in this Game Called Life. Mays for example, is the only one-armed baseball player to hit a homerun out of old Griffin Stadium in Washington, DC. He also did what was thought impossible, he helped to hold Elgin Baylor the greatest basketball player to ever come out of DC to 18 points. This was well below his 40 point average. The feat helped Armstrong to win the segregated Division II Public High School Championship. Roland ‘Fatty’ Taylor is a ABA/NBA trailblazer (Fairmont Heights HS). He is the only player out of DC to excel in both the ABA and NBA, and last but not least, James Ratif, Eastern HS was a first-team All-Met and All-American basketball player when he died in January 2020. The story of their demise never appeared in the Washington Post.
Gary Mays “The One Armed Bandit” Armstrong High School’s Boy Wonder
The Washington Post carried a story on the death of my Spingarn high school coach Dave Brown. He saved me and Elgin Baylor from the mean streets of DC. “Breaking the Faith” was a commentary I wrote in the Washington Post. This was a story exposing Pimps in our Church Pulpits and do-nothing politicians in leadership positions in the DMV.
My Inside Sports documentary was first reported in the Washington Afro by writer James Wright. I was a freelance writer for the Afro for over a decade.
The obituary story written on Willie Wood in the Washington Post was planted by a thief, his legal adviser and former college teammate (back-up QB), Attorney Bob Schmidt. He came out of hiding after 13 years to try to reclaim the spotlight that Willie stole from him in the 50s. He never forgot that it was Willie who sent him to the bench at the Universty of Southern California where he was the starting QB until Willie arrived. He tried to get revenge in 2007. He and his family scammed Willie out of $60,000 at a charity tribute held in Willie’s honor in Georgetown.
In the spring of 2006 a group of Willie’s boyhood friends, Frank Smith, Lester Lewis, Andrew Johnson, his sister Gladys, her husband Charles ‘Chink’ Hawkins and I were visiting Willie at The Manor Care Rehab and nursing facility. The facility was located in Hyattsville, Md. He had just vacated the best rehab center in the DMV at the Washington Hospital Center. The everyday regiment of rehab Willie found a little difficult–enter Manor Care.
During his stay at Manor Care, we became concerned about his mounting nursing home bills and his deteriorating health (the first signs of dementia). Bob Schmidt was also in the building along with Willie’s friend sports columnist the late Dick Heller of the Washington Times. The topic of discussion centered around a way to raise money to help meet some of the financial needs of a new nursing home for him.
We put our heads together and decided first, we needed to find another rehab facility in DC and organize a fundraising tribute. One month later a decision was made that Bob Schmidt and I would be the co-organizers for the fundraiser. In the meantime, Willie moved to The Residences an assisted living facility located on Massachusetts Avenue and Thomas Circle in NW Washington DC. It was a great facility.
Schmidt found a restaurant on the Georgetown waterfront to host the fundraiser and suddenly left town for almost a month leaving me with the day to day operations for the tribute.
Thanks to Dick Heller (PR) and committee members, Andrew Johnson, Frank Smith, Maggie Linton, and Lester Lewis we managed to make the necessary contacts to pull the tribute off. I must give an assist to the Gun Show that was being held in Chantilly, Virginia on that same weekend. Heller discovered that the gun show had invited several players from around the NFL to participate.
Their role was to sign autographs for the thousands of gun enthusiasts from around the east coast who would be in attendance. I thought I had hit the jackpot when I found out my friend NFL legendary running back Jim Brown was one of the guests for the gun show.
Bob Schmidt was not a happy camper when I told him that Jim would be our contact for NFL players participating in the tribute. He said, “I don’t think that is a good idea, Jim Brown is a troublemaker and he will try to take over the event!”
Players invited by Jim to participate in the tribute on March 16, 2007 read like a Who’s Who in the NFL. There was TE John Mackey (Baltimore Colts), QB Bart Starr, DE Willie Davis, RB Paul Hornung, and WR Max McGee, (Green Bay Packers), Lenny Moore (Baltimore Colts) Lance ‘Bambi’ Alworth (San Diego Chargers), LB Sam Huff, and WR Charlie Taylor (Washington Redskins). The event was flooded with NFL hall of Famers and All-Pro players.
Hazel Hawkins and Delores Pruden with NFL legends Charlie Taylor (Redskins) and Willie Davis (Packers) enjoy the evening.
Former Green Bay Packer great Paul Hornung pose for photo with Delores Pruden, Delores Sams, Salim Edwards and his son Ahmad.
The late comedian Dick Gregory shares a laugh with comedian Ernie Fields and his partner Cockroach the dummy. I turned to them to assist me with the entertainment part of the program and they came through with flying colors.
I turned to my Kids In Trouble Board of Directors, the late Michael Simpson and James Young my PR guys to contact DC Mayor Adrian Fenty for a proclamation declaring it ‘Willie Wood Day” in Washington, DC, they delivered.
Michael and I share the proclamation with Willie declaring it “Willie Wood Day” in the Nation’s Capitol
NFL legendary LB and NY Giants/Washington Redskin player Sam Huff bring a smile to Willie’s face. Sam has since become a victim of dementia.
Willie’s sister Gladys talks with friend Delores Sams while Willie greets a fan.
The evening of the event I was still trying to figure out a way to get Willie from the nursing home to the restaurant in Georgetown. Frank Smith and Andrew Johnson answered the call for help. When I arrived at the restaurant I notice that Bob Schmidt had his family on the front door taking donations for admission to the tribute. I still had a lot on my plate (the program for the evening, music, speakers, etc) so I was relieved to see that part of the program was taken care of and I moved on (I would regret).
To catch a thief–meet attorney, fraudulent legal adviser and former college teammate to Willie Wood–Bob Schmidt. He and his family made off with the proceeds ($60.000) from the Willie Wood fund raiser tribute. He was never to be seen or heard from again until Willie’s obituary appeared in the Washington Post on Thursday, February 6, 2020.
The following Monday after the tribute, Frank Smith, Andrew Johnson, Dick Heller, Lester Lewis and me visited Willie at his nursing home, The Residences. Bob Schmidt and Joe Johnson were invited but they were nowhere to be found. The first thing Willie ask was “Where is my money?” My response, “Willie your lawyer and friend Bob Schmidt has your money!” The look on his face was one of horror.
I placed a half-dozen phone calls to Bob Schmidt and his partner and friend Joe Johnson trying to get to the bottom of this charade. They never responded.
The next steps I took was to contact the NFL Players’ Union, NFL Hall of Fame, the Vince Lombardi Cancer Research Foundation on the campus of Georgetown University. Every contact was a Dead-End street none had heard of Schmidt. He had disappeared without a trace. Finally, Dick Heller called and said, “Your friend Bob Schmidt returned my call and said he will be holding a press conference to explain exactly how much money was raised and where the money is!” It never happened.
I then turned to my friend and partner in the community NF L legend Jim Brown. I explained to him what had happened as it related to the tribute for Willie Wood. He asked, “What do you want me to do?”
My solution was for him to call Schmidt with Willie’s sister Gladys on a conference call. I had heard all the rumors about Jim’s shady undertakings from family and friends, I had my doubts, but I could not see “The forest for the trees.” First, he thought he was always the smartest man in any room according to former Cowboy/Redskin RB Calvin HillI. I despise people who smile in your face and stab you in your back–meet Calvin Hill. He dropped his plate and made a quick exit from the restaurant when I told him I was going to tell Jim he had been talking behind his back. I was not surprised by his exit that is the M. O. of most cowards who talk behind people’s backs.
Calvin Hill and Jim Brown are not on the same page they are running from behind a different offensive line–both are off-side in the Game Called Life!
I met Jim in 1960 while I was a freshman student/athlete at Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, NC. He was the guest speaker for our awards banquet. Bighouse Gaines made the banquet off-limits to freshmen, but I went anyway. I met Willie in the early 50s when he and my older brother Bobby were teammates on the Armstrong baseball team.
Brown Middle School was located on the Benning Road NE “Education Hill.” Spingarn High School was on one end of 24th street and Brown was on the other end of the block sandwiched in the middle was Phelps Vocation HS and Charles Young Elementary. When Armstong visited to play Spingarn baseball or football I had a front-row seat at the top of The Hill to watch my brother and Willie play. They were my first heroes. I was a freshman on the Spingarn football team in 1955 when we upset Armstrong and its legendary QB Willie Wood. The game was played in Cardozo Stadium. The final score was 13-7 for the DC Public High School East Division Championship. I didn’t play a down, but that game is still the crown jewel in my high school student/athlete career (two teams of great athletes). I was a knucklehead, but I went on to become an All-Star athlete in my own time and in my own mind (I never saw a football I could not catch).
Willie thanks Dick and me for our role in getting him inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
My ‘Street Sense and Common Sense’ kicked-in when it came to the conference call to Schmidt. Gladys would be my designated Checks and Balances during the call. It is always best to be safe than sorry. Jim Brown was my Kerner Report. The Kerner Report was a warning to Black America in the aftermath of the 1968 riots. The report said, “We are headed for two different Americas, one black and one white.” In 2020 here we are!
Calvin Hill had already told me about the time one of Jim’s friends caught him cheating on the golf course. He became so pissed off with the friend he beat him to a bloody pulp. The friend charged him with assault and carried him to court. He won a civil lawsuit against Jim. There was his friend Congresswoman Maxine Waters speaking at a forum at the Congressional Black Caucus. She advised the audience not to be like Jim Brown and pimp the community for his own financial gain. In a Black History Month forum with President Clinton, GT coach John Thompson and others on national television, former Olympic track and field star and three-time Gold Medal winner Jackie Joyner Kersey asked Jim, “Who are you to tell the black athlete where and how to spent his money?” For the first time in my memory, Jim was lost for words—-it was a priceless moment.
Last but not least former Green Bay Packer coach, Mike Holmgren was hired as President of the Cleveland Browns in 2009. Holmgren had the legendary Jim Brown run out of Cleveland. There are a lot of rumors of what happened to Jim Brown in Cleveland. First, Jim had a run-in with one of the Lerner brothers who were the new owners of the franchise. Holmgren didn’t like Jim hustling the players for his own financial gain via his Amer-I-Can Program. The sour relationship between Jim and ownership, left the door open for Holmgren to oust Jim. The big slap in the face for Jim came when he was left out of the Ring of Honor ceremony at the stadium in 2010. He was not a ‘Happy Camper.’ In a television interview, he claimed Mike Holmgren didn’t respect him. Respect has always been a BIG word in the vocabulary of the great Jim Brown. For example; when he got locked up in 2007 for domestic violence he asked his wife Monique to call me to start a media campaign to help him get his sentence reduced. He didn’t ask her to call Byrant Gumble, James Brown, Stephen A. Smith, Sonny Hill, or Howard Cosell, he asked her to call Harold Bell–how soon we forget!
Jim Brown calls a trick play for me and Dick Gregory. I discovered he is a man of many trick plays and secrets.
Three days later after the conference call, I would be ‘Sorry.’ I remember sitting by the telephone waiting to hear from Gladys or Jim, the telephone never rang. I took a deep breath and called Gladys, I asked her how did things go with Schmidt and Jim? Her response blew me away, she said, “Jim Brown demanded that I hang up the telephone and he would handle things with Schmidt and he would call me later.” He never called!
When I called Jim to ask him about the call between him and Schmidt, you would have thought I had just caught him cheating on the golf course. He called me everything but a child of God.
First, he wanted to know who in the f–k was I to be questioning him about Bob Schmidt and Willie’s money? I thought I had dialed the wrong number in Ward 8 in a phone booth on Martin Luther King Avenue in SE Anacostia. The next thing I thought of was the beating he gave his golf partner. I felt lucky I was on the other end of the telephone line. I would not be able to stand the ass-whipping he would be trying to give me. I would have refused to run. After a few choice words of my own, I told him what to do with his BS and hung up the phone.
By chance I would see him and his wife Monique in a hallway attending the Congressional Black Caucus Weekend here in DC a couple of years later, Monique smiled and waved, but he pretended he didn’t see me, but this is the same brother who is always talking about being a man and wanting RESPECT! He thinks that being a man and getting respect is a one-way street–for him only!
The bottom-line Jim Brown made a deal with Bob Schmidt and took a cut of Willie’s $60,000 from the tribute. According to Wikipedia, his net worth is $50 million he claimed he earned from real estate investments and the NFL? He is lying about the real estate investments and his base salary in the NFL never went beyond $60,000 a year. He must have been dead broke when President Donald Trump gave him 50 million dollars for prison reform. I wonder how does one add a cut of $60,000 from Bob Schmidt to 50 million dollars?
I also discovered Willie’s sister Gladys and friend Delores Sams and brother-in-law Chink discovered that Schmidt was still perpetrating a fraud that he was representing Willie. In 2012 Gladys and Delores took Schmidt to DC Superior Court and had a judge strip him of being Willie’s Power of Attorney and legal adviser. Willie Wood, Jr. was given that responsibility.
Schmidt evidently was surving on “White Privilege” he carried on this charade for five years after he stole the $60,000, but larceny caught up with him.
The Washington Post once again didn’t do their homework, they allowed a common thief to write Willie Wood’s obituary, they owe the family an apology. With their stamp of approval they allowed Schmidt to mis-represent the family. He claimed Gladys lived in Glen Arden, Maryland (wrong address), but he saved the worst for last. He claimed Willie’s first born and only daughter with his first wife, Lillian was from a previous relationship (wrong again). Willie we had your back despite the backstabbers RIP my man.
Inside Sports NFL Roundtable with Roy Jeffereson, Willie Wood, Sonny Hill, Johnny Sample and Jim Brown https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzY5Mki8OVE
WILT CHAMBERLAIN THE G.O.A,T
THE TEAM: JULIUS ‘DR J’ IRVING-WILT ‘THE STILT’ CHAMBERLAIN-ELGIN BAYLOR-JERRY WEST-MICHAEL’MJ’ JORDAN-GUS ‘HONEYCONE’ JOHNSON-KAREEM ADUL JABBAR-EARL ‘THE PEARL’ MONROE AND KOBE BRYANT
COACHES: RED AUERBACH & GREG POPOVICH
“NO HE SAY SHE SAY” ALLOWED–EYE WITNESS ACCOUNTS ONLY!
Michael White (FB) said, “If you are in DC find Harold Bell, he’s a walking history book.”
Michael, thanks, too many of these so-called know it all experts claiming to be historians don’t have a clue. Why did I choose Wilt as the G. O. A. T.? He led the league in every statistical category at sometime in his great career (scoring, rebounds, assist, FGP, etc). Name one other player to accomplish that feat! Russell and Magic were great but they could only make my team as subs. We have to be very careful about who is telling OUR history not only in February but through out the year. My motto “If you saw something say something.”
Maurice Stewart, started an interesting and enlightening conversation recently on Face Book and then my friend Aaron Snowell (Boxing Hall of Fame) and other associates were asking the question, “Harold when are you going to write something on Kobe?” My emotions were all over the place with his untimely demise. I didn’t know where to start—to be honest!
My Kobe Bryant experience all started when I met Kobe’s father Joe Bryant. Joe was playing for the 76ers. I was introduced to him by my mentor, Philly legendary player/broadcaster Sonny Hill. Joe’s nicknamed was ‘Jellybean’. He was playing in the Sonny Hill/John Chaney, Summer Basketball League when I drove up to Philly with several of my young men from the Hillcrest Saturday Program. Kobe had just been born because ‘Jellybean’ was handing out cigars just before a game. When he offered me one I said, “Joe I don’t smoke”! He said, “OK I ain’t mad.” I didn’t realize at the time it was just a symbolic gesture.
I met Kobe either his rookie year or the following year at the Capitol Centre in Landover, Md. I introduced myself saying I was a friend of Sonny Hill. His response, “That is my mentor, you cool.” For the rest of his NBA career we were like passing ships in the night, but he would see me and say “Whats up my brother?” I am sure he didn’t remember my name, but he always had a smile.
During my sports talk show career starting in 1972 I have only interviewed a handful of players in a NBA locker room. I can name them, Dr. J (Fatty Taylor), Iceman (Fatty Taylor), Wilt (Carl Greene) and George McGinnis (Sonny Hill). I have never interviewed Wes Unseld, Elvin Hayes, or Phil Chenier, etc. The reason; I was a eyewitness to too many dumb questions being asked by dumb-ass writers and sportscasters. I have alway refused to be a part of that charade.
I am a happy camper that I had a front-row seat to Kobe’s amazing NBA career. In a recent appearance of The Round Ball Report, a TV Cable television show devoted to basketball in Landover, Md, I was asked by the host and Executive Producer Andrew Dyer, where did I place Kobe among the All-Time NBA greats?
Kobe is in my top 10 of NBA greats of All-Time. He would be my Sixth Man off the bench.
My Head Coach, Red Auerbach / Assistant Coach Gregg Popovich
Kobe’s friend and former NBA player Caron Butler gave the best testimony I heard on Kobe being a true friend. He said, Kobe was someone who was always looking to give and never expecting anything in return (aka Muhammad Ali). He was not perfect by any means, but he dedicated his life after the NBA to his community and family, PRICELESS.
Noteworthy: Great players dictate changes in the game to compensate for them being better than all the rest—meet Wilt Chamberlain. Another Example; The Simone Biles’ Rule. This young lady is being penalized for being better than all the rest. Wake up everybody!
RIP Willie Wood
The Trailblazers: Athlete/Actor Paul Roberson and college basketball coach, Clarence Bighouse Gaines
Memories: My first home was a one-room shack with an outhouse on Douglas Street in NE DC. One cold morning my mother Mattie a single parent thinking I was asleep quietly slipped out of the shack to go to the corner store for bread and milk, I was 3 years old. My German Sheperd dog Billy was sleeping nearby with a kerosene lamp burning to keep us warm. My mother returned to find the shack on fire and me sitting in the yard crying with my dog Billy standing over me. Fire trucks were all over the street.
The shack burned to the ground and the only thing left standing was the outhouse. My mother tried to thank the firemen for rescuing me from the burning shack but they explained to her they found me sitting in the yard with my dog. To this day I have no clue how I escaped from that shack on fire-Billy never said a word–the rest is American history,
*In 1967 I encouraged Willie Wood (NFL) and Dave Bing (NBA) to join me in the DC community to enhance the growth of inner-city youth, Judges, politicians, law-enforcement, print, radio and television personalities, NBA-NFL-MLB & NHL franchises all followed my lead. They all now CARE!
Dave returns to ‘The Hood’ to pay homage to members of the Hillcrest Saturday Program basketball team
Dave one on one with NBA Hall of Fame player Earl ‘The Pearl’ MonroeThe Pearl and Kids In Trouble, Inc. pay tribute to Bighouse Gaines at the Foxtrappe Club in Washington, DC
In November 1968 I discovered a child lying on the bottom of the swimming pool at my Hillcrest Saturday Program. I dove into the pool and pulled him out. I then ran soaking wet with him in my arms to Children’s Hospital one block away.Redskins’ RB Larry Brown and LB Harold McLinton are videotaped by NFL Films teaching water safety at the Hillcrest Saturday Program
My wife Hattie teaching swimming in one of her classes at Cardozo High School in NW DC.
*In 1969 I was honored at the White House by President Richard M. Nixon for my work with youth gangs and at-risk children. Hattie joins me in the Oval Office to meet Attorney General William Rogers and President Richard M. Nixon
*In 1972 my Inside Sports talk show format changed the way we talk sports in America. The tag is now used around the World.
*Inside Sports was the first sports talk show to successfully blend sports and politics.
*Inside Sports was the first sports talk show to convene a media roundtable. Guest, boxing greats, Sugar Ray Leonard, Don King and Larry Holmes.
NBA legend Red Auerbach and his wife Dotie are the guest host on Inside Sports *In 1973 I sat on The Mountain Top with Muhammad Ali
*I was the first Black sportscaster to produce and host a prime time sports special on NBC affiliate WRC TV 4 in November 1975. My special guest, Muhammad Ali.
*In 1978 I was the first Sports & Marketing rep for Nike shoes in the DMV.Congressman Walter Fauntroy receives Nike gear from Nike rep Laura Cash and me on Capitol Hill
*In 1979 I was the first Sports & Marketing rep in the DMV for Anheuser-Busch Beer.*I was the first sports media personality honored as Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine (1980).
Washingtonian of the Year, Washington Redskin QB Joe Theisman and me share a photo opt with teammate Mark Mosley and our wives*I have been cited in the Congressional Record on three different occasions by Congressman Lou Stokes (D-Ohio), Senator Bob Dole (R-Kan) and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC). I was honored for my work with inner-city youth.
*In Chicago in 1998 I became the first Winston-Salem State athlete to receive the first annual Clarence ‘Bighouse’ Gaines Community Service Award.
*In 2007 I found a 15-year-old autistic girl lying across the tracks at Potomac Avenue subway station SE DC. I pulled her off just as a train was entering the station. NBC affiliate WRC-TV 4 creates re-enactment of the rescue of the child at the Potomac Avenue subway station
I successfully campaigned with Washington Times legendary sports columnist the late Dick Heller and NBA legend Red Auerbach for NFL great Willie Wood and NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd to be inducted into their hall of fame after they had been overlooked.
Dick Heller congratulates Willie on his induction into the NFL Hall of Fame
Red Auerbach, me and Earl Lloyd during a Black History Month celebration at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown DC
NFL legend LB Sam Huff stops to say hello to Willie during a tribute in his honor in 2007. The 83-year-old Huff is now suffering from dementia.
Members of the Hoffman clan, Ted Wells, Jalen and Jared Morgan bring a rare smile to Willie’s face during tribute in 2007
Willie was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1989 and Earl was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2003. Willie’s legendary coach Vince Lombardi said, “Willie is my coach on the field.” Ronnie Lott is one of the greatest safeties to ever play in the NFL, but he has to take a backseat to the trailblazers, Dick ‘Night Train Lane’, Willie Wood and Johnny Sample. Willie never forgot who he was and where he came from. One week after his induction he was a guest on Inside Sports saying, “Thank You.” This month in Black History, February 3, 2020 my friend Willie Wood died.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzY5Mki8OVE/ Jim Brown, Johnny Sample, Roy Jefferson, and Willie Wood / NFL Roundtable
*On Sunday, November 24, 2019, I became the first native Washingtonian to produce a sports documentary on the Big Screen titled “The Harold Bell Story, I Remember Muhammad Ali.”
I am flawed and less than perfect, but I have never sold or done drugs, never been to jail, never snitched, never stole money from little children. I have broken bread with champs & chumps. The benefactors of Kids In Trouble and Inside Sports read like a Who’s Who.
In February 2020 they still call me NIGGER!
Noteworthy: Harvard Law School grad and sitting judge “Still A Nigger” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYsl6AQBZn4
by Harold Bell
Big John Hollins named Community Hero by the Atlanta Braves in his hometown of Atanta, Georgia / https://www.cbs46.com/cbs-s-john-hollins-named-community-hero/video_c2872280-791f-5719-bafa-6173e2329625.html
Why did ATL METRO RBI choose Curacao? The man behind the project is John W. Hollins, Jr. John has been a dedicated and respected community leader for over 30 years. A corporate executive and business owner. He is a Senior Account Executive with CBS 46, where he has been an integral component to the company’s growth and development for several years, managing the advertising of some of the top Ad agencies, law firms and small businesses in Atlanta, as well as helping develop several local midsize businesses through television and digital advertising.
He has been a proud member of the 100 Black Men of America since 2008 and has served as the President of the 100 Black Men of DeKalb County Inc. Serving the community has always been very rewarding to John, he watched his father mentor young people with absent fathers and created the first organized football program in the local Eastlake Meadows housing project to promote teamwork and sportsmanship. His father passed away in 2001.
To prove that he believed God made all young people equal, he signed his oldest son and namesake (John jr.) up first. He also believes no baby comes out of his/her mother’s womb wearing a KKK robe, with an AK 47, selling drugs or using the N-word, it is all taught behavior. Those beliefs were established by a father who planted the seeds of community reach-back at an early age. He inspired John to establish a community youth sports program to help the family keep the legacy intact and help our children.
Big John with his son John Jr. hanging out at a charity event during the Christmas holidays.
John, established his 501 c3 non-profit organization in the summer of 2014. He begin International travel last year 2019, the teens went to Puerto Rico to help and they had a fabulous time.
The international component created the reason for giving back. First, he had to identify a country where baseball was not just a passion, but a part of the country’s fabric and Identify a need for baseball equipment for kids in that country. The American youth would become a part of the research and reason to raise money for someone you have never met because of the need. Finding similarities among the communities, partnering with a supplier to provide the goods. Common ground, training his youth to compete against boys that had no other way off of their island, but to play their backsides off. Then there was Player development component, partnering with a major league franchise to create exposure for these American Boys, enter the Atlanta Braves.
Curacao island is the home of former Atlanta Braves star Andruw Jones and current Braves star Ozzie Albies. Ozzie will meet the young players on Curacao so he can take them on a tour of the island. After Ozzie showed the youth where he grew up, he talked to them about his life on the island and his journey to the top of his game playing major league baseball. Ozzie was generous with his kindness and time hoping to help shape the futures of the young players visiting the island.
Ozzie Albies Atlanta Braves All-Star second baseman played host and tour guild for the Atlanta Metro youth baseball team during the ML King holiday weekend.
John Hollins is the Executive Director and founder of ATL Metro RBI, Inc., the program provides health and wellness sports activity, mentoring and leadership, as well as scholarships to kids in inner cities. To date, the ATL Metro RBI program has provided over $160,000 in scholarship money to students attending Tuskegee University, Morehouse College, Albany State College, Alabama State University, Lemoyne Owen, Clark Atlanta University, TSU, Benedict College, Grambling University, Southern University, Chipola NJCAA, Voorhees and other HBCUs. In 2015-2018 he has served passionately with other community leaders in the 100 Men organization. They mentor underserved young men and women towards helping to improve the quality of their lives by offering exposure and access to key community influencers, scholarships, leadership programs, and international travel.
Community service is a “Family Affair” John has been married to his college sweetheart Tekki for 33 years. His two sons L-R: John III and Jordan can come off the bench and pinch-hit at any given moment.
The RBI program has been supported in part by Major League Baseball and the Atlanta Braves organization and has, directly and indirectly, helped over 100 kids go on to play college baseball and professional baseball, through the affordable baseball programs and guidance provided. He has also touched 400 -500 students by providing a positive baseball coaching program every summer. In 2016 he received the Barak Obama Honoree award for Lifetime Achievement in community service for his continued work with our youth and community. He will forever be enshrined in our 44th President’s Library with all other recipients.
John started an international program with the sponsorship of Mizuno SportIing Goods in 2019. He, Mizuno and his players have provided over 100,000 dollars in much-needed sports equipment in the Caribbean islands of Curacao and Puerto Rico. On the island John was awarded the Roberto Clemente Award in 2019. Clemente is one of MLB greatest players and humanitarians. He lost his life trying to help his people on New Year’s eve in a plane crash in 1972. He was trying to deliver aid packages to his homeland, the island had just suffered a devastating earthquake.
John leads by example, he offers leadership and guidance drawing from his own college experience as a D1 All-Conference baseball player at Georgia State University. He lettered for four years. He was also an All-Conference academic athlete honoree in his junior year and was a 1st team All-Conference and 2nd place vote-getter for conference player of the year. He became an unrestricted free agent in his senior year and was selected by the Pittsburg Pirates organization. He majored in Marketing and minored in Public relations at Georgia State University. He is a proud Executive Board Member of Grady Memorial Hospital and serves on the Board of 100 Black Men of America, Dekalb Chapter.
He says, “I believe that working with kids will ensure a better future for our community and them. In life, you only know what you know, with today’s technology our youth don’t interact with their elders in the community as we once did. Our rich history is being suppressed because no one is teaching the pitfalls of yesterday. Our youth are not being mentored and they are making some of the same mistakes we made. I got involved in the RBI program for a few reasons, one is to teach the game the right way and to use the game to enhance the life experiences of young men with a focus on young men of color”.
Those life experiences involved but not limited to how to conduct yourself at all times on and off the field. He makes them understand why education should be their main focus and no plan B, plan B is what you fall back on, Plan A is what you will plan to do for the rest of your life, with the understanding nobody plays baseball forever, but you can live to be 90+ years old. So finding a passion for what you want to do after your professional, college or high school career is over is very important. You only know what you know, so he takes these young men on international trips with his partner Mizuno. In 2020 they were fortunate to get Ozzie Albies to meet them on his island of Curacao and take them around where he grew up, his parents’ house, his neighborhoods, his old playing field where he still comes home to train in the offseason.
John, has helped over 100 kids go on to play college sports and 17 made it to the pros, not one has ever given a dime back to the program (Mode of Operation).
There is no one to teach our young men of color the importance of giving back, we just give to them. You would think if you fed a child when he gets older he will feed his child, but if you don’t teach him the reason and the purpose than his behavior becomes expected. With food it’s a little easier because with hunger your child begins to cry out and so you feed him or leave him, not to hear the pain. With our community, it’s a little harder, because success allows you to move out of poverty, where they don’t hear the pain. Out of sight as you know is out of mind. So very few black men give back, especially athletes.
The Black athlete and other successful blacks have made gentrification easy. When their old neighborhoods are overrun with returning “White Flight” it is because those same homes they left behind have become ghettos because they refuse to return. Gentrification is the process of renovating and improving a house or district where these athlets once lived so that it conforms to middle class (white folks) taste. The system takes over their old neigborhood homes with inflated taxes and other well thoughtout maneuvers. The ‘White Flight’ whites seize the opportunity to leave behind those one and two hour rides home by car, carpools, bus, and subway train for 30 minute rides to their front door in what was once known as the inner-city.
Bing returns to the inner-city a place he once call home
NBA Hall of Famer Dave Bing grew up in NE Washington, DC. He was one of the few black athletes who returned home DC/Detroit and tried to support and enhance the life style of the down-trodden.
In 2008 Dave announced in DC he was running for Mayor of Detroit. I advised him against running. I told him, “Dave, running for Mayor of Detroit is a “Dead End Street”! He won the election and suddenly became the ‘Enemy of the State.’ The city declared bankruptcy, the declaration of bankruptcy made Detroit the largest municipality in the United States to do so. Dave did not seek re-election in 2013.
Let the Renaissance begin–The Realestate Market in Detriot is now booming—I will give you one guess why, Gentrification with a White Mayor!
John Hollins hopes to build an academy with an educational component equal to home school and a training facility to allow more kids to learn in each major league city where young black boys are dying every day on the streets with no hopes or dreams and no place to train and play out the Game Called life.
Coach Hollins wants to teach his youth the importance of giving back and remembering who they are and where they came from. He found the best time to accomplish this is on Dr. King’s holiday. Helping fellow players on the islands is not the only part of their weekend adventure, the teens are required to do a research paper on the history of the island, the residents, and their independence. The youth finish their paper when they return stateside. They write about their personal experiences and how the trip impacted them. The youth that made the trip were from Dekalb, Clayton, Henry, Newton, Fulton, Rockdale, and surrounding counties.
ATL METRO RBI has helped over 100 youth go to college, while 17 are currently in the pros. The organization will continue to stress education and invest in developing future leaders since they cannot play sports forever. The program has been fortunate to have some of the players attend practice and talk of their humble beginnings when they played under Coach Hollins. It helps the young men realize their dreams from those who have practiced and played on the same diamond.
ATL METRO RBI is thankful for the help of the players who help make the organization work for the younger generation of baseball players: Jordan Hollins is a two-time JUCO National Champion and senior at Ottawa University in Arizona where he is one of the Captains and leaders of the program. BJ Armstead is a Morehouse graduate now working on his Masters’ degree in social studies at UGA, while managing his own company that works with mental health challenges for young athletes, the company, APOLLO is a 501 c3 non-profit organization. He is currently interning with Kansas City Royals.
Curtis Terry a Texas Rangers MLB home run leader in the last two years and a double-A stand out 1st baseman. Kyle Lewis a 2016 1st round draft pick, 11th overall, Rawlings College player of the year, currently on the 40 man roster of the Seattle Mariners.
Jason Davis was a standout pitcher and Outfielder. He is a Morehouse graduate and Phi Beta Kappa (3.75 GPA). He is currently a MLB scout for the NY Mets, he spend his youth playing for Coach Hollins. He said,
“I began playing for coach Hollins around the age of 16. I played with his travel ball team, Tigers USA, in the summer and he would go on to coach me at Morehouse College. The summer after my freshman season, he also led the RBI Atlanta 18U team as we competed in the Southeast Regionals. Coach Hollins was always a steady leader and a strong voice in the dugout; he got the most out of his players through respect and accountability, always treating us like and preparing us to become men. These lessons, both on and off the field, are what stick with me the most as I’ve begun my own matriculation into manhood. He helped me realize the value of networking and the positive impact that it can have on the lives of others, evident through his leadership with the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, RBI Atlanta (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities), and countless other efforts. Coach Hollins’ love for his community and undeniable passion to empower those around him are qualities that make the world a better place”.
Coach Hollins: A man, a leader, a role model.
This unique opportunity would not have been possible without the sponsorship of MIZUNO and community partners Atlanta Braves Foundation, Atlanta Braves, MLB, Alston and Bird, Slappy and Sadd, Pain law, Better Baseball, Patrick Desamours-Edward Jones, and Bauer Harris.
To learn more about the Atl Metro RBI organization and how to donate contact email@example.com
THE MLB CHEATING SCANDAL ACCORDING TO COACH HOLLINS:
Stealing signs from the other team has been a part of the fabric of baseball sense the beginning of the game. What made it truly wrong in this case was they used technology that the other team did not have access too, so in essence they truly cheated and they added more technology to make it even more unfair, by notifying the batter when a certain pitch was coming based on technology and not human interaction. So the other team could never catch them getting signs.
Harold Bell is a pioneer in radio sports talk shows in America. He changed the way we talk sports. Sports columnist the late Dick Heller of the Washington Times said, “Harold Bell is the Godfather of sports talk—the good kind.”
RIP KOBE & GIANNA
Dear Dr. King, the odds of people of color overcoming racism and bigotry in America–are non-existent. Every time we make a little progress, they change the rules. The Kerner Report warned us in 1968 we were headed for two different Americas, one Black and one White—that America is here! They got it right, but no one was listening.
Pro Sports and Corporate America are our best barometers (White Privilege). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTWMUhYG0Y8/ Dallas, Texas sportscaster Dale Hansen.
Dr. King, meet a trail blazer, track and Field star, Roseanna “Rose” Robinson. She sat in protest almost a decade before the 1968 Olympic Game’s track and field stars, John Carlos and Tommie Smith. Ms. Robinson was a high jumper and sprinter for the U. S. Summer Pan American Games. It was the summer of 1959 and I had just graduated from Fairmont Height High School in Prince Georges County.
Chicago was the host city for the games and it was overrun with 2,000 athletes from 24 countries participating. As the U. S. national anthem started to play, the crowd inside Soldier Field rose to its feet in excitement, but Ms. Robinson kept her seat in protest. This track and field athlete was not there for the bloated displays of American greatness. To her, the anthem and the flag represented war, injustice, and hypocrisy.
Ms. Robinson was harassed for her political stand after the games were over. The most devastating blow was at the hands of the IRS. Just six months after the games they hauled her into court for back taxes and sentenced her to one-year and one-day. She refused to pay $346.00. She told the judge, “If I pay income tax, I am participating in the U. S. government’s propensity for violence and war.”
In August 2019 sixty-years later at these same Pam American Games, Ms. Gwen Berry a Hammer Thrower, stood on the podium wearing bright blue lipstick and a gold medal around her neck. As the end of the national anthem played, she bowed her head and raised her fist, issuing a silent protest motivated by her personal journey and her belief that, “America can do better.” She was penalized by the United States Olympic Committee and placed on probation and issued a public letter aimed at intimidating and discouraging further protest!
Gold medal winner Roseanna Robinson (top left) at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru in 1959. Natasha Cloud/Champion WNBA Washington Mystics (Center photo) and Gwen Berry (bottom right). These are women who stood and are standing for something.
The U. S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee just bestowed its highest honor on Tommie Smith and John Carlos two of the sports world’s most iconic activist. They were inducted into its hall of fame in November 2019? Ms. Berry was put on probation for taking a similat stand in 2019! Something is wrong with this picture.
Despite this hypocrisy, women keep stepping up to the plate. Recently the New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury, and Indiana Fever wore black warm-up shirts, a WNBA league uniform violation, in solidarity with the victims of police brutality. The Minnesota Lynx wore “Change Starts With Us: Justice & Accountability” shirts in a pregame press conference. Players from both the Lynx and Washington Mystics, have refused to take postgame interviews unless they could talk about social issues, especially, gun violence. The Mystics, have taken a stand against Justice and Just-Us, and kids killing kids. This effort is being led by Mystics star guard, Natasha Cloud.
Washington Mystics Natasha Cloud leading the fast break in WNBA finals 2019. She leads a faster break trying to stop violence in her community.
In the meantime, Washington Wizards’ high paid stars John Wall and Bradley Beal are missing the boat by just giving away toys at Christmas, book bags on the first day of school and turkeys at Thanksgiving in place of taking a stand against kids killing kids. It would be great to see them team up with the Mystics to help curb the everyday violence that occurs right outside the doors of their practice facility on Alabama Avenue SE, DC (Ward 8).
The biggest change the Wizards have made so far in the community since moving from Landover, Md. to the Nation’s Capitol, was when owner Abe Pollin renamed the team, the Washington Bullets became the Washington Wizards. The city was once called “Chocolate City and the Wild, Wild West” all in the same breath. The make-up and the name Chocolate City is slowly disappearing, but the Wild, Wild West is a stubborn kind of fellow. The murder rate in DC is 5.9 100,00 people higher than the national average of 5.0, after dark Ward 8 is considered the most dangerous place to be in the Nation’s Capitol.
On January 20th the country celebrated Dr. King’s birthday and many sung and hummed the tune “We Shall Overcome?”
The truth of the matter pro sports franchises today are the worst example of an equal opportunity employer in America. During the celebration of Dr. King’s birthday, Major League Baseball for example of the 30 teams there are only three men of color who are managers. Currently, there are three vacancies because of a cheating scandal that has rocked the league. The chances of a Black/Afro-American being hired for one of those vacancies, the odds are against him. The Mets are the best bet of hiring a Black Afro-American, but the chances of a person of color being hired is 50-50 (Hispanic, Latino, Mexican, Dominican, Asia, etc).
The number of Black/African American players on the rosters of Major League Baseball is less 10% , Remember, Jackie Robinson broke the color line in 1947, seventy-three years later, Black ownership is ZERO!
NBA is much more progressive, blacks make up close to 75% of the league, and it has one black owner (Michael Jordan). And according to Super-Star Lebron James, Commissioner Adam Silver is a good guy because he allows them to be black and proud and protest!
The NFL is a disaster when it comes to being an equal opportunity employer. February 2020 they head into Miami for the 54th Super Bowl and celebrating 100 years, my question, what are they celebrating? There are 32 teams and no black/afro-Americans owners. The league is 70% black, and the persons of color owning teams, one is a Pakistani (Jacksonville) and the other is an Asian woman (Buffalo)???? There are 32 teams and only two black/African American head coaches and Ron Rivera (Puerto Rican).
The owners and system have all made a mockery out of the Rooney Rule. The rule was designed according to the NFL “To give ethnic-minority candidates an opportunity for head coaching and senior football operation jobs. It is an example of affirmative action, even though there is no hiring quota or hiring preference given to minorities, only an interviewing quota”, from the results that sounds about right.
If you were watching the showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers, one of the commentators put on the screen a chart of the Shanahan Coaching Tree. There was not one Black/Afro-American, offensive or defensive coordinator on their tree. It was proof of the “Good Old Boy System” was still on the job. The top coaching trees belong to Bill Belichick and Bill Parcells (Todd Bowles was on both trees?).
The owners shown their true colors when QB Colin Kapernick took a knee to protest police brutality in America. They changed the whole narrative to “Fake News” using the flag and soldiers in and out of uniform to fan the flames of hate. The clincher, the 90 million dollars offered to the players to resolve issues in their community-there was an immediate split among the players, mission accomplished, the owners Conquered by Dividing!
NHL is the worst of the 4 pro sports franchises: There are 31 teams, no black coaches, no black owners, no black PR guys. And according to google there are 30 Black/African American NHL players, either playing on the parent club or with an affiliate. The commissioner Gary Bettman is a former senior Vice-President and general counsel for the NBA. I remember meeting with him when I was a Nike rep in the late 70s in the league office in New York City. In that meeting were Beckman, former player Rod Thorn, Vice-President of player personnel and Chief of Security, Horace Bondam. The meeting and discussion centered around players and community involvement. Things got kind of heated when Beckman blurted out, “You cannot use the players, we own them!” Some things never change.
WHY A CHANGE AIN’T COMING
A. In 2020 a black man in America still makes half the salary of a white man
B. The benefactors of Affirmative Action are white women
C. The education system is broken
D. A cop’s bullet has replaced a lynch mob. A black man in America is three times as likely to be shot and killed by a white cop than a white man, despite the fact we make up only 13% of the population and he makes up 75% of the population!
E. The judicial system is still broken–Justice and Just-Us is alive and well.
Hopefully when I am dancing with the Angels, I can say “I tried”.
The late DC Superior Judges Luke C. Moore and Chief Judge Eugene Hamilton hanging out at Hillcrest Saturday Program during Community Day.
January 2020 marks twenty-seven years since the death of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and November 2020 marks twenty-six years since the death of DC Superior Court Judge Luke C. Moore. They were two GIANTS when it came to challenging the system as it related to Justice & Just-Us in American Courtrooms. I would be remissed if I didn’t mention DC Superior Court Judge Harry T. Alexander in this same paragraph and in the same breath as it relates to Justice & Just-Us!
The reason I was so successful in my work with youth gangs and at-risk children was because Judges Moore and Alexander had my back when came to our community. Judge Moore was the first modern day Black American to be appointed U. S. Marshall in-Charge of the U. S. Marshall Service in America. He was appointed by my mentor President Richard M. Nixon. In 1877 Frederick Douglas was the first black to hold the office. He was appointed by President Rutherford Haynes and then approved by the Senate. Douglas was also the first black to be honored with a Presidential appointment, but his power of authority was limited to Washington, DC (whites were not subject to arrest).
Santa’s helpers Judge Harry T. Alexander and Redskin LB Harold McLinton host annual KIT toy party at Marriott twin-bridges hotel in Arlington, Va.
During the 1968 riots Luke Moore, Willie Wood (NFL) and I walked the U Street corridor arm and arm trying to save lives. It was here our bond was formed. When I received a Presidential appointment in 1969 from President Nixon, Luke played an important role in supporting my non-profit organization Kids In Trouble. After his appointment to the DC Superior Court as a sitting judge by Nixon, we teamed up to establish the first ever Half-Way House for DC juvenile deliquents on a Military Base in America. Col. Charles Reider the base Chaplin was the one who gave me the idea for Bolling Boys Base. He is seen standing in the middle with me on the right and a resident on the left. The Bolling Boys Base served as the home for the overcrowded Receiving Home in NE DC.
Bolling Boys Base was found on Bolling Air Force Base in SE DC in 1971. Chief Judge Harold Greene, Judges Ted Newman, Eugene Hamilton, Harry T. Alexander, and Henry Kennedy, Jr. would all follow Luke’s lead with Maryland (PG County) Judges Bill Missouri and Alex Williams (the first black State’s Attorney in PG County) would also join the team. Redskins Larry Brown, Harold McLinton, Roy Jefferson and Ted Vactor, media personalities Petey Greene, Bill Raspberry, Jim Vance and Fred Thomas, from Law-enforcement, Assistant Chief Tilmon O’Bryant and the first black chief of the department, Bertell Jefferson all became team players for Kids In Trouble, Inc. Our mission, to enhance the growth and opportunies for inner-city youth. The benefactors read like a Who’s Who!
Judges Newman, Alexander and Hamilton pay tribute to Redskin RB MVP Larry Brown during a KIT charity basketball game at Georgetown University
Judge Moore welcomes Redskin WR Roy Jefferson, judges Newman, Kennedy and Tim Baylor (NFL) to the annual KIT toy party at the Foxtrappe in NW DC.Judge Kennedy at the Foxtrappe during a Inside Sports Celebrity Fashion Show. He met his wife Altomease here during a toy party for KIT.
KIT was a “Family Affair” with the Kennedys, Randy Kennedy (Harvard University Professor) and Henry Sr. are seen here during a KIT toy drive.
Since losing Marshall, Moore, Alexander, and Chief Judge Greene we have come up short in the department of justice for all. We lost the lion of the court Harry T. Alexander in 2010. The turnout for this great man’s homegoing service I found rather embarrassing, especially by the absence of DC Superior Court judges and the black community at-large who chose not to attend. Today’s black judges stand on his shoulders, but were nowhere to be found during his service. Retired Judge Ted Newman was the only one I saw in attendance. The other no-shows know who they are that didn’t pay this man the respect he earned in the courtroom. Judge Alexander and I didn’t always agree, but I loved and respected the man. He didn’t just talk the talk he walked the walk.My friend the late Judge extraordinary Harry T. Alexander, a man who demanded respect in his courtroom for men and women of all colors, and creeds, no matter their status in “The Game Called Life”. One DC cop kept referring to a black on trial in his courtroom as “Boy”, Judge Alexander dismissed the case for mistaken idenity.
The Washington Post came up short as usual when we lose stand-up black men in our community. They would rather promote drug kingpin Rayful Edmond’s new DVD on Page One. I wrote a lionizing column on what is now a national media outlet CBS television own blog “The Bleacher Report”! Google, “Judge Harry T. Alexander A Super Star in the Game Called Life”.
Judges Alex Williams and the late Bill Missouri of PG County were contributors to KIT but both came up short in the courtroom. One was known as “The Hanging Judge” and the other was known to ‘Speak no evil and see no evil’, that was not justice for all–it was justice for some.
For those who didn’t know DC Superior Court Judge Luke C. Moore let me introduce you to this remarkable and unique human being. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fkafk63frbg
Noteworthy: A change ain’t coming if you sitting around waiting for it to knock on your door. My friend the late Congressman Elijah Cummings said it best, “200 years from now when you are dancing with the Angels, the question will be ‘What did you do to keep our Democracy intact, did you say and do nothing? We are better than that!’ My question to you, “Are you better than that”? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEXhZ8PwM-Y