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Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, is getting his affairs together before this summer’s Olympics in London. He’s training every day, eating right, booking flights and oh yea - dumping his insanely hot girlfriend.
That’s Bolt with his girl, 28-year-old Lubica Slovak, who he’s been dating for nearly six months. Bolt claims the reason for the break up is so he can focus on his training for the games. I get that – you’re an elite athlete competing on the biggest stage in the world, so you should probably do away with the distractions (and yes, I would label bringing along your drop dead gorgeous blond girlfriend as a distraction). The cynic in me says he’s really breaking up with her because he’s staying in the Olympic Village, and will be surrounded by MANY attractive women and will now not have any restraints.
“While Bolt has already been dating Slovak for a year, the ish literally hit the fan when the two were photographed kissing each other in local newspaper the Jamaican Observer. The photo ignited a firestorm of disapproval from Black Jamaicans, bemoaning Black men’s “White woman complex.”
For many, Bolt’s embracing of “the White girl” was an immediate rejection of the local Black Jamaican girls Bolt grew up with. This concept was illustrated in a cartoon that ran with the original published photo.”
Here’s the illustration in question:
And you thought Joel Pett’s cartoon was bad?
If Bolt dumped Slovak because people back home in Jamaica have some issue with him dating a white woman, than not only are they ignorant, but he’s weak. I thought we were past this garbage of feeling disgusted – or as Jill Scott called it, “the wince” – whenever we see an interracial couple? As Woody Allen once famously said “The heart wants what it wants”, so race shouldn’t stop one from pursuing what they desire. If Bolt wants to be with Slovak, and the women of Jamaica have an issue with it, well then too bad. They don’t have to like it, as it’s none of their business.
I hope Bolt did this purely out of respect to his profession, and not because some jealous and insecure women at home were offended that he picked a girl from Slovakia and not one from Kingston. I’m not going to get into the history of interracial dating, or the history of slavery or whatever the hell News One was getting at, but it’s 2012. It’s beyond time to start whatever healing is necessary so we don’t shame others into adhering to our prejudices.
Chris Andersen has gone through so much in one lifetime, that an attempt to skim his life story down to just the major events still takes up a considerable amount of space:
Andersen grew up in an orphanage in Texas, and realized at a young age that he had natural athleticism that was difficult to match. After dropping out from the University of Houston, he attended Blinn College, eventually finding his way into the CBL. After getting picked up by the Denver Nuggets in 2001, he developed the persona “Birdman” for his high flying antics. A prolific shot blocker and dunker, he quickly became a fan favorite. While he is mostly known for having a body covered in tattoos and his two year-long suspension from the NBA for violating the league’s substance abuse policy (mostly for meth and cocaine), he is a very charitable person, purchasing tickets and distributing them to less fortunate families in the Denver area. Yet in spite of his numerous battles with narcotics, he’s thought of as a nice guy who has a problem, and who wouldn’t hurt anybody.
That’s all changed now.
On Thursday, police searched and confiscated many items from Andersen’s Larkspur, CO home, which he shares with a few roommates. The search was part of an investigation taking place in California, which was cooperating with Douglas County’s Sheriff Internet Crimes Against Children Unit.
That last sentence, whether he or his roommates are found guilty of anything, essentially ended Andersen’s career.
No arrest warrants have been issued thus far, and Andersen has fully cooperated with the authorities. The investigation will most likely continue for weeks, possibly even months, as investigators go over hard drives, thumb drives and whatever other property they seized from Andersen’s residence. Andersen has already been “excused indefinitely” by the team during the investigation, but he hasn’t figured into the young Nuggets plans at all this season, not seeing game action since March 25th.
The American public will forgive a celebrity for pretty much any mishap: drunk driving, drug abuse, cheating on a spouse or even saying a racial/homophobic slur. If that person is beloved by the adoring public, sometimes even a simple apology will suffice. Unless a person goes on numerous rants, generally acting like a lunatic and is repeatedly heard using abusive language to others around him, we as a collective tend to either forgive or forget the star – unless that person is Mel Gibson, who’s been reduced to working with a friggin puppet for God’s sake. Unfortunately over the years we seem to have grown to accept a celebrity hitting a woman (looking at all you idiotic Chris Brown fans) as long as “the woman seems cool” about it later (when we disregard all we know about the mindset of abused women, by the way, and anyone pointing to Rihanna following Brown on Twitter as a reason to forget everything needs to be beaten with a sack of potatoes) or if he’s “sorry enough”, whatever the hell that means.
One thing the public will never, ever forgive – and especially never forget – is the abuse of a child. Even if the abuse is only alleged, and that person is eventually cleared, there will always be that stigma or a cloud of suspicion surrounding the individual for as long as he or she remains in the public’s eye, and even long after they leave the public arena.
Ask some people what they remember about Michael Jackson and - depending on their age - they’ll either say something about his music, or they’ll talk about the creepy interviews and how he allegedly acted when children were involved.
That’s a man who created some of the most popular and beloved music in history, and now he’s been reduced to a running joke. What will these types of allegations do to a guy who to non-sports enthusiasts is just a tatted up journeyman player with a history of drug abuse?
On Twitter Thursday night, the jokes were abundant; references to “Toddlers and Tiaras” on TLC, prom nights, and jokes about flights to Thailand were everywhere. Facts are for those who wait, but in a world where, as Ricky Bobby’s father said “If you’re not first, you’re last”, who has time for due process?
This could all blow over, and in a few weeks Andersen and his roommates could be cleared of any wrong doing. It doesn’t matter. This will now follow him wherever he goes, regardless of the outcome of the investigation. His chances of find another gig in a new city – Denver probably won’t want him back as this story has taken some focus off their team’s series against the Lakers – are slim at best.
If it’s found that his roommates did download or distribute child pornography? He’s done. Even if he knew nothing about it, the majority of the public will see him as someone that lived with a child abuser. Couple that with his past and – fairly or unfairly – teams won’t want to take the PR hit, regardless of what they believe he brings to the court.
If it turns out that he’s the focus of this investigation, and is found to have taken part of some illegal activity – illegal activity involving the exploitation of children? Then God have mercy on him, because he surely won’t find any of that down here.
This isn’t just a story about a basketball player running afoul of the law. Outside of Andersen and former Yankee Rusty Torres, I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of a professional athlete having to deal with these types of allegations. At this point, it becomes bigger than Andersen, and much bigger than what’s left of his career.
Let’s just hope justice is served, whether it involves arrests being made in Larkspur or not.
You pray that this is the last time you hear a story like this. Unfortunately, we all know better.
I saw this online from Nicole Auerbach of USA Today, and I had to share with everyone:
That cute baby is little Aiden from Louisville, whose parents took the picture of him doing the famous A Davis pose and then had Davis sign the poster at an autograph session.
When I was on First State Financial Sports Talk on Sunday with Mark Buerger, we talked a little about the Junior Seau situation. Seau recently took his own life, and the media – including us – were wondering what concussions, steroids, and pretty much anything, really, played a role in him deciding he wanted to commit suicide.
Now I’ve never played a down on professional football – shocking, I know. In fact in high school I quit football because I wanted to play baseball, plus I needed to see a tutor in whatever spare time I had. If I tried to throw a ball twenty yards my arm would probably fly out of socket, and I’m not even going to pretend I know how to properly tackle a guy. However I can somewhat understand where Seau is – was – coming from.
I have a special place in Kentucky that everyone knows about but isn’t often visited. It’s a spot off Interstate 64 in Frankfort: the Vietnam Memorial. There I’ve spent many of hours, watching deer, sitting, reading, thinking and pretty much passing the time. It’s a nice tranquil spot to gather one’s thoughts, and to take in all the beauty that Kentucky has to offer.
I came across that spot completely by accident, after one of the darkest periods of my life.
Most of you know me as “Mushmouth”: the guy who easily gets tongue-tied and occasionally slurs his words, but is genuinely a nice guy and is just doing what he loves. I’ve been “that guy” for almost three years, but for the 24 years preceding my stint at WLAP I was something practically completely different.
I first moved to Kentucky in 2006 from New York; Long Island to be exact. Even though I’ve grown to love Kentucky, I came down here against my will. You see in 2006 I was engaged to be married, and my fiancé wanted to work with horses. She figured “what place is better than the horse capital?” and before I knew it, I down here. Really, I was a young fool in love. I was ready to start a new life.
My first job down here was at Rent-A-Center in town, and believe me when I say those guys don’t get paid enough for the amount of crap they have to deal with on a daily basis. I hated it. I mean the type of hatred that drove me to drink for the first time in my life. However I was down here with someone I loved, and as long as she was with me, I’d put up with my lot in life.
About seven months in, things started to change. Tell me if you’ve heard this before: young couple makes a rash decision too early in a relationship, things get shaky, and then everything goes from bad to worse. Before I knew it she had a new “friend” and I was out. I had to find a new place – and fast – plus I still didn’t really know anyone down here. I didn’t have enough money or credit to get a place on my own, had no one to turn to in town and my nearest relative or friends was a thirteen hour drive away. I was alone in a town of over 250,000 and was royally screwed.
One day me and her had a terrible fight over the phone, concerning something as inconsequential as bookcases. Looking back on it, I can’t believe it went as far as it did. However some harsh words were exchanged - including a threat or six – and it pretty much sealed the deal: we were finished forever.
I’m not an overly emotional man, mind you. I’m like my father, where I listen to everyone else’s problems but rarely (at least seriously) talk about my own. However something happened that day that just made me think it was never going to get better so…what’s the point?
I decided to try and kill myself.
Being too scared to do what Seau did (also not having immediate access to a weapon), I made sure I got myself drunk before I attempted anything. About half through a bottle of Jack I figured out what I would do: I remembered there being a bridge on 64, however I wasn’t sure of its exact location or whether there was a guardrail or not leading up to it. I decided if there was a rail that impeded my car from either hitting the side or going over, I’d just calmly park my car and jump off of the bridge, and probably never be seen again.
As an insurance – seems kind of ironic to use that phrase here – I also took a knife along with me, just in case.
Two circumstances took place at the bridge that day which allowed me to write this piece today:
- There was a guardrail there, and it looked strong enough where as my car would have just bounced off into traffic, and I didn’t want to hurt anyone else (meanwhile I had drank before I got into the car)
- There was a stalled vehicle on the shoulder – plus heavy traffic - as my car headed west, so if I had pulled over I would have either been stopped by that person or someone would have witnessed me doing it.
After I passed the bridge I got off at the next exit, trying to plan my next move.
Should I turn back around and try it driving east?
Should I wait until it’s darker and there’s less traffic?
What can I do to make sure I don’t hurt or scar anyone emotionally that may be passing by, just living their life?
While I drifted on some road I’ve never been, I pulled off onto a side road near the capital. A little longer down that road, I turned once more into the Memorial parking lot.
As I sat there I KNEW I had friends and family that loved me. I KNEW that I would not only be letting them down if I went through with this, but I couldn’t bear the thought of my parents having to go through the process of grieving for their only child. Although I knew all of this, I thought I knew that this was the end. Nothing could make life any better.
I must have sat in that car for an hour, just staring a thousand yard stare towards nothing in particular, trying to figure out what to do. At last I decided to get out and walk.
The memorial itself is an understated structure; just a piece of metal protruding out of concrete to form a sundial. Yet it’s surroundings and it’s simple design work so elegantly together, especially at the right time of day when the sun is just about to disappear for the evening. The serenity of the memorial allowed me to gather my thoughts and conclude that everything that was happening wasn’t worth losing my life over. It allowed me opportunity to clear my head, gather my thoughts and decide what was best for me and for me only. Shortly after, I found a new place, made a lot of new friends, and eventually got a job doing what I love. I couldn’t be happier.
I’ve never had 50,000+ fans cheering my name. I’ve never played in a Super Bowl, let alone two of them. I’ve never known what it’s like to not be able to go into town, for fear of being mobbed by an adoring public.
And that’s the point.
Depression hits everyone. Even star athletes.
There’s no common element to depression. Depression doesn’t recognize social status, race, gender or age. It can fester for years inside a person; meanwhile the individual may not show any outward signs of there being anything wrong. Seau was loved by millions and had everything he could have asked for, however when it’s the end of the day and all you’re left with is your thoughts; those millions don’t know where Seau’s mind goes. All we can ask is why? Why would a still-young man with seemingly everything end it all so suddenly? We often forget celebrities are people too, and regardless whatever talent and abilities they possess, they too have thoughts, fears, dreams, and fits of rage or moments of joy. Just because we see someone on screen or in a 30 second interview doesn’t mean we see the TRUE them.
Two years ago one of my best friends Chris took his own life. He was only 24. Of course, no one saw it coming, but that didn’t stop us from asking why. We questioned if there was anything we could have done to stop it, or if there was something we did. I experienced then what I had hoped to avoid for my friends and family: pure grief and despair. If you saw Seau’s mom tearful plea for her son back, you know what a family goes through when a tragic event such as this takes place.
I took this time to not only write about my experience with depression, but to present a more articulate point on what I was attempting to say Sunday, without all my usual blathering but still littered with poor grammar. It used to make me sick when right after something happens that is this tragic, people will rush to judgment and for answers. I used to believe that it was the world we now live in, where everything answer has to be both instant and gratifying. However I know now that it’s just human nature, trying to explain things that either we can’t understand or won’t understand. We want an answer; we want to know why this happened and what we can do to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Perhaps it was related to concussions.