• Sports
    Yahoo Sports

    Former Green Beret who advised Colin Kaepernick to kneel in protest responds to Drew Brees' comments

    Nate Boyer said he doesn't think that Drew Brees meant to "ostracize himself" when the Saints quarterback made controversial comments on kneeling during the national anthem this week.

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  • Business
    The Daily Beast

    Staff Calls for Shutdown of Sports Illustrated Publisher’s ‘Blue Lives Matter’ Site

    Employees at Maven Media Brands, the U.S. digital-media publisher that owns outlets like Sports Illustrated and Maxim, are calling upon the company to cut ties with a Blue Lives Matter website in its portfolio.In an all-staff meeting on Friday, Maven announced that it will institute a 15-percent salary reduction across the organization as part of cost-saving measures as a result of the collapse of the digital advertising market following the spread of the coronavirus. While staffers were upset about the latest round of cuts, many raised another concern: The company’s continued affiliation with Defense Maven, a website also known as Blue Lives Matter. The website has been in Maven’s portfolio since 2017 and covers police-related news almost exclusively from an overtly pro-cop perspective—an angle emphasized by its name, a phrase coined in direct response to the Black Lives Matter movement and often used to undermine or deflect from concerns about police brutality and racial disparities in the criminal-justice system.During the tense meeting, a number of employees called upon the company to altogether deplatform Blue Lives Matter amid nationwide protests against police brutality, sparked by the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. In a chat accompanying the virtual meeting, staffers called the website “embarrassing,” “a disgrace,” and “horrible,” saying many of the comments were overtly racist “with no monitoring,” and noting how the site’s loose editorial restrictions allow factually incorrect information to go unchecked.The existence of the site was top of mind for many staffers, one of whom noted: “We are not asking for a wide-ranging conversation about diversity right now. We’re asking for you to take that site down and explain why it is still up.”One staffer noted how a site commenter on Thursday advocated for putting snipers and armed drones in place to target and shoot looters to “set an example for the world to see.” A different employee added: “Blue Lives Matters’s comment sections are full of people calling for the extermination of people like me.”Sports Illustrated’s Bosses Can’t Figure Out Who to Blame for Massive LayoffsA sales employee suggested that advertisers are less interested in advertising with Maven Media Brands because of its association with the Blue Lives Matter blog (the company’s CEO acknowledged later on Friday that the site was “hurting the company financially,” and that the decision to carry the site or not is ultimately unrelated to its revenue draw). The Maven did not immediately return a request for comment.“I don’t care whether or not they make us money,” another employee said. “It’s morally wrong to continue platforming a site that advocates for the fascistic oppression of all Americans but especially black people, other POCs, LGBTQ, and the disabled.” According to people who attended the all-staff calls, Maven’s CEO and founder James Heckman said that while he heard employees’ concerns, he also emphasized the company’s original journalistic mission to promote an open dialogue and break down readers’ ideological bubbles with different perspectives. During a second meeting about the topic later on Friday, Heckman explained that he started the company with the vision of “trying to get both sides of the table”—including the blog Photography Is Not a Crime, which has documented police brutality, and Blue Lives Matter, which defends the police perspective—and “empowering both sides of hot issues” for “civilized discourse between people with diametrically opposing views.” The CEO acknowledged that the company has tried to more aggressively moderate its comments, but said that totally banning comments could be “problematic too.” Ultimately, following confrontational questioning from the staff, Heckman said he would seek approval from the company board to remove Blue Lives Matter from the Maven platform, and asked for employees to submit screenshots of hateful messages on the site.“I think for sure this is something we have to do,” Heckman said. “I’m going to make that recommendation to the board, I’m sure the board will be supportive.”Friday’s pay cuts, meanwhile, were just the latest in a series of negative financial announcements for the Maven. In March, Maven announced it would lay off 9 percent of staff across its websites, a move the company said it needed to take amid an estimated $30-million revenue shortfall. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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  • U.S.

    Kourtney Kardashian Says She Has a ''Responsibility'' to Teach Her Kids About Their White Privilege

    In a candid Instagram post shared Thursday, E! reality star Kourtney Kardashian explains the importance of having honest conversations with her children, even if it's "uncomfortable."

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  • U.S.
    The Guardian

    California: Vallejo police kill unarmed 22-year-old, who was on his knees with his hands up

    An officer mistakenly believed Sean Monterrosa had a gun, but it was a hammer in his pocketPolice in northern California fatally shot an unarmed 22-year-old who was on his knees with his hands up outside a Walgreens store while responding to a call of alleged looting, officials said.An officer in the city of Vallejo was inside his car when he shot Sean Monterrosa on Monday night amid local and national protests against police brutality. Police said an officer mistakenly believed Monterrosa had a gun, but later determined he had a hammer in his pocket.The killing of Monterrosa, who was a San Francisco resident, has sparked intense outrage in the Bay Area, particularly in the city of Vallejo, a city with a long history of police violence and high-profile killings and excessive force complaints. “When confronted by the police, he dropped to his knees and surrendered, and they fired at him,” said Melissa Nold, a Vallejo civil rights attorney representing Monterrosa’s family. “He wasn’t doing anything to warrant it. They shot him from inside their car. What opportunity did they give him to survive that situation? … It’s egregiously bad.” The exact circumstances that led to the killing are unclear, and police have not yet released footage. In a news conference on Wednesday, two days after the killing, police chief Shawny Williams said officers were responding to a call of possible looting at the pharmacy shortly after midnight when an officer in a cruiser drove up and saw a dozen people in the parking lot getting into a car. A second officer in an unmarked car drove up and found Monterrosa, who was still on the scene, who then kneeled down and started to raise his hands. At this point, the police chief said, this officer “perceived a threat” and fired five shots through his window at Monterosso. The chief declined to identify the officer who killed Monterrosa, saying only that the officer was an 18-year veteran of the force. The chief also dodged questions about whether he considered the shooting to be excessive force and ignored questions from angry community members who showed up to a press conference. When asked about the merits of shooting through a window, the chief said some officers are trained to shoot through their windshields and said this was allowed under policy. Monterrosa died at the hospital, the chief said. The last person killed by Vallejo police was Willie McCoy, a 20-year-old who had been sleeping in his car in February 2019 when six officers fired 55 bullets in 3.5 seconds. One of the six officers who killed McCoy, a rising rapper in the Bay Area, had previously killed an unarmed man who was fleeing on his bike. Another Vallejo officer killed three men in a five-month period and was subsequently promoted. Vallejo, a city 30 miles north-east of San Francisco with 121,000 residents, has over the years had a significantly higher rate of killings by police than the national average and other Bay Area cities. Despite promises of reform in the wake of widespread scrutiny, the killing of Monterrosa and police leaders’ actions in the aftermath suggest that nothing has changed, said Nold, who has long advocated for policy shifts. A day after the shooting, police and other Vallejo leaders held a news conference about the ongoing protests and the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, but refused to provide any details about Monterrosa’s killing, saying only that there had been an “officer-involved shooting” and declining to specify whether it was fatal.“It’s just unfathomable,” said Nold, adding that the news was devastating to many families of people killed by Vallejo police, who were trying to be optimistic about change in the city, since police had not killed anyone for more than a year. Even though the chief likely knew the circumstances of the killing by the time he held his first news conference, he refused to discuss it, while citizens were continuing to march for Floyd, Nold noted. “We’re protesting for a guy who lived thousands of miles away. And the day we’re marching, our own police are gunning down an unarmed man on his knees.” While Nold has not yet seen body-camera footage, which police are eventually required to release, and has not yet viewed Monterrosa’s body, she noted that “even their own version of the story is horrific”. The department, she said, has a track record of initially misrepresenting the circumstances of killings, which the public later learns when video is released. Even if police believed Monterrosa was involved in looting, the officers had no evidence of that when they arrived and immediately shot him, she added. Nold said she was anxious to learn the identity of the officer, given that the force is relatively small and she knows of more than a dozen officers in recent years who have killed more than one citizen. Monterrosa grew up in San Francisco, where he attended an arts high school and had previously worked at the local Boys and Girls Club, a not-for-profit.“He was a true native son of San Francisco and Bernal Heights,” said Jake Grumbach, a family friend, who posted a video of Monterrosa speaking at a youth program in the city, where loved ones and local residents gathered on Thursday for a vigil. “He was loved and respected by so many … There is just so much community support and solidarity.”Vallejo police representatives did not respond to questions. Adante Pointer, another civil rights lawyer who has long represented Vallejo families, said it was especially alarming that officers would kill a resident at this moment: “The eyes of the world are on policing and yet your officers still feel comfortable enough to shoot someone under what are the most questionable circumstances? If they could do this during the light of the George Floyd protests and world scrutiny, you can only imagine what they do in the dark of the night when no one is looking.”

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