Tag: National Action Network

WNBA President Lisa Borders Withdraws Player Fines Regarding Anti-Violence Shirts

WNBA President Lisa Borders (photo via nytimes.com)
WNBA President Lisa Borders (photo via nytimes.com)

article via espn.go.com

NEW YORK — The WNBA has withdrawn its fines for teams and players who showed support of citizens and police involved in recent shootings by wearing black warm-up shirts before games.

WNBA president Lisa Borders applauds the league’s players for taking a stance on social issues. She just wishes the activism was kept off the court.  Borders said in a statement Saturday that the league was rescinding penalties given to the Indiana Fever, New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury and their players for wearing the shirts during pregame protests, which began after shootings in Minnesota and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“While we expect players to comply with league rules and uniform guidelines, we also understand their desire to use their platform to address important societal issues,” Borders said. “Given that the league will now be suspending play until August 26 for the Olympics, we plan to use this time to work with our players and their union on ways for the players to make their views known to their fans and the public.”

Borders also tweeted her support for the players.

Each organization had been fined $5,000 and players were each given a $500 penalty because WNBA rules state that uniforms may not be altered in any way. The normal fine for uniform violations is $200.

The fines seemed to galvanize the players, who have used postgame interview sessions and social media to voice their displeasure. There has also been public criticism of the fines, including from New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony.

“It’s a huge win overall,” said Fever All-Star Tamika Catchings, who is president of the WNBA players’ union. “I think more than anything I told [Borders] at times you’re going to agree to disagree. With this, I’m really proud of the players standing strong and for utilizing their voices. Change starts with us. We have a social responsibility as well.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton said early Saturday that his organization, the National Action Network, would pay the $500 fines. He called the penalty “unacceptable.”

The Liberty wore the plain black shirts four times, including Wednesday against Washington. Indiana and Phoenix donned the shirts Tuesday night before their nationally televised game.

“We commend Lisa Borders for recognizing how the players of the WNBA felt and the sensitive time that we’re living in and being willing to re-evaluate their decision,” Liberty president Isiah Thomas said. “We are also very proud of our players; the world is seeing what we already knew. They’re truly incredible, thoughtful and talented individuals. Our league, our partners and our society are better because of our players’ willingness to enter the political and social activism arena.”

The fines were administered Wednesday, and neither the Fever nor the Liberty wore the shirts at their matinee game Thursday. Tina Charles did wear her warm-up shirt inside-out in honor of a shooting in Florida that morning.

Charles said she was happy that the league rescinded the fines. She has donated her entire salary this year to her charity — Hopey’s Heart Foundation — so the withdrawn fine means more money that will help buy automated external defibrillators.  Still, she said it was “embarrassing” that the players had been fined in the first place.

To read full article, go to: http://espn.go.com/wnba/story/_/id/17131967/wnba-withdraws-fines-regarding-anti-violence-shirts

John Legend, Tyrese Gibson, Wanda Sykes Honored at 2015 Triumph Awards

Tyrese at the 2015 Trumph Awards in Atlanta

John Legend and Tyrese Gibson were honored for their positive impact on the community at the Triumph Awards, which took place Saturday night in Atlanta and will air Oct. 3 on TV One.

Legend received the Presidential Award for service and humanitarian efforts. The Grammy-winning singer was not in attendance, but accepted his award in a pre-taped video sitting alongside the Rev. Al Sharpton. (The network collaborated with Sharpton and his National Action Network.)

Gibson was presented the entertainer of the year award by Martin Luther King III. After the singer was given the award, he took the stage to perform his single “Shame.”

The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery received the Chairman’s Award for historic and transformative service as a civil rights leader, while comedian Wanda Sykes was given the Activism in the Arts honor for years of service to youth homelessness and engagement within the LGBT community.

Intel chief diversity officer Rosalind Hudnell was presented with the Corporate Executive of the Year.

Tichina Arnold hosts the 2015 Triumph Awards
Tichina Arnold

Actress Tichina Arnold of the Starz series “Survivor’s Remorse” hosted the show.

Rapper T.I. delivered a spoken-word piece titled “United We Stand,” urging youth to not lose focus and the meaning behind the Black Lives Matter movement.

Other performers included Tasha Cobbs, Ledisi, Jazmine Sullivan and Estelle. The Youth Ensemble of Atlanta unveiled “Put Your Guns Up,” a tribute recounting the victims of unfortunate deaths as a result of gun violence.

Grammy-winning jazz artist and producer Robert Glasper was the show’s musical director of the house band. Chante Moore and R&B singer Stokley Williams performed in a duet, singing a rendition of Donny Hathaway’s classic song “Someday We’ll All Be Free.”

article via eurweb.com

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley Finally Agrees Confederate Flag at State Capitol Must be removed

“This has been a very difficult time for our state,” Haley said. “We have stared evil in the eye. … Our state is grieving, but we are also coming together.”

“Today, we are here to say it is time to move the flag from the Capitol grounds,” said Haley, surrounded by top leaders including U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, both Republicans like the governor. The other politicians broke out in cheers during the announcement.

The decision follows days of protests inside the state and growing pressure on Republican leaders to back away from the flag.  Roof, 21, is being held on nine murder charges in connection with the shooting last Wednesday. Pictures of Roof have surfaced showing the high school dropout with the flag.

Though she sharply condemned the alleged shooter, Haley noted that the flag represents many positive things for people in her state.  “The hate-filled murderer has a sick and twisted view of the flag,” she said, adding, “we have changed through the times and we will continue to do so, but that doesn’t mean we forget our history.”

In calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from state grounds, Haley said: “My hope is that moving a symbol that divides we can move forward and honor the nine blessed souls who are in heaven.”

Religious and political leaders including Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. said earlier Monday that they would push for the flag’s removal when the Legislature returns.  Riley has led protest marches against the flag and has called for its removal from state grounds before.

“The time has come for the Confederate battle flag to move from a public position in front of the state Capitol to a place of history,” Riley said at a televised news conference. The flag “was appropriated years and years ago as a symbol of hate,” Riley said, and should be moved to a museum.

The Rev. Nelson B. Rivers III of the National Action Network said the flag should be removed before the body of state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, who was killed in the attack, lies in state on Wednesday. Pinckney was also pastor of Emanuel AME.

Republicans, who control South Carolina’s state Legislature, have rebuffed many previous calls to remove the flag, which dates from the Civil War. For civil rights activists and many others, the flag is a racist symbol of the state’s slave past.  The flag has also been adopted by some white supremacist groups in modern times.

Continue reading “South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley Finally Agrees Confederate Flag at State Capitol Must be removed”

Eric Garner’s Daughter Stages “Die-In” at Same Spot Where Her Father Died

erica garner

Erica Garner organized and led a protest in Staten Island on Thursday in memory of her father Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black man who died in July after he was placed in a prohibited chokehold by a white police officer.

Erica, 24, was joined by a group of protesters who marched through the city and collectively staged a die-in at the site where her father was slain.

Upon their arrival, Garner lay on the ground in the exact spot where he father died. It was a moment that was captured in these powerful photos:

Garner’s family has spoken out since a grand jury declined to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, who said he “felt very bad” about Garner’s death and sent his condolences. 

However, Garner’s widow, Esaw, rejected his offer in statements she made shortly after Pantaleo issued his statement.  “Hell no! The time for remorse would have been when my husband was yelling to breathe,” Esaw said during a live press conference at the headquarters of the National Action Network on Dec. 3.

“No, I don’t accept his apology. No, I could care less about his condolences,” she continued. “He’s still working. He’s still getting a paycheck. He’s still feeding his kids, when my husband is six feet under and I’m looking for a way to feed my kids now.”

Protests have occurred in major cities nationwide since the grand jury’s indictment eight days ago and more are planned for the coming days.  Garner’s family, along with families of other victims of police killings, will join Rev. Al Sharpton in leading a march in Washington on Saturday to speak out against racial profiling and police brutality.

“Do not be silent. Do not be complacent. Do not continue to live with police misconduct and violence as somehow acceptable,” Sharpton wrote on The Huffington Post. 

“Those who came before us sacrificed so that we may have a more just future. Now we must do the same for the generations that will come after us.”

article by Lilly Workneh via huffingtonpost.com

“Stand Your Ground” Protest March Scheduled for March 10th in Tallahassee

Black community leaders are taking a stand against the controversial “Stand Your Ground” law.  On March 10, 2014 in Tallahassee, Florida, leaders across the country including Reverend Al Sharpton and the National Action Network are gathering in the Sunshine State to rally and a hold a prayer vigil in protest of SYG.

Sharpton will also be joined by Attorney Ben Crump and the parents of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis.  The march begins at 9:30am ET at the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center,  located at 505 W Pensacola St, Tallahassee, FL 32301.  After the march is completed, the rally begins at the State Capitol located at 400 South Monroe St, Tallahassee, Florida, FL 32301.

article via blackamericaweb.com

Today, Across the Nation, Vigils Will Call for ‘Justice for Trayvon’

Protester at Trayvon Martin Rally in Los Angeles, 7-17-13 (Photo by Lesa Lakin)
Protester at Trayvon Martin Rally in Los Angeles, 7-17-13 

Ira Acree spent two hours passing out fliers in front of the Dirksen Federal Building in downtown Chicago, hoping to spread the word about a “Justice for Trayvon” vigil at noon Saturday — one of at least 100 planned in cities across the nation.  On the way back to his car, Acree, a pastor, spotted a television in the lobby of the parking garage. A crowd had gathered in front, as if “watching the football game,” Acree said. President Obama was speaking.

In his first comments since a six-woman jury acquitted George Zimmerman of murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, Obama spoke frankly and reflectively, relating his experiences with race and racial profiling. “Trayvon Martin could have been me,” the President said. Obama’s earnest words moved Acree almost to tears.  “I just think that the president’s words may help whites across the nation at least understand us,” Acree said. “And be a little bit more emphathetic toward our actions tomorrow.”  Acree chairs the board of a social justice group in Chicago called the Leader’s Network, which is helping organize Saturday’s vigil.

The 100-city “Justice for Trayvon” vigils, which the RevAl Sharpton announced Tuesday on the steps of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., will be staged mostly at federal court buildings across the country. In California, rallies are scheduled in Los Angeles, Oakland, Palmdale, Riverside, Sacramento, San Francisco and the Monterey County city of Seaside.  Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, and Martin’s brother, Jahvaris, will attend a rally in New York City, along with Sharpton. Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, is attending a vigil in Miami.

With the vigils, organizers are hoping to build momentum for the filing of federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman.  A day after the jury delivered a not-guilty verdict, Sharpton’s civil rights organization, the National Action Network, held a conference call with local organizers.

Continue reading “Today, Across the Nation, Vigils Will Call for ‘Justice for Trayvon’”

Parents of Trayvon Martin to Join Saturday Vigils

In this image released by NBC, parents of Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton, left, and Tracy Martin appear on the "Today" show in New York. Martin's parents plan to participate in separate vigils Saturday. Sabrina Fulton and her other son Jahvaris Fulton, will join Al Sharpton outside New York Police Department headquarters while Tracy Martin is set to be at a similar event at a federal courthouse in Miami. (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Trayvon Martin’s parents plan to participate in separate vigils Saturday.  Martin’s mother and her son, Sybrina and Jahvaris Fulton, will join Al Sharpton outside New York Police Department headquarters.  Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, is set to be at a similar event at a federal courthouse in Miami.  Sharpton’s National Action Network is planning rallies in 100 cities to press for federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.  The Justice Department is investigating whether Zimmerman violated Martin’s civil rights when he shot the 17-year-old during a confrontation last year in Sanford, Fla.  Zimmerman says he fired in self-defense.  He was acquitted last Saturday of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.

article by Shaquille Brewster, AP via yahoonews.com