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Aaron Rodgers says LeBron James ignoring Donald Trump is 'absolutely beautiful'

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If only the NFL would have taken LeBron James’ approach with President Donald Trump, or at least listened to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers speak about it.

We’re heading into our third straight season of the national anthem issue overshadowing NFL games, and it’s the NFL’s fault. By enacting a policy that nobody liked (and eventually a policy that had to be paused as it discussed it with the NFLPA), when the controversy was dying down, the league incredibly gave new life to a story it was hoping went away. The NFL enacted an unnecessary policy at least partially in hopes of appeasing Trump, which makes it that much more baffling.

Trump went after James on Twitter recently, attacking James’ intelligence, and Rodgers loved that James didn’t acknowledge it. He thinks the NFL can learn from that.

Aaron Rodgers said he and other athletes support LeBron James

In an interview with NFL Media’s Michael Silver, Rodgers said he supports James and thinks James’ non-response to Trump was the right way to handle the situation. He called it “absolutely beautiful.” 

“At a time where he’s putting on display his school, which is changing lives, there’s no need,” Rodgers told Silver. “Because you’re just giving attention to that (tweet); that’s what they want. So just don’t respond.”

Rodgers said he didn’t reply to the Trump tweet about James because “LeBron needs no help.”

“He has stood on his own two feet for years, and he has done some incredible things, and he needs no support,” Rodgers told NFL.com. “He knows he has the support of his contemporaries, in his own sport and in other sports, and he’s gonna be fine.'”

Of course, the NFL seemingly can’t ignore Trump when he attacks the league.

Trump told Cowboys owner Jerry Jones once, according to Jones’ sworn deposition via the Wall Street Journal, that the national anthem issue was a “winning, strong issue for me.” He told Jones the NFL can’t win on the issue, because “this one lifts me.”

It’s hard for NFL players to not respond when Trump calls those who are trying to bring awareness to social issues such as racial inequality a “son of a bitch.” But as Trump continues to attack the NFL — NFL owners were the only ones who couldn’t see that coming — Rodgers said the best way to handle it is to not give Trump more publicity.

“I think that the more that we give credence to stuff like that, the more it’s gonna live on,” Rodgers told Silver. “I think if we can learn to ignore or not respond to stuff like that — if we can — it takes away the power of statements like that.”

It won’t be easy for NFL to ignore Trump

It won’t be easy for the NFL and its players to ignore Trump. As we know, Trump is aware the entire issue “lifts” him, and he won’t forget that. And the NFL is full of proud players who don’t take kindly to being called a “son of a bitch.”

But Rodgers makes some good points and it’s easy to follow his logic. And had the NFL ignored Trump from the beginning, we probably wouldn’t still be talking about the entire issue.

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St. Louis Voters Oust Prosecutor Who Didn’t Bring Charges In Cop Killing Of Michael Brown

St. Louis County District Attorney Robert McCulloch at 2015 press conference about an arrest in connection with a shooting at

In a remarkable win for reformers, Wesley Bell, a city council member in Ferguson, Missouri, upset Robert McCulloch in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

Wesley Bell, who cast himself as a reformer committed to changing a local criminal justice system widely criticized following the 2014 killing of black and unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer, won St. Louis County’s Democratic primary for top prosecutor on Tuesday in a major upset.

Bell, a city council member in Ferguson, Missouri, where Brown was killed, defeated Robert McCulloch, who had served in the prosecutor’s post since 1991. McCulloch was harshly criticized by many for failing to file charges against the officer who shot Brown, and Tuesday’s vote was widely seen as a referendum by local residents on his handling of the case.

Bell’s primary victory effectively means he is set to become St. Louis County’s next prosecuting attorney, given that he faces no Republican challenger in November’s general election.

Bell, 43, campaigned on pledges to never seek the death penalty, eliminate cash bail for nonviolent offenses, publicly oppose legislation that would create new mandatory minimum sentences for some crimes and adopt other policies that advocates for criminal justice reform favor.

He won the endorsements of numerous progressive groups, including influential political action committees such as activist Shaun King’s Real Justice and Color of Change, both of which focus on electing reform-minded prosecutors.

Ferguson, Missouri, City Council member Wesley Bell won the Democratic nomination for top prosecutor in St. Louis County on T
WESLEY BELL FOR ST LOUIS COUNTY PROSECUTOR
Ferguson, Missouri, City Council member Wesley Bell won the Democratic nomination for top prosecutor in St. Louis County on Tuesday, scoring a major upset over an entrenched incumbent.

Still, Bell faced criticism from some progressives for his past work as a municipal court judge in the region; they complained that he issued excessive fines and fees that had especially negative impacts on people of color.

“These results demonstrate that voters care passionately about crucial civil rights issues, from the unjust use of cash bail to how long people are sitting in our jails because they can’t afford to pay, to demanding their prosecuting attorney be transparent on his office’s work,” said Jeffrey A. Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Missouri. “We provided voters with essential information on civil liberties issues, and they demanded transparency and fairness from their prosecuting attorney. We look forward to working with our members and community partners to hold St. Louis County’s next prosecuting attorney accountable for protecting the rights of the people.”

McCulloch, 67, has been a controversial figure for decades. Critics have cited his close ties to local police departments as an impediment to him holding officers accountable for possible misconduct. Several of McCulloch’s family members ―  including his father, who was shot and killed by an African-American suspect when McCulloch was 12 years old ― have worked for the St. Louis Police Department.

He’s often pursued policies that have proved futile for years in stemming drug use across the nation. For instance, he’s favored aggressive prosecutions of drug-related offenses.

Critics have also blasted McCulloch for his prosecution of protesters and his pursuit of the death penalty in murder cases.

But McCulloch is best known for not bringing charges against Darren Wilson, the policeman who shot and killed Brown during a confrontation between the two on Aug. 9, 2014.

The confrontation began when Wilson ordered Brown and a friend, who were walking in the street, to walk on the sidewalk instead. Wilson, in his accounts, portrayed Brown as menacing and alleged that the teenager attacked him through an open window of his police vehicle. Wilson said Brown then fled, but stopped and turned back to charge at him. Witnesses differed on their versions of what happened between Wilson and Brown, with some claiming that Brown put his hands up to surrender at one point before being shot by Wilson. Ultimately, Wilson unloaded a total of 12 rounds at Brown, killing him.

Brown’s death sparked several days of protests in Ferguson and around the nation over police interactions with largely black communities. And more protests months later when McCulloch decided that his office wouldn’t file charges against Wilson but would instead present the matter to a grand jury without a recommendation.

Following the grand jury’s decision to not indict Wilson on murder or manslaughter charges, McCulloch’s strategy came under considerable scrutiny. While McCulloch had defenders who said the process was appropriate, doubts persisted that McCulloch’s prosecutors were too gentle on Wilson in questioning him before the grand jury while simultaneously being sharply skeptical of witness accounts.

Further, critics said, McCulloch’s decision to decline to recommend a specific charge to the grand jury during the proceedings made it far more likely that the grand jury wouldn’t issue an indictment anyway. Washington Post columnist  Dana Milbank termed McCulloch’s grand jury proceeding a “joke.”  

Critics also said McCulloch should have recused himself from the case because of his close ties with police and let a special prosecutor take over.

“While Wesley Bell’s victory may come as a shock to many around the country, it’s no surprise to the Color of Change PAC or to many in the Black community,” said Rashad Robinson, spokesperson for the Color of Change PAC, in a statement. “This ousting of a 27-year incumbent shows the country what Black voters have demonstrated for decades — that we demand to be heard and that we will make criminal justice reform a ballot-box issue in 2018 and beyond.”

Prosecutors are among the most powerful agents in the U.S. criminal justice system. They have unrivaled access to the evidence that can determine a person’s guilt or innocence, and broad powers in determining how aggressively to pursue possible criminal charges against individuals.  

Ninety-five percent of elected prosecutors are white, and 79 percent are male. Only 1 percent of prosecutors are women of color. The majority of prosecutors — 85 percent — run for election unopposed. They are rarely punished for misconduct, and a 1976 Supreme Court ruling gives them absolute immunity from civil suits.

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The Pay Gap Is Severely Affecting Black Women, Yet Only 1 In 3 Americans Know It

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Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is Aug. 7.

It took eight months and seven days into 2018 for black women to catch up to what white men earned in 2017. That means it takes a little more than 19 months for black women to reach a year’s worth of the average white man’s salary.

To highlight that discrepancy, organizations including Equal Pay Today and Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In are promoting Tuesday, Aug. 7, as Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. Black women are only paid 63 cents for every dollar white men earn. Black women, on average, are paid 38 percent less than than white men and 21 percent less than white women. Pay disparities remain consistent across different levels of education, according to the Economic Policy Institute. That’s a big difference, especially when 80 percent of black mothers are the primary breadwinners for their families.

“Equal pay is not about getting what’s fair, but about getting compensated for the value and expertise we bring to the workplace,” said Lisa Skeete Tatum, CEO and founder of career guidance platform Landit. “When women are not fully compensated, there is the real risk of not getting what they deserve, but also not being able to ever close the gap. The loss is not only in terms of compensation, but also promotion, learning opportunities and the ability to bring the full measure of their talent and potential to the table.”

That gap has only narrowed by 9 cents over the last 30 years, compared to 22 cents for white women, Pew Research Center reported in 2016. On top of that, black women receive less support from managers and get promoted less frequently, according to Lean In’s 2017 Women In the Workplace study

This is an urgent issue that is costing black women more than $800,000 ― and, in some states, $1 million ― over a lifetime. 

A 2018 survey conducted by Lean In, Survey Monkey and the National Urban League found that 1 in 3 people aren’t aware of the pay gap between black women and white men, and only roughly half of Americans are aware of the gap that exists between black women and white women. Even more alarming, the survey found that more than half of men believe that black women no longer face obstacles in their careers. Nearly 70 percent of non-black people believe racism and sexism are uncommon in the workplace while 64 percent of black women say they’ve been discriminated against at work. 

In an effort to raise awareness and help close the gap, Lean In launched its #38PercentCounts campaign, partnering with Adidas, Lyft, Procter & Gamble and Reebok, to get their customers to consider how big of a difference 38 percent makes as they make purchases on Black Women’s Equal Pay Day.  

“The pay gap facing Black women is an urgent problem,” Sandberg said in a statement. “It has huge financial implications for millions of families. And it signals something deeply wrong in our economy. We need to address the gender and racial inequalities that give rise to this imbalance — and create workplaces where everyone’s labor is valued, everyone is treated with respect, and everyone has an equal shot at success.”

 The survey also found that people, including black women, generally underestimate the pay gap. In a video, Lean In revealed to a group of black women from various fields and their families just how much money they’re missing out on as a result of the pay gap.

Despite black women obtaining degrees at a consistently high rate for the last decade and being the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs among women, systemic oppression is still in the way of them getting paid what they are owed.

“Our plan is that bringing awareness to this injustice will lead to concrete action,” National Urban League president Marc H. Morial said in a statement. “Not only would fair pay for black women drastically narrow the racial economic gap, but it would go a long way toward stabilizing our national economy. Because Black women disproportionately are heads of households, fair pay would create a ripple effect that could lift entire communities.”

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Michael Jordan backs LeBron James after president questions player's intelligence

NBA legend Michael Jordan and U.S. athletes rallied to LeBron James' defense on Saturday after U.S. President Donald Trump questioned the star player's intelligence in a tweet.

"I support LJ. He’s doing an amazing job for his community,” Jordan, now owner of the National Basketball Association's Charlotte Hornets, told NBC News through a spokesperson.

The comment by Jordan and others came after Trump had tweeted:

"Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!"

Trump was referring to an interview CNN's Lemon did in the days after James, who now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, and his foundation had opened a public school for some of the most disadvantaged children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

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The president's "I like Mike!" comment apparently was Trump stating his opinion on the debate of whether six-time NBA champion Jordan or James, the four-time league most valuable player and three times champion, is the NBA's best all-time player.

Even the president's wife was supportive of James' work with children.

"It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialog about issues facing children today," Melania Trump said in a statement issued by her spokeswoman.

NBA player Karl-Anthony Towns added in a tweet: "So let me get this straight: Flint, MI has dirty water still, but you worried about an interview about a man doing good for education and generations of kids in his hometown?"

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Michelle Obama: 'So proud' of LeBron James using his 'platform for good'

Michelle Obama says she and former President Obama are “so proud” of LeBron James for opening a school for at-risk children, encouraging the NBA star to “keep using [his] platform for good.”

The former first lady tweeted to her more than 10 million followers on Tuesday:

Image result for lebron james I promise school

Michelle Obama’s tweet came a day after James, a soon-to-be Los Angeles Laker, opened a new elementary school in Akron, Ohio. The school, which caters to more than 200 at-risk children, is a joint project between James’s foundation and the Akron Public Schools system.

James, 33, has been critical of President Trump, saying Monday that the commander in chief has used sports to put Americans at odds with one another.

“You know, we are in a position right now in America, more importantly where this whole, this race thing has taken over,” James said in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon. “One, because I believe our president is kind of trying to divide us.” 

“And what I’ve noticed over the past few months is he’s kind of used sports to kind of divide us, and that’s something that I can’t relate to,” James said. 

Michelle Obama’s praise also comes after James came under fire for criticism earlier this year of Trump. 

After a February video in which James said Trump doesn’t “give a f--- about the people,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham said the basketball star should “shut up and dribble,” rather than slam the president.

James responded in a tweet, writing, “#wewillnotshutupanddribble.”

It's not the first time Michelle Obama has joined forces with James. 

The NBA pro participated in the viral "Mannequin Challenge" alongside Michelle Obama while visiting the White House with his then-Cleveland Cavalier teammates in 2016. 

James also appeared in a 2014 promotional video for "Let's Move," the former first lady's anti-childhood obesity initiative.

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