It’s hard to ignore President Trump in any capacity whether you’re an athlete or scrolling and whispering WTF to yourself on Twitter, but Migos' Quavo is asking the Georgia Bulldogs to do just that as Trump will reportedly be in attendance for this year’s National Championship game.
“Focus on winning the national championship game,” the rapper said in an interview with TMZ Sportswhen asked about the possibly of athletes kneeling during the anthem. “Don't worry about nothing else. Just focus on winning.”
As a Bulldogs fan, Quavo’s made it clear his main priority is seeing his team win as he's watched them practice and put in the work to make it this far in the season. Quavo also joined the team on the field when they won the Rose Bowl earlier this week.
With the game coming up this Monday, many wondered if the players would make a statement and end up the target of the President’s next tweetstorm. The gesture, met with tons of pushback from fans, NFL owners and Trump himself, has come to highlight the persistent problems with police brutality and racism in America.
As much as fans might want athlete to steer clear of making political statements, it’s tricky to separate the two. Former 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick found himself without an NFL home at the start of the 2017/2018 season due to public and team owner backlash over him taking a knee.
Still, Quavo urged the Bulldogs to focus on their main objective: taking the title.
“You should be going straight in,” he said, “and worrying about football.”
As soon as the SI cover started circulating on social media, the first question most people had was: “WTF is Roger Goodell doing on it?” While Goodell did release a statement and—sort of—distance himself and the NFL from Trump’s anti-protest comments, he hasn’t exactly gone out of his way to support the players who have protested racial injustices and police brutality over the last year. And lest you forget, he’s kept quiet with regards to the petition that a handful of players sent him over the summer asking for the NFL to devote an entire month to social activism. So his inclusion on the SI cover was puzzling at best and downright disrespectful at worst in the eyes of many.
It also didn’t take very long for people to start asking another question once they got a glance at the cover: “Where is Colin Kaepernick?” Kaepernick is obviously the reason that this SI cover even exists in the first place. If he doesn’t take a knee during the national anthem before a preseason game last season, and if he doesn’t continue to take a knee during the national anthem before every regular-season game last year, and if he doesn’t influence other players to start taking a knee during the national anthem before games, and if he doesn’t get blackballed by the NFL in the offseason for igniting the entire #TakeAKnee movement, there is no reason for SI to do a “NATION DIVIDED, SPORTS UNITED” cover. So—where is Colin Kaepernick?
Hell, even Curry, who was featured front and center on the SI cover, thought it was completely idiotic for SI to run a cover like this without giving a nod to the guy who is responsible for it existing. He went off on the cover on Wednesday and accused SI of trying to capitalize on the moment rather than actually doing something impactful for the culture.
“That was terrible,” he said. “Just kind of capitalizing on the hoopla and the media and all that nonsense. The real people that understand exactly what’s been going on and who’s really been active and vocal and truly making a difference, if you don’t have Kaepernick front and center on that, something’s wrong. It’s kind of hard to see how certain narratives take place, being prisoners of the moment.”
On Thursday, SI attempted to cover its ass by having Executive Editor Steve Cannella put together a video to explain the magazine’s original intention when they first conceived the cover. And it’s a great video—if you’re a fan of hearing someone use a bunch of buzz words that sound important. You can hear all about the “enduring message” of unity that SI was trying to get across with their cover below or here.
But what about the omission of Kaepernick? Again: Where was he? Cannella touched on that, too, and in doing so, he tried to sell everyone on the idea that Kaepernick was on the cover, even if he wasn’t actually there in the physical form.
“In some ways, even though his picture is not there, Colin Kaepernick is there; I think we all know that,” he said. “Colin Kaepernick—for lack of a better word—was looming over everything that happened this past weekend, and looms over many of the issues in society right now.”
Cannella continued by saying that SI’s intention wasn’t to ignore Kaepernick (for the record, he was mentioned at length in the accompanying cover story). Rather, the magazine wanted to shine light on some of the other professional athletes who stepped up in his absence last weekend—since, again, he has essentially been blackballed by the NFL—and continued to carry out his message.
“I thought what we were trying to capture with this cover was the way new voices emerged this weekend,” he said.
And later, he once again tried to push the idea that Kaepernick was a part of the cover even though, well, he wasn’t.
“Colin Kaepernick is on that cover,” Cannella said. “Even if his face and his name aren’t there, we all know who stands behind this movement. We all know who got it started. Colin Kaepernick has many more brothers than he did a week ago.”
The problem with all of this is that by not including Kaepernick on the cover, SI—and those who are in favor of the message SI presented with its cover—are taking the focus away from what Kaepernick was protesting last season and instead turning it into a completely different issue. The “united” approach that SI took when it put its cover together is now leading to protests that really aren’t protests at all.
As a way to show respect to all, our #Saints team will kneel in solidarity prior to the national anthem & stand together during the anthem.
Kaepernick made it very clear why he was protesting shortly after his first protest went public.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” he said. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder…I have to stand up for people that are oppressed.”
So by pushing Kaepernick out of the spotlight—or in this case, off of the SI cover—you’re also pushing the message that he fought so hard to get out there last season out of the spotlight, too. And you’re replacing it with a different message that is overshadowing the one that should be front and center right now. Just like Kaepernick should be front and center on that SI cover.
If you're a rich and famous star, you should get one thing straight: your DMs are not going to remain private for long. The ease of screenshotting has turned every conversation into fodder for social media, so you better get used to hiding your thirst.
Unless your name is Justin Bieber, I guess. The Biebs is still waltzing through DMs with no fear, and this time he found a rather obscure target to set his sights on.
Jessica Gober, a 22-year-old employee at Fitness on Broughton in Savannah, Georgia, has been tasked with increasing the social media presence for her employer. That directive led to this boomerang, with Gober modeling an energy drink for the page:
A post shared by Fitness On Broughton (@fitnessonbroughton) on Aug 9, 2017 at 10:58am PDT
At the time, the gym only had 73 followers on Instagram, but somehow, someway, the page attracted a very famous follower with the post. After spotting Gober on their page, Biebs did what any fired up young man does when a thirst trap is thrown in front of them: he fell right into it, reaching out through the generic gym page to holler at Gober. She documented the exchange on her Twitter page, sharing the receipts of Bieber's interest.
Did this actually just happen… lmao Justin Bieber just messaged the gym that I work at and asked who I was hahahaha WTFpic.twitter.com/mktcdB1iDP
I'm all for shooting your shot, but I have a lot of questions about how/why Bieber was trolling through a page for a Savannah gym with minimal social media presence. Best believe that if this was any old person off the street thirsting after random gym employees, they'd get hit with the “creepy” tag and shunned by the public.
In any case, the reactions were mixed to Bieber's attempt to get with Gober. The Bieber hive was out in full force, shaming her for sharing the exchange or condemning her for not trying to finesse some cash out of the superstar.
And bless little Bieber's thirsty-ass heart, because he inspired a wave of copycats with his DM slide heard 'round the world. Fans of Bieber's decided they'd join in on the fun, mocking the DM to Gober in messages sent to him personally.
Though the pile-on will continue, Gober has actually stuck up for Bieber in interviews conducted since the DMs went viral. She insisted Bieber never went over the line, and says the gym actually reached back out to him at some point over the last few days.
“We didn't think Justin Bieber was being creepy, the gym did respond to him on Instagram,” Gober told Buzzfeed. “I don't think he had any inappropriate intentions by simply asking who I was.”
And hey, the gym now has over 1600 followers on Instagram, so Bieber indirectly helped them get the publicity they were searching for. No harm, no foul.
Before he was making short films with Siri and teasing runs for president, The Rock was a WWE superstar who had children and man-children emulating his antics on the couches in their living rooms, and in crudely made backyard rings across the nation.
And though you may have been born in the late '80s or early '90s, and thus responded to that sentence by saying “Duh, WTF?” it's easy to forget sometimes with all he's done since then.
On that note, in a recent episode of his Handsome Rambler podcast with co-host Tony Trimm, comedian Hannibal Buress spoke on the subject of how well the pre-Hollywood Rock sold the business end of a Stone Cold Stunner back in wrestling's heyday (see: above).
As he is wont to occasionally do, The Rock responded to his fellow Baywatch actor's tweet. He revealed his reactions were so over the top because he and Stone Cold used to bet cases of beer on how nuts he could get with it.
Unfortunately we didn't get the specifics on what that means—like, how does one win this bet, exactly?—but it does explain why he didn't just stay put after falling on his back. Future wrestlers who want to be actors: take notice.
During an appearance on behalf of his Chinese sneaker sponsor Anta last weekend, Klay Thompson got rejected by the rim on one of the worst dunk attempts you’ll ever see. But did he let that ruin his offseason trip to China? No!
After that awful dunk attempt, lesser players might have spent the remainder of their trips hiding in their hotel rooms and anxiously awaiting the moment when they could go home. But Thompson, who is just a couple weeks removed from winning his second NBA title in three years, did the exact opposite.
On Wednesday, a video surfaced that showed him dancing at a nightclub called Face Club in China all by himself. As Tiësto played in the background, Thompson pumped his fists, grabbed his crotch, and even worked a sick spin move into the mix, all while those gathered at the club watched—and filmed—him. It was quite a sight:
A post shared by Warriors World (@officialwarriorsworld) on Jun 28, 2017 at 10:53am PDT
If you’re going to embarrass yourself by getting hung on a dunk, this is how you make a smooth recovery and make everyone forget all about it. Thompson’s dance moves have been all the rage on social media over the course of the last 24 hours with plenty of NBA fans chiming in on the clip:
Thompson himself hasn’t gotten around to explaining WTF was going through his mind when he was letting loose in the club. But it looks like his trip to China is going way better than we thought it was after seeing his dunk fail earlier this week.
For the last four or five days, your Twitter timeline has no doubt been inundated with the nightmare situation known as Fyre Festival, which went from being a $12,000-a-pop music festival for the rich, white elite to what looked like a disaster recovery situation (with actual disaster relief tents). In the fallout, it's been announced that Ja Rule and the squad behind the Fyre Festivalis being hit with a $100 million class action lawsuit for their gross fuck up.
While it's been easy to chuck “Ja Rule The Scammer” tweets out there, it might be time to look at one of the other “names” on the Fyre Festival lawsuit; Billy McFarland. At 25, dude's already had his name affixed to a number of companies, primarily with an emphasis on millennials who want the finer things in life. He's one of those entrepreneurial guys who always seems to have a plan, and can apparently talk his way into a pile of money without truly delivering on his promises. A.k.a. the American way. Here's a look at Billy McFarland's pre-Fyre highlights.
McFarland's always been a businessman
When you were 13, you probably were trying to bag shorty in your math class; yung McFarland was already building his first startup, which apparently outsourced design work. A few years later, he was already dropping out of Bucknell University to found Spling, which at the time was another addition to the social networking space that secured $400,000 in funding back in 2011.
Neither of these startups caused as much havoc as his 2014 startup Magnises, which found McFarland creating his own black card (which after turned into an app, Magnises NOW) for millennials who were trying to get their IRL social status game up. It sounds dope, but apparently, you had to promise to spend $250,000 a year through the card (with a $250 annual fee) to get the Magnises perks like 24/7 concierge service, special treatment and discounts from elite brands and restaurants, and invites to exclusive events.
At the time, McFarland told Bloomberg that Magnises “enhances and really improves your everyday life in the city,” but in January of 2017, Business Insiderreported that cardholders felt scammed, saying that the perks that Magnises promised (which included everything from Hamilton tickets to SR-22 plane rides to the Hamptons) were not being met. At the time, McFarland said Magnises “hit some roadblocks along the way, and that's what happens when you grow really quickly, and that's on me.” But McFarland's troubles weren't focused solely on Magnises' troubles.
McFarland trashed his $13,000-a-month West Village home
It's a given that when most young guys secure a bag, they might go ham with their earnings. According to the New York Post, in 2013 McFarland had a 500-person birthday party for photographer/socialite Patrick McMullan at his $13,750-a-month duplex on Greenwich Ave. This was one of many “blowout parties” that the landlord said caused roughly $62,000 worth of damage to the spot. At the time, the owner was looking for McFarland to pony up $100,000 in damages, but McFarland said the charges were “not valid.”
WTF is Fyre Media?
That's hard to say; according to LinkedIn, Fyre Media, Inc. was founded in 2015 is “an on demand service that makes booking the most influential celebrities, artists, athletes, models, and entertainers seamless and transparent.” They have an app, and it looks like some of their “exclusive” artists feature Fat Joe, Waka Flocka, Soulja Boy, Jim Jones, and Ja Rule. Rule, who has been listed as a co-founder of Fyre, is reportedly the “mastermind” behind the Fyre Festival, which McFarland was touting as a “luxury music festival” that was due to span two weekends (April 28-30, 2017 and May 5-7, 2017) in the Bahamas.
Aside from the musical acts, which were to include everyone from G.O.O.D. Music and Blink-182 to Disclosure and Lil Yachty, Fyre Festival was reportedly set to have $1 million worth of “hidden treasures” that would be found all over the island. It was also set to feature all kinds of rich, elite millennials attending, paying upwards of $12,000-a-pop to experience the music, art installations, talks, amazing food, and much more while chilling on the sands of Fyre Cay in the Bahamas.
As we now know, what the people got when they hit the island was the exact opposite of a “luxury music festival” experience, a day which McFarland told Rolling Stone was “definitely the toughest day” of his short, intriguing, possibly scam-filled life. It doesn't help that the festival appeared to be doomed from the start, with everything from “a rampant shark problem” and sandflies to the fucking FEMA tents and not having a stage(?!) setup revealed that Fyre was the dumpster fire it turned out to be from the rip.
McFarland also told Rolling Stone that “there will be make-up dates, May 2018 in the U.S., free for everybody who signed up for this festival,” although at this point, with his cache (and the social media shitstorm that followed the Fyre Festival) and that $100 million lawsuit looming over his head, what masochist would want to subject themselves to Fyre Festival, The Sequel?
Maybe McFarland needs to do what he does best: find new ways to rope money-hungry millennials into giving him more of their cheddar.
Making fun of someone for being unemployed doesn’t seem like it would be a smart move for a sitting president. But that’s essentially what Donald Trump did on Monday night.
While delivering a speech at a rally in Louisville, Kentucky, Trump inexplicably took a shot at former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. It sounds like Trump is taking great pride in the fact that Kaepernick is not currently signed to an NFL team, and he thinks he may have something to do with it. He believes NFL owners are shying away from inking Kaepernick to a deal because they know Trump is not above calling them out for doing it on social media.
“Your San Francisco quarterback, I’m sure nobody ever heard of him,” he said. “There was an article today, it was reported, that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Do you believe that?”
Trump then added that he was talking about Kaepernick with those gathered in Kentucky “because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag.”
This is not the first time Trump has gone after Kaepernick. Shortly after he started taking a knee during the national anthem before games last season, the QB called Trump “openly racist.” And that led Trump to fire back when the then-presidential candidate was asked for a comment about Kaepernick during a radio interview.
“I have followed [the Kaepernick story], and I think it’s personally not a good thing,” Trump said. “I think it’s a terrible thing. And you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him. Let him try, it won’t happen.”
Trump’s comments came just one day after Spike Lee took to Instagram to question why an NFL team hadn’t stepped up to sign Kaepernick:
We all have dreams, we all have an ideal of what we’d like to achieve and what we’d like to be doing with our lives. What happens, though, when you start walking that path and you realize it may not be all it’s cracked up to be? In fact, you’re sad more often than deriving any type of joy from what you thought was your true calling. That was what happened with British DJ/producer/sound engineer, Adam Walder, better known as Funkagenda. After developing a name for himself over the course of many years, he began to tire of the scene. Coupled with depression, Funkagenda left the scene for a while. However, now he is back and has found his groove again, not only as a solo artist but also working behind the scenes as a sound engineer. Like so many others, music was not his first love.
“Well when I was a kid I wanted to be an archaeologist, but then I found out that they were NOT like Indiana Jones and were actually more like teachers with those suede patches on their blazers so I strayed from that idea. Then when I was about 11 years old I started to play with my grandfather’s keyboard collection and that just ignited something in me. I wanted to learn how to make the sounds and program the drums. I got really into making music and it’s been my passion ever since.”
Although he’s been in the scene for almost a decade, it’s tough to peg Funkagenda into a certain genre. Oliver Heldens and Sander van Doorn recently revived his 2008 tech-house hit, “WTF.” He’s dabbled with various genres and conforming to fan expectations is always something that’s irked him. It was these mounting frustrations, along with other personal issues that caused him to leave the scene momentarily.
“I find it irritating that sometimes I can’t experiment as much as I would like because I’m ‘expected’ to be a certain thing. I was never one kind of producer. I started out making drum & bass when I was 17, then hip hop, then techno, trance, and house. I always like to try my hand at new styles and it’s saddening when “fans” lash out at you for trying to be creative. However, I get afraid a lot in life. Life bewilders me. I just want to be able to survive and do what I love and sometimes those simple tasks become incredibly difficult. It was one of my major reasons for withdrawing from the scene. The scene is draining on your soul. I found myself playing music I didn’t like in a desperate attempt to please crowds who were just not that interested. And I just thought to myself ‘this is meant to be my dream, this is meant to be making me happy…why am I miserable all the time?’ Being diagnosed with borderline bi-polar depressive disorder didn’t help either, but at least it helped me to understand that it wasn’t all me.”
Despite being in a dark place, armed with the knowledge that he had an illness, Adam returned home to the UK from Los Angeles where he’s been able to work and overcome his depression with the help and support of his family, girlfriend, and two dogs. Adam says as a sufferer it’s not initially clear that you have a disease and to those around you it appears as though you’ve gone off the rails. As is commonplace, Adam was prescribed medication, but that did not solve the problem either. He cites a strong support network as the main factor that has allowed him to go back to work.
“Well the hardest thing is realizing you have a legitimate problem, because it’s not clear as a sufferer and it isn’t clear to other people – they just think you’ve gone off the rails. I would have these very high manic days, maybe like 4-5 in a row, and I would feel so good about everything, worked really hard and be so positive about life. But then it’s like a light bulb just switched off and the world got dark. Then for the next 2-3 weeks I was unable to do anything. I could lie in one place in silence for hours and hours at a time. It was awful. I just thought my life was making me unhappy or that I wasn’t any good at what I do. It disrupted my self-confidence. I started medication, but it wasn’t the right choice for me. I couldn’t feel ANYTHING and as an artist that is as crippling as being depressed. So I have been working my way through it with the love and support of my friends and my girlfriend (and our two wonderful dogs), and although it hasn’t been the most instant solution, it’s certainly allowed me to work and write music again.”
Although he still produces his own music, a lot of Adam’s focus has shifted to engineering and he says it’s ironic how he encounters so many producers trying to make cliché music because they’re going for something successful. Adam tried doing that and it left him feeling empty. He has discovered all you can do is follow your path and hope for the best, because success is far from guaranteed. But, like Wayne Gretzky said, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. You have to try to achieve something.
“Ironically…a lot of work you get is people wanting to make records that are very cliché because they are trying to succeed in the same way as I was trying to survive, by making records for the crowd and not for the love. I find that still writing my own music allows me an emotional output, though, and my first real single since I left LA went top 10 on Beatport, so I think that the hiatus was necessary. The main thing is not to quit. Things can get very hard and you might feel like you are getting nowhere and that’s because success is a lottery in this business. However, if you stop buying tickets you’ll never win and that’s the key. You work hard, get good, believe in yourself and others will believe in you. I think you can achieve anything if you really want it. I did.”
It’s incredible to see someone successfully overcome their struggles and achieve something great. Happiness is not a destination; it is a journey. When we see the silver lining and become grateful for our past, current, and future challenges, we can experience true peace and joy. With the help and support from those around him, Adam is now able to do this and sees the light at the end of the tunnel after it eluded him for several years.
If you or anyone you know is feeling like something is not quite right, those feelings may be early warnings for possible mental health conditions. Do not hesitate to seek help or offer support. Taking a screening can help determine if additional help is required. Visit www.mhascreening.org to take a free, confidential, and anonymous mental health screen. Several global online and regional recovery support communities can be found at the links below: