Streaming giant creates The Netflix Collection, a selection of cannabis varieties based on shows including Orange is the New Black and Arrested Development
Netflix has co-created a set of cannabis strains based on a selection of its most popular original shows.
The set, called The Netflix Collection, will be sold as part of a pop-up event at Alternative Herbal Health Services in West Hollywood from 25-27 August to legal medical marijuana card-holding customers. Federal laws prevent the products being available by mail and Netflix will not be profiting from any of the sales.
Each strain was cultivated with the specific shows in mind, designed to complement each title based on their tone, a press release read. For example, sillier shows may be more indica dominant, while dramedies will be more sativa dominant to help the more powerful scenes resonate.
The shows featured include Orange is the New Black, which has spawned Poussey Riot, meant for kicking it with somebody, talking, making mad stupid jokes, Arrested Development, which has been labelled Banana Stand Kush ideally for a big yellow joint and Grace and Frankie, the Peyotea 73 an uplifting sativa hybrid.
Generations of Americans mostly people of color have been crushed by aggressive laws on marijuana. Its time for that to change
In a year where the forces of racism, xenophobia and hate are ascendant, and our rights are under siege, it has become understandably difficult for many to envision a future beyond the latest injustice of the week.
But the impressive resistance movement that has risen to challenge the Trump administration and the inspiring number of first-time and long-time activists who have powered it has grown strong enough to dream bigger than countering the presidents latest insult.
There is no greater act of resistance than continuing to march towards the sweeping, systemic victories that have changed our nations trajectory for the better: voting rights, anti-employment discrimination measures, and most recently, President Obamas success in securing health coverage for the 20 million Americans who were previously denied this universal human right.
Determined to punish the rising majority of Americans he thinks have slighted him, our president may erode these freedoms, but he will not succeed in taking them.
This is why I am proceeding undaunted towards our countrys next transformative victory a fight I planned to pick under a Democratic administration, but one we should pursue just as vigorously in the reactionary Trump era: decriminalization of marijuana. It is a civil rights cause that we should not postpone, but accelerate during these dark and difficult times.
For Democrats and progressives, the arguments have always been clear: generations of Americans, overwhelmingly people of color, have been imprisoned and starved of access to higher education, housing, and economic opportunities, and stripped of their inalienable right to vote thanks to non-violent acts. Billions of dollars in funding have been diverted from healthcare, jobs, and schools and have entrenched a prison-industrial complex built on a foundation of racism.
But in truth, the conservative case for marijuana decriminalization is no less resonant. Archaic drug laws have fueled wasteful government spending, and made millions of Americans who dream, achingly, of being their familys breadwinner dependent on the charity of others. And they have given rise of the epidemic of opiate drugs often legally manufactured and prescribed devastating communities that pundits have taken to calling the white working class.
The often-repeated reference to the white working class has grown counterproductive as it focuses on a narrowly defined group instead of using more broader, inclusive categories. It also stifles the creative thinking and organizing needed to guide our efforts for the remainder of this presidency.
On the issue of medical marijuana, a more accurate term for the residents of these hard-hit towns and regions many of whom voted for President Trump would be natural allies to the movement to decriminalize marijuana.
In the coming weeks, I will be joining Decode Cannabis, a powerful new alliance of faith leaders, criminal justice reformers, healthcare practitioners, medical marijuana industry leaders and labor unions. For years, these groups have labored toward shared goals, but have too often done so in their respective silos.
This initial coalition is impressive, but it is not enough to succeed. At least not on its own.
To notch proactive policy wins in the Trump era, we must not retreat to the comfort of those of share our viewpoints. We must enter the lions den even uninvited to confront and cultivate the prospective allies who will mutually benefit from this cause. We must not allow the unique opportunities resulting from the intensifying rift between the White House and conventional Republicans to be squandered.
I am not willing to compromise or concede on this, nor any other civil rights issue. But I am willing and eager to engage with those whose views I find objectionable, and who likely view me with no less animosity to advance this cause.
Doing so will determine whether or not the next generation of black Americans, Latinos, immigrants, and yes the white working class fall victim to same racist and classist drug enforcement policies that brought oppression on their parents.
Al Sharpton is an American Baptist minister and civil rights activist
Per the Salt Lake City Times, on Wednesday the Ohio senator introduced the Marijuana Effective Drug Study Act of 2017, a proposed bill aimed at increasing medical marijuana research. Naturally, Hatch’s official statement included every drug pun his staffers could squeeze into six sentences.
Sorry, guys, but marijuana won’t be dropping from the sky in the near future. California has officially banned marijuana deliveries via “unmanned vehicles,” including drones.
Now that California has officially legalized pot, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control has released the Commercial Cannabis Business Licensing Program Regulations, outlining various emergency regulations on selling marijuana in the state. That means businesses have to abide by the state’s rules if they want to hold a commercial cannabis business license. And one such rule is an outright ban on autonomous marijuana deliveries, forcing companies to use manned vehicles to reach customers.
“Cannabis goods will be required to be transported inside commercial vehicles or trailers,” the bureau states. “Transportation may not be done by aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles.”
The bureau also has specific regulations on delivery vehicles and how drivers drop off marijuana. Drivers cannot use marijuana during their deliveries, and vehicles must be in-person through an “enclosed motor vehicle.” That means no self-driving cars, either, or autonomous weed robots.
“Cannabis goods may not be visible to the public during deliveries,” the regulations announce. “Cannabis goods may not be left in an unattended motor vehicle unless the vehicle has an active alarm system. Vehicles used for delivery must have a dedicated, active GPS device that enables the dispensary to identify the geographic location of the vehicle during delivery.”
Why did this 24 y/o become an Internet Exhibitionist?
These regulations spell bad news for a variety of California start-ups interested in the marijuana drone trade. MDelivers announced “the nation’s first fully-licensed drone delivery service” in April, and Eaze previously demonstrated how drones could be used to deliver weed to interested customers. For now, those dreams seem to be in jeopardy. At least in the Golden State, anyway.
The federal government has a bit of a backward stance on marijuana. It labels it a Schedule I drug, a designation that means it has no notable medical benefits, making it difficult for scientists to study its uses.
Yesterday, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced a bill to hopefully change that. Titled the Marijuana Effective Drug Study Act of 2017, it aims to relax the federal restrictions on studying medical marijuana. In his statement introducing the bill, he’s got puns.
He’s got lots of puns.
Today, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the Marijuana Effective Drug Study Act of 2017, or MEDS Act, to improve the process for conducting scientific research on marijuana as a safe and effective medical treatment. In introducing this legislation, Senator Hatch was joined by Senator Schatz (D-HI) and cosponsors Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC).
“It’s high time to address research into medical marijuana,” Hatch said. “Our country has experimented with a variety of state solutions without properly delving into the weeds on the effectiveness, safety, dosing, administration, and quality of medical marijuana. All the while, the federal government strains to enforce regulations that sometimes do more harm than good. To be blunt, we need to remove the administrative barriers preventing legitimate research into medical marijuana, which is why I’ve decided to roll out the MEDS Act.
“I urge my colleagues to join Senator Schatz and me in our joint effort to help thousands of Americans suffering from a wide-range of diseases and disorders. In a Washington at war with itself, I have high hopes that this bipartisan initiative can be a kumbaya moment for both parties.”
Can you count all those jokes? We’ve got “high times,” “into the weeds,” strains to enforce,” and “to be blunt,” among others.
Hatch took to the floor of the Senate to talk about his bill.
Retirement home residents take a trip to a producer
Forget bingo, tea dances and seaside trips. Residents from a chain of Seattle retirement homes are going on Pot for Beginners tours to learn about and buy cannabis in the city, where its now legal.
Connie Schick said her son roared with laughter when he heard she was joining a field trip to a cannabis-growing operation, an extraction plant and shop. The 79-year-old, who smoked the odd joint in the 70s, wanted to know how legalisation has changed the way the drug is used and produced.
Schick was one of eight women, from their late 60s to mid-80s, who descended from a minibus emblazoned with the name of their assisted living centre, El Dorado West, outside Vela cannabis store last Tuesday.
You can only play so many games of bingo, said Schick. My son thought it was hilarious that I was coming here, but Im open-minded and want to stay informed. Cannabis has come so far from the days when you smoked a sly joint and got into trouble if they found out. We used to call it hemp then and didnt know its strength. It just used to make me sleepy, so I didnt see the point.
Schick, who uses a wheelchair after suffering a stroke, is interested in the therapeutic effects of cannabis. Its so different now. There are so many ways you can take it, and all these different types to help with aches and pains.
They used to say it was a gateway drug to other things, like cocaine Lots of peoples views are changing.
Much of this is attributed to the ageing of the baby-boomer generation, who dabbled with the drug when they were young and are returning to it for medical or recreational use as it becomes legal and more normalised. Cannabis is now legal for medical use in 29 states and for medical and recreational use in eight (since 2012 in Seattle and the rest of Washington state).
Most of the women on the tour were more interested in the medical use, although Denise Roux, 67, said: I would like to buy it to get high too but Im a cheap high, it doesnt take much.
A seminar over sandwiches was held for thegroup as they sat in front of the large windows of the cultivation room, where they could see scores of plants growing under intense lighting.
They were told about the different strains: uplifting sativa plants and more sedating indicas. They learned about tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which gives a high, and cannabidiol (CBD) which does not, making CBD-rich cannabis appealing for medical use. A scientist in a lab coat who worked in the processing facility spoke about terpenes fragrant oils secreted by glands in the flower that give strains their different smells and flavours. Vials were sniffed and various ways to take cannabis were also covered, including smoking, vaporising and eating it.
Roux, a retired administrative assistant, said: Im a big Google girl, but I wanted to talk to people who know about it so I can understand it all better. I have an autoimmune disease, which stops my appetite, and Im interested in marijuana from that standpoint. She added she had used cannabis recreationally in the 80s and had returned to it to help with her illness. I use a vape. It makes me sleepy and its a pain control, and it gives me an appetite.
After the briefing, it was time for shopping. The store looked like an upmarket jewellers, with muted lighting and art on the walls, except the glass cabinets in the store were stocked with pre-rolled joints, edibles including chocolates and sweets, vape pens and bags of different strains of cannabis rather than diamond rings and necklaces.
Darlene Johnson, 85, a former nurse, perused their contents. On the advice of a bearded bud tender, she bought a deep tissue and joint gel and a tincture to put in drinks, which she hopes will help with her severe neck pain. I wanted a non-psychoactive option, she said. I dont want to get high. I used to work in the emergency room and saw people come in sick from taking too many drugs, though not usually marijuana.
Her friend, Nancy Mitchell, 80, has never tried cannabis. She has MS and had read that cannabis could help with her symptoms. I wanted to know more details, she said. My kids keep telling me, Mom, try it. I dont want to smoke things, but I see there are other ways.
Smoking is not allowed at El Dorado West. Village Concepts, which runs the chain, has a no-smoking policy and it is illegal to consume cannabis in public in the state.
The chains director of corporate development, Tracy Willis, said: There was one man who was smoking it on his patio and he refused to stop, so he had to leave. If youre using an edible, we dont have any issue with it, thats your own business. We treat it as a recreational thing.
The tours began in response to questions from residents.They wanted to know where it was sold, how much money was made from it, where it was grown, said Willis. Weve had a good reaction [to the tours] from nine out of 10 relatives, but some are horrified. One angry daughter said we were encouraging marijuana use. Her mother told her to butt out.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of cooking with marijuana, like making weed butter or baking pot brownies, it’s time to move onto advanced techniques. Weed gummies are a popular choice because they fit in a little bag, they’re delicious, and their small size makes dosing a breeze.
You won’t be able to use your weed butter to make your weed gummies because your treats won’t set. Instead, you’re going to need a little tincture, which is a concentrated extract of cannabis, usually in the form of alcohol.
If you live in a state where medical marijuana is already legal, you’ll be able to skip an important step in this recipe: making your tincture. Just go to your dispensary, buy a few ounces of it, and then stop by the grocery store for your food needs and get started. But if you like doing things yourself, here’s how to make a marijuana tincture.
To make your tincture, you’re going to need time, weed, and booze.
You will need the following:
1 oz of activated cannabis
Everclear, vodka, or vegetable glycerine if you don’t drink
Step 1: Activate your cannabis, also known as decarboxylating. Raw cannabis has no psychoactive components, which is why you need to cook or smoke it to get high. You won’t feel a thing just from eating a raw nug.
Preheat your oven to 225 degrees F. If your oven tends to cook hot, set it to 200 degrees F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and evenly line the tray with your ounce of broken up pot. Make sure it isn’t too crowded so the heat can evenly distribute. It’s OK to do this in two batches. Cook your pot for 50 minutes. If you’re in no hurry, set the over to 200 degrees F and cook it for a little closer to 80 minutes.
When your pot is done, you’ll notice its color will have significantly darkened. Congratulations. You’ve got activated cannabis.
Step 2: Fill your quart jar with your activated pot and then pour in your liquid, leaving about an inch of space at the top of the jar. We prefer to use Everclear, but vodka also works well.
Step 3: Put the lid on your jar, place the jar in a dark cabinet, and walk away. Leave it for at least two weeks or up to a few months if you want an absurdly potent tincture.
Step 4: Test your tincture after two weeks. If it’s strong enough, strain out the plant matter and pour your resulting mixture into dropper bottles. Put some on your tongue, in your tea, or, even better, make yourself some gummies.
Caution: Tincture is incredibly potent. It’s a concentrated form of cannabis with a very high THC level. Use caution with it and be responsible.
Megan Doudney, homeless with a six-week-old child, has seen support from some corners while others have confronted her in person and on social media
Anything helps, reads the sign that Megan Doudney lays out in front of her baby buggy as she nestles her six-week-old infant in her arms while panhandling on San Franciscos Market Street.
But the 34-year-old homeless mother has received a lot more than the financial help she was hoping for.
While Doudney has received an outpouring of support from some, others have unleashed a maelstrom of criticism on social media against her and panhandling with children that have turned into face-to-face confrontations on the street and 911 calls reporting her.
Its just harassment, said the mother, who is currently staying with her baby and two dogs at a city-funded, temporary family shelter run by Hamilton Families. Doudney, who has a severe back condition and receives social security payments, said she used the money she collected panhandling to cover extra expenses and to save money for a future deposit on an apartment.
A lot of people assume I cant take care of the baby, she said, as she held her daughter, Nedahilla, in a blue fleecy blanket and fed her out of a pink butterfly bottle. These people want to take her from me. In what way, shape or form am I abusing my child?
The case comes at a time when panhandling is under renewed debate around the country. This month, New Yorks mayor, Bill de Blasio, claimed that panhandling was something people did because they think its fun and said he would ban it if he could. Sacramento is considering making it a crime to panhandle at intersections, ATMs and gas stations. Meanwhile, an economist at Columbia University has written that it would make more sense to accredit panhandlers than ban them and a not-for-profit organization in Seattle has launched a new app that does just that.
On Monday, Deidre Laiken, a 70-year-old former teacher from North Beach, conducted a one-woman protest, holding a picket sign next to Doudney which read: Women against child abuse.
Most people think about this poor woman, but they dont think about the child, said Laiken, who learned about the case from social media. One of the definitions of child abuse is using a child for exploitation or financial gain. This woman is making a lot of money.
The real issues were desperation and poverty, said Nick Kimura of the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness. Its a much bigger issue than her sitting on the sidewalk, said Kimura, a longtime volunteer for the organization. The reason shes doing this is because shes poor. Its not something people are choosing to do. The question is: how is this intervention helping?
Originally from Nebraska, Doudney moved to San Francisco about five years ago, after losing the home where she was living in Minnesota. I had some choices. I could be homeless in Minnesota, where I would freeze to death, or I could be homeless in California.
Doudney, who walks with a severely hunched back, has suffered severe pain since she was a child. She said she had been taking opioid medications for years, but was able to quit once she arrived in California, where medical marijuana is legal.
Doudney first gained attention on social media, when a woman who frequently passed her on the street posted photographs of the baby on the local social media app Nextdoor.
In early July, several Nextdoor users went to see the baby and mother, who was panhandling on Market Street. One of them noticed the baby looked sick and called 911. A few minutes later, two or three police cars, an ambulance and a fire truck showed up, according to Doudney. The paramedics assessed the baby on the spot and determined it had low blood sugar, she said. The medics transported the baby and the mother to the hospital, where the baby was treated and released.
They called 911 because they said the baby was discolored, said Doudney. They said she looked like she was unconscious. Of course she looks like shes unconscious shes a sleeping baby! It was just crazy.
One user of social media posted photos showing the baby stroller sitting unattended on Market Street, except for a homeless person in a wheelchair nearby. The woman posted remarks saying she had documented the baby being left alone in its stroller for up to 40 minutes.
I called CPS and said this cant be legal, said Erica Sandberg, another Nextdoor user, who also posted about the baby on Facebook and was there the day the ambulance took the baby and mom to the hospital.
Doudney said: The allegations that I leave her alone are absolutely untrue. I can take her everywhere except into the cannabis club.
Doudney said she has had her friend in a wheelchair stay with the baby outside the club while she goes inside.
Homeless service providers argue that in San Francisco, where there is virtually no affordable housing available, the problem that needs to be addressed is getting homeless families into safe, stable situations.
Rachel Kenemore of Hamilton Families said the number of homeless families in the city has jumped from around 600 in 2007 to more than 1100 today. There are so many families needing housing that there is a wait of six to nine months to get into shelter programs.
She said it doesnt help to demonize families in need: Lets be part of the solution on this. What can we do to be supportive to members of our community who need help?
Many passersby greet Doudney enthusiastically as she panhandles, some handing her dollar bills. One man comes by to offer some money and then returns with some doughnuts; another stops to offer a sports jersey he cannot use. But others are more critical.
Why is your baby out here? one woman calls out as she quickly walks by.
Doudney shakes her head and says she has no intention of being scared away by these critics. I do what I need to for my child.
Do you have an experience of homelessness to share with the Guardian? Get in touch
The cannabis industry has lit up in the last year, including weed delivery startup Eaze, which just raised $27 million in Series B financing and claims a 300 percent year-over-year increase in gross sales.
But the weed delivery startup has come under scrutiny recently for burning through at least $1 million in cash per month. In contrast, other software-based pot delivery startups like Meadow have played it lean, focusing more on improving the software and logistics.
Eaze has gone hard on marketing spend, using aggressive growth tactics and burning through the $24.5 million it had previously raised in VC cash.
New CEO of the company Jim Patterson, who took over the role in December 2017 explains his approach as just part of the Silicon Valley cycle to get ahead, “We are a tech startup…we’re investing in growth,” he told TechCrunch when asked about the high burn rate. “We’re investing the money now in what’s clearly going to be a very big market.”
Part of the pop in the pot delivery industry is due to tech finally meeting the needs of the medical marijuana community in the state of California, where Eaze operates. Eaze uses its proprietary software to help consumers with a medical marijuana license in the state buy pot from local dispensaries and then delivers those purchases to their door.
However, California is set to begin issuing licenses for the cultivation and selling of the plant for recreational use at the beginning of 2018, which will open up a whole new revenue stream for Eaze and others in the space.
Colorado, a state where recreational use of the drug has been legal for a couple of years now, is reportedly pulling in nearly $100 million in pot sales per month and the marijuana industry is slated to balloon to a $24 billion dollar business by 2025.
Eaze is making the bet on high growth now to cash in on a good piece of those profits later, telling TechCrunch this was the reason for the Series B raise.
We should note that its conceivable other larger tech companies in the delivery logistics space like Amazon could just as easily decide to get into the space, crushing little startups like Meadow and Eaze in the process.
Patterson admits that’s not a far-fetched scenario but doesn’t think it will happen. “If you’re doing anything in retail and not thinking about Amazon at this point you’re crazy,” he said. “But the reality is [weed delivery] is still complicated at the federal level.”
Medical marijuana is now legal in 29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Laws recently passed for Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota have yet to become effective. Recreational use is legal in eight states, though, as mentioned above, certain licensing provisions don’t take effect in California until the new year.
It may not be so complicated as more states adopt marijuana legalization for both medical and recreational use in the years ahead and Patterson doesn’t count out future competition from the Everything Store.
“But I do think we have a couple of years and hopefully Eaze will be a lot bigger by then and by then maybe it will be less scary than it would be now with only 80 employees,” he told TechCrunch.
Bailey Capital led the round, with participation from DCM Ventures, Kaya Ventures and FJ Labs.
With the NFL a day away from the kickoff of its 2017 season, a definite question has emerged: Is this the year that the NFL finally embraces athletic activism the way the NBA does?
The examples are adding up on a nearly daily basis. A week of preseason football couldn’t go by without players making statements. Members of the Cleveland Browns knelt during the anthem. Michael Bennett sat out the anthem while his white teammate, Justin Britt, placed his hand on Bennett’s shoulder in a show of solidarity. Bennett’s brother, Martellus, made a political cartoon mocking the “stick to sports” mantra and it on Instagram. Following the neo-Nazi riots in Charlottesville, Malcolm Jenkins stood for the national anthem with one fist raised, while his white teammate Chris Long put his arm around his shoulder, in a plea for racial unity. In a similar gesture, Derek Carr placed his hand on Khalil Mack’s back during the national anthem.
These can be considered small gestures, but in the NFL, they speak loudly.
Just ask Colin Kaepernick. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback kneeled during the national anthem before games last year as an act of protest against institutional racism in the United States in regards to police brutality and mass incarceration. Kaepernick’s actions become a national flashpoint, as athletes in multiple sports, former and current presidents, actors and artists alike chimed in.
Not everyone was on board. Some fans even started a campaign to boycott the NFL. After opting out of his contract with the 49ers this offseason, Kaepernick has not been able to find work in the NFL. He has been passed over in favor of a retiree, fringe college prospects, even a real estate agent. The situation has led to rumors that Kaepernick is being blackballed in a concerted effort to keep him off the field. At the least, there are allegations that certain owners and general managers would like to make an example out of him.
Kaepernick’s struggle speaks to just how little the NFL has tolerated activism. But if his tribulations have been an effort to keep Kaepernick’s message from spreading within the NFL, they should be considered a failure. Despite the precarious situation Kaepernick finds himself in, activism is now far from the exception.
And with Week 1 of the NFL season about to start, the expectation for more is palpable. For every fan that turns the TV off at the sight of an athlete kneeling before the flag, there is a concerned citizen marching to the NFL’s headquarters in New York and demanding an explanation. Another one buys a Kaepernick jersey, which remain popular even though he’s not in the league. The NFL, it appears, does not wish to cater to this particular demographic but they, like the athletes the NFL employs, have made this much clear: The more the NFL tries to pretend the people who support Kaepernick are irrelevant or simply don’t exist, the louder they’ll get—all the while assuaging concerns that Kaepernick would be a financial liability for ticket sales.
For two years in a row, despite the league’s best efforts, social activism and racism are going to be the off-field story of the NFL season. And it’s starting to follow what’s happened in the NBA.
In profession basketball, activism isn’t the exception among its starts—it’s now the expectation. Examples are almost too numerous list, but here’s a sampling: Last year, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Paul donned all black on at the ESPYs aware show to discuss gun violence and racial profiling, and implored other athletes to get educated and involved. Anthony even marched with protesters in Baltimore, where he grew up, following the death of 25-year-old black man Freddie Gray, in the back of a police van. Just this offseason, Kevin Durant said he would not go to the White House if the Golden State Warriors were invited, a long-standing tradition for NBA champions. He also voiced disrespect for the current administration.
Durant could speak out against Trump and trust that he could have the support of the majority of his fans, the NBA’s commissioner, Adam Silver, and his locker room, headed by coach Steve Kerr, who publicly made his opinions on this administration clear. There is a great deal of organizational unity and progressive political thinking in the NBA, which makes it easier for players to speak up. They’re also more financially secure, with guaranteed contracts and higher salaries. And the NBA’s fanbase younger, more diverse, and more progressive. Social activism, for NBA players, might even be more profitable than silence.
All which is to say that NFL players will likely always face impediments that NBA players won’t, but that hasn’t stopped them from exerting their power like never before.
2016 was the year that everything converged. Social media collided with the specter of the presidency of Donald Trump, and all the while videos of violent, racist police brutality sprung up alongside protests, alongside an ugly, once-quieter call for white supremacy. There wasn’t a single social media platform in which racists didn’t congregate publicly, espousing retrograde views on their perception of inherent superiority. As a result, race and politics have leaked into every aspect of our culture. Today, to be a modern content consumer is to have an acute understanding of the phrase, “everything is political.”
For a professional black athlete, with a platform that—at the click of a button—can morph into a formidable pulpit, heeding the old mantra “stick to sports” has become an impossible proposition. This NFL season will be a battle for the life and death of that mantra, for the insistence that black athletes should no longer have to serve as an on-field distraction from the very issues that are vital to their survival off the field—a battle over personal dignity and self-expression, for the right of an athlete to never have to choose between his life and his livelihood, like Kaepernick did, ever again.