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Truist Park Hosts the 2022 Minority Baseball Prospects HBCU All-Star Game

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Former MLB Players, college and university coaches, instructors, and fans were all in attendance to support the HBCU players. Before the game everyone was open to answering some questions regarding the MBP organization and minorities in baseball.
The post Truist Park Hosts the 2022 Minority Baseball Prospects HBCU All-Star Game first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Menra Mapfumo

On June 3, Truist Park hosted the 2022 Minority Baseball Prospects HBCU All-Star Game, headed by the Minority Baseball Prospects organization (MBP).

MBP invited 60 players from 57 different HBCUs to compete against one another, but to also have fun.

Former MLB Players, college and university coaches, instructors, and fans were all in attendance to support the HBCU players. Before the game everyone was open to answering some questions regarding the MBP organization and minorities in baseball.

Baseball coach Roberto Alonso Jr. was in attendance to support one of his own players, Jose Santiago, a pitcher from Savannah State.

Coach Alonso Jr. commented on his experience coaching minority players and his relationships with them.

Coach Alonso Jr. said, “I was at Florida Memorial for five years, it’s a privilege.”

HBCU All Star Players Joseph Smith (Savannah State) and Casey Coates (Morehouse College) spoke on what it means to be a minority baseball prospect and the opportunities the organization has created for them both.

Smith said, “I love this opportunity. A lot of African American people don’t really get the exposure and experience to do stuff like this so it’s a once in a lifetime dream.”

Coates said, “It’s a dream at first, but also proves that we, just like other people who aren’t minorities, can do what they do as well. We’re just as talented as they are.”

HBCU All Star Players Malik Bell (Albany State University) and Lavoisier Fisher (Albany State) expressed how it felt to represent their HBCU and minorities in the game of baseball.

Bell said, “It’s awesome because at Albany State it feels like we put our school on the map. Albany State is in a small town in South Georgia. Not a lot of people there, not a lot to do. For somebody else outside of Albany State to notice our efforts and hard work we put in during the season… I like that.”

Fisher said, “To piggyback off that, Albany State is a smaller school, we get to come out, perform, show exactly what our coach has been teaching us and it’s going to be lit. It’s going to be a fun experience out there.”

Assistant baseball coach of Stillman College, Rashad Webster spoke on whether there is pressure on African Americans to make it to the MLB.

Coach Webster said, “I wouldn’t say pressure, but I think there is more fire inside of these gentlemen to make it to the next level because everybody wants to be the next pioneer when it comes to the game of baseball. Especially being an African American in this game, it takes a pioneer to be able to make a change within the game and open those flood gates so our African American youth can flow into the game of baseball.”

Hitting coordinator AP and coach Webster described what it was like coming up as minority baseball players.

AP said, “I’m not going to pretend like there weren’t any issues as far as when I was off the field… I can say for not myself personally, but certain things I have seen, it’s a longer road sometimes.”

Coach Webster “A lot of trials and tribulations come with being a minority baseball player. Whether that be on the field or off the field there’s a lot of things that you have to handle mentally before you get out on this baseball field. A ton of struggle comes with being a minority baseball player…”

Coach Alonso Jr., former MLB players Lenny Webster and Marvin Freeman, AP, and Coach Rashad Webster expressed what they think the future holds for minorities in the MLB and the roles HBCUs can play.

Coach Alonso Jr. said, “If we continue to build the HBCU schools and help them with the funding that is needed to promote baseball, get these kids more acclimated, more educated on a baseball diamond instead of on a street corner we’re going to have a lot more success stories…”

Marvin Freeman said, “I went to an HBCU and I have always said it is not where you’re at it’s how you play. Baseball is going to be baseball… If your athletic ability matches up with your skillset and you’re able to excel at whatever venue you’re in, scouts are out there to notice you. HBCUs are not as funded as some of the other larger schools, but we still have some of the best talent in the country and hopefully these guys will get an opportunity to show that they compete on whatever level they are on.”

AP said, “I think we are in a beautiful spot… It’s not like we’re having to force minorities to play baseball at a young age. It’s becoming as cool as basketball and it’s becoming as cool as football. The goal from what I see is everybody just pass down the knowledge, so, as far as minorities… we’re at a state now where we understand that it takes a village and it takes the rest of everybody for adapting the idea of it but I think these next three or four years we’re going to have a run.”

Lenny Webster said, “I think it has been tough. The numbers have declined in Major League Baseball as far as Black players are concerned, but I think the initiative that Major League Baseball started about five or six years ago, you’re starting to see a dent in that and you’re starting to see an influx of young Black talent coming back into the Major Leagues. I think that the Major League Baseball Dream Series, the Breakthrough Series, the Hank Aaron Invitationals, we get a chance to put our hands on our kids at a young age and it’s obviously begging to show as they get older…”

Coach Rashad Webster said, “I think HBCUs can play a huge role… just simply with activities and events like [the HBCU Allstar game] being done and the job a lot of African American coaches at these colleges and institutions has been superb when it comes to raising these young men properly on and off the field. I think in the next ten years you’ll probably see a huge influx of African American baseball players flowing through the minors and making their way into the MLB.”

The post Truist Park Hosts the 2022 Minority Baseball Prospects HBCU All-Star Game first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Brittney Griner Sentenced to More than 9 years in Russian Prison

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The lawyers of WNBA star Brittney Griner, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, said in a written statement following the verdict announcement that the court ignored all the evidence they presented and that they will appeal the decision. “We are very disappointed by the verdict. As legal professionals, we believe that the court should be fair to everyone regardless of nationality,” Attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov said in a statement.

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

WNBA Superstar Brittney Griner has been sentenced to more than 9 years in a Russian prison following her conviction on drug charges.

Her lawyers called the verdict a disappointment and vowed to appeal.

The lawyers of WNBA star Brittney Griner, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, said in a written statement following the verdict announcement that the court ignored all the evidence they presented and that they will appeal the decision.

“We are very disappointed by the verdict. As legal professionals, we believe that the court should be fair to everyone regardless of nationality,” Attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov said in a statement.

“The court completely ignored all the evidence of the defense, and most importantly, the guilty plea. This contradicts the existing legal practice.

“Taking into account the amount of the substance (not to mention the defects of the expertise) and the plea, the verdict is absolutely unreasonable. We will certainly file an appeal,” they added.

Russian officials contended that Griner committed the crime on purpose. They also levied a fine totaling about $16,400 American dollars on the basketball star.

Authorities arrested Griner on Feb. 17 at an airport in Moscow after finding less than a gram of cannabis oil in her luggage.

She has been detained since then.

Recently, American officials revealed that the Biden-Harris administration had offered notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for the release of Griner and Paul Whelan.

“Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney,” President Biden said.

“It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates. My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”

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Report: Human Rights Violations in Prisons Throughout Southern United States Cause Disparate and Lasting Harm in Black Communities  

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “The U.S. has long failed to live up to its international human rights treaty obligations on eliminating racial discrimination, perhaps more so in the area of mass incarceration and prison conditions than in any other context,” said Lisa Borden, Senior Policy Counsel, International Advocacy at the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

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NNPA Newswire

NEW YORK – The Southern Prisons Coalition, a group of civil and human rights organizations, submitted a new report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination on the devastating consequences of incarceration on Black people throughout the southern United States.

With the long-term goal of eliminating all forms of racial discrimination in the criminal legal system, including the carceral system, the report describes the widespread, disparate harms resulting from the arrests, harsh prison sentences, and incarceration on Black communities.

The report also cites the devastating impacts of solitary confinement, prison labor, the school to prison pipeline, and incarceration of parents on Black families.

On August 8, 2022, the UN will review the United States’ compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination for the first time since 2014.

Among the ongoing stark racial disparities throughout prisons in the southern United States, Black people are five times more likely to be incarcerated in state prisons.

In states like Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas, where Black communities comprise 38% of the total population, Black individuals account for as much as 67% of the total incarcerated population.

While incarcerated, Black people are more than eight times more likely to be placed in solitary confinement, and they are 10 times more likely to be held there for exceedingly long periods of time.

By submitting the report to the United Nations, the Southern Prisons Coalition hopes to solicit concrete recommendations from the UN Committee as well as commitments from the United States delegation about their plans to address systemic issues in the United States prison system, particularly in the South.

According to the report, several states in the United States have also failed to meet several of the UN’s Standard Minimum Rules for the treatment of incarcerated people, including:

  • Work should help to prepare incarcerated people for their release from prison, including life and job skills;
  • Safety measures and labor protections for incarcerated workers should be the same as those that cover workers who are not incarcerated;
  • Incarcerated workers should receive equitable pay, be able to send money home to their families, and have a portion of their wages set aside to be given to them upon release.

“The U.S. has long failed to live up to its international human rights treaty obligations on eliminating racial discrimination, perhaps more so in the area of mass incarceration and prison conditions than in any other context,” said Lisa Borden, Senior Policy Counsel, International Advocacy at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“We hope the Committee will help to shine a light on these very dark truths and prompt the U.S. to take its obligation to make significant improvements more seriously.”

“The abuses of forced labor are inextricably tied to racial discrimination in our nation,” said Jamila Johnson, Deputy Director at the Promise of Justice Initiative.

“In Louisiana, for instance, people are still sent into the fields to labor by hand in dangerously high heat indexes, for little to no compensation, and with brutal enforcement reminiscent of slavery and the era of ‘convict leasing’.”

“This report reveals the suffering of Black people in southern U.S. prisons, whose stories of marginalization and discrimination echo the racial subjugation of slavery and convict leasing during our country’s most shameful past,” said Antonio L. Ingram II, Assistant Counsel at the Legal Defense Fund.

“Despite widespread knowledge of the longstanding racial inequalities in the criminal legal and carceral systems, the United States continues to allow egregious human rights violations to persist for Black incarcerated people in violation of international law. This report serves as a sobering reminder of how far we need to go.”

Read the full report here.

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Celebrate your birthday with 10 free items

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Is your birthday coming up, and you’re not sure how to celebrate? Beat the summer heat by grabbing free ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, or a daiquiri at WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe.” Not in the mood for sweets? Head over to Jersey Mike’s or McDonald’s. Check out the rest of these Top 10 places giving out free items on your special day.

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By Angelina Liu, Entertainment Editor of The Trendsetter / Texas Metro News

Is your birthday coming up, and you’re not sure how to celebrate? Beat the summer heat by grabbing free ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, or a daiquiri at WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe.” Not in the mood for sweets? Head over to Jersey Mike’s or McDonald’s. Check out the rest of these Top 10 places giving out free items on your special day.

1. Chocolate Secrets

At Chocolate Secrets, located at 3926 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219, you can celebrate your birthday by getting one free piece of candy under their candy cases.

2. WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe”

Head to WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe”, located at 684 W Pioneer Pkwy Suite 100, Grand Prairie, Texas 75051, to claim a free small personal daiquiri on your birthday. Quench your thirst with signature flavors such as “Strawberry Shortcake” or “Bahama Mama.”

3. Sephora

Sign up for a free, Beauty Insider account and receive your choice of 250 bonus points, Laura Mercier, Amika or Tatcha sets on your birthday. The choice of powders, lipsticks and skincare is bound to make you look fabulous for your special day.

4. Starbucks

Need a quick pick-me-up on your birthday? Starbucks has it covered! Join the Starbucks Rewards Program seven days prior to your birthday and make one purchase. Starbucks will then email you a coupon for a free food or beverage item two days before your birthday. The birthday reward qualifies for anything on the menu, including any size handcrafted drink or food item.

5. Jersey Mike’s

In the mood for a sub? Head over to Jersey Mike’s and receive a free sub and drink. Make sure to sign up for the Jersey Mike’s Subs Email Club prior to your birthday to receive this reward. Nothing tastes quite like melted cheese and meat in between a toasted baguette, along with an icy cold drink.

6. The Cheesecake Factory

Celebrating with friends? Tell your server it’s your birthday and receive a free treat as well as a song. It may be mildly embarrassing, but hey, it’s free!

7. Culver’s

Need something cold and sweet to beat the Texas heat? Head to Culver’s for a free sundae when you sign up for their rewards program. The sweet creaminess will surely not disappoint.

8. IHOP

Want to indulge in a sweet breakfast before birthday festivities? Join the International Bank of Pancakes rewards program to receive a free stack of pancakes on your birthday. Pair your pancakes with a choice of chocolate chips, syrup, fresh fruit or a dollop of whipped cream.

9. McDonald’s

Need a snack before embarking on your next birthday adventure? Download the McDonald’s app and join MyMcDonald’s Rewards to receive free large fries. Mmm, the taste and smell of fresh, perfectly salted french fries.

10. Smoothie King

Want to celebrate your birthday with a healthier option? Enjoy a birthday smoothie at Smoothie King. Download the Smoothie King app to receive this offer.

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Photos courtesy of Ella Baker Center, photography by Brooke Anderson
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