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Kevin Durant Speaks Out On Black Identity

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Kevin Durant is coming off one of the best years of his life. He signed with the Golden State Warriors and finally achieved his childhood dream of winning an NBA Championship. He also collected his first NBA Finals MVP. Life on the court and inside the locker room couldn’t be better for Durant. Outside of the court is an entirely different experience for the NBA All-Star.

In a recent interview with Logan Murdock from Mercury News, Durant spoke about his identity as a Black athlete vs what most African Americans have to endure on a day to day basis.  When asked by Murdock what changed his views on his identity, Durant stated he started to realize that his status as NBA All-Star was affording him some privileges that most African Americans don’t have.

“Finally waking up, to be honest. Just kind of seeing how rough it is for an average black man, you know what I’m saying? And on top of that, a black man makes one mistake” said the 29-year-old MVP. “I see how far we get pushed down. For me, I kind of grew up in this basketball world, whereas my talent kind of overrides what I look like.”

“I didn’t have it as rough when it comes to that, as far as social or systematic oppression or any social issues. They didn’t really apply to me because I could put a ball in a basket. Just me saying that kind of woke me up a little bit, like “Damn, that’s all I’m good for?” Like, if I wasn’t a basketball player, what kind of man would they look at me as, you know what I’m saying?”

Durant even spoke on some of the systemic oppression that African Americans face in society and at their workplace.  “Anything involving basketball with us is such a huge, huge deal, and then you hear stories of how players want to stand up for what they believe in, stand up for social justice, systematic oppression. You see what’s going on with Meek Mill right now, which is f-ing ridiculous, and he’s actually doing something great with himself.”

“Then I hear my friends talk about what it’s like in the corporate world for black folks. You automatically just get viewed as something that you’re not or something that somebody else may have been, may have done.” said Durant “A lot of feelings get projected on you because of what you look like or how you present yourself. It’s like, so much sh-t that goes on that I see now that I didn’t see before.”

There are so many people that watch sports and want athletes to only care about entertaining them. Ignoring the fact that they are human, they have family and friends that have to endure more than they ever will. As more and more athletes speak up, more fans need to wake up.

Athletes should be able to use their platform for change.

VIA: Mercury News

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Adidas Promises To Only Uses Recycled Plastics In Products By 2024

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Adidas is taking a step forward in becoming an eco-friendly company.

Adidas is planning to expand its use of recycled plastics well beyond its flagship shoes. The sportswear maker has promised to only use recycled polyester in its shoes and clothing by 2024. While the company’s Eric Liedtke didn’t provide a detailed roadmap in a chat with the Financial Times, he characterized it as a transition that will see Adidas take “right-sized bites” out of its budget to make the switch without hurting its profit margins. It’s no mean feat — about half of Adidas’ material is polyester right now, Liedtke said, so an “overnight” changeover isn’t in the cards.

A lot of that cost likely has to do with economies of scale. Recycled polyester can carry up to a 20 percent premium over the freshly-made variety, and it could prove daunting to process the material in Adidas-level quantities. The company is likely betting that refined techniques will bring the costs down over time. Adidas is planning on removing the plastics from their products, they won’t even use them in their offices, retail outlets, warehouses, and distribution centers, saving an estimated 40 tons of plastic per year, starting in 2018.

Let’s hope more companies are plan to incorporate eco-conscious designs in their products.

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Papa John CEO Steps Down After Using The N-Word In Conference Call

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The founder and former CEO of Papa John‘s left the company.

Hours after it was confirmed that he used a racial slur during a company conference call earlier in May. John Schnatter, who turned his pizza place into a national chain ubiquitous with Peyton Manning and the National Football League.

According to Forbes, which first wrote about the conference call, Schnatter compared himself to another restaurant founder and alleged that they were treated differently despite asserting that the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken had used racist language in the past.

It seems commenting on that incident is what got Schnatter into further trouble in a conference call a Forbes report described in detail. The call was reportedly arranged between Papa John’s executives and a marketing agency called Laundry Service and was designed to help the company prevent any further damage to its public image.

But though Schnatter he said he would “distance” himself from racists, according to Forbes he used the racial slur in an attempt to defend himself during the call.

This is just another questionable moment for Schanatter. In December after making critical public comments about athletes of color in the National Football League conducting nonviolent protests during the National Anthem. Schnatter had claimed kneeling athletes caused a dip in his pizza sales, which made the brand popular with neo-nazis and white supremacists.

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Amazon Buys Nas-Backed Pharmacy For $1 Billion Dollars

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This just might be the best summer of Nas’ life.

After releasing his new album NASIR on G.O.O.D Music, the Queens native pharmacy startup was purchased by Amazon. The online pharmacy PillPack was purchased for $1 billion dollars.

Queensbridge Venture Partners, the rapper’s venture capital firm, was an early backer of the Boston-based firm, along with VC heavyweights like Accel and Sherpa Capital. The sale will net the startup’s two co-founders around $100 million each, according to the Chicago Tribune. The size of Queensbridge’s stake is unclear, but it’s likely Nas is walking away with a solid chunk of money.

PillPack’s pitch is to streamline access to medications. The company fulfills drug prescriptions with front door-shipping, while managing the payment and refill process with automated software. The acquisition boosts Amazon’s growing efforts to expand into the health care market.

QVP, founded in 2014, previously invested in a cloud-based mastering company, a cricket protein bar manufacturer and a “smart doorbell” startup, among other ventures.

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