Posts tagged with "boycott"

Rita Azar Illustrates a Basketball Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Jaylen Brown x George Floyd Bill

by Justin Lyons

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics wing, in a press conference Sunday said he would like to see the city of Boston pass the George Floyd bill.

Brown, who has been one of the more active players in social justice conversations throughout the NBA, was asked about the Celtics’ commitment to spend $25 million over the next ten years to fight social injustice.

He said it was a great step, and that change happens over a period of time, but he thinks there are things that can be catalysts for change right now.

“One thing I would like to see in Boston is the George Floyd bill enacted,” Brown said, adding that conversations need to be had about police and qualified immunity. “Some things just need to be held accountable, and hopefully Boston can be a place where a tone is set that can be transpired in other cities.”

Brown went on to say that he thinks Boston is moving in the right direction, but he would still like to see more companies and organizations be diversified as well as more opportunities for people of color.

“I’m proud to be a part of the Celtics organization. I’m proud to have an ownership group, or a leadership group, that’s willing to take these steps because they recognize that we need to live in a better, more forward progressing world.”

The George Floyd bill, or H.R.7120, aims to achieve a few goals.

First, it would lower the criminal intent standard to convict an officer of law enforcement. The standard currently requires that officers act willfully, while H.R.7120 would only necessitate that officers act knowingly or recklessly.

Second, it would limit qualified immunity, which grants officers immunity in lawsuits regarding violations of constitutional rights of civilians.

Third, it would allow the Department of Justice to issue authorizations to investigate departments demonstrating patterns of discriminatory practices.

It would also create a national registry of police misconduct, lay the bricks for prohibition of racial profiling and implement new standards for training regarding racial profiling and use of body cameras.

It passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 236-181, and it will move to the Senate.

Brown’s comments come just weeks after NBA players boycotted games on behalf of Jacob Blake, whom was shot seven times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and victims of police brutality everywhere.

A reporter asked Brown if he thought the boycott’s message was still effective even as players returned to the court.

“These issues have been here for a very, very long time, and they’re still going to be here regardless of if we protest or not or boycott or not. I think sports plays a huge role in society, and I’m very aware of that, so using our platform is something I’m always going to support,” Brown answered.

While he said the cure for racism might not come from the NBA, the players can always use their platform to let the world know that these issues are important.

Brown, who wears the word “Liberation” on the back of his jersey, scored 21 points and picked up eight rebounds to help the Celtics defeat the Toronto Raptors Friday by a score of 92-87. They advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals where they will meet up with the Miami Heat, who are playing on six days of rest after eliminating the Milwaukee Bucks in just five games.

The first game of the series begins Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. EST with the Celtics favored by a point and a half.

Rita Azar illustrates NBA basketball story for 360 MAGAZINE.

NBA Protests

by Justin Lyons

The clock struck 4:05 p.m. on Aug 26 in Orlando, and neither the Magic nor the Bucks were on the court for the tip-off of the fifth game of their playoff series.

Playing their home games just 40 miles from Kenosha, Wisconsin, it’s safe to say that the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha police literally hit close to home for the Bucks players.

The Orlando Magic originally took the court for their game, but they decided to leave when it appeared the Bucks weren’t coming. That court was now empty aside from the NBA logos, the regulation markings and “Black Lives Matter” in bold text across the side closest to the scorer’s table.

Then, the tweet from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski came at 4:13 p.m. Orlando time saying that the Bucks officially decided to boycott the fifth game of the series.

News broke later that the Rockets, Thunder, Trail Blazers and Lakers all decided to boycott their games, as well, in a show of unity.

It was the spark that started the fire, as basketball wouldn’t be played again until Aug. 29.

Bucks guard George Hill was one of the most outspoken players on the team regarding the shooting of Jacob Blake, making it very clear that he couldn’t continue to play basketball to distract from the reality of what’s happening in the United States.

The Brewers, the Milwaukee baseball team that plays its home games just a short drive from where the Bucks play, also decided to cancel their Aug. 26 game against the Reds.

Brewers star Christian Yelich said it was a unanimous decision from the team to not play.

“I think the Bucks spearheaded it for us,” Yelich said. “They started the discussion. It gave us a conversation to have. It was eye-opening for us, and we felt like it was the right thing to do.”

The NHL also joined in the protests, postponing games Aug. 27 and Aug. 28.

Later on the night of Aug. 26, Shams Charania reported via Twitter that the Lakers and Clippers, both of which are still contenders for the title, voted to boycott the rest of the season. LeBron James reportedly led the movement to cancel the season, which is no surprise given his history of fighting for social justice.

Giannis Antetokounmpo said the Bucks were able to get in contact with Blake’s father very quickly. Blake’s father was moved to tears by the gesture.

According to an article from ESPN, Antetokounmpo said, “Obviously, it’s gonna be games that you come in and score 30, 35, 50 or whatever the case might be, but that you’re going to remember. The way we felt, we’re going to remember the way we felt for the rest of our lives.”

The Bucks were eliminated from the playoffs Tuesday, which begs the question of how they will respond. Hill expressed disappointment that he had to be in the Orlando bubble instead of fighting for justice, so it should be interesting to see where the Bucks go from here.

Eyes are also shifting to the NFL, which starts Thursday. The entire nation will have its eyes on protests and social justice initiatives from a league that has been just as outspoken as the NBA.

Mulan illustration by Maria Soloman for 360 Magazine.

Mulan Boycott

by Justin Lyons

A new movement is taking over social media as pro-democracy activists try to spread a boycott of the new Disney film Mulan.

Disney’s live-action remake of the 1998 original film hit Disney’s streaming service Disney+ this weekend. On top of the monthly subscription fee, those wanting to see Mulan would have to pay $29.99 to unlock it.

Social media users in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand called for movie fans and Disney lovers to avoid the new film because of comments from Liu Yifei, who plays the titular Mulan.

In Aug. 2019, Liu expressed via Weibo, a Chinese social media site, that she supported Hong Kong police. The comments came amid pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Liu was met with instant backlash, but now that her movie is available to stream, the widespread boycott seems to have intensified.

Joshua Wong, a Hong Kong activist, has been particularly outspoken regarding the situation. He asked everyone who believes in human rights to boycott the film.

He also retweeted multiple tweets from other activists. One of which was from Twitter user Gwyneth Kwai-lam Ho, who linked a story about the boycott from The Guardian.

“Not while the true Mulans are suffering in the darkness of a Chinese jail,” the tweet said.

Mulan currently sits at 78% on Rotten Tomatoes among critics but 55% among audience members. It had a production budget of $200 million.

Positive Goya Illustration

Goya Boycott

By Eamonn Burke

A boycott of Goya foods, a major producer of beans and an essential good for many families, has launched after its CEO Robert Unanue praised President Trump in a speech at the White House on Thursday:

“We are all truly blessed … to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder,” said Unanue.

Immediately, many prominent Hispanic figures such as Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez denounced Goya and Unanue, and hinted in a tweet she would boycott the company. Julian Castro, a former Housing and Urban Development Secretary, urged people do to the same despite the prominence of Goya in Latin American homes. The resistance comes from the public as well, as the hashtags #boycottGoya and #Goyaway have trended in recent days. Meanwhile, President Trump took to Twitter saying “I LOVE @GoyaFoods!”

Unanue, however, is not apologizing for endorsing Trump and is labeling the boycott as a “suppression of speech”. He was proud to support Trump, and also to say that Goya would be donating 2 million cans of food to American Food Banks. He also stated that he would be “honored” to be a part of the Hispanic Property Initiative, which was signed by Trump at the event with a goal of expanding “access by Hispanic Americans to educational and economic opportunities.” The CEO also has a extensive history of donating to Republican candidates and initiatives.

“If you’re called by the president of the United States, you’re going to say, ‘No I’m sorry, I’m busy, no thank you?’ I didn’t say that to the Obamas and I didn’t say that to President Trump.” said Unanue in an interview with Fox News on Friday. Republicans like Ted Cruz and Matt Schlapp and publicly defended the CEO while denouncing “cancel culture” on Twitter.

The unwavering support of Unanue is perplexing, when considering Trump’s history against Latinx people. In 2016, his presidential campaign was largely structured on restricting immigrants, especially from Mexico. In one speech he referred to the people coming from Mexico into the U.S. as “rapists.” He has relentlessly tried to end DACA, a program which protects immigrants, and offered little support to Puerto Rico in the midst of hurricane devastation. The Trump administration works closely with ICE and has detained immigrants at the US-Mexico border in concentration camps with inhuman men conditions.

It is also confusing when considering Goya’s history as a company. Goya is currently the largest Hispanic-owned company in the nation, but it began as a small store in Manhattan run by Spanish immigrants

As for President Trump, who is already unpopular with Hispanic voters, it is possible that he sees a reduction in the 26% of Latinx voters who support him.

Facebook Ad Boycott

By Eamonn Burke

The social media platform Facebook is making policy changes after Unilever has removed ads from the site, as well as Twitter. They join a group of corporations such as Honda, Verizon, Ford, Clorox, and Denny’s, who have come together to boycott the site, as called for by the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League as a way to pressure tech conglomerates to make change. Some companies are pulling ads indefinitely, and some have pledged to pull them for the month of July.

These new policies involve designating posts that are in violation of existing policies but still “newsworthy”. Twitter has already adopted this method, allowing them to label some of President Trump’s tweets as violations. Facebook claims that it allocates a large budget to keeping content safe and removing hate speech using AI that is 90% effective, and also that the company never makes policy changes based on money. However, a group called Stop Hate For Profit, who called for the boycott, want to see more change:

“We have been down this road before with Facebook. They have made apologies in the past. They have taken meager steps after each catastrophe where their platform played a part. But this has to end now.”

Unilever supplied upwards of $42 million dollars of revenue for Facebook in 2019, so it is no doubt that their absence will be damaging. Facebook is also a huge source of profit for the companies themselves, so it is an impactful decision to stopping putting ads on the site. Shares of Facebook and Twitter have already gone down more than 7% as of Friday. Other massive companies like Procter and Gamble have pledged to do the same in the face of discriminatory content.

Justice illustration

Supreme Court Reform

Police violence against blacks won’t end until the U.S. Supreme Court adopts a substantially different approach to the issue, says a Virginia Tech expert on race and social policy. “The bottom line is that better or different police training will not end this violence because it does nothing to limit the police’s power to do violence,” said Wornie Reed. “Police have a license to kill anyone, and they use it disproportionately on black people.” Reed says law enforcement received this “license” in the Graham v. Conner Supreme Court decision in 1989, written by Chief Justice William Rehnquist. The Graham decision in 1989 interpreted the Fourth Amendment to protect police officers, not black people, Reed said. “It in effect changed the view of the police use of force from that of an individual encountering a state action that could potentially be a violation of the person’s constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment to that of the police officer’s right, the right to act—and use force–if they feel it is reasonable,” says Reed. “If the intended situation is to place the police officer’s life equal to that of the civilian, we need to make these rules clear and havepolice practices conform. If the intent is to value the police officer’s life as more significant, we need to debate this issue in public and the courts. A large proportion of the citizenry might object to that orientation as a cultural practice.” Professor Wornie Reed, Blacksburg Police Chief Anthony Wilson and other local leaders and officials will talk about these issues at a news conference at noon on Tuesday, June 2, at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in Christiansburg, Virginia.

About Wornie Reed

Wornie Reed is the director of the Race and Social Policy Research Center and a professor of Africana Studies and sociology in Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. His areas of expertise include race, ethnic health disparities, social policy and criminal justice. Reed also has several connections to the civil rights movement: he marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and saw over 30 of his speeches; he attended King’s funeral in Atlanta and marched in Memphis; he participated in the Poor People’s’ Campaign, the 1963 March on Washington and the Montgomery Bus Boycott; He also participated with the Olympic Committee for Human Rights which sponsored the Black Power salute boycott.

Reed’s expertise has been featured in TIME, HuffPost, WSLS (Virginia CBS affiliate), WVTF(Virginia NPR affiliate), Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, and the Philadelphia Tribune, to name a few.