Al Harris

Professional Athletes Are Under Fire For Carrying Guns—But Should They Protect Themselves?

Al Harris (pictured above) never thought he would be a target. In 1997, the cornerback was drafted by the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and relegated to the team’s practice squad. By 1998, he had been traded to the Philadelphia Eagles, but he was hardly a superstar. He was modest, rarely wore jewelry, drove a 1999 GMC Suburban and a late-1970s Cadillac Fleetwood.

“Back then, guys who got money legally didn’t get robbed,” says Harris, 34, now a Pro Bowler with the Green Bay Packers. “People respected you. But it’s different now. If you’re a young successful male, especially a young black male, you’re a target.”

Harris got his wake-up call in 1999. While staying at his brother’s home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., shortly after his first season with the Eagles, he hopped into his Cadillac to make a trip to the grocery store. Arriving home minutes later, he was confronted by a masked gunman who forced Harris into the house where another gunman was waiting. The pair pushed him and several other guests to the floor, duct-taped their hands, feet, and mouths, and pressed a pistol to the back of Harris’ head before making off with a small amount of cash, a watch and
the Cadillac.

“Before that, I’d never heard about any of my teammates getting robbed,” says Harris, speaking publicly about the incident for the first time. He’s since gone through firearms training and is now licensed to carry a concealed weapon in Florida. “I never thought in a million years that would happen to me.”

Harris wasn’t the first professional athlete to get robbed—and he certainly won’t be the last—but his story sheds a light on professional sports’ dirty secret: Athletes have turned into targets, and they’re taking matters into their own hands.

“More athletes are carrying guns today,” says Harris’ agent Jack Bechta, who has been working with NFL players for more than two decades. “They have more to protect. The Sean Taylor incident scared a lot of players.”

Taylor was a Pro Bowl safety for the Washington Redskins before he was gunned down in his home in November 2007 in Palmetto Bay, Fla. A group of intruders broke into his house—thinking it was empty—and shot Taylor in the upper leg when they discovered him with his fiancée and child in a bedroom. Taylor had been criticized in ’05 after he was charged with felony aggravated assault with a firearm and two counts of misdemeanor battery for an altercation (he later pleaded no contest to the two lesser charges and received 18 months probation), but some wonder if he’d be alive today if he’d had a gun nearby to protect himself that night.

“Most people don’t understand what it’s like to live in their reality,” says Jemele Hill, a columnist for ESPN.com who covered Taylor’s death, as well as the tragic drive-by murder of Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams in 2007. “We see a guy making $20 million and can’t fathom why he feels unsafe. Money doesn’t make you any safer. A bullet doesn’t stop to ask for a bank statement.”

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72 Philadelphia Cops Moved To Desk Duty After Racist Facebook Posts

Several dozen Philadelphia cops were taken off the streets and moved to desk duty after an investigation unearthed racist and offensive Facebook post made by the officers in question.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports advocates published a database that cataloged the posts in late May. Although all 72 officers haven't been disciplined yet, Philadelphia Police Commissioner, Richard Ross expects the officers will face internal consequences and several to be fired.

“Of all the things we have to contend with in this police department, of all the issues that we have to deal with, this is one we certainly could have done without,” Ross said during the press conference Tuesday (June. 18).

Ross' comments were made after a violent Fathers Day weekend that resulted in 28 people shot and five people dying.

With 3,100 posts tracing back to the Philadelphia cops, the investigation is being conducted by the department's Internal Affairs division and Ballard Spahr law firm. The racist posts were brought to light thanks to the Plain View Project. Founded in 2017 by a team of Philadelphia attorneys, they created a research database of social media posts made by officers in the community that displays violence, racism, and bigotry.

While the investigation will be extensive as it is going through a list of stages, Ross adds that "We are trying to deal with some of the worst postings first."

Each post is being analyzed closely as they have to consider if they are protected by the First Amendment. If protected, there will be no further actions. If not, the next steps will be discussed.

Philadelphia Police Departments social media policy states that their employees "are prohibited from using ethnic slurs, profanity, personal insults; material that is harassing, defamatory, fraudulent, or discriminatory.”

It has not been announced how long the investigation will take.

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Jada Pinkett Smith visits "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon"at Rockefeller Center on January 21, 2019 in New York City.
Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Jada Pinkett Smith Admits Having A Threesome Once: "It's Not For Me"

Part of what makes Jada Pinkett Smith's Red Table Talk so captivating is her ability to keep it real. Now, the actress is taking things one step further when it comes to her sex life.

In a clip seen on People for an upcoming episode of RTT, Pinkett Smith shares how she engaged in a threesome when she was "very, very, young." In the episode, which will air Monday (June 23), Pinkett Smith answered a fan question in an honest way. She also added how it wasn't her cup of tea because of the lack of intimacy she felt during the experience.

“I didn’t like it. It just didn’t have the level of intimacy [I wanted]," she says as her daughter Willow closed her eyes. "But I tried it once and I was like, ‘Well, that’s not for me.’"

The recent "Trailblazer Award" recipient for the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards, goes on to say in the episode that if she was in love with two people that the sexual experience could be different. "But I always think if I was in love with two people, that’s another level," she said. "I could see and join a threesome then, but I was a kid. I saw two cute people and I was like, ‘Hey.'”

Currently in season two,  Red Table Talk, has 6.2M followers on its Facebook platform. The series takes on conversations in an intimate setting with Pinkett Smith, her mother Adrienne Banfield Norris, Willow, and special guests.

Topics discussed on the show have ranged from breaking destructive cycles to healing emotional scars to unpacking white privilege and prejudice.

Check out the preview for next week's episode below.

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TREY GANEM'S SOULSHINE INDUSTRIES

Maleah Davis' Casket Decorated With "My Little Pony" Rainbows

Maleah Davis' family laid their little girl to rest in a private ceremony, despite her disappearance and subsequent death meriting public attention. The 4-year-old's final resting place was a casket decorated as "My Little Pony."

The funeral was reportedly held last Saturday with close friends and relatives. A photo of the casket shows Maleah's full name--Maleah Lynn Davis-- written on the side and a copy of the obituary described the little girl as "happiness personified."

"She touched the lives of many; our shining, beautiful little girl, the light of our lives and the star of our hearts who leaves us smiling through our tears. She was happiness personified."

Maleah's disappearance earned national attention when Maleah's mother left her in the care of her fiance, Derion Venice. On May 4, Venice alleged he, his son and Maleah were attacked by three men that knocked him unconscious. When he came to, Venice alleged he and his son were fine but the attackers took Maleah.

After an exhaustive search that lasted weeks, investigators found Maleah's remains inside a garbage bag near Hope, Arkansas about 30 miles northwest of the Texas-Arkansas border. Investigators said Venice's story was inconsistent and he was charged with "tampering with evidence, namely a corpse." His bond was set at $1 million.

The cause and manner of Maleah's death has not be determined.

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