New York Giant Ramses Barden Talks Super Bowl, Hip-Hop and Being a Free Agent

The average NFL career lasts only four years. NFL wide receiver, Ramses Barden, isn’t average though.

The 6’6” Super Bowl champion just completed his fourth season with the New York Giants and will more than likely sign a big time free agent contract this off-season. We caught up with Ramses and talked about last year’s Super Bowl, Kendrick Lamar, Joe Budden and much more. Check it out.

Talk about this past season. Was it your best so far statistically?
I have a mentality where I prepare daily to be the #1 wide receiver on the team. I just prepare to play the best and perform the best each day. I tried my best to take advantage of the opportunities I got this year. I was excited when those opportunities came. I was able to start in week 3 versus Cleveland. When the opportunities came I just maximized them and tried to make plays.

Who would you like to win the Super Bowl this year?
I can’t quite call it just yet. I like the Packers to make it from the NFC and I think the Texans or Broncos will represent the AFC.

Tell us about your first Super Bowl experience last year.
It was a dream season for us. We struggled at certain times, but we had a strong backbone and the mantra of “finish.” We were just a team with the courage and passion to play games until the very end and it showed because we came back to win a number of games. All of the tough times early in the season helped us gain momentum for a storybook ending. Then once we got to Indianapolis, the energy was remarkable. Indy isn’t a glitzy type of city, but it had its own sense of culture and it really came alive during Super Bowl week. People were partying in the streets everywhere and just enjoying themselves. We had a group of about 50 people follow us from a restaurant back to our hotel once, so it was really wild out there. And then winning the game was just indescribable. It’s something I’ll always remember.

This was the last year of your contract with the Giants, so now you’re a free agent. Where are you playing next season?
I would love to resign with the Giants. I’ve made [NYC] a home, made friends here and media connections for my life after football. I know it’s a business, so at the end of the day, a business decision will be made. My agent and I just have to sit down with the Giants' management and hopefully both parties can find a way to keep me around. Free agency doesn’t open until March so I’ll have a better idea of where I’ll be playing then.

Describe the adjustment coming from a small college to the NFL.
I went to Cal Poly in college, which is a lower level D1 school. It was a small school, but the style we played was very fast. It was a triple option offense with a lot of short and very fast guys on the team. Since we played at such an up-tempo pace in college, coming to the NFL wasn’t too much of an adjustment. Now, of course, the team speed of the defensive players, the players being bigger and more physical was a difference. Another adjustment was I found out this was a business. In college, you’re practicing for a few hours and watching film for about thirty minutes, and you lift weights here and there. In the NFL, people don’t understand the amount of time we put in. You’re at the facility all day long. In the off-season you sometimes have 10 to 15 hour days.

What did you do in high school or college that no one else was doing that helped you make it to the league?
Everyone has a different path. I don’t quit. I don’t know how to quit. It doesn’t matter how hard the conditioning or practice is or how bleak the opportunity looks, I’m not going to quit. I also look at each day as an opportunity to get better. It doesn’t have to be something big that you do, just do something. It can be 15 to 20 minutes, just always do something to help you get to where you want to be and that builds toward your success. A continuous focus on getting better will give you an honest chance to compete and get noticed.

What kind of music are you listening to right now?
The Joe Budden mixtape, Loose Quarter. I’m not impressed, but that’s not to say it isn’t any good. It’s just what I’ve come to expect from him, which is good music. I’m a huge fan and he’s a tremendous artist. I was a fan of his since his first album. It’s nice to see him finally getting some of the recognition that he deserves. Some of my favorite all-time artists are Nas, Jay-Z, Lupe, Blu, but Andre 3000 is the best right now. Kendrick Lamar had album of the year for me last year as well. I love music, I could go on and on about this. It was great to see Kendrick resurrect traditional values and artistry in his music and find new ways to connect with the youth.

Who’s your celebrity crush?
Phylicia Rashad. If she still looks like she did on "The Cosby Show," that’s my celebrity crush. (laughs)

What else do you have going on in your life right now?
I’m in the midst of setting up a personal charity. I’ve always been willing to lend a hand to people. I feel like charity should be hands on. People normally give money, which is great and we need that, but we also need people to give time. Seeing people in-person and allowing them to get to know you personally goes way further than just money. Money is important, but carving out time to help someone is sometimes more effective than just giving money.

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Netflix Pledges To Invest $100 Million Into Black Owned-Banks And Black Communities

As part of their “commitment to racial equality,” Netflix has pledged to invest $100 million into Black communities to help build economic opportunity.

"Going forward, Netflix is going to allocate two percent of our cash holdings - initially up to $100 million - into financial institutions and organizations that directly support Black communities in the U.S.,” Aaron Mitchell, director of talent and acquisition,  and Shannon Alwyn, treasury director, announced in a blog post on Tuesday (June 30).

The company will move $25 million into a newly established Black Economic Development Initiative managed by Local Initiative Support Corporation, a nonprofit community development financial organization that assists underserved communities. LISC will invest the money into “Black financial institutions serving low and moderate-income communities and Black community development corporations in the U.S.”

Additionally, Netflix plans to make a $10 million “transformational deposit” into Hope Credit Union to help boost “economic opportunity” in Black communities in the Deep South.

“This capital will fuel social mobility and opportunity in the low- and moderate-income communities these groups serve,” the company added. “We plan to redirect even more of our cash to Black-led and focused institutions as we grow, and we hope others will do the same.”

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August Alsina Stands By Comments About Jada Pinkett Smith

August Alsina isn’t done speaking up. The singer took to Instagram on Friday (July 3) to clarify a few things about his bombshell interview with Angela Yee.

“The journey to freedom is a deeply complex, tricky, and turbulent road to tow; yet very necessary,” begins the lengthy post.

The 27-year-old New Orleans native also spoke about oppression, and affirms his commitment to “transparency” and “truth,” no matter how hard things get. “Truth & Transparency makes us uncomfortable, yes, but I can’t apologize for that. A tower of truth can never fall, only a tower of lies can do that. My truth is MY truth, & [it's] mine to own. There is no right or wrong here, it simply just IS.”

Towards the end of the post, Alsina appears to directly address Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith. “My heart has no malice or hate toward anyone on this planet. I just simply want the chains off & I’m willing to DIE getting there. The gift of freedom is yours to have, God promises us that, but only if you’re willing & God is not a man that HE should lie.. & I’m His SON, so neither would I.

“With that being said,” he continued. “I should also say that, no one was side swiped by any conversation, everyone got courtesy calls time in advance. Wishing Everyone Big Love!”

The Smiths have denied Alsina’s claims that he had an affair with Jada with Will's permission. On Thursday (July 2), Jada announced that she will be booking herself on Red Table Talk, presumably to address the rumors.

Read Alsina's full Instagram post below.


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God said, We may grow weary and tired fighting in the fire, but we shall NOT be burned! The journey to freedom is a deeply complex, tricky, and turbulent road to tow; yet very necessary. Oppression comes in so many forms these days, beginning w/ physical slavery and bondage to the white man, then passed down generational programming that manifest into mental enslavement. Slaves to an idea, slaves to an image, slaves to a code of conduct, slaves to a picture you’ve created in your mind.. even if it contains many falsities.. & anything that differentiates from your “idea” & “image” feels like an attack. & I get it; not only do i get it but I’m also sorry you feel that way, BUT, The only attack here is against the invisible walls of silent societal construct and “code” we place upon each other & upon ourselves hidden behind the desires of others approval & acceptance; another form of slavery & bondage that blocks one’s truest self from showing & spirit flow. Be blocked and stuck for what? Live silent, pressed down crippled in fear for who ? Adversary is but a gift given to you to flourish. We are surround by so much disharmony in this external world, so it is my forever job to do whatever’s necessary to reach the gift of harmony within myself. Truth & Transparency makes us uncomfortable, yes, but i can’t apologize for that. A tower of truth can never fall, only a tower of lies can do that. My truth is MY truth, & its mine to own. There is no right or wrong here, it simply just IS. & I make room and have acceptance for your thoughts and opinions, regardless if I agree or not, you have that freedom to feel WHATEVER it is u feel because when you’re at TRUE peace, all of the noise and chatter becomes that of a whisper. My heart has no malice or hate toward anyone on this planet. I just simply want the chains off & I’m willing to DIE getting there. The gift of freedom is yours to have, God promises us that, but only if you’re willing. &God is not a man that HE should lie.. & I’m His SON, so neither would I. 🙏🏽 W/ that being said i should also say that, no one was side swiped by any conversation, everyone got courtesy calls time in advance. Wishing Everyone Big Love!

A post shared by Yungin' (@augustalsina) on Jul 3, 2020 at 1:12pm PDT

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Jay Z’s Team Roc Demands Arrest Of Milwaukee Cop Who Killed 3 People

Team Roc, the social justice sector under Jay Z’s Roc Nation imprint, is demanding the arrest and prosecution of a Milwaukee cop who shot and killed three people of color, including a Black teenage boy, over the last five years.

The organization took out a full-page ad in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Thursday (July 2), calling for the arrest of Officer Joseph Mensah. “Let us start off with a simple question,” reads the letter addressed to Milwaukee County D.A. John Chisolm.“How many more people must die at the hands of Officer Joseph Mensah? Since joining the Wauwatosa Police Department in 2015, Mensah has shot and killed three men of color — Alvin Cole, Antonio Gonzales and Jay Anderson — with an excessive total of NINETEEN fired shots. His actions demonstrate an utter disregard for the lives of these young men.”

The letter goes on to state that the police department’s failure to enforce body cameras, and “failure to preserve video evidence” has impeded numerous investigations. “We are calling for your office to prosecute Mensah to ensure that he never kills anyone again, and to immediately outfit all of our police officers with body cameras. It is your responsibility to do the right thing, hold Mensah accountable for his actions and protect Wauwatosa citizens from further tragedy.”

Cole, the youngest of the shooting victims, was killed in February. Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber claims that the 17 year old fired a gun at officers “before the police officer fired theirs.”

Gonzales, 29, was killed in July 2015, because he refused to drop a sword. At the time, police were responding to a 911 call placed by a homeowner who claimed Gonzales was intoxicated and behaving erratically.

Anderson, a 25-year-old father, was shot and killed while sitting in his car at about 3 a.m. on June 23, 2016. Mensah claimed that Anderson reached for a gun as he approached the vehicle. Prosecutors decided that Mensah acted in self defense, but have since agreed to review the case.

“I would like to see him do some time for the killings he has done,” Anderson's mother said of Mensah. “It is not norma to kill three people. He is a murderer."

Read Team Roc's full letter below.

JAY-Z's Team Roc calls for the prosecution of police officer who has killed 3 men of color

The social justice sector of Roc Nation wrote an open letter in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to Milwaukee DA @DAJohnChisholm,calling for the firing & prosecution of officer Joseph Mensah

— JAY-Z Daily (@JAY_Z_Daily) July 2, 2020

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