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Will Smith's 'Concussion' Inspired Teen to Decline Football Scholarships

Will Smith's latest movie, 'Concussion,' may not have hit the box office as hard as expected, but it left a lasting impression on one high school senior. 

Will Smith's latest movie, Concussion, may not have hit the box office as hard as expected, but it left a lasting impression on one high school senior.

John Castello, a student from Pennsylvania, said that the film, which showcased the traumatic brain injuries that some NFL players experience, prompted him to decline 12 football scholarships at a dozen universities.

"The head injuries were a huge reason for my decision," he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I’ve liked both football and basketball for some time. I wasn’t totally sure what I wanted to do. Then, that movie Concussion came out and some interviews came out. I watched one interview with Dr. Omalu where he was talking about [former Steelers center] Mike Webster. After watching that, I said it’s not worth it."

The movie, which was released this past Christmas, saw Smith star as Bennett Omalu, a Nigerian doctor who approached the NFL with information about the damaging effects of football. Castello said the possibility of dementia, confusion, memory loss, and aggression as a result of the rigorous field activity in exchange for a full-ride through school just wasn't worth it.

"Yeah, it would be free college. But your whole life is in jeopardy. You’re putting your body in harm’s way every single week," he said. "It was definitely a tough choice, but I think I made the right choice."

Instead, the teen whose three siblings are currently in college, will play basketball, a decision he hopes will inspire others down the line.

"I know it's unusual and strange, and some people might look at me and say some things, but maybe I can influence some other kids to pick basketball over football, just because of the injuries."

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Billionaire Robert F. Smith Will Pay Off Morehouse Class Of 2019's Student Loans

Billionaire Robert F. Smith has earned one of Morehouse's biggest cheers after the commencement speaker announced he'd pay off the student loans for the entire graduating Class of 2019.

"This is my class,” he said, “and I know my class will pay this forward.”

Dang! There are a lot of happy graduates at Morehouse College today.

Commencement Speaker Robert F. Smith is establishing a grant to pay off the Class of 2019's student loans. #SundayThoughts #sundaymorning pic.twitter.com/kupvjyhT9Y

— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) May 19, 2019

The 56-year-old philanthropist and technology investor made the surprise revelation Sunday morning (May 19) at the Historically all-male Black college ceremony.

The 400 student-graduating class could hardly contain their excitement. Tonga Releford, whose son Charles Releford III, graduated today with an estimated $70,000 in student loan debt. The news of a financial clean slate was overwhelming.

“I feel like it’s Mother’s Day all over again,” she said.

The debt for all 400 students hovers around $40 million, which is a fraction of Smith's reported $5 billion.

When news broke of Smith's generous donation, many online expressing happiness, including Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Every Morehouse Class of 2019 student is getting their student debt load paid off by their commencement speaker.

This could be the start of what’s known in Econ as a ‘natural experiment.’ Follow these students & compare their life choices w their peers over the next 10-15 years. https://t.co/UM1qTJOxHf

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 19, 2019

This is real philanthropy.

Not giving money to a school to get your name on the wall while Administrators get raised.

Helping out real students in real need.https://t.co/HD7eF53qzu

— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 19, 2019

Just so everyone’s clear: Robert’s gift is estimated at $40 million. It is the largest ever gift to @Morehouse and the single largest gift ever provided to eliminate student debt in the United States. With student debt disproportionately strangling Black people, this is major. https://t.co/qTUCFJKAQy

— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) May 19, 2019

And because the Internet is the Internet, the jokes had to fly.

Next year’s Morehouse commencement speaker: pic.twitter.com/gYApx8OXGm

— Eric Haywood (@EricHaywood) May 19, 2019

Big ups to Mr. Smith and congratulations to Morehouse's Class of 2019.

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Christopher Polk

The Internet Was Conflicted About Future's Birthday Gift To Baby Future

It's Future Zahir's birthday and the cutie patootie 5-year-old received massive love from his parents and a pricey gift from his dad.

Nayvadius recorded Baby Future's initial response to opening up his gold Rolex, which merited a sincere "thanks." However, the Internet seems a bit conflicted on whether or not Future's gift to his son was sincere or even appropriate.

https://twitter.com/SPLASHnewz/status/1130136017959301124

Some online thought it was no one's business what Future gifts his son, or that others were jealous.

https://twitter.com/1JOSHLAFLARE/status/1130134869122650114

https://twitter.com/FEELZ_____/status/1130125891777028097

Some took to Twitter to allege Future gave his son the gift he would've wanted for himself.

This is a status symbol for Future not a gift for baby Future. I’m sure he got toys and stuff in addition. But that only makes this Rolex thing worse. Why not just get him an ass load of whatever toys he likes and leave it at that? https://t.co/xQP5r0du7F

— Mars and Stars (@marcia_too) May 19, 2019

Lmao baby future looking at that watch like “this not Paw PAtrol” lmao I’m weak

— Chief Stallionaire in Meg’s Kitchen (@AskWhy05) May 19, 2019

https://twitter.com/_kingsb/status/1130135731215699969

It's silly to even give that type of gift to a child. That Rolex might be in the toilet by Tuesday, And Future will expect Ciara and Russell to make him wear the watch in every picture.

What is Baby Future gonna get when he's 6? A REAL Lambo, instead of a Power Wheels Lambo? pic.twitter.com/qpMqwcNGrg

— B-Ball Guru (@northcyde) May 19, 2019

Future's relationship with his son has been marred by assumptions of how well he can parent compared to Russell Wison. There are many who think The Seattle Seahawk's QB is better equipped to care for baby Future than his own father, while the other side of the Internet assume Future is a fine dad, he just doesn't have Wilson's squeaky clean image.

Oh well, whether baby Future knows the value of his gift is neither here nor there. Let me go charge up my Fitbit before it dies.

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Win McNamee

Sybrina Fulton Is Running For Office In Florida

Since Trayvon Martin's murder in 2012, Sybrina Fulton has dedicated her life to preserving her son's legacy. Now, Fulton is taking it one step further as she's announced she's running for office in Florida.

“Since 2012, I have advocated tirelessly to empower our communities and make them safer,” Fulton said to The Miami Herald. “But the work is not done. I am proud to announce that I will run to represent District 1 on the county commission.”

"Our county must continue moving forward so our families are safe from violence, can afford to live in Miami-Dade, and have access to good paying jobs,” she continued. “I am ready to take on these issues and many others in county government.”

Fulton will run against Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez during the 2020 election, a seat which will be vacated by Commissioner Barbara Jordan in the same year.

Fulton, alongside Trayvon's father Tracy, found themselves the focus of media attention in 2012 when 17-year-old Trayvon was racially profiled, followed and shot by self-appointed neighborhood watchmen George Zimmerman.

Unarmed Trayvon was staying with his father in central Florida when on the night of Feb 26, he went to a local convenience store and crossed paths with Zimmerman.

Zimmerman was taken into custody by police that night but later released. It would months later in April when Zimmerman was formally arrested and charged. On July 13, 2013,  Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges.

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