<> on September 14, 2016 in Washington, DC.
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Olympic Committee Bans Athletes From Kneeling, Raising Fists During 2020 Tokyo Games

The summer games kick off in July.

The International Olympic Committee banned athletes from any form of social protests during the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Games. The IOC's Athlete's Commission released guidelines on Thursday (Jan. 9) warning athletes to keep Olympic venues and the podium free of “political, religious or ethnic demonstrations.”

“We believe that the example we set by competing with the world’s best while living in harmony in the Olympic Village is a uniquely positive message to send to an increasingly divided world,” the commission explained in a statement. “This is why it is important, on both a personal and a global level, that we keep the venues, the Olympic Village and the podium neutral and free from any form of political, religious or ethnic demonstrations.

“If we do not, the life’s work of the athletes around us could be tarnished and the world would quickly no longer be able to look at us competing and living respectfully together, as conflicts drive a wedge between individuals and nations.”

Kneeling, raising fists, and displaying any political messaging (including signs or armbands) are named as banned forms of social protests. The IOC also added a list of other places where athletes can go to “express” their views” during the Olympic Games.

Athletes have been known to make social and political statements at the Olympics, years before Colin Kaepernick spearheaded kneeling on the football field. Most notably at the 1968 Olympic games in Mexico City where Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised the black power fist while the U.S. National Anthem played in the stadium.

U.S. Olympian Gwen Berry lambasted the newly-released IOC regulations as a “form of control.” Berry, a competitor in the 2016 games in the hammer throw, raised her first at the Pan Am Games last year.

“It’s kind of like silencing us at the biggest moments of our lives. I really don’t agree with it,” Berry told Yahoo! Sports.“They want it to just be sports, for the love of sports.

“We sacrifice for something for four years, and we’re at our highest moment. We should be able to say whatever we want to say, do whatever we have to do – for our brand, our culture, the people who support us, the countries that support us, [everything]. We shouldn’t be silenced. It definitely is a form of control.”

The summer Olympics kick off on Friday, July 24.

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Megan Thee Stallion Earns First No. 1 With “Savage” Remix Ft. Beyonce

Megan Thee Stallion is the second female rapper to come in at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the last month. The Houston rapper’s “Savage” remix  jumped from fifth place to the top spot this week marking Meg’s first run atop the single’s chart and Beyonce’s seventh No. 1 single overall.

To celebrate, Bey sent Megan a bouquet of flowers.

Beyoncé sent Megan flowers to congratulate her on their #1 with Savage Remix 🥺💕 pic.twitter.com/Q1bWwFm9LC

— Megan Daily (@HottieSource) May 26, 2020

The “Savage” remix gave Meg her first No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop songs chart, and returned to the top spot on the Hot Rap Songs tally. The track also climbed four slots to top the Digital Song Sales chart. The single marks a special achievement for Beyonce who joins Mariah Carey as the only two artists to earn No. 1’s in the 2000s, the 2010, and 2020s.

In addition to making chart history, the “Savage” remix was a collective effort between Megan and Beyonce to help their hometown of Houston during the COVID-19 pandemic. The song has reportedly raised more than $500,000 for charity.

 

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Issa Rae And Kumail Nanjiani Talk Their Black And Brown Dynamic In 'The Lovebirds'

As our latest op-ed points out, black romance films are having a moment, and The Lovebirds is adding a comedic twist to the matter. Ahead of the MRC/Paramount Pictures' premiere on streaming platform Netflix, VIBE correspondent Jazzie Belle sat down with the film's lead actors Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani to discuss the refreshing black and brown dynamic between their characters.

"I think it was just more exciting to me [to take part in a different romantic dynamic]. It was just that, and I didn't realize until later," said Rae. "Obviously with working with Kumail, it just like 'Oh, I haven't seen an on-screen pairing like this' and [I] was excited to play with him cosmetically. But yes, it's exciting to see a new and fresh dynamic in movies like this."

"When you see a portrayal of Pakistanis in American pop culture, generally, you're seeing certain lanes. You don't see us being light or funny or fun that often," said Nanjiani. "My family is very, very funny. My friends are very funny, so it wasn't even an attempt to try and show that [brown characters can be portrayed differently]. I just wanted to show how the people I know are. My mom and my dad are some of the funniest people I've ever met."

Watch the full interview above. The Lovebirds is streaming on Netflix now.

Interview's music bed provided by Gus.

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Man Who Recorded Murder Of Ahmaud Arbery Arrested

A third man has been arrested in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., who recorded Arbery’s murder, was taken into custody on Thursday (May 21), the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced.

“The family is extremely relieved,” attorney S. Lee Merritt, who represents Arbery’s mother, said in response to Bryan’s arrest. “We didn’t know if this was going to happen, but we all knew that it should happen.”

Arbery was killed on Feb. 23, while out for a jog. It wasn't until two months later that his story went viral prompting an investigation by the GBI after the local D.A., who was previously over the case, declined to make any arrests.

According to jail records, 50-year-old Bryan was booked into the Glynn County Jail on charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. Bryan made his first court appearance on Friday (May 22) where his lawyer filed a motion for a speedy trial.

Bryan accompanied father and son, Gregory McMichael, 64 and Travis McMichael, 34, as they followed and cornered 25-year-old Arbery before the younger McMichael shot him to death. The McMichaels claim the shooting was self-defense.

Father and son were arrested for aggravated assault and felony murder earlier in the month. All three men are being held at the same jail.

The mugshots of Gregory and Travis McMichael, who have been charged with the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. pic.twitter.com/O0M6vPMs1Q

— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) May 8, 2020

Merrit noted that Arbery's family hopes the men will be convicted. “Well obviously we want to see the arrests lead to a formal indictment then a vigorous prosecution and conviction. But there are other people we believe were involved. We spoke with the DOJ earlier today about their investigation into the corruption that delayed these arrests in the first place.”

An attorney for the elder McMichael claimed that the pair are victims of a  “narrative driven by an incomplete set of facts.”

“While the death of Ahmaud Arbery is a tragedy, causing deep grief to his family -- a tragedy that at first appears to many to fit into a terrible pattern in American life -- this case does not fit that pattern,” attorney Frank Hogue said. “The full story, to be revealed in time, will tell the truth about this case.”

The murder remains under investigation by GBI in partnership with the District Attorney Joyette Holmes of the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office.

See more on Bryan's arrest in the video below.

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