As the world continues to mourn the loss of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, his loved ones are making plans to honor his legacy. According to a family spokesman, there will be memorial ceremonies held in his hometown of Kentucky on Thursday and Friday. The public memorial, which will be held on Friday, will take place at the Yum Center, the arena where Ali started his career at the age of 12. Sports journalist Bryant Gumbel, comedian Billy Crystal, and former president Bill Clinton are all slated to deliver eulogies at the ceremony. The memorial service will be livestreamed on the Muhammad Ali Center website. A private memorial will be held a day before for Ali’s immediate family. “Muhammad Ali was truly the people’s champion and the celebration will reflect his devotion to people of all races, religions and backgrounds. Muhammad’s extraordinary boxing career only encompassed half of his life. The other half was committed to sharing a message of peace and inclusion with the world. Following his wishes, his funeral will reflect those principles, and be a celebration open to everyone,” said his family in a statement. He will be buried at Cave Hill Cemetery. Ali died on Friday after battling a respiratory issue. He was 74. Read more.
Broncos Cornerback Shot in the Leg, Will Miss White House Visit
The Denver Broncos will head to the White House on Monday to celebrate their Super Bowl 50 victory with President Obama, but cornerback Aqib Talib won’t be making the trip. According to reports, Talib was shot in the leg after a fight ensued at a strip club along Stemmons Corridor in Dallas. Following the incident, Talib was taken to the hospital in his Rolls Royce. He is expected to make a full recovery. Denver Broncos Vice President of Public Relations Patrick Smyth has been keeping fans updated with Talib’s condition via Twitter. “We’ve spoken with Aqib Talib, who is being treated at a Dallas hospital for a gunshot wound to his leg. He’s OK & we’re gathering more info,” read one tweet. “Update on Aqib Talib: He’s expected to be released from the hospital Monday but won’t be able to join the team for its trip to Washington,” read another. This isn’t the first time the NFL player has been tied to altercations. In 2009, he was arrested for simple battery and resisting arrest after allegedly hitting a cab driver in Florida. In 2011, he was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, which was later dropped, after he and his mother were accused of firing shots at his sister’s boyfriend during a domestic argument. Talib joined the Denver Broncos team in 2014. Prior to being traded to the Broncos, he played with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Read more.
Kanye West’s ‘Surprise Show’ Causes Chaos in the East Village
After the Governors Ball canceled their Sunday show due to inclement weather, headliner Kanye West took it upon himself to give fans a surprise show, but things ended up going left. The Life of Pablo rapper shared that he would have a secret show at Webster Hall in the East Village, luring nearly 4,000 fans to the venue. Webster Hall, which only holds 1,500, shut down his show due to the chaos outside. Fans began rushing doors and jumping on vehicles, causing damages to several cars in the area. “It got so ridiculous,” said a doorman who was in the area. “I can’t believe they let all these people in the street.” Kanye did make an appearance around 2:00 a.m. as he rode along Third Avenue and spoke to fans through the sunroof of his car. It took police officers nearly 2 hours to clear the streets after word spread that the show was canceled. “We made history tonight. Pablo mob,” tweeted record producer Mike Dean. Read more.
Pearlena Igbokwe Named President of Universal Television
Black women are moving up the ranks in the media industry. NBC Entertainment recently announced that Pearlena Igbokwe has been named President of Universal Television. “Pearlena’s remarkable track record in drama programming at NBC over the last few years made it clear that she was the ideal choice to lead the studio into its next phase of growth,” said Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment. “Her leadership, vision and taste have resulted in an impressive string of drama successes – from “The Blacklist,” “Blindspot,” “Chicago Med,” “Shades of Blue” and the upcoming series “This Is Us,” “Timeless” and “Taken” – that coincides with our return to a top position among networks. Pearlena also comes to the job with a wealth of experience in television movies and comedy and we have no doubt she will lead our prolific studio forward in a dynamic way.” Igbokwe joined NBC Entertainment as Executive Vice President, Drama Development, in 2012. Prior to joining the NBC team, she held positions at Showtime networks. Universal is one of the biggest entities in television production. Read more.
J.K. Rowling Shuts Down Critics of Hermione Being Played By A Black Actress
Author J.K. Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter empire, has received tons of backlash for deciding to choose a Black actress to play the role of Hermione Granger for the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Although Hermione was played by Emma Watson in the film series, the novel doesn’t accentuate the characters’ racial background. During a recent interview, Rowling shut down the critics. “With my experience of social media, I thought that idiots were going to idiot. But what can you say? That’s the way the world is. Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job,” she said. “I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione ‘turned white’ – that is, lost colour from her face after a shock – that she must be a white woman, which I have a great deal of difficulty with. But I decided not to get too agitated about it and simply state quite firmly that Hermione can be a black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm.” The play is slated to make its debut in London’s West End in July. Read more.
PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY