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DAME’s Newsfeed: NBA’s First Female Assistant Coach + Justice for Renisha McBride

This week’s roundup of need-to-know stories—the good, the just, the bold, and the beautiful.

The Good

The Spurs Hire First Female Assistant Coach

The NBA has gone officially co-ed—sort of. In a major move for gender equality in sports, the San Antonio Spurs have hired retiring WNBA star Becky Hammon as the league’s first full-time female assistant coach. “I very much look forward to the addition of Becky Hammon to our staff,” said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, in a press release. Hammon had previously interned with the team and apparently fit right in arguing, going over scouting reports, and giving her opinion like the rest of the guys. “Coach Pop has made it very clear to me that I’m being hired because of my basketball IQ and because I’m qualified. It just so happens that I’m a woman,” Hammon said. “People ask me all the time, ‘Will there ever be a woman player in the NBA?’ To be honest, no. There’s differences. The guys are too big and too strong; that’s just the way it is. But when it comes to things of the mind—game-planning, coaching—there’s no reason why women can’t be in the mix or shouldn’t be in the mix.” We think the Spurs have scored a slam dunk with this hire.

 

 

KeKe Palmer Is the First Black Cinderella

She’s only 20 years old, but KeKe Palmer is on the path to total pop-culture domination. An underachiever she is not: Palmer made her film debut at age 10 in Barbershop 2; won an NAACP award for her role in Akeelah and the Bee at 13; dropped a studio album at 14; and then became the youngest talk show host ever this year with BET’s Just KeKe. And now, she’ll be the first black Cinderella on Broadway in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella starting September 9. Go ahead, start the standing ovation. Following Norm Lewis as the first black man to play the title role in Phantom of the Opera, Nikki M. James in Les Misérables, James Monroe Iglehart in Aladdin, and Condola Rashad in Romeo, KeKe is the latest star to break into a traditionally race-defined role. “In me doing this,” Palmer, told the AP, “it shows everybody that everything is possible.” At the rate she’s going, we’re thinking KeKe may find herself in the Oval Office by the time she’s 35. 

 

The Just

Renisha McBride’s Shooter Found Guilty of Murder

This Thursday in Detroit, justice was mercifully served for teenager Renisha McBride, who had been fatally shot in the face by Theodore Wafer when she showed up unarmed on his porch seeking help after a car accident at 4:40 a.m. last November. On Thursday, a jury of seven men and five women found Wafer guilty of second-degree murder and remanded him to prison where he awaits sentencing, facing a maximum of life in prison with parole. According to ABC News, Wafer remained emotionless as he listened to the verdict. When asked what he learned about Wafer during the trial, McBride’s father responded, “We learned he was a cold-blooded killer.” The case received far less media coverage than Trayvon Martin’s trial last summer, leading many of us to worry that this devastating, brutal story would share the same outrageous coda. He is cut from the same cloth as George Zimmerman: The racist murderer referred to his victim on the stand as an “it” and not as a person. So it was with great relief that Michigan jurors called it like they saw it. While Wafer’s conviction isn’t exactly a mark of progress, it is a relief that at least one murderer will be behind bars. We just hope this ruling can give some peace of mind to Renisha’s family.

 

The Anti-Steubenville Rape Case

Earlier this summer, three high-school athletes from Calhoun, Georgia, were accused of raping a classmate during post-prom festivities. They were indicted last month, but after defense attorneys complained of a “flawed” indictment, prosecutors went back over the case and returned with nine new charges including two counts of aggravated sexual battery, one for each finger they used, public indecency, and aggravated battery. Overall, the three defendants are facing 371 years in prison. Finally, rapists face an appropriately grave punishment rather than receiving a town’s protection and support because of their star-athlete status. Is this a sign of a change of things to come? Please, for the love of humanity, say yes. 

 

The Bold

It’s Celebrity Breastaurants Month!

Happy National Breastfeeding Awareness Month! To celebrate, Glamour is featuring a very glam photo of Olivia Wilde all dolled up in a Roberto Cavalli dress breastfeeding her baby Otis. “Breastfeeding is the most natural thing. I don’t know, now it feels like Otis should always be on my breast,” Wilde said in the picture’s caption. “It felt like we were capturing that multifaceted woman we’ve been discussing—that we know we can be. You can be someone who is at once maternal and professional and sexy and self-possessed.” She follows Angelina Jolie, who fed her babies for the cover of W, and Giselle Bündchen who posted a breastfeeding glam shot to her Instagram. And they’re not alone. Just last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report showing that the percentage of infants who start out being breastfed continues to rise (79 percent in 2011), but that number falls to 49 percent once babies reach the six-month mark. Otis, clocking in at five months old, seems to have snuck in his magazine debut just in time. Maybe moms and babies can have it all.

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