Northwestern players vote; Cash tells Fitzgerald ‘take seat’

The current Northwestern University football players will have a challenging decision to make Friday April  25.

The current Northwestern University football players will have a challenging decision to make Friday April 25.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

The Northwestern football players will vote on whether to unionize this coming Friday, April 25. There has been plenty of discussion about the decision facing these young men. While there has been public support for the players, they would benefit from having that support on campus ahead of their decision. Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald has publicly stated his objection to the players voting to join a union. Fitzgerald used the team’s practice to voice his disapproval stating:

“I believe it’s in their best interest to vote no…I know our guys trust me. I’ve been pretty clear with my support.”

It is clear the players have heard the coach’s message consistently since the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Regional Director Peter Sung Ohr issued a ruling in March, allowing the Northwestern football players to join a union.

Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald has not only voiced his opinion but against the  union but has clearly tried to sway the players as well.

Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald has not only voiced his opinion against the union but has clearly tried to sway the players to vote against unionizing as well.

The impact of the consistent voices against unionizing was felt by at least one current player, quarterback Trevor Siemian. Siemian is one of the few players who has made public statements about the upcoming choice he has to make regarding joining a union. He said that he did not agree with the efforts of former quarterback Kain Colter to unionize. Siemian has gone on the record declaring he will not be voting for the union.

“I’m treated far better than I deserve here…I’ve known coach Fitz five or six years now,” Siemian said.  The voting process is anonymous for the players.

Northwestern University has outspoken alumni who have verbally supported the players’ right to form a union. Many of these alumni graduated from the university’s  esteemed journalism program.

Current Northwestern student-athlete Trevor Siemian has expressed he will not be voting to unionize and is grateful for what he has.

Current Northwestern student-athlete Trevor Siemian has expressed he will not be voting to unionize and is grateful for what he has.

Nationally recognized journalists like Brent ‎Musburger, Rich Eisen, J.A. Adande, Mike Greenberg, Kevin Blackistone, Christine Brennan, and Michael Wilbon are some of the most illustrious alumni from Northwestern who actively cover sports. The presence of any of these powerful alumni on campus this week may help stem any tide of persuasion from the coach and other college administrators who may not want the players to vote yes on Friday.

However, support for the players to have a voice in decisions that affect them is widespread. Swin Cash, WNBA player and former ESPN analyst shared her thoughts  on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show this weekend.

“These players are being oppressed and let me say something to coach Fitzgerald: ‘take several seats.’ Coaches stay out of it…players need to have rights,” she said.

Swin Cash is outspoken in her support for the rights of the players to have a voice in how they are treated as student-athletes.

Swin Cash is outspoken in her support for the rights of the players to have a voice in how they are treated as student-athletes.

Cash is one of the many former college athletes who can relate to the struggles that student-athletes endure. Many supporters are hoping Northwestern football players are the genesis of a change in the way student-athletes are treated in the future.

The importance of this vote cannot be understated as it will change the way players are treated by coaches and school executives. Currently, Northwestern’s coach Fitzgerald has easy access to the players which gives him an unfair advantage in sharing his opinion repeatedly. He may convince some of the players that his point of view is what is best for the players and intimidate them into voting against their best interests.

It would be beneficial for the players to have countering voices with access to those players on their campus prior to their decision to give them balance and encouragement  Give the players support in person as well as from a distance. OnPointPress.net

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

A blessed, peaceful, safe and holy Easter Sunday to all

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The OnPointPress.net family is extending greetings for a blessed, peaceful, safe and holy Easter Sunday to all of our readers and supporters.

For Christians, Catholics and believers of other faiths across the globe, Easter Sunday represents the day of Christ’s resurrection and the culmination of the period known as Lent.

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Many other individuals, some of whom claim no religious affiliation, celebrate Easter Sunday as the beginning of spring.

On this Easter Sunday, we encourage reflection, tranquility and peaceful interactions as you all celebrate what is right in your lives while taking steps to address the areas that  would benefit from more personal, careful, attention and grace.–OnPointPress.net.

 

Sultry reggae crooner Maxi Priest returns with a splash

 

Maxi Priest

Maxi Priest’s new studio Album Easy to Love features collaborations with legendary reggae duo duo Sly & Robbie and provides a timely return by Priest, who boasts a strong fan base.

By Tiffany Mea

With over 15 million albums sold worldwide, a No. 1 U.S. Billboard hit and a Grammy nomination, the most successful solo act in British reggae history Maxi Priest returns with his brand new studio album Easy To Love on VP Records. The album is available June 10th, 2014.

The new album is a fine representation of lovers’ rock, an effortless blend of reggae, R&B and dancehall with universal appeal. The sophistication he brings to these tracks is the mark of true quality. His delivery and phrasing are impeccable, and his choice of material and collaborators are strategic and brilliant.

Lead single “Easy To Love” was a No. 1 hit on reggae charts last summer, evidence that Maxi Priest has a gift for staying fresh. The song features the legendary Jamaican drum and bass duo Sly & Robbie, who’ve played on some of Maxi’s biggest hits, including “Wild World,” “Some Guys Have All The Luck,” “Close To You,” and “Housecall,” featuring Shabba Ranks, as well as the new album track “Every Little Thing.”

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Priest has been tugging on women’s heartstrings ever since the mid-80’s. New and long-term fans alike will relish hearing irresistible tributes of enduring affection like “Loving You Is Easy,” “Holiday,” “Still In Love,” and “Gravity” written originally by John Mayer. The soulful “Without A Woman” features Jamaican legend Beres Hammond and even echoes the themes and intensity of James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World.”

There are many more highlights on the Easy To Love album. While “Hearts Across The World” is a song for our times and pleads for people of all races to love one another.  Other tracks like “Fire In The Skies” simply defy categorization and are living proof of Maxi Priest’s musical versatility.” The delicate, aching need of “Angel Wings” also demonstrates just how far reggae has evolved in the new era.

Priest says “this album is about time, and a moment,” and with his most refined and chic collection to date, his timing could not be better.

Fans can pre-order an autographed copy of Maxi Priest’s Easy To Love album now on VPReggae.com: http://www.vpreggae.com/Easy-To-Love-Maxi-Priest-p/vp1978.2.htm. Order before April 30, 2014 and receive a free download of Priest’s new single, “Gravity.”

Check out Maxi Priest at www.facebook.com/maxipriest,twitter.com/maxipriest–OnPointPress.net.

 

Caribbean track legend Dr. Dennis Johnson honored, launches foundation

Dr. Dennis Johnson is being honored tonight by Team Jamaica Bickle and launching his own foundation.

Dr. Dennis Johnson is being honored in Brooklyn New York, Thursday night by Team Jamaica Bickle and launching his own foundation.

By Andrea Daley

On Thursday, April 17, Jamaican track and field legend Dr. Dennis ‘D.J.’ Johnson will be honored while launching the Dennis Johnson Foundation. The event will take place in the auditorium of St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York. Johnson will be honored by Team Jamaica Bickle (TBJ), which is marking 20 years of unbroken service to Jamaica’s athletes at the Penn Relays; a program which has expanded to include other Caribbean athletes.

According to TJB, honoring Dennis Johnson “is long overdue.” Johnson is a legend both on and off the track. As a young athlete he drew wide acclaim at San Jose State University. His exploits on the track helped to coin the phrase ‘Speed City,’ used to describe the University. He equaled the world record of 9.3 seconds in the 100 yards four times in 1961, and still holds the world record in the 110 yards. He has represented Jamaica as an athlete and a coach for several decades and is sought-after worldwide for his expertise.

Johnson’s coach, Bud Winter, is said to have invented the science of sprinting. After San Jose, Johnson returned to Jamaica armed with that knowledge and with Winters’ help, laid the groundwork to what is now Jamaica’s very successful track program. He wrote the syllabi for the first school of sports sciences in the Caribbean with a baccalaureate program which began in 2010 at the University of Technology (UTECH).

The school will have its first graduands this summer. Since 1971, Johnson has served in various capacities at UTECH: as chairman of the sport advisory council through 2013; adjunct associate professor of sport science and director of sports. He also led special projects for intercollegiate sports. Johnson is also the founder of the Inter-Collegiate Sports competition.

TJB’s long history of recognizing track and field icons fits neatly with its mission. Twenty years later, with millions of dollars spent they are happy with the initiative.

“It is indeed gratifying to have made a positive impact on our youth and to recognize someone like Johnson whose life-work is just that!” said Irwine Clare, Sr., TJB’s founder and chief executive officer

Vincent HoSang reflecting on his 36 years in business, regrets that Clare did not call him then, “It’s a delight to give back,” he said, “considering where we started, in a small camper, I can only say thanks to my customers, workers and my family. Their support makes it possible.”

For more information, call 718.523.2861 or email: teamjamaicabickle@gmail.com.–OnPointPress.net.

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How college females can stay safe, while dating and having fun

 

Samara

Samara Brown graduated from St. John’s University’s Tobin School of Business with a degree in Marketing in May 2012.

By Carmen Glover

Achieving a balance between having fun and keeping safe while in college can be an elusive goal for females, many of whom are leaving home for the first time and eager to learn about themselves, date and earn their college degrees on time. The challenge of meeting all those responsibilities can be overwhelming for some, often leading to unfortunate results, including compromised safety.

New York’s Junior Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has been a stalwart champion for female safety, trying valiantly to garner support for bills in the U.S. Senate promoting safety in the military and on college campuses. Speaking recently at a press conference at Columbia University in New York, Gillibrand was surrounded by female college students, some of whom wept while describing being sexually assaulted on campus and getting no redress while being forced to live with the psychological scars that resulted.

kirsten

New York’s Junior Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is flanked by students from Columbia University at recent press conference announcing her initiative to fight sexual assaults on college campuses.

“The price of a college education should not include a 1 in 5 chance of being sexually assaulted and it is simply unacceptable that going to college should increase your chance of being sexually assaulted,” Gillibrand said, her eyes blazing with anger.

Reading from a prepared statement, Emma Sulkowicz, a Columbia University junior, said she was “raped on the first day” of her sophomore year at the university but despite reporting the matter to the university, the student who assaulted her was not charged with a crime. She admitted that she did not report the attack to the police only to campus officials.

lee bollinger

Columbia University President Lee Bollinger created a new position to oversee sexual assault reports.

Responding immediately to the press conference, Columbia University President Lee Bollinger released a statement indicating that he had created a new position, vice president of student affairs, who will report directly to him and focus on issues including sexual assaults. But for Sulkowicz, nothing was done to give her justice and the creation of the new oversight position might be too little, too late, since her sense of safety and security is already profoundly shattered.

In the meantime, Gillbrand is determined to shine a bright light on the issue of sexual assaults, partly because she fell just a few votes shy of earning passage of her measure to enact legislation that would dramatically change how the issue of sexual assaults is handled in the military. While garnering 55 votes, including support from 11 Republicans, her measure failed because she did not secure the 60 votes that she needed.

invisible war

U.S Coast Guard Kori Cioca and her husband Rob appeared in the documentary “Invisible War,” which aired in 2013 and showed the prevalence of sexual assaults on women in the military.

Gillibrand was aiming to strip the military of its power to examine sexual assault cases internally and instead have those cases dealt with outside of the military to avoid the repercussions that many enlisted females say they face when they report sexual assaults. However, Gillibrand said that during her quest to enact the military bill the reports that she got about sexual assaults on college campuses piqued her interest.

“We began to hear about the systemic problem on college campuses,’ she said.

The numbers prompted her to shift her focus to the nation’s college campuses in an effort to effect meaningful change towards ensuring females’ safety. Gillibrand is sponsoring a bipartisan bill and is trying to get $109 million air-marked to combat sexual assaults on college campuses.

While Gillibrand battles on in the Senate, St. John’s University graduate Samara Brown, who has never been assaulted but is keenly aware that some students at her alma mater were, believes that it is important for female students to embrace certain tips that kept her and her female friends safe when they were students.

air force

Members of the U.S. Air Force will still need to report sexual assaults to their military superiors, even if the superiors are the very ones who assaulted them, an injustice that Senator Gillibrand is trying diligently to change.

“There are different contributing factors to female students being unsafe on campus but from what I’ve seen a lot of girls in college are very eager and not very cautious. I’ve been there, very excited about the next party or concert and I think a lot of girls get caught up in the excitement of being out, having a good time and they neglect the safety part,” she said. “When that happens, they take many shots, post pictures on Instagram and let their guard down and they don’t think about safety.”

The key, Brown believes, is having a safety plan, and among the most successful measures she has found are going out in groups, having a designated driver if necessary, vetting guys through other guys before going on dates, always having your own cab fare, dressing appropriately and keeping friends aware of your whereabouts.

sam

St. John’s University’s Tobin School of Business graduate Samara Brown shares tips for keeping safe.

“It’s important to know where you are going and not end up somewhere else by chance. My friends and I always got ready at one dorm and we all left at the same time and left the party to return to our dorms at the same time,” she said, explaining that going out in groups which include a mix of males and females offers the best safety setting.

“Always have your own money so that if you have to leave you can call a cab and not have to wait for a bus when it’s late,” she cautioned. She also recommends being mindful about attire.

“When we leave the club and see how some of these girls dress in their raunchy outfits, they attract guys who invite them back to their apartments. With my group, when we drink we know who is intoxicated so that person will not drive or be left alone. If a female from our group had too much to drink we keep an eye on her and make sure she gets to her room safely,” she said.

kirsten

New York’s Junior Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is committed to keeping females safe in college.

Brown also recommends vetting guys through other guys prior to one-on-one dates. “if you are fortunate to be in a conversation with someone who knows the guy, don’t throw all your feelings out there in the conversation, use it as an opportunity to learn about the person, almost like a secret agent,” she advised. “Once you realize this is someone you want to investigate, invite him out as part of your group so that you can observe him.”

Brown, who keeps an even mixture of male and females friends, said that she avoided dating on campus during her early years in college and was very selective because she asked her male friends what they thought about various issues and learned a valuable lesson in the process: males and females have different agendas.

“Most guys in college are not looking for a serious relationship whereas a lot of girls are looking for boyfriends or even husbands which is a tricky scenario because they want different things,” she explained. Females will fare better, she said, if they focus more on their safety and learning to accept themselves and enjoy the college experience with both males and females as friends, rather than focusing on dating. As you grow into your own, you become more confident and that allows you to attract the right person and maintain your safety at the same time, she said.

As Gillibrand continues her uphill battle to keep females safe on campus, the role of college graduates in adding their voices to the conversation cannot be over-emphasized, since college students find it easier to talk to their peers. Recent graduates relate to their concerns, angst, and goals, thereby making the message easier to accept and the safety process easier to navigate. One of the most significant things all students can do to enhance their safety is to read the college security booklet thoroughly and follow the steps outlined, so that as the college experience begins, safety comes first.  —OnPointPress.net.

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Hank Aaron highlights racism, past challenges, in accepting honor

Hank Aaron began his MLB career in 1954 with the Milwaukee Braves.

Hank Aaron began his MLB career in 1954 with the Milwaukee Braves.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

On Tuesday, April 15, Major League Baseball (MLB) will continue its annual tradition of honoring Jackie Robinson throughout the league. All players will have the option of wearing his league-wide retired number 42 as a way of celebrating Robinson’s contributions to the game. Meanwhile, Henry “Hank” Aaron continues to point to changes that still need to occur in the game and in society.

Hank Aaron was honored in Atlanta as he was celebrated for his 715th home run last Tuesday.

Hank Aaron was honored in Atlanta as he was celebrated for his 715th home run last Tuesday.

Aaron remains in the consciousness of MLB as the 40th anniversary of his record- breaking 715th home run was honored on April, 8. Aaron explained how taxing the mental and emotional toll was during the 1970’s as he was approaching Babe Ruth’s record. Some were bothered by Aaron’s comments about the racism he faced and the racism he still notices in the game of baseball. Aaron made reference to the difference in racism by stating:

“The biggest difference is that back then they had hoods…now they have neckties and starched shirts.”

Aaron’s comments were made in reference to the many issues President Obama has faced with Republicans and points to Aaron’s awareness of the continued challenges facing African-Americans and other minorities in this country.

While Aaron is remembered for his 755 career home runs, he also had 3771 hits and was a career .305 hitter.

While Aaron is remembered for his 755 career home runs, he also had 3771 hits and was a career .305 hitter.

This country has seen a great deal of advancements in racial disparities in sports, business, and politics since Aaron’s last MLB season in 1976. With these changes has come an argument by some that this country has moved past the deep bigotry and prejudice that unfortunately is woven into the fabric of this nation. Aaron continues to stand as a firm reminder of struggles many black people have faced and overcome as his baseball achievements may only be surpassed by his civil rights contributions.

Hank Aaron received high accommodations off the field as well, as he was awarded the Presidential  Medal of Freedom in 2002.

Hank Aaron received high accommodations off the field as well, as he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.

Aaron will always be defined by his mentality of hard work. As he states:

“If a person wants something bad enough, he works very hard for it.”

This approach has not only resulted in a Hall of Fame baseball career, but a Presidential Medal of Freedom (in 2002) and the Thurgood Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAACP (in 2005). Aaron’s recent comments gave insight from a man who has experienced extreme prejudice while demonstrating prolonged excellence.

Hank Aaron is not only a Hall of Fame baseball player but a life long civil rights activist.

Hank Aaron is not only a Hall of Fame baseball player but a life long civil rights activist.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson is a close friend of Aaron’s and worked along his side for years while working towards improving civil rights in this country in the late 1960’s.

“We worked very closely during that period,”  Jackson recalls, demonstrating how long Aaron has dedicated his life’s work to bringing people together.OnPointPress.net

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

A blessed and reflective Palm Sunday, Holy Week

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The OnPointPress.net family is extending our thoughts and prayers for a blessed, reflective and special Palm Sunday and Holy Week to all our readers and your families. Easter is a very important season on the Christian calendar, filled with messages that are fundamental to the faith of many. As you go through the week, we pray that you will all be blessed.–OnPointPress.net.