If you haven't watched 'Roots', do yourself a favor - rent it from the library. No, it's not on Netflix. I checked. (Source: Tucson Arizona Mexico/ WIkimedia Commons)
(RNN) – With a nationwide problem of bullying among school-aged children, it's not good that a major case of taunting occurred in the NFL.
But the situation in the locker room of the Miami Dolphins, where grown men are paid to play a game, is a classic case of taunting and alleged extortion.
The details in Dolphins case: second-year offensive tackle Jonathan Martin left the team because of a "non-football illness," which was reported as an undisclosed mental condition related to bullying. The most severe bullying was allegedly caused by fellow offensive lineman, guard Richie Incognito. Other information has detailed Martin's brief hospitalization and a voicemail left by Incognito to Martin involving threats and racial name-calling, e.g., Icognito used the N-word.
The voicemail was given to the NFL, the NFL Players Association and the Dolphins, prompting an investigation by representatives of Martin before its release.
Incognito has since been suspended indefinitely for "conduct detrimental to the team," and it coincides with his free agency in 2014. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he was unaware of the bullying and harassment, even when he visited Martin in the hospital on Nov. 2.
Many current Dolphins players have come to the defense of Incognito, a nine-year veteran, saying he's not racist. One unnamed teammate called Incognito "an honorary black man." For those blissfully unaware that race can be handed out like degrees from a university, being an "honorary black man" means a pass given to white guys who are around black guys often. It gives that chosen person the privilege of actions only permitted by black people, e.g., use of the N-word.
That's like saying because I went to a predominately white university that I am an "honorary white person." Yeah, it's as stupid as it sounds.
A practice of assimilation doesn't mean one has the license to drive someone away from their dreams and career, purposefully or not. In a report by the Associated Press, Martin, who has since left the hospital and returned to his family in California, had considered quitting football before he left the team last week. Those sources now say Martin wants to return to the game, although Miami may not be where he suits up.
It's not a matter of whether Martin is tough enough to play the game of football – why should anyone have to be subjected to taunts and verbal abuse in the workplace to prove manly fortitude? Even as current and former Dolphins have come to Incognito's defense and blamed Martin for the situation. Why wasn't Incognito, who was a member of the team's leadership committee, thinking "hey, obviously being a leader doesn't mean I can call someone the N-word," whether he's an "honorary black man" or not?
TV: A 'Roots' remake may be in the works, but will it cause more controversy than dialogue?
Fans of Alex Haley's novel-turned-miniseries Rootsmay get excited - a reboot is in the works.
According to the Associated Press, the History Channel is in the early stages of bringing the iconic miniseries back to life. The network reached a deal, obtaining the rights to recreate the 1977 miniseries, which will be created with the original producer David L. Wolper's son, Mark.
In January 1977, the miniseries gripped the nation, and has spawned a couple of continuations of the story, Roots: the Next Generation in 1979and Roots: the Gift in 1988. The original Roots featured many great black actors of the time: Ben Vereen, Louis Gossett Jr., Robert Roundtree, John Amos, Madge Sinclair, Leslie Uggams, Cicely Tyson, Olivia Cole and featured the breakout performance of Levar Burton in the starring role of Kunta Kinte. The series also starred Robert Reed, George Hamilton, Vic Morrow, Sandy Duncan, Ed Asner, Tracey Gold and many others.
With the success of Django: Unchained and the award buzz surrounding 12 Years a Slave, a Roots remake could be captivating and bring the story to a new audience. It could also ruffle a few feathers and fall flat in a new racial climate that includes a black president and recent, highly covered cases of race.
Haley, whose family lineage is the alleged basis of the Roots saga, published his New York Times best seller in 1976.
MUSIC: Justin Bieber gets hit with a water bottle during S. American tour
With all that has happened during his time in South America, singerentertainerbad boy Justin Bieber may never want to go back to the continent.
Currently on the South American leg of his Believe tour, he has already been caught leaving an alleged brothel, hanging out with strippers, and showing up late to meet-and-greets with fans.
But on Nov. 2, while performing his song Boyfriend in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he was hit in the upper body with a water bottle. Beiber's reaction: giving a little side eye, followed by strutting off the stage.
The look on his face is priceless.
Jam of the Week: Florida Georgia Line, Stay– In honor of Wednesday night's Country Music Association Awards, here is a group that won two awards at the ceremonies. This country-rock duo is becoming a big act in country music, and this power ballad is proof of their talent.
MOVIES: New movies continue to pop up at No. 1 since 'Gravity' dominance
For the third consecutive week, another movie has taken the No. 1 spot at the box office.
Ender's Game claimed the top spot this week, but a Marvel comic hero may be poised to take it away from him this week.
Here's last weekend's Top 5, according to Box Office Mojo (listed next to previous week's ranking and weekend gross):
1. Ender's Game (NR) $27,017,351
2. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (1)$20,010,303
3. Last Vegas (NR) $16,334,566
4. Free Birds (NR) $15,805,237
5. Gravity (2) $12,825,346
In theaters: Nov. 8
Thor: The Dark World – In the sequel to Marvel's Thor: Hammer of the Gods, the Norse god Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is challenged by his greatest immortal rival Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and fights to be reunited with his lady love Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). The film also stars Anthony Hopkins as Odin (because who else would play him), Zachary Levi, Idris Elba, Rene Russo, Kat Dennings and Stellan Skarsgard.
The Book Thief – Based on the bestseller, a young boy pulls a "Robin Hood" by stealing books to share with family and friends as they live through the hell of Nazi-occupied Germany during World War II. Meanwhile, the boy lives in a home that is sheltering a Jewish girl and her adoptive parents.
A little something from YouTube: Kids show hate is taught, not born
In the latest effort by viral video gurus Fine Brothers Productions, a simple focus group of kids aged five to 14 shows that hatred of certain people - gays and lesbians - is taught.
In "Kids React to Gay Marriage" the youngsters were shown two different viral YouTube videos of same-sex couples proposing to their partners in adorable ways. Their reactions could be proof that the world might be alright if these kids grow up to be sound, level-headed adults.