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NAJEE’S NOTES: Inglewood wins Super Bowl bid in 2021

Armen Ross, the president of the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce, invited me to attend his group’s monthly meeting May 24. The guest speaker at the luncheon meeting was Mayor Eric Garcetti.

While sitting having a wonderful lunch at Mexicano restaurant at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall, Mayor Garcetti began his remarks about the tremendous job growth that has occurred under his administration as well as his plans to continue to make South Los Angeles a priority.

The mayor was handed a message by aides during the question and answer session of the program and broke out in a broad smile. Soon everyone in the room would be smiling and filled with joy.

Garcetti announced that Los Angeles was just awarded the Super Bowl in 2021. That announcement was a coup for the city of Los Angeles and technically for the city of Inglewood as well. Inglewood Mayor James Butts,  who did the heavy political lifting to ensure the Los Angeles Rams returned to our community, can now add another historic milestone to his legacy. The 2021 Super Bowl will be played in Inglewood.

That enables the NFL to raise its profile in the country’s second-largest media market after making a celebrated return to the city with the relocation of the Rams franchise to the West Coast starting next season. The National Football League also announced the 2019 and 2020 Super Bowls would be played in Atlanta and South Florida, respectively, returning to those areas for its championship game, one of the most-watched television events of the year.

The Super Bowl’s move back to Los Angeles will also give the City of Angels a welcome boost as it bids to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.

“We are honored that the NFL is bringing the Super Bowl to Los Angeles in 2021,” Casey Wasserman, who is chair of both the Los Angeles Super Bowl bid and LA24, said in a statement. “The league’s selection of Los Angeles is a testament to its commitment to innovation and diversity, and I couldn’t be prouder of our winning bid.

“Stan Kroenke’s vision for the Rams stadium and the surrounding campus makes Inglewood an ideal venue for staging the Super Bowl of the future and we look forward to inviting the nation and the world to L.A. for an historic fan experience.”

The Los Angeles area has hosted the Super Bowl seven times, including the first game at the Memorial Coliseum in 1967. The 2021 edition, which will be the 55th Super Bowl, will be held in the $2.6 billion stadium being built by Rams owner Kroenke.

Kroenke is moving the team back to Los Angeles after two decades in St. Louis. The Rams previously played in L.A. from 1946 to 1994. Their new 80,000-seat, glass-roofed stadium, to be built in Inglewood on the site previously occupied by Hollywood Park race track, is expected to open in time for the 2019 season.

The last time the Super Bowl was played in the L.A. area was 1993, when the Dallas Cowboys beat the Buffalo Bills at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

“Los Angeles is built to host the Super Bowl,” Garcetti said in a statement that was sent out to the media after the chamber meeting. “We helped forge this great American tradition as its very first host in 1967; and now, at long last, we’re bringing it back where it belongs.”

L.A. is already welcoming a record number of visitors from around the world, and Super Bowl LV will bring even more economic prosperity to our region. The league previously picked Houston to host the Super Bowl in 2017 and Minnesota is set to host in 2018. But in 2021 all eyes will be on the city of Inglewood and Los Angeles as we will have the biggest global sporting event in the world right here in our backyard. I’m saving my ticket money now.

Comedian Bill Cosby, now called Pill Cosby by some, must stand trial. A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday ordered comedian Bill Cosby to stand trial on accusations of sexual assault, the most serious setback so far for a man who epitomized the all-American dad on the 1980s sitcom “The Cosby Show.”

Judge Elizabeth McHugh found that prosecutors presented enough evidence to support allegations that he drugged and assaulted a woman in 2004. The judge rejected arguments from Cosby’s defense lawyers that the case should be thrown out. As the hearing concluded, McHugh wished Cosby luck, to which the 78-year-old entertainer responded, “Thank you.”

The decision followed a 3-1/2 hour preliminary hearing in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, where prosecutors introduced statements that Cosby and the woman, Andrea Constand, separately gave to police in 2005. Constand herself was not called to testify, although prosecutors said she is prepared to appear as a trial witness.

She told police in 2005 she was attacked as she lay on a sofa at Cosby’s Philadelphia-area home “paralyzed” by drugs the entertainer had given her, according to police. Constand, who served as director of operations for the Temple University women’s basketball team, Cosby’s alma mater, is the only woman whose accusations of sexual assault have resulted in criminal charges against Cosby.

But Cosby has been hit by sexual assault allegations from more than 50 women. He has denied assaulting anyone. Most of the cases are too old to be prosecuted, but the entertainer faces civil lawsuits from some of his accusers. A trial date in the Pennsylvania criminal case has not yet been set.

Cosby faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge against him, aggravated indecent assault. In his own 2005 interview with police from Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, Cosby confirmed some details of Constand’s account. He acknowledged giving Constand 1-1/2 pills of the antihistamine Benadryl to relax her and said the two engaged in heavy petting.

After reading the various news concerning Cosby, I’m not wasting any time or energy him. He did this to himself. He admitted in a prior court deposition that he procured drugs to use to have sex with young women. So please stop with this whole conspiracy theory.

Cosby deliberately placed himself in a position of high quality, moral standards that told the black community who they should be, while at the same time he was lying to his wife, family, fans and the entire black race. I grew up watching and loving the Cosby show.

But Cosby in my opinion is a liar and serial rapist. I’m not about to show any support or concern for him. He’s now standing trial, not because he’s a rich famous black man. He’s standing trial because he’s an alleged serial rapist.

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