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NAJEE’S NOTES: Pro football headed back to L.A.

Are you ready for some football? The St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders filed applications for relocation to Los Angeles Jan. 4. As expected on the first day NFL rules would allow, the league confirmed that the paperwork was officially filed and received.

According to the NFL’s statement on the filings, each proposal contained the “appropriate documentation in support of its application, as required by the NFL Policy and Procedures for Proposed Franchise Relocations” and is intended to be effective for the 2016 NFL season.

The Chargers revealed their intentions first and went so far as to have owner Dean Spanos appear in a video on the team’s website to explain the decision for filing. The Chargers and Raiders have forged an alliance to propose a $1.75 billion NFL stadium in Carson.

“It was very difficult to come to this decision,” Spanos said. “It’s been 14 years that we’ve been working very hard to try and get something done here. We’ve had nine different proposals that we’ve made, and all of them were basically rejected by the city.

“Over 25 percent of our business comes from Riverside County, Orange County and the Los Angeles County area. Another team or teams going in there would have a huge impact on that. I think that is what really was the catalyst that got this whole thing going because when the Rams decided to make their move there, this was a move to protect our business more than anything, so we find ourselves where we do right now.”

The Rams and Raiders followed with their own confirmations.

“The St. Louis Rams informed the National Football League today that the Rams propose to relocate to the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. The relocation would be effective for the 2016 NFL League Year, the Rams said on their website.

“In accordance with the relocation policies, the Oakland Raiders submitted a relocation package to the NFL. The matter is now in the hands of the NFL’s owners. An owners’ meeting is scheduled to take place in Houston, Texas, on Jan. 12 and 13, 2016,” the Raiders announcement said.

Now that all three teams have officially declared their intents, it is up to the NFL’s owners to decide which of the teams gets to follow through. It’s a three-team, two-stadium race that could get some resolution as soon as the Jan. 12-13 owners meetings.

To that end, the 17 members of the league’s finance, stadium and Los Angeles committees gathered in New York on Jan. 6 and 7. The committees heard extended pitches for the Carson and Inglewood projects.

There’s plenty to consider for not just those 17 owners, but also the rest of the owners who will ultimately decide the fate of the three teams and four cities.

Rams owner Stan Kroenke has proposed a $1.86 billion stadium project in Inglewood, the project that essentially jump-started this whole affair. But Kroenke has received opposition from the city of St. Louis, which has put forth a $1.1 billion stadium proposal on the city’s north riverfront. St. Louis’ plan, which was finalized and submitted to the NFL on Dec. 29, includes $400 million in actionable public money.

It is believed that the NFL’s six-member committee on Los Angeles Opportunities will make a formal recommendation to the rest of the ownership at or before the full meetings in Houston. The NFL requires 24 votes to approve a team’s relocation proposal.

I’m not a betting man but I believe the city of Inglewood under the leadership of Mayor James Butts has the lead in the race to bring professional football back to Los Angeles. The city of Inglewood has been on the move in recent years and it appears to have everything in place for a professional team.

I remember the glory days of the L.A. Lakers at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood and how professional sports gave the city an identity as well as well as local business owners all doing well in the area. The time is now for Inglewood.


The nation lost two icons last week, entertainment superstar and a lifelong resident of Los Angeles, Natalie Cole, and Dr. Frances Cress Welsing. For those unfamiliar with the name Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 80 in Washington, D.C., she was one our country’s most influential and controversial theoreticians on the subject of race and racism.

Her influence did not stem from citations in academic journals, although she gained major recognition after publishing her groundbreaking 1970 essay, “Cress Theory of Color Confrontation (White Supremacy),” which began as a paper presented before members of the American Psychological Association.

Her analysis of the impact of white supremacy was trenchant, hard-hitting and consistent. But like other scholars and “activists” in the black community who knew Welsing and studied her work, I saw her as an unswerving champion for African Americans and a lover of humanity.


Born in Chicago to a physician and an educator, Welsing was trained in the liberal arts at Antioch College and in medicine at Howard University College of Medicine, where she would eventually serve as faculty.

A long-standing private practitioner and pioneer in the fields of child psychiatry and mental health, her longest institutional affiliation was as the clinical director and staff physician with the Washington, D.C. Department of Human Services, where she charted policy and strategies to help emotionally disturbed children at the Hillcrest Children’s Center and the Paul Robeson School for Growth and Development.

Welsing’s work on improving the mental health of African Americans led to a career in the field of race and cultural analysis. The Cress Theory was influenced by the ideas of a Washington, D.C. acquaintance named Neely Fuller Jr., and explored the thesis that racism, aggression and hostility stems from white fear of genetic annihilation in an overwhelmingly non-white world.

Fuller and Welsing contended that all modern global relations were affected by white supremacist ideology and symbology, which they further grouped into nine categories of human activity: economics, education, entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, sex and war.

She initiated the development for two generations of popular discourse in black communities on the concept and reality of white supremacy, a status confirmed by her 1991 book “The Isis Papers: Keys to the Colors,” which was a collection of essays she had written over the previous two decades. It became a perennial non-fiction best seller in black communities.

Her 1974 debate with Stanford Nobel Laureate Dr. William Shockley — a proponent of the idea of black intellectual inferiority — brought her to national attention.

Natalie Cole, the daughter of the legendary singer Nat King Col, rocketed to stardom in 1975 with her debut album, “Inseparable,” earning her a number one single, “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” and her first two Grammy awards for Best New Artist and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance

In 1977, Cole scored a No. 1 R&B hit with “I’ve Got Love on My Mind” from her third release, “Unpredictable,” which became her first platinum album. Cole continued her winning streak that same year with her fourth album, “Thankful,” which also went platinum and featured another signature hit, “Our Love.”

The singer expanded her success with her own TV special in 1977. It was the first of more than 300 major television appearances in her career, including dramatic roles on “Law and Order” and “Touched by an Angel” as well as guest spots on talk shows with Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and Larry King.

In 1979, Cole was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. After overcoming personal challenges, Cole returned in peak form with 1987’s “Everlasting,” an album which garnered three hit singles: “Jump Start (My Heart),” the Top 10 ballad “I Live for Your Love,” and her dance-pop cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac.”

Cole marked a career milestone in 1991 with the release of “Unforgettable…With Love,” featuring the celebrated duet with her late father, Nat King Cole. The album spent five weeks at No. 1 on the pop charts, earned six Grammy awards, and sold more than 14 million copies worldwide.

In 1996, Cole released a follow-up album of American standards, “Stardust,” which featured another duet with her father on “When I Fall in Love.” The album went platinum and won another Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.

Subsequent albums, “Snowfall on the Sahara” (1999) and “Ask a Woman Who Knows” (2002), both merited the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Artist. Cole took home her ninth career Grammy award for 2008’s “Still Unforgettable,” which won for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. It also earned her a NAACP Award for Best Jazz Artist.

In 2001, she starred as herself in “Livin’ for Love: the Natalie Cole Story,” based on her autobiography, “Angel on My Shoulder,” which detailed her harrowing drive to overcome drug addiction.

he received the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special.  Natalie Cole and Dr. Frances Cress Welsing will both be missed. Rest In Power.

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