- Longtime NBA fan and popular rapper Drake is being criticized for his sideline behavior during Toronto Raptors’ games this season.
- The NBA recently spoke with Drake following complaints about him giving Raptors coach Nick Nurse a quick shoulder rub during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
- Some argue that Drake is just having fun and is behaving no different than most sports fans, while others say he is being given special treatment.
The NBA Commissioner said that he spoke to rapper Drake after complaints about his courtside antics in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The rapper has been a global ambassador for his hometown team, the Toronto Raptors, since 2013 and regularly supports the players at games. But he has recently come under fire for his behavior on the sidelines.
During last Tuesday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, some of the cameras just couldn’t keep their eyes off of him. At one point he gave the Raptor’s head coach, Nick Nurse, a quick shoulder rub. He was also seen heckling Bucks players and actively rooting against them while encouraging fans to do the same.
Now, these antics are not new for the rapper, who has been criticized in the past for his behavior during games. However, some feel that his actions last week crossed a line. The head coach of the Bucks, Mike Budenholzer, told reporters that he has never known of someone that isn’t a player or a coach who has access to the court like Drake does.
“There’s certainly no place for fans and whatever it is exactly that Drake is for the Toronto Raptors. To be on the court, there’s boundaries and lines for a reason, and like I said, the league is usually pretty good at being on top of stuff like that,” Budenholzer said in a conference call the day after the game.
On the other side, some have suggested that the outrage over Drake’s behavior is so intense because the Bucks lost. While he hasn’t addressed the backlash directly, Drake did post an Instagram story, that showed him liking a comment that read in part,“if you don’t want the opposing team to celebrate and dance, prevent them from scoring, winning, or achieving their objective. Get over it and keep it moving.”
Coach Nurse told ESPN that he didn’t even notice Drake’s behavior.
“I was still so locked into the game so it didn’t distract me at all. The fans on whichever teams come on the wrong side get disappointed when they lose a couple games. And same with us we lost a couple and our fan base was upset. So that’s kind of part of the show.”
After it was confirmed that the Raptors and the Golden State Warriors would face off in the NBA finals, reporters began asking Warriors players about the rapper’s antics.
“It’s been entertaining,” star player Steph Curry told an ESPN reporter, “I know it’s a tricky situation with him being right there on the court, but at the end of the day, he’s having fun, having — you can’t hate on nobody having fun. Well, I guess in this life everybody hates on people having fun. So it’s par for the course on that one.”
Following the backlash, ESPN reported that the NBA spoke with the Raptors about Drake and his antics on the sideline. The Commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver later told Yahoo Sports that he also spoke with Drake about his behavior at the games.
“I think Drake understands as excited as he is and as appreciative we are of his support that there’s got to be lines drawn,” Silver said, “It’s hard to calibrate sometimes exactly where that line is and I think he has a better understanding now of where that line is.”
This isn’t the first time that the NBA has had to speak with Drake about his courtside antics. Last year the organization issued him a warning after he reportedly called a Cleveland Cavaliers player a “fucking pussy.”
Comparing This to Other Incidents
Unruly fans are common at sporting events. Is Drake’s behavior actually out of line and he is getting special treatment, or is he just a dedicated fan?
Back in 2017, the former New York Knicks star Charles Oakley was banned from Madison Square Garden after heckling the team’s owner and getting into a physical altercation with a security guard. He was charged with assault and criminal trespassing, but the charges were dismissed after a plea deal that included a one year ban from the Garden at the request of the Knicks.
In 2018 a fan sitting courtside at a Bucks vs. Golden State game was removed after he began shouting obscenities at the Warriors guard. In March 2019 the Utah Jazz banned a fan for life from their arena for “excessive and derogatory verbal abuse.” Also in March, the Boston Celtics banned a fan for shouting racial slurs at a Warrior’s player.
See what others are saying: (Bleacher Report) (Fox Business) (The Ringer)
Disney Eviscerates Scarlett Johansson’s “Black Widow” Lawsuit as “Callous,” but Report Suggests Emma Stone and Emily Blunt May Follow Her Lead
“There is no merit whatsoever to this filing,” the company said in an uncharacteristically blunt statement that was heavily criticized online.
Johansson/Disney Lawsuit Gets Bitter
Disney has described a recent lawsuit from “Black Widow” actress Scarlett Johansson as “sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” but Johansson may have just unleashed what is to become an even bigger legal challenge for the House of Mouse.
At the center of this dispute, Johansson alleges she lost $50 million because Disney opted for a dual streaming/theater release of “Black Widow,” which debuted in theaters and for $30 on Disney+ with Premier Access earlier this month.
According to Johansson’s suit, her contract with Disney — which was negotiated prior to any hint of a pandemic — stipulated that “Black Widow” would see an exclusive theater release. Notably, the actress also said her contractual bonuses were tied to the movie’s box office performance, which is an extremely common practice with films featuring A-list celebrities.
Of course, when the pandemic hit — like many other industries — movies were upended. Pandemic-related changes meant that despite having an initial release date of May 2020, Marvel fans wouldn’t get a chance to see “Black Widow” for over a year.
Still, Johansson said she tried to contact Disney to renegotiate her contract prior to the film’s ultimate release, but she claims the company was unresponsive.
On Thursday, she then filed a complaint with the Los Angeles County Superior Court, with her attorney arguing that “Disney has enjoyed the benefits of having one of Hollywood’s top actresses promote its wholly owned subscription service at no additional cost to Disney, and with the intended effect of taking money out of that actress’ own pocket.”
Later Thursday, Disney claimed that it has “fully complied” with Johansson’s contract and that the streamed release of the film “has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date.”
“There is no merit whatsoever to this filing,” the company said in its uncharacteristically blunt statement.
Are Emma Stone and Emily Blunt Next?
Speaking of blunt, it was reported Friday that both Emily Blunt and Emma Stone may also file lawsuits against Disney’s dual streaming release of their films.
In fact, according to an exclusive newsletter run by former Hollywood Reporter Editor Matt Belloni, Stone “is said to be weighing her options” over the dual release of “Cruella” in May. Meanwhile, he suggested Blunt could also take action or speak out following this weekend’s release of “Jungle Cruise.”
Belloni went on to describe Disney as “notoriously difficult to deal with” regarding such matters and claimed that many have simply been waiting for someone powerful enough to speak out.
Disney Criticized for Its Response
Much of the public perception of the situation has led to overwhelming support for Johansson’s camp. Online, a slew of people lambasted Disney’s response, with many calling it a deflection.
See what others are saying: (ScreenRant) (Newsweek) (Variety)
Candace Owens and Logan Paul in Talks to Debate
A spokesperson confirmed to Insider Wednesday that the two have had “productive” conversations about the prospect offline.
Candace Owens Challenges Logan Paul to a Debate
Right-wing commentator Candace Owens and controversial YouTuber Logan Paul are in talks to engage in a political debate. Yes, you read that sentence correctly.
Owens — best known for making false claims about the George Floyd protests, spreading COVID-19 misinformation, and seemingly saying that Adolf Hitler “just wanted to make Germany great” — first challenged Paul to a debate on Friday. It started with her sharing a year-old clip from Paul’s podcast where he spoke about the importance of fighting racism in the United States.
“It is not enough to be ‘not racist.’ You have to be anti-racist,” he said.
“If you’re white, if you look like me, use your privilege,” he added. “And for those who do not think white privilege exists, you are fucking blind.”
Because merely acknowledging the existence of racism appears to go against Owens’ core beliefs, she asked Paul to duke it out with her.
“Logan loves to challenge people in the boxing ring,” she wrote. “I’d like to publicly challenge him to go a few rounds with me in a political debate. @LoganPaul—how about you stop by my show and explain to me how you’re *checks notes* more privileged than me because you’re white and I’m not?”
Spokesperson Confirms The Two Are in Talks
Paul — best known for launching a boxing career and filming a YouTube video that showed a dead body in Japan’s “suicide forest” — said on Tuesday that he was “perplexed” by the offer, but was taking it seriously.
“I started to entertain this action, I ended up speaking with her, and there may be a future where we sit down and have a civil discourse because I think there’s some meat on this bone,” he said during the most recent episode of his “ImPaulsive” podcast.
The internet star acknowledged that Owens’ main arena is politics, while his main arena is being a “fucking idiot” online. Still, he said he does care about these issues and has a “semi-intelligent brain,” so he thinks he could “hold [his] own.”
“Candace Owens, whether you can admit it or not, is a smart person,” Paul continued. “And so I guess I’m just curious because I just fucking fundamentally disagree with her and again, I think there’s room for a conversation.”
A spokesperson for Owens confirmed to Insider on Wednesday that the two had a “productive” offline conversation and said a public political debate between the two is “very likely.”
“Although both of them disagree on a variety of topics, they are both much more interested in learning from one another and think people would benefit from hearing an honest discussion between two parties rather than a ‘gotcha’ moment that might play well for social media,” the spokesperson added.
See what others are saying: (Insider)
Finneas Slams Billie Eilish Troll Account for Attributing Fake Quotes to the Singer
Eilish’s big brother said the account is spreading “relentless lies” and asked that it at least label itself as a satire account.
Troll Account Shares Fake Billie Eilish Quotes
Billie Eilish’s brother and collaborator Finneas took to Twitter Tuesday to address an account that has been sharing fake quotes attributed to his sister.
The account uses the handle @BilliesUpdatess and goes by the name of “Billie Eilish Updates” in its profile. It was created in July of 2021 and as of Wednesday morning, it had amassed a following of 1,100 people. On a quick glance, it looks just like any other update account a fan might make to share news about their favorite celebrity.
@BilliesUpdatess, however, is far from the standard adoring fan page. Of the over 300 tweets it has posted, several include screenshots of forged articles that make it look like Eilish said something either offensive or totally outlandish. One post claims Eilish defended her boyfriend after he was accused of supporting former president Donald Trump.
“At the end of the day, I fucking love him you know?” the phony statement reads. “It doesn’t matter if he made some homophobic comments in the past, people change. If he [Matthew] supports Donald Trump then I don’t care if it makes him happy. I support EVERY decision Mathew has to make, even the ones some of my fans don’t agree with, like maybe some of his icky comments.”
In another sham passage, Eilish says she thinks queerbaiting “is a really good thing!” In several others, the person behind the account comes up with artificial quotes to make it looks like Eilish is feuding with “driver’s license” singer Olivia Rodrigo.
One post with a fake article ended up being retweeted 12,000 times. That tweet included Eilish claiming she longs to be poor.
“When I got rich, I started balling my eyes out,” the fake piece says. “I wanted to be poor so I can relate to most of my fans. I still want to be broke and poor, it looks really fun and cute.”
Finneas Slams Account
As the troll account started to gain traction, Finneas asked that people report and block it to minimize the spread of its “relentless lies.”
On Tuesday, he responded to a fan that tagged him in the @BilliesUpdatess tweet alleging his sister wanted to be poor.
“Fake obviously,” Finneas wrote. “Honestly I just wish they’d label this account satire like the onion or something. I have no problem with a joke as long as people know it’s a joke.”
The account made several jokes about the fact that Finneas was calling it out, but it seems Eilish’s big brother got what he asked for. @BilliesUpdatess added “parody account” to its bio and the account was deleted as of Wednesday afternoon.