It’s Famous Friday!

QB Patrick Mahomes

“Mahomes’ talent is as good as anybody who has ever played the game.” – Brett Favre

Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has captivated football fans this year and become the most exciting player in the NFL. Mahomes, in just his second NFL season, has led his team to a thrilling 8-1 start and, with eight 300 yard passing games in a row, has found himself as the current MVP favorite! The frenzy over this new superstar reminds me of the way fans react to LeBron! This guy is obviously a very special athlete.

The 23 year old was born in Tyler, Texas to Pat Mahomes Sr. and Randi Martin. His interracially married parents divorced when he was young, but the family remained close. Pat Mahomes Sr. had a long career as an MLB pitcher when young Patrick was growing up, playing with the Twins, Red Sox, Mets, Rangers, Cubs and Pirates. His father’s career made for a fun childhood for Patrick, allowing him to regularly hang out on the road with superstars like Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.

“It helped out that I went to private school when I was younger so they let me skip a few weeks at a time,” Mahomes said. “I would miss school for about a week or two get my work in advance and I’d go up and just hang out with him (dad). He’d still stay on me about doing my school work, but it was good experience to be around him and travel with him. I remember riding buses from stadium to stadium.”

When he wasn’t on the road with his dad, Patrick was raised in Whitehouse, Texas with his younger brother, Jackson, and a little sister, Mia. Patrick is a great big brother, known to be very protective of his sister and a role model for his brother. He didn’t play football until middle school, and even then, played safety, not quarterback. He was a three sport standout athlete (football, baseball, and basketball) at Whitehouse High School, where he was named a 3 star prospect by Rivals, ESPN and 247 sports.

Patrick started dating soccer player Brittany Matthews in high school and they are still together today. In his junior year of high school he first established himself as a quarterback and led his team to the district championship. Even then, he was a classic dual threat QB who could throw or run the ball with the best in the country and was named Maxpreps 2013-14 Athlete of the Year. He also continued to excel in baseball, throwing a no-hitter as a senior. He was so good, that he was drafted by the Detroit Tigers, but having decided on football, did not sign a contract.

It is no surprise, then, that he was heavily recruited by colleges. He decided on Texas Tech and as a freshman, continued to play both football and baseball. After setting the Big 12 freshman record for passing yards in a game, with 598 against Baylor, it became pretty clear that football was his game. During his pre-draft pro day in 2017, he threw a pass that was almost 80-yards.The man has a strong arm and the NFL took notice. He was drafted 10th overall by the Chiefs, who traded up to get him. His four-year contract is worth more than $16 million plus he got a signing bonus of more than $10 million! Not bad for a 23 year old. Mahomes played backup his first year in the league and didn’t get on the field until the final game of the season. But apparently that’s all it took. This year he has not only started every game, but set the league on fire. He is breaking all kinds of records and leading his team to weekly decisive victories that leave people in awe of his abilities.

The 6’3” phenom is incredibly talented yet obviously works really hard at his game. But he does still like to relax and have fun sometimes. His favorite TV shows are Game of Thrones, Westworld and, Power. But, he’d much rather use his time off, staying both active and competitive.

“My favorite hobby especially this offseason was probably golf,” Mahome said. “I really tried to get into golf. My dad played so it’s something else I compete against him in. He is definitely better, but I did beat him when he came to Kansas City one time. That was my only time I’ve ever beat him though.”

That competitive spirit is serving him well and I am one of millions who are happy to be here to see it in action.

  • Karson Baldwin, Project RACE Teens Co-President

 

 

Photo Credit: centerfieldmaz.com

 

Famous Friday: Solomon Thomas

FAMOUS FRIDAY: SOLOMON THOMAS

Last night was a big night at our house. It was the opening of the NFL Draft and the Cleveland Browns, as predicted, selected Defensive End Myles Garrett from Texas A & M as the number one pick overall. The last time the Browns took a TAMU Defensive End was 35 years ago when they selected my Dad, Keith Baldwin in the 1982 Draft! My Dad couldn’t choose between wearing Browns gear or Aggie gear for the Draft Party, so he wore both.

Soloman 1

But here at Project RACE we were more interested in the 3rd pick than the 1st! With the third pick, the San Francisco 49ers selected Solomon Thomas from Stanford University. We at Project RACE have been a huge fan of “Solly” since his senior year in high school. He was recruited at Coppel High School in Texas by nearly all the top football schools and chose Stanford based on academics. During his college visit to Stanford, he spent more time with professors than coaches. When he announced on National Signing Day that he would attend Stanford, he did it with humor, putting on some nerdy glasses.Image result for solomon thomas family

Photo: Time.com

Solomon has had a pretty interesting life. His interracially married parents moved around a lot with him and his older sister. Born in Chicago, Solly’s family moved to Australia Gamble where he spent a lot of time surfing, swimming and playing soccer. He started football after they moved to Texas when he was in fourth grade. Solomon cares a lot about his faith and his relationships and thinks about the future when he makes decisions.

Leading up to the draft, he got attention from nearly every NFL team, just like he did in high school from colleges across the country. But unlike college, when you make it to the pros it’s all about who chooses you. I imagine that Solly Thomas is pretty happy that the 49ers, who are very near his college home of Stanford, selected him with their first pick.

Congratulations, Solly, from Project RACE

– Karson Baldwin, President Project RACE Kids

Getting to the Essence

Getting to the Essence

Colin Kaepernick

I don’t read Essence, Ebony, or any of the other popular lifestyle magazines for black females. I am not in their demographics in any fathomable way. But, every so often they publish something so offensive that it gets my attention. Once in a while they have a commentary that casts multiracial people or parents of multiracial children in uncomplimentary light. The dis pisses me off.

Quite often, they take the self-identity of a multiracial person and make them black. It’s bad journalism, not to mention that it’s just a false thing to do—a lie. What’s the point of stretching racial truth into a lie?

A perfect example is a story titled “Standing With Kaepernick: America Has An Ugly History Of Rejecting Black Athletes” in Essence by writer Feminista Jones, who is a social worker. I won’t even go into the long, ugly history of black social workers sanctioning calling multiracial children black, so they will be adopted by black families, since I don’t know if Feminista holds that belief and I’d hate to make anything up about her. The article starts like this: “San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, is protesting police brutality and the mistreatment of people of color in America by refusing to stand during the National Anthem before his team’s football games.” You already know this.

Feminista goes on to say this, “As the news of his bold move spread, Kaepernick has been repeatedly called the “N-word” and has been told to leave the country.” Then she states that Kaepernick’s (white) mother says he brought shame to his family. Sigh.

Colin Kaepernick is multiracial. He identifies as multiracial. He’s not a black athlete. Feminista contends that he is facing such horrible treatment from the public because he is a Black Athlete. He’s not. He has, meanwhile taken flack from black athletes for not being black enough to have taken a stand on this issue.

Stop already! Kaepernick could be purple and should only be judged—if people like Feminista Jones wish to judge—on his actions, not on his color. His team is the human race and he is not a member of any black athlete’s special club.

Ironically, the word “essence” means the basic, real, and invariable nature of a thing. In philosophy it means the inward nature, true substance, or constitution of anything, as opposed to what is accidental, phenomenal, illusory, etc. It’s time for Essence to get real and honest about the existence of the multiracial population.

In the article, Feminista Jones goes back to events that happened in 1936 to black athletes, but this is 2016 and we’ve come a long way in recognizing the existence and contributions of multiracial people. Now it’s time for the black media’s recognition or honesty, at the very least. You can do this. Time is of the essence.