Late-breaking business, sports and entertainment news with MultiCultClassics Minutes…
• Morgan Stanley announced plans to lay off 1,000 of its lowest-producing brokers from a workforce of 10,200 — One employee at a time (if they want to play off the company’s advertising slogan).
• A new survey by the Census Bureau showed U.S. minority businesses rose 31 percent from 1997 to 2002. Pretty confident the figure runs counter to Black progress in the advertising industry.
• T-ball coach Mark R. Downs Jr. will stand trial for allegedly offering a player $25 to injure a mentally-disabled teammate (See Essay Seventy-Five for more details). Downs’ motive, according to the victim’s mother, was to prevent the boy from participating because he wasn’t as good as the other players. In an earlier incident, Downs pitched another $25 reward to “anybody who can line drive the ref with the ball” after a confrontation with an umpire. Downs’ inevitable sentence should include getting bitch-slapped by Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers.
• In another bush league incident, a Little League umpire ordered Hispanic players and coaches to stop speaking Spanish during a game. There are no official rules to prohibit players from communicating in any language, and a Little League spokesman admitted the umpire was wrong. “It appears the umpire was concerned that the coach or manager may have been using a language other than English ... to communicate potentially ‘illegal’ instructions to his players,” stated the spokesman. Great. Let’s presume the Hispanics were doing something illegal. Sadly, the event did prepare minority players for the discrimination they can expect in the game of baseball and beyond.
• Put this TV show on the permanent DL — Weekends at the DL, starring D.L. Hughley. The program debuted on Comedy Central. Although Hughley has enough Hollywood pals to assemble decent guest lists, it all still felt like a poor brother man’s Arsenio Hall Show. The skits were pure UPN/WB material. And the mass interviews were really clumsy — whose brainstorm was it to choreograph a couch conversation with Regina King, Morgan Spurlock and Joe Lockhart? Hey, it’s just like Chappelle’s Show. Except without the edginess, entertainment value and comedy.