5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: October 20

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience.

1. Megan Thee Stallion Launches Website Filled With Mental Health Resources

With the release of her new album Traumazine, rapper Megan Thee Stallion has released a website for mental health resources. 

The website centers around the mantra of “Bad bitches have bad days too,” as she sings in her new track “Anxiety,” and offers links to free therapy organizations, a resource directory and podcasts focused on helping Black men and women as well as the LGBTQ+ community, mental health hotlines and more. 

Some of the therapy organizations include the Center for Interactive Mental Health Solutions, iPrevail and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Specialized service links on the site go to the Dear Black Women Project, Therapy for Black Men and the LGBTQ Psychotherapist of Color Directory. 

2. Major League Soccer Loan Helps Black Banks Reinvest in Underserved Communities

Back in March, Major League Soccer struck a $25 million loan deal with seven Black-owned banks to “change the perception of the banks’ capacity to do business with large companies and better impact the communities they serve,” The Tennessean reports. And that deal has allowed those banks to do just that. 

Since the deal happened, one of the banks involved in the deal, Atlanta-based Citizens Trust Bank, has lent more than $5 million to affordable housing developers to revitalize over 60 dilapidated houses in predominantly Black neighborhoods through its Birmingham, Alabama, branch. 

In the past, we wrote about the creation of the Indianapolis Colts’ Tony Dungy Diversity Fellowship and the positive impact it will hopefully have on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in football and what other teams across sports can learn from it. The exposure the MLS deal has given to Black banks is yet another example of the influence sports can have on DEI. 

3. NFL Announces Enhancements and Updates to DEI Efforts

In other sports-related DEI news, the National Football League announced enhancements and updates to diversity initiatives and hiring practices at its fall meeting this week. 

In terms of hiring process changes, the NFL said key decision-makers involved in a search for head coach or general manager will be required to participate in inclusive hiring training prior to the search. It’s also recommended that teams work with a third-party coach or consultant who specializes in inclusive hiring practices. 

The league also launched a hiring best practices guidebook for executives and club owners, which consists of videos, checklists and other materials that provide best practices for conducting a job search that promotes equity and inclusivity. 

4. LA Councilmember Kevin De León Refuses To Step Down After Leak of Racist Audio Recording

Despite being asked to step down after an audio recording of him making racist remarks was leaked, LA City Councilmember Kevin De León said he is refusing “so he can ensure that his constituents in District 14 continue to be represented on City Council,” CBS News Los Angeles reports. 

He added that the district has been underrepresented and deserves political representation. 

In the recording, De León, Councilmember Nury Martinez and Councilmember Gil Cedillo and L.A. County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera made racist comments about the redistricting process and also made racist comments about Councilmember Mike Bonin’s 2-year-old son, who is Black. Martinez and Herrera have resigned. 

“De León claims to have apologized ‘profusely’ to Bonin and his family over voicemail when he didn’t answer his phone call in the wake of the audio leak,” CBS News writes. 

5. DOJ Files Suit Against Two South Dakota Hoteliers for Banning Native Americans

The Department of Justice filed a federal discrimination lawsuit on Wednesday against two hoteliers in Rapid City, South Dakota. The suit alleges the hoteliers have taken steps to ban Native Americans from the hotels, which violates the Civil Rights Act. 

The lawsuit was filed against the Grand Gateway Hotel and Cheers Sports Lounge owner Connie Uhre and her son, Nicholas. The suit alleges that the pair “denied access to Native American patrons in violation of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin in places of public accommodation, such as hotels and other places of entertainment,” Inforum writes. 

The lawsuit came about from a series of emails sent by Connie to other hoteliers in the city saying she didn’t want to allow Native Americans at the properties she owns. 

In the email, Uhre said: “I really do not want to allow Natives on property. Every time we have problems I call the police with it, the first thing they ask is what nationality is he or she and 98% of the time I have to say Native, and we call at least once a week. They kill each other and walk around with guns… The problem is we do not know the nice ones from the bad Natives…so we just have to say no to them!!”