Though many people are familiar with Colin Kaepernick and his refusal to stand for the National Anthem, many may not know about Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, a rising star in the NBA who did the same thing 20 years earlier. Abdul-Rauf (whose name was Chris Jackson before converting to Islam), missed his prime playing years in the NBA (after being drafted third pick in the 1990 draft). After refusing to stand, citing the flag as a symbol of oppression and racism, he was suspended by the NBA. A compromise was reached, but he quickly faded into the stats book after his playing time dropped and he was let go after one more season. He was 29, and his professional career moved overseas.
On Tuesday, I covered the special election to fill Georgia’s 6th congressional district for The New York Times. It was the most expensive House race in history, with political newcomer Jon Ossoff (who raised more than $21 million) challenging veteran Republican candidate Karen Handel. It was an extremely tight race, with Handel coming out on top in the end. Anyways, here are few of my favorite frames from all the excitement. Above, Will McCall, an Ossoff supporter, reacts as results from the race come in during a watch party.
I absolutely love it when a project I pitch to an editor ends up on the pages of a magazine. Such was the case with this project I recently pitched and shot for Atlanta Magazine. The idea was simple: show up at a local courthouse, photograph couples getting hitched and ask them a few questions. Myself, an assistant, and reporter Camille Pendley (also an Atlanta freelancer) did exactly that on Dec. 14 at the Dekalb County (Ga.) Courthouse. It was so much fun!!!
Rise Up! Here are a few frames from my coverage last Sunday of the NFC Championship, between the Atlanta Falcons and the Green Bay Packers. I covered the game for the Falcons, who I’ve worked with for several years on a number of projects.
What made this game special, among many other things, is that it was the last game played in the Georgia Dome. Ever. The Dome, built in 1992, and where countless football games, concerts, and other events have been held, will be demolished this summer. The Falcons will start the 2017 season at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is currently being constructed about 100 feet away from the Dome.
Yesterday’s election was a long and emotionally charged day for many, including myself, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to have been part of the Election Day coverage team for The New York Times. It started in the wee hours of the morning, capturing the scene at voting polls around Atlanta, and ended documenting the reactions to the news that Donald J. Trump will be the next President of the United States. Above, several women dance to The Charlie Daniels Band’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”
I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to photograph a few Falcons players in the new throwback uniforms, which will be worn this Sunday (Oct. 23) against the Chargers, and again on Dec. 18 against the 49ers. I had about 4-5 minutes with each player, and the goal was to capture the uniform from several different angles, so the Falcons could use the images in composite (below) to announce on their website and social media. A big thanks to Michael Benford for making it all happen, and for donning Devonta’s helmet for light tests :-)
A couple of weeks ago, I covered the semifinals and championship of ELeague Season One, held at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, for ESPN. It was the culmination of a 10-week competition that started with 24 teams, all playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. These are all professional teams, complete with sponsorships, coaches, etc. It’s serious business with lots of money on the line. The winners, Virtus.Pro, took home $400k after defeating FNATIC. Above, Robin Ronnquist (flusha), who plays for FNATIC, warms up for the semifinal round against NA’VI.
My first assignment for the lovely Atlanta Magazine was for their photo column, “One Square Mile,” which publishes on the last page of every issue. I headed to the Georgia/Alabama state line with freelance writer Josh Green to the renowned Robinson & Sons convenience store in Tallapoosa, Ga. Well, it’s renowned if you live in Alabama and like to play the lotto. You see, lotto is not available in Alabama, and Robinson & Sons is on the first exit after crossing into the Peach State.
It sounded like something from the 1960: About 180 minorities were purged from the voter rolls just before a major election where a white candidate won by a narrow margin (African-Americans make up about 85% of the population). But it wasn’t, it’s a situation that many in Sparta, Ga., have dealt with recently. The Times sent me there to take portraits of some of the main players in the story, and to document a bit of what life is like there.