Sports

THE WORD | Toronto Rapters Rename Practice Facility After Drake’s OVO Brand

Toronto native Drake continued to show love for his hometown on Wednesday night as the Raptors' training facility was renamed after his record label OVO. What was formerly the BioSteel Centre in Toronto is now named the OVO Athletics Training Centre. Drake reportedly has a key to Toronto's practice facility, and he has a stall in the Raptors' locker room at Scotiabank Arena.

THE WORD | J LO AND A-ROD ARE ENGANGED

J Lo and A-Rod are engaged after dating for a little more than 2 years and announced it on Instagram with simultaneous posts Saturday night. They each shared a pic of him holding her hand while showing off her MASSIVE new rock. No word on any wedding plans yet, but if the engagement ring is an indicator ... no expense will be spared.

Congrats!


Ronda Rousey knocked out in 48-second fight

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After more than a year of anticipation, the fate of the most famous UFC fighter to date, Ronda Rousey, was decided in just 48 seconds on Friday.

fighter Amanda Nunes defended her women's bantamweight champion title against Rousey. The first right fight consisted of some vicious blows by Nunes. After this fight there is no doubt about the end of Rousey's long reign as the UFC's top female fight.

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Longtime NBA Sideline Reporter Craig Sager Dies At 65

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 longtime NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager, famous for his flashy suits and probing questions, has died after a batter with cancer, He was 65.

 Turner Sports Had This To Say:

"Craig Sager was a beloved member of the Turner family for more than three decades and he has been a true inspiration to all of us," Turner President David Levy said in a statement. "There will never be another Craig Sager. His incredible talent, tireless work ethic and commitment to his craft took him all over the world covering sports."

3 Woman Bobsled Team Set to Represent Nigeria in 1st Winter Olympics

 

In the country’s first appearance in a Winter Olympic sporting event, Nigeria will be represented by a three-woman bobsled team in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The members of the Nigerian Women’s Bobsled Team are Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere, and Akuoma Omeoga. The determined US-based trio are hopeful of capturing gold and in doing so, spreading an important message to the rest of the world.

Similar to its summer seasoned counterpart, the Winter Olympics is traditionally held every 4 years. The games feature most winter sports including ice hockey, skiing, curling and bobsledding. Remember, with these sports being held in icier conditions, it is important for athletes in training to practice in similar conditions that they will experience throughout the winter olympic games. Interesting enough, participation in the Winter Olympics has become exclusive to athletes from countries with similar year round conditions like North America or Northern/North-East Europe. Financially, the cost of, as well as having access to, the advanced high tech gear required to compete in the games is very high for potential athletes in Africa. Barriers like these discourage athletes from the Olympic Games because they lack the financial support needed to pursue.

However, it is clear that regardless of theses barriers, the nigerian trio’s purpose of going to the olympics still remains true.  The wonder women of the Nigerian Women’s  Bobsled Team want to win gold to inspire those back home to dream big and popularize the sport in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.

“Together, we can demonstrate that nothing is impossible with a little faith, support, and willingness to persevere.” - Seun Adigun,

The team’s decision to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics was influenced by recent push of the Olympic Committees of several different African countries. This was done in wanting to expand the number of sport events athletes compete in. The significance in increasing the numbers of athletes that compete may bring increased attention towards theses countries economically, as well as increase the number of medals won for the competing countries.

Many nations hope to improve their overall medal victories at the games. A technique used to solve this is by the nation grooming its athletes to participate in other sports that have a high medal turnover rate such as swimming or gymnastics. The athletic trio has launched a GoFundMe page in order to raise $150,000. The money will be used towards equipment, logistics, and to create awareness towards what they plan to accomplish at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

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1 dead and 9 shot during The Bayou Classic

New Orleans police study the crime scene after a fatal shooting on Sunday. (Matthew Hinton/The Advocate via AP)

New Orleans police study the crime scene after a fatal shooting on Sunday. (Matthew Hinton/The Advocate via AP)

One person is dead and nine others were injured during the Bayou Classic this weekend in a popular tourist attraction located on the heart of New Orleans, according to officials.

Police say the shooting occurred just before 1:30 a.m. Near the intersection of Bourbon and Iberville streets in the city's French Quarter New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison told reporters during a press conference. At least 30 officers were patrolling the French Quarter at the time because of the annual college football game.

Harrison said Police are not sure as to why the victims — two women and eight men —were targeted  or what was the cause of the shooting. However, two men, including one of the victims, have been arrested for illegal possession of a firearm.

“We’ve made a strong message that this was not the place or time to bring firearms to the French Quarter during the Bayou Classic event or any event,” Harrison said at a news conference early Sunday. “This was not something that should’ve happened. This is the wrong place to bring firearms. We’ve made that clear.”

Eleven people, including the two on Sunday, in the past two days, who have no connection to shooting were arrested for carrying weapons.

Police did not say whether any of the victims, or the two men who were arrested, knew each other. Harrison said investigators are looking for witnesses and interviewing the injured. The ages of the victims range from 27 to 37 in age according to the Times-Picayune.

According to Ronnie Buendia, a cashier at a nearby parking garage on Iberville Street, said he heard about four shots. “Everybody was running into the garage to get away,” he said.
 

“This is a very tragic and an unacceptable set of circumstances, especially on a night like this,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu told reporters.

Thousands go to Bourbon Street for the Bayou Classic, an annual game between two historically black colleges.

About a year ago, a man was fatally shot on Bourbon Street not far from the site of Sunday’s shooting, the Times Picayune reported. That shooting occurred after an argument.

In 2014, 10 people, including a woman who was killed, were shot as tourists walked along Bourbon Street, according to CBS News.

Alshon Jeffery suspended four games by NFL

Photo Cred ESPN

Photo Cred ESPN

The Chicago Bears will be without their top offensive player for the next four games.The team announced on Monday that Alshon Jeffery has been suspended without pay for the team's next four games for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.

In Jeffery's statement he said he used  a supplement that contained an ingredient banned by the NFL's drug policy. His statement is below 

"As a professional athlete, I have been careful about what I put in my body. I took a recommended supplement to combat inflammation. Unfortunately this supplement contained an ingredient that was on the NFL's banned substance list. I take full responsibility and I'm deeply upset with myself for not doing the proper research on this supplement. I want to apologize to my family, the Bears organization, my teammates, and Bears fans. I will work hard to earn back the respect and trust of the Bears nation and look forward to being back on the field."

The suspension could possible cost Jeffery money on the open market this offseason, as he'll be in line for a longer ban if he fails another test in the future. He will forfeit more than $3.4 million during his four-week absence. Jeffery will be eligible to return to the Bears' active roster on Monday, Dec. 12. The final three games of the 2016 season could be the last for Jeffery in Chicago.

Ray Allen officially retires from the NBA at age 41

Two-time NBA champion and 10 time All Star Ray Allen announced his retirement Tuesday after playing 18 seasons. Allen hasn’t played since the 2013-14 season but said this summer he was gauging interest for a potential return from possible contenders.

“I write this to you today as a 41-year-old man who is retiring from the game,” Allen wrote in a piece for the Players’ Tribune. “I write to you as a man who is completely at peace with himself.”

He spent his first 11 seasons with Milwaukee and Seattle before joining the Boston Celtics in 2007. Along with the other two members of Boston’s “Big Three” — Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce — Allen led the Celtics to a championship that season, after defeating the Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals.

In 2012, he landed with the Miami Heat and helped another “Big Three” — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — win an NBA title, nailing a key three-pointer against the San Antonio Spurs during the 2013 NBA Finals.

Allen has made more three-pointers (2,973) and three-point attempts (7,429) than anyone in NBA history.

 

Anthem singer at NBA game kneels during performance

  (Photo Cred: Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)

Denasia Lawrence kneels while singing the national anthem before the Heat-76ers preseason game on Friday night, revealing a shirt with the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

Lawrence, called the Black Lives Matter movement a "rallying cry" while explaining her decision to kneel in a Facebook post early Saturday.

"We're being unjustly killed and overly criminalized," Lawrence wrote. "I took the opportunity to sing and kneel to show that we belong in this country and that we have the right to respectfully protest injustices against us."

Space Jam will hit theaters in November for 20th anniversary

Next month 90's fans will get to witness one of Michael Jordans greatest performances; saving Bugs Bunny and the looney tones from the MON-STARS. November will will marl twenty years since Space Jame was released and for two days fan will get to relive this nostalgia moment. 

With all the talk surrounding earlier confirmed reports of a sequel starring LeBron James, Warner Bro. announced plans to re-release the film as part of re-release of the 1996 kids classic Space Jam that will hit theaters on November 13 and the 16th.

Tom Lucas vice president of Fathom Events said in a statement  “Space Jam has been a family favorite for the last 20 years and is sure to remain so for the next 20 and beyond, “This event is the perfect chance for audiences of all ages to view the film as it was meant to be seen—on the big screen.”

However, not everyone is excited about a sequel, Joe Pytka, The director of the original film isn’t too thrilled about it saying,“the original film only worked thanks to the "perfect storm" of talent available at the time.  "There are none around like that now."

Also, fans can look forward to a re-release of the classic Air Jordan 11 that was originally debuted in the film. 

Tickets for the limited re-release of Space Jam are on sale now through the Fathom Events website.  http://www.fathomevents.com/event/space-jam


Derrick Rose found not Guilty

Derrick Rose can breath a sigh of relief.  The Knicks guard Derrick Rose was found not liable on all counts in the civil suit accusing him and two friends of gang-raping a woman in 2013. Rose’s two friends, Ryan Allen and Randall Hampton, were cleared on all counts as well.

As Rose was cleared on all charges including sexual battery, battery, trespassing, conspiracy, gender violence and emotional distress, he tilted his head back while the alleged victim had her head in her hands throughout the whole reading.

Mark Baute, Rose’s lawyer, said all three men were innocent from day one. “The system worked,” he said. Baute added that he was very disappointed in the media coverage, and that “all the reporting is biased” against Rose because he is a black man.

 As cameras caught Rose entering the courthouse he had this message “focus on the season.” On the heels of Donald Trump sexual assault allegations surrounding the Republican presidential nominee, Mike Monico, lawyer for the other two defendants, said it is a horrible time for sexual assault in America right now, but he is glad the jury was able to overlook that in this case. Said Monico, “it’s amazing that one woman and a false claim can cause this much difficulty for these men.” Waukeen McCoy, the lawyer for Jane Doe, said he doesn’t see how the jury could have reached the conclusion it did. He told reporters “a celebrity can come to court and slut shame a plaintiff.”

The jury took everything into consideration, however, accounts seemed to varry about the details leading up to and after the events occurred.  However, a former friend called her a liar several times questioning her credibility because she handed text messages over to Baller Alert in the early days of the investigation.  They jury decided that she was a willing participant because three years had passed since the alleged incident was not a factor, except for how it affected witnesses ability to remember what happened. Her statement of blacking out, her alcohol drinking, and not getting a hair test done to test for date rape drugs all proved the plaintiff correct before deciding, but felt like they couldn’t.

Mistrial rejected in Derrick Rose Rape Trial

A woman accusing Derrick Rose and two of his friends of rape failed to disclose text messages to his defense team which was significant enough to throw out the case or declare a mistrial, a judge ruled Wednesday.

The plaintiff's lawyers argued that they withheld three important texts so the defense could not question her about night the alleged rape happened. The reported text messages show that rape was not the topic and in fact sexual relations were in fact planned between the NBA star and his friends in which she requested reimbursement for her cab fare and not accusing anyone for rape.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald said he was not going to declare a mistrial right away, "I'm not going to dismiss it now and I'm not going to declare a mistrial when we have a jury in the box." The Legal team for the victim failed its legal obligation to share the texts, but there was a "minimal amount of prejudice" against Rose and his friends. He said he would instruct jurors that the texts were disclosed recently and allow defense lawyers to question the accuser about the messages.

Derrick Rose testified that he had a hunch the woman was going to claim the men raped her when he received a suspicious text later the same day.

The texts reportedly contain very descriptive details of that night in which the woman had burn from fire pit outside Rose’s Beverly Hill mansion and she had been “wasted” the night before.. Rose said he never witnessed any burns the night before and that she seemed sober. "It looked like a setup," Rose said. "It turned out to be what I thought."

The rape accusation surfaced in 2013 when the 30-year-old woman filed a $21.5 million lawsuit two years after the August 2013 incident, claiming Rose and his friends raped her at her apartment while she was incapacitated from drinking and, possibly, drugs.

The issue in the trial is consent and a lawyer for the woman spent much of his time trying to show that she never agreed to have sex with Rose in the early morning hours of Aug. 27, 2013, not to mention his two friends. He said the woman consented every time they had sex over an 18-20 month period. They had split up a couple months before, he said he assumed consent based on their past and a text message she sent out of the blue that morning saying he made her "horny."  

 

Randall Hampton, Rose's personal assistant and co-defendant, was brought on to testify to show holes in his story by the woman’s legal team. He argued his boss has a bad memory and had a conflicting account about the evening at Rose's house."He has a hard time remembering things," Hampton said of Rose, who he said is like a brother to him. Hampton said Rose initiated that act and then later had sex with the woman on a bed at a poolside cabana and later they both had sex with her before going to her apartment. Rose testified that the woman originally initiated trying to have oral sex with him while she was having sex with Hampton.  When asked if he was concerned about having sex with Rose's ex-girlfriend, Hampton said he never saw her as a girlfriend of Rose's even though he booked trips for her to visit the point guard in Chicago and Philadelphia.

Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich Says he Agrees with Colin Kaepernick's Protest

Long time head coach Gregg Popovich has never been one to hold back on game plans, certainly when the media is present. However, few discuss serious matters, especially the issue of Colin Kaepernicks protest of the national anthem.

When asked about his views on racial matters faced in today’s current state preferably surrounding the police involved shooting of two black men as it is connected to Colin Kaepernicks protest. He had this to say,  “I absolutely understand why they’re doing what they’re doing, and I respect their courage for what they’ve done. The question is whether it’ll do any good or not, because change really seems to happen through political pressure.”

The Spur coach went on to say he understands the significance of why Kapernick and other players from NFL to NBA players are keeping the conversation going and if dealt with the issue of a protest, he encourages his players do what they feel is important even if it means taking risks “I’m not going to tell anyone ahead of time, if they don’t do A, B and C, they’re going to be gone, or traded.

The Relevancy of Colin Kaepernick Protest

Fifteen African Americans have been subjected to the ongoing violence at the hands of the Police Officers since Colin Kapernick started a historical movement when he began protesting the national anthem by sitting, and then later kneeling in the pre-season.

If you remember during Kaepernick’s decision to boycott the national anthem caused quite the controversy from everyone in Politics, Celebrities and the American people. In a statement Kapernick said “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” As of late, Kapernick had received death threats as well as being voted the worst NFL player along other big names such as Tom Brady. But, If death threats or being voted worst player won’t stop him from spreading the relevancy of the ongoing fight for equality than maybe this past week's police shooting will spark some conversation amongst his critics.

On Monday, everything Kepernick’s stood in solidarity for made headlines once again with the video release of unarmed black man shot and killed by a female police officer.  The video show 40-year-old Terrence Crutcher, like so many other black men, who complied with police officers commands while having his hands while up walking back to his truck, which was disabled in the middle of the road. However, before the release was made many people had questions as to the statement given by the police officers, stating that Crutcher had ignored officers’ warning to raise his hands in which the dash cam video shows otherwise.

According to a recent poll conducted in 2016 close to 800 people have been killed at the hands of Police while only 193 of those people were black and only 15 of them were killed since Kapernick began his protest.

Now, Without a doubt these protests are meant to create a dialogue concerning social injustice. And of course, the issue is bigger than just football, there's a clear divide in this country right now between people who respect his right to protest and people who believe he should stand for the national anthem.

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem

 San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernicksays he refused to stand during the national anthem Friday due to his views on the country's treatment of racial minorities

Read some of his quotes below: 

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media after Friday's game. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

 "This is not something that I am going to run by anybody," he said. "I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. ... If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right."

 

A look at Dwyane Wade's New Gold Coast Mansion

The Robbins, IL native, Dawayne Wade signed a two-year, $47.5 million contract with the Bulls last month after spending 13 seasons with the Miami Heat.

The new Bulls star and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, just leased this Gold Coast mansion, according to Crain's

The eight-bedroom Victorian on North State Parkway was built in 1883 but updated five years ago. It includes a finished basement with a 148-inch projection screen and 720-bottle wine fridge, as well as an attached three-car garage and a coach house in addition to the main house.

The 10,250-square-foot property, which was also featured on the 1980s sitcom "Webster," was listed for nearly $9.5 million in April but taken off the market Monday after Wade signed his lease, according to the report.

Wade had a mansion in the south suburbs, but his ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, recently sold it for $300,000

The terms of Wade's lease are unknown. By the looks of the photos, the house isn't cheap.

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Michael Jordan releases statement on police violence, and donates one million

 Michael Jordan today released the following statement:

"As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.

"I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers -- who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all -- are respected and supported.

"Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognize that for many people of color their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine. I have decided to speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change."

"To support that effort, I am making contributions of $1 million each to two organizations, the International Association of Chiefs of Police's newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The Institute for Community-Police Relations' policy and oversight work is focused on building trust and promoting best practices in community policing. My donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the nation's oldest civil rights law organization, will support its ongoing work in support of reforms that will build trust and respect between communities and law enforcement. Although I know these contributions alone are not enough to solve the problem, I hope the resources will help both organizations make a positive difference.

"We are privileged to live in the world's greatest country -- a country that has provided my family and me the greatest of opportunities. The problems we face didn't happen overnight and they won't be solved tomorrotw, but if we all work together, we can foster greater understanding, positive change and create a more peaceful world for ourselves, our children, our families and our communities."

 statement provided by ESPN