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There’s no racial double-standard between Rob Gronkowski and Ezekiel Elliott

03.16.17 at 11:46 am ET
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Rob Gronkowski is perceived as a good-natured party boy. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Rob Gronkowski is perceived as a good-natured party boy. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

There’s no racial double-standard when it comes to the way Ezekiel Elliott’s bra-pulling incident has been portrayed in comparison to Rob Gronkowski’s off-field shenanigans. Context matters, and given Elliott’s alleged history of violence against women, his behavior can’t be excused as harmless debauchery.

At a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dallas last weekend, Elliott exposed a woman’s breast while he was partying on a rooftop. It’s apparent the act may not have been consensual, because the woman slaps away Elliott’s hands when he goes for her cleavage a second time.

Two years ago, Gronkowski was also involved in a breast-touching incident. He buried his face into a woman’s cleavage at a nightclub in Charleston, while she danced with a half-empty bottle of liquor in her hand.

If the female on the receiving end of Gronkowski’s motorboat felt victimized, she didn’t show it. The woman who Elliott touched, however, seemed uncomfortable with his hands on her. The evident differences between the two episodes means they’re not comparable. But that didn’t stop some from trying.

On ESPN’s “First Take” Wednesday, Max Kellerman said he thinks race plays a factor into the way Elliott’s actions were perceived.

“Why are we asking about the double-standard in the first place, given the differences in the set of facts?,” he asked. “We’re asking because it does play into stereotypes. On the one hand, good-natured party guy, who tends to be white –– at least as depicted in popular culture –– versus more menacing.”

Orlando Sentinel columnist David Whitley seems to agree. In an op-ed, he asks his readers to imagine if Gronkowski and Elliott were to switch places.

“Imagine if Elliott’s history included countless displays of public intoxication; videos of him gyrating his pelvis into women; getting naked and exposing himself to a bikini-clad babe in a GQ photo spread; organizing a party cruise where he autographed women’s bottoms, breasts and who-knows-what-else?,” he wonders.

It’s worth noting one of Elliott’s representatives told TMZ Sports the woman wasn’t upset, and continued partying with the Cowboys running back afterwards. But before taking that as gospel, one should consider the source. Also, the woman’s apparent decision to keep hanging with Elliott doesn’t mean she gave him permission to expose her breasts in public. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Ezekiel Elliott, rob gronkowski,

Investigators find Jose Fernandez was driving boat in deadly crash

03.16.17 at 10:10 am ET
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Miami HeraldMiami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, drunk and speeding, was behind the wheel and to blame when his boat plowed into a jetty off South Beach, killing two others, police concluded in a report released Thursday.

Had Fernandez lived, he would likely have been charged with a host of crimes including manslaughter, according to the final report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Investigators made the conclusion because the physical damage to Fernandez’s body matched the damage on the boat’s center console. His DNA was also found on the throttle and steering wheel.

The boat, investigators concluded, was traveling at more than 65 miles per hour — just over the top speed of the vessel.

“Fernandez operated [the boat] with his normal faculties impaired, in a reckless manner, at an extreme high rate of speed, in the darkness of the night, in an area with known navigational hazards such as rock jetties and channel markers,” the report concluded.

The release of the report comes nearly six months after Fernandez and two others were killed when the pitcher’s boat plowed into a jetty at Government Cut off South Beach just before down on Sept. 25.

Two others on the boat with him, Emilio Jesus Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25, also were killed.

Yikes.

By all accounts, Fernandez was a great guy who made a mistake. A HUGE mistake.

After his death, he was honored by the Marlins and mourned by other teams around the league. If this information had been known at the time, he might have been honored differently. Maybe not as enthusiastically.

He did a lot for baseball and it’s sad he died, but he also killed two people. He knew better than to risk his life driving a boat drunk and on cocaine, especially with a baby on the way.

Fernandez’ daughter, Penelope, was born in February to his girlfriend, Maria Arias.

Fernandez’ lawyer had claimed all along Fernandez was not behind the wheel of the boat. This finding will certainly help the lawsuits filed against the Fernandez estate by the families of the other two men who were killed.

 

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Mike Francesa previews NCAA matchup that doesn’t exist; Adrian Gonzalez rips World Baseball Classic

03.16.17 at 9:52 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Thursday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Pittsburgh vs. Boston, 6:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-AM 850)
MLB: Minnesota vs. St. Louis, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Chicago Cubs vs. LA Dodgers, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
World Baseball Classic: Venezuela vs. Dominican Republic, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Utah at Cleveland, 7 p.m. (NBATV)
NHL: Nashville at Washington, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NHL: Boston at Edmonton, 9 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Princeton vs. Notre Dame, 12:15 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: UNCW vs. Virginia, 12:40 p.m. (tru TV)
College basketball: Winthrop vs. Butler, 1:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: South Dakota State vs. Gonzaga, 2 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: Bucknell vs. West Virginia, 2:45 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: East Tennessee State vs. Florida, 3:10 p.m. (tru TV)
College basketball: Middle Tennessee vs. Minnesota, 4 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Vanderbilt vs. Northwestern, 4:30 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: Xavier vs. Maryland, 6:50 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Mount St. Mary’s vs. Villanova, 7:10 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: VCU vs. Saint Mary’s, 7:20 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: Vermont vs. Purdue, 7:27 p.m. (tru TV)
College basketball: FGCU vs. Florida State, 9:20 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Virginia Tech vs. Wisconsin, 9:40 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: North Dakota vs. Arizona, 9:50 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: Nevada vs. Iowa State, 9:57 p.m. (tru TV)

AROUND THE WEB:

— While discussing the NCAA tournament on Wednesday, Mike Francesa pulled a classic Mike Francesa Move and previewed a college basketball matchup that does not exist.

Francesa battled his way through guessing what will happen in the Florida State vs. Maryland game, which is not happening at all.

After an extended period of dead air, Francesa said he thinks this game could go either way. “I could see them winning this game, or losing this game, one way or the other,” he explained.

Florida State is playing Florida Gulf Coast and Maryland is facing Xavier on Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Adrian gonzalez, Mike Francesa,

All charges dismissed against Darrelle Revis from February street fight

03.15.17 at 3:15 pm ET
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Darrelle Revis will no longer have criminal charges hanging over his head. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

Darrelle Revis will no longer have criminal charges hanging over his head. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

A judge Wednesday dismissed all charges against Darrelle Revis stemming from a Pittsburgh street fight last month. The veteran cornerback was facing four felonies, including two counts of aggravated assault, one count of robbery and a conspiracy to commit aggravated assault.

Revis turned himself into local authorities days after the altercation had occurred. TMZ Sports subsequently released a video of the incident, which showed the two victims laying unconscious on the sidewalk while an unidentified man boasts about punching them out.

In court Wednesday, one of Revis’ childhood friends said he was the aggressor. According to him, the two accusers jumped Revis at 2:30 a.m. on a Monday morning in February.

Law enforcement originally implicated Revis, saying he got violent after two men had recognized him and approached him on the street. But his Pittsburgh-based attorney, Blaine Jones, told the NFL Network last month Revis was the victim.

The Jets released the 31-year-old Revis prior to the start of free agency. He signed a five-year, $70 million deal with the team in 2015, and was owed $15.3 million this season.

Read More: Darrelle Revis,

Man gets butt tattoo to commemorate Falcons’ blown lead against Patriots in Super Bowl LI

03.15.17 at 1:30 pm ET
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Last month, a Patriots fan made headlines when he got Tom Brady’s face tattooed on his butt to commemorate the team’s historic comeback win over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Though that’s an odd spot to put some ink, the sentiment is understandable.

The same can’t be said for an Instagram user named ““orrazib_,” who recently got a tattoo on his tush of a Fox chyron that shows the Falcons leading the Patriots 28-3 in the third quarter.

In an interview with SB Nation, the man says he went forward with the tattoo so he could stick it to Patriots fans. Huh?

“I just live in Connecticut and cant stand these Pats fans so when i tell them to kiss my ass they will be reminded that they were gettin blownout !,” he said.

That’s all well and good, but he knows the Patriots wound up winning the game, right? Also, if he wants to make the ink visible to all, the buttocks may not be the best place.

Read More: Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, Super Bowl LI,

Rob Gronkowski movie co-star trashes his acting ability

03.15.17 at 11:50 am ET
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TMZThere is no lovefest behind the scenes of Rob Gronkowski’s new movie — with one of his co-stars RIPPING the NFL star for botching his lines on set … and bailing on promoting the flick.

Joanna Krupa says she flew in from Poland for the premiere of “You Can’t Have It” — in which Rob plays a cop investigating a violent situation at a bar — but Gronk’s gone M.I.A. and she’s pissed.

JK claims Gronk’s done virtually no publicity and says, “To me, he’s not a big team player.”

We reached out to Gronk’s camp for comment — so far, no word back.

It’s obvious why Gronk isn’t promoting this movie– it looks TERRIBLE. The first line of the trailer is “It was a night that everything had changed.” It also includes lines like “All my friends were not my friends and I was just a job to them” and guys calling each other “bro.”

Then there is Gronk’s line: “Someone needs to do some explaining. What’s going on in here?” It’s very convincing. He needs to know. He’s wearing a badge and everything.

I do believe Gronk was the only one who used more than one take to get his lines because he’s the only good actor in the movie and the movie looks like it was shot all in one take. And I don’t blame him for not publicizing it. Even the trailer is an amateur production. It cuts away from scenes in the middle of lines and it looks like the editor just learned how to pan and was very excited about it.

Joanna needs to lighten up. This is a movie in which Rob Gronkowski plays a police officer–it’s not that serious.

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Under Armour NCAA tournament teams get Tom Brady pajamas; truTV responds to Twitter trolls

03.15.17 at 8:41 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Wednesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Boston at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. (WEEI-AM 850)
MLB: Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. MLB Network
MLB: LA Angels vs. San Francisco, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
World Baseball Classic: Israel vs. Japan, 6 a.m. (MLB Network)
World Baseball Classic: US vs. Venezuela, 9 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Minnesota at Boston, 7:30 p.m. (CSN)
NBA: Portland at San Antonio, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Milwaukee at LA Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Boston at Calgary, 9 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Pittsburgh at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: St. Louis at Anaheim, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: N.C. Central vs. UC Davis, 6:40 p.m. (tru TV)
College basketball: UNCG at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Akron at Houston, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: South Dakota at Iowa, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: USC vs. Providence, 9:10 p.m. (tru TV)
College basketball: UC Irvine at Illinois State, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UT Arlington at BYU, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Players at Under Armour school in the NCAA Tournament can now sleep like Tom Brady.

Teams that have apparel deals with Under Armour, including Notre Dame, Mexico State, South Carolina, Northwestern, South Dakota State, Maryland, Seton Hall, Saint Mary’s, Wisconsin, Kent State and Cincinnati, all reportedly received $200 Tom Brady pajamas.

This performance sleepwear promises to help the body recover during sleep to help people achieve greatness.

If one of these teams wins the championship, the players will know who to thank. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Tom Brady,

UMass responds to lawsuit, denies men’s basketball staff members intimidated woman

03.14.17 at 3:31 pm ET
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A woman is suing the University of Massachusetts, because she says members of the men’s basketball coaching staff intimidated her in an attempt to keep her from leaking potentially damaging information about the program. The school responded to those allegations Tuesday.

In a statement, athletic director Ryan Bamford says the school became aware of the alleged incident in December and hired an outside investigator to look into it. According to Bamford, the investigator didn’t find any evidence of wrongdoing.

AyAnna Hickman, who used to date assistant coach and former UMass player Lou Roe, says he and two other staff members prevented her from leaving his office one night in December 2013. The lawsuit states Roe had told her about the use of banned substances by players and domestic violence committed by some coaches against their family members. It also says recently fired head coach Derek Kellogg covered up the episode.

UMass confirmed to WEEI.com Monday it’s aware of the lawsuit. The University also said Kellogg’s dismissal was unrelated to the case. Roe is currently on administrative leave.

Hickman is suing for $75,000 in damages and wants a jury trial.

Read More: UMass,

There’s nothing endearing about LaVar Ball’s greed and delusion

03.14.17 at 1:54 pm ET
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Laval Ball (right), says he wants to secure a $1 billion shoe contract for his sons. (Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports)

LaVar Ball (right), says he wants to secure a $1 billion shoe contract for his sons. (Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports)

With the NCAA men’s basketball tournament starting this week, expect to start hearing a lot about UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball. The standout freshman is pegged for NBA superstardom, and will likely be a top pick in this year’s draft. Since the Celtics control the lowly Nets’ first-round selection, there’s a chance he could wind up in Boston.

If the Celtics draft Ball, that means his delusional and greedy father would likely come here as well. Turner Sports, which broadcasts the tournament, may attempt to soften LaVar Ball’s image over the next three weeks with puff pieces and lighthearted interviews. SB Nation has already started, publishing an article about how Ball is a “good sports dad.”

But don’t let the potentially forthcoming PR blitz fool you: There’s nothing endearing about this shallow, egotistical man.

Ball’s repulsive persona is highlighted in a recent USA Today profile, titled, “LaVar Ball and his boys are here to change the world.” In it, the family’s patriarch brags about buying his boys luxury cars, his plans to secure them a $1 billion shoe contract and an apparently fabricated college football tryout. He sounds like a total jerk.

Perhaps the biggest headline to emanate from the piece is Ball’s desire to ink a $1 billion merchandise deal for his kids. His two other sons, LiAngelo (high school senior) and LaMelo (high school sophomore), are already both committed to UCLA as well. Last month, LaMelo Ball attracted headlines –– and criticism –– for a 92-point performance during one of his high school games.

With that kind of talent talent under his roof, Ball says he’s holding out for one of the biggest shoe contracts in history.

“A billion dollars, it has to be there,” he said. “That’s our number, a billion, straight out of the gate. And you don’t even have to give it to me all up front. Give us $100 mil over 10 years.”

That figure would put the Ball boys in line with LeBron James, who inked a deal with Nike last year worth more than $1 billion. While it’s nice to be proud of your kids, calculating their worth in the form of a high-priced shoe contract seems grotesque and exploitive. It sounds like something a less charming Gordon Gekko would say if he were to have children.

But then again, this is the man who buys his boys $100,000 BMWs, because they’re so damn good at basketball.

“To get my boys a little $100,000 car, that’s nothing,’’ he said. “I don’t have to pay for education. I’m saving over $1 million dollars.”

Questionable math aside –– as USA Today points out, Ball would only save around $400,000 if all of his kids went to UCLA for all four years –– this sounds like a man who’s intent on flaunting his alleged wealth. There’s nothing cool about a show-off, especially when he appears to be using his kids as props.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Lonzo Ball,

ESPN’s Max Kellerman: Bill Belichick will retire this season

03.14.17 at 9:18 am ET
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Last year, ESPN’s Max Kellerman predicted Tom Brady would soon “fall off a cliff.” Considering Brady led the Patriots to their fifth Super Bowl championship last season, he couldn’t have been more wrong.

But that doesn’t mean Kellerman is out of the Patriots hot take business –– no, no. The bloviating talking head now says Bill Belichick is getting ready to retire, perhaps as early as this season.

On “First Take” Monday, Kellerman said he thinks Belichick’s impending exit is the reason why the Patriots have been so aggressive in free agency. Last week, the team handed cornerback Stephon Gilmore $40 million guaranteed and traded its first-round pick to the Saints for star wideout Brandin Cooks.

“He knows that Brady’s, and his, days are numbered –– obviously. Since when do the Patriots load up by trading their highest draft picks for players?,” Kellerman asked. “When does Belichick trade his highest available draft picks for the present? You know when? Right now. He is getting ready, for his and Tom Brady’s swan song. Now, my belief is, that will be this season. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe his belief is he’s got another two seasons. But the point is, he knows the end is coming. He is absolutely loading up to win a least one more Super Bowl, because at this moment they are so clearly the odds on favorites.”

Prior to Super Bowl LI, Patriots owner Robert Kraft revealed he knows when Belichick is going to hang it up. But unfortunately for Kellerman, Kraft guaranteed it won’t be this year.

Read More: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, Tom Brady,