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On Kirk & Callahan: Father of transgender track star explains why he’s OK with his daughter competing against girls

06.01.17 at 2:08 pm ET
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Transgender track star Andraya Yearwood (David Duncan-USA TODAY Sports)

Transgender track star Andraya Yearwood won the 100-meter girls final at the CIAC Class M track meet this week. (David Duncan-USA TODAY Sports)

High school transgender track star Andraya Yearwood is one of the best female runners in Connecticut. The freshman sprinter won the 100-meter girls final at the CIAC Class M track meet Tuesday, sprinting ahead of the competition in the latter portion of the race.

But her victory has sparked controversy. As Hartford Courant columnist Jeff Jacobs outlines, Yearwood, who was born male, hasn’t undergone any hormone therapy or surgery. That means, from a biological standpoint, a boy was competing against girls. That’s permitted in Connecticut, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of “gender identity or expression.”

While the state’s efforts to promote equality are commendable, Yearwood’s physical advantages over her competitors can’t be ignored. In an interview Thursday on Kirk & Callahan, her father, Rahsaan Yearwood, explained how he balances those two contrasting realities.

“I’m not naive to the physical differences between young boys and young girls,” he said. “But as I said a number of times, as a father –– and I’m sure you guys can appreciate this –– my No. 1 priority is to raise a healthy and happy child. In the state of Connecticut, the rules allow for a student who is transgender to compete under the sex that they assume, so we are well within the rules. If she’s successful at it, then so be it. But that is by no means the focus of her competing.”

When asked whether he thinks it’s fair for his transgender daughter to compete against girls, Yearwood said winning isn’t her top priority.

“The idea of competition is much more driven by adults, to be honest with you,” he explained. “If she had lost every race this year, she would not feel any different about running track than she does now. This is not about winning and losing; this is not about trying to transform your natural born sexuality for the sake of winning a state track medal. The problem that I see in this conversation is that folks are having the wrong conversation around competition. It’s not about competition.”

Though Andraya Yearwood wants to be with other girls, high school athletes of the opposite gender do compete against each other on a regular basis. There are females, for example, who participate in football and mens’ wrestling. But her father says that misses the point: his daughter wants to be on the girls’ track team, because that’s where she feels she belongs.

“Teams and sports are about camaraderie and building common associates with people you feel most connected to,” he said. “If you say, ‘Go run against boys,” and you’re on the boys team, that is not where she feels like she should be. So all of the other things that come with being on a team –– other than wins and losses –– you lose out on. That, to me, is more important than the wins and losses and medals. The medals don’t mean much to anyone in this family.”

Original reports, and assumptions, about Tiger Woods’ DUI arrest were completely wrong

06.01.17 at 11:03 am ET
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Tiger Woods wasn't arrogant when police arrested him Monday. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

Contrary to original reports, Tiger Woods wasn’t arrogant when police arrested him Monday. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

When Tiger Woods was arrested for DUI early Monday morning, TMZ originally reported the golf star was “driving erratically, all over the road” and became “arrogant” during his exchange with police. The story was largely taken as gospel, considering the gossip website has tipsters all over the country, including many in law enforcement.

But as it turns out, the report was completely wrong.

The Jupiter Police Department released the dash cam video of Woods’ arrest Wednesday, and it showed the 14-time Major winner in a groggy and confused state when he was pulled over on the side of the road. He struggled to follow the officer’s instructions –– failing to walk in a straight line or chase a red light with his eyes –– but it wasn’t because he was a raging drunk, which is the picture TMZ had painted. Instead, he just seemed … gone. His speech was slow and his actions slower. The best golfer of his generation, if not all-time, appeared to be having an out-of-body experience. Woods was physically present, but his mind was somewhere else.

That’s not to say the video paints Woods in a sympathetic light. He still made the decision to get behind the wheel when he was in a state of utter disrepair, jeopardizing the lives of everyone else on the road. But it doesn’t appear as if this was a defiant act of hubris. Woods seems like a man who’s hit rock bottom.

In his statement following the arrest, Woods said he experienced an “unexpected reaction” to prescription medication, and was adamant that alcohol wasn’t involved. That seemed to be a boldfaced lie, considering TMZ reported that officers at the scene smelled alcohol on his breath.

But as it turns out, officials say Woods passed a breathalyzer test at 4:28 a.m. He underwent back surgery in February, and four drugs –– Solarex, Vicodin, Torix and Vioxx –– were listed under medical conditions in the police writeup of the incident. With four back surgeries since 2014, in addition to four operations on his left knee, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Woods is addicted to painkillers. At least, it’s a more feasible explanation for what happened Monday morning than the notion that he’s a drunken lunatic.

If that’s the case, then Woods’ statement still isn’t truthful. But the events of the last couple of days are a helpful reminder that assumptions aren’t always accurate. In this instance, the preconceived notion about Woods’ behavior during his arrest couldn’t have been more wrong.

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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Jeb Bush reportedly drops Marlins bid over power struggle with Derek Jeter

06.01.17 at 8:16 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:
Oakland at Cleveland, 12:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: LA Dodgers at St. Louis, 1:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Colorado at Seattle, 4:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: NY Yankees at Toronto, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Boston at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)
NBA: Cleveland at Golden State, 9 p.m. (ABC)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Jeb Bush reportedly pulled out of his bid to buy the Marlins after a power struggle with Derek Jeter.

Bush and Jeter had teamed up to throw their hats in the ring for ownership of the team before Bush bowed out a few days ago. Now speculation is swirling Bush did so over a disagreement with Jeter over how much control Bush would have if the duo bought the team.

“Jeb is out,” a source told CBS Miami. “Jeter is still in it.”

According to the source, the original plan was for Jeter to run the baseball side of the team’s operations and for Bush to handle the business side. But recently, Jeter began seeking a bigger role and Bush decided to back out of the deal.

Jeter’s group is now up against a group led by Mitt Romney’s son, Tagg.

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WATCH: Tiger Woods appears groggy and dazed in DUI arrest video, unable to follow instructions

05.31.17 at 7:46 pm ET
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Tiger Woods is due to be in court July 5. (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

Tiger Woods is due in court July 5. (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

The Jupiter Police Department has released dash cam video of Tiger Woods’ DUI arrest from early Monday morning. In it, the golf star appears groggy and fails to follow instructions in the field sobriety test, such as walking in a straight line or following a red light with his eyes.

While Woods is cordial in his interactions with police officers, he appears dazed and unable to process instructions. The police report, which was released Tuesday, says he was asleep behind the wheel of his 2015 Mercedes-Benz when cops approached him.

Though Woods refused to take a breathalyzer test at the scene, he blew into one at 4:28 a.m. The results were negative, which means he likely wasn’t under the influence of alcohol when his vehicle was stopped. In a statement, Woods blamed the arrest on an “unexpected reaction” to prescription medication, and said alcohol wasn’t involved. He underwent back surgery in February, and four drugs –– Solarex, Vicodin, Torix and Vioxx –– were listed under medical conditions in the police writeup of the incident.

TMZ was the first outlet to obtain videos of the arrest. They are below:

Read More: Tiger Woods,

LeBron James comments on racist graffiti on his house

05.31.17 at 7:09 pm ET
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LeBron James spoke on Wednesday about the racist graffiti spray painted on his house in Los Angeles.

“Just shows that racism will always be a part of the world, part of America. Hate in America especially for African-Americans is living every day. It is hidden most days. It is alive every single day,” James said. “No matter how much money you have, how famous you are, how much people admire you, being black in America is tough.”

“Time heals all,” he continued. “End of the day, if this incident happened to my family can keep the conversation going, to keep progressing, not regressing, I’m not against it happening to us again.”

 

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Bill Simmons blames ESPN’s struggles on poor leadership

05.31.17 at 5:25 pm ET
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Bill Simmons says ESPN didn't see cord-cutting coming. (Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports)

Bill Simmons says ESPN didn’t see cord-cutting coming. (Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports)

ESPN’s revenues and subscriber base are declining, which is why the company has been forced to lay off over one hundred employees in recent months. Bill Simmons says he knows where his former employer went wrong.

Speaking at the annual Code Conference in California, Simmons explained how a lot of ESPN’s problems can be blamed on a lack of foresight. “They didn’t see a lot of this coming,” he said, via CNBC. “They didn’t see cord cutting coming. They weren’t ready for it. A lot of decisions were made based on subs staying at a certain level. They had to realize they were a technology company. The ones winning are now Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Hulu. ESPN should have been in that mix, but they’re in Bristol. They should have had a place in Silicon Valley. That was their biggest mistake.”

Simmons also addressed the downturn in programming at the WorldWide Leader, blaming it on the exit of former president George Bodenheimer in 2014.

“When I was there, especially from ’09 to 2013, ESPN was just an awesome place to work and really cared about content and creating stuff and doing quality stuff,” Simmons said. “And the biggest reason for that is [ESPN president John] Skipper because he was in charge of the content. Bodenheimer, who’s a legend, he’s in charge of the business. And they worked together, George handled all the business stuff, he didn’t care about content.”

Simmons, who ran Grantland and was an executive producer of the “30-for-30″ documentary series, left Bristol on acrimonious terms in 2015. His new website, The Ringer, announced Tuesday it will now be hosted by Vox Media.

Read More: Bill Simmons, ESPN,

Donald Trump and his hypocritical supporters have no business admonishing Kathy Griffin

05.31.17 at 4:43 pm ET
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Comedian Kathy Griffin is under fire for posing with a I'm (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Comedian Kathy Griffin is under fire for posing with a bloodied imitation of Donald Trump’s decapitated head. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

On Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump condemned comedian Kathy Griffin for posing with a bloodied imitation of his decapitated head. But on the campaign trail, he once suggested that “Second Amendment People” take action against Hillary Clinton.

The right’s phony outrage machine is kicking into high gear, and the Hypocrite-In-Chief is leading the charge.

Griffin’s gory photo shoot was in poor taste, and perhaps more egregiously, not funny. According to Trump family sources, 11-year-old Barron Trump thought the beheading was real. If true –– and there is an “if” here, considering the Trump family has a vested interest in exploiting this stunt –– Griffin should be ashamed.

The longtime entertainer is rightfully paying a price for her bad joke. CNN announced it’s cutting ties with Griffin, who co-hosted the network’s New Year’s Eve special alongside anchor Anderson Cooper. She also lost an endorsement deal.

There’s been a slew of outrage directed towards Griffin, with some Republicans using it as an opportunity to propagate this false narrative about violent and out of control Democrats. “This is the left today,” Donald Trump Jr. wrote on Twitter. “They consider this acceptable. Imagine a conservative did this to Obama as POTUS?

We can imagine it, Don, because it happened –– a lot. Rock star Ted Nugent repeatedly called for President Barack Obama’s assassination, and was the subject of a Secret Service investigation in 2012 after he said if Obama were reelected, he would “either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” Last year, Nugent also wished death upon Clinton, saying she and Obama should be “tried for treason and hung.”

So what happened to Nugent, you ask? Well, he wined and dined at the White House with Trump last month. Sarah Palin, who placed Rep. Gabby Giffords on a “target list” with other Democratic lawmakers she wanted to see ousted days before the congresswoman was shot in a parking lot in 2011, joined them as well. In the wake of the Giffords assassination attempt, Palin continued to use the phrase, “Don’t Retreat, Reload,” in speeches she made across the country.

Trump surrogates spoke in vile terms about Clinton last year, and few ever suffered blowback from the President. Maybe most infamously, New Hampshire state representative and Trump advisor Al Baldasaro said Clinton should be “shot for treason.” At the time, the Trump campaign said while Trump didn’t agree with Baldasaro’s comments, he was “incredibly grateful for [the] support.”

Griffin’s poorly executed joke will likely be a topic on Fox News all week long, bumping Sean Hannity’s degradation of deceased Democratic National Committee employee Seth Rich to the background. The primetime anchor keeps drumming up baseless conspiracy theories about Rich’s murder, even though the family has pleaded for him to stop. These people have no shame.

Until Republicans denounce the calls for murder and violent innuendo on their side, they have no business admonishing Griffin. But they’ll keep on going, because they apparently think only members of one political party should be held accountable for their words.

Read More: Donald Trump, Kathy Griffin,

Shaquille O’Neal finally got a pedicure

05.31.17 at 3:03 pm ET
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After scarring viewers with his hideous foot during halftime of the Celtics-Cavaliers game on TNT last Thursday, Shaquille O’Neal got a pedicure today and the results are a relief.

Actually, I don’t know for sure because I couldn’t bring myself to watch the four videos he posted of the process on his Instagram. If you hate feet like I do, this whole thing has been a nightmare. Hopefully this will be the end of it. 

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House of LeBron James reportedly vandalized with racial slur

05.31.17 at 1:18 pm ET
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LeBron James’ L.A. home was vandalized, according to TMZ Sports. Police responded to the house after the n-word was spray painted on the front gate of the house.

Police are looking at footage neighbor’s security cameras to find the perpetrator.

James bought the house in 2015, but he was not present at the house during the incident. He is preparing to face the Warriors in the NBA finals.

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Giants owner John Mara implies NFL fans are more accepting of domestic violence than Colin Kaepernick

05.31.17 at 11:28 am ET
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John Mara says the Giants aren't interested in signing Colin Kaepernick. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

John Mara says the Giants aren’t interested in signing Colin Kaepernick. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

According to Giants owner John Mara, NFL fans are more accepting of serial domestic abusers than players who kneel during the national anthem. If true, that is heinous.

When asked recently about free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who’s drawn little interest this offseason, Mara said the fan backlash would make it nearly impossible for the Giants to sign him. “All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue,” he told the MMQB. “‘If any of your players ever do that, we are never coming to another Giants game.’ It wasn’t one or two letters. It was a lot. It’s an emotional, emotional issue for a lot of people, moreso than any other issue I’ve run into.”

That’s a telling quote, considering the Giants once employed kicker Josh Brown, who was allegedly violent with his then-wife more than 20 times. In a chilling series of journal entries that were leaked last October, Brown confesses to the abuse, though he says it was of the emotional and verbal variety. “I have physically, mentally, emotionally and verbally been a repulsive man,” he writes.

The NFL suspended Brown one game last season for abusing his ex-wife in 2015, after he was arrested in Washington state on a fourth-degree charge of domestic violence. NFL security also moved him to a different hotel room during the 2016 Pro Bowl, after he reportedly tried to attack his spouse, Molly Brown, again.

Despite that, the Giants rewarded Brown with a contract extension.

The Giants handled themselves disgracefully during the saga, offering little besides cliche statements of support. Head coach Bob McAdoo said he respects Brown “as a man, a father and a player.” Mara, after weeks of silence, admitted in October the team wasn’t aware of the “extent” of Brown’s domestic violence history. New York released the kicker shortly after the journal entries were made public.

Kaepernick seemingly has a better chance of playing in the NFL again than Brown. But the fact that the two are even equated with each other is downright shameful. One player kneeled during the national anthem to protest police brutality and social injustice. Another says he continually abused his ex-wife.

The two actions aren’t even in the same stratosphere.

There’s no debate that bringing Kaepernick aboard would create a big stir. As a backup quarterback, he may be more trouble than he’s worth. But just because that’s the reality, it doesn’t have to be accepted.

Kaepernick hasn’t always carried himself with grace. He once praised Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s domestic policies and wore socks that depict police officers as “pigs.” But those foolish acts don’t outweigh all of good he’s done in recent months, such as holding camps for underprivileged kids and helping to transport food to famine-ravaged Somalia.

Up until 2009, it wasn’t even standard practice for NFL teams to be on the field while the Star-Spangled Banner was played. This obsession with players standing at attention for the national anthem is a new phenomenon.

But Kaepernick continues to pay a price for exercising his first amendment right. He’s lopped in with domestic abusers and other violent criminals. Or, if Mara is telling the truth, fans consider him to be worse.

What a scary commentary on our values.

Read More: Colin Kaepernick, New York Giants,