|Former NFL player Dexter Manley under fire after directing gay slur at Troy Aikman||10.29.13 at 10:32 am ET|
Former Redskins defensive end Dexter Manley is facing a lot of backlash after calling Hall of Famer Troy Aikman a gay slur while making an appearance on a Washington radio station.
In a appearance on WTOP Monday morning, Manley was asked if he believed the Redskins, who Manley played for from 1981-89, were jinxed in their 45-21 loss to the Broncos because Aikman was in the Fox broadcast booth for the game.
Manley responded immediately, stating, “I think Troy Aikman’s a queer.”
The WTOP hosts asked Manley to apologize on-air right away, which Manley did after initially hesitating.
In wake of Manley’s insensitive comments, WTOP announced that Manley will no longer be a regular guest on any broadcasts.
“This morning in a live interview former Redskins player Dexter Manley made an offensive and derogatory comment,” WTOP vice president of news Jim Farley said Monday. ”He was immediately challenged by WTOP news anchors Mike Moss and Bruce Alan. We were shocked and stunned and we apologize to our listeners that this happened on WTOP. WTOP has contacted a representative for Manley and informed her that he will not be returning.”
This is just the latest disappointing chapter in Manley’s rough life. The Pro Bowler was forced to retire from the game in 1991 after failing a fourth drug test when he tested positive for cocaine. In 1995, Manley was arrested for possession of crack cocaine and served two years in prison.
Here is a link to the audio from Manley’s interview.
|NFL roundup: Sean Taylor murder trial finally set to begin||10.15.13 at 1:57 pm ET|
Almost six years after Redskins Pro Bowl safety Sean Taylor was shot in killed in his Miami-area home, the trial of his accused murderer, 23-year-old Eric Rivera, is ready to begin, as jury selections are set to start up on Tuesday.
Three other men, Charles Wardlow, 24, Jason Scott Mitchell, 25, and Timothy Brown, 22, are all awaiting trial in connection to the case. Rivera is accused of being the one who pulled the trigger, striking Taylor in the upper leg, causing massive blood loss that eventually led to his death one day later at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
Another man, 25-year-old Venjah Hunte, already has pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and armed burglary and may testify against the others during the trial.
The five men involved in the case, thinking that the 24-year old Taylor was with the Redskins for an away game against the Buccaneers, allegedly planned on breaking into Taylor’s house on Nov. 26, 2007.
However, Taylor was at home that night, as he did not travel with the team and was resting a knee injury that he suffered earlier that season. Taylor confronted the suspects with a machete and was subsequently shot.
While it has taken quite some time for the trial to get underway, Taylor’s family, through lawyer Richard Sharpstein, said that they are ready for some closure at last.
“It is sometimes said that justice delayed is justice denied,” Sharpstein said. “But in this case, it’s better late than never and justice will be delivered. The Taylor family has full confidence in Judge Murphy and the prosecution team.”
Taylor, the fifth overall pick of the 2004 NFL draft out of the University of Miami, was well on his way to becoming one of the most dominant defensive players in the league at the time of his death. Known for his ferocious hits, Taylor was posthumously elected to his second Pro Bowl at the end of the 2007 season, becoming the first deceased player in NFL history to be awarded a spot on a Pro Bowl roster.
• Just a week after losing linebacker Clay Matthews for at least three games with a broken thumb, the Packers will have to deal with the loss of another key player, as wide receiver Randall Cobb sustained a knee injury during Sunday’s game against the Ravens and is expected to miss “multiple weeks”, according to Packers coach Mike McCarthy.
Cobb was hit in the knee by Ravens safety Matt Elam with 22 seconds remaining in the first half, forcing the 23-year-old wideout to be taken off the field on a cart. Cobb would return to the sidelines later in the game, but was using crutches.
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Rays’ David Price says he’s prepared to be traded||10.10.13 at 8:13 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Avalanche at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Coyotes at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
MLB playoffs: Tigers at Athletics, 8:07 p.m. (TBS; WEEI-AM)
NFL: Giants at Bears, 8:25 p.m. (NFL Network)
College football: Rutgers at Louisville, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: South Carolina State at N.C. Central, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: San Diego State at Air Force, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: Arizona at USC, 10:30 p.m. (FS1)
NBA preseason: Rockets vs. Pacers, 7:30 a.m. (NBA TV)
NBA preseason: Kings at Lakers, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA finals: Minnesota at Atlanta, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
AROUND THE WEB:
• It’s been speculated for a while that David Price won’t be back with the Rays next season, as the team has a history of jettisoning its high-priced players. On Wednesday, a day after the Rays were eliminated from the playoffs by the Red Sox, Price acknowledged the likelihood of that scenario.
“It’s crossed my mind several times, in Texas as well and ever other [elimination game] we’ve played,” he said on a conference call (via The Tampa Tribune).
Price, the 2012 American League Cy Young Award winner, made $10.1 million this season, his second year of arbitration eligibility, and is due for a raise after going 10-8 with a 3.33 ERA.
“If you go with what’s been done in the past, I guess you’re going to have to think you’re going to get traded,” Price said, adding: “You’ve seen it a couple of times already. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know what’s happened in the past.”
Price said he hasn’t talked to the Rays about a long-term deal, although he would prefer to stay.
“This is a place I love to be,” he said. “My teammates and everyone in the organization knows that. It’s part of baseball and it’s something I’ve seen go on, it’s kind of something I somewhat prepared myself for.”
• Redskins owner Dan Snyder wrote a letter to season ticket-holders Wednesday explaining his reasons why he refuses to back down about changing the name — although his tone was far less adversarial than it’s been in the past.
Snyder notes that the team began in Boston as the Braves in 1932 and was changed to the Redskins a year later, with the coach and four players from the inaugural team being Native Americans.
“The name was never a label,” Snyder insists. “It was, and continued to be, a badge of honor.”
Adds Snyder: “I respect the opinions of those who disagree. I want them to know that I do hear them, and I will continue to listen and learn. But we cannot ignore our 81-year history, or the strong feelings of most of our fans as well as Native Americans throughout the country. After 81 years, the team name ‘Redskins’ continues to hold the memories and meaning of where we came from, who we are, and who we want to be in the years to come.
“We are Redskins Nation and we owe it to our fans and coaches and players, past and present, to preserve that heritage.”
Indian activist Suzan Shown Harjo disputed some facts in the letter and indicated the reference to preserving the team’s heritage is misguided.
“Part of that heritage and tradition is name-calling, belittling and maligning Native Americans,” Harjo said. “The n-word was traditional and had quite a heritage, too. Happily, not all traditions are carried on forever.”
Meanwhile, the National Congress of American Indians produced an image of baseball hats of imaginary teams called the New York Jews and the San Francisco Chinamen and included them on a graphic next to one of the Cleveland Indians, with all having similarly satirical cartoon logos.
• The Jets are taking some heat for their handling of the Mark Sanchez situation, after the QB underwent season-ending shoulder surgery Tuesday. At Wednesday’s press conference, coach Rex Ryan refused to discuss the possibility of Sanchez returning to New York after he becomes a free agent in the offseason, although he expressed confidence that Sanchez would bounce back.
“We’re acting like he’s dead. Mark Sanchez is not dead,” Ryan said. “Sanchez is going to be 100 percent healthy. It’s not like his career is over. He’s going to play again.”
Sanchez has been a good soldier publicly, and he’s on the sidelines at games supporting his replacement, Geno Smith. But according to a New York Post report, Sanchez was not pleased with new general manager John Idzik after the veteran was inserted late in the third preseason game against the Giants and suffered his injury on a hit while he was protected by backups.
Smith was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Jets past the Falcons on Monday night.
“Mark’s been a great guy to me,” Smith said. “He’s also been a great mentor. When he was out there on the practice field, he was a guy who pushed me every single day and pushed himself as well. When he went down, he kept in high spirits and stayed active and stayed in my corner. That’s the sign of a great teammate.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Oct. 10, 1999, the Red Sox exploded for 23 runs on 24 hits, both postseason records, in a 23-7 rout of the Indians in Game 4 of the American League Division Series. Which Indians ace who would later go on to pitch for the Red Sox took the loss?
|Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: NFL to meet with Indian tribe about Redskins nickname||10.08.13 at 8:17 am ET|
TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB playoffs: Red Sox at Rays, 8:37 p.m. (TBS; WEEI-FM)
MLB playoffs: Athletics at Tigers, 5:07 p.m. (TBS; WEEI-AM)
NHL: Lightning at Sabres, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Devils at Canucks, 10 p.m. (NHL Network)
NBA preseason: Thunder vs. 76ers, 3 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA preseason: Nets at Wizards, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA preseason: Nuggets at Lakers, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA finals: Atlanta at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
AROUND THE WEB:
• The NFL appears to be softening on its support for the Redskins nickname. The league announced Monday that it will meet with members of the Oneida Indian tribe to discuss offensive names and mascots.
The tribe is holding a symposium in Washington to promote its “Change the Mascot” campaign, coinciding with the NFL owners fall meetings across town. Tribe spokesman Ray Halbritter said the Redskins nickname is “an outdated sign of division and hate.”
“We respect that people have differing views,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “It is important an that we listen to all perspectives.”
Redskins lineman Chris Chester is conflicted about the situation.
“It’s really tough,” he said. “And I mean this sincerely: I get both sides of the argument. I see how it can offend some people, but I feel like the context that this organization has, there’s no negative connotation. You wouldn’t name your team something you didn’t have respect for. At least I wouldn’t. I mean, I understand, too, that it offends some people, so I sympathize with both sides.”
A number of politicians, however — like Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton — see only one resolution to the situation.
“This name is going to go into the dustbin of history,” she said.
• Lions center Dominic Raiola, who has a history of confrontations with fans, allegedly hurled insults at some members of the University of Wisconsin band prior to Sunday’s 22-9 loss to the Packers in Green Bay.
“The band was lined up in the end zone preparing to finish ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ which would complete the pregame, and basically they were verbally assaulted by a member of the Detroit Lions team,” band director Michael Leckrone said. “To their credit, they just stood there and did what they were supposed to do, which is focus on their performance.
“I think they were a little bit shaken by it, and they reported it to me after the conclusion of the pregame show, and we were back in our seats.”
The Lions issued a statement Monday saying they would look into the incident, saying. “Those reports are extremely inconsistent with the standard of behavior we expect from our players and from every member of the organization.” The University of Wisconsin said it received an apology from the Lions as well.
Raiola has been fined twice before for interactions with fans, once when he made a gesture at a Detroit fan during the Lions’ winless 2008 season and again following a verbal altercation with a fan in Miami in which he used an obscene gesture.
• Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith is not happy with the officiating in Sunday’s game vs. the Cardinals, a 22-6 Carolina loss. Although he made his own mistakes — including two dropped balls, one that would have been a touchdown — Smith was more upset with umpire Dan Ferrell for missing what Smith felt was pass interference and incorrectly spotting the ball on another occasion.
“To be honest, I make enough money where if Roger [Goodell] wants to fine me, he can,” Smith said Monday. “I really think that referee probably was the sorriest referee I have ever met.”
Added Smith: “No. 64, he was garbage. There is a lot of things I would let him hold, but nothing valuable.”
Smith did admit, “My dropped pass cost us the game,” but he continued to rant about the official as well.
“He received a check that day,” Smith said. “I hope he feels good, because he was terrible.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Oct. 8, 2004, the Red Sox squandered a five-run lead in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Angels at Fenway Park. However, in the bottom of the 10th, which Red Sox player blasted the game-winning home run to completed the series sweep?
|Monday’s Morning Mashup: Eli Manning, ‘frustrated’ Giants searching for answers after falling to 0-5||10.07.13 at 7:45 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB playoffs: Red Sox at Rays, 6:07 p.m. (TBS; WEEI-FM)
MLB playoffs: Athletics at Tigers, 1:07 p.m. (MLB Network; WEEI-AM)
MLB playoffs: Cardinals at Pirates, 3:07 p.m. (MLB Network; WEEI-AM)
MLB playoffs: Braves at Dodgers, 9:37 p.m. (MLB Network; WEEI-AM)
NFL: Jets at Falcons, 8:40 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA preseason: Raptors at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA preseason: Hawks at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA preseason: Kings at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
AROUND THE WEB:
• Take heart, Patriots fans: At least your offensively challenged team has found a way to win four games. Look at the Giants. They’re 0-5 after Sunday’s 36-21 loss to the visiting Eagles. It’s New York’s worst start in a non-strike year since 1979.
“They’re very frustrated, very down,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “They’ve worked very hard during the week, built themselves up to a good approach, and then the frustration of not getting the win … They’re doing the best they can. They’re standing up, they’re supporting each other. That’s the way it has to be for a team to continue on.”
Eli Manning completed 24-of-52 passes for 334 yards and two touchdowns, but he threw three interceptions, including a key pick in the fourth quarter when he tried to make something out of nothing and it backfired.
“I know I can play better,” Manning said. “Sometimes, things are going to go wrong, but you’ve got to make the best decision. Throw it away, take a sack. I know I can’t keep turning the ball over every time.”
Said Coughlin: “I honestly believe that he’s trying so hard to get us going that he puts too much on himself. … He’s way too good a player to have these kinds of things keep happening to him.”
• Joe Torre is widely viewed as a man who would have been a good fit for Major League Baseball’s commissioner’s job, which will be vacated by Bud Selig next year, but the drawback is Torre’s age. And he acknowledges that.
“I’m 73 years old, I really don’t envision that happening, based on the fact Bud has been there 20-plus years,” Torre said Sunday at Dodger Stadium, where the MLB executive vice president watched the Dodgers-Braves ALDS Game 3. “I think when the owners decide on who the next commissioner should be, I think they have to think long term.
“If they had asked me to do something for the game, I certainly would listen, but I have no aspirations to be commissioner, based on my age. I’m very comfortable working there. I’ve got a significant job. I don’t have a great deal of stress, job-wise in my life and that feels good.”
• President Barack Obama weighed in on the controversy over the Redskins nickname, saying he would “think about changing” the team’s name if he were owner due to its offensiveness.
“I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things,” he told The Associated Press.
Redskins owner Dan Snyder has said he will never change the name, despite growing criticism.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): The seventh of October has not been a successful day for the Red Sox throughout the years. On this date, they lost World Series games in 1946 and 1967, and playoff games in 1986, 1990, 1999 and 2005. They did have one big victory on Oct. 7, when in 1975 they beat the A’s, 5-3, to sweep the three-game ALCS. Who was Boston’s winning pitcher?
|Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Dodgers’ Matt Kemp wants Ryan Braun’s 2011 MVP award||07.24.13 at 7:59 am ET|
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Rays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
WNBA: Chicago Sky at Washington Mystics, 11:30 a.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: Connecticut Sun at Atlanta Dream, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: Gold Cup semifinals, United States vs. Honduras, 7 p.m. (FSC)
Soccer: Gold Cup semifinals, Mexico vs. Panama, 10 p.m. (FSC)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp was runner-up to Ryan Braun for the National League MVP award in 2011, and he said Braun should vacate first place after being suspended for the rest of the season by Major League Baseball.
“Yeah, I do,” Kemp said Tuesday when asked if the award should be taken from Braun. “I feel like it should be, but that’s not for me to decide, you know?”
Braun, who hit .332/.397/.597 with 33 home runs, 111 RBIs and 33 stolen bases, finished with 388 points and 20 first-place votes. Kemp, who hit .324/.399/.586 with a league-leading 39 home runs and 126 RBIs as well as 40 stolen bases, had 332 points and 10 first-place votes.
Jack O’Connell, secretary-treasurer of the Baseball Writers’ Association of American, said Monday that the award is final.
Kemp did not go as far as teammate Skip Schumaker, who said Monday that Braun deserves a lifetime ban, but he made it clear that he wasn’t pleased.
“I’m disappointed,” Kemp said. “I talked to Braun before any of this happened, we had conversations and I considered him a friend. I don’t think anybody likes to be lied to and I feel like a lot of people have felt betrayed. That’s not just me, that’s the whole Brewers organization, a lot of his teammates. I think a lot of people feel that way.”
♦ Redskins Hall of Famers Art Monk and Darrell Green weighed in on the team’s nickname controversy Tuesday and agreed that the team should consider changing its name.
“[If] Native Americans feel like Redskins or the Chiefs or [another] name is offensive to them, then who are we to say to them, ‘No, it’s not’?” Monk, the team’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards, told WTOP radio in Washington, D.C. (via ESPN).
Added Green, the franchise leader in interceptions: “It deserves and warrants conversation because somebody is saying, ‘Hey, this offends me.’ ”
♦ University of Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison, who was arrested early Sunday morning after he barked at a police dog, had misdemeanor charges against him dropped Tuesday, with the State Attorney’s Office making it clear officers overreacted.
State Attorney Bill Cervone said Tuesday that the “dismissal is based on the lack of evidence to warrant much less legally sustain those charges and the complete inappropriateness of pursing court action against Morrison, or anyone else, under the circumstances involved.”
Morrison, who was arrested five weeks earlier for allegedly punching a bouncer, was suspended for at least the first two games of the season by coach Will Muschamp.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 24, 2004, Jason Varitek fought with Alex Rodriguez as the Red Sox and Yankees played an intense game at Fenway Park. The Red Sox got the last laugh when which player hit a three-run home run off Mariano Rivera for an 11-10 Red Sox victory?
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Belize soccer players say they were asked to throw Gold Cup match vs. U.S.||07.11.13 at 7:49 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Mariners, 3:40 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Royals at Yankees, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Reds at Braves, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA Summer League: Pacers vs. Jazz, 11 a.m. (NBA)
NBA Summer League: Heat vs. Pistons, 1 p.m. (NBA)
NBA Summer League: Rockets vs. Nets, 3 p.m. (NBA)
NBA Summer League: 76ers vs. Magic, 5 p.m. (NBA)
WNBA: Los Angeles Sparks at Tulsa Shock, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Softball: World Cup, United States vs. Canada, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Players from the Belize national team said they were asked to fix Tuesday’s CONCACAF Gold Cup match against the United States, according to a report out of the Carribbean country.
Andres Makin Jr., Ian Gaynair and Woodrow West told 7 News Belize that a man approached them in Guatemala and attempted to bribe them to throw the game, which the United States won, 6-1.
“He started talking that we don’t really stand a chance to beat the U.S. so he wanted us to promise him that we would lose the game and that he would give us a large amount of money to change our lives in Belize and to help our families,” Gaynair said, adding: “Then as he said that my entire features changed and I just felt a different way, I felt really uncomfortable just to be around the guy because I was already aware about the ‘match-fixing’ and I know that I could get banned for life.”
Continued Gaynair, who scored his team’s lone goal in the game: “He saw that my features changed and he saw that we weren’t into it so he got frightened and took out a large amount of money to bribe us, a lot of hundred and 50 dollar bills and threw it at us on the table and told us to keep it and to not say anything and to keep the money.”
Said West, the team’s goalie: “I made him understand that we’re not into taking money from him or anything like that. We’re here for our country — regardless if we’re in the U.S. but we’re not into that none at all. He got frightened and we walked.”
♦ The lawyer for Giants pitcher Chad Gaudin, who was accused of touching a woman’s breast while she was on a gurney at a Las Vegas hospital in January and charged with open and gross lewdness last week, said the player was sick at the time of the incident.
A paramedic told Gaudin to leave the woman alone, and after he refused, hospital security held him down until police arrived. The police report indicated Gaudin “appeared to be intoxicated. He had slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, trouble standing still, obeying commands, an order of alcoholic beverages and couldn’t repeat his house number, where he lives, the same way twice in a row.” Gaudin told police he didn’t know how he ended up at the hospital.
Said Gaudin’s lawyer, Dominic Gentile, in a statement: “Chad Gaudin was examined in the emergency room of a local hospital while experiencing symptoms believed to be related to acute renal failure due to a condition known as rhabdomyolysis. The symptoms included confusion, dehydration and loss of orientation and/or consciousness. Although he has been accused of improperly touching another hospital patient while on the premises that night, there are differing and exonerating versions of what occurred that have been reported by eyewitnesses.”
Gaudin, 30, has a 2-1 record and 2.44 ERA this season with the Giants, his ninth major league team.
♦ This week in the debate over the Redskins nickname, Eni Faleomavaega, a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives from American Samoa, took the House floor Tuesday and and criticized those who allow the name to continue.
“It’s time the National Football League and the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, face the reality that the continued use of the word ‘Redskin’ is unacceptable,” Faleomavaega said. “It is a racist, derogatory term, and patently offensive to Native Americans. The Native American community has spent millions of dollars over the past two decades trying earnestly to fight the racism that is perpetuated by this slur.
“The fact that the NFL and commissioner Goodell continue to deny this is a shameful treatment of the mistreatment of Native Americans for so many years. It is quite obvious that once the American public understands why ‘Redskins’ is so offensive, it will know that the word should never be used again.”
Faleomavaega is one of 10 members of Congress who recently sent a letter to team owner Daniel Snyder and Goodell letting them know they disapprove of the name. Faleomavaega said Snyder did not reply, while Goodell’s public response was misguided.
“Mr. Goodell, however, in a dismissive manner, declared that the team’s name is a ‘unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.’ Give me a break,” Faleomavaega said.
Meanwhile, the team released an online survey asking fans what they think of the name.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 11, 1960, which Red Sox pitcher started and lost the All-Star Game (the first of two played that year)?
|Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: LeBron James fouls out in Heat’s Game 4 loss to Pacers||05.29.13 at 7:50 am ET|
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: White Sox at Cubs, 2:10 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Mets at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL playoffs: Red Wings at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Exhibition, United States vs. Belgium, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Heat star LeBron James fouled out in the final minute of Tuesday’s 99-92 loss to the Pacers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals that evened the series. It was just the fifth disqualification of his career (with the previous one coming last postseason against the Celtics). Not surprisingly, James expressed displeasure with some of the call that went against him.
“I believe I was straight up and down on Paul George‘s drive, on the and-one,” he said. “They reversed a call with [Roy] Hibbert, called a foul on me on that one. And at the end of the third they called a push-off on David West.
“It was a couple of calls that I didn’t feel like were fouls, personal fouls on me. That’s how the game goes sometimes.”
On James’ final foul call, with the Heat trailing by four points and 56 seconds remaining, he stuck out his leg trying to set a pick to free up Dwyane Wade and tripped Lance Stephenson as Wade dribbled the ball the other direction.
“I was going to set a screen and I felt like I was stationary — and D-Wade rejected the pick and roll,” James said. “Lance actually ran into me.”
James and his teammates will get no sympathy from Pacers fans, who at one point Tuesday chanted, “Beat the floppers.”
♦ Ten members of Congress — including co-chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus Tom Cole (Oklahoma) and Betty McCollum (Minnesota) — became the latest public figures to call for the Redskins to change their name. The representatives announced Tuesday that they have sent letters to team owner Dan Snyder, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, the other 31 NFL teams and FedEx (a Redskins sponsor) noting that the name is offensive to many Native Americans.
“In this day and age, it is imperative that you uphold your moral responsibility to disavow the usage of racial slurs,” the letter read.
The name is facing a legal challenge from a group that seeks to have the team lose its trademark protection. Snyder has said he will not change the name.
♦ Nike announced Tuesday that it is ending production of Livestrong apparel and gear after this year, after helping to raise about $100 million over the partnership with disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong‘s charity.
“We expected changes like this,” Livestrong spokeswoman Katherine McLane said, referring to Armstrong’s admission in January that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs after years of denial. “Could there be fallout? Of course. We remain enormously confident. … We are in strong fiscal shape.”
Armstrong, who founded Livestrong in 1997 after being diagnosed with testicular cancer, stepped down from the board in October.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 29, 1984, the Red Sox held their first official number retirement ceremony, honoring two men: Ted Williams (No. 9) and who else?
|Friday’s Morning Mashup: Tim Tebow unsure about future||05.10.13 at 7:51 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL playoffs: Maple Leafs at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN, NHL Network)
NHL playoffs: Rangers at Capitals, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Ducks at Red Wings, 8 p.m. (CNBC)
NHL playoffs: Blues at Kings, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA playoffs: Heat at Bulls, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA playoffs: Spurs at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Blue Jays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN Plus; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cubs at Nationals, 7 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Yankees at Royals, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Free agent quarterback Tim Tebow, in his first public comments since being cut by the Jets, offered no information about where he might play in 2013 as he spoke to students at Lake Michigan College on Thursday.
“I don’t know what the future holds,” Tebow told a crowd of about 3,000 at the school in Benton Harbor, Mich., “but at the end of the day I know who holds my future.”
The Patriots were rumored to be a possible landing spot for Tebow, but a Thursday story by Yahoo! Sports’ Michael Silver indicated that, according to an organizational source, Bill Belichick “hates” Tebow as a player despite his outward affinity for the individual. The source said about the possibility of Tebow landing in New England: “No chance. Plus they wouldn’t like the circus that comes with it.”
Despite his lack of success in New York last year, Tebow this week was named America’s most influential athlete in a Forbes magazine poll.
“That’s a huge honor,” Tebow said Thursday. “I see it as a great responsibility to be a role model for future generations. That’s something I care about more than winning football games. If I can take the game of football and can transcend football, go to hospitals and make kids smile, I’ll be doing things that matter.”
Added Tebow: “What I want to do with my life is impact lives. When a kid in a hospital is fighting for his life and I’m trying to win a football game, what really matters? This game isn’t as important as a lot of us make it out to be. If I can give him a little bit of hope, I can do something that matters. That’s what I want my legacy to be about. That’s how I want to be remembered.”
♦ Redskins owner Dan Snyder made it clear that he has not softened his opposition to changing the name of his team, despite growing criticism.
“We will never change the name of the team,” Snyder told USA Today. “As a lifelong Redskins fan, and I think that the Redskins fans understand the great tradition and what it’s all about and what it means, so we feel pretty fortunate to be just working on next season.”
Amanda Blackhorse, a Native American who has filed a federal trademark suit in an attempt to force a name change, told USA Today that she would dare Snyder to call her a redskin to her face.
“I think the best way is to just not comment on that type of stuff,” Snyder responded. “I don’t know her.”
♦ With NBC announcing this week that Carrie Underwood is replacing Faith Hill as the singer for the “Sunday Night Football” theme song, Real Clear Sports has a list of the top 10 sports broadcast theme songs.
No. 1 is the Olympics theme music, followed by “Monday Night Football” and the NBA on NBC.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 10, 1999, which Red Sox player hit three home runs — including two grand slams — and collected 10 RBIs in a 12-4 rout of the Mariners at Fenway Park?
|Friday’s Morning Mashup: Redskins name gets widespread support in national poll||05.03.13 at 7:56 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA playoffs: Knicks at Celtics, 7 p.m. (CSNNE, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NBA playoffs: Pacers at Hawks, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA playoffs: Thunder at Rockets, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA playoffs: Clippers at Grizzlies, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL playoffs: Senators at Canadiens, 7 p.m. (CNBC)
NHL playoffs: Islanders at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Wild at Blackhawks, 9:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Sharks at Canucks, 10 p.m. (CNBC)
MLB: Red Sox at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-AM)
MLB: Cardinals at Brewers, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ An Associated Press-GfK poll of more than 1,000 adults conducted in mid-April shows that despite recent attempts to pressure the Redskins to change their name, the majority of Americans do not think the team should be forced to give in to the politically correct movement. Only 11 percent said the name should be changed, with 8 percent unsure and 2 percent not answering.
A national poll in 1992 showed the name had 89 percent support, so this poll indicates a 10 percent drop.
The team made reference to the poll on its website.
“While much of the world has changed over the last three decades, the loyal support for the Washington Redskins remains unwavering,” the website said. “It is also suspected that at least 50 percent of those in dissent are Dallas Cowboys fans.”
Responded Susan Shown Harjo, one of five Native American petitioners who is trying to get the courts to take away the team’s federal trademark protection: “This is a really good example of why you never put racism up to a popular vote, because racism will win every time. It’s not up to the offending class to say what offends the offended.”
♦ Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez met the media Thursday, less than a week after the team drafted West Virginia QB Geno Smith early in the second round, and said he still considers himself the starter and future of the franchise.
“If we’re competing for the job, I’m going to do my very best to compete,” Sanchez said. “I expect to play. That’s just the way I am.”
Sanchez said new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg called him after Smith was selected and told Sanchez to to “go win the job.”
There’s a little fire going and that’s good,” Sanchez said. “I’m cool with that. I think it’s good for everybody.”
Added Sanchez: “It’s an exciting time. I’m thrilled to compete. It will bring out the very best that I have, and that will help the team.”
♦ Major League Baseball handed out fines to umpire Tom Hallion and the Rays players who were involved in a public dispute earlier this week.
Pitchers David Price, Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore were fined $1,000 each after tweeting comments questioning Hallion’s integrity. Hallion was fined an undisclosed amount after he called Price a “liar” for saying Hallion swore at him during Sunday’s game.
Price, who had said he only wanted an apology from Hallion, said Thursday he had no more comments on the matter.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 3, 1999, which Red Sox catcher made his first major league hit count, hitting a grand slam in the first inning against the A’s in a game the Sox would lose in the 10th despite have a 7-0 lead after two innings?
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