Review Category : National Sports

Canadian High School Football Team Welcomes 1st Transgender Player

BananaStock/iStock/Thinkstock(HALIFAX, Nova Scotia) — A Canadian high school football team is welcoming its first transgender student player, who recently transferred after he said he felt unaccepted and lonely at his former school.

The team is “very family-oriented,” Kennedy Cooley, a senior at Halifax West High School in Halifax, Nova Scotia, told CTV News.

“You feel like you’re a brother, you don’t feel like you’re a player,” the 17-year-old, who plays wide receiver, said. “They’re just so open and they accept you for who you are.”

The welcome has been a pleasant surprise for Cooley. At his former school, the teen said he felt some of the student body “wasn’t very accepting of the LGBTQIA community.”

But after transferring to West Halifax, however, he said he’s found the opposite to be true.

Though Cooley was initially “really nervous” to try out for the football team and scared “maybe somebody wasn’t OK with me being transgender,” he was proven completely wrong.

“Everybody has been welcoming and just treats him like one of the other guys,” his mother, Pam Reinders-Cooley, told CTV News.

“That’s what he wants to be — included — and he wants to be one of the other guys” she said. “I thank the team for everything that they’ve been doing and have done and continue to do. They seem to be a great group of kids.”

The football team also has a lot to thank Cooley for, too, according to their head coach, David Kelly.

He told CTV News that Cooley helps the team understand issues that transgender youth face and that he helps “give them a perspective that they probably would not have had before” Cooley joined.

The teen’s father, Robert Cooley, told ABC News he hopes Cooley’s story can help show other parents the beauty that can come from standing behind your kids and supporting them.

“He’s never been afraid of challenge, and we’ve always supported him as much as we could,” he told ABC News today. “It isn’t always easy, but at the end of the day, your goal as a parent is to make sure your child is a productive citizen in society, and when we look at him, we see that he is a good kid.”

The teen hopes to become a firefighter or graphic designer, his dad said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Reports: Billy Butler, Yankees Reach Deal on Contract

Don Feria/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Free agent Billy Butler will reportedly be taking the field for the New York Yankees.

The first baseman and designated hitter, who was released by the Oakland Athletics this past weekend, has agreed on a contract with the Yankees, multiple reports say.

Butler, 30, had been with the A’s since he signed with the team in November 2014. Prior to that, he played for the Kansas City Royals.

So far in his career, he has a .289 batting average with 146 home runs and 724 RBIs.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Martin Truex Jr. Penalized for Richmond Infraction

Hemera/Thinkstock(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) — Martin Truex Jr. has been penalized 10 points after his No. 78 team failed a post-race laser inspection last weekend at Richmond International Raceway, the site of the Sprint Cup Series’ Federated Auto Parts 400.

The penalty was applied to Truex’s points total before the standings were reset for the Chase. The Furniture Row Racing driver ranks sixth in the standings for the Chase, which begins this weekend.

NASCAR also announced Wednesday that Truex’s crew chief, Cole Pearn, has been fined 15 thousand dollars. Ten championship owner points were deducted from the team — also before the Chase reset.

In addition, Regan Smith’s team was given a written warning and had 15 minutes of practice time taken away for failing laser inspection three times pre-qualifying. The teams of Truex, Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle and Joey Logano were given written warnings for twice failing laser inspection pre-qualifying.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Scoreboard Roundup — 9/14/16

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE

L.A. Dodgers 2, N-Y Yankees 0

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Seattle 2, L.A. Angels 1
Tampa Bay 8, Toronto 1
Detroit 9, Minnesota 6
Baltimore 1, Boston 0
Oakland 8, Kansas City 0
Cleveland 6, Chi White Sox 1
Houston 8, Texas 4

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Arizona 11, Colorado 6
Chi Cubs 7, St. Louis 0
San Diego 3, San Francisco 1
Washington 1, N-Y Mets 0
Philadelphia 6, Pittsburgh 2
Miami 7, Atlanta 5
Milwaukee 7, Cincinnati 0

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Texas Youth Football Team to Continue Protesting Anthem Despite Death Threats

Courtesy Rah Rah Barber(BEAUMONT, TEXAS) — The Beaumont Bulls, a youth football team in Beaumont, Texas, whose members are receiving death threats after following the lead of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in protesting the national anthem over America’s treatment of “blacks and people of color,” as Kaepernick explained to NFL Media, will continue their demonstration, according to the team’s coach and the mother of one of the players.

April Parkerson, the mother of 11-year-old running back Jaelun Parkerson, confirmed to ABC News that players on the team have received threatening messages. She said the team’s protest of the national anthem “will continue.”

Rah Rah Barber, the team’s coach, concurred with Parkerson, saying he never imagined the response to the team’s actions would “get to this point.” He said the threats have showed “how far behind we are as a society.”

The attention surrounding the team’s protest started last Saturday, when Barber, along with his coaching staff and team, removed their helmets before the playing of the national anthem. They kneeled and placed their hands on each other’s shoulders in silence.

Parkerson described this summer as a “turning point” in her son’s awareness of race and politics and said he first wanted to take action after videos of the police shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were posted online.

“[Jaelun] asked me what we could do about it,” Parkerson said. “So when news of Kaepernick’s protest broke, a lightbulb went off. Then when Brandon Marshall joined in, he said, ‘OK, we’re going to do this.'”

Barber acknowledged Kaepernick as an influence as well and said he became motivated to read up on the history of the national anthem.

He added that one of his players approached him with a photo of the protests of the anthem and told him that the team wanted to join it.

“I said to the team, ‘Do you know what this means?'” Barber said. “And they said that they did. So I went to their parents for their approval.”

Speaking on behalf of her son, who was in school, Parkerson said that the purpose of the protest was not to insult the military or police but to show solidarity with other protesters and to help bring attention to issues of racial injustice.

She said the youth football league’s board of directors gave permission for the team to stage the demonstration.

Still, permission and expressions of support from many people haven’t stopped some from sending death threats to the team.

Parkerson sent ABC News screen shots of some of the threats, which have mostly been made on social media from people living outside Beaumont.

One Facebook user from Oklahoma called for Barber to be lynched.

“Hatred like that is everywhere,” Parkerson said. “But there’s also so much love.”

Barber, who said he involves himself in youth football to keep kids off the streets, isn’t fazed by the racist comments directed at him online.

“I ignore it,” he said. “It’s the kids I worry about. If they ever felt threatened, I would advise their parents to reach out to authorities.”

ABC News contacted the Beaumont Police Department and the FBI to ask whether the threats against Bulls players and coaches are under investigation, but the calls were not immediately returned.

Parkerson, who is white and is married to a black man, said she and her son admire Kaepernick for what she described as the bravery he shows in taking a stand. She said her son, who is biracial like Kaepernick, felt inspired by him.

“Colin didn’t have to take this subject on,” she said. “But he decided to use the platform he had to speak up for people who have no voice.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

ACC Pulls Championships from North Carolina over ‘Anti-LGBT’ Bathroom Law

tiny-al/iStock/Thinkstock(GREENSBORO, N.C) — Following similar decisions by the NBA and NCAA, the collegiate Atlantic Coast Conference yanked its planned championship games for the upcoming season from North Carolina, citing concerns over the Tar Heel state’s controversial bathroom bill.

The announcement follows the NBA’s decision in July to move the 2017 All-Star game out of the state, and the NCAA’s announcement Monday that it would relocate championship games planned for the 2016-2017 season out of the state.

“Every one of our 15 universities is strongly committed to these values and therefore, we will continue to host ACC Championships at campus sites,” the ACC Council of Presidents said in a statement. “We believe North Carolina House Bill 2 is inconsistent with these values, and as a result, we will relocate all neutral site championships for the 2016-17 academic year.”

Non-championship ACC games will continue to be played in North Carolina — the conference’s home state.

The decision means that the championship games for women’s soccer, football, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s golf, men’s golf and baseball will all be taken away from the state.

All of the organizations have cited concerns over HB2, which critics have derided as discriminatory towards sexual minorities. Among other directives, the measure mandates that government agencies as well as public schools and colleges designate multi-occupancy bathrooms and locker rooms for use only by people based on the “biological sex” stated on their birth certificate.

Proponents say it’s necessary to protect women and children from sexual offenders who might claim to be transgender in order to access bathrooms of the opposite sex.

The North Carolina Governor’s Office did not immediately comment on the ACC decision, but in the past Republican leaders in North Carolina have blasted the previous decisions.

Calling the NCAA “a multi-billion dollar, tax-exempt monopoly,” North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, a Republican, said that the league was failing to show respect to the court system.

A spokesperson for the state’s Republican Party, Kami Mueller, went further, saying that the NCAA’s “decision is an assault to female athletes across the nation,” and said “I wish the NCAA was this concerned about the women who were raped at Baylor.”

After the NBA decision, McCrory said that “American families should be on notice that the selective corporate elite are imposing their political will on communities in which they do business, bypassing the democratic and legal process.”

ACC Commissioner John Swofford said that “opposition to any form of discrimination is paramount,” but realized the impact the decision will have.

“While this decision is the right one, we recognize there will be individuals and communities that are supportive of our values as well as our championship sites that will be negatively affected,” he added.

Swofford said that he hoped that “there will be opportunities beyond 2016-17 for North Carolina neutral sites to be awarded championships.”

In a joint statement, the Chancellors of North Carolina State and University of North Carolina, Randy Woodson and Carol Folt respectively, said that they “regret today’s decision will negatively affect many North Carolinians, especially in the affected host communities.”

They said that the two universities would “remain steadfast in our commitment to welcoming and supporting all people,” and noted that their policies protect students from a host of discrimination types, including discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

White Sox Set Guinness World Record with 1,122 Dogs at Game

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — The Chicago White Sox beat the Cleveland Indians at home Tuesday night and also set a Guinness World Record for good measure.

The team set a new world record for the most dogs attending a sporting event (1,122), Guinness World Records spokeswoman told ABC News. There was no previous record holder for the title.

The dogs, many decked out in White Sox gear, flooded into U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago for the team’s “Bark at the Park” event, a tradition the team began in 1996 as the first major-league organization to do so.

In order to achieve the record, the White Sox needed a minimum of 1,000 dogs in attendance and the dogs had to remain in their outfield seats for a period of 10 consecutive minutes. The White Sox began the record attempt at the top of the game’s third inning, a team spokeswoman told ABC News.

The White Sox beat the Indians 8-1 so the barking proved not a distraction for the home team.

The White Sox shared photos of the event on social media with the hashtag #SoxDogs.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Simone Biles’ ADHD Meds Among Common Drugs Banned from Olympics

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A hack of the World Anti-Doping Agency has drawn attention to the commonly prescribed medications that are prohibited for use during the Olympics without a medical waiver.

Agency officials said Tuesday that they had been hacked by Russian hackers and that multiple star athletes — including Venus and Serena Williams — had their medical information released.

Among those targeted was gold-medal winning gymnast Simone Biles, who is reportedly taking methylphenidate, a stimulant for treatment of Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Biles, 19, took to Twitter Wednesday to say she was not ashamed of her condition.

While stimulants are a banned substance, medications used for ADHD may be allowed if an athlete gets a medical waiver.

Medical experts point out that the drug is one of many common or over-the-counter drugs that athletes either must avoid or get a waiver to take.

Athletes have to be vigilant about any drug they take because the list of prohibited substances includes not just performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids and EPO (erythropoietin), which can increase the amount of red blood cells in the body, but also certain diuretics, asthma medication and even some cold and flu medications, according to the World Anti-Doping Association.

“They have a banned list [World Anti-Doping Agency officials] put out,” Dr. Dennis Cardone, an orthopedic surgeon and a sports medicine physician at NYU Langone Medical Center, said in an earlier interview. “Athletes … it’s their responsibility to make sure [their drugs are] not on the banned list.”

Pseudoephedrine, commonly found in the cold and flu medication Sudafed, is banned on the day of competition. The drug is a stimulant and can make athletes more alert for a competition.

If an athlete is battling a cold or flu, the U.S. Anti-Doping Association advises athletes to stop taking the drugs a few days before they have to compete.

In addition to these medications, albuterol, used to treat asthma, cannot be used in conjunction with a diuretic without a medical waiver. The drug had been used by athletes to build muscle mass.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

New Orleans Saints Release C.J. Spiller

Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(NEW ORLEANS) — C.J. Spiller’s time with the New Orleans Saints has been cut short. The team released the running back on Monday after acquiring him last year from the Buffalo Bills in a four-year deal.

Spiller, 29, told ESPN he “didn’t see it coming.”

“It’s the first week, but I guess that’s why you have to expect the unexpected,” he said. “But you know what, I leave on good terms.”

Spiller said he doesn’t have any hard feelings when it comes to the Saints, saying the team “really believed in me during free agency. They gave me another opportunity when my contract was up in Buffalo.”

He told ESPN he’s now awaiting “the next right opportunity.”

Spiller played for the Bills from 2010, when the team chose him in the first round of the NFL draft, through 2014. He signed with the Saints in March 2015.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Crew Chief Change for Aric Almirola

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Aric Almirola has a new crew chief.

Richard Petty Motorsports announced Tuesday that Drew Blickensderfer will fill the role for Almirola’s No. 43 Ford Fusion team.

Blickensderfer replaces Trent Owens, who has been reassigned to another position within the company.

“We are continuing to analyze every part of our organizations and make adjustments where needed,” Brian Moffitt, CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports, said in a statement. “We’ve made significant investments in both teams, and the results for the No. 43 team have not been what we expected. By making this change now, we hope that Drew (Blickensderfer) can begin momentum to improving on-track performance and get the team in a good place for the 2017 season.

“Trent Owens has been a valued member of our organization and will continue to play a significant role with Richard Petty Motorsports,” Moffitt continued.

Blickensderfer previously served as Director of Research and Development with RPM.

Almirola is currently 27th in the Sprint Cup standings.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →