Review Category : National Sports

NFL Clears Three Named in Al Jazeera Documentary of Use of PEDs

Photos by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images. James Harrison (L), Clay Matthews (R)(NEW YORK) — Three NFL players linked to the use of prohibited substances in a documentary made by Al-Jazeera were cleared of wrongdoing, the NFL said Wednesday.

The league says it found “no credible evidence” that Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews or Packers defensive lineman Julius Peppers used or were provided with banned substances. That just about one week after the players were interviewed by league officials last week.

An NFL statement said that the league’s investigation, which began in January, included witness interviews, a review of records, electronic research and laboratory analysis.

Free agent defensive end Mike Neal was also named in the Al-Jazeera report and is still under investigation, ESPN reports. The league also interviewed retired quarterback Peyton Manning last month, clearing his name.

Baseball players Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman were also named in the documentary, but were publicly cleared by Major League Baseball last month following its own investigation.

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Big 12 Considering 12 Schools for Possible Conference Expansion

Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In its expansion exploration, the Big 12 Conference has narrowed a list of possible additions to 12 schools, ESPN reports.

The conference currently has ten schools in the fold, after seeing Nebraska and Colorado leave for the Big Ten and Pac 12 respectively in 2010. Sources told ESPN’s Brett McMurphy and Jake Trotter that the league is considering the Air Force Academy, Brigham Young University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Cincinnati, Colorado State University, the University of Connecticut, the University of Houston, Rice University, the University of South Florida, Southern Methodist University, Temple University and Tulane University as potential additions.

Eight of the 12 candidates being considered are currently members of the American Athletic Conference, while two are members of the Mountain West Conference.

Among the schools eliminated from consideration, ESPN says, were Arkansas State University, Boise State University, East Carolina University, the University of New Mexico, Northern Illinois University, San Diego State University and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. It was not clear whether the University of Memphis made the cut.

The league hopes to make a decision on expansion by the time of its board of directors meeting in October. Before then, each of the schools still under consideration will make in-person presentations to league officials.

Sources told ESPN that the league is “becoming less and less likely” to expand from 10 teams all the way to 14, with an expansion to 12 teams — or remaining at 10 teams — more realistic.

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Angels’ Mike Trout Uninjured in LA Freeway Crash

Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images(LOS ANGELES) — Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout walked away uninjured from a serious highway crash on Wednesday night that sent two people to hospitals.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler confirmed Trout’s involvement in the crash, saying that the 2014 American League MVP “feels fine.” He also said that Trout was expected to join the team on its trip to Seattle beginning on Thursday.

#Angels General Manager Billy Eppler released the following statement regarding Mike Trout:

— Angels (@Angels) September 1, 2016

The Orange County Register reported that one person had to be removed from a car using the Jaws of Life, citing Orange County Fire Authority Captain Larry Kurtz.

The incident took place on the 55 Freeway at about 9 p.m. ABC’s Los Angeles affiliate KABC-TV spoke to a witness who said that Trout appeared to be trying to avoid one crash on the freeway when the brakes on his Mercedes locked up, causing him to strike another vehicle.

Trout did not play in the Angels’ game Wednesday. He is hitting .319 with 25 home runs and 84 RBI this season.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 9/1/16

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

L.A. Angels 3, Cincinnati 0

Detroit 3, Chi White Sox 2
Boston 8, Tampa Bay 6
Texas 14, Seattle 1
Houston 4, Oakland 3
Toronto 5, Baltimore 3
Cleveland 8, Minnesota 4
N-Y Yankees 5, Kansas City 4 (13 Innings)

Colorado 7, L.A. Dodgers 0 (GAME 1)
San Francisco 4, Arizona 2
Washington 2, Philadelphia 1
N-Y Mets 5, Miami 2
Atlanta 8, San Diego 1
Chi Cubs 6, Pittsburgh 5
L.A. Dodgers 10, Colorado 8
Milwaukee 3, St. Louis 1

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest sports scores and winners:
L.A. Angels 3 Cincinnati 0
Detroit 3 Chi White Sox 2
Boston 8 Tampa Bay 6
Texas 14 Seattle 1
Houston 4 Oakland 3
Toronto 5 Baltimore 3
Cleveland 8 Minnesota 4
N-Y Yankees 5 Kansas City 4, 13 Innings
Colorado 7 L.A. Dodgers 0
San Francisco 4 Arizona 2
Washington 2 Philadelphia 1
N-Y Mets 5 Miami 2
Atlanta 8 San Diego 1
Chi Cubs 6 Pittsburgh 5
L.A. Dodgers 10 Colorado 8
Milwaukee 3 St. Louis 1

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Gabby Douglas Gives Fans Health Update

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Looks like Gabby Douglas is on the road to recovery after missing Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards.

The Olympic gold medalist, 20, had been expected to present an award alongside the rest of the Final Five but, before the show, revealed on Instagram that she was “out of the hospital & resting comfortably.”

On Tuesday night, she gave a longer explanation for what had happened, posting an Instagram of her at the dentist’s office.

“Hey guys! Just wanted to let you know that I’m doing ok! I had a complication from a prior injury that caused a cyst to grow on a bone in my mouth. Got it removed and feeling much better now,” she captioned the picture. “Thanks for all your concerns and prayers and HUGE thank you to the doctors that have taken care of me these last four days!”

Though she’s on the mend, Douglas hinted that there may be more surgery in her future. She closed her message with the hashtag “butIstillgottagetthesewisdomteethout.”

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FSU Football Player Joins Boy With Autism Eating Lunch Alone

Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) — A Florida State University football player who spotted a middle school student eating alone in a lunchroom and chose to sit at his table received a very public and heartfelt thank you from the boy’s mother.

FSU wide receiver Travis Rudolph was visiting Montford Middle School in Tallahassee, Florida, Tuesday when he saw the student, Bo Paske, eating alone and joined him at his table.

Bo’s mom, Leah Paske, wrote on Facebook that she was sent a photo of Rudolph eating with her son with the caption, “Travis Rudolph is eating lunch with your son.”

Paske wrote that the photo brought her to tears. She explained her son has autism and when she asks him every day who he ate lunch with, the answer is often “nobody.”

“I had tears streaming down my face,” Paske wrote on Facebook of the photo. “I’m not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I’m happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten.

“This is one day I didn’t have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes,” she wrote. “Travis Rudolph thank you so much, you made this momma exceedingly happy, and have made us fans for life!”

Paske’s Facebook post has been shared nearly 8,000 times since she posted it Tuesday.

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Vikings’ Bridgewater Suffers Major Knee Injury in Practice

Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) — Minnesota Vikings practice was ended abruptly on Tuesday after quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a serious knee injury.

ESPN reports that Bridgewater suffered a torn ACL and a dislocated knee when he crumpled to the ground during a non-contact drill. The team released a statement which said that Bridgewater does not have nerve or arterial damage. Still, Bridgewater is unlikely to play this season.

Bridgewater’s leg gave out when he planted to throw a pass during a drill. Players reportedly threw their helmets and shouted, with many dropping to a knee in prayer. An ambulance took Bridgewater from the team’s headdquarters moments after the injury.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer told ESPN that his message to Bridgewater was to “hang in there” and that the team is “with him.”

“We’re gonna grieve today and be upset about it,” Zimmer told reporters later on. “It’s more about our feelings for Teddy and for him as a person and getting better than it is about anything else. Teddy’s a great kid, and he’ll be back as soon as he possy can, if it is real bad. But we’re going to keep fighting.”

The team had hoped Bridgewater was prepared to take a major step forward in his third year in the NFL. Now, they will turn to backup quarterback Shaun Hill. Hill, 36, has played just 16 games over the past five seasons.

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Tim Tebow Works Out for MLB Teams

Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Former NFL player and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow showed off his skills in a different sport Tuesday, as he worked out for 28 Major League Baseball teams in his attempt to break into baseball.

Tebow got mixed reviews after the more than two hour workout. He showed power at the plate and impressive speed, but struggled with his throwing arm and his footwork.

Every MLB team except the Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics sent representation to Tebow’s workout.

Tebow struggled against off-speed pitches from former major leaguers David Aardsma and Chad Smith, who threw to the University of Florida alum.

Tebow has not played competitive baseball since his junior year of high school in Jacksonville, Florida in 2005. He told reporters that he felt the pressure of the tryout. Still, he said, “this isn’t about publicity. It’s definitely not about money. I took a pay cut to do this. For me, you pursue what you love regardless of what else happens.”

“If you fail or fall flat on your face, and that’s the worse thing that can happen, it’s okay.”

Aardsma told the Los Angeles Times that Tuesday’s workout was the worst he had seen Tebow look. Aardsma had previously pitched to Tebow in a private workout last week. “It looked like he was trying really hard, overswinging a bit,” Aardsma said.

ESPN reports that Tebow hopes to play in the instructional league in Arizona next month, and perhaps play winter league ball in Latin America after the season.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 8/30/16

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

L.A. Angels 4, Cincinnati 2

Baltimore 5, Toronto 3
Cleveland 5, Minnesota 4
Detroit 8, Chi White Sox 4
Tampa Bay 4, Boston 3
Texas 8, Seattle 7
Houston 3, Oakland 1
N-Y Yankees 5, Kansas City 4 (10 Innings)

L.A. Dodgers at Colorado POSTPONED
Washington 3, Philadelphia 2
Atlanta 7, San Diego 3
N-Y Mets 7, Miami 4
Chi Cubs 3, Pittsburgh 0
St. Louis 2, Milwaukee 1 (10 Innings)
Arizona 4, San Francisco 3

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Ali, Smith and Carlos’ Protests Left Lasting Impressions. Will Kaepernick’s?

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is refusing to stand for the national anthem in protest of America’s treatment of “black people and people of color,” has drawn considerable attention for his remarks but questions remain over how the public will perceive his recent actions over time.

Jeremy Schaap — an ESPN writer and the author of “Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics” — and Dave Zirin — the sports editor for The Nation and the author of “What’s My Name, Fool!,” a book about sports and political resistance in America — told ABC News that several factors will determine the legacy of Kaepernick’s recent actions.

Schaap noted that history has warmed to protests of athletes like Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who competed when the Civil Rights Movement was at its peak, and said that “the world has adjusted to their viewpoints.”

“We’ve had a chance to step away with the benefit of hindsight after a cooling down period, and now people judge their actions in a completely different way,” Schaap said.

Zirin, for his part, noted that Smith and Carlos, who raised their fists in a Black Power salute during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, did so in October of 1968, after a storm of highly charged political events, including the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War.

He described their actions as being “in the context of a movement,” something he said was also true of Kaepernick, pointing to the recent Black Lives Matter protests that have occurred throughout the country.

“He’s elevated the discussion with the actions he’s taken,” Zirin said. “That’s why this story has been so electric. It feels very similar to 1968.”

Ali, of course, drew considerable criticism at the time of his protest but was lionized as an American hero by everyone from President Obama to Donald Trump when he died this year. Smith and Carlos, who were ostracized and received death threats in 1968, later went on to win an Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2008 ESPYs. Nowadays, imagery of their protest has become ubiquitous, and has even been featured in corporate advertising.

Other protests, however, seem to have only been remembered in the context of Kaepernick’s recent actions, like NBA guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf’s sit-out of the national anthem in 1996 and MLB first baseman Carlos Delgado’s protest of “God Bless America” in 2004.

Zirin differentiated the actions of Abdul-Rauf and Delgado from those of Ali, Smith and Carlos by describing them as “isolated” and not really part of any specific movement.

He said that the isolation of Abdul-Rauf, for example, made him more vulnerable to punishment than Kaepernick. “He was fined, and I don’t think that would happen now,” Zirin said.

Schaap said that Delgado’s actions aren’t really remembered because he never received much in the way of punishment for his protest, which was conducted in response for America’s invasion of Iraq and made in solidarity with a political movement happening in his native home of Puerto Rico over U.S. weapons testing on the island of Vieques.

“He didn’t lose millions of dollars and wasn’t banished from his sport,” Schaap said. “To create a lasting impression [like the protests of Ali, Smith and Carlos], there has to be a sense that these guys are sacrificing something.”

Zirin also noted that Abdul-Rauf and Delgado conducted their protests in an age before social media and that that the public interpretations of their actions were left almost exclusively to sports writers. Nowadays, however, the public at large has a louder voice thanks to social media. He called this change a “bottom up” interpretation of events, rather than “top down,” opening up a broader potential for support of Kaepernick’s actions.

On Tuesday, NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar voiced support for Kaepernick’s protest, driving the discussion on social media even further.

Zirin agreed with Schaap that the degree of sacrifice displayed by an athlete plays an important role in how a protest is viewed by the culture at large, suggesting that Kaepernick was indeed taking a big risk with his career.

“He’s really risking something by doing this,” Zirin said. “It’s all the more admirable that he could be cut by the 49ers.”

Kaepernick electrified fans early in his career. In his first career postseason start in 2012, he helped defeat the Green Bay Packers and set an NFL single-game record for the most rushing yards by a quarterback with 181.

Since that time, however, his performance on the field has been mixed. Last year, he struggled through injury and inconsistency, having the worst year of his career as a pro.

“Even the best athletes have a short time in the spotlight,” Zirin said, noting the difference between Kaepernick taking a political stance versus an established movie star with longevity like George Clooney.

Kaepernick can next be seen on Thursday night, when the San Francisco 49ers play a preseason game in San Diego against the Chargers, who are set to host their “28th Annual Salute to the Military” celebration, recognizing the city’s robust military population with pregame and halftime events.

Kaepernick has said that he will not stand for the national anthem at that game.

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