Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

The NFL nearly had a super public relations crisis on its hands when Arizona tried to pass SB 1062, which would’ve let restaurants refuse to serve people based on sexual or religious preferences. The bill was vetoed at the last minute and the NFL didn’t have to look for other location options for Super Bowl XLIX.

Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald is happy about that. But not just because it keeps the Super Bowl in Arizona. He told Tom Pelissero of USA Today on Saturday that he doesn’t believe laws like that “have any place in our society.”

“I didn’t think there was any chance it was going to go through,” Fitzgerald said. “I had a strong feeling it would’ve been vetoed. It’s good that it was, obviously. With the Super Bowl coming or any (event) like that, I think it just doesn’t have any place in our society. I’m happy that it’s behind us now.”

Had the law passed, the NFL was in a precipitous position. The Super Bowl would’ve been less than a year away, but Phoenix simply wasn’t an acceptable location with that law in place. Particularly while preparing to welcome Michael Sam, likely to be the first openly-gay player in NFL history, into the league.

Read more here.

Call it what you want — anti-gay or religious rights — but if Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signs a controversial bill, you might not be calling Arizona the home of the 2015 Super Bowl.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, S.B. 1062, is the current controversy du jour out of Arizona, and the National Football League is with the opposition.

“Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other improper standard,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told USA Today. “We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline further comment at this time.”

The Arizona Super Bowl Host committee released a statement saying it disagreed with the bill and its impact on Arizona’s economy.

“On that matter we have heard loud and clear from our various stakeholders that adoption of this legislation would not only run contrary to that goal but deal a significant blow to the state’s economic growth potential,” a committee spokesperson said. “We do not support this legislation.”

Arizona is currently slated to host the 2015 Super Bowl at Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium.

Opponents of the bill contend that it will allow Arizona businesses to refuse service to homosexual customers.

But, as with most bills in Congress, the attack ads have little to do with the actual legislation.

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Video of a woman leaping over bleachers at the Sugar Bowl to attack rival sports fans has gotten over 1.8 million views since being posted on YouTube Friday.

Now, the previously-unidentified woman has come forward, and is saying she’d “do it again” if she had to.

According to Yellowhammer News and KWTV, the energetic Alabama fan is a photographer from Sweet Water, Ala. named Michelle Pritchett.

She told Yellowhammer News: “It started off being friendly, just us going back and forth about the game … But what ended up happening had nothing to do with the game. It escalated. When they said something to my son, I told them to shut their mouths. They were telling my son to come down there and ‘do something about it.’ I said, ‘no, that’s not going to happen. This crap needs to stop.’”

Pritchett said her son is 16, and they “crossed the line” when they started “taunting” him.

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In December 2012 Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend. Then he drove to Arrowhead Stadium thanked his coach for the opportunity to play and shot himself dead in the parking lot.

Now, Jovan’s mother is suing the Kansas City Chiefs for her son’s murder-suicide.
It’s the Chief’s fault.

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Jonathan Martin spent nearly seven hours going into “great detail” with the NFL counsel investigating his claims of his harassment in the Miami Dolphins’ locker room. What came up in their talks, he isn’t saying for now.

He would say this: He still wants to play in the NFL.

Martin — in town because the league is trying to gather information about the bullying he says he was subjected to by teammate Richie Incognito — arrived at the Manhattan office building of special investigator Ted Wells on Friday morning, and didn’t emerge until shortly after sunset. Mobbed by media, he stood in the camera lights and read a statement.

“Although I went into great detail with Mr. Ted Wells and his team, I do not intend to discuss this matter publicly at this time,” Martin said. “This is the right way to handle the situation.

“Beyond that, I look forward to working through the process and resuming my career in the National Football League.”

After that, he and attorney David Cornwell went back into the building, later leaving via a side exit.

Incognito has acknowledged leaving a voicemail for Martin in April in which he used a racial slur, threatened to kill his teammate and threatened to slap Martin’s mother. Incognito has said he regrets the racist and profane language, but said it stemmed from a culture of locker-room “brotherhood,” not bullying.

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If you ask journalism Professor Kevin Blackistone what he thinks about the special and controversial Northwestern University football jerseys adorned with an American flag, he’ll tell you the country should nix the playing of a “war anthem” before sporting events and that the NFL has bought into the “mythology” of a fallen soldier that once played for the Arizona Cardinals.

How do we know? Because that’s exactly the rant he went on during a Wednesday afternoon segment of “Around the Horn” on ESPN.

The segment — which features a panel of sports commentators from around the country — was part of the show’s “Buy or Sell” section where guests affirm whether they would like to “buy” things they like or “sell” things they don’t. Host Tony Reali brought up the uniforms and asked each panelist if they would like to “buy” or “sell” them.

Blackstone didn’t hold back.

“I’m going to sell it too…,” Blackistone said, agreeing with a fellow panelist. “And if you sell this along with me you should also be selling the rest of the military symbolism embrace of sports: whether it’s the singing of a war anthem to open every game, whether it’s going to get a hotdog and being able to sign up for the Army at the same time, whether it’s the NFL’s embracing of the mythology of the Pat Tillman story. It’s has been going on in sports since the first National Anthem was played in the World Series back in 1917, and it’s time for people to back away.”

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In recent weeks Redskins owner Dan Snyder has seemed to warm up to the idea of changing the Redskins name. So the report that a wealthy neighbor of his applied for a patent to lock down the name Washington Bravehearts is more than a little spicy.

According to TMZ, Aris Mardirossian, “a wealthy patent investor” who lives “a few doors down” from Dan Snyder, registered the name “WASHINGTON BRAVEHEARTS” on Oct. 17.

CBSSports.com has also learned Mardirossian registered the domain WashingtonBravehearts.com on October 18.

The patent license, per TMZ, is for “entertainment in the nature of football games.”

TMZ also obtained the LLC filings (.PDF) for Washington Brave Hearts, LLC.

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A high school football coach in Weston, Fla., has been suspended for slapping his quarterback’s helmet in an attempt to “get him to compete” after a disappointing play. The interaction was caught on camera during the nationally televised ESPN High School Football Kickoff over the weekend.

In the video below, Weston (Fla.) Cypress Bay High head coach Mark Guandolo can be seen giving quarterback Lucas Tellefsen a stern talking to after he overthrew a pass on the previous play — and then the coach follows up with a firm slap to the player’s helmet.

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