Olympic Gymnasts Kyla Ross and Madison Kocian Say They Were Sexually Abused by Larry Nassar

They were known as the Fierce Five, for their athletic prowess in capturing the team gold at the 2012 Olympic Games. But that name may be just as appropriate for what the gymnasts endured to earn that title.

Kyla Ross revealed on CBS This Morning that she was abused by national team doctor Larry Nassar. Ross’ revelation means that every members of the 2012 U.S. women’s gymnastics team was sexually abused by the Michigan-based osteopathic doctor, who traveled with the women’s national team to competitions and to monthly training camps at the Karolyi Ranch in Texas.

Ross, a junior at University of California Los Angeles, said she was first abused by Nassar when she was 13. She appeared on the show with her Bruins teammate Madison Kocian, who was part of the 2016 Olympic team that also earned gold in Rio. Kocian said she, too, was abused by Nassar.

Both said they have not been contacted by USA Gymnastics, the national governing body for their sport that allowed Nassar to treat the girls. “It’s saddening to know a lot of gymnasts have gone through this and [USAG] has not reached out to see how we are doing as people, not as just as athletes but as individuals who grew up in the sport,” Ross said.

Ross’ 2012 Olympic teammates, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber previously revealed they had been abused by Nassar when he gave them so-called medical treatments for various injuries. Raisman and Wieber appeared at Nassar’s sentencing hearing in Michigan in January to describe their experiences and urge the judge to consider the maximum sentence. Nassar is currently serving an up to 175 prison term for abusing not just the Olympic gymnasts, but hundreds of others whom he saw either at USA Gymnastics-sanctioned competitions, at his offices at Michigan State University or through his affiliation with Twistars Gymnastics in Michigan.

Kocian joins three of her 2016 Olympic teammates — Simone Biles, Douglas and Raisman in reporting that Nassar abused her while she was a member of the national team.

“He was almost like a family member,” says Kocian. “On international trips he would bring us food or be kind, and be the person who was always asking how you are doing. The culture at the Karolyi ranch was a culture of fear and a culture of silence, and that’s what led him to be able to abuse us.”

As with nearly all of the more than 200 athletes who have come forward about Nassar’s sexual abuse, Ross and Kocian said they believed the abuse was treatment for their injuries and were too intimidated to question it. “We were told it was a medical procedure. A lot of us had back injuries or hamstring injuries, and [were told] that this was the only option because he was our team doctor. If we were to speak up, you probably wouldn’t have been in that consideration of making that [Olympic] team,” Kocian said.

Both Ross and Kocian now compete for UCLA, and helped their team win the national championship this year. They are the first female gymnastics Olympians to compete in the NCAA, since neither had turned professional before their Games. Wieber is an assistant coach for the team.

In a statement provided to CBS This Morning, USA Gymnastics said its “support is unwavering for Kyla, Madison and all the athletes who courageously came forward to share their experiences.”

Sports – TIME


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This Elementary School’s Extreme Game of Rock-Paper-Scissors Is Taking the Internet By Storm

Rock-paper-scissors is a time-honored schoolyard tradition. But thanks to one elementary school, the revered hand sign game may never be the same.

A video of fourth graders at Indianapolis’s Lowell Elementary School playing an extreme version of rock-paper-scissors involving two teams, hula hoops and the high stakes of all worthy P.E. games has quickly taken the Internet by storm over the past week.

Dubbed “Hoop Hop Showdown” by gym teacher Eric Branch, the minute-long clip shows the kids going crazy over the fresh new take on the competition. “I love the reaction that it’s gotten,” Branch told WISH-TV. “I think what’s most powerful about it is not the game itself, but the kids and the energy that they have in the video.”

The epic clip has been watched over 10 million times since Branch shared it on Facebook on Aug. 9.

Watch the full video below.

Sports – TIME


Maryland President Rejected Athlete Health Care Plan Changes, One Year Before McNair’s Death

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Danny Kannell details how Lamar Jackson will have the biggest impact on his team of any rookie QB

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Read Babe Ruth’s 1948 Obituary: ‘He Was Unforgettable, Even When He Struck Out’

When Babe Ruth was honored in 1947 with a special day for “fans, players and the management of the game … to unite in a salute and join in a prayer for his early recovery,” as MLB commissioner Happy Chandler put it, the baseball legend was dying of cancer and hadn’t played professionally since 1935.

Still, his grip on baseball was firm enough that nearly 60,000 people turned out for Babe Ruth Day at Yankee Stadium in New York City, and countless more around the country. The day was dedicated to appreciating the man whose name remains synonymous with his sport to this day. Addressing the crowd, Ruth spoke of what made baseball special — the fact that it took serious training to develop the necessary skills, for one — and expressed his gratitude for the event.

“There’s been so many lovely things said about me,” Ruth told the crowd. “I’m glad I had the opportunity to thank everybody.”

But Ruth couldn’t hide that he was sick. His voice sounded bad and it felt bad too, he admitted.

“He wasn’t the Babe Ruth everyone remembers,” photographer Ralph Morse would tell LIFE.com of that day. “He put a brave face on it, but he was ravaged.”

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When he died on Aug. 16, 1948, just a little more than a year after that Babe Ruth Day and a few months after his farewell to Yankee Stadium, TIME’s obituary noted how surprising it was that Ruth was even able to make it to that celebration of his life, months after “sports editors everywhere prepared obituaries.” As the remembrance explained, that stamina shouldn’t have been surprising:

He was unforgettable, even when he struck out. His swing whirled him around until his slender legs were twisted beneath him. And the times when his big bat did connect were baseball’s biggest moments. The spell lasted until the Babe had trotted around the base paths, taking mincing steps on his small feet, tipping his cap to the mighty, reverent roar from the stands.

Sportwriters knocked themselves out thinking up new names and superlatives for him: The Sultan of Swat, the Bambino, The Colossus of Clout. He didn’t need all that; he was color itself—a fellow built on heroic, swaggering lines, an enormous head on a barrel of a body.

In the golden ’20s, the years of the big names—the years of Dempsey, Tilden and Bobby Jones—Babe Ruth was the biggest draw of them all. With his big bat, he put baseball back on its feet and back in the hearts of the fans after the 1919 “Black Sox” scandal.

He began his big-league career as a crack southpaw pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. But he was also a slugger without peer, and when he clouted most of his record 714 home runs, he wore a New York Yankee uniform, played the outfield. Son of a Baltimore saloonkeeper, he was brought up in a Baltimore school for delinquents, and he never quite grew up. In his first years in baseball, he scoffed at training rules, took his drinks where he found them, abused umpires, once chased up into the stands after an abusive fan.

His emotions were always out on the surface, which was one reason all the fans thought they knew and understood him. Even when the late Jimmy Walker gave him a talking-to before a banquet, the Babe gulped, and with enormous tears rolling down his enormous face, promised the kids of America he would reform. He tried to. But nothing could stop him from living handsomely.

He made more than $ 2,000,000 and spent most of it. He once confessed: “I lost $ 35,000 on one horse race alone.” Ban Johnson, late president of the American League once said with asperity but accuracy: “Ruth has the mind of a 15-year-old boy.” The Babe couldn’t even remember the names of his teammates. He greeted everybody, old or young, with his famed welcome: “Hello kid.”

Read the rest of the obituary here in the TIME Vault

Maybe that feeling of intimacy was why so many people had trouble believing he was really gone. “Newspaper switchboards lit up within minutes after the radio bulletin, and were jammed for hours,” TIME reported the following week. “At Memorial Hospital five extra operators were put on, to repeat over & over that Ruth had died.”

Sports – TIME


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The Leadership Is in Place, the Roster Is Strong, and Expectations Are High in Houston

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‘Stand Proudly’ or ‘Be Suspended Without Pay.’ Trump Renews His Attacks on Protesting NFL Players

President Trump on Friday renewed his attacks on football players who protest during the national anthem, after two members of the Miami Dolphins kneeled and one stood with a raised fist during the anthem Thursday ahead of the team’s first preseason game.

“The NFL players are at it again – taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest.”

Trump also threatened that players would be suspended without pay if they continued to protest, though he has no authority over the National Football League’s disciplinary decisions. “Find another way to protest,” he wrote. “Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!”

Several football players, many of them African-American, have taken a knee or otherwise expressed solidarity during the national anthem since 2016, when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the protest movement to highlight police violence against people of color. Kaepernick, currently not signed by any NFL team, is pursuing a collusion case against the NFL, claiming he was blacklisted by team owners over his protests. The protests have been controversial, with some defending players’ right to free speech while others arguing the gridiron isn’t the place for political demonstrations.

Kaepernick on Friday tweeted about the Dolphins players — Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson and Robert Quinn — who engaged in the protests Thursday.

“My brother [Stills] continued his protest of systemic oppression tonight by taking a knee,” Kaepernick tweeted on Thursday. “Albert Wilson joined him in protest. Stay strong brothers!”

Sports – TIME


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President Trump Said NFL Players Are ‘Unable to Define’ Why They Are Protesting. Here Are Some of the Many Times They Did

As the NFL preseason started Thursday night, players for the Eagles, Dolphins, Jaguars and Seahawks knelt, raised a fist or waited off-field during the national anthem. On Friday morning, President Donald Trump once again attacked them on Twitter.

Trump lashed out with a new criticism, saying that players, “wanted to show their ‘outrage’ at something that most of them are unable to define.”

To state that players are unable to explain the reasons behind their own protests is easily disproved. Many have articulated their rationales clearly and passionately since 2016, when quarterback Colin Kaepernick first kept his seat during the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

Regardless of whether you condemn NFL players bringing politics into the sport or agree with their stance on race relations in the United States, it is misleading to say that they have not properly expressed their reasons for protesting.

All the way back in 2016, Kaepernick said that his protest was directed against racism and police brutality, aligning himself with the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” He said in an interview with NFL.com. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

As Kaepernick’s protest spread, other players also made their reasons for protesting explicit. In September 2016, ESPN reporter Cameron Wolfe quoted Seahawks wide receiver Brandon Marshall. “I’m not against the military. I’m not against the police or America. I’m against social injustice.”

Jelani Jenkins, a linebacker for the Miami Dolphins, penned a piece in TIME Magazine that articulated his own rational for kneeling.

“What I want is simple: equal rights and equal opportunities for every single person living in this country,” he wrote. “By kneeling, I intended to stimulate meaningful dialogue and to raise awareness so that we will be able to find solutions to the problems that exist in this country.”

Following clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va., in August 2017, Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett said in an interview with NFL.com that he wanted “to use [his] platform to be able to continually speak on injustice.” He continued, “I just want to see people have the equality that they deserve.”

In September 2017, Trump, agitated by the kneeling players, or perhaps seeing an opportunity to win on a divisive issue with his base, condemned the NFL protests in harsh terms in a speech to supporters in Alabama.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’” said the president at a rally for Alabama Senator Luther Strange.

Following those comments, NFL players began protesting in greater numbers. Many cited the President’s comments as their reason for taking a knee during the national anthem, again clearly stating their rationalization.

“Me and my teammates, we felt like President Trump’s speech was an assault on our most cherished right, freedom of speech,” Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller told U.S. News & World Report. “Collectively, we felt like we had to do something for this game, if not any other game, if not in the past, in the future. At this moment in time, we felt like, as a team, we had to do something. We couldn’t just let things go.”

“It upset a lot of guys,” Indianapolis Colts free safety Darius Butler told the Indianapolis Star. “It kind of radicalizes you, in a sense: ‘OK this line is being drawn in the sand. I need to do something to show exactly what side I’m on.’”

One of the most extensive explanations was provided by San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid, who in September 2017 penned an op-ed in the New York Times. He explained that he had kneeled during the national anthem with Colin Kaepernick back in 2016 in order to protest police killings of black people, particularly that of Alton Sterling in his hometown Baton Rouge, La.

“We seek equality for all Americans, no matter their race or gender,” Reid wrote. “I refuse to be one of those people who watches injustices yet does nothing. I want to be a man my children and children’s children can be proud of, someone who faced adversity and tried to make a positive impact on the world.”

He wrote that he did not intend his protest to disrespect the flag or military personnel. “It should go without saying that I love my country and I’m proud to be an American. But, to quote James Baldwin, ‘exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.’”


Sports – TIME


3 Miami Dolphins Players Protest During National Anthem at First NFL Game of the Season

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) —Kenny Stills kneeled in protest during the national anthem Thursday, and said he offered a prayer of thanks that he had a teammate’s support.Stills and two other Miami Dolphins renewed their protests before an exhibition game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, triggering yet another round of debate about the divisive NFL issue.

Receivers Stills and Albert Wilson kneeled behind teammates lined up standing along the sideline. Defensive end Robert Quinn stood and raised his right fist, as he did during the anthem last season with the Los Angeles Rams.

Stills said he didn’t coordinate with Wilson, who joined the Dolphins this season.

“It just happened that way,” Stills said. “When I’m on a knee, most of the time I’m praying, and thank God for having Albert next to me. Being a part of this protest hasn’t been easy. I thought I was going to be by myself out there. Today I had an angel with me with Albert being out there. I’m grateful he sees what’s happening, and he wants to do something about it as well.”

Stills kneeled during the anthem in the 2016-17 seasons and has been vocal discussing social injustice issues that inspired the protests by NFL players.

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a leader of the movement, tweeted support for Stills and Wilson.

“My brother @kstills continued his protest of systemic oppression tonight by taking a knee,” the tweet said. “Albert Wilson joined him in protest. Stay strong brothers!”

Kaepernick and his former teammate Eric Reid, another protest leader, remain out of the NFL. Stills said both players were blackballed, and he talks with Kaepernick every week.

“I appreciate his loyalty and support,” Stills said. “I don’t see any reason he and Eric Reid shouldn’t be in the league.”

Wilson said he kneeled mindful of the death of an unarmed black motorist who was shot by police in 2016 near his hometown of Fort Pierce, Florida. Two officers were cleared by a grand jury in the case.

“Getting shot down and being murdered — the biggest thing in my city,” Wilson said. “For me to have so much love for my city and not do anything about it, I would be a coward. I’m with it every Sunday.”

Quinn said it’s slander to say he and kneeling players are protesting the flag.

“As a black man in this world, I’ve got an obligation to raise awareness,” he said. “If no one wants to live in unity, that’s why we’re in the situation we’re in.”

The league and the players’ union have yet to announce a policy for this season regarding demonstrations during the anthem after the league initially ordered everyone to stand on the sideline when “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played, or remain in the locker room. The Dolphins issued a statement before training camp saying all options regarding the team’s policy remain open.

“The NFL has been engaged in constructive discussions with the NFL Players Association regarding the anthem and issues of equality and social justice that are of concern to many Americans,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email. “While those discussions continue, the NFL has agreed to delay implementing or enforcing any club work rules that could result in players being disciplined for their conduct during the performance of the anthem.

“Meanwhile, there has been no change in the NFL’s policy regarding the national anthem. The anthem will continue to be played before every game, and all player and non-player personnel on the field at that time are expected to stand during the presentation of the flag and performance of the anthem. Personnel who do not wish to do so can choose to remain in the locker room.

“We remain committed to working with the players to identify solutions and to continue making progress on important social issues affecting our communities.”

There were no apparent demonstrations by the Buccaneers.

Sports – TIME


Is James Dolan singing about Harvey Weinstein? Knicks owner debuts new JD and the Straight Shot song ‘I Should Have Known’

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Sports – New York Daily News


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Vegan meals all the rage for Titans, with 15 players converted

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