State bill would ban tackle youth football before high school
2/14/2018 1:24:30 PM

Two California lawmakers want to outlaw tackle football leagues until teenagers reach high school, saying delaying the start of high-contact elements of football would protect young people from long-term brain damage. Children can learn the skills they need to succeed at the sport from non-contact flag football, Democratic Assembly members Kevin McCarty of Sacramento and Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher of San Diego said in announcing their legislation on Thursday. Their bill follows similar legislation under consideration in Illinois and New York. Legislation has been introduced several...

Jack Johnson descendant hopes for pardon, maybe from Trump
2/14/2018 11:20:23 AM

By Kareem Copeland   In Jim Crow America, it's no wonder that Jack Johnson was the most despised African-American of his generation. The first black boxing heavyweight champion of the world, Johnson humiliated white fighters and flaunted his affection for white women, even fleeing the country after an all-white jury convicted him of “immorality” for one of his relationships. Now, more than 100 years later, Johnson's great-great niece wants President Donald Trump to clear the champion's name with a posthumous pardon. And she has the backing of...

Black Athletes Have Long History of Not Sticking to Sports
2/7/2018 8:24:59 PM

By Errin Haynes Whack This year's NFL season featured two of America's pastimes: football and race, with pre-game protests dividing fans along color lines and making Sunday afternoons among the most segregated hours in the country. While some fans would prefer players stick to sports, many black athletes have chosen a different path by protesting, making people uncomfortable. “The whole purpose of the demonstrations is to get (fans') attention,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said in an interview with The Associated Press. “These are the people that ignore...

For NFL Players, Racial Profiling Often Personal
2/7/2018 8:22:32 PM

By Errin Haynes Whack and Fred Goodall A son who saw a police officer hold a gun to his father's head. A husband whose wife was pulled over driving a Bentley. These unsettling scenes are among the stories from some of the NFL's marquee players, multimillionaires sharing tales of racial profiling by law enforcement. It is a troubling concern for people of color that has been at the center of the protests begun in August 2016 by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The protests have waned, but the ongoing issue for players—and the black...

Top sports leaders look at ways to address sexual misconduct
12/27/2017 7:47:07 PM

By Janie McCauley   Top leaders from the major professional sports leagues and individual franchises along with high-profile former athletes have begun looking at ways to avoid the kinds of sexual misconduct scandals that have rocked the world of politics and the entertainment industry.   And lately, sports, too.   The issue came up in discussions earlier this month during the first meeting of the Anti-Defamation League's new Sports Leadership Council, which is chaired by Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and...

Christian NFL players frustrated by criticism for anthem protest
12/2/2017 4:56:07 AM

By Rob Maaddi Eric Reid and other Christian players who support Colin Kaepernick's social justice movement want believers on the opposite side of the controversial anthem protest to ask themselves a simple but powerful question: What would Jesus do? Reid joined Kaepernick, his former San Francisco 49ers teammate, in kneeling for the “The Star-Spangled Banner” last year because he wants to be a “voice for the voiceless,” a lesson derived from a Bible verse found in Proverbs. The 25-year-old safety-turned-linebacker said he has discussed faith with...

Trump says he should have left UCLA players in Chinese jail
12/2/2017 4:54:00 AM

President Donald Trump says he should have left three UCLA basketball players accused of shoplifting in China in jail. Trump's tweet Sunday comes after the father of player LiAngelo Ball minimized Trump's involvement in winning the players' release in comments to ESPN. "Who?" LaVar Ball told ESPN on Friday, when asked about Trump's involvement in the matter. "What was he over there for? Don't tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out." Trump has said he raised the players' detention with Chinese President Xi...

Rams machine needs some repairs
12/2/2017 4:51:17 AM

By Dave Campbell The Los Angeles Rams arrived in Minnesota with the NFL's highest-scoring offense, a machine averaging 33 points per game and making the team the talk of the league with this sharp turnaround under new coach Sean McVay. Their four-game winning streak was tossed aside by a determined Vikings defense in a 24-7 defeat on Sunday in this matchup of NFC division leaders. After a 75-yard touchdown drive to start the game, the only tangible production by the Rams was extra punting practice for Johnny Hekker. The Rams totaled just 254 yards, with 54 yards coming from...