Thoughts, Ideas, and Concepts by Sandra Parks

Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Cowboys back in the News Again!!!

A woman claims in a lawsuit filed only days before the Super Bowl that former Dallas Cowboys star Michael Irvin sexually assaulted her at a South Florida hotel, an allegation labeled a false attempt at “civil extortion” Friday by Irvin’s attorney.

The woman, identified only as “Jane Doe,” filed the lawsuit Thursday in Broward County Circuit Court seeking unspecified damages for the assault that allegedly occurred July 4 or 5, 2007, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood.

The incident was reported to Seminole tribal police on July 20, 2007, but the woman later signed a waiver of prosecution, Seminole tribe spokesman Gary Bitner said.

“I think she just wanted to put this behind her,” Bitner said. The case was referred to state prosecutors.

Ron Ishoy, a spokesman for the Broward State Attorney’s office, said the matter remains under investigation but no charges have been filed. Because the woman waited more than two weeks to report the incident, there was no physical evidence or hotel surveillance video, Bitner said.

Irvin, 43, is a member of the pro football Hall of Fame who starred at wide receiver for the Cowboys from 1988 to 1999. The Fort Lauderdale native was also a star in college for the University of Miami, playing on the Hurricanes’ 1987 national championship team.

Irvin is now an analyst for the NFL Network. His attorney, Larry Friedman of Dallas, said he was approached by the woman’s attorney shortly before Irvin was to appear on last season’s “Dancing With The Stars” competition.

The offer, according to Friedman: Irvin must pay the woman $1 million or a lawsuit would be filed to coincide with the Super Bowl, which is being played Sunday in Miami.

“I call it civil extortion: pay us or we’ll ruin your life,” Friedman said. “Nothing happened. There was no encounter between this Jane Doe and Michael Irvin. The entire story is false, it’s bogus, it’s made up.”

The woman’s Florida attorney did not immediately respond Friday to a phone call and e-mail seeking comment.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, speaking at a Super Bowl news conference Friday, said he was not aware of the assault allegation. The NFL Network is a part of the football league.

“We’ll obviously take it seriously, make sure we understand the facts and then take the appropriate steps,” Goodell said.

According to the lawsuit, the woman claims Irvin got her drunk and took her to his hotel room where he and another, unidentified man insisted on sexual favors. The woman claims Irvin raped her and the other man forced her to perform oral sex.

Irvin has had previous brushes with the law, including a no-contest plea to a cocaine possession charge in 1996. Later that year, Irvin and another Cowboys player were accused of sexual assault by a woman, but an investigation found the story was false and the woman recanted.

I Still Love Marion Jones

San Antonio Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes confirmed Monday night that Jones has been training with his assistants to possibly play in the WNBA, more than a year after the 34-year-old was released from federal prison for lying about her doping use.

The New York Times first reported that Jones has been working on her skills and conditioning in San Antonio since October. Jones told the newspaper she received a call in May from someone in the NBA asking if she might play in the WNBA.

“I thought it would be an interesting journey if I decided to do this,” Jones said. “It would give me an opportunity to share my message to young people on a bigger platform; it would give me an opportunity to get a second chance.”

Jones played college basketball at North Carolina, where she was the starting point guard on the Tar Heels’ national championship team in 1994. She told the Times that she hopes to play in Europe this winter and in the WNBA next season.

WNBA spokesman Ron Howard did not immediately return a phone message late Monday.

Jones was released in September 2008 from a Texas federal prison after completing most of her six-month sentence for lying about doping and her role in a check-fraud scam.

After long denying she had ever used performance-enhancing drugs, Jones admitted in federal court that she used a designer steroid from September 2000 to July 2001. She was stripped of three gold medals and two bronzes she won at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Hughes told The Associated Press that his assistants haven’t briefed him on Jones’ skill level or whether she has shown the ability to play in the WNBA. But he applauded Jones for trying, and said her prison time or admission of steroids use wouldn’t factor into his decision about signing her.

“I deal with people where they are right now,” Hughes said. “If she’s interested in playing, great for her. The past is the past.”

Jones said she thinks she can be an asset to a WNBA team.

“It’s important for people to know that it’s possible to make a mistake in your life, but it’s what you do after the mistake that people are going to remember you by,” she said. “Are you going to make whatever negatives that happened in your life a positive? Are you going to disappear? That has certainly never been in my horizon. How can I use my experience, my story, to help people and in the process hop on this journey of trying to make a team?”

This is some BS!!!!

Serena Williams was fined at least a record $82,500 for her U.S. Open tirade and could be suspended from that tournament if she has another “major offense” at any Grand Slam in the next two years, Grand Slam administrator Bill Babcock told The Associated Press on Monday.

 

Babcock’s decision was to be formally released later Monday.

He said Williams faces a “probationary period” at Grand Slam tournaments in 2010 and 2011.

If she has another “major offense” at a major championship in that time, the fine would increase to $175,000 and she would be barred from the following U.S. Open.

Babcock said the previous highest fine for a Grand Slam offense was about $48,000 to Jeff Tarango in the 1990s.

Williams lashed out at a lineswoman after a foot-fault call at the end of her U.S. Open semifinal loss to eventual champion Kim Clijsters.

Williams earned $350,000 by reaching the semifinals, part of her more than $6.5 million in prize money in 2009, a single-season record for women’s tennis. Her career prize money tops $28 million.

The American is an 11-time Grand Slam singles champion and ended the 2009 season at No. 1 in the WTA rankings.

Williams’ profanity-laced, finger-pointing outburst drew a $10,000 fine from the U.S. Tennis Association in September — the maximum onsite penalty a tennis player can face. But because it happened at a Grand Slam tournament, Babcock was charged with investigating whether further punishment was merited.

He concluded that Williams violated the “major offense” rule for “aggravated behavior.” The Grand Slam committee — with one representative from each of the sport’s four major championships — approved his decision Saturday.

Babcock said Williams has been informed of the ruling. She has been in Barbados for an exhibition tournament, and her agent did not immediately reply to a request for comment Monday.

Sharpton wants NFL to block Limbaugh’s Rams bid

What do my readers think of this article?

NEW YORK (AP) – The Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson attacked the bid by Rush Limbaugh to buy the St. Louis Rams on Monday, saying the conservative radio host’s track record on race should exclude him from owning an NFL team.

Sharpton sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, arguing that Limbaugh has been divisive and “anti-NFL” in some of his comments.

Jackson said in a telephone interview that Limbaugh had made his wealth “appealing to the fears of whites” with an unending line of insults against blacks and other minorities.

The National Football League has set high standards for racial justice and inclusion,” Jackson said. “He should not have the privilege of owning an NFL franchise – and it is a privilege.” The civil rights leader said he’s had contact with numerous players and ex-players concerned about the bid.

Limbaugh shot back at Sharpton on his radio show.

“Now, this saddens me as well this disappoints me,” he said. “I know Rev. Sharpton. Sharpton is better than this. He knows better than this. You know, I didn’t judge Al Sharpton’s fitness to be in radio when he wanted to earn an honest living for once, given his well-documented past as the author of the Tawana Brawley hoax. I believe in freedom and I also don’t discriminate.”

Limbaugh said last week that he is teaming up with St. Louis Blues hockey team owner Dave Checketts in a bid to buy the Rams. He has declined to discuss details of the offer, citing a confidentiality agreement.

In 2003, Limbaugh worked briefly on ESPN’s NFL pregame show. He resigned after saying Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed.

Transcripts posted on the radio host’s Web site also say that on a January 2007 show, Limbaugh commented: “The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”

Asked about Limbaugh’s bid to purchase the winless Rams, McNabb said: “If he’s rewarded to buy them, congratulations to him. But I won’t be in St. Louis any time soon.”

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is aware of the concerns voiced by Sharpton and Jackson.

“It is very early in the process and no transfer of ownership of the Rams has been presented to the league for review,” Aiello said.

The latest complaints came a day after executive director of the NFL Players Association, DeMaurice Smith, urged players to speak out against Limbaugh’s bid.

“I have asked our players to embrace their roles not only in the game of football but also as players and partners in the business of the NFL,” Smith said in a statement Sunday. “They risk everything to play this game, they understand that risk and they live with that risk and its consequences for the rest of their life.

“We also know that there is an ugly part of history and we will not risk going backwards, giving up giving in or lying down to it.”

Players on the 0-5 Rams, who were routed by the Minnesota Vikings 38-10 on Sunday, tried to distance themselves from the controversy.

“I’m paying attention, but I’m not even touching that one,” running back Steven Jackson said. “Because if I start touching it I might go somewhere I don’t want to go.”

Defensive end Chris Long said he just heard Monday that Limbaugh was part of a group seeking to purchase the team. His reaction: “Oh, is that the guy on the radio?”

Reminded of Limbaugh’s statements about McNabb, Long seemed to disapprove while adding he didn’t care who owned the team.

“I mean, those weren’t great comments at all,” Long said. “But it’s not my job to really comment on that.”

Defensive end Leonard Little, the last remaining player from the Rams‘ Super Bowl championship after the 1999 season, didn’t want to talk about it.

“We’ve got a lot more things to worry about than who’s going to be our owner,” he said.

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