Nike Blasted For Fraud In Advertising Forced To Pay Triple Compensation By China Law

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI DAILY NEWS)

Nike offers to pay triple compensation after CCTV report blasted it of fraud

SPORTSWEAR manufacturing giant Nike has agreed to pay triple compensation for its Hyperdunk 2008 FTB basketball shoes after it came under fire in a CCTV report on Wednesday.

Nike China issued a statement today, saying it will pay 4,500 yuan (US$1,861) to consumers who want a refund. The shoes cost 1,499 yuan.

The statement said Nike would start refunding from April 4 for 90 days. Consumers can call 800-820-8865 or 400-880-6453 for further inquiry.

Nike China claimed it had mistakenly used the promotion materials of Zoom air cushion and apologized for that.

Nike Hyperdunk 08 FTB was found to be of lower quality, CCTV reported, and accused Nike of false promotion. The shoes, sold as a limited edition, did not incorporate the patented Zoom air cushion, as the sportswear manufacturing giant claimed on its Chinese website, China Central Television’s annual “3.15” quality investigation program said.

The shoes were advertised as copies of those worn by basketball legend Kobe Bryant at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.

Nike had earlier offered a full refund to customers, but refused their demand for triple compensation, CCTV reported.

According to China’s consumer rights law, businesses should honestly describe the quality, property and use of product, failing which, they have to pay triple compensation.

A total of 300 Hyperdunk shoes were up for sale in China, according to Shanghai Yangpu Market Supervision and Management Administrative Bureau. All of them were sold out.

China Gearing Up For Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI DAILY NEWS)

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China gearing up for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games

WHEN Chinese cross-country skier Man Dandan grabbed the country’s first gold medal at the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan on Feb. 20, winter sports fans nationwide were thrilled.

The prize was regarded as a breakthrough for the Chinese delegation, which used to fair better on the ice rink than on the skiing track.

Before the competition, Man had taken the first place in the ladies’ sprint final at the FIS China Tour de Ski Changchun stage. As a rising star, she began to terminate the domination of Nordic countries and regions in some tough games. These years’ Vasaloppet China Festivals, an annual cross-country skiing race launched in Sweden in 1922, also witnessed the rise of young athletes like Man.

“China began to learn how to improve its competitiveness in cross-country skiing events in 2003, several years before China’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics,” said Zhao Xiaolu, deputy director of Changchun sports bureau.

As we enter the second full year after Beijing was awarded the 2022 Winter Olympics, Chinese fans are noticing that many national winter sports teams have been established for the first time, such as the alpine skiing and bobsleigh & skeleton teams.

Chinese athletes also competed in all 64 events at the Sapporo Asian Winter Games, eager to test themselves in as many winter Olympic events as possible.

PREPARATION WORK FOR THE GAMES

As it prepares to host another edition of the Olympic games, Beijing’s preparation work is so far going smoothly, with construction on a new airport and venues on schedule.

Construction on the new airport, located in Beijing’s southern Daxing district is expected to be completed in 2019. It will have a capacity of 100 million trips per year, and will be 30 minutes’ ride to downtown Beijing via subway.

Beijing is also converting the 2008 Summer Olympic venues into sites for the Winter Games in an effort to keep costs under control.

Wukesong sports center, which hosted the basketball events in 2008, will host the ice hockey events in 2022. The National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water Cube, will become the curling rink.

According to the Organizing Committee for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Beijing will host three events, namely curling, ice hockey and skating, in 12 venues, including eight legacies of the 2008 Summer Games, three newly built venues, and one temporary venue.

President Xi Jinping stressed the need for solid preparation work for the Games when presiding over a symposium this week on the subject, saying that the work should embody the spirit of green, open and shared development, along with fairness and honesty.

He also vowed zero tolerance in regards to doping and corruption, saying China “should make the Winter Olympic Games as pure and clean as snow and ice.”

A HIGHER GOAL

Eyeing a successful tournament at home in 2022, China is also determined to become a winter sports powerhouse in the next decade.

The efforts are two-fold. On the one hand, China is focusing on improving its technical and tactical skills and gaining advantage in individual events. On the other hand, it aims to popularize winter sports among the general public.

In its bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, China promised to the world that the country would attract more than 300 million people to take part in winter sports.

To achieve part of that goal, Changchun, capital of Jilin Province, has motivated one million teenagers to enjoy the city’s abundant skating rinks and ski resorts during the just-ended Chinese New Year holiday.

The central government also approved a 10-year plan on developing winter sports in November, 2016, aiming to expand the scale of the winter sports industry to one trillion yuan (about 145 billion U.S. dollars).

According to a document released by the municipal government in January, Beijing will have 40 new ice rinks across the city by 2020. Among them, 16 rinks, including 11 indoor rinks, have been built in 2016. Construction of another 10 venues will be completed this year. The rest will be constructed by 2020, the document said.

In Her Quest For Revenge And Pride: Ronda Rousey Lost Her Own Way

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ESPN SPORTS)

 

LAS VEGAS — The first time Ronda Rousey met UFC president Dana White, she asked for a few minutes of his time to make her pitch for creating a women’s division in the UFC.

She was passionate and charismatic. She had a vision for what the sport could do for women and how she could lead the way.

“Fifteen minutes into a 45-minute conversation, I was like, ‘Holy s—, I’m in. If we’re ever going to do it, this is the woman to do so,'” White recalled.

The last time he spoke to Rousey, late Friday night after a brutal first-round knockout loss to Amanda Nunes, White was the one doing all the talking. She barely said a word.

“I must have tears, blood and boogers all over my f—ing jacket. I went in there and hugged her for 45 minutes,” White said. “I told her, ‘I love you so much, and whatever you want to do next, I got your back. You built this. This doesn’t exist without you. You’re the best decision I ever made.'”

Less than five years separated these conversations, and yet everything was different — the world, the sport and, most of all, Ronda Rousey herself.

She wasn’t making the case to fight anymore; White was.

In many ways, Rousey had outgrown a fighter’s life years ago. She talked openly of wanting to get married, have children and start a new life for herself outside of the spotlight. She had movie roles waiting for her. She was signing on for executive producing positions in various other projects. She had made tens of millions of dollars from the UFC, endorsements and other projects. She’d written a bestselling autobiography. She’d become a feminist hero with her message of fierce strength and ambition.

By themselves, none of these things meant she couldn’t still be a champion fighter. But collectively, they meant she didn’t have to be one anymore.

She didn’t have to fight. And for the better part of a year, she’s been trying to find the right reasons to keep doing it.

Was she after revenge or respect?

Was she simply trying to right a wrong after she’d lost to Holly Holm in November 2015?

Maybe it was about legacy and pride. The baddest woman on the planet couldn’t just fold after one loss. She had to try to come back so she could leave with some dignity.

“I want to be able to walk away with my head held high,” Rousey said before the fight. “It’s like a painter looking at what he made and knowing it’s not done yet. You could get away with it. You could sell that painting and it would sell. But you’ll always know it was never as good as it could have been. I don’t want ‘good enough’ to be my legacy.”

Eventually she settled on a mix of pride and revenge. But even the fact that she needed to ask herself why she was fighting spoke volumes.

There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of opportunities. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more.

That desire to keep pushing and stretching and growing is at the core of her being. It’s part of what made her such a compelling figure to her fans in the first place.

Women are terrible about wanting more, expecting more or demanding more. Rousey went after it and refused to apologize for her ambitions.

She was able to talk that talk because she’d previously always backed it up.

After the loss to Holm though, it was as if she didn’t know how to be if she couldn’t be the invincible superwoman champion. How could she have swagger when she was still so embarrassed at how she’d performed? How could she talk about beating Nunes when she was still beating herself up for losing to Holm?

I walked out of the arena and people were crying, men and women. She has been an amazing role model and amazing partner, an amazing friend.
Dana White

So she mostly stayed silent before the fight, explaining that there was nothing she could say that would help win the fight in front of her. She would do a few interviews with Ellen DeGeneres and Conan O’Brien and ESPN The Magazine, but she would not participate in the traditional fight-week promotional and media activities.

She was doing things on her terms, not anyone else’s.

That did not sit well. A couple of weeks ago, as I finished a feature story on her comeback attempt, a male colleague said to me, “Boy, I hear she’s just getting worse and worse. She’s storming off the stage in New York. She’s refusing to help promote the fight.”

It was an arresting statement. “Worse and worse?”

In reality, she’d gotten better and better after the loss to Holm. Being out of the spotlight had helped her spirit and psyche.

“I’m just getting my life back,” she said.

But to many men, she was just another woman they didn’t want to be around after she’d fallen apart. There was too much emotion, too much intensity and unpredictability to deal with. So in the great tradition of giving women tranquilizers to help calm their nerves or of women running into the bathroom at work to avoid crying, it was easier to call her broken and bitter than try to understand her.

Rousey’s problem is that it wasn’t just men who had a hard time dealing with her in this state. It was just as uncomfortable for her.

She never truly accepted the loss to Holm. She just tried to compartmentalize it.

But whether it was stubborn competitiveness or residual embarrassment, when she fought Nunes it was as if she’d been frozen in amber from a year ago. She stood in front of her with very little head movement or defense. She got tagged in the face repeatedly with powerful right hands. After 48 seconds of punishment, it was abruptly over.

Rousey stood and leaned against the cage with a sad, defeated look on her face. Nunes came over, grabbed her by the shoulders and paid her respects by saying, “You did so much for this sport.”

The pro-Rousey crowd inside the T-Mobile Arena was stunned and saddened.

“I walked out of the arena and people were crying, men and women,” White said. “She has been an amazing role model and amazing partner, an amazing friend.

“For the millions of people who admire her, she is somebody who is actually worth the admiration. Believe me, there’s a lot of celebrities out there that are popular. I meet them all the time. They are not worth your admiration. They suck. But Ronda Rousey is all of that. She’s incredible.”

White spoke with resignation about Rousey’s future in the sport. This likely is her final fight, though both White and her camp said she’d need some time to make a final decision.

“It’s very rare that people go out on this glorious ride, on top,” he said. “It almost never happens. Either people stick around too long and they get too old or things happened like what happened with Ronda.”

What exactly happened to Ronda these past two fights?

Is she the proverbial goose who finally ran out of golden eggs? Or was this just the inevitable turnover of the fame cycle?

Did she lose confidence in herself once her invincibility was gone? Or did she train the wrong way?

Those are questions she must answer before she decides whether to fight again.

But if this was her last fight, if she has grown out of the fighter’s life, White wanted her to know her legacy was secure.

“None of this happens without Ronda Rousey,” White said. “She built this whole thing.”

Turkey: Twin Bombs Outside Istanbul Football Stadium Kill Dozens

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES NEWS)

Turkey: Twin explosions outside football stadium kill 29 in Istanbul

WORLD Updated: Dec 11, 2016 07:51 IST

AFP

Highlight Story

Smoke rises from a car after a blast in Istanbul, Turkey. (Reuters Photo)

Twenty nine people were killed — mainly police officers — and 166 wounded in double bombings that struck Istanbul on Saturday after a home football match hosted by top side Besiktas, Turkish interior minister Suleyman Soylu said.Twenty-seven of those killed were police and two were civilians, he told reporters in Istanbul, adding that 10 suspects had already been detained over the bombing.

A car bomb detonated outside the Vodafone Arena football stadium on the shores of the Bosphorus after the Super Lig match between Besiktas and Bursaspor while a suicide attacker struck a nearby park, officials said.

The authorities did not say who was behind the blasts but the attacks were the latest in a year that has seen Istanbul and other Turkish cities rocked by a string of attacks blamed on Islamic State jihadists and Kurdish militants.

The health ministry said in a statement that 15 people were killed and 69 wounded.

“An act of terror targeted our security forces and citizens at Besiktas tonight,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement. Besiktas is also the name of the neighbourhood around club’s arena.

Erdogan said the blasts shortly after the end of the match sought to cause maximum loss of life.

“We have witnessed once more here in Istanbul the ugly face of terror which tramples down any form of value and morals,” he said.

Interior minister Suleyman Soylu said one blast took place outside the stadium and another at Macka Park, a popular meeting place just above the sports venue.

“The explosion at Macka Park is believed to have been carried out by a suicide bomber.”

He said the stadium attack targeted a bus of riot police.

‘We will stand firm’

State broadcaster TRT showed images of the wreckage of a car, engulfed in flames with emergency services swarming around the scene outside the sports venue.

Other footage showed severely damaged police vehicles, while witnesses said the force of the blast had shattered the windows of several nearby homes.

An AFP correspondent near the stadium saw ambulances gathering in the aftermath of the explosion, as well as broken glass on the road.

“I heard two explosions in less than one minute, followed by the sound of gunshots,” one witness told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Police and ambulances arrive the scene after a blast in Istanbul. (Reuters Photo)

Besiktas football club issued a statement condemning the attack and confirming none of the fans or players were hurt.

“Terrorists… attacked our heroic security forces who ensure that both our fans and Bursaspor’s supporters are safe. We will stand firm against the vile attackers who will never achieve their goal.”

Police cordoned off the area around the stadium immediately after the blasts, which occurred near the Ottoman-era Dolmabahce palace that houses Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s offices in Istanbul.

The scene is also about a kilometre (0.6 miles) from the busy Taksim Square, a magnet for tourists.

Erdogan was in Istanbul at the time of the blast at his residence in the suburb of Tarabya further down the Bosphorus, state media said.

The government slapped a broadcast ban on footage of the attack, as is becoming typical in the aftermath of major incidents in the country.

‘We will defeat terror’

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Saturday’s attack.

In his statement, Erdogan said that “the name or the method of the terrorist organisation which perpetrated the vile attack” did not matter.

“Nobody should doubt that we will defeat terror, terror groups, terrorists and of course the forces behind them, with God’s help,” he said.

In June, 47 people were killed in a triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, with authorities blaming IS.

Another 57 people, 34 of them children, were killed in August in a suicide attack by an IS-linked bomber at a Kurdish wedding in the southeastern city of Gaziantep.

But there have also been deadly bombings claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), seen as a splinter group of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The US embassy in Turkey condemned the latest attack.

“Our hearts and prayers are with the people of #Istanbul tonight,” the embassy wrote on Twitter. “We condemn tonight’s cowardly attack, and salute the courage of the Turkish people as we stand with them against terror.”

Turkey is still reeling from a failed July 15 coup blamed by the government on the US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen that has been followed by a relentless purge of his alleged supporters from state institutions.

Saturday’s attack came after the Turkish army and its Syrian rebel allies on Saturday entered the IS bastion of Al-Bab in northern Syria, according to a monitoring group.

Wounded police officers are helped after a blast in Istanbul, Turkey. (Reuters Photo)

Al-Bab is the last bastion IS has in Syria’s northern Aleppo province.

The explosions also came hours after Turkey’s ruling party submitted a parliamentary bill that would expand the powers — and possibly the tenure — of Erdogan, a move his opponents fear will lead to one-man rule.

Colombia plane crash: Flight was running out of fuel, investigators reveal

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES)

Colombia plane crash: Flight was running out of fuel, investigators reveal

WORLD Updated: Dec 02, 2016 00:57 IST

Highlight Story

International flight regulations require aircraft to carry enough reserve fuel so they can fly for 30 minutes after reaching their destination in case they need to circle before landing or fly to another airport. (AFP)

The plane that crashed in Colombia killing 71 people including most of a Brazilian soccer team had no fuel on impact, according to initial findings by aviation officials, prompting an investigation into why the plane flew under those conditions.The comments by the civil aviation authority late Wednesday night confirmed Bolivian pilot Miguel Quiroga’s final words to the control tower at Medellin’s airport on a crackly audio obtained by Colombian media.

“When we arrived at the accident site and were able to inspect the remains we could confirm that the aircraft had no fuel at the time of impact,” said Freddy Bonilla, secretary of airline security at Colombia’s aviation authority.

A recording of the pilot’s final words can be heard telling the control tower the plane was “in total failure, total electrical failure, without fuel.”

He requested urgent permission to land before the audio went silent. The BAe 146, made by BAE Systems Plc, slammed into a mountainside next to the town of La Union outside Medellin.

Only six on board the LAMIA Bolivia charter flight survived, including three of the Chapecoense soccer team en route to the Copa Sudamericana final, the biggest game in their history, a journalist and two crew members.

International flight regulations require aircraft to carry enough reserve fuel so they can fly for 30 minutes after reaching their destination in case they need to circle before landing or fly to another airport.

“In this case, sadly, the aircraft did not have enough fuel to meet the regulations for contingency,” Bonilla said in Medellin. “One of the theories we are working on is that finding no fuel at the crash site or in the alimentation tubes, the aircraft suffered fell for lack of fuel.”

LAMIA Chief Executive Officer Gustavo Vargas said on Wednesday it is at the pilot’s discretion to refuel en route. He said plane should have enough fuel for about four and a half hours, more or less depending on weather.

“Weather conditions influence a lot, but he had alternatives in Bogata in case of a fuel deficiency. He had all the power to go to refuel. It’s a decision that the pilot takes,” Vargas told reporters in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Bonillo said weather conditions in Medellin at the time were optimum for a successful landing.

Some have also questioned why Chapecoense used the charter company instead of a commercial airline.

Investigators from Brazil have joined Colombian counterparts to check two black boxes from the crash site on a muddy hillside in wooded highlands near La Union.

Bolivia, where LAMIA is based, and the United Kingdom also sent experts to help the probe.

The club’s vice president, Luiz Antonio Palaoro, said LAMIA had a track record of transporting soccer teams around South America and it had used the airline before.

“We are dealing with the humanitarian aspect of the families and the victims,” Palaoro told reporters in Chapeco. “After that, we are going to have to think about restructuring the team and also in the appropriate legal measures.”

Among surviving players, goalkeeper Jackson Follmann’s right leg was amputated, while defender Helio Neto was in intensive care with severe trauma to his skull, thorax and lungs, and fellow defender Alan Ruschel had spinal surgery.

Two of the Bolivian flight crew, Ximena Suarez and Erwin Tumiri, were bruised but not in critical condition, while journalist Rafael Valmorbida was in intensive care for multiple rib fractures that partly collapsed a lung.

Rescuers have recovered all of the bodies, which are to be sent to Brazil and Bolivia.

The bodies of Brazilians on the plane have been identified and are being embalmed and prepared for transport by military aircraft back to Brazil, Chapecoense soccer club Communications Director Andrei Copetti told reporters.

He said the coffins will arrive in Chapeco as soon as midday Friday and be taken directly to the club’s stadium for a collective wake that Brazilian President Michel Temer is expected to attend.

Since there was no fire on board, bodies are being identified by fingerprints, Julio Bitelli, Brazil’s ambassador to Colombia, told Reuters.

Brazil Chapecoense football team in Colombia plane crash

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC NEWS AGENCY)

Brazil Chapecoense football team in Colombia plane crash

Remains of aircraftImage copyright TELEANTIOQUIA VIA TWITTER
Image caption The plane crashed in a mountainous area on its way to Medellin

A plane carrying 81 people, including a top Brazilian football team, has crashed on its approach to the city of Medellin in Colombia, officials say.

Reports say there are 25 dead and six survivors.

The chartered aircraft, flying from Bolivia, was carrying members of the Chapecoense football team, airport officials said.

The team was due to play in the final of the Copa Sudamericana, against Medellin team Atletico Nacional.

The first leg of the final of the cup, South America’s second most important club competition, was scheduled for Wednesday, but has now been suspended.

The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) said it was suspending “all activities”.

Chapecoense team at semi-final against Argentina's San Lorenzo - 24 NovemberImage copyrightAFP
Image captionThe team were due to play in the first leg of the final of the Copa Sudamericana
Scene of the crashImage copyright MI ORIENTE
Image caption Rescuers can only reach the crash site by land – local media picture

Chapecoense issued a brief statement saying: “May God be with our athletes, officials, journalists and other guests travelling with our delegation.”

It said it would refrain from any further statements until it had assessed the extent of the crash.

Reports suggest that at least two members of the team – Alan Ruschel and Danilo – may have survived.

The sports network Telemundo Deportes tweeted (in Spanish) that Ruschel was in shock but conscious and talking, and asked to keep his wedding ring and to see his family.

The mayor of the nearby town of La Ceja confirmed that a 25-year-old footballer was among the survivors.

He said that 25 people were known to have died.

The team, from the southern city of Chapeco, was promoted to Brazil’s first division in 2014 and reached the final last week after a victory against Argentina’s San Lorenzo.

Reports say the British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane, operated by Bolivian charter airline Lamia and carrying 72 passengers and nine crew, crashed in Cerro Gordo in the municipality of La Union shortly before midnight local time (05:00 GMT).

According to an airport press release, it was reporting an electrical fault to the control tower.

Map locator

Medellin’s Mayor Federico Gutierrez described it as “a tragedy of huge proportions”.

The Jose Maria Cordova de Rionegro airport, which serves Medellin, posted on its Twitter account: “Confirmed, the aircraft licence number CP2933 was carrying the team @ChapecoenseReal. Apparently there are survivors.”

It later said in a statement that “all possible aid was being mobilised because six survivors are being reported”.

Poor weather has meant that the crash site, in a mountainous area, is only accessible by land.

However, there was no fire on impact, which has given rescuers hope that more survivors may be found.

Conmebol said in a statement that its president, Alejandro Dominguez, was on his way to Medellin.

“The Conmebol family greatly regrets what happened. All activities of the confederation are suspended until further notice,” it said.


Chapecoense football team

  • Founded in 1973.
  • Promoted to the Brazilian top division, Serie A, for the first time in the club’s history in 2014. Currently ninth.
  • Were flying to play in the first leg of the final of the Copa Sudamericana – winner qualifies for Copa Libertadores, top continental competition in South America.
  • Were underdogs – facing current Cope Libertadores holders Atletico Nacional
  • Based in the Brazilian city of Chapeco in the state of Santa Catarina.
  • Brazil’s 21st biggest club in terms of revenue at 46m reais ($13.5m/£10.9m)

ACLU’S VIEW’S ARE THE ONLY ONES THAT MATTER, IF YOU DON’T AGREE, SHUT UP?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF FOX NEWS)

TODD’S AMERICAN DISPATCH

ACLU: School’s salute to cops sends “ominous, frightening message”

Fourth of July

 (AP)  (I PERSONALLY DO NOT AGREE WITH THE TITLE I USED, BUT TO ME IT DOES SEEM TO BE HOW THE ‘FAR LEFT’ THINKS HERE IN THE US.) (TRS)

A patriotic, pre-game celebration honoring law enforcement and first responders at a high school football game has drawn the ire of the New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

New Jersey’s Middletown High School South saluted more than 100 police officers and military personnel on Oct. 21.

Click here to join Todd’s American Dispatch: a must-read for conservatives!

The celebration culminated with teenage football players and police officers unfurling a massive American flag before singing the national anthem.

“A star-spangled celebration,” is how the Asbury Park Press described the festivities.

But the ACLU of New Jersey exploded with fury — accusing organizers of sending an “ominous, frightening message.”

In a letter to school leaders, the ACLU-NJ and the local chapter of the NAACP said the school was using the salute to “intimidate and ostracize people who express their views about systemic racism and social justice.”

The controversy stems in part from some comments Middletown Police Deputy Chief Stephen Dollinger made to the Asbury Park Press.

He reportedly told the newspaper that the salute was prompted by the behavior of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

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“It’s okay to stand up for social justice, inequality and reform,” he told the newspaper in advance of the football game. “It’s another thing to not stand up for the national anthem.”

Dollinger later said his remarks had been “twisted” and the event had nothing to do with the disgraced NFL quarterback or Black Lives Matter.

“I said we respect the rights of everybody to stand up for social justice and equality and reform, but we also respect our country and want to celebrate the first responders, the national anthem,” he told the newspaper.

Regardless, the idea of honoring those who protect and serve rankled the ACLU and their minions.

“The criticism the deputy police chief expressed for people who decline to stand for the national anthem in protest serves to erect walls between police and the communities they serve,” said ACLU-NJ policy counsel Dianna Houenou.

“The people police are sworn to protect and serve should not have to fear that the value officers assign to them is determined by the beliefs they hold,” she added.

Ms. Houenou fails to understand that police officers will come to the aid of any citizen – even those who spit on the badge and those who despise the flag.

Jasmine Crenshaw, another ACLU lackey, raged over the deputy chief’s behavior.

“The statements made by the deputy police chief and the event’s ostentatious show of power send an ominous, frightening message: that, as an official stance, law enforcement will not tolerate expressions acknowledging our nation’s history of unequal treatment and systematic oppression,” Crenshaw said.

“The magnitude of this event chills the belief that police should be held accountable when they abuse their power or discriminate against people of color, and pressures student athletes to act as props of the police,” she added.

Well, I want to salute the deputy police chief. He should be commended, not condemned for honoring first responders and our veterans.

I’m grown extremely tired of these anti-American agitators who have hijacked our sporting events and turned them into platforms to spew their hatred for the red, white and blue.

It’s a football game, folks – not a Million Man March.

Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is “God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.” Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.

Bill Murray Accepts Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME AND THE WASHINGTON POST)

Bill Murray Accepts Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize Honors Bill Murray
Leigh Vogel—Getty ImagesBill Murray arrives at the Kennedy Center where the actor received the 19th Annual Mark Twain Prize on Oct. 23, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Gala awards ceremony featured speeches from Emma Stone and David Letterman

Actor Bill Murray became the 19th person to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at a star-studded ceremony in Washington on Sunday, where friends and colleagues paid tribute to his long comedic career.

In the ceremony at the Kennedy Center, Murray’s fellow Saturday Night Live alumni Jane Curtin and Bill Hader were among those who celebrated the actor’s achievements, along with musical performances by Miley Cyrus and Rhiannon Giddens, the Washington Post reported. Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel paid homage to Murray’s eccentric personality, with Kimmel noting that, “To Bill, life is a party, the world is an improv stage, and we are all in his show.”

Murray, who has starred in classic comedies such as Groundhog Day and was critically acclaimed for his roles in Lost in Translation and St. Vincent,famously doesn’t have an agent or representation, and provides an 800 number for those who wish to send him scripts.

The award ceremony was well-timed for Murray, a Chicago Cubs fan. “I’m glad they won last night so I could be here this evening,” Murray joked, the New York Times reports. “If they hadn’t won last night I would have had to have been there, because, honestly, I do not trust the media to report the story.”

At the end of the two-hour ceremony, Murray appeared on stage, telling the 2,400-person audience, “My theme tonight is what is it like to be beloved. It’s hard to listen to all those people be nice to you. You just get so suspicious.” The actor rounded off the evening on a sentimental note, saying “as much as I dreaded this, I really have to come back to this idea: There’s love. There’s love.”

The Mark Twain Prize honors the life and contributions of the world’s greatest comics, with previous winners including Ellen DeGeneres, Richard Pryor and last year’s winner Eddie Murphy. The gala performance and awards ceremony will air at 9 p.m. on Friday on PBS.

[Washington Post]

Relatives of Jesse Owens and Other 1936 Black Olympians Finally Visit White House

(This article is courtesy of Reuters and the Associated Press)

SEP 29 2016, 8:20 PM ET

Relatives of Jesse Owens and Other 1936 Black Olympians Finally Visit White House

WASHINGTON — Relatives of Jesse Owens and America’s 17 other black athletes from the 1936 Olympics were welcomed to the White House on Thursday by President Barack Obama for the acknowledgement they didn’t receive along with their white counterparts 80 years ago.

Along with the relatives of the 1936 African-American Olympians, gloved-fist protesters Tommie Smith and John Carlos and members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams met the president and first lady Michelle Obama.

Obama congratulated the Rio athletes, thanked Smith and Carlos for waking up Americans in 1968 and praised 1936 Olympians who made a statement in front of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany.

Related: Podium Politics: Why Was Gabby Douglas Criticized?

After running down a list of accomplishments of U.S. athletes in Rio, Obama singled out some people who “paved the way” for the current diverse Olympic team, including Owens, Smith and Carlos.

Image: Barack Obama
The families of 1936 Summer Olympians, foreground, including the family of four-time Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens, are recognized as they sit in the audience in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Andrew Harnik / AP

Owens winning four gold medals and being snubbed by Hitler is a piece of American history, but Obama made sure to note that the accomplishments at the 1936 Berlin Olympics weren’t just about him.

“It was other African-American athletes in the middle of Nazi Germany under the gaze of Adolf Hitler than put a lie to notions of racial superiority — whooped ’em and taught them a thing or two about democracy and taught them a thing or two about the American character,” Obama said. “We’re honored to have many of their families here today.”

Eighteen family members were in attendance, representing nine 1936 Olympians. Owens, Ralph Metcalfe, Jack Wilson, John Brooks, Tidye Pickett, Louise Stokes, James LuValle, Fritz Pollard Jr., John Woodruff, Mack Robinson, Dave Albritton, Archie Williams, Cornelius Johnson, James Clark, Howell King, Art Oliver, Willis Johnson and John Terry combined for 14 of America’s 56 medals in Berlin.

Sprinter Allyson Felix, who won gold in Rio in the 400 and 1,600-meter relays and silver in the 400 and has nine Olympic medals, said afterward she was glad to meet some of the relatives of 1936 Olympians and hear their stories.

“It’s been just so moving, so inspiring,” Felix said. “We’re just honored to be able to share this moment with them.”

Related: Daughters Help Bring Jesse Owens to Life in New Biopic ‘Race’

They also shared it with Smith and Carlos, who made their own American history 48 years ago when they raised their gloved fists on the medals stand at the Mexico City Olympics after the 200 in what they called “a human rights salute.”

Jesse Owens
Jesse Owens, circa 1936. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images) UIG via Getty Images

“We’re proud of them,” Obama said. “Their powerful silent protest in the 1968 Games was controversial, but it woke folks up and created greater opportunity for those that followed.”

United States Olympic CEO Scott Blackmun said Wednesday night that the historic White House visits were meant in part to “pay tribute to all the progress that has come since.” That progress was on full display as part of the president’s remarks.

Obama pointed out that the diversity of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team was part of what made it successful. He singled out swimmers Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky and others, but the first four medalists he mentioned were gymnast Simone Biles, shot putter Michelle Carter, swimmer Simone Manuel and boxer Claressa Shields, all of whom are black.

He also recognized Ibtihaj Muhammad, the fencer who became the first U.S. female athlete to compete in the Olympics in a hijab.

“Imagine what it means for a young girl or a young boy who sees somebody who looks like them doing something and being the best at what they do,” Obama said. “There’s no kid in American who can’t look at our Olympic team and see themselves somewhere.”

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Jason Sudeikis: My real-life ‘Race’ character was ‘ahead of his time’ 5:26

Owens said in interviews over the years that in 1936 President Franklin Roosevelt never sent him any words of congratulations or an invitation to the White House.

Marlene Owens Rankin and Beverly Owens Prather represented their father Thursday. Granddaughter Marlene Dortch said Tuesday night that her family members and others going to the White House to see Obama would have made her grandfather “so happy.”

Obama was happy that the final U.S. Olympic team he’ll have at the White House not only dominated the medal count but did so with so many different kinds of athletes.

“One of the wonderful things we love when we see our Olympians is everybody’s from all kinds of different backgrounds and shapes and sizes,” Obama said. “There’s something special about that.”

MLB Once Again Disallows Free Speech: Do MLB Rules Overrule The U.S. Constitution?

(This article is courtesy of USA Today sports and the Reuters News Agency)

Mariners suspend Clevenger for remarks about protesters

Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners suspended catcher Steve Clevenger on Friday for posting inflammatory comments about civil unrest in Charlotte, North Carolina, that called for protesters to be “locked behind bars like animals.”

Back-up Clevenger, who has since apologized for posting the remarks on Thursday, was suspended for the last 10 games of the season without pay, the American League club said on Friday.

Two nights of street violence sprung from protests in Charlotte over the death of Keith Scott, 43, who was shot dead by a black police officer in the parking lot of an apartment complex in Charlotte on Tuesday.

Scott’s death was the latest in a long string of controversial police killings of black people by U.S. police that have stirred an intense debate on race and justice.

“Black people beating whites when a thug got shot holding a gun by a black police officer,” Clevenger tweeted on Thursday. “Haha (stuff) cracks me up! Keep kneeling for the Anthem!

“(Black Lives Matter) is pathetic once again! Obama you are pathetic once again! Everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals!”

The Mariners on Thursday issued a statement about Clevenger’s remarks.

“The Seattle Mariners are very disappointed at the tweets posted on Steve Clevenger’s account,” the team said.

“While he is certainly free to express himself, his tweets do not in any way represent the opinions of the Seattle Mariners. We strongly disagree with the language and tone of his comments.”

Clevenger apologized hours after the Mariners’ statement.

“First and foremost I would like to apologize to the Seattle Mariners, my teammates, my family and the fans of our great game for the distraction my tweets on my personal twitter page caused when they went public earlier today,” Clevenger said.

“I am sickened by the idea that anyone would think of me in racist terms. My tweets were reactionary to the events I saw on the news and were worded beyond poorly at best and I can see how and why someone could read into my tweets far more deeply than how I actually feel.”

The 30-year-old Clevenger has not played for the Mariners since late June after suffering a broken hand and a flexor strain in his right elbow.

In 22 games this year, his only season for the Mariners, he is batting .221 with one home run and seven RBIs in 68 at-bats.

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