ABC - Sports News

EricVega/iStockBy PETE MADDEN, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- The federal judge overseeing the NFL’s concussion settlement program is sending the league and the class counsel representing former players back to the negotiating table “to seek to address the concerns relating to the race-norming issue” that critics say has skewed compensation for football-related head injuries along racial lines.

In a pair of orders issued Monday, Judge Anita Brody of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, dismissed a lawsuit against the NFL filed by former players Kevin Henry and Najeh Davenport as “an improper attack on the Settlement Agreement” but wrote that “the Court, however, remains concerned” about the race-based formula used to measure cognitive impairment and determine eligibility for compensation.

Brody referred the NFL and class counsel Seeger Weiss – the original parties that drafted the agreement – to appear before Magistrate Judge David Strawbridge to reach a new agreement on the issue.

This story is developing, please check back in for updates.


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ABC NewsBy ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Sunday's sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Team LeBron 170, Team Durant 150

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
NY Islanders 5, Buffalo 2
Tampa Bay 6, Chicago 3
New Jersey 1, Boston 0
Carolina 4, Florida 2
Washington 3, Philadelphia 1
Pittsburgh 5, NY Rangers 1
Nashville 4, Dallas 3 (SO)
Ottawa 4, Calgary 3 (SO)

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Michigan St. 70, Michigan 64
Baylor 88, Texas Tech 73
Iowa 77, Wisconsin 73
Houston 67, Memphis 64
Texas 76, TCU 64
Loyola of Chicago 75, Drake 65

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Mitchell Leff/Getty ImagesBY: LEIGHTON SCHNEIDER, ABC NEWS

(ATLANTA)-- Philadelphia star Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons will miss the All-Star game after coming in contact with someone who has since tested positive for COVID-19, the league announced Sunday.

ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski reports the pair were in contact with a Philadelphia barber. The barber tested positive following an inconclusive positive coronavirus test.

Wojnarowski says the two players traveled to Atlanta in private planes and have remained in quarantine, which is protocol for all participants. They have not had any contact with other players at the All-Star game. 

The NBA says no other players at the All-Star game have been affected. 

Team Durant takes on Team LeBron tonight at 8:00 PM ET.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



iStockBY: ABC NEWS

(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Saturday's games:

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

 Final  N-Y Islanders   5  Buffalo        2

 Final  N-Y Rangers     6  New Jersey     3

 Final  Pittsburgh      4  Philadelphia   3

 Final  Florida         6  Nashville      2

 Final  Montreal        7  Winnipeg       1

 Final  Arizona         5  Minnesota      2

 Final  Vancouver       4  Toronto        2

 Final  Dallas          5  Columbus       0

  Final OT  Anaheim         5  Colorado       4

  Final OT  Los Angeles     4  St. Louis      3

 Final  Edmonton        3  Calgary        2

 Final  Vegas           4  San Jose       0

   ------

   TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

 Final  (4)Illinois            73  (7)Ohio St.       68

 Final  (17)Oklahoma St.       85  (6)West Virginia  80

 Final  (8)Alabama             89  Georgia           79

 Final  Providence             54  (10)Villanova     52

 Final  Notre Dame             83  (11)Florida St.   73

 Final  (12)Arkansas           87  Texas A&M         80

 Final  (14)Creighton          93  Butler            73

 Final  (20)Loyola of Chicago  65  Indiana St.       49

 Final  (21)Virginia           68  Louisville        58

 Final  (23)Purdue             67  Indiana           58

  (22)Virginia Tech  at  NC State  2 p.m.  (Canceled)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



ABCBy HALEY YAMADA and ERIC NOLL, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Maia Chaka will become the first Black female on-field official in NFL history, the league announced on Friday.

Chaka, who has officiated college football and XFL games, will begin her new role this upcoming season.

When not on the field, she's a teacher for at-risk youth at her home in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Chaka told ESPN she wants to inspire young girls both on and off the field.

"It gives those girls an opportunity to see, 'OK, I can see my teacher works with people who don't look like her, and maybe it gives me an opportunity to work with people who don't look like me also,'" Chaka told ESPN.

Chaka will join Sarah Thomas, who broke the league's gender barrier among officials in 2015 and went on to become the first woman to officiate a Super Bowl, earlier this year.

"As we celebrate Women's History Month, Maia is a trailblazer as the first Black female official and inspires us toward normalizing women on the football field," NFL Vice President Troy Vincent said in a statement.

Chaka told "World News Tonight" about the moment she received the call. She said she couldn't believe the good news.

"I'm so excited to be a member of the National Football League's officiating staff. I will always remember that day," she said. "My response was, 'I think I'm getting punked!'"

Chaka said she owes the opportunity to working hard and helping others work hard.

"As long as you put in the work and you have a strong work ethic, and you strive for greatness and strive to get better, all your dreams and goals and aspirations will always come true," she said.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Dylan Buell/Getty ImagesBy DANIELLE LONG, ABC News

(NEW YORK ) -- It seems like just yesterday Aaron Rodgers revealed he was engaged to Shailene Woodley, and now he's already talking about starting a family.

On Thursday, the Green Bay Packers quarterback, 37, joined Zenith Watches CEO Julien Tornare on Instagram Live and chatted a bit about his engagement.

"I'm recently engaged, so been enjoying that part of my life," Rodgers, who was named as the brand's ambassador last month, shared. "Obviously that's the best thing that's happened to me in the last year."

As for what's next, the athlete said his "next great challenge will be being a father" adding that he's "in the age group where a lot of my close friends from high school and college are fathers now and have families of their own."

That doesn't mean Rodgers will have a mini-me running around in the next nine months, though. He expressed that while fatherhood is something he's looking forward to, it's "maybe not in the immediate future."

"It's gonna be a really fun challenge. I've done a pretty good job at taking care of myself for the last 37 years, and look forward to taking care of another life at some point," he said. "I think it's gonna be so fun. I've dreamt about what that would be like and I'm really excited about that chapter, whenever that comes."

Woodley recently opened up about their engagement, saying it's "not new news" to them even though the world just recently found out.

"Everybody right now is freaking out over it, but we’re like, 'Oh, we’ve been engaged for a while,'" the "Big Little Lies" actress said.

Though Woodley, 29, said she "never" thought she would be engaged to "somebody who threw balls for a living," she called Rodgers "a wonderful, incredible human being."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Ahmed Benzerguine/iStockBy CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News

(OMAHA, Neb.) -- Creighton University has suspended its men's head basketball coach after he admitted to making a "terribly inappropriate analogy" when he told his players not to "leave the plantation."

Coach Greg McDermott issued a contrite statement acknowledging his "egregious mistake" and apologizing to those hurt by his comments.

"On February 27th, after an emotionally tough loss on the road, I addressed our student-athletes and staff in the postgame locker room and used a terribly inappropriate analogy in making a point about staying together as a team despite the loss," McDermott said in a statement posted to Twitter earlier this week. "Specifically, I said: Guys, we got to stick together. We need both feet in. I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can't have anybody leave the plantation."

I’m sorry. pic.twitter.com/tE6thM1aRc

— Coach McDermott (@cucoachmac) March 2, 2021

"I immediately recognized my egregious mistake and quickly addressed my use of such insensitive words with the team," he added. "I have never used that analogy and it is not indicative of who I am as a person or as a coach. I am deeply sorry."

Bruce Rasmussen, the university's director of athletics, announced on Thursday evening that McDermott had been suspended "from all team activities" for an undisclosed period of time.

Rasmussen said that he engaged in discussion with senior leaders at the university "regarding appropriate sanctions for the remarks" that "were not in alignment with Creighton's commitment to racial equity, diversity and respect."

"Coach McDermott and the team have accepted that, effective immediately, he is suspended from all team activities, including Saturday's home season finale against Butler," Rasmussen added. "Further sanctions remain under consideration, not all of which will be shared publicly."

Al Huss, an assistant coach, has been named interim head coach.

The university's basketball team dons the word "equality" on their uniforms, ESPN reported.

The saga comes as the world of sports has faced immense pressure to combat systemic racism head-on, especially in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd last year.

The NBA was forced to postpone playoff games in August after players boycotted to protest racial injustice.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Gabriel Christus / ESPN ImagesBy KELLY MCCARTHY, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Ian Desmond, a two-time Major League Baseball All-Star at the top of his professional game, stunned sports fans when he decided to stop playing.

The 35-year-old Colorado Rockies centerfielder and father of five spoke exclusively to ABC News' Good Morning America in his first interview since opting out of a second consecutive season and revealed the complexities behind the catalysts for his decision to walk away from the diamond.

"There was a lot of things going on," he said thinking back to last year. "We had the George Floyd events. We had the pandemic obviously was setting in, and my wife and I were about to have our fifth baby."

Just last week Desmond took to social media to share his thoughts on the sport that shaped him and his future with Major League Baseball.

"Over the last few months, I’ve had tough conversations. I’ve asked a lot of questions and done a lot of thinking. For now, I’ve decided to opt out of the 2021 season," he wrote in a post. "The COVID-19 pandemic has made this baseball season one that is a risk I am not comfortable taking."

Part of those "tough conversations" included leaving behind his $13.56 million salary.

"I think the first one is walking away from a lot of money," he said. "My desire to be with my family is greater than my desire to go back under these circumstances and play ... that time with my kids is always so precious. So to me, that will always trump money."

But other issues were at play for Desmond after he decided not to participate in the 2020 season.

"The biracial seat is a completely unique experience, and there are so many times you feel like you belong everywhere and nowhere at once," he wrote in an Instagram post.

He told GMA that "like most biracial people will say it's not that it's necessarily racism, it's more of-- just constant -- jabs. Like, 'Oh, you're not black because I don't talk.' And I said, 'well, I don't wear certain clothes. I don't do certain things, listen to the music.' But I'm also not necessarily white."

Desmond called it "an internal feeling" of questioning "where exactly do I belong as a biracial man in the world and in the clubhouse?"

Now, he has made it his mission to make sure all kids feel like they belong and teamed up with The Boys and Girls Clubs of America to found Newtown Connection, an organization that aims to empower and educate underprivileged youth through sports.
 
"I hope that that kids of all colors, of all races, all ethnicities, all ethnicities, everything can experience the life lessons that come from playing baseball, perseverance, determination, character," Desmond said. "I feel like it's kind of being deprived in the inner cities and like the untouched areas. Baseball is a beautiful game and it's got a rich history for a reason."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



iStockBy ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Thursday's sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Boston 132, Toronto 125
Washington 119, LA Clippers 117
New York 114, Detroit 104
Denver 113, Indiana 103
Milwaukee 112, Memphis 111
Miami 103, New Orleans 93
Oklahoma City 107, San Antonio 102
Phoenix 120, Golden State 98
Portland 123, Sacramento 119

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

NY Islanders 5, Buffalo 2
Winnipeg 4, Montreal 3 (OT)
Philadelphia 4, Pittsburgh 3
NY Rangers 6, New Jersey 1
Tampa Bay 3, Chicago 2
Florida 5, Nashville 4
Columbus 3, Dallas 2
Calgary 7, Ottawa 3
Vancouver 3, Toronto 1
Carolina 5, Detroit 2

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Michigan 69, Michigan St. 50
Baylor 81, Oklahoma St. 70
Iowa 102, Nebraska 64
West Virginia 76, TCU 67
Kansas 67, UTEP 62
Texas 69, Oklahoma 65
Texas Tech 81, Iowa St. 54
Colorado 75, Arizona St. 61

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



ABC NewsBy ALLIE YANG, ABC News

(LOS ANGELES) -- Last weekend an NBA G League official told ESPN they were investigating basketball player Jeremy Lin's claim he was called "coronavirus" on the court. But the next day, Lin posted on social media that he would not name the person who did it, saying he wasn't "naming or shaming anyone."

It was a decision that turned a moment in which someone tried to hurt him personally into a rallying cry of strength for the Asian American community at large -- in a year when fear and hatred have been stoked against them amid a global pandemic.

"I felt like I wanted to bring awareness towards -- not me ... [but to] what's going on off the court, real life, with people dealing with actual, physical attacks and things of that nature, and people who feel unsafe walking around,” Lin told ABC News. “These are the real stories that need to be talked about and people need to hear about them.”

In his Facebook post last week drawing attention to recent attacks on Asian Americans, Lin wrote, “We are tired of being told that we don't experience racism, we are tired of being told to keep our heads down and not make trouble… I want better for my elders who worked so hard and sacrificed so much to make a life for themselves here.”

Lin became the first American-born NBA player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent when he signed with the Golden State Warriors during the 2010-11 season. The next season, he led the New York Knicks on a seven-game winning streak that garnered global headlines and inspired the fervor of "Linsanity."

The nine-year NBA veteran now plays with the G League's Santa Cruz Warriors. Over the course of his career, he has never shied away from speaking out about his Taiwanese roots and the issues facing the larger Asian American community.

In 2017, he spoke openly about his years playing on the road while attending Harvard. He recounted painful experiences of other slurs being hurled on the court. While teammates would alert the coach, Lin said, "I didn't say anything, because when that stuff happens, I kind of just, I go and bottle up."

Despite growing up American, Lin told ABC News he has been treated as an "other" for "my whole life."

"I've always been the token Asian guy. I've always had to prove myself a little bit more, knowing that in a lot of situations that if I'm even with somebody else, then I'm behind, basically," he said. "I've kind of grown up my whole life knowing that."

Through it all, Lin said, he feels his career has been purposeful.

"God has continued to use me and allowed me to do things beyond what I'm capable of doing," he said. "I just hope that by continuing to play, when the next Asian or Asian American comes along that ... hopefully it won't be as difficult for them, or they won't be labeled as 'deceptively athletic,' or they won't have to fight as hard, or fight uphill to be able to show what they can do."

Lin said what he experienced is "a little bit uncomfortable, but the NBA and everybody within the organization, and outside, have been amazing and supportive."

Lin didn't specify when the incident calling him "coronavirus" happened. It's unclear if the incident occurred in the G-League bubble in Orlando, Florida, where Lin is currently playing.

In his Facebook post, he called on all people to "listen to the voices that are teaching us how to be anti-racist towards ALL people. Hear others stories, expand your perspective. I believe this generation can be different. But we will need empathy and solidarity to get us there."

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