<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Sports]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/sports http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.comen-usWed, 28 Sep 2016 17:06:58 -0400Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:06:58 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Emotional Scenes at Jose Fernandez Funeral Procession]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:33:33 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/092816+jose+fernandez+memorial+3.jpg

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Tim Tebow Homers in First Instructional League At-Bat]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:45:02 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/tebow-home-run-0928.jpg

Tim Tebow didn't waste time making an impact in his first professional baseball game Wednesday.

USA Today reports that the former Jets backup and current Mets instructional league player hit a home run during his first at-bat against minor leaguers for the St. Louis Cardinals. 

Video tweeted by a reporter for WPTV, the NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach, shows Tebow smacking the ball over the center field wall as fans erupt in cheers.

Tebow, who has also been working as an analyst for ESPN's SEC Network, signed an instructional league contract with the Mets after working out for several MLB teams earlier this summer. 

The former quarterback, who won the Heisman Trophy while playing at the University of Florida in 2007 and played a central role in national title-winning seasons in 2006 and 2008, failed to find lasting success under center in the NFL.

But he decided to take up baseball, a sport he hadn't played since high school, earlier this summer in a final attempt to play professional sports. 



Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Greg Hardy Arrested on Drug Charges]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 20:27:28 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Greg-Hardy-mug-shot.jpg

Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy faces a felony drug charge after he was arrested Sunday night in Richardson, police say.

Hardy, who is an NFL free agent after playing for the Cowboys in 2015, allegedly had 0.7 grams of cocaine in a wallet in his car. It was discovered after a traffic stop for failing to use a turn signal, a police affidavit states.

Hardy was stopped about 11:22 p.m. after turning onto Midway Drive from the 300 block of North Glenville Drive. The officer gave Hardy a verbal warning for the traffic violation but asked for his consent to search his 2010 white Dodge Challenger, the police report says.

He told the officer that he didn't know what the substance was and said he believed he got it while he was at a party Saturday night, according to police. Hardy said he passed his wallet around at the party because he was paying for everybody, and he said that must have been when someone put the substance in his wallet.

Hardy was booked into the Richardson City Jail, where he remained Monday afternoon. Bond was set at $5,000.

Hardy spent the first five years of his NFL career with the Carolina Panthers, before joining the Cowboys in 2015.

Hardy hasn't garnered much attention in free agency since he and the Cowboys parted ways after the 2015 season. He recorded six sacks in 12 games while playing for Dallas.

The defensive end made news stemming from a 2014 arrest for assaulting an ex-girlfriend and threatening to kill her. The charges were eventually expunged from Hardy's record.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News/Richardson Police Dept.]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Wear No. 16 for Jose]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 05:31:15 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_16270851118909.jpg

No one on the Miami Marlins will ever wear Jose Fernandez’s No. 16 again, owner Jeffrey Loria announced Monday, a day after the star pitcher was killed in a boating accident.

But that will only take effect after Monday night, when Marlins players honored Fernandez by each wearing his jersey number during their game against the Mets, in which he had been scheduled to start.

And second baseman Dee Gordon started the game with an almost unbelievable tribute to his teammate, slamming the third pitch out of the park for a lead-off home run. 

Gordon was overcome as he touched home, hugging his teammates as he walked back to the dugout.

Fernandez and two others were found dead on Sunday morning when the boat they were on, which authorities have said appeared to be traveling very fast, crashed on a jetty off Miami Beach.

That day, the Marlins held an emotional press conference where the players and coaching staff fought back tears remembering the 24-year-old ace. The team also painted his No. 16 on the pitcher's mound and placed flowers alongside the rubber.

Fernandez dazzled on the mound for Miami in his brief career and the team will recognize his achievements in Monday's game.

The Marlins canceled Sunday's game against the Braves following Fernandez's death. Barring a need for that contest in the playoff race, Miami will only play 161 games this season.

The Marlins' gesture to have every player don Fernandez's number is reminiscent of the league's annual remembrance of Jackie Robinson. Every season, every player on every team wears his No. 42 for one day in April.

Fernandez will likely go down in history as the last Marlins player to wear No. 16, besides the players wearing it in his memory. While the team has not announced the plan officially, Monday's gesture points in that direction.

The game Monday night also included a moment of silence.

It's the first time in Marlins history that an active player has died. It is a rare event in sports and one that has no playbook. Miami could opt to hold more tributes for Fernandez next season as well, including at the 2017 All-Star Game.



Photo Credit: Lynne Sladky/AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Elena Delle Donne Opens Up in Video]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:11:53 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-514542562.jpg

Chicago Sky superstar Elena Delle Donne is well-known for her exploits on the court and her status as the defending WNBA MVP, but what you may not know is the story of how her bond with her sister resurrected her basketball career.

In a new video released by Gatorade, Delle Donne recounts the story of how she walked away from the UConn women’s basketball team to take care of her sister Lizzie, who has cerebral palsy and is blind and deaf.

"Lizzie has always been my strength, but going away to play college basketball meant that I had to say goodbye, and I just wasn't ready," she said. "Everybody thinks I came home to take care of her, but she was the one helping me."

She took a year off from basketball, but ultimately decided to come back to the sport and became a star at the University of Delaware. In the video, she describes how her sister’s love of the wind helped give her a new perspective on life.

"If you close your eyes, and you can't hear anything, and the wind comes across your face and blows your hair, it makes you feel a certain joy. To her, it's just pure joy and it's incredible to watch something that simple make her so happy," Delle Donne shared.

"I'll step outside after a rough practice, feel the wind, and it's like, 'Oh. There you are Liz,'" she added. "Liz has taught me so much. You don't focus on what you don't have - you celebrate what you do." 

Delle Donne has gone through other obstacles in her career as well, including contracting Lyme disease during her sophomore season. Eventually she overcame those challenges and was drafted by the Sky with the second overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft.

Unfortunately for Delle Donne, she has more adversity to go through now, as she’s dealing with recovery following thumb surgery earlier this month. The star forward is hoping to return to the court during the WNBA playoffs, but her timetable for recovery is unknown at this point.

Even with that latest setback, Delle Donne proves in the video that she is willing to take on any challenge, and going through adversity is something she’s become very adept at in her career.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[British Open Organizers Pay Tribute to Arnold Palmer]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 10:58:49 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Arnold-Palmer.jpg

Organizers of the British Open paid tribute to Arnold Palmer on Monday for his "immeasurable" contribution to golf's oldest major, a tournament that he won twice in the early 1960s and helped bring to international prominence. 

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the Royal & Ancient, called Palmer "a true gentleman, one of the greatest ever to play the game and a truly iconic figure in sport." 

Palmer, who died Sunday in Pittsburgh at the age of 87, won seven majors, including the British Open in 1961 and '62. He last played the Open in 1995, 35 years after his first appearance. 

"His contribution to The Open Championship was, and remains, immeasurable," Slumbers said in a statement. "He will be missed and forever remembered by all at The R&A and throughout the world of golf as a charismatic and global champion of our game." 

Palmer first played the British Open in 1960, finishing runner-up in what he later called one of the biggest disappointments of his career. But his appearance invigorated the British Open, which Americans had been ignoring for years. 

"Without question Arnold's participation in The Open Championship in the early 1960s was the catalyst to truly internationalize golf," European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said. "The fact he was loved and recognized by everyone across the globe, whether they be fans of golf or not, is testament to his charismatic legacy that will live on." 

Palmer was made an honorary member of The European Tour in 1995. 

"In this week of the playing of the 41st Ryder Cup in particular, we remember fondly his time as a six-time Ryder Cup player and two-time captain," Pelley said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time."

]]>
<![CDATA[Jose Fernandez Remembered by MLB Teams]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:49:49 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/187*120/GettyImages-610389982.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mike Ditka on Kaepernick's Protest]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 08:06:10 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/mike+ditka+GettyImages-463267928.jpg

Former Bears coach Mike Ditka has weighed in on the protests sparked by 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and he certainly did not hold back. 

"I think it’s a problem, anybody who disrespects this country and the flag," Ditka said in a radio interview Friday. "If they don't like the country, they don't like our flag, get the hell out, that's what I think."

"I have no respect for Colin Kaepernick, he probably has no respect for me," the Hall of Fame coach continued. "That’s his choice. My choice is that I like this country. I respect our flag."

"And I don't see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on," he added. "I see opportunities if people want to look for opportunities. Now, if they don't want to look for them, then you can find problems with anything."

"But this is the land of opportunity because you can be anything you want to be if you work. Now if you don't work, that's a different problem," he concluded. 

Ditka's disapproval of the protests came just days after three players on the Philadelphia Eagles raised their fists at Soldier Field ahead of the Bears' home opener Monday night. 

That demonstration joined the national conversation ignited by Kaepernick who sat, then kneeled, for the playing of the national anthem beginning in August to call attention to the oppression of minorities across the United States. 

Since then, Kaepernick has been joined by several other NFL players, including four members of the Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters, and Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall.

While some have expressed support for the message of the demonstrations, the protests have sparked outrage among others, including local police unions in Miami and San Francisco, both of which have threatened some form of boycott. 

A recent poll found Kaepernick to be the most disliked player in the NFL, which was conducted just days before his cover for Time Magazine's October issue was revealed. 

He revealed Tuesday that he has received death threats over his protest, and pledged to donate $100,000 in each of the next 10 months to organizations that work toward goals consistent with his message of fighting racial inequality.

This is not the first time Ditka has spoken out on social or political issues. A well-documented conservative, he has publicly expressed support for Donald Trump and flirted with the idea of speaking at the Republican National Convention in July.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Pitcher Jose Fernandez's Career in Photos]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 09:21:45 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/021714+jose+fernandez.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fans, Marlins Mourns Death of Pitcher Jose Fernandez]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 15:06:18 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-488189159.jpg

Baseball fans and players awoke Sunday morning to the tragic news of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez's death.

The ace right-hander was one of three people killed in a boating accident in Miami Beach. The Cuban-born athlete was just 24 years old. 

Miami Marlins players gathered at the team's ballpark to grieve together following the death of their teammate.

"A lot of words were said, meaningful words and emotion and prayer," Marlins president David Samson said at a news conference, surrounded by more than two dozen players wearing black Marlins jerseys. "Jose is a member of this family for all time."

Manager Don Mattingly and president of baseball operations Michael Hill flanked Samson and fought back tears.

"When I think about Jose, it's going to be thinking about a little kid," Mattingly said. "I see such a little boy in him ... the way he played. ... Kids play Little League, that's the joy Jose played with."

The Marlins' game Sunday against Atlanta was canceled. Their home game Monday night against the New York Mets will be played as scheduled, the team said.

"Deep in our hearts there is a lot of pain," third baseman Martin Prado said. "Somehow we've got to overcome that."

Fans, athletes and sports teams took to social media Sunday to mourn Fernandez's death, tweeting condolences and prayers for his family and the Marlins organization.  

"Hands down one of my favorite guys to watch pitch! He brought nothing but intensity and passion," Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price said on Twitter early Sunday.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Kaep Joins High School Protest]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 08:55:14 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Castlemont+Football.jpg

High school students in the East Bay are following Colin Kaepernick’s lead and helping to shine a light on issues of police brutality and racial inequality in the United States — this time by lying down during the national anthem.

Since August, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback has taken to kneeling before games – something he did alongside the Castlemont High School football team in Oakland on Friday.

When the first strains of the national anthem floated across the field and Kaepernick knelt, the Knights lay on the ground with their hands up in the air.

"It's basically showing our vulnerability ... them being the authority and the power, and us being the citizens," said protest organizer and senior player Jadan Starks.

Head coach Edward Washington supports his team's actions.

“Black men and brown men have been assassinated unarmed, hands on the ground,” he said. “We had to protest and stand against this because it's not right."

Friday’s protest came after nearly a week after the team knelt during the National Anthem before another game and tweeted a picture of it. Kaepernick retweeted the Twitter post and it went viral, sparking a conversation between him and the school.

“He had reached out through a fraternity brother and a mutual friend and he was like, ‘I want to come over and talk to the kids,’” Washington said.

And that's exactly what Kaepernick did, catching the players by surprise.

“This is your family, these are your brothers,” he told the team. “I look at all of you as brothers. I see your strength, I see your power, I see your courage, your confidence.”

[[394693771, C]]

Speaking to the athletes in their locker room before the game, Kaepernick said he attended their game to stand – or kneel as the case may be – in solidarity with them.

“The same way y'all took a stand and stood with me, I had to come out here and stand with you’ll,” he said.

Kaepernick also encouraged his rapt audience to “lift each other up” because “that’s what this is about.”

He assured the Castlemont students that their actions, thoughts and words have value – both on and off the football field.

“You are important. You make a difference. This matters. Everything you do matters,” Kaepernick stressed.

Earlier in the week, a school band of roughly 155 middle and high school students from the Oakland Unified School District knelt as they played "The Star Bangled Banner" before an Oakland A's game on Wednesday.

[[394693971, C]]

San Francisco’s Mission High School football team has also decided to take a knee at every game in the season when the national anthem is played. The Bears are slated to face Millbrae’s Mills High School Saturday.

According to Castlemont coach Bryan Parker, this is just the beginning of a movement among young students and athletes, and those who motivate them.

"We want to keep a dialogue going, getting rid of the dehumanization of black and brown people all around the country, but specifically in Oakland," he said.

School officials say they plan to continue working with community leaders, politicians and law enforcement, going forward.

Social unrest has rocked the U.S. this week. Police shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte have spawned massive demonstrations and even riots. Amid this social landscape, Kaepernick’s ongoing protest has ignited a maelstrom of conflicting reactions.

His face will grace the cover of Time magazine next month, but he has also received death threats and a recent poll reflects his unenviable achievement of being the most disliked player in the National Football League.

Closer to home, the NFLer has had not only the 49ers head coach Chip Kelly in his corner, but even a muralist, who created artwork on the side of an Oakland wall to remind Kaepernick, “We got your back.”

[[394693681, C]]



Photo Credit: Castlemont Football
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Anthem Protests Spread to Colleges, WNBA Player Sits]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 22:19:17 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/colinkaepernick3.JPG

Liberty guard Brittany Boyd sat on the bench with her head bowed during the national anthem before a WNBA playoff game.

Hours earlier, college football players for Michigan and Michigan State, along with a group of students at North Carolina, raised their fists during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner on Saturday. 

Since 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the anthem before NFL preseason games, citing racial injustice and police brutality, his movement has slowly spread across fields and courts in the U.S. On Saturday, college athletes and professional athletes joined together to follow his lead after a week punctuated by riots in Charlotte, North Carolina , and the killing of an unarmed black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

Boyd had sat on the bench during the anthem at the team's last home game on Sept. 13, too. Her New York teammates stood, arms locked with their heads bowed before their WNBA playoff game with Phoenix. Mercury players Mistie Bass and Kelsey Bone kneeled, just as they had done during their first-round playoff game. Bass was inspired that younger athletes were joining an effort that until this weekend, had been mostly led by the pros. 

"I think it shows that the younger generations are about this and they did it together," she said. "They are understanding what is going on in our society. It's perfect because they are so caught up in their phones. To see them standing up for social injustices and wanting things to be right in their communities I think is awesome." 

Three Michigan State players — Delton Williams, Kenney Lyke and Gabe Sherrod — held their right fists in the air while standing on the sideline before the No. 8 Spartans hosted No. 11 Wisconsin.

"Whether somebody salutes, puts the hand over their heart or does something else, everybody has a choice to make," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio added after the Spartans' 30-6 loss. "Our young people are in college, and I can promise you one thing, that when the flag is presented in some respect, I guess it becomes much more important now. It's not just, oh by the way, we'll just stand for 'The Star-Spangled Banner.'

"All I can do is try and lead the best way I can, and be positive and accepting to our football team and our players," the coach added.

Several players for No. 4 Michigan also had their fists up before facing Penn State in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Among them were Khalid Hill, Mike McCray, Devin Bush, Elysee Mbem-Bosse and Jourdan Lewis.

Most college conferences play the anthem before the teams take the field. The Big Ten is among the exceptions.

The University of Michigan is 6 miles from Eastern Michigan University, where chanting students marched on the field Friday night after the school's 27-24 victory over Wyoming. The students were protesting racist graffiti on the campus earlier in the week.

"We have great respect for our students engaged in the constructive efforts underway to address the issues we face," Eastern Michigan President James Smith said in a statement Saturday.

Before North Carolina hosted Pittsburgh, students wearing black shirts remained seated with fists raised. Some 60 to 70 black and white students participated.

Nebraska players Michael Rose-Ivey, Daishon Neal and Mohamed Barry also kneeled before the No. 20 Cornhuskers' game at Northwestern.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was Kaepernick's coach for four seasons in San Francisco. Last month, Harbaugh said he supported Kaepernick's motivation to speak out but took exception to his method.

After Saturday's game, Harbaugh said he had been thinking a lot about the issue the past couple of weeks and that he supports his players. 

"This is something that's not going away. It's going to keep happening," Harbaugh said after the Wolverines' 49-10 victory. "It's not something that's going to keep them out of heaven. So I'm not going to worry about it. As long as it doesn't keep them out of heaven for supporting their minds, I support it."

Kaepernick was at a high school football game on Friday night. He spoke to players from Castlemont High School and joined them on the sideline before the game. A photo by former NFL linebacker Kirk Morrison on Twitter shows Kaepernick kneeling while the rest of the team laid on their backs with their hands up during the anthem.

Saturday's gestures came a day after it was announced that Tommie Smith and John Carlos will join the U.S. Olympic team at the White House for a meeting with President Barack Obama. The raised-fist salutes by the American sprinters on the medal stand at the 1968 Olympics became a political flash point.



Photo Credit: Pendarvis Harsha]]>
<![CDATA[Seeing African-American History Through Redskins Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell's Eyes]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 20:54:57 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Bobby+Mitchells+Jersey+at+the+African+American+Museum.jpg Bobby Mitchell was the Redskins first African-American player. He toured the new National Museum of African American History and Culture with News4's Barbara Harrison.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Smart Football Helmets]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 16:14:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Smart+Helmet.jpg The Friday night lights will illuminate high school football stadiums across the country this evening -- while new helmet technology is shedding light on one of football's long-time concerns: Concussions.

Photo Credit: CNBC]]>
<![CDATA[LeBron James Executive Produces New Sitcom for NBC]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 13:45:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-588692562-LebronJames.jpg

Gentrification is a phenomenon affecting nearly every major U.S. city, and apparently NBA champ LeBron James sees it material ready made for television.

Alongside "Scrubs" creator Bill Lawrence, James is co-producing a new sitcom about a white family moving into a predominately black neighborhood in Cleveland. NBC has picked up "There Goes the Neighborhood" through a script contract with penalty, penned by "Community" veterans Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan and "Powerless" star Ron Funches. 

"There Goes the Neighborhood" must hold a special place in James' heart, as it’s set in his team's city. With its community-centric bent, the sitcom may even prove that "Cleveland is great for the whole family," as James humorously insists in the 2015 film "Trainwreck."

James appears to be on a roll both on and off the court.  Springhill Entertainment, James' company co-led by partner Maverick Carter, also sold a sports medical drama to NBC last week. "There Goes the Neighborhood" will be James’ fifth turn as an executive producer.



Photo Credit: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Utley Makes Ridiculous No Look Play For Dodgers]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 08:20:28 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/Utley+ridiculous+play.png

In case you haven't seen every defensive play in the book from Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley, here's another one for the future Hall of Famer's collection.

The Dodgers were hosting the Colorado Rockies at the Ravine on Thursday night in the opening game of a four-game series, the final homestand at Dodger Stadium.

There were two outs in the top of the fourth inning and the Rockies were threatening to add to their 3-1 lead. Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood was at the plate, and he hit what appeared to be a routine ground ball to Utley at second base.

Only Utley bobbled the ball, but he somehow stayed with the play and tossed the ball behind his back without looking to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez for the final out of the inning.

Check out the videos of the play below, the first, complete with the legendary Vin Scully on the call, and the second, a zoomed in replay. Enjoy.

As he came into the dugout, Utley told his manager Dave Roberts that he was sorry for bobbling the ball, and that he should have made the play more cleanly.

Roberts was stunned, but expected nothing less from his veteran second baseman.

"First thing he said was 'I can't believe I missed the ball,'" Roberts said. "He makes this crazy no look pass to first base, and instead of acknowledging the greatness of that play he says he should have made it a lot cleaner."

Utley himself didn't have any answers either.

"It was maybe a little instinctual and maybe a little lucky," he said smiling.

Part of me wants to believe that the 37-year-old bobbled the ball on purpose in order to wow us with his jaw-dropping no-look out, but knowing Utley, he really was more frustrated he had to do what he did.

Utley was also named the Los Angeles Dodgers recipient of the annual Roy Campanella Award on Thursday. The 11-year honor is given to the Dodger player that best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame catcher who played for the Dodgers.

No play exemplifies that spirit and leadership than the remarkable one he made in the game on Thursday night. Utley will be presented the award by members of Campanella's family on Saturday night before the game.



Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Touring the African American Museum With Bobby Mitchell]]> Thu, 22 Sep 2016 20:46:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Bobby+Mitchell+at+the+African+American+Museum.jpg News4's Barbara Harrison toured the National Museum of African American History and Culture with Bobby Mitchell, the first black man to play for the Washington Redskins.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Kaepernick Graces Time Magazine]]> Thu, 22 Sep 2016 13:31:58 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/kap-kneel.jpg

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick graces the cover of Time magazine next month, at the same time a new poll shows he’s the most disliked player in the National Football League.

This dichotomy of pride and disdain mirrors the country's reaction to Kaepernick’s controversial decision to not stand during the National Anthem at football games this summer.

Some support his stance, which he said is meant to highlight the issues of police brutality and unfair treatment of people of color in the United States.

"He's shedding light on a situation that is heinous, it shouldn't happen in this country," 49ers head coach Chip Kelly said. 

In his most detailed comments on the issue to date, Kelly on Thursday said he stands behind Kaepernick's ongoing protest.

"You look at what's going on in Tulsa and Charlotte in the last two nights — it's an issue that's in the forefront of our country," Kelly said. "It needs to be addressed. It needs to be taken care of because it's not right."

Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan is also following the quarterback's lead. When her colleagues stood for the Pledge of Allegiance at Tuesday's council meeting, she sat down.

"Part of my motivation for sitting in solidarity with him is to say, 'What you're doing is good. Don't worry about the haters because we need to stand up for justice,'" Kaplan said.

A kneeling Kaepernick is the featured Oct. 26 cover of the prestigious magazine. And the piece gives the quarterback credit for inspiring a national conversation “beyond the world of sports.”

However, Kaepernick has faced plenty of criticism with some even making death threats in response to a civil protest they deem unpatriotic.

A poll last week of Americans by E-Poll Marketing Research revealed that Kaepernick was "disliked a lot" by 29 percent of the 1,110 people polled, more than any of the more than 350 players asked about in the survey.

In the dislike category, Kaepernick finished ahead of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (22 percent), Miami Dolphins defensive end Ndamukong Suh (21 percent), New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (13 percent) and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (10 percent). In August 2014, the last time the poll was taken, Kaepernick was only "disliked a lot" by 6 percent of the population.

However, among African-Americans, Kaepernick has never been more popular.

The poll shows 42 percent of African-Americans now say they like the 49ers quarterback "a lot," while only 2 percent dislike him "a lot." Two years ago, only 16 percent of African-Americans said they liked Kaepernick "a lot," while 3 percent disliked him "a lot."



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[US Gymnasts' Doctor, Accused of Abuse, Fired From Univ.]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 21:36:10 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/219*120/Gymnastics-Beam.jpg

A doctor who for 20 years treated some of America's Olympic gymnasts has been terminated from his post at Michigan State University amid an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations, NBC News reported.

Dr. Larry Nassar was terminated Tuesday after the school said it learned he was violating "certain employment requirements" brought about after a recent graduate in 2014 lodged a misconduct complaint, which did not result in any charges.

Two more gymnasts, one of them an Olympic medalist who has not been named, recently accused Nassar of having molested them, prompting an undisclosed number of other women to make complaints against Nassar, prosecutors said.

Nassar, the team doctor for USA Gymnastics from 1996 to 2015, has denied any abuse through his legal team and has not been charged with a crime. His new attorney, Matt Newburg, had no comment on his firing.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Kaepernick Reports Death Threats]]> Wed, 21 Sep 2016 06:47:13 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/kap-kneel.jpg

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick says he has received death threats amid his growing protest movement against racial injustices and police brutality.

Kaepernick has refused to stand for the national anthem at 49ers games. Since he started the demonstration last month, the protest became a national story, and other NFL players, along with U.S. women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe, have joined in.

“One of the things I’ve noticed throughout this is there’s a lot of racism in this country disguised as patriotism,” Kaepernick said Tuesday. “And people want to take everything back to the flag, but that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking racial discrimination, inequalities and injustices that are happening across the nation.”

The quarterback has slowly amassed support from colleagues, veterans and President Barack Obama, who said Kaepernick has a right to protest.

Kaepernick, who spoke to reporters Tuesday from the 49ers' locker room, referred to the shooting of Terence Crutcher, 40, an unarmed black man killed Friday by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The U.S. Department of Justice has opened an investigation into whether a civil rights violation occurred during the fatal shooting.

“You have a situation like Terence Crutcher, where his car was broken down and he was looking for help and got murdered,” Kaepernick said. “That’s a perfect example of what this is about. I think it’ll be very telling what happens with the officer that killed him."

Kaepernick on Tuesday also said he will donate $100,000 in each of the next 10 months to organizations that work toward goals consistent with his message of fighting racial inequaly. He said a website will also be set up to track where the money is donated, and how it is being spent.

Kaepernick has already promised to donate the first $1 million he earns this season to charity. Kaepernick is slated to make at least $12.3 million this season.

Support for Kaepernick's movement has been challenged by critics who believe the protest is unpatriotic and disrespectful to law enforcement officials.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The SquareTable: Steinberg's Not Worried After Redskins' 0-2 Start]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 19:16:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-607554884.jpg News4's Carol Maloney and Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post get together for our second episode of "The SquareTable." Steinberg, the resident realist, talks Maloney off the ledge after an 0-2 start for the Redskins.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Redskins Head to Giants 0-2 With Plenty of Problems]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 17:20:15 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-607562494.jpg

Despite losing twice at home, and facing all sorts of problem areas, Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden wants everyone to “stay positive” and “understand we still have 14 games left” and believe that “all our goals are still reachable.”

If those phrases make him sound as if he's living in denial, there is no denying this: A loss Sunday at the New York Giants (2-0) would leave Washington in a big hole in the NFC East, three games out of first place just three games into the season.

“To be 0-2 at home -- losing to the Cowboys, losing to the Steelers -- is kind of a shock to everybody,” Gruden said Monday. “We expected great things this year. We still do.”

A year after winning their division behind a career season from Kirk Cousins, the Redskins have reason to wonder what is going on with the QB. He has one touchdown pass and three interceptions, including an end-zone pick on third-and-goal from the 6 in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 27-23 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

“He's not going to be perfect every week, that's for sure. And no quarterbacks are. It's just a matter of handling his business, going into work the next day and continuing to get better,” Gruden said. “Keep his head up and stay confident, stay poised.”

Gruden continued: “Sometimes he puts a lot on himself. He puts a lot of pressure on himself. He wants to be great, there's no question about it. And sometimes, if he feels like he's not playing to the standards that we all have set for him, he feels like he's letting everybody down.”

There have been problems in the red zone. And on third downs. Cousins' passer rating of 78.5 ranks 27th in the league.

He has not been very accurate: Against Dallas, Cousins overthrew wide-open receivers DeSean Jackson and Jamison Crowder on plays that very easily could have been TDs.

“It wasn't good enough, obviously,” Cousins acknowledged. “I need to play better.”

No quarterback has thrown more often than Cousins' 89 attempts through two games (Jacksonville's Blake Bortles has the same number), and Washington has run the ball a grand total of 29 times, a division of labor that might not serve the Redskins well against the Giants' revamped defense.

“We're not happy with the run-pass balance. Based on the numbers, we're obviously not a `run-first' team. I'd be standing up here looking like a fool if I said we're a `pound the rock'-type team right now,'” Gruden said. “First two games, the proof is in the pudding, the numbers.”

In addition to sounding an optimistic tone Monday, Gruden did say there is plenty his players and coaching staff needed to improve -- on offense and defense.

“We've just got to do a better job communicating on defense, making sure we're in the right spot, getting the calls out to the defensive backs, linebackers, defensive line. Offensively, making sure we know exactly where to go with the ball, when to go to it, and just do a better job of letting the players know what we're trying to accomplish with each play call, both (on) offense and defense,” the coach said. “The players have got to understand what we're doing and do it to the best of their ability.”

NOTES: NT Kedric Golston went on IR after injuring his right hamstring on the first play from scrimmage against Dallas. In other moves, Washington brought up rookie DL Matt Ioannidis from the practice squad and added three players to the practice squad: LBs Jason Fanaika and Amarlo Herrera, and DL Bobby Richardson.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Former USA Gymnastics Doctor Faces More Abuse Allegations]]> Sat, 17 Sep 2016 18:17:12 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/219*120/Gymnastics-Beam.jpg

More women have accused Dr. Larry Nassar, the former doctor for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, of abuse, officials said Friday, after molestation claims against the doctor first surfaced earlier this week.

The Indianapolis Star reported Monday that two gymnasts, one an Olympic medal winner, had accused Nassar of sexually abusing them during treatment. One of the women filed a police report with Michigan State, and the other filed a lawsuit in California.

Since then, other former patients have gone to police and prosecutors with similar allegations, NBC News reports. Authorities have not said how many complaints have been logged, citing the ongoing investigation.

“We have taken multiple additional complaints,” said Jason Cody, a spokesman for Michigan State University, where Nassar has a sports medicine practice.

Nassar served as team doctor for USA Gymnastics from 1996 to 2015. He has not been charged with a crime. Michigan State reassigned him from clinical duties while it investigates.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>