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Friday
Dec152017

Mothers of victims assaulted by Larry Nassar fight to 'change the system'

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The mothers of athletes who accused sports doctor Larry Nassar of sexual assault are demanding systemic changes take place to prevent future abuses, with one of them telling ABC News, "It’s our daughters today, who would it be tomorrow?"

"We so trusted this man, my child, Sterling, would not have been there ... if we didn’t implicitly trust him," Kyle Keiser, the mother of Sterling Riethman, one of Nassar's former patients who accused him of sexual misconduct in a civil suit, told ABC News.

"He was maniacally genius in the way he groomed me as a parent and my daughter as a victim," Keiser said, adding that the trust "was built over years."

Nassar, a former Michigan State University (MSU) and USA Gymnastics doctor, was sentenced to 60 years in prison earlier this month after pleading guilty to federal child pornography charges.

Nassar also pleaded guilty last month to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving girls who were 15 years old or younger in Ingham County, Michigan, as well as three other counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Eaton County, Michigan. In addition, he has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 125 women and girls in civil lawsuits.

Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas have publicly said they were abused by the disgraced doctor.

Sterling Riethman has joined a lawsuit alleging that MSU had received complaints as far back as 2000 and failed to investigate properly. Keiser told ABC News that she believes MSU, the institution that housed Nassar's practice for decades, failed to protect young athletes from the his widespread abuse.

"If MSU had listened to the reports that started in 1996, my child would not have been a patient, and then she would not have been a victim," Keiser said. "How many other dozens of young women are in that same situation?"

She added that if a thorough investigation had been launched when the first allegations emerged against Nassar, scores of victims could have been protected, telling ABC News, "It could have been stopped."

Jason Cody, a spokesperson for MSU said in a statement this November that the university "unequivocally denies" the accusation that the university "is engaged in a ‘cover up of misconduct by university administrators.'"

"Moreover, MSU has consistently promised if it were to find any employee knew of and acquiesced in Nassar’s misconduct, the university would immediately report it to law enforcement," Cody added. "As for the call for an independent investigation, the FBI and MSU Police Department conducted a joint investigation earlier this year to determine whether any university employee other than Nassar engaged in criminal conduct. The results of that investigation were sent to the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan. We have no reason to believe that any criminal conduct was found."

The statement continued: "Michigan State University continues to be shocked and appalled by Larry Nassar’s now-admitted criminal conduct. Any suggestion that the university covered up this conduct is simply false."

Keiser said she and her daughter are speaking out now in order to create "change" and protect future athletes.

"Sterling said something the other day," Keiser told ABC News. "She said, 'You know, if something horrible is going to happen to me, and I do nothing, I’m only a victim, but if it creates change, and we can make this better, then it served a purpose.'"

Keiser added that as a mother, it was extremely difficult for her to watch what her daughter went through.

"I raised Sterling to be a strong, independent, smart, young woman," Keiser said. "And it's not in a strong, independent girl's vocabulary to say that, 'I’m a victim.'

"All of a sudden, she is put in a place of vulnerability, and she doesn’t know who she is," she added. "How do you all of a sudden say that you are a sex assault victim? How do you find those words?"

Keiser said they are fighting to "change the system so that young girls aren't even exposed to this."

"It makes me sad that it didn’t have to happen. It makes me sad that there are over 150 Sterlings," Keiser added. "Who hasn’t come forward? Who doesn’t have the strength to come forward?"

'We can't keep putting a Band-Aid on an artery bleed'

Lisa Lorincz, the mother of Kaylee Lorincz, who was also a former patient of Nassar's and accused him of sexual assault in the Ingham County criminal case Nassar pleaded guilty to last month, echoed Keiser's sentiments.

Lorincz is also suing MSU, saying she believes MSU and the USA Gymnastics organizations must have been aware of some allegations of misconduct against Nassar.

"When you have an institution as large as they are, it's ridiculous to think that people didn’t know," Lorincz told ABC News.

USA Gymnastics did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment Friday, but the organization has previously said in a statement that, "USA Gymnastics is very sorry that any athlete was harmed by Larry Nassar. Upon first learning of athlete concerns about Nassar in 2015, USA Gymnastics reported him to the FBI and relieved him of any involvement with USA Gymnastics."

The statement continued: "Federal and state authorities ultimately charged Nassar with multiple crimes, leading to his incarceration and now his admission of guilt to charges of criminal sexual conduct. We note that affected women contacted by Michigan prosecutors supported resolution by plea, and USA Gymnastics also views Nassar’s guilty plea as an important acknowledgment of his appalling and devious conduct that permits punishment without further victimization of survivors."

Shortly after Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney came forward with her allegations of assault, USA Gymnastics issued another statement saying, "We are strengthening and enhancing our policies and procedures regarding abuse, as well as expanding our educational efforts to increase awareness of signs to watch for and reporting suspicions of abuse, including the obligation to immediately report. USA Gymnastics, its members and community are committed to working together to keep our athletes as safe as possible.”

Lorincz told ABC News she is not looking for an apology from Nassar.

"I don’t want anything from him," she said. "I just want to see Kaylee heal."

While she maintains that an apology "wouldn't do any good," Lorincz told ABC News that going forward, one thing she does hope to see is for "things to change."

"I would also like to see anybody who knew," Lorincz said. "If we’re going to really make change for the future, there has be consequences for people who knew and didn’t report, or worse, covered it up."

"We can't keep putting a Band-Aid on an artery bleed, and trying to deal with it after the fact," she added.

Since going public with her family's heartbreak, Lorincz said they have been exposed to what she described as "victim blaming."

"If you could find a way to point the finger at the gymnast, or the poor parenting skills, then you can justify in your mind that this won't happen to your child," she said in response.

"I have news for everybody, that unless things change, this can happen to their child, because no one is being held accountable," she added. "It’s our daughters today, who would it be tomorrow?"

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Dec152017

New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple fined, admits 'mistake'

Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- The New York Giants fined cornerback Eli Apple after the second-year cornerback tweeted during the Giants' loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, according to ESPN.

Apple was standing on the sidelines when he sent out the tweet, but he was not on the active roster for the game.

He conceded that he made an error in judgment, telling reporters on Thursday, "I wasn't confused. It was just a mistake by me."

The No. 10 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft has not appeared in a game since Week 10 of the NFL season. In the Giants' most recent game, interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo cited Apple's lack of reps in practice as the reason why Apple was not playing.

ESPN reports that Apple violated an NFL rule with his tweeting. The rule states:

"The use of social media or networking sites (including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and similar vehicles) by coaches, players, and other club football operations personnel is prohibited on game day (including halftime) beginning ninety (90) minutes before kickoff until after the post-game locker room is open to the media, and players have first fulfilled their obligation to be available to the news media who are at the game.

"No updates are permitted to be posted by a player himself or anyone representing him during this prohibited time on his Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or any other social media account. Doing so may subject a player to League discipline."


While on the sidelines, Apple was tweeting that he was healthy despite being included on the injury report the week before. He also retweeted an article about Cowboys' wide receiver Rod Smith after Smith scored a touchdown late in the game. Smith and Apple were college teammates.

According to ESPN, Apple still wants to stay with the Giants:

"Of course. I'm blessed to be where I am right now. I appreciate everything being here, alive. Football is something I love to do. It's a blessing. You don't want to take it for granted. I definitely want to be here, to be honest."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Dec152017

Atlanta Hawks fan wins $10K for half-court shot

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- An Atlanta Hawks fan named Norman is about to have a very Merry Christmas.

Norman got picked out of the crowd at Thursday's Pistons-Hawks game to attempt a near-impossible half-court shot – and he nailed it, winning $10,000.

His reaction energized the crowd:

When asked what he would do with his winnings, he said he would “enjoy Christmas.”

His team did not have as good of a night, however. The Atlanta Hawks ended up losing to the Detroit Pistons 105-91.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Dec152017

Scoreboard roundup -- 12/14/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from yesterday's sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Detroit 105, Atlanta 91
N.Y. Knicks 111, Brooklyn 104
Minnesota 119, Sacramento 96
Cleveland 121, L.A. Lakers 112
Golden State 112, Dallas 97

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Philadelphia 2, Buffalo 1
Washington 5, Boston 3
Columbus 6, N.Y. Islanders 4
Montreal 2, New Jersey 1; OT  
Chicago 5, Winnipeg 1
Anaheim 3, St. Louis 1
Minnesota 2, Toronto 0
Colorado 2, Florida 1
Tampa Bay 4, Arizona 1
Nashville 4, Edmonton 0
San Jose 3, Calgary 2
Vegas 2, Pittsburgh 1

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Denver 25, Indianapolis 13

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
(21) Baylor 99, Texas Southern 68

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Dec142017

Broncos QB Trevor Siemian injures left shoulder during game

Andy Lyons/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian left Thursday night's game against the Indianapolis Colts with a left shoulder injury.

The team ruled out his return.

Siemianwas sacked by Barkevious Mingo and landed on his left arm and shoulder. When Siemian got up holding his left arm  and was examined by the Broncos' medical staff before being taken to the locker room.
Brock Osweiler replaced Siemian against the Colts.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Dec142017

Colts' Brandon Williams taken to hospital with head injury

iStock/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) --  Colts tight end Brandon Williams had to be taken off the field on a stretcher in the second quarter of Thursday's game against the Denver Broncos.

Williams, the Colts' primary backup tight end, suffered the injury while blocking Broncos linebacker Deiontrez Mount on a punt early in the quarter. The two players collided and Mount appeared to try to soften Williams' landing.

Williams had his college career at Oregon come to an end a year early because of a spinal condition in 2011.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Dec142017

Indianapolis to host 2121 NBA All-Star Game

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Indianapolis will host the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, the league announced Wednesday.

The game will be held at the Pacers' Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, which hasn't hosted the event since 1985, when it was played at the Hoosier Dome.

Future sites for the NBA All-Star Game include Los Angeles (2018), Charlotte (2019) and Chicago (2020).

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Dec132017

Scoreboard roundup -- 12/12/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Tuesday's sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Denver 103, Detroit 84
Cleveland 123, Atlanta 114
OT N.Y. Knicks 113, L.A. Lakers 109
Brooklyn 103, Washington 98
Dallas 95, San Antonio 89
OT Philadelphia 118, Minnesota 112
Sacramento 99, Phoenix 92

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Edmonton 7, Columbus 2
Buffalo 3, Ottawa 2
Philadelphia 4, Toronto 2
Washington 5, Colorado 2
New Jersey 5, L.A. Kings 1
SO Minnesota 2, Calgary 1
Tampa Bay 3, St. Louis 0
OT Chicago 3, Florida 2
SO Carolina 3, Vegas 2

TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
(15) Seton Hall 84, St. Peter's 61
(25) Cincinnati 65, Mississippi St. 50

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec122017

Ex-NFL Network employee alleges sexual misconduct by former players in lawsuit

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- The NFL Network has suspended three analysts, including Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk, after an ex-wardrobe stylist for the network filed suit over sexual harassment on Monday.


The woman, Jami Cantor, alleges a number of offenses by NFL Enterprises in the lawsuit, including sexual harassment, age discrimination, wrongful termination, and unfair business practices.

Bloomberg was first to acquire the lawsuit.

"This is a severe case and I think my client is extremely courageous in coming forward," Laura Horton, Cantor's lawyer, said in a statement. "I'm grateful for the national conversation regarding sexual harassment over the last 60-90 days and I hope the conversation continues.

"The supervisors knew about it, the supervisors observed it. It was insidious in this particular environment. It's outrageous conduct and I fully intend to hold the NFL Network responsible."

The three players named in the suit who are still employed by the NFL Network, which is owned by the league, were suspended Monday.

"Marshall Faulk, Ike Taylor, and Heath Evans have been suspended from their duties at NFL Network pending an investigation into these allegations," Alex Riethmiller, vice president of communications for NFL Media, said in a statement.

The lawsuit also makes allegations against ex-NFL Network executive producer Eric Weinberger, who now works for Bill Simmons Media Group. Allegations against Weinberger include sending Cantor nude pictures and explicit texts, groping her and pressing his crotch against her shoulder.

Cantor was 51 when she was fired by NFL Network on October 10, 2016. She started working there around 2006, according to the filing.

Cantor alleges Faulk regularly asked about her sex life, groped her and once pinned her against a wall while he pulled his pants down. Both Taylor and Evans are accused of sending her nude pictures on multiple occasions.

Ex-NFL Network employees and players Donovan McNabb, Eric Davis and Warren Sapp are also named in the lawsuit.

McNabb, who starred for the Philadelphia Eagles, is alleged to have sent sexually inappropriate text messages. Davis, she says, repeatedly discussed sex in front of Cantor and propositioned her.

Sapp allegedly gave Cantor an adult toy for Christmas three years in a row.

Cantor said she repeatedly complained to superiors about the behavior of the network's employees and nothing was done. She said complaints to NFL Talent Coordinator Marc Watts were ignored, with him saying, "It’s part of the job when you look the way you do."

ABC News has reached out to all of the players' agents for comment but they have yet to respond.

The Ringer, which employs Weinberger, said in a statement, “These are very serious and disturbing allegations that we were made aware of today. We are placing Eric on leave indefinitely until we have a better understanding of what transpired during his time at the NFL, and we will conduct our own internal investigation.”

Faulk was a running back for the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams and is considered one of the greatest all-purpose backs in NFL history, finishing his 12-year career fourth all-time in yards from scrimmage. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2011.

McNabb left NFL Network in 2013, while Davis left earlier this year. Davis now hosts a radio show on ESPN Los Angeles 710 AM.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Dec112017

Matt Barnes, 37, retires from the NBA

Vivien Killilea/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After 14 years in the NBA, forward Matt Barnes is calling it a career. The 37-year-old, who had not played this season, made the announcement on his Instagram Monday.

"Had a cool 15yr run!!" he wrote. "Traveled the world met alota cool people, some will be brothers for the rest of my life! BUT NOW.... You telling me I can dress like this for business meetings & make more money off the court than I made ON?? & spend more time with my kids??!! ... Let's Do it! Love me or HATE ME, I DID IT MY WAY!"

Barnes certainly did things his way over his 14 years in the league, playing for ten different NBA teams after being drafted out of UCLA in the second round by Memphis Grizzlies in 2002. He played for the Golden State Warriors last season, his second stint with the team, and won the NBA championship.

Barnes wasn't know for his scoring, and usually came off the bench to provide a physical and emotional spark for his team. He was also involved in a feud with former Lakers player and Knicks head coach Derek Fisher, who is dating Barnes' ex-wife, Gloria Govan.

Off the court, Barnes has been running a foundation that helps raise money for cancer patients, and says he is working with his alma mater to help establish a scholarship for children who conquer cancer and want to attend college.

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