Serena Williams is standing in solidarity with domestic violence survivors: 'I need to let people know'

@serenawilliams/Instagram(NEW YORK) -- Serena Williams only lends her megawatt celebrity to shine a light on causes she believes in. And one such cause is domestic violence, an issue plaguing women in their most intimate spaces.

"I've been fortunate enough not to experience domestic violence, but one in every four women either experience it [in their lifetimes] or know someone who's been through it," she told Good Morning America last month inside New York City's Tictail Market.

Williams, 36, was in the Lower East Side marketplace to help unveil a nearby street mural commissioned by Allstate Foundation Purple Purse. The 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion and the program's ambassador is partnering with Purple Purse to raise awareness of domestic violence paired with financial abuse.

Purple Purse has helped more than 1.3 million domestic violence survivors, who are also suffering from financial abuse, since 2005. The foundation has invested more than $60 million toward survivor services such as curriculum around asset-building along with job-training and job-readiness programs.

Williams told GMA that after she read these statistics, she wanted to get involved to raise awareness.

"I need to let people know. Like, how do I not know about this?" she asked rhetorically. "I want to be a part of making other people aware of it because we need to bring those numbers down. That's way too high... that's shocking."

It's a topic that is ever close to Williams' heart, especially since she's raising her own young daughter.

The tennis star and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, welcomed their daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in September. Three months later, Williams and Ohanian, 35, wed in an intimate New Orleans ceremony.

"I have a daughter and she could potentially be in a situation like this," Williams said.

"I want her to be able [to] speak up about it," she continued. "I want her to know that she doesn't have to be in this situation. I want her to know there's a way out."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Football player tweets at TSA, claiming mother's ashes spilled during screening

@AJFrancis410/Twitter(LOS ANGELES) -- New York Giants defensive lineman A.J. Francis has called out the TSA on Twitter for how it handled his luggage at Los Angeles International Airport - specifically, he says, a container with the ashes of his mother inside.

But the TSA, while expressing condolences, is pushing back on his account.

His tweet, full of foul language, says the next time the TSA feels "the need to go through my mother's ashes for no reason make sure you close it back so her remains aren’t spilled on all my clothes."

Carrie Leanne Francis, who died on June 26, was only 46 years old.

During the screening of Francis’s checked bag, the TSA said, video review showed an alarm was called for an unidentified object, described as an “opened, unmarked ceramic container, wrapped in aluminum foil inside a small bag.”

Upon further inspection of the checked bag, the TSA said in a statement, the container was loosely packaged, unmarked and the contents were unknown to the TSA officer.

After an officer completed screening of the checked bag - clearing it to continue to its destination – the container was carefully repacked and put into place, the agency said.

A photo in Francis’s tweet shows clothing in his luggage covered in what he said were his mother's ashes and a notice of inspection bag from TSA.

“TSA understands how painful losing a loved one is, and we express our sincere condolences to Mr. Francis,” TSA told ABC in a statement. “TSA officers are trained to treat all travelers’ belongings with care and respect.”

For passengers traveling with cremated remains through a checkpoint, TSA recommends securing them in a container made of a lighter weight material, such as wood or plastic.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Sale of NFL franchise Carolina Panthers finalized

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Hedge fund billionaire David Tepper finalized a deal to purchase the Carolina Panthers of the NFL for $2.275 billion, according to an ESPN report.

The franchise's former owner and its founder, Jerry Richarson, finalized the sale after he was fined $2.75 million for sexual and racial workplace misconduct on June 28. Allegations of the inappropriate behavior surfaced in late 2017. Shortly after the public learned of the allegations, it was announced Richardson would sell the team.

Tepper said in a statement:

"I am thrilled to begin this new era of Carolina Panthers football and am humbled by the overwhelming excitement and support for the team. On behalf of the fans and myself, I thank Jerry Richardson for bringing the team to the Carolinas and for entrusting me with its future."

Richardson also released a statement on behalf of he and his wife Rosalind:

"[We] are grateful to the Carolina community for the love and support you have shown your Panthers. Your enthusiasm for football and devotion to the team has been a source of strength for us and for everyone who calls the Carolinas home."

Tepper has now taken over the day-to-day operations of the team.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Football player alleges TSA spills mother's ashes

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New York Giants defensive lineman A.J. Francis lashed out against the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on social media Monday, alleging they mishandled the urn carrying his mother's ashes.

ESPN reports Carrie Leanne Francis died in late June. On Twitter, Francis posted a picture of clothes covered in what appear to be ashes. In a profanity-laced claim, he says the agency did not close the urn and her ashes spilled onto his clothes.

The TSA Twitter account responded to Francis' photo, writing that the urn containing ashes should not have been opened.

Francis did not accept their apology, and told multiple media outlets he would not comment further on the situation.

Francis joined the Giants this offseason, having previously played with the Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, and Seattle Seahawks.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup -- 7/9/18

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from yesterday's sports events:

Cincinnati 7,  Cleveland 5

Baltimore 5,  N-Y Yankees 4
Boston 5,  Texas 0
Tampa Bay 10,  Detroit 9, 10 Innings
N-Y Yankees 10,  Baltimore 2
Oakland 2,  Houston 0
Minnesota 3,  Kansas City 1

N-Y Mets 4,  Philadelphia 3, 10 Innings
Pittsburgh 6,  Washington 3
Miami 4,  Milwaukee 3, 10 Innings
Philadelphia 3,  N-Y Mets 1
L-A Dodgers 8,  San Diego 2
San Francisco 2,  Chi Cubs 1, 11 Innings

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Travis Pastrana completes iconic Evel Knievel jumps

Bryan Steffy/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- Famed biker Travis Pastrana completed three historic motorcycle jumps that the late stunt performer Evel Knievel attempted in his illustrious career.

At the event "Evel Live" in Las Vegas, Pastrana jumped 143 feet over crushed cars and 149 feet over the fountains at Caesars Palace to conclude the event. His longest jump, the second of the night, was 192 feet over Greyhound buses on an Indian Scout FTR750 motorcycle.

Pastrana, who was wearing a costume similar to those worn by Evel Knievel, said afterwards, "It's just such an honor to live a day in Evel's footsteps and literally his boots. To be here in Las Vegas, so much of my history has been here. I proposed to my wife here. I had [the] first Nitro Circus show here. This was definitely the coolest thing I've ever done."

Knievel attempted to jump the Caesars Palace fountain as one of his early stunts, but did not make it and sustained serious injuries. Knievel did jump over crushed cars in 1973 and Greyhound buses in 1975 in California and Ohio respectively.

Knievel died in 2007 at age 69.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Major League Baseball announces all-star selections

iStock/Thinkstcok(NEW YORK) -- The 2018 MLB All-Star Game takes place on Tuesday, July 17 at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. On Sunday night, Major League Baseball revealed the rosters for the 89th annual Midsummer Classic.

The American League starting infield includes Tampa Bay Rays' catcher Wilson Ramos, Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado, and Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez. In the outfield, the American League starters include Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees, and Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox. Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez was voted into the same role for the All-Star Game.

In the National League, the Chicago Cubs will send two players to start: second baseman Javier Baez and catcher Wilson Contreras. The Atlanta Braves will also have two representatives starting the game: outfielder Nick Markakis and first baseman Freddie Freeman. Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado will start in the infield, as well as San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals and Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers round out the starting outfield along with the Braves' Markakis.

Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts, who is managing the National League roster, will select a designated hitter for the game.

A full list of reserves selected can be found here.

It has not been decided who will be the starting pitchers for each team, but candidates for the National League include Nationals' pitcher Max Scherzer and Mets' pitcher Jacob deGrom. For the American League, Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians, Luis Severino of the New York Yankees, and Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox are a few of a number of potential candidates.

Roberts and A.J. Hinch, the manager of the Houston Astros and American League all-stars, will select the starting pitchers.

Fan voting closes on Wednesday, July 11 at 4p.m. ET as one player from each league will be awarded the final spot on each roster.

Players can choose not to participate in the All-Star game for various reasons, such as if they are injured or pitched in a regular season game in the days before. Those players would be replaced by other potential all-stars.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup -- 7/8/18

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

Tampa Bay 9,  N-Y Mets 0
Seattle 6,  Colorado 4
L-A Angels 4,  L-A Dodgers 3

N-Y Yankees 2,  Toronto 1, 10 Innings
Oakland 6,  Cleveland 0
Texas 3,  Detroit 0
Houston 2,  Chi White Sox 1
Minnesota 10,  Baltimore 1
Boston 7,  Kansas City 4
Pittsburgh 4,  Philadelphia 1
Miami 10,  Washington 2
Milwaukee 10,  Atlanta 3
Chi Cubs 6,  Cincinnati 5, 10 Innings
San Francisco 13,  St. Louis 8
San Diego 4,  Arizona 3, 16 Innings

Dallas 97,  N-Y Liberty 87
Atlanta 76,  Phoenix 70
Seattle 97, Washington 91

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Serena Williams 'cried' after missing her baby's first steps 

Visionhaus/Corbis via Getty Images(LONDON) -- Working moms around the world felt the heartache of tennis legend Serena Williams, who revealed this weekend that she missed a milestone in her daughter's life because she was training.

"She took her first steps," Williams wrote in a Twitter post on Saturday. "I was training and missed it. I cried."

Williams, 36, welcomed her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., into the world in September with her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Fellow moms rallied behind the tennis great on social media, tweeting expressions of encouragement to quell the feelings of "mommy guilt."

Model, cookbook author and mom of two Chrissy Teigen responded to Williams' post on Twitter, writing, "she is practicing so you can see the real ones."

ESPN sports journalist Alison Bender also reached out to Williams to say, "I'm with you there," adding that "I watched mine take her first steps on a video."

One of the most decorated tennis stars of all time -- with 23 Grand Slam wins under her belt -- Williams has not shied away from the challenges women and new moms face when they return to work.

During a pre-Wimbledon news conference last week, Williams told reporters that she shed tears when she stopped breast feeding her daughter.

"I literally sat Olympia in my arms, I talked to her, we prayed about it," she said. "I told her, 'Look, I'm going to stop. Mommy has to do this.' I cried a little bit, not as much as I thought I was."

Perhaps most prominently, Williams became a champion of working moms everywhere when critics say she was snubbed by the French Open, after officials didn't seed her in the tournament she has already won three times when she returned from maternity leave. Without a seeding, players can face highly-ranked opponents in the early rounds of a tournament.

A few weeks later, Williams was seeded 25th at Wimbledon, after the U.K.-based tournament amended its rules for maternity leave as she returned to the court.

Ten-month old Olympia was among those who came to cheer Williams on at Wimbledon. In an Instagram post on the account run by her mom and dad, the baby is seen playing in the tennis lawn, with the the hashtag #Wimbledon and the caption, "go Mommy."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup -- 7/7/18

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

Colorado 5, Seattle 1
Tampa Bay 3, N.Y. Mets 0
L.A. Dodgers 3, L.A. Angels 1

Minnesota 5, Baltimore 4
N.Y. Yankees 8, Toronto 5
Detroit 7, Texas 2
Houston 12, Chicago White Sox 6
Oakland 6, Cleveland 3, 11 Innings
Boston 15, Kansas City 4

Chicago Cubs 8, Cincinnati 7
St. Louis 3, San Francisco 2
Philadelphia 3, Pittsburgh 2
Atlanta 5, Milwaukee 1
Washington 18, Miami 4
Arizona 20, San Diego 5

Washington 83, L.A. Sparks 74
Chicago 77, Minnesota 63
Las Vegas 94, Connecticut 90

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ABC News Radio