Scoreboard roundup -- 8/15/19

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


Seattle 7, Detroit 2  
Cleveland 19, NY Yankees 5
Minnesota 13, Texas 6    
LA Angels 8, Chi White Sox 7
Oakland 7, Houston 6

Miami 13, LA Dodgers 7
Cincinnati 2, St. Louis 1
Philadelphia 7, Chi Cubs 5
NY Mets 10, Atlanta 8
San Francisco 7, Arizona 0

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NFL players help pay bail for immigration activist jailed by ICE after reciting poem against family separations

ChiccoDodiFC/iStock(LOS ANGELES) -- An undocumented immigration activist was freed from an ICE detention center in Southern California nearly three months after he was first detained, thanks to the help of some NFL players and multiple organizations, his lawyers said.

Jose Bello, 22, was released from the Mesa Verde ICE Detention Center in Bakersfield on Monday, according to a press release from the ACLU of Southern California. He was arrested by ICE in May after he presented a poem he wrote criticizing family separations and the Trump administration at a public forum on immigration issues.

 His $50,000 bond was paid for by Josh Norman, a cornerback for the Washington Redskins, and Demario Davis, a linebacker for the New Orleans Saints.

“For 87 days we kept a man from his freedom & family for reciting a poem,” Davis tweeted on Tuesday. “Yesterday he was able to post bail. This dehumanizing, psychological torture needs to stop. And we can stop it.”

Norman called Bello’s story “unfortunately … not unique.”

“ICE is using detention and deportation as weapons to silence immigrant activists and I’ve seen this 1st hand through our work at the border with my brother,” Norman tweeted, referring to his and Davis' work together.

Davis and Norman are members of the Players Coalition, a group of professional athletes working to improve social justice and racial equality. The New York Immigrant Freedom Fund and the National Bail Fund Network also contributed to paying Bello’s bail.

A spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement could not immediately be reached for comment.

Bello’s arrest came about two days after he recited a poem at a Kern County public forum on the impact of California's sanctuary laws, The poem, which was subsequently posted to YouTube by the ACLU, accused those in power of causing fear through separation.

“We don’t want your jobs. We don’t your money. We’re here to work, pay taxes and study,” Bello said in his poem on May 14.

“It’s time to begin standing up for what’s right,” he continued. “Criminalizing children, separating families. ‘Our national security.’ Does that make it alright? No it doesn’t and it won’t.”

 The poem was called “Dear America.”

He was unable to pay his own bail because his job as a farm worker only brings in about $20,000 a year, the ACLU said.

Bello said he saw his “whole future go out the window" while he was in ICE custody, he told Bakersfield ABC affiliate KERO-TV.

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundations of Southern California and Northern California filed a federal lawsuit on Bello's behalf, charging that ICE violated his free speech rights.

Norman said that Bello was exercising his first amendment right to free speech by reciting the poem.

“If he was detained for reciting a peaceful poem then we should really ask ourselves, are our words truly free? This is America right? Where the 1st Amendment is freedom of speech unless I missed the memo somewhere,” Normal said in a statement.

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Report: Lakers center DeMarcus Cousins hurts knee during workout

Matt_Brown/iStock(NEW YORK) -- DeMarcus Cousins may have suffered a knee injury just a month after signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, ESPN reports.

Sources tell ESPN the 29-year-old center bumped knees with another player while working out in Las Vegas Monday. Cousins left the court after the incident and is expected to undergo further testing in Los Angeles Thursday.

The four-time All-Star joined the Lakers in July, signing a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the team.

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Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press speak out after ending US Soccer salary mediation

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Two stars of the U.S. women's soccer team say the ball is in the court of the U.S. Soccer Federation after the reigning World Cup champions walked out of mediation talks being held Wednesday in their fight for equal pay.

"They're the only employer that we could have playing for the national team, we're the only employees that they could have, so for better or for worse we're tethered together," Megan Rapinoe, co-captain of the U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) said Thursday on Good Morning America. "I think that if and when and ever they are willing to have a conversation about equal pay that starts there and goes forward, we're always open to that."

"We won't accept anything less than equal pay," she added. "We show up for a game, if we win the game if we lose the game if we tie the game, we want to be paid equally, period."

The USWNT filed an equal pay lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation earlier this year. The two sides had agreed to go to mediation just before the World Cup kicked off in France in June.

The lawsuit cites the discrimination in pay, but also the denial of "at least equal playing, training, and travel conditions; equal promotion of their games; equal support and development for their games; and other terms and conditions of employment."

"I think we're very confident in our case in what's transpired," USWNT player Christen Press said on GMA alongside Rapinoe. "I think for us it's more than about this moment or this team ... It's actually about women everywhere being treated equally and respectfully in the workplace so if that means that we're going to go to trial then we're going to do that, and we're going to do it very confidently."

The U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) fired back at the athletes in a Wednesday statement, calling their actions "aggressive" and saying they had presented "misleading information" for months.

"We have said numerous times that our goal is to find a resolution, and during mediation we had hoped we would be able to address the issues in a respectful manner and reach an agreement," the USSF said in the statement. "Unfortunately, instead of allowing mediation to proceed in a considerate manner, plaintiffs' counsel took an aggressive and ultimately unproductive approach that follows months of presenting misleading information to the public in an effort to perpetuate confusion."

"We always know there is more we can do," the statement continued. "We value our players, and have continually shown that, by providing them with compensation and support that exceeds any other women's team in the world. Despite inflammatory statements from their spokesperson, which are intended to paint our actions inaccurately and unfairly, we are undaunted in our efforts to continue discussions in good faith."

Press argued Thursday that equality is "not just a word you can say."

"I think it's quite simple from our perspective," she said. "We want to be paid equally and that just means that when we show up to a game that we get compensated the same way that a man would for showing up for the same game."

"And I think that U.S. Soccer and Carlos and the board just showed us that they weren't willing to start there with equality," Press continued. "And it's not just a word you can say, it's something you have to stand behind because on this issue there is no social equality for women without financial equality."

The U.S. women ran undefeated through the 2019 World Cup in June and July, including a 2-0 win over the Netherlands in the final. It was the second consecutive World Cup victory for the women, who have also won three of the last four Olympic gold medals.

The U.S. men's team did not qualify for the most-recent World Cup, and their best World Cup result, third place, came 89 years ago.

When it comes to the actual legal issues at play, the suit points to two federal laws: the Equal Pay Act, which prohibits paying employees unequally based on sex, and Title VII, which prohibits employers discriminating on the basis of sex.

"The U.S. women's soccer team does not need to be the best in the world in order to earn equal pay. The point of non-discrimination law is that employees doing similar work should be paid equally," Suzanne B. Goldberg, director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law at the Columbia Law School, told ABC News earlier this year.

Women earn guaranteed yearly contracts and benefits, while men are paid for individual match appearances.

In a statement released Wednesday, a USWNT spokesperson said the team wants women to know "we are undaunted" in the fight for equal pay.

"We entered this week's mediation with representatives of USSF full of hope," said Molly Levinson, spokesperson for the U.S. women's national team. "Today we must conclude these meetings sorely disappointed in the Federation's determination to perpetuate fundamentally discriminatory workplace conditions and behavior. It is clear that USSF, including its Board of Directors and President Carlos Cordeiro, fully intend to continue to compensate women players less than men. They will not succeed. We want all of our fans, sponsors, peers around the world, and women everywhere to know we are undaunted and will eagerly look forward to a jury trial."

When asked about a plan should they lose in their fight, Press responded, "I think you're asking the wrong people what if we lose. It's not generally how we approach things."

Regardless of the trial results, fans spoke out loudly in support of the team both during and after the World Cup. Attendees in France chanted "equal pay" after the women won, while similar chants echoed in the Canyon of Heroes days later when the team paraded through lower Manhattan.

"In 2019 I don't think equal pay is necessarily a novel idea," said Rapinoe. "I think people see how successful we've been and I think that they think we should be compensated for that."

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Scoreboard roundup -- 8/14/19

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



Milwaukee 6, Minnesota 5
San Diego 7, Tampa Bay 2
Oakland 9, San Francisco 5
LA Angels 7, Pittsburgh 4
St. Louis 6, Kansas City 0


Texas 7, Toronto 3
NY Yankees 6, Baltimore 5
Boston 5, Cleveland 1
Chi White Sox 13, Houston 9
Detroit 3, Seattle 2


Colorado 7, Arizona 6
Washington 17, Cincinnati 7
Philadelphia 11, Chi Cubs 1
LA Dodgers 9, Miami 1
Atlanta 6, NY Mets 4


Washington 88, Seattle 59
Dallas 84, LA Sparks 78
Connecticut 78, Phoenix 71


Orlando 1, Kansas City 0

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Jay-Z teaming up with the NFL for music, social justice partnership

Gearstd/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Rap artist Jay-Z is teaming up with the NFL for a new partnership focusing on music and social justice, following the controversy the league faced over its handling of players kneeling to protest police brutality.

Jay-Z will become the National Football League's “live music entertainment strategist,” a role the NFL says will enhance the live game experience and amplify its social justice efforts.

The rapper called the partnership "an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America."

“With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country," Jay-Z, whose birth name is Shawn Carter, said in a statement.

Jay-Z and Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, will speak about the deal in a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

The partnership with Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s entertainment company, comes after the league faced a wave of player protests and heavy scrutiny -- including from the rapper -- over how it dealt with the protests.

Beginning in 2016, some football players took a knee during the playing of the national anthem at games to protest police brutality against people of color. Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback believed to be the leader of the protest movement, has not been with an NFL team since end of the 2016 season.

The NFL later issued a new national anthem policy in which players were allowed to stay in the locker room for the national anthem if they did not want to stand, but those on the field were expected to stand.

Jay-Z spoke out in favor of Kaepernick’s protests and, at one point, even seemed to take aim at the league.

"Would you rather be playing football, getting your head dinged in, or would you rather be an iconic figure for the rest of your life?" he told CNN’s Van Jones in January 2018, speaking about Kaepernick.

Months later, Jay-Z released a song with Beyoncé in which he appeared to criticize the NFL.

“I said no to the Super Bowl, you need me, I don't need you,” he rapped on Ape----. “Every night we in the end zone, tell the NFL we in stadiums, too.”

Jay-Z appears to change his tune with the new partnership, which will be a multiyear deal.

A major component of the partnership will be to work with the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative, which launched in early 2019 and focuses on education and economic advancement; police and community relations; and criminal justice reform.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Chris Sale becomes fastest pitcher in MLB history to get 2,000 K’s

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(CLEVELAND) -- Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale made history Tuesday night, becoming the fastest pitcher in Major League Baseball history to strike out 2,000 batters.

The 30-year-old accomplished the feat in the third inning of Boston’s game against the Cleveland Indians, striking out Indians center fielder Oscar Mercado. Sale went on to strike out a total of 12 batters in the game, helping the Red Sox win 7-6.

Sale passed former Red Sox ace and Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez by reaching the milestone in 1,626 innings. Martinez set the previous record in 2002, getting 2,000 strikeouts in 1,711⅓ innings.

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Russell Wilson, Ciara become Seattle Sounders soccer team owners

artisteer/iStock(SEATTLE) -- Hours after Russell Wilson and Ciara announced they are proud owners of a local soccer team, the singer wrote a passionate open letter to her daughter and all the girls watching in the world about empowerment and equality.

"Baby Girl, You will be able to do anything you put your mind to if you simply believe!" Ciara wrote. "Never walk in a room thinking of what you can’t do because of your gender! If you think it, it’s possible. If you dream it, it’s possible. If you believe it, it’s possible. It’s that simple."

On Tuesday, the duo announced they were the owners of the Seattle Sounders pro soccer team and spent the day at the field celebrating.

In her post, Ciara added, "There’s only a small handful of female owners of any Major League Sports team, and I’m proud to be one of them! You are next Baby Girl! I have no doubt that by the time you’re my age, there will be many more!"

The singer also addressed any young girl watching with big dreams in her heart.

"And to every girl in this world, you can do anything you want to do and be anything you want to be! It truly possible if you believe," she added.

The Sounders announced Tuesday that 11 new families have joined the ownership team.

"Representing a diverse array of backgrounds and experiences, all 11 families have direct ties to Seattle," the club announced.

Wilson wrote, "Football. Fútbol. We Love them both! @Ciara and I are fired up to announce we are Team Owners of the @Soundersfc one of the best franchises in the world! We can't wait for our kids to grow up loving Soccer! Family is everything! We Love You Seattle!"

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup -- 8/13/19

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



Minnesota 7, Milwaukee 5
St. Louis 2, Kansas City 0
San Francisco 3, Oakland 2
Pittsburgh 10, LA Angels 7
Tampa Bay 7, San Diego 5

Houston 6, Chi White Sox 2
NY Yankees 8, Baltimore 3
Toronto 3, Texas 0
Boston 7, Cleveland 6, 10 innings
Seattle 11, Detroit 6
Chi White Sox 4, Houston 1

Washington 3, Cincinnati 1
Philadelphia 4, Chi Cubs 2
LA Dodgers 15, Miami 1
Atlanta 5, NY Mets 3
Arizona 9, Colorado 3

Minnesota 89, NY Liberty 73
Las Vegas 94, Atlanta 90

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Phillies fire hitting coach, bring back Charlie Manuel to help struggling bats

Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- The Philadelphia Phillies have lost ten of their last sixteen games, falling to fourth place in the National League East. Now, with their playoff hopes beginning to dwindle, the team has fired hitting coach John Mallee and replaced him with a key figure from their past.

The team announced Tuesday that former World Series winning manager Charlie Manuel will take over for Mallee, joining the team in the dugout. He is expected to remain in that role through the end of the 2019 season.

Manuel, 75, won exactly 1,000 games as a manager of the Cleveland Indians and Phillies. He also ranks 39th all-time with a .548 winning percentage as a manager.

Players have long liked Manuel's approach to hitting in particular. He served as the hitting coach for Cleveland during the mid 1990s, when the team led the American League in runs scored three times, set a franchise record with 1,009 runs scored in a season, and led the league in home runs twice.

The Phillies fired Manuel in August 2013. He later returned to the team as a senior advisor to the general manager, a role he had remained in up through the coaching change on Tuesday.

The Phillies rank 11th in the National League in home runs, 12th in batting average, and ninth in runs scored this season.

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