State Rep. Pat Garofalo, Republican, created a stir on Twitter Sunday after he sent out a tweet about NBA basketball players that some considered racist.
“Let’s be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow,” he wrote. “Nobody would notice a difference w/possible exception of increase in street crime.”
When asked to comment on the tweet, Garofalo said he was talking about the NBA’s high arrest rate. He also noted that the major pro league is the only one in which testing positive for marijuana is not a substance abuse violation.
Garofalo added that he had no intention beyond that, except to note that many athletes are above the law.
Within two hours of the tweet, it was retweeted more than 600 times. Many took jabs at Garofalo’s own profession.
“There’s more criminals in your profession than the NBA buddy,” one tweet read.
University of California, Santa Barbara was playing the University of Hawaii last night when a fan confronted one of the college basketball coaches.
Hypervocal.com reports that University of Hawaii coach Gib Arnold disputed a foul call, prompting an unidentified man to come out of the bleachers and onto the court (video below).
The fan got in Coach Arnold's face until University of Hawaii players Christian Standhardinger and Garrett Nevels pushed him away.
The fan motioned for the players to fight him but then quickly ran off the court.
The fan, who turned out to be a Santa Barbara student, was taken out of the basketball arena by security guards.
“The student will obviously face legal action,” Santa Barbara athletic department spokesman Bill Mahoney told the Associated Press. “He will also be subject to action from a judicial review board through UCSB student affairs ... I can’t speculate on the penalties.”
Players from the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals got into a bloody brawl last night.
The mass fight started after the Capitals' John Erskine crashed into the Flyers' Vinny Lecavlier, and the Flyers' Luke Schenn slammed into the Capitals' Ryan Stoa, noted USA Today (video below).
The Capitals' Tom Wilson challenged Schenn to a fight, but before that could happen, the Flyers' Wayne Simmonds smashed into Stoa.
Both teams then proceeded to beat one another until several players were bloodied.
"Lecavalier was ejected, while Erskine and Wilson received 10-minute misconducts," SBNation.com reported. "Simmonds somehow escaped an ejection for his role in the aftermath." Simmonds did receive a double minor penalty.
The Flyers won 6-4, but, thankfully, the teams won't be playing again in the regular season, although there are always the NHL playoffs.
The Flyers didn't apologize for the fight, but instead bragged on Twitter: "You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us. #ClutchTime" and posted a picture from the fight (above).
Kayla Montgomery, 18, has multiple sclerosis, but she still runs cross-country and track... and wins.
While running for Mount Tabor High School in North Caroline, Montgomery has won titles and ranked nationally.
She was diagnosed three years ago with MS and was one of the team's slowest runners, but after training hard, she has become one of the fastest.
Montgomery can run long distances without feeling pain in her legs, but the moment the teen stops she falls, noted the "Today" show (video below).
Fortunately, her coach Patrick Cromwell and teammates always catch her after she crosses the finish line.
"I had to quit soccer because of MS," Montgomery told WXII 12 (video below).
"I didn't want to give everything up, so I put everything from soccer into running and it's now my passion," added Montgomery.
Multiple sclerosis causes the immune system in the body to attack and damage its own nerve cells.
During one race, Montgomery fell after a bump with another runner.
Somehow, Montgomery crawled over to a nearby fence, pulled herself up and crossed the finish line in 10th place.
"Now I know I can do it," Montgomery told The New York Times. "It may take a little while, but if I fall, I know I can get up."
Montgomery won the North Carolina state title in the 3,200-meter race in February and is competing in the national indoor track championships in New York on March 14.
Utah Valley defeated New Mexico State in a 66-61 overtime win last night, but the real action began after the basketball game was over.
New Mexico's K.C. Ross-Miller reportedly threw a basketball at Utah's Holton Hunsaker, which sparked a shoving match and caused fans to storm the court in Orem, Utah, reports NBC Sports (video below).
UVU students attacked NMSU players in a melee that may end the practice of court-storming in college basketball, noted The Bleacher Report.
Eventually, the stadium staff restored order.
"I hated to see the game end that way," Utah Valley center Ben Aird told the Daily Herald. "When you are out there, at first you are like, 'What's happening?' The faculty got out there, and although you want to help break it up, they told us that we had to get out of that situation and let them handle it."
According to ESPN, Ross-Miller has been suspended.
"No matter what provoked K.C., what he did was inexcusable and hence the suspension," New Mexico State coach Marvin Menzies said today. "It is an honor and a privilege to wear an Aggie uniform, and a responsibility comes with that privilege."
Russia is allowing its athletes to use a performance-enhancing drug called xenon.
According to a recent German TV news report, top Russian athletes have used xenon gas from the 2004 Olympics to the recent Sochi Winter Games.
Xenon stimulates the hormone Erythropoietin (EPO), which encourages the creation of red blood cells inside the body to improve an athlete’s performance.
Injecting EPO directly into the body is considered doping in many sports, including the Tour de France. Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted to Oprah Winfrey in 2013 that he used EPO, reported Slate.com.
Russian authorities are claiming their athletes don't dope with EPO, but are allowed to use xenon, which causes the body to create EPO unnaturally.
“Xenon is not an illegal gas,” Vladimir Uiba, head of Russia’s Federal Biomedical Agency (FMBA), told Russian news sources, notes AFP. “We have a principle not to use what is forbidden by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).”
“It is possible that our sportsmen have been using xenon inhalators, but there is nothing wrong with that,” admitted Uiba. “We use what is not illegal, is not destructive and does not have side effects.”
However, the claim of no "side effects" is clearly debunked by Russian documents.
According to The Economist, a Russian government document from 2010 actually instructs athletes how to use xenon and described the side effects, which last for 48-72 hours.
Russia's State Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense advised using xenon before athletic events to fix any fatigue or sleep disruption, and after an event to improve physical recovery.
The Russian government recommends a 50:50 mixture of xenon and oxygen before going to bed. Xenon is also recommended as a quick hit an hour before an event.
Russia racked up 13 gold medals and won the most medals at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach recently bragged that only six athletes at the Sochi Olympics got caught doping.
According to the Associated Press, one was Austrian cross-country skier Johannes Duerr who admitted to using EPO after he tested positive in Austria while training.
However, if he had used xenon to stimulate his body to produce EPO as the Russians apparently do, he would have been allowed to compete.
Sources: Associated Press, The Economist, AFP, Slate.com
Adelina Sotnikova, Mikaela Shiffrin and Bode Miller made headlines at the Sochi Winter Olympics, but you probably haven't heard the names Gary di Silvestri and Angelica Morrone.
Silvestri and Morrone, who are husband and wife, did appear at the opening ceremony of the Olympics, but were not seen too much during the actual competition.
The couple represented Dominica, an island in the Caribbean.
However, Silvestri is from Staten Island, Morrone hails from Italy and they both live in Montana.
According to Dominica's website, a couple can get a "family application" for "economic citizenship" by paying $175,000 into the state bank and by paying Dominca's Ministry of Finance $3,530 in taxes.
Di Silvestri and Morrone became citizens and also represented the tiny country in the Olympics.
Morrone didn't actually ski. The 48 year old claimed she suffered an injury.
Silvestri, 47, did briefly ski in the 15K men's classic, but quit after starting the race because of an alleged illness.
But was the couple at the Olympics to actually compete, or get some press?
“The races were to be the most important of our lives and they were somehow taken away from both of us,” Morrone wrote to the New York Daily News on Monday. “The country, our families and friends were all in front of the TVs to watch us race, and we were not able to.”
Time magazine featured the Olympians in an article entitled Athletes in Love: 10 Olympic Romances and a subtitle Some Olympians bring home more than just a medal. TIME uncovers some love stories of Olympic proportions.
NBCOlympics.com did a story about the couple which was entitled Staten Island Couple will represent Dominica at Sochi Olympics.
NBCOlympics.com mentions that Silvestri was a "two-time state wrestling champion" and part of a rowing team "for a national championship team at Georgetown."
However, according to Deadspin.com, "there's not much evidence of any such championships outside of the NBC bio and Di Silvestri's own claims."
Steve Meehan, a wrestling historical guru from New York, told Deadspin.com that Di Silvestri doesn't show up in his database of state wrestling champions.
Di Silvestri did attend Georgetown in the 1980s, but the school didn't win an Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship Regatta during his years.
Georgetown won a competition in the Dad Vail Regatta in 1989, but Georgetown's coach Whit Fosburgh told Deadspin.com, "Gary wasn't in the boats that medaled those years."
"So it wouldn't be accurate to say he was on the medal stand, getting the medals around his neck. But working as hard as he did for as little success as he had, that made him very popular," added Fosburgh.
For her sports background, Morrone was reportedly involved with skiing via an international scandal in the 1990s.
Howard Peterson, former president and CEO of the U.S. ski team, told Deadspin.com that Fiat President Vittorio C. Vellano and external relations manager Angelica Di Silvestri (Morrone) offered him two cars before a vote on the host city for the world skiing championships.
Sestriere, Italy was awarded the 1997 world ski championships, which the country used to pitch itself to host the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, which just happened to be Fiat's headquarters.
GOP lobbyist Jack Burkman announced today that his company Burkman & Associates is writing a bill that would ban gay players from the NFL.
According to The Hill, Burkman wrote in a statement, “We are losing our decency as a nation. Imagine your son being forced to shower with a gay man. That’s a horrifying prospect for every mom in the country. What in the world has this nation come to?”
Burkman said his idea to ban gay NFL players came about after the recent news of college football star Michael Sam coming out.
Burkman said he believes that "if the NFL has no morals and no values, then Congress must find values for it.”
Burkman told The Huffington Post that there are five GOP House members and one senator “interested in co-sponsoring the bill.”
“I felt that if the NFL doesn’t have any morals, and people like [Commissioner] Roger Goodell, who are just go-along-get-along guys, just want to appease advertisers, appease corporate America and all that stuff," added Burkman. "I figured, well, it is time for conservatives in Congress to step in and define morality for them.”
Speaking of morality, Burkman was found in the phone records of a "DC Madam" in 2007, noted CrooksandLiars.com.
In 2006, Burkman lashed out out some widows from 9/11, whom he dubbed the “Witches of New Brunswick.”
MediaMatters.org reported that Burkman said, "And so I say to the news media tonight, and I will throw down the gauntlet right on this program and challenge all four of those women to a debate. I challenge you to tell this country when you did what you did. But they won't."
"They won't because they have a lot to hide, and they don't want the nation to see that within hours of those towers going down, these women were ready to make money and exploit this tragedy!who don’t “want the nation to see that within hours of those towers going down, these women were ready to make money and exploit this tragedy," added Burkman.
After two weeks of competition, the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games came to an end today with another giant fireworks display and numerous performers celebrating Russia.
The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, also praised Russia, which spent a record $51 billion on the Winter Games, noted RT.com.
“Let’s ask those who criticized the Games if they are ready to change their opinion,” Bach said today. “I spent four nights in different Olympic villages and had an opportunity to learn the opinions of those sportsmen who are important to me. None of the athletes uttered a word of complaint to me.”
However, Bach didn't mention the thousands of foreign workers who were lured to Sochi with promises of 2,000 Euro ($2,700) per month for building the infrastructure of Sochi's Winter Olympics (video below).
According to Mother Jones, thousands of these migrant workers were only given little pay for basic living expenses, forced to live in a dormitory with pay-to-use showers and had to share four toilets with 200 workers.
According to Human Rights Watch, rather than pay these workers, their Russian employers had them arrested for being illegal immigrants, detained by the police and then flown back to their foreign homes, noted Reuters.
With only six months left until the games, thousands of foreign workers were rounded up and deported without pay.
"The employers realize the workers' vulnerability," Semyon Simonov, a Sochi-based labor lawyer trying to get the workers paid, told Mother Jones. "They don't have paperwork, so they can report them to the police, who could arrest them and kick them out."
"It is clear," added Simonov, "That this is just a method of swindling the person."
The IOC was aware of this travesty as far back as October 2013 when Human Rights Watch sent the IOC a list of Sochi workers who claimed their employers had cheated them of wages.
An IOC spokesman said it had "a longstanding commitment to follow-up" on the reported instances of non-payment.
Eventually, after investigations by Russian authorities into more than 500 companies, 13 of the companies paid $8.34 million to more than 6000 ex-workers, but thousands of foreign workers without contracts did not get a dime.
NASCAR fans are sometimes teased for their lack of intelligence, a stereotype which actually came to life this weekend.
This year's Daytona 500 race was delayed due to weather, so Fox Sports aired last year's race with a note at the bottom of the screen to make viewers aware it was a replay.
But apparently many NASCAR fans thought today's replay was this year's race, reports ESPN.
In the 2013 replay, driver Jimmie Johnson won his second Daytona 500, but Johnson actually got telephone calls today congratulating him for winning his third while he was sitting in his motor home, notes the Associated Press.
Driver Clint Bowyer also fell for the replay on Twitter, "Wait a minute! I'm confused, did @JimmieJohnson win or not?"
In response, Johnson tweeted, "I hear I won the #Daytona500? Haha! I also have friends confused and texting congratulations to me."
“Congrats @JimmieJohnson amazing,” tweeted Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing operations, joked on Twitter.