Terri Nunn of the group Berlin has issued an apology for performing at a New Year’s Eve party at Donald J. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.
Terri Nunn of the group Berlin has issued an apology for performing at a New Year’s Eve party at Donald J. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.
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MLB players and other celebrities react to Hank Aaron's death at age 86
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Reaction to Hank Aaron's death from former presidents to fellow Hall of Famers to everyone who knew him followed a theme: how the one-time home run king handled the racism he faced on the way to passing Babe Ruth's hallowed record nearly 50 years ago. Joe Carter met his childhood idol when he won the first Hank Aaron Award in 1986 after the majors in RBIs. By then, the All-Star slugger knew all about Aaron's legacy. “You tip your cap to those guys, because they paved the way for guys like me. It’s something I’ll never take for granted. They were pioneers. Jackie Robinson. Hank Aaron. Satchel Paige. Those were guys you heard about, you knew about, and you followed them. That ’s who the Black community followed,” Carter said Friday. “They are heroes and legends and they played the game the way that it was supposed to be played. … We all loved watching Hank,” he said, adding: “Hammerin’ Hank, man. It’s definitely a sad day.” Aaron died in his sleep at 86. “A child of the Jim Crow South, Hank quit high school to join the Negro League, playing shortstop for $200 a month before earning a spot in Major League Baseball,” former President Barack Obama said. “Humble and hardworking, Hank was often overlooked until he started chasing Babe Ruth’s home run record, at which point he began receiving death threats and racist letters — letters he would reread decades later to remind himself ‘not to be surprised or hurt.’ Those letters changed Hank, but they didn’t stop him," he said. Aaron broke Ruth's record with his 715th home run for the Atlanta Braves in 1974 in former President Jimmy Carter's native Georgia. “A breaker of records and racial barriers, his remarkable legacy will continue to inspire countless athletes and admirers for generations to come,” Carter said. Former President George W. Bush was managing partner of the Texas Rangers before becoming governor in his home state and spending eight years in the White House. Bush awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the country's highest civilian honour — to Aaron in 2002. “The former Home Run King wasn’t handed his throne,” Bush said. “He grew up poor and faced racism as he worked to become one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Hank never let the hatred he faced consume him.” Chipper Jones, a Hall of Famer who spent his entire career with the Braves, cherished his time around the batting cage with Aaron, who remained active in the organization long after his career ended. “We're not only talking about a transcendent baseball player, we're talking about a transcendent person in American history,” Jones said. “Jackie Robinson kind of set the stage, but Hank took it to a whole other level.” The Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta United paid their respects by announcing they will retire Aaron's No. 44 for their 2021 seasons in the NFL and MLS. Braves pitcher Tom House caught Aaron's record-breaking homer in the bullpen beyond the fence in left field at Atlanta Stadium. “That moment bonded us forever as friends and teammates,” House posted on Twitter. “We watched Hank shrug off the weight of the world and just keep swinging.” Former Commissioner Bud Selig reminisced of a recent visit to Washington with Aaron, whose final two seasons were with the Selig-owned Milwaukee Brewers. “Not long ago, he and I were walking the streets of Washington, D.C, together and talking about how we’ve been the best of friends for more than 60 years,” Selig said. “Then Hank said, ‘Who would have ever thought all those years ago that a Black kid from Mobile, Alabama, would break Babe Ruth’s home run record and a Jewish kid from Milwaukee would become the commissioner of baseball?’” Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine was a minor leaguer in the Atlanta system when he met Aaron. “When I got drafted by the Braves I didn’t know a whole lot about Atlanta,” Glavine said, “but I knew Hank Aaron.” Fellow Braves Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz celebrated every moment he spent around Aaron. “You know, Hank was so unassuming. There is not a superstar I’ve ever been around that, A, went through as much as he did, both in life and in the game, and he just was a gentle guy that was there to say hello. You felt like you were in the presence of greatness every time you walked in,” he said. Smoltz also cherished a special moment from a day in Cooperstown, New York. "I think my memory of Hank is going to be two-fold. It’s going to be at the Hall of Fame, it was Hank Aaron, Joe Morgan, and Frank Robinson. They all had walkers. They were coming to take a picture down at the end of the lawn like we do every year at the Hall of Fame. Somebody started announcing them coming down like a race. “You could see each one had that little desire, and I think Hank turned it on at the end and I think he ended up winning. So that’s three iconic people obviously beat up by baseball and life, and we’re just going to miss them,” he said. ___ AP freelance writer Jeff Babineau contributed to this report. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
ROME — Simone Zaza scored twice to rescue a 2-2 draw for relegation-threatened Torino at Benevento in coach Davide Nicola’s debut on Friday in Serie A. Nicolas Viola’s first-half penalty and a deflected shot from Gianluca Lapadula early in the second half had put Benevento ahead by two goals. But Zaza responded with a header two minutes after Lapadula’s goal and then equalized in stoppage time by redirecting a throughball with one touch. Nicola replaced the fired Marco Giampaolo on Tuesday. Torino stayed in the relegation zone while Benevento remained 11th. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
CHORLEY, England — Separated from Chorley by 109 places in the English football pyramid, Wolverhampton didn't only manage a single goal in its 1-0 win. The Premier League millionaires also only managed a single shot — the goal — against the part-timers from the sixth tier. Vitinha's spectacular long-range strike in the 12th-minute moved Nuno Espírito Santo’s side into the round of 16 in the FA Cup on Friday night. The attacking threat was absent from Wolves, in contrast to the minnows from this former mill town in northern England. Incredibly, John Ruddy from Wolves was the busier of the two goalkeepers — facing five shots on target, including tipping over a header from Andy Halls, who is a personal trainer in his day job. This was not a significantly weakened Wolves side, with the starting lineup featuring Fabio Silva — the team's 40 million euro record-signing. The pandemic meant the only fans who got to glimpse this array of Premier League talent were those who perched onto walls next to houses packed into streets around the tiny stadium with one stand. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Rob Harris, The Associated Press
Curling Canada has decided to use the national ranking system as its selection criteria for the final wild-card berths at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and Tim Hortons Brier. The announcement clears a path to the Calgary bubble for Manitoba's Mackenzie Zacharias and Ontario's Glenn Howard. Beth Peterson, also from Manitoba, saw her chances greatly improve but the decision closed the door on Alberta's Kelsey Rocque and Saskatchewan's Robyn Silvernagle. "We needed to take our time and do our due diligence on this selection process,” Curling Canada chief executive officer Katherine Henderson said Friday in a release. "In the end, it was decided that we created the Canadian Team Ranking System for exactly these purposes. "It is a proven system with a history that we use for all of our other selection processes, and ultimately, from a consistency standpoint, it makes the most sense for this situation." The Scotties is set for Feb. 19-28 at the Markin MacPhail Centre and the Brier will run March 5-14. The Canada Olympic Park venue will hold six events in all in a spectator-free setting due to the pandemic. Curling Canada scrapped its usual play-in game for both national team championships. Instead three wild-card entries were added to each field, creating 18-team draws. The federation previously announced that the final 2019-20 Canadian rankings (CTRS) would be used for the first two wild-card spots. Criteria for the third wild-card spot was listed as "to be determined," giving hope to slightly lower-ranked teams or rinks who made off-season roster adjustments. Formal wild-card team entry announcements are expected next month once all provincial and territorial playdowns are complete. Howard, a four-time Brier champion, gets the third wild-card spot thanks to his No. 9 ranking. The first two wild-card spots were already clear with Mike McEwen of Manitoba at No. 5 and Kevin Koe of Alberta at No. 6. "Super stoked with the news as I'm pretty sure it's a slam dunk now," Howard said in a text-message. "Can't wait to get back to The Show." The complete women's wild-card picture won't be determined until the end of the month. Second-ranked Tracy Fleury of Manitoba is a lock for the first spot. Prince Edward Island's Suzanne Birt is next at No. 9, but she's a heavy favourite to represent her province again. Birt is one of two entries in the Jan. 29-31 P.E.I. championship. Either way, Zacharias — who won a world junior title last year — will get the second or third wild-card spot based on her No. 11 ranking. "Hearing that it's CTRS, it looks very promising for our team," Zacharias said from Winnipeg. "We're just incredibly excited. I don't even know how to describe it." Peterson, meanwhile, is a whisker behind Zacharias on the list and only needs a Birt victory to book her ticket for Calgary. Chelsea Carey is ranked fifth in Canada but is a free agent. Rocque, at No. 6, and Silvernagle, at No. 10, weren't eligible since they only have two returning members, one short of the required minimum. A Curling Canada spokesman confirmed that the 3-of-4 rule also applies to the third wild-card picks. Also Friday, New Holland North America was named the presenting sponsor of the 2021 world men's curling championship. The 14-team event is set for April 2-11 in the Calgary bubble. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter. Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press
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Gabriela Dabrowski's original plan for the Australian swing was to practise with her new doubles partner and get some training in during a two-week quarantine period in Melbourne. A hard hotel room lockdown for the Canadian and dozens of other tennis players forced a significant change of plans. Instead of five hours outside daily within a bubble setting — mostly for on-court training and gym work — Dabrowski is stuck in her room 24-7 and counting down the days. She's still planning to play in the upcoming Melbourne Summer Series ahead of the Australian Open, but her and American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands will be going in cold for their debut as a team. "We're probably just going to wing it," Dabrowski said with a laugh. "We don't have a whole lot of prep time now before our first event." Dabrowski, the world No. 10 in women's doubles, has had a few different partners over the last few seasons. Mattek-Sands holds the No. 22 position. Their preparation as a duo will be limited to talking strategy, discussing strengths and weaknesses, and trying to figure out a game style. "In terms of level of play, we're going to fight like hell," Dabrowski said in a recent interview from Melbourne. "But I'm not exactly sure of the level that can be expected." Dabrowski also will team up with Croatia's Mate Pavic in mixed doubles at the Feb. 8-21 Australian Open. The 28-year-old Ottawa native won her first Grand Slam title at the 2017 French Open with India's Rohan Bopanna. She then took the Australian Open mixed title in 2018 with Pavic, one of 11 career doubles titles on her resume. Last weekend, word emerged of some positive COVID-19 cases from passengers who arrived on charter flights bringing people to Melbourne from a variety of departure points. The first six positive tests were connected to flights from Los Angeles, Abu Dhabi and Doha, Qatar. Passengers were classified by local health authorities as close contacts of people infected with COVID-19 and forced into hard lockdown. Anyone who tested positive was transferred to a medical hotel. Dabrowski, who arrived on Jan. 15 from Los Angeles, was advised the next morning of the quarantine plan change. "It's definitely a difficult situation," she said. "But I've been keeping quite busy for myself." Dabrowski has been reading, catching up on TV shows and is taking online courses at Indiana University East. Workouts in her standard-sized hotel room are limited to use of a stationary bike, skipping rope, kettlebell and stretching exercises. "For me to be able to keep busy is one important part of how I stay positive," she said. "At the same time, I have a beautiful view of Melbourne, I have a view of the tennis venue and I have a view of the river. I can even see the ocean in the distance. "So if I feel a little bit down, I just look outside." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. — With files from The Associated Press. Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter. Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press
CLEVELAND — Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant will not play in Friday night's game against the Cavaliers as the team continues to take a cautious approach with his surgically repaired Achilles tendon. Durant played a season-high 50 minutes in the Nets’ 147-135 double-overtime loss to the Cavaliers on Wednesday night. He scored 38 points with 12 rebounds and eight assists in Brooklyn's first game with Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden on the floor together. The Nets, who recently acquired Harden in a blockbuster trade from the Houston Rockets, host Miami on Saturday night. The 32-year-old Durant tore his right Achilles tendon in June of 2019 and didn't play last season. A 10-time All-Star, he's averaging 31.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6 assists this season. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press