Former NFL star Dwight Clark announces he has ALS

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 5:49 AM

FILE - In this Dec. 23, 2013, file photo, former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dwight Clark is honored at halftime of an NFL football game between the 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)
Tony Avelar/AP

Dwight Clark, a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers during the team’s heyday in the 1980s, disclosed Sunday that he has a debilitating illness.

The Mercury News said Clark was diagnosed in 2015.

The newspaper said Clark, a two-time Super Bowl winner, said in a note: “I have ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Those words are still very hard for me to say.”

Clark played nine seasons for the 49ers and was one of Joe Montana’s favorite targets. He had 6,750 receiving yards in his career, which is third on San Francisco’s all-time list, behind Terrell Owens and Jerry Rice.

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In the 1982 NFC Championship game, with less than a minute to go, Montana rolled to his right and threw a ball that most thought he was trying to throw away. But Clark jumped high and hauled it in, and the play was immediately anointed, “The Catch.” Sports Illustrated ranked it No. 33 on the list of 100 greatest plays of all-time.

The news comes on the same day the family of football legend and Hall-of-Famer Gale Sayers announced he has dementia.

Video: Security guard criticized after ejecting Braves fan, taking ball from child

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 4:40 PM

A security guard was criticized after ejecting a fan and taking a baseball from a child during an Atlanta Braves game in SunTrust Park.
Curtis Compton/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A security guard is being criticized on social media after ejecting a fan and taking a baseball from a child during an Atlanta Braves game in SunTrust Park on Wednesday night.

After Braves player Rio Ruiz hit a ball down the right field line at the bottom of the eight inning, a fan reached over the outfield wall with his glove, snagged the ball and handed the ball to a child.

Video appears to show a security guard jump over the wall and eject the fan from the stadium for interfering with live play. The security guard also told the boy that he couldn’t keep the ball he was holding, then took it from him.

After Wednesday night’s game, Braves officials contacted the boy’s family and gave him a Freddie Freeman-signed ball, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The boy was also invited back to a game to celebrate his birthday in July.

The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Braves, 12-5 in extra innings.

There was plenty of reaction on Twitter to the incident, from media and fans who watched it unfold on their televisions.







Related

NFL loosens up celebration dance rule

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 11:12 PM

The National Football League is relaxing some rules around celebration dances for players, according to an announcement from Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday.

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“We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown," Goodell said a letter to fans. “And players have told us they want more freedom to be able to express themselves and celebrate their athletic achievements.”

The New York Times reported that the decision was made by NFL owners as one of several rule changes at the Spring League Meeting in Chicago Tuesday.

Other rule changes include decreasing regular-season overtime from 15 minutes to 10, allowing two players to come off of injured reserve instead of one, banning jumping over the line to block kicks, and the elimination of one of the preseason roster cuts.

The letter lists some examples of celebrations that will be allowed under the new policy: 

  • Using the football as a prop after a touchdown, such as simulating a basket ball jump shot with a football,
  • Celebrating on the ground -- such as making snow angels, and 
  • Group demonstrations, like a coordinated dance move.

Those approved types of celebrations, allowed after scores, are illustrated in the letter in GIF form. 

Still, it’s not a free for all, ESPN reported.

“In my conversations with NFL players, it was also clear how much our players care about sportsmanship, clean competition and setting good examples for young athletes,” Goodell said. “That is why offensive demonstrations, celebrations that are prolonged and delay the game, and those directed at an opponent will still be penalized.”

So things like weapon imagery, such as a machine gun simulation, or sexually suggestive acts -- like Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown’s end zone twerking, are still things that can be penalized.

The strategy may lessen the number of unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties called on touchdowns. According to ESPN, the 2016 season had the highest number of penalties of the past five seasons with 29 called. Of the past three seasons, it has the highest cost of fines for touchdown celebrations at $310,301, up more than $240,000 from the 2015 season.

Cloud Computing wins in upset at 2017 Preakness Stakes

Published: Saturday, May 20, 2017 @ 6:58 PM

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 20:  Javier Castellano #2 rider of Cloud Computing celebrates with the trophy alongside Baltimore City Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan after winning the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 20, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Cloud Computing won the 142nd Preakness Stakes Saturday on a fast track at Pimilico Race Course.

Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming fought for the lead with Classic Empire from the start of the race.

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However, Cloud Computing came from behind at the end to take the win in 1:55.98. 

Always Dreaming faded to eighth. Classic Empire was second and Senior Investment third.

This was the fourth start for Cloud Computing, who did not race at the Derby. The horse was a 13-1 long shot to win. 

Rain that fell Friday and muddied the main track dried and was fast by the time the Preakness went off around 6:48 p.m. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

NBA star Enes Kanter detained at airport, says Turkish government canceled passport

Published: Saturday, May 20, 2017 @ 11:38 AM
Updated: Saturday, May 20, 2017 @ 2:15 PM

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 04:  Enes Kanter #11 of the Oklahoma City Thunder during their game at Spectrum Center on January 4, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.    (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

An Oklahoma City Thunder basketball star was briefly detained by Romanian airport authorities after the Turkish government reportedly canceled his passport.

Thunder center Enes Kanter posted a video on Twitter Saturday morning saying he was being held by police at an airport in Romania.

Kanter said the Turkish government canceled his passport, claiming that officials made the move because of his political views.

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Kanter went on to call Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the "Hitler of our century," referencing a recent visit to the U.S. during which Turkish presidential guards were caught on video violently breaking up a protest in Washington, D.C.

The guards were held briefly and then released after the incident in the nation’s capital, prompting outcry from many across the country.

Kanter concluded the video by promising updates and asking for prayers.

According to the NBA, the 25-year-old has been with the Thunder since 2014. Before that, he played for the Utah Jazz.

Kanter was the only Thunder player to appear in all 82 regular season games in the 2015-2016 season.

In March, Kanter and teammate Steven Adams caught the attention of web users after they appeared in a video calling Russell Westbrook "King of the Prairie."

A New York Times sports reporter tweeted Saturday afternoon that Kanter had been released by authorities and was on his way to London.