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Ex-NBA star Amar’e Stoudemire: I would ‘shower across the street’ to avoid gay teammate 03.01.17 at 4:09 pm ET
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Amar'e Stoudemire averaged 18.9 points per game during his NBA career. (Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports)

Amar’e Stoudemire averaged 18.9 points per game during his NBA career. (Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports)

When former NBA center Jason Collins came out of the closet four years ago, he appeared to receive widespread support around the league. Several stars, including LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, tweeted out their admiration for him. But it’s important to remember that despite public displays of solidarity, homophobia still persists in locker rooms across the country. Six-time NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire demonstrated that this week when he was asked about the prospect of having a gay teammate.

In an interview with the Israel-based Walla! Sports, Stoudemire said he wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing a post-game shower with a gay person.

“I’m going to shower across the street. Make sure my change of clothes are around the corner. And I’m going to drive — take a different route to the gym,” he said.

The former Suns and Knicks forward didn’t back off when he was asked whether he was kidding.

“There’s always a truth within a joke,” Stoudemire said.

After 15 seasons in the NBA, Stoudemire is currently playing for Hapoel Jerusalem of Israel’s Premier League. He was fined $50,000 in 2012 for tweeting a gay slur during the offseason, which he apologized for.

“I am a huge supporter of civil rights for all people,” he said, via ESPN. “I am disappointed in myself for my statement to a fan. I should have known better and there is no excuse.”

But after listening to Stoudemire’s most recent comments, it’s apparent his apology was little more than lip service. Considering no active player in the four major professional sports leagues has come out since Collins and former NFL prospect Michael Sam in 2013, it’s safe to surmise Stoudemire probably isn’t alone, either. On a corporate level, the sports world is more tolerant than ever before. But Stoudemire’s statement is a reminder there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Read More: Amar'e Stoudemire,
Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis is still ripping Doc Rivers 03.01.17 at 2:40 pm ET
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Glen Davis played under Doc Rivers with the Celtics from 2007-2011. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports)

Glen Davis played under Doc Rivers with the Celtics from 2007-2011. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports)

Glen “Big Baby” Davis continues to attack his former coach, Doc Rivers.

In an interview on NBA Insider Chris Broussard’s podcast two weeks ago, Davis called Rivers “overrated” and said he was “lucky as hell” to win a championship with the Celtics in 2008. As a guest on FS1’s “Undisputed” Wednesday,” the ex-LSU star took his criticisms of Rivers one step further.

“I think that he’s so caught up in being the president that hey, you need to be the coach. Danny Ainge was the president, and he got everything done the way it was supposed to be done,” Davis said. “He didn’t have to worry about that. Coach the game like you know how to coach. You’re an X’s and O’s coach. Get a great defensive minded coach like [Tom] Thibodeau once again.”

It’s been an up-and-down run for Rivers with the Clippers, who acquired him from the Celtics for a first-round pick in 2013. Though the Clippers have won more than 50 games in each of Rivers’ three seasons, they’ve failed to advance past the conference semifinals. Perhaps their biggest playoff disappointment came in 2015, when they blew a 3-1 lead against the Rockets. Davis says that series solidified his feelings about Rivers being overmatched in his role as Clippers coach and president of basketball operations.

“So I’ve seen the process. I know. I’ve been in the locker room when it was 3-1 against Houston and we lost. So, I see it. It’s just the fact, does he see it? Does he see it?,” he asked.

Davis’ apparent animosity towards Rivers dates back to his ankle injury in 2015, which he says was misdiagnosed. The 6-foot-9 forward hasn’t played in the NBA since.

“When you win a championship with somebody, you don’t treat nobody like that,” Davis said on Broussard’s podcast last month. “No matter if it’s a business or not, because it’s bigger than basketball between us, Doc. I’ve never left you at the altar. I’ve never left you at the altar. I never left. You got get Spencer Hawes, he does nothing, you gotta trade him. You got me on the bench, knowing that I could play, but you still go play Spencer Hawes … you’re just trying to cover your own butt because Spencer’s not panning out the way you want him to pan out, and I just don’t like that.”

Read More: doc rivers, Glen Davis,
Katie Nolan is overrated 03.01.17 at 12:37 pm ET
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Katie Nolan is reportedly on the cusp of receiving a major push at FS1. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Katie Nolan is reportedly being wooed by ESPN. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Katie Nolan is a superstar within the echo chamber of Twitter. But outside the cozy confines of social media, she’s a relative non-factor.

With 18 months left on her exclusive deal with Fox Sports, Nolan is reportedly being groomed for a larger role at the network. An unnamed FS1 executive told Sporting News last week the Framingham native’s TV exposure is going to increase “five-fold” following the cancellation of “Garbage Time,” her irreverent and lowly rated late-night talk show. But FS1 may have some competition for Nolan going forward. According to Sporting News’ Michael McCarthy, ESPN is wooing her for a role at the WorldWide Leader, perhaps to take part in a new national morning program with Mike Greenberg. The “Mike and Mike” co-host inked a new mega-contract with ESPN last year that will reportedly pay him $6.5 million annually.

Nolan, 30, first rose to prominence three years ago when she released an introspective commentary about the NFL’s gross mishandling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case. In it, she recounts her decision to pull back from asking Roger Goodell about the leniency of Rice’s original two-game suspension at a Fox Sports event, out of fear it would anger her superiors. Nolan chides herself for staying silent, and vows to be a leading opinionated female sports voice.

“It’s time for women to have a seat at the big boy table,” she says. “And not where their presence is a gimmick or a concept. Just a person who happens to have breasts offering their opinion on the sports they love and the topics they know. Because the truth is, the NFL will never respect women and their opinions as long as the media it answers to doesn’t. I’m ready when you are, Fox.”

Roughly six months after the Rice video, which has been viewed nearly 388,000 times on YouTube, Nolan launched “Garbage Time” in March 2015. But outside of a blistering rant about the media’s coverage of Greg Hardy’s return to the NFL, she failed to make noise on her weekly show. Last spring, SportsTVRatings calculated that “First Take,” the often mocked shout fest on ESPN, was nearly 14 times more popular than “Garbage Time.” Nolan averaged roughly 32,666 viewers per episode for her first three shows this year, drawing about one-third of the audience that Skip Bayless’ Undisputed attracted last week –– during the doldrums of the sports calendar. (More recent “Garbage Time” viewership data isn’t available.)

Nolan’s abysmal ratings may be more of a commentary on FS1 than her. The network also cancelled “Fox Sports Live” last week, after the highlight-centric show with Canadian anchors Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole couldn’t attract an audience in four years. FS1’s lack of live game coverage at night gives it a dramatic disadvantage against ESPN, which owns rights agreements with almost every major sports league. With the absence of a strong lead-in, it’s difficult for FS1 studio shows to gain traction. This was evident last fall, when the station fell from first to 60th among cable networks in primetime ratings after the World Series had started airing exclusively on Fox.

It’s apparent that Nolan is talented and deserves the opportunity to have a bigger platform. Fox Sports missed a chance to do that at the Super Bowl, when it relegated her to social media segments during pregame coverage.

But make no mistake: Nolan is far from a TV star. As she demonstrated with her viral videos about Rice and Hardy, it’s possible to gain traction with a limited platform. As long as the content is good, people will generally find it. But it’s been more than one year since Nolan has factored into the news cycle. Perhaps her most recent notable bit was a crowdfunding effort last summer to buy David Ortiz a bench to put in Central Park –– a lame gimmick that doesn’t seem befitting for somebody who says she wants be a leading female sports voice.

It’s probably tempting for ESPN to throw millions at Nolan and thrust her into a leading role. She’s shown flashes of brilliance, willing to buck conventional wisdom and condemn the usually staid sports media industry. But right now, outside of the insulated world of social media, Nolan is a fringe player. She’s more notable in theory than reality.

Read More: Katie Nolan,
Draymond Green continues his feud with Paul Pierce by taking a shot at his Celtics career 03.01.17 at 9:43 am ET
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Paul Pierce is in a war of words with Draymond Green. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

Paul Pierce is in a war of words with Draymond Green. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

After withstanding a Twitter beatdown from Paul Pierce last week, Warriors forward Draymond Green has fired back with vengeance.

The latest chapter in the Pierce-Green feud happened Tuesday, when Green took a shot at Pierce’s career with the Celtics on his podcast.

“People tend to forget he was struggling to to get to the playoffs … Then all of a sudden Ray Allen and KG showed up. Let’s not forget that,” he said. “Just because you were scoring points don’t mean you were carrying the team. If you couldn’t get anywhere and you couldn’t do nothing, where were you carrying them to? … Pierce had had an amazing career. He was a beast. But how far was he carrying those teams? If you weren’t carrying them that far, I guess we’re in the same boat.”

During the Warriors-Clippers contest last Thursday, Green told Pierce, who’s in his final season, he’s not deserving of a farewell tour. That prompted Pierce to remind Green about the Warriors’ collapse against the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals last season.

While Green has a point about Pierce needing Kevin Garnett and Allen to reach the promised land, that’s hardly a negative commentary on the Truth. It takes more than one star to achieve success. Just ask Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, who’s averaging a triple-double this season and will be lucky to win a first-round series.

The Clippers and Warriors don’t face each other again this season, so if Pierce and Green are going to continue their beef, it will likely have to wait until the playoffs.

Read More: Draymond Green, Paul Pierce,
Curt Schilling tries to flaunt his military credentials on Twitter, gets smacked down by an U.S. army veteran 02.28.17 at 12:04 pm ET
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Curt Schilling is no stranger to Twitter wars. (David Manning/USA TODAY Sports)

Curt Schilling is no stranger to Twitter wars. (David Manning/USA TODAY Sports)

It’s been a rough stretch for Curt Schilling on Twitter. Last week, he defended right-wing troll Milo Yiannopoulos, then retreated after hearing the former Breitbart editor’s rationalization of pederasty. But that fleeting moment of embarrassment pales in comparison to the pummeling Schilling took Tuesday, when he tried to explain away Donald Trump’s degradation of the U.S. military.

In a speech Monday about his plans to increase defense spending, President Trump said U.S. soldiers are hapless in combat.

“We must ensure that our courageous servicemen and women have the tools they can be to deter war, and when called upon to fight in our name, only do one thing: win,” he said. “We never win and we don’t fight to win. We don’t fight to win. We’ve either got to win or don’t fight it at all.”

After those remarks, former Missouri Security of State and Afghanistan war veteran Jason Kander condemned Trump on Twitter. Schilling fired back, saying Trump was talking about military leadership, not the troops on the ground.

Trump routinely lambasted the U.S. armed forces during his ascent to the Oval Office. Last year, he claimed to know more about defeating ISIS than our country’s generals. He’s extended his ire towards the intelligence community in recent months, comparing it to Nazi Germany.

Later in the unsolicited Twitter exchange, Schilling cited his military credentials, saying he once spent 18 days with troops in the Middle East. Kander, who was a decorated intelligence officer in the Army National Guard, responded in kind.

Stop the match. Kander wins in a knockout.

Read More: Curt Schilling,
There’s nothing funny about Rob Gronkowski’s ’69’ jokes 02.27.17 at 4:05 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski appears ready to embark on another wild summer. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

Rob Gronkowski appears ready to embark on another wild summer. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

Back when Rob Gronkowski was just beginning his NFL career, there was an endearing quality to his sophomoric sense of humor. He seemed to be genuinely juvenile, such as when he told a Spanish reporter “Yo soy fiesta” in response to a question about his post-AFC championship game party plans.

But now, after years of “69” jokes, the act seems fabricated. Gronk has jumped the shark.

The latest Gronkism came over the weekend, when he attended the Daytona 500 for Monster Energy, a sponsor of the NASCAR cup series. In an interview on Fox, Gronkowski tried his damnedest to get one of the Monster Energy Girls to say “69.” It didn’t work out.

“Hey Ashley, what’s your favorite speed limit out there?,” he asked. “I hope it’s somewhere around 70 or something.”

“I am hardcore. I like to go as fast as possible,” she responded, seemingly unaware of Gronkowski’s dimwitted obsession with “69” humor –– if there is such a thing.

There’s this notion that Gronkowski acts spontaneously, often blurting out the first thing that comes to his mind. But that doesn’t give him enough credit. There’s an apparent savviness to Gronkowski’s brand of inanity. At 27 years old, he’s crafted, and profited off, an amiable frat boy persona. Look no further than his line of party limos, which are supposed to bring the “the Gronk Bus experience to you in a Gronk’d up way.” Last year, roughly 800 people set sail on Gronk’s three-day party cruise, paying up to $1,100 for a balcony room.

There’s nothing harmful about Gronkowski’s schtick. But that doesn’t make it entertaining. Within the last couple of years, he’s taped No. 69 on the back of his practice jersey, worn a No. 69 jersey to a Super Bowl parade, almost keeled over in laughter after a reporter said “69” during an interview, and snickered at the podium when talking about his 69th career touchdown. Even Andrew Dice Clay’s routine had more variety.

The moment an act becomes brand-driven, it usually loses its luster. At the Daytona 500, Gronkowski was flanked by the Monster Energy Girls. Not so coincidently, the Gronk party buses are all stocked with Monster Energy drinks. Gronk’s latest “69” joke appears to be nothing more than sponsored content, designed to circulate around the blogosphere.

And that makes it lame. Very, very lame.

Read More: New England Patriots, rob, rob gronkowski,
Kevin Garnett modeled his workout routine after Beyoncé 02.27.17 at 1:52 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett retired from the NBA last season. (Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports)

Kevin Garnett retired from the NBA last season. (Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports)

Kevin Garnett stayed in impeccable shape throughout his 21-year NBA career, remaining an elite defender until the end. Apparently, Beyoncé was one of the reasons why.

In an appearance last week on Bill Simmons’ podcast, Clippers guard J.J. Redick said Garnett told him he modeled his work-out routine after the pop icon. Garnett said singing and dancing at the same time, just like Queen Bey herself, would help him keep his energy up for the entire game.

“One time I saw her working out, and she was doing her dances and she was singing while she was doing her dancing,” Garnett said to Redick. “So then I’m thinking to myself, ‘Maybe I should run and sing at the same time.’ So in the offseason, I would go to Malibu and I would go down to the beach, and when I run on the beach I would be like ‘Lalala lalala lalala,’ while I’m running. So then, when I get on the court and I’m getting back on defense and I’m talking on defense, I don’t get tired.”

Now that Garnett has joined the Clippers as a consultant, perhaps he’ll share his Beyoncé-inspired training methods with even more players. Advice like that is too good to keep to yourself.

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Paul Pierce roasts Draymond Green, shows he finally knows how to use Twitter 02.24.17 at 3:05 pm ET
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Paul Pierce played his final game at the T.D. Garden Feb. 7. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports

Paul Pierce played his final game at the T.D. Garden Feb. 7. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

Paul Pierce has finally figured out Twitter, and Draymond Green is still licking his wounds.

Early in the first quarter of the Thursday’s Warriors-Clippers matchup, TV microphones caught Green spewing some trash talk towards Pierce.

“You can’t get no farewell tour, they don’t love you like that…You thought you was Kobe?,” he said.

Pierce fired back on Twitter, reminding Green about the Warriors’ blown 3-1 series lead against the Cavaliers in the Final last year.

Ouch.

The most notable thing about Pierce’s tweet isn’t his diss, but rather his proper emoji use. Pierce revealed his emoji ignorance during the DeAndre Jordan free agency craze two years ago, when he appeared to download a picture of a rocket emoji instead of clicking the icon on his smartphone keyboard.

The Truth has come a long way. He seems to be putting those two cellphones he was spotted with at the Dunk Contest to good use.

Read More: Draymond Green, Paul Pierce,
The alt-right wants Tom Brady to run for U.S. Senate 02.24.17 at 1:44 pm ET
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Tom Brady refuses to reveal who he voted for in the presidential election. (Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports)

Tom Brady refuses to reveal who he voted for in the presidential election. (Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports)

Tom Brady was one of the first high-profile celebrities who expressed support for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, stuffing a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker in September 2015.

The Trump Train wasn’t very crowded back then, with most conservatives opting to support his 16 primary opponents. That is, except members of the alt-right, a loose collection of far-right ideologues that includes anti-semites, neo-Nazis and white supremacists. They were Trump’s top early political backers, sticking with him through the end.

Even though Brady has never publicly revealed his political views –– he hinted last month he may disagree with some of Trump’s policies –– the alt-right seems to feel a kinship with him. Or, at least, they want him to run for senate.

In an editorial on Breitbart, the right-wing news website formerly led by Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, one columnist says it would be exciting to see Brady challenge Elizabeth Warren for her senate seat in 2018. That is, assuming his conservative credentials check out.

“Brady over Warren is the no-brainiest of all no-brainers, and forcing the radical Warren from the Senate would be cause for much rejoicing. Still, it probably behooves most on the right to know a bit more about what Brady the politician would look like, before we arrive at that point,” Dylan Gwinn writes.

Infowars, the website run by conspiracy-theoriest and Trump advisor Alex Jones, who’s accused the U.S. government of orchestrating 9/11 and the Sandy Hook Shootings, also seems enthused about a hypothetical Brady run. In a video, one of site’s contributors talked about how exciting it would be to see Brady enter the political arena.

“I thought the notion of athletes, including Brady, to defeat some of these stalwarts like Warren might be the antidote we need,” says Owen Shroyer.

Brady, of course, almost certainly isn’t going to challenge Warren in 2018. He says he wants to play football for at least five more years, and doesn’t seem interested in entering politics.

But that doesn’t mean Warren won’t face a Boston sports legend when she’s up for reelection in two years. Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has routinely talked about his interest in running against her. A Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll shows Warren with a 58-24 edge in a theoretical matchup between the two.

Read More: New England Patriots, Tom Brady,
Commend Caitlyn Jenner for her powerful condemnation of Donald Trump’s transgender order 02.24.17 at 12:17 pm ET
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It’s sometimes difficult to take Caitlyn Jenner seriously, considering she’s spent many years of her life exploiting her name on the Kardashian family’s reality show. But in a world bereft of prominent transgender voices, she plays an important role. That was on display this week, when she pushed back against the Trump administration’s decision to overturn federal protections for transgender students that let them use restrooms corresponding with their gender identity.

In a video posted to Twitter Thursday, the two-time Olympic gold medalist rails against the revocation of the Obama-era order. Jenner, who supported President Donald Trump during the election, calls the policy a “disaster.”

“I have a message for President Trump, from one Republican to another,” Jenner said. “This is a disaster. And you can still fix it. You made a promise to protect the LGBTQ community. Call me.”

Throughout the campaign, Trump disingenuously presented himself as a pro-LGBTQ candidate. In his speech at the Republican National Convention, he pledged to protect the community from Islamic terrorism, while ignoring his own vice president’s hostile record on gay rights. He also named Jeff Sessions attorney general, who was one of the most anti-LGBTQ members of the senate and reportedly pushed for the reversal of President Barack Obama’s transgender guidelines.

Despite those actions, Trump gave the transgender community lip service in an interview last April on NBC’s “Today.” He said if Jenner were to visit Trump Tower, she could use any bathroom she chooses. Apparently, he doesn’t feel transgender kids should have that same right when they go to school.

After those comments, Jenner said she thought Trump would be more pro-LGBTQ than his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. But her previous endorsement didn’t preclude her from condemning the Trump administration’s policy.

“You’re sick. And because you’re weak, you pick on kids, you pick on women or anyone else you think is vulnerable,” she said in her video. “Apparently even becoming the attorney general isn’t enough to cure some people of their insecurities.”

Transgender kids are some of the most vulnerable people in the U.S. More than 80 percent of transgender students say they feel threatened at school, and 41 percent of transgender people say they’ve tried to commit suicide at least once in their lives. The suicide attempt rate of the overall U.S. population is 4.6 percent.

Jenner may not be the most intellectual spokesperson for the LGBTQ cause, but that’s OK. After hiding her identity for over 60 years –– she says she used to wear women’s clothing as a teenager –– Jenner seems proud of who she is. It’s important for people to see that.

There’s no singular moment in the gay rights movement that’s led to mainstream acceptance. With each person who comes out, the stigma around homosexuality continues to decrease.

Jenner is perhaps the most famous transgender person in the world. Her advocacy is meaningful, even if it comes in the form of a goofy-looking video recorded in her kitchen.

“I have a message for the trans kids of America: You’re winning,” she said. “I know it doesn’t feel like it today or every day, but you’re winning. Very soon, we will win full freedom nationwide and it’s going to be with bipartisan support.”

Read More: Caitlyn Jenner, Donald Trump,