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Colin Kaepernick surprise guest at 'Unthanksgiving Day' on Alcatraz

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made a surprise appearance at the Alcatraz Indigenous People's Sunrise Gathering on Thursday, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

>> Read more trending news

A tradition in California since 1975, the annual dawn festivities, also known as Unthanksgiving Day, commemorate the occupation of Alcatraz by American Indians from November 1969 to June 1971, Newsweek reported. During that time, 89 American Indian activists and leaders occupied the island and former penitentiary and demanded it be turned into an Indian cultural center and school.

Kaepernick, who remains an unsigned free agent, spoke to the thousands gathered on the island, the Chronicle reported. His words evoked cheers and applause.

“Our fight is the same fight,” Kaepernick told the crowd, in a message he also posted on Twitter. “We’re all fighting for our justice, for our freedom. And realizing that we are all in this fight together makes us all the more powerful.”

Kaepernick has been criticized by President Donald Trump for refusing to stand during the national anthem as a protest against racism in the U.S.

South African court increases Oscar Pistorius' jail term

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal increased the jail sentence for former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius to 13 years, 5 months, the BBC reported Friday.

>> Read more trending news

Pistorius was originally sentenced to six years in prison for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. 

"The sentence imposed by the … [High Court] with respect to murder is set aside and substituted with the following –- the respondent’s imprisonment for 13 years and five months," Justice Legoabe Willie Seriti said. 

He said Pistorius should have been sentenced to 15 years, but the Supreme Court of Appeal took into account the time he had already served, News24 reported. 

Pistorius was arrested on Valentine’s Day in 2013 –- the day of the killing.

North Gauteng High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa initially sentenced Pistorius to five years for culpable homicide in 2014, News 24 reported.

Pistorius served only 10 months of the five-year sentence in prison before being released and put under house arrest.

The state appealed the culpable homicide conviction, and it was later replaced with murder by the Supreme Court of Appeal in 2016, and Masipa handed down a six-year jail term, News24 reported.

Previously, the six-time Paralympic gold medallist had made history by becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete at the Olympics, in 2012 in London, running on prosthetic "blades.”

He had his legs amputated below the knee as a baby, the BBC reported.

Gabby Douglas accuses former team doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse

Team USA gymnastics member Gabby Douglas came forward with her own allegations against team doctor Larry Nassar, saying she, like her teammate Aly Raisman, was sexually abused.

Douglas issued a statement via Instagram on Tuesday claiming she was sexually abused by Nassar. 

>> Read more trending news

“First, I want to reiterate my apology for responding the way I did to a comment that one of my teammates posted,” she wrote in response to her comments on Raisman’s own accusations against Nassar. “I know some of you may take what I am about to say as insincere, but I still wanted to provide context.

“The day before I commented, I was at an event where hundreds of children and young adults came to spend an evening with me. It’s very humbling when many people look up to you as an example,” she continued. “I take my job as a role model very seriously and I always want to do my best to represent all the best qualities that a role model should embody. I admit there are times that I fall short.” 

On Friday, Douglas responded to Raisman’s tweet in which she called out victim-shamers after making allegations against Nassar. 

Related: Report: Olympic medalist Aly Raisman claims she was sexually abused by team doctor

“However it is our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy. Dressing in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd,” Douglas wrote in the since-deleted tweet.

Fellow Olympic gymnast and Team USA member Simone Biles promptly called Douglas out.

“Shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me... honestly seeing this brings me to tears (because) as your teammate I expected more from you and to support her,” Biles tweeted. “I support you Aly and all the other women out there! STAY STRONG.”

Douglas apologized later that day, later providing more context for her remarks in her Wednesday Instagram statement.

Related: Aly Raisman calls out sexual assault victim shamers, Gabby Douglas apologizes for response

“I didn’t view my comments as victim shaming because I know that no matter what you wear, it NEVER gives anyone the right to harass or abuse you,” Douglas said Wednesday. “It would be like saying that because of the leotards we wore, it was our fault that we were abused by Larry Nassar. I didn’t publicly share my experiences as well as many other things because for years we were conditioned to stay silent, and honestly some things were extremely painful. I wholeheartedly support my teammates for coming forward with what happened to them. 

“I understand that many of you didn’t know what I was dealing with, but it is important to me that you at least know this. I do not advocate victim shaming/blaming in any way, shape or form! I will also never support attacking or bullying someone on social media or anywhere else,” she wrote. “To every other individual that commented to or about me hatefully, I apologize that I let you down too. I will never stop promoting unity, positivity, being courageous and doing good instead of evil. I have learned from this, and I’m determined to be even better.” 

Raisman responded to Douglas’ statement with support.

“I applaud your bravery @gabrielledoug I support you,” Raisman tweeted Wednesday morning. 

“Love you so much. So glad you know I would never attack you and that I support you too because united we stand, divided we fall,” Douglas responded.

USA Gymnastics also tweeted its support for Douglas.

“We admire the strength shown by Gabby and her teammates in speaking out publicly to hold a predator accountable,” the tweet said as part of a longer statement. “The organization has taken specific and concrete steps to prevent future abuse by adopting the USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy.” 

Douglas joins dozens of other women, several of whom are former athletes, who have accused Nassar of abuse

On Nov. 21, Nassar plead guilty to seven counts of first-degree sexual conduct in a Michigan courtroom. CNN reported that he has been charged with 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and 11 counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct at the state level.

Trump slams 'ungrateful fool' LaVar Ball in tweets

President Donald Trump escalated his feud with NBA personality LaVar Ball in a pair of tweets Wednesday, calling Ball an “ungrateful fool” and taking full credit for getting Ball’s son and two of his UCLA basketball teammates back to the U.S. after the trio was accused of shoplifting in China.

>> Read more trending news

“It wasn’t the White House, it wasn’t the State Department, it wasn’t father LaVar’s so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence - IT WAS ME,” the president wrote in a tweet posted around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. “Remember LaVar, shoplifting is NOT a little thing. It’s a really big deal, especially in China. Ungrateful fool!”

Trump and Ball have engaged in a verbal back-and-forth since the president took credit for freeing Ball’s son, LiAngelo, and two of his teammates, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, from a Chinese jail earlier this month. The trio was facing shoplifting charges and as many as 10 years in China’s prison system.

>> Related: WATCH: LaVar Ball fires back at Trump in heated CNN interview

LiAngelo Ball, Riley and Hill were released and allowed to return to the United States last week after Trump said he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping on their behalf.

“The basketball players, by the way — I know a lot of people are asking — I will tell you, when I heard about it two days ago, I had a great conversation with President Xi,” Trump said, according to The Washington Post. “What they did was unfortunate. You know, you’re talking about very long prison sentences. (The Chinese) do not play games.”

>> Related: Trump again lashes out at UCLA basketball dad LaVar Ball: 'Very ungrateful!'

LiAngelo Ball, Riley and Hill thanked their fellow teammates, school officials and the U.S. government, including Trump, for the work they did to bring them back to the U.S. LaVar Ball, however, said in an interview Monday with CNN that he wouldn’t thank Trump.

"Did he help the boys get out? I don't know,” LaVar Ball said. “If I was going to thank somebody I'd probably thank President Xi (Jinping). ... It wasn't like he was in the US and said, 'OK, there's three kids in China. I need to go over and get them.' That wasn't the thought process.”

>> Related: Trump fires back after LaVar Ball minimizes role in getting UCLA players released

LaVar Ball told CNN that he felt if Trump helped to free his son, the president shouldn’t have felt like he needed recognition.

“If you helped you shouldn't have to say anything,” LaVar Ball said. “If I help somebody, I don't walk around saying, you know, ‘I helped you now, come on now, you give me some love, I helped you.’ Come on, for real?”

“Just think LaVar, you could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday.

The Palm Beach Post contributed to this report.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, wife Sarah Ryan, expecting twins

The Falcons nest is about to get bigger.

Sarah Ryan, wife of Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan, announced on Instagram Tuesday that the couple is expecting their first child – make that children.

The couple is expecting twins, according to the post. 

>> Read more trending news

Sarah Ryan posted a picture of the couple with a No. 2 balloon to announce the arrivals. 

“It’s been a long road, but Matt and I couldn’t be happier to announce that we are expecting twins! We are anxiously awaiting their arrival in April. There’s just something about the number 2 in our house, I guess,” she posted. 

Matt Ryan, 32, also made the announcement on social media later in the day with the same photo. On Wednesday, the Falcons congratulated the couple on the news

The footballer wears No. 2 for the Falcons. He was the team’s first-round draft pick, No. 3 overall, in 2008 and has been the starter since his arrival. He won the NFL MVP award last season in leading the Falcons to the Super Bowl.

The couple, who both attended Boston College, married in 2011.

Tennessee State football player arrested after video shows him punching coach, police say

A Tennessee State University football player who was kicked off the team and expelled after he was caught on video punching his assistant coach earlier this month has been arrested in connection with the attack, according to police.

>> Read more trending news

Jail records show Latrelle Lee, 22, was arrested Monday night. He was charged with one count of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury and released on a $7,500 bond later Monday, according to The Tennessean.

Police told told WKRN that Lee hit a coach in the face multiple times during a game against Southeast Missouri State University at Hale Stadium. Video of the Nov. 11 incident appeared to show Lee punching Tigers strength coach T.J. Greenstone twice in the head and knocking him to the ground on the sideline.

"Once struck about the face by the defendant, the victim fell to the ground and was dazed and somewhat unconscious from the punches," officers said in an arrest affidavit obtained by The Tennessean. "The victim has subsequently been having medical difficulties as a result from the altercation."

>> Related: Tennessee State player expelled after punching coach on sideline

The attack happened as Greenstone was walking down the sideline to ensure players who weren’t on the field were far enough away to avoid a penalty, The Tennessean reported.

In a statement released to WKRN after the incident, Tennessee State athletics director Teresa Phillps condemned the attack.

“We are committed to supporting the coach who was personally affected and our concern is now with him,” she said.

Herschel Walker blames Roger Goodell for continued NFL protests

Former NFL running back Herschel Walker blamed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for the longevity of NFL protests.

>> Read more trending news

Started by Colin Kaepernick last season, it has become common for NFL players to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem in protest of police brutality and social injustice in the United States.

“I absolutely think the protests are so upsetting, and I blame the commissioner,” Walker said, according to the New York Post. “I know people are going to be angry when I say it, but he should have stopped the protests at the very beginning."

“Guys, let me tell you this,” Walker continued. “Our flag is very special, and black lives matter, but what we should do is go to Washington after the season and protest there instead. We have young men and women fighting for the flag. And we have to respect the White House.”>> Related: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants players to stand during national anthem, memo says

While this is the first time Walker has publicly blamed the commissioner, it isn’t the first time Walker has expressed his opinion that NFL players should not protest during the playing of the national anthem

Above all else, Walker said in an interview with TMZ in September that players are at work during the games and should treat their jobs and bosses with respect.

“Everyone needs to stand. Everyone needs to be respectful,” Walker told TMZ. “And then what I’d do (if I were commissioner) is (say), ‘Guys, during the offseason, if you want to go walk the picket line in front of Congress, I will be right there with you.’”

President Donald Trump has continually voiced his opinion that the NFL should implement a rule demanding players stand during the playing of the national anthem.

>> Related: Do students have to stand for the Pledge, anthem?

Goodell is reported to have a contract extension finalized in the coming weeks that will be worth $40 million a year through 2023. 

Terry Glenn, former NFL wide receiver, dies in car wreck

Former New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terry Glenn has passed away at age 43, according to reports.

>> Read more trending news

Sports Illustrated reported Monday morning Glenn was killed in a crash in Irving, Texas. He is survived by a fiancee, according to fellow former Dallas Cowboys star Tony Casillas.

Glenn was the No. 7 overall pick by the Patriots at the 1996 NFL Draft after playing collegiate football at Ohio State. He made an immediate impact in New England, catching 90 passes for 1,132 yards and six touchdowns in his rookie season.

He went on to play six seasons with the Patriots, making his first and only Pro Bowl in 1999. After spending a single season with the Packers, he finished his career by spending five seasons with the Cowboys.

Glenn had two more 1,000-yard seasons with the Cowboys, bringing his career total to four. A knee injury ended his career, and he was officially released in the summer of 2008.

He was a member of two AFC Championship squads with the Patriots and also caught Tom Brady’s first touchdown pass. However, he only played in four games during that 2001 season and never got a ring.

Glenn is survived by his fiancee and three children.

Boston25News contributed to this report.

Goodbye, Georgia Dome – thanks for the memories!

As we say goodbye to the Georgia Dome after a quarter-century, it’s only fitting we look back at some it its most memorable moments.

The Atlanta landmark was demolished at 7:30 a.m. Monday. The last event was held in the 25-year-old building in March, and the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened next door in August.

>> Watch a video of the implosion here

>> Head to WSBTV.com for complete coverage of the implosion 

From Super Bowls, to NCAA Men’s Final Fours, to the Summer Olympics, the dome has hosted some incredible sporting events

1996 Summer Olympics

The 70,000-seat Georgia Dome was basically divided into two separate arenas.

On one side, “The Magnificent Seven” captured America’s first victory ever in women’s team gymnastics.

The team – made up of Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Dominique Dawes, Kerri Strug, Amy Chow, Amanda Borden and Jaycie Phelps – is probably best known for Strug landing a vault on one foot to clinch the gold medal. She was famously helped off by coach Bela Karolyi.

>> On WSBTV.com: Crews make last-minute preps for Georgia Dome implosion

On the other side, “The Dream Team” won its second gold medal in men’s basketball.

The team – coached by Lenny Wilkens – defeated Yugoslavia 95-69 in the gold medal game.

Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen, John Stockton and David Robinson played on this team and the original 1992 Dream Team.

Super Bowl XXVIII

The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills 30-13, earning their fourth Super Bowl in franchise history.

After trailing 13-6 at halftime, the Cowboys closed the game with 24 unanswered points. Emmitt Smith scored twice and was named the game’s MVP.

The crowd of 72,817 saw Natalie Cole sing the national anthem, Joe Namath do the coin toss and a halftime show featuring The Judds, Clint Black, Travis Tritt and Tanya Tucker.

Super Bowl XXXIV

The second Super Bowl hosted by the Georgia Dome was one of the most memorable in history.

The St. Louis Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans 23-16 when Mike Jones stopped Kevin Dyson just short of the goal-line on the game’s final play.Quarterback Kurt Warned threw for 414 yards and 2 touchdowns, and was named the game’s MVP.

>> Read more trending news 

The crowd of 72,625 saw Faith Hill sing the National Anthem and a halftime show featuring Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton and Edward James Olmos.

An ice storm hit Atlanta during the week of the game and many doubted the city’s ability to host the event. Despite the concerns, the Super Bowl will return to Atlanta in 2019.

Tornado hits downtown Atlanta

Thousands of basketball fans were inside the Georgia Dome when an EF-2 tornado ripped through downtown Atlanta in March 2008.

The 130 mph tornado killed one person near downtown, blew out dozens of windows from high-rise buildings, tossed trees and cars and damaged homes in the area.

Inside the Georgia Dome, fans were watching the Southeastern Conference college basketball tournament. The game between Mississippi State and Alabama was in overtime when the tornado struck around 9:40 p.m.

The storm ripped open a panel on the side of the dome, shearing bolts and causing insulation to fall into the arena.

The game was completed after the storm moved through. The rest of the tournament was postponed.

The dome, along with several other downtown buildings, underwent repairs while staying open for business in the years after the tornado.

Sugar Bowl moved to Georgia Dome

After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the Sugar Bowl between the Georgia Bulldogs and the West Virginia Mountaineers was played at the Georgia dome in January 2006. It was the first time the “South’s Biggest Bowl Game” was played outside of the state of Louisiana.

That week, within a four day period, the dome hosted three games. Along with the Sugar Bowl, the dome also hosted the Peach Bowl between LSU and Miami and an NFL game between the Falcons and the Panthers.

2012 NFC Championship game

The Georgia Dome has seen its share of Falcons successes and frustrations. The 2012 NFC Championship was one of the franchise's biggest accomplishments and toughest defeats. It was the first-ever NFC championship game in Atlanta. The Falcons jumped out to a 17-0 second-quarter lead over the San Francisco 49ers. The lead wouldn't last, and after failing to make a play at the end, the Falcons lost 28-24 and missed the Super Bowl. 

2017 NFC Championship game

In 2017, the Falcons would not squander a chance to return to the Super Bowl. In their final game at the Georgia Dome, the Falcons beat the Packers 44-21 to advance to their second Super Bowl in franchise history.

In this game, the Falcons again jumped out to a 17-0 lead, but this time they never looked back. They took a 24-0 at halftime and held on for a convincing win to close out their time at the Dome. 

NCAA Tournaments

Atlanta has hosted 85 NCAA men's tournament games, fifth most of any city. Thirty of those games were played at the Georgia Dome. Six NCAA Regionals, three men's Final Fours (2002, 2007 and 2013) and one women's Final Four were played at the Dome. The Dome's final tournament in 2013 set records. A crowd of 74,326 beat the record for the largest ever for a final game. 

State Championships

The Dome has been home to the finals since 2008, but the stadium's 25-year history with Georgia high school football dates back to the building's opening in 1992. On Sept. 5, 1992, the Corky Kell Classic matchup between Brookwood and McEachern was the first regular season football game in the Dome. Until then, Georgia high school football rarely was played on such a big stage. 

In the 25 seasons, 169 Georgia high schools have participated in the Dome's 298 high school football games, according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association. 

Soccer at the dome

Eleven soccer games were played at the Georgia Dome since 2009. The first competitive soccer games were held during the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The U.S. men's national team made its first appearance in Atlanta since 1977 in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals at the Dome. 

In all, the Dome hosted Mexico's "El Tri" four times, Mexico's Club America twice and the U.S. men's and women's national teams once each. Notable visitors also include European clubs A.C. Milan and Manchester City.

Trump again lashes out at UCLA basketball dad LaVar Ball: 'Very ungrateful!'

President Donald Trump continued his Twitter roasting of UCLA basketball dad and Big Baller Brand mogul LaVar Ball on Sunday evening, calling him “very ungrateful” for not thanking him for getting his son out of trouble.

>> See the tweet here

“Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be (5-10 years in jail), but not to father LaVar. Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead. China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful!” Trump tweeted.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Trump fires back after LaVar Ball minimizes role in getting UCLA players released

Earlier Sunday, Trump said “I should have left them in jail!,” referring to the three UCLA basketball players arrested in China for shoplifting, one of whom was Ball’s son, LiAngelo.

>> See the tweet here

“Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!” Trump tweeted.

>> LiAngelo Ball, UCLA teammates arrested in China could get 10 years in prison if convicted

This was Trump’s response to Ball essentially saying “Trump who?” when asked on Saturday about the president’s role in helping LiAngelo.

This all started when Trump tweeted after returning from Asia that the three UCLA basketball players who got in trouble for allegedly shoplifting in China should thank him for saving them from a decade in prison.

>> Read the tweet here

“Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!” he tweeted last Wednesday morning.

The players, for their part, did exactly that at an afternoon press conference the same day.

“To the three UCLA basketball players I say: You’re welcome, go out and give a big Thank You to President Xi Jinping of China who made your release possible and, HAVE A GREAT LIFE! Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!” Trump said in reply.

LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were returned to the United States after being arrested on charges of shoplifting, in connection with the alleged theft of Louis Vuitton sunglasses in Shanghai. The university later announced that the players would be suspended indefinitely.

>> Read more trending news

Previously, Rare speculated that it was possible Trump wanted to hear a “thank you” not just from the basketball players, but also from the unapologetic LaVar Ball himself.

The president did not end up getting that thank you from the elder Ball.

“Who? What was [Trump] over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out,” Ball said, according to ESPN.

>> On Rare.us: LaVar Ball on Trump helping his son: 'Who?'

“As long as my boy’s back here, I’m fine. I’m happy with how things were handled. A lot of people like to say a lot of things that they thought happened over there. Like I told him, ‘They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes,’” Ball added, downplaying his son’s alleged mistake. “I’m from L.A. I’ve seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses. My son has built up enough character that one bad decision doesn’t define him.”

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