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Dear Black girls: WNBA player's essay hits home for young women

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(NEW YORK) — A WNBA player’s powerful message to young Black girls is resonating with readers as the nation continues to grapple with conversations on racism.

“People see me as an athlete, a basketball player out there entertaining — at end of the day, I’m still a Black woman,” A’ja Wilson, 23, told ABC News’ Good Morning America. “I wanted to put it out there and let Black girls and women know, ‘I see you. I hear you. I am you.'”

In a piece for The Players’ Tribune, A’ja Wilson shared her experiences as a Black woman — stressing how regardless of her status, she’s “been through it, too.”

Wilson, a forward for the Las Vegas Aces, said she wanted to be as relatable as possible in sharing her story, which was published Monday.

She wrote, in part:

This is for all the girls with an apostrophe in their name.

This is for all the girls who are “too loud” and “too emotional.”

This is for all the girls who are constantly asked, “Oh, what did you do with your hair? That’s new.”

This is for my Black girls.

Wilson went on, revealing a friend told her in fourth grade she’d have to stay outside during her birthday party because her dad “didn’t like Black people”:

No one’s story is exactly the same. But every Black girl, at some point in her life, has her own version of The Birthday Party. That’s why I’m writing this to you. I know what it’s like to feel like you’ve been swept under the rug. I know what it feels like to not be heard, not be seen, not be taken seriously.

Wilson said her father read her essay and said he recalled going to her school to talk about the incident.

“It’s things like that, as a family we all went through,” Wilson said. “It’s something I’m sure my mom, my dad hated going through.”

Wilson said she also addressed certain stereotypes like Black women being “loud,” “ghetto” and “too much.” She wants to encourage girls to always speak out, regardless of what people say.

“It’s tough because no matter what, you’re always going to get labeled,” Wilson told GMA. “If I get mad or upset, I’m seen as the angry Black woman.”

“Go out on a limb … don’t feel like you have to say things a certain way, or look a certain way,” she added. “Take that chance of speaking your truth and being who you are.”

Wilson wants girls to know that they’re part of the movement toward change — just as she uses her own platform to promote justice for Breonna Taylor, a Louisville, Kentucky, woman who was shot and killed by police earlier this year.

“That could be me, that could be my mom,” Wilson said. “I want every young girl to know that’s not all about police brutality.”

“The key thing is demanding a change around us so we’re not the next hashtag,” she added.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

NBA players call for justice for Breonna Taylor in wake of civil unrest

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Breonna Taylor FamilyBy KARMA ALLEN, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — NBA players are using their media time to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, a young Black medical worker who was fatally shot by plainclothes officers in her Louisville, Kentucky home in March.

Los Angeles Lakers star Kyle Kuzma spoke about the 26-year-old’s death for about six minutes Wednesday night as reporters gathered in Orlando, Florida, to discuss the league’s attempts to restart the season.

Kuzma took to Twitter after the press conference, pleading with the media to ask more questions about social justice in light of the ongoing nationwide protests against racism and police brutality.

“Media & players: We work hand n hand. We have platforms but help us out! Yes we know your job is to ask us about basketball questions,” he tweeted. “But if you guys believe in equality for all, let’s ask a few social injustice questions here n there. We’re all in this together.”

Similarly, Kuzma’s teammate, Lakers guard Alex Caruso, tried his best to steer questions away from his sister, Megan, who got married last weekend. Instead, Caruso said he wanted to talk more about Taylor.

“Outside of my sister’s wedding questions, anything today that you ask of basketball, I’m just going to respond with, ‘We need justice for Breonna Taylor,'” Caruso told reporters. “That’s going to be my response to the rest of the questions if they’re basketball-related and not pertaining to me and my sister’s wedding.”

Taylor’s death on March 13 sent shockwaves around the country. Louisville police officers had executed a no-knock search warrant and used a battering ram to forcefully enter the young woman’s apartment.

Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, got out of bed around midnight when they heard a commotion outside. After a short exchange with police, Walker fired his gun in self-defense, saying he thought his home was being broken into, according to police.

The plainclothes officers returned gunfire, firing several shots and fatally hitting Taylor, police said.

It was later revealed that the police had been looking for two men who they believed were selling drugs out of a house located near Taylor’s home. Police obtained a no-knock warrant to search Taylor’s apartment because they had reason to believe that the men had used her apartment to receive packages.

One of the officers, Brett Hankison, was fired in June amid intense pressure from the public. Jon Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, the other officers involved, were placed on administrative reassignment, but civil rights activists say all three men should be charged.

Activists, athletes and some of Hollywood’s brightest stars have called on their fans to demand justice for Taylor. Other artists have showed support by promoting the #SayHerName campaign on social media.

Members of the NBA, which restarted its season on Wednesday after a four-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, have been some of Taylor’s most outspoken proponents.

“[Shoulders] felt great, but I think most importantly, I take this time to give my condolences to the family of the Taylors, Breonna Taylor, rest in peace, George Floyd, rest in peace,” LA Clippers guard Paul George told reporters after the game on Wednesday. “There are so many others out there that have been brutally murdered by the hands of police. That is all I got — that is my message for everyone and that will continue to be my answer.”

George said he plans to encourage fellow players and others with large platforms to keep speaking out against police brutality in the wake of Taylor’s death.

“I mean, her murderers are still free, so nothing is done yet. And hope to continue, again, keep this fight going and use our platform to stand up for those that can’t stand anymore,” he told reporters. “I think that is what we are here for, to continue to keep that in the back of people’s minds.”

Other NBA players, including Lakers star LeBron James, Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell and Toronto Raptors guard Terence Davis have also spoken out about the ongoing fight for racial justice.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Mike Tyson explains decision to return to the boxing ring for 8-round exhibition match

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iStock/leolintangBY: KELLY MCCARTHY

(MINNEAPOLIS) — Mike Tyson is stepping back into the boxing ring this September for the first time in 15 years.

On Thursday, the former undisputed heavyweight champ announced his return on Twitter, along with a video previewing the matchup with Roy Jones Jr.

Tyson, 54, will square up with Jones Jr. in an eight-round exhibition match on Sept. 12 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.


“Iron Mike” joined ESPN’s “First Take” on Thursday and explained his decision for the big return.


“It’s because I can do it. And I believe other people believe they can do it, too,” Tyson told ESPN. “Just because we are 54, it doesn’t mean that we have to start a new career and our lives are totally over. Not when you feel as beautiful as I do, and I’m sure that other people feel the same way.”

He continued, “I never took that many punches. After the last fight I had, I left and I lived my life, and I’ve been through some experiences, and now I’m back here. I feel like I took better care of my body and my state of mind than most of the fighters before me that retired and came back.”


Jones, 51, was considered the most brilliant boxer in the sport and defeated Scott Sigmon in his last professional appearance in February 2018.

When asked by ESPN about the risk that he and Jones could face at their ages, Tyson didn’t seem concerned.

“We’re both accomplished fighters, we know how to take care of ourselves,” he said. “It’s an eight-round exhibition. And, listen, we’ll be all right. Trust me, we can take care of ourselves.”


Famed Mixed Martial Arts coach Rafael Cordeiro has apparently been training Tyson for months for the upcoming fight and will be in his corner, ESPN reported.

The bout will air exclusively on multimedia platform Triller and will be available on Pay-per-view broadcast.

According to ESPN, Triller will also show a 10-part docuseries leading up to the bout.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Washington NFL Team to be called 'The Washington Football Team'

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(ASHBURN, Va.) — The NFL’s Washington, D.C., franchise has decided on a new name — at least for now.

The team announced Thursday that, effective immediately, the organization will call itself the “Washington Football Team,” sources told ESPN. The change comes after the team’s July 13 announcement that Washington would retire the Redskins name and logo in light of the country’s recent sway toward more cultural awareness.

Team owner Dan Snyder, had previously said the team would “never” change its name, and argued that it actually honored Native Americans. Snyder later changed course, saying this month that the organization would consider changing the name “in light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community.”




The Washington Football Team plans to rebrand and retire the former name completely from physical and digital spaces over the next 50 days, ESPN reports. The team will not change the burgundy and gold color scheme, but fans can expect to see the newly-adopted Washington Football Team branding — including new home uniforms — at the Sept. 13 season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. Washington will debut new road uniforms in Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals.

The new Washington moniker will remain in place throughout the 2020 season, though a more permanent change may come after the team gathers feedback from past and current players, as well as sponsors and fans.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Shortened MLB season kicks off Thursday with no fans

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(NEW YORK) — The 2020 MLB season officially kicks off Thursday night after being put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

America’s national pastime, however, will look and sound much different than what we’re used to. For one, the regular season will be reduced from 162 games to 60. There will also be no fans in the stands.

ABC News’ Good Morning America reported on the changes baseball fans can expect from the shortened season:

MLB’s Opening Night will feature two games: the New York Yankees vs. the Washington Nationals, and the San Francisco Giants vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.