- Created on 28 October 2013
(AP Photo / Alex Brandon, File)
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) -- After saying he's going to "take peoples' knees out" to avoid another suspension for hits to the head, Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather has struck another blow - saying that "people who beat their girlfriends should be kicked out of the league."
Meriweather's comments were a direct retort at the checkered domestic violence past of Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall, who last week suggested that players such as Meriweather should perhaps be "taken out of the game completely" to make the game safer.
"Everybody got their opinion," Meriweather said Monday. "If he feel like, you know, I need to be kicked out of the league, I feel like people who beat their girlfriends should be kicked out of the league, too. You tell me who you'd rather have - somebody who plays aggressive on the field, or somebody who beat up their girlfriend?"
Marshall's career has occasionally been overshadowed by off-the-field troubles, including multiple arrests following confrontations with a girlfriend when he was playing for the Denver Broncos. None of the arrests led to a conviction.
Marshall declined comment when approached by reporters in the Bears' locker room on Monday. Shortly after Meriweather's comments, he tweeted: "There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing."
Monday was Meriweather's first day back with the Redskins following a one-game suspension for multiple helmet-first hits against defenseless receivers, including two in the Redskins' win over the Bears last week. One of the hits was against Marshall in the end zone on an incomplete pass in the fourth quarter.
Meriweather, who was fined for a helmet-first hit against the Green Bay Packers earlier in this season, was initially suspended for two games by the NFL. He had the sanction cut in half after an appeal.
Asked if he plans to change how he plays, Meriweather said: "I guess I've just got to take people's knees out. I'd hate to end a guy's career over a rule, but I guess it's better (for something to happen to) other people than me getting suspended for longer."
"You've just got to go low now," he said. "You've got to end people's career. You've got to tear people's ACLs and mess up people's knees now. You can't hit 'em high anymore."
Meriweather said earlier this season that he had changed his approach, yet he was still getting flagged.
"I just have to change more now," he said. "They told me to use my shoulder; I used my shoulder - I still get fined. They still say I used my head. ... Everybody is looking at the tape and saying, 'Oh, he's a dirty player, he's this, he's that,' which I get, but the thing about it - go look at the tape. I didn't use my head in either hit, and I'm moving on from it."
Meriweather conceded that he did launch himself at one of the defensive receivers against the Bears, another no-no as the league tries to cut down on injuries.
Meriweather said attacking receivers' knees will require some practice.
"Once you do something so much, it becomes habit," he said. "And I think if in practice I simulate going low, I think it'll become habit and I'll be able to do it in the game."
- Created on 28 October 2013
Darrell Wallace Jr. celebrates winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series truck race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, VA., Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) | AP
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) — Darrell Wallace Jr. became the second black driver to win on NASCAR's national level and first in a half-century, taking the Truck Series race Saturday at Martinsville Speedway.
Wendell Scott won in Jacksonville, Fla., in December 1963 in what is now known as the Sprint Cup Series, the highest of NASCAR's three national levels.
"This means everything," the 20-year-old Wallace said. "This is an emotional win for me, especially doing it in Wendell Scott's backyard. I love coming here to Martinsville, it's always good to me. It finally paid off. I think it's my third trip here. I love coming here. The fans are great here."
Wallace, driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports, beat Jeb Burton into Turn 1 off a restart with five laps to go.
"We congratulate Darrell Wallace Jr. on his first national series victory, one that will be remembered as a remarkable moment in our sport's history," Brian France, NASCAR's chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "Darrell's success, following fellow NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate Kyle Larson's win earlier this season, is indicative of a youth and multicultural movement that bodes well for NASCAR's future growth."
Wallace was never below sixth place and led a race-high 96 laps but needed to survive a final restart. Wallace chose the inside line for the reset and quickly pulled away from Burton.
"I had a chance to talk with Darrell and his father in victory lane today and we are just thrilled for him and his entire family on the win in Martinsville," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We obviously think a lot about Darrell. He has tremendous talent and we really believe he can have a huge impact on our sport."
The Concord, N.C., driver was making his 19th career start.
"I had so much confidence coming into this race," Wallace said. "I told my guys that I did, and I told everybody that asked if I was going to win. ... So, it was, 'No, maybe we're going to try,' this one was, 'For sure,' and we capitalized. This means a lot."
Brendan Gaughan was second, followed by Burton. Championship leader Matt Crafton finished 17th and leads James Buescher by 51 points with three races remaining.
Tempers flared in the garage after Ty Dillon turned around Kevin Harvick at the entrance of Turn 1 in front of Crafton and Chase Elliott. Once both drivers got their cars going down the backstretch under caution, Dillon resumed his efforts to spin Harvick but was ultimately unable to complete the task.
The pair steered their cars down pit road and Harvick stopped in Dillon's pit stall to voice his frustrations. Harvick's truck was instantly surrounded by Dillon's pit crew and an orange sledgehammer was tossed his way in response. Harvick is in his final season with Richard Childress Racing in the Sprint Cup Series. Dillon is team owner Richard Childress' grandson.
"The 3 (Dillon) just dumped me," said Harvick, who will drive for Stewart-Haas Racing next year. "Exactly the reason why I'm leaving RCR because you've got those kids coming up and they've got no respect for what they do in this sport and they've had everything fed to them with a spoon. So, I cut him slack all day and, you know, he just dive-bombs me in there, dumps me. I've got to thank all these Anderson Syrup guys for everything that they do. It's a shame you've got to get taken out by some rich kid like that."
Dillon finished 22nd, and Harvick was 30th.
"I'm sure he's tweeting something now about it," Dillion said. "So, can't even face me after. I'm pretty disappointed in the things that just went down. I used to look up to that guy, but I guess he doesn't understand the circumstances of what's going on."
- Created on 25 October 2013
Staff at a Kansas City restaurant were very, very happy over the weekend, thanks to the tremendous generosity of NFL player Tamba Hali.
According to area news outlet KCTV, the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker left an extra $1,000 tip at Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chao after having a meal with his family and friends there Sunday.
Hali, who had played a critical role in the Chiefs' win against the Houston Texans that afternoon, is said to be embarrassed by all the attention his hefty tip has attracted. The 29-year-old told KCTV that he merely wanted to give a helping hand to those around them.
"I have been helped all my life to this point. ... I can give back [and] I try to do that," he said. "I do this all the time when I go out because these people work hard. I'm just fortunate to be in this position."
Though some celebrities have earned the reputation of being terrible tippers, there are many others who, like Hali, have shelled out unexpectedly huge tips in the past.
In July, singer Taylor Swift made headlines for leaving a $500 tip at a Philadelphia restaurant, and actor Johnny Depp dropped jaws in 2009 when he left a $4,000 tip for a waiter at a Chicago establishment.
- Created on 24 October 2013
Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic, left, and Serena Williams of the USA clasp hands after their tennis match at the WTA championship in Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013. The world's top female tennis players compete in the championships which runs from Oct. 22 until Oct. 27.(AP Photo)
ISTANBUL (AP) -- Top-ranked Serena Williams advanced to the semifinals of the WTA Championships by sweeping Petra Kvitova 6-2, 6-3 Thursday.
Williams, the defending champion, won all three matches in her group without dropping a set. She's bidding for her fourth title in the eight-women, season-ending tournament.
Earlier, Li Na outlasted Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 for her second victory and eight-seeded Angelique Kerber upset No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-2 to remain in contention for the semifinals. Radwanska was eliminated.
Kerber (1-1) went 0-3 last year in the tournament. She will play Kvitova on Friday for a spot in the last four.
Williams needed to win a set to qualify and she breezed through the first despite fighting off three break points in the first game. She quickly warmed up to overwhelm the fifth-seeded Kvitova, who won Wimbledon and the WTA title in 2011. Kvitova had to withdraw last year because of injury.
"Something told me to hold serve in that game, and I'm glad I did," Williams said. "Could have definitely changed things. I could still be out there. I really just dug deep and tried to hold.
"When I play top players or a Grand Slam winner, such as Kvitova who has such a dangerous game, you've got to go in there knowing that anything can happen, and I have to be really focused."
Williams broke serve again for a decisive 3-1 lead in the second. She set up a match point with a service winner and won when Kvitova's return sailed into the net. She finished with 11 aces.
"I think her serve is really big, so I knew I wanted to hold. I served well," said Williams, who has never lost to Kvitova in five matches.
The 32-year-old Williams is enjoying the best season in her career, having won 10 titles. She added the French Open and U.S. Open titles to bring her Grand Slam record to 17 championships and has a 76-4 record on the year.
Making her eighth appearance in the event, Williams is looking to become the first player to successfully defend the title since Justine Henin in 2007. Henin was also the last to win 10 titles in a season in 2007.
Williams has clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking for the third time in her career after 2002 and 2009.
Li had a 6-4 career edge over her Serbian friend, but both players struggled with consistency. Li had 45 unforced errors and 21 winners, and Jankovic produced 36 unforced errors and 17 winners.
"We had a great fight," Jankovic said. "In the third set it was just a couple of points. I got broken in that (seventh) game. She lobbed me, and the ball went on the line."
Li followed the lob with a crisp backhand winner to take the game.
"They were the crucial points at that stage and made a difference," Jankovic said.