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Obama honors NBA Champion Miami Heat

Obama honors NBA Champion Miami Heat

WASHINGTON (AP) President Barack Obama honored the Miami Heat for winning the 2012 NBA Championship title after falling short just a year before.

``Everybody doing their part, is what finally put the Heat over the top,'' Obama said, as he welcomed the team to the White House Monday to celebrate their victory.

The Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games in the NBA Finals last June.

The president also recognized the franchise's work off the court. He thanked them for supporting military service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Obama said one of the things he's proudest of is that many of the team members- including LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade- ``take their roles as fathers seriously.''

``For all the young men out there who are looking up to them all the time, for them to see somebody who cares about their kids and is there for them day in and day out, that's a good message to send,'' Obama said.

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the team hopefully will serve as an inspiration to the nation of what can be done ``when you come together and sacrifice your egos for a greater goal'' and ``hard-hat work ethic.''

James, who presented Obama with an autographed basketball, said the team including members that hail from Illinois, Texas, Michigan, Ohio and South Dakota were honored to be in the executive mansion.

``We're in the White House right now, which is like, like `mama I made it,''' James said, as the audience laughed and cheered.

The crowd of well-wishers included actress Gabrielle Union, U.N. ambassador Susan Rice, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and Congresswomen Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Frederica Wilson. The Heat last visited the White House after winning the 2006 title.

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What Roger Goodell said about death of George Floyd, protests

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What Roger Goodell said about death of George Floyd, protests

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent condolences to the family of George Floyd, a black man killed in Minneapolis by a police officer and said that there is much more work to be done in the NFL and our communities in a statement issued Saturday.

His statement: 

"The NFL family is greatly saddened by the tragic events across our country. The protesters' reactions to these incidents reflect the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us feel.

"Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Mr. George Floyd and to those who have lost loved ones, including the families of Ms. Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, the cousin of Tracy Walker of the Detroit Lions.

"As current events dramatically underscore, there remains much more to do as a country and as a league. These tragedies inform the NFL's commitment and our ongoing efforts. There remains an urgent need for action. We recognize the power of our platform in communities and as part of the fabric of American society. We embrace that responsibility and are committed to continuing the important work to address these systemic issues together with our players, clubs and partners."

Goodell's statement came a day after an op-ed was published by former NFL spokesperson Joe Lockhart calling for an NFL team to sign Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback who lost his spot in the league after kneeling in protest of police brutality and inequality in America. Many, including LeBron James, have cited Kaepernick's message - and the consequences he suffered for delivering it - throughout the unrest and response to Floyd's death.

"Do you understand NOW!!??!!??" James wrote on Instagram with a side by side photo of Kaepernick kneeling during a game and a police officer kneeling on Floyd's neck. "Or is it still blurred to you??"

In a statement to Pro Football Talk in response to Lockhart's article, current NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said that Kaepernick is a free agent. “Clubs may sign him if they choose to do so," he said.

McCarthy also pointed to the work that the league has done with its Inspire Change social justice initiative, which has included millions in grants to non-profits around the country.

 

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Cal Ripken Jr. reflects on his consecutive games streak 38-years later

Cal Ripken Jr. reflects on his consecutive games streak 38-years later

On this date back in 1982,  Baltimore Orioles' "Iron Man," Cal Ripken Jr., began his consecutive-games streak which lasted 16 years and 2,632 games.

It's widely considered the most unbreakable record in Major League Baseball and across all sports.

"The Iron Horse," (go figure) Lou Gehrig was the previous consecutive-games record holder at 2,130. Light work for Ripken. 

"I didn't set out to break this record," Ripken Jr. said on Twitter Saturday afternoon. "I was always someone who wanted to go out and play every day."

Ripken Jr. went on to tell a fascinating story regarding game one of the streak, which came against the Philadelphia Phillies -- One that involved 14-year veteran, and now Phillies bullpen coach, Jim Gott.

"As it turns out, May 30th, 1982 was Jim Gott's first major league victory," Ripken Jr, explained. "He pitched really well against us and was always a tough pitcher on me personally. He got his first win that year so they presented him a ball from that game."

"When I broke the record, he came and presented me that ball," Ripken Jr. continued. "I thought it was the nicest gestures that he wanted me to have it as 'the first game of the streak' ball, as oppose to his first major league win."

38 years later, Ripken's incredible feat is even more impressive than when he first achieved it. 

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