Scoreboard roundup — 5/25/22

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(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Wednesday’s sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

INTERLEAGUE
Tampa Bay 5, Miami 4

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Detroit 4, Minnesota 2
Oakland 4, Seattle 2
NY Yankees 2, Baltimore 0
Chi White Sox 3, Boston 1
Houston 2, Cleveland 1
Texas 7, LA Angels 2

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Pittsburgh 10, Colorado 5
San Francisco 9, NY. Mets 3
Washington 1, L.A. Dodgers 0
Milwaukee 2, San Diego 1
Cincinnati 4, Chi Cubs 3
Atlanta 8, Philadelphia 4

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Boston 93, Miami 80  (Boston leads 3-2)

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
St. Louis 5 Colorado 4 (OT) (Colorado leads 3-2)

WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Los Angeles 99, Phoenix 94

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Warriors’ Steve Kerr shatters silence after Texas shooting in pregame presser

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

(DALLAS) — Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr delivered a powerful message on Tuesday after 19 children and two teachers were killed in a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas: “We can’t get numb to this.”

In his pregame news conference before tip-off for Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, Kerr said “any basketball questions don’t matter” and instead addressed politicians in a plea for gun control.

“When are we going to do something?” Kerr yelled, slamming his fists on the table. “I’m tired. I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there — I’m sorry. I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough.”

Kerr, who has long been outspoken against gun violence, also referenced H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, a bill that would tighten background checks for private firearm transfers. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives last year but has since stalled in the Senate, with conservative lawmakers, whose votes are required to overcome a filibuster, and Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin opposed to the legislation.

“There’s a reason why they won’t vote on it. To hold on to power,” Kerr said Tuesday. “So I ask you, [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell, I ask all of you senators who refuse to do anything about the violence and school shootings and supermarket shootings, I ask you: Are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children and our elderly and our churchgoers? Because that’s what it looks like. It’s what we do every week.”

Kerr’s father was shot dead in a reported terror attack in Beirut in 1984. Kerr has since spent much of his professional career using his platform to echo calls for gun law reform.

“I’m fed up,” he said Tuesday evening. “I’ve had enough. We’re going to play the game tonight, but I want every person here, every person listening to this — think about your own child or grandchild or mother or father, sister, brother — how would you feel if this happened to you today?”

The Uvalde, Texas, shooting at Robb Elementary School happened just over a week after a suspected white supremacist was accused of killing 10 Black shoppers at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and 10 days after a gunman opened fire at a church in Laguna Woods, California, killing one.

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Wife of Brittney Griner speaks on WNBA star’s detention in Russia

Todd Wawrychuk/ABC

(NEW YORK) — Cherelle Griner, the wife of WNBA superstar Brittney Griner, who has been detained in a Russian prison for nearly 100 days, spoke on Tuesday in an interview with ABC News’ Good Morning America.

Griner told GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts that the support her wife has gotten from the league has brought the WNBA star “comfort” amid her detention in Russia.

The WNBA, which kicked off its 2022 season on May 6, is honoring Griner with a floor decal bearing her initials and jersey number (42) on the sideline of all 12 WNBA teams.

“Things like that matter, like, it has her hopeful,” Cherelle Griner told Roberts. “It lets her know she’s not forgotten.”

“Those small moments, I know, give her some type of hope,” she added.

Brittney Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who plays for the Phoenix Mercury, was visiting Russia in February to play basketball during the off-season when she was arrested at Sheremetyevo International Airport near Moscow for allegedly having vape cartridges in her luggage that contained hashish oil — an illegal substance in Russia.

She was charged with “large-scale transportation of drugs” and could face up to 10 years in prison, according to The New York Times.

Cherelle Griner said that her wife texted her when she was first taken into custody, but Brittney’s phone was taken soon after.

She has not spoken with her for nearly 100 days, but they’ve communicated “sporadically” through letters, Cherelle Griner said.

“[Brittney] wrote me one letter and was like, ‘Babe, I know you wanna go down right now but like, don’t just yet,'” she said.

“I won’t go down until she’s back … Every single day matters for me to be sound, for me to be alert, for me to be attentive, to make sure that she comes back,” she added.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began one week after Griner was detained on Feb. 17. Some officials are concerned that Americans jailed in Russia could be used as leverage in the ongoing conflict.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Friday that a U.S. consular officer was able to meet with Griner on Thursday, May 19, for the second time in a week.

Price said the official “found her continuing to do as well as could be expected under these exceedingly challenging circumstances.”

“But again, our message is a clear and simple one — we continue to insist that Russia allow consistent and timely consular access to all U.S. citizen detainees,” he added. “One-off visits are not sufficient, and we will continue to call on Moscow to uphold its commitments under the Vienna Convention for consistent and timely access, as well.”

Price said that he spoke with Cherelle Griner earlier this month by phone, assuring her that the administration was doing everything it could to ensure the WNBA player’s release.

Cherelle Griner said that she also spoke with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and was “grateful” for the call.

“You say she’s top priority, but I wanna see it, and I feel like to see it would be me seeing BG on U.S. soil,” she said.

Calls to free Brittney Griner escalated following the release of U.S. Marine veteran Trevor Reed last month, who was freed from a Russian prison as part of a prisoner exchange. Former Marine Paul Whelan has also been detained in Russia since 2019.

The U.S. government classified Griner’s case on May 3 as “wrongfully detained” in Russia, which means that the U.S. would work to negotiate her release, as opposed to letting her case play out in the Russian legal system.

Cherelle Griner said that she would like to speak with President Joe Biden.

“I just keep hearing that, you know, he has the power. She’s a political pawn,” she said.

“So if they’re holding her because they want you to do something, then I want you to do it,” she added.

Griner’s pre-trial detention in Russia was extended by one month on May 13, as the United States works to secure her freedom.

Alexander Boikov, Griner’s lawyer, told ABC News on May 13 that Griner’s pre-trial detention has been extended until June 18.

Russian media have reported that the U.S. and Russia are discussing the possibility of exchanging Griner for Victor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who was convicted in the U.S.

Boikov said he does not have any information on a possible exchange.

Griner’s trip to Russia to play off-season has underscored the issue of pay inequality in professional basketball.

Many WNBA players have traveled around the world to play in the off-season because they don’t make enough money during the season — an issue that is not as prevalent for NBA players who are paid more. The top WNBA salary is $228K, whereas star NBA players can make at least $1 million a year.

Asked if the issue has impacted her wife, Cherelle Griner said, “Absolutely.”

“BG would wholeheartedly love to not go overseas. She has only had one Thanksgiving in the States in nine years since she’s been pro, and she misses all that stuff. Just because, you know, she can’t make enough money in the WNBA, like, to sustain her life,” she said.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 5/24/22

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(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Tuesday’s sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

INTERLEAGUE
Tampa Bay 4, Miami 0
Toronto 8, St. Louis 1
Arizona 8, Kansas City 6

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Minnesota 2, Detroit 0
NY Yankees 7, Baltimore 6
Houston 7, Cleveland 3
Boston 16, Chi White Sox 3
LA Angels 5, Texas 3
Oakland 7 Seattle 5

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Chi Cubs 11, Cincinnati 4
Colorado 2, Pittsburgh 1
LA Dodgers 9, Washington 4
Atlanta 6, Philadelphia 5
Milwaukee 4, San Diego 1
San Francisco 13, NY Mets 12

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Dallas 119, Golden State 109 (Golden State leads 3-1)

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
NY Rangers 4, Carolina 1 (Series tied 2-2)
Edmonton 5, Calgary 3 (Edmonton leads 3-1)

WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Washington 70, Atlanta 50
Dallas 85, Connecticut 77
Minnesota 84, New York 78
Chicago 95, Indiana 90

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Former NFL player charged with simple assault following fight with airline worker

Abbie Parr/Getty Images, FILE

(NEWARK, N.J.) — A United Airlines employee was fired and a former NFL player was arrested following a physical altercation at Newark Liberty International Airport last week.

Brendan Langley, former player for the Denver Broncos, was charged with simple assault and released on his own recognizance following the incident, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The fight broke out after the United employee asked Langley to return a wheelchair he was using to carry his luggage, sources told ABC News. The employee was attempting to retrieve the wheelchair for another passenger who was disabled, the source said.

It is unclear who initiated the fight. Portions of the incident were caught on camera and posted to social media.

United Airlines said it fired the employee after investigating the incident and reviewing video from a bystander.

The Calgary Stampeders football club, for whom Langley currently plays, said it was aware of the incident and “is currently looking into the matter in order to learn the full details and will have no further comment until the investigation is complete.”

The incident comes ahead of the Memorial Day Travel period, which is expected to be the busiest since the start of the pandemic.

ABC News’ Anthony McMahon contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Wife of WNBA star Brittney Griner speaks to ABC News’ Robin Roberts

Todd Wawrychuk/ABC

(NEW YORK) — Cherelle Griner, the wife of WNBA superstar Brittney Griner, who has been detained in a Russian prison for nearly 100 days, spoke for the first time on Tuesday in an exclusive interview with “Good Morning America.”

Griner told “GMA” co-anchor Robin Roberts that the support her wife has gotten from the league has brought the WNBA star “comfort” amid her detention in Russia.

The WNBA, which kicked off its 2022 season on May 6, is honoring Griner with a floor decal bearing her initials and jersey number (42) on the sideline of all 12 WNBA teams.

“Things like that matter, like, it has her hopeful,” Cherelle Griner told Roberts. “It lets her know she’s not forgotten.”

“Those small moments, I know give her some type of hope,” she added.

Watch the interview Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. ET exclusively on “Good Morning America.”

Brittney Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who plays for the Phoenix Mercury, was visiting Russia to play basketball off-season when she was arrested in February at Sheremetyevo International Airport near Moscow for allegedly having vape cartridges in her luggage that contained hashish oil — an illegal substance in Russia.

She was charged with “large-scale transportation of drugs” and could face up to 10 years in prison, according to the New York Times.

The U.S. government classified Griner’s case on May 3 as “wrongfully detained” in Russia, which means that the U.S. would work to negotiate her release, as opposed to letting her case play out in the Russian legal system.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Friday that a U.S. consular officer was able to meet with Griner on Thursday May 19, for the second time in a week.

Price said that the official “found her continuing to do as well as could be expected under these exceedingly challenging circumstances.”

“But again, our message is a clear and simple one — we continue to insist that Russia allow consistent and timely consular access to all U.S. citizen detainees,” he added. “One-off visits are not sufficient, and we will continue to call on Moscow to uphold its commitments under the Vienna Convention for consistent and timely access as well.”

Price said that he spoke with Cherelle Griner earlier this month by phone, assuring her that the administration was doing everything it could to ensure the WNBA player’s release.

Calls to free Brittney Griner escalated following the release of Marine veteran Trevor Reed last month, who was freed from Russian prison as part of a prisoner exchange. Former Marine Paul Whelan has also been detained in Russia since 2019.

ABC News’ Shannon Crawford contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 5/23/22

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(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Monday’s sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

INTERLEAGUE
St. Louis 7, Toronto 3
Arizona 9, Kansas City 5

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Baltimore 6, NY Yankees 4
Minnesota 5, Detroit 4
Cleveland 6, Houston 1
Seattle 7, Oakland 6

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Pittsburgh 2, Colorado 1
Chi Cubs 7, Cincinnati 4
LA Dodgers 10, Washington 1
Philadelphia 7, Atlanta 3
NY Mets 13, San Francisco 3
San Diego 3, Milwaukee 2

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Boston 102, Miami 82

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
Tampa Bay 2, Florida 0
Colorado 6, St. Louis 3

WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Las Vegas 104, Los Angeles 76

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

PGA Championship: Justin Thomas rallies to win, Tiger Woods withdraws

Laurence Mouton/Getty Images

(TULSA, Okla.) — Justin Thomas stunned fans on Sunday, coming from behind to win the 2022 PGA Championship at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

After starting the day down seven strokes, Thomas, 29, rallied and bested Will Zalatoris in a three-hole playoff to take home the title, his second PGA championship.

But before the spotlight shifted to Thomas, many were watching Tiger Woods, who ended up dropping out of the tournament Saturday following a career-worst round.

Woods, 46, withdrew from the competition after three rounds, posting a 9-over 79.

Despite a strong early start, it appeared Woods’ right leg, which he had surgically repaired following a car accident last year, was bothering him as the tournament progressed.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 5/22/22

iStock

(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Sunday’s sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

INTERLEAGUE
Cincinnati 3, Toronto 2

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Detroit 4, Cleveland 2
Boston 8, Seattle 4
Houston 5, Texas 2
Minnesota 7, Kansas City 6
Baltimore 7, Tampa Bay 6
Chi White Sox 3, N.Y. Yankees 1
LA Angels 4, Oakland 1
Chi White Sox 5, NY Yankees 0

NATIONAL LEAGUE
St. Louis 18, Pittsburgh 4
Miami 4, Atlanta 3
Chi Cubs 5, Arizona 4
Philadelphia 4, LA Dodgers 3
Washington 8, Milwaukee 2
NY. Mets 2, Colorado 0
San Diego 10, San Francisco 1

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Golden State 109, Dallas 100 (Golden State leads 3-0)

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
Tampa Bay 5, Florida 1 (Tampa Bay leads 3-0)
NY Rangers 3, Carolina 1 Carolina leads 2-1)
Edmonton 4, Calgary 1 (Edmonton leads 2-1)

WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Connecticut 92, Indiana 70
Chicago 82, Washington 73

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Real Salt Lake 2, CF Montreal 1
Charlotte FC 2, Vancouver 1
New York City FC 1, Chicago 0
Final Miami 2, New York 0
Final Minnesota 2, FC Dallas 1
Sporting Kansas City 1 San Jose 1 (Tie)
Orlando City 2, Austin FC 2 (Tie)
Colorado 1, Seattle 0
Houston 3, LA Galaxy 0
Philadelphia 2, Portland 0

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

AEW fosters conversations about masculinity and mental health in wrestling

All Elite Wrestling

(NEW YORK) — Professional wrestlers are promoted as heroes and villains, but the vulnerability of the men behind those personas has often been taboo.

The upstart All Elite Wrestling, a wrestling organization founded in 2019, is normalizing conversations about masculinity and mental health in a field where these issues have not regularly been discussed, and AEW owner and CEO Tony Khan is encouraging the wrestlers to be candid about their experiences.

The wrestlers aren’t just taxing their bodies by grappling in the ring. Some of the athletes battle substance abuse and mental health struggles.

Jonathan Good, one of AEW’s top performers as Jon Moxley, entered rehab in November 2021. He addressed the crowd with a promo upon his return in January. Jesse Guilmette, who performs under the ring name The Blade, wrote about struggling with depression, anxiety and confidence issues in an Instagram post last year.

“I think having a fun place to work where, you know, we create, like an environment where we really do care about the people here,” Khan told ABC News. “We try to show it and make the locker rooms here places where people aren’t going to dread coming in, and quite the opposite, where hopefully they look forward to seeing the other people that, you know, you get in the ring and fight.”

Male suicides have risen since 2000, and 6 million men suffer from depression that is often not diagnosed, according to Mental Health America, an Alexandria, Virginia-based nonprofit.

Edward Moore, known to fans as Eddie Kingston, is an integral member of the new generation of wrestlers that is challenging the notion that alpha males must hide their emotions. The Yonkers brawler, known as The Mad King, opened up about his mental health struggles throughout his life in a November 2021 Player’s Tribune profile.

He said he had suffered a panic attack following his well-received match against Miro at the All Out 2021 pay-per-view event and that he wanted to destigmatize mental health issues.

“We’ve lost enough people that, you know, I mean, in our personal lives, you know, away from wrestling, and a lot of us have lost people in wrestling we knew. And it’s because no one talks,” he told ABC News.

“And everybody has this stigma that they had to be tough and rough. And, you know what I mean; I can’t let nobody see my weakness. So I can’t then talk to people, you know, so you hold everything in. Then you find different ways of coping. For me, it was drinking a lot. Yeah, I mean, and I know, whatever it was, it was pills and everything like that.”

AEW World Champion Hangman Adam Page, who has dubbed himself the Anxious Millennial Cowboy, has similarly been open.

“In the macho world of pro wrestling, those kinds of emotions are often the least explored and I think people were ready to see that,” Page, whose real name is Stephen Blake Woltz, told ABC News.

There have been critics of the evolving changing guard. Page said that many were too heavily influenced by the past.

“Many are unable to take into account the cultural shift that’s happened in relation to our attitudes toward even acknowledging our mental health, much less the idea that a character can go through those things without being seen as ‘weak,'” he said.

Steve Borden has a unique perspective as a marquee performer who has wrestled in all the top organizations throughout his 30-plus year career as Sting, a mainstay since the 1990s with his signature “Crow” face paint. He credits his faith for turning his life around in 1998 after battling issues of sobriety, addiction and on the brink of a nervous breakdown.

“It wasn’t until I got real and so I’m not going to pretend anymore. I’m gonna take this hat off, and oh, and this hat off. And then this hat and this sadness, depending on who I was with. I was a chameleon. And I’m just going to be Steve,” he said.

“That’s what I’m going to be. And so yeah, I paint my face and I’m a character. And I’m staying and I entertained. But the real man, Steve Borden, behind the mask is very transparent. Not afraid to talk about the real stuff. Not afraid to listen, either.”

Megha Parekh, the chief legal counselor at AEW, also oversees HR and mental health initiatives for the company. AEW provides services that address mental well-being, periodic trainings and facilities discussions that touch upon race and cultural events.

Parekh was trained as a crisis counselor in 2018 and in suicide awareness in 2020.

“Our perspective is that if we want to get the best out of people, we gotta treat them like human beings. Every single human being has mental health that needs to be taken care of,” Parekh said.

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or worried about a friend or loved one, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 [TALK] for free, confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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