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Posted at 04:26 PM ET, 07/25/2014

Tour de France spectators use their cars to make cool bicycle art


Lithuania’s Ramunas Navardauskas of Garmin-Sharp reacts after crossing the finish line first at the end of the 19th stage. (Bas Czerwinski/EPA)

Thursday’s Stage 18 featured the spectator with the companion taxidermy bear. Stage 19 featured something even cooler (and less frightening).

Behold the massive bike made of cars!

Now, hopefully the cars that compose the spokes don’t need to go anywhere anytime soon. They’re pinned right in there.

In actual race news, it still looks like the Italian Vincenzo Nibali of Astana Pro Team is going to take home the yellow jersey this year. His lead remains over seven minutes ahead of the next closest rider, France’s Thibaut Pinot of Team FDJ.fr, as the cyclists ready for the time trial Saturday before the final path into Paris on Sunday.

Meanwhile, after losing their team leader, American Andrew Talansky, Team Garmin-Sharp got some great news today: Their rider Ramunas Navardauskas of Lithuania beat all the top sprinters to cross the finish line first in Stage 19. Navardauskas’s teammate, Ben King, of the United States seemed pretty a happy about it.

The course spanned over 208 kilometers (roughly 130 miles) from Maubourguet Pays du Val d’Adour to Bergerac, in France.

By Marissa Payne  |  04:26 PM ET, 07/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:47 PM ET, 07/25/2014

‘First Take’ host Stephen A. Smith takes on, then apologizes to, ESPN’s Michelle Beadle over domestic abuse statements related to Ray Rice’s suspension


Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, right, speaks alongside his wife Janay during an NFL football news conference in May. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

UPDATE: Shortly after this article was posted, Smith used a longer format to apologize for his original comments. That statement can be found in full at the bottom of this post.

***

When you have your own talk show, it seems like a great place to be able to expound at great length about your views on a certain subject. So when talk show hosts choose instead to take to Twitter’s 140-character-or-less platform to clarify their thoughts it’s always a bit confounding.

Enter Stephen A. Smith.

Earlier today, the “First Take”  host decided to discuss the two-game suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. To catch you up, the NFL suspended the Rice for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Rice allegedly abused his then-fiancee, now-wife by knocking her unconscious in an Atlantic City casino’s elevator. Rice entered a not-guilty plea and ultimately avoided a trial by being accepted into a pretrial intervention program in May.

After the suspension was announced on Thursday, many complained Rice’s punishment was too light and questions emerged about how this might reflect on the NFL’s marketing toward women, a group that makes up a rather large chunk of football’s viewing audience.

This morning, Smith added a new, much more controversial dynamic to the conversation on “First Take.”

After squeezing in a line about how Rice’s punishment does seem short compared to the alleged crime, Smith veered away from the particulars to talk instead about domestic abuse in general. While he began by saying men have “have no business putting [their] hands on a woman,” the host quickly swerved into dangerous territory, seemingly implying that sometimes women are to blame for getting abused by “provoking” their domestic abusers.

Needless to say, Smith’s comments did not go over well.

His ESPN colleague Michelle Beadle had a few words of her own for Smith.

In response, Smith then sent out a series of tweets so long you almost had to wait for Twitter to reload to read them all. (These are screen captures of Smith’s rebuttal that the Washington Post took in the case that Smith’s tweets are ever deleted. UPDATE: The tweets were deleted.)









UPDATE:

A short while after ending his Twitter narrative, Smith posted a longer statement via TwitLonger, which reads:

My series of tweets a short time ago is not an adequate way to capture my thoughts so I am using a single tweet via Twitlonger to more appropriately and effectively clarify my remarks from earlier today about the Ray Rice situation. I completely recognize the sensitivity of the issues and the confusion and disgust that my comments caused. First off, as I said earlier and I want to reiterate strongly, it is never OK to put your hands on a women. Ever. I understand why that important point was lost in my other comments, which did not come out as I intended. I want to state very clearly. I do NOT believe a woman provokes the horrible domestic abuses that are sadly such a major problem in our society. I wasn’t trying to say that or even imply it when I was discussing my own personal upbringing and the important role the women in my family have played in my life. I understand why my comments could be taken another way. I should have done a better job articulating my thoughts and I sincerely apologize.

By Marissa Payne  |  03:47 PM ET, 07/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:13 PM ET, 07/25/2014

Carmelo Anthony said he was only ever choosing between Knicks and Bulls


(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Opening up for the first time since he signed a five-year, $124 million deal with that would keep him with the New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony said the only other team he was seriously considering was the Chicago Bulls. The 30-year-old star told ESPN:

“I was flip-flopping. It was hard. It was Chicago, but then after I met with L.A., it was L.A. But it came back to Chicago — and was pretty much always Chicago or New York. That’s a situation where I could have walked in now to an opportunity to compete for the next however many years.”

In the end, Anthony said it was team president Phil Jackson who ultimately swayed his decision to stick with the Knicks, which he believes “aren’t that far away from contending for an NBA title.”

“I want to win. I don’t care about the money. I believe Phil will do what he has to do to take care of that,” Anthony told ESPN. “It’s a matter of me believing in the organization, believing in Phil. I wanted to go somewhere where I can end my career. I feel like we have a brand-new team. It’s a new beginning. It’s excited.”

Besides Jackson, the Knicks’ head coach is also new. Derek Fisher will lead Anthony, as well as new players Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington, Cleanthony Early and Jason Smith. Returning players who will join Anthony include J.R. Smith, Tim Hardaway Jr., Andrea Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire.

By Marissa Payne  |  02:13 PM ET, 07/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:13 PM ET, 07/25/2014

Myrtle Beach minor league GM gets a prostate exam during the seventh-inning stretch


(Rieder Photography)

Remember when Myrtle Beach Pelicans General Manager Andy Milovich offered to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in front of fans during the seventh-inning stretch while getting a prostate exam?

Well, the minor league GM did it. And it was all caught on tape.

As to why this happened, thankfully, it wasn’t just a publicity stunt; it was for a good cause. Milovich brought out his back end for the gimmick to raise awareness for and support 10-year-old Fallon Emery, who is fighting brain cancer. He said that if she got 10,000 likes on her Facebook page by the start of Thursday’s game, he would undergo the prostate exam while leading the sing-along in the seventh inning.

Aww, look at that. A stalwart of the community and a man of his word!

By Marissa Payne  |  02:13 PM ET, 07/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:10 PM ET, 07/25/2014

Soccer star Didier Drogba returns to Chelsea looking for more Premier League wins


Didier Drogba playing for the Ivory Coast in the World Cup. (Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA)

After two years playing with Chinese and Turkish clubs, Ivory Coast soccer legend Didier Drogba has agreed to return to Chelsea to rejoin his old pal Jose Mourinho, who manages the Chelsea squad.

“It was an easy decision — I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work with Jose again. Everyone knows the special relationship I have with this club and it has always felt like home to me,” Dider said shortly after signing his new contract (via ChelseaFC.com).

Didier’s last stint at Stamford Bridge lasted eight seasons, where he managed to rack up 157 goals, three Premier League titles and one Champions League trophy.

“My desire to win is still the same and I look forward to the opportunity to help this team. I am excited for this next chapter of my career,” Didier said.

One must remember, however, that Didier is 36. For a striker, that’s a bit over the hill. Mourinho, however, brushed off any concerns, telling ChelseaFC.com:

“He’s coming because he’s one of the best strikers in Europe. I know his personality very well and I know if he comes back he’s not protected by history or what he’s done for this club previously. He is coming with the mentality to make more history.”

There is no word on how much Drogba’s latest contract is worth.

(H/t: Pro Soccer Talk)

By Marissa Payne  |  02:10 PM ET, 07/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

 

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