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  • Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins is exploring better alternatives to creating change within the country's criminal justice system than providing President Donald Trump with a "VIP" list of names, he told ABC News.On Thursday, The New York Times published an op-ed by Jenkins and three other former and current NFL players in response to Trump's suggestion earlier this month, asking NFL players who have been demonstrating during the national anthem to instead give to him a list of prisoners whom they believe were treated unfairly by the justice system."I'm going to ask them to recommend to me people that were unfairly treated, friends of theirs or people that they know about and I'm going to take a look at those applications," Trump said on June 8, adding that if he finds that they were "unfairly treated," he will "pardon them or at least let them out."Jenkins told ABC News that submitting a list of names to the president is a good way to help the people he knows "directly," but won't do much for the "thousands of people" that were imprisoned for nonviolent offenses and don't have "the luxury of havin' a celebrity as a friend."In addition, the list doesn't change the system that "wrongfully put them there or put them there for too long" and doesn't address the growing population of elderly prisoners, the majority of whom aren't being released despite posing no threat to society, Jenkins said.Instead of providing a list to Trump, Jenkins expressed a need to "address the systemic issues" within the policing culture in order to change it.Jenkins mentioned Kim Kardashian and the successful effort she made when asking Trump to grant clemency to Alice Johnson, a 63-year-old grandmother who was serving a life sentence on drug charges.Johnson was reunited with her family earlier this month."I think what Kim Kardashian did was great, because you get a person out," he said. "But like I said, it doesn’t change what -- you have that person there who's doin' a life sentence for a first-time drug offense."Jenkins said he and former NFL wide receiver Anquan Boldin started the NFL Players Coalition, an organization with about 100 former and current players that focuses on eradicating social and racial injustices, specially surrounding police brutality, mass incarceration and criminal justice reform."The biggest thing is, we wanted to create an environment where guys can -- as safe as possible -- get involved in social activism and creating real change in their communities," he said. "We also wanted to give them the tools to know how to get involved."The coalition has met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "many times," which has included taking him to different cities to meet with grassroots organizations and police departments to show him the work players have been doing in their communities, Jenkins said."It has everything to do with our communities, the systemic racial injustices that take part on a day-to-day-to-day basis that have been in place for centuries," he said.
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  • DigitalVision/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- Before this World Cup, the last time Sara went to a soccer game, she had to pretend she was Korean in order to sneak past security.The reason is that Sara is in reality an Iranian woman and therefore barred from soccer stadiums in Iran, where women have been forbidden from attending soccer matches and other male-only sporting events in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.So it was an unusual experience for her when she entered Saint Petersburg’s Krestovsky stadium last Friday to watch Iran’s national team win against Morocco in its opening World Cup game. She is among a group of Iranian women who have traveled to this year’s World Cup bringing with them a campaign demanding that women be allowed into soccer stadiums at home.“It was amazing,” she said of entering the St. Petersburg stadium, when she met an ABC reporter in Moscow this week. "It was like the Truman Show -- when you enter the TV. When two dimensions become three dimensions."But the excitement of attending was, she said, tinged with sadness by the knowledge that so many of her friends at home could not go. “Imagine how such a simple thing is your dream. It is sad,” she said.On Wednesday, the women’s World Cup visit though coincided with a breakthrough in the campaign to lift the stadium ban — for the first time since it was imposed, women were let into a Tehran stadium to watch a soccer game alongside men, after a local city council agreed to allow women to attend a screening of Iran’s match against Spain. The mixed screening reportedly almost didn’t go ahead, after authorities tried to halt it last minute, citing “infrastructure problems,” the Washington Post reported. But hundreds of female fans arrived in any case to demand entry to the Azadi stadium and organizers eventually relented, allowing women in to watch the game, which Iran lost 1-0 to Spain.The event was hailed by some Iranian observers as a notable step forward in the effort to end the stadium ban. Iranian women have been excluded from soccer games since 1981, as the country’s new religious government applied a hardline interpretation of Islamic customs, declaring stadiums inappropriate places for women.In fact, there is no law against women attending games, but authorities have imposed a de facto ban, with women instead turned away and sometimes arrested. As a result, women wishing to enter have resorted sometimes even to disguising themselves as men. In May, half a dozen young women became heroes among Iran’s secular community after they successfully sneaked into a game of Tehran’s Persepolis club by wearing elaborate fake beards. Foreign women are allowed to attend games, which is how Sara found herself hiding among a group of Koreans during her first stadium game in Iran.Sara — a pseudonym for the activist who fears punishment for her or her family in Iran — has been running a group called Open Stadiums and campaigning against the ban for 13 years. At the World Cup game in St. Petersburg last week she and another activist, Maryam Qashqaei, attracted attention internationally after they unfurled banners protesting the ban inside the stadium, the first time Iranian women have made such a protest at a World Cup.On Tuesday though, even as they celebrated the mixed screening in Iran, the activists ran into resistance in the Russian city, Kazan, where the Iran-Spain game was being hosted. Qashqaei said she was detained by security at the stadium and had her banner confiscated from her. Sara was also stopped and body searched for 15 minutes, she told ABC News.The women were stopped even though they said they had received authorisation for the banners from FIFA, the World Cup’s organiser.Anton Lisin, a spokesman for Russia’s World Cup Local Organising Committee, told Reuters he was aware of an incident involving Qashqaei but had no further details.
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  • Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A sea of red filled Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday as fans celebrated the Washington Capitals first Stanley Cup win.Dressed head to toe in red, fans lined the victory parade route that ran down Constitution Avenue and concluded with a rally at the National Mall.“You think it’s going to be crazy but it’s actually nuts,” Capitals hockey player Alex Ovechkin said at the rally. “You guys are killing it.”A number of buses carried the team and their family members, the last bus hosted Ovechkin who held the trophy in the air as fans cheered.“This happens because they support as much as you are,” Ovechkin said at the rally. “We want to say to our families and you guys, 'thank you very much.'"Thousands of fans attended the event and one Twitter user joked that people in Washington, D.C., likely avoided going to work to attend the celebratory occasion.At the rally, right winger T.J. Oshie teased that the Washington Capitals would win back-to-back championships, which garnered a roar of applause from the crowd.Before the end of the event, the team and crowd sang, “We are the Champions” and chanted, “Let’s go Caps!”
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- A heartbreaking 911 call has been released detailing the chaotic moments after former Olympic skier Bode Miller's daughter fell in a pool. The 19-month-old girl named Emmy died the next day."The baby fell in the pool!" the distressed 911 caller told the dispatcher on Saturday.Someone is heard saying that Emmy had a small pulse.The dispatcher instructed those with Emmy to roll her on her side to get the water out."Come on, baby girl," someone is heard saying on the call. "Come on, Emmy!"Emmy had been with her mother, professional beach volleyball player Morgan Beck Miller, at a neighbor's home Saturday when the 19-month old got away, the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) said.Beck Miller found the baby in the pool and she and others tried to resuscitate her while 911 was called, according to OCFA.The paramedics arrived and the child was taken to Mission Hospital in grave condition, OCFA said.The Orange County Coroner's Office confirmed the death noting the child died Sunday evening."We are beyond devastated," the Millers said in a statement on Monday. "Never in a million years did we think we would experience a pain like this. Her love, her light, her spirit will never be forgotten. Our little girl loved life and lived it to it’s fullest every day. Our family respectfully requests privacy during this painful time."
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two female domestic violence experts resigned from the commission created by the National Football League's Players Association, saying their suggestions had been ignored and the change within the organization had been insufficient.Deborah Epstein, who is the co-director of Georgetown University's Law Center Domestic Violence Clinic, and Susan Else, former president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, both resigned from the NFLPA's commission on domestic violence.Epstein described her work with the commission and the grievances that prompted her resignation in an op-ed that was published Tuesday in The Washington Post."Because I care deeply about violence against women in the NFL and beyond, I can no longer continue to be part of a commission that is essentially a fig leaf," Epstein wrote.The National Football League's Players Association released a statement in response to the op-ed."We respect the decision of Deborah Epstein and Susan Else to resign from our commission. We have implemented many of the commission’s recommendations during the past few years and will continue to provide resources and services to our members," the NFLPA said in a statement to ABC News.Epstein described her four years working with the group as being "by turns, promising, inspiring and deeply frustrating."She said the commission was started in a "belated effort to confront the plague of domestic violence" in the league, and the "precipitating event" that led to the commission's formation was the public release of surveillance footage showing then-Ravens player Ray Rice hitting and dragging his then-fiancee in a casino elevator in 2014.A study by the commission provided recommendations for how to address the issue of domestic violence. Epstein, however, did not disclose specific findings from the group's research in The Washington Post, explaining that she signed a confidentiality agreement at the players' association's insistence.The study, which she said "made numerous systematic recommendations of concrete steps that would go a long way toward dramatically lowering the risk of domestic violence in professional football," was completed in June 2016. Epstein noted that the commission had only met three times "despite my numerous requests.""As of our last meeting, the NFLPA had not implemented any of the reforms proposed in our study," she wrote.A spokesperson for the NFLPA told ABC News that a number of recommendations made by Epstein have been implemented. The recommendations included the hiring of a director of wellness who is a trained clinician, in depth crisis training for player-facing staff, greater emphasis on marriage counseling and enrichment events focused on couples. The spokesperson also said it was Epstein's idea for the study.The NFLPA has to lobby the league for any and all suggested changes, and the league has to approve policies before they can be implemented.Epstein said she gave suggestions for projects that could "help reduce intimate-partner violence in the domain of professional football" but they were ignored."My NFLPA contacts would initially greet these ideas with a burst of enthusiasm and an indication of likely implementation, but efforts to follow up would yield nothing in the way of specific plans, and eventually communication would fade into radio silence," she wrote.She received a one-line response from NFLPA following her resignation."The email was short, but its message couldn't have been clearer," she wrote.
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