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Middle school runner chooses kindness over competitiveness

A middle school athlete from Michigan showed that sportsmanship was more important than winning a cross country race, UpNorthLive.com reported.

>> Read more trending news

Amelia Malburg, an eighth-grader at Mason County Eastern, was running in a meet when she noticed her teammate was on the ground and struggling.

Malburg said she generally is near the front of the pack when running, but on that particular day her ankle was hurting.

“We were almost close to done, we were getting up the big hill,” Malburg told UpNorthLive.com. “[My teammate] fell down, she didn’t want to move forward because it was so hot and has asthma.”

Malburg stopped running and picked up her teammate, seventh-grader Alexis Shubert.

A photo of Malburg helping her teammate was shared on Facebook by a parent from another school.

The picture shows Malburg holding up Shubert, whose arm is wrapped around her teammate as both girls walk up the hill.

“I just wanted to sit there and just lay down and just stop,” Malburg told UpNorthLive.com. “Then Amelia came by and she helped me up and walked me up the hill and we started running together.”

“By stopping to help Alexis, [Mia] was basically sacrificing her own time and performance to try and help a teammate which is a pretty cool thing,” Mason County Eastern Principal Mark Fornor said.

The principal says the photo demonstrates sportsmanship and putting generosity over finishing first.

“It was just something that I kind of expected Mia to do she doesn’t like it when other people are hurt around her,” said Ginger Malburg, Amelia’s mother. “Knowing that people are choosing kindness over competitiveness."

Former Heisman winner Ricky Williams arrested on traffic warrants

Former Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams was arrested in Texas on Tuesday on traffic warrants, records show.

>> Read more trending news 

Williams was pulled over for a traffic offense, then arrested on warrants, Austin police said.

He is no longer in the Travis County Jail, records show. 

Williams, who starred at the University of Texas and played seven seasons in the NFL, is currently a football analyst for ESPN's Longhorn Network. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1998 and was the second Longhorn to win college football’s top prize, and was also a two-time All-American.

Earlier this year, Williams said he was racially profiled while walking through a neighborhood in Tyler. A man called 911 when he "observed a black male, wearing all black, crouched down behind his wire fence," and Tyler police stopped and searched Williams, according to media reports

Williams was taken to the Travis County Jail 17 years ago, when he was playing for the New Orleans Saints, when he refused to sign a traffic ticket, according to previous media reports

Toddler struck in the face with 105 mph foul ball at Yankee Stadium

The New York Yankees-Minnesota Twins game was briefly stopped in the fifth inning Wednesday afternoon after a toddler was reportedly struck in the mouth by a 105 mph foul ball.

Todd Frazier immediately dropped to a knee after fouling the ball into the stands, and other players quickly followed suit.

>> Read more trending news

“I thought of my kids. I have two kids under 3 years old and I just hope she’s all right,” Frazier said later, according to The Associated Press. “I know the dad or whoever it was that was with them was trying their hardest, but the ball’s coming at 120 miles an hour at them and the ball’s hooking. So it’s like if you’ve never seen a ball like that, which most people in the world haven’t, it’s very tough.”

The girl reportedly was rushed to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital

According to ESPN, the girl's father said late Wednesday that it was "too early to tell" whether his daughter would need surgery but that "she's doing all right."

Read more here.

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

8-year-old football players kneel during national anthem in protest

Every player from an 8-and-under football team in Belleville, Illinois, took a knee in protest during the national anthem before their game on Saturday, according to KTVI.

>> Watch the news report here

“One of the kids asked me if I saw (people) protesting and rioting in St. Louis. I said yes; I said, ‘Do you know why they are doing it?'” said Coach Orlando Gooden during a phone interview with the news station on Tuesday.

>> See a photo of the protest here

Gooden told the news station that one of the players responded, “Because black people are getting killed and nobody’s going to jail.”

Gooden, a former football player at the University of Missouri, said his players were aware of the recent Jason Stockley decision, which saw an ex-St. Louis officer acquitted in a fatal shooting of a black driver and led to numerous protests.

>> Elderly woman knocked to ground by police during St. Louis protest

“I felt like it was a good teaching moment for me to circle the team and have a meeting,” he said.

Gooden said he spoke with his team about that and other situations that have taken place recently in the United States and explained why free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others have knelt during the anthem in protest.

>> Read more trending news

“One of the kids asked, ‘Can we do that?’ I said, ‘As long as we know why we’re doing it, I don’t have a problem with any of it,'” he said.

According to the coach, the third-graders immediately took a knee as the anthem began, with their backs — unintentionally — away from the flag.

“What I teach my kids is love, integrity, honesty, fairness, respect and boundaries,” he said.

The players’ parents reportedly supported the coach’s decision to allow the team to take a knee; however, a Facebook post from his wife reveals that there has been some backlash from other residents in the area.

“As long as I have support of my parents and team, I’m perfectly fine, and I’m covered under the First Amendment to peacefully protest and assemble,” Gooden said.

Football players under 12 at high risk of brain injury, study finds

A new Boston University study published Tuesday found a single season of youth football can change a child's brain.

>> Watch the news report here

The findings focused on children 12 and under and, according to the study, those first 12 years of a child's life are critical to brain development.

That’s why any damage – no matter how small – could mean health concerns years later.

Youth football is a family tradition for many, but this new study out of BU has found the longer a child waits to play football, the better it is for their brain.

“There's really something specific about hitting your head over and over again at a young age and it is disrupting normal brain development,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Michael Alosco, said. 

>> On Boston25News.com: One youth football game results in five concussions

Researchers examined 214 amateur and professional football players and found those who started playing football before they were 12 years old were at higher risk for behavioral and cognitive problems.

“That's a critical period of brain development, especially in males,” said Alosco. 

According to the study, the risks for behavioral problems doubled and the risk for elevated depression tripled.

>> Read more trending news

Alosco told WFXT that their findings revealed any injury to a child's brain could result in permanent damage.

“We're talking about those tiny hits to the head, over and over repeatedly that don't necessarily result in symptoms, but we think are enough to cause injury to the brain,” he explained. 

Just earlier this summer, WFXT investigated the growing trend of youth flag football as many are families opting out of regular football because of health concerns.

“I just think it's a little too dangerous at their young age. They're so fragile,” parent Jeanine Hetzel said. 

>> On Boston25News.com: Despite new helmets, doctors warn of concussion risk for football players

WFXT asked Alosco whether he would recommend parents not let their child play youth football. He said more research needs to be done, but he did say one thing. 

“You just have to ask yourself: Do you really want your young kid to go out there and start hitting their head at such a young age – not even just football – in anything?” said Alosco. 

Kevin Durant tweet calls out former coach, teammates, prompting theories of fake account

Kevin Durant is probably the most active NBA superstar on Twitter, and he regularly interacts with fans (and haters) on social media. But it appears as if being an avid tweeter might have backfired on him.

>> On FanBuzz.com: Kevin Durant responds to former ESPN reporter after White House criticism on Twitter

Someone tweeted at Durant and asked him to give a legitimate reason for leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder outside of winning a championship. Durant's official account responded, but many social media users believe that he intended to respond from another account to defend himself and not his own. His tweet called out his former teammates, organization and coach Billy Donovan.

>> Read more trending news

Fans theorized that Durant has multiple accounts, and he forgot to switch them before responding, which led to this encounter via @harrisonmc15:

>> Check it out here

“He didn’t like the organization or playing for Billy Donovan,” read Durant's tweets, which have since been deleted. “His roster wasn’t that good, it was just him and Russ.

“Imagine taking Russ off that team, see how bad they were. KD can’t win a championship with those cats.”

Other fans also weighed in

Read more here.

(h/t CBS Sports)

Pro wrestling commentator Bobby ‘The Brain’ dead at 73

He called himself “The Brain” and his enemies called him “The Weasel.” Regardless of the name attached to him, Bobby Heenan was a force in professional wrestling as a manager and commentator.

>> Read more trending news 

Heenan died Sunday at the age of 73, according to a tweet from wrestling announcer Jim Ross.

Former wrestling broadcaster "Mean" Gene Okerlund posted on Facebook that Heenan's daughter, Jess, had confirmed his death.

Heenan was renowned for his talking ability -- and talking agility -- on the microphone as a manager and announcer, The Sporting News reported.

He managed dozens of wrestlers over a career that spanned more than four decades, including Andre the Giant, Nick Bockwinkel, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, Harley Race, Curt “Mr. Perfect” Hennig, Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, King Kong Bundy and others.

Heenan had been battling throat cancer since the early 2000s, Metro US reported. He went through several surgeries to repair his jaw, but he eventually had difficulty speaking due to tongue cancer treatments and the jaw was removed, according to Bleacher Report.

Heenan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.

Heenan was known as one of the greatest “heel” managers in pro wrestling, bending the rules to help his wrestler and eliciting “heat” from the crowd with his microphone tirades. He began his career in the 1960s and was managed in the AWA before moving to the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) during the 1980s. 

Heenan’s star appeal transcended wrestling. He partnered with Andre the Giant in WrestleMania III, but he also traveled on the talk show circuit and even had a memorable appearance on Nickelodeon’s “Double Dare,” losing to his longtime commentating partner and television foil, Gorilla Monsoon.

Monsoon “fired” Heenan during the Dec. 6, 1993, edition of “Raw,” according to Bleacher Report. He worked as a color commentator with the WCW from January 1994 until November 2000, according to Bleacher Report.

Raymond Louis Heenan was born Nov. 1, 1943, in Chicago. His first break in pro wrestling came in 1965, when he worked as a manager and wrestler known as “Pretty Boy” Bobby Heenan. He competed in the World Wrestling Association until 1974, and then spent a decade with the American Wrestling Association. He joined the WWF in 1984 and made his biggest impact with his bombastic commentary and acerbic wit.

Several wrestlers and writers paid tribute to Heenan on Twitter:

Nevada boxing official defends judge’s controversial scorecard

The executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission defended the controversial scoring of a judge that resulted in split draw between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez, ESPN reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Bob Bennett said judge Adalaide Byrd had “a bad day.”

In a closely fought contest in Las Vegas, Byrd scored the fight 118-110 in Alvarez's favor, awarding WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight champion Golovkin just two rounds.

Bennett conceded that Byrd got the fight wrong — judge Dave Moretti had the fight 115-113 for Golovkin and judge Don Trella scored 114-114 — but played down the significance of the error.

>> Alvarez-Golovkin fight ends in controversial draw

"Adalaide, in my estimation, is an outstanding judge,” Bennett told ESPN. “She's done over 115 title fights and/or elimination bouts. She does a great deal of our training. Takes a lot of our judges under her wing. I think being a judge is a very challenging position.

"Unfortunately, Adalaide was a little wide. I'm not making any excuses. I think she's an outstanding judge, and in any business, sometimes you have a bad day. She saw the fight differently. It happens." 

The huge margin of victory Byrd gave to Alvarez caused outrage among boxing fans, according to Bleacher Report.

Booted twice: Texas Lutheran kicker converts FG after attempt was blocked

It was definitely the strangest field goal ever made in college football, and while it might not be legal, it counted Saturday during Texas Lutheran’s 37-0 victory.

>> Read more trending news 

Texas Lutheran was attempting an 18-yard field goal late in the first half against Belhaven (Miss.) when it was blocked. The ball bounced back toward freshman Tyler Hopkins, who kicked it a second time. The ball sailed through the uprights, and after some discussion among the referees, the field goal attempt was declared good. It overshadowed the first shutout victory for Texas Lutheran since 2008 as the Bulldogs intercepted three passes.

But was the kick legal?

The NCAA’s football rulebook says “a player shall not kick a loose ball,” and doing so is a 10-yard penalty that carries a loss of down, SBNation reported.

“A scrimmage kick that fails to cross the neutral zone continues in play. All players may catch or recover the ball behind the neutral zone and advance it,” SBNation reported, citing the NCAA rulebook.

And here is an end zone view:

Texas Lutheran improved to 1-1 overall in its American Southwest Conference opener. Belhaven fell to 1-1 overall and 1-1 in conference play.

Hulk Hogan calls Hurricane Irma victims complaining about no power, water 'crybabies'

In two since-deleted tweets, Hulk Hogan called Hurricane Irma survivors who are complaining about the loss of water and power “crybabies."

>> Hurricane Irma damage: What to do during, after a power outage

On Thursday, the professional wrestling star wrote: “No water, no power, crybabies, everyone’s complaining, these people have no clue how bad it could be. Praying for those that got hit hard, lost homes, lives, businesses, lost everything, thank you God for helping those with divine highly blessings, God speed only love.”

>> On Rare.us: Getting to know Hulk Hogan

Hogan rode out the storm at his home in Clearwater, Florida — a city on the west coast of the state. His tweets sparked a firestorm on social media, with many criticizing Hogan. While still a larger-than-life celebrity in the professional wrestling circuit, the star returned to fame a few years ago when he effectively put gossip and news website Gawker out of business.

>> More Irma coverage from WFTVAction News Jax and the Palm Beach Post

The tweets have been taken down but were captured by The Washington Post before they were deleted. Hogan has not returned requests for comment on the statements.

>> Read more trending news

Hogan also noted on Twitter that he spent Friday with linemen restoring power to Orlando, which was ravaged by Irma.

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