NFL players help pay bail for immigration activist jailed by ICE after reciting poem against family separations

Sports News NFL players help pay bail for immigration activist jailed by ICE after reciting poem against family separations https://linewsradio.com/nfl-players-help-pay-bail-for-immigration-activist-jailed-by-ice-after-reciting-poem-against-family-separations/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

ChiccoDodiFC/iStock(LOS ANGELES) — An undocumented immigration activist was freed from an ICE detention center in Southern California nearly three months after he was first detained, thanks to the help of some NFL players and multiple organizations, his lawyers said.

Jose Bello, 22, was released from the Mesa Verde ICE Detention Center in Bakersfield on Monday, according to a press release from the ACLU of Southern California. He was arrested by ICE in May after he presented a poem he wrote criticizing family separations and the Trump administration at a public forum on immigration issues.

 His $50,000 bond was paid for by Josh Norman, a cornerback for the Washington Redskins, and Demario Davis, a linebacker for the New Orleans Saints.

“For 87 days we kept a man from his freedom & family for reciting a poem,” Davis tweeted on Tuesday. “Yesterday he was able to post bail. This dehumanizing, psychological torture needs to stop. And we can stop it.”

Norman called Bello’s story “unfortunately … not unique.”

“ICE is using detention and deportation as weapons to silence immigrant activists and I’ve seen this 1st hand through our work at the border with my brother,” Norman tweeted, referring to his and Davis’ work together.

Davis and Norman are members of the Players Coalition, a group of professional athletes working to improve social justice and racial equality. The New York Immigrant Freedom Fund and the National Bail Fund Network also contributed to paying Bello’s bail.

A spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement could not immediately be reached for comment.

Bello’s arrest came about two days after he recited a poem at a Kern County public forum on the impact of California’s sanctuary laws, The poem, which was subsequently posted to YouTube by the ACLU, accused those in power of causing fear through separation.

“We don’t want your jobs. We don’t your money. We’re here to work, pay taxes and study,” Bello said in his poem on May 14.

“It’s time to begin standing up for what’s right,” he continued. “Criminalizing children, separating families. ‘Our national security.’ Does that make it alright? No it doesn’t and it won’t.”

 The poem was called “Dear America.”

He was unable to pay his own bail because his job as a farm worker only brings in about $20,000 a year, the ACLU said.

Bello said he saw his “whole future go out the window” while he was in ICE custody, he told Bakersfield ABC affiliate KERO-TV.

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundations of Southern California and Northern California filed a federal lawsuit on Bello’s behalf, charging that ICE violated his free speech rights.

Norman said that Bello was exercising his first amendment right to free speech by reciting the poem.

“If he was detained for reciting a peaceful poem then we should really ask ourselves, are our words truly free? This is America right? Where the 1st Amendment is freedom of speech unless I missed the memo somewhere,” Normal said in a statement.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 15 Aug 2019

Report: Lakers center DeMarcus Cousins hurts knee during workout

Sports News Report: Lakers center DeMarcus Cousins hurts knee during workout https://linewsradio.com/report-lakers-center-demarcus-cousins-hurts-knee-during-workout/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

Matt_Brown/iStock(NEW YORK) — DeMarcus Cousins may have suffered a knee injury just a month after signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, ESPN reports.

Sources tell ESPN the 29-year-old center bumped knees with another player while working out in Las Vegas Monday. Cousins left the court after the incident and is expected to undergo further testing in Los Angeles Thursday.

The four-time All-Star joined the Lakers in July, signing a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the team.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 15 Aug 2019

Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press speak out after ending US Soccer salary mediation

Sports News Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press speak out after ending US Soccer salary mediation https://linewsradio.com/megan-rapinoe-christen-press-speak-out-after-ending-us-soccer-salary-mediation/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Two stars of the U.S. women’s soccer team say the ball is in the court of the U.S. Soccer Federation after the reigning World Cup champions walked out of mediation talks being held Wednesday in their fight for equal pay.

“They’re the only employer that we could have playing for the national team, we’re the only employees that they could have, so for better or for worse we’re tethered together,” Megan Rapinoe, co-captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) said Thursday on Good Morning America. “I think that if and when and ever they are willing to have a conversation about equal pay that starts there and goes forward, we’re always open to that.”

“We won’t accept anything less than equal pay,” she added. “We show up for a game, if we win the game if we lose the game if we tie the game, we want to be paid equally, period.”

The USWNT filed an equal pay lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation earlier this year. The two sides had agreed to go to mediation just before the World Cup kicked off in France in June.

The lawsuit cites the discrimination in pay, but also the denial of “at least equal playing, training, and travel conditions; equal promotion of their games; equal support and development for their games; and other terms and conditions of employment.”

“I think we’re very confident in our case in what’s transpired,” USWNT player Christen Press said on GMA alongside Rapinoe. “I think for us it’s more than about this moment or this team … It’s actually about women everywhere being treated equally and respectfully in the workplace so if that means that we’re going to go to trial then we’re going to do that, and we’re going to do it very confidently.”

The U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) fired back at the athletes in a Wednesday statement, calling their actions “aggressive” and saying they had presented “misleading information” for months.

“We have said numerous times that our goal is to find a resolution, and during mediation we had hoped we would be able to address the issues in a respectful manner and reach an agreement,” the USSF said in the statement. “Unfortunately, instead of allowing mediation to proceed in a considerate manner, plaintiffs’ counsel took an aggressive and ultimately unproductive approach that follows months of presenting misleading information to the public in an effort to perpetuate confusion.”

“We always know there is more we can do,” the statement continued. “We value our players, and have continually shown that, by providing them with compensation and support that exceeds any other women’s team in the world. Despite inflammatory statements from their spokesperson, which are intended to paint our actions inaccurately and unfairly, we are undaunted in our efforts to continue discussions in good faith.”

Press argued Thursday that equality is “not just a word you can say.”

“I think it’s quite simple from our perspective,” she said. “We want to be paid equally and that just means that when we show up to a game that we get compensated the same way that a man would for showing up for the same game.”

“And I think that U.S. Soccer and Carlos and the board just showed us that they weren’t willing to start there with equality,” Press continued. “And it’s not just a word you can say, it’s something you have to stand behind because on this issue there is no social equality for women without financial equality.”

The U.S. women ran undefeated through the 2019 World Cup in June and July, including a 2-0 win over the Netherlands in the final. It was the second consecutive World Cup victory for the women, who have also won three of the last four Olympic gold medals.

The U.S. men’s team did not qualify for the most-recent World Cup, and their best World Cup result, third place, came 89 years ago.

When it comes to the actual legal issues at play, the suit points to two federal laws: the Equal Pay Act, which prohibits paying employees unequally based on sex, and Title VII, which prohibits employers discriminating on the basis of sex.

“The U.S. women’s soccer team does not need to be the best in the world in order to earn equal pay. The point of non-discrimination law is that employees doing similar work should be paid equally,” Suzanne B. Goldberg, director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law at the Columbia Law School, told ABC News earlier this year.

Women earn guaranteed yearly contracts and benefits, while men are paid for individual match appearances.

In a statement released Wednesday, a USWNT spokesperson said the team wants women to know “we are undaunted” in the fight for equal pay.

“We entered this week’s mediation with representatives of USSF full of hope,” said Molly Levinson, spokesperson for the U.S. women’s national team. “Today we must conclude these meetings sorely disappointed in the Federation’s determination to perpetuate fundamentally discriminatory workplace conditions and behavior. It is clear that USSF, including its Board of Directors and President Carlos Cordeiro, fully intend to continue to compensate women players less than men. They will not succeed. We want all of our fans, sponsors, peers around the world, and women everywhere to know we are undaunted and will eagerly look forward to a jury trial.”

When asked about a plan should they lose in their fight, Press responded, “I think you’re asking the wrong people what if we lose. It’s not generally how we approach things.”

Regardless of the trial results, fans spoke out loudly in support of the team both during and after the World Cup. Attendees in France chanted “equal pay” after the women won, while similar chants echoed in the Canyon of Heroes days later when the team paraded through lower Manhattan.

“In 2019 I don’t think equal pay is necessarily a novel idea,” said Rapinoe. “I think people see how successful we’ve been and I think that they think we should be compensated for that.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 15 Aug 2019