Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s plane bounced at least twice before ‘coming down hard’ in fiery crash: NTSB

Sports News Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s plane bounced at least twice before 'coming down hard' in fiery crash: NTSB https://linewsradio.com/dale-earnhardt-jr-s-plane-bounced-at-least-twice-before-coming-down-hard-in-fiery-crash-ntsb/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

guvendemir/iStock(ELIZABETHON, Tenn.) — NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s plane bounced at least twice before “coming down hard” on the right main landing gear resulting in Thursday’s fiery crash, officials said Friday.

Earnhardt, his wife and their 1-year-old daughter were on board with two pilots during the accident and they all escaped without serious injuries, officials said.

The Cessna Citation took off from Statesville, North Carolina, for a 20-minute afternoon flight before it crashed while landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Elizabethton, Tennessee, Ralph Hicks of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said at a news conference on Friday.

The crash was captured on surveillance video, Hicks said, which showed the plane bounce “at least twice before coming down hard on the right main landing gear.”

“You can actually see the right main landing gear collapsing on the video,” he said.

The plane then continued down the runway, went through a fence, and came to a stop on a highway, Hicks said.

The Earnhardts were able to evacuate before the plane erupted in flames, Hicks said, adding that the fire appeared to start after the crash.

Elizabethton Fire Chief Barry Carrier attributed the blaze to fuel from the aircraft.

The former race car driver was taken to Johnson City Medical Center with cuts and abrasions. He was the only person on board who was hospitalized, according to the sheriff.

A spokesman for NBC Sports, where Earnhardt works as a NASCAR analyst, later said that Earnhardt was discharged from the hospital.

Elizabethton Mayor Curt Alexander said it’s extremely lucky that no cars were involved in the accident.

“We’re just happy everyone walked away and no one on the ground was injured as well,” Alexander said at Friday’s news conference.

Both pilots on board were professionally-trained, Hicks said, and when interviewed by the NTSB they provided information consistent with the surveillance video.

The Earnhardts were interviewed and their comments were also consistent with the video, said Hicks.

The surveillance footage of the accident will eventually be released to the public, he added.

The plane had a cockpit voice recorder which will be sent to NTSB headquarters in Washington, DC., Hicks said.

Earnhardt’s family and employees expressed their relief after the crash.

“We are so grateful for the outpouring of concern and support. Everyone is doing well enough. Lots of hugs. Lots of prayers to the Good Lord,” tweeted Mike Davis, a spokesman for the former NASCAR star.

Earnhardt’s sister, Kelley Earnhardt, added on Twitter: “Thank you to God, the angels among us, our pilots, first responders, medical staff, our NASCAR family and everyone that has reached out in whatever way to support us all.”

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Posted On 16 Aug 2019

Army allows West Point graduate to sign with Philadelphia Eagles

Sports News Army allows West Point graduate to sign with Philadelphia Eagles https://linewsradio.com/army-allows-west-point-graduate-to-sign-with-philadelphia-eagles/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

skynesher/iStock(NEW YORK) —  A former West Point offensive tackle has been granted an exception by the Army in order to sign a three-year deal to play football for the Philadelphia Eagles, according to ESPN.

Brett Toth, an Army second lieutenant, graduated from West Point as a nuclear engineer in May 2018 and has fulfilled his first year of active duty service. But an executive order from President Donald Trump has now allowed him to be recruited by the Eagles.

On June 26, Trump issued an executive order that directed the Pentagon to develop a policy that authorizes new graduates of the service academies and ROTC programs to pursue professional sports immediately following graduation but prior to completing their service requirement.

Under the old policy crafted by former defense secretary James Mattis, graduates were required to fulfill two years of commissioned service in the military before pursuing a professional sports career.

“Such cadets and midshipmen have a short window of time to take advantage of their athletic talents during which playing professional sports is realistically possible,” Trump said in the executive order. “At the same time, these student-athletes should honor the commitment they made to serve in the Armed Forces in exchange for the extraordinary benefits afforded to them at taxpayer expense at the Academies or ROTC programs. A revised policy will benefit the student-athletes, the Academies and ROTC programs, and the Armed Forces.”

The executive order gave the Pentagon 120 days to develop the new policy, which has yet to be implemented. But based on the directive, two military services have gone ahead and granted exceptions allowing their graduates to go pro.

Prior to Toth’s exception, the Air Force last month signed an exception for long snapper Austin Cutting, a seventh-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in the 2019 NFL draft.

Army officials did not immediately respond to a request to comment on the exception signed for Toth.

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Posted On 16 Aug 2019

Serena Williams outburst at 2018 US Open Women’s Final explored in new ESPN series ‘Backstory’

Sports News Serena Williams outburst at 2018 US Open Women's Final explored in new ESPN series 'Backstory' https://linewsradio.com/serena-williams-outburst-at-2018-us-open-womens-final-explored-in-new-espn-series-backstory/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Twenty-year-old Naomi Osaka faced her childhood hero Serena Williams in the 2018 U.S. Open Women’s Final and won, becoming the first Japanese woman to win a Grand Slam title in a match that many thought would go to Williams.

Her triumph, however, was marred by arguments between Williams and the match’s umpire, Carlos Ramos, sparking a controversy that would have the world talking about tennis for weeks.

As part of the new ESPN series Backstory, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Don Van Natta peeled back the layers of the event and delved into the lives of both Williams and Ramos to understand how the two came together for one of the most divisive moments in recent tennis history during one of the world’s most celebrated finals in sports.

Ramos was only 16 when he began working as a chair umpire in Portugal. One of his friends told Van Natta that Ramos was so focused that he would treat satellite events as if they were the Wimbledon final. But Ramos had big dreams of one day becoming a world-class umpire, a goal that he said would allow him to see the world, Van Natta said.

Williams and her sister, Venus Williams, meanwhile, would rise out of Compton, Calif., to become two of the biggest sports stars in the world by dominating a sport played mostly by white athletes.

With her fierce will to win, Williams did not get to the top without shaking things up. In May 2018, for example, she received criticism for wearing a so-called “catsuit” bodysuit to the French Open. She said the suit was designed to prevent blood clots since she had given birth a few months earlier. French Open President Bernard Giudicelli later said the suit “would no longer be accepted” and that players in future tournaments would have to dress more conservatively.

The heated dispute between Ramos and Williams, who was vying for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title, began when Williams was losing to Osaka two games into the second set after Ramos said he witnessed a code violation for coaching — Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, had given her a thumbs up — and gave Williams a warning.

“If he gives me a thumbs-up, he is telling me to come on,” Williams told Ramos at the time. “We don’t have any code and I know you don’t know that, and [I] understand why you may have thought that that was coaching, but it is not. I don’t cheat to win; I would rather lose. I am just letting you know.”

Retired tennis champion Chrissie Evert told Van Natta that Mouratoglou, who has coached Williams for seven years, “is not known to be one of those coaches who coaches all the time and Serena never looks at her box. She…figures it out herself.”

From that moment, the tension between Williams and Ramos would escalate. Williams accused Ramos of questioning her integrity and punishing her more harshly than male players. “I have a daughter and I stand for what’s right,” she told him. “I have never cheated.”

A second violation, costing her a point, came after the fifth game of the second set when she slammed a broken racket to the ground in frustration. After repeatedly demanding that Ramos apologize, she received her third violation for what Ramos called “verbal abuse” — a game penalty — after she called him a “thief.”

“You stole a point from me,” she said. “You’re a thief, too.”

Although Williams would go on to win the next game in an excellent display of tennis, Osaka would finish her off in the ensuing match, winning the set and the title.

Mouratoglou told Van Natta that it was the first time he had ever sent a signal to Williams and that he did it “because it felt like it was an important moment.”

“It was probably one of the biggest moments of her career,” Mouratoglou told Van Natta. “She’s in a Grand Slam final to equal the record of all time and she’s losing, and she’s — I [felt] at that moment — she’s lost on the court. So, I tried to help her. That’s my job.”

Yet, even though the incident was a setback for Williams, Mouratoglou said that it was a “fantastic” moment for tennis.

“It’s unbelievable. That was the best moment of tennis [in the] last 10 years,” he told Van Natta. “We don’t have any drama in tennis. We have drama in all other sports, but not tennis.”

Williams gave Osaka a congratulatory hug following the match, but as the crowd booed, Osaka sat down and cried.

“I was down on the court because I was supposed to present the trophy to the winner,” Evert told Van Natta. “The floor was shaking, the roof was shaking, the boos were thundering. I could not hear a thing.”

Williams continues to deny that there was a clear coaching violation or that she ever lost control of her emotions, Van Natta said. In a press conference following the match, she said, “The fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person that has emotions and that wants to express themselves…they want to be a strong woman and they are going to be allowed to do that because of today.”

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Posted On 16 Aug 2019

Scoreboard roundup — 8/15/19

Sports News Scoreboard roundup -- 8/15/19 https://linewsradio.com/scoreboard-roundup-8-15-19/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

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

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Seattle 7, Detroit 2  
Cleveland 19, NY Yankees 5
Minnesota 13, Texas 6    
LA Angels 8, Chi White Sox 7
Oakland 7, Houston 6

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Miami 13, LA Dodgers 7
Cincinnati 2, St. Louis 1
Philadelphia 7, Chi Cubs 5
NY Mets 10, Atlanta 8
San Francisco 7, Arizona 0

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Posted On 16 Aug 2019