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'I can no longer stay silent': Michael Jordan pledges $2M to foster community, police relations

Michael Jordan announced he will donate $2 million to two organizations that strive to improve community and police relations, according to ESPN's sports and culture website The Undefeated.

Jordan released a letter to the sports news site saying that he would donate $1 million to the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

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Jordan wrote that he can "no longer stay silent" in light of recent racial tension and violence between citizens and law enforcement officers. 

He called for new policies to ensure that citizens of color are treated fairly and that police officers receive respect and support. 

Both groups were informed of the donations Sunday night.

"We're surprised and shocked, but obviously thrilled," said Sherrilyn Ifill, the president and director of the Legal Defense Fund. "We've been working on these issues for some many years, and it's great to hear that Michael Jordan and his people are aware of our work and are willing to make a contribution."

"What an opportunity for Michael Jordan to do this and help raise the discussion between police and the members of the communities they serve," said Terrence Cunningham, the IACP president and chief of the Wellesley, Massachusetts, police department. "The IACP aims to provide a toolbox for departments and communities to come together to discuss implicit bias and police legitimacy, and this is an opportunity to help that along."

"I applaud Michael Jordan for these donations," NBA commissioner Adam Silver told The Undefeated Monday. "His championing of important social issues including fundamental civil and human rights carries enormous impact in communities everywhere."

Here is Jordan's full statement:

"As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well. "I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers -- who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all – are respected and supported. "Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognize that for many people of color their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine. I have decided to speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change. "To support that effort, I am making contributions of $1 million each to two organizations, the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The Institute for Community-Police Relations’ policy and oversight work is focused on building trust and promoting best practices in community policing. My donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s oldest civil rights law organization, will support its ongoing work in support of reforms that will build trust and respect between communities and law enforcement. Although I know these contributions alone are not enough to solve the problem, I hope the resources will help both organizations make a positive difference. "We are privileged to live in the world’s greatest country -- a country that has provided my family and me the greatest of opportunities. The problems we face didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be solved tomorrow, but if we all work together, we can foster greater understanding, positive change and create a more peaceful world for ourselves, our children, our families and our communities."

Read more at The Undefeated

Nebraska punter and former Michigan State punter killed in crash

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Nebraska punter Sam Foltz and former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler died in a car crash in Wisconsin after working at a kicking clinic, a sheriff's department official said Sunday.

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye was also injured in the crash.

Waukesha County Sheriff's Lt. Thom Moerman said speed was likely a factor in the single-vehicle crash that happened around 11:45 p.m. Saturday.

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Sadler, 24, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, was driving. He and Foltz, 22, of Greeley, Nebraska, both died at the scene. Delahoussaye, 21, of New Iberia, Louisiana, was also a passenger. He was treated at Waukesha Memorial Hospital and released. His injuries were minor and he is scheduled to return home Monday, according to a statement from LSU.

Police said the accident remains under investigation, according to the Lansing State Journal.

Dan Tracy with Kohl's Kicking said the camp ended early Sunday after an announcement about the deaths.

A statement from kicking camp director Jamie Kohl said the staff was mourning with the players' families and football programs.

The University of Nebraska said Sunday coach Mike Riley and student-athletes Tommy Armstrong, Josh Banderas and Jordan Westerkamp will not participate in Big Ten Media Day scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in Chicago.

“Sam was universally loved and respected by everyone he touched and on whom he had a positive influence each and every day,” Riley said in a release. “The young men in our football program are hurting but I know that their strength of character and resolve will bring us together and we will honor Sam every day moving forward.”

Foltz was a three-year starter for the Cornhuskers. He was the Big Ten's punter of the year last year. Foltz graduated from Nebraska with a degree in agronomy in May.

Several hundred friends and teammates gathered outside Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska, Sunday afternoon to remember him.

Sadler, a four-year starter and four-time academic All-American at Michigan State, was known for his wit. He finished his college playing career after the 2014 season.

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio confirmed the loss Sunday afternoon.

"Mike impacted so many people not only as a football player, but also from an academic standpoint and in the community as well," Dantonio said in a statement. "The world has lost a rising star who dreamed big and was accomplishing those dreams, one after another. He was one of those people that brightened your day."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Former NFL coach Dennis Green dies at 67

Former Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green has died. He was 67. 

ESPN first reported the news Friday morning. The cause of death was cardiac arrest.

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Green coached over 13 seasons in the NFL and made 8 playoff appearances. With Green as coach, the Vikings earned a 15-1 regular season in 1998.

Green's career record was 113-94.

Players and fans took to social media to pay respects.

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/players-fans-remember-former-nfl-coach-dennis-gree/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/players-fans-remember-former-nfl-coach-dennis-gree.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script>[View the story "Players, fans remember former NFL coach Dennis Green " on Storify]

Dale Earnhardt Jr. announces break from racing, Jeff Gordon steps in

It’s official. After much talk and concern over concussion symptoms displayed by NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr., it's been announced that his break from driving may end up being out for longer than anyone first thought.

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The symptoms kept Earnhardt from racing in New Hampshire on July 17.

Jeff Gordon will come out of retirement and return to Sprint Cup racing to act as Earnhardt's replacement for the next two races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Pocono Speedway.

NASCAR fans will recall that Gordon has had much success at Indy, winning five times at the storied track -- including at the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994.

In terms of Earnhardt's health, reports have indicated that he has been battling balance problems and nausea -- possibly from a pair of back-to-back crashes in Michigan and Daytona.

"(My doctors) can give me a lot of exercises that retrain my brain to handle what I need to handle -- it's just going to take a lot of patience," Earnhardt said in a podcast, according to ABC News. "I take my health and quality of life as a top priority. … I am going to take this slow and strictly take the advice of my doctors."

NBA pulls 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte

The NBA decided to relocate the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte with the hope of rescheduling for 2019, due to the controversial HB2 law.

Officially known as The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, the state law which went into effect earlier this year restricts public restroom use to the sex listed on an individual's birth certificate. Critics claim the law discriminates against transgendered people. Supporters say it is about privacy and safety.

The game was expected to have an economic impact upwards of $100 million, but NBA commissioner Adam Silver said last month that the league is looking at other venues for the event.

The NBA released a statement addressing their decision to move the game Thursday afternoon.

>> Read more trending stories

Losing the All-Star Game is another blow to Charlotte, which lost hundreds of jobs when PayPal halted plans for expansion into the city.

Technology executives from companies such as Google, PayPal and Pinterest sent a letter to Silver earlier this month urging him to move the game if the HB2 law isn't changed.

Gov. Pat McCrory didn't express concern earlier this month for losing the game. 

"I respect people's opinions on both sides of this issue. It's a complex issue which is going to be resolved in the courts," McCrory said.

Hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues are bracing for a loss of some much anticipated revenue. Sid Smith with the Charlotte Area Hotel Association told WSOC losing the game could put hotels in a pinch.

"We have to hold the rooms, so who knows what might be sellable or who knows, the All-Star game might be here," he said. "If they pull out, then we just have less time to try to fill those openings."

Cam Newton gets stuffed at net playing beach volleyball

Video of Carolina Panthers MVP quarterback playing beach volleyball and getting blocked at the net by a female player has gone viral on Instagram.

The video was posted by Instagram user Brandon Serfass and has been viewed nearly 40,000 times in two days.

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The video shows Newton wearing bright orange shorts, jumping up to the net to spike the ball -- only to get blocked by a much shorter girl on the other side.

Cam go home you can't play volleyball you just got blocked by a girl! @lg.rugby13 Haha jk Real talk what an amazing night playing volleyball with the Carolina Panthers with some amazing athletes showing love out here! #baltimorebeach #beachvolleyball #carolinapanthers #camnewton #nfl #baltimore #bmore #panthers #trainingday #practice #football A video posted by Brandon Serfass (@djserf) on Jul 19, 2016 at 5:49pm PDT

Newton was a good sport. He slapped the girl five and just shook his head amid laughter from the crowd that had gathered.

Newton and several of his Panthers’ teammates, including Greg Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin, are in Baltimore for an Under Armour shoot and have crashed a coed beach volleyball league on Baltimore Beach twice this week, ESPN’s David Newton reported.

Serfass told Channel 9 that two black Escalades pulled up, the players got out and Olsen asked if they could join in. They set up a 6-on-6 game with three Panthers players on each side. 

Reds vs. Braves: July 20

Reds vs. Braves: July 18

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