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ESPN

NFL reporter Vaughn McClure, who covered the Atlanta Falcons for ESPN, was found dead in his apartment near Atlanta this week. He was 48.

No cause of death was released, but a source said he complained of headaches in the days leading up to his death.

McClure reported on the firing of Falcons coach Dan Quinn on Wednesday. He was a regular contributor on ESPN's television and radio coverage of the Falcons and the NFL.

Tributes poured in on social media from around the sports world.

"We all loved Vaughn," said John Pluym, senior deputy editor for digital NFL coverage at ESPN.

"He had a heart of gold. He was so helpful to our reporters. In the last few hours, we've heard so many stories about how Vaughn had helped them with a story or how he put in a good word for them with a coach or player."

A Chicago native, McClure spent six seasons covering the Chicago Bears for the Chicago Tribune before being hired at ESPN in September 2013.

"Vaughn McClure made you feel like a celebrity every time you saw him. I simply cannot believe he is gone. Absolutely crushing," tweeted Dan Graziano.

McClure's last Instagram post in June detailed his struggle with depression following the deaths of his parents, brother and sister.

He captioned a photo of himself with his late father:

"For me, I'm still trying to get over the depression of losing you, Mom, Mark, & Nona. With my big sis dying at age 38 and lil bro at 27, I wonder sometimes how much time I've got left. I want to live long. I've told myself no matter what, I want to honor the memories of all four of you while I’m alive."

 

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Dad, This is the first Father’s Day without you, and we would have celebrated your birthday Tuesday. But you’re in Heaven, and sorely missed. I’m so glad God allowed me to spend extensive time with you before you joined Him up there. You’re not missing anything down here, actually. This world is messed up. For me, I’m still trying to get over the depression of losing you, Mom, Mark, & Nona. With my big sis dying at age 38 and lil bro at 27, I wonder sometimes how much time I’ve got left. I want to live long. I’ve told myself no matter what, I want to honor the memories of all four of you while I’m alive. The only way to do that is to give everything I have no matter what obstacles I encounter. I don’t know where I’d be right now without the support of Vaurice Patterson, Nick Gialamas, Mike Wells, and Chris Burt. I’d be down and out, honestly. But those guys constantly lift me up. If you were here now, Dad, we would have plenty to discuss. There’s so much hate going on in America, so much racial injustice. It makes me think about the support you gave me the time I got beat down with clubs by six white police officers 20 years ago when I was trying to be a peacemaker and take a drunk friend home. It took a black officer’s phone call to the DA’s office to clear my name when I did nothing wrong in the first place. I’ve held a lot of hate in my heart for years because of that incident, but Mom always told us the Bible said to love your enemies. I regret that you and I didn’t have more discussions about race. Our conversations centered around the Bulls and Bears because sports brought us closer together. But I wish I would have shared with you some of the racial injustices that I encountered, including one even more traumatic than getting beat down by those cops. I’m not going to sit here and say I’ve been the victim of racism all my life. Heck, I deserved some of the bad things that happened to me because I’ve let my anger get the best of me too many times. I was a bad kid/teen/young adult, but I learned from those missteps. You set the example of how to be a strong black man. I have to do a better job of the same. I love you and miss you. Happy Father’s Day.

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Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Colin Kaepernick is preparing for his big workout in Atlanta this weekend, but he won't know which teams will be in attendance ahead of time.

The washed up quarterback was given a second chance at reviving his career by rap mogul Jay-Z, the NFL's social justice consultant who arranged the "highly unusual" workout, to be held at the Atlanta Falcons training facility near Atlanta on Saturday, Nov. 15.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the NFL will not release the names of team executives, scouts and coaches who will be attending Kaepernick's workout.

Earlier in the week, it was reported that the NFL would release the names of teams planning to attend, but an NFL source said few coaches and scouts have responded to the NFL's memo to attend the workout.

According to Vladtv.com, the Falcons and Detroit Lions are the only two the franchises who are confirmed to be in attendance at Saturday's workout.

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

After Kaepernick was demoted to the bench by the 49ers in 2016, he suddenly found his calling as an activist and began kneeling during the National Anthem. When he opted out of a $110 million contract with the 49ers, he couldn't find work with any other team.

Kaepernick filed a grievance with the NFL and owners, claiming they were preventing him from earning a living wage. He settled with the league for a reported $10 million.

Now that he wants to play for the same owners he accused of racism, they are not enthusiastic about enabling his delusions of grandeur.

A source with an NFC team told ESPN's Josina Anderson: "We have nothing to lose by attending Kaepernick's workout, but I still think for us it would just be an information-gathering trip."

Anderson also spoke with the Browns, who have no plans to send a scout. "I'm told the #Browns are currently not planning to attend Colin Kaepernick's workout Saturday," she tweeted. She added that a Ravens coach told her, "he'd fit us as a player, but we have our guys."

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

According to published reports, Jay-Z, pictured with his boss NFL commish Roger Goodell, is responsible for arranging the private workout to help facilitate Kaepernick's return to the NFL - which Kap previously claimed was a racist organization.

Jay-Z was heavily criticized for partnering with the league as a social justice consultant and halftime entertainment coordinator.

Ryan Cameron Future Hendrix

The blogs and gossip tabloids had a field day after rapper Future Hendrix was spotted attending the Seattle Seahawks vs Atlanta Falcons divisional playoff game at the Georgia Dome on Saturday.

The Falcons trounced the Seahawks 36-20 to advance to the NFC title game against Green Bay.

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Chuck Smith and Phaedra Parks

Former Atlanta Falcons football player Chuck Smith is playing down his prior sexual relationships with Real Housewives of Atlanta cast mates Kandi Burruss and Phaedra Parks. According to celebrity blog Gossip Extra, Smith refers to his former jump offs as merely members of his team back during his football playing days. He even goes so far as to diss his ex, Phaedra, calling her an "ugly duckling."

Read on.

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Julio Jones and Christopher Owens

A Norcross man is wanted for attempting to forge checks belonging to two Atlanta Falcons football players.

Gwinnett County police say Corey Dajohn Moody, 29, is wanted on suspicion of forging rent checks belonging to Julio Jones (above left) and former Atlanta Falcons cornerback Christopher Owens (above right).

Moody once worked for the Preserve at Mill Creek, a luxury apartment complex near the Falcons training camp in Buford, GA.

Police say that's where Moody stole the two football players' June rent checks.

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Kim Zolciak and Kroy Biermann

In an exclusive interview with In Touch magazine, Elizabeth Seward, the ex-girlfriend of Atlanta Falcons player Kroy Biermann, says she was blindsided when she found out Kroy was cheating on her with 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star Kim Zolciak.

“It was crazy,” Elizabeth tells In Touch. She said she had been dating Kroy since January (2010) when she saw pictures of Kim and Kroy together at RHOA co-star Cynthia Bailey’s wedding.

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Don't Be Tardy episode 4

I know you don't watch Kim Zolciak's spin-off series "Don't Be Tardy", but one of our blog members, TheRealAshland, was featured in episode 4 which aired Tuesday (May 30). Ashland plays for the Atlanta Xplosion, a women's professional football team. Zolciak, who is married to Atlanta Falcon linebacker Kroy Beirmann, practiced with the women's football team to learn a little bit more about her husband's game.

See more photos from episode 4 of "Don't Be Tardy" after the break.

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San Francisco 49ers defeat Atlanta Falcons

San Francisco 49ers defeated the hapless Atlanta Falcons 28-24 after falling behind 17-0 at halftime in the NFC championship game Sunday. The Falcons' momentum faltered after fumbling the ball twice in the 3rd quarter.

The 49ers scrambling quarterback Colin Kaepernick, 25, rushed for only 21 yards in the game. But it was the mere threat of him running that discombobulated the Falcons defense. Kaepernick passed for 233 yards and one touchdown to earn himself a shot at winning his 1st Super Bowl ring.

The Falcons had a chance to win the game in the final seconds of the 4th quarter. But the 49ers defense held quarterback Matt Ryan and the Falcons on 4th-and-4 to win their first trip back to the Super Bowl in 18 years.

The 49ers will face the Baltimore Ravens in the big game that has been dubbed the 'Beyonce Bowl' in New Orleans on February 3.

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