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Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open after she was fined $15,000 and threatened with disqualification for refusing to take part in a press conferences.

The 23-year-old tennis champ, who plays for Japan, was a no-show during her post-match press conference on Sunday, May 30, after defeating Romania's Patricia Maria Tig.

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Tournament officials at Roland Garros threatened Naomi and warned her that higher fines and a possible suspension could be issued if she refused to speak to the press.

Osaka made headlines last week when she issued a statement saying she would skip post-match press conferences at the French Open, citing mental health concerns.

"I've often felt that people have no regard for athletes mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one.

"We're often sat there and asked questions that we've been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I'm just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me."

And in an email to French Open officials Naomi insisted her actions are "100 percent nothing against the French Open or even the press members themselves."

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In a statement posted on social media on Sunday, the world's No. 2 women's tennis player wrote:

"Hey everyone, this isn't a situation I ever imagined or intended when I posted a few days ago. I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris.

"I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly. The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that."

Tournament bosses released a statement that read: "We have advised Naomi Osaka that should she continue to ignore her media obligations, she would be exposing herself to possible further code of conduct infringement consequences."

Officials said "repeat violations" could result in "tougher sanctions including default from the tournament and the trigger of a major offense investigation that could lead to more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions."

Naomi was scheduled to play against Romania's Ana Bogdan during the French Open on Wednesday.

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The New York Knicks have banned a rude fan who spit on Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference playoffs at Madison Square Garden.

The fan, who was in the second row, spit over those sitting in the front row -- including rapper 50 Cent and his girlfriend.

The ball club investigated the incident and concluded the fan was not a season ticket holder.

"We investigated the matter and determined that this patron, who is not a season ticket holder, did indeed spit on Trae Young, and for that reason, he is now banned from The Garden indefinitely."

The statement continued:

"We apologize to Trae and the entire Atlanta Hawks organization for this fan's behavior. This was completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our venue. We have turned the information over to the appropriate authorities."

The team did not address reports that Knicks fans received handouts instructing them to chant "Trae Young is balding!"

Young responded to a video of the spitting incident on Twitter Thursday morning.

"Damn Crazy! @50cent y'all good?! Crazy ! Keep ya mask on my boy "#ThatsJustChildish."

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Twitter/@jaklap, Elsa/Getty Images

NY Knicks fans mocked Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young by chanting "Trae is balding" during game 2 of the NBA playoffs Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.

The taunting was enough to throw the 22-year-old superstar off his game as the Knicks coasted to a 101-92 win to tie the series at 1-1.

Wednesday's playoffs win was the first for the Knicks since 2013.

Trae's unruly hair has been the subject of discussion since he entered the league as a first round draft pick in 2018.

One sports blogger noted his flyaway hair looked like "the stuff that get caught in the shower drain."

In a post titled, "It's time to talk about Trae Young's hair," the blogger noted Trae's receding hairline and his balding dome.

Even before the game 2 started at Madison Square Garden, Knicks fans received handouts urging them to chant "Trae is balding!"

Twitter user @jaklap wrote, the "entire garden has been handed these."

Twitter

Naomi Osaka plans to skip press conferences at the upcoming French Open, citing mental health of the athletes.

In a lengthy social media post, Naomi said some sports reporters disregard the mental health of players after a tough loss.

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Naomi said she will skip press conferences and pay the hefty fines ($20,000), which she hopes will go towards a mental health charity.

"Hey everyone -

Hope you're all doing well, I'm writing this to say I'm not going to do any press during Roland Garros. I've often felt that people have no regard for athletes mental health and this rings true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one.

We're often sat there and asked questions that we've been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I'm just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me. I've watched many clips of athletes breaking down after a loss in the press room and I know you have as well.

I believe that whole situation is kicking a person while they're down and I don't understand the reasoning behind it. Me not doing press is nothing personal to the tournament and a couple journalists have interviewed me since I was young so I have a friendly relationship with most of them.

However, if the organizations think that they can just keep saying, 'do press or you're gonna be fined,' and continue to ignore the mental health of the athletes that are the centerpiece of their cooperation then I just gotta laugh.

Anyways, I hope the considerable amount that I get fined for this will go towards a mental health charity.
xoxo."

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A Philadelphia 76ers fan who tossed popcorn at Russell Westbrook was ejected from the arena and banned from attending future games.

The incident happened on Wednesday, May 26, when the Washington Wizards star was limping to the locker room after suffering a minor injury during Sixers Game 2 win.

As he limped into the tunnel, a Sixers fans causally dropped a few popcorn kernels on his head.

Westbrook went berserk as at least four strong assistants struggled mightily to restrain him.

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Twitter

Westbrook has a long history of verbal altercations with NBA fans in the stands. They know how to trigger the sensitive superstar.

NBA fans and players reacted to the incident on social media.

LeBron James, who is also a favorite target for hate, tweeted:

"By the way WE AS THE PLAYERS wanna see who threw that popcorn on Russ while he was leaving the game tonight with a injury!! There’s cameras all over arenas so there’s no excuse! Cause if the [shoe] was on the other [foot]. #ProtectOurPlayers."

 

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Twitter users expressed outrage at WNBA star Liz Cambage for calling Connecticut Sun head coach Curt Miller a "little white one".

Cambage, 29, used the slur in response to Miller wight-shaming her during a game on Sunday.

Miller was fined $10,000 by the WNBA for criticizing Cambage's weight during the Suns' 72-65 win over the Aces at Michelob ULTRA Arena.

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Cambage is perfectly proportioned for her height, but she took offense to the comment anyway.

The Australian bauty posted a video to Twitter in which she said Miller was arguing a call and told a ref, "Come on, she's 300 pounds."

"One thing about me is that I will never let a man disrespect me - especially a little white one," Cambage said in the video. "For a coach on another team to be yelling like protected abuse, 'cause we can't do nothing back, it's just crazy to me."

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She went on to say she was 6-foot-8 and weighed 235 pounds.

"So to the coach of Connecticut — I'm sorry, little sir man, I do not know your name. But the next time you try to call out a referee trying to get a call being like, 'come on, she's 300 pounds,’ I'm going to need you to get it right baby, 'cause I'm 6-8... I'm weighing 235 pounds and I'm very proud of being a big b----, big body, big Benz, baby."

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But Twitter criticized dragged Cambage for bringing Miller's skin color into the discussion.

"I like Liz Cambage, but she clapped back by calling him a "little white boy"?? That's even ground for suspension if we're playing this game," said Rob Stukenborg on Twitter.

Another user slammed the New York Times for "conveniently" leaving Cambage's "racist" comment out of its report about the controversy. The paper cut off Cambage's quote before she mentioned the slur.

Richard Bradley tweeted: "I just don't get how it's wrong for a coach to say a player weighs 300 pounds but it's acceptable for a player to refer to that coach as 'a little white one.'"

Twitter user Frankie, wrote: "So Liz Cambage can get mad at a man for bringing up her size in the heat of a game, but it's okay for her to say that she will 'never let a little white man' disrespect her? What she said is worse lmaooo."
 

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Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

The WNBA has fined Connecticut Head Coach and General Manager Curt Miller for weight-shaming Las Vegas Aces star Liz Cabbage.

Miller was fined $10,000 for criticizing Cambage's weight during the Suns' 72-65 win over the Aces at Michelob ULTRA Arena on Sunday.

Cambage, 29, posted a video to Twitter in which she said Miller was arguing a call during the game when he mentioned her imposing size by telling a ref, "Come on, she's 300 pounds."

"One thing about me is that I will never let a man disrespect me - especially a little white one," Cambage said in the video. "For a coach on another team to be yelling like protected abuse, 'cause we can't do nothing back, it's just crazy to me."

She continued:

"So to the coach of Connecticut — I'm sorry, little sir man, I do not know your name. But the next time you try to call out a referee trying to get a call being like, 'come on, she's 300 pounds,’ I'm going to need you to get it right baby, 'cause I'm 6-8... I'm weighing 235 pounds and I'm very proud of being a big b----, big body, big Benz, baby. So don't ever try to disrespect me or another woman in the league."

Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

Miller issued a statement on Monday, apologizing to Cambage and acknowledging that his comment was inappropriate.

"I made an inappropriate and offensive comment in reference to Liz Cambage's height and weight," he said. "I regret what I said in the heat of the moment and want to sincerely apologize to Liz and the entire Aces organization. I understand the gravity of my words and have learned from this.

"As a leader, words matter. It was inappropriate. In a league where we empower women, and I've spent 31 years empowering women, just not acceptable."

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Damian Lillard called out online trolls for poking fun at a viral photo of former teammate Caleb Swanigan.

The photo went viral because of Caleb's weight gain a year after he left the NBA. One Twitter user posted the photo along with the caption: "How the hell does one go from this to that in a year?????"

Damian took offense to the trolling. "If you're gonna post this shit with real concern then that's cool. But don't ask "how does one go from this to that", he's clearly having some real life issues."

Damian urged people to have sympathy because Caleb struggled with obesity issues his entire life. He weighed as much as 400 pounds as a child. And his father weighed 500 pounds at the time of his death when Caleb was only three years old.

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Caleb, 24, was a Portland Trailblazer for two years until he was traded to the Sacramento Kings in 2019. He returned to Portland in early 2020 and is currently a free agent.

The image went viral after Caleb pleaded guilty to marijuana possession in an Indiana courtroom on Monday.

He was arrested on Dec. 23 by a Columbia City Police officer who smelled marijuana during a traffic stop in northern Indiana.

Police found 3.4 pounds of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and $3,415 in cash inside his car.

Caleb was given a 180 day suspended sentence with two days time served.

The former Purdue University basketball standout was voted Mr. Basketball in 2015. He was affectionately called "Biggie" by his friends and family.

BACKGRID

Serena Williams lost in straight sets to Katerina Siniakova in round 2 of the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma, Italy on Tuesday.

She was the top seed going into the second round when she lost to 18-year-old Katerina, 7-6 (7-4) 6-2.

Serena was invited to play in Parma after losing in the opening round at the Italian Open last week.

BACKGRID

The 39-year-old mom-of-one has less than two weeks to prepare for the start of the French Open on May 30.

Serena has lost the last three Slam final events as she struggles to draw even with Australian tennis legend Margaret Court's record 24 Grand Slams.

BACKGRID

The curvy tennis champ was criticized on Black Twitter for apparently bleaching her skin in preparation for the next chapter of her life after she hangs up her tennis rackets for good.

BACKGRID

One Twitter user wrote: "Man did Serena Williams really bleach her skin? I knew it was going left after she married ol boy," referring to Serena's Caucasian husband, Alexis Ohanian.

Another user tweeted, "Serena Williams bleach her skin smh ... wow that's nasty for real."
 

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Rapper J. Cole has apparently taken a hiatus from rapping to fulfill his dream as a professional basketball player.

After being passed over in the 2021 NBA draft, the 36-year-old rapper is showing off his skills in a new African sports league.

Cole is allegedly set to sign for the Rwanda Patriots this week and will suit up for the team's match against the Nigeria River Hoopers on Sunday. The game is as part of the inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League, according to ESPN.

The news was first reported by the New Times Rwanda, which covered Cole recently arriving in Africa to begin quarantine ahead of the weekend game.

The Basketball Africa League will feature 12 teams, each made up of eight locals and four from other countries.

Cole has yet to comment on his new side career, but the North Carolina native isn't turning his back on music yet. His sixth studio album, The Off-Season, will be released on May, 14, 2021.