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Carolina Panthers Let 13-Year-Old Girl Practice with Team ... She Hits Hard!!

6/22/2018 1:35 PM PDT
Breaking News

The Carolina Panthers just fulfilled a badass little girl's wish ... and they might have found the team's future linebacker in the process.

And, we're only kinda kidding.

13-year-old Kyleigh -- who's battling a severe endocrine disorder -- worked with Make-a-Wish Foundation to not only MEET the Panthers, but train with them as well ... and she crushed it. 

Superstar linebacker Thomas Davis hooked Kyleigh up with a helmet, jersey, gloves and team uni ... and let her rip into one of Carolina's OTA practices.

Turns out, she's pretty damn good.

"Kyleigh hit harder than Cap! Kyleigh hit harder than Cap!" Davis said, referring to DB Captain Munnerlyn.

Kyleigh's a legit athlete ... having won two wrestling championships ... and T.D. says the Panthers can learn as much from her as she can learn from them.

"She's a champion ... and when you have championship pedigree, I feel like it rubs off on everybody and she definitely rubbed off on a lot of us."

Carolina Panthers To Be Sold to New Owner ... Not Diddy

5/15/2018 6:05 AM PDT
Breaking News

Was Diddy successful in his bid to buy the Carolina Panthers? Uh uh, uh uh.  

Despite teaming up with Philadelphia 76ers owner Michael Rubin, Diddy's ownership group was NOT selected to purchase the NFL team ... instead, the new owner will be hedge fund manager David Tepper

Remember, Diddy publicly said he wanted to be the first black owner in the NFL -- and hoped the move would inspire and empower black America. 

He even got support from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft who said, "I'm a big fan of his."

But it was all for naught ... with Tepper reportedly sealing the purchase for more than $2 BILLION from Jerry Richardson, who paid $206 million for the rights to start the team in 1993. 

As for Tepper, he's not exactly an outsider ... he was already a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

The next step for Tepper ... league owners would vote to approve the sale later this month -- it's pretty much just a formality at this point. Consider it a done deal. 

Christian McCaffrey Sends Panthers Gifts To Hiker He Rescued

5/2/2018 11:58 AM PDT
Breaking News

The 72-year-old man who was rescued by Christian McCaffrey and his brother just got hooked up AGAIN -- this time the NFL star sent AWESOME Panthers gifts to celebrate being discharged from the hospital. 

As we previously reported, Christian -- along with his brothers and friends -- spotted 72-year-old Dan Smoker, who had suffered serious injuries after falling 20 feet during a hike in Colorado. 

Christian's group rushed to help -- with one of McCaffrey's friends performing chest compressions when the inured man stopped breathing. Christian called 911 and prayed with the man and his grandson until help arrived. 

Smoker suffered major injuries -- including several broken bones and bleeding on the brain -- but he's made a spectacular recovery and was recently released from the hospital. 

To celebrate, Christian sent Dan and his family a gift basket with autographed jerseys and an invite to a Panthers home game! 

Gotta love a story with a happy ending! 

Cam Newton Helps Special Olympics Athletes In Awesome Shopping Spree!

4/13/2018 6:55 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

Cam Newton did a really cool thing in Atlanta on Thursday ... rolling through a DICK'S Sporting Goods store to help a bunch of Special Olympics athletes crush a $200 shopping spree!!!

We're told there were 17 athletes at the store -- all local kids (from the same area where Cam grew up) ranging in age from 5 to 18.

Each athlete got $200 to spend in the store ($3,400 in total) -- from shoes to training gear or jerseys -- and Cam made sure each kid got the best stuff!

In fact, when one of the athletes (a Golden State Warriors fan) was having trouble deciding between a Steph Curry jersey and a Kevin Durant jersey ... Cam helped the guy make up his mind. 

Wanna guess which one he chose?  

BTW, props to Cam, the Cam Newton Foundation and the Special Olympics ... very cool stuff. 

Christian McCaffrey Hiking Accident 911 Call: 'Everybody Say a Prayer'

3/9/2018 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

TMZ Sports has obtained the harrowing 911 call Christian McCaffrey made to help save a stranger's life ... and it details how serious the accident was.

Christian, a friend, and his brother, Max -- a 49ers WR -- were hiking at Castle Rock, Colorado on March 3 when they spotted a 72-year-old man fall off a cliff ... landing on a rock 12 feet below.

McCaffrey sprang into action ... personally calling 911 and pleading for help to arrive ASAP.

The situation was clearly dire with CM telling the operator, "He's breathing barely."

While they waited for help, Christian can be heard telling people at the scene ... "Everybody say a prayer."

The man was transported to the hospital in critical condition where he remains. The son of the climber credits the guys with saving his dad's life.

Diddy I'm Serious About Buying Panthers ... Doing It For Black America

1/18/2018 11:14 AM PST
Breaking News

Diddy says he's 100% serious about buying the Carolina Panthers, and the reason he's doing it couldn't be more important ... 'cause he says it's all to inspire and empower black America.

Puff sat down with the crew on "The Breakfast Club" when he was asked if there were any updates on his efforts to purchase the squad.

Diddy made it clear it's totally real -- he's putting an investment group together -- and told everyone why he thought it was important for the black community to have NFL ownership.

"It was never about me buying the Panthers, it was always about we. It was always about we need a team. I jumped out there to make sure that they understood that they have to consider some black ownership right now with 80%, 70% of the league being African-American. It's just time."

Diddy goes on to say he gets why some people think he won't be able to do it ... there's a lot of yellow tape -- but it's clear he doesn't think anyone can stop him.

And we already know he won't stop.

T.I. NFL Ownership Sucks ... Here's Why

1/11/2018 7:10 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

T.I. says he does NOT want in on Diddy and Steph Curry's bid to buy the Carolina Panthers ... 'cause owning a team ain't all it's cracked up to be.

The rap star broke it down for us out in Beverly Hills ... telling TMZ Sports he wouldn't wanna blow his bankroll when the league rules with an iron fist.

"I don't wanna spend a bunch of money on something that I can't do what I want, when I want," T.I. said.

"If I spend tens of millions or hundreds of millions, I want full rein and jurisdiction over everything ... you can't do that with the NFL."

Don't get it twisted -- the King of the South says he's glad Steph and Diddy have a real shot to buy the squad ... but he clearly ain't interested in teaming up.

Steph Curry On Buying Panthers: 'I'll Do Whatever it Takes'

1/8/2018 12:34 PM PST
Breaking News

The Carolina Panthers are officially for sale now that their season is over ... and Steph Curry says he's willing to do "whatever it takes" to be one of the team's new owners.

After TMZ Sports caught up with the NBA superstar on Friday and asked about joining Diddy in pursuing the Panthers ... Steph doubled down on his serious interest to reporters at Warriors practice on Monday.

"It's a pretty interesting opportunity. I've had conversations with many people about the right way to go about it and different approaches I can personally take."

Steph says he's already had talks with Diddy about the "different opportunities and options" they can pursue together ... but it definitely sounds like Curry is serious about being involved.

Cam Newton Famous CTE Expert Calls BS ... That's a Concussion

1/8/2018 6:29 AM PST
Breaking News

The co-founder of the Boston University CTE Center believes Cam Newton suffered a concussion during Sunday's NFL playoff game ... and says Cam's excuse for going back in the game is a joke. 

The Panthers QB was rocked in the 4th quarter of the Wild Card game against the Saints -- collapsing while jogging toward the sideline. 

He was examined by medical personnel and was cleared to reenter the game. Newton later said he did NOT feel like he had a concussion, but suffered an eye injury from his helmet slipping down. 

Sure. 

Enter Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. -- one of the most famous and esteemed CTE experts in the world ... who also played college football and wrestled for the WWE. 

"This 'Cam Newton's visor poked him in the eye' is the greatest storyline in the history of sports," Nowinski said. 

"And I'm saying that as a former WWE wrestler. Watch the video, you don't collapse after that him because you need ice on your face. It's a #concussion."

Diddy Full Support from Al Sharpton ... 'Perfect' for NFL

12/21/2017 6:21 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Diddy has another big supporter in his corner in his quest for NFL ownership -- with Al Sharpton saying the business mogul could fix a BUNCH of the league's PR problems. 

"He would be the perfect mixture of business acumen and pizzazz," Sharpton said -- pointing to Diddy's success in music and fashion. 

Sharpton also thinks Colin Kaepernick deserves a place at the owner's table -- saying his knowledge as a "football scholar" would pair perfectly with Diddy. 

But most importantly, Sharpton says -- the two men could break NFL owners out of "last century mentality and culture."

Jay Glazer The NFL Needs Diddy ... Here's Why

12/20/2017 9:22 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Jay Glazer says the NFL should be rollin' out the red carpet for Diddy -- 'cause they need him more than he needs them.

We got the NFL Insider leaving Craig's in L.A. ... and Jay told us why the league would be lucky to bring on a man of Diddy's diverse talents.

"Great businessman, guy knows sports ... the NFL needs more people like Diddy in the league who can kinda forward think a little bit more and certainly knows how to build a brand," Glazer told TMZ Sports.

So when it comes to Puff potentially buying the Carolina Panthers -- Jay's with Nipsey Hussle.

"Diddy should be an owner. Absolutely. A million percent."

Nipsey Hussle Rips Anti-Diddy Newscasters ... 'We Gon' Beat Yo Ass!'

12/19/2017 8:59 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Nipsey Hussle says Diddy and Colin Kaepernick are about to be the NFL's first black owners -- and he's gonna personally smack anyone trying to hold 'em down!

FYI, a Bay Area newscaster is under fire over a segment mocking Puff's bid to buy the Panthers -- with the reporter saying he looked drunk and high, and claiming the hip-hop mogul was too broke to buy the team.  

Nipsey's response?

"F*ck the n***a that was doubtin' them on the news, woofin’ that sh*t. We gon’ catch you and beat yo ass, n***a."

"Got some homegirls for that bitch, too!" the rapper told TMZ Sports outside Catch in L.A.

We also got Nipsey's bro, YG, out at Staples Center ... and it's pretty clear he's got Diddy and Kaep's backs, too. 

Diddy Praised By Patriots' Owner 'I'm a Big Fan of His'

12/19/2017 12:40 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Diddy just got a huge endorsement from one of the most powerful men in the NFL -- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft ... who says he's a huge fan of the rap mogul.

It's high praise -- and the timing couldn't be better ... with Diddy publicly declaring his intentions to become the next owner of the Carolina Panthers

So, when we saw Kraft in Bev Hills with his GF, Ricki Noel Lander, we asked if he thinks Diddy has the chops to crush in the NFL. 

"I'm a big fan of Diddy," Kraft tells TMZ Sports ..."He's a good businessman. He's a very good businessman and I have a lot of respect for Diddy."

Unclear how they know each other, but this is a pretty big deal for Diddy. 

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