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Ex-NBA Commish David Stern Roger Goodell's Doing A 'Great Job' ... w/ Nat'l Anthem Protests

5/25/2018 12:15 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Roger Goodell is doing a helluva job as NFL commish ... and that's coming from a guy who ran the NBA for 30 years, David Stern.

TMZ Sports saw Stern in NYC ... and with the debate over the NFL's new rule on the National Anthem protest raging ... we asked the former commish how he'd handle the controversy.

Stern didn't exactly answer the question ... but he did offer a ringing endorsement to the NFL's head honcho.

"I think that commisioner Goodell is doing a great job in difficult circumstances."

He went on to say ... "I think every league needs rules to cover every situation. I don't know what rule I would implement, but there should be a rule that treats everyone fairly, and uniformly."

FYI -- the new regulation has been polarizing. Prez Trump and VP Pence applauded the league ... while others have been super critical of Goodell and the NFL.

We also talked to Stern about LeBron and the NBA playoffs.

Tyron Woodley Kendrick Should've Given 'N-Word Pass' ... To White Concertgoer

5/25/2018 12:05 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

UFC Champ Tyron Woodley says Kendrick Lamar should've let a white concertgoer get away with saying the n-word ... saying the young lady deserved a pass.

It happened last week during a concert in Alabama ... Kendrick admonished the fan when she let the word slip during a performance of "M.A.A.D. City," and of course it instantly went viral.

Woodley was on his show "The Hollywood Beatdown" when the topic came up ... and Tyron took the wrong less traveled by black dudes, saying he thought the young lady was GREAT.

"I thought it was hilarious. I thought how confident she was, no reservation, no hesitation, she came right off the nugget. She didn't miss one line."

Hope you didn't think he'd stop there ... Tyron went to explain that he routinely gives n-word passes when he does stand-up comedy, and tries to get his co-host Evan (white dude) to says the word.

Evan passes ... which is UNDOUBTEDLY the smart decision.

Check out the 'Beatdown' every Friday on the TMZ Sports YouTube channel.

Deion Sanders Tom Brady Doesn't Need OTAs ... To Win a Super Bowl

5/24/2018 3:15 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Deion Sanders has a message for people worried about Tom Brady skipping organized team activities (OTAs) this week ...

WHOOOOO CARES!?!?!?

TMZ Sports asked Primetime -- who claims to have only attended OTAs twice during his Hall of Fame career -- about TB12 no-showing at the voluntary practices ... and he says it's NBD because Brady's already proven what he can do.

ICYMI -- Bill Belichick seemed pissed about Tom's absence from Patriots OTAs ... telling reporters, "I'm not gonna talk about the people who aren't here," on Tuesday.

Sanders ain't looking into that either ... saying that's always how the coach acts.

Bottom line -- Sanders says it's inevitable Brady and Co. are headed for Super Bowl 53 in ATL this year ... and no rumored beef is gonna keep the Patriots from making it happen.

Warren Moon Kneeling Rule Was Right Decision ... Not Perfect, But Close

5/24/2018 1:47 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

NFL Hall of Famer Warren Moon says the NFL's kneeling rule isn't a perfect solution to the national anthem protests ... but in his opinion, it's the right thing to do to turn the focus back to football.

League owners sent shockwaves through the sports world, announcing penalties for any player who elects to kneel on the field while the national anthem is played.

Some were outraged, saying the league is unfairly muzzling the players -- but Moon doesn't agree, and told TMZ Sports it was time to get back to concentrating on football.

"This way all the attention goes back to the anthem and takes it away from the players, which it should be, because the anthem is the anthem and it should stand alone because it's for everybody."

Warren also said the solution wasn't without it's flaws, but was "as close to perfect as you're gonna get," because all the controversy was hurting the business of the NFL.

The NFLPA is currently mulling whether or not the new rule is a violation of the current CBA ... but it's clear Moon is right about the owners wanting to deal a death blow to the protests.

Nicole Eggert No Regrets In Baio Case!!!

5/24/2018 1:31 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Nicole Eggert says she knew it'd be a long shot for law enforcement to find a prosecutable case against Scott Baio -- but she doesn't regret for a second pursuing her allegations.

Nicole talked to us about her moral victory over Baio. We broke the story ... Baio won't be prosecuted for allegedly molesting Nicole while working on "Charles in Charge." Still, our sources say the D.A. believed Nicole's story. 

She says she doesn't regret pursuing the case as vigorously as she did, because she says she wanted her truth out there. Nicole also told us whether she'd accept an apology from Baio, at this point.

Baio's rep says “According to on the record statements from the Los Angeles District Attorney, TMZ's source on this matter is incorrect, and the status of the case is unchanged. Similarly, we do not believe the various claims about comments about the strength of Ms. Eggert’s allegations are accurate. Ms. Eggert is now also subject to a restraining order for stalking a Baio fan using social media, which she has already violated. We believe Scott will be fully vindicated when this matter actually concludes, and Ms. Eggert will then be held fully accountable for her untrue and defamatory claims.”

TMZ reported the fact the D.A. handling the case found Nicole "credible" after meeting with her Wednesday, and that Scott would not be prosecuted based on the statute of limitations.

Our information is based on unimpeachable law enforcement sources directly connected to the case.

Rep. Al Green to President Trump One More Racial Slur & I'm Coming For You!!!

5/24/2018 7:21 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

President Trump has officially been put on notice by a Democratic lawmaker hell-bent on impeaching 45 ... and it's got nothing to do with the Russians.

We got Congressman Al Green at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and wanted him to clarify the statements he made last week ... saying there's a likelihood impeachment articles would be filed if Democrats regain control of both branches in Congress.

Green's adamant Trump's committed impeachable offenses, but his beef has nothing to do with Robert Mueller's investigation into whether Russians meddled in the 2016 elections. Green argues there's bigotry emanating from the presidency, and he's out to put an end to Trump's act.

Common NFL Anthem Policy Is Un-American

5/24/2018 6:29 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Common says the new NFL anthem policy is robbing players of their freedom of speech -- and that's not what this country is supposed to be about. 

"I just think ... telling people what they should do during a ceremony is not really what the country is based on," Common told us while out in Bev Hills. 

"Freedom of speech, freedom to be who you are ... This country is supposed to be about us being independent and being able to be who we are. Especially in a ceremony where people aren't trying to disrespect anything."

Common says Colin Kaepernick's intent with his demonstration wasn't to disrespect the flag or the military -- but rather put a spotlight on racial injustice, specifically the wave of black people being killed by police.  

But at the end of the day, Common says the NFL is a business and the kneeling was hurting the bottom line ... so the NFL made a business move. 

NY Jets CEO Screw The NFL's Anthem Rule ... I'll Pay The Fines!!

5/23/2018 2:43 PM PDT
Breaking News

NY Jets chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson says to hell with the NFL's new policy on restricting anthem protests ... and vows to pay  the fines HIMSELF if his players kneel!

"If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players," Christopher told Newsday.

"There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that's just something I'll have to bear."

FYI, Christopher is the brother of team owner Woody Johnson -- who is currently serving as the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, after being nominated by President Trump

Johnson added that while he prefers his players stand, he says it's not his nor the league's place "to put restrictions on the speech of our players."

The policy was shredded by critics almost immediately after it was announced ... but it appears Johnson and the Jets have found a workaround.

Malcolm Jenkins Rips NFL Anthem Policy 'Won't Let It Silence Me'

5/23/2018 2:32 PM PDT
Breaking News

Malcolm Jenkins says he will not let the NFL's new national anthem policy "silence me or stop me from fighting" ... saying the owners are "[thwarting] the players' constitutional rights."

The Philadelphia Eagles star never took a knee during the anthem -- but did raise his fist -- and has been very outspoken about players like Colin Kaepernick having the right to protest if they so choose. 

So, when the NFL announced the new anthem policy on Wednesday -- requiring players on the field to stand -- Jenkins sounded off. 

"What NFL owners did today was thwart the players' constitutional rights to express themselves and use our platform to draw attention to social injustices like racial inequality in our country," Jenkins says.

"Everyone loses when voices get stifled."

"While I disagree with this decision, I will not let it silence me or stop me from fighting."

"The national conversation around race in America that NFL players forced over the past 2 years will persist as we continue to use our voices, our time and our money to create a more fair and just criminal justice system, end police brutality and foster better educational and economic opportunities for communities of color and those struggling in this country."

"For me, this has never been about taking a knee, raising a fist or anyone's patriotism but doing what we can to effect real change for real people. #thefightcontinues."

Van Lathan Schools Josh Denny on N-Word After 'Straight White Male' Controversy

5/23/2018 10:55 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has come under fire for his recent comment that "'Straight White Male' has become this century's N-Word," and his convo with TMZ's Van Lathan only added fuel ... when Denny used the racial slur multiple times.

Josh was a guest on Van's 'The Red Pill' podcast this week to discuss the controversy, but got off to a rocky start by saying the n-word. Despite Van asking him to refrain from using it, Denny launched into a story about his dad telling a racist joke and said it again ... 3 times!!!

Check it out -- Van shuts Josh down for dropping the n-bomb by explaining how it disregards and disrespects his wishes ... and the 2 have to build trust in order to make progress.

You can check out Van's full interview with Josh below, and listen to 'The Red Pill' podcast weekly on SoundCloud.

President Trump Can't Hide from Haters on Twitter ... It's Unconstitutional!!

5/23/2018 10:46 AM PDT
Breaking News

President Trump's taking a big ole 'L' in court and on Twitter, and it's a victory -- of sorts -- for the likes of Chrissy Teigen and Rosie O'Donnell.

A federal judge ruled on Wednesday it's unconstitutional for the Prez to block anyone on the social media platform just because they disagree with him or his policies. The judge said that because he's a government official, Trump can't censor opposing views. 

POTUS has famously blocked Chrissy, Rosie, Stephen King and, for some reason (fear of vampires?), author Anne Rice -- not to mention many non-famous tweeters.

Anyway, the judge said it doesn't matter that Trump started his Twitter account before he was in the White House -- fact is, he's there now, and he works for the American people.

Even the ones who strongly disagree with or troll him on the Internet.

T.I.'s Wife Tiny Disagrees with Hubby Don't Shut Down Houston's

5/23/2018 6:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

T.I.'s wife, Tiny, doesn't carry the same outrage over the latest incident at Houston's restaurant ... it seems she doesn't want the chain shut down, and not just because the food is delicious.

We got Tiny Tuesday at The Grove in WeHo and she definitely feels the security guard at the restaurant crossed the line when he allegedly dragged the women out of the bathroom, but she doesn't think it was racially motivated since the guard appeared to be African-American.

She believes the security guard should be reprimanded for getting so physical with the ladies and nothing more. She clearly doesn't believe that Malcolm X tactics are appropriate under these circumstances -- something her hubby has clearly embraced.  

Agree to disagree.

R. Kelly My 'Too Late' Speech Was No Diss, Just a Shout-Out to Me

5/23/2018 12:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

R. Kelly was recently filmed saying it's "too late" for those trying to #MuteRKelly -- but his speech was more about his strong legacy than it was anything else.

A new video shows Kelly making a toast with friends, and him saying "it's too late" as well as "They should've did this s*** 30 years ago." While some took that to mean his accusers were too late, we're told that's not what he meant.

Sources close to Kels tell TMZ ... Kelly was simply celebrating with his pals -- including former basketball player Antoine Walker -- rather than bashing any of his accusers. We're told his "too late" comment was in reference to those trying to silence him, like Spotify.

Fact is ... R. Kelly's streaming numbers have actually gone up since Spotify announced it was removing his music from its playlists. Sources say Kelly was simply pointing out his music has made its impact around the world, and nothing will change that.

We broke the story ... Kelly's now being sued by a woman who claims he sexually assaulted her, falsely imprisoned her and gave her herpes. She also secretly recorded Kelly earlier this month, trying to coax him into a confession. 

Kelly is facing many other allegations of sexual misconduct ... including running an alleged sex cult. He's vehemently denied that, though.

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