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Jimmy Graham & Pierre Garcon

Ballin' it Up with U.S. Soldiers

... In Afghanistan

3/12/2014 12:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details
311_graham_garcon_uso_launch Jimmy Graham only knows one speed -- game speed -- and during a USO trip to Afghanistan last week, he broke out his basketball skills during a 1-on-1 game with a U.S. solider. 

The New Orleans Saints star -- along with Redskins WR Pierre Garcon and Dolphins punter Brandon Fields -- went to the Middle East to visit soldiers in the field. 

"It was an uplifting experience," Garcon tells TMZ Sports ... "It's amazing seeing the work they are doing to protect us."

Garcon says everyone he met was a huge sports fan -- "They were telling us stories about how they wake up at 3am to watch football. And then depending on how their team does, they're in a good mood or bad for the rest of the day."

The gang not only traveled, ate and hung out with the soldiers -- they also tossed around a football in their downtime. 

"This experience for me has truly been life-changing," Graham said in a statement following the trip ... "I grew up in a Military home and this just makes me more of a patriot. I have more of an appreciation for the little things we have back home each and every day."

Darren Sharper

D.A. Is Tweet-Smearing Me

Destroying My Shot at Fair Trial

2/20/2014 4:11 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Darren Sharper is getting screwed by the L.A. District Attorney ... so says the NFL star's lawyer who claims prosecutors are unfairly trying to destroy his image 140-characters at a time.

Sharper's lawyer, Blair Berk, filed documents blasting the D.A. for an attempted "Trial by Twitter Feed."

In her scathing attack on the D.A., Berk unloads on prosecutors -- claiming they've "embarked on an orchestrated press campaign, through it's paid publicists, to smear Mr. Sharper in the media."

Berk says the D.A. has "intentionally [distributed] highly inflammatory and prejudicial, false, misleading and/or un-adjudicated evidence in this case, clearly intended to destroy Mr. Sharper's presumption of innocence and ability to get a fair trial without even a shred of evidence having ever been properly been admitted in a court of law."

Berk says the D.A. blew off Sharper's camp and ignored his request to present his side of the story before blasting out a statement to the media via the D.A.'s twitter account.

Berk is now asking the judge to step in and shut the D.A. up before they cause any more damage to Sharper's ability to get a fair trial.

Darren Sharper

Judge BANS Him from Nightclubs

And You Can't Be Alone with Women

2/20/2014 3:02 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news
Darren Sharper has just been BANNED from all nightclubs and bars PLUS he's not allowed to be alone with any new women ... so ruled a judge who just announced the terms of Sharper's bail in his L.A. rape case.

The former New Orleans Saints superstar -- sporting a grey suit with no tie -- just appeared in L.A. County Superior Court and plead NOT GUILTY  to allegations he drugged and raped two women in L.A.

The judge set Sharper's bail to $1 million and set a series of strict terms, which were actually proposed by Sharper's lawyer:

-- Sharper is to remain in L.A. County
-- Sharper was ordered to surrender his passport
-- Sharper must stay away from nightclubs or bars or any other establishments where alcohol is the primary item for sale.
-- Sharper may NOT be alone with any female he did not know prior to October 30, 2013.

During the hearing, prosecutors claimed they have evidence which shows Sharper had gone through 70 pills of Ambien in 65 days.

FYI -- prosecutors allege Sharper would use Ambien to spike the drinks of his victims.

He's due back in court on April 15.

Darren Sharper

Surveillance Footage

Poses Problems for Prosecutors

2/20/2014 12:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details
0214-tmz-darren-sharperSurveillance video has surfaced in the Darren Sharper rape investigation that could blow a huge hole in the case for Arizona prosecutors -- and it's all because of what the footage DOESN'T show ... TMZ Sports has learned.

According to the police report ... Sharper's accusers claim they partied with the NFL star at a bar called The Mint for roughly 10 to 15 minutes in the hours before he allegedly drugged and raped the 2 women.

Problem is, multiple sources tell TMZ Sports ... Sharper is nowhere to be seen in security footage taken from The Mint on the night of the alleged attacks.

In addition ... multiple staff members also told cops they never saw Sharper inside their bar that night.

Clearly, this presents a big problem for prosecutors because it could undermine the accusers' credibility.

For his part, Sharper denies any wrongdoing ... not just in AZ, but in all 4 states where he's been accused of raping women.

Darren Sharper

Shock at His Female Football Camp

'He Could've Had Anyone'

2/16/2014 12:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Several women who attended Darren Sharper's female football camp are blown away by allegations he raped multiple women -- telling TMZ Sports he could've had any woman he wanted!

The New Orleans Saints superstar hosted the "Football Camp for Her" in N.O. back in 2011 and 2012 ... teaching women about the sport. The event raised money for a breast cancer charity.

Now, after he was charged with drugging 4 women and raping two of them over a 3-month period, some of the women from camp tell us they couldn't be more shocked.

"I saw the way the women were looking at him," one camper says ... "He could've had anyone of those girls. He's a triple threat -- pretty, rich and talented."

All of the women we spoke with described Darren as a "nice guy" ... "He was friendly.. he was a gentleman."

One women told us, "Darren is the type of person that anyone in this town would want as their neighbor."

Of course, Sharper denies the rape allegations ... but one of the female campers says, "If he's guilty, I feel sorry for him that he's that sick."

Darren Sharper


... Cops Say

2/15/2014 7:53 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news
Officials believe they have a smoking gun in the Darren Sharper rape investigatin ... a shot glass that tested positive for a drug used to knock people out ... this according to court documents.

The L.A. County D.A. filed documents in which the former New Orleans Saints star is accused of drugging 11 people in multiple states (CA, LA, AZ, NV) and raping 7 WOMEN.

But the hardest proof may come from AZ -- where Sharper is accused of going home with 3 women he met in a Scottsdale nightclub on Nov. 20.

According to the docs, Sharper went to their place and poured 2 of them shots. Sharper allegedly raped both of the women.

But ... the next day, the women went to the cops -- and one of the shot glasses Sharper allegedly used to drug his victims was collected from the apartment.

The glass was tested ... and cops say the results show it tested positive for Ambien -- the drug Sharper allegedly used to drug all of his victims.

Sharper was never arrested in AZ -- but he was charged with raping two women in L.A. and if convicted, faces more than 30 years behind bars.

Darren Sharper

Scratched from Celebrity Cruise

After Rape Allegations

2/15/2014 12:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Darren Sharper has been REMOVED from an upcoming celebrity cruise to Mexico in the wake of horrific rape allegations ... TMZ Sports has learned.

We know ... the former New Orleans Saints superstar had been booked to appear on the 1st Annual "Saints Ahoy Charity Celebrity Fan Cruise" to Cozumel, Mexico on March 13th.

Sharper was supposed to join fellow Saints studs Lance Moore, Roman Harper and Kenny Stills.

But after Sharper was arrested in L.A. last month for allegedly raping multiple women -- the cruise decided to cut Sharper from the event immediately.


A rep for the cruise tells us, "The minute the allegation became public, Darren was removed from the cruise."

"The people in charge of the charities didn't want it to hurt the sales. It was the best thing for the cruise."

We're told Sharper "no longer has any affiliation with the event."

Darren Sharper


NFL Star Allegedly Drugged Multiple Women

2/14/2014 8:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
0124-tmz-darren-sharperDarren Sharper has just been charged with 2 counts of rape in L.A. ... after the former New Orleans Saints superstar allegedly drugged multiple women and raped them in his hotel room ... TMZ Sports has learned.

Among the charges ... two counts of rape by use of drugs, four counts of furnishing a controlled substance and one count of possession of a controlled substance, all felonies.
Sharper -- who had a Hall of Fame-caliber NFL career as a safety -- is accused of drugging the women with zolpidem (Ambien).

Officials say Sharper met the two women in a West Hollywood nightclub on October 30th and invited them to another party.

On the way, officials say they stopped at Darren's hotel room and he gave them each a shot.

The women then passed out and hours later one of the women claims she woke up with Sharper sexually assaulting her.  The second woman says she woke up and "interrupted his actions."

Officials say Sharper STRUCK AGAIN on January 14th ... when he returned to the same West Hollywood nightclub and found two more women.

Sharper allegedly pulled the same scheme -- inviting them back to hs room, gave them a shot, they passed out, he raped them.

Officials say both women left his hotel and sought medical treatment.

Sharper was arrested on January 17th. He was released on $200k bail.  In addition to the rape, officials also say he was illegally in possession of morphine.

If convicted, Sharper faces more than 30 YEARS in prison. Officials are recommending the judge set his bail at $100 MILLION.

(Update: We're told the $100 million bail was a typo ... officials meant to request a $10 MILLION bail).

Officials say Sharper is also accused of raping women in 3 other states -- including Arizona, Nevada and Louisiana.

As we previously reported, Sharper has addressed the allegations in Louisiana ... claiming the sexual encounter was consensual.

Drew Brees

Stays Classy in San Diego

... With His Kids

2/11/2014 11:17 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
0211_drew_brees_kids_launch_v2Drew Brees returned to the city that kicked him to the curb this week ... San Diego ... but not without reminding the locals which team he plays for now.

The NFL superstar hit up a local park with 2 of his sons for a little baseball workout ... they ran the bases, played catch ... it was adorable.

But the funny thing ... Brees -- who played for the Chargers before they stupidly let him go in 2006 -- had one of his kids dressed up in a New Orleans Saints jersey (#43 Darren Sproles).

Never forget. 

Drew Brees

I'll NEVER Remove My Birthmark

Unless It Becomes a Threat

1/31/2014 8:24 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Drew Brees tells TMZ Sports ... he's COMMITTED to the famous birthmark on his face and has no plans to remove it ... EVER ... unless doctors tell him it poses a threat to his health.

This video is AWESOME ... Brees was at a NYC event for the Super Service Challenge -- an organization that encourages people to do positive things in their communities -- when he opened up about all sorts of stuff.

Besides the mole talk, Brees (who's from Texas) set the record straight about which movie more accurately portrayed his high school football experience in the Lone Star State -- "Varsity Blues" or "Friday Night Lights."

His explanation actually makes a lot of sense.

As for the Super Service Challenge -- Drew also tells us why he believes the organization is so important to him and his organization, The Brees Dream Foundation.


Seattle Seahawks

Two Cities HAVE NOT Paid Up

After NFL Playoff Bets

1/28/2014 12:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
There's a little Aaron Rodgers syndrome going around in the NFL ... 'cause TMZ Sports has learned the mayors of S.F. and N.O. have still not paid off their bets after their teams LOST to the Seahawks in the playoffs.

Here's the deal ... the mayor of Seattle made "fun bets" with the guys in charge of San Francisco and New Orleans when the Seahawks faced the 49ers and the Saints in the playoffs, respectively.

Mitch Landrieu -- the Mayor of N.O. -- agreed to fork over a King Cake from Sucre (a famous bakery) and said he would tap celeb chef Greg Reggio to host a crawfish boil.

Edwin M. Lee -- the Mayor of S.F. -- agreed to send local ice cream and dessert treats that represent the city if the 9ers lost. He also agreed to help fundraise $10k for a Seattle food bank.


Of course, the Seahawks WON both games ... but our political sources tell us the Mayor of Seattle has not seen the spoils of the victory from either city.

One source tells us, "Admittedly, raising $10k could take some time ... but baking a King Cake doesn't take 3 weeks."

We reached out to both S.F. and N.O. -- no word back from either mayoral office.

AZ Cardinal Rashad Johnson

The Most Gruesome

NFL Injury You've Ever Seen

9/24/2013 6:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking Bones
Unless you're NFL legend Ronnie Lott ... you can't feel Rashad Johnson's pain -- but you can see it ... 'cause now there's a photo of the incredibly gruesome finger injury the NFL safety suffered Sunday.

If you haven't heard ... the Arizona Cardinals player crushed his left middle finger during the game against the New Orleans Saints -- but didn't realize he'd actually lost the tip until he took off his glove ... and partial digit was left behind.

Late Monday ... Johnson tweeted a pic of the photo, saying ... "Blessed to be able to still go out and do what I love this season. #thankful #trulyblessed"

Yes, he's planning to play this weekend -- which will seem even more amazing once you see the pic of the bloody finger (if you dare).

Drew Brees

The NFL Is Far from Fixing Concussion Problem

2/27/2013 4:09 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Long-term brain damage remains a serious issue among NFL players ... and the league still has LOTS of work to do in order to fix it ... so says New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees.

Brees said, "I think it's a major issue. It's something that we need to continue to put research [into] and treatment protocols at the forefront to try to find ways to treat guys that have those long-term head and neck injuries when they leave this game."

He added, "It is definitely a serious problem."

You'll recall, pro football has recently come under intense scrutiny for its long-term health risks -- following the high-profile suicides of several NFL stars like Junior Seau. The deaths have been attributed to a brain disease stemming from injuries the players sustained during their careers.

Last week, Adrian Peterson -- one of the greatest running backs of all time -- said he would never let his son play the game.

Even President Obama has said he would have to think twice about whether he would let a son of his play football due to the health risks.

The NFL has diverted a lot of resources to address the problem ... but not much has been done ... and the players are getting pissed. 2,700 players have already sued the league, claiming the NFL intentionally kept the long-term dangers of playing football a secret.

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