Chicago hip-hop legend Twista tells TMZ Sports the decision to strip Jackie Robinson West of their U.S. LLWS title wasn't about following rules and ALL about one thing ... racism.
Team J.R.W. became the darlings of the 2014 Little League World Series, becoming the first all-black squad to take the U.S. crown ... earning them instant celebrity status and even a visit with President Obama.
When it was announced earlier Wednesday that the tykes had been stripped of their title due to a falsified boundary map, some people called B.S. ... including Twista.
We spoke to Twista -- one of the most celebrated rappers from the Windy City -- and he tells us that he thinks the whole thing was totally about discrediting an all-black team.
"I'm outraged. You don't see this extensive of an investigation happen unless it happens to black people."
Twista also says that there's a legit reason why some of the boys traveled out of district and that the higher-ups at Little League headquarters just don't care.
"There was a park in the Dolton area that got torn down, that made the kids have to even play at Jackie Robinson. No one pays attention to what they have to go through to play baseball."
He didn't stop there ... Twista essentially says America is still uncomfortable with a group of black kids succeeding in the country's celebrated pastime.
"It's the friendly game of baseball ... no one is comfortable when a group like them does something positive in that. They rush to tear them down."
Clint Eastwood said something really weird Monday night about "American Sniper" ... appearing to agree with his harshest critics.
Clint was leaving Dan Tana's in West Hollywood when our photog asked what he thought about Bill Maher and Michael Mooreblasting the portrayal of military sniper Chris Kyle as a hero. You'll recall, Moore called snipers "cowards," and Maher said Kyle was a "psychopath patriot."
Clint seems to hear and then process the question before he responds ... with agreement.
Basketball didn't work ... but the future of U.S., N. Korean relations could rest in the hands of an American ping pong player ... TMZ Sports has learned.
We know ... several members of the N. Korean team struck up a friendship with American table tennis player Adam Bobrow last month at an international tournament in Dubai.
Bobrow -- whose "excessive ping pong celebration" made him an Internet sensation -- tells us at first, the North Korean team was exceptionally reclusive ... keeping their distance from other teams and other players.
"I felt like there was this bubble around them that nobody was willing to penetrate. Like they were off limits to talk to ... and I thought to myself, 'They're people just like me. Why can't I talk to them?'"
Eventually, Bobrow says he approached the N.K. players and asked for a photo together -- and to his surprise (considering the political climate), they agreed.
"Everyone smiled and that started the silent friendship ... because I don't speak a lot of Korean and they don't speak a lot of English."
However, the official N.K. translator spoke PERFECT English -- and Adam says they began engaging in friendly conversation ... with the translator eventually giving Adam a "gift" as a token of their friendship.
"He gave me some books ... including a sports magazine from N. Korea. He also gave me a book of transcribed speeches of Kim Jong-un and said, 'Here are some words from our leader.'"
Adam says the speeches -- which were translated into English -- were mostly "words to pump up and inspire the nation. He talked about the history of the country and how they will stay strong."
"Everything in the book was reasonable," Bobrow says ... "No outrageous claims. I don't remember anything that struck me as bizarre or unusual."
But here's the kicker ... Bobrow says before they parted ways, he invited the N. Korean team (through the translator) to compete in the U.S. Open of Table Tennis in Las Vegas in June.
"He didn't seem opposed to it," Bobrow says ... "He said he would bring it to the N. Korea Association and see what they think."
Bobrow says the team rep explained that he didn't have an email address -- but said he'd give his answer at the next tournament they both attend.
"I think we were on the same page about it ... it could be a very positive thing for international relations."
"Empire" creator Lee Daniels says the inspiration for the show's main character didn't come from a famous hip-hop mogul ... it came in part from the Kennedy matriarch.
Lee was heading out of Equinox when he shot down rumors P. Diddy or Jay Z may have been the germ of the idea for the show. There were multiple inspirations ... a little here, a little there, but it seems the Kennedy influence loomed large.
Chelsea Handlerbelieves the God to whom you pray doesn't matter ... one thing's universal ... men of all faiths can appreciate a nice rack.
Handler has two things that can bring Jews and Muslims together and they're both on her chest ... she posted the topless Instagram pic -- with Star of David pasties -- while vacationing Wednesday in Israel.
Dennis Rodman says he's constantly the target of vicious death threats ... all because of his trip to North Korea ... and it's clearly taking one hell of an emotional toll on the NBA legend.
The Worm nearly broke down during an interview scene in the new documentary "Dennis Rodman’s Big Bang In Pyongyang" ... in which he tries to explain why he was so passionate about going to N. Korea in the first place.
"I get death threats a lot," Rodman said ... "People ask, why are you doing this Dennis? I'm just trying to keep everything together."
Rodman also calls out Jay-Z and Beyonce -- claiming the couple is way more famous than he is, but aren't willing to risk what he risks in order to make the world a better place.
Blake Shelton has no problem defending "American Sniper" and ripping celebs who trash it, even though he hasn't even seen the movie!
Shelton was leaving 30 Rock (probably after his "Saturday Night Live" rehearsal) when he told us ... he was defending the military, not the movie itself, when he tweeted, "Sickens me to see celebrities or anybody slam the very people who protect their right to talk sh*t.. #truecowards"
Shelton admitted this week he might have been drunk tweeting ... but tells us he does plan to see the movie soon.
Kid Rockalso went on the attack against Seth Rogen and Michael Moore, for their 'Sniper' criticisms -- writing on his website, "F*** you Michael Moore, you’re a piece of s*** and your uncle would be ashamed of you. Seth Rogen, your uncle probably molested you. I hope both of you catch a fist to the face soon."