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Titans' Avery Williamson God Told Me to Wear 9/11 Cleats

9/13/2016 4:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williamson says he was conflicted about wearing special cleats to pay tribute to 9/11 victims ... so he asked for advice from the man upstairs ... and God told him to lace up. 

As you've probably heard, Williamson said he was concerned about his cleats being a distraction -- and even possibly earning him a fine from the NFL -- and waffled about the footwear. 

Check out the clip ... Williamson explains how he prayed for an answer -- and got one. 

There's more ... Williamson also says he got love on Sunday from one of the people holding the American flag during the National Anthem -- and it's the kind of story that gives you the tingles. 

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Kanye West Bigger Than The Pope ... In Swag Sales

9/7/2016 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0906-kanye-west-pope-francis-tmz-gettyKanye West would probably agree he's bigger than the Pope -- only now he can actually peg that belief to hard numbers ... in merchandise sales.

Sources close to Mr. West tell us he set a record at his Madison Square Garden show Monday night, where he hawked $780,000 in Yeezy merch ... beating Pope Francis' previous record by $240k.

0906-kanye-pope-francis-msgPope Francis sold $540,000 in Pope-laced gear a year ago at the same venue, but the Saint Pablo Tour crowd proved more fast and loose with their wallets. 

Both guys had stuff with their faces all over it ... but we're guessing Francis' Rosaries don't hold a candle to Saint Pablo swag. 

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Al Sharpton Kaepernick Has Something In Common ... With Jackie Robinson

9/1/2016 8:13 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Al Sharpton says Colin Kaepernick's National Anthem protest reminds him of Jackie Robinson -- because the MLB legend also said he refused to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner."

It's true ... As Sharpton pointed out in NYC Wednesday, Robinson made his feelings clear in his 1972 autobiography, 'I Never Had It Made.'

"As I write this twenty years [after my MLB debut], I cannot stand and sing the anthem," Robinson wrote ... "I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world."

Sharpton says both Robinson and Kaepernick raise a "critical point" about Francis Scott Key and the negative references to slaves in the complete version of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Sharpton also says he will not condemn Colin's protest -- because it has not hurt anyone "but possibly his own career."

Minister Louis Farrakhan I Stand With Colin Kaepernick 'Deeply Grateful' For Flag Protest

8/30/2016 12:37 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0830-farrakhan-colin-kaepernick-GETTY-01Minister Louis Farrakhan says he -- and the entire Nation Of Islam -- are 100% behind Colin Kaepernick ... praising the QB's American flag protest as a "courageous stand."

Farrakhan released a statement via his Facebook page in which he thanked Kaep for taking a stand, and lauded his courage in the face of intense criticism.

"Courage is one of the great characteristics of great men and women. And at the root of courage is love for the principle that is bigger than our lives, bigger than our nation ... This nation would not be what it is had there not been men and women who were willing to suffer to bring about meaningful change that moved a people, a nation and a world toward the realization of some eternal principle."

Farrakhan went on to pledge his unyielding support ... and even took a shot at the National Anthem itself. 

"I stand with you. We in the Nation of Islam stand with you. And I’m asking all right thinking Black people, Brown people, and White people to stand with you to force the change that Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton are talking; but it will never happen until the people are sick and tired of injustice and summon the courage to stand to make a difference."

"Your stand has unearthed things about Francis Scott Key and the writing of the lyrics of the Star-Spangled Banner, that would make any person of right thinking and right mind cringe at what was in the mind of the man that wrote the words of the Star-Spangled Banner."

TMZ Sports has reached out to other groups such as the National Action Network and NAACP for reaction to the Kaepernick controversy ... but have yet to receive comment.

Forever 21 We Don't Sell Swastika Rings

8/15/2016 12:16 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0815-forever-21-swastika-ring-nazi-TWITTER-no-logo-01Forever 21 is getting serious heat for an offensive hoax: swastika ring merchandise.

The clothing company was put on blast by a customer who posted a photo of two swastika rings inside one of its stores.  

A Forever 21 exec tells us the rings are NOT Forever 21 products ... period.

As to how it happened is unclear ... but it appears someone hooked the swastika rings to the back of another product.

Pope Francis Takes a Spill ... Watch That Step!

7/28/2016 6:23 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

You gotta feel for Pope Francis -- he went down hard in the middle of Mass Thursday morning in Poland.

The Pontiff appeared to miss a step as he was walking down from the altar. He had a few priests spotting him, and they helped him back to his feet. Honestly, it's a miracle it doesn't happen more often with that long, heavy robe. Somebody cut the guy a break.

Official word from the Vatican -- "The pope is fine."

Amen.

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Tom Cruise Suicide Bombing Threat to Scientology 'Allah Akbar, Tom'

7/23/2016 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0722-tom-cruise-scientology-getty-tmz-01Tom Cruise has been pulled into the middle of a police investigation surrounding a potential suicide bomber who made alarming threats to the Church of Scientology.

Cops say the man called the Church back in April asking, "Are there any bombings I can do?" The man, who ID'd himself as a Muslim, said he "liked to do suicide bombings."

According to police docs, the caller began singing, "Allah Akbar, Tom Cruise" ... the phrase some terrorists have used as they attack. He then hung up.

The LAPD is now on the hunt for the man ... with a search warrant forcing AT&T to ante up phone records.  

Tony Robbins Tells Fans to Walk on Hot Coals ... Over 30 Get Burned

6/24/2016 11:03 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0624_tony-robbins_hot-coals_instagramtmzTony Robbins' motivational seminar went haywire in Dallas when more than 30 people who walked on hot coals had to get treated for burns.

According to reports ... 5 people were hospitalized Thursday night, while the rest were treated on-site for burns to their feet and lower legs. Tony had encouraged attendees to walk the coals in order to conquer their fears. It's a common thing at Robbins' events.

Tony's people tell TMZ ... 7,000 guests walked across the coals and only five "requested any examination beyond what was readily available on site."

At least one attendee blamed the burns on a lack of focus -- some people were reportedly taking selfies. This also happened at a 2012 event in San Jose.

Dalai Lama My Favorite Richard Gere Movie Is ...

6/16/2016 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

The Dalai Lama's favorite Richard Gere movie is not "Pretty Woman."

Our photog spotted His Holiness in Georgetown and pulled a fast one on the 80-year-old, asking him to pick his favorite Gere flick. The 2 have known each other for years ... Gere's a devout Buddhist.

So what would His Holiness pick?

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Talib Kweli Prince Invented Reverse Pimpin' ... I Watched It Happen!!

6/3/2016 12:48 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Prince once pulled an epic move on a nearly naked dancer in a club, but it's not at all what you'd expect from a singer with a rep for being a sex demigod ... according to rapper Talib Kweli.

Talib hit up N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN's "Drink Champs" podcast on Play.it this week and talked about the run-in he had with Prince at a Hollywood party. He says there were naked dancers everywhere and Prince -- a Jehovah's Witness at that point -- approached one of them with a financial proposal.

Check it out ... it's an awesome story, and the birth of what N.O.R.E. and co. call "reverse pimping."

Tyson Fury Hey Jews and Transgenders ... Sorry If You Were Offended

5/16/2016 11:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0516-tyson-fury-GETTY-01Boxing superstar Tyson Fury says he realizes his insanely offensive statements about Jews and transgender people have "been viewed by some" as offensive ... and so, he's sorta (not really) apologizing. 

As we previously reported, the heavyweight champ went on a vile rant about transgenders -- calling them "freaks of nature" -- and accusing the Jews of running a global brainwashing scheme

Moments ago, Tyson's team issued a statement about last week's interview saying, "Mr Fury made comments that have been viewed by some as offensive."

The statement continued, "Mr Fury would like to apologise to anyone who may have taken offence to these comments."

There's more ... "He has many friends of a wide range of backgrounds and races and wishes no ill to anyone of any race, religion or sexual orientation."

The statement included quotes from Fury ... "I apologise to anyone who may have taken offence at any of my comments. I said some things, which may have hurt some people, which as a Christian man is not something I would ever want to do."

Then he blamed the media ...

"Though it is not an excuse, sometimes the heightened media scrutiny has caused me to act out in public."

Then doubled down on the whole "I'm not a bigot" thing ... 

"Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am in no way a racist or bigot and I hope the public accept this apology.”

Uh huh. 

Tiffany & Co. Ex-Employee Sues Over Jews and Jesus

5/16/2016 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0511-tiffany-co-tmz-getty-02Tiffany & Co. is being sued by its former director of marketing after the woman claimed she lost her job because she told some colleagues Catholics believe Jews killed Jesus.

Kristin Rightnour says she also lost out on a $42k bonus, all the result of a casual convo just before Easter weekend when she told 2 colleagues -- one Jewish, one Catholic -- about the party line on the crucifixion.  

The Jew apparently got uncomfortable and said, "They didn't teach us any of this in Hebrew school!"  

It's unclear who filed the complaint, but she sure seems to be pointing the finger at the member of the tribe.

Kristin says she was subsequently hauled into HR where she fessed up to the conversation but vigorously denies she said "Jewish people killed Jesus." She insisted she laid it all on the Catholics.

Nevertheless, she says she was later fired.

We have reached out to Tiffanys, so far no word back. 

Justin Bieber I'm Not Losing It I'm Reconnecting with God and Nature

5/14/2016 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0513-justin-bieber-fa-tmz-getty-01Justin Bieber is not going insane ... he's on a spiritual mission.

Our Bieber sources say in the last 2 weeks the singer has had "an epiphany" about centering himself with religion and nature. That's why he's been meditating in parks, taking strolls alone and zoning out on the grass.

We're told Justin's Purpose Tour has taken its toll on him, and feels he's lost his center. He believes nature and religion -- not concert venues and nightclubs -- should become his life priorities.

As for petting squirrels ... that's just dumb.

Namaste.

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