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Deion Sanders' Ex

Tossed in Jail

for Violating Custody Agreement

12/16/2014 2:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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Deion Sanders' ex-wife was sentenced to seven days behind bars today for failing to return their kids in a timely manner ... as they agreed to do in their divorce agreement.

Pilar Sanders was found in contempt, and immediately taken into custody. The judge ruled she did not bring their 3 children back to do Deion on time after a visit last July -- and also took them when it wasn't her turn.  

According to local reports, Pilar did not have an attorney with her ... and at one point told the court, “I am not a part of the United States corporation." As we first told you ... Pilar now believes she can only be judged by the Moroccan Empire (which does not exist). 

Deion is also suing her for defamation and the judge ordered Pilar to delete any disparaging social media comments about Deion.

Mickey Rourke's Opponent

BANNED From Boxing in NJ

After Fix Confession

12/16/2014 1:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Elliot Seymour -- the boxer who admits throwing his fight against Mickey Rourke -- will be banned from getting in the ring again in New Jersey, and most likely in California too.

TMZ Sports broke the story ... Seymour copped to intentionally fixing the fight in their November match and got $15k for going down in the 2nd round.

Now, boxing officials in Cali and NJ tell us there's no way they would sanction another one of his fights. Commissioner Larry Hazzard  Sr. of the NJ State Athletic Control Board says, "He admitted that he took a dive. I would not issue him a license based off that admission."

Hazzard added, "I don't think he's deserving. It's a no-brainer."

An official from the CA State Athletic Commission says if Seymour ever had the gall to apply for a boxing license in his state ... "It'd be very difficult to imagine ever sanctioning" a fight for him.

As for Rourke -- Seymour claims Mickey was unaware of the fix ... therefore, neither commission could speak about his future boxing eligibility.

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J.J. Watt

Returning the Favor

to Awesome Kid Fan

12/16/2014 1:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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J.J. Watt
received an awesome gift from the coolest 7-year-old on the planet ... and TMZ Sports has learned little Anthony Tarantelli can expect something in the mail from #99 real soon. 

Tarantelli captured the hearts of every sports fan when he sent Watt an autographed jersey (not the other way around) and included a letter saying he was "the most feared rusher in my league this year."

Anthony's dad Joe tells TMZ it took a little luck to get the delivery to Watt. Joe says he posted about it on Facebook ... and a friend came forward saying he knew Watt's agent. 

Lauren Tarantelli, Anthony's mom, tells TMZ Sports ... J.J. reached out to Anthony after getting the package and sent along a video message ... in which he said Anthony can "expect something in the mail."

Mama Tarantelli -- who was a college tennis player herself -- says Anthony's love of J.J. came about all on his own (his dad's a Bills fan) and that he's so feared in his league ... he once had the referee tell him to go easy.

Perhaps NFL refs should try that approach with J.J. 

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New England Patriots

Rocking Out to Katy Perry

for Charity

12/16/2014 12:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

121614_patrick_chung_launchThe New England Patriots are all business on the field, but they know how to have fun off it ... because a bunch of the team's stars rocked the mic at a karaoke event on Monday benefiting sick kids.

The "Open Mic Holiday Party" in Foxboro, Mass was hosted by safety Patrick Chung (who rocked out to Katy Perry's "Firework") with fellow Pats Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, and Devin McCourty in attendance.    

Chung and the Pats raised $80,000 for "Chung Changing Lives" --  an organization that supports personal and academic development in kids -- and several other Boston area charities.

Pats owner Robert Kraft even made a cameo, and promised to perform an Elton John song next year.

Here's hoping he keeps his word.  

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Fabolous

I'm Down to Rap with Kevin Durant

... But He Better Be Good

12/16/2014 11:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Fabolous Kevin Durant Rapping
Fabolous has his eyes (and ears) on NBA superstar Kevin Durant -- not for courtside seats -- but to record a song because he thinks KD could be the Crockett to his Hip Hop Tubbs.

F-A-B-O-L-O-U-S was out in NYC when our photog asked him to pick a rhyming partner from the crop of athletes trying to spit lyrics right now.

Watch the video -- Fab doesn't hesitate to shout out Kevin, but he does seem to have some doubts about his pedigree on the mic.

Here you go Fab ... we did the research for you.

Ray & Janay Rice

Fireball Shots & Card Games

At Surprise Party

12/16/2014 10:10 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

1216-ray-rice-cake-instagramRay and Janay Rice partied hard Monday night ... their friends threw them a surprise party -- complete with cake and hard booze -- to celebrate being in Baltimore for seven years. 

Janay posted a few pics from the party at their home -- looks like they played Cards Against Humanity and drank beers and a handle of Fireball. 

We don't know what Ray was drinking, but as we first reported -- he blamed the entire elevator incident on hard alcohol and told friends he was swearing off the stuff completely.

Janay captioned her pics with: "our Bmore family is seriously the best!!! We thought we were having a normal Monday night then the doorbell rang...little did we know there they were with drinks, food, games, and the most of all love & support!"

One of her hashtags was "#lovenomatterwhereweare" ... perhaps an acknowledgment that after 7 years they'll most likely be leaving Baltimore when -- and if -- Ray gets picked up by another NFL team. 

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Rihanna

Repping Puma Now

... Usain Bolt Rejoices

12/16/2014 8:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

1216-rihanna-instagram-pumaRihanna just got a huge gig with Puma -- and aside from maybe Puma stockholders ... no one is more excited about this than the fastest man in the world. 

First, RiRi's gig -- she's been named creative director of Puma ... and a company rep says she'll not only work on designs, but also serve as a brand ambassador. She celebrated her new job by posting pics in some Puma kicks.

Now, the good stuff -- Puma's other big spokesman is, of course, Usain Bolt ... and we know the Olympic sprinter's been jonesin' to hookup with Rihanna because he told TMZ Sports about his crush last year.

We're guessing Usain's on the phone to Puma brass right now with all kinds of new promo ideas.

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Liam Neeson & John Wall

Funniest/Saddest NBA Promo Ever!!

12/16/2014 6:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF


Liam Neeson picked the worst time to: 1. Be a Knicks fan ... 2. Have a 'Taken' sequel coming out ... and 3. Be a Knicks fan.

Liam co-stars with Washington Wizards star John Wall in what has to be the most unfortunate and unintentionally hysterical tie-in promo for "Taken 3" and the Christmas Day game between the Wizards and the Knicks.

The best: Neeson saying, "They shoot with unthinkable accuracy." 

The Knicks are 19th in field goal percentage. Then again ... "My team sucks, and you're going to kill them" ... doesn't make for a great promo.

Pepperdine Basketball Players

Coach Doesn't Hate Lesbians

... He Hates Drama

12/16/2014 12:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Pepperdine
women hoopsters are jumping to their coach's defense -- shooting down claims from 2 teammates that he's on an anti-lesbian campaign. 

TMZ Sports broke the story... Haley Videckis and Layana White filed a lawsuit against the university because they say coach Ryan Weisenberg said "lesbianism" would not be tolerated on his team.

But multiple players tell us Videckis and White are twisting their coach's words. We're told Weisenberg did make a speech ... telling the team "he doesn't want off-the-court drama brought on the team." 

The players we spoke with felt his message was clear ... don't let relationships -- regardless of sexual preference -- affect your play. 

As for why Videckis and White sued -- we're told it might be because they haven't played in any games.

Videckis and White's attorney says he thinks the coach is telling players "what would be good for them to say" about the lawsuit.

Slava Voynov's Wife

Blames Herself & Begs D.A.

My Husband is No Ray Rice

12/15/2014 9:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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NHL star Slava Voynov's wife pleaded with prosecutors to drop the felony domestic violence case against him because if people like Ray Rice didn't go to jail ... Slava shouldn't either.

TMZ Sports obtained a letter sent by Slava's wife, Marta Varlamova, to the L.A. County District Attorney in November ... and in it she takes all the blame for the argument which she says started during a party at a friend's house where she was drinking -- but continued when they got home.

She claims Voynov was trying to go to sleep, but she kept pressing the issue and got physical ... squeezing his shoulders and yelling, "No, I want to talk more." Marta says he only pushed her when she refused to get out of his face. That's when -- as we've previously reported -- she claims she turned and smashed her head into a flat screen TV in their bedroom.

In the letter, she describes how profusely she was bleeding and says, "I started yelling because it hurt quite a bit and I was very worried about whether I was going to need stitches and worried about how it would look." She says they decided to go to the ER around 11:30 PM.

Marta, whose first language is Russian ... claims she repeatedly told a police officer Slava did not try to kill her, and she was not afraid of him. As we've told you ... she and Slava believe the officer did not understand her because her English is so poor.

In fact, during a hearing Monday ... police testified the she had said Voynov punched, kicked and choked her. So, it appears there was a communication gap ... or someone's lying. 

Marta ends the letter by pointing out she's "heard about other athletes on the news" who did things that Slava didn't ... yet they were not charged. She's clearly referring to Ray Rice ... who got a pretrial intervention program instead of being prosecuted for punching his then-fiancee.

Despite her objection ... Voynov has been charged with felony domestic violence.

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Mickey Rourke

Boxing Opponent ...

Finally Cops to Taking a Dive

12/16/2014 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

121514_elliot_seymour_launchThe guy Mickey Rourke knocked out last month in Russia is now admitting what everyone with eyes has suspected all along -- the whole match was a total SHAM.

Elliot Seymour tells TMZ Sports the deal was he would go down from a body shot in the 2nd round ... and he would get $15,000 -- $10k up front and the rest when he got back to the U.S.

62-year-old Rourke made headlines for the KO against 29-year-old Seymour because it looked so much like a fix. As we told you ... Seymour initially denied any hijinx, but over the weekend in L.A. he came clean.

You gotta watch him describe the alleged set up -- he claims almost all his punches were choreographed. As for why he's spilling his guts now ... Seymour says the pressure to keep lying was getting to him -- and he's angry Rourke's people "dragged their feet"  on paying up

So, was Mickey in on the fix? Seymour's got a strong opinion on that. 

Rourke's trainer still denies the fix, and tells us he believes Seymour will change his story to whatever he thinks will make him more money. 

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Donald Sterling

It's Scary Being Santa in Tha Hood

Backs Out of Toy Drive

12/15/2014 2:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Donald Sterling pulled out of a charity toy drive in Watts Saturday night ... because his security team feared for his safety in the hood with racial tensions running so high across the country.

TMZ Sports broke the story -- Sterling was scheduled to show up for something called the Chrismukkah Soiree "Party in the Projects." But a rep for the ex-owner of the Clippers tells us he abruptly canceled after we posted the story. 

Apparently, Sterling wanted his appearance to be a surprise. We're told his security team was worried too many people knew where he was going to be -- and considering his track record with the black community ... things could go south quickly.

Donald's rep says he still donated a sedan-full of toys during a Friday night event held in a much more ... Sterling-safe environment -- Beverly Hills.

L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino -- who reps Watts -- probably didn't help matters by coming on TMZ Live, and demanding Sterling stay away ... unless he's ready to donate much more than toys.  

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Pittsburgh Penguins Player

Might Have Mumps

And He Might Have Given It to a Bunch of Sick Kids

12/15/2014 1:42 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

1215-beau-bennett-twitter-01A children's hospital in Pittsburgh is dealing with a possible outbreak of the mumps ... which might have been caused by an NHL player who paid a visit recently to cheer up some sick kids. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins are dealing with a mumps outbreak that has hit the NHL -- star player Sidney Crosby has it and winger Beau Bennett has shown symptoms and is being tested.

That would be bad enough, but Bennett was one of the players who visited the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh last week ... so now the hospital is taking all sorts of precautions.

A rep for the hospital tells TMZ Sports they are in the process of ID'ing who came in contact with Bennett so they can start administering vaccines ... and will even place some kids in isolation, if need be just to be safe.

The hospital says they'll be doing the same with the staff as well.

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