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What Shaquille O'Neal tells his sons when it comes to interacting with police

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Lorenzo Bevilaqua / ESPN ImagesBy HAYLEY FITZPATRICK, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Shaquille O’Neal is sharing his thoughts on the protests and police brutality in the United States in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday, the Hall of Famer said he was “disgusted” when he saw the video of Floyd’s death.

“I think you have your knee on the man’s neck for more than five minutes — it just didn’t make any sense,” he said. “Police officers … you know better, you have to know better in certain situations.”

O’Neal comes from a family of police officers and was even sworn in as a auxiliary deputy with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida last year.

He said, however, he has to talk to his sons, Shareef, 20, and Shaqir, 17, about how to interact with the police “all the time.”

“I told them, ‘First of all, you have to try to diffuse the situation by showing respect because you have to understand that these people are also out here to do all their jobs. So you try to diffuse the situation. And if it happens to get rough, don’t say anything, don’t do anything, just comply,'” he explained.

He went on, “And then when all is said and done, you call me, and if stuff gets out of hand, then I will handle it. I will be the one to come around and act crazy. I don’t want you to act crazy while you’re out there by yourself. So I just try to tell them, just comply, just listen, but a lot of times that doesn’t work either.”

He said that he also tells them to “just show respect.”

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Former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, who was seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes as Floyd repeatedly declared that he couldn’t breathe, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on May 29. He received an additional charge of second-degree murder on Wednesday.

The three other officers involved in Floyd’s arrest, Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao, were each charged Wednesday with second-degree aiding and abetting felony murder and second-degree aiding and abetting manslaughter, according to court documents.

“There’s an old saying that what’s right is right, what’s wrong is wrong. What happened to George Floyd was all the way wrong, absolutely wrong, uncalled for,” O’Neal said. “I’ve never seen that technique taught. A lot of police officers I’ve talked to would never do that. Everybody’s upset, everybody’s tired. We demand justice.”

The basketball legend also weighed in on the protests across the nation.

“I’m 48 years old and I’ve seen, you know, outbreaks and riots before,” he said. “This is the first time I think the country is doing it all at the same time. I’ve never seen it in more than one city.”

He continued, “They want equality. They want justice. And I understand. I’m all for peaceful protesting. I don’t like the opportunists that are riding around the neighborhoods leaving bricks trying to cause riots. I don’t like people breaking into stores. I don’t condone all that, but I am for peaceful protesting and I am for justice.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Cowboys' Dak Prescott pledges $1 million to address 'systematic racism' in US

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Allen Kee / ESPN ImagesBy HAYLEY FITZPATRICK, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Dak Prescott announced a $1 million commitment to addressing systematic racism and police training in the United States on Wednesday.

The Dallas Cowboys quarterback released a four-part statement on his Instagram, sharing his thoughts on the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

“As a black, multiracial American, I am disgusted and unsettled! I am as optimistic as they come! I try to understand and find the positive in every situation or aspect of my life,” he said.

“My mom left me the word FAITH to live out for a reason. I believe in the good in each individual and this country as a whole! To be humble and to see every man and woman as the same takes humility and accountability,” he continued.

He said he’s supporting the protesters standing against racial injustice in the U.S. and views the demonstrations “as a form of strength and an attempt to show we as Black people have rights that aren’t being perceived equally as our counterparts.”

The NFL player condemned violence and looting, which have overtaken many peaceful protests across the nation.

He stated, however, that he believes cops are “as guilty as the men who stood by Derek Chauvin,” the since-fired police officer who pinned Floyd to the ground, if they do not take a firm stance against the racism that pervades the country.

“I have the utmost respect for those of you with a passion for protecting and serving your communities,” he said in a message to officers. “When you choose to wear the badge of a police officer, you pledged to PROTECT life and property through the enforcement of our laws and regulations. How can you claim to uphold the law when those within your own ranks don’t abide by it? You need to hold your own accountable!”

“As long as cops continue to profile blacks as a threat, cops will continue to be perceived as untrustworthy,” he added. “You have to change yourself before you can ask anyone else to change!”

Prescott also shared that while coping with the recent death of his brother, Jace Prescott, who died in April, he realized “we are not given a voice to pronounce how much we matter.”

“It is our obligation to tell our neighbor how much they matter to us and to take a stand for the greater good of each other,” he said.

Prescott said he will “take action” and “act alongside” those protesting against racism. He said the funds he’s donating to various organizations will “address systematic racism through education and advocacy.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

George Floyd's death renews debate on Kaepernick protest

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Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty ImagesBy DEENA ZARU, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Protests against the deaths of unarmed black men and women at the hands of law enforcement have often revived conversations surrounding Colin Kaepernick, but the killing last week of George Floyd has brought Kaepernick back into the debate in a stark way.

The images of a police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck as the Minnesota man called out that he can’t breathe have sparked advocates, athletes and celebrities to draw a direct visual parallel to Kaepernick’s kneeling protest against police brutality, with side-by-side photos going viral on social media.

LeBron James was among those to share the parallel images on Instagram, topped with the words, “This … is why.”

“Do you understand NOW!!??!!?? Or is it still blurred to you??” the Los Angeles Lakers star wrote in the caption. Printouts of that same image have also been held up during protests around the country.

Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, became the first NFL player to take a knee on the football field during the playing of the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality.

“It’s this sort of eerie similarity in the position that Kaepernick physically took, and the position that the officer had assumed on the neck and the head of George Floyd,” Marc Lamont Hill, an activist and professor of media studies and urban education at Temple University, told ABC News.

“It was almost like the flip side of it, that Kaepernick was taking a knee for justice and this man was taking a knee in ending the life of a black man in the very fashion that Colin Kaepernick was protesting and trying to put a spotlight on,” he said.

Amid the unrest, even some police officers and top brass have taken a knee in the streets alongside protesters in solidarity against the killings of unarmed black people.

Floyd was apprehended by police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last Monday. According to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office, Floyd’s death was a homicide caused by “a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s).”

An independent autopsy ordered by George Floyd’s family found his death was a “homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain,” according to early findings from the examination released Monday.

Derek Chauvin, who was fired from the Minneapolis Police following the incident, has been charged with third-degree murder in connection with Floyd’s death. Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, including about three minutes while Floyd was unresponsive, according to court documents.

Three other officers who were on the scene — Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao — have not been charged but an investigation is still ongoing, according to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.

“You can’t stop thinking about that,” said sports journalist and ABC News contributor Christine Brennan. “The side-by-side visuals are everything, and because we are such a visual society, because photos and video matters so much to us … that then brings Colin Kaepernick back into the conversation in a big way. If people had forgotten him or pushed him out of their memory, [Kaepernick] has come flooding back because of the visual, and then because he was right.”

Kaepernick, who hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016, sparked a movement after first taking a knee on the field in August 2016, with several other athletes following his example — the first of which was then-teammate Eric Reid. It is widely viewed that Kaepernick was blacklisted from the NFL due to his on-field protest.

Over the past couple of seasons, on-field protests have waned, but Reid — along with players Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson — has continued to take a knee.

Brennan said we “don’t know” whether this wave of protests will have an impact on the football field this coming season, but she is “stunned” the NFL has not signed Kaepernick.

“One would think that a team would want to sign him if only for the symbolism of the message that would be set, especially to young people,” she said.

Kaepernick filed a grievance against league owners in 2017 alleging that they colluded to ensure that he remained unsigned. The lawsuit has been settled.

The NFL on Saturday released a statement from commissioner Roger Goodell, who offered condolences to the family of George Floyd and said that the league was “greatly saddened by the tragic events” amid nationwide protests.

“The protesters’ reactions to these incidents reflect the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us feel,” Goodell wrote, adding that the protests “underscore” that “there remains much more to do as a country and as a league.”

Hill noted that the statement “didn’t offer any criticism, any outrage” and did not mention “the killing of anybody” or words like “racism” or “police violence.”

Reid, who is now a free agent, and Stills both criticized the statement, with Reid appearing to mock the NFL’s social change initiative, which was launched in January 2019 amid mounting backlash over Kaepernick’s absence.

Through the initiative, the NFL partnered with the Players Coalition and other organizations, including Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, on social justice campaigns.

But with Kaepernick still unsigned, those efforts have been viewed as an effort to save face by activists and players who have continued to take a knee.

Hill said the NFL’s statement during the protests is in “sharp contrast” to how Kaepernick has been treated.

“He became persona non grata in the NFL. He was treated as an enemy of the state, and I mean that quite literally when you look at the response of Donald Trump to him,” Hill said. “Donald Trump had more words of outrage for Kaepernick than he did for the killer, the killer of George Floyd.”

Asked about the criticism, a spokesperson for the NFL told ABC News on Tuesday that league is “in daily contact with our national social justice partners to listen, understand and generate new ideas of how we can help use the platform of the NFL to help improve relations with law enforcement. We are working closely with the clubs and players to provide more grants and programs that can be adapted in local communities.”

“Our clubs and players have worked extensively to provide training sessions, community gatherings and ride-alongs with players and local police departments, as well as team-facilitated volunteer programs that involve police officers and underserved youth,” the spokesperson added. “We are committed to working with players, clubs and partners to make positive change in our communities.”

Kaepernick, who founded his own social justice organization, has spoken out in support of activists and started a legal defense fund to provide legal representation to those protesting in Minneapolis.

President Donald Trump, who has been silent on Kaepernick and the NFL’s handling of the protests for more than a year, clearly took a side in this divisive debate by repeatedly lambasting players who took a knee in a years-long feud with the NFL.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jasmine Jordan reveals what how her father shows his 'fun and rambunctious' side

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Alexander Tamargo/WireImageBy CANDICE WILLIAMS

(NEW YORK) — Michael Jordan’s daughter, Jasmine, is opening up about her famous father’s “rambunctious” side that many fans never get to see.

In a recent interview with ABC Audio, the 27-year-old said that for those hoping to catch her father on social media, don’t hold your breath.

“My father is so — not anti-social media, but anti-social media,” she shared with a laugh. “I can never imagine him being on Twitter. I can’t imagine him on IG or anything like that.”

While social media may not be the way for fans see Michael Jordan let loose, Jordan promised he does have an outlet where he opens up.

“When you get him in his natural element of just being that fun and rambunctious dad, it’s with music,” she revealed. “He loves music.”

“And it can be rap,” she continued. “It can be R&B. It can be hip-hop, whatever. He has no limit on the boundaries and categories of music that he listens to. That’s really when you get to see that fun side of him.”

So, what does Michael Jordan actually listen to? According to Jordan, it ranges from Future to “throwing it back” with Anita Baker.

“There’s just a plethora of options,” she said.

Jordan said her father is also big on getting music before it officially hits the masses.

“I remember when I was younger, he used to always get everyone CDs before they came out,” she said. “I never understood why. Like, why are you listening to Johnny Gill’s album before anybody has it? It was mind-boggling.”

Of course, now it all makes sense.

“Music is just another aspect that truly allows him to be himself and connect and really just have fun and let his hair down. Or lack thereof,” she quipped. “But we love music together.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

NFL player Zay Jones reveals heartfelt encounter with white stranger amid George Floyd protests

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Brett Carlsen/Getty ImagesBy NICOLE PELLETIERE, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — An NFL player took to over the weekend to share his run-in with an elderly white woman as the death of George Floyd sparks outrage and protests across the nation.

Zay Jones, a wide receiver for the Las Vegas Raiders, described his heartfelt encounter Monday on Good Morning America.

Jones said the woman approached him and his cousin at a Home Goods discount store in Henderson, Nevada, and said, “I’m from Minneapolis [and] I just want you to know that you matter.”

“I could see [it] was very sincere and heartfelt,” Jones told GMA, adding that he asked permission to hug the woman. “I just felt like that was the right thing to do. And in an instant, she just kind of fell into my arms and she just started crying.”

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Floyd, a black man, died on Memorial Day after he was pinned down by former white Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin.

Following his death, protests in Minnesota have spread to more than 20 states. Some have resulted in arrests, vandalism and destruction of property. Many cities have issued curfews in response.

Floyd’s death has also ignited conversations on racism, with people like Jones using social media as a platform to voice experiences and moments of solidarity.

Jones’ tweet about his apparent exchange with a white woman at the store checkout counter garnered over 89,000 retweets and 812,000 shares.

He told GMA he posted the story to spread love during this difficult time.

“Beautiful people still exist in this world,” Jones said. “We just got to love each other. We got to lean on each other. We got to listen to each other.”

Jones said he didn’t get the woman’s name, but wants to thank her for giving him “peace.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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