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Mario Tama/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The New England Patriots loaned its team plane to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and their families traveling to Washington, D.C., for the March For Our Lives rally.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft reached out to the school to offer the use of the private plane for the cause, parent Meredith Barry told ABC News.

Barry took the luxury flight to D.C. on Thursday from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport alongside her 16-year-old daughter, Isabela Barry, a junior at the school who hid in a closet during the Feb. 14 shooting. Isabela's best friend, 17-year-old Helena Ramsay, was one of the 17 people who died that day.

Everything about the flight was "amazing," Barry said, down to the hospitality of the flight crew, who provided "lots of hugs" and "lots of love on that plane yesterday."

Each seat was like "first class" had a gift and a letter from Kraft in it, Barry said. Food and drinks were served, and a Patriots senior operations manager aboard the flight passed around the team's Super Bowl LI championship ring for everyone to see, Barry said.

In the letter, Kraft expressed his support for the families on behalf of the Patriots organization.

"In the wake of incredible tragedy, we have hurt for you, mourned with you and been inspired by you," the letter read. "It is an honor for us to now partner with you as you push for progress."

Most of the families of victims who were killed or injured were on the flight, Barry said. While being there was "surreal," Barry described the experience as a "giant family yesterday on that plane."

"There's definitely a lot of emotions," Barry said. "It's very overwhelming, but you can tell there's a common goal with everyone here and what we're trying to do."

The MSD students who survived the shooting are still "scared," especially at the onset of venturing into a large crowd, Barry said.

But "they know is this something they have to do, because they need to be heard," she said.

Roberta Weber, whose 16-year-old daughter, Melanie Weber, and 14-year-old son, Jake Weber, attend MSD, said the students are "passionate about this cause."

"We will not rest until something is done," she said. "It cannot go on the way it is now."

Weber and Melanie took the "wonderful" flight up to D.C. together, where "everybody was so sweet and so kind," she said.

While the perks did lift their spirits, they were also a staunch reminder as to why they were traveling to the march in the first place.

"It cheers us up a little, but it's also with a heavy heart," Weber said. "We would not have any of this if [the shooting] had not happened."

Barry and Weber's daughters are traveling on behalf of the newly minted Shine MSD, an organization started by the school's drama club that aims to provide healing in the community through the arts and help students find a voice through music. Two students wrote a song called "Shine," which will be performed during the march.

"They're trying to find a way to speak," Barry said. "It's hard to talk. They kind of break down a lot. They're trying to find ways to heal, but in a positive way."

Weber's son, Jake, lost a good friend in the shooting and decided to not attend the march, she said, adding that her children have been dealing with the tragedy in different ways. While Melanie has found her activist voice -- even traveling to Tallahassee with other students to demonstrate for gun safety -- Jake has been more reclusive with his emotions.

On Sunday, when the activists leave D.C., the Patriots team plane will also be used for their return flight home.

"What the Patriots did and the way they treated everybody was unbelievable," Barry said.

True to her Floridian roots, Barry typically roots for the Miami Dolphins, she said. But, another team in the NFL's AFC East may have just wiggled their way into her heart.

"If I could hug every Patriot right now, I would," she said.

The Patriots did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Thousands of demonstrators are expected to attend the March for Our Lives rally, organized by the MSD students in the wake of the shooting that targeted their classmates and teachers.

Students are using the slogan "Never Again" and calling on lawmakers to make schools safer and enact tougher gun laws.

The march will start at noon ET in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Professional race car driver Aurora Straus put the brakes on her admission to Harvard to pursue her racing career full-time and said she hopes to inspire a new generation of girls.

The 19-year-old from Cold Spring, New York, told Good Morning America that while motorsports have been predominately male, she has already seen a big shift and hopes to "keep pushing forward."

"The face of the sport has changed a lot in recent years, and a lot of that is due to huge role models like Danica Patrick," Straus said. "For every one racer or crew member out there that treats me differently because I'm a girl, I've met 50 that genuinely care about me, want me to succeed and think of me as a racer before a girl."

Straus said she was 13 when she got behind the wheel for the first time. She was driving a Mazda Miata with an instructor.

"I almost ran into his rental car," she said. "But then I went out on track for the first time. And going over 100 miles an hour is the most remarkable feeling, and once you do it, you fall down a rabbit hole and you're doing that for the rest of your life."

The young pro will race this weekend in the Pirelli World Challenge in Austin, Texas. One of her heroes had a message for her before she hit the track.

"Hey, Aurora. I'm Danica Patrick, and I just wanted to wish you the best of luck. Don't forget to dream really, really, really big," Patrick said in a video message that was played on Good Morning America.

A stunned and excited Straus said, "That's crazy," and explained that Patrick was a "huge maverick" in changing the face of motorsports.

"Danica, like other role models out there, they were the reason I got involved in the sport and the reason I was strong enough to keep pushing forward. And my goal is, 10 or 20 years from now, I want to be that Danica to a young girl who doesn't know if she can make it in the industry," Straus said.

Straus graduated from Westchester High School last year and deferred her acceptance to Harvard, but said she eventually plans to study English and mechanical engineering at the Ivy League university.

For now, she is taking the driver's seat and going full speed toward her dreams.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Thursday's sports events:

Miami 15, Houston 7
Detroit 6, Philadelphia 2
San Diego 7, Cleveland 6
Milwaukee 1, Kansas City 0
Colorado 4, Oakland 2
Toronto 5, Pittsburgh 4
Cincinnati 7, Texas 6
Chicago White Sox 3, Arizona 1
L.A. Dodgers 4, L.A. Angels 3

Baltimore 10, Boston 7
N.Y. Yankees 2, Minnesota 1
Tampa Bay 5, Toronto 3
Seattle 5, Texas 4

St. Louis 8, Atlanta 2
N.Y. Mets 12, Washington 5
San Francisco 4, Chicago Cubs 3

Charlotte 140, Memphis 79
Philadelphia 118, Orlando 98
New Orleans 128, L.A. Lakers 125
Houston 100, Detroit 96
Utah 119, Dallas 112
Sacramento 105, Atlanta 90

Philadelphia 4, N.Y. Rangers 3
Carolina 6, Arizona 5
Columbus 4, Florida 0
Tampa Bay 7, N.Y. Islanders 6
Washington 1, Detroit 0
Edmonton 6, Ottawa 2
Toronto 5, Nashville 2
Vancouver 5, Chicago 2
L.A. Kings 7, Colorado 1
San Jose 2, Vegas 1

(7) Michigan 99, Texas A&M 72
Florida St. 75, (8) Gonzaga 60
Kansas St. 61, (18) Kentucky 58
Loyola of Chicago 69, (24) Nevada 68

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iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- A former Atlanta Hawks employee is accusing the NBA team of discriminating against her as a white female.

In a lawsuit filed on Friday against the team, Margo Kline, an ex-community development coordinator for the team, claimed that director of external affairs David Lee “promoted a culture of discrimination against white individuals” and further showed bias against Kline because she is female.

Kline is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, and a trial. According to the lawsuit, she received a notice of right to sue from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in December.

Kline, who is white, worked for the Atlanta Hawks from June 2012 through March 2017. During that time, the lawsuit alleges, Lee, who is black, made jokes about white culture, was dismissive of white employees and excluded them. According to the lawsuit, he also made it clear that he wanted to hire black individuals and did not want to promote white females who may have had more qualification.

Kline took her concerns to human resources in February 2017 and met with two different people, the lawsuit states. Not long after, she was issued a final written warning due to “ongoing deficiencies in her conduct and/or performance,” according to the lawsuit. The warning included areas of improvement that she was to work on, the lawsuit states.

Kline claims in the lawsuit that though she complied with the terms of the warning, she received no further feedback and her employment with the Atlanta Hawks was terminated three weeks later.

Amanda Thompson, Kline’s lawyer, told ABC News in a statement that "no person should have to fear for his or her job, or experience hostility and adverse working conditions, because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, or national origin" and added that "no person should be retaliated against for bringing such discrimination to the attention of his or her employer."

“Our case is not a platform for what some call 'reverse racism,'" Thompson said. "It is an attempt to obtain redress for a hard-working, loyal individual who lost her job because of the color of her skin and her complaints to management and HR about the mistreatment she experienced."

In a statement to ABC News, the Atlanta Hawks said: “We take all claims of discrimination seriously and have performed a thorough review of these baseless claims. The case was quickly dismissed at the EEOC level. We deny these claims and will vigorously defend against them.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the latest scores from today's sports events:

Philadelphia   119  Memphis     105
Cleveland      132  Toronto     129
Miami          119  N-Y Knicks   98
Charlotte      111  Brooklyn    105
L.A. Clippers  127  Milwaukee   120
New Orleans     96  Indiana      92
Denver         135  Chicago     102
San Antonio     98  Washington   90

Pittsburgh   5  Montreal   3
Arizona      4  Buffalo    1
St. Louis    2  Boston     1;  OT
Anaheim      4  Calgary    0

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the latest scores from today's sports events:


Toronto       93  Orlando         86
New Orleans  115  Dallas         105
Boston       100  Oklahoma City   99
Minnesota    123  L.A. Clippers  109
Atlanta       99  Utah            94
Detroit      115  Phoenix         88
Houston      115  Portland       111

Columbus        5  N-Y Rangers    3
Washington      4  Dallas         3
N.Y. Islanders   4  Pittsburgh     1
Edmonton        7  Carolina       3
Florida         7  Ottawa         2
Detroit         5  Philadelphia   4; SO  
Tampa Bay       4  Toronto        3
Winnipeg        2  L.A. Kings     1; OT
Colorado        5  Chicago        1
Vegas           4  Vancouver      1
San Jose        6  New Jersey     2

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Subscribe To This Feed -- While March Madness brackets are busting from coast to coast, one college basketball team has a not-so-secret weapon that's pumping it up with a spiritual boost on the court.

Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt (aka Sister Jean), the Loyola-Chicago men's basketball team chaplain and superfan, said she believes they win because "we have God on our side."

"I say a prayer, but sometimes there's a little more than talking to God in the prayer," Sister Jean said today on Good Morning America about her pregame blessing and pep talk.

"I do begin with, ‘Good and gracious God, today we hope to win this game, we ask for your courage -- we already have the confidence, we're focused, we know we want to work hard.’ At the end of the game, we want to be sure that when the buzzer goes off that the numbers indicate that we get the big W,” she said.

The superfan also confessed, "I pray for the other team, perhaps not as hard. But we have God on our side and these young men have great faith and if you don't have confidence in faith, then you might as well not be playing."

The team chaplain and former academic adviser has witnessed more than half a century of the team's basketball history, and this season Sister Jean laces up her custom-made Nikes, huddles with the players and sits courtside to cheer them on.

"I'm just having a lot of fun," Sister Jean said of the team's recent success and her own rise to social media stardom. "It's just brought so many happy memories to me."

Sister Jean was the most tweeted about person of the games this past weekend, according to Twitter. Even former president and Chicago favorite Barack Obama mentioned Sister Jean on Twitter.

Sister Jean said, "I began to love basketball when I was in high school," when women's courts were still divided into three sections instead of the full courts we have today.”

Number 11-seeded Loyola-Chicago defeated Miami 62-64 in an upset buzzer-beater, first-round win, then advanced to top Tennessee by 1 point in the second game of the tournament and will now face No. 6-seeded Nevada Thursday night in the Sweet 16.


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Johnny Louis/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Eighteen-time grand slam champion Martina Navratilova has criticized the BBC for paying John McEnroe at least 10 times more than her during its coverage of the Wimbledon championship.

During an interview for a TV program investigating gender pay discrepancy within the United Kingdom, Navratilova revealed that she was “shocked” and “not happy” to learn that McEnroe was being paid between $210,000 and $280,000 while she earned just $21,000.

The BBC said in a statement that the relative pay packets reflected completely different roles, adding that McEnroe and Navratilova are “simply not comparable,” and that “gender isn’t a factor” in their pay.

The BBC added that “along with Sue Barker,” McEnroe is “the face of our Wimbledon coverage” and said his contract is far more all-encompassing than that of Navratilova, who is an occasional contributor “contracted to carry out a fixed volume of work and paid per appearance.”

In contrast, McEnroe is expected to be on call for the duration of the tournament, was on air every day and was a commentator on live matches “12 of the 13 days,” in addition to having a whole host of TV, radio and press duties, the BBC said. Navratilova commentated on three live matches over the tournament, as well as “four highlights appearances, one short video and two other short studio appearances.”

When questioned in the interview over the BBC’s likely response that McEnroe did more work than her, Navratilova replied “10 times as much? I don’t think so.”

But the BBC statement said McEnroe has contractual obligations that extend beyond his time on screen, including the stipulation that he not work with any other U.K. broadcaster without the express permission of the BBC.

Sue Barker, whom the BBC named as the “face of Wimbledon” alongside McEnroe, earns between $420,000 and $490,000. However, she works throughout the year on various TV productions, whereas McEnroe is only contracted during the Wimbledon fortnight, the BBC said.

The BBC has been mired in controversy over its pay discrepancies ever since it published the earnings figures of its top-earning (over $210,000) on air stars.

Only a third were women, and the top seven were all male.

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Subscribe To This Feed, Tenn.) -- The two accused killers of NBA player Lorenzen Wright -- including his former wife -- are set to appear in court together for the first time today for allegedly shooting the athlete nearly eight years ago.

Wright's ex-wife, Sherra Wright, is accused of conspiring with Billy Turner to fatally shoot the 34-year-old basketball player in July 2010, the Shelby County District Attorney's Office in Tennessee said.

Lorenzen and Sherra Wright had filed for divorce in May 2009, according to Shelby County courts.

Lorenzen Wright, a Memphis native, was last seen alive leaving his ex-wife's home in Collierville, Tennessee, on July 18, 2010, the district attorney's office said. Early the next morning, a 911 call was made from his cellphone, but the call was interrupted by the sound of gunfire, the district attorney's office said.

A little more than a week later, on July 28, 2010, the NBA player's body was found in a field, shot several times, the district attorney's office said.

The case went unsolved for years.

Then last November, the alleged murder weapon was found in a lake near Walnut, Mississippi, prosecutors said.

Turner was arrested first, indicted Dec. 5, 2017, on first-degree murder charges.

Sherra Wright's arrest and additional charges for Turner were announced by the district attorney's office later that month: They were both indicted by a Shelby County grand jury on charges of first-degree premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

They have pleaded not guilty, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Saturday's sports events:


Final  Pittsburgh     13  Minnesota       5
Final  Houston         6  Miami           6
Final  Toronto        11                  3
Final  Cleveland       5  Chi Cubs        1
Final  Chi White Sox   5  L-A Dodgers     2
Final  Oakland         8  San Francisco   3
Final  Chi Cubs       11  Cleveland       4

Final  Detroit       9  N-Y Yankees   3
Final  Toronto       5  Baltimore     2
Final  Boston        4  Tampa Bay     3
Final  Kansas City   7  Texas         6
Final  Seattle       4  Oakland       1
Final  Seattle       7  L-A Angels    0
Final  Kansas City   5  Texas         5

Final  St. Louis      3  Atlanta         0
Final  Philadelphia  10  Atlanta         6
Final  N-Y Mets       9  Washington      7
Final  Milwaukee      4  Colorado        3
Final  Cincinnati     5  San Francisco   4
Final  San Diego      3  Arizona         3

Final  Milwaukee     122  Atlanta      117
Final  Washington    109  Indiana      102
Final  Houston       107  New Orleans  101
Final  N-Y Knicks    124  Charlotte    101
Final  Brooklyn      114  Dallas       106
Final  Memphis       101  Denver        94
Final  Cleveland     114  Chicago      109
Final  San Antonio   117  Minnesota    101
Final  Utah          103  Sacramento    97
Final  Golden State  124  Phoenix      109
Final  Portland      100  Detroit       87


Final  Buffalo        5  Chicago       3
Final  Edmonton       4  Florida       2
Final  New Jersey     3  L.A. Kings    0
Final  Toronto        4  Montreal      0
Final  Philadelphia   4  Carolina      2
Final  Columbus       2  Ottawa        1
Final  Boston         3  Tampa Bay     0
Final OT  St. Louis      4  N-Y Rangers   3
Final  Minnesota      3  Arizona       1
Final  San Jose       5  Vancouver     3

Final  (2) Villanova       81  Alabama          58
Final  (4) Kansas          83  Seton Hall       79
Final  (7) Michigan        64  (21) Houston     63
Final  (8) Gonzaga         90  (17) Ohio St.    84
Final  (9) Duke            87  Rhode Island     62
Final  Loyola of Chicago   63  (13) Tennessee   62
Final  (14) Texas Tech     69  (23) Florida     66
Final  (18) Kentucky       95  Buffalo          75

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