Sports

San Francisco 49ers not allowed to play in stadium for 3 weeks under new COVID-19 restrictions

Michael Vi/iStockBy MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News

(SANTA CLARA, Calif.) -- The San Francisco 49ers will not be allowed to practice or play in their stadium for three weeks under new county health restrictions that prohibit contact sports.

Stanford University's athletics, including its football program, will also be affected.

Santa Clara County health officials announced the new restrictions on Saturday, as the county reported a record 760 COVID-19 cases.

"Our case rates have been surging since November. In fact, we have the highest case rate of any county in the San Francisco Bay area," county health officer Dr. Sara Cody said at a press briefing.

Hospitalizations have also doubled since Nov. 12, she said, with a record 239 reported on Saturday.

The restrictions, which start Monday and last through Dec. 21, impact gatherings, capacity limits and recreational activities.

Among them, professional, collegiate and youth sports that involve direct contact are temporarily prohibited.

Health officials confirmed that means that the 49ers will not be allowed to play home games at Levi's Stadium. The team has games scheduled there on Dec. 7 and Dec. 13. It is unclear if the games will be moved or postponed.

The Stanford Cardinal football team also currently has a home game scheduled for Dec. 12.

Neither team has allowed fans into their stadiums this season.

Additionally, people who travel more than 150 miles from home will have to quarantine for 14 days. The 49ers are currently headed to Los Angeles for a game against the Rams Sunday afternoon, as noted by sports reporter Jennifer Lee Chan. It's unclear if the new quarantine order will impact the team.

"We are aware of the Santa Clara County Public Health Department's emergency directive," the 49ers said in a statement. "We are working with the NFL and our partners on operational plans and will share details as they are confirmed."

Stanford has not publicly responded to the new measures. Neither have the NFL or Pac-12.

The San Jose State football program would also be affected by the regulations. Training camp for the NHL's San Jose Sharks, set to begin in early December, could also be affected.

Other new county restrictions will limit hotels to essential travel, health care workers and quarantine or isolation purposes. Card rooms will also close. Capacity at most indoor facilities will be reduced to 10% (grocery stores and pharmacies can operate at 25% capacity), and outdoor gatherings will be limited to 100 people.

Health officials also urged residents to stay home as much as possible.

"This pandemic is like a high-speed train, and our projections tell us that we are on target to derail by around the third week of December if we don't apply brakes right now with all our collective might," Cody said.

The current projections do not take Thanksgiving into account, with holiday gatherings and travel likely to "create a surge," she added.

The measures are in addition to a nightly curfew and nonessential business closures issued by the state for counties including Santa Clara that are in the "purple" tier, indicating widespread COVID-19 risk.

ABC News' Abigail Shalawylo and Matthew Fuhrman contributed to this report.


Vanderbilt's Sarah Fuller becomes the first woman to play in a Power 5 conference football game

fstop123/iStockBY: MEREDITH DELISO, ABC NEWS

(NEW YORK) — No woman has ever played in a Power 5 conference game. That all changed on Saturday, when Sarah Fuller took to the field as Vanderbilt plays Missouri.

Fuller kicked off for Vanderbilt to start the second half of the game, in Missouri.

The history-making move came on the heels of a Southeastern Conference championship-winning soccer season for the Vanderbilt senior, who sported her soccer jersey number -- 32 -- for Saturday's game.

Fuller told reporters after the game that she was "really calm" during her kickoff. "I was really excited to step out on the field and do my thing," she said, adding that her soccer championship game was "more stressful."

The athlete also had a message for her young fans.

"I just want to tell all the girls out there that you can do anything you set your mind to, you really can," she said. "And if you have that mentality all the way through, you can do big things.”

For the game, Fuller wore "Play Like a Girl" on the back of her helmet, a nod to a nonprofit that encourages girls to become leaders in STEM by keeping them engaged in sports.

The athlete drew support from both Vanderbilt and Missouri spectators at Saturday's game, with one self-proclaimed Mizzou fan sporting a sign cheering for Fuller.

The Commodores ultimately lost the game 41-0, and are now 0-8 for the season.

The goalkeeper was recruited as a kicker after several of the football team's specialists had to quarantine this week due to COVID-19 testing, according to ESPN.

Fuller told Vanderbilt University the opportunity to help the team out would be "an honor."

"I think it's amazing and incredible," Fuller said in an article on the athletic program's website. "But I'm also trying to separate that because I know this is a job I need to do, and I want to help the team out and I want to do the best that I can. Placing that historical aspect aside just helps me focus in on what I need to do. I don't want to let them down in any way."

Fuller also made history as the SEC's first female football player, according to Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt's head soccer coach, Darren Ambrose, said Fuller's "the right person for the job."

"So excited for you and for college football," the coach said in a social media post.

Congratulations also poured in from the SEC, Tennessee Titans, Jen Welter, the first female coach in the NFL, tennis great Bille Jean King and Vanderbilt alums including Adena Friedman, the president and CEO of Nasdaq, who called Fuller a "tremendous athlete and role model.”

Fuller joins an elite company of female athletes who have competed in the Football Bowl Subdivision also as kickers: Katie Hnida for New Mexico in the early 2000s, and April Goss for Kent State in the mid-2010s.

Ashley Martin is believed to be the first female athlete to play and score in an NCAA Division I football game, for Jacksonville State in 2001.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Denver Broncos the latest NFL team hampered by coronavirus

Augustas Cetkauskas/iStock

By CARMEN COX, ABC News

(DENVER) -- More positive COVID-19 tests forced the Denver Broncos to cancel Friday's practice. This is the third time the Broncos have cancelled practice because of the coronavirus.

NFL medical staff initially cleared the team to practice on Thanksgiving after moving quarterback Jeff Driskel to the reserve/COVID-19 list the same day, ESPN reports. It was unclear whether Driskel had tested positive for coronavirus or was listed as a close contact of another positive tester.

On Friday, one player and two Broncos staffers tested positive, according to a team statement, prompting the team to cancel practice and close its training facility. The team said the coaching staff will meet virtually with players.

Despite the cancelled practice time, the Broncos plan to play Sunday's scheduled game at Empower Field at Mile High against the New Orleans Saints.  

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup -- 11/26/20

iStockBy ABC News

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

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Houston 41, Detroit 25
Washington 41, Dallas 16

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Gonzaga 102, Kansas 90
Villanova 83, Arizona State 74
Illinois 97, Chicago State 38
West Virginia 78, VCU 66

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Michael Jordan donates $2M of proceeds from "The Last Dance" to food banks

ESPNBy KELLY MCCARTHY, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- NBA superstar Michael Jordan pledged a portion of proceeds from his hit ESPN documentary series, The Last Dance, to food banks to help feed hungry families and individuals in need this holiday season.

The five-time MVP, who led the Chicago Bulls to six championships, said in a statement provided by Feeding America on Twitter that “in these challenging times and in a year of unimaginable difficulty due to COVID-19, it's more important than ever to pause and give thanks."

“I am proud to be donating additional proceeds from 'The Last Dance' to Feeding America and its member food banks in the Carolinas and Chicago to help feed America's hungry," he added.

The Charlotte Hornets owner was raised in North Carolina and played college hoops for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.

This is not the first philanthropic act of Jordan's during what has been a difficult year for many Americans amid the pandemic.

In June, the 57-year-old basketball legend announced that along with the Jordan Brand he was pledging $100 million over the next 10 years to nationwide organizations "dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education."

"Black lives matter. This isn't a controversial statement," he and the company -- a subsidiary of Nike -- said in a joint statement amid the massive outcry for racial justice in the U.S. "Until the ingrained racism that allows our country's institutions to fail is completely eradicated, we will remain committed to protecting and improving the lives of Black people."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Report: More positive COVID-19 cases identified among Ravens team

33ft/iStockBy JEANETTE TORRES-PEREZ, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- More positive cases of COVID-19 have reportedly been identified within the Baltimore Ravens organization.

Citing a source, ESPN reports the additional positive tests from Wednesday includes one Ravens player. That brings the total up to seven players who either tested positive for the novel coronavirus or were identified as close contacts.

Additionally, some members of the team's coaching and support staff have also tested positive for the virus, ESPN reports.

On Wednesday, the Ravens issued a statement saying the organization has "disciplined a staff member for conduct surrounding the recent COVID-19 cases that have affected players and staff at the Ravens." No further details were provided.

 

Statement from the Baltimore Ravens. pic.twitter.com/EjDmDSt2Ky

— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) November 25, 2020

 

Following the news that some Ravens players tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, the NFL announced on Wednesday that it would be moving Thursday night's game between Baltimore and the Pittsburgh Steelers to Sunday afternoon.

In a statement, the league said it was postponing the game "out of an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel and in consultation with medical experts."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup -- 11/25/20

iStockBy ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Wednesday's sports events:

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Villanova 76, Boston College 67
Virginia 89, Towson 54
Iowa 97, NC Central 67
Wisconsin 77, E. Illinois 67
Illinois 122, NC A&T 60
Kentucky 81, Morehead St. 45
Michigan St. 83, E. Michigan 67
Texas Tech 101, Northwestern St. 58
West Virginia 79, S. Dakota St. 71
North Carolina 79, Coll. of Charleston 60
Houston 89, Lamar 45
Arizona St. 94, Rhode Island 88
Texas 91, Rio Grande 55
San Diego St. 73, UCLA 58
Ohio St. 94, Illinois St. 67
Rutgers 86, Sacred Heart 63
Michigan 96, Bowling Green 82
Baylor at Arizona St. (Canceled)
Virginia at  Maine (Canceled)
Gardner-Webb at Duke (Postponed)
S. Dakota St. at Creighton (Canceled)
Charlotte at Tennessee (Canceled)
N. Iowa at West Virginia (Canceled)
E. Washington at Oregon (Postponed)

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Ravens-Steelers game postponed to Sunday after positive COVID-19 tests

EricVega/iStockBy CARMEN COX, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- The Baltimore Steelers will play the Pittsburg Steelers Sunday afternoon, the NFL announced Wednesday.

The game was initially scheduled to kick off Thanksgiving night, but was moved after several Ravens players tested positive for coronavirus. In total five players and four staffers have received positive test results this week, sources confirmed to ESPN.

The NFL said in a statement that the decision to postpone the game "was made out of an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel and in consultation with medical experts."

On Monday, the Ravens announced running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram both tested positive for COVID-19. Linebacker Pernell McPhee and defensive tackle Brandon Williams were also placed on the Ravens reserve list this week, ESPN reports.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Soccer Legend Diego Maradona Dead at 60

Archivo El Grafico/Getty ImagesBy CARMEN COX, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona has died at the age of 60, his longtime agent, Matias Morla, confirmed Wednesday.

The legendary midfielder and manager suffered cardiac arrest while at home, the BBC reports.

Maradona had recently undergone a successful brain surgery and was  released from hospitalization Nov. 11, according to ESPN.

The Argentine Football Association president, Claudio Tapia, shared condolences in a public statement Wednesday, saying the organization "expressed its deepest pain at the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You'll always be in our hearts."

Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez mourned Maradona on Twitter, writing,"You took us to the top of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of all. Thanks for having existed, Diego. We will miss you for life."

 

Nos llevaste a lo más alto del mundo. Nos hiciste inmensamente felices. Fuiste el más grande de todos.

Gracias por haber existido, Diego. Te vamos a extrañar toda la vida. pic.twitter.com/pAf38sRlGC

— Alberto Fernández (@alferdez) November 25, 2020

 

Fernandez also confirmed three days of mourning to honor Maradona's memory.

The Argentinian national team also posted a tribute on Twitter:

 

Hasta siempre, Diego.

Serás #Eterno en cada corazón del planeta fútbol. pic.twitter.com/jcsGP3GlNI

— Selección Argentina 🇦🇷 (@Argentina) November 25, 2020

 

Maradona was captain Argentina one the 1986 World Cup. He later played for Barcelona and Napoli, winning two Serie A titles with the Italian team.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Mike Tyson returns to the ring, but this time, he's a different man

ABC NewsBy ASHLEY LOUSZKO and EMILY TAGUCHI, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Mike Tyson, the once undisputed world heavyweight champion boxer, appears to be a different man than he was during the two decades that he reigned in the sport, and he says it's not just his age.

But this weekend, the legendary fighter will be returning to the ring to face former champion Roy Jones Jr. in an exhibition match. It’s a fight that he’s spent months training for and, despite his reputation, one that he said he’s both “excited” and “absolutely” nervous about.

“I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t have nerves,” Tyson, 54, told ABC News' Nightline co-anchor Byron Pitts. “I mean, you don’t participate in anything at this level of excitement without having nerves, but that also catapults you another level of participating.”

Although it’ll be an exhibition match, anything can happen in the ring when the two men start throwing punches, Tyson says.

“It’s an unwritten clause in our contract … that anytime during training and fighting, you can die,” Tyson said. “I’ve seen it happen. … So that’s a great possibility that we wish don’t happen, we hope don’t happen, but that happens in the sports game.”

The match will be part of a new initiative that Tyson’s launching called “Legends Only League,” which will give retired athletes a chance to compete again. He says that the “second chance at glory” was inspired by stories about former NFL wide receiver Jerry Rice.

“Just ask anybody who would they rather see play, Jerry Rice or the guy that’s playing his position right now on a team that he played with, and you would get, overwhelmingly, they wanna see Jerry Rice,” Tyson said. “And so, now just because he’s a few seconds over for the best time, he can’t participate?”

The initiative is only the latest of Tyson’s ventures since retiring from professional boxing in 2005. But even then, his tumultuous past would continue to haunt him.

Having grown up in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, Tyson was exposed to violence and poverty at a young age. With an estranged father and an alcoholic mother, he was no stranger to street crime, having been arrested over 30 times before 12 years old.

He was eventually introduced to Hall of Fame trainer and boxing manager Constantine “Cus” D’Amato, who molded him into a professional boxer. In 1986, at just 20 years old, Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion of all time after defeating Trevor Berbick.

The title helped launch Tyson’s fame around the world. But for all the love he received from fans, there was also controversy.

During an interview with ABC News’ Barbara Walters for 20/20 in 1988, his then-wife Robin Givens accused him of domestic violence.

“He shakes, he pushes, he swings,” she said on TV. “Sometimes, I think he’s trying to scare me. There are times when it happened that I thought I couldn’t handle it. And just recently, I’ve become afraid. I mean, very, very much afraid.”

The marriage ended in divorce a short time after the interview. Then, years later during an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, he admitted to Winfrey that the relationship had been abusive.

In 1992, Tyson was convicted of raping 18-year-old Desiree Washington in Indiana and sentenced to six years in prison. He was released less than three years later, after which he returned to the ring.

Just a couple of years later, in 1997, Tyson was disqualified in a now-infamous moment during the world heavyweight championship fight when he violently bit off a piece of opponent Evander Holyfield’s ear. The incident led to the suspension of Tyson’s boxing license, although it was later reinstated.

Tyson left boxing and began to dabble in movies. In 2009, he appeared in a now-famous cameo in The Hangover. But on and off the set, he was also struggling with drug addiction.

“I OD’d a bunch of times,” Tyson said. “And my wife snapped me out of it and stuff -- called people, fixed me up.”

Today, Tyson hosts the “Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson” podcast and manages the Tyson Ranch, a company that promotes cannabis-based products.

However, he says his most important role is that of “family man.” Tyson had two children with his third and current wife, Lakiha Spicer -- Morocco Tyson, 9, and Milan Tyson, 11. Tyson says Milan, who is a budding tennis player, “will be a prodigy.”

Reflecting on his past, Tyson says he is committed to leaving it behind.

“Life has beat me into submission. It has nothing to do with me being humble. Life was just tougher than me at the moment,” he said, referring to his responsibilities as a father and husband. “I’m unable to successfully be the ass---- that I was before. … I have no choice … I’m committed and living the other way.”

“I have struggled,” he added. “But it’s really good.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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