Antoinette Toni Harris
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Antoinette "Toni" Harris Snags Football Scholarship, Stars In Toyota Super Bowl Commercial

The 22-year-old aspiring pro footballer may be the second woman to ever snag a college scholarship to play the male sport.

It's one thing to gear up and go to college, but it's another thing to make history while doing it. That's the potential reality for Antoinette "Toni" Harris, an NFL hopeful currently playing safety at East Los Angeles College. The Detroit native was recently offered a scholarship to Bethany College's NAIA program in Kansas.

She'll reportedly be the second woman to receive a football scholarship. According to SBNation, kicker Becca Longo signed with a DII school last spring and may have possibly been the United States’ first woman to ever earn a scholarship from a program.

"[Football] was something I watched with my cousin, his name is Demetrius Harris. I watched him play a lot," Harris told VIBE at Toyota’s First Annual Bowl Brunch in New York (Jan. 29). "My parents aren’t really into sports, but my mom played basketball, and my sister played. But my siblings didn’t play any sports, or any other sports for that matter, it was just me. I grew up watching [Harris], and I wanted to do it too."

On the same day as the brunch, the rising athlete also made her debut in Toyota's newly released Super Bowl commercial, which supports the release of their expectation-defying 2019 RAV4 HV. The spot was as directed by Space Jam's Joe Pytka, who has directed over 80 Super Bowl commercials.

As for the actual game between the New England Patriots against the L.A. Rams, Harris has her own hopes for the big game's outcome.

"I’m not really for either team, but I’d rather see the L.A. Rams win in the Super Bowl," she says. "It’s time for something new, there should be a stipulation about how many times you can be in these big things. You wanna see sports competitions, not blowouts and not the same teams in the finals each time."

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CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees pitches during the tenth inning against the Houston Astros in game two of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 13, 2019 in Houston, Texas.
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CC Sabathia Ends Pro-Baseball Career With New York Yankees

On Friday evening (Oct. 18), the New York Yankees and its fans bid adieu to longtime baseball player CC Sabathia. The 39-year-old participated in the MLB's American League Championship match against the Houston Astros when he ruptured his left shoulder.

Once the injury was examined by medical officials, the Yankees opted to replace Sabathia with Ben Heller, leading the former pitcher to trade in his pinstripes indefinitely, according to ESPN. After the game, Sabathia took to Twitter to post a message of gratitude and reflection.

"From Cleveland, to Milwaukee, New York, and everywhere in between, I'm so thankful to have experienced this journey with every teammate past and present," he said. "All I ever wanted was to be a great teammate and win."

Thank you, Baseball. pic.twitter.com/o4lGeQi3uJ

— CC Sabathia (@CC_Sabathia) October 21, 2019

The left-hander, born Carsten Charles Sabathia Jr., found a passion in baseball during his high school years in his native city of Vallejo, California. From there, Sabathia joined the pros in 1998 as part of the Cleveland Indians. Seven years passed before he took the mound for the Milwaukee Brewers for a year. Then in 2009, Sabathia inked a contract with the Yankees where he won the World Series that same year.

"I'm going to miss going out there on the mound and competing, but it's time to say farewell," he wrote. "Thank you, Baseball." Sports franchises and agencies wished Sabathia the best on his new journey.

“Thank you. It’s been an amazing 11 years. I’ve loved every minute of it here in the Bronx.” [email protected]_Sabathia

We've loved every minute of it too, CC 💙 #LegaCCy pic.twitter.com/7e9z0F517q

— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 18, 2019

A parting message from one of the greatest to ever do it. Thank you, @CC_Sabathia. #LegaCCy pic.twitter.com/J6NkFuDsTa

— Roc Nation Sports (@RocNationSports) October 21, 2019

Congrats on an incredible career @CC_Sabathia! Hope to still see you around Brooklyn 👊 pic.twitter.com/9JdMydrfVI

— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) October 21, 2019

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Patrick Day stands in his corner before his fight against Elvin Ayala during their junior middleweight fight at Madison Square Garden on October 27, 2018 in New York City
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Boxer Patrick Day Dies From Traumatic Brain Injury After Knockout

On Wednesday (Oct. 16), junior middleweight boxer Patrick Day died from traumatic brain injuries set on by a recent knockout, ESPN reports. During Saturday's bout against Charles Conwell (Oct. 12), Day suffered a trio of destructive blows to the head in the tenth round after enduring previous hits in the fourth and eighth rounds. He fell into a coma while being treated at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Born in Freeport, New York, the 27-year-old not only had pursuits inside of the ring but also on the outside. Day obtained a bachelor's degree in health and wellness from Kaplan University, adding to his associate degree from Nassau Community College for nutrition. In 2006, he embarked on his professional boxing career, taking home the New York Golden Gloves six years later.

"On behalf of Patrick's family, team, and those closest to him, we are grateful for the prayers, expressions of support and outpouring of love for Pat that have been so obvious since his injury," promoter Lou DiBella said in a statement to ESPN. "He was a son, brother, and good friend to many. Pat's kindness, positivity, and generosity of spirit made a lasting impression with everyone he met."

Conwell took to his social media accounts to share his condolences and expressed remorse for how the match ended. "If I could take it all back I would no one deserves for this to happen to them," he wrote. "I replay the fight over and over in my head thinking what if this never happened and why did it happen to you." The undefeated boxer noted he entertained thoughts of quitting boxing but believes Day would want him to continue on in the sport.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

This is my last time speaking on the situation because of this being a sensitive topic not only for his family and friends but for myself and the sport of boxing. Dear Patrick Day, I never meant for this to happen to you. All I ever wanted to do was win. If I could take it all back I would no one deserves for this to happen to them. I replay the fight over and over in my head thinking what if this never happened and why did it happen to you. I can’t stop thinking about it myself I prayed for you so many times and shedded so many tears because I couldn’t even imagine how my family and friends would feel. I see you everywhere I go and all I hear is wonderful things about you. I thought about quitting boxing but I know that’s not what you would want I know that you were a fighter at heart so I decided not to but to fight and win a world title because that’s what you wanted and thats what I want so I’ll use you as motivation every day and make sure I always leave it all in the ring every time. #ChampPatrickDay With Compassion, Charles Conwell

A post shared by Boxings Best Kept Secret 🤫 (@charlesconwell) on Oct 14, 2019 at 3:54pm PDT

The boxing community swiftly expressed their thoughts and prayers for Day's family.

RIP young King Patrick Day All Day! 🙏❤️

— Amanda Serrano 🇵🇷 (@Serranosisters) October 17, 2019

Our deepest condolences to the family, friends and the team of Patrick Day. Rest In Peace Pat.

— Gennadiy Golovkin (@GGGBoxing) October 17, 2019

Another tragic day in our beloved sport. RIP Patrick Day pic.twitter.com/M23grCjHD3

— Carl Frampton MBE (@RealCFrampton) October 17, 2019

A truly heartbreaking situation...

RIP #PatrickDay & thoughts go out to all his loved ones 🙏 - rest easy champ 💔 pic.twitter.com/QmvEWrhBeF

— iFL TV™ (@IFLTV) October 17, 2019

R.I.P. to Patrick Day. 27 years old, he had his whole life ahead of him. Rest easy Champ 🖤✊🏽 pic.twitter.com/KW4eEdLeor

— Ashley Theophane (@AshleyTheophane) October 16, 2019

Another sad day for the boxing world. Our sincere condolences to the family of Patrick Day 🙏 pic.twitter.com/AlaaTKhuPe

— MayweatherPromotions (@MayweatherPromo) October 16, 2019

Devastated to hear the news of the passing of Patrick Day.I met him for the first time last Thursday,what a charming young man with a dream and a smile that lit up the room.Our deepest prayers are with his family, his trainer Joe Higgins,Charles Conwell and promoter Lou DiBella🙏

— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) October 16, 2019

Keep lifting up my brother #PatrickDay we need non stop prayers! For him, his family, and the boxing community. This kid is such a blessing and doesn’t deserve this. I haven’t prayed, cried, or tweeted in so long #LetsGoChamp pic.twitter.com/q4Pmmx2b2H

— Magic Marcus Willis (@MagicMarcusW) October 16, 2019

Rest In Peace.

Patrick Day was always kind, happy and an exceptional good man who was outstandingly passionate about boxing. We will always remember you for all of that. pic.twitter.com/v506g26nmX

— World Boxing Council (@WBCBoxing) October 16, 2019

Damn man, Rest easy Patrick Day. Prayers to your friends and family

— Gervonta Davis (@Gervontaa) October 16, 2019

The last North American boxer to die from brain injuries following a match was Kevin Payne in March 2006 after a surgery to treat the impact. According to the NCBI, 20 percent of pro boxers suffer Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury (CTBI). The condition is similar to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) which has been a recurring topic in sports like football and hockey.

"While we already know that boxing and other combat sports are linked to brain damage, little is known about how this process develops and who may be on the path to developing CTE," said Dr. Charles Bernick, a researcher at the Cleveland Clinic said in an American Academy of Neurology, per CBS News.

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Colin Kaepernick’s Team Sets The Record Straight About His NFL Career

Colin Kaepernick hasn’t given up on his dream of getting back in the NFL, per a statement released by his team on Thursday (Oct. 10). The 31-year-old athlete’s agent, Jeff Nalley, and public relations director addressed “false narratives” about the possibility of Kaepernick getting back in the league.

“There have been so many false narratives in the media regarding Colin, we believe it important to set the record straight, again,” the statement begins.

“Not a single team” has brought Kaepernick in for a workout since he walked away from the 49ers, although the Seattle Seahawks had him come in for a visit, the team didn’t work him out.

After filing a lawsuit accusing team owners of conspiring to blacklist him from the league Kaepernick, and his former 49ers teammate Eric Reid, reached a confidential settlement with the NFL in February.

Reid currently plays for the Carolina Panthers.

Nalley has reached out to all 32 NFL teams but received “little to no response” on Kaepernick, something that he’s never seen in his 25 years as an agent. He goes on to deny reports that Kaepernick set salary demands, and shares stats to prove that his client is “still good enough” to play football at the “highest level.”

The statement concludes, “In summary, it is difficult to think of another young player in NFL history with statistics and character as impressive as Colin’s not being given an opportunity to earn a spot on an NFL roster after what he has accomplished.”

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