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VA Basketball Referee Banned After Inspecting 10-Year-Old Girl's Braids

"At the end of the day, they're 9 and 10, so why does it even matter?"

A white, basketball referee has been banned from officiating children's games in a Virginia City after he reportedly singled out and publicly inspected a 10-year-old black girl's braided hairstyle on Saturday (Jan. 12), WAVY-TV reports.

The young girl was reportedly wearing braids with blue extensions during the basketball game. Erica Guerrier, the mother of the young girl and coach of the team, said the referee mistakenly stated that hair weaves and braids are against the rules. Guerrier claimed the ref then made a "spectacle" out of her daughter during the game.

"At the end of the day, they're 9 and 10, so why does it even matter?" she told WAVY-TV.

Following the incident, Virginia High School League Executive Director Billy Haun said that the referee should not have raised concerns publicly.  Hampton Roads Basketball Association commissioner Rick Ennis announced that the ref is under investigation and is banned from officiating future games in the Chesapeake, VA area. In addition, Guerrier said that she would like the ref to apologize to her daughter for the embarrassment.

This isn't the first incident to occur at a sports event involving a black player's hair. A New Jersey high school referee received backlash after chopping off a black wrestler's dreadlocks in front of the entire school prior to his match. The ref was fired following public outrage.

Guerrier hopes her daughter's incident will be a lesson for other refs.  "I'm hoping that if the refs can get more education, more training, than we can see a decrease in these issues," she said.

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Naomi And Mari Osaka's Former Coach Claims He's Entitled To Earnings Percentage For "Indefinite" Period

Professional tennis' number one champ Naomi Osaka is seeking to ace an opponent in the court of law. According to TMZ, the 21-year-old athlete is being sued by her former coach, Christophe Jean, who claims he's entitled to 20 percent of Osaka and her sister, Mari's career winnings "and endorsement deals forever." The website states $2 million is the figure in contention.

Jean states he signed an agreement with the sisters' father, Leonard Francois, in March 2012 after the latter reportedly swapped out unaffordable coaching payments for a contract that would put the aforementioned percentage of money as it pertains to tennis into Jean's account indefinitely.

In a statement on the matter, Osaka's attorney Alex Spiro claims this lawsuit holds no weight. "While it comes as no surprise that Naomi's meteoric rise as an international icon and inspiration would lead to some false claim, this silly, imaginary contract that Naomi never saw or signed—which purports to give away part of herself at the age of 14—is particularly absurd," Spiro said as noted by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The Sun-Sentinel's coverage of the occurrence also outlines past instances where Osaka's father had allegedly questionable agreements with past coaches. Money seemed to be a central factor. After Osaka won the Australian Open earlier this year, she parted ways with coach Sascha Bajin and hired Jermaine Jenkins, who used to work with Venus Williams.

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Utah Jazz Owner Condemns Racism After Russell Westbrook Incident

Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller had a few choice words for fan Shane Keisel after the latter reportedly threw racist remarks at Russell Westbrook following a Monday night game (March 11).

"I am extremely disappointed that one of our quote 'fans' conducted himself in such a way to offend not only a guest in our arena but also me personally, my family, our organization, the community, our players and you, as the best fans in the NBA," Miller said, per ESPN, to the crowd of Jazz fans before the team faced off against the Minnesota Timberwolves Thursday night (March 14).

Within the speech, Miller emphasized how the behavior displayed by Keisel was unacceptable and called for "the best fans in the NBA" to report, in the future, if they saw similar conduct again.

"This should never happen," Miller said. "We are not a racist community. We believe in treating people with courtesy and respect as human beings. From time to time, individual fans exhibit poor behavior and forget their manners and disrespect players on other teams."

"When that happens, I want you to jump up and shout 'stop.' We have a code of conduct in this arena. It will be strictly enforced," the 76-year-old businesswoman continued.

This speech was spawned after Westbrook reported that the Jazz fan had told him to "get on your knees like you're used to." The point guard found the comment to be "completely disrespectful" and "racial." Following the discourse between the two, Westbrook was fined $25,000 by the NBA and Keisel was banned for life from Jazz games.

"Other teams are not our enemies. They are our competition. Competition is a good thing. It allows players to showcase their talents, and it allows fans to encourage, appreciate, cheer for and enjoy those who share their talents with us," Miller said.

Season-ticket holders of the Jazz were warned, via email, that their tickets can be revoked if they are to take the same steps as Keisel. In another email, Miller denounced hate speech and racism amongst other things as well as informing the fans that "violators may be subject to ejection and other penalties, including a lifetime ban."

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Aaron Hernandez's Murder Conviction Upheld Two Years After Suicide

Aaron Hernadez's murder conviction was upheld nearly two years after the former NFL tight end committed suicide inside his jail cell.

According to reports, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ignored the legal principle, which dissolves a person's conviction once they're deceased prior to an appeal stating it's "outdated and no longer consonant with the circumstances of contemporary life.”

In 2015, Hernandez was found guilty of killing semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. Two years later on April 9, 2017, the 27-year-old was found dead in his cell.

A judge previously threw out the conviction citing a defendant convicted during a trial but who has died prior to an appeal, shouldn't be considered guilty anymore. The conviction, however, was reinstated unanimously by Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court.

“We are pleased justice is served in this case, the antiquated practice of vacating a valid conviction is being eliminated and the victim's family can get the closure they deserve,” Thomas M. Quinn III of Bristol County tweeted.

The record will, however, reflect Hernandez's time of death in relation to the appeal. Hernandez was a former New England Patriot and fourth-round draft pick. He played for a brief three seasons.

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