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Atlanta Icon Usher to Take Center Stage at 2024 Super Bowl Halftime

In a historic move, Usher is set to headline the 2024 Super Bowl Halftime Show. The iconic singer from Atlanta will grace the stage at Allegiant Stadium, marking the first time the Super Bowl will be held in Las Vegas.

Usher expressed his excitement, stating, "It’s an honor of a lifetime to finally check a Super Bowl performance off my bucket list. I can’t wait to bring the world a show unlike anything else they’ve seen from me before."

Additionally, Usher announced that his ninth album, "Coming Home," will be released on Super Bowl Sunday. This marks his first album since 2016's "Hard II Love." The album will feature his previous 2023 release, "Good Good," featuring Summer Walker and 21 Savage.

Usher has a storied career with 18 top 10 hits on the Hot 100, including nine No. 1s, and four No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200.

Seth Dudowsky, the head of music for the NFL, stated, "Usher is an icon whose music has left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape throughout his career. We look forward to working with Usher, Roc Nation, and Apple Music to bring fans another Halftime Show for the history books."

This performance continues the partnership between the NFL and Roc Nation, with past halftime shows featuring renowned artists like Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, The Weeknd, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna.

The Super Bowl Halftime Show will be presented by Apple Music for the second consecutive year. Last year's show with Rihanna became the most-watched halftime show of all time.

Super Bowl LVIII will air live on CBS on February 11, 2024.

Simone Biles Makes History: Clinches Eighth National All-Around Title at US Gymnastics Championships

Simone Biles, widely regarded as one of the greatest gymnasts of all time, secured her eighth national all-around title with a commanding performance on Sunday at the US Gymnastics Championships.

Biles, 26, also became the oldest woman to claim the championship, outscoring Shilese Jones by a significant 3.9 points. Jones, the 2022 US and world championships all-around silver medalist, finished as the runner-up.

With her eighth victory, Biles surpasses Alfred Jochim's previous record of seven all-around gold medals, which had stood for 90 years since 1933.

"I think it feels really special," Biles shared with NBC, the broadcaster of the championships. "I’ve been doing it for so long, I feel like I don’t think about numbers, I think about my performance. And I think, overall, I hit eight for eight (routines)… I guess it’s a lucky number this year."After an extended hiatus from major competitions, Biles displayed exceptional poise and skill in her routines, emerging as the dominant force throughout the championships. Her performance on Friday and Sunday was nothing short of impressive, culminating in a remarkable floor exercise routine that garnered a score of 15.400.

As she concluded her floor routine to an enthusiastic ovation from the crowd, Biles was embraced by her teammates and coaches. Teammate Jordan Chiles also took the opportunity to acknowledge Biles' extraordinary achievement, waving her arms to the crowd to sustain the applause.

Amidst the celebration, Biles remained coy about her participation in the upcoming Olympics. "I like to keep (my goals) personal just so that I know what I am aiming for," she explained to NBC. "I’m trying to move a little bit differently this year than I have in the past. So I think it’s working so far, so I’m gonna keep it a little bit secretive."

Biles' triumphant return follows a two-year hiatus after the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, where she withdrew from several events due to the mental block known as the "twisties." Remarkably, she executed elements in her routines that no other female gymnast has successfully landed in competition.The victory propels Biles, who has earned 27 U.S. titles and 35 national championship medals overall since her senior debut in 2013, into the World Championships/Pan American Games Selection Camp, scheduled for September 18-21 in Katy, Texas, where rosters for the 2023 FIG Artistic World Championships and 2023 Pan American Games will be finalized.

Tennis Icon Serena Williams Welcomes Daughter Adira with Partner Alexis Ohanian

Photo Credit: Serena Williams/Instagram 

The world of Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian expanded today with the joyful arrival of their second child, a baby girl named Adira.

Alexis Ohanian proudly confirmed the heartwarming news through an Instagram post that showcased a poignant family portrait. He expressed his gratitude and happiness in the caption, writing, "Welcome, Adira River Ohanian. I’m grateful to report our house is brimming with love: a contented and healthy newborn girl and a happy and healthy mama. Feeling profoundly grateful. @serenawilliams, you’ve once again bestowed upon me an unparalleled gift – you’re the GMOAT. A heartfelt thank you to all the exceptional medical staff who cared for my wife and our daughter πŸ™. The moment when I introduced @olympiaohanian to her baby sister will forever remain etched in my memory."

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian, both accomplished in their respective fields, already share the joy of parenthood with their five-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., who was born in September 2017.

The revelation of Williams' second pregnancy took center stage at the 2023 Met Gala, where the tennis icon elegantly displayed her growing baby bump while adorned in a form-fitting black Gucci gown. Confirming the exciting news later on Instagram, Williams shared her enthusiasm about the forthcoming addition to their family.

In a poignant essay for Vogue last year, Williams shared her introspections and aspirations beyond the tennis court. Addressing her journey, she wrote, "I have never embraced the word retirement. It doesn’t resonate as a contemporary term for me. I see this phase as a transition, yet I'm conscious of the significance this term holds within a certain community. Perhaps the word that best captures my current path is 'evolution'." She continued, "I'm here to convey that my path is shifting from tennis towards other meaningful pursuits. A few years ago, I discreetly initiated Serena Ventures, a venture capital enterprise. Shortly after that, I embarked on the journey of motherhood. My intention is to nurture and expand my family."

Music Icon Chuck D and MLB Forge Partnership to Commemorate Hip-Hop Culture

Courtesy of California African American Museum
Major League Baseball has joined forces with music icon Chuck D to commemorate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop culture.

This Friday, the Bronx will take center stage as the co-founder of the pioneering musical ensemble Public Enemy assumes a special role as correspondent during the "Hip Hop 50 Live at Yankee Stadium" concert. This event also marks the launch of MLB's yearlong partnership with New York-based media company Mass Appeal's Hip Hop 50 initiative.

Described on the company's website as "a manifestation of the company’s commitment to celebrating the culture in the most authentic and globally impactful way possible," Hip Hop 50 is Mass Appeal's ultimate tribute to the genre.

In a move that merges music and sports, the rapper will be entrusted with capturing the essence of this star-studded gathering. His insights will be artfully curated into exclusive content across MLB's multifaceted platforms, including @MLB, @MLBLife social handles,, MLB.TV and MLB Network.

Reflecting on the profound significance of this collaboration, Chuck D expressed his excitement, stating, “As a longtime baseball fanatic, I am beyond honored to be the first Hip Hop artist to collaborate with Major League Baseball in this dynamic new way — connecting sound and culture to the stories of the game. Thank you to MLB for adding me to the lineup... and the pitch is on the way."

Throughout the year, he will engage in a sustained partnership with MLB. This collaboration will encompass MLB’s robust social media presence, the dynamic MLB Network, and captivating in-stadium videos — all deliberately aimed at unraveling the intricate relationship between baseball and Hip Hop culture.

A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Chuck D has long held a deep affection for the sport. In April 2023, he unveiled "We Wreck Stadiums," an album that pays homage to baseball's luminaries and their enduring impact on the sport.

Steph Curry Stuns Fans With Rap Prowess in 'Lil Fish, Big Pond' Music Video

Screengrab "Lil Fish, Big Pond" video via Twitter
Golden State Warriors' star Steph Curry proves he's a man of many talents as he showcases his musical prowess in a new rap song that's taking the internet by storm. Teaming up with Houston-based rapper Tobe Nwigwe, Curry's debut on "Lil Fish, Big Pond" has already racked up over 16,000 views on YouTube within just four hours of release.

In the music video, Curry and Nwigwe are seen bonding over a fishing trip, but it's the lyrics that have fans buzzing. Curry opens the song with his smooth delivery, boasting lines like "Daddy taught me how to flick my wrist, I'm my father's son" and "They should put the basket in the casket after I am done." It's clear that Curry's skills extend beyond the basketball court.

Watch the video below.

Pro Football Great Jim Brown Dies at 87, Remembered for Athletic Brilliance and Social Activism

Courtesy LBJ Presidential Library Photo by Lizzie Chen

Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown, the running back known for his exceptional athletic prowess,
successful acting career, and role as a civil rights advocate during the 1960s, has died at 87.

According to a family spokesperson, Brown died peacefully at his Los Angeles home on Thursday night, with his wife, Monique, by his side.

Brown had a nine-year career with the Cleveland Browns from 1957 to 1965, leaving an enduring legacy. He was awarded the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1965 and made a mark on the league's record books.

After retiring at the age of 30, Brown transitioned into a successful acting career, appearing in over 30 films, including notable works such as "Any Given Sunday" and "The Dirty Dozen." His running style and skills boosted the popularity of football on television.Brown's impact extended beyond sports. In 1967, he orchestrated a meeting known as "The Cleveland Summit," bringing together top Black athletes, including Muhammad Ali, to support Ali's stand against the Vietnam War.

Throughout his life, Brown dedicated himself to various social causes. He worked to combat gang violence in Los Angeles and founded the Amer-I-Can program in 1988, empowering underprivileged inner-city youth and ex-convicts.

In a statement on Twitter, the Browns organization expressed appreciation for being part of Jim Brown's life and legacy. They mourned his passing, celebrated his impact, and extended condolences to his family and loved ones.Brown's talent and commitment to social change solidified his place in history. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell highlighted Brown's athletic dominance and role in inspiring athletes to engage in social initiatives during the civil rights movement.

“Jim Brown was a gifted athlete — one of the most dominant players to ever step on any athletic field — but also a cultural figure who helped promote change,” Goodell said. “During his nine-year NFL career, which coincided with the civil rights movement here at home, he became a forerunner and role model for athletes being involved in social initiatives outside their sport.”

Despite personal controversies, Brown's athletic achievements remain unparalleled. Standing at 6-foot-2 and weighing 230 pounds, he had a combination of strength and agility that made him a formidable force. His signature stiff-arm move became legendary.

Brown's career earned him eight All-Pro selections and nine Pro Bowl appearances. When he retired, he held the NFL's all-time records for rushing yards (12,312) and touchdowns (126). Notably, he never missed a game, showcasing his durability and tenacity.Tributes poured in from fellow athletes, fans, and admirers as news of Brown's passing spread. NBA superstar LeBron James expressed respect and gratitude for Brown's impact on their lives.Jim Brown's legacy transcends sports. He inspired generations, exemplified excellence on and off the field, and made contributions to athletics, activism, and humanitarian efforts that will forever be etched in history, alongside his talent and pursuit of greatness.

Ice Cube's BIG3 League Makes International Push With 2023 London Championship

BIG3 Basketball has announced its postseason cities and dates for the 2023 season, which will include the return of the BIG3 All-Star Game and the league's first-ever European game.

The three-on-three professional basketball league, founded by rapper Ice Cube in 2017, has expanded to include more international events and is poised to attract an even bigger audience.
The BIG3 playoffs will take place in three cities across the United States, starting with the first round in Miami on August 12. The second round will be held in Dallas on August 19, and the championship game will be played in Chicago on September 2.
In addition to the playoffs, the BIG3 will host its All-Star Game in London on August 26, marking the league's first-ever game in Europe. Ice Cube hopes to attract British sports and music stars to the event, along with basketball legends such as Julius "Dr J" Erving and Clyde "the Glide" Drexler.

"We want it to be star-studded. We want it to be the place to be in London on August 26," Ice Cube said in an exclusive interview with The Sun. "Maybe the King might pop through and check it out, you never know!"

The BIG3 has grown in popularity in recent years, with a growing European presence and plans to expand even further. Ice Cube and his business partner Jeff Kwatinetz are currently in the process of selling BIG3 teams to outside investors, which will allow the league to pivot to a franchise model.

Ice Cube also hopes to create a World Cup-style event for the professional game, called the "Big Cup," where countries put their best players together to compete at the highest level. "Our dream is to see the BIG3 in most of the countries around the world playing hoops," he said.

Shaq Shows Off Music Chops in New Tracks: "Thotties Hit The Floor" and "King Talk"

Retired NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, also known as DJ Diesel, has released his latest music offerings to the world. His newest single, "Thotties Hit The Floor," is a mashup of the late Dave Williams' vocals, original lead singer of Texas-based rock group Drowning Pool, and the rhythms of the band's 2001 hit, "Bodies."

Lil Freestyle for y’all. Never would i have thought DJing would get me here!! But when it’s your time, it’s YOUR TIME. Im beyond grateful πŸ™πŸΏ Thotties Hit The Floor (MONSTER MASHUP) ft. Me, Lex Bratcher, Scar Lip

♬ original sound - ShaqDieselONeal
Shaq's delivery on the bass-heavy track blends with Williams' vocals to create a raucous ride for listeners. In addition to "Thotties Hit The Floor," Shaq has collaborated with emerging hip-hop artist Blackway on his first rap track since the '90s. The new joint, "King Talk," features a full verse from Shaq and is perfect for the moment when LeBron James set the NBA scoring record, according to the former basketball star.

Shaq has always had a passion for music, having previously released four albums between 1993 and 1998. He is known for his love of hip-hop and rock music.

Check out the video for "King Talk" below:

Serena Williams Announces Second Pregnancy at Met Gala

Photo Credit: Serena Williams/Instagram 

Serena Williams announced on Instagram Monday night that she is pregnant with her second child, just ahead of her appearance at the 2023 Met Gala, an annual event that benefits the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute.

The tennis legend, 41, attended the star-studded event with her husband Alexis Ohanian and shared a photo of the couple, captioning it, "Was so excited when Anna Wintour invited the 3 of us to the Met Gala."

Williams and Ohanian, 40, already have a five-year-old daughter, Olympia, who Williams famously carried during her win at the 2017 Australian Open. Ohanian expressed his excitement on Twitter, saying, "Mama & Papa love this parenting-thing, so we're back at it 😁 and @olympiaohanian is gonna be the best Big Sister—she's been asking & praying for this for a minute. #MetGala."

In a first-person essay for Vogue in August, Williams revealed that she would be "evolving away" from tennis to expand her family, saying, "In the last year, Alexis and I have been trying to have another child, and we recently got some information from my doctor that put my mind at ease and made me feel that whenever we're ready, we can add to our family."

Williams has been open about the challenges she faced during her first pregnancy, which included a difficult childbirth and a long recovery. Despite these difficulties, she returned to professional tennis just six months after giving birth and has since reached four major finals, winning a title at Auckland in 2020.

Wintour, who co-chairs the Met Gala, is a friend of Williams's and the tennis star is a frequent attendee of the event.

Watch: Megan Thee Stallion Helps Defending Champs Open MLB Season by Throwing Out First Pitch

Photo Credit: @thestallion Instagram
Houston native Megan Thee Stallion made a special appearance at the Astros' home opener on Thursday, where she threw the ceremonial first pitch for her hometown team.

The Grammy-winning rapper donned a white Astros jersey and a diamond chain with the words "Hot Girl," along with a jersey displaying her last name and "222" on the back.

While her pitch landed a little outside and bounced in the left-handed batter's box, Megan managed to get the ball to the plate, a feat that has eluded many other celebrities attempting the first pitch. Astros' mascot, Orbit, gave her a hug to celebrate the accomplishment.

The pitch was a lighthearted moment in Megan's busy schedule, as she continues to make waves in the entertainment industry.

Megan is in talks to star in a new Netflix movie alongside Adam Sandler, which will be directed and produced by Josh and Benny Safdie, the directors of the hit movie "Uncut Gems." The film, set in the world of sports memorabilia, will begin production this summer, although its title and plot are yet to be revealed.

Megan is also making her feature film debut in the R-rated musical comedy "F***ing Identical Twins," produced by A24 and Chernin Entertainment. She will star opposite Nathan Lane, Bowen Yang and Megan Mullally, although the film's release date is still unknown.

However, Megan has also been involved in a high-profile court case with rapper Tory Lanez, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson. Lanez was found guilty of shooting Megan on a California curbside in July 2020.

Lanez's lawyers have filed a motion for a new trial, citing various grounds, including a claim that the judge "erroneously allowed" jurors to view an Instagram post from Lanez's account claiming that Megan's now-estranged best friend Kelsey Harris was the shooter.

During the trial, both Kelsey and Megan denied the allegations that Kelsey fired the shots that wounded Megan. Lanez faces up to 22 years in prison at sentencing, but his new lawyers have successfully lobbied the judge to delay his sentencing until April to prepare for the motion.

Check out Megan's first pitch below:

Legendary R&B Singer Bobby Caldwell Passes Away at 71

Legendary R&B singer Bobby Caldwell, known for his chart-topping hits "What You Won't Do For Love" and "Open Your Eyes," has died at the age of 71.

Caldwell's wife Mary confirmed his death on Wednesday via his official Twitter account.

"Bobby passed away here at home. I held him tight in my arms as he left us. I am forever heartbroken. Thanks to all of you for your many prayers over the years," she wrote.

Caldwell had been suffering from health issues for the past six years after experiencing an adverse reaction to a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, a condition known as "floxed," according to treatment center Regenerative Medicine LA.

Born on August 15, 1951, in New York City, Caldwell was known for his unique ability to blend jazz, R&B and pop into his music.

His soulful hits, including "What You Won't Do for Love," "My Flame" and "Coming Down From Love," earned him worldwide recognition and numerous accolades, including a 1978 Grammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance.

Caldwell's music has been sampled by a wide range of artists, including 2Pac, Aaliyah, Kendrick Lamar, the Notorious B.I.G. and Lil Nas X.

Perhaps his most famous track, "What You Won't Do For Love," appeared on his double-platinum self-titled debut album.

Michael Jordan Shatters Records With Jaw-Dropping $10 Million Donation to Make-A-Wish

Photo Courtesy Make-A-Wish 
Basketball legend Michael Jordan broke a record with a $10 million donation to Make-A-Wish in honor of his 60th birthday.
The gift is the largest from an individual in the charity's 43-year history and reflects Jordan's 30-year commitment to the cause.

"For the past 34 years, it's been an honor to partner with Make-A-Wish and help bring a smile and happiness to so many kids," the six-time NBA champion said in a statement. "Witnessing their strength and resilience during such a tough time in their lives has truly been an inspiration."

The organization hopes Jordan's donation inspires others to help grant the wishes of the many children on its waiting list.

"Michael using his birthday as a chance to make history for Make-A-Wish speaks to the quality of his character and his loyal dedication to making life better for children with critical illnesses," said Leslie Motter, the charity's CEO. "We hope that the public will be inspired to follow in his footsteps by helping make wishes come true."

Jordan, now the owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, has been an integral part of the organization's efforts since he granted his first wish in 1989.

He has granted hundreds of wishes to children worldwide and has become one of the all-time most requested celebrity wish-granters. In 2008, he was named Make-A-Wish Chief Wish Ambassador.

His donation will establish an endowment to help fund the wishes of children with critical illnesses in the future.

"I can't think of a better birthday gift than seeing others join me in supporting Make-A-Wish so that every child can experience the magic of having their wish come true," Jordan said.

LeBron James Breaks Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's NBA Scoring Record

LeBron James is now the NBA's all-time scoring leader.

LeBron James broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record for most career points in the NBA on Tuesday night.

James, a forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, scored 36 points in a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, surpassing Abdul-Jabbar's 38,387 points.

Since his rookie season in 2003, James has been a dominant force in the league, averaging over 27 points per game for 12 seasons.

With over 7,300 points in his time with the Lakers, he is on track to reach the 40,000-point milestone before he retires.

Abdul-Jabbar was in attendance to witness the historic moment, 39 years after he set the record. Despite James' pass-first mentality, he now holds the record for most points in NBA history, including regular season and playoffs. He also ranks fifth in the NBA for both regular-season and postseason assists.

Four of the top five all-time scorers in NBA history— James, Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant — have played for the Lakers. Bulls legend Michael Jordan, at No. 5 on the list, is the only exception. 

Naomi Osaka is Expecting First Baby With Boyfriend Cordae

Naomi Osaka and Cordae on the cover the March 2021 issue of GQ

Three-time Grammy Award-nominee Cordae and former world No. 1 tennis player Naomi Osaka are having a baby.

Osaka, 25, made the announcement that she and the rapper were expecting Wednesday on social media.

"Can’t wait to get back on the court but here’s a little life update for 2023," she labeled a post on her official Instagram account featuring photos of a sonogram along with a letter to fans in both English and Japanese.

“The past few years have been interesting to say the least, but I find that it’s the most challenging times in life that may be the most fun. These few months away from the sport has really given me a new love and appreciation for the game I’ve dedicated my life to,” it reads.

“I realize that life is so short and I don’t take any moments for granted, every day is a new blessing and adventure. I know that I have so much to look forward to in the future, one thing I’m looking forward to is for my kid to watch one of my matches and tell someone, ‘that’s my mom,’ haha. 2023 will be a year that'll be full of lessons for me and I hope I'll see you guys in the start of the next one cause I'll be at [Australian Open] 2024."

Osaka added, "I don’t think there’s a perfectly correct path to take in life but I always felt that if you move forward with good intentions you’ll find your way eventually."

The announcement sheds new light on Osaka's withdrawal from the upcoming Australian Open, which was announced Sunday by tournament organizers.

It was scheduled to be her first on-court action since September when she played in the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.

Osaka and Cordae, 25, have been dating since 2019 after meeting at a Los Angeles Clippers game.

WNBA Star, Brittney Griner, Is Headed Home After Prisoner Swap With Russia

(Source: Russia 24/CNN)

WNBA star Brittney Griner is coming home.

Griner, 32, was arrested at a Moscow airport in February for possessing two vape cartridges with small amounts of cannabis oil.

Last month, after being found guilty of drug possession and drug smuggling by a Russian judge, she was sent to a penal colony to serve a nine-year sentence.

Today, the US and Russia exchanged the basketball star for arms dealer Viktor Bout. 

Nicknamed the "Merchant of Death," the gun-runner has been languishing in an American prison for the past 12 years after being given a 25-year sentence on charges of conspiring to kill Americans, acquire and export anti-aircraft missiles, and provide material support to a terrorist organization.

Speaking from the White House President Joe Biden celebrated the release of the two-time Olympic gold medalist.

"I'm glad to say Brittney's in good spirits... she needs time and space to recover," he said, noting that she was on a flight home from the United Arab Emirates following the prisoner exchange at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Griner's wife, Cherelle, praised the work of the Biden administration in securing her release.

"Today, I'm just standing here overwhelmed with emotions, but the most important emotion that I have right now is just sincere gratitude for President Biden and his entire administration," she said, standing next to President Biden while speaking from the Oval Office.

She added, "Today my family is whole, but as you all are aware, there's so many other families who are not whole."

Cherelle promised that she and her partner would continue to work to bring every American home, including Paul Whelan, a former Marine who has been detained in Russia on espionage charges since 2018. Then she told the audience of reporters that she was going to do something she had not done in months.

"Thank you everybody for your support, and today's just a happy day for me and my family, so I'm gonna smile right now," she said.

Rihanna Headlining Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show

SIGMACC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Barbadian billionaire musician-cum-fashion mogul, Rihanna, will headline the next Super Bowl halftime show.

The 34-year-old pop star first teased the news Sunday afternoon in a vague Instagram post. She shared a photo of her hand, distinguished only by her iconic tattoos, holding an NFL-branded football.

Jay-Z's music entertainment agency Roc Nation — which oversees the halftime show and includes Rihanna on its roster — reshared the post with a caption that solidified its meaning.

"Let’s GO — @badgalriri @NFL #SBLVII @AppleMusic @NFLonFOX," the label's Instagram caption reads.

The NFL confirmed the news in a joint statement with Roc Nation declaring that the “international icon, entrepreneur and philanthropist” will take center stage at Super Bowl LVII's halftime show in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 12, 2023.

“We are thrilled to welcome Rihanna to the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show stage,” said Seth Dudowsky, NFL Head of Music. “Rihanna is a once-in-a-generation artist who has been a cultural force throughout her career. We look forward to collaborating with Rihanna, Roc Nation and Apple Music to bring fans another historic Halftime Show performance.”

Jay-Z added, “Rihanna is a generational talent, a woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn. A person born on the small island of Barbados who became one of the most prominent artists ever. Self-made in business and entertainment."

The selection marks a significant milestone for the musician and new mom who gave birth to her first baby with partner A$AP Rocky in May. In 2019 she turned down the same gig in solidarity with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who eventually reached a confidential settlement with the NFL on charges of collusion to keep the civil rights activist out of the league.

“I couldn’t dare do that," she told Vogue in 2019 of the reasoning behind her decision. "For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”

Robert Sarver Announces Intent to Sell Phoenix Suns, Mercury, Following Exposure of Inappropriate Behavior by NBA Investigation

Robert Sarver

Just over a week after being suspended by the NBA for a year for abusive behavior and fined $10 million, Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver has decided to cut ties with the league.

Sarver, the majority stakeholder for both the Suns and the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, announced today he is selling both teams in order not to be a distraction to them.

"As a man of faith, I believe in atonement and the path to forgiveness. I expected that the commissioner's one-year suspension would provide the time for me to focus, make amends and remove my personal controversy from the teams that I and so many fans love," said Sarver, who was found in the NBA's probe of his conduct to have said the N-word at least five times, in a statement.

He added, "But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that that is no longer possible – that whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I have said in the past. For those reasons, I am beginning the process of seeking buyers for the Suns and Mercury."

In addition to the use of racial slurs, Sarver was found to have used derogatory language, made sexually charged comments toward and about women and bullied employees in the league's investigation which began after allegations of misconduct in November 2021 triggered it. In all 80,000 emails, texts and videos were examined and the NBA conducted 320 interviews during the probe.

The reaction was immediate, and mostly positive, from players, fans and the NBA itself.

LeBron James, who along with Chris Paul and Draymond Green was one of several elite players from around the league to call for Sarver to sell his teams once the results of the investigation were revealed, took to Twitter to applaud the move.

He tweeted, "I'm so proud to be a part of a league committed to progress!"

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver shared his approval as well.

"I fully support the decision by Robert Sarver to sell the Phoenix Suns and Mercury," he said in a statement. "This is the right next step for the organization and community."

Watch the video below for more reactions from players around the league:

Frances Tiafoe Advances to US Open semifinals, First Black Man to Accomplish the Feat Since Arthur Ashe

Photo Credit: Simon Bruty/USTA

Frances Tiafoe defeated ninth-seeded Andrey Rublev, in straight sets 7–6 (3), 7–6 (0), 6–4 on Wednesday to advance to his first career Grand Slam semifinal.

He is the first American man to reach the semifinals in New York since Andy Roddick lost the title match to Roger Federer 16 years ago. Tiafoe, 24, also became the first Black man to advance to a U.S. Open semifinal since 1972.

That was the year tennis icon Arthur Ashe, namesake of the stadium Tiafoe played in during his win over Rublev, accomplished the feat.

His road to history has not been an easy one.

The 22nd seed, Tiafoe previously posted just seven wins against Top 10 opponents during his career coming into the tournament, however, he paved his way to the semifinals with an early-round victory over 14th-seeded Diego Schwartzman and took a stunning four-set upset on Monday against No. 2 Rafael Nadal.

"Man, this is wild, this is crazy," said Tiafoe following the match. "I probably had the biggest win of my life 48 hours ago, now coming out and getting another big win. Andrey is a hell of a player. Backing it up, it’s huge growth. It’s tough to turn a page but I did and now I’m in the semis."

Tiafoe whose career record before the match was 127-137, will face the winner of Wednesday night’s quarterfinals matchup between No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz and No. 11 Jannik Sinner in the men’s singles semifinals on Friday.

If he manages to advance past the semifinal into the championship match, he could become the first American man to win any Grand Slam singles championship since Roddick's U. S. Open victory in 2003, a feat Tiafoe seems confident he can replicate.

“Let’s enjoy this one. We’ve got two more, guys. We’ve got two more [matches to go],” he told the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium to a round of raucous applause.