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Volume 25 No. 45
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Names In The News

Blank has listened to players' concerns about social injustice, prison reform and relationships with police
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

For the past three months, the Falcons have "partnered with the Atlanta Police Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta and Atlanta Habitat for Humanity to get ownership, coaches and players involved in serving the community and creating conversations." In a video, Falcons Owner ARTHUR BLANK discussed time spent "listening to player discussions and their concerns about social injustice, prison reform, relationships with law enforcement among others." The video detailed how Blank, coach DAN QUINN and 17 players "spent time on ride-alongs with the Atlanta police officers and learning the pressure of being a police officer in simulations" (AJC.com, 6/11).

LEFT WANTING MORE: Georgetown law professor DEBORAH EPSTEIN, who recently departed the NFLPA commission on domestic violence, said of the commission's efforts, "What they’re doing is not sufficient." Epstein resigned May 23 "out of frustration the union was ignoring her ideas and doing nothing to fix the problem she was brought on to help solve." Epstein: "There are people of good will at the NFLPA but they just aren’t prioritizing this issue" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/12).

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: LEBRON JAMES is "co-producing an HBO Sports documentary on 'the exploitative world of high-revenue college sports.'" The film, titled "STUDENT ATHLETE," will debut Oct. 2 at 10:00pm ET. James is "listed as an executive producer for the film in association" with his SpringHill Entertainment firm. The doc will "feature four current and former college athletes," including Kentucky F NICK RICHARDS (USATODAY.com, 6/11)....Fox Sports Films has "acquired the North American rights" to boxing doc "THEY FIGHT." Directed by ANDREW RENZI, the film "follows an after-school program" in DC's Ward 8 run by coach WALT MANIGAN's Lyfe Style Boxing (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 6/8).

NAMES: The UJA Federation of New York will honor Endeavor Exec VP/Content Strategy & Partnerships KAREN BRODKIN and IMG Media Senior VP/Head of North America HILLARY MANDEL at its Sports for Youth Annual Luncheon on June 21. Sports broadcaster LINDSAY CZARNIAK will emcee. Endeavor co-President MARK SHAPIRO will present Brodkin and Mandel with their awards (UJA Federation)....Golfer RICKIE FOWLER and his fiancée, ALLISON STOKKE, “toasted their engagement Sunday night at an intimate U.S. Open kickoff party” at Dune Deck Beach Club in Westhampton Beach hosted by Discovery Land Company Founder MIKE MELDMAN (NYPOST.com, 6/11)....The Val Skinner Foundation raised $500,000 for breast cancer education and awareness at the 19th annual LIFE (LPGA Pros in the Fight to Eradicate Cancer) event yesterday. Joining former golfer VAL SKINNER at the event were World Golf HOFer LAURA DAVIES and golfers AZA MUNOZ, BRITTANY LINCICOME, BRITTANY LANG and CHRISTINA KIM (Val Skinner Foundation)....The Univ. of Alabama has established a men’s basketball scholarship" in honor of late Basketball HOFer CM NEWTON, who coached the program from ’68-80 (AP, 6/11)....Bills fans JOE and LORRIE LOVULLO on Saturday had their wedding party “crashed and photo-bombed” by Bills QB JOSH ALLEN, DT HARRISON PHILLIPS and WR AUSTIN PROEHL. Photos of the players “posing with the bridal party" outside New Era Field "quickly went viral once they hit social media” (BUFFALO NEWS, 6/12).