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Those Close To Aaron Hernandez Don’t Believe He Committed Suicide

Five days after former NFL star Aaron Hernandez was found not guilty for a double murder that took place in 2012, the ex-New England Patriots tight end was found dead in his prison cell in an apparent suicide.

Prison officials found the 27-year-old, who was serving a life sentence for the fatal shooting of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player in 2013, hanging by his bed sheet that he attached to a window.

Christopher Fallon, a spokesperson for Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Boston, where Hernandez was being held, said in a statement that the ex-football player was discovered by guards just after 3 a.m. Apparently, Hernandez tried to block the entrance of his single cell with various items. He was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial-HealthAlliance Hospital an hour later. Fallon also said they were not aware that he was in danger to himself and therefore was not on suicide watch. While no suicide note was apparently found, his death will be investigated.

The news of his suicide is a bit shocking considering he had just been acquitted of a double murder and was seen being very emotional at the conclusion of the trial.

The timing and circumstances of Hernandez’s death have created skepticism among those close to the former NFL star.

Jose Baez, the lawyer responsible for Hernandez’s recent double-murder charge acquittal, told the Boston Herald:

“The family and legal team is shocked and surprised at the news of Aaron’s death. There were no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible. Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence. Those who love and care about him are heartbroken and determined to find the truth surrounding his untimely death. We request that authorities conduct a transparent and thorough investigation.”

TMZ reported that Baez alleges this “suicide” could have been a murder at the hands of fellow inmates or officials at the prison.

Hernandez’s former agent Bryan Murphy echoed this sentiment, saying there was “Absolutely no chance he took his own life. Chico was not a saint, but my family and I loved him and he would never take his own life.”

Reaction to his suicide has been mixed.

Today, some of his former New England Patriots teammates will be at the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory. In regards to the suicide, Stacey James, a spokesperson for the Patriots, told The Boston Globe, that they are “aware of the reports, but I don’t anticipate that we will be commenting today.”

Mike Pouncey, Hernandez’s former teammate at the University of Florida, did comment on this tragic event with the following Instagram:

READ: Former NFL Star Aaron Hernandez Gets Emotional After Not Guilty Verdict

How do you feel about Hernandez taking his own life? Let us know by sharing this story and commenting in the section below. 

As Andy Ruiz Jr. Gets Set For A Rematch Against Anthony Joshua, He’s Already A Champion For Many Latinos

Entertainment

As Andy Ruiz Jr. Gets Set For A Rematch Against Anthony Joshua, He’s Already A Champion For Many Latinos

andy_destroyer13 / Instagram

Underdog is a word that gets tossed around quite frequently in the world of sports. That may be because as humans we love the story of the often-counted out, disregarded and overlooked individual coming out on top. David vs Goliath. Rocky vs Apollo Creed. The list goes on.

This past June, Latinos got their own modern-day underdog story in the upset victory of Andy Ruiz Jr. over Anthony Joshua. It was a moment that will live on among the biggest upsets in sports within the past several decades. As the boxing world gets set for the highly anticipated rematch between Ruiz and Joshua, many Latinos have already won before Ruiz has even put on a pair of gloves. 

The-then 268 pound Ruiz knocked out three-belt heavyweight champion Joshua to become the first boxer of Mexican descent to win a heavyweight title. But as every underdog story goes, the victory didn’t come easy or expected.

Ruiz wasn’t even supposed to be at the fight until he was called in as a last-minute replacement for Jarrell Miller, who submitted three positive drug tests. Ruiz was dubbed “overweight,” “out of shape,” and a fill-in of what was supposed to be Joshua’s coming out party in his first fight in the United States. Ruiz entered the match as a +1100 underdog with a résumé of victories that took place in small casino venues from Tijuana to Tucson. 

Suddenly, he’d be fighting against one of the most feared boxers in Joshua in one of the most famous arenas in the world, Madison Square Garden in New York City.  

To put it in simplest terms, Ruiz had won the lottery without getting a single cent. Remember how I said humans love underdog stories? Yeah, this had all the makings of an underdog story but the easiest part of the script was already written. The world was just waiting for Ruiz to do his part

Seven rounds of punches later, Ruiz had accomplished what few had ever expected a man of his background, style and size to ever accomplish in a boxing ring. But more importantly, Ruiz became an inspiration to so many Latinos in a time when anti-Latino sentiment seems to be the only thing seen in the headlines. 

Whether it be from the U.S. president, a white-supremacist shooter targeting “Mexicans” in El Paso, Texas and the constant narrative of an “invasion” from the Southern Border. But on June 2, 2019, the world woke up to a headline that didn’t read “Joshua KO’s Ruiz” or “Ruiz Who?”, they read “Ruiz Becomes First Mexican Heavyweight Champion.” 

“It means a lot, especially knowing I’ve worked from 6 years old to get to where I’m at now,” Ruiz told the LA Times after the fight. “But it won’t mean something only to me. Each Mexican has his own dream, and I’ve come to believe as long as we focus, you can accomplish anything you want. So maybe by winning, I can change some minds.”

What has ensued since that legendary June night is a celebratory tour that few Mexican boxers have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. 

Overnight, Ruiz became a folk hero of some sorts to countless of Latinos who embraced the boxer and his underdog story. Ruiz came from humble beginnings, born in Imperial Valley, California and was raised by Mexican immigrant parents. His journey began at the age of six when he started his boxing career and would train long days and nights with his father, Andy Ruiz Sr. He would take his son with him for daily training sessions in Mexicali and would endure 90-minute waits at the border crossing. 

Ruiz was born already counted out and that helped him become the fighter he is today.

Credit: andy_destroyer13 / Instagram

That rugged street mentality was etched in his mind from a young age and still follows him to this day. 

“We know their struggles,”  Jorge Munoz, director of Sparta boxing club where Ruiz would train in his hometown of the  Imperial Valley, told The Guardian. “We know how many times they wanted to give up. And the people in the boxing world, they understand how much you go to tournaments and you sacrifice, sometimes you don’t have food, you come back and you try to raise the money to go somewhere else and all these struggles you go through with one goal that you might never get the chance for.”

What ensued after his victory was a championship tour the likes of which a Mexican boxer had never seen. Ruiz met with the Mexican president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. He made an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” There was even a photoshoot with GQ Mexico. The crowning moment was a hometown parade on June 22 in the Imperial Valley where thousands of fans showed up to cheer the champ. 

“He’s one of us, so this is a big deal,” Reyna Gutierrez, a fan of Ruiz who was at that parade, told the Desert Sun. “People might not understand. He’s representing our community and he’s the first Mexican heavyweight champion. We’re so proud of that.”

Whatever the rematch result may be, it won’t matter to many Latinos. Ruiz has already done more than bring home a title, he’s become an underdog that Latinos can call their own.

The rematch bout is being billed as the “Clash on the Dunes,” as Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) will take on Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia about six months after history was made. One day before the fight, Ruiz already made headlines at the official weigh-in as he tipped the scale coming in at a surprising 283.7 pounds, 15 pounds heavier than in his first fight. 

“I kind of wanted to be a little over what I was last time so I could be stronger and feel actually a little better than in the first fight,” Joshua told Yahoo Sports. “We were [planning to be 268], but they were making us wait before we got to the scales and so I had already ate. Plus, I weighed with all my clothes. That’s one of the reasons why I weighed probably too much

While the extra pounds might be concerning to some, experts and analysts see the match as a tossup. For Ruiz, he likes being counted out. He thrives on it. It’s the only way he knows how to feel entering the boxing ring. 

“I never gave up, after everybody was telling me that I wasn’t gonna do nothing (because of) the way that I look … I kept training, I kept listening to my father, my team (and) my coaches. … When I got knocked down, I got back up like the warrior that I am. … (To) all the kids that have dreams, dream big,” Ruiz said at his hometown parade

Never give up. Get back up. Dream big. 

Yes, those are the words that sound like the description of an underdog. Andy Ruiz knows too well about that label and so do many Latinos. That’s why when that bell rings in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, the world will be breathing in their collective breath as the latest chapter in this underdog story is written. 

Latinos wouldn’t have it any other way. 

READ: It’s Been 14 Years Since The Untimely Death Of Wrestling Icon Eddie Guerrero And His Legacy Is More Relevant Today Than Ever

Activists Interrupt Harvard-Yale Football Game To Protest Climate Change And Cancel Puerto Rico Debt Holdings

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Activists Interrupt Harvard-Yale Football Game To Protest Climate Change And Cancel Puerto Rico Debt Holdings

extinctionrebellion / Instagram

The Harvard-Yale football game was delayed during halftime on Saturday after more than 150 students and alumni took to the field to protest against the schools’ endowments from fossil fuel companies and Puerto Rican debt. The scene was captured across social media as videos were shared of students unfurling banners that read “Nobody wins. Yale & Harvard are complicit in climate injustice,” among others signs.

The annual football game between both Ivy League schools was delayed for almost an hour as police demanded over speakers that protesters leave the field. In videos, you can hear protesters chanting “disclose, divest and reinvest,” as more fans from the stands joined protesters on the field. The end result was 42 people being charged with disorderly conduct, protest organizers had initially said that 20 to 30 protesters were arrested.

“Students are tired of Harvard and Yale profiting off of climate destruction and neocolonial investments in Puerto Rico’s debt,” a statement by student group Divest Harvard read. “It’s time for more than lip service and greenwashing from academic leaders. Harvard and Yale must address the climate emergency at the scale and with the urgency it demands. This action is only the beginning.”

The reason behind the protest was to speak up against the schools to divest from fossil fuels and cancel their Puerto Rico debt holdings, among other issues. 

While there was some initial confusion behind the reasoning of students taking the field, the message was clear that there was anger at both Yale and Harvard financial dealings. According to Vox, both of the schools “rely on funds, bonds, and assorted financial instruments to keep their endowments strong”. Many students and alumni are looking at the schools profiting from the ongoing climate crisis and want them to divest their endowments from fossil fuel holdings and to cancel any debt from Puerto Rico.

“Harvard and Yale claim their goal is to create student leaders who can strive toward a more ‘just, fair, and promising world’ by ‘improving the world today and for future generations.’ Yet by continuing to invest in industries that mislead the public, smear academics, and deny reality, Harvard and Yale are complicit in tearing down that future,” the student groups, Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard, Fossil Free Yale and Yale Endowment Justice Coalition, said in a statement following Saturday’s protest.

This has been a growing movement on college campuses across the country that has peaked as environmental issues have come to the forefront of various institutions. Back in September, activists celebrated a victory at the University of California system said that it would move away from investing from fossil fuels.

For Harvard senior Caleb Schwartz, who was one of the various protest organizers that were arrested on Saturday, told NPR about the events that unfolded on the field. “That moment, when we saw people running onto the field was just really incredible,” Schwartz said. “I saw organizers around me crying because it was such a beautiful moment.

Yale responded to Saturday’s protest saying that while the school supports freedom of expression, it shouldn’t come at the cost of delaying a sporting event.

Yale released a statement shortly after the game that the school “stands firmly for the right to free expression” but just not as the cost of this football game.

“It is regrettable,” a statement released by Yale read, “that the orchestrated protest came during a time when fellow students were participating in a collegiate career-defining contest and an annual tradition when thousands gather from around the world to enjoy and celebrate the storied traditions of both football programs and universities.”

The protest received support from various politicians who supported the activists’ cause and freedom and expression.

One of those who supported Saturday’s protest was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who tweeted “Activism disrupts the present to change the future.

Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro also took to Twitter to shoutout the activists and said that he was impressed by the students’ efforts. “From the March for Our Lives, to worldwide Climate Strikes, students and young people are leading the charge to protect their futures,” Castro wrote. “I’m inspired by their efforts to hold their universities to a higher standard.”

There is no doubt that this protest has put these issues at the forefront of many people’s minds, especially at other fellow colleges. Don’t be surprised if this isn’t the last sporting event that gets disrupted to send the powerful message of climate change. 

READ: A Photo Of This Sad, Sweet Old Lady Went Viral Because She Hadn’t Sold Any Of Her Handmade Napkins, Now They’re All Sold