Category Archives: Sports

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign and NFL’s Play 60 Campaign Team up to Tackle Childhood Obesity

Posted by: Audiegrl

First Lady Michelle Obama throws a football during the NFLs Play 60 campaign to fight childhood obesity at Brock Elementary School September 8, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Obama joined NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former NFL coach Tony Dungy to promote the Play 60 campaign and the NFLs newest efforts to support Lets Move (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images North America)

First Lady Michelle Obama and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced today that the First Lady’s Let’s Move! Campaign and NFL PLAY 60 are teaming to fight childhood obesity.  The announcement brings together two leading youth health and wellness initiatives.

The announcement was made today at Woldenberg Park in New Orleans during the NFL PLAY 60 Youth Football Festival, part of the NFL’s celebration to kick off the 2010 season. Making the announcement were the First Lady, Commissioner Goodell, Super Bowl winning coach and current NBC Sports broadcaster Tony Dungy and former NFL players.

The First Lady’s Office and the NFL will work to promote the joint goals of NFL PLAY 60 and the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign to combat childhood obesity and help the nation’s youth lead healthier, more active lives.

Among the highlights:

  • Through its two primary in-school programs — the PLAY 60 Challenge in partnership with the American Heart Association and Fuel Up To Play 60 in partnership with The National Dairy Council — the NFL will support the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) program with a goal of encouraging 200,000 students to participate in the program this year. The First Lady’s Office supports programs like both the Play 60 Challenge and Fuel Up to Play 60 programs as great ways for kids to be active and healthy.

The PALA program enables people of all ages to receive Presidential recognition for leading healthier lifestyles. For more information about the President’s Challenge programs, visit www.presidentschallenge.org. Americans can earn PALA recognition by performing regular activity beyond their daily activity goal of 30 minutes a day for adults or 60 minutes a day for youths under 18 for at least 5 days per week, for a total of 6 weeks.

  • The NFL and the First Lady’s Office will develop and share co-branded content.  Among the elements will be a Public Service Announcement that will promote Let’s Move! and Fuel Up To Play 60, a joint program of the National Dairy Council and the NFL. The message will be produced in conjunction with the Ad Council and will debut in November.

NFL PLAY 60 and the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign pledge to build upon the work already begun over the past year and announced today in the years ahead.  The NFL, for example, will build this fall its 100th site for children to play through NFL Play 60 as part of its NFL United Way “Hometown Huddle” day of service.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Today’s announcement follows other recent joint efforts between the NFL and the White House:

  • President Obama last month honored the New Orleans Saints for their Super Bowl victory and spoke of the role the team has played in helping New Orleans recover from the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. The team also held a NFL PLAY 60 football clinic on the White House lawn with local Washington, DC-area youth.
  • In June, the First Lady introduced Brees as the 2010 co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Former New England Patriots great Tedy Bruschi also was named a member of the 2010 Council. Drew Brees has been the national spokesman for NFL PLAY 60 for the last three years.
  • President Obama and the First Lady joined the NFL and players from the Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins in helping kids learn the value of good health as part of the annual White House Easter Egg Roll in April. This year’s Egg Roll was themed “Ready, Set, Go!” promoting health and wellness. All activities, including youth football clinics led by the NFL and NFL players, encouraged children in attendance to lead healthy and active lives as part of the Let’s Move!  initiative.
  • Last season, President Obama filmed a PSA at the White House with Brees, Pittsburgh Steelers S Troy Polamalu and Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Ware promoting PLAY 60 and the White House’s “United We Serve” campaign. The PSA ran during NFL telecasts on Thanksgiving weekend in airtime donated by the NFL.

Remarks by the First Lady at “Let’s Move!” Launch Event with NFL in New Orleans, Louisiana

Remarks by the First Lady at “Let’s Move Back to School” Event in Slidell, Louisiana

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our special section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

2 Comments

Filed under Childhood Obesity, First Lady Michelle Obama, Football, Pres. Barack Obama

Lets Move with Dominique Dawes – June South Lawn Series

Posted by: Audiegrl

Former Olympic Gymnast & Gold Medalist Dominique Dawes, Co-Chair of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, is joined by kids from all over Washington D.C. on the South Lawn of the White House. The group participated in a variety of sports and games with Dominique and learned about healthy lifestyle choices.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our special section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

3 Comments

Filed under Childhood Obesity, First Lady Michelle Obama, Pres. Barack Obama, Sports, Uncategorized

First Lady Michelle Obama Teams Up with Major League Baseball

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Tony Clark

First Lady Michelle Obama poses for a picture with Christina McCray of the Boys and Girls Club of America, Jordan Antwon Lewis from Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), Adam Jones #10 and Nick Markakis #21 before the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays at Camden Yards on July 20, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images North America)

On behalf of Major League baseball players, I was honored today to stand with the First Lady at Camden Yards as we kicked off a new partnership with the Let’s Move! campaign.

As we gathered with local RBI and Boys & Girls Clubs of America youth, I was struck by the First Lady’s wisdom and courage to confront childhood obesity and her ongoing commitment to making a difference. I’m sure there are other, politically safer, social issues to champion, but this is not a problem that can be solved simply by pretending it does not exist. Nor is this a problem we can afford to ignore.

The Major League Baseball Players Association is excited about the Let’s Move! campaign because it promises to actually do something about a serious problem facing our youth, rather than just talk about it. Today we kicked off a new public service campaign featuring 30 MLB players, one from every Club, that will run in stadiums, online and on media with the Ad Council later in the summer.

Today’s event is just the beginning. Major Leaguers are looking forward to working closely with the First Lady and Let’s Move! to find ways to educate children and their parents about how to exercise, eat right, and make healthy lifestyle choices.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As a parent, I know first-hand the challenges kids face. I understand the powerful lure of television, computers, cell phones, and video games. But, you can’t get in shape just by moving your thumbs. It’s time for all of us – kids and parents alike – to get unplugged and get off the couch.

The Players Association is committed to the goal of Let’s Move! – to raise a healthier generation of kids. As professional athletes, our members understand not only the importance of health and nutrition but the reality that there is no quick fix. We’re a part of this fight not just today but for as long as it takes to curb childhood obesity. Together, we can achieve a goal we all share – a healthier, fitter and inevitably happier next generation. Let’s get moving.

Tony Clark is the Director of Player Relations, Major League Baseball Players Association

Visit LetsMove.gov to learn more

Remarks by the First Lady at a “Let’s Move!” Baseball Clinic with Major League Baseball at Camden Yards

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our special section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

7 Comments

Filed under Baseball, Childhood Obesity, Children, First Lady Michelle Obama, Sports, Uncategorized

Los Suns Also Rise: Phoenix Suns Win in More Ways Than One

Posted by: BuellBoy

Written by Dave Ziran

Anyone who believes that sports can’t be an effective platform for social justice, needed only to watch last night’s game between Los Suns of Phoenix and the San Antonio Spurs. The unprecedented decision by the entire Suns organization – from owner Robert Sarver to star players Amare Stoudamire and Steve Nash – to wear uniforms blaring Los Suns and come out against Arizona’s anti-immigrant Senate Bill 1070, created a sports broadcast like no other in my lifetime. The game on TNT began with sideline reporter Marty Snider outside the arena covering a mushrooming 3,000 person civil rights march, led by Al Sharpton and Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon (both wearing Los Suns Jerseys.) Then the scene switched to the pre-game studio with host Ernie Johnson and former players Kenny “the Jet” Smith, Chris Webber, and Charles Barkley. The viewing audience then got an unexpected and bracing lesson in dissent.

Kenny Smith, like any good point guard, set up the others by saying, “I think it’s great that the team understands, the management understands and now the people of Phoenix are all rallying together at the same time.” Barkley, a long time Arizona resident and a man who once said that he was a Republican until “the Republicans lost their damn minds” chimed in saying, “The only people screwing it up are the politicians. The Governor – the interim governor I might add – J.D. Hayworth and John McCain. They’re the ones screwing this thing up. I really take my hat off to Robert Sarver and the Suns for taking a stand. You know, living in Arizona for a long time, the Hispanic community, they’re like the fabric of the cloth. They’re part of our community and any time you try to do any type of racial profiling or racial discrimination……. President Obama you’ve got to do something because these lightweight politicians in Arizona have no idea what they are doing.”

The typically blunt Barkley speaking in such terms is hardly surprising. But it was Chris Webber who upped the ante, interrupting a visibly uncomfortable Ernie Johnson with, “Public Enemy said it a long time ago. ‘By the Time I Get to Arizona.’ I’m not surprised. They didn’t even want there to be a Martin Luther King day when John McCain was in [office.]. So if you follow history you know that this is part of Arizona politics.”

It was a remarkable display and it was difficult to not think of the millions of television viewers around the country, in sports bars, restaurants, and house parties, being confronted with this kind of forthright, plainspoken language. But perhaps even more important than the support Los Suns received from protestors and broadcasters, was their play on the court. Phoenix trailed by nine at the end of the first quarter and Spurs star power forward Tim Duncan was scoring with ease. The crowd was dead and it wasn’t difficult to envision what would be said in the SportsWorld if Phoenix lost: “The political hoopla was a distraction.” “This is why sports and politics don’t mix.” “They should have been focused on the Spurs and not immigration.” And grinning smugly would have been LA Lakers coach Phil Jackson who chided the Suns yesterday saying, “If I heard it right the American people are really for stronger immigration laws…. I don’t think teams should get involved in the political stuff.”

In other words, everyone who stands with SB 1070 would be feeling a little more joyful this morning. It would have been an echo of the time Muhammad Ali lost his first fight to Joe Frazier and all the columnists and fans who wanted to see the draft dodging Ali punished, chortled gleefully after he was knocked to the canvas. But just when we were all ready to stick a fork in the brick-laying Suns, something remarkable happened. The slick shooting, fast breaking team started to crash the boards, play ugly, and do all the dirty work that wins games. Doughy, undersized three point shooter Jared Dudley started aggressively snatching offensive rebounds like his soul had been possessed by Barkley himself, energizing the crowd and shocking his team back to life. The result was a 110-102 victory in which the run and gun Suns were held to just eight fast break points. Coach Alvin Gentry said afterward that he had never seen the team play so mentally tough.

Maybe this will be the start of a new trend where teams see the unifying benefits of going out on a political limb and taking a stand. Maybe players across the sports leagues who oppose SB 1070 will be inspired to come together in a common organization and demand Arizona cease the imposition of “Juan Crow” on the Latino population. Maybe the major sports unions, all of whom have voiced opposition to the bill, will release a joint statement saying that they will support any player or team who boycotts the state as long as SB 1070 is on the books. Maybe this is all utterly unrealistic. But it seems a hell of a lot more possible this morning than it did last night. Vivan Los Suns.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Dave Zirin is a sports correspondent for The Nation Magazine

Follow Dave Zirin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/edgeofsports

Leave a comment

Filed under Arizona, Basketball, Cinco de Mayo, Hispanic/Latino/Latina, Immigration, Sports, Uncategorized

President Obama Meets With 2009 World Champion NY Yankees At White House

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama is presented with an autographed New York Yankees jersey by team manager Joe Girardi during a ceremony celebrating the World Series champs in the East Room of the White House April 26, 2010 in Washington, DC. Despite being a Chicago White Sox fan, Obama celebrated the Yankees' victory and pointed to the team's visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center as an example of good community service (All photos by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America)

AP~President Barack Obama celebrated the world champion Yankees on Monday for their heroics and character – and bemoaned that his Chicago White Sox couldn’t match New York’s remarkable record of success.

In a jam-packed ceremony in the East Room that was part pep rally, the president pointed out that the last time the Yankees – winners of 27 titles – were toasted at the White House was 2001.

“It’s been nine years since your last title – which must have felt like eternity for Yankee fans. I think other teams would be just fine with a spell like that. The Cubs, for example,” Obama said, drawing laughs from players, coaches, members of his Cabinet and Congress and other guests. He added that his White Sox have gotten close, including a title in 2005.

The Yankees won the World Series in six games last year, defeating the Philadelphia Phillies. New York Manager Joe Girardi presented Obama with a signed Yankees’ jersey with the No. 27.

The White House visit was the fifth for the Yankees core four – Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada – who have a handful of championship rings. They’ve met three presidents – Bill Clinton in the 1990s, George W. Bush in 2001 and now Obama.

Obama praised the players for their off-field work, from a scholarship that first baseman Mark Teixeira established at his high school with a $75,000 check, to catcher Posada’s work on a support network for families with ailing children to shortstop Jeter’s sportsmanship.

Earlier in the day, members of the team visited war wounded at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, which several players described as a sobering experience. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who wore his championship ring, called the servicemembers the “real heroes” and pitcher Andy Pettitte hailed their sacrifice. Pettitte said even a few Boston Red Sox fans among the wounded appreciated the Yankee visit – though they kept their Red Sox caps on.

Obama said underneath the famed pinstripes the players and coaches “share a belief that anybody blessed with first-class talent also has an obligation to be a first-class person.”

Posing with the team, assembled on risers, Obama smiled broadly, then realized the photograph should include the World Series trophy. After Girardi brought it over, a member of the Yankee organization shouted out that it might be the White Sox’s No. 1 fan’s only chance to hold the trophy. The remark drew laughs from the crowd.


Remarks by The President Honoring the 2009 World Series Champion New York Yankees

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

9 Comments

Filed under Baseball, Change, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Welcome Olympians to the White House

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Obama and First Lady Michelle greet members of the U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey team in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, April 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

USAToday~Rainy weather forced U.S. Olympians indoors today at the White House, but did not dull the excitement of meeting the president and first lady.

“It never gets old coming to the White House,” said medal-winning speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno.

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama went from room to room in the Executive Mansion, greeting Olympic and Paralympic team members who recently competed in Vancouver. The event had been scheduled for the South Lawn.

Some of the Olympians — such as alpine skier Alana Nichols — are helping Michelle Obama with her anti-obesity campaign targeting the nation’s children called “Let’s Move.”

“We’re big believers in moving and staying active and keeping our bodies healthy,” Nichols said.

Nichols has also promoted equality for fellow Paralympians. “We’re athletes first and foremost,” she said.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Last two Official White House Photos by Lawrence Jackson

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

1 Comment

Filed under First Lady Michelle Obama, Pres. Barack Obama, Sports, Uncategorized

The Biden’s Attend NCAA Women’s Women’s Final Four National Championship Game in San Antonio

Posted by: Audiegrl

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden pose with the Connecticut Huskies and the national championship trophy as they celebrate after a 53-47 win over the Stanford Cardinal during the NCAA Women's Final Four Championship game at the Alamodome on April 6, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America)

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden attended the women’s basketball championship game between Connecticut and Stanford on Tuesday night. He sat two rows from the Alamodome floor at center court with his two young granddaughters.

“I tell my daughter and my granddaughters they can do anything a boy can do,” Biden said during an interview with ESPN.

“I have two basketball players here. I’m looking for scholarships.”

It wasn’t clear whether Biden, a Delaware graduate, had a rooting interest, but he was impressed with Stanford’s early play against the unbeaten Huskies.

1 Comment

Filed under Basketball, Dr. Jill Biden, Uncategorized, Vice-President Joe Biden