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Al Bello/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Ivanka Trump is not happy about the way Serena Williams was treated in the lead up to the French Open.

The First Daughter came to the defense of the tennis star on social media on Thursday, writing that it was "ridiculous" that Williams was unseeded from the tennis tournament after having taken time off from the game to give birth to her daughter.

"This is ridiculous," Trump wrote in a tweet Thursday. "@SerenaWilliams is a formidable athlete (best ever!) and loving new mother. No person should ever be penalized professionally for having a child! The #WTA should change this rule immediately. #FrenchOpen."

Without being seeded, Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam winner who has won the French Open three times, could face highly-ranked opponents in the early rounds of the tournament.

She returned to the World Tennis Association tour in March after giving birth to her daughter, and has won twice and lost twice.

 Williams has not commented publicly about the seeding situation, but she hasn't been laying low in recent weeks, either.

Last weekend, she was in England and attended the royal wedding - as she is a friend of the newly-minted Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.

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Claus Andersen/Getty Images(MILWAUKEE) -- NBA rookie Sterling Brown felt "defenseless" when police surrounded him in a parking lot, pulled him to the ground and tased him in an arrest for which the Milwaukee police chief apologized.

A day after police body camera video was released showing officers allegedly using excessive force on him over what was initially a parking violation, the 23-year-old Milwaukee Bucks' player told "Good Morning America" co-anchor Robin Roberts that he wants justice, not only for himself but for others who have experienced similar situations.

During the early morning hours on Jan. 26, Brown was parked illegally outside of a Walgreens drug store when he was approached by an officer wearing a body camera. “You don’t see the issue here? You’re not parked across three lanes?” the officer can be heard saying in the now-viral footage.

Brown said that he “initially didn’t see” the policeman until he “got right in front of the car” and was confronted by the officer.

“He told me to -- get away from the car and all that,” Brown recalled. “And I'm asking … ‘What's going on?’”

“I'm double parked,” he added. “But, you know … he called backup, and backup came.”

Six police vehicles soon arrived on the scene. “From there,” Brown told Roberts. “They surrounded me.”

In a police report of the incident, officers wrote that Brown was acting "very aggressive" and "physically resisted." The video shows Brown standing calmly and attempting to comply with orders when officers swarmed him, forced him to the ground and used a stun gun on him in the drugstore parking lot in Milwaukee.

"I mean, everybody thought that ... from the beginning, you know, thought I was combative, thought I was, you know, being aggressive," Brown said.

He said watching the video and reliving the nightmare has only made him angry.

"I mean, I get mad every time I watch it, you know, 'cause I was defenseless, pretty much," Brown told Roberts.

In the video, an officer repeatedly orders Brown to "back up," before telling him "I will do what I want, alright? I own this right here."

The officer accuses Brown of "being all badass with me" to which Brown replies "I ain't got no problem."

Other officers arrive on the scene and can be seen talking to Brown near his vehicle when one of the officers shouts for Brown to take his hands out of his pockets. Brown says that he has “stuff” in his pockets as several officers close in and take him to the ground. A scuffle ensues and an officer yells "Taser, Taser, Taser!" Brown can be heard moaning on the ground.

But Brown said the video doesn't begin to show the frightening details he endured.

"The video shows no justice at what really happened," Brown said. "Like, it's a bodycam, it's close, you can hear me screaming or what not. But anybody who's been in that position knows how ... how dirty it can get. So it's ... it's tough every time I watch it."

He recalled being “on the ground for about ten minutes.” Brown said that during that time, his thoughts were “How do I get home? How do I see my family?”

Physically, being tased “was a shock,” Brown said, adding that “you could hear it.”

“It came out of nowhere,” he recalled of the shock. “I tensed up instantly.”

He said he thinks it escalated so quickly because “they wanted to control the situation, they wanted to show their force, their power.”

He said he's finally speaking out and pursuing legal action against the police department because he wants to send a message that what was done to him was not right.

"That's why I'm ... doing what I'm doing legally," he said. "I'm here speaking to you, you know, just to draw attention to it and try to, you know, be that voice and try to help as many people as I can in this situation."

“I mean whether I park illegally or not,” Brown said. “It shouldn't have led to what it led to.”

“I could have just got a ticket, went home, paid however much money,” he added.

He said for a long time after the incident, he did not want what happened to him to be made public.

"I really didn't want it to come out. I really didn't want the video," Brown said. "It's just personal. Like, it's personal business. You know, as I thought about it more ... I mean I feel like why not? You know, why not be a voice for people who, you know, can't say anything or can't speak up for themselves?"

Brown was not charged with a crime as a result of the incident.

Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said at a news conference held Wednesday that the officers involved "acted inappropriately" and were "recently disciplined."

Morales did not detail what that discipline entailed and did not answer reporters' questions.

"I am sorry this incident escalated to this level," Morales said.

In a statement, the Milwaukee Police Association blamed the Brown incident on a “drastically understaffed” department. “Because officers are frequently mandated to work alone they are at greater risk to be compelled to use higher levels of force,” the statement reads. “Use of Force will never look pretty, but it is — unfortunately, a necessary component of policing. The cause or need for force is always dictated by the subject confronting the police officer.”

Brown said that instances similar to what happened to him, have been “happening for years, and people’s stories have not been told.”

For this reason, he feels it's his “responsibility” to speak out.

Brown encouraged others to “keep fighting” and “bringing attention” to instances like this, and to keep “putting pressure” on those in authority so that one day things will “change.”

 

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iStock/Thinkstock(MILWAUKEE) -- Questions swirled about how officers were disciplined a day after Milwaukee police released video showing those officers using a stun gun on NBA rookie Sterling Brown.

In a news conference Wednesday, Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said that the officers involved “acted inappropriately” and were “recently disciplined,” but he did not answer reporters’ questions about how many officers were disciplined or what that discipline entailed.

Wisconsin State Rep. Leon Young told ABC News that Morales told him and other state lawmakers Thursday morning that one sergeant and two officers were disciplined in the incident, but said the chief told the lawmakers that statutory reasons prevented him from disclosing how they were punished.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday afternoon that the first officer on the scene was suspended for two days and two other officers who arrived later were suspended for 10 and 15 days.

“We’re calling on the police department to share this information that many of you have been asking for about the discipline,” Milwaukee Council President Ashanti Hamilton said at a press conference. “What type of discipline is being issued? Who are the officers that are being disciplined? What is the process?”

Reporters asked Morales those questions as he entered City Hall Thursday morning, but he only said that those details would be released soon.

It was not immediately clear why Morales didn’t disclose details of how officers were punished, though in a news conference Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett suggested the discipline would be shared with the public once the officers’ rights were met.

“As I understand it - you have to ask the chief these questions - give some rights to those individuals being disciplined in terms of the process,” Barrett said. “As soon as he can legally, I expect that discipline will be announced.”

“Let’s share what that process is,” Hamilton said of the disciplinary process. “They should share that information with the public.

The body camera video captured a confrontation between Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown and members of the Milwaukee Police Department outside a Walgreens drugstore shortly after 2 a.m. on Jan. 26.

Brown had parked horizontally across two handicap parking spots in the store’s empty lot while he had gone into the store. When he returned to his vehicle, an officer was waiting and the situation turned tense with the officer repeatedly telling Brown to “back up” and accusing Brown of “being all badass to me.”

Other officers arrive on the scene and Brown appears to be talking calmly with them when an officer orders him to take his hands out of his pockets.

“Hold on, I got stuff in my hands,” Brown can be heard responding on the video before officers take him down and taser him. Brown can be heard moaning in pain after the taser is deployed.

“If this guy hadn’t been such [an idiot], it would’ve been ‘Hey, have a nice day.’ But then I thought, 'Oh, he is being an ass, he is trying to hide something.' And now he’s like 'I’m a Bucks player,'" the first officer on the scene can be heard explaining to his colleagues after Brown had been tasered.

The scene that plays out on the body camera footage seems to contradict the police report which says Brown was “very aggressive” and “physically resisted” the officers’ attempts to handcuff him.

Brown was arrested for resisting or obstructing an officer, but ultimately was only cited with a parking ticket.

On Twitter, Brown, the son of a retired Illinois police officer, pledged to take legal action against the Milwaukee Police Department, but called on his supporters to respond peacefully.

“Peaceful support to ensure no further damage to our community is the only way to respond,” Brown’s statement read, in part.

In the hours after the video was released, there were no protests in Milwaukee. The calm was striking in contrast to fiery protests seen in many places after incidents of alleged police brutality in minority communities.

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Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- NFL players should "stand proudly" during the national anthem, President Donald Trump said after praising the league's new rule banning players from kneeling on the field during the song.

Trump criticized the league's players who might challenge the rule and continue to kneel in protest, suggesting "maybe you shouldn't be in the country."

“I don't think people should be staying in locker rooms,” Trump said in an interview with Fox and Friends Thursday morning. “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn't be playing. You shouldn't be there. Maybe you shouldn't be in the country. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Wednesday's sports events:

INTERLEAGUE
Kansas City 5, St. Louis 2, 10 Innings
Houston 4, San Francisco 1
Cleveland 1, Chicago Cubs 0

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Detroit 4, Minnesota 1
Texas 12, N.Y. Yankees 10
L.A. Angels 5, Toronto 4
Boston 4, Tampa Bay 1
Chicago White Sox 11, Baltimore 1
Seattle 1, Oakland 0

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Milwaukee 9, Arizona 2
San Diego 3, Washington 1
Philadelphia 4, Atlanta 0
Miami 2, N.Y. Mets 1
Pittsburgh 5, Cincinnati 4, 12 Innings
L.A. Dodgers 3, Colorado 0

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Boston 96, Cleveland 83
 
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
Washington 4, Tampa Bay 0

WOMEN'S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Atlanta 81, Chicago 63
Minnesota 76, Dallas 68
Seattle 87, Phoenix 71

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Wednesday that the football league's players who are on the field will need to stand for the national anthem -- capping months of controversy and coming in the wake of a series of player protests.

"The policy adopted today was approved in concert with the NFL's ongoing commitment to local communities and our country — one that is extraordinary in its scope, resources, and alignment with our players," Goodell said in a statement. "We are dedicated to continuing our collaboration with players to advance the goals of justice and fairness in all corners of our society."

Goodell said that when the new season kicks off in the fall, all players and NFL team personnel "shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem."

He said players who choose not to stand for the national anthem under the new policy, which was panned by the players union, will be allowed to remain in the locker room until the performance of the "Star-Spangled Banner" is complete.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others drew praise and ignited fury through a series of protests during the national anthem starting in 2016.

President Donald Trump weighed in extensively on the controversy, deriding both those who knelt during the anthem and the league for allowing it.

Goodell said "it was unfortunate" that on-field protests by players taking a knee during the national anthem "created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case."

He said the new policy was "reaffirmed" by all 32 teams of the National Football League.

The previous policy required players to be on the field for the anthem but said only that they "should" stand.

Teams will be subjected to fines if a player or team personnel defies the new policy. Teams are also being given the option of imposing fines on any team personnel, including players, for the infraction.

However, Christopher Johnson, chairman of the New York Jets, said he will not stop his players from continuing to take a knee on the field during the national anthem.

"I do not like imposing any club-specific rules," Johnson said in an interview with Newsday of Long Island. “If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players. I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players. Do I prefer that they stand? Of course. But I understand if they felt the need to protest."

Johnson is the brother of Jets owner Woody Johnson, who is also Trump's ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Christopher Johnson said the players have the right to protest "big complicated issues" the nation is struggling with.

"I don't want to come down on them like a ton of bricks, and I won't," Johnson said. "There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that’s just something I'll have to bear."

Goodell praised players for causing "awareness and action around issues that must be addressed," but said there are alternative avenues to do so off the field.

"The platform that we have created together is certainly unique in professional sports and quite likely in American business," Goodell said. "We are honored to work with our players to drive progress."

But the NFL Players Association said league officials did not consult with the union in the development of the new policy.

"NFL players have shown their patriotism through their social activism, their community service, in support of our military and law enforcement and yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about," the NFLPA said in a statement.

"The vote by NFL club CEOs today contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL's Management Council John Mara about the principles, values and patriotism of our League," the statement reads. "Our union will review the new 'policy' and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement."

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Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery/Getty Images(MILWAUKEE) -- Milwaukee police are expected to release video Wednesday that shows officers tasering Milwaukee Bucks rookie Sterling Brown in an incident stemming from a parking violation, according to the basketball player's attorney.

Brown's attorney, Mark Thomsen of Gingras, Cates and Wachs, told ABC News he expects the police body camera video to be released Wednesday afternoon.

Several sources who have seen the video told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that it does not show Brown do anything to provoke police during the January encounter, which is contrary to how the police report describes the incident.

According to the police report, the incident began around 2 a.m. on Jan. 26 when officers saw a vehicle parked across two handicap spaces at a Milwaukee Walgreens drugstore. According to the report, officers approached the vehicle and were informed by an unidentified passenger that the driver - later identified as Brown - was inside the store. When Brown came out of the store, the police report says, officers repeatedly asked him to step back which he refused. The report says Brown became "very aggressive" and "physically resisted" the officers' attempts to handcuff him.

"A taser had to be employed to get Brown in control with handcuffs," the police report states.

Brown was arrested on possible misdemeanor charge of resisting or obstructing an officer, but after police reviewed the incident - including the body am footage slated to be released - they failed to refer the case to prosecutors for charges. Ultimately, the NBA player was cited for a parking violation.

Brown played in a game later that day with bruises on his face, but would say only that it was a "personal issue" when asked by reporters how he had been injured.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports police have reportedly prepared community leaders for possible backlash from the video's release, including showing it to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett who called the video "disturbing."

Just a day before the video's expected release, Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales released a video, promising to defend officers, but also admit when they make mistakes.

"If there is ever an incident when one of our members makes a mistake," Morales said in the video, "I"m going to be honest and transparent about it."

Morales took over as police chief in February, weeks after Brown's arrest.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Former Mets and Phillies star Lenny Dykstra was arrested in New Jersey on Wednesday after a dispute with an Uber driver, Linden police said.

Dykstra, 55, who lives in Linden, was charged with making terroristic threats and drug offenses after he was allegedly found with cocaine, MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, and marijuana.

After the Uber driver had picked him up in Linden, Dykstra wanted to change the destination, police said. When the driver refused, Dykstra put a weapon to his head and threatened to kill him, police said.

No weapon was found but police allegedly found illegal drugs after the driver drove to the police station and honked his horn until officers came outside.

Dykstra was released on a summons and is due back in court next month.

ABC News has been unable to reach Dykstra, but he told the Daily News in New York that the Uber driver took him hostage during the early-morning ride.

"The guy went nuclear on me," Dykstra said. "He … kidnapped me and almost killed me going 100 mph. He locked me in his … car, and he wouldn't let me out."

Dykstra also told the newspaper he had not been arrested. "No dude," he said. "It's another day in the life of Lenny Dykstra."

He has been in legal trouble before. He was sentenced to three years in prison for grand theft auto and filing false financial claims. He served six and a half months.

Dykstra was a World Series champion with the 1986 Mets. He also reached the World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1993.

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Wednesday that the football league's players who are on the field will need to stand for the national anthem -- capping months of controversy and coming in the wake of a series of player protests.

"The policy adopted today was approved in concert with the NFL's ongoing commitment to local communities and our country — one that is extraordinary in its scope, resources, and alignment with our players," Goodell said in a statement. "We are dedicated to continuing our collaboration with players to advance the goals of justice and fairness in all corners of our society."

Goodell said "it was unfortunate" that on-field protests by players taking a knee during the national anthem "created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case."

This is a breaking story. Please check back in for updates.



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iStock?Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Congress is looking into more alleged sexual assault of Olympic athletes beyond gymnastics – this time involving USA Swimming and other sports.

The president and CEO of USA Swimming, Tim Hinchey, is testifying Wednesday before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee looking into whether U.S. Olympic organizations have policies and procedures in place to protect athletes given all the recent accusations.

In his prepared testimony, Hinchey admits his sport has been a big part of the problem since even before the gymnastics scandal.

“USA Swimming acknowledges and deeply regrets the abuse suffered by children, athletes, and other participants in swimming programs. Participation in sport should offer physical, social and emotional benefits, but for some, it has resulted in abuse and trauma that will negatively impact the rest of their lives,” Hinchey says in his prepared remarks.

While conceding that “child sexual abuse still occurs in swimming,” Hinchey says “there will be no complacency on [his] watch.”

On Monday, Olympic swimmer Ariana Kukors Smith sued USA Swimming, claiming that the organization knew that her former coach – Sean Hutchison – was sexually abusing her and attempted to mask the scandal.

After Kukors Smith made the accusations public in February, Hutchison released a statement.

“At no time did I ever abuse Ariana Kukors or do anything with her that was not consensual,” he said. Hutchison has not been charged with any crimes at this time. Hutchison’s lawyer, Brad Meryhew, explained to The New York Times that he and his client had no response to the lawsuit following its filing on Monday. ABC News has reached out to Meryhew and is awaiting further comment.

The one-time world champion alleged that Hutchinson began assaulting her about one decade ago when she was 16 years old. Hutchinson supposedly groomed the athlete for a sexual relationship when she was just 13.

While Kukors Smith will not testify at Wednesday's hearing, she did appear on ABC News’ Good Morning America on Tuesday.

In that interview, the 2012 USA Olympic Team member claimed that USA Swimming, the chief governing body of the sport, failed to protect her from sexual abuse by Hutchison.

“He stole many things from me, including my swimming career, my college experience, friendships, my virginity and ultimately my Olympic dream,” she said. “Not all athletes will become Olympians but all athletes deserve to feel safe on a pool deck.”

Shortly after Kukors Smith’s civil lawsuit was filed in Orange County Superior Court in California, USA Swimming released a statement.

“We respect Ariana Kukors' bravery in stepping forward and sharing her story," the statement said. "We have been in regular contact with her legal team over the last several months and will continue to work with them and Ariana through this process."

Kukors Smith contends that Mark Schubert, USA Swimming and longtime Olympic Coach, was aware of the abuse but failed to act.

Hinchey assumed his position with the sports organization in July 2017, just months before Kukors Smith went public with the alleged abuse.

This case is not an isolated incident for USA Swimming or other Olympic sports. And the swimming scandal comes after dozens of victims testified they were sexually abused by Larry Nassar while he was a doctor for both the USA Olympic and Michigan State Gymnastics teams.

Nassar was found guilty and received what amounted to a life sentence.

Acting CEO of the United States Olympic Committee Susanne Lyons and President & CEO of USA Gymnastics Kerry Perry are also scheduled to testify at Wednesday’s hearing.

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