Olympians told no selfies with President Obama
A handshake? Sure. A selfie? No way.
Some of America’s Olympic athletes say they were asked to keep their cellphones in their pockets last week when they visited the White House and met with President Barack Obama.
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The White House said that’s a longstanding practice because taking individual photos with hundreds of people wouldn’t be practical, and there are official photographers at such events. But the request to the Olympians drew attention because it came after the selfie Boston Red Sox slugger David “Big Papi” Ortiz took with the president during his team’s visit to the White House.
Many criticized that snapshot as a marketing ploy after Samsung, the maker of the phone Ortiz used, used the picture in an advertisement. Ortiz denied taking the picture with the knowledge it would be part of a promotion.
“I was a little bummed,” said Nick Goepper, a bronze medalist in slopestyle skiing. “I thought about trying to sneak one, but they were pretty adamant about it. I’m sure if they would’ve allowed it, there’d be 150 people with selfies with the president right now.”
The Olympians were visiting the White House after competing in Sochi, Russia, in February.
The White House confirmed that the athletes were asked not to take their own photos with Obama. The White House said that in the interest of efficiency, it has been practice for years for an official White House photographer to take pictures for large groups instead. It insisted there was no outright prohibition of selfies.
“There’s no discussion of a ban,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
Mourning, Richmond among those elected to Hall
Alonzo Mourning went to Georgetown to play basketball, not discover the world.
The 6-foot-10 center who won an NBA title with the Miami Heat was voted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday, adding that honor to becoming a board member at his alma mater.
“I didn’t understand the prestige of this university, the global prestige of this university,” Mourning said. “Never in my wildest dreams would I ever thought as a freshman that I would be sitting on the board of that university.”
Mourning was elected along with former NBA star Mitch Richmond and NCAA championship-winning coaches Nolan Richardson and Gary Williams. The women’s team from Immaculata College, which won three straight national championships in the 1970s, also was chosen.
They joined the previously announced class of 2014 that includes retired NBA Commissioner David Stern. The induction ceremony is Aug. 8 in Springfield, Mass.
Timberwolves’ player remains in custody
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham remained in custody on Monday following an initial court appearance for domestic assault charges, with the possibility that more charges could be coming from a second arrest over the weekend.
Cunningham was arrested twice in three days last week after alleged incidents with the woman he had been living with. Cunningham was charged Friday with felony domestic assault for allegedly choking the woman.
Police said they received a call from the woman in the early morning hours on Sunday saying that Cunningham had violated a protection order by sending threatening text messages that “rose to a terroristic level.”
In other Timberwolves news, forwards Chase Budinger and Shabazz Muhammad will miss the final six games of the season with injuries.
• The first day of the Masters didn’t last very long. Storms moved into the area just two hours after the gates opened at Augusta (Ga.) National for the first full day of practice. Players had to get off the golf course. A few hours later, the club said the forecast for even heavier rain meant the course would be off limits the rest of the day.
• The NHL has suspended Philadelphia Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo for four games for an illegal check to the head. He injured Buffalo Sabres defenseman Chad Ruhwedel in the third period of Sunday’s game. Ruhwedel will miss the remainder of the season after being diagnosed with a concussion.
• The Tampa Bay Lightning signed vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman to a four-year extension that runs through the 2018-19 season.
• Sacramento Mayor and former NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson will lead a search committee to select a new executive director for the NBA Players Association.
• Jack Sock made short work of former champion Ivo Karlovic, winning 6-1, 6-4 in the first round of the U.S. men’s Clay Court Championship at River Oaks Country Club in Houston.
The 21-year-old American had lost both previous meetings with the 6-foot-10 Karlovic, who won the title in 2007 at a different Houston venue.
In this one, Sock broke the Croatian’s huge serve twice in the first set and wound up spending less than an hour on the court.
Sock’s countryman, Sam Querry, beat Alex Bogomolov Jr., of Russia 6-4, 7-6 (8-6), but it was a satisfying win for the tourney’s 2010 runner-up.
• Fifth-seeded Joao Sousa of Portugal beat Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands 6-2, 6-4 on Monday to reach the second round of the Grand Prix Hassan II tournament in Casablanca, Morocco.
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