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Kevin Ward’s friend Tyler Graves does not think Tony Stewart did it intentionally

Kevin Ward Jr award

Tyler Graves, a friend of Kevin Ward Jr. (pictured) who witnessed Saturday’s fatal incident, says he does not think Tony Stewart hit Ward intentionally, though he believes Stewart should be put in jail forever.

Graves spoke with Sporting News racing reporter Bob Pockrass and described what he saw at the Empire Super Sprints race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

“Tony pinched him into the frontstretch wall, a racing thing,” Graves told Sporting News. “The right rear tire went down, he spun on the exit of (Turn) 2. They threw the caution and everything was toned down. Kevin got out of his car. … He was throwing his arms up all over the place at Tony for most of the corner.

“I know Tony could see him. I know how you can see out of these cars. When Tony got close to him, he hit the throttle. When you hit a throttle on a sprint car, the car sets sideways. It set sideways, the right rear tire hit Kevin, Kevin was sucked underneath and was stuck under it for a second or two and then it threw him about 50 yards.”

Ward was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. Though police are investigating the incident, they have not charged Stewart with a crime.

Graves, who is also a race-car driver, told Pockrass he did not think Stewart did it intentionally.

Graves said it appeared to him that Stewart swerved before gunning the engine but he did not believe it was intentional.

“You never mean to do something like that,” Graves said. “Kevin was pissed and he let Tony know. And Tony was trying to give the message back that he wasn’t happy either. He went over the line with it.”

Graves did tell Pockrass he does not think Stewart should be racing and that Stewart should be “put in prison for life.”

Stewart is scheduled to start 13th in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen.

Christy Mack ‘afraid for her life’ after alleged beating by War Machine

War Machine Christy Mack

Christy Mack fears for her life after being beaten severely allegedly by her boyfriend War Machine early on Friday morning.

War Machine, who was fired by Bellator MMA Friday after allegations of his assault became public, is wanted by police for allegedly beating Mack and another person during an altercation inside their Nevada home.

TMZ reports that Mack, who is a porn star, is in “very bad shape” and afraid for her life. She reportedly sustained injuries that have made it difficult for her to speak.

Though War Machine is wanted, he still found time to tweet Mack on Saturday. His tweets imply that he found Mack in bed with another lover and beat up both of them:

One person said over Twitter that War Machine caught Mack having sex with another fighter, but she responded and said that was not true.

Maybe it’s just not a fact that the third person was a fighter. Or maybe the whole story is false.

Alberto Del Rio reportedly slapped social media manager over racist joke

Alberto Del Rio black eye

Alberto Del Rio’s release by the WWE was announced Thursday with very few details surrounding the circumstances for his departure from the organization. Slowly the story has begun to emerge.

Here’s what the WWE said in its statement Thursday:

“WWE announced the release of Alberto Del Rio due to unprofessional conduct and an altercation with an employee.”

The rumor was that Del Rio had an altercation with a social media manager for the company.

WrestlingInc.com provides details on what allegedly happened:

According to the new report, WWE’s social media manager was supposedly asked to wipe his plate clean following a meal in catering. He allegedly joked that it was Del Rio’s job to clean the plate, which could be perceived as racist by Hispanic people. Del Rio was informed of the comment, and confronted him. The individual did not apologize for his remark and then smiled at him. Fuming, Del Rio slapped him.

The WWE got defensive about the release of Del Rio and sent these tweets Friday regarding the move:

There was speculation that this could be a work, but it seems pretty clear now that this is for real. And if this story is accurate, I wouldn’t say Del Rio was justified in his actions, but the social media manager was out of line.

H/T Arsen D.

LeBron James says he will not leave Cleveland again

LeBron James Cavs

LeBron James has gone Nick Saban on everyone and says he will not be leaving Cleveland again.

James spoke at a “Welcome Home LeBron” event at InfoCision Stadium in Akron Friday and pledged his allegiance to the Cavaliers.

“I don’t plan on going anywhere,” James said Friday via the Akron Beacon Journal. “I don’t have the energy to do it again.”

James was drafted by the Cavaliers and played for them from 2003-2010. He won two MVPs and reached the NBA Finals once but never captured a title. He left for Miami and played four seasons with the Heat, reaching the Finals all four seasons and winning them twice. But he returned to Cleveland this offseason amid much fanfare, forgiveness and elation.

There was some speculation that James could leave the team again because he only signed a two-year deal, but he says that was done for financial reasons.

“At the end of the day I’m a businessman as well,” James said, “and I know what’s going on in our league.”

James was referring to the new TV deal the league is negotiating, which could lead to higher maximum salaries for top players.

James leaving the organization and area for a second time would be devastating for the community. It’s good he plans to stay with them the rest of his career lest he risk becoming the most hated man in Ohio. That is unless his second stint with the team turns disastrous.

War Machine fired by Bellator for alleged domestic violence on girlfriend Christy Mack

War Machine mug shot

War Machine was fired by Bellator MMA on Friday after the organization learned that the fighter is wanted by Las Vegas police for an alleged domestic violence incident that landed two people, including his porn star girlfriend Christy Mack, in the hospital.

War Machine, whose real name is Jon Koppenhaver, allegedly beat up his “significant other” and another person early Friday morning. The “significant other” has not been identified but is believed to be Mack.

“We are currently investigating allegations of a domestic dispute that occurred earlier today at approximately 4 a.m. in the 3400 block of Pueblo Way,” a Las Vegas police press release said. “During this incident two people sustained severe but non-life threatening injuries. Detectives are actively investigating this incident. As a result of this investigation, detectives have identified Jonathan Koppenhaver as the primary suspect.”

[RELATED: War Machine apologizes for tweeting he raped his girlfriend]

War Machine (14-5) gained fame in the MMA world via his appearance on the UFC’s “The Ultimate Fighter” in 2007. He kicked around different promotions after being released by the UFC for multiple controversial comments. He has fought three times for Bellator MMA since last year, but the organization released him in light of the allegations.

“We have a zero tolerance policy here at Bellator when it relates to any form of domestic violence, and after learning of this latest incident involving Jon Koppenhaver, War Machine, Bellator is releasing him from him promotional contract with the organization,” Bellator MMA president Scott Coker said in a statement sent to Larry Brown Sports and other outlets.

War Machine Christy Mack

War Machine, who also has had a career in the adult film industry, has a history of violent arrests. From 2007-2010, he was arrested five times for assaults. Las Vegas police is searching for him.

The last tweet he sent seemed ominous:

Christy Mack’s Twitter account indicates she was involved in the incident. She had been promoting an appearance she was scheduled to make at an Art & Ink show at South Point hotel in Las Vegas, but she sent a note on Twitter Friday saying she wouldn’t be able to attend due to a personal emergency:

Another person on Twitter hinted that Mack and War Machine had broken up. War Machine did not take that tweet well:

War Machine tweet

That was sent a few hours before the alleged incident.

ESPN suspends Dan Le Batard for LeBron James billboard

Dan-Le-Batard-LeBron-billboard

Dan Le Batard has never been one to weigh the potential consequences of his actions before going through with them, which is one of the reasons he is more entertaining than a lot of other sports radio personalities. It’s also the reason he was given a long weekend by his employer this week.

On Thursday, ESPN released a statement announcing that Le Batard has been suspended for two days because of the funny billboard he paid for in Akron mocking LeBron James.

“Dan Le Batard will be off the air for two days, returning Monday,” the statement read. “His recent stunt does not reflect ESPN’s standards and brand. Additionally, we were not made aware of his plans in advance.”

I think everyone knows Le Batard’s publicity stunt does not reflect the views of ESPN, considering it was a joke that Le Batard and his father attached their names to. Le Batard even said earlier this week that it was all in good fun.

“It’s just fun anarchy. All meant in fun — which, of course, will turn into Cleveland people getting filled with rage, poison and irrational hostility and want to use those billboards as a guillotine,” he told Greg Cote of the Miami Herald. “Sports are so great, the more irrational the better. This is a publicity stunt disguised as a movement. Please don’t tell anyone there is no actual movement.”

We know how protective of its image the World Wide Leader can be. But remember, Le Batard is the same guy who sacrificed his MLB Hall of Fame vote for life just to make a point. A two-day suspension won’t change him in any way.

Photo via @JeremyinAkron

Chris Rainey cut for messing with fire extinguisher?

Chris-Rainey-ColtsChris Rainey was given a second (maybe even third) chance with the Indianapolis Colts late last season and blew it. The former Florida running back was waived by the Colts on July 28 after he reportedly violated team rules. He may have revealed the details of the incident on Thursday night.

Rainey was live-tweeting during Indy’s preseason game against the New York Jets, and he literally sounded like a third grader. After Colts running back Dan “Boom” Herron scored a touchdown, Rainey tweeted that he took the wrap for a fire extinguisher incident that also involved Herron. Deadspin captured the tweets before Rainey deleted them.

Chris-Rainey-tweets

Most players wouldn’t lose their roster spot for horsing around with a fire extinguisher, but Rainey was on a short leash. He was arrested on charges of aggravated stalking back in college and was cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers in Jan. 2013 after a simple battery arrest. A month before that, Rainey was cited for trespassing at a casino in Pennsylvania.

Maybe Herron did mess with the fire extinguisher that night just like Rainey, but nobody likes a tattle tale. Herron gets to keep his roster spot for now but he’ll probably be grounded. Way to go, Rainey.