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Seven New Jersey High Schoolers Charged With Hazing-Related Sex Crimes - VIDEO

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Six of seven New Jersey high school students are being held in police custody this week after being charged for hazing-related sexual assault crimes. Acting as members of the Sayreville War Memorial High School football team, the accused teenagers are said to have restrained, abused, and inappropriately touched four fellow teammates. Families of the arrested teenagers are awaiting preliminary decisions that will determine whether students, whose ages range from 15-17, will be charged prosecuted as minors or adults.

"Everything revolves around getting the kids ready to play Bomber football," Cary Melenez, a local resident explained of her city.

The allegations have shaken parents and school administrators concerned for the well being of their children and students. Though not known for churning out star football players, Sayreville’s culture revolves heavily around football participation. The implications of a scandal like this have prompted a number of vocal protestations. In light of the developing case, Sayreville school superintendent made the executive decision to cancel the remainder of the high school's fall football season. 

"In the ensuing days, weeks, and months," Sayreville school superintendent Richard Labbe said in a statement, "we will come together as a school district and greater community to harness the strength required to support the young men who may have been victimized and then to begin the healing process for our beloved community."

ChristieChris Christie echoed the superintendents intentions of exhaustively delving into the specifics of the case in hopes of exposing the truth of the events and sending a clear message.

"The facts as reported currently are extraordinarily disturbing, and as the father of a number of teenage athletes, the idea that that kind of conduct could be permitted -- if it's true ... in a high school athletics program, or anywhere else in our state for that matter, is absolutely unacceptable."

Watch footage of Sayreville school superintendent Richard Labbe addressing the hazing scandal AFTER THE JUMP...

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Take A Look Inside 'Wonderkid,' A Short Film Aimed At Tackling Homophobia In Sport: VIDEO

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"Wonderkid," a short film in the works from director Rhys Chapman and co-writers Chapman and Terence Corless aims to tackle a substantial and pressing global issue: homophobia in professional sports. The focus of their film is football (as in soccer) and one unnamed player struggling with his sexual identity and other issues, on and off the field. Chapman has already received a great deal of support in the U.K., and Ian McKellen even did the voice-over work for the film's Kickstarter campaign video, but they need more help in order to produce a worthwhile film product.

Their Kickstarter page reads:

We want to challenge the way people think about homophobia, not only in football, but in their everyday lives. Director Rhys Chapman co-wrote the script with writer Terence Corless, producing a story tackling a subject matter that has sorely lacked widespread attention. WONDERKID provides an insight into the trauma caused by homophobia, and challenges preconceptions about what it is to be ‘masculine’. 

At the heart of this project is the desire to change people’s minds about what is and what is not acceptable behaviour towards fellow human beings. It is about the basic human right for everyone to love and pursue a relationship, regardless of gender, race, creed or anything else. Most importantly, it is a story about wanting to be happy with who you are, which is something we can all relate to.

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In his director's video, Chapman expresses an interest in tackling the issue of homophobia through film: "I feel that film is the ultimate artistic expression. You can create an entire reality that, for all intents and purposes, is real to anyone watching." Although film does offer this advantage, anyone would be hard-pressed to deny the reality of homophobia as a rampant issue in sports. Chapman is dealing with that reality by partnering with Galop, an anti-violence and hate crime charity, to spread the word on the film and its importance.

Football is an institution in British society, and as such as it is imperative to challenge the anti-LGBT attitudes prevalent in this sport and its fanbase. Together, Galop and WONDERKID will work towards stamping out homophobia in football.” Galop Press Release

This is a film with great aspirations and, working with Galop, we intend to use it as an educational tool; holding screenings of the film to start the conversation with young people who have, or may come to, experience the issues dealt with in WONDERKID.

Chapman, Corless, and crew are seeking £25,000 in funding to cover equipment, production, editing, and distribution costs, and many more details can be found at their Kickstarter campaign page. This is an important project that has the potential to impact people in a big way. Congratulations to the whole team for the support they have received, and good luck in taking the film even further!

Watch the "Wonderkid" promo video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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High School Football Player Gives Rousing Motivational Speech, Says To 'Keep Smiling' - VIDEO

Football

High school running back Apollos Hester has been making headlines with a post-game interview he gave to a local news station in East View, Texas that quickly turned into a motivational speech on the importance of believing in yourself and never giving up. Says Hester,

“It’s an awesome feeling when you truly believe that you’re going to be successful. Regardless of the situation, regardless of the scoreboard, you're going to be successful because you put in all the time, all the effort, all the hard work and you know that it’s going to pay off…win or lose we realized we’re going to be all right…you can do anything you put your mind to, never give up on your dreams, keep smiling, no matter what you’re going through.”

Watch the high energy video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Anti-gay Vikings Coach Mike Priefer Says He's 'A Better Man' After Undergoing Sensitivity Training

Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Priefer, who was suspended for two games and required to attend sensitivity classes following allegations earlier this year that he was active in promoting locker room homophobia and anti-LGBT hostility, is speaking out about his time away from the team while at sensitivity training.

PrieferThe AP reports:

"It was very positive," Priefer told reporters at team headquarters Thursday in his first public comments since the suspension was lifted on Sunday night. "It was very professionally done. Like anything else in life, if you put a lot into it, you're going to get a lot out of it. I tell my kids that. I tell our players that. So I went into it with a great attitude and I got a lot out of it, to be honest with you."

When asked if he's changed in any way after being deluged with criticism for making the comments and taking the subsequent training, Priefer said, "I don't know if I've changed, but I think I have more awareness of my surroundings and other people around me. I think I'm a better man because of it."

Considering that this is the guy who allegedly said "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows," the fact that Priefer isn't sure if he's had a change of heart is disturbing to say the least. 


Colin Kaepernick Bares His Abs For Bruce Weber In 'VMAN' - PHOTOS

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The San Francisco 49ers quarterback who recently signed a $126 million contract covers the current issue of VMAN looking unsurprisingly sporty. 

Earlier this year, Kaepernick spoke out about the prospect of Michael Sam joining the NFL, remarking that he would be welcomed into the league:

"I think when he steps into that locker room, everyone's going to know that he's there to help us win games. And that's why you're in the NFL, to help us win games. No one cares if you're black, white, straight, gay, Christian, Jewish, whatever it may be. When you step on that field you're a member of in my case, the 49ers. Or the Carolina Panthers. That's your job. That's your occupation."

Check out Kaepernick's chiseled abs, photographed by ab aficionado Bruce Weber, along with one more shot from VMAN, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Fox News On Ray Rice Elevator Assault: 'I Think The Message Is, Take The Stairs' - VIDEO

Fox

In the wake of the scandal surrounding NFL Ravens' player Ray Rice being caught on camera assaulting his then fiance while on an elevator, Fox & Friends yesterday decided to place the blame for the assault squarely on the shoulders of the victim, Janay Rice, and suggest the biggest take away from the whole incident was to make sure to assault people where there aren't any cameras around. Think Progress reports:

Responding to the video, Fox host Brian Kilmeade on Monday blasted the victims of domestic violence, criticizing Palmer (now Janay Rice) and other women who don’t break up with their partner after a domestic violence incident, saying they send a “terrible message.”

Kilmeade then proceeded to provide mocking advice to Palmer, quipping, “I think the message is, take the stairs.” Co-host Steve Doocey gamely joined in, “The message is, when you’re in an elevator, there’s a camera.”

Today, Fox & Friends responded to the backlash by stating, “Comments that were made during this story made some feel like we are taking the situation too lightly. We are not, we were not. Domestic violence is a very serious issue to us, I can assure you.”

Watch the news clip showing the incendiary comments, AFTER THE JUMP...

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