Police said Trice died last week after his father hit him in a post-video game rage. Brown, a Louisville-area native who attended the University of Louisville, used funds from his foundation to assist the family, who buried the boy at Louisville’s Green Meadows Cemetery on Monday. The father, Anthony Trice, faces first-degree murder and criminal abuse charges.
Alvena Smith, the child’s great grandmother, praised Brown.
“I’m very thankful and grateful to Jamon,” Smith told ESPN via email. “I met him and his brother through my nephew. Jamon is so thoughtful. He has not forgotten where he came from. I can’t thank him for his generosity because he definitely didn’t have to bless us the way he did. I didn’t know he loved us that much.
“To him I’m grateful. I thank his mom for doing a great job raising those boys because they turned out to be wonderful young men.”
Brown received word of the tragedy when the executive director of his foundation, Danny Mosby, reached out from Louisville and alerted him to the story. According to the police report, Anthony Trice was in his bedroom with his child playing video games at 8 p.m. May 3 when he began to lose the game. Trice then became angry and threw the remote. He told police he struck his infant son in the head with his fist, causing severe physical injury. After hitting the child, Trice attempted to quiet him. As he carried the baby into the kitchen, he dropped the baby — according to the police report — picked the baby up, then continued to the kitchen to make a bottle.
Trice brought the baby back into the bedroom and propped him up in a seated position, placed a blanket in front of the baby, and placed the bottle in the baby’s mouth. He then left the baby and went to the bathroom. Upon his return, Trice noticed the baby was in distress and called 911 for help. The father and child were in the house alone as the mother, Ronisha Tunstill, told a Louisville television station she was out running errands.
The baby was taken to Norton Children’s Hospital for the injuries and listed in serious condition. While at the hospital, he succumbed to the injuries and was pronounced dead on May 5 shortly after 8 p.m.
Trice, arrested May 4, is being held in the main jail of the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections.
“I was getting off the field when my executive director sent me the story, and this was before we decided to step up and partner with Louisville Children’s Hospital Foundation,” Brown said. “When he sent me the story, I was like, ‘Bro, this is sad.’ I read it, and I broke down.
“I have a daughter of my own, and I can only imagine making an irrational decision after losing a video game, not only what that would do to me but what that would do to my family. I was like ‘Damn’ just to be honest. It’s crazy some of the things that go on in this world.”
Bishop Dennis V. Lyons, who officiated Monday’s funeral service at New Zion Baptist Church, praised Brown’s act of kindness.
“It was phenomenal,” Lyons said. “Sometimes people will make donations, but he went beyond. He even bought a headstone. He actually did a miracle with this family, for them not to have the pressure to beg. They were able to have a very dignified funeral service.”
Brown, 26, started his foundation during his second season in the NFL. The mission statement of the foundation is to “impact the lives of those struggling with poverty, violence, and youth homelessness, and to improve upon the education and healthy living issues that are typically prevalent in at-risk areas while influencing others to do the same.” The foundation is currently in the process of partnering with local businesses to keep Louisville swimming pools open for the summer after government funding was cut short.
Brown, who signed a three-year, $18.75 million contract in March as a free agent, felt it was his calling to assist with the infant’s funeral cost. His brother, Jamal Brown, is a musician at the same True Believers In Christ Church the grieving family attends. Brown calls the pastor, Jason Reynolds, his best friend.
“I was like, ‘Let’s step outside of what we do’ because I wanted to let the public know that we can’t necessarily help every problem, but there are more problems that we do outside of our mission,” Brown said. “We were hoping that it would inspire different organizations that, in times like this, would step up and just lend a helping hand.”
Brown offered words of encouragement to the family following the loss.
“Tough times don’t last; tough people do,” Brown said. “Something like this, as much as it hurts, you have to celebrate that that child is now in a better place. That child, although he didn’t get to live a long life, that child is with our Maker. And just to keep in their mind that the child is not physically with them, but the child is now looking down on them.
“I’m sure the child would want them to be strong, still full of life and to keep living. Use their story to bring awareness to parenting. We, as parents, we need to make better decisions, and we need to be better parents for our kids and for the future.”
Sources — Colts won’t recoup money from Luck
Despite the fact that they could have recouped $24.8 million from their former quarterback, the Indianapolis Colts have reached a financial settlement with Andrew Luck and will not take back any of the money they are owed, league sources tell ESPN.
The Colts essentially are telling Luck to keep it all, even though it is within their rights to reclaim the money.
The settlement was reached late last week, according to a source familiar with the talks.
Luck could have owed the Colts $12.8 million as a pro-rated portion of the $32 million signing bonus the Colts gave him when he signed his five-year extension in 2016, and another $12 million in roster bonuses he was paid in March. But Indianapolis waived its right to recoup the money and is allowing Luck to keep it all, after the poundings he’s taken and all he’s given to the franchise. It is, in an official way, his parting gift.
Shortly after the news of Luck’s retirement broke Saturday night, Colts owner Jim Irsay estimated Luck might be losing out on a half-billion dollars in potential NFL wages by retiring now.
“It’s a tough thing, look it, he’s leaving $450 million on the table potentially,” Irsay said. “I mean, a half a billion dollars, and he’s saying, ‘You know what, I want to have my integrity. I have to be able to look (wide receiver) T.Y. (Hilton) in the eye, look my teammates, look coach, look (GM) Chris (Ballard) and say, I’m all in,’ and he just didn’t feel he could do that.”
Los Angeles Rams tackle Andrew Whitworth trying to keep his career alive at nearly 8,000 feet
WOLCOTT, Colo. — Daddy is sweating and it’s hot, but Andrew Whitworth‘s boys don’t notice. It’s time for a ride, in what’s become an annual offseason tradition, and it’s time for dad to provide the push.
Whitworth removes a couple of bags of golf clubs from the end of the golf cart in an effort to lighten the load, as sweat continuously drops from his graying goatee. The Los Angeles Rams’ 37-year-old left tackle pauses, trying to gather his breath, then leans over and finds his grip.
His 7-year-old son, Michael, yells from the passenger’s seat, “We’re ready!” and the 6-foot-7, 330-pound Whitworth begins to push. The cart inches forward, and 8-year-old son Drew hollers from the driver’s side, “What a ride!”
It’s the last Monday in June. Four days into the Whitworth family’s retreat to their offseason home high in the mountains of Colorado. Whitworth’s wife, Melissa, and two daughters remain in their hometown in Louisiana for a few extra days, as Whitworth takes on the challenge of starting his offseason workout regimen with Michael and Drew in tow. His boys are old enough to shadow dad as he plows through his grueling workout routine, but young enough to still get a kick out of the wild physical feats that he can pull off.
As Whitworth pushes the 900-pound golf cart, carrying his two 50-plus-pound kids across the driveway, his calf muscles flex and veins begin to pop. After exhausting his strength, Whitworth retreats to the shade inside his three-car garage, which has been partially converted into a home gym.
“Want to go again?” Drew hollers, before he puts the cart in reverse.
With Whitworth, who went through a 30-minute strength circuit prior to the push, trying to catch his breath in the thin mountain air, this portion of the day’s workout is over. Drew and Michael won’t get another free ride.
It’s Day 1 of Whitworth’s offseason program, one he must ease into at an altitude well more than a mile high — where your heart rate races even at a standstill, a satisfying breath is challenging to find, and the air is so dry that lip balm must remain a fixture in your pocket.
“I feel pretty good,” Whitworth says through a heavy breath, nearly 10 minutes after the great golf cart push. “Most of the time after these workouts, you feel pretty alive just because of the altitude.”
Training at altitude forces muscles to work harder due to the lack of oxygen in the air. It can also produce more red blood cells. It’s yet another way Whitworth is trying to extend his NFL career.
The start of Whitworth’s 14th NFL training camp remains five weeks away. The four-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro has gone to great lengths to find new ways to motivate his mind and move his body. Over the span of his career, his workouts have ranged from prototypical Olympic weightlifting to carrying stones up the mountainside. Some of his workouts seem outside the box, if not unprecedented for an NFL player. But for all the crazy, as he describes it, it continues to pay off.
“I almost, in some ways, feel better now than I ever did,” Whitworth says. “I think I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been in.”
But at age 37, Whitworth is the oldest lineman in the NFL, and how much longer he can hold the title remains the biggest question.
“I still feel really good,” he says, though he acknowledges there are some bumps and bruises from football — swollen ankles and knees, battered hip labrums — that will never quite feel the same. “If I feel like I can’t go out and perform the way that I think I should be, then I just won’t be able to do it.”
So onward Whitworth goes into another Colorado summer, training to keep his mind sharp, his body energized and his career alive at 7,880 feet.
Inside the weight room at West Monroe High School in West Monroe, Louisiana, a wall features a distinguished list of the top weight lifters to pass through the Rebels’ powerhouse program.
The top spot in any category — bench, squat and power clean — is a proud accomplishment. But, according to Casey Sanders, West Monroe’s strength coach for the last 30 years, there’s one category that means the most.
“In the history of West Monroe,” Sanders says, “Normally our best power cleaners are our best football players. [Players] kind of know that.”
Whitworth set the standard when he cleaned 390 pounds before his senior season. For good measure, he set the record in the bench press, too, when he pressed 350 pounds. But it was the power clean mark that stood for 13 years until future Alabama and Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Cam Robinson beat it by 10 pounds.
Whitworth, however, still left a lasting legacy. “His work ethic was great,” Sanders says. “He just loved football and he loved training … that’s one of the biggest keys that he had going for him.”
Whitorth says Sanders became the biggest factor in his success. “He was the baseline and the foundation,” he says, and Whitworth took that knowledge with him to LSU, then on to Cincinnati, after the Bengals selected him in the second round of the 2006 draft.
Through 11 seasons with the Bengals, Whitworth developed an annual routine that former Bengals strength coach Chip Morton fondly looks back on. Whitworth would walk into Morton’s office, fold into a chair and rest his hands on his knees as a mischievous grin grew across his face.
“I knew what was coming,” Morton says through laughter, as he launches into a detailed explanation of Whitworth’s postseason routine.
“He would come in and sit down and say, ‘Okay, it’s that time of the year, what are we going to do?’ ” Morton says. “We would just discuss things and I would give him leads and ideas and he would just dive in and pursue it.”
After his five-year career at LSU, Whitworth arrived in Cincinnati well-versed in weightlifting, and really anything that required brute strength.
“I think he’d tell ya,” Morton says, “when he came to us, he was a certified meathead.”
But together with Morton, Whitworth diversified his strength.
One offseason, he was interested in becoming more fluid in his movements, so he took up yoga. At another point, he wanted to find a low-impact cardio solution, so Morton suggested Whitworth purchase a 95-pound chain to haul across the field. Days later, Whitworth showed up with his new purchase on display.
Rams LT Andrew Whitworth takes his training to the next level at his offseason home in Colorado. Go inside Whitworth’s workouts, and his mindset, as he prepares for his 14th season in the NFL. Video by Lindsey Thiry
“It’s one thing to say it, or to understand the concept of taking care of your body or getting into training,” Morton says. “It’s another thing to commit to it, and invest your own personal capital into it and your own personal time and all that. That’s what set Andrew apart.”
Whitworth trained in Muay Thai fighting, MMA and CrossFit. He also took private training in Jiu Jitsu. “I had to call in someone big enough to fight him,” says Jon Stutzman, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt, who trains at a gym in Ohio, but stood no match for the amateur Whitworth. “He was gargantuan.”
As Whitworth grew older, and inspired by Morton, he became a big fan of weighted carries — simply walking with heavy weights. The exercises increased his stamina, and became an alternative to cardiovascular fitness that wouldn’t require as much running and pounding on his body.
“I think it was as much to save his body and find different ways to train his body to prolong things and not just be a slave to barbell training only,” Morton says.
“Drew, keep your arms straight — your left arm, keep it straight the whole time,” Whitworth says, as he lines up next to his boys at the driving range. Drew takes his dad’s advice, then hits a clean shot, straight ahead. “Yessir, real clean ball, dude.”
Whitworth pulls his own customized clubs — everything two inches longer — out of the bag. After he places a few chip shots on the green, he pulls out his driver.
“I can hit it a long way,” he says, as his stoic face hints at a grin. “But it’s not controlled.”
A loud whoosh sends a drive 315 yards from the tee.
“Wow!” Michael says. “It’s going to be really hard to beat that.”
For Whitworth, even while downing sliders with his kids at the snack shack, golf counts as workout. On any given day in Colorado, he will play 18 to 36 holes after his morning workout.
“It gives me an opportunity to reset mentally and physically to get out and sweat and just move the body and keep things working the way they should,” Whitworth says. “It just a great balance to being an athlete to play golf and to have an opportunity to have something else to work at that’s totally just not anything like football.”
It also provides time to spend with his family. Michael and Drew have taken to it, and they’re days away from competing in a father-son tournament. Whitworth’s wife, Melissa, his daughters and their long-time family nanny, Krista Howard, will play in a family scramble.
But on this day, it’s just the boys. And Whitworth, appearing slightly fatigued, plays coach, chauffeur and referee as things get chippy from hole to hole.
“Great job, Mike, keeping that arm out in front of you,” Whitworth hollers from the cart path to the random spot where he told the boys to tee off. “There you go! Good job, buddy!”
After playing nine holes, more or less, in no particular order but rather to avoid any other patrons, Whitworth navigates a return to the house, parks the cart and makes his way to sit on the outdoor couch on the back deck.
He stares out at an expansive view of the Rocky Mountain range. Steamboat Springs is far in the distance. He has something of a thousand-mile stare, as he ponders his football mortality. He’s put his mind and body through pain, whether it be in an offseason workout or playing last season through two sprained ankles. He admits he’s a glutton for punishment when it comes to training so that he can enjoy other life moments without feeling an ounce of guilt.
Whitworth, who is in the final season of a three-year, $36 million contract, talks through all the reasons why he’ll continue to play — and why he never actually considered retiring last season despite the overwhelming assumption — both inside and outside of his circle — that he would.
There’s the pursuit of a return trip to the Super Bowl and the chance to build an organization that not long ago was mired in mediocrity into a three-time division winner. There’s also the years of hard work that have kept his body moving, an investment he’s not ready to forfeit.
“It’s going to come down to being able to still play at a level that … if I feel like I can’t go out and perform the way that I think I should be, then I just won’t be able to do it,” Whitworth says. “I’m not going to go out there and struggle and be okay with it.
“So if I don’t feel like I can go out there and play, then that’s when it’s going to be done for me.”
Source — Pack to cut 2017 2nd-round pick Jones
Jones, the 61st overall pick in the 2017 draft, has been in and out of the lineup during his two years in Green Bay, starting 12 games over two years. He skipped the Packers’ voluntary offseason workouts this year, unhappy with his role on the team.
The Packers opened last season with former undrafted rookie Kentrell Brice and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at safety. Even after Clinton-Dix was traded midway through last season, Jones was bypassed for a starting job when the Packers moved Tramon Williams from cornerback to safety. It wasn’t until after Brice sustained an ankle injury in Week 10 that Jones finally got his first start of the season in Week 11.
Jones was one of just three Packers rookies to appear in every game during the 2017 season, starting in seven of them. He posted 71 tackles with two sacks plus an interception and seven pass breakups. In his first career start (Week 3 of 2017 against the Bengals), Jones posted a career-high 11 tackles (10 solo) and became the first rookie defensive back in team history to record two sacks in a game.
ESPN’s Rob Demovsky contributed to this report.
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