Every athlete faces criticism at one point or another. It’s the nature of the job. But for female athletes, the comments can quickly cross a line.
Even those at the highest level face backlash, including U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team players, who are fighting to receive pay equal to that of their male counterparts, and Serena Williams, who was recently asked if she would put aside her celebrity and fight for equality to focus more on tennis.
As trying as it can be at times, former Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn said that women in sports – including the USWNT and Williams – can best silence their critics by simply continuing to win.
“Women just need to keep doing what they’re doing,” Vonn told AOL.com courtesy of Red Bull. “Keep working hard and keep winning. That’s the best way to have your voice be heard. Silence your haters with success.”
A day in Lindsey Vonn’s life looks much different today than it used to.
The former Olympic skier and one of the most decorated female athletes of all time announced her retirement over the winter after toying with the idea for several months.
“I thought about it and talked about it last fall,” she told AOL.com of her ultimate decision to retire. “I was getting really tired of having surgeries. I had two surgeries just last summer alone.”
It was an injury in November that really sealed the deal for Vonn, who says she was “literally being held together” by her knee braces while she was on the slopes after tearing her LCL. After the 2019 World Championships in Sweden, where she took home a bronze medal, she called it a career.
“I had a lot of grand plans to have an amazing last season, but not everything works out the way you think it’s going to or the way you hope it’s going to,” she said. “I did the best I could with the hand I was dealt.”
H-O-R-S-E and you’re out.
It may seem unfair to pit anyone against an NBA player in a game of H-O-R-S-E, but popular point guard Isaiah Thomas had his work cut out for him on Sunday when he went up against Philip Croft at Hoopfest in Spokane, Washington.
Croft, a wheelchair basketball player, posed a new challenge for Thomas, who took several shots from a chair of his own.
“When I had to sit in the chair and shoot the basketball, you see how strong they are, how strong your core has to be and your upper body strength to be able to get the ball to the hoop,” Thomas told AOL.com on behalf of Guardian.
Ready. Set. Sign. Or at least, agree to sign.
NBA free agency is set to begin Sunday night at 6 p.m Eastern Time with one of the deepest classes in recent history.
As if it wasn’t enough to have multiple 2019 NBA Finals difference-makers on the market, including but certainly not limited to Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard, superstars Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker and Jimmy Butler are also up for grabs.
But NBA veteran Isaiah Thomas knows it isn’t always the most talked about players that make the biggest difference.
“It’s going to be all about the big names to start it off, and then there’s always a couple of signings that change things around throughout the season,” he told AOL.com from Hoopfest in Spokane, Washington, on Sunday.
Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is taking the MLB’s “let the kids play” mantra literally.
The 2016 World Series Champion and retired Little Leaguer surprised a group of young Chicago-area baseball players on Tuesday by inviting them to run drills and imparting some invaluable wisdom.
Rizzo told AOL.com that his main advice for current Little Leaguers is simple, and it’s the same advice that he received when he was in their shoes: Just have fun.
“My mom and dad always made it very easy for my brother and I to have fun in all sports, and baseball was no different,” he said. “We always had a good time, we were always laughing, we were always the team that had the most fun. That’s what being a kid is all about.”
Since 2017, Brooks Koepka has won two U.S. Opens, two PGA Championships and finished second to Tiger Woods at the Masters. He’s on a scalding hot streak right now, and that fact certainly isn’t lost on his fellow golfers.
Going into the 119th U.S. Open this week at Pebble Beach, Tony Finau, who finished fifth in last year’s tournament, singled Koepka out as the one to beat.
“Until he proves that he’s going to cool down, you’ve got to think that he’s going to be your biggest competition,” Finau told AOL.com on behalf of American Express.
“If you beat [Koepka], you probably could be crowned champion.”
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is giving a voice to the voiceless.
Wilson, who has always been exceptionally charitable, is partnering with the Banfield Foundation to raise awareness for the often unseen victims of domestic violence – pets.
In the United States, less than 10% of shelters for domestic abuse victims are animal-friendly, leaving many sufferers with the difficult choice between staying in a dangerous situation or seeking help, but leaving their beloved pet behind and at risk.
“It’s heartbreaking when you think about how nearly half of domestic violence victims stay in these situations and relationships because they’re worried and concerned about the safety of their pets,” Wilson told AOL.com.
Former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz went from an undrafted player to a Super Bowl champion in the span of two years.
So it’s fair to say that the salsa-dancing superstar knows a thing or two about late-round or undrafted talent making a splash in the NFL. This year, the recently retired Cruz has his eye specifically on one 2019 second-rounder, who went 62nd overall to the Arizona Cardinals.
“His name is Andy Isabella,” Cruz told AOL.com on behalf of DSW. “He’s a player, man.”
Isabella first caught Cruz’s attention while playing college football at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where Cruz also played. In his senior year, Isabella averaged nearly 17 yards per reception and scored 13 touchdowns en route to being named to the 2018 College Football All-America Team. His 141.5 receiving yards per game last year led the country.
Crystal Dunn was the final player cut from the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team prior to the 2015 World Cup.
The news was a painful blow to Dunn, who watched from home as the U.S. went on to win the tournament for the third time.
“I was in a low, low place,” she told AOL.com of the days following the decision.
The forward didn’t let her sadness keep her down, though. She still had a season to play with the North Carolina Courage and preparations to make for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“I went out and really tried to get back to the basics and perform for my teammates,” Dunn said. “It was important for me to just reset and regroup.”
Defending PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka has his eye on several of his peers heading into the 2019 tournament, which begins on May 16.
A crowded and talented field at the Masters in April saw Koepka finish tied for second place with Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele, just one stroke behind Tiger Woods, who emerged victorious for his first major win in 11 years.
Koepka listed all three of those golfers as his main competition as he heads to Bethpage Black in New York to defend his PGA Championship title.
“Tiger’s playing well, Xander’s playing well, Dustin’s playing well,” he told AOL.com on behalf of Michelob ULTRA. “There’s a lot of guys who are right in that mix. Those guys played well at Augusta and they’ve been playing well for a while.”