‘Blue Bloods’ honors Treat Williams with farewell to late actor’s character

“Blue Bloods” paid tribute to Treat Williams Friday in a farewell episode to his character, Lenny Ross.

Ross, the former partner of New York City Police Commissioner Francis “Frank” Reagan (played by Tom Selleck), was last featured in season 13 when it was revealed his character had cancer. On Friday’s show, Lenny succumbed to the disease.

Williams died in June following a vehicular accident in Dorset, Vermont, according to police. He was 71.

TREAT WILLIAMS, ‘BLUE BLOODS’ ACTOR, DEAD AT 71 FOLLOWING VEHICULAR COLLISION IN VERMONT

On Friday’s episode, Frank grappled with the decision of having to make Lenny’s daughter Tess face prosecution after she’s arrested following a bar fight, according to Deadline.

“He was my best friend. And I’m gonna honor that by doing what’s best for his daughter,” Frank said. He later opted to refer Tess to a good defense attorney.

In a final scene over a family meal, Frank paid tribute to his former partner.

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“Lenny Ross was my oldest friend, my closest confidant, my getaway driver,” Frank said, according to the outlet. “And I lost him this week. And it hurts like hell. But Lenny would hate it if we got all teary and quiet and sad, so Lenny: We’ll miss ya. And save me a seat at your table, and I’ll see ya on down the road.”

The episode ended with a photo of Treat with his arm around Tom, and the message, “In memory of our great friend, Treat Williams 1951-2023.” 

The Vermont State Police confirmed Williams’ death in a statement last year, saying Williams was driving along Morse Hill Road at approximately 4:53 p.m. when his motorcycle was unable to avoid a Honda SUV and the two vehicles collided. 

“The Vermont State Police is investigating a crash between an SUV and a motorcycle Monday afternoon, June 12, 2023, in Dorset in which the operator of the motorcycle suffered fatal injuries,” the statement read. “The motorcyclist is identified as Richard Treat Williams, 71, of Manchester Center, Vermont.”

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The crash happened on Vermont Route 30 just north of Morse Hill Road when a southbound 2008 Honda Element attempted to turn into a parking lot.

Authorities added, “Initial investigation indicates the Element stopped, signaled a left turn, and then turned into the path of a northbound 1986 Honda VT700c motorcycle operated by Williams,” the statement read.

Williams was unable to avoid the oncoming vehicle and was thrown from his motorcycle, suffering critical injuries. He was then airlifted to Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York, where he was pronounced dead. 

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Ryan Koss, 35, was charged with grossly negligent operation resulting in death, and could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.

Williams’ lengthy film and television career began in 1975 with his movie debut in “Deadly Hero.” 

His nearly 50-year acting career included starring roles on the TV series “Everwood” and in the movie “Hair.” He appeared in more than 120 TV and film roles, including the features “The Eagle Has Landed,” “Prince of the City” and “Once Upon a Time in America.”

Williams is survived by wife Pamela Van Sant and two children, daughter Elinor and son Gill.

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Projected top 10 NFL Draft pick suffers injury during Combine: reports

Offensive tackle Olu Fashanu, a projected top 10 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, bowed out of his NFL Scouting Combine performance on Sunday due to injury. 

No one ever wants to see a prospect hurt during the Combine, but it’s the unfortunate reality that sometimes happens when draftees try to vault their draft stock. Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins ran a blazing 40-yard dash earlier this weekend, but suffered a hip injury in the process. 

Fashanu, a Penn State product, left with a right thigh injury, according to multiple reports. He was seen walking around with that thigh wrapped in ice. 

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Fashanu, though, seemed to be in good spirits, according to the NFL Network. He believes that he will be fine to perform at Penn State’s Pro Day on March 15, and he’s someone many teams will be waiting to see given his status among his peers. 

Fashanu measures 6-foot-6, 312 pounds with 34-inch arms and an 82 and 5/8th wingspan, along with an 8-and-a-half-inch hand. 

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These are all prototypical measurables for someone who plays his position, and his speed and strength have proven to be something evaluators believe will translate to the next level. 

Fashanu is the best offensive tackle prospect in the NFL Draft depending on which expert or evaluator you talk to, but there’s no question many NFL teams believe him to be first-round worthy. 

Notre Dame’s Joe Alt, who plays the same position, is also among those who shouldn’t last long on day one of the NFL Draft, which will be held in Detroit. 

Fashanu was a team captain last season for the Nittany Lions, starting 12 games at left tackle. He has 21 career starts at the position, and was named the 2023 Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year as well as first-team All-Big Ten. 

Fashanu did have an undisclosed injury that he suffered in 2022, which forced him to start just eight games. 

Penn State’s Pro Day will show if this was a small tweak at the Combine for Fashanu, or if it needs more attention moving forward. 

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NFL legend Emmitt Smith rips University of Florida for eliminating DEI positions

Emmitt Smith, a three-time Super Bowl champion with the Dallas Cowboys and former star running back with the Florida Gators, ripped his alma mater after the school fired all Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) positions and administrative appointments.

The university made its decision to comply with Florida law

The Florida Board of Governors passed a regulation in January that limited public funding for DEI, defining them as “any program, campus activity, or policy that classifies individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation and promotes differential or preferential treatment of individuals on the basis of such classification.”

The Independent Florida Alligator, a campus newspaper, said 13 full-time diversity, equity and inclusion positions were dismissed and 15 administrative appointments were eliminated.

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Smith, on Sunday, slammed the university in a lengthy statement.

“I’m utterly disgusted by UF’s decision and the precedent that it sets,” Smith said. “Without the DEI department, the job falls to the Office of the Provost, who already has their hands full, to raise money for the university and continue to advance the academic studies in athletic programs.

“We cannot continue to believe and trust that a team of leaders all made up of the same background will make the right decision when it comes to equality and diversity. History has already proven that is not the case.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has made halting DEI a cornerstone of his efforts to overhaul education in the state, wrote on X, “Florida is where DEI goes to die.”

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DEI campus proponents argue they help correct systemic inequities and address increasingly diverse student populations, while its foes like DeSantis have said they are a form of leftist discrimination. 

“We need diverse thinking and backgrounds to enhance our University and the DEI department is necessary to accomplish those goals,” Smith continued.

“Instead of showing courage and leadership, we continue to fail based on systemic issues with this decision, UF has conformed to the political pressures of today’s time.

“To the MANY minority athletes at UF, please be aware and vocal about this decision by the University who is now closing the doors on other minorities without any oversight.

“And to those who think it’s not your problem and stay on the side lines and say nothing, you are complicit in supporting systemic issues.”

Fox News’ David Rutz contributed to this report.

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‘Saturday Night Live’ takes aim at Biden, close allies who claim president is sharp ‘behind closed doors’

“Saturday Night Live” took aim at President Biden and his allies who argue the president is mentally sharp and energetic “behind closed doors” during their cold open through mock media interviews with Gov. Gavin Newsom and Karine Jean-Pierre. 

“SNL” opened with a parody of CNN’s “Inside Politics” with Dana Bash, who was played by Heidi Gardner. She opened the program with an interview with Michael Longfellow, who posed as Newsom, D-Calif., and first argued the president should be judged by his record. 

Gardner then asked Longfellow if Biden can make the same case with the “speed and sharpness” that Newsom could. 

“Dana, he — Joe can do it better. I was just with him and, behind closed doors, Joe is incredible. Yesterday we had a big meeting about the border and, God, he had such command,” Longfellow said. “He had charts, tables, PowerPoints, he had an interactive AR display on the Apple Vision Pro – that he programmed himself. The software might be in beta but the man — he’s in alpha.”

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Longfellow pointed out that people call Biden “Sleepy Joe,” to which Longfellow responded, “well he has to sleep, Dana!” 

“The other day he was taking a nap and I whipped a baseball at him and he caught it like De Niro in ‘Awakenings.’ Lightning quick,” Longfellow continued. 

Gardner then turned to interview White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who was played by Ego Nwodim. 

“Hello Dana, pleasure to be with you to talk about the most vigorous man I’ve ever known, Joe Biden,” Nwodim said. 

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Nwodim gave viewers a look at Biden’s schedule, which she said included Biden teaching a SoulCycle class, speed chess in the park and a meeting with joint Chiefs to discuss military strategy, as well as a push-up contest. 

Marcello Hernández posed as DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who offered a rundown of Biden’s recent visit to the border, during the parody interview with Gardner. 

“This weekend we both went down to the border town in Brownsville, Texas. And Joe went into beast mode. He said we’re going to tighten this border. Look how easy I can cross it. Then he parkoured up to the top of the border wall, pro-flipped into the Rio Grande and came back up with a fish in his mouth. But you didn’t report that because it doesn’t fit your little narrative,” he joked.

“With all due respect, it doesn’t fit reality,” Gardner responded. 

Biden recently sat down for an interview with late night comedian Seth Meyers. During the appearance, Biden shrugged off concerns about his age.

 “Well, a couple of things. No. 1, you gotta take a look at the other guy. He’s about as old as I am, but he can’t remember his wife’s name,” Biden responded, sparking cheers from the crowd. 

“No. 2, it’s about how old your ideas are,” Biden continued. “Look, this is a guy who wants to take us back. He wants to take us [back] on Roe v. Wade. He wants to take us back on a whole range of issues that are 50, 60 years they’ve been solid American positions.” 

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Max Verstappen’s dad: Red Bull ‘in danger of being torn apart’ amid team principal’s controversy

Max Verstappen’s dad offered a warning about the future of Red Bull Racing as team principal Christian Horner’s controversy over allegations of misconduct toward a team employee engulfed Formula One before the start of the season.

Jos Verstappen, a former F1 star himself, told The Daily Mail the Red Bull team will “explode” if Horner continues as principal.

“There is tension here while he remains in position,” he told the U.K.-based newspaper. “The team is in danger of being torn apart. It can’t go on the way it is. It will explode. He is playing the victim, when he is the one causing the problems.”

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Max Verstappen won Saturday’s Bahrain Grand Prix to start the season where he left off in 2023. As the 2024 season should have been welcomed with excitement, the controversy at Red Bull was the talk of the track.

The team’s parent company dismissed a complaint of alleged misconduct by Horner toward a team employee on Wednesday. 

However, on Thursday during a practice for the race, a file alleged to contain evidence against Horner, including text messages, was emailed to nearly 200 people in the F1 paddock, including Liberty Media, F1, the FIA, team principals and media outlets, according to The Associated Press.

Jos Verstappen was accused of leaking the file, but he denied it.

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Horner has maintained his innocence.

“I won’t comment on anonymous speculation, but to reiterate, I have always denied the allegations,” according to a statement read to journalists by a team spokesman Thursday, which was attributed to Horner.

“I respected the integrity of the independent investigation and fully cooperated with it every step of the way. “It was a thorough and fair investigation conducted by an independent specialist barrister and it has concluded, dismissing the complaint made. I remain fully focused on the start of the season.”

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem told the Financial Times that the controversy around Horner was “damaging the sport” but the FIA wouldn’t conduct its own inquiry unless a complaint is lodged.

He said any complaint filed with its compliance office would be investigated, but it has not received one.

“It’s damaging the sport,” Ben Sulayem said. “This is damaging on a human level.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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