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NFL Players React to Michael Sam; French President's Visit; Impact Your World; Saving Lives in Congo; Samuel L. Jackson Slams Anchor

Aired February 11, 2014 - 08:30   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, here we go. Time now for the five things you need to know for your new day.

We begin with the passing of beloved actress Shirley Temple. She has died. A family statement says she died of natural causes at her California home surrounded by loved ones. Shirley Temple was 85 years old.

That winter storm that crippled Atlanta two weeks ago, apparently just round one. The city is about to get slammed a second time with a snow and ice storm that potentially could be even more devastating.

A new Obamacare delay. Midsize businesses now have an extra year, until 2016, to comply with the employer mandate to provide health insurance for all of their employees or pay a penalty.

A new round of subpoenas in the New Jersey bridge-gate scandal. Investigators will issue as many as 18 today. Among the recipients, members of Governor Chris Christie's office and Port Authority officials.

And at number five, the U.S. wins its first silver of the Olympics thanks to Devin Logan's performance in the women's ski slopestyle. Shaun White is favored in the half-pipe today, where, of course, conditions are facing serious concerns. We're waiting to see if he actually takes to the slopes to compete because of the danger there.

We're always updating the five things to know, so be sure to go to for the very latest.



So, on the heels of NFL prospect Michael Sam revealing he's gay, there's been an outpouring of support that's flooded social media. Even the two players tied up in that bullying scandal agree on this issue. Richie Incognito tweeted, "it takes guts to do what you did. I wish you nothing but the best." And Jonathan Martin tweeted, "hats off to you, Michael. That takes some guts."

But some suggest the NFL is not ready for a gay player. And our next guest unleashed an epic series of tweets about that, former NFL wide receiver Donte Stallworth.

Thanks for joining us this morning.

Not only great hands, but also great incite on this. Let me set the table for you. Herm Edwards, respected guy, respected coach, says, you know, a lot of team, management may not want to deal with the distraction that comes with this, may affect the locker room. What do you say?

DONTE STALLWORTH, FORMER NFL WIDE RECEIVER: I think, first of all, I actually know Herm and I think he's a good guy. I think he - he meant well and I think he was probably, from his own point of view, expressing some of the sentiments of head coaches and general manager across the league.

But, unfortunately, this is, you know, for that type of thinking, this is a new day and age. Society is moving towards more acceptance of the LGBT community. And I think that Michael Sam will have a pretty good opportunity not only to be successful in the NFL, but guys will rally around him. And the opportunity that we have to have Michael Sam in the NFL is to have a better understanding of what the LGBT community is all about.

And, for me personally, that's one of the things that actually moved me towards being more of an advocate and an ally for the LGBT community was the fact that I had the opportunity to be around gays while living here in Miami. And I was a little bit homophobic 10 to 15 years ago.

And, you know, I just -- once I started hanging out with a couple different people and I saw how ignorant I was and how much of a bigot I had been. And - because I had been called all types of different names for whatever reasons, whether it be for, you know, being a professional athlete, being from where I grew up, being the color of my skin. So I said to myself, I can't - I can't act this way towards gays. And I'm have -- I'm getting this same type of treatment.

So I think that Michael Sam is very courageous and I applaud him in everything that he's done. And he'll get a - he'll get a big round of support coming into the NFL.

CUOMO: Let's talk about why you say that. You - one of your responses to Herm Edwards was if a team's not ready for Michael Sam, they're a losing team already. You were on 10 teams in six years. In the locker rooms you've been in, were there gay players there and what was the best and worst thing you had seen happen with respect to them?

STALLWORTH: I think there was a - there was some speculation about a few guys, but nothing, you know - obviously, nothing official. But, you know, there - in the locker room there are some immature guys and guys that would make light or make jokes towards the other guys.

But, you know, I -- when Michael Sam did decide to make his announcement about him being openly gay and coming in to the NFL draft, I think that only can help him out and help his teammates out on whatever team decides to draft him. And it's not - it's not that - you know, I've heard people saying that they're taking a chance on this kid. This kid is very talented. And I know some people within the Missouri family that are really close to that team and to Michael. And they say he's a great kid and he's a hard worker.

And at the end of the day, when you're a professional athlete, you know, you could care about - you could care less about what someone does off the field as long as it's not hampering your chance to win ball games. If the kid comes in and works hard, he's going to be - he's going just OK.

CUOMO: And what does it say to you about an organization if they're not able to handle this? It's hard to see a scenario where him being gay would be something that would really be treated hostilely in any environment in modern society. Hopefully I'm right about that. But what do you believe it speaks to, in terms of an organization, if they can't handle it? Why do you think they're losers already?

STALLWORTH: Well, I think that if you can't handle the scrutiny of a Michael Sam situation, then you're already at a loss because you, as a head coach, a general manager and an owner, you have to be able to have control over your team.

And when I say control, I mean more so speaking from a locker room presence. If you don't have - if your guys in the locker room, if your leadership in the locker room isn't taking care of that football team first and foremost, then you've already lost. And if there's any issues with, you know, once Michael Sam gets drafted, and if there are any locker room issues, that's on the leaders of the team and that's on the head coach and the general manager and the owner.

So if they can't - if they can't handle the scrutiny of a Michael Sam situation with foreknowledge, then, I mean, how do you expect to succeed when there's a multitude of things that come up during the season that you have no idea when they're going to come up, whether it be on the field or off the field situations?

CUOMO: And, you know, Donte, we often misunderstand. We see greatness on the field and we often make assumptions about what that means about the people. But hopefully there are a lot of players like you, who, while they may be young and they may be inexperienced and someone unsophisticated, that exposure breads understanding and that when people get to know this guy and they say he's just another guy who can just crush you in a moment's notice from any angle on the field, they'll just accept him as that and maybe whoever's around him grows from the experience. Do you think that's just as likely?

STALLWORTH: Yes, it's just as likely. It happened to me. And I think that everything that happens from now on, he'll be OK and guys will embrace him and love him and show a lot of support.

CUOMO: Well, that would be great. And anything less than that certainly cannot be tolerated. Donte Stallworth, thank you for the perspective this morning. A pleasure having you on the show.

STALLWORTH: Thank you for having me on. Thank you so much.

CUOMO: So, what do you think? This is going to be controversial. People are going to be watching us. Tweet us. Use the #newday.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Up next on NEW DAY, a California anchor interviewing Samuel L. Jackson, he made a mistake. And the actor, well, he was not going to let the anchor forget it, or any of us forget it. We'll show it to you in a moment.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back.

Happening today, a second day of diplomacy for President Obama and French President Francois Hollande. Here's a live look at preparations at the White House. No, not -- there it is right there. The White House lawn. In less than a half hour, the president and first lady will welcomes the French leader there. But it, of course, it's tonight's state dinner that has everyone talking. CNN's Jim Acosta is at the White House with a preview.

State dinners we always pay attention to, Jim.


BOLDUAN: This one especially.

ACOSTA: That's right. Few events come with more pomp and circumstance here in Washington, Kate. And just over our shoulders we can hear, within earshot, the military band getting ready for the arrival of French President Francois Hollande, who is scheduled to arrive at the White House on the South Lawn, that picture you're showing now, in about 20 minutes from now.

And Francois Hollande and President Obama, they'll be spending much of this day together. They're going to be meeting behind closed doors in the cabinet room in about an hour and a half from now where they'll talk about a broad range of issues. And then a joint news conference where each leader is expected to take a couple of questions from both the U.S. and French press. And then, of course, later on this evening, that state dinner, where some delicate diplomacy will be served.


ACOSTA (voice-over): With the state visit of French President Francois Hollande, President Obama is doing much more than just toasting a close U.S. ally, which is why, within moments of Hollande's arrival, they were off to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello to hail a close friendship dating back centuries and to joke there would be no returns on the Louisiana Purchase.


PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, FRENCH PRESIDENT: And today we're not demanding anything.


ACOSTA: Back at the White House, staff members were showing off preparations for the upcoming state dinner, from the elaborate place settings to some eye-popping samples from the menu. With the French in town, the pressure is on the White House chefs, who are preparing a meal that including caviar, quail eggs, dry aged beef and Hawaiian chocolate malted ganache for desert.

Even the first dogs, Bo and Sunny, got a sneak peek, if only of a mockup of what the tables will look like as the guests will actually be gathered under a heated tent on the South Lawn of the White House, an event too big to hold inside, especially with Mary J. Blige providing the entertainment.

Among the finishing touches for the evening, just where to sit Hollande, whose public split with his longtime girlfriend means he's flying solo at the state dinner.

CAPRICE MARSHALL, FORMER STATE DEPT. CHIEF OF PROTOCOL: I'm sure that they will have an imaginative way of doing their seating that's absolutely appropriate.

OBAMA: I thought this was an appropriate way to start a state visit.

ACOSTA: Before dinner, officials say the two leaders have plenty on their diplomatic plates, with European concerns about U.S. surveillance activities, the civil war in Syria and the effort to contain Iran's nuclear program.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We have a broad and deep relationship with our oldest ally, and there will be many issues that the two leaders will discuss.


ACOSTA: And White House officials are touting the current state of the U.S./French relationship with the not so subtle dig at the Bush administration, which once referred to France as part of old Europe because of that country's opposition to the Iraq War. One senior Obama administration official said, we've come a long way since freedom fries.


BOLDUAN: I'd say so. Despite the delicate diplomacy that will be at tonight, it's always a beautiful thing to see.

CUOMO: Wonder if they're going to have those at the dinner?

BOLDUAN: Freedom fries?


BOLDUAN: Maybe. I'd eat them. CUOMO: Maybe not.

All right, time for "Impact Your World." Listen to this. More than 5 million people have lost their lives in Congo's 20 year civil war. Think about that, 20 year war, 5 million lives lost. How many of us are even aware of that? And it turns out, many of those deaths could have been prevented with better access to medical care. And that's exactly what retired NBA star and Congo native Dikembe Mutombo is fighting to provide.


CUOMO (voice-over): The country of Congo has been plagued by decades of war and violence. For former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo, that violence hit home in a very personal way.

DIKEMBE MUTOMBO, FORMER NBA PLAYER: There was some shooting in an area and my dad was trying to get my mom to the hospital. And they was told that they cannot get on the road. That they have to go back inside.

CUOMO: About an hour later, Mutombo's mother passed away in her living room. Mutombo says too many Africans have died because they were denied or didn't have access to medical care, something he wants to change. With funds raised through his Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, he opened a hospital in the Congo's capital city. The hospital bears his mother's name, the person he says taught him the importance of helping others.

MUTOMBO: For everything she did for the children in our family, the value of love and giving back and sharing.

CUOMO: Mutombo's hospital has treated more than 30,000 patients including these premature triplets who would have died without his help.

MUTOMBO: The babies are three years old now. Every time I come, they run up to me, they hug me. That's the impact that we are making.



CUOMO: Loved him as a player, love him even more for the humanitarian work.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely right.

Taking another break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, busted by Samuel L. Jackson -- how an embarrassing the mix up leads to a reporter's on air apology -- coming up.


SAMUEL L. JACKSON, ACTOR: See, you're as crazy as the people on Twitter. I'm not Laurence Fishburne.



MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN HOST: I might change Sam Rubin's cell phone ring to this song. Welcome back.

Anything as you know could happen on live television. But one entertainment reporter probably he could hope to really take that moment back. Watch what happens when veteran KTLA entertainment reporter Sam Rubin -- an anchor really -- mixed up Samuel L. Jackson with Laurence Fishburne-- oops. And really, full disclosure here -- this is a former colleague and pal of mine from Los Angeles.


SAM RUBIN, KTLA ANCHOR: Did you get a lot of reaction to that Super Bowl commercial?

JACKSON: What Super Bowl commercial?

RUBIN: Oh. You know what, my mistake.

JACKSON: See. You're as crazy as the people on Twitter. I'm not Laurence Fishburne.

RUBIN: That's my fault. I know that. That was my fault. My mistake.

JACKSON: We don't all look a like. We might all be black and famous, but we all don't look alike.

RUBIN: I'm guilty.

JACKSON: You're busted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He thought you were Bob Dylan.

RUBIN: That's right.

JACKSON: You're the entertainment reporter?

RUBIN: I know.

JACKSON: You're the entertainment reporter for this. And you don't know the difference between me and Laurence Fishburne?

RUBIN: I know.


PEREIRA: OK. And embarrassed Rubin apologized on air about half an hour later. Watch this.


RUBIN: I indicated to Samuel that I had seen him during the Super Bowl. He thought I confused him with Laurence Fishburne had done for a car company. Of course, a Captain America ad had also run during the Super Bowl but I immediately felt so dumb -- I didn't bring that up. And he gave me the shellacking that was well-deserved.


PEREIRA: Sam went on to offer a personal apology to Samuel L. Jackson which you've got to see. The whole thing is so typically a moment at KTLA. You guys know that the show there, if you haven't watched it, is a zany -- I was happy to be a part of that for nine years. It's a zany mix of comedy and great news.

I really feel badly for Sam because it's a mistake that happens. I don't believe for a second there's a lot of rumors on Twitter and such that this was race based. It's not. I can tell you full on that that's not what Sam is about.

BOLDUAN: Samuel L. Jackson was not going to let it go.

PEREIRA: But it was also good humor, don't you think?

BOLDUAN: He knew -- it seemed in his face that as soon as Sam Rubin had said Super Bowl commercial, clearly Samuel L. had gotten a lot of that on Twitter because he knew it.

PEREIRA: He knew exactly.

BOLDUAN: He was going to take it to him in a second.

CUOMO: He was right. He was right that Twitter can be a nasty place. There's no question about that. But when he said, "we don't all look alike," he wound up then throwing Sam into a bucket of a little bit of, you know, political correctness where he now gets scrutinized that way. But you're saying that's not what --

PEREIRA: And it also was in good humor. Because if you've been on that show, you know that -- we actually made it sport to mock and tease Sam Rubin because he takes it really well.

BOLDUAN: Samuel L. Jackson is in on the joke.

PEREIRA: So Samuel L. Jackson obviously knows the vein of the show but the fact is that kind of mistake, I understand that people could see it and think that there's something more sinister about this. I think Sam just got muddled. It really was one of those awkward, awkward --

BOLDUAN: But regardless. We all know and as you said at the very top. Anything can happen on live TV and we should all say collectively, people who live in glass houses should not throw stones and we are not throwing them here.

PEREIRA: And as you look around our set --

BOLDUAN: There's a lot of glass here.

PEREIRA: There's a lot of glass/lucite/see-through things.

CUOMO: I get confused for Laurence Fishburne on a regular basis.

PEREIRA: Do you? Is it when you wear your hat backwards?


CUOMO: Tangle -- I'm too old to wear it forward now.

PEREIRA: You do wear it forward.

CUOMO: And I don't have the style that Samuel has to wear it backward. I'm too old. I have to wear it forward now like Baretta (ph).

PEREIRA: That's a great picture. I might have to Instagram that picture of you with your Tangle hat.

BOLDUAN: I don't know what to do with you.

CUOMO: I wear it.

PEREIRA: Sam Rubin, love you, kiddo.

BOLDUAN: Sam Rubin -- it will pass.

CUOMO: Better you than me, Sam. Better you than me. We'll leave it at that. It deserves a laugh more than anything else.

Coming up on "The Good Stuff", we'll give you another reason to smile. A lot of people give small things to charity -- warm coat, cans, food, time. Imagine giving away an entire house. You're going to meet a guy who did just that. You're going to see why he says he's the one who got the gift.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my brother. You always have a home right here.


CUOMO: Now George, the man you were just looking at, the short one, will always have a home with Von and Lori. You know why -- because their home was his until just a few days ago.


CUOMO: Let me explain.

BOLDUAN: Explain.

CUOMO: A fire gutted the couple's home in Pittsburgh they share with their four kids. No insurance, no savings -- the family soon homeless. So George -- here's the story on the radio -- decides to give them a property he owns. Needs some work but as luck would have it, George works with a local gas company, gets them involved. They're going to hook up the heat for the family to help out. Other strangers hear about it, donate their time and cash as well. For George, giving the house away is nothing compared to the feeling he says he is getting by helping a family in need.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had this feeling when I had a baby. I had this feeling when I got my job. It feels like I hit the lottery. That's what it feels like.


PEREIRA: Helping another human feels like hitting the lottery. Isn't that's a beautiful sentiment.

BOLDUAN: Isn't that a novel idea. Hopefully there's more people who can take -- that is beautiful.


CUOMO: Once again we see in "The Good Stuff", the chain reaction. George does the heavy lifting, right.


CUOMO: I mean he did just a huge thing here. But the gas company wants to help; other people hearing, they want to help. Often you need a little bit of momentum. Again, we do feature big gestures here on "The Good Stuff" because we want to give people their due when they do the right thing. More often than not, it's the little thing. It's the family that looks out for Von and Lori who helps him, who listens, who's there for him -- you know.

PEREIRA: And a simple gesture right. I know it's a house, hello. It's not small, but it's simple.

BOLDUAN: And also when you think of just how devastating a fire is and what it does -- not only to your property but to your family. It's just such a beautiful thing for the community.

PEREIRA: Good stuff.

CUOMO: Yes. Community, interconnectedness, interdependence -- one of the things that makes the country special. No matter how many Olympic medals Canada has. Americans first and foremost.

Thanks for being with us here. A lot of news this morning -- let's get you to the NEWSROOM and Carol Costello -- Carol.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much. Have a great day.

"NEWSROOM" starts now.

Happening now in the "NEWSROOM" --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what did the defendant say?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hate that thug music.


COSTELLO: A software engineer charged with gunning down a teenager over loud rap music.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know that you know I have forgiven Michael Dunn for taking your life.


COSTELLO: Michael Dunn says it was self-defense.