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Larry Fitzgerald, Jordin Sparks at Minnesota Fundraiser in Memory of Fitzgerald's Mom

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Arizona Cardinals' star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald Jr. was in his home state last week for a memorial fundraiser with family and friends, including Jordin Sparks (above).

The event at the Metropolitan Club Ball Room in Golden Valley, Minnesota, was to raise money for breast cancer in the name of Fitzgerald's late mother, Carol. She died of the disease in 2003.

CJ, a snarky, longtime columnist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, has a full write-up of the event on the paper's Web site, plus a video she shot.

Her coverage is worth a peek if you're a fan of Fitzgerald or Sparks, but don't expect adulations. The columnist wasn't exactly welcome at the fundraiser: The Fitzgerald family is irked at CJ for dogging Jr. over his alleged domestic violence incident with his baby's mother, Angela Nazario (see photo below), and for his womanizing.

"I think Jr. is a pig," CJ tells New Times this morning.

The single-named columnist was well acquainted with Carol before Fitzgerald became a star -- his mom often tried to get her to do Christian aerobics. (CJ's into neither subject). CJ also used to play tennis with Larry Fitzgerald Sr., a fellow Minnesota journalist, though the two have different styles.

"He would never say anything unkind about an athlete," CJ says. "I don't have my lips so firmly planted on their behinds. I think they're over-indulged babies."

Nazario, Fitzgerald's girlfriend, and their toddler, Devin, also attended the fundraiser -- she must have forgiven Jr. by now for his alleged bout of rage. The former cheerleader's attitude was different in October, when she told the Flagstaff Municipal Court Fitzgerald had grabbed her by the neck and shoved her to the floor while she held Devin.

A judge issued an order of protection that restricted Fitzgerald from getting near Nazario or calling her. Legal proceedings in the couple's child support dispute were supposed to have begun in March. New Times left a message this morning for Nazario's Flagstaff attorney, Lou Diesel; we'll let you know if he calls back.

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