France Just Won the World Cup. Here’s How Much Their Players Get

France just played its way to its first World Cup victory in 20 years, defeating Croatia’s team 4-2 on Sunday to take home the soccer tournament’s iconic trophy, lifelong bragging rights and a whole lot of prize money.

But just how much cash will players on France’s team actually earn from winning the championship? It’s not up to FIFA, or even coach Didier Deschamps. The French Football Federation will decide how to distribute the first-place award.

For winning Sunday’s final, FIFA will give France $ 38 million from its prize fund. (Don’t feel too bad for Croatia — its team gets to lick its wounds with a cool $ 28 million). The money comes out of a $ 400 million pot, according to the Associated Press, which is up 12% from the last World Cup in 2014. In total, FIFA has earmarked $ 791 million to give to various 2018 World Cup teams for their preparations, players and performances.

As MONEY reported last month, the prizes are technically awarded to the various teams’ national soccer federations. Those organizations can then decide how they want to distribute the winnings, which means that players in some countries end up profiting a lot more than others.

The president of the French Federation, Noël Le Graët, has said his athletes will get 30% of the cash they earn. Each player was guaranteed a bonus of €280,000, or about $ 330,000, for making it to the final, according to BFMTV. So they’re at least taking home that much.

At least one player plans to donate his cut to charity. Kylian Mbappé, a forward, announced last month that he intends to give his $ 22,000-per-game fee — along with his bonus — to Preiers de Cordees, a sports charity for people with disabilities.

“When playing a World Cup, it’s a pleasure, because it’s a dream come true,” his teammate Samuel Umtiti told L’Equipe in French. “So yes, there is money at stake. But I do not care. I do not play for that.”

In fact, perhaps the most valuable perk that comes with winning the World Cup is the trophy, which weighs more than 13 pounds and is made of 18-carat gold. Designed by an Italian artist in 1974, it’s worth up to $ 20 million, according to USA Today.

But don’t get too excited: The winning team isn’t allowed to take the actual item home due to a series of misfortunes the original Jules Rimet Trophy encountered in the 20th century. Instead, they get to keep a gold-plated replica.

Sports – TIME

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For Many NFL Players, Summer Doesn’t Bring Much of a Break

The NFL’s summer break presents the ideal opportunity for players to pursue individual passions, and this year, they lent a hand during a crisis (Josh Norman), got involved in local politics (Devin and Jason McCourty and Matthew Slater) and tackled personal goals around the world (Brett Hundley), just to name a few. Also, items on how the NFL is aiding coaches in teaching the new helment-lowering rule, the NFL’s involvment in NYC Pride, why Russell Okung’s discussion about guaranteed contracts is so important and much more.

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Japan’s Players Redefine Sportsmanship By Cleaning Up Locker Room After Losing at the World Cup

Japan suffered a devastating loss against Belgium in the knock-out round of the World Cup, after leading the game 2-0 with just 25 minutes remaining in the second half. The shocking 3-2 loss meant Japan was out of the soccer competition and headed home. Before they left, though, the heartbroken team showed an impressive display of good sportsmanship and even better manners.

On the field, the team respectfully bowed to their opponents. They then filed into the locker room to change. But before they departed, they left the room completely spotless and even left a thank you note in Russian for their hosts, The Independent reports.

It wasn’t just the team, either. As they left the stadium, the devastated football fans took the time to clean up all trash in the Rostov-on-Don soccer arena, leaving virtually no trace of their time there. This isn’t the first time fans clad in their booster gear stayed to clean up after themselves—they packed away all their trash after the team beat Colombia earlier in the tournament. Sports Illustrated notes that the Senegalese fans cleaned up their sections during the tournament, too.

Perhaps American fans can learn a little something from this competition, even if the U.S. Men’s Team didn’t qualify.

Sports – TIME

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Teen Boy Who Took a Whiff of a Player’s Sneaker at Wimbledon Had the Most Appropriate Reaction

A boy had a hilarious reaction after sniffing a tennis shoe he received from Dutch tennis player Robin Haase during a Thursday morning Wimbledon match.

The Netherlands player Robin Haase handed a young boy a sneaker and photos captured his delight to receive the shoe, then taking a whiff and finally sticking his tongue out in disgust.

The funny set of photos taken Thursday morning at the match between Robin Haase and Nick Kyrgios have been shared on Twitter. Kyrgios beat Haase 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 in the second round.

Sports – TIME

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Uruguayan Soccer Player’s Post-Goal Dance Has All the Right Moves

Uruguay’s Luis Suarez is one of the sport’s leading scorers in international play — and is continuing to build his reputation as a World Cup force across this year’s games so far.

During Monday’s 2018 World Cup match against Russia, Suarez secured Uruguay’s early lead with a powerful free kick, securing the point after an unlucky sidestep by one of the Russian defenders. But perhaps the best part of the striker’s performance in the game, beyond just the kick itself, was his subsequent celebration.

Sliding on his knees across the grass, Suarez finished up his moment of self-congratulation with an exuberant shimmy, leading some online to bring out comparisons with famously charismatic performer Freddie Mercury.

Uruguay ultimately shut down Russia 3-0 in the game, making them three for three in their 2018 World Cup appearances so far and seeing them comfortably advance to the next round of play. If past performance is any indication, we might yet get to see more of Suarez’s suave post-goal moves in the upcoming matches.

 

Sports – TIME

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Burger King Apologizes for an Ad Offering Burgers to Russian Women Who Get Pregnant by World Cup Players

(MOSCOW) — Burger King has apologized for offering a lifetime supply of Whoppers to Russian women who get pregnant by World Cup players.

Critics assailed the offer, announced on Russian social media, as sexist and demeaning.

The announcement was removed Tuesday from Burger King’s social media accounts but was still circulating among Russian social network users. It promised a reward of free burgers to women who get “the best football genes” and “ensure the success of the Russian team for generations to come.”

In a statement Wednesday to The Associated Press, Burger King said, “We are sorry about the clearly offensive promotion that the team in Russia launched online.” It said the offer “does not reflect our brand or our values and we are taking steps to ensure this type of activity does not happen again.”

Ads in Russia often play on sexist stereotypes, notably ads around sporting events like the World Cup. Women’s rights activists have been increasingly speaking out against them.

Sports – TIME

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Here’s How Much Money World Cup 2018 Players Make

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar… you may know the names of soccer’s biggest stars, but do you know how much they’re getting paid to play in the 2018 World Cup?

As is typical with FIFA, the answer is complicated.

The international football federation is set to award $ 400 million total to the 32 teams competing for glory at the World Cup over the next month in Russia, according to the Associated Press. By the end of the tournament on July 15, one champion will take home a whopping prize of $ 38 million. The second and third-place teams will receive still-impressive checks for $ 28 million and $ 24 million, respectively.

Non-Equal Pay

Those are impressive figures, but the players aren’t necessarily splitting the prize pots evenly. As USA Today reported back in 2014, awards are given to winning teams’ national federations, which are then allowed to decide how to pay athletes at their discretion. That means the payoff for playing in the World Cup varies by country.

The German Football Association, for example, said in December that each of its players will get a bonus of €350,000, or about $ 400,000, if they win this summer’s World Cup. The sums are staggered depending on how far the team makes it in the competition. If they get to the semi-finals, each player will pocket €125,000 ($ 145,000); if they only survive to the quarter finals, each player will get €75,000 ($ 87,000). There is no bonus for only making it past the first round.

The breakdown is different in Brazil, where each person will get €800,000, or roughly $ 930,000, if they emerge victorious from the World Cup, according to Reuters.

Spain’s players are in the best position. If their team wins the title, each athlete will get €825,000 — the equivalent of more than $ 950,000.

You can definitely consider the bonuses a score: These payments come on top of the players’ regular-season professional salaries, which in Ronaldo’s case exceeds $ 60 million a year, according to Forbes. Each team also gets $ 1.5 million before the World Cup so they can prepare for the contest.

Pay Problems

But the money can cause drama. In 2014, disagreements over pay posed problems for a handful of African countries. Cameroon’s team initially refused to board their flight to the World Cup four years ago because players believed their £61,000 bonuses were too low. The Nigerian squad boycotted a training session because they were afraid they wouldn’t get paid. Ghana threatened to skip a game unless they got paid ahead of time in cash — a stunt that forced the government to put $ 3 million on a plane to Brazil.

This time around, neither Ghana nor Cameroon are in the World Cup. But FIFA did give Nigeria and four other nations $ 2 million advances so they could get any money disputes out of the way before the competition actually began.

Winning the World Cup isn’t all about money. German Football Association President Reinhard Grindel told reporters last year that though the financial bonuses were admittedly attractive, “the sporting challenge is the main focus and not the economic aspect.”

Then again, try telling that to Sepp Blatter, the former FIFA president who was accused of skirting the law after he gave himself a $ 12 million bonus for the 2014 World Cup.

Sports – TIME

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Eleven Players From Defunct North Dakota Women’s Hockey Program File Suit

The federal complaint filed Tuesday against the North Dakota University System alleges that the university violated Title IX laws that prohibit women from being treated differently because of gender. The suit says the hockey program was “the most prominent and popular sport” among women’s athletic programs at the Grand Forks college.

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‘The Most Optimistic Generation Since the 1990s.’ Andre Agassi on the Tennis Players to Watch

U.S. tennis great Andre Agassi says a generation of young American tennis players could once again dominate the game like he and Pete Sampras did in the 1990s.

Speaking in Paris during the French Open, which he was attending as an ambassador for the Swiss watchmaker Longines, Agassi told TIME that he thought U.S. players had suffered in world rankings while an unusually gifted generation of players like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have dominated the scene. “This generation hasn’t left a lot of room for anybody to pick up any slack,” he says.

Yet there are bright American stars emerging, said the former world number one. Agassi says Frances Tiafoe, “a hell of an athlete,” could be one to watch at slams in the years to come; as well as the 6’ 11’’ Reilly Opelka. “I think we have the possibility of someone sneaking through.”

Read more: “I wake up with more purpose now.” Andre Agassi opens up about building a life after tennis

When Agassi played professionally, from 1986 to 2006, it was during an era of American dominance in the men’s game. He and Sampras spent long periods as the world number 1, following in the footsteps of U.S. champions from Stan Smith to John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors. Today, though, European players like Federer and Nadal are the stars of men’s tennis. Andy Roddick was the last American man to win a Grand Slam singles title way back in 2003.

That same year, Agassi became the oldest number 1 tennis player at 33—a record since broken by Federer, who took the number 1 at the age of 36, after five years away from the top spot. Both had a late career surge, although Agassi insists that beyond that, his career bears little resemblance to Federer’s.

“He’s played a long time, certainly longer than me and surpassed me as the oldest number one, and he deserves to hold all those accolades.” But Agassi says unlike Federer, he went through more trials and tribulations, often ones that were “a bit more self-inflicted and desperate.”

Roger Federer
Manuel Mazzanti—NurPhoto/Getty ImagesRoger Federer, from Switzerland, in action against Thanasi Kokkinakis, from Australia, during his second round match at the Miami Open in Key Biscayne on March 24, 2018 in Key Biscayne, Florida.

Read more: Roger Federer is on TIME’s 2018 list of the world’s most influential people

When it comes to what Federer brings to the game, Agassi is simply a fan. “Watching him is watching history,” he says. “You see it every time with the way he conducts himself—with the fans, with his peers, with the media.

“I just have more appreciation than the average fan because he makes it look so easy and I actually think I know what it takes. And it’s truly remarkable.”

Agassi’s admiration for today’s champions doesn’t stop there. Speaking to TIME on Saturday, two days before Serena Williams announced her withdrawal from the French Open because of a pectoral injury, Agassi praised her return to the court after the birth of her child as a sign of her “determination, clarity, discipline, commitment and competitiveness.”

Serena Williams 2018 French Open
Mehdi Taamallah—NurPhoto/Getty ImagesSerena Williams attends the tennis match game during the Roland Garros Tournament in Paris, France, on June 2, 2018.

Much to the joy of fans worldwide, Williams, a 23-time grand slam winner, had played to form through three rounds in her grand slam comeback after giving birth to her daughter in September 2017. “It’s a challenge that probably equals a playing field for her, in many respects—which speaks to how great she is,” he says.

Agassi became a father himself while he was still playing professional tennis. His wife, the German tennis star Steffi Graf, gave birth to their son in 2001 and daughter in 2003. “Having children does change your perspective,” says Agassi. “I could never speak as a mother because there’s something about a mother’s love and commitment…not to mention what you go through physically.”

Though he couldn’t have predicted Williams’ withdrawal from the tournament, he understands the fight it takes to get back in the game. He says: “Seeing champions struggle and overcome adversity or difficulty, whatever that may be, is a pleasure. Success or failure, I respect that fight and that commitment.”

Sports – TIME

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NFL Players Association Responds as President Trump Criticizes Eagles Players for Snubbing White House

The union representing NFL players expressed disappointment in President Donald Trump’s decision to disinvite the Philadelphia Eagles from the traditional championship celebration at the White House on Tuesday – as Trump criticized the players in a series of tweets.

“NFL players love their country, support our troops, give back to their communities and strive to make America a better place,” the NFL Players Association said in a statement Tuesday morning.

Trump canceled the visit from the Super Bowl-winning team because some players “disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem,” he said in a statement Monday evening.

Trump said the fans who planned on attending the ceremonial event “deserve better” than the small delegation of players. In place of the ceremony Tuesday, the White House will instead have the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus deliver a rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.”

The President took to Twitter Tuesday to reiterate his criticism of the players who refused to visit the White House. The Philadelphia Inquirer cited team sources as saying that fewer than 10 Eagles players had planned to attend the White House ceremony.

“Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!” he tweeted

In a statement that did not address the White House or the president, the Eagles said: “It has been incredibly thrilling to celebrate our first Super Bowl Championship. Watching the entire Eagles community come together has been an inspiration.”

Following their Super Bowl win earlier this year, several players — including safety Malcolm Jenkins, defensive end Chris Long and wide receiver Torrey Smith — said they would not attend the White House event if invited. As TIME has detailed, no players from the Eagles or their Super Bowl LII opponents, the New England Patriots, protested the national anthem when it played at the February match-up. During the season, the only sign of protest from the Eagles came when Smith and Long raised their fists in the air during the anthem.

Trump repeatedly attacked the NFL and players for protesting during the National Anthem last season. At a campaign-style event last fall, the President said NFL owners should fire any players who protest. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!” Trump said at the time.

Last month, the NFL implemented a new policy that says teams will be fined if players do not “stand and show respect for the flag” during the National Anthem. Players would be allowed to stay in the locker room, during the anthem, however. The NFL Players Association has said it would challenge the new rule.

The anthem protests in the NFL began before Trump took office. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first athlete to kneel during the National Anthem several years ago to protest injustices faced by people of color in America. The sign of protest grew throughout the NFL — and into other professional leagues like the NBA and into amateur ones like high school sports leagues.

The Eagles aren’t the only professional team to be at odds with Trump. The President disinvited Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry from his championship-winning team’s White House visit last fall when he showed signs he was “hesitating.” (Curry had told reporters he did not want to go.) As a result, the entire NBA Championship-winning team chose not to go.

“We believe there is nothing more American than our citizens having the right to express themselves freely on matters important to them,” the Warriors said in a statement.

Sports – TIME

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Report: NFL Players Considering Sitting out Season Until Colin Kaepernick is Signed

Eric Reid, Colin Kaepernick, NFL

A few NFL players are considering sitting out the season unless former San Francisco 49ers players, Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, are given contracts, Shaun King announced on Tuesday. King says that players are weighing the option not to play this season and are aiming to get 25 percent of the NFL roster to sit out […]

The post Report: NFL Players Considering Sitting out Season Until Colin Kaepernick is Signed appeared first on EBONY.

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The NFL Has Decided to Fine Teams if Players Kneel During the National Anthem

(ATLANTA) — NFL owners approved a new policy Thursday aimed at addressing the firestorm over national anthem protests sparked by Colin Kaepernick and polarized by President Trump, permitting players to stay in the locker room during the “The Star-Spangled Banner” but requiring them to stand if they come to the field.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said the change was approved unanimously by the owners at their spring meeting in Atlanta, but it was met with immediate skepticism by the players’ union.

“We want people to be respectful of the national anthem. We want people to stand,” Goodell said. “That’s all personnel, and to make sure they treat this moment in a respectful fashion. That’s something that we think we owe. We’ve been very sensitive on making sure that we give players choices, but we do believe that moment is an important moment and one that we are going to focus on.”

In a sign that players were not part of the discussions, any violations of the policy would result in fines against the team — not the players.

The NFL Players Association said it will challenge any part of the new policy that violates the collective bargaining agreement.

The owners spent several hours addressing the contentious issue — which has reached all the way to the White House.

Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016, a quiet but powerful protest against police brutality and racial inequities in the justice system.

Other players took up the cause, and the gesture carried on during the 2017 season even after Kaepernick left the 49ers and failed to land a job with another team.

President Trump turned the anthem protests into a campaign issue , saying the NFL should fire any player who takes a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The NFL hasn’t gone that far, but Kaepernick has yet to land another job and one of his former teammates and fellow protesters, safety Eric Reid, is also out of work.

Both have filed collusion grievances against the NFL.

While the owners touted the change as a compromise and noted it was approved unanimously, the players’ union made it clear it was not part of the discussions.

“The NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new ‘policy,’” the NFLPA said in a statement. “NFL players have shown their patriotism through their social activism, their community service, in support of our military and law enforcement and yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about.”

The statement added, “The vote by NFL club CEOs today contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL’s Management Council John Mara (co-owner of the New York Giants) about the principles, values and patriotism of our League.”

The NFL was reportedly considering whether to assess a 15-yard penalty against any player who took a knee or conducted any other protest during the anthem.

Another possible option would have been to change up the pregame routine entirely, keeping teams in their respective locker rooms until after the anthem had played. That is the protocol long followed by college football, preventing anthem protests from being carried out on the field.

In the end, the owners sent a bit of a convoluted message — appeasing those who feel the national anthem must be treated with reverence, while allowing some sort of conduit for players to protest as long as they stay out of the public eye.

“We’ve spent a lot of time, not just at this meeting, but really over the last year discussing the issue of the anthem and working with our players to make sure we could get to a place where all the different viewpoints could be respected,” said Art Rooney II, owner of the Pittburgh Steelers. “Obviously, we want to continue to work with our players and make sure they feel that their point of view has been respected. I think the fact that those who are not comfortable standing for the anthem have the right to stay off the field — so we’re not forcing anybody to stand who doesn’t feel that way about particular subjects — but those who are on the field are going to be asked to stand.”

Goodell said the league met with countless players over the last year to get their input on the anthem controversy.

“We think that we’ve come up with a balanced process, procedure and policy that will allow those players who feel they can’t stand for the anthem to stay in the locker room,” the commissioner said. “There’s no penalty for that, but we’re going to encourage all of them to be on field. We’d like for all of them to be on the field and stand at attention.”

Goodell was asked who would get to decide what actions would be considered disrespectful to the anthem or the U.S. flag.

“Well, I think the general public has a very strong view of what respect for the flag is and that moment,” he said. “We have language in our policy that talks about that, standing attention, hats off and focused. And I think the general arbiter will the clubs and the league and we’ll work with our players to get their viewpoint also.”

Sports – TIME

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The NFL Is Reportedly Considering Penalties For Players Who Kneel During the National Anthem

The NFL is reportedly considering punishing players who kneel in protest of police brutality during the national anthem ahead of games.

At a Tuesday meeting in Atlanta, NFL owners weighed the possibility of introducing 15-yard penalties for players who kneel during the anthem, Sports Illustrated reports. As part of the rule, home teams can decide whether both teams will come out of the locker room during the national anthem — penalties can be handed out for any player that kneels.

Several NFL players have taken a knee during the national anthem over the last two seasons as part of an effort to raise awareness of police brutality and racial inequality. Colin Kaepernick, known for kicking off the protest in 2016, has sued the NFL along with Eric Reid, saying league teams have worked together to keep the players unsigned. Both are currently free agents.

Kaepernick’s kneeling prompted many other players to kneel over the 2016 and 2017 football seasons. The national anthem protests ramped up significantly during the 2017 season, after President Donald Trump slammed players who kneeled, calling anyone who did so a “son of a bitch” who deserved to be fired.

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Tiger Woods Works to Salvage Disappointing Start in First Round of the Players Championship

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Team Captain Among 14 Dead After Bus Carrying Hockey Players Crashes in Canada

(NIPAWIN, Saskatchewan) — Canadians were moved to tears on Saturday after fourteen people were killed and 15 others injured when a truck collided with a bus carrying a junior hockey team to a playoff game.

The bus driving the Humboldt Broncos had 29 passengers, including the driver, when it crashed at about 5 p.m. Friday on Highway 35 in Saskatchewan, Canadian police said.

Among the dead are Broncos head coach Darcy Haugan, team captain Logan Schatz and radio announcer Tyler Bieber.

Three people are in critical condition.

“An entire country is in shock and mourning,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement. “Our national hockey family is a close one, with roots in almost every town – small and big – across Canada. Humboldt is no exception, and today the country and the entire hockey community stands with you.”

In a tweet, U.S. President Donald Trump said he called Trudeau to offer his condolences to the families of victims.

Darren Opp, president of the Nipawin Hawks, who the Broncos were set to play against, said a semi T-boned the players’ bus — an account police confirmed.

“It’s a horrible accident, my God,” Opp said.

Kelly Schatz, Logan’s father, says his 20-year-old son played for the Broncos for just over four years and had served as team captain for the past 2 ½ years. Meanwhile, tributes poured in online for Darcy Haugan, a father of two who was described as an amazing mentor to young players.

The names of others killed have not been confirmed. STARS air ambulance said it sent three helicopters to the scene.

Hassan Masri, an emergency room doctor at Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital who has done work in war-torn Syria, said the crash reminded him of an airstrike.

Dramatic images from the scene appeared to show the bus torn in two by the force of the impact. Debris was scattered on the highway, and a large tractor-trailer lay overturned on the pavement.

The tragedy brought to mind an accident in 1986, when the Swift Current Broncos team bus slid off an icy highway and crashed in late December, killing four players.

The Humboldt Broncos are a close-knit team from the small city of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, which has a population of about 6,000. Many gathered at the community center at the hockey arena there after word of the horrific crash began to circulate.

Humboldt Mayor Rob Muench, wearing a green and yellow Broncos team jersey, hugged people Saturday morning as they came to the Elger Petersen Arena in the Saskatchewan town to comfort each other and learn more.

“It’s overwhelming. It’s been tough on everybody,” Muench said in a phone interview. “We’re a small community, some of those kids have been on the team for a number of years. A lot grew up in the community and everybody knows each other.”

The team was on its way to play in Game 5 of a semi-final against the Nipawin Hawks.

“Hockey was what brought us all together and we had two communities that were rivals in the rink. To find out that it was their first responders that aided our boys just warms your heart,” the mayor said as his voice cracked.

Many people wandered in and out of the arena throughout the morning. In a separate area, multiple crisis workers were assisting.

“Everybody is just so devastated. These poor young boys,” said Penny Lee, the communications manager for the town of Humboldt

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is a junior ‘A’ hockey league under Hockey Canada, which is part of the Canadian Junior Hockey League. It’s open to North American-born players between the ages of 16 and 20.

Team President Kevin Garinger said parents from across western Canada were struggling to cope with the tragedy and were rushing to the scene.

“Our whole community is in shock, we are grieving and we will continue to grieve throughout this ordeal as we try to work toward supporting each other,” he said.

Michelle Straschnitzki, who lives in Airdrie, Alberta, said her 18-year old son Ryan was transported to a hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

“We talked to him, but he said he couldn’t feel his lower extremities so I don’t know what’s going on,” she said. “I am freaking out. I am so sad for all of the teammates and I am losing my mind.”

Opp, the president of the Hawks, said the coaching staff and players from their team were waiting to help.

“They are sitting in the church just waiting to hear any good news,” he said.

Pastor Jordan Gadsby at the Apostolic Church in Nipawin said more than a hundred people had gathered at the church — including parents and grandparents of the players who were on the bus.

“Lots of them are waiting for information,” he said.

Garinger said he still didn’t know the fate of one of the players living in his home.

“We don’t know who has passed and we don’t expect to know right away,” he said.

Garinger said all the team can do now is help the players and their families.

“We just need to try to support each other as we deal with this incredible loss to our community, to our province, to our hockey world.”

Kevin Henry, a coach who runs a hockey school in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, said he knows players on the team.

“This is I would think one of the darkest days in the history of Saskatchewan, especially because hockey is so ingrained in how we grow up here,” he said.

Much of the hockey world issued messages of condolences, including National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman and Saskatchewan native Mike Babcock, who is the Toronto Maple Leafs coach. Babcock said that “it’s got to rip the heart out of your chest.”

Sports – TIME

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Cricket Players Caught Tampering With the Ball. Welcome to ‘Sandpapergate.’

It’s a dark day for cricket in Australia. A trio of players have been caught out on camera tampering with a ball in the midst of a match against South Africa, an incident now dubbed “Sandpapergate.” And fans are both flabbergasted and saddened that their beloved sport is now the site of national scandal.

In a video captured of “fielder” Cameron Bancroft, Bancroft can be seen attempting to affix a piece of grit-coated tape to the ball that will be thrown to a “batsman.” He then disposes of the tape in his pants. The point of the tape trick was to change the trajectory of the ball in the air, unbalancing it and making it more difficult to hit. But when he realized that he was being filmed, Bancroft said, he “panicked” and stuck it down his waistband.

Unfortunately, the cameras were still rolling. Team captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and Bancroft have all apologized for their behavior, and are being disciplined by Cricket Australia with suspensions from play. Even Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was moved to comment on the scandal.

“It seemed completely beyond belief that the Australian cricket team had been involved in cheating,” Turnbull said. “After all, our cricketers are role models and cricket is synonymous with fair play. How can our team be engaged in cheating like this? It beggars belief.”

The Australians lost to the South Africans by 322 points, too.

 

 

Sports – TIME

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NFL’s highest-paid players at every position — and who’s up next

Kirk Cousins set a new benchmark for quarterbacks, but Aaron Rodgers is primed to raise the bar even higher. Bill Barnwell breaks down the biggest contract numbers by position and forecasts who is in line for bigger paydays.
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NFL free-agency reset: Best remaining players, teams still in the QB market, more

Who are the high-end players still on the market? Here are the top 10, plus more on the new benchmark set for contracts and teams that still will be looking to draft quarterbacks in April.
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Mega-guide to free agency: Players to know in every category

The frenzy starts next week. Are you ready? Here’s everything to know about the top players who could hit the open market, from guys primed for big paydays to those looking for prove-it deals and more.
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NFL players will try working retail at the NBA store

Shoppers at the NBA store in Manhattan might be surprised on Tuesday to find six professional football players working the cash register, making custom jerseys and tidying up the store. Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard and the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Josh Dobbs are among the players who will be there. They are participating in…
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Report: FBI probe docs list range of payments to top players

NEW YORK (AP) Bank records and other expense reports that are part of a federal probe into college basketball list a wide range of impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives, according to documents obtained by Yahoo Sports.

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Players who need a change of scenery on every NFL team

Something has to change for Michael Crabtree in Oakland. Will Jon Gruden be enough, or would the receiver be better off elsewhere? NFL Nation reporters identify players and teams who should part ways.
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Michael Stich Talks Tennis Hall of Fame Induction, ATP Veterans, Next-Gen Players and More

On this week’s episode, host Jon Wertheim talks with 2018 International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee, Michael Stich.

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WNBA Players Transition from the Court to the Corporate Office

Even after players retire from the league, the NBA stays connected with many to help them transition into life after basketball. Two years ago, they created the Basketball Associates Program, a formal training experience that prepares athletes for opportunities in management positions. Last year, three players from both the NBA and the WNBA successfully completed the program and are now working at different teams and parts of the business.

One of the former WNBA players is Stacey Lovelace, who before coming to the program was coaching at a Division I college in Michigan. She heard about the initiative through Renee Brown, former vice president of the WNBA, and now a player development specialist with the NBA’s G-League.

In the Fall of 2017, four players began their assignment at the league offices, where they are continuing to be immersed in the programs’ pillars of focus: Business Acumen, Front Office Competencies, and League Operations. One of the current associates is Lindsey Harding, the No. 1 overall selection for the 2007 NBA Draft and former WNBA All-Star, who recently retired from the WNBA after 10 years.

Black Enterprise contributor Mia Hall had the opportunity to speak with Lovelace and Harding, about their experiences managing the business side of the sport.

 

Hall: What type of impact did the Basketball Associates Program have on you as a former professional athlete?

Stacey Lovelace: It opens up a new network for you as a former player, but also it’s an opportunity for you to grow from a business standpoint and evaluate your talent and skills in a different way that is more specific to athletes from this generation.

 

We did everything from LinkedIn training to going deeper into the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Because the program is yearlong and is run by a former player, it touches on many things we need in order for us to improve our value to a business or in whatever we choose to go into following our playing careers.

 

What is the biggest lesson you learned or takeaway you received from being in the program?

 

Lindsey Harding: I think that transitioning is the hardest thing that you can do, from being an athlete and as people say ‘going into the real world.’ I’ve been playing since I was 12 so that was what my mindset was on. This program so far is teaching me to take all the lessons, my experience and everything I’ve learned from over 20 years of playing the game and being able to translate it to the work world now.

 

It’s amazing that so much does translate and that’s something, personally, that I’m working on every day in regards to teamwork, leadership, and communications. We’re also going through the CBA and different departments and seeing how it all works, things you never get to do when you play. I’m learning a lot but this is what stands out.

 

Lovelace: I learned what my passion is. After you retire from basketball, every person has a different transition and mines wasn’t the easiest. It was just a lot of trying to figure it out and it was frustrating because I knew I could do certain things and had certain skills that I didn’t necessarily have on my résumé because I haven’t done it professionally.

 

Being in the program helped me learned that my passion is helping people and telling my story. I enjoy being that connection for people to be able to say ‘look I need help’ and I’ll have an answer for them or at least be able to point them in the right direction.

 

What surprised you the most about the business side of basketball that you want to learn more about?

 

Harding: The CBA and the salary cap. I understand that a lot of lawyers come here and they take years to master it, but I want to get a really good understanding of it. I also know that I miss being part of a team and that in the future I want to work with a front office. Having this background of learning the salary cap is really gonna help me to get there.

 

What’s next for you?

 

Lovelace: I’m extremely excited about where I am right now. There’s so much room to grow in the G-League player development because the league is growing yearly and my responsibilities will continue to grow as I’m in it.

Right now, I just really want to focus on what I’m doing and impact these players lives as much as I can, helping them in every aspect of their career.

 

The post WNBA Players Transition from the Court to the Corporate Office appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise

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NFL Players Reportedly Looking To Invest In Cryptocurrency

Leading National Football League or NFL, players are looking to invest in the emerging market of cryptocurrency even though it looks risky in a bid to secure their future, according to a CNBC report. Surprisingly enough, a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2015 had found that about one in every six NFL players files for bankruptcy within 12 years of their leaving the sport.
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This Could Be The Last College Football Championship Game With Unpaid Players

Millions of people will tune into the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday night, Jan. 8, hoping for a doozy. Even President Donald Trump is expected to be among the frenzied crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta when the Alabama Crimson Tide take on the Georgia Bulldogs (and Kendrick Lamar performs the halftime show). Expectations are high for good reason: Alabama is shooting for a fifth national championship in Nick Saban’s 11 years as head coach, while SEC rival Georgia—coached by former Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart—squeaked by Oklahoma, 54-48, in a double-overtime shootout in the College Football Playoff semifinal on New Year’s Day.

The title game may well be another classic. But don’t let that obscure a much deeper problem behind all the pomp and hype. The College Football National Championship will do more than decide which university has the best team, it will generate millions of dollars for the universities, coaches, broadcasters, and sponsors. Other ancillary actors—Atlanta hotel operators, local restaurants — will rake in their own tasty haul.

The amateur players on the field, however, won’t share in that bounty, beyond a few thousands dollars on top of an athletic scholarship to cover the full cost of attending school. The NCAA, the organization governing big-time college athletics, prevents schools from paying their players, even as they make millions for their coaches and schools. Saban and Smart made almost $ 15 million combined this year.

“All today’s players can hope for,” says Jeffrey Kessler, a sports labor attorney who is leading a case against the NCAA, “is a better deal for the players that come after them.”

The case that could change college football

That may finally change. On Jan. 16, in a federal district courtroom in Oakland, Calif., judge Claudia Wilken will hold a hearing on motions for summary judgment in the case of Jenkins v NCAA, a class action suit that challenges the NCAA’s compensation limits on athletes. Wilken ruled on a similar case, the landmark O’Bannon v NCAA litigation, more than three years ago. While Wilken found in that case that the NCAA rules unreasonably restrained trade in violation of anti-trust laws, she did not lift the restraints entirely. Schools could still limit their compensation for athletes to the cost-of-attendance stipend, meaning the players would not be paid according to their market value.

Read More: The Case for Paying College Athletes

The Jenkins case, however, makes a broader claim than O’Bannon. Whereas O’Bannon concerned a college athlete’s ability to profit from the use of his or her likeness, Jenkins focuses on the market for signing college athletes to schools. It seeks to ends the NCAA’s blanket wage restrictions, and allow individual athletic conferences to determine the levels at which players should be paid. Kessler, who has represented the players’ unions of all four major U.S. professional sports leagues and helped NFL players win the right to become free agents in the early 1990s, is representing the Jenkins plaintiffs.

One expert likens the two cases to the work of an offensive lineman clearing the way for a running back: O’Bannon did the legal blocking, says Marc Edelman, a professor of law at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business, that could allow Jenkins to finally score big for college athletes. “The point of Jenkins is to create a universe in which the NCAA can no longer ubiquitously prevent college athletes from being paid,” says Edelman.

With more money sloshing around college sports every year, the case against paying players becomes increasingly difficult to justify. Saban made more than $ 11 million this season; Georgia paid Smart $ 3.75 million. Alabama pays two of its assistants — defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, the incoming head coach at Tennessee, and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll — north of $ 1 million. Texas A&M just signed former Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher to a 10-year, $ 75 million deal; Fisher in turn just poached Notre Dame defensive coordinator Mike Elko with reported three-year contract at an average of $ 1.8 million a year.

How much money should college athletes be paid?

Why shouldn’t this bounty trickle down to the players who generate it? Antitrust economist Andy Schwarz, a staunch advocate for reallocating more flush college sports revenues to athletes, envisions a scenario where schools reallocate 30% of incremental athletic department revenue growth to a fund that compensates athletes: 15% for male athletes, and 15% for female athletes. Schools can keep 70% of the new revenues, plus all old revenues. If Alabama, for example, had followed such a model over the past four years, the school would have set aside, on average, $ 2.9 million annually to pay athletes. Alabama would have kept an average of $ 149.5 million per year, or 98% of all revenues.

“If schools ever want to get past their ‘can’t-don’t’ rhetoric and go for can-do solutions, all they need to do is just start fixing things,” says Schwarz. “Divert new money and in a few years the budgets will have adjusted just fine.”

The Jenkins case will likely hinge on whether the plaintiffs can convince the court that the paying players won’t adversely effect the college sports business. Anti-trust laws permit trade restraints — like a cap on compensation — if such restraints benefit consumers. In the O’Bannon case, the NCAA’s lawyers argued that college football and basketball is popular because players don’t get paid. Fans are attracted to the amateur ideal. In Jenkins, the NCAA will insist that the court has already established that paying players would hurt the college sports business, since in O’Bannon both Wilken and an appellate court gave weight to a survey from an NCAA research expert showing that 69% of respondents expressed opposition to paying college athletes.

Still, it’s hard to imagine rabid college sports fans leaving stadiums and TV sets in droves just because students at their favorite schools receive payment for playing football or basketball—which is why they’re at the school in the first place. In so many pockets of America, college football’s ingrained in the cultural DNA. Why would the tailgate lose its appeal when the star quarterback has an endorsement deal?

Further, as part of the Jenkins case, attorneys for the plaintiffs have filed their own consumer demand study with the court. Their survey expert concluded, “to a high degree of scientific certainty,” that additional compensation for college athletes would result in “no negative impact on consumer demand as exhibited through viewership /attendance of college football and basketball … If anything, permitting these additional forms of compensation/benefits could have a positive impact on such consumer demand.” Decades of American behavioral economics bear this finding out. As player salaries have risen exponentially with the advent of free agency and technological innovations that distribute the games to broader audiences, sports have become even more popular. The business has only grown.

Americans, it turns out, value fairness. “This case could make a great difference in the lives of those college players that will not make it to the pros,” says Kessler.

If it lives up to expectations, the Alabama-Georgia title game may be remembered for a long time. But the year’s most lasting college sports moment could unfurl in a courtroom.


Sports – TIME

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American Airlines Apologizes After Accusing Pro-Basketball Players of Theft

(DALLAS) — American Airlines has apologized to two black professional basketball players who were kicked off a plane in Dallas after a flight attendant accused them of stealing blankets.

Airline spokesman Joshua Freed said Tuesday that Memphis Hustle guard Marquis Teague and forward Trahson Burrell boarded the flight bound for Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Sunday at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

The flight was operated by Envoy Air.

Two first-class passengers gave the players their blankets as they headed to their seats in coach. But a black flight attendant accused them of theft and forced them off the plane.

Freed says an airline manager apologized to the players and that they later flew first class to Sioux Falls.

Chief executive Doug Parker told employees last month that American Airlines will implement implicit-bias training.


Sports – TIME

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Major media players start commission for sexual misconduct

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The biggest figures and institutions in entertainment have established a commission to be chaired by Anita Hill that intends to combat sexual misconduct and inequality in the industry in the wake of the huge wave of revelations spurred by allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
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Major media players start commission for sexual misconduct

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The biggest figures and institutions in entertainment have established a commission to be chaired by Anita Hill that intends to combat sexual misconduct and inequality in the industry in the wake of the huge wave of revelations spurred by allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
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The NFL Tried to Bribe Players with $100 Million to Stop Kneeling and Protesting During Games, It Didn’t Work

The NFL tried to buy their players off with almost $ 100 million so they’d stop protesting at games — but no deal was made.

via TMZ:

The NFL recently proposed a deal in which they’d contribute $ 89 million over seven years to 2 organizations focused on African-American causes, as well as to the Players Coalition so they could use the money for whatever causes they wanted.

In exchange, the NFL wanted the National Anthem protests to end — but the deal seems to have failed. Many players continued to kneel and demonstrate during this week’s games.

The L.A. Chargers’ left tackle Russel Okung raised his fist during the National Anthem Sunday, and the Oakland Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch remained seated for the song. L.A. Rams player Robert Quinn raised his fist as well, and other players linked arms in solidarity.

At least 6 other players between Miami, New Orleans and San Francisco all took a knee after some of them publicly raised issues with the proposed deal from their bosses. 

We’re happy the players kneeled stood their ground.

 

The post The NFL Tried to Bribe Players with $ 100 Million to Stop Kneeling and Protesting During Games, It Didn’t Work appeared first on B. Scott | lovebscott.com.

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How sexual misconduct claims brought down 5 major media players

The number of household names who face scrutiny continues to grow.
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Questioning heart of NFL players a cheap, misguided attack

Who says there’s no crying in football? Jealous people who portray professional athletes as millionaires who don’t care, painting them all with the same brush. You can exclude Broncos running back C.J. Anderson from that stereotype. Anderson was so distraught after he lost a costly fumble in the fourth quarter of Denver’s loss to the…
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What we learned (and didn’t) in Week 11: Players about to get paid

Remember that one-year deal Alshon Jeffery took last offseason? Expect him to do much better in free agency in 2018. He’s not alone. This week’s lessons run through guys in position to land big new contracts.
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UCLA Players Detained in China are Returning Home After President Trump Asked Xi Jinping for Help

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Three UCLA basketball players detained in China on suspicion of shoplifting are on a plane back to Los Angeles.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said Tuesday the matter “has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities.”

Freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley were detained in Hangzhou for questioning following allegations of shoplifting last week before the 23rd-ranked Bruins beat Georgia Tech in their season-opening game in Shanghai as part of the annual Pac-12 China game. Ball is the brother of LA Lakers guard Lonzo Ball.

The rest of the UCLA team returned to Los Angeles last Saturday without the three.

There was no immediate word from UCLA on the players’ status for the team’s home opener Wednesday night against Central Arkansas.

The school said the three players, along with coach Steve Alford and athletic director Dan Guerrero, will make their first public comments about the matter on Wednesday morning in Los Angeles, but won’t take questions.

A person with knowledge of the Pac-12’s decision said any discipline involving the players would be up to UCLA. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the conference doesn’t plan any sanctions.

Scott thanked President Donald Trump, the White House and the State Department for their efforts in resolving what he called “the incident with authorities in Hangzhou, China.” He indicated that UCLA made “significant efforts” on behalf of its three players.

Trump said Tuesday he had a long conversation about the three players’ status with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Ball, Hill and Riley were expected to have an immediate impact as part of UCLA’s highly touted recruiting class. All three are Los Angeles-area players.

Ball, a guard, averaged 33.8 points as a high school senior and follows in his brother’s footsteps after Lonzo played one season in Westwood and left early for the NBA draft.

Forwards Hill and Riley, both four-star recruits, figure to bolster 7-foot senior Thomas Welsh in the frontcourt.

The Bruins traveled to China as part of the Pac-12’s global initiative that seeks to popularize the league’s athletic programs and universities overseas. The China Game is in its third year, and while the scandal was developing the league announced that California and Yale will play in next year’s edition.

The game is sponsored by Alibaba Group, the Chinese commerce giant that both UCLA and Georgia Tech visited before the shoplifting incident occurred.


Sports – TIME

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Trump to UCLA Basketball Players: ‘Give a Big Thank You’ to Xi Jinping for Your Release

(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump is exhorting three suspended UCLA basketball players to thank Chinese President Xi Jinping for their freedom following a shoplifting incident while they were in China.

Trump had tweeted Wednesday: “Do you think the three UCLA basketball p layers will say thank you President Trump. They were headed for 10 years in jail.”

The trio apologized later Wednesday and publicly thanked Trump, who was in Asia last week, for his help. On Thursday morning, the president sent another tweet saying, “You’re welcome. go out and give a big Thank You to President Xi Jinping of China who made your release possible.”

In the same tweet, Trump said, “HAVE A GREAT LIFE! Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!”


Sports – TIME

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UCLA Players Return Home After President Trump Intervened When They Were Detained Over Shoplifting Claim

LOS ANGELES — Three UCLA basketball players detained in China on suspicion of shoplifting returned home, where they may be disciplined by the school as a result of the international scandal.

Freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley arrived at Los Angeles International Airport late Tuesday afternoon after a 12-hour flight from Shanghai. They ignored reporters’ shouted questions while making their way through a horde of media outside and getting into a van that took off from the departure level.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said the matter “has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities.”

The players were detained in Hangzhou for questioning following allegations of shoplifting last week before the 23rd-ranked Bruins beat Georgia Tech in their season-opening game in Shanghai as part of the Pac-12 China game. The rest of the UCLA team returned home last Saturday.

A person with knowledge of the Pac-12’s decision said any discipline involving the trio would be up to UCLA. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the conference doesn’t plan any sanctions.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said the school is weighing its options.

“I want to be clear that we take seriously any violations of the law,” he said in a statement. “In this particular case, both Athletics and the Office of Student Conduct will review this incident and guide any action with respect to the involved students. Such proceedings are confidential, which limits the specific information that can be shared.”

There was no immediate word on the trio’s status for the team’s home opener Wednesday night against Central Arkansas.

The school said the three players, along with coach Steve Alford and athletic director Dan Guerrero, will make their first public comments about the matter at a campus news conference Wednesday, but won’t take questions.

Scott thanked President Donald Trump, the White House and the State Department for their efforts in resolving what he called “the incident with authorities in Hangzhou, China.” He indicated that UCLA made “significant efforts” on behalf of its athletes.

It wasn’t clear under what terms the players were freed to return to the U.S.

“We are all very pleased that these young men have been allowed to return home to their families and university,” Scott said.

Trump said Tuesday he had a long conversation about the three players’ status with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Ball, Hill and Riley were expected to have an immediate impact as part of UCLA’s highly touted recruiting class. Instead, they are being talked about solely for their actions off the court.

Ball, a guard whose brother Lonzo is a rookie for the Los Angeles Lakers, averaged 33.8 points as a high school senior. The elder Ball played one season in Westwood and left early for the NBA draft.

The Balls’ outspoken father, LaVar, was in China at the time of the incident. He spent some time promoting the family’s Big Baller Brand of athletic shoes with his youngest son, LaMelo, while his middle son was detained.

Forwards Hill and Riley, both four-star recruits, figure to bolster 7-foot senior Thomas Welsh in the frontcourt.

The Bruins traveled to China as part of the Pac-12’s global initiative that seeks to popularize the league’s athletic programs and universities overseas. The China Game is in its third year, and while the scandal was developing the league announced that California and Yale will play in next year’s edition.

The game is sponsored by Alibaba Group, the Chinese commerce giant that both UCLA and Georgia Tech visited before the shoplifting incident occurred.


Sports – TIME

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UCLA Players Apologize for Shoplifting in China and Thank President Trump for Helping Secure Their Release

Three UCLA basketball players have apologized after returning home from China, where they were detained for shoplifting.

UCLA’s Steve Alford said the players, three of his biggest stars, be suspended indefinitely from the Bruins.

Freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley were in Hangzhou before a game with Georgia Tech as part of the Pac-12 China Game when they were accused of shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store. They were briefly detained, but then released to their hotel and told not to leave.

President Trump reportedly intervened to secure their release, and on Wednesday morning, Trump tweeted that he doubted the basketball players thank him:

All three players did thank Trump during the press conference, with Cody Riley saying, “To President Trump and the United States government, thank you for taking the time to intervene on our behalf.”

Ball, whose brother Lonzo plays for the L.A. Lakers, said, “I’d like to start off by saying sorry for stealing from the stores in China. I didn’t exercise my best judgment, and I was wrong for that.”


Sports – TIME

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See Bill Murray Heckle, Cheer Players in New Unscripted Baseball Series

Bill Murray and his brother, Brian Doyle-Murray, are taking their love for baseball on the road in a new, unscripted series called "Bill Murray and Brian Doyle-Murray's Extra Innings."

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This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: See Bill Murray Heckle, Cheer Players in New Unscripted Baseball Series

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Here’s how the Saudi power players — and Trump — connect to each other

Here's the background you need for the latest news about Saudi Arabia, from anti-corruption crackdowns to Donald Trump.
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Roger Goodell Says the NFL Will Not Force Players to Stand for the National Anthem

(NEW YORK) — In the face of fan unrest and accusations from the president about the league being unpatriotic, the NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the policy language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“It wasn’t necessary,” he said. “We had a real focus on making sure all of our teams understood the kind of dialogue that took place and the kind of things that they were interested in getting support.

“And they were seeking support for the NFL, each club supporting its players and continuing the dialogue that they have had at the club level. I would tell you this, it’s unprecedented conversations and dialogue going on between our players and our owners, between our club officials and between our league, and that is a really positive change for us.”

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

The league and players say they have seen their messages getting lost because their demonstrations were misconstrued by the president and by fans.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Several players said after Tuesday’s discussions that progress had been made in not only explaining their positions, but in how the 32 teams and their owners could support initiatives.

“I think we all have mutual interests,” Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “I think players are a part of this league, so we want to make sure the quality of product that we put out on the field is great. But at the same time we have a responsibility to the communities that we live in, the communities that we come from, and so I think we all share that interest in really talk more in collaboration than an us-against-you type of situation.”

Like many owners, Mara has told Giants players that they should stand during the anthem, but that if they have a reason that compels them not to, the team won’t prohibit it.

He also expects more talks between players and owners in the next few weeks.

“I think there’s a consensus to keep having dialogue,” Mara said. “That’s where our hope is, and we hope over time, few players will kneel.”

NOTES: The 2018 draft will be held at the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium in Arlington, Texas, from April 28-30. It will be the first time the draft has been staged at an NFL stadium. Since leaving New York, the draft has been held in Chicago (2015, 2016) and Philadelphia (2017). … Goodell said the initiatives to enhance the pace of games have worked, including 40-second clocks after touchdowns, use of the Microsoft Surface tablets for replay reviews, and the centralization in the New York headquarters of officiating calls that are reviewed.


Sports – TIME

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Trump Criticizes NFL for Not Forcing Players to Stand for National Anthem

During Tuesday's meeting with owners and players, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league didn't ask for a commitment from players to stand for the national anthem. Instead, Goodell explained, "We spent today talking about the issues that players have been trying to

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Report: NFL Owners Discuss Rule About Players Standing for National Anthem

NFL owners will discuss a possible rule change in a meeting next week that would require players to stand for the national anthem, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. This comes two months after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell defended the league's players by saying he understands and respects them

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Vice President Mike Pence Leaves Football Game After Players Kneel During National Anthem

Vice President Mike Pence left a football game in Indiana Sunday after players from the San Francisco 49ers reportedly knelt during the national anthem.

“President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem,” Pence said in a series of tweets. “While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I don’t think its too much to ask NFL players to respect the flag and our national anthem.”

Pence, the former governor of Indiana, was attending a game of the Indianapolis Colts, who were playing a home game against the San Francisco 49ers — Colin Kaepernick’s former team. It appeared only members of the 49ers knelt during the anthem, not the Colts, according to the Indianapolis Star. Pence pointed this discrepancy out in a tweet, posting a picture of himself and his wife Karen standing during the anthem, and writing, “We were proud to stand – with all our colts- for our soldiers, our flag, and our National Anthem.”

Last year, Kaepernick, who was playing as a quarterback for the 49ers at the time, routinely knelt during the National Anthem as a silent protest against racial injustice in America.

Kaepernick’s protest morphed into a kneeling movement last month after President Donald Trump sparked controversy when he referred to NFL players who took a knee during the anthem as “sons of bi—es” during a campaign rally in Alabama. More than 100 NFL players and owners linked arms and knelt before and during the anthem following Trump’s attack.

Trump said in a tweet that he had asked Pence to leave the stadium if any players kneeled during the national anthem, claiming such actions were disrespectful.


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NFL Players Buy Xbox For 10-Year-Old Wearing Colin Kaepernick Jersey

10-year-old Jaden Watts with Washington Redskins players Keith Marshall and Rob Kelley

Two Washington Redskins teammates performed a touching deed at a Virginia GameStop — and it was inspired by former San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick.

When Keith Marshall and Rob Kelley saw 10-year-old Jaden Watts wearing the jersey of Kaepernick, they had to do something for the woke child. Kaepernick has seemingly been punished for taking a stance against police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem during the 2016 football season.

The men overheard Watts asking his mom for the Xbox One as a birthday gift in the Dulles, VA store. He was pleasantly surprised when he found the two NFL players were glad to finance it.

But when the 10-year-old asked his mom if the men could buy him the Xbox, Watts’ mom Saundra became suspicious.

“So I go next door and as I am walking over there I am thinking what pervert wants to buy my grandson an Xbox,” Saundra wrote in a Facebook post. “I am thinking he is going to be in for a rude awakening when I bust through these doors. (I am an advocate for abused and neglected kids).”

“Me nor my granson [sic] had a clue who they were,” Saundra wrote. “They now have 2 fans for life.”

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Amid turmoil, Louisville hoop players get standing ovation

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville men’s basketball players received a standing ovation from fans during the No. 17 Cardinals’ football game Saturday against Murray State, an emotional ending to a tumultuous week in which longtime Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino was removed in the midst of a federal bribery probe.

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Slipknot’s Corey Taylor Defends NFL Players’ Anthem Protests

Slipknot's Corey Taylor has spoken out in defense of NFL players who take a knee during the National Anthem.

"First of all, this is America. You've got the right to protest; it is right in the goddamn Constitution," Taylor told Fargo,

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Slipknot’s Corey Taylor Defends NFL Players’ Anthem Protests

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NBA Issues a Memo Reminding Players and Coaches They MUST Stand During the National Anthem, Per League Rules [Video]

The NBA sent a memo late Friday to teams reinforcing its existing rule that players and coaches are to stand for the national anthem.

The memo also suggested other ways in which those who chose to might address the recent protest movement sweeping across the NFL and other sports.

via ESPN:

The memo, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN, was distributed by deputy commissioner Mark Tatum. It instructs teams that “the league office will determine how to deal with any possible instance in which a player, coach, or trainer does not stand for the anthem.”

The memo states that individual teams “do not have the discretion to waive” the rule that players, coaches and staff stand for the anthem. The league has the discretion to discipline players who violate the rule. It is not clear if the league would exercise it in the event of any protest. The league also does not want teams independently disciplining players, sources say, and has encouraged open dialogue within teams.

In the memo, Tatum suggests teams might address the current political climate by having players and coaches give a joint pregame address at their first home games.

“This could include a message of unity and how the team is committed to bringing the community together this season,” the memo states.

The memo also suggests teams might prepare a video tribute or public service announcement featuring “team leadership speaking about the issues they care about.”

The memo comes a day after commissioner Adam Silver said he expects players to stand for the national anthem.

Do you think any players will challenge the rule?

The post NBA Issues a Memo Reminding Players and Coaches They MUST Stand During the National Anthem, Per League Rules [Video] appeared first on B. Scott | lovebscott.com.

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Mothers of NFL Players Pen an Open Letter to Donald Trump

President Donald Trump called the protesting NFL players a "son of a bitch" during a rally last week, and the players themselves aren't the only ones upset about it. A group of NFL moms wrote an open letter to the President of the United States, expressing their dismay at his message.

"[We] believe in promoting a positive image of professional football players as athletes and young men

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Were the NFL Players Protesting Police Brutality or Trump On Sunday?

NFL's Oakland Raiders Take A Knee

President Donald Trump’s condemnation of athletes who don’t stand during the national anthem moved more athletes to take a knee during the pre-game tradition on Sunday than did Colin Kaepernick’s months-long peaceful protests against police brutality last year.

During Sunday’s football games, a number of players took part in a widespread protest of the national anthem.

Yet, the only update in the yearlong controversy of whether athletes should mix their politics with their profession was that a widely abhorred president chastised it.

Prior to Trump’s strongly worded criticisms of the NFL at an Alabama rally on Friday, NFL players were privy to the suffering police brutality was causing in the Black community. They knew the killings of unarmed Black men were so frighteningly frequent, former fellow player Kaepernick was compelled to risk his career to protest it. They didn’t—or shouldn’t have—needed strongly worded opposition from an unstable president to realize the urgency of the former San Francisco 49er’s game-changing movement.

So did the NFL players know why they were kneeling on Sunday?

The players may have simply been rebelling against Trump to prove their right to free speech after the president verbally attacked the league. Or some players may have collectively decided White supremacy has done too much talking and it was finally time to use their platform as a tool of resistance. A few others (*cough* Ray Lewis *cough*) may have just been fearful that if they opted out of this protest yet again they’d confirm their status as absolute sellouts.

We can’t confirm what any of the players were thinking when they chose to take a knee for the first time. But what we do know is police killings such as those that moved Kaepernick to action in August have yet to have the same effect on the majority of the players.

Last week, former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was acquitted for killing Black motorist Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. If anything, Stockley’s freedom should have incited a wave of protests. Yet, by instructing NFL players to “get that son of a b**tch off the field” in reference to national anthem protesters, Trump simply rehashed what the NFL was, in essence, already doing by blackballing Kaepernick.

The hypocrisies of other players left little room for question in their motives. Former Ravens player Ray Lewis and Buffalo Bills’ LeSean McCoy criticized Kaepernick’s act of resistance within the past two months yet still sat out the anthem on Sunday.

@jemelehill 😩😂 #pettypost #raylewis

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Calls for players to #taketheknee that began circulating on social media Saturday—as well as the general offense taken in Trump’s comments—probably made it easier for those who were scared to take a knee prior to the weekend. Not only did NFL bigwigs perform indignation, a fair number of people felt their president’s statements were harsh, unnecessary and insensitive.

Trump’s callous and dog-whistle language forced athletic players to realize the pressing need for unity among one another—which folks such as Lewis and McCoy resisted when they spoke out against Kaepernick. Shows of solidarity among the league are touching and all, but protesting the national anthem is much larger than the league. Taking a knee isn’t about coming together against a hot-headed White supremacist, it’s about calling attention to the lives regularly being lost to these supremacists during traffic stops and while walking home from the store.

Kaepernick’s kneeling was certainly an exercise in freedom of speech, but its purpose was to draw attention to the rampant police killings of Black people. The majority of the movement Sunday was more than likely well-intentioned but it appears the significance of kneeling has either been lost on some of the players or they’re simply worried about the wrong things.

Will NFL players continue to follow in Kaepernick’s footsteps or was Sunday’s opting out just a temporary form of rebellion? We’re interested to see what will happen in the games to come.

The post Were the NFL Players Protesting Police Brutality or Trump On Sunday? appeared first on EBONY.

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4 reasons Trump thinks NFL players are a good target (and 1 big reason he’s wrong)

On Friday night, President Donald Trump began a full frontal assault against NFL players who refused to stand during the national anthem — deriding them as “sons of bitches.” On Sunday night, he was still at it, tweeting: “Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL should change policy!”


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NFL Players Kneel to Protest Anthem in First Game Since Trump Remarks

Several NFL players took a knee or locked arms on Sunday during the National Anthem of the first game since President Donald Trump began his crusade against such protests. The game between the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars took place Wembley Stadium in London. Among those who participated in the protest was Jaguars owner Shahid… Read more »

Variety

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NFL owners speak out in support of players, against Trump

The NFL’s players and owners are frequently at odds over the issues, finances and rules of the game, a long-running feud that looms large toward another potential work stoppage after the 2020 season.
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Depression and Professional Football: How Should Players Be Protected?

If there was something wrong with your body, you wouldn't play football in order to fix it. The cure for a broken leg isn't a touchdown. The fix for a torn ACL isn't a 1,000-yard season. The one thing you wouldn't do is play football until you were well again. But what if there was something wrong with your brain? What if there was something wrong with your self-perception? Are these players

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Depression and Professional Football: How Should Players Be Protected?

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NFL Commissioner on National Anthem Protests: Respect Players’ Rights

While speaking to a group of season-ticket holders for the Arizona Cardinals this week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about if players sitting down during the national anthem is "going to be another problem" this season.

"I think it's one of those things where I think we have to understand that there are people who have different viewpoints," 

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: NFL Commissioner on National Anthem Protests: Respect Players’ Rights

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Finally, Someone Calls Out Submissive NFL Players For Not Standing Behind Colin Kaepernick

Kaepernick

In the past month, we’ve cringed as we listened to former football players and black men criticize blackballed football player Colin Kaepernick. From advising him to cut his hair and keep his politics off the field, these men have publicly told Kaepernick he should essentially be quiet, keep his Black power fist down and adhere to respectability politics as they do.

It’s been almost a year since the free agent faced a barrage of criticism for taking a knee during the national anthem to protest brutality. But on Tuesday, an ESPN reporter and fellow Black man came to the defense of the former San Francisco 49ers quartback. He also condemned all of the football players who have chastised and/or remained silent.

ESPN Senior Writer Howard Bryant told ESPN’s Cari Champion that every brother on the field “should be ashamed of themselves.”

giphy-downsized

Some notable figures like Richard Sherman, J. Cole and Spike Lee have spoken out in support of Kaepernick. But the criticism has overshadowed those voices of reason. In July, Michael Vick advised Kaepernick to cut his afro to increase his chances of securing a spot on a team. Last week, Kordell Stewart and Ray Lewis advised the 29-year-old to keep his opinions away from the playing field.

But the Black players weren’t the only ones Bryant held accountable.

“The White players in the NFL should be ashamed of themselves,” Bryant said. “If you’re a union… You have to send some type of message that this isn’t acceptable.”

“This is not a political issue to me, it’s a labor issue…you have to stick together on all of these issues… The game is owners vs players,” he continued. “We have not had any football coaches, GM’s or owners say we don’t think Colin Kaepernick is good enough to play in our league,” Bryant said. “So why are we making excuses about him?… Players need to stand up because if you fight this battle, you can win other battles.”

The ESPN columnist expounded on his argument afterwards on Twitter.

Bryant added he had a three hour phone conversation with Kaepernick. He told Champion the free agent is all for participating in the upcoming football season.

A Change.org petition has called for a boycott of the NFL if he isn’t signed by a team before the 2017 season kicks off. After reaching 100,000 signatures, the petition was sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and 32 of the league’s team owners.

NFL owners, we’re looking at you.

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Former Quarterback Boomer Esiason: ‘All NFL Players Probably Have CTE’

Boomer Esiason played 14 seasons in the NFL until 1997. On his WFAN radio show, 'Boomer and Carton,' the former quarterback discussed the recent study about the high incidence of degenerative brain disease among NFL players' brains and said he – and

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Former Quarterback Boomer Esiason: ‘All NFL Players Probably Have CTE’

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Late-Night Tweeting Actually Hurts an NBA Player’s Ability to Shoot the Ball

A new sleep research study proves it.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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