U-Md. releases report on Jordan McNair, laying out timeline that led to player’s death

An independent investigation into the June death of the 19-year-old football player found that more than an hour passed between the time he began experiencing symptoms of heatstroke and when school officials called 911.
Sports

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U. S. Open Match Stopped Because Player’s ‘Excessive Sweating’ Made the Court Slippery

It looks like the sun may have been the fiercest competitor to beat at the 2018 U.S. Open again.

Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic won Wednesday night’s quarter-final match against John Millman 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 at the U.S. Open in New York City, but not without another heat-related delay.

Djokovic was tied 2-2 with Millman when Millman had to tell the chair umpire he was just way too sweaty to continue without a break.

The temperature clocked in at 92 degrees.

During the second set, Australia’s Millman assessed the perspiration dripping off of his body and realized he was drenching the court in the process, making it too slick to play without fear of slipping.

And so he “approached the chair umpire to note his excessive sweating and the moisture it was leaving on the court,” according to the USTA.

Thanks to the United States Tennis Association’s Equipment Out of Adjustment regulation, the sweat-related court conditions were treacherous enough that Millman was cleared to leave to change out of his sweat-soaked getup without consequences.

The game resumed after roughly 6 minutes, but Millman’s break didn’t remedy the situation.

“You don’t stop sweating, though. You go to this little holding room just off the court, and there’s a tiny, probably, like, 3-by-3 room, even less, and you’re just dripping. The sweating doesn’t stop,” Millman explained, according to ESPN.

As his Australian rival left to change into something dry, Serbia’s Djokovic took his shirt off and enjoyed one of his noteworthy courtside breaks.

Julian Finney—Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic of Serbia and John Millman of Australia argue in the second set during their men’s singles quarter-final match on Day Ten of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Djokovic said the sweat affected both players.

“I personally have never sweat as much as I have here. Incredible. I mean, I have to take at least 10 shirts for every match. It’s literally after two games you’re soaking,” he said.

To help players cope with the heat that has plagued the event, the U.S. Open instituted 10-minute breaks between sets for the first time this year.

Sports – TIME

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Martina Navratilova: Let Female Tennis Players Change Their Shirts on Court

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

Former world number one women’s tennis champion Martina Navratilova was characteristically direct when asked whether French player Alizé Cornet should have incurred a code violation from an umpire after changing her shirt on court during a match at the U.S. Open.

The incident on Tuesday brought a deluge of online wrath and accusations of sexist double standards to the doors of the U.S. Tennis Association, especially given the amount of male flesh often on display during tennis matches as men change shirts between sets.

“If one is wearing a sports bra then of course it should be allowed,” Navratilova told The Daily Beast. “And if one isn’t wearing a sports bra, then it still should be allowed—although I for one wouldn’t do it.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast — Fashion

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‘Pokemon Go’ gives players the chance to catch Celebi in new research task

Pokemon Go Celebi

Pokemon Go has flourished in recent months, thanks in no small part to the many substantial updates that Niantic has rolled out since the year began. Few updates have had quite as big an impact as research tasks though, bringing added depth to the game by requiring players to complete specific actions in order to unlock major rewards. Now, five months after introducing those tasks, Pokemon Go is getting a new Special Research on Celebi.

If you’ve played Pokemon Go at all this summer, you’ve probably seen the Special Research on Mew, which involves completing a series of difficult tasks over the course of weeks in order to catch the Mythical Pokemon Mew. A second Mythical Pokemon will join in on the fun with its own set of tasks starting Monday, August 20th.

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‘Pokemon Go’ gives players the chance to catch Celebi in new research task originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 17 Aug 2018 at 20:00:14 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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‘Stand Proudly’ or ‘Be Suspended Without Pay.’ Trump Renews His Attacks on Protesting NFL Players

President Trump on Friday renewed his attacks on football players who protest during the national anthem, after two members of the Miami Dolphins kneeled and one stood with a raised fist during the anthem Thursday ahead of the team’s first preseason game.

“The NFL players are at it again – taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest.”

Trump also threatened that players would be suspended without pay if they continued to protest, though he has no authority over the National Football League’s disciplinary decisions. “Find another way to protest,” he wrote. “Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!”

Several football players, many of them African-American, have taken a knee or otherwise expressed solidarity during the national anthem since 2016, when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the protest movement to highlight police violence against people of color. Kaepernick, currently not signed by any NFL team, is pursuing a collusion case against the NFL, claiming he was blacklisted by team owners over his protests. The protests have been controversial, with some defending players’ right to free speech while others arguing the gridiron isn’t the place for political demonstrations.

Kaepernick on Friday tweeted about the Dolphins players — Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson and Robert Quinn — who engaged in the protests Thursday.

“My brother [Stills] continued his protest of systemic oppression tonight by taking a knee,” Kaepernick tweeted on Thursday. “Albert Wilson joined him in protest. Stay strong brothers!”

Sports – TIME

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Here’s your week in review, in haiku.

 

1.

Charlottesville trembles;

unite-the-white, say pundits.

Kanye eats (Jim) crow.

 

2.

Guessing the Gates’s

might skip the “update” note this

holiday season

 

3.

With elan, Musk moves

markets, not board members. Four-

twenty unfriendly?

 

4.

The hate in our mouths

grows bigger online, while it

makes our hearts so small.

 

5.

Idris Elba for

Bond! And: Santa, Papa John,

anything he wants

 

Have a happy and fulfilling weekend!

On Point

[bs-title]The NFL pre-take-a-knee season is here[/bs-title][bs-content]Several players have already either taken a knee for, raised a fist during or sat out the national anthem entirely, a pretty clear sign that the quiet protests are not going to stop. The league recently suspended a policy barring these demonstrations, which are clearly designed to draw attention to racial injustice, particularly in the criminal justice system. “I just think it’s important to keep this conversation going, that we don’t let it get stagnant,” Eagles captain Malcolm Jenkins, told NFL.com. President Trump fired off two tweets in response. “Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their ‘outrage’ at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love,” he wrote.[/bs-content][bs-link link=”https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/09/sport/nfl-national-anthem-preseason-games/index.html” source=”CNN”]

[bs-title]The price we pay for rationalizing white supremacy[/bs-title][bs-content]Adam Serwer has done the Lord’s work in his latest piece for The Atlantic, first documenting the personal downfalls of many of the messier Unite the Right organizers since last year’s deadly rally. These clowns will never be able to truly launch a mass movement, he declares. But, he says, those individual consequences pale in comparison to the wreckage the infiltration of racist talking points in mainstream news has done to the Republican party. For one, average voters now see immigrants as invaders, not recruits. “White nationalists win by activating white panic, by frightening a sufficient number of white people into believing that their safety and livelihoods can only be protected by defining American citizenship in racial terms,” he says, a tactic as old as America itself. It gains traction “by convincing them that American politics is a zero-sum game in which white people only win when people of color lose.”[/bs-content][bs-link link=”https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/08/the-battle-that-erupted-in-charlottesville-is-far-from-over/567167/” source=”The Atlantic”]

[bs-title]Here’s why the Unite the Right anniversary rally is going to be in Washington DC instead of Charlottesville[/bs-title][bs-content]The answer is a mixed bag of legal protections, loopholes, and luck. White supremacist groups are prevented from re-rallying in Charlottesville because of a subsequent legal settlement based on Virginia’s “constitutional subordination clause,” which helped establish that the paramilitary “militia” groups who assembled last year far exceeded First Amendment protections. That precedent is giving beleaguered state managers hope to better control future rallies since all 50 states have similar language in their constitutions. But the District of Columbia is not a state and the rallies technically fall on federal land. The National Park Service issues the permits and is preparing a strategy with Park Police and local officials. “We’ve had those types of high-tension assemblies in the District before,” says D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham. “We 100 percent are going to make sure that groups remain separate.”[/bs-content][bs-link link=”https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/08/stopping-white-supremacists-from-taking-over-an-american-city-again/566057/” source=”CityLab”]

[bs-title]The world’s top empathy researcher is in trouble for bullying in the workplace[/bs-title][bs-content]It’s a tale as old as time: The love guru who can’t get a date, the stock-picking genius without a dime to their name. But as a self-proclaimed schadenfreude expert, this is a twist I hadn’t seen before. Tania Singer, a neuroscientist and director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany is under fire for her terrifying workplace behavior. “Whenever anyone had a meeting with her there was at least an even chance they would come out in tears,” one colleague who insisted on anonymity. Her work has been vital to the field of social neuroscience, and she’s long been lauded for her vision and ability to generate support for complex projects -which is really why the story should sound familiar. At what price, success? “It appears the Max Planck Society decided it would rather sacrifice another generation of students than risk a scandal,” says one former colleague.[/bs-content][bs-link link=”http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/08/she-s-world-s-top-empathy-researcher-colleagues-say-she-bullied-and-intimidated-them” source=”Science”]

 

The Woke Leader

[bs-title]What hate looks like in school[/bs-title][bs-content]Education Week, along with nonprofit news organization ProPublica, analyzed three years of public news reports and self-reported incidents of hate and bias in K-12 schools in the U.S. The resulting project, Documenting Hate, is a grim look at the rise in hate speech in school settings, and the scramble to identify both reasons and solutions. Most incidents between January 2015 and December 2017 targeted black and Latino students, though plenty of Jewish and Muslim students were targeted as well. Most of the incidents were spoken or written hate speech incidents. The speech in question will shock but not surprise: the most common words involved the n-word, “build the wall” or “go back to Mexico”, and the most common hate symbol was the swastika. The largest number of reports on a single day was November 9, 2016–the day after Trump’s election. “I don’t think my classmates and teachers really grasp the pain we feel,” says one student.[/bs-content][bs-link link=”https://www.edweek.org/ew/projects/hate-in-schools.html” source=”Education Week”]

[bs-title]In the future, all punishment will be meted out by the fashion police[/bs-title][bs-content]Even if high fashion isn’t really your thing, you can still enjoy the uniquely vicious critique that fashion legend, Vogue contributing editor and caftan-wearer Andr? Leon Talley levels on Paul Manafort’s high priced wardrobe. First, he puts him into the context of history, as the “alpha gangster of the moment.” In some ways, he’s aspirational. “He has taken lavish luxury and gangster greed to the highest level,” he begins. And yet, he falls short. After reviewing photos of the clothes, he says, “these are not the clothes…one would aspire to.” The price tag smacks of money laundering, he says. “People just don’t spend that kind of money in their clothing.” You’ll never look at plaid the same way, or ostrich clothing, for that matter. “An ostrich baseball style jacket. Where do you wear that when you’re Paul Manafort. Where do you go?”[/bs-content][bs-link link=”https://twitter.com/vicenews/status/1027600393591775232?s=20″ source=”Vice News”]

[bs-title]About bias in the court system, by design[/bs-title][bs-content]The Radiolab Presents: More Perfect podcast is a terrific mini-series about the Supreme Court. They’re all great, but start with “Object Anyway” a lively segment on the life and trial of Louisville, KY’s James Batson, a “fast money,” breaking-and-entering type of guy who became Supreme Court famous when the white prosecutor, in front of a white judge, eliminated all the black jurors from his jury pool, including one who had been sympathetic to his case. The argument, which made it all the way to the Supreme Court, challenged the practice of using “peremptory strikes,” which allow lawyers to remove jurors from service without reason. The problem, his ragtag legal team discovered, was that prosecutors were doing it all over the country to racially stack juries.[/bs-content][bs-link link=”https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/object-anyway/” source=”WNYC Studios”]

Quote

[bs-quote link=”http://www.publicseminar.org/2017/01/white-supremacy-fear-and-the-crises-of-legitimation/#.WG0SI2WCs4K” author =”Melvin Rogers”]In the wake of similar high-profile police shootings where wrongdoing seems so clear but goes unpunished, the Slager trial crystallizes what many believe — that police officers can kill black Americans with impunity. The greatest obstacle to freedom and equality thus appears to be a society in which citizens are habituated to recognize some among themselves as worthy of care, concern, and justice, while believing they can withhold these important moral goods from others. Black Americans thus find themselves living in a society in which they are asked to follow the law, and yet, are simultaneously unprotected by political and legal institutions. The direction of loyalty goes from black Americans to the state, but not the other way.[/bs-quote]

Fortune

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President Trump Said NFL Players Are ‘Unable to Define’ Why They Are Protesting. Here Are Some of the Many Times They Did

As the NFL preseason started Thursday night, players for the Eagles, Dolphins, Jaguars and Seahawks knelt, raised a fist or waited off-field during the national anthem. On Friday morning, President Donald Trump once again attacked them on Twitter.

Trump lashed out with a new criticism, saying that players, “wanted to show their ‘outrage’ at something that most of them are unable to define.”

To state that players are unable to explain the reasons behind their own protests is easily disproved. Many have articulated their rationales clearly and passionately since 2016, when quarterback Colin Kaepernick first kept his seat during the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

Regardless of whether you condemn NFL players bringing politics into the sport or agree with their stance on race relations in the United States, it is misleading to say that they have not properly expressed their reasons for protesting.

All the way back in 2016, Kaepernick said that his protest was directed against racism and police brutality, aligning himself with the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” He said in an interview with NFL.com. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

As Kaepernick’s protest spread, other players also made their reasons for protesting explicit. In September 2016, ESPN reporter Cameron Wolfe quoted Seahawks wide receiver Brandon Marshall. “I’m not against the military. I’m not against the police or America. I’m against social injustice.”

Jelani Jenkins, a linebacker for the Miami Dolphins, penned a piece in TIME Magazine that articulated his own rational for kneeling.

“What I want is simple: equal rights and equal opportunities for every single person living in this country,” he wrote. “By kneeling, I intended to stimulate meaningful dialogue and to raise awareness so that we will be able to find solutions to the problems that exist in this country.”

Following clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va., in August 2017, Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett said in an interview with NFL.com that he wanted “to use [his] platform to be able to continually speak on injustice.” He continued, “I just want to see people have the equality that they deserve.”

In September 2017, Trump, agitated by the kneeling players, or perhaps seeing an opportunity to win on a divisive issue with his base, condemned the NFL protests in harsh terms in a speech to supporters in Alabama.

“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!’” said the president at a rally for Alabama Senator Luther Strange.

Following those comments, NFL players began protesting in greater numbers. Many cited the President’s comments as their reason for taking a knee during the national anthem, again clearly stating their rationalization.

“Me and my teammates, we felt like President Trump’s speech was an assault on our most cherished right, freedom of speech,” Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller told U.S. News & World Report. “Collectively, we felt like we had to do something for this game, if not any other game, if not in the past, in the future. At this moment in time, we felt like, as a team, we had to do something. We couldn’t just let things go.”

“It upset a lot of guys,” Indianapolis Colts free safety Darius Butler told the Indianapolis Star. “It kind of radicalizes you, in a sense: ‘OK this line is being drawn in the sand. I need to do something to show exactly what side I’m on.’”

One of the most extensive explanations was provided by San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid, who in September 2017 penned an op-ed in the New York Times. He explained that he had kneeled during the national anthem with Colin Kaepernick back in 2016 in order to protest police killings of black people, particularly that of Alton Sterling in his hometown Baton Rouge, La.

“We seek equality for all Americans, no matter their race or gender,” Reid wrote. “I refuse to be one of those people who watches injustices yet does nothing. I want to be a man my children and children’s children can be proud of, someone who faced adversity and tried to make a positive impact on the world.”

He wrote that he did not intend his protest to disrespect the flag or military personnel. “It should go without saying that I love my country and I’m proud to be an American. But, to quote James Baldwin, ‘exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.’”

 

Sports – TIME

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3 Miami Dolphins Players Protest During National Anthem at First NFL Game of the Season

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) —Kenny Stills kneeled in protest during the national anthem Thursday, and said he offered a prayer of thanks that he had a teammate’s support.Stills and two other Miami Dolphins renewed their protests before an exhibition game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, triggering yet another round of debate about the divisive NFL issue.

Receivers Stills and Albert Wilson kneeled behind teammates lined up standing along the sideline. Defensive end Robert Quinn stood and raised his right fist, as he did during the anthem last season with the Los Angeles Rams.

Stills said he didn’t coordinate with Wilson, who joined the Dolphins this season.

“It just happened that way,” Stills said. “When I’m on a knee, most of the time I’m praying, and thank God for having Albert next to me. Being a part of this protest hasn’t been easy. I thought I was going to be by myself out there. Today I had an angel with me with Albert being out there. I’m grateful he sees what’s happening, and he wants to do something about it as well.”

Stills kneeled during the anthem in the 2016-17 seasons and has been vocal discussing social injustice issues that inspired the protests by NFL players.

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a leader of the movement, tweeted support for Stills and Wilson.

“My brother @kstills continued his protest of systemic oppression tonight by taking a knee,” the tweet said. “Albert Wilson joined him in protest. Stay strong brothers!”

Kaepernick and his former teammate Eric Reid, another protest leader, remain out of the NFL. Stills said both players were blackballed, and he talks with Kaepernick every week.

“I appreciate his loyalty and support,” Stills said. “I don’t see any reason he and Eric Reid shouldn’t be in the league.”

Wilson said he kneeled mindful of the death of an unarmed black motorist who was shot by police in 2016 near his hometown of Fort Pierce, Florida. Two officers were cleared by a grand jury in the case.

“Getting shot down and being murdered — the biggest thing in my city,” Wilson said. “For me to have so much love for my city and not do anything about it, I would be a coward. I’m with it every Sunday.”

Quinn said it’s slander to say he and kneeling players are protesting the flag.

“As a black man in this world, I’ve got an obligation to raise awareness,” he said. “If no one wants to live in unity, that’s why we’re in the situation we’re in.”

The league and the players’ union have yet to announce a policy for this season regarding demonstrations during the anthem after the league initially ordered everyone to stand on the sideline when “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played, or remain in the locker room. The Dolphins issued a statement before training camp saying all options regarding the team’s policy remain open.

“The NFL has been engaged in constructive discussions with the NFL Players Association regarding the anthem and issues of equality and social justice that are of concern to many Americans,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email. “While those discussions continue, the NFL has agreed to delay implementing or enforcing any club work rules that could result in players being disciplined for their conduct during the performance of the anthem.

“Meanwhile, there has been no change in the NFL’s policy regarding the national anthem. The anthem will continue to be played before every game, and all player and non-player personnel on the field at that time are expected to stand during the presentation of the flag and performance of the anthem. Personnel who do not wish to do so can choose to remain in the locker room.

“We remain committed to working with the players to identify solutions and to continue making progress on important social issues affecting our communities.”

There were no apparent demonstrations by the Buccaneers.

Sports – TIME

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Vegan meals all the rage for Titans, with 15 players converted

Chef Charity Morgan enters Year 2 prepping meals for husband Derrick and a growing list of Titans who say they recover faster on a plant-based diet.
www.espn.com – NFL
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BWW Feature: Summer Stock Pioneer: John Kenley and the Kenley Players

One person who we have to thank for the influencing the tradition of summer stock theatre is none other than John Kenley, whose legacy lives on today. From the 1940s – 1990s, John Kenley championed summer theatre and brought shows to small towns across America.
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New York Giants Co-Owner Says Players Who Kneel During National Anthem Will Not Be Penalized

Co-owner of the New York Giants, Steve Tisch, said last week that Giants players will not be punished for protesting during the national anthem.

Tisch, who is also a film and TV producer, told the Hollywood Reporter that “there is not going to be any punitive action taking place against them” if they decide to kneel or protest in other ways.

The NFL approved a policy in May to fine teams for players who kneel during the anthem. Players have the option of staying in the locker room while “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played, but if they are on the field they are required to stand.

Tisch called out President Donald Trump, who has been vocal in his criticism of players who take a knee, saying the president does not understand the protests.

“Hopefully he’ll have much more going on that he’s going have to deal with…than worrying about what NFL players do,” Tisch told The Hollywood Reporter. “He has no understanding of why they take a knee or why they’re protesting. When the new season starts, I hope his priorities are not criticizing the NFL and telling owners what to do and what not to do.”

The new NFL policy is now on hold, however, after it was reported on Saturday that a new Miami Dolphins team policy stated players could be suspended for up to four games if they decide to kneel on the field. The NFL and the players’ union are in talks trying to work out the issue. The organizations issued a joint statement, saying both sides “have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue. In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy.”

Tisch may not get his wish for Trump to keep out of the conversation. The president tweeted his disdain for the talks between the NFL and the players union to come to a resolution on Saturday.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality against racial minorities.

Tisch said he supports his players if they decide to do so. “We support our players,” Tisch said. “They are not going to be punished.”

Sports – TIME

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Dallas Cowboys Owner Won’t Support Players Who Stay in the Locker Room During the National Anthem

OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones doubled down Wednesday on insisting that his players stand for the national anthem, declaring that he wouldn’t support anyone who chose to stay in the locker room.

Speaking at his annual news conference to open training camp in California, the outspoken billionaire became the first owner to say publicly that his players would not be allowed to stay off the field during the anthem.

“No,” Jones said when asked if he would support players staying in the locker room. “Our policy is that you stand at the anthem, toe on the line.”

Last week, the NFL and the players’ union agreed to suspend the rule approved by owners this spring that gave players the option of staying in the locker room while allowing teams to discipline players who took a knee or sat during the anthem.

The decision to begin negotiating on the issue came hours after The Associated Press reported that Miami Dolphins players who protested during the anthem could be suspended for up to four games under team policy.

Last season, Jones was the first owner to declare that he would bench a player for protesting during the anthem. Two of his players — defensive linemen David Irving and Damontre Moore — raised their fists briefly as “The Star Spangled Banner” ended but weren’t disciplined.

“I obviously wouldn’t dare speak for any of the other owners, much less in general about 31 other owners,” Jones said. “As far as the Dallas Cowboys are concerned, you know where I stand. Our team knows where I stand on the issue.”

The issue erupted in 2016 when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protesting police brutality, social injustice and racial inequality by kneeling during the national anthem. The demonstration spread to other players and teams.

The NFL started requiring players to be on the field for the anthem in 2009, the year it signed a marketing deal with the military. Jones had already owned the Cowboys for 20 years when players moved from the locker room to the field for the anthem.

Jones said he understood the point of view of players who say they aren’t protesting the flag or the military.

“This is a case where we need to in my mind check that and be real clear that it is, the priority is about the flag, and be real clear about that,” Jones said. “Sometimes it’s best to just be real clear and succinct so that nobody misunderstands. I think that’s our case.”

Executive vice president Stephen Jones said the Cowboys don’t have an anthem issue because his father has made his stance clear from the beginning.

“I do understand when you see the back and forth,” Stephen Jones said. “But we’ve been consistent and we’ve never moved. Jerry’s never changed his stance once. I think he feels strongly about it.”

The younger Jones didn’t want to speak for the players when asked if Jerry Jones’ strong message is the reason none of his players have defied him.

“I was always brought up when you work for somebody and they’re the boss, you play by their rules,” Stephen Jones said.

Jones, who drew praise from President Donald Trump when he said last year that he would bench players, said Trump’s continuing involvement in the anthem issue is “problematic” for the league.

Trump weighed in again after news of the Dolphins’ policy broke, tweeting “The $ 40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand,” a reference to Roger Goodell.

“His interest in what we’re doing is problematic from my chair and I would say, in general, in the owner’s chairs,” Jerry Jones said. “And unprecedented if you really think about it. But like the very game itself, that’s the way it is and we’ll deal with it. But, yes, everybody would like for it to go away.”

Unlike other sports organizations, the Cowboys haven’t distanced themselves from Papa John’s after founder and CEO John Schnatter was ousted over a racial slur.

Schnatter was already under fire for suggesting last year that the pizza company’s sluggish sales were a result of the controversy surrounding the anthem.

Jerry Jones, who has had a close relationship with Schnatter, said the Cowboys couldn’t cut ties with the company because of an ownership stake in Papa John’s stores. Stephen Jones said the team was linked to 50 stores in the Dallas area.

“I regret that for John,” Jerry Jones said. “But at the end of the day we’ve got too many people, too many customers, too many people that we just need to do as good as we can do under the circumstances.”

NOTES: DE David Irving was placed on the “did not report” list after getting clearance from the Cowboys to deal with personal issues. Jerry Jones said he didn’t expect Irving to attend camp for the three weeks the Cowboys are in California. … DT Maliek Collins (foot) was placed on the physically unable to perform list, while S Kavon Frazier and DE Randy Gregory are on the non-football injury list. Gregory was recently reinstated from a yearlong ban for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

Sports – TIME

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NFL and Players Put National Anthem Protest Policy on Hold

The NFL’s two-month old national anthem policy is on hold.

Hours after The Associated Press reported that Miami Dolphins players who protest on the field during the anthem could be suspended for up to four games under a team policy issued this week, the league and the players union issued a joint statement late Thursday night saying the two sides are talking things out.

“The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue. In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy. No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing,” the statement read. “The NFL and NFLPA reflect the great values of America, which are repeatedly demonstrated by the many players doing extraordinary work in communities across our country to promote equality, fairness and justice. Our shared focus will remain on finding a solution to the anthem issue through mutual, good faith commitments, outside of litigation.”

The issue has dominated headlines over the past two seasons, caused division and alienated some fans.

The NFL rule that was passed in May forbid players from sitting or taking a knee if they are on the field or sidelines during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” but allowed them to stay in the locker room if they wish. The policy said teams would be fined if players didn’t stand during the anthem while on the field. The league left it up to teams on how to punish players.

None of the team policies had been made public until the AP obtained a copy of Miami’s nine-page discipline document. It included a one-sentence section on “Proper Anthem Conduct” and was provided to the AP by a person familiar with the policy who insisted on anonymity because the document is not public. It classifies anthem protests under a large list of “conduct detrimental to the club,” all of which could lead to a paid or unpaid suspension, a fine or both.

The Dolphins said in a statement: “The NFL required each team to submit their rules regarding the anthem before their players reported to training camp. We will address this issue once the season starts. All options are still open.”

Miami can choose not to issue any suspension nor fine any player guilty of “conduct detrimental to the club.” Other violations under that label include drug use or possession, gambling, breaking curfew and riding motorcycles as a driver or passenger from the start of camp until the last game of the season.

Jets acting owner Christopher Johnson said shortly after the league announced its policy that he will not punish his players for any peaceful protests — and would pay any potential fines incurred by the team as a result of his players’ actions.

The new league rules were challenged this month in a grievance by the players union. The NFLPA said the NFL policy, which the league imposed without consultation with the players union, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights. Now, the two sides are hoping to reach a solution without litigation.

Dolphins veteran receiver Kenny Stills took a knee with a hand on his heart during the anthem throughout last season. Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips put his arm around Stills before one game. Two other players who knelt — safety Michael Thomas and tight end Julius Thomas — are no longer with the team.

Defensive end Robert Quinn, who raised his fist during the anthem while with the Rams, is now with the Dolphins.

“Players who are on the field during the Anthem performance must stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem,” says the 16th and final bullet point on Miami’s list of conduct considered detrimental, below disparaging teammates, coaches or officials including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The NFL started requiring players to be on the field for the anthem in 2009 — the year it signed a marketing deal with the military.

In 2016, then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protesting police brutality, social injustice and racial inequality by kneeling during the national anthem, and the demonstration spread to other players and teams.

Critics led by President Donald Trump called the players unpatriotic and even said NFL owners should fire any player who refused to stand during the anthem. Some players countered that their actions were being misconstrued and that they are seeking social change rather than protesting the anthem itself.

Trump’s criticism led more than 200 players to protest during one weekend, and some kept it up throughout the season.

The league and a coalition of players have been working in tandem to support player initiatives for a variety of social issues. The NFL is committing $ 90 million over the next seven years to social justice causes in a three-segment plan that involves league players.

Kaepernick didn’t play at all last season and still hasn’t been picked up by another team. He threw 16 touchdown passes and four interceptions in his final season in 2016. Safety Eric Reid, one of Kaepernick’s former teammates and another protest leader, is also out of work.

Both have filed collusion grievances against the NFL.

___

AP Sports Writer Steven Wine in Miami, AP Sports Writer Dennis Waszak in New York and AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner in New York contributed to this report.

Sports – TIME

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Miami Dolphins to Discipline Players Who Protest During National Anthem With Fines, Suspensions or Both

Miami Dolphins players who protest on the field during the national anthem could be suspended for up to four games under a team policy issued this week.

The “Proper Anthem Conduct” section is just one sentence in a nine-page discipline document provided to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the policy who insisted on anonymity because the document is not public. It classifies anthem protests under a large list of “conduct detrimental to the club,” all of which could lead to a paid or unpaid suspension, a fine or both.

Miami’s anthem policy comes after the NFL decided in May that teams would be fined if players didn’t stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” while on the field. The league left it up to teams on how to punish players. None of the team policies have been made public.

The NFL rule forbids players from sitting or taking a knee if they are on the field or sidelines during the national anthem, but allows them to stay in the locker room if they wish. The new league rules were challenged this month in a grievance by the players union.

The NFL declined to comment. Team officials had no immediate comment.

___

AP sports writer Steven Wine in Miami contributed to this report.

Sports – TIME

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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’s Great Expectations 2018: 10 Teams, Coaches and Players (Plus a Broadcaster) to Watch

And how Anthony Lynn and the Chargers are dealing with them. Plus, early reviews are strong on one rookie QB, an area where the Eagles could be even better, and why the Cowboys think Dak could be better without Dez. Plus, a move that shows the players are preparing for a 2021 work stoppage

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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 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

Tiger’s 72, which was salvaged thanks to a quality bogey after smothering his tee shot into the water on 18, left him six shots behind a sextet of leaders at six-under.

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Report: Arsenal Players Learned of Arsene Wenger Exit Just Before Announcement

Arsenal players were reportedly caught off guard by the timing of Arsene Wenger’s announcement that he won’t be returning to the club.

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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

EMPLOYMENT UPDATE:

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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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…
Sports | New York Post

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Report: NFL may keep players inside for anthem

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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."

Extra Innings

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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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

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Trump Criticizes NFL for Not Forcing Players to Stand for National Anthem

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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

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Report: NFL Owners Discuss Rule About Players Standing for National Anthem

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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.


Sports – TIME

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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.”

The post NFL Players Buy Xbox For 10-Year-Old Wearing Colin Kaepernick Jersey appeared first on EBONY.

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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

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Mothers of NFL Players Pen an Open Letter to Donald Trump

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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.

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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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