May 24, 2022
Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu resigns amid Angel Stadium corruption scandal
Anaheim, California Mayor Harry Sidhu tendered his resignation on Monday amid allegations that he attempted to leverage the proposed sale of Angel Stadium to the Los Angeles Angels in an effort to procure campaign finance donations.
Sidhu was running for re-election in November. Sidhu’s lawyer Paul Meyer announced the mayor's resignation effective Tuesday in a statement that denied any wrongdoing.
“Mayor Harry Sidhu has always, as his foremost priority, acted in the best interests of the City of Anaheim, and he does so today,” the statement reads, per the Associated Press.
Anaheim has been in negotiations to sell the stadium and its surrounding property to Angels owner Arte Moreno for $320 million. The Los Angeles Times reports that Sidhu is under federal investigation for allegedly providing the Angels with confidential information twice during negotiations in hope of obtaining a $1 million donation from the team.
May 24, 2022
MLB suspends New York Yankees' Josh Donaldson for one game over comments to Chicago White Sox's Tim Anderson
Major League Baseball has suspended New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson for one game for "inappropriate comments" made to Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson on Saturday.
Donaldson, who also was fined an undisclosed amount, is appealing the punishment, MLB announced on Monday. He will be eligible to play for the Yankees until the appeal process is completed. Shortly before the suspension was announced, the Yankees said Donaldson had been put on the COVID-19 injured list.
"MLB has completed the process of speaking to the individuals involved in this incident," Michael Hill, MLB's senior vice president for on-field operations, said in a statement. "There is no dispute over what was said on the field. Regardless of Mr. Donaldson's intent, the comment he directed toward Mr. Anderson was disrespectful and in poor judgment, particularly when viewed in the context of their prior interactions. In addition, Mr. Donaldson's remark was a contributing factor in a bench-clearing incident between the teams, and warrants discipline."
May 24, 2022
Nebraska Cornhuskers football suspending red balloon tradition due to helium shortage
Nebraska will suspend its tradition of releasing red balloons after the first touchdown of home games due to a global helium shortage, athletic director Trev Alberts announced on his radio show Monday.
Alberts said Nebraska will not hand out red balloons before home games at Memorial Stadium this fall. The tradition of releasing the balloons after Nebraska's first touchdown at home began in the 1960s.
The helium shortage and supply-chain issues stem in part from sanctions against Russia, one of the world's top helium suppliers, following its invasion of Ukraine.
May 24, 2022
Attorney for Deshaun Watson's accusers says two of his clients spoke on the record to HBO for Real Sports
The attorney of the 22 women who are suing Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson released a statement Monday saying two of his clients spoke on the record for an upcoming episode of HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel."
The episode will debut at 10 p.m. Tuesday, the same day Watson will participate in his first organized team activity practice with the Browns since they acquired him March 18 in a historic trade with the Houston Texans and gave him a five-year contract worth a record-setting $230 million fully guaranteed.
Two dozen women have accused Watson of sexual misconduct or sexual assault during massage appointments, and attorney Tony Buzbee represents 22 of them who have active civil lawsuits filed against Watson, who has repeatedly denied all wrongdoing and whose attorney, Rusty Hardin, detailed in a podcast that posted Monday why he believes his client is innocent and shouldn't be suspended by the NFL.
May 24, 2022
CeeDee Lamb Facing Lawsuit From Trading Card Company
Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb is facing legal action from Dallas-based company Leaf Trading Cards, according to Denton County, Texas records.
The trading card firm filed a lawsuit against Lamb, 23, on May 20 claiming the young star “breached the parties’ License Agreement by failing and refusing to sign all trading cards which he agreed to sign,” according to court documents obtained by Mike Fisher of Cowboys Country. As a result, Leaf claimed it was “unable to fulfill orders from customers who had received redemption cards that would be exchanged for a card signed by Lamb.”
Leaf is seeking damages and attorney fees of up to $100,000 from Lamb after his actions “caused significant damage to Leaf, including loss of income and loss of good will with customers.” The company also requested the court serve Lamb either at his home in Proper, Texas or Cowboys’ offices in Frisco, per the documents obtained by Fisher. The club is set to kick off OTAs on May 24.
May 24, 2022
NFL to Determine Potential Deshaun Watson Suspension Before Season Starts, per Source
The NFL is expected to make a decision on a potential suspension for Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson before the start of the 2022 season, according to The MMQB’s Albert Breer.
Breer noted Monday the NFL has spoken with at least half the women who filed lawsuits against Watson.
Watson faces 22 active civil lawsuits regarding alleged sexual harassment and assault that occurred during massage therapy sessions. The lawsuits entail numerous accounts of alleged sexual misconduct, from Watson refusing to cover his genitals to “touching [a plaintiff] with his penis and trying to force her to perform oral sex on him.”
May 23, 2022
NBA official asks Mavericks bench player Theo Pinson to change shirt before Game 3 of Western Conference Finals
The Dallas Mavericks' bench has been a point of contention in the Western Conference Finals, and the latest issue surrounds Theo Pinson's white shirt.
Before Dallas' 109-100 loss to the Golden State Warriors Sunday night, referee Marc Davis went up to Pinson and asked if Pinson would change his white shirt.
Pinson, who was not playing and wearing civilian clothes, appeared to be confused at first and then Davis explained that because the Warriors were wearing their white jerseys, Pinson's wearing his could lead to confusion for players in the game.
"Hey, do me a favor," Davis said. "This is crazy. Can you change your shirt? Will you do that for me?"
Pinson then said he would and when Davis said he appreciated it, Pinson asked why.
"Because it's the same color as them and you're going to be in the way," Davis explained. "I'll even buy it for you."
Davis then appeared to use a joke to deflect the situation, saying "this don't match anyway," seemingly in reference to the shirt going with the rest of the outfit.
"All right," Pinson said, "if you buy it for me."
May 23, 2022
Hamlin shreds NASCAR over call that could've led to 'lawsuit,' VP responds, Blaney is rich
If you were one of those people begging for some sort of drama (me!) before the checkers flew in Sunday's NASCAR All-Star race, well ... you got it!
I'm just not sure any of us were expecting that.
"Where NASCAR really got away with one was, we nearly crashed off (Turn) 2," said Denny Hamlin, who finished second (twice) to Ryan Blaney. "When I send him head-first into traffic, and the window net's down, I don't know ... then they got a lawsuit on their hands."
Well then, Denny. Please, by all means, don't hold back!
"All I ask is that we know what the rules are, we play by them," he continued. "He should've won the race. He was 100 yards from winning the race. But many cars have not won races because of a green-white-checkered, or a mistake on a restart, or things that happen at the end. Those things happen."
Sure. Those things happen ... but Denny, come on!
NASCAR VP: 'Wish we wouldn't have done that'
All right. Let's dive in!
We'll start here ... who ya got: Denny or NASCAR?
Should the folks in the tower have thrown maybe the dumbest yellow flag in the history of the sport just seconds before Ryan Blaney crossed the line to win a million dollars?
No. Probably not. And hey, they even agree!
"Wish we wouldn't have done that," said Scott Miller, NASCAR's Senior VP. "But we did, and we'll own that we probably prematurely put that caution out."
OK. Good first step!
May 23, 2022
Dwayne Haskins Reportedly Was Drunk Before Fatal Accident
Dwayne Haskins, 24, the backup Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and a former standout at Ohio State, was heavily intoxicated when he was struck and killed by a truck on a Florida highway in April, according to multiple reports of a toxicology examination released by the medical examiner’s office in Broward County, Fla., on Monday.
In two samples, Haskins had a blood-alcohol concentration of .20 percent and .24 percent at the time of his autopsy, according to multiple reports, more than double Florida’s legal limit of .08 percent. Ketamine, a sedative that is also taken as a recreational hallucinogenic, was also found in Haskins’s system, according to the report.
Representatives from the medical examiner’s office did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.
Through an attorney, Haskins’s wife, Kalabrya, in a statement Monday, asked for patience and privacy.
May 23, 2022
Why NBA is frustrated with Mavs' refusal to comply with bench decorum rules
For the third time in this season’s NBA playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks have been fined for the same offense: violating league rules regarding team bench decorum.
The league announced the third fine on Sunday, a result of the Mavs bench's actions against Golden State in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on Friday.
The fines have doubled from $25,000 to $50,000 and now $100,000 for the latest infraction.
“On multiple occasions, several players and a member of the coaching staff stood for an extended period in the Mavericks’ team bench area, stood away from the team bench, and were on or encroaching upon the playing court during game action,” the league announced in a statement endorsed by NBA president of league operations Byron Spruell.
The tone of that statement does not reflect the league’s frustration with the Mavericks. The league believes the conduct of the Mavs’ bench impacts player safety, competitiveness and fan consideration.
League rules state players during a game must remain seated while the ball is in play, except to react spontaneously to a notable play or report to the scorer’s table to check into the game; players not in the game may not remain standing at or away from team’s bench during game action; and bench players are prohibited from distracting opponents in an unsportsmanlike manner during game action.
The final item – distracting opponents in an unsportsmanlike manner during game action – came into play in Game 2 when Steph Curry, with the Warriors wearing white uniforms, threw the ball to Theo Pinson, who was not in uniform but wearing a white sweater with his left arm raised. Curry clearly thought it was a Warriors teammate.
That play in particular riled league officials.
May 23, 2022
White Sox closer Liam Hendriks rips Yankees 3B Josh Donaldson over 'Jackie' comment to Tim Anderson
Chicago White Sox closer Liam Hendriks ripped New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson on Sunday over fallout from Donaldson's alleged racist comment against White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson.
In particular, Hendriks took exception with the notion that Donaldson, who is white, referred to Anderson, who is Black, as "Jackie" — in reference to Jackie Robinson — as an inside joke.
"Yeah, that's completely inappropriate," Hendriks said. "And then hearing what was said after the game — usually you have inside jokes with the people you get along with, not people that don't get along at all. So that statement right there was complete (expletive).
"But, then again, my feelings towards the individual in question are pretty well documented in the fact that we don't get along."
When the two teams met in Chicago on May 13, Donaldson pushed Anderson off third base while applying a tag, and Anderson shoved Donaldson, leading to an exchange of words and the benches clearing.
After Saturday's game, Anderson said that Donaldson called him "Jackie," in reference to Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in 1947 and whose jersey is retired by Major League Baseball.
"I've spoken to (people) now in four separate clubhouses that he's been into and as a whole, none of them have gotten along," Hendriks continued. "So, yeah, him whipping out and trying to pull that narrative is complete and utter (expletive)."
May 22, 2022
Mavericks receive 3rd fine for 'bench decorum', now owe NBA $175K
The Dallas Mavericks have once again been fined by the NBA for violating rules on "bench decorum."
This fine, which is for a whopping $100,000, covers violations from the Mavs' 126-117 Game 2 loss against the Golden State Warriors. Here's what Dallas was fined for:
"On multiple occasions, several players and a member of the coaching staff stood for an extended period in the Mavericks' team bench area, stood away from the team bench, and were on or encroaching upon the playing court during game action," the NBA said in a press release.
May 22, 2022
Serena Williams Trading Card Sale Doubles Record for Female Athlete
Serena Williams has claimed numerous records throughout her illustrious career. And, now, her greatness has been immortalized in a different arena.
Goldin Auctions founder Ken Goldin tweeted Sunday a 2003 Serena Williams NetPro signed patch rookie card sold for a historic $266,400 on Saturday night. According to The Athletic, the sale set a new mark for the highest-priced trading card featuring a female athlete, more than doubling the previous mark of $117,000.
In case you were wondering, Williams, 40, also owned the previous record after a bidder purchased a July 1999 SI For Kids Serena Williams rookie card in January.
May 22, 2022
Mike Tyson Comments on Airplane Altercation With Passenger
Boxing legend Mike Tyson offered his first public comments addressing his altercation with a passenger on a JetBlue flight in April during the newest episode of his self-titled show.
The former heavyweight champion explained the reason behind his actions while speaking to co-host DJ Whoo Kid and guests Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on the Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson podcast. Tyson, 55, made headlines last month after repeatedly punching a passenger seated behind him on an April 20 flight headed for Florida.
“He was f----– with me, man,” Tyson said before sharing he took pictures with the passenger prior to the incident. His remarks confirmed the eyewitness testimony reported in April by TMZ Sports, who originally broke the story. The witness claimed Tyson was cordial with the passenger and took selfies with him before asking him to leave him alone, which eventually led to the altercation after the man ignored the warning.
May 22, 2022
Michigan’s Juwan Howard Declined ‘Overture’ For Lakers Coaching Vacancy, per Report
The Lakers reached out to Michigan coach Juwan Howard regarding the franchise’s open head coaching job, but he was not interested in pursuing the opportunity, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
According to the report, the Lakers never made a formal offer to Howard, but they would have moved quickly to that stage if he was interested in the opening.
Howard spent parts of his playing career with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, as well as LeBron James, and his relationships with both were seen as a natural fit for the franchise. But instead, Howard elected to remain at Michigan where he will coach both of his sons, Jace and Jett, next season.
May 22, 2022
Intense Drama Defines Final Day As Manchester City Wins Another Premier League Title
This was the ninth time a Premier League title race had gone down to the final day of the season, and the ninth time the team that started on top had won. But if that makes Manchester City’s eighth league title sound straightforward, it was not. This was a final day of shredded nerves and high anxiety, even if there was never actually a point when Liverpool was top in the as-it-stands table. In the end, three City goals in five second-half minutes transformed everything.
The drama began at Anfield after two minutes as Pedro Neto capitalized on an Ibrahima Konaté error to give Wolves the lead. It felt then as though this could be an anticlimactic afternoon. But Liverpool soon equalized through Sadio Mané and then came the goal that electrified Anfield—Matty Cash heading Aston Villa ahead at the Etihad. Could it be that, as Aston Villa manager, Steven Gerrard might at last win Liverpool the league title that had always eluded him as a player?
When another ex-Liverpool star, Philippe Coutinho, added a second after 69 minutes, that possibility suddenly seemed very real. Liverpool, it seemed, had 21 minutes to score. It was not, in truth, playing well. Anxiety had gripped its performance from the start. With Virgil van Dijk injured—although on the bench, suggesting he may be available for next week’s Champions League final—the back line looked shaky, never quite sure when to push up. But worse was the passing. There was a frantic quality to Liverpool’s play, exacerbated by the loss of Thiago Alcântara to injury on the stroke of halftime. Shots were blocked and through-balls misplaced.
May 21, 2022
Wimbledon left pointless as tour chiefs fight back over Russia, Belarus ban
Wimbledon, widely regarded as the world's most prestigious tennis tournament, was stripped of ranking points on Friday by the sport's main tours in a move which threatens to reduce the Grand Slam to the status of a high-profile exhibition event.
The decision by the ATP and WTA was in response to Wimbledon banning Russian and Belarusian players following the invasion of Ukraine.
"It is with great regret and reluctance that we see no option but to remove ATP Ranking points from Wimbledon for 2022," said an ATP statement.
"Our rules and agreements exist in order to protect the rights of players as a whole. Unilateral decisions of this nature, if unaddressed, set a damaging precedent for the rest of the Tour.
"Discrimination by individual tournaments is simply not viable."
When world number one Novak Djokovic won Wimbledon in 2021, he earned 2,000 points.
Wimbledon chiefs at the All England Club branded the move by the ATP and WTA as "disproportionate".
The WTA, which operates the women's tour, joined their male colleagues in withholding points for the tournament which starts on June 27.
Wimbledon's ban has ruled out a swathe of top players, including men's world number two Daniil Medvedev and last year's women's semi-finalist Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus as well as two-time major winner Victoria Azarenka.
- Further talks? -
The ATP, however, hinted at a resolution to the impasse.
May 21, 2022
Report: NFL owners are “counting votes” toward a possible ouster of Daniel Snyder
There’s plenty of smoke surrounding Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder. Even in the absence of the confirmed existence of an actual fire, the smoke is getting the attention of his partners.
As reported by Jarrett Bell of USA Today, one NFL owner said that the group is “counting votes” as to Snyder.
It would take 24 votes to get rid of him. Of course, that would be just the beginning, not the end. Snyder would surely fight hard to not be forced to sell his business. Although the various members of Club Oligarch accept the rules of life in the league, the antitrust violation that would come from 24 or more business owners forcing another business owner to sell his or her business is hiding in plain sight.
Still, the rest of the owners are moving toward their breaking point with Snyder.
This isn’t new. We’ve reported on multiple occasions that Snyder is on thin ice. During Super Bowl week, we confirmed past reporting from 106.7 The Fan in D.C. that, if the league had asked attorney Beth Wilkinson for a written recommendation at the conclusion of her 10-month investigation into chronic workplace misconduct in Washington, she would have recommended that Snyder be forced to sell.
The league retained Mary Jo White, not Wilkinson, to investigate more recent claims of misconduct made against Snyder by former Washington employee Tiffani Johnston. We reported on the day of Super Bowl LVI that, “As one ownership-level source recently put it, the Johnston allegations could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for the league, prompting Snyder’s partners to take steps to push him out.”
That was before the allegations of financial improprieties. Those allegations included a claim from a long-time employee that money was being kept from Snyder’s partners.
May 21, 2022
ESPN anchor Sage Steele hospitalized, recovering after hit with golf ball at PGAs
Sage Steele reportedly walked off under her own power after an errant tee shot hit her face at more than 180 mph
ESPN broadcaster Sage Steele was hospitalized with apparent facial injuries Thursday after a wayward golf ball struck her in the face during the PGA Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Walking away from the impact under her own power, Steele is reportedly recovering at home in Connecticut and will not feature in ESPN’s tournament coverage for the remainder of the weekend, sources at the network told the New York Post.
The ball was teed by Jon Rahm.
May 21, 2022
Deion Sanders warns Nick Saban about $1M NIL accusation: 'I'm not the one you want to play with'
Deion Sanders has a warning for Nick Saban and anyone else after the Alabama football coach accused Sanders of paying a player a million dollars to attend Jackson State.
Sanders said in an interview with Andscape that coaches wouldn't want him sharing what he knows about which college coaches are paying players.
“I don’t even wear a watch and I know what time it is. They forget I know who’s been bringing the bag and dropping it off,” Sanders said. “I know this stuff. I’m not the one you want to play with when it comes to all of this stuff.”
Saban said that he reached out to Sanders during a radio interview on Sirius XM Thursday, but that Sanders didn't respond.
“I haven’t talked to Coach Saban," Sanders said. "I’m sure he’s tried to call. We need to talk publicly — not privately. What you said was public. That doesn’t require a conversation. Let’s talk publicly and let everybody hear the conversation.”
Sanders said he still admires and respects Saban, but that Saban stepped out of bounds with his comments, which also targeted Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher. The SEC issued a public reprimand to Saban and Fisher for their comments Thursday.
Sanders denied that Travis Hunter, the nation's top college football prospect in the class of 2022, has a million-dollar NIL deal.
“I don’t make a million. Travis ain’t built like that. Travis ain’t chasing a dollar. Travis is chasing greatness. Travis and his family don’t get down like that,” Sanders said. “They never came to us in search of the bag. They’re not built like that. This kid wants to be great.
May 21, 2022
Phoenix Mercury's Diana Taurasi lambasts WNBA travel conditions: 'We're just women'
Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi lambasted travel conditions in the WNBA after her team's 94-84 loss to the Dallas Wings on Thursday night in Phoenix, calling out the "big pockets" that can change the situation.
Mercury starting guard Skylar Diggins-Smith missed the game with a non-COVID-19 illness.
"We have players out, staff, trainers, coaches, you know, it's the situation that we are in," Taurasi said in a video captured by 12 Sports' Cameron Cox. "We find ourselves always in these conditions that are tough. We are in these airports that obviously in the summer are crowded, people go on vacation. …We go to Vegas tomorrow, there are thousands of people in the casino. You just have to be as safe as possible with the conditions the way they are."
The Mercury fell to 2-3 with the loss after losing in Las Vegas to the Aces on Tuesday night, 86-74.
They return to Las Vegas to face the Aces again on Saturday.
Taurasi continued: "It's unfortunate that we have to travel this way because it really does take a toll on you physically, and now your health is at risk for you and your family. It's a shame that we are still talking about this 25 years later when there's big pockets out there that could change this thing, but you know, we're just women."
Diggins-Smith is one of the best on-ball defenders on the team and is the team’s facilitator, but her status for Saturday’s game at Las Vegas is still up in the air.
Taurasi took over the reins as the facilitator in the loss to the Wings and put on her best performance of the young season with 31 points and five 3-pointers.
May 20, 2022
Nick Saban apologizes for singling out Texas A&M, others in controversial NIL comments
After Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher went scorched earth on Alabama’s Nick Saban on Thursday morning, Saban attempted to clear the air with an apology of sorts.
Saban appeared on SiriusXM Radio on Thursday afternoon and said he “never should have singled anybody out” when making comments about the current name, image and likeness environment in college football on Wednesday night.
“I should have never really singled anybody out. That was a mistake and I really apologize for that part of it,” Saban said.
During a lengthy answer during an event with local business leaders in Birmingham, Alabama, on Wednesday night, Saban specifically called out Texas A&M and made reference to their top-rated recruiting class in the class of 2022.
May 20, 2022
SEC Reportedly Shuts Down Coach Media Availability In Wake of Saban-Fisher Blowup
The feud that began on Thursday between Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher has taken over the internet. Fans want to hear what other college football coaches have to say about the situation, but it sounds like SEC coaches may not have the chance to do that.
Following Saban’s comments about Texas A&M on Wednesday night, in which he said that Fisher and his staff “buy players” through NIL deals, Fisher responded by calling Saban “despicable” and a “narcissist.”
The SEC ended up reprimanding the two coaches on Thursday afternoon, stating that they both violated SEC bylaws related to ethical conduct.
Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin, who tweeted out a picture of popcorn regarding the feud, was asked to speak on The Dan Patrick Show about the situation, but apparently isn’t allowed to speak to media anymore after SEC commissioner Greg Sankey reportedly told the coaches not to, according to the show’s producer Paul Pabst. This hasn’t been confirmed by the SEC.
May 20, 2022
ATP, WTA, ITF won't award ranking points for Wimbledon over Russia ban
The women's and men's professional tennis tours will not award ranking points for Wimbledon this year because of the All England Club's ban on players from Russia and Belarus over the invasion of Ukraine.
The WTA and ATP announced their unprecedented decisions Friday, two days before the start of the French Open and a little more than a month before play begins at Wimbledon on June 27.
It is a significant rebuke of the sport's oldest Grand Slam and, in a technical sense, renders the tournament an exhibition without any ranking points at stake.
The All England Club said in April that it would not allow Russians or Belarusians to compete at the Grand Slam grass-court tournament. The decision drew immediate criticism from the WTA and ATP, along with some prominent players, such as defending champion Novak Djokovic.
May 20, 2022
Dallas Stars' Rick Bowness stepping down after three seasons as head coach
Rick Bowness is stepping aside as Dallas Stars head coach after three seasons, the team announced on Friday.
Bowness, 67, had his two-year contract expire after the Stars were eliminated by the Calgary Flames in seven games in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. Assistant coaches Derek Laxdal, John Stevens and Todd Nelson will also not return to the Stars next season.
"After careful consideration with my wife Judy, we feel it's best to step away and allow the organization the opportunity to pursue a different direction at the head coaching position," Bowness said in a statement. "I'd like to thank all the passionate fans and the dedicated staff for their support and hard work in my time here. It has been an honor for me, and my family, to represent the Stars and the city of Dallas."
May 20, 2022
NFL wants another meeting with Browns QB Deshaun Watson amid investigation, per report
Developments tied to Deshaun Watson's legal woes continued to surface Friday.
NFL officials want to meet with Watson again after interviewing him this week in Houston, according to a report from Cleveland TV station Fox 8, and several of the Browns quarterback's accusers participated in an interview that is scheduled to air Tuesday night on HBO.
Watson met with the league this week in Houston as it investigates whether he violated its personal conduct policy.
On Friday, Fox 8 reported Rusty Hardin, Watson's attorney, said the league wants to meet with Watson again. Hardin did not immediately respond to the Beacon Journal's request for comment, and NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, "We will decline comment as the review is active and ongoing."
May 19, 2022
FIFA Picks First Female Officials for Men’s World Cup
The Qatar World Cup was always going to be full of firsts: the first time it will be played in the Middle East; the first time it will be played in November and December. Now, it may also be the first men’s World Cup tournament in which a game is refereed by a woman.
FIFA on Thursday named three women among the 36 referees chosen to officiate at the event and three more in the group of assistants that will run the line at the monthlong tournament. The most likely candidate among the three to get a starring role is Stéphanie Frappart of France, who has broken a number of barriers in European soccer.
Frappart, who made the list alongside female referees from Rwanda and Japan, has a stellar reputation in European soccer as the first woman to referee men in the Champions League, France’s top division and World Cup qualification games. This month, she refereed the final of the men’s French Cup.
Frappart was also chosen to join the officiating teams at last summer’s European Championship, but her role was limited to that of fourth official, a function on the sideline between the benches of the opposing teams.
May 19, 2022
Alabama football coach Nick Saban says Texas A&M 'bought every player,' questions whether current NIL model is sustainable
Alabama coach Nick Saban singled out Texas A&M for "buying" its top-ranked signing class and threw a spotlight on the unintended effect of name, image and likeness rights on recruiting during an event with local business leaders Wednesday night in Birmingham.
"I mean, we were second in recruiting last year," Saban told the audience. "A&M was first. A&M bought every player on their team -- made a deal for name, image, likeness. We didn't buy one player, all right? But I don't know if we're gonna be able to sustain that in the future because more and more people are doing it. It's tough."
Saban said Alabama players made $3 million "doing it the right way" last year and that only 25 players were able to leverage NIL opportunities.
He isn't the first coach to call out the Aggies by name. In February, Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin quipped, "Texas A&M was going to incur a luxury tax in how much they paid for their signing class."
That prompted a stern response from Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher, a former Saban assistant, during his signing day news conference the following day when he said that coaches spreading rumors about deals promised to recruits were "clown acts" and "irresponsible as hell."
May 19, 2022
Deion Sanders Rips Nick Saban Over Pay-for-Play Accusations
Nick Saban had a lot to say about teams potentially abusing the new Name, Image, and Likeness rules on Wednesday. First, he attacked Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M, saying they “bought every player.”
But Fisher wasn’t the only coach Saban went after. He also criticized Deion Sanders and Jackson State, saying they openly paid a player to attend their school without any consequences.
“Jackson State paid a guy a million dollars last year that was a really good Division I player to come to school. It was in the paper. They bragged about it. Nobody did anything about it," Saban said, via Khari Thompson of the Mississippi Clarion Ledger.
Saban did not specify which player he was referring to, but it is most likely Travis Hunter, the top recruit in the country who was originally committed to Florida State before flipping to Jackson State in December.
Sanders didn’t react too kindly too kindly to these accusations, and in response he tweeted his anger late Wednesday night.
“You best believe I will address that LIE Coach SABAN told tomorrow,” he said. “We as a PEOPLE don’t have to pay our PEOPLE to play with our PEOPLE.”
May 19, 2022
High School Student Breaks 57-Year-Old Record With Sub-Four-Minute Mile
A Pennsylvania teenager broke a track and field record that stood for almost 60 years. Gary Martin, a senior at Archbishop Wood High School ran a mile in under four minutes without a pacer, becoming the first high schooler to do so since Jim Ryun in 1965.
Martin pulled it off at the Pennsylvania Catholic League Championship, crossing the finish line at an official 3:57:98. Martin said seeing everyone at the meet to cheer him on and see him break the record was a great moment.
“To have everyone going crazy over what I had just done was really cool. To my teammates coming up and hugging me, my coach hugging me, and other kids from other schools coming up and patting me on the back. It was cool,” Martin said, via CBS News.
A few high schoolers have run a sub-four-minute mile since Ryun in 1965, but all of those records came with a little bit of help. Three other high schoolers broke four minutes in a high school-only race, but they all used pacers to help hold their speed. Martin is the only runner to naturally break four minutes without one.
May 18, 2022
Testifying under oath, Deshaun Watson admits Ashley Solis cried at end of massage
Barring one or more settlements, Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson eventually will stand trial in 22 different cases with 22 different juries regarding claims made by 22 different massage therapists.
Last week, Watson testified in one of the pre-trial depositions that a massage ended with the therapist crying, according to Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today. Watson also admitted that he sent her an apology via text message.
The testimony came in the case brought by Ashley Solis. She was the first therapist to go public with her claims.
Watson claimed he didn’t know why she had cried. Solis claims that Watson intentionally touched her with his penis during the massage, prompting the reaction.
“Sorry about you feeling uncomfortable,” Watson texted. “Never were the intentions. Lmk if you want to work in the future. My apologies.”
Asked why he sent an apology, Watson testified: “Yes, because she was teary-eyed. And I was trying to figure out what was going on. So, I assumed that she was uncomfortable in whatever reason. And we talked about working in the future. And so, I said, `We can work in the future. Just let me know.’ And then I sent my apologies as whatever reason she was teary-eyed for.”
With no court order in place preventing the deposition transcripts from being disseminated to reporters, the lawyers can share any, some, or all of the information. This specific testimony was provided by attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents the 22 plaintiffs.
May 18, 2022
U.S. Soccer, USWNT, USMNT agree to historic equal pay deals
The U.S. Soccer Federation and its men's and women's national teams agreed to side-by-side collective bargaining agreements that will "achieve equal pay" and vindicate the women in their years-long battle with the federation over inequities.
The two deals, which run through 2028, will pay men's and women's players on "identical" terms for all games and competitions, the federation and the two players unions announced Wednesday. They will also equalize World Cup prize money, clearing a major barrier that had perpetuated inequality.
And whereas previous labor agreements positioned the USMNT and USWNT as competitors for finite resources, the new agreements position the men and women as partners on a joint mission: to raise soccer's profile in the United States, and capitalize financially as they do.
May 18, 2022
U.S. Embassy said Russia denied 3 visits to Brittney Griner this month
The United States Embassy has been stopped from visiting detained Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner multiple times this month, the embassy said on Tuesday.
Russian authorities have denied three visits in May, which the Americans called “unacceptable,” the embassy said in a tweet.
Griner was arrested in February after Russian officials allegedly found vape cartridges with hashish oil in her luggage at a Moscow airport. The 31-year-old, who was playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia during the WNBA offseason, is under investigation for a large-scale transportation of drugs, Russian authorities allege. She could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Many have feared Russia would use Griner as a political bargaining chip and a “high-profile hostage” amid the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia is reportedly looking to exchange Griner in a prisoner swap for convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout, whose nickname is the “Merchant of Death.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, on Saturday, according to CNN. He assured her that Griner’s release is a top priority for the department.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said on ESPN on Tuesday ahead of the draft lottery that he and the league were working with the WNBA and the United States government to help bring Griner home, too.
May 18, 2022
Phoenix Mercury's Diana Taurasi, Skylar Diggins-Smith separated after incident on bench
The Phoenix Mercury lost more than just the game to the Las Vegas Aces on Tuesday night.
Two of the team's players, Diana Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith, lost their composure with each other on the bench.
Videos captured a heated exchange between the two stars during a timeout late in the first half, with Taurasi and Diggins-Smith having to be separated.
Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard addressed the incident after the game.
“People play sports with a lot of passion and so we’ve seen it," she said. "We’re not the first team to have any kind of arguments or disagreements on the bench. We’ve seen it throughout the NBA and other leagues this season. The players, they play hard, they play with passion. This is their lives, this is the game that they love, and there’s a lot going on. Our team has even more going on with the BG situation too. That isn’t something that goes away for us. I would call it passion.”
May 17, 2022
Former Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski credited with $13.7M in compensation for 2020 calendar year
Mike Krzyzewski was credited with nearly $13.7 million in total compensation for 2020, his penultimate full calendar year as Duke’s men’s basketball coach, the university’s new federal tax returns show.
The document — provided by the school in response to a request from USA TODAY Sports — shows Krzyzewski with nearly $3.3 million in base salary, $2 million in bonus pay and just over $7.2 million in other reportable compensation.
The total amount also includes nearly $1.3 million that had been reported as deferred pay on prior years’ returns, meaning his net compensation for the year was about $12.4 million.
That amount is the largest single-year pay for a college sports coach not connected to a buyout since USA TODAY Sports began tracking coaches’ pay in 2006. Alabama football coach Nick Saban received $11.1 million in 2017, an amount that included a $4 million signing bonus; that season, Saban added $500,000 in incentive bonuses to that total.
May 17, 2022
Rajon Rondo allegedly brandished gun during outburst with family at Louisville home
The mother of Rajon Rondo's children has been granted an emergency protective order against the NBA player after he was accused of pulling a gun on his family on May 11 at their Louisville home.
Ashley Bachelor submitted an application May 13 in Jefferson County (Ky.) Family Court for an emergency protective order against Rondo. It was approved the same day by Judge Denise Brown, according to documents obtained by the Courier Journal.
As part of the order, Bachelor was granted temporary custody of her two children with Rondo, and he must remain at least 500 feet away. In addition, Rondo was ordered to surrender any firearms in his possession to the Jefferson County sheriff.
In her statement to authorities, Bachelor said Rondo became "enraged and violent," threatened to kill her and brandished a gun in front of her and their children.
May 17, 2022
P.S.G. Player Benched for Refusing to Wear Rainbow Jersey
Idrissa Gueye traveled south to Montpellier with his Paris St.-Germain teammates for the team’s league game on Saturday but wound up watching it from the stands. Gueye was not injured, his coach said after P.S.G.’s victory: He “had to leave the team for personal reasons.”
Those personal reasons, a team source confirmed Monday, were that Gueye had refused to join his teammates in wearing a special jersey featuring rainbow-colored numbers created to highlight discrimination before Tuesday’s global events marking the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. The jerseys were part of a coordinated leaguewide effort.
May 17, 2022
Blackpool Forward Jake Daniels Becomes U.K.’s First Active Openly Gay Player
English soccer player Jake Daniels said he is gay on Monday in a trailblazing moment for the European men’s game.
The 17-year-old forward made the announcement at the end of his first season as a professional player with second division club Blackpool.
“This season has been a fantastic one for me on the pitch,” he said in a statement. “But off the pitch I’ve been hiding the real me and who I really am. I’ve known my whole life that I’m gay, and I now feel that I’m ready to come out and be myself.
“It’s a step into the unknown being one of the first footballers in this country to reveal my sexuality.”
May 16, 2022
Yankees’ Nestor Cortes off Twitter after ‘unacceptable’ tweets with racial slur surface
New York Yankees pitcher Nestor Cortes apologized on Monday after several old tweets in which he used a racial slur and other offensive language resurfaced.
Cortes said that he deactivated his Twitter account on Sunday night, and that he was “pissed” at himself and was “shocked” when they were suddenly retweeted while he was pitching during their 5-1 win over the Chicago White Sox.
“Those aren’t the messages I want to send out,” Cortes said Monday, via the New York Post. “I deleted my Twitter to clean stuff up. Hopefully I can make a better impact in the world for the people that look up to me to give a better example.”
More than a dozen retweets captured by the New York Post showed Cortes using the N-word multiple times back in 2012 and 2013, when he would have been 17 or 18 years old.
He didn’t appear to be using it in a derogatory way at anyone, and said he forgot they were there.
“I’m not gonna say I don’t [remember tweeting it], but I didn’t realize they were still there,” he said, via the New York Post. “It’s unacceptable. I could have managed myself better and said stuff differently.”
Cortes, 27, holds a 1.35 ERA after seven starts so far this season, his second back with the Yankees after they initially drafted him in 2013. He threw eight scoreless innings, a career-high, and allowed three hits while striking out seven without a walk in Sunday’s win against the White Sox.
May 16, 2022
Watson ‘treating’ offense with trip to Bahamas to workout, bond
The Cleveland Browns offseason has been defined by the acquisition of QB Deshaun Watson (and the likely departure of QB Baker Mayfield). Watson’s arrival marks the arrival of a top-tier quarterback who is young but has proven abilities on the field.
t also marks the arrival of a player with 22 pending civil lawsuits hanging over his head and all of the character concerns that those bring.
After last year’s Odell Beckham Jr.-full drama, including internal strife as Mayfield noted during the season, the Browns hope this year is different. For his part, Watson is going above and beyond to bring the offense together and get everyone on the same page:
That huge guaranteed contract comes in handy for the leader of the offense to be willing and able to take the offensive guys with him on a trip to come together and enjoy the time. While a few may not be able to make it, Watson is putting his leadership on display with the expenditure of money.
Nothing is certain, however. Mayfield and Beckham, along with former Browns Jarvis Landry and Austin Hooper, took a trip together before Week 1 last year. Three of those players are no longer on the team with Mayfield likely joining. Mayfield also hosted players at “Camp Austin” during his time as the team’s starting quarterback.
A free trip to the Bahamas and a chance to bond as a team in advance of training camp sounds like a great start for Cleveland’s offense. Only time will tell.
May 16, 2022
U.S.-Russian prisoner exchange a reminder of Brittney Griner's absence from Mercury
As the Phoenix Mercury get closer to the upcoming WNBA season, the focus continues to be the team working around Brittney Griner's expected absence for at least the start of the year.
Ahead of the Mercury's first preseason game against the Seattle Storm Thursday, head coach Vanessa Nygaard addressed the recent news surrounding a prisoner exchange between the United States and Russia that released Trevor Reed, a Marine veteran jailed by Moscow for nearly three years.
"We’re very happy to see that he’s been released and we are excited for the potential for BG. I’m really looking forward to seeing the White House and Biden Administration help to make that happen. We are just happy for Trevor Reed’s family. Since it happened last night, we’ve been waiting a long time for some positive news and this is definitely some positive news. It’s great to have our first exhibition game, but it’s something in the right direction finally. Knowing the feeling that we all have, we know this is challenging for them so we’re happy he’s returned," Nygaard said.
The Mercury will have to modify its lineup throughout to start season while Griner remains detained in Russia. Her detention was extended to May 19.
“That’s my sister. I love her ... It’s toughest on her family, they have to hear these things. I just love her, and I think about her every day and can’t wait until she gets back with us," Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith said on Wednesday during the team's media day.
May 16, 2022
AP source: Browns Watson to meet with NFL officials in Texas
CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will meet with NFL officials in Texas, a person familiar with the plans told The Associated Press on Monday.
Watson, who is facing 22 civil lawsuits from massage therapists accusing him of sexual misconduct, is scheduled to meet with the league representatives this week, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
Watson could be disciplined by the league, which is independently investigating whether the 26-year-old violated its personal-conduct policy. Commissioner Roger Goodell said on April 28 that there was no timeframe on any possible ruling on Watson.
Reporter Josina Anderson was first to report the league-Watson meeting on Twitter.
“We have no update and will decline comment on that tweet,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email to AP. “There’s no timetable as the review is active and ongoing.”
Watson signed a fully guaranteed $230 million contract in March with the Browns, who outbid several teams and have committed to the three-time Pro Bowl QB despite his ongoing legal situation. Two grand juries in Texas declined to indict Watson on criminal charges filed by the women, but the civil cases remain open.
Watson has given depositions on several of them, and to this point he has not missed any of Cleveland's offseason programs. Watson has denied assaulting the women, saying any sex was consensual.
As his future with the Browns remains uncertain, Watson's treating some of his new teammates to a weekend in the Bahamas to do some bonding and field work. It's not yet known which players will be making the upcoming trip with Watson.
May 16, 2022
Meet the Savannah Bananas, who've captivated fans and MLB. 'We exist to make baseball fun'
The umpire calls ball four and all hell breaks loose.
Rather than trotting to first base, the batter breaks into a sprint and doesn’t stop, rounding the bag at full speed. The catcher jumps up and throws to the shortstop, who tosses to the second baseman.
The crowd is roaring now as fielders keep flinging the ball from one to another. Amid this chaos, the runner digs hard and slides into second. Safe.
Wait, didn’t this all start with a walk?
Baseball gets flipped on its head when the Savannah Bananas hit town. The Georgia team, which normally plays in a collegiate summer league, spent the past three months barnstorming the country for a series of exhibition games, testing a radical new version of the sport.
“Banana Ball” moves at breakneck pace. There are no bunts, no visits to the mound and a two-hour time limit. If someone in the stands catches a foul ball, the batter is out. And walks? The otherwise mundane play continues until every fielder — even outfielders — touch the ball.
“A lot of moving parts,” Bananas first baseman Dan Oberst says. “You can’t blink or you’ll miss what happens.”
Eccentric rules are only part of the circus atmosphere. The first-base coach dances and the team celebrates home runs by racing into the stands for high-fives. When the Bananas are in the field, they might launch into a brief, choreographed routine between pitches, spinning and slide-stepping like the Four Tops in cleats, only to resume play as if nothing happened.
May 15, 2022
Bills players stunned by Buffalo mass shooting, use charity softball game to raise donations
Josh Allen, Micah Hyde and countless other Buffalo Bills players were left stunned this weekend following a mass shooting at a supermarket in town.
At least 10 people were killed and three others were injured in the shooting on Saturday, which an emotional Allen said on Sunday left him sick.
Allen said that the Bills are planning to meet on Monday, where he said they’ll come up with a way to help victim’s families and the community.
An 18-year-old man allegedly drove several hours to the Tops supermarket in Buffalo on Saturday afternoon and opened fire while wearing tactical gear and carrying an assault weapon with an anti-Black slur written on the barrel, according to The New York Times.
May 15, 2022
Report: Drew Brees is out as NFL analyst for NBC after one season
Drew Brees is reportedly out at NBC.
The former New Orleans Saints quarterback is done at the network after a single season working as a studio and game analyst for its NFL broadcasts, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports. Per the report, the decision was mutual. Brees preferred calling games over studio work while NBC "soured" on Brees as a color commentator after holding out hope that he could develop as the heir apparent to Cris Collinsworth on "Sunday Night Football" broadcasts, according to Marchand.
Brees downplayed the report on Twitter Sunday evening, writing that he's "currently undecided" about his future.
May 15, 2022
Charles Leclerc Crashes Niki Lauda’s 1974 Ferrari at Monaco Historic Grand Prix
While participating in a demonstration run at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, Formula One drivers leader Charles Leclerc crashed while behind the wheel of the iconic 1974 Ferrari once driven by three-time champion Niki Lauda.
Leclerc was heading into La Rascasse corner when, according to ESPN, he lost control of the rear of the car, spun and crashed rear-end first into the barriers. He managed to keep the Ferrari 312 B3 running following the impact, but damage to the right wing impacted the right rear wheel.
The team later announced that the cause of the crash was an issue with the car’s brakes. Afterward, the 24-year-old Monaco native took to Twitter to express his embarrassment at the accident.
May 15, 2022
Giannis Antetokounmpo Becomes First Player With 200/100/50 in One Series
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks did all they could to keep their season alive. But, in the end, their bid to repeat as NBA champions ended in a blowout Game 7 loss to the Celtics.
Despite another herculean effort from Giannis, Milwaukee fell to Boston 109–81 on Sunday in front of an overzealous Boston Garden crowd. Antetokounmpo, last year’s Finals MVP, ended his red-hot second-round performance with another signature stat line: 25 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists.
While the two-time MVP’s latest big game came in a bitter defeat, he managed to add yet another impressive feat to his resumé. Antetokounmpo is now the first player in NBA history with 200 points, 100 rebounds and 50 assists in a single series, per ESPN Stats & Info. He officially finished the seven-game slugfest with a 237/103/50 stat line.
May 15, 2022
Stephen Curry Completes Degree, Graduates From Davidson
Stephen Curry is currently preparing for his return to the Western Conference finals, but in the meantime, he is securing another life milestone. On Sunday, Davidson College announced Curry has officially graduated from the university 13 years after leaving.
Curry left Davidson with a year remaining in his college eligibility to enter the 2009 NBA draft. According to the school, he was one semester away from officially graduating and completed the classes during this year’s spring semester. While he will not attend graduation, he is listed as one of the graduates this year.
As arguably the best player in Davidson history, Curry performed more than well enough to get his jersey retired. He is the school’s all-time leader in points, three-pointers, free throws, field goals and steals.
However, it isn’t yet, but this graduation paves the way for that to become official. Davidson only retires the numbers of players who graduate, a rule the school doesn’t bend for anyone.
May 14, 2022
Amar'e Stoudemire quits Nets assistant job, criticizes Kyrie Irving's absences on way out
We have plenty of ways to show the Brooklyn Nets' season did not go according to plan this year — chief among them they are currently sitting at home despite employing Kevin Durant — but an assistant coach using ESPN to announce he is quitting then calling out Kyrie Irving is quite illustrative.
Former NBA All-Star Amar'e Stoudemire spent the last two seasons as an assistant on former teammate Steve Nash's coaching staff. During a series of appearances on ESPN on Thursday, he revealed he would not be returning to Brooklyn after a second straight disappointing playoff exit.
And then Stoudemire started talking all things Kyrie Irving.
In a discussion with Stephen A. Smith on "First Take," Stoudemire openly conceded that Irving missing much of the season due to his refusal to get vaccinated hurt the Nets' ability to form a functioning team:
“Yeah, I think it hurt us. It definitely hurt us because we didn’t have the consistency with Kyrie enough to build chemistry for the group with the team. He plays only on away games depending on which city it is, can’t play in New York, therefore you have different lineups and different matchups depending on the game schedule.
"So it made it difficult for us coaches to figure out who’s going to play in spite of Kyrie. The chemistry is not where we would like it to be, so it was difficult for us to manage that. So yeah, it was definitely part of that.”
Irving's status in Brooklyn has been an active topic of discussion since the Nets were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the first round.
May 14, 2022
Mets' Buck Showalter: Baseballs not carrying has been 'a challenge' across the game
The Mets bats had a quiet night in Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners, but the team had a couple of hard-hit balls that looked like potential home runs off the bat, only to fall harmlessly as outs.
Leading off the bottom of the seventh inning, Jeff McNeil slammed a Marco Gonzalez pitch 95.4 miles per hour off the bat, hitting a 360-foot flyout to right that sounded like a homer off the bat. McNeil was visibly upset as the ball landed in Steven Souza Jr.’s glove for the out.
Then, in the eighth, Pete Alonso demolished a Paul Sewald pitch to center field. The ball came off the bat at 103.4 miles per hour with a 32 degree launch angle. According to Baseball Savant, Alonso’s ball had an expected batting average of .750. But instead of soaring out of the park, it was just another out.
It’s no secret that players have had issues with the baseballs this season, both in terms of grip and carry, and Friday was just another example of the balls not carrying the way they have in years past.
“Normally,” Buck Showalter responded when asked if he thought Alonso’s ball would carry out. “I think you guys know I’m not going to start getting into all of the things that are going on all over baseball. The numbers are what they are. What normally exit velocities dictate – it’s the same for both teams. I think it’s pretty obvious that it’s been a challenge all around baseball.
“We’re playing with the same baseballs from team to team. Whatever’s going on, we’ve won our share of games the way it is.”