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3 hours ago

NEW YORK — Suspended New York Yankees pitcher Domingo German cast doubt on his baseball future with an Instagram post Friday night. German’s post was of himself in a Yankees uniform, shouting, in what appears to be a photo of him pitching in a game. The post included Spanish words that translated: “Some people make history on both sides, I think I did my part at Yankee Stadium, if I decide not to come back, I will be very proud of my 11-year professional career. God bless everyone who has supported me.” In a separate post in his Instagram story, German wrote in Spanish, “I left baseball. Thanks my people.” A right-hander who turns 28 on Aug. 4, German has 63 games left to serve of  his suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. The regular season is shortened to 60 games this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. German, from the Dominican Republic, was the Yankees’ winningest pitcher last season, going 18-4 with a…

3 hours ago

July 18

A.J. Pollock experienced what he called “a wild ride” before rejoining his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates earlier this week, a ride that included the premature birth of his daughter and a brief bout with COVID-19. Pollock’s daughter, Maddi, was born three months premature on March 19 and weighed 1.6 pounds at birth. He tested positive for the coronavirus roughly three months later and was forced to quarantine for 14 days. His wife, Kate, was kept away from Maddi for 10 days even though she didn’t contract the virus. “It’s really bizarre,” Pollock, speaking during a video conference from Dodger Stadium on Friday, said of experiencing his daughter’s early birth. “It’s a really strange feeling. You have a lot of joy seeing your daughter, but she’s 1 pound, and your head’s already gone to, ‘What’s the future look like? What’s the next step?’ Obviously there’s no relief that she’s born because you know of all the challenges ahead. Yeah, it’s been a wild ride. It’s been…

July 18

July 18

In Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer’s mind, the pick for NBA MVP is an easy choice: Giannis Antetokounmpo. When the league told teams on Friday that the races for MVP and other regular-season individual awards are over — ahead of the NBA restart in Orlando, Florida — the decision came as news to Budenholzer. “I had no idea that that was the case, but it makes sense. I think it was 64, 65, 66 games for different teams, so that’s certainly a significant body of work, and more importantly, certainly, Giannis, in our minds, has done more than enough to deserve a back-to-back MVP,” Budenholzer said. “What he does for us on both ends of the court, what he does every night, the way he sets the bar for us, culture-wise, work ethic-wise, just as a teammate. He’s an incredible teammate, plays unselfishly, does everything. And I think that’s kind of what the MVP is, so we certainly feel like he’s very deserving, and we’ll be excited to support him.” If…

July 18

July 18

DUBLIN, Ohio — Tiger Woods’ return to the PGA Tour at the Memorial Tournament almost didn’t last as long as he had hoped. Woods sputtered along all morning Friday, struggling to find the fairway while shooting a 4-over 76 that put him at 3 over through the first two rounds and in danger of missing the cut at Muirfield Village. “Not very good,” Woods said. “I three-putted two holes early, and whatever kind of momentum I was going to create, I stifled that early and fought it the rest of the day.” However, as afternoon play continued, the scores went higher and so did the cut line, allowing Woods to sneak into the weekend right on the number. The top 65 and ties advanced, with Woods one of 11 golfers tied for 64th. By advancing, Woods still has never missed the cut in 18 appearances at the Memorial. Woods closed Thursday’s opening round with a birdie to put him at 1 under. He needed birdies on two of the final three holes Friday to put himself in position to make the…

July 18

July 17

Martin McCaulay talks about dozens of trademarks he offered the NFL for free.

July 17

Redskins branded merchandise sits on display in a sports store in Sterling, VA, July 13, 2020.

July 17

There are many different versions of Carmelo Anthony, but as pictures and videos popped up over the first week of the Portland Trail Blazers’ practices in Orlando, Florida, a new version emerged: Skinny Melo. “Every summer it’s a different name for me,” Anthony said on Friday. “This summer is Skinny Melo. There’s Hoodie Melo, USA Melo, there’s so many different Melos out there. But at the end of the day, I’m me.” It’s actually “Olympic Melo,” but we’ll forgive Anthony on getting his own nickname wrong. Anthony is noticeably slimmed down from what he looked like during the season, and it was sparked by an anticipated position change upon the returns of big men Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins. Anthony has been starting at power forward for Portland, continuing the position he adjusted to playing in Oklahoma City. But with the Blazers returning two other starters for the NBA restart, Anthony is sliding down a spot to the position he played for…

July 17

July 17

Game developer Electronic Arts will alter the upcoming release of Madden NFL 21 to remove logos and the team name of the Washington Redskins after the team this week announced forthcoming changes, an EA representative confirmed to ESPN. The last-minute change to the popular football simulator game was first reported by Kotaku. Madden NFL 21 is set to release on Aug. 25. “We are pleased to see Washington’s decision to change their team name and visual identity,” an EA representative said in a statement. “We are quickly working to update Madden NFL 21 to feature a generic Washington team, while we await final word on the updated team name and logo design.” When buyers pick up the physical copy of the game, it will feature the old nickname and logo because discs are already in production, but those assets will be patched out of the game automatically if a user connects the system to the internet. “The first changes will be available to our EA Access players and will include…

July 17

July 17

Game developer Electronic Arts will alter the upcoming release of Madden NFL 21 to remove logos and the team name of the Washington Redskins after the team this week announced forthcoming changes, an EA representative confirmed to ESPN. The last-minute change to the popular football simulator game was first reported by Kotaku. Madden NFL 21 is set to release on Aug. 25. “We are pleased to see Washington’s decision to change their team name and visual identity,” an EA representative said in a statement. “We are quickly working to update Madden NFL 21 to feature a generic Washington team, while we await final word on the updated team name and logo design.” When buyers pick up the physical copy of the game, it will feature the Redskins’ name and logo because discs are already in production, but those assets will be patched out of the game automatically if an user connects the system to the internet. “The first changes will be available to our EA Access players and will…

July 17

July 17

Felony charges against Houston Texans receiver Kenny Stills and dozens of other protesters who gathered at the Kentucky attorney general’s home to demand justice in Breonna Taylor’s death earlier this week have been dropped. Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell said in a statement that Louisville police had probable cause for the felony charge but that “in the interest of justice and the promotion of the free exchange of ideas, we will dismiss that charge” for each of the protesters. Stills was among the 87 protesters who gathered at Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s Louisville home Tuesday. Louisville police had said some of the protesters had threatened to burn down the house if they didn’t get justice, prompting the felony charge of “intimidating a participant in a legal process.” Stills, 28, was booked at 11:36 p.m. local time Tuesday and charged with intimidating a participant in a legal process, according to the Louisville jail’s booking log. He was…

July 17

July 17

The NFL remains determined to start training camps on time, which in some cases means next week. NFL players, following a Thursday night conference call with several team physicians, are aware that a delay in the start of camps is unlikely. The key now, NFLPA leaders say, is to figure out the best way to practice and play football safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a wide-ranging, 90-minute conference call Friday afternoon with members of the Pro Football Writers of America, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA president  JC Tretter and executive council member Andrew Whitworth addressed many of the issues confronting players as they return to work. These include the players’ positions on testing frequency, preseason games, and the short-term and long-term economic impact the coronavirus will have on the league, among other issues. The common thread that ran throughout the call was this: Attitudes toward the virus are going to have to change…

July 17

July 17

LA Clippers power forward Montrezl Harrell has left the team to tend to a family emergency, a source confirmed to ESPN. Harrell was with the team for the NBA’s restart in Orlando, Florida. He is expected to rejoin the team again, as first reported by The Athletic. The Clippers were already shorthanded before Harrell’s departure. The team closed its facility prior to traveling to Orlando after a member of its travel party tested positive for the coronavirus, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on July 2. When asked about the status of Marcus Morris Sr., Ivica Zubac and Landry Shamet on Thursday, head coach Doc Rivers said he didn’t know. The Clippers had just gotten JaMychal Green out of quarantine on campus after the power forward arrived to Orlando earlier this week. “To be honest, JaMychal walked in and surprised the hell out of me,” Rivers said. “Because they’re in quarantine and stuff, you don’t ever know.” Before practice on Friday…

July 17

July 17

The NFL said it expects the team to cooperate, but isn’t making its own review.

July 17

The logo of the National Football League (NFL) on the goal post stanchion at Arrowhead Stadium, Jan. 19, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo.

July 17

Veteran outfielder Yasiel Puig said Friday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.  Sources told ESPN earlier this week that Puig, a free agent, had agreed to a deal with the Braves. However, the deal had been contingent on Puig testing negative, so that agreement is now off and he remains a free agent, a source told ESPN, confirming multiple reports.  Puig made the testing announcement on social media, saying he is asymptomatic and feels fine. “I will be quarantined until I receive two negative test results, which I hope will arrive shortly,” the 29-year-old said. A major league All-Star in 2014, Puig batted .267 in 149 games last season with the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians. He hit .297 with the Indians after being acquired on July 30 and gave Cleveland an infusion of power and energy, helping its ultimately fruitless surge to catch the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central Division crown. Freddie Freeman and Touki…

July 17

July 17

Veteran outfielder Yasiel Puig said Friday he has tested positive for COVID-19. Puig made the announcement on social media, saying he is asymptomatic and feels fine. “I will be quarantined until I receive two negative test results, which I hope will arrive shortly,” he said. Sources told ESPN earlier this week that Puig, a free agent, had agreed to a deal with the Braves. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he will still sign with Atlanta. “I am sad that this has happened, but I believe that everything is in God’s timing and that my return to MLB will happen in his perfect plan and timing for me,” Puig said. “When I do return to the field, I will do so knowing that I have one less hurdle to overcome.” A major league All-Star in 2014, the 29-year-old Puig batted .267 in 149 games last season with the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians. He hit .297 with the Indians after being acquired on July 30 and gave Cleveland an infusion of power and…

July 17

July 17

There was a time when Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard received adulation for wearing a cape in the dunk contest. Now he’s been disciplined for not wearing a mask in the NBA bubble. Howard said he was reported to the NBA Campus Hotline, set up to help protect players and staff participating in the league’s restart in Orlando, Florida, and received a warning for not covering his face with a mask. “Somebody told on me,” Howard said Wednesday in an Instagram Live post, broadcast to his 2.7 million followers. While the anonymous tip line was established in the name of safety as the NBA tries to navigate the potential pitfalls of playing sports in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s picked up a nickname: the snitch hotline. For those who break the perimeter of the campus, as has already happened with the Sacramento Kings’ Richaun Holmes and the Houston Rockets’ Bruno Caboclo, the league has a strict protocol in…

July 17

July 17

DUBLIN, Ohio — Tiger Woods’ return to the PGA Tour at the Memorial Tournament might not last as long as he had hoped. Woods sputtered along all morning Friday, struggling to find the fairway while shooting a 4-over 76 that put him at 3 over through the first two rounds and in danger of missing the cut at Muirfield Village. The projected cut to advance to weekend play was at 2 over entering the afternoon rounds. It would be the first time he has missed the cut in 18 appearances at the Memorial. “Not very good,” Woods said. “I three-putted two holes early, and whatever kind of momentum I was going to create, I stifled that early and fought it the rest of the day.” Woods closed Thursday’s opening round with a birdie to put him at 1 under. He needed birdies on two of the final three holes Friday to put himself in position to make the cut. “I would like to have the opportunity to play [Saturday], and hopefully the cut will fall one more and I’ll have the opportunity,” Woods…

July 17

July 17

Houston Rockets guard James Harden said he did not intend to make a political statement by wearing a “Thin Blue Line” mask Thursday and that he was unaware of what the mask represented. The Thin Blue Line — the American flag with a blue line as one of the stripes — shows support for law enforcement. That flag, as well as the Punisher skull that was on Harden’s mask, are sometimes seen as symbols that are against the Black Lives Matter movement. Photographs of Harden wearing the mask, a neck gaiter pulled over his face, published by the Rockets’ and NBA’s social media accounts, provoked strong reactions from people on both sides of the issue. “Honestly, I wasn’t trying to make a political statement,” Harden said before the Rockets’ practice Friday. “I honestly wore it just because it covered my whole face and my beard. It’s pretty simple.” Thursday was Harden’s first day practicing with the Rockets at the NBA’s Walt Disney World campus after arriving five days after the…

July 17

July 17

Alabama added two top-100 commitments to its 2021 class Friday when five-star offensive tackle Tommy Brockermeyer and twin brother, James, announced their commitment to the Crimson Tide. Tommy is the No. 2-ranked prospect overall, a 6-foot-6, 280-pound tackle who chose Alabama over Texas, Clemson, LSU and Auburn. “Alabama is just a program that I felt I couldn’t ignore,” Tommy said. “Their history and tradition of developing NFL tackles and winning tradition is unlike any other school. I also wanted to challenge myself to play against the best competition in college football.” James, the No. 99-ranked prospect overall, is a 6-foot-3, 255-pound center who chose Alabama over Auburn, Texas and LSU. “The winning tradition there is second-to-none along with an unreal strength and conditioning program,” James said. “Everything Coach [Nick] Saban has done there is second-to-none, and they are an offensive line factory.” The brothers are both from All Saints’ Episcopal…

July 17

July 17

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green has signed the $18.2 million franchise-tag tender for the 2020 season and will report to training camp, the team announced Friday. The Bengals used their franchise tag on Green on March 16, and the sides failed to reach agreement on a long-term contract by Wednesday’s deadline. “From the day that he joined our organization nine years ago, A.J. Green has been an outstanding player and a class act,” Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn said in a statement. “We are pleased that he will be part of the team this year, starting with the first practice. “By signing, A.J. puts himself and the team in the best position to have a great season together, and we look forward to the opportunity at the end of the season to discuss keeping him here long-term. He has been an integral part of our team, and we expect this year that he will be the same impact player he has always been.” Green, who turns 32 on July 31, ranks fourth in…

July 17

July 17

Alabama added two top-100 commitments to its 2021 class Friday when five-star offensive tackle Tommy Brockermeyer and twin brother, James, announced their commitment to the Crimson Tide. Tommy is the No. 2-ranked prospect overall, a 6-foot-6, 280-pound tackle who chose Alabama over Texas, Clemson, LSU and Auburn. “Alabama is just a program that I felt I couldn’t ignore,” Tommy said. “Their history and tradition of developing NFL tackles and winning tradition is unlike any other school. I also wanted to challenge myself to play against the best competition in college football.” James, the No. 99-ranked prospect overall, is a 6-foot-3, 255-pound center who chose Alabama over Auburn, Texas and LSU. “The winning tradition there is second-to-none along with an unreal strength and conditioning program,” James said. “Everything Coach [Nick] Saban has done there is second-to-none, and they are an offensive line factory.” The brothers are both from All Saints’ Episcopal…

July 17

July 17

Alabama added two top-100 commitments to its 2021 class Friday when five-star offensive tackle Tommy Brockermeyer and twin brother, James, announced their commitment to the Crimson Tide. Tommy is the No. 2-ranked prospect overall, a 6-foot-6, 280-pound tackle who chose Alabama over Texas, Clemson, LSU and Auburn. “Alabama is just a program that I felt I couldn’t ignore,” Tommy said. “Their history and tradition of developing NFL tackles and winning tradition is unlike any other school. I also wanted to challenge myself to play against the best competition in college football.” James, the No. 99-ranked prospect overall, is a 6-foot-3, 255-pound center, who chose Alabama over Auburn, Texas and LSU. “The winning tradition there is second to none along with an unreal strength and conditioning program,” James said. “Everything Coach (Nick) Saban has done there is second to none and they are an offensive line factory.” The brothers are both from All Saints Episcopal…

July 17

July 17

Alabama added two top-100 commitments to its 2021 class Friday when five-star offensive tackle Tommy Brockermeyer and twin brother, James, announced their commitment to the Crimson Tide. Tommy is the No. 2-ranked prospect overall, a 6-foot-6, 280-pound tackle who chose Alabama over Texas, Clemson, LSU and Auburn. “Alabama is just a program that I felt I couldn’t ignore,” Tommy said. “Their history and tradition of developing NFL tackles and winning tradition us unlike any other school. I also wanted to challenge myself to play against the best competition in college football.” James, the No. 99-ranked prospect overall, is a 6-foot-3, 255-pound center, who chose Alabama over Auburn, Texas and LSU. “The winning tradition there is second to none along with an unreal strength and conditioning program,” James said. “Everything Coach (Nick) Saban has done there is second to none and they are an offensive line factory.” The brothers are both from All Saints Episcopal…

July 17

July 17

Washington NFL owner Dan Snyder said Friday he is committed to improving the culture inside the team after allegations of sexual harassment, while the league said it will wait for a law firm’s review before taking action. The allegations of sexual harassment and toxic workplace culture spanning from 2006 to 2019 were raised by 15 women, all but one of whom spoke to The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity, with some having signed nondisclosure agreements with the team. “The behavior described in yesterday’s Washington Post article has no place in our franchise or society,” Snyder said in a statement Friday. “This story has strengthened my commitment to setting a new culture and standard for our team.” Snyder hired the District of Columbia law firm Wilkinson Walsh to conduct an independent review of team policies, culture and allegations of workplace misconduct. The NFL said in a statement it will meet with lawyers after the investigation is complete and will act…

July 17

July 17

The Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Joseph Benavidez rematch is official — and this time the flyweight title will actually be on the line. Both Figueiredo and Benavidez made weight Friday in Abu Dhabi, coming in at 125 pounds. The two men will compete for the vacant UFC flyweight title at UFC Fight Night on Saturday on Yas Island. Figueiredo and Benavidez fought already this year, on Feb. 29 in Norfolk, Virginia. Figueiredo won via second-round TKO. However, the title remained vacant, because Figueiredo missed weight by 2.5 pounds. Benvidez was granted an immediate rematch given the circumstances. UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs. Benavidez will take place at the recently constructed Flash Forum on Yas Island, which has been temporarily dubbed “Fight Island” by the UFC. The promotion has a slate of four events this month in Abu Dhabi. This will be the third card in the span of eight days. Figueiredo had another obstacle prior to this bout. Last week, he tested positive…

July 17

July 17

NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez, among the bidders for a possible purchase of the New York Mets, called for baseball players to accept the type of revenue-sharing system that is tied to a salary cap and sparked quick opposition from the union. However, Rodriguez later stressed that he never said “salary cap.” Following the collapse of labor talks dealing with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, relations between Major League Baseball and the players’ association are at the lowest point in a quarter-century. The sides appear headed to a spring training lockout in 2022. Preparing for the start of his third season as an analyst on ESPN’s Sunday night telecasts, Rodriguez said players’ leverage had changed since they fought off the owners’ salary-cap proposal with a 7½-month strike in 1994-95. He said the rise of the NFL and NBA had changed the equation, along with digital media, and said the players’ association should work collaboratively with MLB to raise the sport’s…

July 17

July 17

Fifteen women who previously worked for Washington’s NFL organization have alleged sexual harassment and verbal abuse by former scouts and members of owner Daniel Snyder’s inner circle, The Washington Post reported Thursday. Among those accused of misconduct are former director of pro personnel Alex Santos and former assistant director of pro personnel Richard Mann II, as well as longtime radio play-by-play announcer and senior vice president Larry Michael. All three departed the organization within the past week.  Others named in the report are former president of business operations Dennis Greene and former chief operating officer Mitch Gershman, who, along with Michael, were considered part of Snyder’s “inner circle,” according to the Post.  There are no allegations against Snyder or former longtime general manager Bruce Allen, who was fired at the end of the 2019 season after 10 years with the franchise. The Post said Snyder and Allen declined…

July 17

July 17

Rogers Place in Edmonton — one of the two arenas the NHL is using as a hub to restart its season this summer — suffered water damage Thursday night as a significant storm came through the city. In a statement, Oilers Entertainment Group said it was assessing the damage and “at this time are confident that it will not hamper our planning and preparation and we will be ready to host the return of NHL hockey as hub city.” Western Conference teams are scheduled to travel to Edmonton on July 26, with exhibition games beginning July 28 and meaningful games beginning Aug. 1. Edmonton also will host the conference finals and Stanley Cup Finals, absorbing the remaining Eastern Conference teams, which are beginning the restart in Toronto. According to arena management, the initial damage was in the “terminus of Ford Hall,” which is a foyer off the entry way. Rogers Place tweeted out more detail on Friday, saying the water damage was restricted to that area and on the mezzanine level…

July 17

July 17

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe tested positive for the coronavirus and has yet to make the trip to Orlando, Florida, to join the team for the NBA restart, he told ESPN on Thursday. “I am asymptomatic and feeling fine,” Bledsoe told ESPN in a statement. “Once I meet the NBA protocols, I look forward to joining my teammates in Orlando.” Bledsoe took to Instagram later Thursday to encourage people to “mask up and stay safe.” Bledsoe, a starter for Milwaukee, is averaging 15.4 points 4.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists this season. The Bucks arrived in Orlando on July 9 and are scheduled to play their first scrimmage against the San Antonio Spurs on July 23. Milwaukee’s first seeding game is July 31 against Boston. When Bledsoe arrives in Orlando, he would be subject to a minimum of a two-day quarantine, per league protocol. If he should have to miss a game or scrimmage, reserve guard George Hill would likely absorb some of his…

July 17

July 17

James Harden pleasantly surprised the Houston Rockets’ coaching staff by showing no signs of rust as a full participant in Thursday’s practice, his first since arriving at the NBA’s Walt Disney World Resort campus five days after the team flew to Orlando, Florida. “He looked good,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He probably was rusty for about 30 seconds, and then he was back.” Harden, who cited “some family issues” as the reason for his delayed arrival, said it was the first time he had played 5-on-5 in more than a month. Teammate Ben McLemore said Harden looked like the “same old James” during the team’s scrimmage. “I think the world knows, no matter what’s going on, James Harden loves to hoop,” said Harden, who is averaging 34.4 points per game and is a virtual lock to claim his third consecutive NBA scoring title. “He’s a competitor, so today in practice we got after it. We played a couple of quarters and we pushed ourselves, and I’m doing a lot of trash…

July 17

July 16

DUBLIN, Ohio — Tiger Woods’ first PGA Tour event in more than 150 days started and ended the same way: with a birdie. Woods, playing in his first tour event since February, shot a 71 in the first round of the Memorial Tournament on Thursday. “Well, it’s been a while since I’ve played,” Woods said. “Got off to almost an ideal start and got a feel for the round early. I just didn’t make anything today. I had looks at birdies, but I really didn’t make much.” On a day when not many golfers scored well, Woods was tied for 18th, five shots behind leader Tony Finau (-6). Woods recorded two of his four birdies came on the first three holes. And two of his three bogeys occurred on the front nine, where he finished at even-par 36. Woods didn’t take advantage of the par-3s, as he shot 2 over on the four holes. He ended his much-anticipated return by making a 14-foot birdie on No. 18 that would have likely included a roar from the crowd had fans been in attendance. “Well,…

July 16

July 16

Danica Patrick and Aaron Rodgers are no longer a couple, a rep for the former professional driver told E! News on Thursday. The two had been dating since 2017. Speculation of a breakup had picked up over the past week. Patrick wasn’t spotted in Lake Tahoe, where Rodgers competed in golf’s American Century Championship. Some also noticed she had stopped following the Green Bay Packers quarterback on Instagram. The two met at The ESPYS in 2012. They went public with their relationship in January 2018, and Rodgers attended the Daytona 500 the following month to watch her race.

July 16

July 16

Fifteen women who previously worked for Washington’s NFL organization have alleged sexual harassment and verbal abuse by former scouts and members of owner Daniel Snyder’s inner circle, The Washington Post reported Thursday. Among those accused of misconduct are former director of pro personnel Alex Santos and former assistant director of pro personnel Richard Mann II, as well as longtime radio play-by-play announcer and senior vice president Larry Michael. All three departed the organization within the past week.  Others named in the report are former president of business operations Dennis Greene and former chief operating officer Mitch Gershman, who, along with Michael, were considered part of Snyder’s “inner circle,” according to the Post.  There are no allegations against Snyder or former longtime general manager Bruce Allen, who was fired at the end of the 2019 season after 10 years with the franchise. “These matters as reported are serious,…

July 16

July 16

NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez, among the bidders for a possible purchase of the New York Mets, called for baseball players to accept the type of revenue-sharing system that is tied to a salary cap and sparked quick opposition from the union. However, Rodriguez later stressed that he never said “salary cap.” Following the collapse of labor talks dealing with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, relations between Major League Baseball and the players’ association are at the lowest point in a quarter-century. The sides appear headed to a spring training lockout in 2022. Preparing for the start of his third season as an analyst on ESPN’s Sunday night telecasts, Rodriguez said players’ leverage had changed since they fought off the owners’ salary-cap proposal with a 7½-month strike in 1994-95. He said the rise of the NFL and NBA had changed the equation along with digital media, and said the players’ association should work collaboratively with MLB to raise the sport’s…

July 16

July 16

Emphasizing that “we want to play,”  Houston Texans star J.J. Watt posted a list of questions that NFL players need answered before training camps can open. The Texans are supposed to open the regular season Thursday, Sept. 10, at Kansas City, with rookies for both teams scheduled to report to camp on Saturday. Watt, who said that he was part of four NFL Players Association calls with hundreds of players over the past two weeks, posted the questions to Twitter, beginning and ending his post with: “We want to play.” The NFL responded to the NFLPA’s counterproposal on coronavirus-related reopening protocols on Tuesday night, with a major unresolved issue being whether COVID-19 should be classified as a non-football injury, a source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano. NFL teams that place players on the non-football injury list are not required to pay those players. A source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that among the requests in the players’ recent proposal were opt-out clauses…

July 16

July 16

The NCAA Sport Science Institute on Thursday released extended guidelines to help schools continue to navigate a return to fall sports in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, including testing and results within 72 hours of competition in “high contact risk sports,” but NCAA president Mark Emmert conceded the virus is trending in the wrong direction. “When we made the extremely difficult decision to cancel last spring’s championships, it was because there was simply no way to conduct them safely,” Emmert said in a prepared statement. “This document lays out the advice of health care professionals as to how to resume college sports if we can achieve an environment where COVID-19 rates are manageable. Today, sadly, the data point in the wrong direction. If there is to be college sports in the fall, we need to get a much better handle on the pandemic.” The NCAA’s guidelines released Thursday also included testing strategies for all athletic activities, including preseason,…

July 16

July 16

Emphasizing that “we want to play,”  Houston Texans star J.J. Watt posted a list of questions that NFL players need answered before training camps can open. The Texans are supposed to open the regular season Thursday, Sept. 10 at Kansas City, with rookies for both teams scheduled to report to camp on Saturday. Watt who says that he was part of four NFL Players Association calls with hundreds of players the past two weeks, posted the questions to Twitter, beginning and ending his post with, “we want to play.” The NFL responded to the NFLPA’s counterproposal on coronavirus-related reopening protocols on Tuesday night with a major unresolved issue being whether COVID-19 should be classified as a non-football injury, a source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano. NFL teams who place players on the Non-Football Injury list are not required to pay those players. A source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that among the requests in the players’ recent proposal were opt-out clauses for…

July 16

July 16

Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley says he is willing to face Colby Covington next but told ESPN that the current date proposed doesn’t work for him. “My answer to whether I would fight Colby is eternally yes,” Woodley wrote via text message. “At 96 years old in a nursing home it’s yes! He said no six times and now creates a date that works for him? F— out of here.” Woodley was responding to an Instagram post by Covington, who posted a picture of a bout agreement for the main event of UFC Fight Night on Aug. 22. Covington insinuated that the fight was not happening anymore because Woodley “pulled out.” “I literally treated it like every other bluff and told them quit contacting me until this b—- signed a bout agreement,” Woodley said via text. “Never thought he would sign. September/October, I’ll get around to exterminating that roach. Let me call the UFC and see what’s crackin.” Both fighters have been entangled in a bitter feud since…

July 16

July 16

WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler, a U.S. senator from Georgia, won’t be pushed into selling her interest in the team but that the league is aware of other potential owners for the franchise. Several WNBA players have called for Loeffler to no longer be involved with the team because of her remarks in opposition to the league embracing Black Lives Matter as one of its primary social justice initiatives this season. “We’re not going to force her to sell her ownership,” Engelbert told CNN in an interview Thursday. “She is not a current governor, she is not involved in the day-to-day, and we are aware there are interested parties who want to purchase the team. “We have a board of governors — she has not served as a governor since she became a senator, so since October of 2019.” On July 10 in The Daily Caller, Loeffler reiterated her opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement, as she had in a letter sent to Engelbert, referring to the…

July 16

July 16

Washington’s NFL team has hired D.C. attorney Beth Wilkinson of Wilkinson Walsh LLP to review the organization’s protocols, including its culture, policies and allegations of workplace misconduct, Wilkinson confirmed in a statement on Thursday. Wilkinson has represented the NFL in a lawsuit challenging the league’s Sunday Ticket Package and has also successfully represented the NCAA and Major League Baseball in class-action suits. The move was made while speculation swirled around an upcoming story by The Washington Post, which was published late Thursday afternoon. The story involves allegations by 15 former employees, all women, of sexual harassment by former scouts and members of owner Dan Snyder’s inner circle. Within the past week, front-office members Richard Mann III and Alex Santos, as well as radio play-by-play voice Larry Michael, left the organization. All three are accused of misconduct in the Washington Post story.  It has been reported that three…

July 16

July 16

Washington’s NFL team has hired D.C. attorney Beth Wilkinson to review the organization’s protocols, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Thursday. Wilkinson has represented the NFL in a lawsuit challenging the league’s Sunday Ticket Package and has also successfully represented the NCAA and Major League Baseball in class-action suits. While Wilkinson is expected to conduct a deep dive into the organization’s past culture, team officials are highly upset and frustrated about ongoing online speculation, sources told Schefter. The Washington Post is preparing a story about the team that is expected to highlight the culture that existed and some of the problems that were created, sources told ESPN. Within the past week, front-office members Richard Mann III and Alex Santos, as well as radio play-by-play voice Larry Michael, left the organization. It has been reported that three minority shareholders are seeking to sell their interests in the team. The minority…

July 16

July 16

Myles Garrett said Thursday that he’s ready to live up to the distinction of being the highest-paid defender in NFL history. “Now I have to assert myself as top dog,” he said. “I feel like I’m confident and ready to do that. “Time to prove it.” On Wednesday, the Cleveland Browns’ star pass-rusher signed a five-year extension with the Browns containing $100 million in total guarantees, the most ever paid to a defensive player, league sources told ESPN — with $50 million guaranteed at signing. The team did not discuss financial terms, but sources told ESPN that the deal is worth $125 million with a $25 million average salary, which is also a record for a defensive player. “They had faith in me, and now I’ve got to give [the Browns] a reason to have that faith,” said Garrett, who, with the extension, will be under contract in Cleveland through the 2026 season. “I’m going to do my best to make it worth it to them.” Previously, the Chicago Bears’ Khalil Mack…

July 16

July 16

Washington’s NFL team has hired DC attorney Beth Wilkinson to review the organization’s protocols, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Thursday. Wilkinson has represented the NFL in a lawsuit challenging the league’s Sunday Ticket Package, and has also successfully represented the NCAA and Major League Baseball in class-action suits. While Wilkinson is expected to conduct a deep dive into the organization’s past culture, team officials are highly upset and frustrated about ongoing online speculation, sources tell Schefter. The Washington Post is preparing a story about the team that is expected to highlight the culture that existed and some of the problems that were created, sources told ESPN. Within the past week, front office members Richard Mann III and Alex Santos, as well as radio play-by-play voice Larry Michael, left the organization. It has been reported that three minority shareholders are seeking to sell their interests in the team.

July 16

July 16

Myles Garrett’s contract extension with the Cleveland Browns contains $100 million in total guarantees, the most ever paid to a defensive player, according to league sources, with $50 million guaranteed at signing. The Browns’ star pass-rusher signed the record-setting five-year extension Wednesday. The team did not disclose financial terms, but sources told ESPN that the deal is worth $125 million, with the $25 million average salary also a record for a defensive player. The Chicago Bears’ Khalil Mack previously was the league’s highest-paid defensive player in average salary ($23 million) and guaranteed money ($90 million). The extension will keep the 2017 No. 1 overall pick under contract in Cleveland through the 2026 season. Garrett, 24, entered the offseason with two years left on his rookie contract after the Browns picked up his fifth-year option. “In 2017, the Cleveland Browns bet on me,” Garrett said in a statement released through the team….

July 16

July 16

Top-five prospect Jonathan Kuminga announced Wednesday night that he is bypassing college and joining the new G League professional pathway program. Kuminga cut his list to five options in May, with Texas Tech, Auburn, Duke and Kentucky joining the G League. But the G League program, which will provide one-year development outside of the minor league’s traditional team structure, was always the clear favorite. Texas Tech remained in the mix because Kuminga’s brother, Joel Ntambwe, plays for the Red Raiders. “If it wasn’t the G League, I was going to play with my brother,” Kuminga told The Athletic. Kuminga is the fifth ESPN 100 prospect in the 2020 class to choose the G League over college, following  Jalen Green (No. 1), Isaiah Todd (No. 15), Daishen Nix (No. 21) and Kai Sotto (No. 65). Kuminga, the No. 4 prospect in 2020, was originally the No. 1 recruit in the 2021 class, but he graduated…

July 16

July 16

The New Orleans Pelicans announced that forward Zion Williamson left the NBA bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday morning because of an urgent family medical matter and that he intends to rejoin the team at a later date. “We fully support Zion’s decision to leave the NBA campus to be with his family,” Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said in a statement. “Out of respect for the Williamson family, we will have no further comment at this time.” Williamson will quarantine for four days upon return to the NBA’s bubble if he has a negative test each day he’s outside the bubble if he’s gone for seven days or less. If he is gone longer than a week, he will quarantine for four days if he has a negative test for the final seven days he is gone. If he doesn’t have the required testing, he will quarantine for 10 days. Williamson has played in just 19 games in his rookie season for the Pelicans after coming back from…

July 16

July 16

An NFLPA database shows that 72 NFL players were known to have tested positive for the coronavirus as of July 10. As the NFL and the NFL Players Association continue to negotiate rules under which training camps may begin later this month and the regular season may begin in September, the union is trying to make sure its members are kept up to date on the presence of the coronavirus around the country and in their specific communities. The 72 number is difficult to put into context, because not every player in the league, or even a very large number, has been tested. But estimating 32 traditional 90-man training camp rosters would give you a number of 2,880 total NFL players at the moment, which means the 72 represent 2.5% of the league’s player population. The NFLPA has made this information public on its website, which also provides players a market-by-market look at how the virus has been spreading in cities where camps are scheduled to open later this month. The map on…

July 16

July 16

The New Orleans Pelicans announced that forward Zion Williamson left the NBA bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida on Thursday morning and that he intends to rejoin the team at a later date. “We fully support Zion’s decision to leave the NBA campus to be with his family,” Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said in a statement. “Out of respect for the Williamson family, we will have no further comment at this time.” Per NBA protocols, if Williamson is tested daily while he is away, the maximum he could be in quarantine would be four days and the minimum would be two. However, if he doesn’t get tested daily, it would be a minimum of seven days in quarantine. Williamson played in just 19 games this season for the Pelicans after coming back from meniscus surgery in January. The Pelicans push for a playoff spot starts on July 30 when the team plays the Utah Jazz on the opening night of the league’s…

July 16

July 16

New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson has left the NBA bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida due to a family medical matter, the team said in a statement Thursday. “We fully support Zion’s decision to leave the NBA campus to be with his family,” Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said in a statement. “Out of respect for the Williamson family, we will have no further comment at this time.” The Pelicans said Williamson plans to rejoin the team at a later date. Williamson practiced with the Pelicans in Orlando last week and told reporters he had spent the time off during the NBA hiatus working out with his stepfather, Lee Anderson, when he wasn’t rehabbing with Pelicans staffers.

July 16

July 16

Calling them “longstanding forces of institutional racism,” the National Association of Basketball Coaches on Thursday proposed permanently eliminating SAT and ACT requirements as part of the NCAA’s initial eligibility process. The proposal originated from the NABC’s Committee on Racial Reconciliation, according to a news release from the group. The committee, co-chaired by  Harvard’s Tommy Amaker and South Carolina’s Frank Martin, was formed last month to address racism and social justice issues. “The NABC Committee on Racial Reconciliation believes that the SAT and ACT are longstanding forces of institutional racism and no longer have a place in intercollegiate athletics or higher education at large,” Amaker and Martin said in a joint statement. “This is an important step towards combating educational inequality in our country.” In April, the NCAA Eligibility Center waived the standardized test score requirement for incoming freshman student-athletes in both…

July 16

July 16

Top-five prospect Jonathan Kuminga announced Wednesday night that he is bypassing college and joining the new G League professional pathway program. Kuminga cut his list to five options in May, with Texas Tech, Auburn, Duke and Kentucky joining the G League. But the G League program, which will provide one-year development outside of the minor league’s traditional team structure, was always the clear favorite. Texas Tech remained in the mix because Kuminga’s brother, Joel Ntambwe, plays for the Red Raiders. “If it wasn’t the G League, I was going to play with my brother,” Kuminga told The Athletic. Kuminga is the fifth ESPN 100 prospect in the 2020 class to choose the G League over college, following  Jalen Green (No. 1), Isaiah Todd (No. 15), Daishen Nix (No. 21) and Kai Sotto (No. 65). Kuminga, the No. 4 prospect in 2020, was originally the No. 1 recruit in the 2021 class, but he graduated…

July 16

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