Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Mark Cuban says he messed up.

The Dallas Mavericks owner took sole responsibility for retaining former Mavs.com writer Earl K. Sneed after two separate domestic violence incidents, adding that he wasn’t aware of the “gruesome details.”

“I want to be clear, I’m not putting the blame on anybody else,” Cuban told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon on Wednesday. “It came down to my final decision that I made.”

In the first incident, Sneed got into an altercation with his then-girlfriend that left her with a fractured wrist and bruises on her body. He was arrested two months later at the Mavericks’ office, and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of family violence assault in June 2012. Sneed paid a $750 fine and completed both community service and an anger management program, which resulted in the charges being dismissed.

Cuban allowed the writer to return to the Mavericks after some counseling. Looking back, the billionaire businessman said he regrets not following up with police for more details.

“So we got it mostly from Earl’s perspective, and because we didn’t dig in with the details – and obviously it was a horrible mistake in hindsight – we kind of, I don’t want to say took his word for it, but we didn’t see all the gruesome details until just recently,” Cuban said. “I didn’t read the police report on that until just (Tuesday), and that was a huge mistake obviously.”

Sneed was involved in another domestic dispute in 2014, that time with a co-worker whom he was living with and dating, and rendered her face swollen. The woman informed her supervisor as well as HR director Buddy Pittman of the incident, but Cuban let Sneed keep his job.

The team owner indicated his rationale was wanting to control Sneed’s problem through counseling rather than setting him loose to find another job and continue to act violently toward women.

“I made the decision that we would make him go to domestic abuse counseling as a requirement to continued employment, that he was not allowed to be alone without a chaperone in the presence of any other women in the organization or any other women in a business setting at all, and he was not allowed to date anybody (who works for the Mavericks),” Cuban said.

Cuban added that he’d handle the situation differently if he had the chance. He expressed the most regret about not realizing the message his decision sent to the rest of his employees and the toxic environment it ultimately enabled.

It wasn’t until Tuesday when Sports Illustrated published findings from an investigation into the Mavericks’ misogynistic and predatory culture that Cuban ostensibly fired Sneed and Pittman.

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Roberto Luongo gave a powerful speech before Thursday’s game against the Washington Capitals, the first Florida Panthers home game since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in nearby Parkland, Fla.

Luongo began by emphasizing his deep ties to Parkland, where he’s lived for the last 12 years, and said he wants to spend the rest of his life there when his hockey career ends.

He then issued a call to the community to act.

“Last week, it was Valentine’s Day, I was in Vancouver, and obviously, we all know what happened,” he said. “It was hard for me to be on the West Coast and not be able to get back home and protect my family, so no child should ever have to go through that. It’s terrible. It’s time for us as a community to take action. It’s enough. Enough is enough. We’ve gotta take action.”

The veteran goaltender addressed the families of the victims, saying the players’ hearts are broken for them, and that they’ve been in their thoughts since the tragedy.

He referred to the teachers at the school as heroes, particularly the ones who died protecting the students, and then said he’s “very, very proud” of how the students have rallied and demanded action themselves.

Seventeen people died in the shooting last Wednesday.

Comments made by Stephanie McMahon – seemingly relating to a possible sale of WWE – have caught the headlines this week.

The company’s Chief Brand Officer is quoted as saying in Bloomberg Businessweek that her family – who have dominated the wrestling industry for decades – have “certainly thought about” interest from media giants like Walt Disney, 21st Century Fox and Verizon.

Several outlets have taken her remarks as a sign her father, the current Chief Executive Officer, is now open to offers. The 72-year-old has recently began diversifying his own business interests with the proposed relaunch of XFL, a football league whose original run ended in 2001.

But it seems more likely that Stephanie was referring to the potential for collaboration with different content providers. WWE has been slowly moving away from traditional platforms over recent years, having scrapped one-off pay-per-views in favour of a subscription-based online streaming service.

And the company is clearly eager to explore new ways to reach its fanbase, a large (though dwindling) section of whom are drawn from the tech-savvy 18 to 34 demographic. Last month, for example, saw the launch of the intergender tag team tournament Mixed Match Challenge, an event streamed exclusively on Facebook.

The Pittsburgh Penguins reportedly traded for Derick Brassard on Friday, landing the centerman from the Ottawa Senators, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Heading Ottawa’s way in the deal are defenseman Ian Cole, goaltending prospect Filip Gustavsson, and a first-round pick in 2018.

Brassard is an experienced centerman with legit goal-scoring ability. His playoff point production – 55 points in 78 games – and toughness will be a solid addition up the middle for the Penguins. Through 58 games this campaign, he’s notched 18 goals and 20 assists.

As for Cole, the 29-year-old Michigan native is a 2007 first-round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues who has three goals and 10 assists in 17:37 of ice time per night this season.

However, don’t expect him to remain with the Senators long, as TSN’s Pierre LeBrun is reporting the team intends to flip Cole before Monday’s trade deadline.

The New Jersey Devils acquired forward Michael Grabner from the New York Rangers on Thursday in exchange for a 2018 second-round pick and defenseman Yegor Rykov, the Rangers announced.

The deal comes after Grabner and Rick Nash were both held out of the Rangers’ lineup Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens as trade talks involving the two players intensified.

In Grabner, the Devils add a forward with 25 goals and 31 points in 59 games this season. He also comes with a team-friendly cap hit of just $1.65 million.

In Rykov, the Rangers get a 20-year-old defenseman who was drafted in the fifth round in 2016 by the Devils. In 51 games with St. Petersburg SKA of the KHL, Rykov has two goals and 14 points.

The deal marks the first-ever trade between the Devils and Rangers and the first between the two franchises since the Rangers and Colorado Rockies completed a six-player deal in 1979, according to The Athletic’s Seth Rorabaugh.

The Tim Tebow show hasn’t been canceled, in fact, the New York Mets envision a future where the former NFL quarterback plays in the majors.

“The person that he is, the worker he is, those are the kind of people you want around,” manager Mickey Callaway told reporters on Sunday. “We’re going to evaluate Tim Tebow just as we would anybody else. Tim Tebow is here because he can potentially help us at the major-league level at some point. He wouldn’t be here otherwise.”

Callaway isn’t alone in his assertion, either.

“I think he will play in the major leagues,” general manager Sandy Alderson told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.

The 30-year-old told reporters that while playing in the majors is the goal, he’s not putting the cart before the horse.

“One of the important things of being an athlete is being able to lock in and have tunnel vision,” Tebow said. “Because I can’t worry about one day if I’m going to play in the bigs or not.”

Through 126 games across two levels of Single-A in 2017, Tebow hit .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs, 24 doubles, and 52 RBIs while striking out once per game.

New Orleans Pelicans guard Rajon Rondo went back to his hometown of Louisville during the All-Star break to give back to his community.

“I was happy to put a smile on kids’ faces,” Rondo told Kentucky Sports Radio.

Rondo treated 320 students from Central High School to two free screenings of “Black Panther” as he covered the price of the ticket along with drinks and popcorn.

His only ask in return was for students to write an essay for Black History Month.