Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

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Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell provided further insight on his beliefs that led to his decision to kneel during the national anthem Saturday, citing President Donald Trump’s lack of compassion towards people of color.

“I was talking to my dad about this. Our fearless leader right now is expressing that it’s OK to judge people by the color of their skin. It’s OK to separate people by their differences. That’s not OK,” Maxwell told Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

“There’s not been one time Trump has tried to sit in our seat. He grew up in a bubble, a golden bubble. He’s never tried to reach out and understand where African-Americans and Hispanics and Muslims are coming from. All he knows is what he’s experienced, and that’s life on a silver platter. That’s a big thing for me.”

Maxwell, who comes from a military family, will continue to kneel during anthems, saying if “things don’t really change” his protest will continue into next season, as well.

“It might take a little while. Racism has been going on since this country was founded,” Maxwell added.

“But stepping up and recognizing the fact that people in this country are being treated unjustly is a big problem when it comes to mankind, and I’m pretty sure people who died for this country fought so I could do this.”

The Athletics will conclude a three-game series on Sunday against the Texas Rangers.

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John Tavares will keep an eye on the business side of hockey this season.

The New York Islanders captain, who’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in 2018, is willing to negotiate terms of an extension during the regular season, he told NHL.com’s Brian Compton on Thursday.

That obviously gives both sides a much bigger window within which to reach an agreement, although a bit of a cloud of uncertainty will hang over the situation until a deal is reached with the Islanders or otherwise.

Ownership has made it clear the face of the franchise won’t reach a state of free agency, while Tavares recently stated things are a lot more complicated than people realize.

Meanwhile, the countdown to July 1, 2018 rolls on.

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Charles Barkley will forever be old school when it comes to the game of basketball.

He’s demonstrated this viewpoint in the past by claiming jump-shooting teams are incapable of becoming champions – something the Golden State Warriors have disproved on multiple occasions, mind you.

The latest target of his disdain is the league itself and its decision to extend the regular season to cut down on the amount of back-to-back games for its players.

“I want to commend the NBA. You know, these poor babies can’t play back-to-back games,” said Barkley, sarcastically, at an SMU athletic forum on Wednesday.

“Making $30-, $40-million a year. But we want to make it convenient for them. At $40 million a year, we can’t stress ’em out. The private jets and the four-star hotels is not enough, so I just want to commend the NBA for just making it so convenient for these poor babies,” Barkley said.

To reduce the stress level on players from travel, the NBA will begin the 2017-18 regular season on Oct. 17, therefore eliminating stretches of four games in five nights completely, as well as reducing the amount of back-to-back slates per team from 16.3 to 14.4.

Such changes will also aid in preventing teams from resting talent when they’re healthy, either on the road where opposing fans can only see them a handful of times (if that), or for nationally-televised contests. New guidelines on the matter have been submitted to the Board of Governors from the NBA’s Competition Committee, with a vote for approval coming on Sept. 28.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Philadelphia 76ers

Rudy Gay hasn’t been part of a winning organization since he left the Memphis Grizzlies in 2013.

So when he had his pick of the litter in free agency this summer, Gay chose to join the San Antonio Spurs on a bargain two-year deal because he wanted to get back to winning following four miserable years in Sacramento.

“I think it was a do-or-die point in my career,” Gay told Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express News. “I wanted to be with an organization that was known for winning and can help me raise my game to the next level.”

Gay was rather candid in his introductory interview on Wednesday. The 31-year-old rediscovered his motivation for playing basketball while rehabbing his torn Achilles. Sharing conversations with Kobe Bryant – who suffered the same injury – helped Gay get back into the right mindset.

“I kind of lost that. This injury really made me train like that. I was mad. I trained mad. I trained like an animal,” Gay said.

His only goal is to help the Spurs win another championship. Gay says he’s even willing to change his game and come off the bench if that’s what Gregg Popovich asks of him, even though he’s started nearly every game of his career since his rookie season.

“Whatever it takes. If I’m a sixth man, I’m going to be the best sixth man in the league. If I’m a starter, I’m going to try and be one of the best small forwards in the league. That’s just the type of player I am.”

Gay averaged 18.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists last season connecting on 37.2 percent from deep while splitting time between small and power forward.

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Michael Bisping’s days in 4-ounce gloves are numbered.

In a Monday appearance on “The MMA Hour,” the UFC middleweight champion revealed his upcoming date with Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 might be his last.

“There’s a possibility this might be my last fight. I don’t know if I’ll ever fight again after this,” Bisping said. “What a way to go out if it is.

“I don’t know. We’ll see. We’ll see what the future holds. There’s a possibility, yeah. This may be my last fight, so if anyone wants to see Michael Bisping get knocked out, this is your last chance to do it, guys.”

The 38-year-old Brit won the title with a first-round KO of Luke Rockhold at UFC 199, a decade into his promotional stint and a dozen years into his 37-fight career after battling injuries and rebounding from several failed attempts to earn a title shot. In January, he publicly mulled hanging up his gloves following two more wins, but going out on top against the greatest welterweight of all time – at Madison Square Garden, no less – is not outside the realm of possibility.

“I’ve done it for so long. I’ve done it for so long now, and there’s other things to do in life,” Bisping said. “I mean, I still love this, don’t get me wrong, but you can’t do it forever. You can’t do it forever, and Georges should’ve stayed retired. He should’ve retired as a champion. I’m going to beat Georges and I’ll retire as a champion – maybe – I haven’t made my mind up on that yet. It depends, if there’s enough money involved, maybe I’ll stick around, but as of right now, I don’t know.”

Bisping said his inner circle has been urging him to retire for some time. With a regular gig on the UFC’s FOX Sports 1 desk and a career on both the big and small screen, he’s far better prepared for post-Octagon life than most, although he maintained retiring with a win at MSG would maximize those revenue streams.

He welcomes St-Pierre to the middleweight division Nov. 4 in the main event of a star-studded UFC 217.

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The Calgary Flames aren’t leaving town if they don’t get a new arena. At least not in the short term.

On Tuesday, Flames president and CEO Ken King announced the team is no longer pursuing plans to construct a new facility in Calgary, classifying recent meetings with city officials as “spectacularly unproductive.”

The update comes after King revealed the two sides have not sat at the negotiation tables in more than a month, despite a willingness from Flames’ ownership to move away from its CalgaryNEXT proposal in favor of the city’s preferred Victoria Park site.

“We would not say we’re not interested (in Victoria Park),” King told reporters. “In fact, we’re interested enough to put up a very, very substantial participation, but apparently it’s not enough.

“It’s unfortunate, because I really thought we had something that would work, and it would seem pretty clear that it’s not. It doesn’t look like we’re going to get there, and I think it’s time that we stopped pretending and were a little more direct and a little more honest with our fans and with our city about that fact.”

There is frustration on the part of Flames’ ownership, particularly when their Alberta counterpart, the Edmonton Oilers, unveiled the new Rogers Place last season, a project that was largely publicly funded and came to fruition after Oilers owner Daryl Katz considered Seattle as a possible new home for the team if it was unable to land a new arena in Edmonton.

“This is the business side. It’s the boring side (but) it’s important. You’ve got to be viable, you’ve got to be able to secure your long-term future,” King added. “But I think our fans want to know if our two new goalies can stop pucks, if we can compete, and if we can beat the guys up north. Apparently we can’t beat them on the building front but maybe we can beat them on the ice.”

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, on hand for the announcement, echoed King’s sentiments on the city’s inability to see value in a new arena.

“One of the dynamics here that strikes me as a different, particularly say from Edmonton, I don’t get a sense from the city that there is a commitment to or a belief in the importance of having the right infrastructure and having a major league sports team,” Bettman told reporters. “I don’t see the same level of city commitment here that I’ve seen in other places.

“This team needs a new arena. This city needs a new arena. But there is no realistic prospect of it coming forward based on everything that has and has not transpired. The city was made aware last February as to what it would take to do an arena; it was their best shot at getting it done. The city is nowhere close to embracing that, so there was no point in continuing.”

While negotiations appear to be at a standstill, with King stating he does not see an immediate arena resolution on the horizon, he added that the possibility of relocating from Calgary is not something ownership has discussed.

That was most evident in June, when King shot down relocation talk after Flames’ president of hockey operations Brian Burke mentioned Quebec City as a potential landing spot for the franchise.

“In the short term, nobody should doubt the Flames’ or their ownership’s commitment to the community,” Bettman added. “But at some point, I envision without a new building there will be consequences that everybody is going to have to deal with.”

The Flames came to Calgary in 1980 after spending the franchise’s first eight seasons in Atlanta. In 1983, the team then made its home at the Scotiabank Saddledome, currently the NHL’s oldest arena, save for the since-renovated Madison Square Garden.

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WWE producer and creative team member Michael Hayes extended an invitation towards Cody Rhodes on Twitter to appear at 25 November’s revived Starrcade show.

It was announced yesterday that WWE are bringing back the famous NWA/WCW event in a house show format, and Hayes wants Cody to make a brief WWE return so he can appear on the card. This stemmed from Cody tweeting Hayes to suggest he ensures Goldust is on the show, because it’d mean a lot to the Rhodes family.

Starrcade was the creation of Dusty Rhodes way back in 1983, so it would make sense to have some Rhodes family influence involved. Hayes replied with his own suggestion that Cody make a WWE comeback and team with his brother at Starrcade.

If this happens, it’d mark Cody’s first WWE showing since departing the company in May, 2016. Further, it’s likely he wouldn’t be held down by the dreadful Stardust gimmick that derailed his career and would simply appear as himself.

Cody got the ball rolling by tweeting Hayes, and it now looks possible that we could see a Rhodes family reunion in WWE to honour Dusty.