When it comes to the NFL, this year race is a major subject. After last years anthem protest by then San Francisco 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick, many fans are now divided over things like race, social injustice and police brutality. As this season takes shapes, more and more players and fans are beginning to protest the anthem and it often leads to other fans speaking out.
On Sunday at the season opener for the Detroit Lions, a fan saw other fans sitting during the national anthem. The fan took it upon himself to pull out his phone (during the anthem, btw) and snapped a picture of an African American man and women sitting. He then posted the picture to social media, including Snapchat and Facebook, with the caption “ignorant [racial slur].”
Initially, the fan, identified as Detroit-area business owner David Doptis, denied posting the picture, but then appeared to change his story in a Facebook post.
The Lions released a statement earlier this week that did not mention the slur on Snapchat, but the team stressed that “all fans are respectful and considerate to each other regardless of their personal beliefs or differences.”
The team code of conduct for fans states that tickets can be revoked for behavior including inappropriate behavior toward others, such as using foul or abusive language or obscene gestures.
The woman in the photograph, also a season-ticket holder, told Detroit affiliate Fox 29 that she had no idea her picture was being taken. She has been sitting during the anthem in protest of the third stanza of the song, which condones killing self-emancipated slaves.
The Kyrie Irving era is over in Cleveland. The 2011 first overall pick was traded today (August 22) to the Boston Celtics. The Cleveland Cavaliers get Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and Brooklyn's 2018 unprotected first-round pick.
Irving reportedly requested to be traded after a July meeting with team owner Dan Gilbert. Irving wanted to play for a team where he would be the focal point, and especially wanted to get away from teammate Lebron James, according to sources.
Isaiah Thomas, on the other hand, is coming off his best season as a pro, averaging 28.9 points and 5.9 assists over 33.8 minutes per game during the regular season. He is coming off an injury to his hip which kept him out of the Celtics final three playoff games last season.
Irving, 25, has has three years and $60 million left on his contract, but he can opt out of the final year before the 2019-20 season. Thomas, 28, will become a free agent when his contract expires at the end of June. Thomas has said he believes he's worthy of a maximum contract.
The trade will make for an interesting opener for both teams. The Celtics and Cavaliers open the season in Cleveland on Oct. 17.
The season hasn't started yet but the Dallas Cowboys are already taking Ls. The NFL announced Friday (August 11) that last year's Rookie of the Year, star running back Ezekiel Elliott, will have to serve a six game ban to start the season.
The suspension was brought on mostly by a 2016 accusation of domestic violence made by Elliott's former girlfriend. The prosecutors in Columbus, Ohio declined to press charges, however the NFL still did there own investigation. While Elliott was able to avoid the traditional criminal charges, the NFL investigation uncover a pattern of behavior that they consider detrimental to the league and they issued the suspension.
Below is the NFL's official explanation of the suspension:
“Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys was notified today by the NFL that he will be suspended without pay for the team’s first six 2017 regular-season games for violating the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.
“Over the course of the last year, the league conducted an extensive investigation. League investigators interviewed more than a dozen witnesses, including Ms. Tiffany Thompson, who had alleged multiple instances of physical violence in July 2016, and Mr. Elliott. The league also consulted with medical experts. League investigators examined all available evidence, including photographic and digital evidence, thousands of text messages and other records of electronic communications.
“Pursuant to the Personal Conduct Policy, Commissioner Goodell sought the views of four external advisors (see below) to assist him in evaluating potential violations. These experts range in experience from law enforcement, judicial and public service, and other specialized subject areas.
“The advisors participated in a meeting on June 26, 2017 in New York City with Elliott, who was represented by his legal team and the NFL Players Association. The group also reviewed the league’s investigative reports and materials, the expert medical reports, and multiple NFL Players Association submissions on Elliott’s behalf.
“In a letter to Elliott advising him of the decision, Todd Jones, the NFL’s Special Counsel for Conduct, said these advisors ‘were of the view that there is substantial and persuasive evidence supporting a finding that [Elliott] engaged in physical violence against Ms. Thompson on multiple occasions during the week of July 16, 2016.’
“After reviewing the record, and having considered the views of the independent advisors, the commissioner determined that the credible evidence established that Elliott engaged in conduct that violated NFL policy.
“Elliott may appeal this decision within three days. If he does not appeal, Elliott’s suspension will begin September 2, the day of final roster reductions for NFL teams. He is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games. Elliott will be eligible to return to the team’s active roster on Monday, October 23 following the Cowboys’ Sunday, October 22 game against the San Francisco 49ers.”
The NFL Players Association has said they are review the decision. Elliott will most likely appeal the suspension, if only as a means to shorten the amount of games, but he has yet to say what he will do. Elliott has three days to file for the appeal.
Elliott was a key piece of the Cowboys’ NFC East championship team last season. As a rookie, he led the NFL in rushing. He had 1,631 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns after Dallas used the fourth overall pick to draft him last year.
The next Summer Olympic games will take place in Tokyo in 2020, but where the next two game will be held was not yet decided, until today. It was announced today (July 31) that the 2028 game will be held in Los Angeles. This seemingly clears the way for Paris to be the host city in 2024.
Since 2016, we have known that the decision on which city will host the 2024 Olympics was gonna be between Paris and LA, with the loser most likely being awarded the 2028 games. With today's agreement, Los Angeles will host the games for the first time since 1984 and it will mark LA's third time hosting (1932. 1984 and 2028).
"It is a win-win for the two cities," Canadian senior IOC member Dick Pound told Reuters by phone. "It's good for the IOC because we've got two great cities lined up for the next two big shows."
Despite those comments, Paris hosting the 2024 games is not set in stone. The city would still need to invest heavily in new facilities to fill the Olympics needs, one of the reason why Los Angeles was still in the running for the games. Paris was always the top choice because it would mark the 100-year anniversary of the last time the city hosted the games (1924), which was the subject of the 1981 Oscar-winning motion picture "Chariots of Fire."
If John Urschel ever becomes a household name, it most likely won't be for his exploits on the football field. The 26 year old offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens has just retired so he can focus on an entirely different career, he's pursuing his Ph.D.
Urschel announced his retirement Thursday (July 27) and explain that he will be spending his extra time finishing his doctorate in mathematics at the Michigan Institute of Technology.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, but I believe it was the right one for me,” Urschel said in a statement. “I’m excited to start working on my doctorate in mathematics full time at MIT.”
The Canadian born math genius, who was drafted to the NFL in 2014, earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mathematics from Pennsylvania State University.
The MiIT doctoral candidate has done research in spectral graph theory, computational finance, matrix algebra, mathematical physics, and more. Urschel also worked on nearly a dozen mathematical research papers, many of which have been published.
Free agent guard JJ Redick has signed on with the Philadelphia 76ers for one year, $23 million, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Redick also took to Twitter to indicate that he is heading to Philly.
Tonight is the night that every college basketball player has been waiting for, it's time for the 2017 NBA Draft. The draft took place at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York. The top stories of the night were who's getting traded, will Lonzo and the Big Baller Brand land in LA, and of course, who will go number one overall.
The big moves started just three days prior to the draft as Boston Celtics traded the number one pick to Philadelphia 76ers for the number three pick and a future first round lottery pick. Philly made an easy decision by picking Washington point guard Markelle Fultz. The Los Angeles Lakers made good on Lavar Ball's promise by picking UCLA's point guard Lonzo Ball at number two. Boston then picked Duke's small forward Jayson Tatum at number three. Rounding out the top five, the Phoenix Suns picked Kansas small forward Josh Jackson at number four, and Kentucky point guard De'Aaron Fox went to the Sacramento Kings at number 5.
As far as trades go, the Chicago Bulls made what is probably the biggest trade of the night, trading all-star small forward Jimmy Butler and the number 16 pick to the Minnesota Timberwovles for shooting guard Zach Lavine, point guard Kris Dunne and the number seven pick. The Portland Trailblazers traded the number 15 and 20 picks to the Kings for the number 10 pick. For more on all the trades click here.
The First Round
The Second Round
Former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin did not last long on the free agent market. After being cut by the Chiefs just 11 days ago, the eight year veteran sign a two-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens reportedly worth $11 million.
The team announced the deal after Ian Rapoport of NFL Network first reported details of the free-agent signing. Josina Anderson of ESPN reported Maclin's choice came down to the Ravens or his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles.
Many experts were surprised at Maclin's sudden release from Kansas City, considering he was just signed in 2015 and it leaves them with a proven number one at wideout. The move did save the team $10 million against the cap which maybe why the move was done.
The 29-year-old Missouri native signed with the Chiefs in 2015 after a successful six-year stint with the Eagles. He made an instant impact, catching 87 passes for 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns during his first season with the team.
Los Angeles Charger (man that's still weird to say) fans should be happy to here that number 54 will be sticking around for a while. The team has agreed to a 4 year, $66 million deal to keep the pass rusher.
The deal, which includes $42 million guaranteed, means that Ingram won't be playing under the franchise tag this year. The Chargers had until July 15 to reach a multi-year agreement with Ingram.
For the Chargers, this gives them a stout defensive core. Ingram, who turned 28 in April, will be switching from outside linebacker to defensive end as the team switches to a 4-3 defense. Ingram had 18.5 sacks over the last two seasons and the Chargers are hoping for more of the same from him. Paired with second-year pro Joey Bosa, the Chargers have one of the best pass-rushing tandems in the NFL locked up long term.
It is expected that Ingram will be at the Charger's mandatory mini-camp that starts tomorrow (June 13).