Broncos stop football to talk about race relations, Floyd

first_imgBroncos stop football to talk about race relations, Floyd Ellis, who told players he wanted to hear from them before issuing a statement, also listened as more than a dozen players spoke up on the calls.“My takeaway from it was that we have to figure out what we can do, not only as a team, but as an organization,” safety Kareem Jackson said. “How can we get out and how can we impact the Denver community? Maybe we can get out and put together a march as a team or something like that.”After the Zoom calls, the Broncos tweeted, “We will stand by our players. We will lift up their voices. We can do more. We will do more.” The team also retweeted several players’ personal posts, including Malik Reed’s: “I have been one of the ones to not be outspoken about the things we go through, but that doesn’t help create change. My heart goes out to everyone who has lost someone due to the wickedness of this world.”Floyd, a black man who was handcuffed, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after Floyd stopped moving and pleading for air. Chauvin was fired along with three other officers and faces homicide charges. ___Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: AP NFL: and,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditInstead of X’s and O’s, the Denver Broncos spent Tuesday talking about racial injustice, police brutality and healing a nation rocked by demonstrations over George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on top of the coronavirus outbreak and its economic devastation.Team president Joe Ellis addressed the offense and defense in separate Zoom calls that replaced the team’s regular video conference sessions, which are a substitute for in-person training during the pandemic.Coach Vic Fangio and general manager John Elway also participated in the calls, in which Ellis emphasized society’s need to eradicate racism and told the players that the organization shares in the outrage over Floyd’s death last week.center_img Fangio said the words of Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Broncos safety Justin Simmons especially resonated with him over a weekend of increasing unrest and said that sports brings people together. “I look forward to the Broncos and the NFL leading that charge,” Fangio said.Simmons, the team’s 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee, helped lead a peaceful protest in Florida on Sunday. He called for unity and non-violence.Simmons implored a crowd to “understand that we are fighting for equality, not superiority. All lives matter when black lives matter. We pledge our allegiance to the flag for freedom and justice for all and we do not have our justice. So let’s understand that. We will get it, (but) not by force.”Fangio also praised Simmons, saying, “I think Justin is one of those guys that will help us find solutions and lead us out of this mess that we’re in.” June 3, 2020 Fangio started off a media call a few hours later by saying, “I was shocked, sad and angry at what I saw a policeman do to a handcuffed George Floyd. … He should be punished to fullest extent of the law for the crimes he has been charged with in addition to being charged with treason for failing to uphold the badge.”Fangio said he has the utmost respect for police but added that Chauvin “failed the 99 percent of police that do a great job and we are all paying the price for that.”Denver is among the dozens of cities where peaceful protests during daylight hours have been followed by break-ins, stealing and clashes with police come nightfall.Fangio said society could learn a lot from an NFL locker room, where skin color is no barrier.“We’re a league of meritocracy,” Fangio said. “You earn what you get, you get what you earn. I don’t see racism at all in the NFL. I don’t see discrimination in the NFL. We live in a great atmosphere. … We’re lucky. We all live together joined as one for one common goal, and we all intermingle and mix tremendously. If society reflected an NFL team, we’d all be great.”last_img read more

Coming of age: Bielema ready for Big House test

first_imgThis Saturday, Badgers head coach Bret Bielema will enter the Big House for Wisconsin’s Big Ten season opener, attempting to become just the second UW coach since 1919 to begin his career with four consecutive victories.However, a historic fourth win, elusive to many Wisconsin coaches including the legendary Barry Alvarez, will be difficult to record.The Badgers face many unique obstacles when they travel to Ann Arbor to face the No. 6 Wolverines. To start, the Badgers’ inexperience means most have not played at Michigan Stadium, the largest and one of the most intimidating places to play for a visiting team.But Bielema dispelled concerns about not playing well because of such a distinctively large and hostile atmosphere.”There has been a lot said about Michigan Stadium and all that goes with it,” the first-year head coach said. “I do know that as someone who has been in that stadium, it’s not a place where good things can’t happen for visiting teams.”Week 3 MVPsBielema handed out the coaching staff’s Players of the Week for the third game of the season. Tight end Andy Crooks was the offensive selection, who contributed more than just his one catch for 11 yards on the day.”[It was] probably his most complete game of the year to this point,” Bielema said of the SDSU game. “[He] made a great catch down there in the red zone, as well as did some things in the blocking schemes and protected our quarterback.”On the defensive side, linebacker Mark Zalewski shared honors with defensive tackle Jason Chapman, who Bielema praised for his ball-hawking ability against the Aztecs.”Jason, in particular, of all his games to this point really got off the football, got some penetration,” Bielema said. “He [also] caused that sack later on that really backed them up.”Punt returner Zach Hampton, who also fills in at free safety and on punt coverages, received Special Teams Player of the Week honors.”He gets his most notoriety for his ability to catch the football with a little bit of traffic,” Bielema said. “We have tried to instill in him the thought of a fair catch is not a bad thing every once in a while.”Rounding out the award winners were Offensive Scout Player of the Week Allan Evridge and second-time nomination Terrance Jamison for Defensive Scout Player of the Week.Coming in as the underdogWhile the young Badger coach acknowledges that the talent-laden Wolverines are favored in next week’s game, he downplayed any idea that the Badgers would not be able to compete against the highly ranked Wolverines.”According to the way things work out, every game is going have someone that is favored and somebody who is the underdog,” Bielema said. “So if we are the underdog this week, it’s probably a new position for us, but its not going to change up the approach we have.”The last time the Badgers upset a Michigan team ranked this high was over 25 years ago, when they beat the then top-ranked Wolverines 21-14 in Madison. Even though history is against him, and Bielema acknowledges Michigan as a very worthy and competitive opponent, he sees reason to be optimistic.”What I see from Michigan is there are a group of players that have experience, and they are able to execute,” Bielema said. “The great thing is, the reason we play on Saturday is to give everyone a chance, it’s 11 on 11.”Injury ReportBadgers defensive end Jamal Cooper (shoulder), who sat out last week’s game against San Diego State, has resumed practicing with the team and is expected to play against Michigan, according to Bielema.Meanwhile, defensive lineman Justin Ostrowski (knee) remains out indefinitely.”Justin Ostrowski, on the other hand, will be held out of this game,” Bielema said. “[He’ll be out] for an extended period of time, and that really doesn’t look to change in the near future.”last_img read more

Penalties abound in physical UW-UNO series

first_imgAgonizing losses seem to come in bunches.With 20 seconds to go in the game, the Badgers were in need of a score after giving up an early lead. Wisconsin couldn’t create any offense to secure the win and faced a heartbreaking loss. Luckily for the men’s hockey team (4-4-0, 3-3-0 WCHA), they had another game to even things up with the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks (4-4-0, 3-1-0 WCHA).On both Friday and Saturday night, Wisconsin took an early 3-1 lead over Nebraska-Omaha. While they were unable to protect such an advantage Friday night, losing 5-4, the Badgers held on Saturday night, winning 6-3.A total of 18 goals were scored in the entire series – of which only one goal was scored in the second period per game by the winning team – the amount of goals was minimal when compared to the multitude of penalties.In the two game series both teams combined for a total of 33 penalties. On Friday night alone there were 19 penalties, 15 of which came in the first period. For a comparison, Wisconsin only managed 22 shots on goal in that game.Friday night, six of the games nine goals were power play goals, four of which were in the favor of the Mavericks.Head coach Mike Eaves attributes the loss to UW’s poor penalty kill.“When you give up four power play goals yeah,” Eaves said. “We blocked some shots, we did some decent things, but the details in the end allowed them to score some goals that’s what we have to shore up.”“In college hockey, there’s a lot of special teams that comes into play. … [Friday night] we didn’t kill off enough penalties, and that resulted in a loss,” sophomore defensemen Frankie Simonelli said.Saturday night the special teams play swung in favor of the Badgers, as sophomore forward Mark Zengerle started the night off with a shorthanded goal 7:52 into the first.Simonelli netted the Badgers lone power play goal of the night with 15 seconds left in the first, putting UW on top of UNO 4-1 with two periods of play left to go.“We play with, ‘You go if you got the ice,’ and we got the ice,” Zengerle said. “It was going to be a one-on-one, and [Tyler Barnes] kind of jumped it. He did a great job selling the D-man and the goalie too there, and he put it right on my stick and I put it in the 6-foot frame or whatever it is.”Much like Eaves wanted, those little details were executed in a more consistent and stronger way Saturday night with Zengerle and Barnes leading by example.“We started doing rehearsals on who can do penalty kills for us,” Eaves said. “Mr. Zenegerle and Mr. Barnes – above and beyond scoring the short handed goal – they did a very nice job of showing that they understood what the scheme was when we’re killing penalties. They were willing to block shots, and I thought they really stepped up. They got some serious minutes added to their game because of that fact. That was a real pleasant surprise.”Youth is no excuseAt the beginning of the season, with all his Badger cubs in tow, Eaves would have been more than happy to end the first month at .500.Now that he’s seen what his team is capable of doing on the ice and the amount of goals they’ve scored – 28 goals in eight games – and multiple moments of tough play beyond their years, Eaves believes his team was capable of more than just an average month.“I think if somebody would have said that before the first month started, I think we would have taken it, especially considering the youth that we have, the untested goaltenders and all of that,” Eaves said. ” … We’re learning quickly. It’s nice to get some wins in all the things that we’ve been going through because it gives us good motivation to stay on course.”As for the players, they’re trying to shed the youthful image. Rather than using it as an excuse – which was one thing even Eaves cited during Friday’s postgame press conference – the players want to move beyond it.“We’re trying to get rid of that right away,” Zengerle said. “We don’t want the term ‘young’ to be an excuse for us. We want to grow and get as good as possible. We’re trying to swipe that label off us as we speak.”last_img read more

Yasiel Puig has a memorable night in Dodgers’ 7-1 win

first_img“At the point I am in my career, I’m just trying to make pitches,” Beckett said. “I want to keep it close, give it a chance to win. I’m not really bearing down in the second inning with nobody on thinking these guys aren’t going to score. These guys are going to hit.”Combined with a loss by the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers (22-19) pulled within 3 1/2 games of first place in the National League West.The sixth inning made all the difference.With one out, Dee Gordon stretched a routine-looking ground ball into right field into a double, using a head-first slide to beat a one-hop, off-line throw from Giancarlo Stanton. The next five batters didn’t leave as much room for suspense.Puig drew a four-pitch walk. Hanley Ramirez doubled into a vacant left-field corner, scoring Puig and Gordon to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. Adrian Gonzalez pulled a double down the right-field line that scored Ramirez. Kemp singled into left field, scoring Gonzalez and forcing the Marlins’ bullpen into another early entrance.Turner needed only 52 pitches to get through the first five innings, allowing four hits and no runs. The right-hander threw 21 pitches in the sixth inning while recording just one out.With left-hander Dan Jennings on the mound, Crawford sent Kemp to third base with a single. Justin Turner was robbed when Stanton ran down his fly ball to deep right field, but Kemp tagged up and scored, giving the Dodgers a 5-0 lead. For once, it was more than enough run support for Beckett. Prior to Tuesday, he had been receiving the least run support of any Dodger starter, 2.86 per game. As a result, he began the season with no-decisions and a loss. The Marlins rallied for a run in the seventh inning against Beckett and Chris Perez was summoned from the bullpen to record the final two outs of the inning. The run was unearned by virtue of a passed ball charged to catcher Drew Butera.Brandon League and Jamey Wright pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth inning, respectively.Puig would have given the crowd what they came for regardless of his performance. It was his first-ever bobblehead night at Dodger Stadium. “It came out nice,” Puig said, “but I think it looks like Uribe.” Under the circumstances it would have been a shame for Puig to play poorly in a 7-1 Dodgers win over the Miami Marlins. Instead, he extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a 2-for-3 performance.“He had an incredible night,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He seems to be growing up before our eyes.”Puig doubled in one run and scored another as the Dodgers scored five times in the sixth inning against Marlins starter Jacob Turner (0-1) to break open a 0-0 game. Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford both finished 2 for 4, and the Dodgers collected 12 hits as a team.That allowed Dodgers starter Josh Beckett (1-1) to win his first game since Sept. 30, 2012, ending a streak of 14 starts without a victory. The veteran right-hander didn’t allow an earned run in 6 1/3 innings, lowering his earned-run average to 2.59.Beckett walked three and struck out six. With a runner on third base and one out in the fourth inning, he whiffed Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jones to preserve the scoreless tie. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img There were moments Tuesday when Yasiel Puig looked super-human. In the seventh inning, Puig threw a strike to home plate from roughly 300 feet away, albeit an instant too late to throw out Garrett Jones attempting to score from third base.But the Dodgers’ right fielder produces a lot of super-human moments on a baseball field. It was more special, and a unique moment in Puig’s career, when his mother threw the ceremonial first pitch. For the announced crowd of 50,349 in attendance at Dodger Stadium, it was Puig at his most human.“I felt really happy about my mom throwing out the first pitch,” he said. “It was great to play a great game for her — not only for her, but for all the fans.”last_img read more

Jerry Jones asks for ‘grace’ from Cowboys players planning to kneel during national anthem

first_imgJerry Jones said he has not spoken with Poe and McCoy, who asked for the owner to speak up on social justice justice this summer.— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) August 12, 2020In the past, Jones has been adamant players should stand for the national anthem, including in 2017 saying any player who kneels during the anthem would be benched.”We know that there is a serious debate in this country about those issues, but there is no question in my mind, that the [NFL] and the Dallas Cowboys are going to stand up for the flag,” he said at the time.With protests being staged in the name of racial justice and civil issues across the country following the killings of Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, professional athletes have felt emboldened to take stances for racial equality. The Cowboys released a video condemning racism in June, but Jones hadn’t spoken publicly on the issue until Wednesday.The Dallas Cowboys began conversations about social injustice two years ago and they continue to be ongoing.The recent killing of George Floyd and others illuminates the importance of continuing these efforts.— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) June 5, 2020 Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has made his first statements on protesting in sports, and specifically among members of the Dallas football team.Jones, who was called out by Dallas players Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe earlier the offseason for his silence on the social justice issues plaguing the United States, on Wednesday Jones both clarified and muddled his stance on protests, specifically that of players planning protests during the 2020 NFL season. When asked about his plans to approach the protests, Jones said he’ll exhibit “grace” when trying to understand where players are coming from and that he expects players to reciprocate that feeling.Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, in regard to social justice movement and kneeling during anthem, he wants players to exhibit “grace” when understanding some people’s sensitivity to flag and also fans to exhibit “grace” for players and their perspective on racial inequality.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 12, 2020Jerry Jones says it’s well-documented how he feels about standing for the national anthem, but that he will show grace when discussing with players how to handle it this season.— Damon R. Marx (@DamonMarxDMN) August 12, 2020The Cowboys owner said he’s been open about supporting players and their causes, but that hasn’t satisfied some players, including McCoy and Poe, who were critical of Jones’ silence in the wake of the death of George Floyd, which set off protests over racial injustice nationwide.”It don’t look good, I’ll say that. It doesn’t look good, and you can’t be silent at a time like this. I’m new to the Cowboys organization, and I’m blessed to be part of this organization,” McCoy said via ESPN’s Ed Werder. “But when things are not going well for the team, you can hear him screaming. Well, this is life. This is bigger than just football; it’s bigger than money; it’s bigger than winning a Super Bowl. And something needs to be said.”MORE: Jerry Jones explains how Cowboys will play in front of fans in 2020Poe added: “His silence definitely means a lot because in any other situation [he] will have something to say about most things. I was once a proponent of doing stuff behind closed doors, and doing what I need to do not out in the forefront. … So hopefully he is doing that, but who knows what he is doing. …”Personally, I would hope that he comes out and says, ‘OK, I am willing to help, I am willing to fight, and I am willing to be with y’all.'”Jones said he has not spoken to either Poe or McCoy, per Calvin Watkins.last_img read more

first_imgLike many of the NFL’s best defensive backs, Jackson has previously lobbied to get involved in the Bears’ offense.Chicago football fans are familiar with do-it-all threats. Devin Hester became one of the NFL’s best-ever kick returners and a serviceable receiver after playing cornerback in college at Miami. Jackson was a returner in college at Alabama.Coaches often say things during the offseason they don’t mean, so it would be wise to take Nagy’s quote with a grain of salt. That said, Jackson probably does have the tools to snag some NFL passes if his coaching staff allowed it. The Bears might deploy safety Eddie Jackson as a wide receiver in 2020.Coach Matt Nagy suggested the two-time Pro Bowl defensive back will be used out of the slot in various formations, filling a role that sometimes serves as a motion decoy and sometimes serves as a legitimate downfield threat. Nagy’s level of seriousness, though, is up for debate. Chicago is desperate to find offensive punch this year after ranking 29th in scoring and yardage in 2019. Jackson could elevate the team’s receiving group, though playing on that side of the ball might stretch him thin.”He’s going to play the ‘zebra’ receiver,” said Nagy to reporters, referring to the slot position in his offense, “and we’re just going to let teams prepare for him there.”Responding to Eddie Jackson’s desire to get some snaps on offense, Matt Nagy says: “He’s going to play the Zebra receiver and we’re just going to let teams prepare for him there.”— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) August 12, 2020MORE: Jerry Jones says Cowboys will host fans in 2020last_img read more