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US athletes face penalty for podium protests



Two US athletes face possible disciplinary action for using their medal-winning moments at the multi-sport Pan American Games in Peru‘s capital, Lima, to draw attention to social issues back home.

Gold medal-winning fencer Race Imboden took a knee during his awards presentation on Friday to protest “multiple shortcomings” of the United States, while hammer thrower Gwen Berry raised her fist on Saturday as the US national anthem played following her gold medal-winning effort.

On Sunday, the US Olympic Paralympic Committee (USOPC) said in a statement that its leadership is reviewing possible consequences.

“Every athlete competing at the 2019 Pan American Games commits to terms of eligibility, including to refrain from demonstrations that are political in nature,” the USOPC said.

“In these cases, the athletes didn’t adhere to the commitment they made to the organising committee and the USOPC. We respect their rights to express their viewpoints, but we are disappointed that they chose not to honour their commitment.”

Imboden, who took home the gold medal in the men’s foil team event, posted a tweet after the ceremony: “I chose to sacrifice my moment today at the top of the podium to call attention to issues that I believe need to be addressed.”

According to Imboden, “racism, gun control, mistreatment of immigrants, and a president who spreads hate are at the top of a long list” of problems in the US.

Meanwhile, Berry also called out US President Donald Trump, saying he is “making it worse”.

“It’s too important to not say something,” Berry told USA Today. “Something has to be said. If nothing is said, nothing will be done, and nothing will be fixed, and nothing will be changed.”

History of protests

The protests have split opinions with some pointing to an athlete’s right to free speech while others say the medal podium at an international competition is no place for politics.

“One thing that makes the US great is that we have this ability to have freedom in a lot of different things, it is a founding principle in our country – freedom of speech, freedom of religion,” US softball gold medallist Monica Abbott said during the Games’ closing news conference on Sunday.

“But as an athlete, it is our opportunity to put differences aside whether they’re political, they’re athletic, to whether it is the way we look to put those aside to celebrate something that can bring the world together,” she said.

For decades, athletes, particularly African Americans, have used professional sports as a platform to highlight social and political issues.

In an iconic silent protest at the 1968 Summer Olympics, American sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised black-gloved fists and bowed their heads to signal black power and black unity in the US.

The issues have not changed much in the ensuing 50 years.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been out of a job since he knelt during the national anthem before the San Francisco 49ers game in 2016 to protest police brutality and social injustice.

Since then, athletes representing the US have faced scrutiny about what, if any, signs of protest they might show if they land on the podium at an Olympics or any other major sporting event.

Among the issues that have been fodder for possible protests have been race relations, the treatment of the LGBT community, social injustice and disagreements with Trump.

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Jays lose in 10 innings




Blue Jays 1 Dodgers 2 (10 innings)

Great work from the pitchers, but we just didn’t hit. Facing Walker Buehler will do that to a team.

We did battle. There were a lot of long at bats.

Our pitchers only allowed 6 hits, unfortunately two out them were home runs.

  • Wilmer Font opened and pitched 2 innings, allowing 1 hit and 2 walks, with 4 strikeouts. He seems to do well in that opener spot.
  • Buddy Boshers gave us 1.1 scoreless, giving up 1 walk, getting 2 strikeouts.
  • Zack Godley gave up the Will Smith home run. It hit the foul pole. He went 3.2, with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. And he gave up a line drive that Randal Grichuk and Teoscar Hernandez each figured the other would catch. Neither did. Grichuk chased it to the wall threw it in to Cavan Biggio, who made a great throw to the plate to get the runner. The play was reviewed but the call on the field was upheld.
  • Ken Giles pitched the 8th, to get him some work. He had a hard time finding the strike zone. He walked the first two he saw, but then Cody Bellinger lined one at Brandon Drury (playing second at this point) who doubled up the runner at second. The next batter lined one that Bo Bichette made a nice attempt at, catching it but dropping it. A strikeout got Giles out of the inning.
  • Jason Adam, just up from Buffalo, came into the suddenly tied game in the ninth. He gave up a jammed popup single. Very weak hit that landed in just the right spot. But, we got a nice double play, with Vlad (in the shift) making the turn at second. A pop out ended the inning.
  • Tim Mayza went in for the 10 and served up a home run to Max Muncy. Tim has had a rough time of it lately.

On offense we didn’t do much against Walker Buehler went 7 innings, giving up just 5 hits with 8 strikeouts. Joe Kelly pitched a perfect inning of relief.

Kenley Jansen give up a tying home run to Rowdy Tellez (who had been having a tough game until that point).

Billy McKinney had 2 hits and we had a hit each from Bichette, Biggio and Grichuk plus, of course, Rowdy’s home run.

We had a shot in the tenth. Vlad, after a long at bat, walked, bringing up Bo, but Bo popped out to end the inning.

Jays of the Day: Tellez (.261 WPA), Adam (.125) and Font (.094).

Suckage: Mayza (-.375), McGuire (-.166 for an 0 for 4, 2 k). Hernandez (-.155 for an 0 for 4, 1 k), Drury (-.131, 0 for 4) and Bichette (-.090, 1 for 5).

We had 359 comments in the GameThread. Minor Leaguer led the way. Good job sir.

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Defending champ Brooke Henderson 1 shot back at CP Women Open




Brooke Henderson

Canada’s Brooke Henderson is quite comfortable in the role of defending champion.

She showed why during a strong opening round Thursday morning at Magna Golf Club.

Henderson fired a 6-under-par 66 for a two-shot clubhouse lead before American Annie Park set a competitive course record at 7-under 65 in the afternoon group to take sole possession of first.

With impressive length off the tee and a putting stroke that was reliable, the 21-year-old Henderson from Smiths Falls, Ont., displayed the same form that carried her to victory a year ago in Regina.

“It’s nice to be in a position where I had a good round, everything seemed to go right for me,” Henderson said. “Hopefully I can continue to stick to my game plan, make a lot of birdies, and I would love to be in this position on Sunday.”

WATCH | Brooke Henderson has solid 1st round:

Watch Brooke Henderson’s best shots, as she fired a 6-under 66 to take the clubhouse lead in the opening round of the CP Canadian Women’s Open. 1:22

Park didn’t know that she was making history at the exclusive Magna Golf Club, instead hoping for a career-low 64. She didn’t feel bad about stealing Henderson’s thunder, either.

“Brooke is a phenomenal player and not only that, she’s a great person. She’s such a sweetheart. I can see why the fans love her,” said Park. “I was focused on my own game out there and tried to play my best.”

Park wasn’t the only one to gain ground on Henderson in the afternoon. Quebec City’s Anne-Catherine Tanguay, Jin Young Ko, Nicole Broch Larsen and Pajaree Anannarukarn also shot 6-under 66 to enter into a five-way tie for second.

Cool, breezy conditions greeted players with morning tee times like Henderson, who has successfully defended titles on two occasions over her LPGA Tour career.

The 6,709-yard course has wide fairways and sets up nicely for big hitters. Henderson, who’s ninth on the Tour in average driving distance, gave herself opportunities and took advantage.

Simplicity kept Henderson on the fairway for most of the day. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press )

“For me when I’m playing well, (it’s) my ball striking, hitting a lot fairways, greens, and then just hoping I’m making some putts too,” she said.

Henderson said she felt calm on the first tee as dozens of supportive fans lined the block area. She crushed her opening drive and was on her way to a solid front nine that included four birdies.

Her lone hiccup came on the 399-yard, par-4 fourth hole after her drive found a bunker. Henderson, who settled for bogey, missed only one other fairway on the day and hit 16 of 18 greens.

“I just tried to keep things really simple,” she said. “When I showed up this morning it was really cold and windy and I was like, ‘Uh oh.’ But in the back of my head it was also sort of like Sunday last year, so I figured it might not be a bad thing.”

WATCH | Brooke Henderson breaks down her game:

Professional golfer and defending CP Women’s Open Champion Brooke Henderson walks us through the thought process and strategies of a par 4 golf hole. 2:34

Henderson closed with a 65 at Wascana Country Club in 2018 to become the first Canadian winner of this event in 45 years.

She was rewarded for her aggressive play at that tournament, but had to be more careful here with swirling winds making club selection more challenging.

After setting up on the par-3, 167-yard 17th, Henderson returned to her bag and had another chat with her sister and caddie Brittany. With a tough pin position behind a greenside pond, Henderson decided to play it safe by landing on the right side of the green and then two-putting for par.

Henderson pulled her drive on the 18th hole but rebounded with one of her best shots of the round. With a favourable lie in the rough, she elevated the ball nicely, cleared a bunker in front of the green and stuck the ball within four feet.

She hit the birdie putt to the delight of the partisan gallery.

“All the birdies pretty much fell for me today, which is a great feeling,” Henderson said. “It’s going to be hard to back up. Hopefully I’ll go out and keep hitting it well.”

Henderson has won nine career LPGA Tour events, a record for Canadians on the PGA or LPGA Tours. She’s sixth on the LPGA money list this year.

Fifteen Canadians and 96 of the top 100 money winners on the LPGA Tour this year are in the field at the US$2.25-million tournament. The winner will earn $337,500.

The 156-player list will be trimmed to low 70s and ties after Friday’s second round. Favourable weather conditions were expected through the weekend.

Unlike last year, domestic television coverage is available for all four rounds with TSN and RDS picking up a simulcast of the Golf Channel feed.

However, only three hours of coverage are provided each day. The early afternoon cutoff on Thursday came just before Henderson finished her round.

The 2018 tournament was the first year in recent memory that a Canadian sports network did not broadcast the event or pick up the simulcast.

When Henderson led after 54 holes last year, Bell Media and Golf Channel reached an agreement to allow Canadian viewers to watch the last three hours of the final round.

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Game recap Lightning rally past Bruins for 59th win




TAMPA — Anthony Cirelli broke a tie with 53 seconds remaining in the third period, and the Tampa Bay Lightning became the fourth team in NHL history to win at least 59 games with a 5-4 victory against the Boston Bruins at Amalie Arena on Monday.

Steven Stamkos had two goals and two assists for Tampa Bay (59-14-4), which joined the 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens (59 wins), 1976-77 Canadiens (60) and 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings (62). Tampa Bay has clinched the Presidents’ Trophy for best regular-season record in the NHL.

Cirelli scored on a one-timer from the slot off a pass from Mathieu Joseph for the game-winner.

[WATCH: All Bruins vs. Lightning highlights]

“It was a good entry,” Cirelli said. “I think we quick upped there and all the guys had a pass in there from [Alex Killorn] to [Ryan McDonagh]. [McDonagh] hits [Joseph] and he puts in right in my wheelhouse there, and I was able to get a quick shot off and it goes in.”

Brad Marchand scored twice for Boston (46-21-9), which had its lead for second place in the Atlantic Division trimmed to five points. The third-place Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Florida Panthers 7-5.

Video: BOS@TBL: Marchand buries Pastrnak’s feed for PPG

The Bruins had won four in a row.

“We expected a tight game and a transition game and being on our toes and keeping the plays simple,” Boston center Patrice Bergeron said. “We’re happy with some of the things we’ve done, but they’re a good team and they made us pay and we’re going to look at the video and tighten up a few things because it could’ve been a lot better.”

The Lightning rallied when Victor Hedman made it 4-3 at 5:36 of the third period and Nikita Kucherov tied it 4-4 at 13:15. Kucherov has 121 points (38 goals, 83 assists) and passed Sergei Fedorov (1993-94, Detroit Red Wings) for second-most points in a season by a Russia-born hockey player in NHL history behind Alexander Mogilny’s 127 for the Buffalo Sabres in 1992-93.

“We had some tough calls and some bad bounces,” Kucherov said. “So we just tried to stay to our structure and see what happens. [Fortunately] for us, we won.”

Stamkos’ 40th goal of the season gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead at 6:42 of the first period. It’s the fifth time in his NHL career Stamkos has scored 40 goals and first since the 2014-2015 season.

“There was definitely a little emotion on that one when that one went in,” Stamkos said. “It was nice. I’ve been fortunate to play with some good players this year, and hopefully some more are coming.”

Video: BOS@TBL: Stamkos reaches 40-goal mark for fifth time

Marchand tied it 1-1 with a power-play goal at 8:30 of the first period off a pass from David Pastrnak.

Stamkos scored again on a one-timer at 14:58 of the first period to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead.

Charlie Coyle scored his 12th goal of the season to tie it 2-2 at 8:42 of the second period.

Brandon Carlo gave the Bruins a 3-2 lead at 13:41 of the second period, and Marchand scored his second goal at 14:32 to make it 4-2.

“The third goal against was a tough one, and I think after I scored I might have got a little ahead of myself and started joining the rush a little bit too much there,” Carlo said.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 13 saves for the Lightning; Tuukka Rask made 23 for the Bruins.

Video: Dunkin’ NHL Comebacks: Lightning storm by Bruins

They said it

“They came back and showed a lot of will for a team that has clinched first place. Clearly, they had an agenda. They wanted to beat the Bruins.” — Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy

“We were feeling better about our game than the score indicated, we knew [Vasilevskiy] was going to shut the door and then if we were just able to get that next one, we could put some pressure on them. We just moved our feet, we created some penalties, got some power plays which we didn’t score, which was disappointing, but it created some momentum and just wore then down a little bit. It was an exciting game.” — Lightning captain Steven Stamkos

Need to know

The Bruins are 287-19-16 with a two-goal lead since 2010-11. … Bergeron had two assists and has an NHL career-high 75 points (31 goals, 44 assists) this season. … Cassidy did not have an update on defenseman John Moore, who did not play after the first period because of an upper-body injury. … Lightning forward Ondrej Palat left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury. Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper did not have an update. … Stamkos had his fourth four-point game of the season.

What’s next

Bruins: Host the New York Rangers on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN)

Lightning: Host the Washington Capitals on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SUN, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

Video: Lightning rally with three goals to down Bruins, 5-4

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