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Adidas parts ways with Kanye West

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Adidas parts ways with Kanye West

Herzogenaurach, Germany- German sportswear, Adidas, has parted ways with Ye “Kanye West” due to his antisemitic remarks.

Ye recently made a slew of anti-Semitic remarks, triggering widespread outrage and resulting in his accounts on Twitter and Instagram being restricted.

As a result, Adidas then said earlier this month, that it was reviewing its relationship with Ye after he appeared wearing a White Lives Matter t-shirt at a fashion show in Paris.

“Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful, and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.

Adidas does not tolerate anti-Semitism and any other sort of hate speech, “ read a statement from the German sportswear.

Earlier this month, Ye tweeted that he was “going death con 3 ON JEWISH PEOPLE” before alleging he wasn’t “Anti-Semitic because black people are actually Jew also”.

In addition, the 45-year-old billionaire said, “You guys have toyed with me and tried to blackball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”

The tweeter rants which are now deleted came after he accused record producer, entrepreneur, and rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs of being controlled by “the Jewish people” in a post on Instagram.

Afterward, he was restricted from posting, commenting, and messaging on Instagram and had his account locked on Twitter.

Nevertheless, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said they welcomed Adidas’ decision.

“It illustrates that anti-Semitism is unacceptable and creates consequences. Without a doubt, Adidas has done the right thing by cutting ties with Ye after his vicious anti-Semitic rants.

In the end, Adidas’ action sends a powerful message that anti-Semitism and bigotry have no place in society,” said Greenblatt.

However, shares of Adidas fell about 5 percent on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Tuesday following the announcement.

Adidas said it would take a short-term hit of US$249 million from its income for this year after deciding to stop the brand’s business with immediate effect.

It is also to end the production of items under Ye’s Yeezy brand and stop all payments to the musician and his companies.

Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, Adidas had faced growing calls from Jewish and rights groups to end its association with West.

Ye has also made several other controversial remarks recently, including suggestions slavery was “a choice” and calling the COVID-19 vaccine the “mark of the beast”.

He recently announced he was buying conservative social media platform Parler, which became a hub and bubble for right-wing and far-right conspiracy theorists who felt censored on more mainstream platforms.

 

 

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Edmonton Elks fire head coach/GM Chris Jones after 0-5 start

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EDMONTON – Close wasn’t good enough for the Edmonton Elks, and Chris Jones has paid the price.

The decision to fire the Elks’ general manager and coach came down to one man: Rick LeLacheur.

The Elks’ president and CEO said no one else had input into the call. He informed the board of the community-owned CFL team Monday morning that Jones would be replaced, with Geroy Simon taking over as general manager, and offensive coordinator Jarious Jackson assuming interim head coaching duties.

The team is currently in talks with potential private owners, and LeLacheur confirmed he let them know of his decision.

“The major thing is we have not given up on this year,” LeLacheur said. “When you’re 0-5, there’s got to be some consequences. It’s a results-based business. I’ve worked with Geroy and Jarious in the past, and I have full confidence in them. We all know we have a better team than we had last year, but, at the end of the day, we’re still 0-5.”

The Elks are winless, but all five of their losses were one-score games. Incredibly, the team has lost each of its last three games on last-second field goals.

“We are 0-5,” said Jackson. “We don’t get any brownie points for keeping games close, right? It’s about the Ws. At the end of the day, it’s the only thing that matters. Stats don’t matter.”

LeLacheur was president of the B.C. Lions when Simon was in the front office, and Jackson was the team’s offensive coordinator.

Jones previously served as Elks head coach in 2014 and 2015, when he led the team to a Grey Cup title.

LeLacheur said that he began thinking about making the switch after the 2023 season, when the Elks finished 4-14. Overall, the club had a record of 8-33 over two-plus seasons during Jones’s second time in charge, including two seasons (2021, 2022) without a win at Commonwealth Stadium as part of a 22-game home losing streak. The team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2019.

But the final straw was the three last-second losses, including Sunday’s 37-34 setback at home.

“When you have three walk-off losses in a row, there’s something wrong — and we’ve got to get it right,” said LeLacheur.

Simon and Jackson don’t have a lot of time to put their stamps on the team. The Elks and Redblacks played Sunday at Commonwealth, and then face each other again Friday in the nation’s capital.

So, when it comes to long-term plans, both men said their focus is solely on Thursday’s game, instead. And Simon doesn’t think the team needs a major overhaul, just some “tweaks” here and there.

“I am incredibly confident in our roster,” Simon said. “I feel confident in Jarious and the staff that we have.

“We have a talented roster. We have the guys in the room. Guys are confident.”

He said this year’s edition of the Elks is “bigger, faster and stronger” than the 2023.

“Now we’ve got to play a little bit smarter.”

Jones decided to sign veteran CFL quarterback and Grey Cup winner McLeod Bethel-Thompson during the off-season, relegating popular Canadian quarterback Tre Ford to second-string status. He also traded arguably the team’s best lineman, Jake Ceresna, to the Argos for wide receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr.

While there were noticeable chants of “we want Tre” from the fans in attendance at Sunday’s game, Jackson said that Bethel-Thompson remains the No. 1, though he does want to give backups Ford and Dakota Prukop some specialized roles in the offence.

“There’s not a change in quarterback,” said Jackson. “There may be some tweaks. … McLeod is still our (starting) quarterback, but I believe in Dakota and I believe in Tre.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 15, 2024.

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Paul Skenes in spotlight, starting All-Star Game after just 11 major league games

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Paul Skenes looked like a summer intern reporting for duty in a light gray suit, white shirt and cream-colored tie, teenage acne on his face and wonder in his voice.

In a ballpark filled with six dozen All-Stars, the 22-year-old Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher with 11 major league appearances was the center of attention.

“Pretty dang cool,” he said.

Skenes is hot, like the 102-degree temperature outside air-conditioned Globe Life Field, and will start Tuesday’s All-Star Game for the National League. He will have the fewest big league games of any player in the showcase’s 91-year history, a new flavor baseball likes to savor. His splinker, a hybrid that sinks like a splitter with the velocity of a sinker, has batters muttering.

“He’s very intriguing to me, and I’m honored to sit next to him,” NL manager Torey Lovullo of Arizona gushed.

If not quite flustered by the flattery, Skenes wasn’t ripe for the hype.

“It’s an honor, but I’m 11 starts in,” he said. “Hopefully, there’s a lot more time that I can play this game.”

At this time last year, he was the top pick in the amateur draft, weeks after celebrating an NCAA title with LSU. Now he’s 6-0 with a 1.90 ERA, striking out 89 and walking 13 in 66 1/3 innings.

Cleveland’s Steven Kwan will get first look at him Tuesday. He found out in a group text from his parents that he was the leadoff hitter for the American League, which will start Baltimore’s Corbin Burnes.

“Sometimes they’ll just post stuff that isn’t even correct,” Kwan said. “I did kind of a double take, and be like: Is this really true?”

Kwan leads the major league with a .352 average and was excited to face Skenes’ arsenal of fastballs, splitters, sliders, curves and changeups. Skenes’ 99.1 mph average velocity on his four-seam fastball leads the major leagues among those with at least 1,000 pitches.

“It’s generational talent,” Kwan said. “The guy has all of the pressure on him and people probably naturally want to see him fail because of that, but he continues to excel, he continues to succeed. He says the right things. It seems like his teammates really like him.”

An imposing 6-foot-6, Skenes already produced a pair of hitless outings of six innings or more, prevented from trying for a no-hitter by the pitch limits of the analytics age. He arrived in the major leagues with a celebrity girlfriend, the gymnast/influencer Livvy Dunne.

A mustache on Skenes’ boyish face gives him an old-time baseball look, like in a daguerreotype of some 19th-century founder. Yet he is a creature of 21st-century pitching practices that include warmups with footballs, PlyoCare weighted balls and water bags.

Skenes grew up in Orange County and went to El Toro High School, also known for Nolan Arenado, Matt Chapman and Austin Romine. He enrolled at the Air Force Academy and was a catcher and a pitcher. LSU coach Jay Johnson persuaded him to transfer after the 2022 season and he became a fulltime pitcher last year.

“They stopped putting me in BP groups,” Skenes said. “I wanted to keep hitting as long as I could, but the upside on the mound, I think, was a lot better than the upside hitting, so kind of gave it up.”

His splinker, listed by Statcast as a splitter, averages 94.1 mph — 1.1 mph faster than anyone else with 1,000 pitches and well above the MLB average of 86.5 mph. Before Skenes, the pitch was known mostly for its use by Minnesota’s Jhoan Duran.

“I had a sinker grip I was throwing last year at LSU and kind of started fooling around with it between when the college season wrapped up and when I was going to report to the complex after the draft,” Skenes said. “Just figured out a different cue for it, started throwing it and got command over it and the last part of that is just throwing it to hitters and seeing how they react to it.”

He didn’t change his grip, only the release while playing catch.

“I just kind of discovered it on one random throw,” he said.

Skenes has struck a note for the next generation of pitchers since he warmed up to Charles Wesley Godwin’s rendition of “Cue Country Roads” for his May 11 debut at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park.

Skenes has thrown 75 pitches of 100 mph; the Los Angeles Angels’ José Soriano is second among starters with 36.

After Kwan, Skenes will face Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson and the New York Yankees’ Juan Soto, then possibly AL home run leader Aaron Judge.

“He’s got a 100 mile-an-hour four-seam and I see it as a 95, 96 mile-an-hour two-seam fastball,” said the Mets’ Pete Alonso, who singled and doubled off splinkers on July 5 before taking a 99.4 fastball for strike three. “So for me it’s just getting being ready to hit 100 and then everything else seems semi-hittable if it’s over the plate.”

After working his way from rookie ball to Double-A last summer and starting this year at Triple-A Rochester, Skenes’ goal for 2024 was to reach the major leagues. He’s already sparked the attention of the sport’s elite.

“I didn’t necessarily think I would be here,” he said.

Home Run Derby

Teoscar Hernández of the Los Angeles Dodgers won the Home Run Derby, beating Kansas City’s Bobby Witt Jr. in the final round.

___

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Attacker stabs and wounds French soldier patrolling Paris ahead of the Olympics

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PARIS (AP) — A French soldier was stabbed outside a big train station in Paris on Monday and the attacker was arrested, officials said, while the city is under a high security alert 11 days before the opening ceremony of the 2024 Olympics.

The soldier was hospitalized with a shoulder blade injury, but was not in life-threatening condition, and the motive for the attack was under investigation, the Paris prosecutor’s office said.

An investigation was opened into attempted murder, and the suspect’s identity was being confirmed, the prosecutor’s office said. Authorities did not suspect terrorism as a motive at this stage, according to the national counterterrorism prosecutor’s office.

The soldier was among thousands of troops serving in the Sentinelle force for France’s domestic security, created to guard prominent French sites after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks in 2015. Soldiers in the Sentinelle force have been targeted in the past.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin posted on X that the soldier was patrolling at the Gare de l’Est train station in eastern Paris, and that the assailant was detained.

Paris is deploying around 30,000 police officers each day for the Olympics, which run from July 26 to Aug. 11, with a peak of 45,000 for the opening ceremony on the Seine river.

About 18,000 members of the military are also helping ensure security, including thousands housed in a huge, special camp erected on the edge of Paris.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.



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