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‘Because I am Black’: Raptors president Masai Ujiri speaks out

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LAKE BUENA VISA, FLA. —
When Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri needed help, star guard Kyle Lowry was there.

Shortly after Toronto had clinched its first NBA title last June in Oakland, Calif., Ujiri became involved in an altercation with Alameda County sheriff’s deputy Alan Strickland while trying to reach the court. Earlier this week, video emerged showing the altercation, which was followed by Lowry pulling Ujiri on to the court and then hugging the Raptors executive.

On Tuesday, Ujiri filed a countersuit in U.S. District Court in Oakland, Calif., after the officer filed a lawsuit.

“It (the video) shows why we’re supportive of the social injustices that are going on right now,” Lowry told reporters Thursday during a videoconference. “It shows why we’re supporting of the Black Lives Matter.

“It shows why we need to get out there and vote. It shows why we need to get those guys to arrest the murderers of Breonna Taylor because there’s police officers like that officer out there who are scumbags, basically.”

Ujiri released a statement later Thursday, giving his first thoughts on the video.

After what he called an exhilerating triumph, Ujiri said, “I was reminded in that moment that despite all of my hard work and success, there are some people, including those who are supposed to protect us, who will always and only see me as something that is unworthy of respectful engagement. And there’s only one indisputable reason why that is the case — because I am Black.

“What saddens me the most about this ordeal is that the only reason I am getting the justice I deserve in this moment is because of my success. Because I’m the president of an NBA team, I had access to resources that ensured I could demand and fight for my justice. So many of my brothers and sisters haven’t had, don’t have, and won’t have the same access to resources that assured my justice. And that’s why Black Lives Matter.”

Toronto leads its opening-round playoff series with the Brooklyn Nets 2-0 after a 104-99 victory Wednesday.

Raptors forward Serge Ibaka feels the incident shouldn’t have happened.

“It’s kind of sad because honestly, I don’t think anybody believed in Masai when he said he was innocent,” Ibaka said. “Things should never be like this . . . no matter where you come from, no matter your colour, things should never be like that.

“Thank God now everyone can see what happened that day. This connected us to understand this fight is far from being over. We have to stick together and we have to fight this fight together.”

Sgt. Ray Kelly, a spokesperson for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, said Wednesday that the office stands by everything it has said in regards to the investigation.

He added that the video released is “a snippet of all the video that is out there.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 20, 2020.

Source: – CTV Toronto

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Mickelson struggles Thursday at Winged Foot – pgatour.com

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For a few brief moments Phil Mickelson’s dream of conquering Winged Foot to complete a career grand slam was on track at the U.S. Open, but inaccuracy off the tee once again gave him nightmares.

A week after hitting just 12 of 56 fairways at the Safeway Open, Mickelson managed to find the short grass off the tee just twice in Thursday’s opening round on the way to a dismal 9-over 79.

The 50-year-old’s chance at redemption from 2006 looked a chance after he rolled in back-to-back birdies out of the gate. Perhaps he truly had let go of the infamous 72nd hole double bogey that helped Geoff Ogilvy claim the trophy over 14 years ago.  

Mickelson’s early birdies came despite missing both fairways left into deep rough and the fairytale writers lifted their eyebrows and dared to think something special might be on its way.

However, the inaccuracy quickly caught up. From the moment a four-foot par putt on the third hole lipped out, Mickelson found himself in a deep spiral not even his 44-time PGA TOUR winning experience could fight.

Bogeys on the fourth, fifth and eighth followed with Mickelson not chalking up his first fairway until the par-5 ninth hole. It didn’t help as he would go on to make par after another missed putt.

Bogey at 10 and another at 13 came soon after the turn with the latter the start of a six-hole finishing stretch that the six-time U.S. Open runner-up played in six over. Ultimately, he would finish 14 shots off the pace and all but officially be eliminated from contention. Only U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Lukas Michel (80) was behind him on the leaderboard.

The words he said as he left Napa must have been ringing in his ears throughout the round.

“The last couple of months I’ve been missing it more to the right and not worried about the left and the left crept in again,” Mickelson had said after the Safeway Open. “For years I missed it left. I haven’t been fearing that at all lately, but this week I missed it left, which is not good. I can deal with missing it right now, but not left.”

He went on to say he was confident of being able to turn it around before the opening round in New York but sadly that was not the case. Prior to the Safeway Open he had won his debut start at PGA TOUR Champions.

“I actually have had some nice breakthroughs in the last year and I feel like I’m on the precipice of playing really well, but I’ve got to get it to click,” he said.

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Jays lose third in a row to Yankees – Bluebird Banter

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Blue Jays 7 Yankees 10

Well, game three end up a lot closer than the first two games.

There were lots of Yankees home runs. Lots. Yankees seem to have that swing down to loft the ball to the short porch to left.

Julian Merryweather ‘opened’ and he managed not to give up a home run. But he wasn’t good, 2 hits, 2 walks, 2 earned. I hoped he could go two innings but no such luck.

Chase Anderson followed and threw a very good second inning. Then he gave up 5 home runs in the third, while getting just 2 outs. He gave up three consecutive home runs on three pitches.

It did remind me of a joke from my youth. What goes whoosh, crack, whoosh, crack, whoosh, crack. A pitcher going down to the minors.

Wilmer Font finished out the third inning and got through the fourth without allowing a run. Our pitching MVP of the series.

T.J. Zeuch pitched 3 innings, giving up just 1 run on, you guessed it, another homer. He allowed 3 hits, 3 walks with 3 strikeouts.


On offense, it was the Lourdes Gurriel show, with 4 hits, 2 homers, a double and a single. Danny Jansen had 3 singles.

We had a rally in the ninth, giving us a few moments of fun. . With one out:

Aroldis Chapman came in:

  • Bo Bichette singled home 2. 10-7, bringing the tying run to the plate.
  • Randal Grichuk struck out.
  • Teoscar Hernandez struck out to end the game. Hernandez was 0 for 5 with 4 strikeouts in his first game back. It will take couple of games to get his timing back

Jay of the Day: Lourdes (.124 WPA).

Suckage: Anderson (-.319) and Merryweather (-.140), Grichuk (-.111, 1 for 5) and Teoscar (-.093)

Matt Shoemaker can’t come back quick enough.

Tomorrow is a double-header, in Philadelphia. first game is 4:00 Eastern.


We had 753 comments in the GameThread. 13yearoldbaseballfanatic led us to defeat.

The series had me thinking of this song, the chorus is ‘Burn this cabin down’. I’m thinking we should do that to Yankees Stadium, burn it to the ground.

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Blue Jays lose big again – Bluebird Banter

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Blue Jays 2 Yankees 13

We held them to a couple of touchdowns today. Progress of sorts.

Yankees hit 7 home runs. 4 off of starter Tanner Roark. The first, a solo homer in the first inning, was a Yankees Stadium special, one that would only be a home run with the short porch in the Bronx. But the other ones were crushed.

Roark went 4 innings, allowed 6 hits, 6 earned, 2 walks and 4 strikeouts.

Jacob Waguespack pitched the next 2 innings, giving up 5 hits, 5 earned, 1 walk with 2 home runs.

Hector Perez got into his first MLB game. He pitched 1.2 innings with 3 hits, 2 earned, 3 walks, 1 k with 1 home run.

Anthony Bass got the last out.

Someone named Kyle Higashioka (the Yankees backup catcher) hit 3 home runs.


Offensively, we only had 5 hits. We didn’t get our first hit until the sixth inning, when Jonathan Villar led off with a double. He would score our first run on a wild pitch. Joe Panik homered in the ninth, to get our second run.

Villar, Grichuk, Vlad, Panik and Espinal had our hits.

Can’t blame the defense today.

No Jays of the Day today. Danny Jansen had the high mark at .007 WPA for his 0 for 2 and a walk.

Suckage: Roark (-.246).

It’s possible that the Jays will send out Wags before tomorrow’s game, if they decide they need someone who can give them a few innings.


We had 643 comments in the GameThread. FlipDown Shades led us to crushing defeat.

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