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Edmonton Eskimos release Christion Jones from CFL team for posting homophobic tweet

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The Edmonton Eskimos have released wide receiver Christion Jones for homophobic tweets he sent out on the same day as global Pride celebrations.

The swift action comes after Jones tweeted out his opposition to gay and lesbian relationships on Saturday, as people across the world celebrated Global Pride Day.

“Man ain’t suppose to be with a man. A women is not supposed to be with another women,” he wrote.

The tweet was quickly condemned as hateful by people on Twitter. But Jones stood by his comments, sending out more than 50 tweets responding to his detractors over five hours.

“I STAND ON WHAT I SAY. Regret nothing. Apologize to who???,” he wrote.

The team announced Jones had been released from the roster in a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday.

“We stand by the LGBTQ2+ community and firmly condemn the language used by Christion Jones. There is no place for such commentary on our team,” the statement read.

The Canadian Football League issued its own statement on Sunday afternoon, saying there is no place in the league for commentary that disparages people on the basis of religion, race, gender or sexual orientation.

“Our league makes no claim on perfection, but it does strive to be inclusive, to accept and indeed celebrate our differences, and to respect and honour human rights,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said.

People criticizing Jones argued that he is using his public platform of more than 10,000 followers to disparage LGBTQ relationships in a way that contributes to discrimination. In response, he accused his critics of trying to censor him.

 

A screen capture of Christion Jones’ homophobic tweet sent out to over 10,000 followers on Saturday. (Christion Jones/Twitter)

 

Some Twitter users began to tag the Edmonton football team’s account in response, asking the team whether they would tolerate homophobic comments from a player. The team, along with the rest of the CFL, has embraced Pride month in public campaigns, altering their logos to feature the rainbow flag.

Jones, originally from Alabama, came to Edmonton in August 2019, following a trade with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Janis Irwin, a gay NDP MLA and critic for LGBTQ issues, called Jones’ original tweet disturbing.

“I don’t want any young person to think that who they choose to love is wrong, because it’s not,” she said. “It really hit a lot of us hard, which is why I think the community responded so quickly.”

 

 

While Irwin wants to see Jones apologize, she’s not sure firing him is the right response either. She offered to help educate him on LGBTQ issues in her constituency, which includes Commonwealth Stadium.

“I want to give him the benefit that he wasn’t willing to give our community,” she said in an interview before the team issued its decision. “I’d be willing to share a little about my story and about the story of so many folks in our community.”

When former MLA Graham Sucha suggested Jones reach out to members of Alberta’s LGBTQ community and offered contacts, Jones declined. “I’m a Black man in America, I’ll figure it out,” he tweeted in response.

“It’s absolutely not about anyone trying to silence someone and be racist toward him. It’s about shutting down homophobia, and his tweets were clearly homophobic,” Irwin said.

This is not the first time a CFL player has been publicly condemned for homophobic comments. In 2014, the league fined at least three players for comments about Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted to the National Football League.

Source: – CBC.ca

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Washington NFL team to retire nickname on Monday: reports – CBC.ca

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The Washington Redskins plan to announce Monday that they will retire their controversial team nickname, multiple outlets reported Sunday night.

One source told Sports Business Journal that the team “felt it was important to remove any doubts as to the future of the name.” The report indicated that a new nickname would not be immediately announced due to pending trademark issues.

Sunday night’s story further backed Saturday reporting from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio and Yahoo’s Charles Robinson, who each talked about an “imminent” name change. Robinson said Saturday the change would come “in the next 24-48 hours,” adding “the NFL is starting to take steps to tell everybody who has Washington’s nickname on its platform to start scrubbing it, start taking it off, which means something’s coming.”

Team owner Daniel Snyder has been under mounting pressure to change the team nickname, logo and mascot, with many Native American groups calling the name racist. Pressure ramped up this month, with companies such as Nike, PepsiCo, Bank of America and FedEx threatening to cut advertising ties with the team.

WATCH | Pro sports teams reconsidering Indigenous nicknames:

CBC News’ Raffy Boudjikanian reports on the Washington Redskins’ plans to review their nickname, followed closely by the Cleveland Indians’ decision to reconsider their team nickname. 2:30

FedEx asked team to change name

On July 2, FedEx asked the team to change the name. FedEx signed a 27-year, $205 million US deal in 1999 for the naming rights to FedEx Field in Landover, Md., where the club plays its home games. A day later, the team announced it was conducting a “thorough review” of the team’s name.

Sports Business Journal reported Sunday that the club has finished that review.

Nike pulled all Redskins merchandise off its website, making Washington the only NFL franchise not listed on the site’s NFL index.

Last Wednesday, Amazon pulled Redskins merchandise from its site. Two days earlier, The Washington Post reported that three minority owners of the team hired an investment banking firm to find buyers for their shares of the club.

Snyder, in 2013, said he would “never” change the name.

The franchise began using the Redskins nickname in 1933, when it was based in Boston and previously called the Braves. Team owner George Preston Marshall moved the club to Washington in 1937.

A statue of Marshall was removed from the Redskins’ former Washington venue, RFK Stadium, on June 19 in the wake of protests seeking racial equality following the death of George Floyd. Under Marshall’s leadership, the Redskins were the last NFL team to integrate, adding their first Black players in 1962.

Washington is scheduled to open the season at home against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 13.

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Montreal Canadiens reveal their expanded roster for Phase 3 – Habs Eyes on the Prize

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With Phase 3 set to begin on Monday, the Montreal Canadiens have announced their list of 30 skaters and four goaltenders who will be on the ice as part of the expanded roster.

The notable absence at camp will be Max Domi, who is waiting seven to 10 days after Phase 3 begins before making a decision on whether to join the team (he is listed on the roster). Karl Alzner has already opted out of participating.

Alexander Romanov will be joining the club as well after agreeing to a contract, It will be hs first time on the ice with the NHL team.

The list of players Claude Julien will have at his disposal this week while devising his lineup for the Stanley Cup Qualifier versus the Pittsburgh Penguins are:

Forwards (17)

Defencemen (12)

Goaltenders (4)

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Montoyo says competition on for rotation spot after Anderson’s injury – Sportsnet.ca

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TORONTO – A pathway to the starting rotation for Nate Pearson – or someone else if the Toronto Blue Jays are intent on manipulating their top prospect’s service time – is open after Chase Anderson suffered an oblique strain and is uncertain to be ready for opening day.

Manager Charlie Montoyo says the club still plans to deploy a five-man rotation, which is set to include Hyun-Jin Ryu, Tanner Roark, Matt Shoemaker and Trent Thornton, who ripped through a roughly-60-pitch live batting practice session Sunday.

Given the way he pitched during the first spring training, the work he put on from then to now, and how he impressed again during an intrasquad outing Saturday, Pearson would seem like an automatic in light of Anderson’s injury.

But, since the Blue Jays can push his free agency back a year by assigning him to the club’s Alternate Training Site for about a week, he’s far from a lock to break with the team.

“They’re going to compete for that spot,” Montoyo, without specifying names, said of the club’s young pitchers. “I love the fact that all these guys know they are competing. We’re building them all up, so they’re all going to have a chance to compete. We’ll see where we go a week and a half from now. Other stuff can happen from here to when we start, as you know.”

Beyond Pearson, left-handers Ryan Borucki and Anthony Kay and righty Thomas Hatch are the likeliest other contenders, although the Blue Jays are trying to stretch out other pitchers, too.

“It’s a crazy year, as you know,” said Montoyo, “and we’ve got so many options, which is great for all these kids because they’ll be competing for a spot if Chase is not ready by the time this season starts.”

Anderson hurt himself while loosening up ahead of a recent bullpen and Montoyo said the veteran right-hander was already built up for 3-4 innings of work, building toward more ahead of opening day.

Montoyo described him as day-to-day.

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THORNTON SHARP: Trent Thornton knows better than to take a place in the Blue Jays rotation for granted but he had essentially sewn up a spot during the spring training and he’s right back where he left off at summer camp.

The sophomore righty looked sharp in throwing an estimated 50-60 pitches Sunday, routinely generating poor contacts and awkward swings. He came away pleased with how he felt physically and, after snapping off a pair of pretty curveballs to catch teammates looking, with how he manipulated his pitches.

“I thought I executed pretty much all my pitches,” said Thornton. “Elevated fastball was definitely a point of emphasis today, I thought I did a decent job with that. As far as my off-speed, breaking balls, changeup, cutter all felt really, really good, and felt like I got to accomplish a lot of what I wanted to.”

Thornton was able to throw throughout the shutdown, getting a key to the field from his high school coach so he could get his work in. His dad gave him a weight set for his garage while a trainer allowed him to work out in isolation at his gym.

“I feel great,” he said. “I don’t feel like I missed a beat at all. Within another week or two, I feel like I can just let the reins off.”

Ben Nicholson-Smith is Sportsnet’s baseball editor. Arden Zwelling is a senior writer. Together, they bring you the most in-depth Blue Jays podcast in the league, covering off all the latest news with opinion and analysis, as well as interviews with other insiders and team members.

UNCERTAIN SHUN: Shun Yamaguchi arrived at spring training determined to win a spot in the Blue Jays rotation but appeared to be destined for the bullpen.

Now?

“Same as March. I still haven’t gotten a formal notice on what type of role I’ll be playing in,” Yamaguchi, in comments interpreted Yuto Sakurai, said after logging 30-35 pitches during a couple of innings of live batting practice. “For me, I personally do want to be in a starting role so I’m trying my best to get the fifth spot.”

As things stand, it would appear he has some work to do for that to happen.

Yamaguchi allowed nine runs over nine innings with five walks and six strikeouts in four Grapefruit League games as he transitioned to the North American game after 14 seasons in Japan, and the thinking then was that his stuff would be best utilized in relief.

“At this point, to be honest with you, I’ve been able to adjust to the ball and I have a limited amount of time left until the regular season, so I can’t really be talking about the ball slipping out of my hand and whatnot,” said Yamaguchi. “Every day I’m trying to adjust and throw the ball better.”

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