The Ottawa Senators have been hit hard by the novel coronavirus after the club confirmed Wednesday afternoon four more people who made the trip to California have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
The Senators received the positive test results for the three players and one staff member after eight people were tested by local health authorities because they were having symptoms of the virus when they arrived back home in Ottawa. That brings the total to seven people aboard the club’s Air Canada Jetz charter that returned from California on March 12 that have tested positive for the virus.
Two unnamed players had already been confirmed with having the virus while broadcaster Gord Wilson said publicly Friday night he also had received conformation of a positive test. The club indicated the five players and staff member have all recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic that has spread worldwide.
The charter jet was on the runway for a couple of hours at LAX while the Senators were waiting for the final decision from the NHL’s board of governors that the schedule would be postponed while the players also had two days off in Anaheim before taking on the Ducks.
The club haven’t named the players or staff member diagnosed because of privacy laws in Canada and it’s up to the players or staff member to decide if they want to go public.
“Members of the team and staff self-isolated on Friday, March 13, and are all doing well. All test results have now been received, and all those who tested positive have recovered,” the club said in a statement released Wednesday.
“The Ottawa Senators’ medical team continues to monitor players and staff and are following all appropriate and professional guidelines to help ensure the health and safety of our employees and the greater community.”
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly told this newspaper in an email Wednesday there aren’t plans to test the whole Senators’ team because of the latest confirmation of positive tests.
“Everyone who had symptoms was tested,” Daly said.”There really is no reason to test anyone else. No one is symptomatic and no one is sick and they all have been in self-quarantine for three weeks.”
Testing was done with local public health officials and nobody was sent for a test unless they were displaying symptoms. Wilson told this newspaper Friday night he wasn’t feeling well and when he checked the symptoms online he felt that he should be tested.
“I went and got tested because I was feeling so run down from California and it was much a fear for (his wife Patricia Boal) going into work as anything,” Wilson said Friday after Boal made the diagnosis public on CTV Ottawa during the supper hour news broadcast. “I was starting to feel pretty low mid-week and that’s when they told Trish that they would do the news from our back yard.
“We’re all internet doctors. You read the symptoms and I’m checking them off as I’m reading along. OK, yeah, I’ve got a runny nose. Okay, yeah, I’ve got pressure on the chest. OK, yes, I’m out of breath. Have I had the chills? Yes, occasionally. Muscle aches? Yes, for sure.”
Wilson said Wednesday afternoon he’s doing much better and is self-isolating at home.
The Senators were the first team to confirm a positive test by an NHL player on March 17 and that came just after the club returned from a trip through California from March 6-to-12 that made stops in San Jose on March 7, Anaheim March 10 and Los Angeles March 11. The Senators were scheduled to play in Chicago on March 13 but returned to Ottawa on March 12 because the league went on pause.
Players were instructed by the league to self-quarantine for 14 days _ preferably in the city where they played _ in an email from deputy commissioner Bill Daly on March 13. Three days later, the league told players they were free to return to their homes across the world but should remain in self-isolation. That period was extended to April 15 in an email to league GM’s Tuesday.
The Senators confirmed they had second case of the coronavirus on March 21 and the Colorado Avalanche, who have had two cases of COVID-19, are the only other team that has been affected by the outbreak.
The Avalanche and Senators were both making their way through California in early-March when it was considered a hotpsot for the coronavirus and a state of emergency had been declared in the area at the time. The Senators faced the Sharks on Saturday night and the Avalanche were in town Sunday before San Jose left on a lengthy road trip.
The Sharks had been warned by the Santa Clara health commission not to allow fans in the stands but went ahead with games against the Senators and Avs anyway because it was a warning and not an order. Neither the Sharks, Ducks or Kings have had any confirmed cases of COVID-19 among their players or staff.
Toronto FC captain says Donald Trump doesn't have 'a moral bone in his body' – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, June 4, 2020 7:23PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 4, 2020 11:08PM EDT
Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley pulled no punches Thursday, lamenting the “zero leadership” south of the border as the U.S. is ravaged by racial unrest.
The longtime U.S. skipper took square aim at president Donald Trump.
“We have a president who is completely empty. There isn’t a moral bone in his body,” Bradley told a media conference call.
“There’s no leadership. There’s no leadership from the president, there’s no leadership from the Republican senators who have sat back and been totally complicit in everything he’s done for the last 3 1/2 years.”
Bradley urged his fellow Americans to speak with their ballot in November, saying it was “impossible to overstate” the importance of the coming election.
“I just hope that people are able to go to the polls in November and think about more than just what is good for them, more than what is good for their own status, their own business, their own tax return. I hope that people can go to the polls and understand that in so many ways, the future of our country and the future of our democracy is at stake.
“We need as many people as possible to understand that at a real level, to think about what four more years with Trump as president, what that would mean, how terrible that would be for so many people.”
Referencing racial inequality and social injustice, Bradley added: “If we want any chance to start to fix those things, then Trump can’t be president, it’s as simple as that.”
The 32-year-old Bradley has run through the gamut of emotions while watching the violence and unrest unfold in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while three police officers restrained him – one with his knee on Floyd’s neck.
“I’m angry, I’m horrified, I’m sad and I’m determined to do anything and everything I can to try to be a part of the fix,” he said. “Because it has to end. And we all have to be part of that fix.”
He acknowledged that while he has much to learn on the issues, politicians, policy-makers and businesses have to be held accountable.
“My man Mike is a as real as they come. Nothing but the truth here,” teammate Joze Altidore tweeted.
Bradley has criticized Trump before. In January 2017, he said he was “sad and embarrassed” by Trump’s travel ban aimed at citizens of predominantly Muslim countries.
The TFC captain, while happy to see the MLS labour impasse over, noted there had been “some real difficult moments along the way.” That included a threat of a lockout from the league.
Such tactics “did not sit well with the players,” he said.
He also said there had been a frustrating absence of dialogue right from the beginning of talks, which he acknowledged played out against an unprecedented global threat.
“This, at a certain point for me, was about what’s right and what’s wrong in the middle of the pandemic. And the way to treat people and the way that you look after people. I kept coming back to that idea. That we have all put so much into growing the game in North America, at all levels – ownership, league office, executives coaches, players, fans.
“Everybody is important to what we’re trying to do. To try to dismiss any of the entities that I just named would be short-sighted and disrespectful because the game is about everybody.”
He said he would have loved to have seen everyone get on the same page early on and find a way “to cut through the (bull).”
“To just say ‘This is where we are right now. Nobody has a playbook. Nobody has any answers but how are we going to come out better and stronger from all of this? … I think conversations would have carried so much more weight and I think we would have been able to avoid so much of the way certain things played out.”
Bradley underwent ankle surgery in January to repair an injury suffered in the MLS Cup final loss in Seattle on Nov 10. His rehab over, he was part of a small group training session Thursday.
“I’m doing well,” he said. “I’m continuing to make progress … At this point physically I feel really good. My ankle feels really good. And now it’s just about training. Getting back into real training in a way that now prepares me for games.”
Still, he said injuries are an issue in the league’s return to play given the time that has passed since the league suspended play March 12.
“That is a big concern,” he said. “And it’s not a big concern only amongst players. I know that has been a real topic amongst coaches and sports science staff and medical staff.”
While teams will do everything possible to get the players ready, a compressed schedule at the Florida tournament that awaits teams won’t help injury fears, he said.
“That certainly is a big question. Maybe the biggest question when you get past the initial health and safety stuff of COVID, among players and coaches and technical staff,” he said.
“How are we going to give ourselves the best chance to win, but also do it in a way where guys are at their highest level both technically and physically”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2020.
NBA owners approve 22-team season restart plan – CityNews Toronto
The NBA’s Board of Governors has approved a 22-team format for restarting the league season in late July at the Disney campus near Orlando, Florida, another major step toward getting teams back onto the court and playing games again.
The format calls for each team playing eight games to determine playoff seeding plus the possible utilization of a play-in tournament for the final spot in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference post-season fields. The National Basketball Players Association has a call on Friday to approve the plan as well.
Thursday’s vote was the most significant step yet in the process of trying to resume a season that was suspended nearly three months ago because of the coronavirus pandemic. There are numerous other details for the league to continue working through – including finalizing specifics of what the testing plan will be once teams arrive next month at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports complex and the calculating the financial ramifications of playing a shortened regular season.
“The Board’s approval of the restart format is a necessary step toward resuming the NBA season,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. “While the COVID-19 pandemic presents formidable challenges, we are hopeful of finishing the season in a safe and responsible manner based on strict protocols now being finalized with public health officials and medical experts.”
Meanwhile, a person speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the details of the ongoing talks have not been publicly released, said the NBPA and the NBA are continuing to work on a “lengthy” medical protocols document. The details of that document will be shared with teams once those discussions are completed, said the person, who added that teams should receive them in plenty of time for them to prepare for their arrivals at the Disney-ESPN complex.
The NBA also said it is planning to have the draft lottery Aug. 25, the draft on Oct. 15 and start next season on Dec. 1.
If all 22 teams that are going to Disney next month play their allotted eight games before the post-season begins, the NBA would play 1,059 games in this regular season. That means 171 regular season games would be cancelled, which could cost players around $600 million in salary.
Those 22 clubs would play somewhere between 71 and 75 regular season games if the Disney portion of the schedule is completed, down from the customary 82-game slate. The teams who didn’t qualify for the restart will see their seasons end after having played somewhere between 64 and 67 games.
But one of the biggest hurdles is now cleared, and if things go according to plan an NBA champion for a season unlike any other will be crowned in October. The season could go into that month if the league goes ahead with its plan for the same playoff rules as usual, that being every round utilizing a best-of-seven format.
Teams will likely arrive at the Disney complex around July 7. Once there, camps will continue and teams will likely have the chance to have some scrimmages or “preseason” games against other clubs before the regular season resumes.
Thursday’s move by the board of governors – one that came, coincidentally, on the same day this season’s NBA Finals would have started if these were normal times – was largely a formality. The NBA considered countless restart options after suspending the season on March 11, whittled that list down to four possibilities last week and from there the 22-team plan quickly began gaining momentum.
The 22-team plan includes all teams that were holding playoff spots when the season was stopped, plus all other clubs within six games of a post-season berth.
Milwaukee, the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston and reigning NBA champion Toronto had already clinched playoff berths. Now with only eight games remaining for each team, it means that eight other clubs – Miami, Indiana, Philadelphia, the Los Angeles Clippers, Denver, Utah, Oklahoma City and Houston – have post-season spots secured, and Dallas virtually has one as well.
That leaves nine teams vying for three remaining playoff berths. In the East, Brooklyn, Orlando and Washington are in the race for two spots. In the West, Memphis, Portland, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio and Phoenix will jostle for one spot.
If the gap between eighth place and ninth place in either conference is four games or less when the shortened regular season ends, those teams will go head-to-head for the No. 8 seed. The team in ninth place would have to go 2-0 in a two-game series to win the berth; otherwise, the No. 8 seed would advance to the post-season.
Thursday’s decision also means that the seasons for Atlanta, Cleveland, New York, Golden State, Minnesota, Detroit, Chicago and Charlotte are over. The Knicks will miss the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season, the third-longest current drought in the league behind Sacramento and Phoenix – who still have chances of getting into the playoffs this season.
And with the Hawks not moving on, it also means Vince Carter has almost certainly played the final game of his 22-year NBA career – the longest in league history.
Carter, the first player in NBA history to appear in four different decades, is retiring. He appeared in 1,541 NBA games, behind only Robert Parish (1,611) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,560) on the league’s all-time list.
LeBron James explains why he can’t ‘stick to sports’ in Instagram video – Sportsnet.ca
More than two years ago, Fox News television host Laura Ingraham asked LeBron James to “shut up and dribble” when the superstar was publicly critical of U.S. President Donald Trump.
On Thursday, in the wake of widespread protests about racial injustices following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, James posted a powerful video on Instagram to explain why he won’t fulfill Ingraham’s request.
The video is a series of sentences that cleverly transition in sync with the sound of a basketball’s bounce.
First, they are sports themed: “Shut up and dribble”; “Shut up and tackle.”
Then, they become more general: “Shut up and get paid”; “Shut up and just do your job.”
Next, they start telling the story of an encounter with police: “Shut up and do you live around here?”; “Shut up and you fit the description.”
That leads to sentences that loosely depict the injustice Floyd faced when Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin put all his weight on a prone Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes: “Shut up and get on the ground”; “Shut up and lay still.”
Finally, James closes with a statement and a question: “This is why we can’t just stick to sports. Do you understand now?”
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