Connect with us

Sports

Gary Bettman says 2020-21 NHL season could begin as late as December – CBC.ca

Published

on


The NHL is in no rush to return from its shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with commissioner Gary Bettman saying the end of the current season could push back the start of next season as far as December.

Speaking Thursday on NHL Network, Bettman said, “We have a great deal of flexibility in terms of when we can start. There’s no magic for next season of starting in October as we traditionally do. If we have to start in November or December, that’s something that will be under consideration.

“We’re going to try to make good, prudent, careful judgments. This isn’t a race to be first back. When we come back, we want it to be at the right time, for the right reasons, under the right circumstances.”

As for a possible timeframe for the resumption of games, Bettman said, “I don’t think anybody knows for certain. We’re going to have to take things one step at a time, because the health and well-being of our players is paramount to anything we’re focused on.

“We’d like to be able to get our training facilities open. We’d like our guys to be able to work themselves back into shape. But this is something we’re going to continue to evaluate on a day-to-day basis.”

‘Cooperative, collaborative’ talks with NHLPA

According to Bettman, the state of the pandemic isn’t the only factor in terms of the potential restart of the season.

“Our health concerns for the players really fit into two categories: One is obviously COVID-19, and two, whatever we’re going to do, we don’t want them playing games until they’re back in game shape,” the commissioner said. “So we’re going to continue to monitor things, and when the guidance from the medical people is right and the governmental authorities are comfortable, then we’ll take step one, which is reopening our training facilities.”

WATCH | NHL goes over potential scenarios for return:

Rob Pizzo joined John Northcott on CBC News Network to discuss NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s interview with Ron MacLean . 5:04

Bettman said he is speaking regularly with NHL Players Association executive director Don Fehr, and that league and union officials are collaborating as part of a Return to Play Committee.

“Having the committee that’s been put together with the players is important so that we can get the feedback on the issues that are important to them and how to resolve them, and that we can be communicating how we’re focusing on the things we think that need to be done,” Bettman said. “It’s been extraordinarily collaborative, constructive and cooperative, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the interaction that we’re having.”

The NHL season was suspended on March 12 with all teams having played between 68 and 71 of their scheduled 82 regular-season games.

At least eight NHL players have tested positive for COVID-19: five unnamed members of the Ottawa Senators and three unnamed members of the Colorado Avalanche.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Drew Brees issues apology for comments on kneeling during anthem – Sportsnet.ca

Published

on


After facing widespread and immediate backlash Wednesday for his comments about peaceful protest during NFL games, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has issued a public apology.

“I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused,” Brees said in an Instagram post. “In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country.

“They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy. Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character.”

View this post on Instagram

I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused. In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country. They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy. Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character. This is where I stand: I stand with the black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality and support the creation of real policy change that will make a difference. I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today. I acknowledge that we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community. I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the black community in this movement. I will never know what it’s like to be a black man or raise black children in America but I will work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right. I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy. I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability. I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening…and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen. For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on Jun 4, 2020 at 5:22am PDT

On Wednesday, in an interview with Yahoo Finance‘s Daniel Roberts, Brees was asked how the NFL should respond if players decide to once again kneel during the national anthem in protest of police brutality in the United States — as former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick first did in 2016 — particularly in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.

Brees did not offer his support, saying he “will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America, or our country,” and describing his own experience of hearing the anthems:

“Let me just tell you what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played or when I look at the flag of the United States,” he told Roberts. “I envision my two grandfathers — who fought for this country during World War II — one in the army and one in the marine corps, both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place. So every time I stand with my hand over my heart and looking at that flag and singing the national anthem — that’s what I think about,” said Brees.

“And in many cases, it brings me to tears, thinking about all that has been sacrificed, not just those in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the civil rights movements of the ’60s and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point. And is everything right with our country right now? No, it’s not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and show respect to the flag with your hand over your heart is it shows unity. It shows we are all in this together. We can all do better. And we are all part of the solution.”

In his apology Thursday, Brees said the following of his support for the Black community:

“This is where I stand: I stand with the black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality and support the creation of real policy change that will make a difference,” his post read. “I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today. I acknowledge that we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community. I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the black community in this movement.

“I will never know what it’s like to be a black man or raise black children in America but I will work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right. I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy. I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability. I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening… and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen.

“For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

MLS close on Orlando tournament with CBA – TSN

Published

on


Major League Soccer and its players’ union reached an agreement that paves the way for a summer tournament in Florida after the season was suspended by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deal was announced by the MLS Players Association on Wednesday following tense talks and the league threatening a lockout. Players from Toronto FC, the Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps and other markets skipped training the last two days as the two sides remained at odds.

“Although I’m relieved and excited that a deal has finally been made to get us back to play, the tactics that were used by the league were very unfortunate and upsetting,” said Whitecaps fullback Jake Nerwinski.

“I’m proud that even though at some points the players had their back against the wall, we never gave in. We stood in solidarity and remained a unified coalition to get a deal done.”

MLS and the union agreed Feb. 6 to a five-year labour contract, but the deal had not been ratified when the season was stopped on March 12 after only two matches had been played by each team.

The players agreed to a 7.5 per cent pay cut dating back to their last paycheque of May 31, said Nerwinski.

The ratified collective-bargaining agreement was announced in the midst of protests over police brutality and injustice against African Americans sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week. Both sides noted the unrest in announcing the contract.

“There are problems we face collectively that are both more urgent, and more important, than competing on the field,” the union said in a statement. “We hope our return to the field will allow fans a momentary release and a semblance of normalcy.”

FC Cincinnati defender Nick Hagglund, a former Toronto FC player, said there was no winner.

“Both sides are conceding. But ultimately it’s moving forward and soccer’s going to be back and I think that’s the important thing,” he said.

Nashville SC defender Daniel Lovitz, formerly of both Toronto and Montreal, said players were “excited and relieved” to get back to action at the Florida tournament “pending the resolution of a lot of important details that I’m sure will be communicated rather soon.”

MLS commissioner Don Garber vowed the league will go further with its public stance for equality.

“We’ve tried to create programs that would address some of the things that are important to our core values. I have to say that it’s not enough to produce ads, it’s not enough just to have programs that talk about these issues,” he said.

Garber said the league expects to take a US$1-billion revenue hit because of the coronavirus.

The revised CBA, a six-year deal through 2025, includes across-the-board pay cuts and reduced bonuses.

One of the sticking points was a clause that allows either side to opt out of the deal because of unforeseen circumstances, like a pandemic. The agreement does not tie the clause to attendance, something the league had sought.

The agreement also changes the players’ share of media rights negotiated in the original CBA. The share will drop from 25 per cent to 12.5 per cent in 2023, but will be restored to 25 per cent in 2024.

Details of the Florida tournament were still being finalized. The league’s 26 teams and limited staff would be based in the Orlando area and matches played without fans at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World.

Whitecaps midfielder Andy Rose, who has diabetes and whose wife is due to give birth in July, said he will have to review details of the tournament to decide on his participation.

“My personal situation is a tricky one,” he said. “I know there’s other guys around the league in the same spot.”

Garber said the tournament would last no longer than 35 days but he would not reveal additional details.

The union announced Sunday night that players had voted for an agreement but MLS pushed back on the terms and imposed a deadline for a lockout.

Garber said it was his decision to threaten the lockout, a move that was criticized.

“It’s not something that I did without a lot of thought and without a lot of concern and a lot of understanding as to what impact that would have on our players and on the negotiation,” Garber said. “But it was something, as the leader of this league that I believed was necessary in order for us to get to the point today.”

Nashville defender Eric Miller, a member of the MLSPA executive board, said on social media that he was proud of the players, “although the process and tactics used by MLS left a mark.”

“Players showed commitment and strength throughout this entire process,” Miller said. “We are all excited to get back on the field and be a positive force for change in our communities.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Brees apologizes: 'Completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing' – TSN

Published

on


New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees apologized on Thursday following backlash to his comments “that kneeling during the playing of the national anthem is a sign of disrespect.”

“I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused,” Brees wrote on Instagram.

“In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country. They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy. Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character. This is where I stand:

“I stand with the black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality and support the creation of real policy change that will make a difference. I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today.

“I acknowledge that we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community. I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the black community in this movement. I will never know what it’s like to be a black man or raise black children in America but I will work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right.

“I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy.

“I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability. I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening…and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen.

“For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.”

When asked Wednesday about the potential of players returning to the form of protest against police brutality and anti-black racism, first used in 2016 by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, in the wake of nationwide protests following the killing of George Floyd by Dan White of Yahoo! Finance, the 41-year-old Brees said he still considers it an act of disregard for the sacrifices of those in the military and the civil rights movement.

“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” Brees said. “Let me just tell you what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States: I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II.

“One in the army and one in the Marine Corps, both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place. So every time I stand with my hand over my heart, looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that’s what I think about. And in many cases, it brings me to tears thinking about all that’s been sacrificed and not by just those in the military for that matter, but those throughout the civil rights movement of the ’60s and everyone and all that’s been endured by so many people up until this point.”

Brees added that things need to change in the United States, but that standing for the anthem can be a sign of togetherness.

“Is everything right with our country right now?” Brees said. “No, it’s not. We still have a long way to go. But what I think what you do by standing there and showing respect for the flag with your hand over your heart is that it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together. We can all do better and we are all in this together.”

Bree’/ comments on Wednesday quickly drew criticism from fellow Saints, NFL players and other athletes. Two of Brees’s teammates, wide receivers Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, seemed to express displeasure with their QB’s remarks on Twitter, but didn’t call out Brees by name.

“[Shaking my head]…ignorant,” Sanders wrote.

“We don’t care if you don’t agree and whoever else how about that,” Thomas tweeted.

Aaron Rodgers took to Instagram to share his thought’s on Brees’ comments.

“A few years ago we were criticized for locking arms in solidarity before the game. It has NEVER been about an anthem or a flag. Not then. Not now. Listen with an open heart, let’s educate ourselves, and then turn word and thought into action.”

Veteran San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman also weighed in on Brees’s remarks.

“He’s beyond lost,” Sherman tweeted. “Guarantee you there were black men fighting along side your grandfather, but this doesn’t seem to be about that. That uncomfortable conversation you are trying to avoid by injecting military into a conversation about brutality and equality is part of the problem.”

Later on Wednesday, LeBron James reacted to Brees’s interview.

“Wow, man!!” James wrote. ” Is it still surprising at this point? Sure isn’t! You literally still don’t understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee?? Has absolute nothing to do with the disrespect of 🇺🇸 and our soldiers (men and women) who keep our land free. My father-in-law was one of those.”

Many other stars, including Doug BaldwinMalcolm JenkinsJosh Jacobs and Jason and Devin McCourty also issued responses to Brees’ comments. 

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending