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Giants manager Gabe Kapler leads kneeling protest during U.S. anthem – CBC.ca

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San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler plans to use his position to speak out against racial injustice and provide a voice for those who aren’t heard.

Kapler and several of his players knelt during the national anthem before their 6-2 exhibition victory against the hometown Oakland Athletics. Kapler shared his plans when he addressed the team earlier Monday, and he said everyone would be supported by the Giants no matter what they decided to do.

“I wanted them to know that I wasn’t pleased with the way our country has handled police brutality and I told them I wanted to amplify their voices and I wanted to amplify the voice of the Black community and marginalized communities as well,” Kapler said. “So I told them that I wanted to use my platform to demonstrate my dissatisfaction with the way we’ve handled racism in our country.

“I wanted to demonstrate my dissatisfaction with our clear systemic racism in our country and I wanted them to know that they got to make their own decisions and we would respect and support those decisions. I wanted them to feel safe in speaking up.”

Right fielder Jaylin Davis, who is African American, and first-base coach Antoan Richardson also took a knee as shortstop Brandon Crawford stood between them with a hand on each of their shoulders. Davis held his right hand over his heart, while Richardson, who is Black and from the Bahamas, clasped his hands in front of him.

Much discussion went into each person’s choice, and Kapler said some of the Giants reached out to other organizations. Kapler said the Giants would continue to have such important discussions together as a team and “make them a part of the fabric of our clubhouse.”

Angels reliever raises fist

“We’ve had a lot of conversations about the anthem over the course of the last 72 hours, and when I say we, I mean our coaching staff and our players,” Kapler said. “We connected with small groups of players, we connected with players individually and had meaningful conversations about this topic.”

It was on the same field where former A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell in 2017 became the first major leaguer to kneel for the anthem.

In San Diego, Angels reliever Keynan Middleton knelt and raised his right fist during the national anthem before the team’s 1-0 victory over the Padres.

Angels manager Joe Maddon said Middleton told him in advance he wanted to kneel, and the team was “totally supportive” of the decision.

“I’m very proud that he stood up for his beliefs tonight. I really am,” Maddon said. “It’s not easy to do that, a young man like himself, being the only one out here doing that.”

Kapler, beginning his first season managing the Giants after two disappointing years guiding the Phillies, didn’t say for certain how often he would kneel except that, “We’re going to have 60 chances in the regular season to make the same decision that we made today, to either stand or kneel or do something different. Right now it’s another opportunity tomorrow night.”

Giants coach Alyssa Nakken makes MLB history

Kapler has been outspoken about social injustice and racial issues and athletes’ roles in helping spur positive change.

“They felt strong about the issue so they knelt,” A’s pitcher Mike Fiers said.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started taking a knee during the national anthem in 2016 to protest racial inequality and police mistreatment of minorities. He was roundly criticized for years, but public sentiment has changed since George Floyd’s death in May.

Floyd, a Black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck while Floyd was handcuffed and saying he couldn’t breathe.

Also Monday, Alyssa Nakken — baseball’s first woman on a major league staff — got a chance to coach first base for San Francisco.

“Congratulations on making history!” Hunter Pence posted on Twitter shortly after the final out.

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Damian Warner extends decathlon lead by running to an Olympic best in the 110m hurdles – CBC.ca

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Damian Warner of London, Ont., won the 110m hurdles portion of the decathlon by running to an Olympic best time of 13.46 seconds. After six events Warner sits in first place, with fellow Canadian Pierce LePage of Whitby, Ont., in third place.

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Canada's Laurence Vincent-Lapointe wins silver in women's C-1 200m – CTV News

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TOKYO —
Laurence Vincent-Lapointe would tell herself in the darkest days of an uncertain future to just keep going.

One day at a time.

Dominant on the world stage in women’s canoe, she was desperately trying to clear her name following an “adverse analytical finding” from an out-of-competition drug test in July 2019.

If things didn’t go Vincent-Lapointe’s way, she would miss out on the Olympic debut of a sport she had largely owned for more than a decade.

And after the clouds parted and it was announced she would be allowed to compete at the Tokyo Summer Games, the 29-year-old nicknamed “LVL” used the same mentality to hold onto a precious podium spot in Japan.

One powerful paddle stroke at a time.

Vincent-Lapointe fought off a couple of late challengers in the women’s C-1 200-metre race Thursday to win the silver medal at a sweltering Sea Forest Waterway.

“I pushed until the end,” said the ecstatic native Trois-Rivieres, Que., who finished the sprint in a time of 46.786 seconds. “No matter how many people I thought were catching up to me, I was just like, ‘No, no, no. You cannot drop, you cannot let go. Just push until the end.’

“It’s just crazy. I have 13 world championships, but this silver at the Games is so different.”

Nevin Harrison (45.932) of the United States took gold, while Ukraine’s Liudmyla Luzan (47.034) claimed bronze in temperatures that felt like a staggering 44 C with the humidity on a windy Tokyo Bay.

Katie Vincent of Mississauga, Ont., finished 8th with a time of 47.834 seconds.

“We push each other a lot, especially on the water,” said 25-year-old. “That teamwork goes a long way on a day like today. I’m disappointed I can’t be on the podium.

“But to see a Canadian flag rise today is a huge plus and something I think all Canadians in the paddling community will remember.”

A powerful canoeing force since 2010, Vincent-Lapointe had to wait for the sport’s international federation and the International Olympic Committee to make room for women to race at the Games.

She had won a combined six world titles in C-1 and C-2 500 metres by the time women’s canoe was added to Tokyo’s sporting docket in 2017, and went on to win five more by the end of 2018. She also topped the podium at the under-23 worlds in 2013 and in the C-1 5,000 metres at the worlds in 2018.

But then her life and career descended into a doping controversy.

After that “adverse analytical finding” two years ago, Vincent-Lapointe was subsequently suspended and missed the 2019 worlds, but battled for reinstatement.

The International Canoe Federation cleared her to compete in January 2020, accepting that Vincent-Lapointe was the victim of third-party contamination of a banned substance.

The ICU believed her assertion that a trace amount of ligandrol was transferred to her via her ex-boyfriend’s body fluids.

“I had the feeling I would make (the Olympics),” Vincent-Lapointe said. “In my head … I was like probably, ‘Fake it ’till you make it.’ In my head I was trying to convince myself, ‘You’re going to be at the Games, you’re going to be at the Games.’

“I just clung to it, to that feeling. It was so relieving when I finally got my spot in. It was just like, ‘All right, I had the right to believe in myself that I would make it to the Games.’ But once I came here I was like, ‘All right, you made it to the Games, now do your best.”‘

And while COVID-19 was a devastating gut-punch to sports and society around the world, it gave Vincent-Lapointe an opportunity to get back in the groove.

Missing the 2019 worlds, however, meant she still had to qualify for Tokyo, and the global pandemic didn’t allow her to travel to North American qualifying events.

Vincent-Lapointe also lost to Vincent in the women’s C-1 200 metres at March’s national trials in Burnaby, B.C.

Canoe Kayak Canada declined to send paddlers to international World Cups this spring because of the pandemic, but ultimately awarded Vincent-Lapointe an Olympic quota spot following a performance review.

She didn’t disappoint.

“It’s so relieving and exciting,” Vincent-Lapointe said. “After all I went through, it’s just … the peak. I did it. I didn’t (win) gold, but I did the performance I wanted to do.

“I’m super proud of the race.”

Next up for Vincent-Lapointe and Vincent is the women’s C-2, where they are medal contenders, on Friday and Saturday.

In other Thursday races involving Canadians, kayakers Brian Malfesi of Maple Ridge, B.C., and Vincent Jourdenais of Ste-Basile-le-Grand, Que., were sixth in the ‘B’ final of the men’s K-2 1,000 metres, while Toronto’s Nicholas Matveev was sixth in the ‘B’ final of the men’s K-1 200 metres.

But the day — clearly — belonged to Vincent-Lapointe.

“Going through all I had to go through the last two years, if you’d ask me if I’d do it again, even knowing a silver medal comes at the end of this, I’m not sure I would say yes,” she stated in French. “It was extremely difficult.

“Everybody told me this week that with all I went through, I must be mentally the strongest here.”

Now she has a silver medal to prove it.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 5, 2021.

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Andre De Grasse Canada 4x100m relay into final – TSN

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Just 14 hours after racing to gold in the men’s 200 final, Andre De Grasse ran a sizzling anchor leg to put Canada’s 4×100 relay team into Friday’s final.

Jamaica had the fastest time on the morning of 37.82, while China ran 37.92 for second-place over Canada in a decision that was determined by thousandths of a second in a photo finish.

Aaron Brown, who was sixth in Wednesday’s 200 metres, ran the lead-off leg, followed by Jerome Blake and Brendon Rodney. Racing for the seventh time of these Games, De Grasse took the baton from Rodney in about fifth place, before churning down the homestretch to cross the line alongside China.

The 4×100 relay final will be run Friday morning at 9:50am/6:50am pt (Friday night in Tokyo).

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