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Jets’ Blake Wheeler on racism: ‘You can’t be silent anymore’ – Sportsnet.ca

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Blake Wheeler says he regrets not speaking up sooner.

After posting a letter to Twitter over the weekend on the death of George Floyd and the mass protests that followed across the United States, the captain of the Winnipeg Jets said on a Tuesday video conference call with reporters that “you can’t be silent anymore.”

Wheeler said the death of Floyd last week, as well as the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery earlier this year, finally moved him to speak up on the issue of racism.

“I haven’t done a good enough job in the past,” Wheeler said. “I’ve felt this way for a long time.”

The Minnesota native’s weekend post included the phrase “America is not OK” in response to the killing Floyd. The 46-year-old black man died last Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck for nearly nine minutes, even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.

A number of other prominent NHL players, including San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane, who is black, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews, who is Latino-American, Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin, and Tampa Bay Lightning centre Steven Stamkos, have posted similar messages to social media in recent days.

The NHL, NHL Players’ Association, NHL Coaches’ Association, the vast majority of teams, Hockey Canada and USA Hockey have also posted to social media on the topic or shared players’ words from their official accounts.

Derek Chauvin, 44, and three other Minneapolis police officers were fired in the wake of Floyd’s death. Chauvin was subsequently charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Two white men were arrested last month for the February shooting death of Arbery, a black jogger, in Georgia, while the Louisville police shooting death of Breonna Taylor in her home in March also attracted national attention in May.

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Liverpool wins first at Anfield as champion – TSN

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LIVERPOOL, England — Liverpool kept alive its bid to finish the Premier League season with a perfect home record after labouring to a 2-0 win against relegation-threatened Aston Villa on Sunday in its first match at Anfield since winning the title.

A 17th straight home victory this season — and surely the most underwhelming — was secured by goals from Sadio Mane in the 71st minute and substitute Curtis Jones in the 89th.

Three days after Liverpool lost 4-0 at Manchester City in its first match as champion, Jürgen Klopp’s team again lacked the intensity, snap and precision that brought it the title in such devastating fashion this season.

Indeed, Liverpool had managed just two shots on target against Villa before Mane met a low cross into the area from midfielder Naby Keita with a first-time shot that struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced down over the line.

Jones tucked away a shot after a nod-down at the far post by Mohamed Salah to double the lead with the last chance of a dull game.

It was enough to earn the Reds one of the five wins they need to beat the record season points total in the Premier League of 100, set by Manchester City in 2017-18.

Wins over Burnley and Chelsea at Anfield over the next two weeks will see Liverpool complete the season with 19 victories out of 19, for a 100% home record that has never been achieved in the Premier League.

The match was more important for Villa, given its perilous position in the relegation zone. The visitors gave Liverpool a guard of honour before the match — like Man City did on Thursday — but didn’t pay the champions much respect on the field at an empty Anfield that was bedecked in club banners.

Indeed, with Liverpool often looking lethargic, Villa carried a threat on the counterattack, although Dean Smith’s team wasn’t helped by a foot injury that seemed to hamper captain and playmaker Jack Grealish most of the game.

Villa stayed in third-to-last place, one point adrift of safety with five games left.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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DeChambeau after confronting cameraman: Players need 'times of privacy' – theScore

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Bryson DeChambeau displayed his frustration with a cameraman on Saturday after botching a bunker shot on the seventh hole during the third round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

DeChambeau threw his club into the sand, then took issue with the cameraman following him closely to the green as he proceeded to mark his ball. He holed out for bogey before confronting the camerman.

“He was literally watching me the whole entire way up after getting out of the bunker, walking up next to the green,” DeChambeau said, according to Golf Channel’s Will Gray. “And I just was like, ‘Sir, what is the need to watch me that long?’

“I mean, I understand it’s his job to video me, but at the same point, I think we need to start protecting our players out here compared to showing a potential vulnerability and hurting someone’s image. I just don’t think that’s necessarily the right thing to do.”

The 26-year-old understands that attention comes with the territory, but he asked that golfers be given some space during moments of frustration.

“As much as we’re out here performing, I think it’s necessary that we have our times of privacy as well when things aren’t going our way,” DeChambeau said,

“… I feel like when you’re videoing someone and you catch Tiger (Woods) at a bad time, you show him accidentally doing something, or someone else, they’re just frustrated because they really care about the game. It could really hurt them if they catch you at a potentially vulnerable time.”

DeChambeau shot a 5-under 67 in the third round and is at 16-under for the event. He sits three shots back of leader Matthew Wolff, who shot a 64 on Saturday.

The five-time PGA Tour winner continued to show his improved power with an average driving distance of 348.5 on Saturday, and a 374-yard drive on No. 13 highlighted his day.

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Bottas captures season opening Austrian Grand Prix – TSN

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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday while Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty.

Bottas took a knee as he received the winners’ trophy and the podium trio held up a black T-shirt with “End Racism” written on it.

The race was interrupted three times by a safety car and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon — who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

“I dodged a few bullets today,” Bottas said after the eighth F1 win of his career.

Hamilton was given a five-second time penalty for causing the collision – dropping from second to fourth – having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

Although Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari and Lando Norris third for McLaren.

“It felt like a victory today. Second place is something I never would have expected,” said Leclerc, who started from seventh. “I will rate this as one of my best races, I didn’t do many mistakes.”

Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures — and threw social distancing out of the window amid the euphoria as CEO Zak Brown hugged everyone in sight — with third place.

His jubilation was understandable.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium and his superb final lap was the fastest of an exciting opening race. Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third youngest ever in F1. Only Verstappen and Lance Stroll were younger.

All drivers wore “End Racism” T-shirts before the race, but six drivers did not take the knee: Verstappen, Leclerc, Kimi Raikkonen, Daniil Kvyat, Antonio Giovinazzi and Carlos Sainz Jr.

Hamilton, the only Black driver in F1, wore a T-shirt with Black Lives Matter on the front and End Racism on the back.

Verstappen was chasing a hat trick of wins at the Red Bull Ring, but his race ended early with a power failure. Sebastian Vettel’s miserable form from last season carried over as he finished 10th.

Hamilton’s three-place grid penalty was for failing to slow under a yellow flag late in Saturday’s qualifying and it pushed Verstappen up to second place on the grid. Norris jumped to third and Albon to fourth.

Bottas made a strong start from pole position while Verstappen just held off Norris.

Hamilton took four laps to overtake Norris and move into fourth, and another five to overtake Albon in third. But he was gifted a position as Verstappen ground to a halt moments later.

Daniel Ricciardo (Renault), Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean (Haas), Stroll (Racing Point), George Russell (Williams), Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) and Kvyat (AlphaTauri).

Approaching the midway point of the race, Magnussen went off track after trying to overtake Esteban Ocon’s Renault. The safety car was deployed for two laps, allowing Hamilton to claw back a few seconds on Bottas.

When the race re-started on Lap 30, Bottas got away cleanly.

But moments later Vettel tried to pass Sainz Jr. on the outside but misjudged his attack, spinning his car after nudging into the side of the McLaren and losing several positions.

Hamilton lurked right behind Bottas for the next 20 laps but could not find an angle to attack and both drivers were then warned over team radio to stay off the kerbs to protect their gearboxes.

The safety car came out a second time on Lap 52 and again soon after the right tire flew off the front of Raikkonen’s car and narrowly missed hitting Vettel’s Ferrari just behind.

Then after that restart, Albon made a daring and seemingly clean move on the outside of Hamilton, who appeared to impede him just as he was passing.

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More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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