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Masai Ujiri says the conversation about racism 'can no longer be avoided' – CBC.ca

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Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the protests around the United States that have followed.

Ujiri, in a column that was published Sunday by the Globe and Mail, wrote about his reaction to seeing the video of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, dying after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes, even after he stopped moving and pleading for air last Monday.

‘We have to stop that cycle’

Ujiri also referenced the recent death of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was shot while jogging in Georgia, and of Breonna Taylor, a young black woman who was fatally shot by police in her home in Kentucky.

“A death like this happens, and we rage about it, and the headlines recede, and the world moves on, and then a few weeks later something else happens and we’re outraged again and then we move on, again. We have to stop that cycle,” Ujiri said in the column.

“So many of you are asking: What can I do? There is a sense of helplessness, but that must not paralyze us,” he added. “Your voice matters, especially when you are a leader or influential figure, and especially if you are white. Leaders have to be bold enough to state the obvious and call out racism.”

“The conversation can no longer be avoided because it is hard. We have to have it. Now.”

This week thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States.

Officer Derek Chauvin, 44, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Ujiri said “police have a tough job. But … they are supposed to protect all of us.

“I didn’t see any peace or protection when that officer had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck. I saw indifference,” Ujiri wrote. “The ‘order’ in ‘law and order’ should not mean the deadly suppression of people of colour; it should mean preserving a society so we can all feel free and safe, to live in peace with each other.”

Kyle Dubas, the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, tweeted Ujiri’s column.

Raptors call for change

“As an organization and a community, we come from all over the world. We are diverse. We speak different languages. But our shared humanity unites us,” the Toronto Raptors said in a released statement Saturday night.

“When we see racism and violence committed against someone because of the colour of their skin, we should, and do, feel outrage. We cannot accept this. While we grieve for those we have lost, we know grieving is not enough. We must honour their memory by acknowledging these ills exist, confronting them, and coming together to create a better society. It is far past time.”

Michael Jordan weighs in

Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, who is also the principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets, also released a statement on Sunday.

“I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry. I see and feel everyone’s pain, outrage and frustration. I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of colour in our country. We have had enough.

I don’t have the answers, but our collective voices show strength and the inability to be divided by others. We must listen to each other, show compassion and empathy and never turn our backs on senseless brutality. We need to continue peaceful expressions against injustice and demand accountability. Our unified voice needs to put pressure on our leaders to change our laws, or else we need to use our vote to create systemic change. Every one of us needs to be part of the solution, and we work together to ensure justice for all.

My heart goes out to the family of George Floyd and to the countless others whose lives have been brutally and senselessly taken through the acts of racism and injustice.”

Steve Nash: ‘This is a white problem’

Fellow Basketball Hall of Famer and recent Canadian Sports Hall of Fame inductee Steve Nash also weighed in on Sunday.

The Victoria B.C. native tweeted “This is a white problem. How are WE Caucasian people going to create equality? Listen. Read. Walk in others shoes. Organize. Sacrifice. Change. Support. VOTE! These are the MINIMUM of REPARATIONS.”

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Toronto Blue Jays player accused of skipping on rent pays up – CBC.ca

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The ongoing dispute between Toronto Blue Jays player Ryan “Rowdy” Tellez, and his Toronto landlord has been resolved.

CBC News has learned with the Jays back in Toronto and practicing at the Rogers Centre, Tellez paid his landlord $16,400 to cover his rent payments through the end of September, when the lease on a two-bedroom downtown Toronto condo is set to expire.

“I’m very pleased Mr. Tellez has paid his lease agreement in full through till the end of September,” landlord Linda Pinizzotto told CBC News.

“We were able to finalize his payment through his legal representative in a friendly manner.”

Pinizzotto, who first told CBC Toronto about the issue in June, declined to comment further.

Tellez returned to Toronto on Sunday but has yet to step foot in the condo or pick up the keys, despite signing a lease back in January. During the time he was refusing to pay, Tellez argued through his Florida-based lawyer that because COVID-19 had suspended the baseball season and he was stuck living in the U.S., he shouldn’t have to pay rent in Toronto.  

WATCH | Blue Jays players in Toronto preparing for upcoming shortened MLB season:

Major League Baseball training camps are now open. Toronto Blue Jays players have arrived in Toronto for team workouts that could be held as early as Monday at Rogers Centre. The shortened season is set to resume but without any fans in the stands. 8:14

Currently, the Jays players who had been training in Florida are isolating at the Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel, which is attached to the Rogers Centre, where they’ve been cleared to practice.

At least one Jays player is still in Florida after testing positive for COVID-19, although the team won’t say who that is.

The Blue Jays were granted special permission to return to Canada by local, provincial and federal officials to conduct pre-season training.

The Blue Jays are still awaiting clearance to play home games in Toronto. A shortened Major League Baseball season is set to begin on July 23, and manager Charlie Montoyo says the team is hungry to play.

Coach still not paying his rent

Tellez wasn’t the only Blue Jay accused of not paying rent.

First base coach Mark Budzinski is still locked in a dispute with his landlord, Derrick Thomas.

Budzinski signed a six-month lease with Thomas earlier this year, but after making three payments, he stopped paying his $3,100 a month rent for a condo a block from Rogers Centre.

Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr., right, stands beside first base coach Mark Budzinski. (Fred Thornhill/Canadian Press )

Budzinski is currently taking Thomas to Ontario’s Landlord and Tenant Board, which handles rental disputes.

He wants the $9,300 he’s paid in rent so far returned, and the remainder of the six-month lease terminated.

Budzinski has argued he was unable to use the condo due to border restrictions and the fact the baseball season was on hold.

A date has yet to be set for the hearing. His legal representative has told CBC News, the coach will respect any decision the board makes.

It’s unclear if Budzinski is in Toronto or if he remains in Florida.

The Blue Jays did not respond to prior questions about the rent situations.

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Tiger Woods announces return to PGA Tour after 5 months – CBC.ca

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Tiger Woods announced on Thursday that he will compete at next week’s Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, the 15-time major champion’s first PGA Tour event in five months.

“I’m looking forward to playing in the @MemorialGolf next week,” Woods said on his Twitter account. “I’ve missed going out and competing with the guys and can’t wait to get back out there.”

Woods last competed on the PGA Tour in mid-February when he labored through a final-round 77 at the Genesis Invitational where he finished last among players who made the cut.

The 44-year-old reigning Masters champion then skipped a number of events with back issues prior to the PGA Tour’s three-month COVID-19 hiatus that began in mid-March and opted to sit out the circuit’s first five events since the break.

Woods, who is one win shy of a record-breaking 83 PGA Tour victories, did play a May 24 charity match with Phil Mickelson and Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village is one of the most high-profile, non-major events on the PGA Tour and Woods has triumphed there a record five times, most recently in 2012.

Woods will be part of a loaded field that also includes world number one Rory McIlroy, five-times major champion Phil Mickelson, 2018 Memorial champion Bryson DeChambeau and major winners Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia.

The July 16-19 tournament was originally supposed to have a limited number of spectators but earlier this week the PGA Tour scrapped plans to let fans attend due to COVID-19.

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Agent Scott Boras: Blue Jays are in ‘excellent’ position with young core – Sportsnet.ca

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When the Toronto Blue Jays drafted Austin Martin fifth overall last month, they got a rare skillset that his agent Scott Boras calls “dirt power.”

“Austin is a player that, in past drafts, could’ve likely been the No. 1 pick in the draft. He’s a unique player because he, like Kris Bryant, is so versatile because he can play infield and outfield positions and do it with great comfort,” Boras said during an appearance on Writers Bloc on Thursday. “Plus, his bat has that kind of power that you would expect more from a larger player — more of a corner outfielder — and yet he’s got infield size. We call it ‘dirt power,’ and it’s pretty rare for a player to have dirt power. I think the Blue Jays got themselves something pretty special here.”

Writers Bloc

Scott Boras on client Austin Martin signing with the Blue Jays

July 09 2020

Boras just successfully negotiated Martin’s first pro baseball contract — a deal worth just over $7 million — and will now see his client jump right into the Blue Jays’ 60-man player pool to join the club in Toronto as they train for a shortened 2020 season.

Looking at the Blue Jays’ young core right now, Boras likes what he sees.

“Mark [Shapiro] and Ross [Atkins] have done a really good job of building a foundational core where they literally have a middle of the lineup that includes players who can play the infield. When you see that in a club, where you’re going to get middle-lineup potential with players who can really fulfill infield spots, that is something that most clubs in baseball don’t have. It also opens the door for you to get slugging players, corner-outfielders, that are often more available in free agency than infielders.”

Boras, who has been critical of the Blue Jays’ dealings in recent years, said their current situation with a young roster now opens the door for management to hunt for free agent pitching and spend money on some bigger, win-now free agents because of the steady, affordable foundation built through drafting and development.

“I would say right now the Blue Jays are really in an excellent position going forward here for the next five, six years,” he said.

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