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NFL Notes: Rodgers realizes his days in Green Bay are numbered – Ottawa Sun

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Clearly miffed when he was ignored by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2005 NFL draft, Aaron Rodgers just might get the chance to finish his career with the team that lives three hours south of his home town.

If not the 49ers, well, then it will surely be one of 30 other teams. Just not in Green Bay.

That became evident to the 36-year-old future Hall of Fame quarterback last month when the Packers used their first-round selection to take Utah State QB Jordan Love. Rodgers was hoping they would grab a receiver who could help them win now, not his eventual successor.

“I’m not going to say I was thrilled with the pick,” Rodgers said Friday in a conference call with reporters, his first public comments since the draft. “I think it was more the surprise, based on my own feeling of wanting to play into my 40s, and really the realization that it does change the controllables a little bit. As much as I feel confident in my abilities and what I can accomplish and what we can accomplish, there are some new factors that are out of my control. And so my sincere desire to start and finish with the same organization, just as it is with many other players over the years, may not be a reality at this point.”

Rodgers, who signed a $134-million extension in 2018, is under contract for four more seasons. Numbers reported on ESPN.com state that should they move him after the 2020 season, the Packers would save just $4.76 million on the cap and have $31.556 million in dead money. After the 2021 season, they would save $22.648 million but would have to count $17.204 million in dead money.

Rodgers said he respects the team foresight in looking ahead, and he expects to have a great relationship with Love.

“He didn’t ask to be drafted by the Packers,” said Rodgers. “He’s not to blame at all. He’s just coming in and excited about his opportunity.”

Rodgers is intent on presenting the Packers with a “very hard” decision.

“If I were to retire in the organization’s timetable, then it’s an easy decision,” he said. “But if there comes a time where I feel I can still play at a high level and my body feels great, you know, then there’s other guys that have gone on and played elsewhere.”

Just watch, in two years Rodgers will take over for Tom Brady in Tampa.

SECOND AND GOAL

The attorney for Quinton Dunbar says he has “five sworn affidavits from witnesses,” that say the Seahawks cornerback was not involved in an alleged armed robbery Thursday morning in Miramar, Fla. “I’m confident that he was there but confident he didn’t commit a crime,” said Michael Grieco. “He got targeted because of who he was.” Also charged was Giants DeAndre Baker, the first corner selected in 2019 draft and holder of a signed four-year $10.2 million deal that included a $5.6 million singing bonus. Dunbar and Baker allegedly lost $70,000 gambling earlier in the week. Allegedly, they and a masked accomplice stole $12,000 in cash and $61,000 in watches at a party. Allegedly, they had three getaway cars waiting for them — a Mercedes-Benz, a Lamborghini and a BMW. Oh, don’t worry, we’re all thinking the same thing … Commissioner Roger Goodell has informed teams they are permitted to begin opening their training facilities as of Tuesday — provided they check a few boxes. Such as, they are not allowed to have more than 50 percent of staff in the facility, and the number cannot exceed 75 people; to “ensure equality among all 32 teams” the only coach permitted on site is the strength and conditioning guy, and only if he is currently participating in player rehabilitation; no players are allowed in the facility unless they are undergoing treatment; teams must promptly report any incidence of COVID-19. Hey, it’s a start …

SIDELINE TO SIDELINE

Already Buffalo third-round pick Zack Moss looks like he’ll be a favourite of Bills Mafia. The 5-foot-9, 223-pound running back out of Utah has qualities reminiscent of Marshawn Lynch, who started his career in upper state New York. And that’s not even counting his ‘Moss Mode’ line of merchandise. Asked on Good Morning Football about his mindset when running the ball, Moss said: “To just not be tackled. To make sure I’m not being tackled by one guy. You going to tackle me, it’s going to have to be a business decision.” Whereas Lynch is fuelled by Skittles, Moss goes another route. “Only thing I like to snack on a lot is gummy bears,” he said … The future home of the Rams and Chargers, SoFi Stadium, will reportedly cost 2-3 times more than the $2-3 billion original projection. (That’s $5-6 billion, because we said there’d be no math). According to a report in The Athletic, the Rams have asked the NFL for $500 million in additional funding and double the time (to 30 years) they’ll have to repay the loan. The Rams and Chargers initially borrowed $400 million from the league for the project, which the Rams say is 85 percent completed. It looks spectacular (no kidding, for that kind of coin) and is certain to be much nicer than Allegiant Stadium, which will be the new home of the Las Vegas Raiders and located in Paradise, Nevada. It’s reportedly only costing $2 billion.

EXTRA POINTS

James Harrison’s Instagram response to a story he started was almost comical. “Wow y’all really comparing what I said to BOUNTYA$GATE?!? Mike T. has NEVER paid me for hurting someone or TRYING to hurt someone or put a bounty on ANYBODY.” What exactly did he expect after telling a podcast Steelers coach Mike Tomlin handed him “an envelope” and insinuating there was money inside when he was fined 75 grand for an illegal head hit 10 years ago? … The Saints have added another multi-purpose player in Ty Montgomery, the running back/wide receiver/return specialist who spent last season with the Jets after a couple of more productive years in Green Bay. Montgomery will serve as insurance and relief for Alvin Kamara, but he’ll also have to split carries with the still productive Latavius Murray and “gadget guy” Taysom Hill.

dbrennan@postmedia.com

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FIFA calls on organizers not to sanction in-game gestures supporting George Floyd – CBC.ca

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FIFA urged soccer competition organizers on Monday to apply “common sense” and consider not sanctioning players for solidarity with George Floyd during matches.

The recognition of the “depth of sentiment” over Floyd’s death came in a rare statement by FIFA telling the global game to show flexibility and not enforce laws of soccer it helps to set.

Players used weekend games in Germany to reveal messages demanding justice for Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died after he pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck in Minneapolis.

Germany’s soccer federation announced earlier Monday that it was assessing whether to sanction the players for breaking laws of the game that prohibit “any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images” on equipment.

WATCH | German league players show support for George Floyd:

During Sunday’s Bundesliga action, Marcus Thuram takes a knee and Jadon Sancho unveils a shirt that says ‘Justice For George Floyd’. 0:40

“FIFA fully understands the depth of sentiment and concerns expressed by many footballers in light of the tragic circumstances of the George Floyd case,” the governing body said in a statement.

“The application of the laws of the game approved by the IFAB is left for the competitions’ organisers, which should use common sense and have in consideration the context surrounding the events.”

FIFA controls half of the eight votes on the International Football Association Board, with the other four held by England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. A law change in 2014 — proposed by England — led to players being banned from revealing personal statements on undergarments.

England winger Jadon Sancho was booked while playing for Borussia Dortmund on Sunday for removing his jersey — a yellow-card offence — only so he could reveal a T-shirt with a “Justice for George Floyd” message.

WATCH | Canadian athletes speak against racism:

Canadian athletes have been speaking out against racism and for change, including tennis youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime, basketball legend Steve Nash, and Olympians Kia Nurse, Karina LeBlanc and Perdita Felicien 2:38

Borussia Dortmund teammate Achraf Hakimi displayed the same message on a T-shirt after scoring in the same game on Sunday but was not booked because he did not lift his jersey over his head.

Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died on Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee for several minutes on his neck. Three other officers were also at the scene. Chauvin has been charged with murder and all four were fired.

In the Bundesliga on Saturday, American midfielder Weston McKennie wore an armband over his Schalke jersey with the handwritten message “Justice for George,” and Borussia Mönchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram took a knee after scoring for Borussia Mönchengladbach in another game.

On Monday, after the Deutscher Fussball-Bund said it was assessing the players’ actions, Cologne forward Anthony Modeste became the latest to make a gesture after scoring against Leipzig. He stood briefly with his right palm facing out and his left palm facing in to display the darker skin on the back of his hand.

Cologne said it was “a clear signal” against racism from Modeste.

WATCH | ESPN’s Howard Bryant reflects on Kaepernick’s preaceful protest:

ESPN senior writer Howard Bryant on the death of George Floyd and the resulting civil unrest. 4:19

DFB president Fritz Keller on Monday showed his respect and understanding for McKennie, Thuram, Sancho and Hakimi’s gestures.

“If people are discriminated against on the basis of their skin colour, it is unbearable. If they die because of their skin colour, then I am deeply distraught,” Keller said in a DFB statement. “The victims of racism need all of us to show solidarity.”

The expressions of protest are being investigated by the German soccer federation’s control body.

“As is the case internationally,” federation vice-president Rainer Koch said, “the game itself should remain free of political statements or messages of any kind.”

FIFA’s awareness of the depth of feeling over the racial inequalities highlighted by Floyd’s death comes amid ongoing criticism soccer is not doing enough to eradicate or punish racism.

“FIFA had repeatedly expressed itself to be resolutely against racism and discrimination of any kind and recently strengthened its own disciplinary rules with a view to helping to eradicate such behaviours,” the Zurich-based governing body said. “FIFA itself has promoted many anti-racism campaigns which frequently carry the anti-racism message at matches organised under its own auspices.”

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UFC star Jon Jones confronts vandals during George Floyd protest in Albuquerque – GIVEMESPORT

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UFC star Jon Jones took to the streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico on Sunday night to confront vandals at a Black Lives Matter protest.

Jones has made news in the UFC world recently by vacating the light heavyweight belt but turned his attentions to more pressing matters at the weekend.

The 32-year-old shared footage on his Instagram account that shows him approaching vandals who were spray painting the city.

The protests were sparked by the death of American George Floyd while in police custody last week.

The clip of a police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes shocked the world and has led to people challenging the injustice towards black people.

But Jones was eager for the protests to be peaceful and he was seen asking the vandals to hand over their spray cans.

He added a caption that read: “Is this s*** even about George Floyd anymore?!? Why the f*** are you punk ass teenagers destroying our cities!?? 

“As a young black man trust me I’m frustrated as well but this is not the way, we are starting to make a bad situation worse.

“If you really got love for your city (505), protect your s***. All you old heads need to speak up, call your young family members and tell them to come home tonight.”

Several sports stars have paid tribute to Floyd, with Bundesliga football players making gestures in support of the American at the weekend.

On Saturday, Schalke’s American midfielder Weston McKennie wore a ‘Justice for George armband’.

And on Sunday, both Marcus Thuram and Jadon Sancho honoured Floyd after scoring for Borussia Monchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund respectively.

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MLS players boycott training in apparent labour impasse – TSN

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Toronto FC, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecap players boycotted training Monday in an apparent labour impasse between the MLS and the MLS Players Association.

It appears players in “multiple markets” also stayed home amidst reports they faced a threatened lockout by the league.

The training sessions are voluntary but players had been taking advantage of them, with Toronto, Atlanta, Inter Miami and Sporting Kansas City among those slated to progress from individual to small group training sessions Monday.

“Players made a CHOICE to focus their time and energy on an important decision which includes the threat of a lockout instead of volunteering to attend on-field training for a tournament we already agreed to attend,” tweeted Minnesota United midfielder Ethan Finlay, a member of the MLSPA’s executive board. “Refuse is not the word I would use.”

With the season on hold since March 12 due to the pandemic, the two sides have been bargaining about concessions and pay.

On Sunday night, the Players Association announced its membership had approved a package for the 2020 season included player salary reductions and additional concessions. It did not provide specifics although the proposal included participating in a summer tournament in Orlando.

“While a difficult vote in incredibly challenging times, it was taken collectively to ensure that players can return to competition as soon as they are safely able to do so,” the PA said in a statement. “The package has been formally submitted to the league for a decision by the owners.”

The league declined comment Sunday night but reports soon emerged that it wanted more concessions.

Complicating matters is the fact that while the league and PA agreed on a new collectively bargaining agreement in February, it has yet to be ratified.

The players’ proposal included adding a year to the CBA.

The labour negotiations come against a backdrop of unrest in the U.S. in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

“I can’t sleep some of these nights!,” tweeted Mark-Anthony Kaye, a Canadian international who plays for Los Angeles FC. “My mind just races and goes on and on at the amount of possible scenarios in where I lose my life or I’m harmed by a police officer who took an oath to protect us. The police force has lost its credibility, the CHANGE needs to start internally!”

The league released a statement Monday saying the “entire Major League Soccer family is deeply saddened and horrified by the senseless murder of George Floyd.

“We stand united with the black community throughout our country and share in the pain, anger and frustration. We hear you. We see you. We support you. We are committed to use our voices and the platform of our league, our clubs and our players to continue to champion equality and social justice.”

Prior to the league release, Toronto defender Justin Morrow wondered what was taking so long.

“How long must we wait to hear from you regarding what’s going on across the country?” he tweeted. “Can’t you see that your players are speaking up and it matters to them? Your silence is deafening. Please support us.”

The MLSPA issued its statement Sunday.

“Like our players, we are deeply sickened by the continued inequality and violence around the country. We stand with all of those who have been subjected to unfair and unequal treatment because of the colour of their skin. We must commit as a society to end this horrible cycle.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2020.

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

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