Athletes and notable names from the world of sports are speaking up as protests continue following the death of George Floyd last this week in Minneapolis.
Als RB Wilder leads CFLers message against racism and police brutality
Montreal Alouettes running back James Wilder Jr. posted a video to social media Tuesday of a number of CFL players sharing a message against systemic racism and police brutality.
“Called on some of my brothers all round the CFL to openly stand with me against Systemic Racism and Police Brutality. WITHOUT hesitation they STOOD!!! Now WE call on YOU to Proudly stand with us!!!! SILENCE IS VIOLENCE!!!!! #STANDTOGETHER
Among the CFLers to share the message were Adam Bighill, Henoc Muamba, Mike Reilly, Zach Collaros, Dacid Casarrubias, Bo Levi Mitchell, Shawn Lemon, Cody Fajardo, Dylan ynn, McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Timothy Flanders, and Trevor Harris.
Toronto Argonauts receiver Juwan Brescacin also posted a message on social media, saying “we need to reach one common goal together which is equality.”
Ottawa Redblacks quarterback Nick Arbuckle joined the conversation on Tuesday as well.
“An entire half of my family shares the same skin colour as George Floyd, who was murdered by the police in Minneapolis last week. My wife is Black and our beautiful newborn daughter, Aaliyah, is biracial,” part of the statement read. “Even with Aaliyah being biracial, which comes with its own challenges, she will undoubtedly be viewed as Black in America when it comes to the justice system, school applications, police interactions, and everything else where prejudice and racism exists.
“That’s one of the things that has made it most difficult to find the words to express during these times.”
Struble: Being silent doesn’t ignite change
Defenceman prospect Jayden Struble, selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the second round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, shared a powerful message on Twitter Tuesday morning.
Struble said he’s angry with how many black lives have been taken without any consequences.
“To start I wanna say that I’ve been angry for a while now. Angry that I keep seeing innocent black lives taken at such a rate that the news seems incomplete without another victim,” said Struble, who is African American. “I’m angry that time and time again this country lets us know that black lives are disposable without any consequence. Angry that the “every man is equal” slogan proves to be just a slogan in this country.”
The 18-year-old went on to support the protests in North America and criticized people who are referring to the rioters as “thugs.”
“First of all these people rioting are not thugs, they’re not criminals, they’re not lower than you,” he wrote. “They are people so broken down by years of systematic racism, and discrimination, in a country who stands for freedom and equality. They’re people who have watched brothers and sisters, friends, and/or other people of colour be beaten, killed, and belittled, asking for help and justice, without the slightest hint of support or change. Peaceful protests got us NOWHERE. So before you u label people thugs, think about where this country could be if people in power listened, helped and implemented change.”
Reach Struble’s full statement below.
Woods joins the conversation
Tiger Woods took to Twitter Monday night to speak out for the first time since Floyd’s death.
“I have always had the utmost respect for our law enforcement,” Woods said. “They train so diligently to understand how, when and where to use force. This shocking tragedy clearly crossed that line.”
Woods condemned the looting that has taken place in some areas, stating he learned from the Los Angeles riots in 1992 that “education is the best path forward.”
“We can make our points without burning the very neighborhoods we live in,” Woods said. “I hope that through constructive, honest conversations we can build a safer, unified society.”
Griffin III: No brand is more valuable than human rights
Dumba: I will not be silent about any racial injustice in our society again
Veteran Minnesota Wild defenceman Matt Dumba joined the conversation on Tuesday.
Marner: Now is the time to listen with intent
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner and goalie Frederik Andersen was two of many professional athletes and organizations to participate in #BlackoutDay on Twitter on Tuesday.
“I’ve been searching for the right thing to say – but I realize that now is the time to listen with intent, understanding and learn how we can help,” wrote Marner.
Andersen added shortly later: “Humanity can be incredible, and people have the capacity for so much more. Let’s all fight racism and hate and unite with compassion, respect and love.”
Stamkos makes a statement
Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos took to Twitter Tuesday morning regarding the death of George Floyd and the ongoing protests in the United States.
“I have watched, I have listened and now I am ready to speak. Since the senseless killing of George Floyd, I have had a hard time trying to articulate a way of expressing how I truly fell. Am I scared? Do I feel a sense of guilt being a white man? Am I part of the problem if I remain silent,” Stamkos wrote. ” I have watched and listened to the peaceful gatherings of people in protest and I have nothing but compassion and respect for that. I have also watched the looting and the riots. I certainly don’t approve of those action, but as many of YOU have opened my eyes to, I see that these action may be coming from real pain and suffering. I can at least try to comprehend that.”
The 30-year-old went on to say that he’ll continue to educate himself on the issue pf racism and encourages others to step up and speak up against it.
“I know that we don’t have all the answers right now, but I believe we can come together and continue this fight for change and a better tomorrow.”
New York Rangers defenceman Jacob Trouba says “as a privileged white male, it’s easy for me to live in this country,” and that even though it’s important to speak up when it comes to racial injustice, it’s “equally important to listen.”
“It’s been tough for me to find the words to say, so I haven’t. I’ve been listening. Educating myself. Letting others educate me before I speak. I thought I understood, but I didn’t. As a privileged white male, it’s easy for me to live in this country.
“I’ve always heard about the pain and fear of others but I don’t know if I ever truly sat with it and tried to imagine. I know that I will never know what it’s like. And now I know that as important as it is to speak up, it’s equally important to listen.
“Talk with your friends about racism, Black and White. Start conversations, self-reflect, listen, and engage. Black lives matter.”
Chargers coach Lynn discusses racial injustice: ‘I don’t want to just put [a statement] out there because it’s the right thing to do. I want change.’
Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn shared his thoughts on George Floyd’s death and the ongoing protests, and racial injustice to LZ Granderson of the Los Angeles Times Tuesday, saying he’s ‘pissed off’ and wanted to do more than put out a statement.
“I’ve read some good statements,” Lynn told the LA Times. “I read Brian Flores from the Dolphins and I agree 100% with him. I read Doc Rivers’ statement and those guys spoke from the heart. I think statements are needed to bring awareness to the situation. But I want to do something too. I don’t want to just put [a statement] out there because it’s the right thing to do. I want change.”
“I haven’t done anything to make this a better place for my son. I remember having the talk with him when he was 16 about how to handle police and then at age 30 I called him up and just had the talk with him again because I’m so scared. I want to do something but to be honest with you, I don’t know what that is.”
“How do we effect that type of change? Where’s the accountability for that kind of [expletive]? That’s where I’m at right now. I’m angry, I’m pissed off and I don’t want to just put out a pretty statement.”
MLB memo on addressing injustice
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred issued an internal memo to all MLB employees on Monday concerning the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the subsequent protests around the United States. Manfred said baseball wants to be part of the solution.
“Addressing injustice requires action. Together we must bring about change. Baseball wants to be part of the solution,” the memo read.
A number of teams released statements Tuesday morning including the Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets .
“Racism and silence in the face of it cannot be tolerated,” the Brewers statement read. The Brewers also said they are committed to working with their community to effect meaningful and lasting change.
“We stand with our state, our city, and community. We hope to be a part of positive change in our society,” the Mets statement read.
Former Toronto Blue Jays and current New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman retweeted the Mets’ statement with the caption BLACK LIVES MATTER.
American international RB Yedlin shares emotional message on Twitter
American international and Newcastle United RB DeAndre Yedlin shared an emotional message on Twitter Tuesday after the death of George Floyd.
Yedlin, who has represented the United States in international soccer, said his heart goes out in solidarity to George Floyd and his family, and “all of the countless number of victims that have had their lives taken at the hands of meaningless police brutality.”
Monty Williams validates Suns players’ feelings amid civil unrest
Tanev would 'love' to remain with Hughes, Canucks – NHL.com
Christopher Tanev said he is hoping to be teammates with Quinn Hughes on the Vancouver Canucks well beyond this season.
“I’d love to stay here and play with Quinn as long as I’m able to,” Tanev said Tuesday. “I think we played great together when we did this year and I think we both enjoyed it. … I think he’s an extremely dynamic player that is only going to get better and better for this organization, and it was pretty special what he did this year.”
Tanev, a 30-year-old defenseman who can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, has been frequently paired with Hughes, who led rookies with 53 points (eight goals, 45 assists) in 68 games this season and played in the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game.
Last week, Hughes discussed how important Tanev has been to him during his rookie season.
“Chris has probably played the biggest role for me, on and off the ice, my first year,” Hughes said. “He’s been extremely important for the team; I think he’s a leader in the locker room and a guy that everyone likes, so that would be a huge blow if we lost him (in free agency). I think that [general manager] Jim [Benning] and the coaching staff understand his value. It’s not my business, but I would think they’re going to do the best they can to make a deal.”
The Canucks, who haven’t qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the 2014-15 season, were 36-27-6 (.565 points percentage) this season and will enter the Stanley Cup Qualifiers as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. They will play the No. 10 seed, the Minnesota Wild (35-27-7, .558), in one of eight best-of-5 series, with the winner advancing to the playoffs and the loser having a chance at the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft in the Second Phase of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery.
“I’m ready to play hockey,” Tanev said. “I think I can get a contract regardless. I feel like I’m going to play well. If we play playoffs, then I’m confident in my abilities. If the [NHL/NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement] does get voted through, you take all those things into effect.”
The NHL and the NHL Players’ Association announced Monday that they have agreed in principle on a memorandum of understanding for a four-year extension of the collective bargaining agreement, through the 2025-26 season.
Tanev, who sustained a lower-body injury March 10 in the Canucks’ final game before the NHL season was paused two days later due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, said he is healthy for the qualifiers.
“I feel good,” he said. “I did tweak my knee a bit in the last game of the year and probably would’ve missed five or six games, but it felt great to play in [all 69 games] of the season and I felt good, strong and like I was playing well.”
The Canucks skated June 30 for the first time under the NHL Return to Play Plan. Phase 2, which began June 8, allowed for voluntary workouts on and off the ice in small groups at team facilities. Tanev has been skating in a group with defensemen Alexander Edler, Troy Stecher and Tyler Myers, and forwards Jake Virtanen and Micheal Ferland.
Tanev, the second-longest tenured Canucks player (he has played with them since 2010-11), tied his NHL career high with 20 points (two goals, 18 assists) in 69 games this season; only Edler (2006-07) has been with Vancouver longer. Tanev played three games in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, when the Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins in seven games, and played in five playoff games that season, his first in the NHL. Vancouver reached the playoffs four of his first five seasons.
“I was fortunate enough, my first few years in the League, to be able to play in the playoffs, and we haven’t been able to do it in the recent years, so I think (young) guys understand that,” Tanev said about Hughes and forwards Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser. “I don’t need to go and tell them that it’s not a given that you’re going to make the playoffs every year. Guys are smart and our young guys are our best players, and they’ll be ready to go.
“You never know when you’re going to get the next chance. … you want to go out and try to seize the opportunity.”
Provided health and safety conditions allow, the opening of training camps in the teams’ local markets, which is the start of Phase 3, is scheduled for July 13. Teams will then travel July 26 to one of two hub cities, where they will begin Phase 4, the resumption of play, with the qualifiers starting Aug. 1. The hub cities have not been announced.
“We have just as good of a shot as anyone to win this thing, so I think we’re going to be ready to go once the puck drops,” Tanev said. “I think when we were healthy, we could play anyone this year and go toe-to-toe with them. [Goalie Jacob Markstrom] was great. … We can beat anyone.”
NHLPA Executive Board approves CBA, return-to-play plan – Sportsnet.ca
The NHLPA’s Executive Board has approved the CBA extension and return-to-play plan that was recently agreed to with the NHL. The entire NHLPA membership will now have an opportunity to vote on the two agreements with a simple majority required to ratify them.
In a tweet, the NHLPA announced that the full membership vote will be conducted electronically from Wednesday to Friday this week and the result of the vote is expected to be announced shortly after. The NHL’s Board of Governors will also vote on the agreements sometime this week.
The return-to-play plan includes all the rules and regulations necessary for the NHL to stage a 24-team return later this summer. This agreement covers Phase 3 of the return — training camps beginning July 13 — and Phase 4 — the resumption of play on Aug. 1. Any player that wishes to opt out of returning to play will have 72 hours to do so once the agreement has been approved.
Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston has more information on what the return-to-play plan covers here.
While the return-to-play plan was essential to complete the 2019-20 season, a CBA extension was equally important as it dictates how the league will move forward from a season that could cost it up to $1 billion in lost revenues. The current agreement was scheduled to expire in September of 2022 and the extension adds four more years.
As part of the agreement, the salary cap will remain flat at $81.5 million for every season until league revenues hit $4.8 billion. The agreement also offers some stability with regards to escrow charged to the players. With a 50-50 split in revenue and teams expected to play in at best partially full stadiums next season, players were potentially going to be hit very hard by escrow to cover the lost revenues. The new CBA caps escrow at 20 per cent in 2020-21 and that number will go down as league revenues go up over the course of the deal.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman has more details on the CBA here, including information about new trade clause rules and Olympic participation.
After suspending the season and sending players home in March, the NHL began Phase 2 of returning to play on June 8 by allowing small group skates at team facilities. In the month since Phase 2 began, 35 players have tested positive for COVID-19, the NHL announced Monday.
Blackhawks keeping name, pledge more support to Native American communities – Sportsnet.ca
CHICAGO — The Chicago Blackhawks say they will continue to use their team name because it honours a Native American leader who has been an inspiration to generations.
“The Chicago Blackhawks name and logo symbolizes an important and historic person, Black Hawk of Illinois’ Sac & Fox Nation, whose leadership and life has inspired generations of Native Americans, veterans and the public,” the NHL team said in a statement Tuesday.
“We celebrate Black Hawk’s legacy by offering ongoing reverent examples of Native American culture, traditions and contributions, providing a platform for genuine dialogue with local and national Native American groups. As the team’s popularity grew over the past decade, so did that platform and our work with these important organizations.
“We recognize there is a fine line between respect and disrespect, and we commend other teams for their willingness to engage in that conversation. Moving forward, we are committed to raising the bar even higher to expand awareness of Black Hawk and the important contributions of all Native American people. “
Under renewed pressure to change their name, the NFL’s Washington Redskins announced a “thorough review” of the issue. In baseball, the Cleveland Indians are also looking into it while the Atlanta Braves declined.
Tanev would 'love' to remain with Hughes, Canucks – NHL.com
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