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ddnsports·44 minutes agoText

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Major League Soccer players are ditching the training and amid the owners’ threat of a season lockout, as was first reported by The Athletic.

ESPN later confirmed the story.

Via ESPN:

The MLSPA sent the league its latest proposal Sunday night, but MLS pushed back, saying that not only had it given the players its final offer, but that if they didn’t agree to it by noon ET on Tuesday, owners would lock the players out.

That has drawn the ire of the MLSPA membership. ESPN can confirm an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report that Atlanta United players didn’t turn up for the voluntary, in-person workouts on Monday that have been held in recent weeks.

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The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported the same for Minnesota United, while a source told ESPN that players from the Columbus Crew also didn’t attend practice. FC Cincinnati issued a release stating that players did not attend voluntary workouts on Monday. Some clubs, like Nashville SC, didn’t have training scheduled for today.

MLS has been shut down since March 12 and has been engaged in negotiations with the MLSPA over the past several weeks in a bid to soften the pandemic’s economic impact.

In a statement, the MLSPA said their proposal includes salary reductions across the entire player pool, reduced team and individual bonuses, and additional concessions to existing and future terms of the CBA. The MLSPA is also requesting that the current CBA – the framework of which was agreed upon last February but not ratified by either side – be extended by one year to 2025.

If the deal is approved by MLS, the one-year CBA extension would push the total amount of concessions the MLSPA is making well beyond the $100 million contained in the union’s previous proposal last Friday.

But sources tell ESPN that there still remain some differences between the two sides, with some seeming small and others more intractable. While the MLSPA has offered to accept a 7.5 percent pay cut, MLS’s most recent offer came in at 8.75 percent.

A bigger sticking point relates to the force majeure clause that would allow either side to back out of a CBA in the case of a catastrophic event like a pandemic. MLS’s proposal gives it the right to invoke the clause if five teams suffer an attendance drop of 25 percent or more from the previous year, while the MLSPA’s doesn’t have that stipulation.

Another stumbling block is the start of a proposed revenue sharing plan related to a new broadcast rights deal that will commence in 2023. The CBA terms agreed upon in February stated that 25 percent of the net increase in media revenue that exceeds $100 million above 2022 levels (pre-new deal) will flow into salary budget and General Allocation Money on a per team basis.

MLS had been trying to delay its implementation by a year, but softened that stance so long as the union accepted 10 percent of the net increase in 2023 and 25 percent the following year. The union countered with 17 percent in 2023 and 25 percent in 2024.

Sunday’s vote comes on the heels of another vote late last week, in which the players approved a package containing similar concessions that, according to sources, totaled around $100 million. According to sources, that offer included a $5 million cap on bonuses.

The Athletic reported that the health and safety protocols related to the proposed Orlando tournament have largely been worked out, but that some players could opt out for medical or familial reasons such as a partner who is pregnant. That would open the door for stars such as the LA Galaxy’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and LAFC’s Carlos Vela – both of whom have partners that are pregnant – to skip the tournament.

Otherwise, the particulars of the tournament are set, namely that the 26 teams will head to Orlando on or around June 24, take part in a three-game group stage which will be followed by a knockout round. The total time away should amount to six weeks.

https://ddnsports.tumblr.com/post/619687845844647936/breaking-news-mlspa-agrees-to-salary-cuts

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ddnsports·an hour agoText
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Patrick Mahomes has just weighed in on the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Amhaud Arbery and George Floyd with a tribute.

 The Kansas City Chiefs QB released a statement Monday after the protests and the riots across the nation.

Via Bleacher Report:

Mahomes tweeted:

“First, I send prayers to the family of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. As I have watched everything that has happened over the last week and even before then, I have tried to put my feelings into words. As a kid who was born with a black dad and white mom, I have been blessed to be accepted for who I am my entire life, but that isn’t the case for everyone.

"The senseless murders that we have witnessed are wrong and cannot continue in our country. All I can think about is how I grew up in a locker room where people from every race, every background, and every community came together and became brothers to accomplish a single goal. I hope that our country can learn from the injustices we have witnessed to become more like a locker room where everyone is accepted. Let’s be the world where my little sister, generations to come, and even my future kids will grow up never having to experience these tragedies and instead love each other unconditionally!”

Mahomes is one of several NFL stars who have spoken out in recent days as protests spread nationwide after Floyd, a black man, died in police custody last week in Minneapolis. Officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with the third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter of Floyd, charges that came after days of protests that turned violent.

The demonstrations that began in Minneapolis spread across the country over the weekend. While most were peaceful, several turned destructive, with businesses being set on fire and looted. Police were also shown to use excessive force to deal with protests in a number of cities; two Atlanta officers were fired for their actions Sunday, per Amir Vera of CNN.

The NFL released a statement over the weekend saying there is need for “urgent action” and vowing to use its platform for social justice causes.

More athletes has voiced their statements following the death of Floyd such as Russell Wilson, Marcus Smart, Mark Cuban, Adam Silver, Roger Goodell and more.

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Twitter.com/PatrickMahomes

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ddnsports·an hour agoText

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Gregg Popovich just unloaded on Donald Trump over White House lack of leadership and amid the George Floyd protests.

The San Antonio Spurs head coach told The Nation Monday saying, “It’s all about him.”

Via The Nation:

The question of leadership clearly is weighing heavily on Popovich’s mind. At this critical moment, he is feeling despair over what he sees as a leadership void in the White House.

“It’s unbelievable. If Trump had a brain, even if it was 99 percent cynical, he would come out and say something to unify people. But he doesn’t care about bringing people together. Even now. That’s how deranged he is. It’s all about him. It’s all about what benefits him personally. It’s never about the greater good. And that’s all he’s ever been.”

Popovich then took a moment to imagine a different kind of leadership.

“It’s so clear what needs to be done. We need a president to come out and say simply that ‘black lives matter.’ Just say those three words. But he won’t and he can’t. He can’t because it’s more important to him to mollify the small group of followers who validate his insanity. But it’s more than just Trump. The system has to change. I’ll do whatever I can do to help, because that’s what leaders do. But he can’t do anything to put us on a positive path, because he’s not a leader.

“It’s like what Lindsay Graham and Ted Cruz used to say when they had the courage to say it: He’s unfit. But they have chosen instead to be invisible and obsequious in the face of this carnage. In the end, what we have is a fool in place of a president, while the person who really runs the country, Senator Mitch McConnell, destroys the United States for generations to come. McConnell has destroyed and degraded our judicial system. He has tried to destroy heath care. He’s destroyed the environment. He’s the master and Trump’s the stooge, and what’s funny is that Trump doesn’t even know it. Trump’s always wanted to be part of the in-group, but McConnell is an in-group of one and Trump plays the fool.”

Pop then makes clear his opinion that we have a uniquely malignant presence in the White House.

“He’s not just divisive. He’s a destroyer. To be in his presence makes you die. He will eat you alive for his own purposes. I’m appalled that we have a leader who can’t say ‘black lives matter.’ That’s why he hides in the White House basement. He is a coward. He creates a situation and runs away like a grade-schooler. Actually, I think it’s best to ignore him. There is nothing he can do to make this better because of who he is: a deranged idiot.”

I asked Coach Pop about the protests, about the raw anger that’s been produced by police violence, disease, and mass unemployment.

“They are very necessary, but they need to be organized better. It’s frustrating. When Dr. King did a protest, you knew when to show, when to come back the next day. But if you’re just organizing protests and everyone is coming and going in every direction, it doesn’t work that way. If it was nonviolent, they knew to be nonviolent, but this is muddled. More leadership would be very welcome so these incredible mass demonstrations can’t be used by people for other means. We can limit the bad, but only if things are organized better.”

I wanted to ask how they could “limit the bad” if the police were instigating violence, as reported, in so many locales. But before I could, Pop sighed deeply and said, “Again, we need change. The system has to change. I’m willing to do my part. That’s all I got. Bye, Dave.”

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ddnsports·an hour agoText
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Pat Dye the former Auburn football head coach has died, He was 80.

A family member confirmed the news to ESPN of his passing.

Via ESPN:

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005, the same year the playing field at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium was named in his honor.

Dye was a three-time SEC coach of the year and 1983 national coach of the year. He coached a Heisman Trophy winner (Bo Jackson, 1985); an Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award winner (Tracy Rocker, 1988); and 21 All-Americans, 71 All-SEC players and 48 academic All-SEC players.

Dye was Auburn’s athletic director from 1981 to 1991. He also coached at East Carolina from 1974 to 1979 and Wyoming in 1980 and had a 153-62-5 record in 19 seasons overall.

He had been spending much of his time in recent years at his farm in Notasulga, Alabama.

Former Georgia coach and athletic director Vince Dooley, who played quarterback at Auburn in the 1950s, coached against Dye’s teams from 1981 to 1988.

“He was a very tough competitor,” Dooley told ESPN. “He related very well to his players. He was a real fighter in that respect and was right there in the trenches with them. We competed hard against each other, but we always had a good relationship.”

Dye will always be remembered by Auburn people for getting the Tigers’ annual game against rival Alabama moved from Birmingham, Alabama, to a home-and-home series. The Iron Bowl was played at Auburn for the first time on Dec. 2, 1989, when the Tigers upset No. 2 Alabama 30-20 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

“That’s the thing that endeared him to the Auburn people,” Dooley said. “He was responsible for getting that game out of Birmingham and bringing it home and home, and he was able to be highly competitive against the great Bear Bryant.”

Dooley said he and Dye remained close friends over the years because of their mutual affinity for gardening and plants. Dooley said he visited Dye’s nursery and farm in Alabama, and Dye toured the gardens behind Dooley’s home in Athens, Georgia.

“Our relationship grew even more after football because of our mutual interest in plants, particularly Japanese maples,” Dooley said. “We swapped some of our favorite plants on a couple of occasions.”

RIP

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Conor McGregor took a stand to racism in awake of George Floyd’s death and others.

The UFC star took to Instagram Sunday and wrote, “There is no place for injustice, racism and intolerance in this world! We must really listen and learn from those in pain.”

Conor added, “Be the example of the change you want to see!!”

Conor even added, “Praying, hoping, and believing everyday that this is all a part of the lords plan to lead us to a better and brighter future ahead.”

Conor ended his post writing, “od speed everyone 💔”

Well said, Conor.

Conor is the least athlete to speak against racism among with many as Russell Wilson, Marcus Smart, Michael Jordan and more.

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ddnsports·2 hours agoText

ESPN NFL analyst Marcus Spears got emotional over the death of George Floyd.

Marcus spoke on ESPN’s “Get Up!” Monday morning saying over his son’s death, “It broke me.”

Via TMZ Sports:

The NFL analyst explained on ESPN’s “Get Up” on Monday he’s so torn up by the tragic killing of the 46-year-old in Minneapolis, Minn. last month … he’s having a hard time putting his feelings into words.

“This spirit broke in this country. It broke,” said Spears, who has three children. “It broke me.”

Marcus – who needed several seconds to wipe away tears, continued, “Everything that I’ve done in my life culminated to me having my children. And trying to give them a better situation.”

Spears added, “This is a heart condition, man. What we’re asking for help, and when we’re asking for white people to understand, we need you to be against this.”

“Not to tell us, not to ease and soothe by having conversations,” the 37-year-old said. “We need you to be against this.”


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ddnsports·2 hours agoText

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Floyd Mayweather is offering to pay the funerals for the family of George Floyd, as was first reported by Hollywood Unlocked.

TMZ Sports later confirmed the story.

Via TMZ Sports:

TMZ Sports has confirmed … Mayweather is offering to finance all 4 services for Floyd in Houston, Minnesota, Charlotte and another location to be named at a later date.

We’re told Mayweather felt it was the right thing to do after learning Anzel Jennings – CEO of the TMT music label – grew up with George.

Mayweather’s people added … Floyd is just doing what he feels is right in his heart.

It’s unclear if George Floyd’s family has accepted Mayweather’s offer.

Story developing ...

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ddnsports·2 hours agoText

J.R. Smith broke his silence after kicking a vandal ass during Los Angeles protests on Saturday night.

TMZ Sports posted video on Sunday showing the NBA star going full UFC on the guy after breaking his car.

https://ddnsports.tumblr.com/post/619672278136995840/jr-smith-on-video-beats-up-alleged-car

Via TMZ Sports:

Smith joined the “Pat McAfee Show” on Monday to give more insight into the situation … and the NBAer admits he wishes the incident never happened in the first place.

“Granted, if he would’ve seen me, and seen somebody outside the car or outside the house or whatever, do I think he would’ve broke it? Absolutely not,” Smith says.

“It was just a random act of stupidness, and I give him that. But, that ass whooping was a random act of stupidness on my behalf.”

J.R. says he’s supporting the peaceful protests in honor of George Floyd, but condemns the looting and vandalism.

“This man was down there for 8:46 for no reason. Literally, taking the life from him. Calling for his dead mother.”

“And then, we go out here and try to represent his name in a good way and between tarnishing people’s shops – like so many people have nothing to do with the situation.”

Smith continued … “We should be able to lock arms and stand in front of somebody’s store and say no this is not right. Being able to do stuff like this isn’t right.”

As for the moment he unloaded on the alleged vandal, Smith says he regrets how it went down.

“When it happened, I seen red. Then when I finally snapped to… I’m still disappointed with myself.”

“For me, I’m 34 years old. I have 4 little girls at home. I don’t want that image, regardless of the fact whether it was right or wrong, I don’t want them to have that image of their dad being capable of doing that, and doing something like that.”

Smith DID have a sense of humor about his kicking form, though … saying, “I was trying to go Bones Jones or Anderson Silva.”

https://ddnsports.tumblr.com/post/619672278136995840/jr-smith-on-video-beats-up-alleged-car

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ddnsports·2 hours agoText
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Derek Jeter says he’s “deeply saddened” over the death of George Floyd and backing up protesters.

Via Bleacher Report:

There have been protests in dozens of U.S. cities over the past several days after George Floyd, an unarmed African American man, died while in police custody after a Minneapolis police officer restrained him by kneeling on his neck. The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Though some demonstrations have turned violent, Jeter said it was “encouraging” to see people around the world “speaking out and protesting.”

“Please do not allow anyone to demonize those who are standing up against these acts,” the Baseball Hall of Famer said.

Jeter defended the right to protest in the past when asked about athletes kneeling during the national anthem in 2017.

“They’re focused so much on the fact that they are kneeling as opposed to what they’re kneeling for,” he said at the time, per Christian Red of the New York Daily News. “Peaceful protests are fine. You have your right to voice your opinion. As long as it’s a peaceful protest, everyone should be fine with that.”

The former New York Yankees star now becomes one of the more prominent voices in baseball to speak on the current social climate.

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ddnsports·3 hours agoText

ESPN

High school baseball and softball has resumed playing in Iowa.

Per ESPN, practice began just after midnight Monday morning on two ballfields in rural Collins, Iowa.

Via ESPN:

At 12:01 a.m., the Collins-Maxwell baseball and softball teams practiced on the first day – and second minute – that Iowa schools were allowed to play.

Gathered in a socially distant circle, the softball team counted down the seconds to 12:01 and threw their gloves in the air in celebration over the first known high school practice in 2½ months. “I’m not tired,” senior pitcher Mikayla Houge said. “I’m kind of full of energy right now. Everybody has been itching to play.”

Armed with hand sanitizer and a long list of safety guidelines, Iowa will try to become the blueprint for how teams navigate the world of COVID-19 this fall. Guidelines this season will include temperature checks before practices and games, no use of the dugout during practice, and sanitizing shared equipment after every use.

If a baseball pitcher blows into his hands on a cool day, the umpire will stop play until the pitcher sanitizes his hands. One of the hardest rules Collins-Maxwell baseball coach Jason Hasbrouck said he’ll have to enforce is no sunflower seeds. Shell-spitting is banned this season.

Iowa is the only state in the country to hold high school sports in the summer. It is also the only state to have separate unions, or associations, for the boys and girls. Jean Berger, the executive director of the Iowa High School Girls Athletic Union, said summer seemed like the perfect opportunity to restart because few sports are as socially distant as baseball and softball. Both unions worked with Iowa’s Department of Education and Department of Health to develop the guidelines.

Games can start June 15, and Berger said the two weeks of practice will be essential in breaking old habits.

“This is a change in behavior for our kids,” she said. “We have to teach them to wash their hands more often and sanitize. Think about how many times a ballplayer touches their face. They spit. They chew seed. Before they get into the batter’s box, they have all these little idiosyncrasies. We have to retrain. This is the summer of being a mom for us – Don’t touch your face, go wash your hands.”

When Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds greenlit the return of sports on May 20, some coaches were surprised. The days were winnowing until summer, and coronavirus outbreaks were still popping up in different regions of the state. As of Monday morning, Iowa had nearly 20,000 positive cases and 537 deaths.

But Iowa’s cases plateaued in early May, and more than 600 baseball and softball teams are expected to start practice today. Only one school has told the boys’ and girls’ associations that it will not play this year. On May 21, one day after Reynolds approved summer sports, the Belmond-Klemme district school board voted unanimously to not participate.

Belmond-Klemme superintendent Daniel Frazier said the decision was made after the number of confirmed cases in the county rose dramatically that week. Frazier said the board did not believe it was safe for the students to play. He said that he would make that same decision today even if he knew that Belmond-Klemme would be the only school to not play.

Addi McMurray, a junior outfielder at the school, said she was so happy when the governor announced that sports were back that she almost cried. She grabbed her glove and went out to the street to play catch with her cousin, who plays on the baseball team. For a few hours, she had a feeling as if things were back to normal.

A day later, she was crushed when she heard the news about the school board’s decision.

“I was bawling,” she said. “I went home and hugged my mom. I was hurting real bad. Once I did some research and realized what’s going on, this is safest possible decision they could’ve made for us.

"It sucks, but I’m trying be as positive as I can and be a leader for my school and be a good role model and set an example of how things should be handled.”

Collins-Maxwell softball coach Troy Houge said it would be naïve to think that teenagers, in a small town, have spent the past few months completely isolated from each other. They ride around in cars together and hang out during time that they’d normally be playing sports.

Houge, whose team has won back-to-back state championships, worries about getting his close-knit team to social distance, something that is so unnatural to them. And like every coach, he worries about someone getting sick.

Berger said this next month isn’t just a trial run for sports. It’s a step in opening up Iowa’s schools.

“I do think we feel a responsibility to get it right,” she said, “and to do it well in the hope that it helps other people and it helps us later on, too.

"This was what our coaches and kids and parents – overwhelmingly parents – wanted. They wanted their kids to play. Don’t get me wrong; they wanted to know the protocols and wanted to follow them.

"I don’t have any data to support this, but I think people are worried about kids and their mental health. They’ve endured a lot since March. Kids are social. Everything has changed for them, and I don’t know that we’ve been paying enough attention to that. I think this goes a long way to bringing something back for them.”

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ddnsports·3 hours agoText

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John Calipari canceled Monday’s “Coffee with Cal,” episode and wants to pay a tribute to George Floyd.

Via ESPN:

“What happened earlier this week in Minnesota and what’s happened too often in our country has made me sick, and it’s made a lot of Americans sick,” he said in the video. “It’s wrong. It’s unacceptable, and we have to do better. We have to demand better. What I will say is this: I want to be a part of the answer in any way I can. It may be a small part, but I can’t stand on the sidelines while my players, my staff, their sons and daughters, our fans and so many others live with fear and injustices.”

Mike Tomlin, Mark Cuban, Bill Clinton and Charles Barkley have all appeared on “Coffee with Cal,” which the coach started after the coronavirus pandemic prompted the cancellation of the NCAA tournament.

Calipari said he understands people want more than dialogue, but he said he soon hopes to assemble a group of influential people who can come up with “answers” days after the latest deadly encounter between police and an unarmed African American.

Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes, per the viral video of the incident on Memorial Day, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday. He and three other officers, two of whom helped hold Floyd down as the 46-year-old pleaded for his life, were fired last week.

In a nationally televised interview on Sunday night, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said the four officers were “complicit” in Floyd’s death.

“Mr. Floyd died in our hands and so I see that as being complicit,” Arradondo told CNN. “Silence and inaction, you’re complicit. If there was one solitary voice that would have intervened … that’s what I would have hoped for.”

Calipari also mentioned the deaths of Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police in her Louisville home in March, and Ahmaud Arbery, who was gunned down by two white men as a third filmed the incident – all three have been charged with murder – in Georgia while jogging in February.

“This has been a tough week for all of us, but I can’t pretend to know some of the real pain others have been feeling right now,” he said. “For those reasons, I’m going to put a temporary hold on our ‘Coffee with Cal’ episode [Monday] and take a moment of silence, we all should, in remembrance of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others who have died without reason. The intention of 'Coffee with Cal’ was to bring relief for COVID-19, and we will continue to do so in future episodes, but for now I want us to shift to some other issues and plan to address them in the coming weeks.”


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ddnsports·3 hours agoText
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Lenny Dykstra’s defamation lawsuit against his ex-New York Mets teammate Ron Darling over his “reputation” has been dismissed.

ESPN and CBS New York was firsts to report the news.

Via ESPN:

New York Supreme Court Judge Robert D. Kalish dismissed Dykstra’s lawsuit Friday. Dykstra had sued Darling, his former Mets teammate, for claims Darling made about Dykstra in his book “108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns, and the Darndest Characters From My Time in the Game,” which was published last year. St. Martin’s Press LLC, Macmillan Publishing Group LLC and Daniel Paisner had also been listed as a defendants.

In the book, Darling wrote that Dykstra shouted racial taunts at Boston Red Sox pitcher Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd from the on-deck circle before Game 3 of the 1986 World Series.

Dykstra, 57, was seeking monetary damages, compensatory damages – “including emotional distress damages for loss of opportunities, for the severe mental anguish, loss of reputation and humiliation, caused by Defendants’ unlawful and malicious conduct” – and punitive damages, plus court costs.

Darling, 59, had filed motions to dismiss Dykstra’s lawsuit under the libel-proof plaintiff doctrine, and Kalish agreed, citing Dykstra’s past legal troubles and claims he made in his autobiography, “House of Nails: A Memoir of Life on the Edge,” as reasons to dismiss the suit.

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“Based on the papers submitted on this motion, prior to the publication of the book, Dykstra was infamous for being, among other things, racist, misogynist, and anti-gay, as well as a sexual predator, a drug-abuser, a thief, and an embezzler. Further, Dykstra had a reputation – largely due to his autobiography – of being willing to do anything to benefit himself and his team, including using steroids and blackmailing umpires,” Kalish wrote.

Kalish wrote that his court – the New York Supreme Court is a trial court, not an appellate court – “sees no legal basis for why it should use its very limited time and resources litigating whether Dykstra engaged in yet another example of bigoted behavior over thirty-years ago in a court of law.

"There are sports commentators, bloggers and legions of baseball fans to litigate this issue in a public space. This Court, however, has cases involving lost livelihoods, damaged and lost lives, as well as plaintiffs that have suffered very real reputational injuries. Accordingly, Darling and Publisher Defendants’ motions to dismiss the first cause of action for defamation, pursuant to the libel-proof plaintiff doctrine, are granted.”

Dykstra was sentenced to three years in a California state prison in March 2012 by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ulfig after pleading no contest to grand theft auto and providing a false financial statement.

He was sentenced to 6½ months in prison that December by U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets and money laundering. The sentences were to be served concurrently.

https://ddnsports.tumblr.com/post/184068770530/breaking-news-lenny-dykstra-suing-ron-darling-for

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ddnsports·3 hours agoText

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Lionel Messi ain’t going nowhere sorry Neymar.

Sources told ESPN, Messi’s Barcelona exit clause has reportedly expired and officially staying for 12 months.

Via ESPN:

Multiple sources at Barca have told ESPN that the actual deadline was May 30, coinciding with the date when this season’s Champions League final was supposed to take place in Istanbul. ESPN contacted Messi’s camp for confirmation, too, but they said, as a rule, “we don’t speak about contractual issues.”

El Pais first revealed the details of Messi’s contract situation last September and they were later confirmed by teammate Gerard Pique, who said Messi has “earned the right to be able to choose what he does with his future after everything he’s given the club.”

Several teams, including Manchester City, have been monitoring Messi’s situation since, but sources inside the Barca hierarchy have always maintained their belief that the club’s record goal scorer would stay put.

There have been moments when that belief may have wavered. Messi rowed with sporting director Eric Abidal on Instagram earlier this year and used the players’ announcement that they would take a 70% pay cut because of the coronavirus pandemic to express “surprise that from inside the club there would be people that want to pressure us into something that we were always clear we wanted to do.”

Despite that, Messi has always insisted he would like to end his career “at home” in Barcelona, although he has also suggested he would be open to a stint at boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys in his native Rosario before he finally hangs up his boots.

“I love Barcelona, but I really do miss Rosario,” he said in February. “This is my home – I’ve been here longer than Argentina. I love Barcelona, where I live and I really enjoy what I do for a living.”

Messi moved to Barcelona as a teenager and, since signing his first professional contract in 2005, he has been handed eight renewals by the Catalan club, with his release clause rising to €700 million in the process.

Barca now hope to tie Messi down to another new deal as he moves into the final years of his career. The club’s president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, wants to make sure the six-time world player of the year has agreed to new terms before his mandate expires in 2021.

Bartomeu has previously spoken about offering Messi a lifetime contract, similar to the one signed by Andres Iniesta, and hopes to begin talks with Messi’s father, Jorge, who is in Argentina, when some form of normalcy returns following the coronavirus crisis.

With 627 goals, Messi is the top scorer in Barcelona’s history by a distance. He has also made 718 appearances for the club, a figure only bettered by Xavi Hernandez’s 767.

He will be central to Barca’s title hopes when they return to La Liga action on June 13 against Mallorca. They are two points clear of Real Madrid with 11 games to play following a three-month stoppage due to the coronavirus.

Games will be played behind closed doors, with Messi saying on Sunday that “life and football will never be the same again” because of the pandemic, which has taken almost 400,000 lives across the world.

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Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich explained on racial injustice and says he’s not racist.

https://twitter.com/Colts/status/1267477711678853121?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1267477711678853121&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fbleacherreport.com%2Farticles%2F2894357-colts-frank-reich-on-racial-injustice-its-not-enough-to-say-im-not-racist

Via Bleacher Report:

“Injustice. Few things stir the human heart and soul like injustice,” Reich said, via Phillip B. Wilson of Sports Illustrated. “When we see it, feel it, experience it, it’s heart-wrenching. It’s not enough for a person who looks like me to say, ‘I’m not racist.’ This kind of talk and thinking typically lends itself to a posture of neutrality, indifference, and passivity. It’s easy to be silent and do nothing when it doesn’t directly impact you.”

He also referenced the statement from the Colts organization, which was released Sunday:

“I stand firmly behind the Colts’ statement and in particular the phrase that says, 'We abhor racism.’ Racism is vile, deplorable, detestable. There’s no form of it that is acceptable and in now way can it be justified.”

The message comes after George Floyd, an unarmed African American man, was killed while in police custody. There have been protests around the country over the past several days, including in Indianapolis.

Though Reich didn’t specifically mention Floyd or the police, the Colts referenced the “tragic events in Minnesota” in the team’s statement.

Reich is heading into his third season as the head coach in Indianapolis after 13 years in the league as a player and more than a decade on NFL coaching staffs.

He joined Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores, who also recently made a public statement about the fight for social justice.

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ddnsports·5 hours agoText

Twitter.com/VirgilvanDijik

Liverpool players took a kneeled at practice in honor of George Floyd.

Virgil van Dijk tweeted the pic writing, “Unity is strength #BlackLivesMatter.”

Via ESPN:

Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was charged in the death of the 46-year-old Floyd.

A number of Liverpool first team players shared the image of the squad paying tribute to Floyd and the club retweeted the pictures.

The kneeling was similar to a gesture made by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who in 2016 began kneeling during the U.S. national anthem to protest police brutality.

Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho revealed the message “Justice for George Floyd” after scoring in the 6-1 Bundesliga win against Paderborn on Sunday.

Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram took a knee after scoring his first goal on Sunday in honour of ongoing protests in the United States following the death of Floyd.

United States international Weston McKennie also displayed his support for Floyd during Schalke’s 1-0 defeat to Werder Bremen on Saturday, wearing an armband with the message “Justice for George.”

Players from around the world have spoken out about Floyd’s death. Kylian Mbappe tweeted out the hashtag #JusticeForGeorge a half-hour before the start of Bundesliga play on Saturday.

U.S. women’s national team stars Crystal Dunn and Alex Morgan voiced their support on Friday, with both players saying they were “sickened” by Floyd’s death.

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ddnsports·5 hours agoText
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Former MLB star Dale Murphy says his son was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet during the protests.

Dale tweeted Sunday night writing, “Last night, my son was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet while peacefully protesting for justice for George Floyd. His story is not unique. Countless others have also experienced this use of excessive police force while trying to have their voices heard.”

Dale added, “Luckily, his eye was saved due to a kind stranger that was handing out goggles to protestors shortly before the shooting and another kind stranger that drove him to the ER. Others were not so lucky and will be permanently disabled due to excessive police force.”

and will be permanently disabled due to excessive police force

As terrible as this experience has been, we know that it’s practically nothing compared to the systemic racism and violence against Black life that he was protesting in the first place. Black communities across America have been terrorized for centuries by excessive police force.

777 people are talking about this

Via Bleacher Report:

The 64-year-old shared a photo of his son as well as a drawing his son drew of Floyd:

Floyd died while in Minneapolis police custody Monday. Since-fired Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, who was charged with third-degree murder as well as second-degree manslaughter Friday, knelt on the back of the unarmed 46-year-old’s neck for minutes during the arrest. Floyd was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Protests surrounding police brutality and racial injustice have erupted nationwide over the weekend.

Murphy played for the Atlanta Braves (1976-90), Philadelphia Phillies (1990-92) and Colorado Rockies (1993) en route to seven All-Star nods, five Gold Glove Awards, four Silver Slugger Awards and two NL MVPs.

Murphy stated he is “firmly behind the peaceful protesters and those marching for justice.”


Dale Murphy@DaleMurphy3

6:56 PM · May 31, 2020·Twitter for iPhone3.7K Likes441 Retweets35 Retweets with comments

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ddnsports·6 hours agoText

NFL star Brandon Marshall weighed in on the death of George Floyd and here’s why.

Brandon told TMZ Sports saying, “We tried to do things peacefully.”

Via TMZ Sports:

“I just think that people are fed up, which is why the violence has started,” Marshall tells TMZ Sports.

“I would never want to see anyone get hurt, but I see why.”

“If you could understand the timeline, if you could understand the course of events that continues to happen, it’s only natural that happens.”

As far as the kneeling protest, Marshall says he still feels it was the right thing to do but notes “it didn’t catch enough attention, it didn’t change many laws.”

“When I was kneeling, and when I tried to stand up, Denver changed their use of force policy. So, I thought that was a win, right, I’m all that’s cool that’s one step for the bigger picture.”

Marshall also weighed in on the NFL’s new statement which calls for “an urgent need for action” against racial injustice,.

“There was a need for action in 2016 and well before that, to be honest with you,” Marshall says.

“There’s been an urgent action needed. But, you know, this is what happens when you just kinda drag your feet.”

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Former Indiana football player Chris Beaty was shot and killed during the Indianapolis violence over the weekend in response of the death of George Floyd.

Yahoo Sports and Indianapolis Star both reported, Beaty suffered gunshot wounds on Saturday night in downtown Indianapolis and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Via Yahoo Sports:

The Marion County Coroner’s Office positively identified Beaty as the victim of one of several shootings that happened late Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Protests and violence have taken place in the downtown area for the past three nights to protest police brutality in the wake of Floyd’s death in police custody, but it’s not clear if any of the shootings were directly tied to those actions.

Beaty, 38, was a lineman at Indiana from 2000 to 2004. Since graduating he’d become a local business leader, running several nightclubs in the area and opening his own events promotion company, Fresh Marketing, in 2011.

Beaty was also still involved with the Indiana football program. In April he tweeted a photo of a Zoom call he was on with coach Tom Allen and several other alumni.

Former Indiana basketball star Eric Gordon tweeted about Beaty’s death early on Monday morning, as did Indianapolis Colts sideline reporter and radio broadcaster Larra Overton and several of Beaty’s former classmates and teammates.

The Indy Star reported that one suspect is in custody, but police wouldn’t confirm which shooting the suspect is related to.

RIP


Larra Overton@LarraOverton·11hI’m absolutely heartbroken. Chris was the most lively, positive person who had an immense passion for people & his community. I loved looking to find him on game days, sharing many hugs and smiles, chatting about our shared love of sports especially our beloved Hoosiers.

7:57 PM · May 31, 2020·Twitter for iPhone449 Likes54 Retweets25 Retweets with comments

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ddnsports·6 hours agoText

UFC champ Jon Jones confronted vandals in New Mexico during the George Floyd protests and nearly went octagon on them.

Jon posted the video on his official Instagram page writing, “Is this shit even about George Floyd anymore?!? Why the fuck are you punk ass teenagers destroying our cities!??”

Jon added, “🤬🤬 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.”

Jon even added, “If you really got love for your city (505), protect your shit.”

Jon’s full IG post:

All you old heads need to speak up, call your young family members and tell them to come home tonight.

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ddnsports·6 hours agoText
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The executive director of soccer’s anti-discrimination Fare Network ripped Jadon Sancho over his tribute to George Floyd calling it “wrong.”

On Sunday, Jadon payed tribute to Floyd during a Bundesliga game and showing that read, “Justice for George Floyd.”

Via ESPN:

Four players this weekend in German football took a stand in support of the protesters – Schalke’s United States international Weston McKennie, Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram and Sancho’s Dortmund teammate Achraf Hakimi, making their point in the first major football league to resume during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The booking of Jadon Sancho, or any other player, for making a statement in support of a man who has been unjustly killed is the wrong decision,” Piara Powar told The Associated Press. “This is not a party-political cause, or an issue that poses a threat to football but an expression of concern and solidarity from minority players.”

McKennie donned an armband which read: “Justice for George Floyd,” while Thuram went to one knee after scoring the first of his two goals in Gladbach’s 4-1 victory over Union Berlin.

Hakimi revealed his own yellow “Justice for George Floyd” T-shirt when he netted Dortmund’s fourth goal against Paderborn. The Moroccan was not booked.

The German FA have said they will investigate the players over the messages. However, in a case in 2014, then Cologne player Anthony Ujah – who paid tribute to Eric Garner following his killing – was only issued a warning.

“The DFB control body will attend to this issue in the coming days and scrutinise the circumstances of the case,” a statement from the German FA read.

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“Denying high-profile athletes an opportunity to express concern on big issues is neither correct nor can it be controlled in the post-Kaepernick era,” Powar added.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem in 2016 in silent protest of police brutality and racism that kicked off a period of pregame activism in the NFL.



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