#SportsReport: Michael Jordan, Others Speak Out On George Floyd's Death
Michael Jordan says he's "deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry" following the death of George Floyd and the killings of black people at the hands of police.
The former NBA star and current Charlotte Hornets owner issued a statement posted on the Jordan brand's social media accounts and the team's Twitter account. Jordan said he sees and feels everyone's pain, outrage and frustration.
"I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country. We have had enough," says Jordan. "We must listen to each other, show compassion and empathy and never turn our backs on senseless brutality."
In other related developments:
The College Football Hall of Fame is boarded up and assessing damage from a destructive night of protests in downtown Atlanta. The facility's most valuable trophies and artifacts were moved to a secure facility in case additional trouble breaks out amid nationwide unrest over the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd. Hall chief executive director Kimberly Beaudin said that the extensive glass facade of the nearly 95,000-square-foot building was shattered Friday night.
New York Mets star Pete Alonso has chimed in on the death of Floyd, posting on Instagram that his 'heart has been broken' and says he won't remain silent on the subject. Alonso says he will stand with those who have discriminated against based on the color of their skin. The NL Rookie of the Year says there needs to be change made for the better of humanity.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says an urgent need for action remains following Floyd's death and the ensuing the protests around the country. In a statement Saturday, Goodell said, "As current events dramatically underscore, there remains much more to do as a country and as a league." Goodell added that the protesters' reactions "reflect the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us feel."
Thabo Sefolosha says watching video of Floyd's death awakened painful memories of what happened to him five years ago in New York City. The NBA veteran suffered a broken leg and other injuries while being arrested outside a Manhattan nightclub. He later settled a case alleging his civil rights were violated. Sefolosha tells The Associated Press that his leg has healed, but the emotional wounds have not. He says his treatment by police left lasting feelings of anger, frustration and a distrust of law enforcement.
Several German soccer players have joined in protests over Floyd's death. A Borussia Dortmund player lifted his jersey to reveal a T-shirt with the handwritten message "Justice for George Floyd" on the front. In another game Sunday, a player took a knee. On Saturday a player wore an armband with the handwritten message "Justice for George."
Major League Baseball's players have proposed a 114-game regular season, up from 82 in management's offer. That's according to a person familiar with the plan who told The Associated Press that the proposal includes no additional pay cuts beyond the one they agreed to in March. Opening day in the coronavirus-delayed season would be June 30 and the regular season would end Oct. 31, nearly five weeks after the Sept. 27 conclusion that MLB's proposal stuck to from the season's original schedule. The union offered scheduling flexibility to include more doubleheaders. A player would receive about 70% of his salary under the union plan. MLB's offer Tuesday included a sliding scale in which those at the $563,500 minimum would get about 47%. Top-salaried players like Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole at $36 million would receive less than 23%. Players are OK with MLB's plan to increase the number of postseason teams from 10 to 14. Management would expand the postseason for just this year, but the union would like it to run through 2021.
In other virus-related sports news:
The NHL has health screening protocols in place for voluntary workouts and training camp in the hands of individual teams. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says if play resumes, players would be tested for COVID-19 daily while games are going on. That could require 25,000 to 30,000 tests at a cost of millions of dollars. The league doesn't expect that amount of testing to interfere with the needs of the general public.
The Major League Soccer Players Association has voted to approve economic concessions for this season, including across-the-board salary cuts. Players also agreed to play in a proposed summer tournament in Orlando, Florida. The proposal was made public by the union Sunday night and will now be sent to back to the league for approval by team owners.
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp says having the squad back together is a "massive, massive lift" as his team prepares to wrap up a first league title in 30 years. English soccer has been on hold since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the Premier League is set resume June 17. Liverpool has a massive 25-point lead and stepped up preparations by resuming contact training in recent days.
The coach of Italian soccer club Atalanta says he had COVID-19 and was concerned for his life mid-March. Gian Piero Gasperini told the Gazzetta dello Sport that he started feeling sick on March 9, a day before Atalanta played at Valencia in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16. He says that when he returned to Bergamo, which was quickly becoming the epicenter of the pandemic, he didn't have a fever but "felt destroyed." The 62-year-old coach quickly recovered and only recently confirmed that he had the virus when the entire team was tested 10 days ago.
Brad Keselowski came up with an accidental triumph on Sunday. Keselowski inherited his second NASCAR Cup win of the season when Chase Elliott and Joey Logano collided as they raced for the victory at Bristol Motor Speedway. Keselowski was in third with a lap and a turn remaining when he lucked into his second victory in three Cup races. Logano had cleared Elliott for the lead with three laps remaining but Elliott was stalking him while seeking his second win in three days. They made contact in the fourth turn and drifted into the wall. Keselowski slid past for the win. Clint Bowyer gave Ford a 1-2 finish with his best performance in a year. Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson was third in a Chevrolet and once again showed he's close to snapping his 104-race losing streak. Kyle Busch and Erik Jones rounded out the top-five.
Fresno State says its former coach and College Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Bennett has died at 86. Bennett won 1,302 games with 21 NCAA Tournament appearances with the Bulldogs, including two College World Series appearances. He spent 34 years at the school before retiring after the 2002 season. He was the seventh coach in NCAA history to win at least 1,300 games and ended his career with 26 straight winning seasons. The Fresno Bee reported Bennett had been in the hospital since May 18 following a heart procedure.
Hall of Fame welterweight Curtis Cokes has died at 82. Cokes took the World Boxing Association welterweight title in a 1966 belt with a unanimous decision over Manny Gonzalez. He added the World Boxing Council crown three months later with a unanimous decision over Jean Josselin in Dallas. Cokes lost the titles to Jose Napoles in 1969. Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2003, the 5-foot-8 Cokes fought 80 times from 1958 to 1972, finishing 62-14-4 with 30 knockouts. Erwin "Sparky" Sparks, Cokes' partner at the Home of Champions gym, told The Dallas Morning News that Cokes died Friday after a week in hospice.
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