Update on the latest in sports:
NFL JAGUARS PROTEST MARCH
‘Today we say no more’: Jaguars march to sheriff’s office
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars are taking a stand against inequality and police brutality.
The players, their families, coach Doug Marrone and general manager Dave Caldwell marched from their stadium to the steps of the local sheriff’s department.
The Jaguars started their march at 9:04 a.m. local time Friday to signify the local 904 area code.
The protest comes two days after owner Shad Khan spoke against racism in a letter on the team website.
Wide receiver Chris Conley wore a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt. He said: “Today we say no more. Today we see a nation that can’t await change, a city that won’t sit still or be quiet.”
AMERICA PROTESTS-NFL PLAYERS VIDEO
NEW YORK (AP) — Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes is among more than a dozen NFL stars who united to send a passionate video message to the league about racial inequality.
The 70-second video was released on social media platforms Thursday night, and includes Saquon Barkley, Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr., Deshaun Watson, Ezekiel Elliott, Jamal Adams, Stephon Gilmore and DeAndre Hopkins, among others.
The video closes with the players demanding the NFL state that it condemns “racism and the systemic oppression of black people,” and that the league “admit wrong in silencing” players from peacefully protesting. The players also want the league to state: “We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.”
The players then name several of the black men and women who have recently been killed, including Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Eric Garner.
In a statement, the NFL said: “This is a time of self-reflection for all – the NFL is no exception. We stand with the black community because black lives matter.” After noting league efforts to address social injustice, and pledging $20 million to such causes, the NFL added: “We know that we can and need to do more.”
NFL-PATRIOTS SOCIAL JUSTICE PLEDGE
Patriots pledge $1 million to social justice causes
BOSTON (AP) — The Patriots say team owner Robert Kraft’s family is pledging $1 million to local grassroots organizations to promote social justice causes.
A statement and video released on the team’s website Friday says the money will be distributed over the next 10 months in $100,000 monthly donations. The recipients will be chosen in collaboration with Patriots players.
The groups selected will be those “fighting for equity, working to end systemic racism and creating meaningful change in our community.”
The video says “change always begins with listening.” The recipients will be invited to speak with the team’s executive staff and senior management across the Kraft Group’s businesses
Galaxy drop Aleksandar Katai after wife’s social media posts
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Aleksandar Katai has been released by the LA Galaxy after a series of alarming social media posts by his wife, Tea.
The Galaxy announced their decision to “mutually part ways” with their new Serbian winger Friday in a one-sentence news release.
Tea Katai made the posts on her Instagram story earlier this week, and the Galaxy angrily condemned them as “racist and violent” on Wednesday. The posts included a photo with a caption written in Serbian urging police to “kill” protesters, another referring to protesters as “disgusting cattle,” and a third sharing a racist meme.
Aleksandar Katai disavowed his wife’s posts late Wednesday night, saying the “views are not ones that I share and are not tolerated in my family.”
More than half of NFL coaching staffs not at team facilities
UNDATED (AP) — More than half of the 32 NFL teams will not have their coaching staffs back at their facilities Friday even though the league has approved such returns where local governments allow them.
Clubs with coaches in place at their training complexes were Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston, Denver, Dallas and Atlanta.
NFL teams have been performing all their offseason duties virtually since their facilities were closed by Commissioner Roger Goodell in late March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The league is taking a slow approach to reopening those team buildings, with the latest step allowing coaching staffs to return. Only players currently rehabilitating injuries are allowed at the complexes.
Former Olympic minister says March is deadline for Tokyo
TOKYO (AP) — Next spring has been set as a possible deadline by a local lawmaker for deciding if the postponed Tokyo Olympics can go ahead.
That’s the judgment of former Japanese Olympic minister Toshikai Endo. Japanese television NHK quoted him at a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
The Tokyo Olympics are to open on July 23, 2021. They were postponed this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Endo is the latest powerful politician to speak out this week about the games, bracing the Japanese public for possible changes and costs.
Tokyo Governor Yurkio Koike said Thursday the games were likely to be downsized and undergo many changes.
Liverpool could win Premier League title at home after all
LONDON (AP) — Liverpool could win the Premier League title at home after all. Police originally indicated they wanted Liverpool’s second game after the restart against Crystal Palace to be staged at a neutral venue because of concerns that supporters could congregate outside Anfield. But the league now says the game on June 24 is scheduled to be at Liverpool’s home stadium. Liverpool leads Manchester City by two points and is two wins from ending its 30-year title drought.
In other sports developments related to the coronavirus outbreak:
— The University of Maryland will begin allowing its football players to begin voluntary, individual workouts under the supervision of the sports medial staff on June 15. Football players will be permitted to return to campus on June 8 for medical screenings. The athletes will be tested for symptoms of COVID-19 on a daily basis. Maryland is scheduled to open the season on Sept. 5 at home against Towson.
— The Italian soccer federation says teams will be allowed up to five substitutions in matches. Italian competitions will adopt the temporary law change when they resume next week. There can still be only three pauses to send on substitutes. If matches go into extra time and teams haven’t used all five of their substitutes they can make a fourth interruption at the end of regular time or between the two halves of extra time.
Serie A is set to resume on June 20 with the Italian Cup being completed in the previous week.
— Chelsea has been declared Women’s Super League champion after the season was stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic. The English Football Association’s board decided to determine the final standings on a points-per-game basis. Manchester City was a point ahead of Chelsea but had played an extra game when the season was suspended in March.
— The Asian qualifying tournament for the World Cup is set to resume in October after the coronavirus pandemic forced games in March and June to be postponed. The Asian Football Confederation says it agreed with FIFA to schedule two dates in October and two in November to complete the current groups. Twelve teams will advance to a further group stage next year.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-OKLAHOMA STATE
NCAA hits Oklahoma St with postseason ban in corruption case
UNDATED (AP) — An NCAA infractions committee panel has ruled former Oklahoma State assistant men’s basketball coach Lamont Evans violated ethical-conduct rules by accepting up to $22,000 in bribes from financial advisers.
The NCAA also announced penalties that include a one-year postseason ban for the team for next season. The ruling includes three years of probation, a $10,000 fine and a reduction in basketball scholarships for the program.
Oklahoma State issued plans to appeal, saying it was “stunned by the severity of the penalties and strongly disagrees with them.”
IndyCar drivers uncertain how aeroscreen will work at Texas
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Some IndyCar drivers are nervous heading into Saturday’s season-opening race at Texas. They will be racing on one of the series’ trickiest tracks, in stifling heat and with the new windscreen for the first time.
The protective device was supposed to make its debut on a road course in March. But when the pandemic shut down the sports world, series officials revised the schedule.
Now, the introductory race will take place on a high-speed, high-banked Texas oval, where it has not been tested.
Pete Rademacher, 1956 Olympic boxing champion, dies at 91
CLEVELAND (AP) — Olympic boxing champion Pete Rademacher has died.
A family member says he died at a veterans home in Sandusky, Ohio.
Rademacher won a gold medal at the 1956 Melbourne Games and fought Floyd Patterson for the heavyweight title in his first professional bout. Rademacher is the only boxer to fight for a championship in his first pro bout.
He knocked Patterson down in the second round before being counted out in the sixth.
Rademacher had dementia for years and his brain will be donated for medical research.
Pete Rademacher was 91 years old.