Winter Olympics participation a potential roadblock in NHL CBA talks

first_imgIn the weeks since the NHL and NHL Players Association opted against re-opening the current collective bargaining agreement, negotiations have continued between the two sides.Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reported Saturday the league and the PA held conference calls aimed at working toward a CBA extension in the coming months. He indicated they have shared business interests to address, including the establishment of a clear calendar of international events. The players’ willingness to take part in future Olympic tournaments could be a potential sticking point in the current CBA extension talks. However, it’s probably not the hill they’re willing to die on.Escrow deductions remain the biggest issue for the players. After several years of having up to 15 percent clawed back from their paychecks and getting little of it back by season’s end, they want a different system to lessen escrow’s bite. Post-career health care and revisiting how hockey-related revenue is determined are also among their concerns.It’s difficult to believe the players would derail real progress toward long-term labor peace by making the Olympics their line in the sand. Ultimately, more money in their bank accounts will likely trump the pursuit of Olympic glory. Johnston claims the players still have a strong interest in best-on-best international competition. They’re willing to take part in another World Cup of Hockey tournament, but only if it’s part of a larger plan that includes the Winter Olympics.Top 25 under 25​​: Ranking hockey’s best young stars for 2019-20The league remains keen to hold another World Cup, as well as staging future Global Series of regular-season games outside North America. But according to deputy commissioner Bill Daly, the team owners have no interest in Olympic participation.Daly told NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman the owners don’t see the Olympics as useful to their business.“It’s highly disruptive to our season, puts our players in jeopardy of injury with no financial benefit to the NHL or its clubs,” he said.The same arguments could be made against the World Cup of Hockey. Granted, that preseason tournament doesn’t disrupt the regular-season schedule. However, it takes each teams’ best players out of training camp at a time when coaches and general managers attempt to evaluate their respective rosters for the coming season. The players still face the same risk of injury regardless of which international tournament they’re skating in.Financial benefit is the biggest reason behind the owners reluctance. Being a preseason tournament, the World Cup of Hockey doesn’t affect hockey revenue related to the regular-season schedule. Furthermore, all revenue derived from that tournament is divided between the league and the players.Since NHL players first appeared in the 1998 Winter Olympics, the league hasn’t seen any significant increase in the popularity of its product. The owners grew increasingly unhappy over shuttering the league at mid-season for two or three weeks to allow their players to participate.MORE: Who will win the 2019-20 Calder Trophy?Perhaps the biggest reason behind the owners’ unhappiness was because the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stopped covering travel, insurance, accommodations and other costs for NHL players taking part in Olympic action. The league declined a $20 million offer from International Ice Hockey Federation to cover those costs for the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.As Johnston noted, the league would not only have to change its stance, but also conduct separate negotiations with the IOC regarding those cost.last_img read more

Only on AP: For NFL players, racial profiling often personal

first_imgIn this Feb. 25, 1966 file photo, While Illinois Athletic Commission listened, heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali speaks, in Chicago. Ali had criticized his imminent army draft. (AP Photo/File) Today’s Black athletes are part of a tradition of the intertwining of race, sports and society in America. From boxer Jack Johnson to Serena Williams, each generation has had to reckon with their era’s racial climate to help move the US forward. (Feb. 1)___EDITOR’S NOTE: African-American athletes have used their sports platforms for more than 100 years to impact social and political change. As part of AP’s coverage plans for Black History Month, we will take a multi-platform look at look at how many have and continue to engage in activism, from Jack Johnson, to Muhammad Ali to Colin Kaepernick.___In protesting, Kaepernick and others attempted to highlight the killings of unarmed black men by police, an issue brought into the national spotlight by Black Lives Matter activists after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri , in 2014. But the message was quickly overtaken by fans offended by the players’ decision to kneel during the anthem.“That was the main thing with the protests, to bring awareness so people know what’s going on,” said Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey. “That’s the first step to trying to fix the situation.”NFL players who have protested this season have been in the minority, and protests waned as the season went on. Some players are focusing on ways of addressing injustice off the field.“If it affects that many people by taking a knee, just stand up, it’s that simple,” said Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey. “Taking a knee during the anthem, in my opinion, changes nothing. Giving back to the community, being around the kids and people in poverty, I respect that.”For many players, the issue is not one of patriotism, but is personal.“At the end of the day, we’re not trying to disrespect nobody,” said Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye. “No matter what happens, I feel like somebody is not going to be happy, but we have a lot of respect for our country and respect for the game.”Bouye was among the players who recounted firsthand experience with racial profiling.“My dad, when I was growing up … gun to his head and everything,” Bouye said. “That’s why it hits close to me. We know that there are issues going on, and maybe some people don’t want to bring awareness to them, but we’ll find a way.”Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said he, his father and his wife have all been victims of racial profiling — even after he became a successful athlete.“It happened to my wife in the past couple of years,” said McCoy, who was drafted in 2010. “She got pulled over. She was driving a Bentley. Nice neighborhood, and they pulled her over. All her stuff was right and they just didn’t have any reason. It just wasn’t right.”Black athletes have been finding a way to fight for social change for more than 100 years, from Jack Johnson, to Muhammad Ali to Kaepernick.Their fights have come at great personal expense, from alienation by fellow Americans to incarceration to the loss of their careers.NFL players faced backlash of their own in 2017.During the season, President Donald Trump referred to the players as “sons of bitches” and suggested they be fired. And Trump again condemned the protests in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, juxtaposing the campaign against the patriotic efforts of a white child who has planted thousands of American flags on the graves of veterans.A recent AP-NORC poll showed most Americans think refusing to stand for the national anthem is disrespectful to the country, the military and the American flag. Most African-Americans polled were more likely to approve of the players’ protests. Only 4 in 10 Americans polled saw refusing to stand for the flag as an act of patriotism.Players have pointed out that the protests are allowed under free speech, one of the cornerstones of American democracy. Martin Luther King Jr. framed civil disobedience as a commitment to conscience tied to founding revolts of our country like the Boston Tea Party.The issue has loomed over the entire NFL season, which culminates with Sunday’s Super Bowl. And a year into his presidency, Trump’s Department of Justice has abandoned talk of police reform in favor of support for law enforcement and criticism of activists. The Associated Press surveyed 56 of the 59 Black players at last weekend’s Pro Bowl game as part of its look at how African-American athletes have long used their sports platforms to impact social and political change. The AP asked the players whether they or someone they knew have ever experienced racial profiling.All said yes.“You can probably ask any Black man out here and the answer is yes,” said Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson. “It’s not like this is just starting today or a new thing. It’s gone on for a long time. I think African-American men have been (victims) of racial profiling for a long time, by either the things they wear or just by the color of their skin.” Of the players surveyed at the Pro Bowl, 42 said they would support the idea of the NFL going back to keeping teams in the locker room until after the anthem is played, a practice that was changed in 2009 — not that they believe they have much say in what decision league owners will make.center_img “The league does what the league does,” said Jackson. “I don’t have any say in it, so I don’t care.”____Fred Goodall reported from Orlando. Errin Haines Whack is The Associated Press’ national writer for race and ethnicity. Follow her work on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/emarvelous A son who saw a police officer hold a gun to his father’s head. A husband whose wife was pulled over driving a Bentley.last_img read more

Jets sign former Redskins WR Terrelle Pryor

first_imgThis 2017 file photo of Terrelle Pryor Sr. of the Washington Redskins NFL football team. (AP Photo/File)NEW YORK (AP) — Terrelle Pryor is hoping for a Big-Apple bounce-back with the Jets.The former Washington wide receiver signed with New York after one disappointing season with the Redskins.The Jets announced the signing Sunday. Terms of the deal, which were agreed to on Thursday night, were not immediately known.Pryor had free agent visits with both New York and Seattle, and also had interest from Cleveland, before he agreed to sign with the Jets.“I’m so happy to be a part of this organization and this team, this young team,” Pryor said in a video posted on the team’s Twitter page . “I’m excited. It’s time to get to work. Jet up!”Pryor, who turns 29 in June, gives the Jets some depth at wide receiver, where they also have Jermaine Kearse, Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson, along with second-year pros Chad Hansen and ArDarius Stewart.Anderson’s status is uncertain, however, after he was arrested in Florida in January on several charges, including threatening a police officer’s family and saying he would rape the officer’s wife. He was also arrested last May and charged with resisting arrest after sparring with officials who asked him to leave a Miami music festival.His hearing has been postponed until August.“I am really hopeful Robby will put this thing behind him and be the kind of all-around person that will make people proud to wear (his) No. 11 jersey,” Jets acting owner Christopher Johnson said Sunday at the NFL meetings.“I haven’t talked with the coaches about Robby. I honestly think he is remorseful and trying to get himself in a better place. I believe him.”Pryor signed a one-year, $6 million deal with Washington last year after having a breakout season with Cleveland in 2016, when he had 77 catches for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns in his first year as a full-time wide receiver. He was being counted on to replace the departed receiving duo of Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, but injured an ankle in Week 2 and tried to play through it. He finished the year on injured reserve and had ankle surgery, ending the season with just 20 catches for 240 yards and one touchdown.He had more than three catches in a game just once last year — in the season opener — and Washington allowed Pryor to leave as a free agent. The former Ohio State quarterback-turned-receiver now has a chance to return to form as a potential deep threat for the Jets in new coordinator Jeremy Bates’ offense.This marks the latest stop in what has been a wild football journey for Pryor, who has also spent time with Oakland, Seattle, Kansas City and Cincinnati in the NFL.Pryor, a top high school recruit from southwestern Pennsylvania, was the starting quarterback for Ohio State from 2008-10 and became one of college football’s most exciting players. He threw for 6,177 yards and 57 touchdowns and ran for 2,164 yards and 17 scores in three seasons with the Buckeyes.But Pryor withdrew from Ohio State in June 2011 after a memorabilia-for-cash-and-tattoos scandal that resulted in a five-game suspension and ultimately led to coach Jim Tressel’s resignation. Two months later, Pryor was selected by Oakland in the NFL supplemental draft.He played in just four games during his first two seasons with the Raiders, including one start at quarterback. Pryor started nine games in 2013 with shaky results, throwing for two TDs and 11 interceptions before being benched in favor of Matt McGloin following a sprained knee ligament earlier in the season.Pryor was traded to Seattle before the 2014 NFL draft, but was among the Seahawks’ final cuts. He sat out the entire season despite having workouts with several teams. Kansas City signed him in January 2015, but then released him five months later. Pryor briefly joined Cincinnati, but was again cut — and then announced that he would be willing to play wide receiver on a full-time basis.Cleveland claimed Pryor off waivers and he played in three games for the Browns, who named him a starter at wide receiver the following season. Despite still being raw at the position, Pryor’s athleticism and versatility was on full display in 2016 as he led the Browns in receptions, yards receiving, TD catches, yards per game and yards per catch.In a game at Miami, he became the first player since Hall of Famer Frank Gifford of the Giants in 1959 to have at least 120 yards receiving (144), 30 yards passing (35) and 20 yards rushing (25) in a game. He also played a snap at safety and became the first player since San Francisco’s Billy Kilmer in 1964 to have three catches, carries and passes in a game.With the Jets, Pryor is reunited with two teammates from that Cleveland team: quarterback Josh McCown and running back Isaiah Crowell.Pryor parlayed his promising season with the Browns into a nice payday with the Redskins, and things started off well as he had six catches for 66 yards in the opener. But his production was inconsistent from that point before the ankle injury ended his season — and, it turned out, his tenure in Washington — after Week 11.___For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFLlast_img read more

To all Connie Hawkins ballers—‘Do the Right Thing!’ (April 25)

first_imgLike us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlFollow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourier BILL NEAL:10—Of course this is not a shoutout to the likes of Hosea Champine, Norm Nixon, John Marshall, Kirk Bruce, Ron Carter, Sam Clancy, Myron Brown, Bobby Franklin, B.B. Flenory, Magic Mike Williams, Kenny Durrett, Bobby Byrd or Billy Varner…your legend was already in place! No, this is “a call to arms for the other 5,060 or so players that played in the nationally-recognized, top 10-rated Connie Hawkins Summer League that more than likely may have never been recognized beyond your last glorified high school game. On Saturday, May 5, we will honor and memorialize the late great Connie Hawkins. Do the right thing man and come pay your respects to the man that put you on the map!:09—Sooooo, while I have your attention, here’s your info for the next to last time. Friday, May 4, “Live” at The Savoy Restaurant (2623 Penn Avenue, zip code 15222). Come one, come all to welcome home the 1968 ABA World Champion Pittsburgh Pipers. 6 p.m. until, $5 cover, free parking, cash bar, cash kitchen, dress to impress. Saturday, May 5, noon press conference at the Marriott Hotel City Center, Downtown Pittsburgh. Then at 2 p.m., the Pittsburgh Bullets ABA team will showcase a tribute exhibition game and clinic for kids at the Thelma Lovette YMCA (2114 Centre Avenue, zip code 15219) in honor of the champions. Then at 6 p.m., cocktail reception for the event at the Marriott. Then at 7 p.m., dinner and awards presentation honoring the Pipers, Connie Hawkins and the 2018 Connie Hawkins Hall of Fame Inductees. Special guest speakers include the legendary Billy Knight, former L.A. Laker Ron Carter and former Boston Celtic B.B. Flenory. $50 in advance, $75 at the door, not formal. Dress to impress. Parking at cost. For additional information, please call Achieving Greatness Inc. at 412-628-4856, Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.:08—Hey, while I am shouting out stuff, let’s have a shoutout for all the people that helped make this historic night possible. Major Mark Whited. The Mark Cuban Foundation. The New Pittsburgh Courier. The Phoenix Suns. The Pittsburgh Penguins. State Representative Austin Davis. City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle. Chuck Sanders Charities. Gary White. Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale Co. Attorney Glenn Mahone. Attorney William Goodrich. Attorney Jack Goodrich. J.T. Thomas. The Tribune Review. Larry Richert of KDKA Radio.:07—Lord, please don’t let Kevin Cameron be right about the Pittsburgh Pirates, but if the pitchin’ don’t hold up, the bats don’t mean jack. Now that’s teamwork.:06—Yeah, I know the NFL draft is on Thursday, April 26, but I won’t be watching. Call me when we’ve made our selection, then you got my attention.:05—But if you really want to know who, what, when, where and why, tune into Soul Take—Champions Live Sports Talk Show every Wednesday…go to urbanmediatoday.com and get reminded of how much you don’t know, but you think you know. Brought to you by Urban Media Today, the New Pittsburgh Courier and Cameron Professional Management. Starring Kevin Cameron, Bill Neal and a cast of the greatest sports minds in the business. To get on board – soultakechampionslive@gmail.com or call Achieving Greatness Inc. at 412-628- 4856.:04—Man, you know the Black Panther is all that if it’s still playing at theaters and at prime time slots. It’s been over a month. They used to call that “Black Power!!!”:03—BTW, if you still have doubts about me proclaiming Jim Thorpe the greatest athlete of all time, just pull up or rent the movie Jim Thorpe—All American. You – Will – Be – Amazed. Look, the man and one other Native American beat an entire track team by themselves . . . just Google it.:02—To the world, and to my good friend, and the family and close friends of the late great “Super Champion” Bruno Sammartino, farewell to a true legend!!! (FYI – he sold out Madison Square Garden 108 times . . . C’mon man!)Dexter Westbrook driving against “The Hawk”:01—In continuing to showcase the members of the Pittsburgh Pipers World Champions, pictured here are Dexter Westbrook driving against “The Hawk” before getting traded to the Pipers weeks later, and sharp shooter Barry Leibowitz.Barry Leibowitz:00—GAME OVER.last_img read more

Lamar Men and Women Highlight NCAA South Central Regional

first_imgStephen F. Austin sophomore and Southland Male Newcomer of the Year Charles Mathenge finished the course in a time of 29:58 – roughly a 4:50 mile pace – to break his second school record of the season and capture a seventh-place finish. The Ol Kalou, Kenya, native also owns the school record in the 8K (23:42) after his runner-up performance at the Conference Championships on Nov. 3. Mathenge also earns a spot in the upcoming NCAA National Championship race and is a NCAA All-Region honoree. The NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship selection show will take place tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. CT, and will stream live on NCAA.com. Lamar freshman runner Minttu Hukka was the top Southland women’s finisher as she placed 14th in the 6K race with a time of 20:43.6 and took home NCAA All-Region honors. Hukka was named Southland Freshman and Athlete of the Year after winning the Conference Championship race on Nov. 3. Hukka was followed by teammate and first team all-conference selection Leigh Lattimore, who finished 17th in 20:52. Lamar’s Verity Ockenden, a first team all-conference selection, also finished in the top 25 with a time of 21:02.6. Lattimore and Ockenden each were NCAA All-Region honorees. FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Lamar men’s cross country team finished third at the NCAA South Central Regional hosted by Arkansas Friday afternoon, while the Lamar women came in fourth. Lamar’s Sam Stabler and Stephen F. Austin’s Charles Mathenge each punched a ticket into the NCAA National Championships with their top-10 individual finishes at the regional race. Three Southland women’s runners placed in the top 25 and claimed NCAA All-Region honors, while Lamar had a fourth-place team finish. Southland runner-up Stephen F. Austin came in ninth, McNeese State 13th, Sam Houston State 15th, Houston Baptist 18th and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 19th. A total of ten Southland men’s and women’s runners earned NCAA All-Region honors after finishing in the top 25 of the NCAA Regional race. Lamar senior runner Sam Stabler, who was Southland Conference Male Athlete of the Year and league champion, ran the Agri Park 10K course in 29:35.9. Stabler ran a personal career best 10,000-meter time and claimed NCAA All-Region honors. The Leicester, England (Ratcliffe College), native finished third out of 152 total runners and 23 teams to earn a spot in the NCAA National Championships Nov. 22 in Terre Haute, Ind. Men’s ResultsWomen’s Results Lamar’s Jan Lukas Becker and Southland Male Freshman of the Year finished the race course 12th in a time of 30:09.6 and earned NCAA All-Region honors. Central Arkansas’ Jonathan Burgess came in 16th, Stephen F. Austin’s Cody Brown 19th, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Philipp Baar 20th and Lamar’s Alex Dunbar 24th, each claiming a spot on the NCAA All-Region list. Seven Southland men’s runners finished in the top 25 and earned NCAA All-Region honors as Lamar and Stephen F. Austin had top-five team finishes. Lamar’s third-place finish was followed by Stephen F. Austin in fifth place. McNeese State men and Central Arkansas men finished ninth and 10th, while Texas A&M-Corpus Christi came in 13th, Sam Houston State 17th, and Houston Baptist 21st. A total of 31 teams compete as a team at the NCAA Division I Championships with 18 automatic bids from the top two teams at each regional, 13 bids are at-large. After teams have been determined, 38 additional individuals per gender are selected. After teams have been determined, 38 additional individuals per gender are selected to compete. From those teams not selected in the above process, the top four finishers at each regional are automatically selected but must have finished within the top 25 of the region. Two additional athletes will be selected from the remainder of the national pool as at-large individuals but must have finished in the regional top 25.last_img read more