Dax Shepard admitted he didn’t want to announce his recent drug relapse publicly.
Dax Shepard admitted he didn’t want to announce his recent drug relapse publicly.
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The league will undergo a two-day playoffs, with the Isobel Cup awarded on March 27.
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Though two players were forced out of the game due to potential exposure, the NBA said nobody at the All-Star Game tested positive for COVID-19.
Maya Brady, playing for softball powerhouse UCLA, was the nation's freshman of the year in 2020.
It could be a historic week in the Champions League, while a bitter rivalry is renewed again in the Premier League.
The record streak came to an end on Monday.
A Romanian soccer referee was suspended for the season after making “inappropriate” comments about a Black coach at a Champions League game.
Washington Capitals forward Tim Wilson was justifiably suspended seven games for a malicious, and partly disguised, hit on Brandon Carlo.
In the NFL, you either have a franchise QB or you don't. Dallas does, yet Jerry Jones doesn't seem motivated to keep him around long-term.
Entering its third season, the Canadian Premier League has demonstrated there is an appetite for a domestic soccer circuit. Two-time champion Forge FC has done the CPL proud in CONCACAF club play. Atletico Ottawa joined last year, an addition all the more remarkable in that the expansion franchise arrived during a pandemic. Some 10 CPL players — 11 if you include CF Montreal defender Karifa Yao, who has been loaned to Calgary's Cavalry FC — were named in Canada's provisional men's roster for CONCACAF Olympic qualifying. CPL talent has made the jump to Major League Soccer and abroad. The eight-team league has shown plenty. What it hasn't done is lift the curtain on its finances. Until now. The CPL is sharing some of its financial data for the 2021 season, saying it's time for more transparency. "It needs to be done," commissioner David Clanachan said in an interview. With media and supporters clamouring for such information, Clanachan said the decision was made to share numbers to get the accurate information out there. The league says this season each team will operate with a $1.2-million salary cap, which covers both players and coaching/technical staff. Player spending must fall between $650,000 and $850,000 while the coach/technical range is between $350,000 and $550,000. Combined, the two must fall under $1.2 million. The cap includes salaries, housing and travel allowances and individual player bonuses but not "league or club accomplishment bonuses." The league says, on average, the salary cap accounts for some 57 per cent of team revenue — and could reach some 70 per cent factoring in bonuses. The league says, on average, it takes more $4 million a year to run a CPL team. Asked when the league might make a profit, Clanachan replied "We're not there yet, that's for sure. We're going to be a few years into it." "Our owners know that. They've invested circa $60 million already in this league. We're in a long-term game here." The league says the salary cap is the same as it was last year, because of the shortened season in 2020. The plan is to raise it in 2022. The decision to share some of the financial figures comes at a time when CPL players are trying to form a union. Last April, some 90 per cent of the players in the league signed on during the association's organizing drive. The Professional Footballers Association Canada (PFACan) was accepted last month as a candidate member by FIFPRO, which represents more than 65,000 professional men's and women's players across 65 affiliated national player associations. PFACan will have to serve two years as a candidate member before becoming a full member of FIFPRO, which recognizes one player association per country. PFACan has complained about the league's lack of transparency with regards player pay. Other complaints include the league adopting new rules and not publicizing them, and teams having access to player wage details throughout the league while the players themselves are not allowed to disclose their pay. "It's a deeply unfair field right now for players," said Paul Champ, an Ottawa-based labour and human rights lawyer who is helping the players organize. "And we're just trying to make it a bit fairer in terms of mobility, and negotiating free contracts and also having a minimum standard." Canadian international Marcel de Jong is president of PFACan. The 34-year-old, who retired as a Pacific FC player last Friday, says he understands the CPL is a new league. "But it's been two years now and I think that's enough time for the league to make some adjustments and see what it did wrong and correct them," he said. The league says its average player pay in 2021 is around $40,000, which may include housing, car allowances and incentive bonuses. The league says the top end of the salary scale is $77,000. There will be a minimum player salary of $22,000 in 2021, which including other compensation is expected to reach $26,000. The league says it had a "target" minimum salary in the past but is now "raising and codifying it." The minimum does not cover those on U-Sports contracts, who play during the summer while not at school. Clanachan said those deals would be in the range of $10,000 to $12,000. Options on player contracts come with 15 per cent raises on average, according to the league. Champ, however, said there are CPL players with contacts under $10,000 with a "large number" in the low teens. They would now be eligible for a bump in salary, according to the league figures. "We recognize there will be economic realities of this league … But these clubs still do OK. In the first season, a lot of clubs averaged 5,000 spectators per game. And they've got a big broadcast contract (with MediaPro)," said Champ. "So they don't have to be paying these poverty wages to players." De Jong says some players are forced to move home and live with their parents in the off-season because they can't afford their own place. Clanachan says the league is young and looking to improve standards and conditions every year. "Look at the amount of young Canadians that are playing professional football today that weren't playing it prior to 2019," he said. "That's the bottom line. That's what we're doing. We're creating a soccer economy in the country." The CPL is dreaming big. Clanachan says the goal is to become one of the top three leagues in CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean. "We're nowhere near that right now, but you've got to have lofty goals," he said. To get there, Clanachan says the CPL has to take "a managed, staged approach to how we grow the league." "We can't shoot for the moon right away. We've got to be careful and we've got to be purposeful the way we go forward." "I was taught a long time ago (that) to be good in business you've got to stay in business," he added. As a comparison, Major League Soccer teams will be able to spend US$9.225 million on player salaries in 2021, including basic general allocation money and targeted allocation money. The number is higher if they have designated players, only a portion of whose salaries count against the cap. The minimum MLS salary in 2021 is US$81,375 on the senior roster and US$63,547 on the reserve roster. The league has yet to release its 2021 schedule, but is targeting the Victoria Day weekend (May 22-24) for kickoff. The hope is some fans will be allowed in. The CPL has teams in Halifax, Hamilton, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Langford, B.C., --- Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021 Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
As a veteran who played in the Netherlands, Germany and Major League Soccer, Marcel de Jong had more bargaining power than most when he came to the Canadian Premier League. The Canadian international, who joined Pacific FC ahead of the league's inaugural 2109 season, also had some real-world international experience to compare the fledgling Canadian circuit against. "It's been really a crazy ride so far," said de Jong. "The owners, the clubs, the league have all the power. The players are being left by themselves to defend themselves. "And we obviously have a lot of young players who never had the experience of playing abroad where they have proper unions and organizations to help them. Obviously that's something that's not here at the moment." The 34-year-old de Jong set out to change that. While he says he has been treated well by Pacific, he believes others need help. Last April, some 90 per cent of the players in the eight-team league signed on during the association's organizing drive. The Professional Footballers Association Canada (PFACan) was accepted last month as a candidate member by FIFPRO, which represents more than 65,000 professional men's and women's players across 65 affiliated national player associations. PFACan will have to serve two years as a candidate member before becoming a full member of FIFPRO, which recognizes one player association per country. De Jong, who announced his retirement as a player last Friday, is the inaugural president of PFACan and is running for re-election at end of the month at the association's inaugural annual general meeting for a two-year term. Because the CPL clubs are spread across the country, PFACan faces a more complicated road in being recognized. It hopes the league will do so voluntarily. Commissioner David Clanachan seems unwilling to do that. "I think the right thing to do is go through the process and we've committed to do that," he said. A less desirable option for the association is to go after a labour board certification order on its behalf in every province where there is a CPL team. "We can go through that dance and, if we have to, that's what we will do," said Paul Champ, an Ottawa-based labour and human rights lawyer who is helping the players organize. "We think it would be deeply unfortunate and a waste of resources on the part of both the league and the association." "I will say this, we're not going to allow another full season go by without forcing the issue, if the league isn't amenable to coming up with a voluntary agreement," he added. Clanachan says while he has no issues with players wanting to form an association, the time is not right. "There's no issue with that," he said. "But it would be nice to able to be out from underneath this giant cloud that we're all in right now first." Champ, says the association has told the league it just wants recognition as the players' formal bargaining agent to start with, and is willing to forgo collective bargaining for a year. "Obviously negotiating a collective agreement in the midst of a pandemic when they don't have any people in the stands, doesn't make a whole lot of sense. And we get that," Champ said. In the meantime, he says players are paying the price. "Each individual player is at a massive disadvantage in trying to negotiate a free contract," Champ said. The association has offered another independent player vote to demonstrate its support to the league. "So far they haven't agreed to that," said Champ. At present, there is no formal link with the league, with Champ saying "they kind of tolerate us." PFACan has complained about the league's past lack of transparency regarding player pay. Other complaints include the league adopting new rules and not publicizing them, and teams having access to player wage details throughout the league while the players themselves are not allowed to disclose their pay. "Team owners shouldn't even be discussing such things. That's something unheard of anywhere else," said de Jong. Asked about teams exchanging contract information, Clanachan said he had not heard that. But he said there is "contract transparency" and that teams have access to contracts. Players took a 25-per-cent pay cut during the pandemic-disrupted 2020 season with de Jong and Champ saying they are still awaiting word on what happens to the money they didn't get. Clanachan said the players got about 82 per cent of what they were owed. They will not get the rest. "They played in the Island Games, they didn't play full seasons. I think we did our best for the players at the time," he said. The commissioner admits to "some miscommunication" on the pay reduction topic, however. Other current members of the PFACan board are Marco Carducci, Kyle Porter, Tomi Ameobi, Dylan Carreiro, Jamar Dixon, Ben Fisk, Omar Kreim, David Monsalve, Issey Nakajima-Farran and Roger Thompson. — Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021 Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
CHICAGO — A couple of post-season stars. The son of a former big leaguer. A versatile infielder from South Korea. Here is a closer look at a handful of rookies who could play a starring role this year: —OF Randy Arozarena and SS Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays: Arozarena helped power Tampa Bay to the World Series last year, batting .377 with 10 homers, 14 RBIs and a 1.273 OPS in 20 post-season games. The switch-hitting Franco, who just turned 20 on March 1, is widely regarded as baseball's top prospect. —RHP Ian Anderson, Atlanta Braves: The 22-year-old Anderson was called up in August and went 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA in six starts, helping Atlanta win the NL East. He also shined in the post-season, allowing just two earned runs in 18 2/3 innings. —INF Ke'Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh Pirates: Hayes, 24, provided some hope for lowly Pittsburgh in September, batting .376 with five homers in 24 games. The slick-fielding son of former big league infielder Charlie Hayes was selected by the Pirates in the first round of the 2015 amateur draft. —OF Dylan Carlson, St. Louis Cardinals: The athletic Carlson was promoted in August and helped St. Louis reach the playoffs for the second straight year. He batted .200 with 35 strikeouts in 35 games, but the switch-hitter just turned 22 in October, and the Cardinals think he could be a big part of their lineup for years to come. —RHP Nate Pearson, Toronto Blue Jays: Armed with a fastball that gets into the upper 90s and a nasty slider, Pearson worked five scoreless innings in his first big league start at Washington on July 29. He went through some growing pains down the stretch last year, but that learning experience could pay off for Toronto in 2021. —OF Jarred Kelenic, Seattle Mariners: Kelenic's future was in focus this spring after former team president Kevin Mather said the outfielder likely would begin the year in the minors in order to preserve another year of club control. The No. 6 pick in the 2018 amateur draft batted .291 with 23 homers over three minor league stops in 2019. A knee problem slowed him in spring training. —LHP Garrett Crochet, Chicago White Sox: Crochet became the first player from the 2020 amateur draft to make it to the majors when he tossed a perfect inning at Cincinnati on Sept. 18. He reached 100 mph on 45 of his 85 pitches while working six scoreless innings over his first five appearances with Chicago. —C Tyler Stephenson, Cincinnati Reds: The 24-year-old Stephenson broke into the majors in July, homering in his first plate appearance. The 2015 first-round pick is expected to take on a more prominent role this year after the Reds let Curt Casali go in December. —RHP Sixto Sánchez, Miami Marlins: Sánchez is a key part of one of baseball's most promising rotations, going 3-2 with a 3.46 ERA in seven starts in his first stint in the big leagues. The right-hander was acquired in the February 2019 trade that moved catcher J.T. Realmuto to Philadelphia. —OF Ryan Mountcastle, Baltimore Orioles: Mountcastle made his major league debut on Aug. 21 and batted .333 with five homers and 23 RBIs in 35 games. Selected by Baltimore with the No. 36 pick in the 2015 amateur draft, Mountcastle hit 25 homers for Triple-A Norfolk in 2019. —OF Alex Kirilloff, Minnesota Twins: The sweet-swinging Kirilloff gets his first chance at a regular job in Minnesota after Eddie Rosario was non-tendered in December. The 23-year-old Kirilloff went 1 for 4 in Game 2 of the AL wild-card series against Houston in his first major league game. —INF Kim Ha-seong, San Diego Padres: The 25-year-old Kim signed a $28 million, four-year deal in December, adding even more versatility to San Diego's deep roster. Kim batted .306 with 30 homers, 109 RBIs and 23 steals for the KBO League's Kiwoom Heroes last season. ___ Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Jay Cohen, The Associated Press
Promoter Lou DiBella announced on International Women’s Day that he’s making a major push to elevate the female fight game.
It wasn't until seeing a social media post from Jeremy Lin that Dave Roberts realized how important speaking out against Asian hate really was.
On the day the Milwaukee Brewers announced the signing of former Gold Glove centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., their need for more outfield depth became a bit more apparent. Lorenzo Cain acknowledged Monday that he’s dealing with a quadriceps issue that has slowed his progress this spring training, potentially complicating his status for the start of the season. Cain had opted out of the 2020 season after playing just five games. “I’ll do everything possible to get ready,” Cain said from the Brewers’ spring training site in Phoenix. “I plan on being on the field opening day.” The Brewers’ decision to sign Bradley to a $24 million, two-year contract was a bit of a surprise because they already had a Gold Glove centre fielder on their roster in Cain. The Brewers also have 2018 NL MVP Christian Yelich and Avisaíl García, giving them four experienced starters for three outfield spots. But all four could get plenty of at-bats. Bradley’s move to Milwaukee was reported last week, and the former Boston Red Sox outfielder arrived in camp Monday passing a physical to complete a deal that gives him the right to opt out after this season and become a free agent once again. “If we look at three outfield positions, conservatively there are 2,100 plate appearances,” Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said. “That’s a lot of playing time. That’s a lot of plate appearances. We want as good of players as possible to consume all of those. So now to hopefully be able to have four really, really good players consuming those 2,100 plate appearances, that puts us in a really good spot.” Cain, who turns 35 on April 13, called Bradley an “unbelievable defensive player who can swing the bat” and a welcome addition to the team. Cain didn’t express any concern that the addition of Bradley could affect his own job security. “It’s not a challenge to me,” Cain said. “I feel like I’ve shown what I can do, day in and day out, year in and year out, what I can do as far as centre field. If what I’ve done in the past is not enough, then what can I say?” Cain now is trying to make sure he’s ready for the start of the season. Stearns noted that Cain had some wisdom teeth removed before the start of camp that had shut him down for a week to 10 days. Cain said he later hurt his quadriceps while running the bases. Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Cain wasn’t on the field last week and added that “he’s going to be slowed by this and we’re at a point where the schedule starts to get a little tight, but I think we still have time to be ready for the season.” “Look, this is part of what can be expected when you have a player who relies a great deal his lower body, who wasn’t in a competitive environment for a long time, so we knew we needed the spring and the entirety of the spring to get him going,” Stearns said. “Unfortunately we’ve lost a chunk of that at this point. We’ll see how the next couple of weeks go.” Cain remains optimistic about his chances of being ready for the April 1 opener. “As far as getting on the field and seeing live pitching, that’s the only setback I see,” Cain said. “I think I’ll get caught up to speed real quick. I’m doing everything possible to get back on this field as soon as possible. I think I’ll be ready to go.” ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Steve Megargee, The Associated Press
Catcher is almost like the tight-end landscape of fantasy football. It's not deep. Scott Pianowski breaks down the options by tier.
While LeBron James was largely resting through the All-Star Game, the Brooklyn Nets were adding another piece for a run at his title. With James still near the top of his game and the Nets on top of the league in scoring, it's easy to envision a coast-to-coast NBA Finals when a champion is crowned in July. But, when most teams resume play Thursday — the same date last season was suspended — the leaders in the Eastern Conference might be doing so without their two best players. As proven again when Philadelphia's Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons had to sit out the All-Star Game, the coronavirus might still have a say on this season, making uncertainty a sizable obstacle in the title chase. “You’re playing every other day. You don’t know when you’re going to have practice time. You don’t know as far as what the restrictions and with COVID and things of that nature if you’re going to have all your guys," James said. "So it’s very challenging for all teams, not just us.” The bigger problem for the Lakers has been the absence of All-Star Anthony Davis because of a right calf injury. The defending champions have struggled without him, dropping six of eight to end the first half and falling 3 1/2 games behind surprising West leader Utah. The Nets have also been without an All-Star, though they've hardly missed Kevin Durant because of the brilliance of James Harden and Kyrie Irving. Blake Griffin agreed to join them Sunday night after the six-time All-Star cleared waivers after securing his buyout from Detroit. “We’re fortunate to be able to add a player of Blake’s calibre to our roster at this point in the season,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said. Brooklyn comes out of the break a half-game behind Philadelphia. Embiid has been a force this season and become a leading MVP candidate, but he and Simmons were ruled out of the All-Star Game on Sunday morning because they got haircuts from a barber who tested positive for COVID-19. They may not be cleared to return until the weekend, after the Sixers have played their first two games of the second half. “We start on the road, back-to-back games, with one practice. That’s a challenge in itself, right?,” Sixers coach Doc Rivers said. “Then, obviously, not having those guys, that’s a lot of points, our two best defenders. So, obviously, it would hurt.” Teams are used to it after a first half in which the unavailability of players and coaches because of health and safety protocols forced 31 games to be called off. For every team, the first big test of the second half is the coronavirus one that will determine who is good to go upon returning from break. Once that's finished, teams can look ahead to a busy and exciting stretch run. With many clubs bunched in the standings and another play-in tournament opening up additional paths to the post-season, even teams that weren't as sharp as they hoped in the first half have reason for hope. That includes teams such as Miami and Boston — last season's Eastern Conference finalists — plus Dallas and Golden State, all at or barely above .500 but perhaps just one hot streak from a nice leap up the standings. Or maybe Milwaukee, which was running away with the best record in the East last year when the season stopped but has been inconsistent this season, can discover its old form. The Bucks will be fearsome again if Giannis Antetokounmpo shoots anywhere near the way he did in the All-Star Game, when he went 16 for 16 en route to MVP honours. “I’ve got to keep working hard and I’ve got to keep enjoying the game of basketball, and hopefully more important things can come, and hopefully my goal is to be a champion one day,” the two-time regular-season MVP said. “Hopefully we can hold the big trophy.” A number of teams could have a shot. The Lakers may have looked like a solid favourite to repeat when the season started, but Davis' health throws that into question. Perhaps the Jazz can capitalize. They were the team whose coronavirus issues caused the season to stop last March 11. Now, they have three All-Stars and a league-leading 27-9 record. “It’s definitely been rewarding but at the end of the day we’re not here to celebrate and act like we’ve done something and it’s only March,” Donovan Mitchell said. “I think we’ve got to continue to get better.” Brian Mahoney, The Associated Press
ALMATY, Kazakhstan — Mikael Kingsbury didn't let an injury early this season stop him from regaining his dominant form for the most important event of the moguls campaign.After missing the first three World Cups of the season because of a back injury, Kingsbury captured gold on Monday at the world championships.The 28-year-old from Deux-Montagnes, Que., who fractured his T4, T5 vertebrae during a training run late last year, claimed his third career world crown in the freestyle ski discipline."Because of my injury, I missed three races. I won both races in Deer Valley (Utah) on my return (last month), but I'm running out of time for the (season title). For sure it’s not fun," Kingsbury said. "But in 2021, I'm the world champion. That's why it's special to me. I’m coming out with the title that everyone wanted.”The reigning Olympic champion beat out Benjamin Cavet of France and Pavel Kolmakov of Kazakhstan, who took silver and bronze, respectively.“Today, I was the fastest in the super final, I got the best points for the technical elements and I did the most difficult jumps," Kingsbury said. “To do it at the world championships, to win by five points, it's pretty huge in my sport. Seriously, it's a perfect day."Kingsbury will compete in dual moguls Tuesday. He's won a world title in that event twice in his career, making him a five-time world champion overall."This title of world champion is as big for me as an Olympic gold medal," Kingsbury said. “To have succeeded for the fifth time in your career, it's incredible."Kingsbury feels good about his chances for double gold.“This victory gives me confidence," he said.Laurent Dumais of Quebec City was sixth on Monday, Brenden Kelly of Pemberton, B.C., was 17th, Kerrian Chunlaud of Ste-Foy, Que., was 22nd and Gabriel Dufresne of Repentigny, Que., was 33rd.In the women's event, Perrine Laffont of France won gold.Montreal sisters Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe were 12th and 16th, respectively. Sofiane Gagnon of Whistler, B.C., was 19th.This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021. The Canadian Press