Colin Kaepernick’s Name Excluded From Madden NFL ’19, Faulk Suspended From NFL Networks

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A twitter user exposed video game maker EA Sports for excluding former 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick in YG’s song “Big Bank,” which is featured in the new Madden NFL ’19.  Kaepernick created a movement in 2016 with his National Anthem kneeling protest, and when he wasn’t picked up by any team since free agency in 2017, he sued the NFL owners for collusion. The case is still pending and emotions still run high on both sides of the issue. According to EA Sports, “We made an unfortunate mistake with our Madden NFL soundtrack. Members of our team misunderstood the fact that while we don’t have rights to include Colin Kaepernick in the game, this doesn’t affect soundtracks. We messed up, and the edit should never have happened. We will make it right, with an update to Madden NFL 19 on August 6 that will include the reference again. We meant no disrespect, and we apologize to Colin, to YG and Big Sean, to the NFL, to all of their fans and our players for this mistake.”

In other NFL news, a former wardrobe stylist at NFL network accused Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk as well as Ike Taylor and Heath Evans for sexual harassment. As of now, all three are suspended from their roles as NFL analysts and aren’t expected to come back.

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Urban Meyer Paid Administrative Leave, NBA And WNBA Signs Deal With MGM Resorts

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Ohio State football coach, Urban Meyer, was placed on administrative leave for allegedly knowing about a domestic abuse situation with one of his assistant coaches. Meyer led the Ohio State Buckeyes to a National Championship in 2014 and is considered one of the best coaches in college football. Temporarily taking over head coaching duties will be offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day. A statement from the school read, “The University is conducting an investigation into these allegations. During the inquiry, Urban Meyer will be on paid administrative leave. … We are focused on supporting our players and on getting to the truth as expeditiously as possible.”

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The NBA and WNBA signed a deal with MGM Resorts as their official gaming partner. Legalized gambling continues to evolve, and the NBA wants to make sure they remain at the forefront of the issue. According to the press release, “MGM Resorts will use official NBA and WNBA data and branding, on a non-exclusive basis, across MGM Resorts’ land-based and digital sports betting offerings throughout the United States.”

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Roquan Smith Unsigned, LeBron James Presidential Run 2020, Fortnite Coaches

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Roquan Smith, the linebacker out of Georgia and number 8th overall pick in the NFL draft, remains the only unsigned first-round draft pick. According to the Chicago Bears coach, Matt Nagy, the holdout has to do with the NFL’s new helmet rule, where players can get ejected if they use their helmet to “butt, spear, or ram an opponent.” Smith’s contract stipulates he could lose guaranteed money if he gets suspended due to the rule. Many involved in the details of this issue believe the helmet rule makes sense on some level (even though could be tough to enforce), but the Bears have dug in on this issue which has Smith, his agents (and some in the media) upset.

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LeBron James hinted he may take on President Trump in 2020. He told CNN “I don’t know. I may… if they [The Democratic Party] have no one, I believe there may be someone… I may [run]. Let’s see.” LeBron has often been very critical of Trump and said, “Our president is using sport to divide us and that’s something I can’t relate to. Sport was the first time I was around someone white, and I got the opportunity to learn about them and them about me. Sport brings [people] together.” LeBron has been a big proponent of education reform and recently opened his “I Promise” school for at-risk kids.

GAMING

Many parents try to get their children to stop playing video games all day, but the gaming craze is getting more serious (with scholarships to colleges on the line), and some parents are anteing up to get their kids to be the best.  The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted how parents are paying coaches to work with their children to become better Fortnite players. One parent said, “There’s pressure not to just play it but to be really good at it. You can imagine what that was like for him at school.” According to reports, over 125 million people worldwide play Fortnite. 

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Mayfield’s RV, Darnold Ends Holdout With Jets

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HBO’s Emmy winning series, “Hard Knocks” will feature the Cleveland Browns in their quest to improve from 1-31 the last two seasons. Expect the reality series this season to spend time on the competition between Browns’ quarterbacks: #1 pick in the NFL draft Baker Mayfield and veteran Drew Stanton.  The HBO series is popular as it gives a behind the scenes look at training camp with, for the most part, full access to the players and their routines. This season, however, the quarterbacks have parked an RV on site where no one (other than the quarterbacks) are allowed access. Mayfield mentioned the RV was Stanton’s idea as a place to relax and unwind. Even though the RV was designed to only accommodate the quarterbacks, Stanton told reporters some offensive linemen could get “VIP access” (which makes sense as the offensive linemen protect the QB’s all season). Hard Knocks debuts their 14th season on August 7th.

In more training camp news, the Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold ended his holdout (over offset language in his contract) . The #3 pick in the NFL draft reported to camp and will start competing against veterans Josh McCown and  Teddy Bridgewater for the starting job.

 

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Hall Of Fame Inductees, More Racial/Homophobic Remarks, LeBron’s “I Promise”

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Six new baseball legends were inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday. Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome and Alan Trammell, Trevor Hoffman and Jack Morris. In an emotional moment at the beginning of the ceremony, Thome teared up watching his 15 year old daughter sing the National Anthem.

Two more Major League Baseball players had their past racial and homophobic tweets uncovered. Fans have seen recent tweets from Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader (who disgustingly got a standing ovation in his last game pitching), and now Atlanta Braves Sean Newcomb and Trea Turner have been exposed. Newcomb tried to explain himself and said, “This is something that obviously can’t be happening. I feel bad about it. I don’t mean to offend anybody. I definitely regret it.”

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LeBron James will hold a news conference today announcing the launch of his foundations’ “I Promise” school. The school will team with Akron Public Schools and focus on helping kids who need extra academic assistance.  LeBron spoke about his passion for making sure at risk kids don’t fall through the crack. He also spoke about his decision to move to LA. He said, “This is kind of like a dream come true for me. You know, growing up, I was a Cowboys fans, I was a Bulls fan, I was a Yankees fan, and I’ve always felt like that was one of the historic franchises. You look at the Lakers, and being able to play for a historic franchise, with so much history, you know? And now being able to partner with Magic Johnson, someone I kind of like looked up to when I was younger, you know, and wanted to make no-look passes like Magic, wanted to get on the break and be ‘Showtime’ like Magic, and then for it to all come to fruition at this point, I think timing is everything.”

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Judge Out 3 Weeks, Cubs Acquire Hamel, LeBron James HBO Show

BASEBALL

The Yankees suffered some bad news last night when outfielder Aaron Judge was hit by a fastball while at bat against Kansas City Royals pitcher Jakob Junis. Judge is expected to be out for 3 weeks which is rough for the team considering he’s a big hitter and the Yankees are only 4 1/2 game behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.

In anticipation of another playoff run, the Chicago Cubs acquired pitcher Cole Hamel from the Texas Rangers. Hamel has had a disappointing season so far for the Rangers but has playoff experience and also performs better outside of Texas so looks like it could be a good trade for the Cubs.

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LeBron James‘s new HBO Show called “The Shop” debuts on August 28th. It’s a barber-shop style talk show, and in the first episode LeBron talks about the pressure his son must feel on the court being named LeBron Jr. He said, “Obviously, when I was younger, I didn’t have a dad. So my whole thing was like, ‘Whenever I have a kid, not only is he going to be a junior, I’m going to do everything that this man didn’t do.’ ”

 

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CJ McCollum Calls Durant Soft, Luck Will Play, Jones Reports To Camp, Jones Addresses Owens And Anthem

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In a heated twitter exchange, Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum called Kevin Durant’s decision in 2016 to join the Golden State Warriors “soft”. Durant then responded by tweeting, “U think that low of me CJ? I just did your f–in podcast. Snakes in the grass boy I tell ya.”

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After missing the 2017 season, the Indianapolis Colts reported quarterback Andrew Luck will play in the team’s preseason opener August 9th.

Atlanta receiver Julio Jones has been in a contract dispute with the Falcons, but it’s been reported he’ll still show up to practice at training camp. Jones has three years left on his contract and according to team sources, the Falcons will “creatively increase his potential to earn more than his scheduled $10.5 million base salary in 2018.” They went on to say, “We have come to an agreement with Julio, and we will re-address everything in 2019.”

In a recent interview, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said  Terrell Owens skipping out on the Hall of Fame ceremony was a mistake.  Owens responded by saying“Jerry ‘made a mistake’ of releasing me after listening to others when I produced, gave my ALL, sacrificed my health for the team but who am I?! But hey I thought Jerry had a mind of his own too. #GOFIGURE What I’m doing is for the FANS. #THISISFORYOU”

Jerry Jones also stated his policy for the team on the National Anthem and said, “Our policy is you stand during the anthem, toe on the line”.

 

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Zlatan And LeBron Move Like Small Ninjas, Love Signs $120 Extension, Gurley Signs Largest Guarantee In NFL History

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LA Galaxy’s outspoken and confident star, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, expressed his interest in seeing LeBron in LA and acknowledging both he at 6’5″ and LeBron at 6’8″ move like small ninjas.  “Of course I will see (LeBron) play basket. I don’t know if he’s interested in soccer, even though soccer is bigger than basket will all due respect for basket. Of course I will see him. I think him as an athlete is amazing. What he is doing, the way he is doing it, because I see myself also being so big and move like a small ninja, what he does also, so I find it fancy. That inspires a lot of people. I think we’ll watch each other, of course.”

In other NBA news, Cleveland Cavaliers Kevin Love signed a 4 year $120 million contract extension.

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Running Back Todd Gurley set a record signing a 4-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Rams worth $60 million, $45 million guaranteed (the largest guarantee ever for a running back in NFL history). In the past, teams have been reluctant to pay running backs large guaranteed money because they tend to be more prone to injuries than some other positions. This deal could be a game changer for other high profile running backs like Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell who is currently trying to negotiate his own contract.

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Harbaugh Says Rookies Not Callused, Tebow Breaks Hand, Gary Sanchez Running, Lochte Banned Again

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NFL training camps are well under way, but after Baltimore Ravens rookie tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews missed the last five practices, Ravens coach John Harbaugh took to the media to complain. He said, “One thing I’ve noticed: Guys coming out of college aren’t as callused up as they used to be. We used to practice twice a day in full pads.”

BASEBALL

Former NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow was having a successful minor league season with the New York Mets but unfortunately broke his hand and will be out for the rest of the season.

With a 7-6 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, the Yankees are now 6 games behind the Boston Red Sox. Catcher Gary Sanchez could have saved the game but is now being vilified as he didn’t sprint to first base on a grounder which could have let Aaron Judge score the game-tying run. After the game, Sanchez admitted, “I should’ve run harder,”

SWIMMING

Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte didn’t realize getting an IV infusion was against the US Doping Agency rules (unless it has to do with hospitalization) and even though no banned substances were involved, he still received a 14-month suspension.  Lochte said he was on his way to getting his life together after a 10-month ban for lying to officials during the 2016 Olympics when he falsely claimed he was robbed at a gas station. He reported to the media,  “It’s devastating to my family about this because I definitely made myself a better person after Rio, and I was back in training. I was feeling good. I was swimming fast. My son being born. Everything was happening. Everything was perfect, and then this happened. And it’s devastating.”

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Molinari Wins British Open, Tiger’s Best Start, Disgust For Josh Hader Standing O, Bad Cubs Fan, Barkley Contract

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Francesco Molinari won the British Open hitting a bogey-free 69 and becoming the first Italian to win a Major. Tiger Woods is back and looked like he could have won the tournament but faltered on the back 9. Even so, tied for 6th at 5-under par earned him his best finish in a major since 2013 Open.

BASEBALL

In a couple of fan-related stories:

The sports world is disgusted with Milwaukee Brewer fans for giving pitcher Josh Hader a standing ovation on his way to the mound. During the All-Star break, the media uncovered racist and homophobic tweets he made back in 2011. He said, he hated gay people, & tweeted “white power”. One fan tweeted, “Any Brewers fan at that game last night who participated in a standing ovation for that guy should be ashamed of themselves. What a disgrace.”

In Chicago over the weekend, the Cubs first base coach tried to hand a ball to a little boy in the front row. The ball bounced out of his hands, and the man behind him stole the ball and celebrated his great accomplishment (at the expense of the boy). Thankfully for the boy, Javier Baez noticed and gave him two balls, one autographed by Baez.

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Number 2 overall pick in the NFL draft, running back Saquon Barkley just signed a contract with the New York Giants for a reported $31.2 million guaranteed. He’s now one of the highest paid running backs in the League and hasn’t even played in a game yet. Barkley is taking his rookie contract seriously and stated “I want to invest it, put it in the right people’s hands and learn as I continue to make investments. And just live off the endorsement deals.”

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