Christian Pulisic goal for Chelsea ‘inspiration’ in fightback win – Frank Lampard

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard praised Christian Pulisic, as the American forward scored an equaliser five minutes after coming off the bench to help his team earn a 2-1 comeback win at Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Pulisic levelled on the hour after Kortney Hause had given Villa a 43rd minute lead, and Frenchman Olivier Giroud netted the winner two minutes later, tightening Chelsea’s grip on fourth place.

Lampard also singled out midfielder Ross Barkley and right-back Cesar Azpilicueta, who set up both Chelsea goals — one with a superb cross from his flank, and the other with a sublime pass to Giroud from the opposite side.7

“The individuals who make the difference should always take all the credit, so with Christian and Ross Barkley, who came on at the same time, they’re both players who have trained well and had cases to start this game,” said Lampard.

“We knew that fitness would play a part, so the idea of bringing on Christian and Ross early in the second half was always something that was in my mind.

“The way it was going, we needed a bit of inspiration, and Christian gave it with his goal. I thought Ross did really well, too. I keep saying to the players how important subs could be in this period, and they showed that.”nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

“I thought Azpi was really good in the game. Obviously, he delivers the ball for Christian’s goal and got really high up in areas.”

The result left Chelsea on course for a Champions League berth next season, five points ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United and sixth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers, with Lampard praising his team’s character.

“We showed great character and quality in the second half to win the game, so I’m pleased. I thought we moved the ball pretty well for most of the game and dominated possession clearly.”

‘I don’t feel cheated one bit’: Pitchers who gave up home runs to both McGwire and Sosa in ’98 tell their tales

Rick Reed, a righty for the New York Mets, allowed McGwire’s 13th and 51st homers in 1998. “He was just big. I was like, ‘My god, can we just get this at-bat over with?'” Reed said. “Every time he came up, my thinking was, ‘Please, God, just don’t let him hit the ball back up the middle. Let him hit it anywhere he wants to but not back up the middle.’ When I was in the minor leagues, Randy Velarde hit a ball back up the middle, and I kid you not, that hit the button on the top of my hat. If McGwire had hit one back up the middle, I could only imagine what it would’ve looked like — or sounded like. Because I wouldn’t have seen it.”

Jim Parque was a rookie for the Chicago White Sox in 1998, and the first two home runs he allowed in his big league career were to Sosa on June 5, and McGwire on June 10. He laughed with empathy when he heard how Reed had feared a ball being hit up the middle by McGwire. “Oh, yeah. You’ve got a gorilla up there in McGwire. Those two guys, they were just epic — muscle tone, power guys. The way their bats cut the plane, and how it got through the plane, it almost looked like every pitch was going to come back through the middle. … With Sosa and McGwire, it was basically like they had a tee there and the barrel was there the whole time. As a pitcher, you’re thinking, ‘How the hell do I pitch around this?’ That’s what we do as pitchers — pitch around the barrel.”cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Jason Bere allowed McGwire’s 29th home run that season while with the White Sox and Sosa’s 56th after being released and signed by the Cincinnati Reds. “It was almost like the whole game was about their at-bats,” he said.8

“I didn’t appreciate back then what those guys were able to do. Those guys had it all,” he said. “They might not have defined it in [modern] terminology, but they knew back then exactly what they were trying to accomplish. Plate coverage — get the barrel in the zone as quickly as you can and keep it there as long as you can. They had really big flat spots in their swings, rather than coming down and trying to create backspin. They worked on meeting the ball squarely — maybe not matching pitch plane, but the flatter the barrel is through the zone, the more opportunity you will meet the pitch plane. They were masters at it, and that’s why they did so well.”

Andy Benes, who played for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1998 and surrendered McGwire’s 31st and Sosa’s 43rd, said of McGwire: “I don’t think people realize that he was a really good hitter. … He didn’t swing at a lot of bad pitches, and when you made a mistake, he had a pretty good opportunity to put the barrel on it. So he wasn’t just purely a power hitter. I remember him as being a better low-ball guy — he’d drop the barrel on the ball, and that’s not as common for right-handed hitters.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“He would never take practice swings when he was in the on-deck circle. He would visualize, and he knew what every pitcher could do. He took good, quality at-bats. He was a patient hitter, but when he got a pitch to swing at, he cut it loose.”

Reed on McGwire: “He was just so strong. You could make him look like a fool with an off-speed pitch, so that he was out on his front foot, and he’d still hit the ball 450 feet. You just hoped he didn’t come up to the plate with the bases loaded, or a couple of guys on.”

Benes on Sosa: “He could really cover the plate. He could hit a lot of balls the opposite way. Tremendous power, bat speed. He was more of an up hitter. In those years, in the mid-to-late ’90s, he was a really hard out. … When he was dialed in, he was one of the best hitters in the game because he could take the ball the other way. … Mike Piazza was like that. … You had to work on keeping the ball down and make [Sosa] aware you might come inside.”

Reed: “Those guys just had a magical year that we will never see again. We may see one guy — Pete Alonso, he may hit like 2,000 home runs — but I don’t think we’ll see multiple guys hitting 60, 70 home runs. No way. I don’t think so.”

KBO’s Sung-Bum Na wants a big league career twist: ‘Watching MLB on TV made me have bigger dreams’

On May 5, one year after he went into surgery for a gruesome knee injury that nearly put an end to his Major League Baseball dreams, KBO star Sung-Bum Na stepped to the plate and gathered his thoughts.

Those thoughts initially had little to do with the opposing pitcher. Na realized the day marked the one-year anniversary of his career-saving surgery. He recalled being placed on a stretcher and eventually driven off the field in an ambulance, wondering if he would ever play baseball again.

“My injury was really serious, so coming back on the field felt kind of weird. I was thinking about all of last year, all the hard work I had done in rehab to get to that point,” Na said during a phone interview with ESPN. “I thought of everything that happened, but I wasn’t nervous. It was fun to be back. Opening Day was exactly one year from my knee surgery. May 5, 2019, was the day of my surgery. And I thought about that, and about how much fun it was to be finally back on the field.”
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On Tuesday, May 5, the KBO became one of the world’s first professional sports leagues to start its 2020 season, after a five-week delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic.7

The Opening Day slate of games in South Korea included a matchup between the NC Dinos and Samsung Lions. Batting third for the Dinos, Na opened up scoring in the fourth inning with a colossal home run off lefty Jung-Hyun Baek. Na, batting as a left-handed designated hitter, pulled the shot over the right-field foul pole.

Na ended up going 2-for-3 in the Dinos’ 4-0 win, showing why he was super-agent Scott Boras’ only KBO signing at the end of the 2019 season.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Because of the knee injury, a shift to playing baseball in the U.S. had to wait. Na, however, isn’t willing to give up on his MLB dreams.

“After the injury, my perspective has not been different. It really didn’t change anything in terms of the mental aspect of the game,” Na explained. “I know I’m always going to work hard. I’m always going to play baseball as hard as I can on the field, with a lot of passion. And while my body may still not at be at 100% when compared to before the injury, I will get there. My mind and focus will never change. I will always believe in myself.”

Na, a 30-year-old outfielder and DH, hopes to follow in the footsteps of his role model, Shin-Soo Choo. Choo left South Korea at 18, joining the Seattle Mariners organization in 2001. Choo became the first Korean-born position player to make an MLB All-Star team, and he is in the last season of a seven-year, $130 million deal with the Texas Rangers.

Ja Morant asks judge to have Confederate monument removed from Murray

Former Murray State star Ja Morant is asking a Kentucky judge to remove a Confederate monument in downtown Murray.

Morant, who was drafted with the second pick in the 2019 NBA draft by the Memphis Grizzlies, led Murray State to a conference championship in 2019.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

“Murray felt like a second home from the minute I stepped on campus and became a part of the Murray state community,” Morant said in a letter to the Calloway County judge dated Thursday.8

“As a young Black man, I cannot stress enough how disturbing and oppressive it is to know the city still honors a Confederate war general defending white supremacy and hatred.”

The monument, which features a statue of Robert E. Lee, was erected in 1917 to honor Confederate soldiers from Calloway County. It sits outside the Calloway County Courthouse.

A number of Confederate statues and monuments have been removed around the country in the wake of protests following the death of George Floyd last month.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

“Given recent events and the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s necessary to act now,” Morant wrote. “We can’t change the culture of racism unless we change the celebration of racism.”

Sources: NBA’s top young players seeking league-financed insurance protection

On the cusp of hundreds of millions of dollars in contract extensions, several of the NBA’s top young stars had a Friday call with National Basketball Players Association officials about the possibility of league-financed insurance policies to protect against career-threatening injuries in the bubble restart in Orlando, sources tell ESPN.cheap nike nfl jersey

Miami’s Bam Adebayo, Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, Utah’s Donovan Mitchell and Boston’s Jayson Tatum — five players with significant star and earning power — talked with executive director Michele Roberts and senior counsel Ron Klempner about the NBPA facilitating talks with the league on possible insurance allowances for players, sources said.7

As members of the 2017 NBA Draft Class, these five players are eligible for rookie extensions beginning with the start of the free agency period in mid-October. The increased risk of injury, based on a three month-plus league shutdown and a shortened training camp, has intensified concerns that the players are taking on heightened personal risk with the season’s resumption.

The NBPA and NBA have engaged on the possibility of protections for players in the event of serious COVID-19 illnesses or career-threatening injuries suffered in Orlando, sources told ESPN. The union and league are still negotiating details on the revised terms to the collective bargaining agreement before the 22-team restart.

Together, Adebayo, Fox, Kuzma, Mitchell and Tatum have hoped the collective voice of such a starry group of elite young talent could shape the league’s thinking on sharing in the risk on insurance not only for them, but a broader swath of players returning to the season’s restart in Orlando, sources said.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

For players on the brink of maximum contract extensions worth north of $100 million, insurance policies that run the length of the season’s truncated finish — July 1 to Oct. 13 — could cost in the neighborhood of $500,000 to protect against the financial loss of a career-ending injury, sources said. Even with policies, it can still be difficult to prove to insurance companies that future earnings were impacted by an injury — unless it is career-ending.

Texans coach Bill O’Brien says he’ll take knee with players during anthem

Houston Texans head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien says he’ll take a knee during the national anthem next season with his players to protest racial inequality and police brutality.

“Yeah, I’ll take a knee — I’m all for it,” O’Brien told the Houston Chronicle. “The players have a right to protest, a right to be heard and a right to be who they are. They’re not taking a knee because they’re against our flag. They’re taking a knee because they haven’t been treated equally in this country for over 400 years.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Earlier in the week, O’Brien attended George Floyd’s funeral, along with team owner Cal McNair and several players, including J.J. Watt. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man from Houston, died last month while in police custody in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes.8

Last week, O’Brien spoke at length about Floyd’s death and the state of race relations in the United States, saying, “We all have to stand up and understand that what is going on in this country right now is wrong.”

In 2017, O’Brien was supportive when the majority of Texans players took a knee after then-team owner Bob McNair said in an owners meeting, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” in reference to player demonstrations and protests during the national anthem.nfl nike jersey cheap

“When it comes to the players’ right to express themselves, I’m always for that,” O’Brien said in March 2018. “I think the players in this league, the players on our team, they have educated, intelligent opinions on what’s going on socially in the world.”

O’Brien told the Chronicle he thinks the Texans’ organization — led by the McNair family — is “trying to find ways to fight racial injustice in this country.”

“It wasn’t a conscious effort,” O’Brien told the Chronicle about the Texans’ response to Floyd’s death. “It wasn’t like we had a conversation together and decided to do it. I think we just said enough is enough, and we’ve got to do what’s right. As an organization, we’re part of the conversation, and we want to do our part.”

Sources: Browns working on possible megadeal with Myles Garrett

The Cleveland Browns and defensive end Myles Garrett have engaged in contract discussions, according to sources, setting the stage for a potential mega-extension for the 2017 No. 1 overall pick.

Garrett has two years left on his rookie contract after the Browns picked up his fifth-year option. He could follow Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, a fellow member of the 2017 draft class who saw his contract extended after three NFL seasons.

The Browns have several core players they might need to pay in coming years — including cornerback Denzel Ward, quarterback Baker Mayfield and running back Nick Chubb — so they can get ahead of a pricey pass-rush market now by extending Garrett.

After 10 sacks in as many games last year, Garrett is widely viewed as one of the game’s most feared pass-rushers.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

But in 2019, Garrett served a six-game suspension for hitting Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with his own helmet during an end-of-game skirmish on Nov. 15. Garrett apologized for the hit, calling it a “terrible mistake” that was “selfish and unacceptable.”7

The NFL reinstated Garrett in February, and Garrett alleged in an interview with ESPN’s Mina Kimes that Rudolph had called him a racial slur. Rudolph has vehemently denied that claim, and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin aggressively defended Rudolph in an interview with ESPN’s First Take, saying he was “hacked off” by Garrett’s comments that neither team corroborated after the fight.

“We do see Myles as a long-term member and pillar in our organization,” general manager Andrew Berry told 105.7 the Fan Baltimore last month. “Great player, great person. Obviously, he did make a mistake last year that he’s learned from. But our confidence in and faith in Myles has not wavered and we’re looking to seeing what he does this year and certainly for years to come.”

Chicago’s Khalil Mack tops all pass-rushers with an average of $23.5 million per year, followed by Dallas’ DeMarcus Lawrence ($21 million) and Kansas City’s Frank Clark ($20.8 million).cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Garrett’s agent is Bus Cook, who also represents free-agent pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney, a player Cleveland attempted to sign this offseason. Opposite Garrett is veteran Olivier Vernon, who’s due $15.25 million in base salary this season.

Chargers RB Justin Jackson says Colin Kaepernick should feel ‘vindicated’

Los Angeles Chargers running back Justin Jackson said Wednesday he thinks that Colin Kaepernick should feel “very vindicated” about kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 and that whether players kneel or don’t kneel before games in the 2020 season and beyond will be the context of a bigger national discussion.

That is, Jackson said, players might not kneel if they believe they are listened to when they speak about use of force by police and a variety of other social issues “in our communities.”

“But I think, I think what Colin did, as far as kneeling and everything — the point of the protest was to bring attention to the issue,” Jackson said. “Even though that obviously got skewed because of a multitude of factors, that was the reason, that was the motivation behind the protest.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“Now that that light has shined and that’s kind of really exposed … the way I’m thinking of it, the best methodology moving forward is to do everything we can with our platform to effect that positive change. I don’t know if [kneeling] will have the most net positive outcome because of the way it gets so, such a hyperpartisan issue, really because they don’t want to talk about the real issue. Nevertheless, I think if we just use our platforms like we are now to continue to expose and advocate for the change we want to see in society, that might be the best method going forward. But we’ll see.”

Jackson said he has participated in Black Lives Matter protests in the Los Angeles area in recent days and plans to participate in another one later this week. He added that he would support any player’s participation in a peaceful protest, including kneeling before an NFL game.8

“That is your First Amendment right,” Jackson said, adding that Kaepernick’s message about police brutality and social issues got “clouded” because it was framed as a protest of the flag or the nation’s military. Jackson said that nationally, the marches for change have put a spotlight on the issues Kaepernick was trying to draw attention to, and they have created a different kind of discussion locally and nationally.

“His message, 100 percent, got clouded, and it really got clouded for insidious reasons, right?” Jackson said. “The reason it got clouded is they wanted to make it about something that it wasn’t. They didn’t want to talk about the real issue he was bringing up, which now is at the forefront of our society — everyone is seeing exactly what is happening.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

“It’s like a perfect storm. … I think people are finally starting to see, he was right … what he was talking about then. … He should feel very vindicated. … I’m glad that now it’s changed, the narrative has changed and the majority of people are seeing exactly what he was talking about, and what a lot of people have been talking about, screaming about, for a long time.”

The third-year running back said Chargers coach Anthony Lynn and general manager Tom Telesco have been supportive of players participating in protests, and players, as well as Lynn, have shared their experiences with one another during some of the team’s video conference calls.

Bucs CB Carlton Davis recounts guns-drawn, ‘traumatizing’ traffic stop while teenager

In the wake of ongoing conversations surrounding racism and police brutality, Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting cornerback Carlton Davis gave an account Wednesday of an encounter with law enforcement that he says, to this day, has made him fearful of police.

When Davis, who is African American, was 14 or 15 years old attending Miami Norland Senior High School, he, his brother and a few friends were pulled over by police officers and had guns drawn on them.

Davis said on Instagram that as the car was pulled over “we were bum-rushed with guns in our faces. It was just like guns in our faces and we had done nothing wrong. It was the fact that they had seen kids in the car and said that the car looked like a car that was involved in a crime.”

“What would have happened if we felt startled and made a sudden movement?” Davis said in the post. “The trigger could have been pulled, you know what I mean? It would have been another case of the police officer just saying, ‘I was fearing for my life’ because you moved.”nike nfl jerseys for cheap

A study in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences found that black men and black youth face a 1 in 1,000 chance of being killed during an encounter with law enforcement during their lifetimes. Those odds are 1 in 2,000 for men in general, according to the study.7

Davis’ mother is a correctional officer and had spent years instructing Davis on what to do should he encounter law enforcement, including not reaching for his phone, not making any sudden movements and not speaking out of turn. He carefully followed all of her instructions, but to this day he’s still haunted by the experience.

“It was very traumatizing. It was so unexpected,” Davis said after the post went live. “To kind of live on eggshells and have to be very cautious around your own community is not an ideal way to live. That definitely does something to your psyche as far as your everyday living and how you go about making your choices as far as going to the store or driving and when the police pops up, what are you doing and how are you driving? To have guns pointed at us at such an early age, it just kind of introduced us to the world a lot quicker than we wanted to.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The Stanford Open Policing Project, which analyzed 93 million traffic stops from 2001 to 2017, found that black drivers were 20% more likely to be pulled over by police than white drivers. The study also found that police were more likely to find drugs, guns or contraband in stops of white drivers, but black drivers were still searched 1.5 to two times as often.

“When you’re being stopped, the first thing a cop sees is a black man and once they see that, anything they do is to intimidate you. For what reasons? I don’t know. I don’t know what they experienced or what happened, but I’ve been stopped by so many cops. And it honestly started when I started driving,” Davis said.

“I can’t say I’ve never ran into a good cop, but I can say that every time I got stopped, for one made-up traffic reason or another, I felt them trying to intimidate me through orders, through tone of voice. It was constant threats of, ‘You could go to jail for this,’ and it’s like, ‘Uh, why are you mentioning taking me to jail if I’ve done nothing wrong?'”

Man City’s Sterling: Premier League, FA need more black representation at top level

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has urged the Premier League and Football Association (FA) to address a lack of black representation in high positions.

Sterling has backed anti-racism protests in the UK after the death of George Floyd in the United States on May 25.

“This is a time to speak on these subjects, speak on injustice, especially in my field,” he told the BBC. “There’s something like 500 players in the Premier League and a third of them are black and we have no representation of us in the hierarchy, no representation of us in the coaching staffs. There’s not a lot of faces that we can relate to and have conversations with.cheap nike nfl jersey

“With these protests that are going on it’s all well and good just talking, but it’s time that we need to have conversations, to be able to spark debates.8

“There’s Steven Gerrard, your Frank Lampards, you have your Sol Campbells and you have your Ashley Coles. All had great careers, all played for England. At the same time, they’ve all respectfully done their coaching badges to coach at the highest level and the two that haven’t been given the right opportunities are the two black former players.

The English Football League (EFL) introduced its own version of the NFL’s “Rooney Rule” last year in order for clubs to interview at least one Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidate for any first-team managerial position.

However, there are only four BAME managers in English football, with Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo being the only black Premier League manager.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Troy Townsend, head of development for anti-racism group Kick It Out, has criticised the policy and said it is “not fit for purpose.”

“There is a loophole that allows clubs not to be judged on the mandatory code because it has to be an ‘open recruitment’ process,” he told the Telegraph.

“Clubs are not bending any rules of the Rooney Rule if they already have a manager in place. If you are not holding an open recruitment process, you are not under pressure by the code. So that itself tells you it is not fit for purpose.

“We didn’t receive data after the pilot series. I’ve always questioned the sharing of data in general, whether that is reporting of incidents or the number of coaches going through a process and what learning they have gone through.”