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Murray backs calls to remove Margaret Court’s name from arena

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Murray backs calls to remove Margaret Court's name from arena

(Reuters) – Andy Murray thinks the Australian Open should consider removing Margaret Court’s name from the arena at Melbourne Park as he says the multiple Grand Slam champion’s values are at odds with what tennis stands for.

The 78-year-old Court, who holds the all-time record of 24 major singles titles, has been heavily criticised for voicing her religious-based opposition to same-sex marriage and transgender athletes.

“When you get to the Australian Open you want to concentrate on the tennis. Court’s views detract from that,” Murray, a five-times finalist at Melbourne Park, told pridelife.com https://pridelife.com/features/andy-murray-grand-slam-hunk/?fbclid=IwAR1ErWWTx2A4mbWurYtSRXPciAsw4LyJE0cykxRaA1gwez6WigijTt8r9Z8.

“As far as renaming the venue … yes, it’s something the sport should consider. I don’t know who makes the final decision on that but I don’t think her values are what tennis stands for.”

Tennis Australia invited Court to Melbourne Park at this year’s tournament to recognise the 50th anniversary of her 1970 calendar Grand Slam, while saying it disagreed with her “personal views”.

In a low-key ceremony at Rod Laver Arena before a quarter-final match, Court was handed a replica trophy by 11-times Grand Slam champion Rod Laver following the screening of a short video of her tennis achievements.

Murray, a three-times Grand Slam champion and former world number one, said she had received a lukewarm reception from the public.

“She has obviously offended and upset a lot of people over the years,” he added. “I think the players certainly have spoken up, which is a positive thing.”

Tennis greats Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe had also called for Court’s name to be stripped from the stadium.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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With QB situation addressed, Bears now seek consistency

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With QB situation addressed, Bears now seek consistency

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have made the quarterback change to Nick Foles, a move that was expected throughout the NFL since before training camp began.

Now they need some consistency to avoid situations like what they’ve experienced in the first three weeks of the season.

Bears coach Matt Nagy on Monday announced Foles would replace Mitchell Trubisky as the starting quarterback when they play the Indianapolis Colts. And with the change, the Bears are hoping to avoid more slow offensive starts.

”That said, our resiliency and our perseverance with these players, the high-character guys who we have, there is something special about this group,” Nagy said. ”I don’t know what it is, but there is something special about this team and I love it. I’m proud of them.”

The Bears fell behind 23-6 against the Detroit Lions in the season opener before rallying in the fourth quarter to win. They trailed Atlanta 26-10 in the fourth quarter Sunday before their 30-26 victory to go 3-0 on the season for the first time since 2013.

The offense has been hit or miss, which led to Trubisky’s benching more than anything else.

”We were lacking a little bit of a rhythm,” Nagy said. ”There wasn’t a lot of energy. There was just something missing a little bit.”

Two wins after trailing by 16 points or more in the fourth quarter of each game had never been achieved by an NFL team in the same season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The Bears had a wild swing the other way in their other game, a 17-13 victory over the New York Giants in which they led 17-0 and held on at the end.

”Hopefully in the future, we don’t have to dig ourselves out of any holes, but at the same time, again, I mean, that’s why you play four quarters and that just goes to show you that we have a very resilient team,” wide receiver Allen Robinson said.

Now that Foles is at quarterback, they’re hoping to settle into more consistency. For Foles, everything is becoming more familiar – and it helps.

”I felt good out there,” Foles said. ”Not perfect, but I felt good. As I’ve been here since training camp, I’ve gotten to know my teammates more.”

WHAT’S WORKING

Throwing to the tight ends was a problem all last year when the Bears got only 46 total receptions from the position, but on Jimmy Graham had six catches and two touchdowns Sunday. It was the first time in a regular-season game since Nov. 9, 2017, with Seattle that he had more than one TD catch in a game.

The two TD catches brought Graham’s total this season to three, equaling his total from a full season with Green Bay last year.

WHAT NEEDS HELP

The Bears need to become more disciplined. They had 10 penalties for 80 yards against Atlanta, a drastic departure from their first two games.

”We had too many penalties,” Nagy said. ”I think we had like 12 penalties going into this game, which I was really proud of our team being disciplined (earlier).”

STOCK UP

Robinson, who doesn’t yet have a contract extension for next year, had 10 catches for 123 yards and his first TD catch of the season. He had just eight catches coming into Sunday’s game. Robinson might have had one other TD, but it was taken away by replay after officials first ruled simultaneous possession and a Bears score.

STOCK DOWN

Trubisky. He has no contract for next season and the future is vague for him after Foles went out and earned the starting job Trubisky was said to have won coming out of camp.

INJURED

Tarik Cohen suffered a torn right ACL in the game and is done for the season. Defensive back Sherrick McManis injured a hamstring.

KEY NUMBER

3 – The Bears have had one interception in each game this season after Tashaun Gipson’s 24th career interception sealed Sunday’s game. In 2019, they had just 10 interceptions.

NEXT STEPS

The Bears try to improve to 4-0 for the first time since 2006 when they host Indianapolis (2-1) on Sunday.

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Bumpy season ends in big disappointment for frustrated Mets

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Bumpy season ends in big disappointment for frustrated Mets

NEW YORK (AP) — Like so many things in everyday life this year, little went according to plan for the New York Mets.

And with a change in ownership pending, more upheaval could be coming soon.

After starting 2020 with such high hopes, the Mets finished 26-34 under rookie manager Luis Rojas in a rocky season cut short by the coronavirus. They tied Washington for last in the NL East and missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year — even with the field expanded to eight teams per league.

“That’s pretty frustrating,” said ace Jacob deGrom, who delivered another stellar performance on the mound. “There’s a lot of disappointment.”

With slugger Pete Alonso powering a young corps of rising hitters, a second-half surge last year propelled New York to an 86-76 record and generated optimism. Former star Carlos Beltrán was hired as manager to replace Mickey Callaway, and the Mets set about beefing up their pitching staff in free agency.

That’s when everything went haywire.

Beltrán was let go after 2 1/2 months without managing a single game because he got implicated in Houston’s sign-stealing scandal from his time as an Astros player.

New York quickly turned to Rojas and went to spring training in February with six established starters — six All-Star selections and three Cy Young Awards between them — for five spots in what appeared to be a deep rotation.

Then the pandemic hit, and No. 2 starter Noah Syndergaard had season-ending Tommy John surgery. Marcus Stroman was supposed to slide into that role, but he got injured in summer camp and later opted out of the season because of COVID-19 concerns. Veteran newcomers Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha went a combined 2-11 in just 93 innings, and the rotation ended up in shambles.

A mediocre bullpen got taxed as the Mets compiled a 4.98 ERA that ranked 22nd in the majors and 12th in the National League.

“We let some games get away,” deGrom lamented.

Coming off a long injury layoff, Yoenis Céspedes seemed to be a perfect fit for the new designated hitter slot in the National League. The enigmatic Céspedes played eight games, then abruptly left the team unannounced in Atlanta and opted out of the remainder of the season, also citing coronavirus concerns, according to his agent.

And that was just the beginning in a somber season marked by the death of franchise icon Tom Seaver.

In the end, the Mets stumbled backward to their ninth losing season in 12 years despite bounce-back campaigns from Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz.

“Our defense compromised a couple of games,” Rojas said.

New York still had a chance to sneak into the playoffs on the final weekend, but lost its last three to the Nationals.

“Not the season that we anticipated,” Rojas said. “This is a talented team.”

“`We’re a lot better than that. We’re a lot better than what the result was this year,’” the manager said he told his players. “We’ve just got to show up next year and correct some of the things that kind of like stopped our momentum, didn’t let us get hot in this type of season.”

MONEY TALKS

Mets fans are hoping a new owner with deep pockets will reverse the organization’s fortunes.

Billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen recently reached an agreement to purchase the franchise from the Wilpon and Katz families in a deal that values the club at about $2.4 billion.

Cohen announced if the transaction is completed — it is subject to approval from at least 23 Major League Baseball owners — longtime baseball executive Sandy Alderson will return to the Mets as team president to oversee all baseball and business operations. The 72-year-old Alderson was New York’s general manager from 2010-18 before stepping down after a cancer diagnosis.

What that means for current GM Brodie Van Wagenen, the former player agent who succeeded Alderson and his temporary replacements, remains to be seen.

“In terms of my own job security, I don’t think about that,” Van Wagenen said.

Perhaps if Cohen takes over this offseason he’ll pursue big-money free agents at the top of the market such as catcher J.T. Realmuto, starting pitcher Trevor Bauer and outfielder George Springer. Any one of them could plug a problem area.

In-house, right fielder Michael Conforto is coming off an excellent season and can become a free agent after 2021.

“It’s really tough to judge a lot of things with this short season,” Rojas said. “I’m looking forward to those conversations. A lot of data that we’re going to take.”

AT THE PLATE

New York led the majors with a .272 batting average, ranked second with a .348 on-base percentage and third in OPS at .807. But the Mets had a terrible time hitting in the clutch and finished 13th in runs.

“When we have those tough losses, it’s just that little things get to us. So if we can get back to the fundamentals and playing the game the right way, we’ll be in a good spot next year,” pitcher Seth Lugo said.

ON THE MOUND

Poised rookie David Peterson impressed, going 6-2 with a 3.44 ERA and probably earning a rotation spot for 2021.

But with Stroman eligible for free agency and Syndergaard rehabbing, the Mets have several openings on the starting staff — especially after Steven Matz (0-5, 9.68) fell apart — behind the 32-year-old deGrom, who hit 102 mph on the radar gun and topped the NL with 104 strikeouts.

LOOKING AHEAD

Two players who blossomed this season play positions where the Mets thought they were already set.

Dominic Smith had a huge breakout at the plate, creating a potential logjam at first base with Alonso, who slumped early and came on too late. Young rookie Andrés Giménez flashed all-around talent and great instincts, taking playing time away from a struggling Amed Rosario at shortstop.

With the Mets in dire need of pitching, maybe that makes for trade bait.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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The Cowboys have a Trysten Hill problem, and they need to fix it

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The Cowboys have a Trysten Hill problem, and they need to fix it

In Sunday’s matchup between the Seahawks and Cowboys, which ended with Seattle taking a thrilling game 38-31, there were two plays from second-year Cowboys defensive lineman Trysten Hill that should give any current or former NFL player cold chills down their spine, and should also be presented to the league office for serious consequences.

Hill first engaged in a gator-roll of running back Chris Carson, and then went helmet-to-helmet with quarterback Russell Wilson after Wilson released the ball.

Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright was not amused.

Former NFL offensive guard and current NFL analyst Geoff Schwartz, who never played for the Seahawks, had this to say as more of a general concern.

This is one reason Hill needs to be suspended as opposed to simply fined — other players around the league need to see that Hill received the appropriate punishment for his actions. Not only because it’s a deterrent, but also because it prevents other players from meting out on-field justice.

You can bet that Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll will have a discussion with the league about it.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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