Following Brittney Griner’s sentencing in Russia to nine years in prison on Thursday, WNBA players, coaches and fans hugged each other and tried to send strength to the American basketball star for a minute’s silence. Before the Connecticut Sun beat the Phoenix Mercury 77-64, players from both teams met at half court and silently bowed their heads for 42 seconds – a nod to Griner’s jersey number with the Mercury . Sun’s trainer Curt Miller wore a “WE ARE BG” t-shirt. Griner, a two-time U.S. Olympic champion and eight-time WNBA star, was convicted of drug possession and trafficking. Meanwhile, CNN reports that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today that Russia is ready to discuss and exchange prisoners with the United States.
In Major League Baseball, in the National League,
The New York Mets defeated the Atlanta Braves 6-4.
And the Phillies squealed by the Nationals 5-4.
In the American League,
The Kansas City Royals beat the Boston Red Sox 7-3.
The Los Angeles Angels tied a major league record with seven solo homers, including two by Shohei Ohtani, but still lost to the Oakland Athletics 8-7. The Angels are the first major league team to hit seven solo homers and score no other runs in a game. They are also the sixth team to hit seven homers and lose, according to STATS. Ramon Laureano homered and drove in four runs, and Seth Brown hit a two-run shot in a six-run third inning for Oakland, the AL’s worst. Sean Murphy also had two runs for the Athletics, which have won the last two games of the series and won six of their last nine.
Miguel Cabrera says he could end his probable Hall of Fame career at the end of this season. The 39-year-old Detroit Tigers star weighed in on the matter on Thursday amid a slump during the scorching summer days. Cabrera joined the 3,000 hits/500 home runs club earlier in the season and was hitting .308 as recently as July 8. Plagued by lower-body issues that have been a constant problem in recent seasons, he entered Thursday hitting .132 with three extra hits in his last 20 games. The Tigers entered the season as fringe contenders after a strong finish in 2021, but went 42-65 with the worst offense in baseball.
Major League Baseball plans to return to London next year for the first time since 2019. The league says the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs will play a two-game series June 24-25, 2023 at London Stadium. . The NL Central rivals were supposed to play in London in 2020 but the games have been called off due to the coronavirus pandemic. MLB last played in London in 2019, when the New York Yankees swept a two-game streak against the Boston Red Sox in June at London Stadium. These are also the first MLB regular season games played in Europe.
Josh Jacobs and rookie Zamir White ran well on a soggy field and the Raiders beat Jacksonville 27-11 in Thursday night’s Hall of Fame game, spoiling coach Doug Pederson’s first game with the Jaguars. Derek Carr and Davante Adams warmed up but didn’t get a chance to play their first game together since Fresno State. Carr, the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback, and Adams, the All-Pro wide receiver acquired in a blockbuster trade from Green Bay, were among the many starters who sat out for both teams. Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence wore a back cap on the sideline while third-string quarterback Jake Luton started. The NFL’s first preseason game started 40 minutes late as bad weather forced fans to take shelter.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has selected former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey to hear the appeal of the six-game suspension of Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson was suspended by independent disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, who found he violated the league’s personal conduct policy after he was accused of sexual misconduct by two dozen women in Texas. The league wants more discipline and has appealed Robinson’s decision. The appeal returned the power to Goodell to issue a punishment, but he instead chose Harvey to hear the appeal.
Meanwhile, a lawyer representing two dozen women who have accused Deshaun Watson of sexual assault or harassment says NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has a chance to ‘do the right thing’ now that the league appealed a six-game suspension for the quarterback. Attorney Tony Buzbee said, “Every sexual assault victim is watching Roger Goodell and the NFL right now.” The NFL’s appeal of an Independent Disciplinary Officer’s decision gives Goodell or someone he designates the power to increase Watson’s sentence. Goodell named former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey as his attorney to hear the appeal.
A judge has made it likely to rule in weeks rather than months on whether NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell decides the merits of racial discrimination claims made by black coaches against the league and its teams . Federal Judge Valerie Caproni said Thursday that attorneys for coaches Brian Flores, Steve Wilks and Ray Horton could not collect additional evidence from the defendants to support their arguments that the Manhattan federal court case should remain in court. rather than being sent to arbitration. The NFL and six of its teams say the lawsuit they are maintaining is “baseless” must go to arbitration, where Goodell would be the arbiter.
The NCAA received praise last year when it agreed to pay referees fairly for its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The gesture costs only about $100,000, a tiny fraction of the roughly $900 million the networks pay each year to air March Madness. Now, as the NCAA examines various disparities between men’s and women’s sports, pressure is mounting to also pay referees equally during the regular season. Two Division 1 conferences, the Pac-12 and the Northeastern Conference, have said they plan to level the playing field starting next season, and the Patriot League is considering it.
The Calgary Flames and recently acquired forward Jonathan Huberdeau have agreed to an eight-year, $84 million contract extension. Huberdeau, 29, arrived in Calgary from the Florida Panthers with defenseman MacKenzie Weegar, forward Cole Schwindt and a conditional 2025 first-round pick last month for star forward Matthew Tkachuk. Huberdeau finished last season with 30 goals and 85 assists for 115 points. His total points tied him for second in the NHL, while his 85 assists were the best in the league. The native of Saint-Jérôme, Que., had spent his entire 10-year career with the Panthers after being drafted third overall in 2011.
HOF HORSE RACING INDUCTIONS
Inductions for the newest class of honorees at the National Museum of Racing take place this morning in Saratoga Springs. Inductees include the great thoroughbreds Beholder, Hillsdale, Royal Heroine and Tepin, trainer Oscar White and historical figures James Cox Brady, Marshall Cassidy and James Ben Ali Haggin, who are honored as “pillars of the turf”.