MLB PLAYERS REJECT LATEST OFFER, ASK LEAGUE TO SET 2020 SCHEDULE:Major League Baseball's players' union has rejected the league's latest proposal for a coronavirus-shortened 2020 season, and instead of continuing the back-and-forth with another proposal, the Players Association asked MLB to set a schedule, setting up a possible season of only some 50 games. MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said in a statement Saturday night, "Further dialogue with the league would be futile. It's time to get back to work. Tell us when and where." Under a March agreement, if the two sides can't agree on a return-to-play plan, MLB can set the schedule, and the league has suggested that in that circumstance there'd be a schedule of about 50 games, with players paid prorated salaries. Money has been the main stumbling block, with players insisting on full prorated salaries and the league saying it will lose billions of dollars this year and wanting salaries to be cut further.
HAMLIN WINS AT HOMESTEAD, WITH SMALL NUMBER OF FANS IN STANDS: Denny Hamlinwon NASCAR'S Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway last night (June 14th), a race that was delayed twice, once for two hours due to rain and lightening just five laps in, and then later for 40 minutes because of lightning. It's Hamlin's third win of the season, after the Daytona 500 and the Toyota 500. This was the first NASCAR race to have fans since returning from the coronavirus shutdown, but it was only a few hundred military personnel who were invited from nearby Homestead Air Force base.
POPOVICH CRITICIZES GOODELL, NFL OWNERS WHO DONATED TO TRUMP:Head coach Gregg Popovich of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs criticized NFL Commissioner Roger Goodellfor having, quote, "folded" toPresident Trumpin the past on player protests during the national anthem. He told the New York Times' Maureen Dowd in column Saturday (June 13th): "A smart man is running the NFL and he didn't understand the difference between the flag and what makes the country great -- all the people who fought to allow [Colin] Kaepernick to have the right to kneel for justice. The flag is irrelevant. It's just a symbol that people glom onto for political reasons ... " Popovich also blasted seven NFL owners who are trying to take a stand against racial inequality who each donated $1 million to Trump's Inaugural Committee in 2016. He said, "It's just hypocritical It's incongruent. It doesn't make sense. People aren't blind. . . . I think they put themselves in a position that's untenable."
BROWNS QB MAYFIELD WILL KNEEL DURING ANTHEM; WATT DEFENDS KNEELING PROTESTS: Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield plans to kneel during the national anthem in the upcoming season, he revealed on Saturday (June 13th). After a fan posted on his Instagram pleading with him not to kneel, Mayfield said, "Pull your head out. I absolutely am." Meanwhile, Houston Texans defense end J.J. Watt tweeted in response to someone who said he was "pretty sure" Watt wouldn't take a knee during the anthem: "If you still think it's about disrespecting the flag or our military, you clearly haven't been listening."
FANS PACK IN FOR RUGBY MATCH IN FREE-OF-CORONAVIRUS NEW ZEALAND:Fans were packed into a stadium in New Zealand Saturday night to watch a rugby match as such scenes were once again allowed in the country that has done so well against the coronavirus that it hasn't had a case in more than three weeks. Because of that success, there were no masks or social distancing required at the match in Dunedin. New Zealand removed just about every coronavirus restriction last week, except for keeping its border closed.
BERGER WINS AT COLONIAL, FIRST PGA TOURNAMENT BACK FROM SHUTDOWN: Daniel Berger won the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Golf Course in a playoff Sunday (June 14th) in the PGA Tour's first tournament back from its coronavirus shutdown. There were no fans at the Fort Worth, Texas, golf course, to watch as Berger sealed his win with a par on the first extra hole over fellow American Collin Morikawa.