COWBOYS STAR ELLIOTT POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS: Players on the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans have tested positive for the coronavirus, and one of them is Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott. The news -- without specifying Elliott or any other player -- was first reported yesterday by the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, and soon after he reported that Elliott's agent had confirmed that Elliott was one of them and that he was, quote, "feeling good." Elliott wasn't too happy with the news going public, tweeting "HIPAA ??" in reference to the health information privacy law. He later tweeted: "My agent only confirmed. The story was already written."
USTA WANTS TO PLAY U.S. OPEN IN AUGUST, WAITING FOR OKAY FROM N.Y. STATE:The U.S. Tennis Association said Monday (June 15th) that it wants to hold the U.S. Open in August, and is waiting on approval from state government officials in New York, where the tournament is held in Queens. There would be no fans and strict health rules for the first Grand Slam tournament to be played since the pandemic began. The French Open was postponed from May to September, and Wimbledon was canceled for the first time since World War Two. It's unclear, however, how many players would participate, with many of tennis' top players, expressing reservations.
WNBA ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR 22-GAME SEASON:The WNBA on Monday (June 15th) announced plans for an abbreviated 22-game regular season, instead of the usual 36 games, that would begin in late July. The playoffs will remain single-elimination games in the first and second rounds, and then five-game series for the semifinals and Finals. An agreement is being finalized to host all the games, including the postseason, at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Players will get 100 percent of their salaries.
SHANAHAN HAS NEW SIX-YEAR CONTRACT WITH 49ERS: Head coach Kyle Shanahanis sticking with the San Francisco 49ers, getting a new six-year contract with the team on Monday (June 15th). The 49ers are replacing the three years remaining on his original six-year deal to keep him under contract through 2025. It comes after Shanahan led the 49ers to the Super Bowl this past February in his third season, where they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 31-20.
GOODELL ENCOURAGES TEAMS TO SIGN KAEPERNICK:NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on ESPN Monday (June 15th) that he'd encourage teams to sign Colin Kaepernick. Goodell said, "[I]f he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it's gonna take a team to make that decision. But I welcome that, support a club making that decision, and encourage them to do that." Kaepernick last played in 2016, after he kneeled during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice. But there's been new positive attention to Kaepernick and his protest in light of George Floyd's death and the protests that have followed.
SAINTS' JENKINS TO BE CNN CONTRIBUTOR ON RACIAL AND SOCIAL JUSTICE:CNN announced Monday (June 15th) that New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins will join the network as a contributor on racial and social justice. Jenkins said, "I believe I can be a voice for other athlete activists and those who have dedicated their lives to changing legislation, policies and reforms for human equality." Jenkins and retired wide receiver Anquan Boldin created the Players Coalition in 2017, a charity that advocates for racial and social equality. Jenkins has also been speaking about police brutality and police funding on social media, in mainstream media and at rallies amid the protests that have been taking place since George Floyd's death.
MLB PLAYERS RELEASE 'BLACK LIVES MATTER' SUPPORT VIDEO: MLB's leading black stars, including Aaron Judge,Andrew McCutchenandMookie Better, released a video yesterday (June 15th) in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The players in the video tweeted by New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton say, in part, "We've been told that our pleas for peace were not made at the right time, at the right place, in the right way. We've been told to 'wait,' but we remember when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.warned us that the word 'wait,' has almost always meant 'never.' We will wait no longer."
DURANT JOINS OWNERSHIP GROUP OF MLS' PHILADELPHIA UNION:Brooklyn Nets player Kevin Durant has joined the ownership group of Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union. The Union announced Monday (June 15th) that the 10-time NBA All-Star has a five percent ownership stake, with an option for five percent more in the near future. Durant said in a statement, "I’ve always been a soccer fan and have wanted to get into it in a meaningful way."
COMMISSIONER SAYS MLB SEASON MAY NOT BE PLAYED:After last week saying that he was "100 percent" certain that there would be a MLB season, Commissioner Rob Manfred said Monday (June 15th) that it may not happen, after a breakdown in talks with the players union on the plan for a coronavirus-delayed season because of a dispute over player salaries. Manfred said on ESPN, "I’m not confident. I think there’s real risk; and as long as there’s no dialogue, that real risk is going to continue." MLB also sent a letter to the players union asking if it will waive the threat of legal action." After unsuccessful back-and-forth proposals from both sides, union head Tony Clark said Saturday, "Further dialogue with the league would be futile," and asked MLB to set a schedule. The union then said it might file a grievance seeking damages that could reach $1 billion or more. Clark said yesterday, "This latest threat is just one more indication that Major League Baseball has been negotiating in bad faith since the beginning."