Trade reunites Gronkowski with Brady in Tampa Bay
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Four-time All Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski is back in the NFL, reunited with Tom Brady.
Brady’s new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has completed a trade for the retired New England star, sending a fourth-round pick in this week’s draft – No. 139 overall – to the Patriots for Gronkowski and a seventh-round selection (No. 241).
Brady, a six-time Super Bowl champion with the Patriots, signed a two-year, $50 million contract with the Bucs in free agency last month.
Gronkowski was one of the league’s most dominant tight ends when he walked away from the game in March 2019. He was part of teams that won nine division titles, appeared in eight AFC championship games and won three NFL titles in nine seasons.
Gronkowski, who turns 31 on May 14, has one year left on his contract at $10 million.
The Bucs are coming off a 7-9 finish and missed the playoffs for the 12th consecutive season. They haven’t won a postseason game since the franchise’s only Super Bowl championship run 18 years ago.
GOLF HALL OF FAME-MAXWELL BERNING
Maxwell Berning, winner of 3 US Opens, gets in Hall of Fame
UNDATED (AP) – Susie Maxwell Berning is the fourth and final person to be inducted next year in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
She won the U.S. Women’s Open three times in a six-year span. Only five other women have won at least three U.S. Women’s Open and all of them are in the Hall of Fame.
Maxwell Berning won a fourth major at the Women’s Western Open. She had 11 career victories on the LPGA Tour while raising two daughters. She joins Tiger Woods, Marion Hollins and former PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem in the 2021 induction class.
Her election brings the Hall of Fame membership to 164 people. The Hall of Fame has not announced details of the 2021 induction ceremony.
NWHL confirms plans to expand into Toronto
TORONTO (AP) – Professional women’s hockey is set to return to Canada, with the National Women’s Hockey League announcing Wednesday it is expanding into Toronto.
The league says the yet-to-be-named franchise has an ownership group led by former Harvard captain Johanna Boynton, features former Brown coach Margaret Murphy as its president and already has five players under contract.
The Toronto team increases the U.S.-based NWHL’s number of franchises to six and comes a year after the Canadian Women’s Hockey League folded after 12 seasons because of financial instability.
The NWHL was founded in 2015, becoming North America’s first pro women’s league to pay its players a salary. It currently has teams in Boston; Monmouth Junction, New Jersey; Danbury, Connecticut; Buffalo, New York; and Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Djokovic says he may reconsider stance on vaccination
UNDATED (AP) – Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) has reiterated he is against taking an anti-coronavirus vaccination if it becomes mandatory to travel, but says he’s open to changing his mind.
The top-ranked Djokovic caused a stir when he suggested in a live Facebook chat over the weekend that if a vaccination becomes compulsory on the world tennis tour, he “wouldn’t want to be forced by someone” to take it.
Djokovic says in a statement emailed to the AP that despite his personal objection to a vaccine, “if it becomes compulsory, I will have to make a decision whether to do it or not.”
In other virus-related developments:
– A staff member of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee has tested positive for COVID-19. Tokyo organizers issued a statement today saying the male employee in his 30s worked at the headquarters building in Tokyo. Organizers said he was in quarantine at home. They said the area where he worked would be disinfected, and people who worked nearby have been told to stay home. The Tokyo Olympics were postponed last month until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The committee employs about 3,500 people, and organizers say about 90% have been working from home for the last several weeks.
– Roger Federer has raised the prospect of merging the governing bodies that oversee the men’s and women’s professional tennis tours. The 20-time Grand Slam champion began a string of posts on Twitter by saying the shutdown of tennis because of the coronavirus outbreak has given the sport an ideal opportunity to assess its future. Federer says it might be “the time for men’s and women’s tennis to be united and come together as one.” The men’s ATP was founded in 1972 and the women’s WTA was created the following year. All professional tennis is suspended until at least mid-July because of the coronavirus outbreak.
– The general manager of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya says Formula One organizers are open to renegotiating hosting fees for races that may take place without fans this season because of the coronavirus pandemic. Joan Fontsere tells The Associated Press that Liberty Media is “conscious” that if races need to go on without fans then the contracts with event promoters will have to be somehow renegotiated. Nine of the 22 races this season have already been postponed or canceled.
– The Berlin Marathon says the race cannot be held as planned in September because of new restrictions in the city related to the coronavirus pandemic. City authorities have extended a ban on major events with more than 5,000 people until October 24. More than 62,000 people took part in the marathon last year. Organizers say they will take time to “engage with the consequences of the authorities blocking our events, agree on further steps and then inform you.” The Berlin Marathon is typically one of the fastest in the world. The current men’s world record was set in Berlin by Eliud Kipchoge (EHL’-ee-uhd kihp-CHOH’-gee) in 2018.
– The French rugby league has canceled the semifinals of its Top 14 league because of the coronavirus pandemic. The LNR’s executive committee abandoned hosting the semifinals on June 19 and 20 and the final in mid-July in the southern city of Nice but says they could potentially be played before the end of summer if health conditions allow. The LNR says it is waiting to see what rules the government sets out following the end of lockdown before definitively deciding if a resumption is possible.