Update on the latest sports
AMERICA PROTESTS-NFL PLAYERS VIDEO
NEW YORK (AP) – Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes is among more than a dozen NFL stars who united to send a passionate video message to the league about racial inequality.
The 70-second video was released on social media platforms Thursday night, and includes Saquon Barkley, Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr., Deshaun Watson, Ezekiel Elliott, Jamal Adams, Stephon Gilmore and DeAndre Hopkins, among others.
The video closes with the players demanding the NFL state that it condemns “racism and the systemic oppression of black people,” and that the league “admit wrong in silencing” players from peacefully protesting. The players also want the league to state: “We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.”
The players then name several of the black men and women who have recently been killed, including Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Eric Garner.
Former Olympic minister says March is deadline for Tokyo
TOKYO (AP) – Next spring has been set as a possible deadline by a local lawmaker for deciding if the postponed Tokyo Olympics can go ahead.
That’s the judgment of former Japanese Olympic minister Toshikai Endo. Japanese television NHK quoted him at a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
The Tokyo Olympics are to open on July 23, 2021. They were postponed this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Endo is the latest powerful politician to speak out this week about the games, bracing the Japanese public for possible changes and costs.
Tokyo Governor Yurkio Koike said Thursday the games were likely to be downsized and undergo many changes.
Liverpool could win Premier League title at home after all
LONDON (AP) – Liverpool could win the Premier League title at home after all. Police originally indicated they wanted Liverpool’s second game after the restart against Crystal Palace to be staged at a neutral venue because of concerns that supporters could congregate outside Anfield. But the league now says the game on June 24 is scheduled to be at Liverpool’s home stadium. Liverpool leads Manchester City by two points and is two wins from ending its 30-year title drought.
In other sports developments related to the coronavirus outbreak:
– Chelsea has been declared Women’s Super League champion after the season was stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic. The English Football Association’s board decided to determine the final standings on a points-per-game basis. Manchester City was a point ahead of Chelsea but had played an extra game when the season was suspended in March.
– The Asian qualifying tournament for the World Cup is set to resume in October after the coronavirus pandemic forced games in March and June to be postponed. The Asian Football Confederation says it agreed with FIFA to schedule two dates in October and two in November to complete the current groups. Twelve teams will advance to a further group stage next year.
IndyCar drivers uncertain how aeroscreen will work at Texas
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Some IndyCar drivers are nervous heading into Saturday’s season-opening race at Texas. They will be racing on one of the series’ trickiest tracks, in stifling heat and with the new windscreen for the first time.
The protective device was supposed to make its debut on a road course in March. But when the pandemic shut down the sports world, series officials revised the schedule.
Now, the introductory race will take place on a high-speed, high-banked Texas oval, where it has not been tested.