Newcastle United’s USA international DeAndre Yedlin has delivered an emotional and powerful statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement as he expressed his anger at the racism that still divides his homeland.
Yedlin was joined by the rest of his Newcastle teammates in taking the knee before training on Tuesday in a collective display of solidarity with those protesting in the USA following the death of George Floyd in police custody last week.
With many American cities still gripped by violent protests, looting and some heavy-handed police tactics, that have led to thousands of arrests and a number of serious and minor injuries, the USA is in the grip of some of the worst social unrest in a generation.
And Yedlin’s statement captured the mood of many professional sportsmen and women of colour who represent their country on the international stage. The 26-year-old, who moved to England to sign for Tottenham Hotspur before joining Newcastle four years ago, has been capped 62 times by the US national team.
Credit: Action Images via Reuters
Yedlin wrote on Twitter:
“A couple days after George Floyd’s death. My grandfather texted me and told me he’s glad that I am not living in the US right now because he would fear for my life as a young black man.
“As days have passed, this text from my grandfather has not been able to leave my mind. He was born in 1946, lived through the civil rights movement, lived through some terribly racist times in US. history.
“And now 70 years later he STILL fears for the life of his black grandchild, in the country he and his grandchild were born in, in the country his grandchild represents when he plays for the United States, in the country his grandchild represents when he’s playing in England.
“I remember being in elementary school, and having to recite the Pledge of Allegiance which ends with liberty and justice for all.” Every American needs to ask themselves, is there “liberty and justice for all” and if their answer is yes, then they are part of the problem.
“In no way are we asking black lives to matter more than white lives, all we’re asking is we are seen as equal, as more than 3/5 of a man, as humans. My heart goes out in solidarity to George Floyd, his family, and all of the countless number of victims that have had their lives taken at the hands of meaningless police brutality.”
Scroll down to see how the day in sport unfolded
Phil Foden risks wrath of Manchester City due to beach kick-about
It has been reported that Manchester City and England Under-21 midfielder Phil Foden will be spoken to by his club after being filmed playing football – and breaking social-distancing guidelines – on Formby beach last weekend.
Credit: Manchester City FC
Foden, who turned 20 on May 28, was shown to be playing football with members of the public before posing for a photograph with them.
‘English women’s sport left in Australia’s wake’
England risk being left in the wake of rivals Australia amid fears women’s sport is facing an ‘invisible summer’, writes Fiona Tomas.
While women’s football, rugby and netball have all had their domestic league seasons cancelled in England, efforts to reboot sport in Australia have been strikingly different.
Netball Australia has scheduled the return of its domestic competition, the Suncorp, to start on August 1, with organisers committed to completing a full 60-match season.
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Exclusive: Premier League clubs given green light for friendlies
The games will be played at either stadiums or training grounds but the Premier League has outlined a list of conditions to ensure hygiene and social distancing rules are adhered to.
- Clubs are forbidden from travelling for further than 90 minutes
- All players must travel in their own cars, possibly in their kits
- No official referees will be allowed, with members of coaching staff taking charge
- Full risk-assessments of the stadium/training ground before games
More on England’s Test series against West Indies
The West Indies squad will arrive in the UK on Tuesday 9 June, travelling to Emirates Old Trafford for quarantining and training. This will be their base for a three-week period before moving to the Ageas Bowl for the start of the first Test.
The two venues had to show they could create a bio-secure environment around the following:
- Venue perimeter, access and access control
- Hotel accommodation (onsite or nearby)
- Medical screening/testing provision
- Designated areas for isolation of anyone presenting symptoms.
- Car parking requirements (approx. 200)
- Medical Screening and Testing sites (approx. 1500 m2)
- Footprint to enable social distancing
- Extendable Players and Match Official areas
- Extendable space for broadcast compounds, studios and written media.
- Venue/Cricket operations
- The number and suitability of TV pitches
- Provision for warm-up matches
- Indoor and outdoor practice facilities
Edgbaston has also been selected as a contingency venue and will be used to stage additional training throughout July.
Breaking news: England announce cricket fixtures
England’s three-Test series against the West Indies will go ahead next month subject to government clearance, the England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed.
The behind-closed doors matches will take places at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl on July 8, followed by two Tests at Old Trafford beginning on July 16 and July 24 respectively.
The West Indies team, which agreed in principle to take part in the series last week, is scheduled to travel to England on June 9, and will be based at Old Trafford for quarantine and training.
- First Test v West Indies: 8-12 July at Ageas Bowl
- Second Test v West Indies: 16-20 July at Emirates Old Trafford
- Third Test v West Indies: 24-28 July at Emirates Old Trafford
‘We won’t be match fit’
Millwall striker Matt Smith has been speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live about whether players will be match fit when the Championships resumes:
Probably not, no, is the honest truth of it. I don’t think any sort of training – albeit we’ll probably do a good bit of 11 v 11 which will help – but I don’t think anything can replace the competitive game element that you would get from friendlies.
“Everyone is in the same boat. None of us can do it so maybe we’re going to have everyone come back at a 80 per cent of their level rather than 100 per cent like you might do otherwise.
So you’re never going to get a perfect solution. Ultimately, there’s going to be downsides, wherever you look, but I think what we have got is the best possible solution.
More on F1’s plans for 2020 season
The FIA has approved plans for the 2020 campaign to begin at Austria’s Red Bull Ring in Spielberg with successive races on July 5 and 12 before the Hungarian Grand Prix takes place on July 19.
Teams will then head to Silverstone for two races – dubbed the British Grand Prix and the Formula One 70th Anniversary Grand Prix respectively – before further events in Spain on August 16, Belgium on August 30 and Italy on September 6.
All races are expected to be staged behind closed doors with a minimum number of team personnel at the circuit as part of plans to create as safe an environment as possible for all those taking part.
Participants will also be required to travel on charter flights, social distance as much as possible, and undergo regular testing.
French rugby abandoned
The French Top 14 season has been officially abandoned amid the Covid-19 crisis and no champions will be named, the French rugby league (LNR) said on Tuesday.
The LNR added that no club would be relegated and no team would be promoted from the Pro D2, the second division in the country.
The decision had been widely expected since the LNR and the club presidents reached an agreement on April 30 to call off the campaign.
The LNR said in a statement that the board of directors had adopted a resolution calling for the abandonment of the Top 14 and Pro D2 championships.
It added that the European qualifying spots would be attributed “once the EPCR (European Professional Club Rugby) will have confirmed the format of competition applicable in 2020-21”.
The standings that will be taken into account are those of the day of the 17th round of the matches, with Union Bordeaux Begles on top with 61 points ahead of Lyon (53), Racing 92 (46) and RC Toulon (45).
Rugby union clubs given provisional authorisation to begin non-contact training
Premiership and Championship rugby union clubs have been given provisional authorisation to begin non-contact training amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Professional Game Board announced on Tuesday morning that clubs would need to provide a written declaration to Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Football Union that a number of key criteria have been met.
Stage one protocols allow for individuals or small groups to train in the same facility, while adhering to social distancing rules at all times.
Chris Booy, the PGB chair, said: “I can confirm that the Professional Game Board which incorporates representatives of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) Premiership Rugby, Rugby Players Association (RPA) and Championship clubs has given provisional authorisation for Premiership and Championship Rugby clubs to move to Stage 1: Elite Sport Return to Training Guidance.
“The clubs will need to satisfy a number of requirements to start Stage 1 as we continue the huge amount of work being undertaken to enable a safe return to training.
“The welfare of the players, management and staff is our only priority, and we look forward to the season resuming when it is safe to do so.”
Bottom-of-the-table Barnsley claim relegation is ‘unfair’
Barnsley have written to the EFL asking for a £7.4 million parachute payment for clubs relegated in a Championship season which has suffered “a lack of sporting integrity”, writes Mike McGrath.
Gerhard Struber’s team are bottom of the second-tier, which has seen plans to restart on June 20 come under fierce attack as players have only just returned to contact training.
Matches will be played behind closed doors to prevent the spread of coronavirus during the Covid-19 pandemic, which is why Barnsley believe relegation would be ‘unfair’ and ‘unlawful’.
“If the 19/20 season is completed, it will be completed with a lack of sporting integrity,” read their letter to the EFL. “Some clubs will have unbalanced squads compared to competitors due to ending player contracts.
“Some clubs will lose home-field advantage for matches behind closed doors in respect to the reverse fixture earlier this season. This is especially true with big rivalries and the loss of the respective revenue.
“Those clubs unfairly and unlawfully relegated to a lower division would face further uncertainty and potential failure of their enterprise.
“The only way to secure against innumerable damages in the case of relegation would be a one-time parachute payment to the affected clubs representing the loss of one season of television revenue.”
Silverstone to host grands prix on successive weekends
Formula One has confirmed plans for Silverstone to host two grands prix on August 2 and 9 as it unveiled an eight-race European calendar to get the 2020 season under way.
Racing will begin with a double-header at Austria’s Spielberg circuit on July 5 and 12 before the Hungarian Grand Prix, scheduled for July 19.
Teams will then head to Spain for a Grand Prix on August 16, before further races in Belgium (August 30) and Italy (September 6).
All races are expected to be staged behind closed doors with a minimum number of team personnel at the circuit.
A statement said: “Formula 1 has been working closely with all partners, authorities, the FIA and the ten teams to create a revised calendar that will allow a return to racing in a way that is safe for the communities we visit and the entire Formula 1 community.
“Due to the ongoing fluidity of the Covid-19 situation internationally, we will be finalising the details of the wider calendar and hope to publish that in the coming weeks with an expectation of having a total of 15-18 races before we complete our season in December.
“We currently expect the opening races to be closed events, but hope fans will be able to join our events again when it is safe to do so.
“The health and safety of all involved will continue to be priority number one, with Formula 1 and the FIA having a robust and detailed plan to ensure our races maintain the highest level of safety with strict procedures in place.”
There had been question marks over Silverstone’s place on the calendar due to concerns over a quarantine programme due to be introduced by the UK Government, impacting travellers arriving into the UK from June 8.
However, elite sports events are set to be exempt from the quarantine period, enabling racing to go ahead at the Northamptonshire circuit.
Formula One chairman Chase Carey said: “We are pleased to be able to set out our opening eight-race calendar today and look forward to publishing our full calendar in the coming weeks.
“I want to thank every promoter and partner for their support and ongoing commitment to Formula 1.
“While we currently expect the season to commence without fans at our races we hope that over the coming months the situation will allow us to welcome them back once it is safe to do, but we know the return of Formula 1 will be a welcome boost to sports fans around the world.”
How badminton and netball plan to return in July
Mass participation sports like badminton and netball, which are widely played inside leisure centres, are drafting proposals to potentially return indoors next month, writes Jeremy Wilson.
With indoor sports facilities part of the next possible phase of easing lockdown restrictions from July 4, the Sport and Recreation Alliance has been working with governing bodies to identify ways in which their sports could be modified and still maintain social distancing.
For team sports, this has often meant going back to the principles of how you might adapt a sport for young children so that you reduce both numbers and contact.
Women’s tennis poised for return to service
Following the return of recreational tennis to the courts of England and Scotland’s clubs now open for business, a first exhibition tournament is about to be announced for Britain’s leading women.
The Progress Tour Women’s Championships will be staged at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton – the same spectator-free venue that is to be used for Jamie Murray’s men-only “Battle of the Brits” later this month.
We are really happy to be back, says Klopp
Jürgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, has warned his side there is still much work to do be done as they are “close but close is not there” in their bid to win the Premier League title.
With the campaign set to resume on June 17, three months after the coronavirus pandemic forced its suspension, Liverpool sit a massive 25 points clear of second-placed Manchester City, chasing their first league title for 30 years.
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They could secure it as early as their first game back if City fail to beat Arsenal in one of two matches scheduled for June 17, but though it looks all but assured, Klopp wants no let up.
“It’s nice to think about it but we are not champions yet and we know that,” Klopp told BBC Sport in an interview to air in full on BBC Radio 5 Live later on Tuesday.
“We know we are close but close is not there. There are 27 points left for us and we will try everything to take them all. We are still not champions. We have to play football games and we have to win them.
“We don’t want to stop winning after two games or whatever it is. I don’t see results written in the stars; we have to work really hard.”
Premier League players resumed contact training last week as they step up their preparations to complete the season behind closed doors, and Klopp said he was “really happy to be back”.
“I have missed it so much it’s unbelievable,” he said.
“I know it’s not the most important thing in life but it is my passion. I hope the people are looking forward to it because we are.”
Trump completes maximum haul on snooker’s return
Judd Trump, the world No 1, lent a familiar feeling to snooker’s big return on Monday, breezing to a group stage victory on day one of the Championship League.
Trump claimed his sixth ranking title of the season at the Gibraltar Open on March 15, the last event before the coronavirus shutdown, and was back to the fore as the sport resumed 78 days later.
It was hardly business as usual — with the venue’s seats understandably empty, Trump’s ‘lockdown hair’ unusually unruly and the disinfecting routine between matches necessarily thorough — but the results were as expected.
Tournament organisers reported all of the previous day’s Covid-19 tests had come back negative and the top seed began with a 3-0 win over David Grace, an understandably scrappy encounter given the lack of match practice, but one in which Trump never looked like losing control.
A 3-1 win in his second match of the evening, against Elliot Slessor, came with the aid of snookers and a decisive black in the final frame to leave Trump sitting pretty at the head of Group Two.
Slessor needed a clean sweep of his own against Grace to put any kind of pressure on Trump’s final visit against Daniel Wells. Slessor started with a fine break of 106, the best of the night, but a 3-1 win was not quite enough.
Trump completed a maximum haul of nine points with a 3-1 win over Daniel Wells to close the first night of action after more than eight hours.
David Gilbert, the world No 11, is also into the last 16 after topping Group 13 with seven points.
Gilbert topped and tailed the day with 3-0 wins, over Jackson Page and Stuart Carrington but had to settle for a 2-2 draw with Zak Jones after a break of 83 sealed the final frame in the latter’s favour.