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Roger Goodell defends Ray Rice suspension, calls it ‘consistent’ with other punishments by league 08.01.14 at 2:03 pm ET
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The NFL sent many people into a public outrage last week when it slapped Ravens running back Ray Rice with a meager two-game suspension for allegedly knocking his then-fiancee Janay Palmer unconscious in the elevator of a New Jersey casino.

Commissioner Roger Goodell, however, stood by the league’s decision decision when he met with the media for the first time since the ruling, calling the length of the ban “consistent” with other punishments handed out by the league.

“We have a very firm policy that domestic violence is not acceptable in the NFL, and there are consequences for that,” Goodell said Friday at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. “Obviously, when we are going through the process of evaluating an issue and whether there will be discipline, you look at all of the facts that are available to us.”

Added Goodell: “We have to remain consistent. We can’t just make up the discipline. It has be consistent with other cases, and it was in this matter.”

Rice was arrested on Feb. 15 for the alleged incident. He pleaded not guilty to a third-degree charge of aggravated assault and avoided trial by being accepted into a pretrial intervention program in May.

“I take into account all of the information before I make a decision on what the discipline will be,” Goodell said. “In this case, there was no discipline by the criminal justice system.

“They put him in that diversionary program, and I had seen Ray after that. I had the opportunity to hear from him, hear from his wife and hear from other people that he had brought into the hearing process, and I put all of that together to make a decision.”

Read More: Ray Rice, Roger Goodell,
NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith critical of commissioner Roger Goodell 05.30.14 at 8:40 am ET
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NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith criticized commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday for the way he’s handled the punishment of Colts owner Jim Irsay.

Irsay has yet to be disciplined following an arrest in March in which he was charged with two misdemeanor offenses, a response much slower than Goodell would’ve made if it were a player facing disciplinary action, according to Smith.

“The commissioner understands that there is a significant credibility gap that exists in the National Football League,” Smith said. “What troubles our players is the speed and the deliberateness of the punishment that they have seen in the past when it comes to a player. There isn’t the same speed or deliberate action when it comes to an owner, and that’s a problem.”

Irsay was arrested March 16 for allegedly operating a vehicle while intoxicated and while in the possession of $29,000 and prescription drugs that weren’t in his name, according to police reports.

Goodell responded to these criticisms Thursday while in Foxboro for a football safety clinic for mothers. The commissioner said the disciplinary process in regards to Irsay is ongoing.

“As I said before, the personal conduct policy applies to commissioners, owners, players, coaches,” Goodell said. “It applies to all of us. We all have a responsibility to do things the right way. Yes, it is ongoing.”

Goodell added: “I think you know there are several players that we haven’t taken any action on either. We like to get the facts, we like to be thorough, and we like to understand them. Charges were just filed last week. So I don’t believe there is a credibility gap.”

Smith also criticized Goodell for his stance on expanded playoffs and HGH testing.

Read More: DeMaurice Smith, Roger Goodell,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Rangers unhappy with unpenalized cheap shot by Canadiens’ Brandon Prust 05.23.14 at 8:12 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Rangers at Tigers, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Padres, 10 p.m. (WGN)


– After losing the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals, the Canadiens showed some life in Thursday’s Game 3, taking a 3-2 overtime victory at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers, meanwhile, were infuriated about a high blindside hit by Canadiens forward Brandon Prust on Derek Stepan that went unpenalized even though Stepan did not have the puck.

The hit occurred less than five minutes into the game. Stepan stayed on the ice for a minute before skating to the locker room, although he returned later in the period.

“It’s a bad hit,” Stepan said afterward. “I certainly hope the league will look at it. ‘€¦ [The hit] might have been with his shoulder, but he made contact with my face. The main focus is my head.”

The Rangers responded one minute later as Dan Carcillo picked up a charging call for running at Prust, and Derek Stepan started a fight with the Habs tough guy. Carcillo then picked up a game misconduct for jabbing the linesman who was restraining him.

“[Carcillo] can’t do what he did there, but we’ll let the league handle that,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “I believe if a penalty would have been called on Prust, it probably wouldn’t have happened, but there is nothing we can do about it.”

Prust, a former Ranger who was very popular in New York before signing as a free agent with the Canadiens before last season, already was on the Rangers’ radar after he attempted to trip goalie Henrik Lundqvist during a timeout in Monday’s Game 2 in Montreal.

– Half the members of the U.S. Senate urged NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to push for the Redskins to change their name due to the racist connotation.

In a letter signed by 49 senators, the NBA’s quick action against Clippers owner Donald Sterling was referenced.

“We urge you and the National Football League to send the same clear message as the NBA did: that racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports,” the letter read.

It also read: “The NFL can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur.”

Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida wrote his own letter calling for a name change.

All of the senators involved are Democrats. Five Democrats did not sign, including Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, who represent Virginia, home of the team’s headquarters.

Landon Donovan, the most prolific scorer in U.S. national team history, will not join the team in Brazil for this year’s World Cup. The 32-year-old was one of seven players cut Thursday.

“This certainly is one of the toughest decisions in my coaching career, to tell a player like him, with everything he has done and what he represents, to tell him that he’s not part of that 23 right now,” coach Jurgen Klinsmann said.

Said Donovan in a statement on Facebook: “I was looking forward to playing in Brazil and, as you can imagine, I am very disappointed with today’s decision. Regardless, I will be cheering on my friends and teammates this summer, and I remain committed to helping grow soccer in the U.S. in the years to come.”

Only six players from the 2010 World Cup squad are back, including defender DaMarcus Beasley, who will become the first American to play in four Word Cups. Donovan had been bidding to do the same.

“Landon is my brother,” Beasley said. “I’ve known Landon since I was 15. We’ve been through a lot together. To not have him there is difficult.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 23, 1976, the Celtics beat the Suns, 98-87, in Game 1 of the NBA finals. Which Celtic led the way with 25 points and 21 rebounds?

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Read More: Brandon Prust, Dan Carcillo, Landon Donovan, Redskins
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter wants Super Bowl in his city 02.06.14 at 11:06 am ET
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Less than a week after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell hinted that Super Bowl XLVIII could be the first of more championship games in cold-weather cities, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has said he wants in.

“Heck, yeah, we want it,” Nutter said, according to ESPN.com. “And we can do it better than anyone else.”

“When it comes to doing big events and rolling out the red carpet,” Nutter added, “no city does it any better than the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.”

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie also said last month while announcing $125 million in stadium renovations that he thinks a Super Bowl should happen at Lincoln Financial Field.

While the city would have to wait until at least 2019 to host a Super Bowl, Nutter pointed out the impact having the game would have on Philly.

“It would provide a substantial economic benefit to the city and it’€™s growing hospitality sector,” Nutter said. “It would mean an international focus on a city that is emerging as a desire destination for international visitors. And it would offer us the opportunity to market Philadelphia to a national audience.”

Read More: Michael Nutter, Roger Goodell,
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Super Bowl ring belonging to Patriots’ Spygate videographer up for auction at 7:55 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Bruins at Blues, 8 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Spurs at Nets, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Bulls at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Rhode Island at VCU, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: UConn at Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: LSU at Georgia, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Robert Morris at LIU Brooklyn, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Temple at SMU, 8 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Penn State at Michigan State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Oregon at Arizona, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Murray State at Belmont, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UTEP at East Carolina, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Tulsa at Louisiana Tech, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Santa Clara at BYU, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oregon State at Arizona State, 11 p.m. (FS1)


– The Super Bowl ring given to the former Patriots intern at the heart of the Spygate scandal is available via an online auction.

Matt Estrella was caught filming the signals of Jets coaches during a game on Sept. 9, 2007, after a tip from Jets coach Eric Mangini (a former Patriots assistant). The result was a $500,000 fine for Bill Belichick and another $250,000 penalty and forfeiture of a first-round draft pick for the team. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had the tapes destroyed after viewing them, leading conspiracy theorists to claim the Patriots were guilty of further violations.

Estrella, who continued to work in the team’s video department until 2009, sold the ring in May 2012 to an individual who later consigned it to Goldin Auctions. The ring commemorates the Patriots’ Super Bowl XXXIX victory over the Eagles on Feb. 6, 2005.

As of early Thursday morning, the high bid for the ring was $5,700. Bidding closes Friday night.

If you’re looking for a different piece of Boston-themed sports jewelry, the auction also features former Patriots fullback Sam Gash‘s 1996 AFC championship ring and late Red Sox broadcaster Ken Coleman‘s 1967 American League championship ring.

– The Lakers won Wednesday’s game against the Cavaliers, 119-108, but only after employing a little-known NBA rule that allowed them to keep a fouled-out player in the game.

The Lakers started the night with eight available players but lost two to injuries and another to fouls, leaving them with five. When center Robert Sacre fouled out, coach Mike D’Antoni was allowed to keep him in, with the only penalty being a technical foul, because NBA rules dictate a team must have five players on the court.

“That was, by far, one of the strangest games I’ve ever seen,” D’Antoni said.

Said Sacre: “That was just crazy. When I got my sixth foul I was just like, ‘Oh, dang!’ Then I got to come back in, so I thought it was something special. I didn’t know what was going on.”

– The NFL announced Wednesday that CBS will air eight of its Thursday night games next season after awarding the network a one-year deal with a league option for 2015.

The first eight Thursday night games of the season will be shown on CBS, with the NFL Network simulcasting them. The NFL Network will show six more Thursday night games later in the season.

“We want to make Thursday night football as big as possible in the minds of the NFL fan,” NFL executive vice president for media Brian Rolapp said.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 6, 1988, Larry Bird won the 3-point competition during All-Star Weekend in Chicago, famously holding his right index finger in the air before his final shot went through the net to clinch the victory. Which player did Bird beat for the title?

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Matt Estrella, Roger Goodell, Spygate
Roger Goodell: Pro Bowl changes were ‘a very, very positive step’ 01.27.14 at 1:32 pm ET
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After threatening to cancel the game during the 2012 offseason, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has changed his opinion of the newly refurbished Pro Bowl.

“You have to admit it was very competitive,” Goodell said (via NBC Sports). “Exciting. Fun. I think the players played much harder.”

The game, which was adapted by the NFLPA’€™s outgoing president Domonique Foxworth, was no longer divided by conference, featured a fantasy league style draft and had two Hall of Fame captains in Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice.

“I believe it was a very, very positive step,” Goodell said. “I salute the players.”

Foxworth said that while he was fine with getting rid of the game, one major component stood in his way.

“Roger was very serious about potentially canceling the Pro Bowl because apparently it’€™s very expensive and isn’t of a ton of value to the,” Foxworth told USA Today sports earlier in the week.

“To be honest with you, I was completely comfortable with eliminating it until I talked to the players, and they said they loved it and they want to be there.”

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Read More: Domonique Foxworth, Roger Goodell,
Roger Goodell says NFL might consider abolishing extra point 01.21.14 at 8:52 am ET
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When was the last time a kicker missed when going for the extra point?

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told the NFL Network it happens so rarely that the league could consider getting rid of the extra point.

“The extra point is almost automatic,” Goodell said. “I believe we had five missed extra points this year out of 1,200 some odd [attempts]. So it’€™s a very small fraction of the play, and you want to add excitement with every play.”

One proposal Goodell received suggested that a touchdown could be worth seven points. An extra play from scrimmage could produce an eighth point, but if the team fails in its attempt, it would go back to six points.

Goodell also said the change had a few obstacles.

“Is this going to discourage people from going for two?” the commissioner said.

Nonetheless, that automatic point could become a thing of the past.

Read More: Roger Goodell,
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Ex-Patriots receiver Bethel Johnson teases New England fans after AFC championship loss to Broncos 01.20.14 at 8:06 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Kings at Bruins, 3 p.m. (NESN, NHL Network)
NBA: Nets at Knicks, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Pelicans at Grizzlies, 5 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA Trail Blazers at Rockets, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Pacers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Loyola, Md., at Boston University, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: North Carolina at Virginia, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Creighton at Villanova, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Ohio State at Nebraska, 7 p.m. (BTN)
College basketball: Delaware State at North Carolina A&T, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Maryland at NC State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Marquette at Georgetown, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Baylor at Kansas, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Premier League, Everton at West Bromwich, 3 p.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: Australian Open, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)


– Former Patriots receiver Bethel Johnson apparently was not happy with his treatment by the team when he was sent packing in 2006, and he took pleasure in teasing New England fans following Sunday’s AFC championship game loss to the Broncos.

Tweeted Johnson on Sunday night: I said when the Pats trade me that they’ll never win another championship. Say what you want about me, I was there 3yrs & left with 2 rings.

Added Johnson, now 34: If they’d sign me back we’ll win immediately.

Johnson was drafted by the Patriots in the second round in 2003 out of Texas A&M and primarily played special teams. He’s generally considered one of Bill Belichick‘s worst draft picks.

In the summer of 2006, he was traded to the Saints but cut before the regular season while dealing with a knee injury. He went on to play for the Vikings that season, then played a year in the Canadian Football League after being cut by the Eagles and Texans.

Johnson apparently heard enough from Patriots fans, because his Twitter account was taken down Monday morning. Before then, he tried to defuse the situation, tweeting: I made a statement to get a rise out of the Pats fans and I got it…y’all are hilarious. I have nothing but love 4 the team that drafted me.

– Canucks coach John Tortorella reportedly will have a hearing with the NHL on Monday following his tantrum during Saturday’s game against the Flames, when he fiery coach approached the Calgary locker room after the first period to continue a dispute.

The game started with the Flames putting their fourth line on the ice. Tortorella responded in kind, and there was a line brawl immediately after the puck drop. During the brouhaha, Tortorella screamed at Calgary coach Bob Hartley.

Hartley denied intending to start off the game with a fight.

“Those guys are playing well for us,” he said of his fourth-liners. “They got us a goal last game. Obviously we’re not scoring many goals. We had absolutely zero intentions there. Those guys are playing hard for us. We’re a disciplined hockey club. As far as I know, they were the home team so they had the luxury to put whoever they wanted on the ice.”

Asked why he didn’t go with his top line to avoid a brawl, Tortorella claimed he was protecting his players.

“I see the starting lineup. I know the other guy across the bench and it’s easy for people to say put the Sedins out there and it’s deflated,” Tortorella said. “I can’t put our players at risk that way. With the lineup that he had, I’m not going to put those type of players at risk and that’s what ensues.

“I’m not proud of it. I’ve apologized to every one of the players involved in it. I don’t feel great about it at all, especially [Kellan Lain, who was making his NHL debut]. That’s my biggest mistake was putting Lainer in that lineup and I’ll kick myself forever not having someone else there. But I’d do the same thing again if it came that way because I cannot put anybody else out there not knowing what’s going to happen and knowing the other guy across from me.”

After the period, Tortorella headed toward the Calgary locker room but was pushed aside. Flames assistant coach Clint Malarchuk tried to get at Tortorella but was restrained by his team.

– According to an ESPN story, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell plans to sit outside in the stands at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford N.J., for the Super Bowl, despite early predictions of freezing temperatures with a possibility of rain and snow.

This would not be a new thing for Goodell, who has appeared in the stands at other cold-weather games and claims to enjoy the experience.

In the previous coldest Super Bowl, played at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans on Jan. 16, 1972, then-commissioner Pete Rozelle sat outside as the temperature dipped to 39 degrees.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 20, 1996, in the NHL All-Star Game at what was then called the FleetCenter in Boston, which Bruin scored with 38 seconds remaining in regulation to give the East a 5-4 victory over the West?

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Read More: Bethel Johnson, John Tortorella, Roger Goodell, super bowl
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Texans players irate after Houston fans cheer Matt Schaub injury 10.14.13 at 7:58 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Red Wings at Bruins, 1 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Wild at Sabres, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB playoffs: Cardinals at Dodgers, 8:07 p.m. (TBS; WEEI-AM)
NFL: Colts at Chargers, 8:25 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA preseason: Spurs at Nuggets, 9 p.m. (NBA TV)


‘€¢ In the “be careful what you wish for” department: Fans in Houston cheered when struggling quarterback Matt Schaub left Sunday’s game against the Rams with what appeared to be a right ankle injury. Schaub, who had thrown a pick-six in three consecutive games, was 15-for-21 for 186 yards when he left amid calls for backup T.J. Yates.

Yates entered the game and threw two interceptions, including one that was returned 98 yards for a touchdown in St. Louis’ 38-13 rout.

Texans players were not amused by the home fans’ reaction to Schaub’s injury. Linebacker Brian Cushing called it “barbaric,” while cornerback Jonathan Joseph said: “They’re going to do that, don’t show the [expletive] up.”

Added receiver Andre Johnson: “For them to cheer about something like that, it just sows they have no class.”

Meanwhile, unemployed quarterback Vince Young saw an opportunity in his hometown and lobbied for a call.

Tweeted Young: Let them know VY is in shape and ready to go! I always loved by birth place and everyone who lives in it IM READY.

‘€¢ Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, not frequently known as the voice of reason on anything, waded into the controversy over the ‘Redskins’ nickname prior to Sunday night’s game between the longtime rivals and awkwardly attempted to defend Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.

“It would be a real mistake — a real mistake — to think Dan, who is Jewish, has a lack of sensitivity regarding anyone’s feelings.” Jones said in a Q&A with his team’s season ticket-holders (via USA Today).

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, whose support for Snyder’s stance against changing the name has waned in recent weeks, also was in the room and said of Snyder: “I’m confident that he’s listening. I’m confident he feels strongly about that name, but he also wants to do the right thing.”

Added Goodell: “We want to make sure what we’re doing is not insulting in any way to anybody. Again, I think the Redskins have done this in a way that respects the honor and tradition and the history of Native Americans. And that’s something for them to be proud of.”

‘€¢ Alex Rodriguez is suing the Yankees, but the team is taking the high road — at least publicly.

General manager Brian Cashman said in an interview Sunday with ESPN Radio’s “The Ian O’Connor Show” that the Yankees want Rodriguez back, despite previous reports that the team would prefer to not have to pay the third baseman’s exorbitant salary.

“If it comes down to, would we want the player we signed to be playing that position without any problems? Absolutely, no question about that,” Cashman said. “I think if people think there’s some sort of benefit by losing that talent, I mean, you can’t replace it. It’s not like, all right, well, Alex is gone. If he winds up getting suspended and it’s upheld, how do you replace that? It’s not easy.

“It’s not like, all right, we’ll take that money and go in this direction. I think … our fan base saw when we lost significant players at various positions, it was not easy to plug holes because the talent just doesn’t exist.”

Added Cashman: “It’s not like going down to a Home Depot and pulling something out that you need that’s broke and you’ve got to fix it. So, ultimately from a baseball operations standpoint, taking out all the areas of controversy, having Alex Rodriguez man third base is obviously by far the best option for the Yankees than what the alternatives would be in theory.”

Rodriguez, who is appealing his 211-game suspension from Major League Baseball, hit .244/.348/.423 with seven home runs and 19 RBIs in 44 games this season after missing most of the campaign following offseason surgery on his hip.

Rodriguez is due to make $25 million in 2014, and he would get a $6 million bonus if he hits seven home runs to pass Willie Mays for fourth place on the all-time list.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Oct. 14, 1975, the Red Sox lost Game 3 of the World Series to the Reds, 6-5, in 10 innings. The game is remembered in Boston for a controversial play in the 10th in which which Sox catcher Carlton Fisk made contact with which Reds player who had dropped a bunt in an effort to move the eventual winning run to second base?

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Read More: alex rodriguez, brian cashman, Daniel Snyder, Jerry Jones
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Belize soccer players say they were asked to throw Gold Cup match vs. U.S. 07.11.13 at 7:49 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Mariners, 3:40 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Royals at Yankees, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Reds at Braves, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA Summer League: Pacers vs. Jazz, 11 a.m. (NBA)
NBA Summer League: Heat vs. Pistons, 1 p.m. (NBA)
NBA Summer League: Rockets vs. Nets, 3 p.m. (NBA)
NBA Summer League: 76ers vs. Magic, 5 p.m. (NBA)
WNBA: Los Angeles Sparks at Tulsa Shock, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Softball: World Cup, United States vs. Canada, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)


‘™¦ Players from the Belize national team said they were asked to fix Tuesday’s CONCACAF Gold Cup match against the United States, according to a report out of the Carribbean country.

Andres Makin Jr., Ian Gaynair and Woodrow West told 7 News Belize that a man approached them in Guatemala and attempted to bribe them to throw the game, which the United States won, 6-1.

“He started talking that we don’€™t really stand a chance to beat the U.S. so he wanted us to promise him that we would lose the game and that he would give us a large amount of money to change our lives in Belize and to help our families,” Gaynair said, adding: “Then as he said that my entire features changed and I just felt a different way, I felt really uncomfortable just to be around the guy because I was already aware about the ‘€˜match-fixing’€™ and I know that I could get banned for life.”

Continued Gaynair, who scored his team’s lone goal in the game: “He saw that my features changed and he saw that we weren’€™t into it so he got frightened and took out a large amount of money to bribe us, a lot of hundred and 50 dollar bills and threw it at us on the table and told us to keep it and to not say anything and to keep the money.”

Said West, the team’s goalie: “I made him understand that we’€™re not into taking money from him or anything like that. We’€™re here for our country — regardless if we’€™re in the U.S. but we’€™re not into that none at all. He got frightened and we walked.”

‘™¦ The lawyer for Giants pitcher Chad Gaudin, who was accused of touching a woman’s breast while she was on a gurney at a Las Vegas hospital in January and charged with open and gross lewdness last week, said the player was sick at the time of the incident.

A paramedic told Gaudin to leave the woman alone, and after he refused, hospital security held him down until police arrived. The police report indicated Gaudin “appeared to be intoxicated. He had slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, trouble standing still, obeying commands, an order of alcoholic beverages and couldn’t repeat his house number, where he lives, the same way twice in a row.” Gaudin told police he didn’t know how he ended up at the hospital.

Said Gaudin’s lawyer, Dominic Gentile, in a statement: “Chad Gaudin was examined in the emergency room of a local hospital while experiencing symptoms believed to be related to acute renal failure due to a condition known as rhabdomyolysis. The symptoms included confusion, dehydration and loss of orientation and/or consciousness. Although he has been accused of improperly touching another hospital patient while on the premises that night, there are differing and exonerating versions of what occurred that have been reported by eyewitnesses.”

Gaudin, 30, has a 2-1 record and 2.44 ERA this season with the Giants, his ninth major league team.

‘™¦ This week in the debate over the Redskins nickname, Eni Faleomavaega, a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives from American Samoa, took the House floor Tuesday and and criticized those who allow the name to continue.

“It’€™s time the National Football League and the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, face the reality that the continued use of the word ‘€˜Redskin’€™ is unacceptable,” Faleomavaega said. “It is a racist, derogatory term, and patently offensive to Native Americans. The Native American community has spent millions of dollars over the past two decades trying earnestly to fight the racism that is perpetuated by this slur.

“The fact that the NFL and commissioner Goodell continue to deny this is a shameful treatment of the mistreatment of Native Americans for so many years. It is quite obvious that once the American public understands why ‘€˜Redskins’€™ is so offensive, it will know that the word should never be used again.”

Faleomavaega is one of 10 members of Congress who recently sent a letter to team owner Daniel Snyder and Goodell letting them know they disapprove of the name. Faleomavaega said Snyder did not reply, while Goodell’s public response was misguided.

“Mr. Goodell, however, in a dismissive manner, declared that the team’€™s name is a ‘€˜unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.’€™ Give me a break,” Faleomavaega said.

Meanwhile, the team released an online survey asking fans what they think of the name.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 11, 1960, which Red Sox pitcher started and lost the All-Star Game (the first of two played that year)?

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Read More: Chad Gaudin, Eni Faleomavaega, Gold Cup, Redskins