LAFC’s Adama Diomande says he was called racial slur in Portland Timbers game

LAFC striker Adama Diomande says he was subjected to racial abuse during Wednesday night’s U.S. Open Cup match against the Portland Timbers.

Diomande, who joined LAFC in May, reacted angrily during the second half of his team’s 3-2 win at home, and wrote on Instagram after the game that someone called him by a racial slur.

“Today was the first time in my professional career that I was called the ‘N’ word on the field,” Diomande wrote. “They will say sorry to me after the game and please let it go, but If I don’t say anything racism will just continue to grow.cheap nfl jerseys nike china

“No matter which country, color, religion or which language [you’re] speaking we all are human being and we should respect each other no matter what! #saynotoracism”

Diomande did not specify if the slur came from a player or from the crowd, though he was involved in an incident with Timbers players late in the game.10

Diomande had words with a number of Timbers players in the 90th minute after a hard foul on his teammate Carlos Vela. They had to be separated and Diomande then attempted to state his case to the referee while Timbers players tried to calm him down.

Then a few minutes later, Portland’s Julio Cascante was booked for a late tackle into Diomande’s back, and the LAFC man squared up with a number of Timbers players again.

ESPN FC on Thursday morning reached out for comment to both teams and U.S. Soccer, which organizes the U.S. Open Cup.cheap nfl jerseys from china nike

The Timbers, who are also protesting the game’s result over the number of LAFC’s foreign players, issued a statement saying the club would investigate the incident.

“The club is aware of the accusations posted on Instagram following Wednesday night’s U.S. Open Cup game and is in direct communication with LAFC management, league officials and internal staff to gather more information,” the Timbers’ statement said. “At this time, we are awaiting more details as we actively continue to investigate the matter. The club will provide further information when it becomes available.


Wilmar Barrios: Boca Juniors will only consider offers in January

Wilmar Barrios has suggested he would only leave Boca Juniors in January amid links to Tottenham and other Premier League clubs.nike cheap nfl jerseys

Barrios, 24, played for Colombia at the World Cup this summer but will now return to his Argentine club in time for the Copa Libertadores knockout stage.11

Boca Juniors open the round of 16 in August and the tournament runs through November, and it is only at that point which Barrios says the club would be willing to entertain offers for his services.

“It is possible that an offer will come in and our club president, Daniel Angelici, has been clear; if something comes in, he will study it with the idea that I would leave after Libertadores,” he told Clarin.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

“Right now I am focused on Boca, in working and helping the team for what is coming up. After that, we will see what happens. I will have to meet with my agent and with the president.”

Barrios has been heavily linked with a move to Tottenham, but reports in recent days have also suggested interest from Everton as well as Chelsea.


C-Mac, Lil Cap, Clutchery: How Cam Newton creates nicknames

So when ESPN.com asked NFL Nation reporters to come up with the best nickname on the team they cover, it was a slam dunk that the honor for the Carolina Panthers went to quarterback Cam Newton, the self-proclaimed “Sensei of Nicknames.”

Newton made his title known partly out of necessity in 2014 when apologizing for referring to then-Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh as “Donkey Kong Suh.”

“If anything, I was trying to say it as a compliment of him for wreaking havoc,” Newton said at the time. “Me going forward, I should have called him ‘Wreck-it Ralph.'”

It was during this apology that Newton said, “I just call myself the ‘Sensei of Nicknames.'”

He then rattled off a dozen or more from that Carolina team. Then-fullback Mike Tolbert had more nicknames — Tub of Goo, Tub of Mayonnaise, Plate of Paste, Chunky Soup, Toldozer, Fat Boy, Bowling Ball — than anybody because of his 5-foot-9, 250-pound physique.

Tolbert wasn’t offended. Carolina players just roll with whatever nickname Newton gives them.

“Cam’s weird. A good weird, though,” defensive end Mario Addison said. “He’s given me so many nicknames, I don’t know which one he really calls me by. He’ll say Rio, Super Mario — everything. Cam, man, I guess it’s what he’s feeling like that day which one you’re going to get.”nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Newton gave himself the nickname “Ace Boogie” when he initially came into the league. He also considers himself the “Sensei of Swag,” for obvious reasons, if you’ve seen his sometimes out-there wardrobe.

“I couldn’t come up with half the things he comes up with,” Kalil said. “A lot of them are more clever than people realize. There are a lot of them that are inside jokes that can’t leave the locker room that are really funny.

“He’s sharp that way. His mind goes 100 miles an hour.”10

Not all nicknames are public knowledge. Kalil’s is one of them.

“He says it a lot to me,” Kalil said. “But it’s a quarterback-center bond thing. I can’t break that trust and tell you what it is.”

Garrett Gilbert, the front-runner to be Newton’s backup, is amazed by the depth of some of Newton’s nicknames.

“Depth is a good word,” he said. “They are extremely creative. Sometimes they take a while to craft. Sometimes it hits him the first day when a player comes on the field. But they are definitely, without a doubt, very creative.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Gilbert’s nickname is a prime example, although Newton gets an assist from wide receiver Brenton Bersin on this one. Gilbert is called Glanch, after Matt Blanchard, who was on the Carolina practice squad in 2013-14.


U.S.’s Bobby Wood looking forward to Hannover after ‘most difficult year’

United States striker Bobby Wood no longer wants to look back on “the most difficult year” in his career following his loan move from relegated Hamburg to Hannover.

Earlier this week, Wood, 25, joined Hannover on an initial one-year loan with a view to a permanent transfer, after only scoring three goals in 25 appearances for Hannover in all competitions last season.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

“It was not a positive year,” Wood told reporters of his final year at Hamburg. “It was the most difficult year in my career. I was not able to perform the way I hoped for, and the same applies for many players.”12

After years of struggles in the top flight, Hamburg, the only team to have played in all Bundesliga seasons, suffered their first-ever relegation from the top flight.

“It happened, and I must look ahead now,” Wood said. “Naturally, that’s not that easy. But as an athlete you must write it off as soon as possible. If you allow this to drag you down, you can’t perform.”

At Hamburg, the club he joined from second-tier side Union Berlin in 2015, Wood scored just seven goals in 52 league games, but he hopes he can return to form at his new club and live up to his potential.nfl nike jerseys cheap

“I am aware it wasn’t a good performance last season. But I scored nine goals across all competitions in my first year at Hamburg,” he said. “I am a striker, and I just want to score as many goals as possible.”


France celebrate reaching final: Pamela Anderson, water fight with Macron and tears

President of France Emmanuel Macron enters the team’s dressing room. It is only a few minutes after Les Bleus beat Belgium and reached their third World Cup final.

The place is not going totally bonkers yet. But it won’t be long. First, Macron congratulates the players: “Well done. You have made your country proud and the French people happy. The country is going mad with happiness thanks to you,” he says.

It was his first game in Russia with the team and he will be back on Sunday for the final. One by one, he shakes the players’ hands with a little word for each of them.

Benjamin Mendy, the former Marseille player and official joker of the squad, has to do something to recognise Macron, himself a big OM supporter.

“And for the president …” he starts the song and in a dressing room full of laughter, everyone else follows.nfl replica jerseys cheap

“And for the president …”

A water fight starts, everyone jumps everywhere and shouts: “We are in the final, we are, we are, we are in the final!”

A few minutes before, coach Didier Deschamps also compliments his men: “I am proud of you,” he says. “You played the perfect game. Well done! But it is not over. In a World Cup, we only remember the winners.”10

The music is blaring, they sing, they dance. Mendy, Blaise Matuidi, Paul Pogba are leading the way, obviously. Lucas Hernandez and Presnel Kimpembe are missing it all because they are at the anti-doping test.

The younger players still can’t really appreciate the magnitude of the achievement. “I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it,” whispers Benjamin Pavard, still only 22 with a mere 11 caps and a final to play in his first-ever World Cup.

Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele are quite incredulous. “It is the best day of my life,” says Mbappe, 19, who doesn’t have his driving licence but will play a World Cup final on Sunday.

The more experienced ones, those who went through the huge disappointment of the 2016 European Championship and the heartbreaking loss in the final against Portugal, have crucial words.

“This is nothing. We have not won anything. It is not over,” shouts Matuidi in the tunnel on his way back towards the dressing room.

“We can’t do like in 2016. There is one more game to go, we stay calm, win it and then we enjoy,” says Pogba.wholesale nfl jerseys cheap

The players are checking their phones and discover the incredible scenes back home, the Champs Elysees rammed with fans, the millions of people celebrating all around the country in the streets. They can’t believe what they are seeing.


Rodger Saffold plays ‘poor man’s Stan Kroenke’ to rising esports powerhouse

In the middle of this scene at the Call of Duty World League tournament is Los Angeles Rams offensive guard Rodger Saffold. He finished mandatory minicamp only the week prior, and he’s tending to his other job as owner of Rise Nation, an esports team that he founded in 2014, which boasts several of the top video game players and teams in the country.

“The lights are crazy; the energy is amazing,” said Saffold, who, at 6-foot-5 and 325 pounds, stood out among the crowd, wearing a black sweatshirt and a diamond-encrusted pendant with a Rise Nation logo. “It’s also very stressful.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

For six months a year, Saffold is strictly focused on football. But when the season ends, the nine-year NFL pro fills much of his time with gaming. He grew up loving puzzles. Then during college, he developed a penchant for video games, more specifically “Call of Duty,” the first-person-shooter game.

The structure of an esports organization bears a resemblance to an NFL team.8

As the owner, Saffold funds the organization, “like a poor man’s Stan Kroenke,” he chuckled, in reference to the Rams’ owner. He has a partner in longtime friend Kareem Horsley and hired former gamer Jonathan Tucker as general manager.

“In big decisions, we keep him informed,” said Tucker, who first met Saffold in 2014 at a gaming tournament. “Transfers, signings, big-money moves that could affect how we work, we have to consult him. … But as far as day-to-day stuff, me and Kareem do most of it, because it’s just too many things to bother him with.”

Saffold, who studied business management at Indiana, has 10 full-time employees and a roster that fluctuates between 10 and 12 players among seven teams, depending on the games and tournaments the organization is involved in.

To develop his business, Saffold leaned on the friendships he developed within the esports industry. “Just picking everybody’s brain,” Saffold said, “we were kind of able to figure out a formula.”

He also sought the creative input of a Rams graphic designer to develop a Rise Nation logo.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

“I wanted to be involved and invested into something that I have a lot of passion for,” Saffold said. “This seemed to be it.”

Saffold isn’t the only person from professional sports getting into gaming. Earlier this year, the NBA became the first professional sports league to operate an esports league when it launched NBA 2K, which features some of the best basketball gamers in the world.


NFLPA files challenge to league’s national anthem policy

The NFL Players Association filed a non-injury grievance Tuesday challenging the legitimacy of the NFL’s new national anthem policy on several grounds.

“The union’s claim is that this new policy, imposed by the NFL’s governing body without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights,” the NFLPA said in a statement.

The NFLPA, which was not consulted about the anthem policy change, argues in its grievance that peaceful demonstration during the anthem does not qualify as “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The league will need to rely on the broad powers afforded the commissioner through the personal conduct policy, including applying the phrase “conduct detrimental,” to decide whether to fine teams whose players demonstrate on-field during the anthem. NFL fans are accustomed to hearing that phrase as justification for penalizing players accused of illegal or unethical behaviors.

The NFLPA argues that kneeling during the anthem does not qualify as detrimental conduct, evidenced by the fact that the league has said players have the right to use their platform to elevate issues important to them. The players’ association believes that allowing peaceful demonstrations to be grounds for detrimental conduct discipline would set a terrible precedent, which teams could use to penalize players for other peaceful demonstrations, including prayer.7

At NFL owners meetings in May, the league voted to approve a policy that requires players and team personnel on the sideline to stand during the national anthem. Players have the option to stay in the locker room while the anthem is played. The NFL wrote and ratified the policy without input from the players, as the game operations manual is not part of the collective bargaining agreement.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said the NFL wants to “treat this moment in a respectful fashion.” Should the league determine that a player is in violation of the new policy, the team will be fined. Teams can choose to fine players.

Under Article 43 of the CBA, franchises have the right to implement “reasonable club rules.” These rules normally include fines for objectively provable violations, such as missing a meeting or skipping a workout. The NFLPA will also seek an arbitrator’s judgment on the reasonableness of team-by-team anthem rules, given the fact that no player has been previously disciplined for such demonstrations.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

The NFL will have 10 days to respond in writing to the accusations set forth in the grievance. If the issue is not resolved at that point, the NFLPA can appeal to the notice arbitrator. The grievance will be heard by one of four mutually accepted arbitrators.


Kings make bold move in extending $78M offer sheet to Zach LaVine

The Sacramento Kings on Friday made a bold offseason move by signing Chicago Bulls restricted free agent guard Zach LaVine to a four-year, $78 million offer sheet, sources told The Undefeated.

The Bulls, who have two days to match it if they want to retain him, have made LaVine a contract offer, but sources say it’s not nearly as strong as the Kings’.

“I’m disappointed that I had to get an offer sheet from another team,” LaVine, 23, told The Undefeated. “But Sacramento stepped up and made a strong impression. It appears that Sacramento wants me more than Chicago.“cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

The Kings would be the first team this offseason to sign a restricted free agent to an offer sheet.46

LaVine averaged 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 34.1 percent shooting from 3-point range in 24 games last season. He loved the City of Chicago, his teammates, and the fan base in his short time since arriving from Minnesota in the Jimmy Butler trade and enjoyed playing for the Bulls.

However, the athletic 6-foot-5, 205-pound guard was disappointed that the Bulls did not step up in the same fashion that the Kings did and believed his parent team was trying to take advantage of him in a tight free agent market.

If the Bulls do not match Sacramento’s offer sheet, LaVine would join a franchise that is attempting to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. However, Sacramento is loaded with young talent in the rookie forward Marvin Bagley III, the No. 2 pick in the June draft, guards De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic and frontcourt players Harry Giles, Willie Callie-Stein, Skal Labissiere and Justin Jackson. The Kings believe that this young core is part of a new brand that includes “exciting, up-tempo, versatile and position-less players,” a source said.

LaVine visited the Kings’ offices and practice facility in downtown Sacramento on Wednesday on Wednesday. He had a conversation with Kings general manager Vlade Divac and assistant general managers Brandon Williams and Peja Stojakovic during the visit. LaVine also spoke with Kings owner Vivek Ranadive. LaVine could be the biggest free agent signing for the Kings since Divac signed a six-year, $60 million contract in 1999. There was a “mutual expression that it was a good fit” from LaVine and the Kings’ brass, a source said.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

A source said LaVine will take up the remaining Kings salary cap space available if his signing becomes official, but the franchise will still have flexibility to make more free agency moves next summer. The Seattle native debuted with the Bulls last season after recovering from left ACL surgery. The Kings are confident that LaVine is fully healthy and recovered him his knee injury, a source said.


La dolce vita: Former NFL WR enjoys pizza, pigskin in Italy

Kris Durham had been through hundreds of game days. His plan, naturally, was to arrive early, get dressed, take the field and warm up.

Nope, he was told. Taking the field would have to wait.

An under-15 youth soccer game had to finish first.

The former Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans receiver laughed. This was a place so far from where he had been and, yet, so much of where he wanted to be.
“That,” Durham said. “Was one of those ones where I was like, ‘Welcome to Italy.'”nfl nike jerseys cheap china

In Italy, soccer — called calcio — is the sport of choice first, second and third. In Parma, rugby comes next. American football is an afterthought.

Yet here he was on March 5, 2017, on a field shorter than the regulation 100 yards, in a rented-out rugby stadium, playing for the Parma Panthers of the Italian Football League. His last NFL game, a 2015 preseason game playing for Oakland facing the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field, had 68,032 fans in attendance.

This game had about 200.
That Durham was here at all was a result of a combination of events so unlikely it felt like it should be a book. In some ways, it was.

John Grisham’s novel “Playing for Pizza” was published in 2007. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, one of Durham’s closest friends, gave him a copy after he arrived in Detroit in 2012. It’s about a former NFL quarterback who was cut and ended up playing in Parma for the Panthers. It was the first time Durham realized football existed outside the United States and Canada.

Durham was released by Oakland during final cuts in 2015. He gave himself until the end of the season to find another job. No calls came. He decided to travel as much as possible as a bridge to his next career — possibly teaching or going into real estate.

A Facebook message brought him back to football.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

In early 2016, Parma owner Ugo Bonvicini scanned a list of potentially available players. He sent messages to a few of them. One responded immediately: Durham, who was traveling in Europe.

Bonvicini thought he was reaching out to a player with little to no NFL experience. Typically, about 10 percent of inquiries from Bonvicini and head coach Andrew Papoccia — a Chicago-area native who played football at Illinois State — are answered. Most say thanks but no thanks.

Before Durham, only six players with non-strike, regular-season NFL experience had played in the Italian league. Of those, only three played more than 10 NFL games. Only Louie Giammona, a running back for the Jets and Eagles from 1976 to 1982, had a career equivalent to Durham.


Jets’ mystery man embraces one of NFL’s least secure jobs

After a crushing playoff loss in January 2005, then-New York Jets coach Herm Edwards decided to change offensive coordinators. He fired Paul Hackett after four seasons and hired Mike Heimerdinger and did it so quickly that Hackett and Heimerdinger actually crossed paths that day in the team facility. As Hackett went in to clean out his office, Heimerdinger arrived to start his new job.

That snapshot pretty much sums up the history of the Jets’ offensive-coordinator job, which should be sponsored by a famous burger chain: In-N-Out.

The Jets will go into the 2018 season with their sixth offensive coordinator in the past eight years, making it one of the least secure jobs in the NFL. There are B-list actors with more security than Jets offensive coordinators, who usually need career rehab after a one-and-done in New York. The last person to go directly from Jets OC to an NFL head-coaching job was Joe Walton in 1983 — an in-house promotion after Walt Michaels was fired.cheap nfl nike jersey

The new man in the revolving door is Jeremy Bates, who landed his first job as a quarterbacks coach under — wait for it — Heimerdinger in 2005. No team does strange symmetry quite like the Jets. It was a one-year gig, of course, as the entire coaching staff got cleaned out after a disastrous 2005 season. Bates returned last season as the quarterbacks coach, then got bumped up when John Morton was fired in January after one year.22

“It’s exciting,” Bates said of his new job as the offensive boss. “It’s a fun responsibility.”

It’s also an enormous responsibility, because he will have the greatest impact on rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, the hope of the entire franchise. No relationship at One Jets Drive is more important than the one between Darnold and Bates, who will double as the quarterbacks coach. In other words, they will be together for 12 to 14 hours a day, talking ball.

If Bates can mold Darnold into a franchise quarterback, the OC Curse will be history — fittingly, via a player from OC (Orange County, California). It will be a fascinating dynamic because, once upon a time, Bates was a Darnold in the coaching profession: young, talented and so full of potential. He had a chance to be Sean McVay before anybody knew about McVay.

Bates was a coordinator by age 34, but he was fired after only one year (2010) with the Seattle Seahawks. He did one season as the Chicago Bears’ quarterbacks coach (2012), then took a four-year break from the NFL. At the time, he was regarded by those in the industry as a smart coach who needed to improve his people skills. He spent part of his hiatus in the mountains, hiking the Rockies while seeking clarity in his life. By all accounts, he gained maturity and perspective during his time away.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

“There are a lot of things I’ve learned,” Bates said. “I did take a little sabbatical. Anytime you get fired, you can look at it one or two ways: You can either not think about it and try to become a better person and a better coach, or you can just move on. I obviously took a lot of time by myself and thought about some things, and I look forward to seeing how they turn out.”