Jets and Falcons to face-off in NFL return to England

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(LONDON) — After a two-year pandemic break, football is returning to London this weekend as the NFL ventures over for the first of two regular season matchups. The New York Jets will face the Atlanta Falcons at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.

Atlanta coach Arthur Smith commented on trip options this week, saying in past these games have been treated “like a Bowl Week,” and teams would stay the entire week. Smith, however, decided to keep his Falcons stateside all week for practice before traveling to the U.K.

Both teams are currently 1-3. The game kicks off at 9:30am ET.

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Visually impaired runner completes marathon with the help of guides, friends

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(ST. PAUL, Minn.) — Laura Sosalla, of St. Paul, Minnesota, was declared legally blind earlier this year due to long-term effects after a battle with COVID-19 last November.

Sosalla was determined and said she wanted to prove to herself that she wouldn’t let the impairment change how she lived her life.

She decided to run a marathon. This spring, Sosalla sent a message to Rachel Bentley, founder of United in Stride, an organization that matches visually impaired runners with guides.

Sosalla and Bentley teamed up, along with Bentley’s sister, Natalie Elmore, and Sosalla’s neighbor, Laura Brennan.

After months of training side-by-side, the four women ran the last mile of the Twin Cities Marathon together on Oct. 3.

Elmore said many noticed her guide bib and the group was showered in positivity from onlookers.

“I felt like it was really just my job to communicate to her all the excitement of the day,” Elmore said, “describing that to her and giving her encouragement in that way.”
The group crossed the finish line at 5 hours, 38 minutes. Brennan said she was proud to be in such good company, adding: “It was an honor to cross the finish line with her and be able to witness the look of joy on her face as she realized her accomplishment.”

Bentley said she’s already looking ahead.

“It was a blast running with these women, and I can’t wait to do another race soon,” she added.

Sosalla told “World News Tonight” on Friday about the support received while overcoming her hardship.

“What COVID has taught me is even though it took my eyes, it gave me an opportunity to connect with people and share life in a completely different way,” she said. “I’m so incredibly grateful for that.”

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Scoreboard roundup — 10//7/21

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(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Thursday’s sports events:
 
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

AMERICAN LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
Houston 6, Chi White Sox 1
Tampa Bay 5, Boston 0

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PRESEASON
Philadelphia 125, Toronto 113
Memphis 128, Charlotte 98
Miami 113, Houston 106

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PRESEASON
Tampa Bay 6, Florida 2
Ottawa 5, Montreal 4 (SO)
Detroit 4, Pittsburgh 2
Dallas 3, Colorado 1
Minnesota 3, Chicago 2 (OT)
Edmonton 3, Vancouver 2
Arizona 3, Vegas 1

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
L.A. Rams 26, Seattle 17

TOP-25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Coastal Carolina 52, Arkansas St. 20

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Women’s soccer players hold mid-match protest after abuse allegations: ‘We will not be silent’

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(NEW YORK) — The athletes of the National Women’s Soccer League are refusing to return to “business as usual” after sexual misconduct allegations involving a longtime coach upended their community.

In a show of solidarity that even caught announcers off guard, players paused in the sixth minute of their games on Wednesday night to show solidarity for the former players who waited six years for their allegations of sexual harassment and coercion to be publicly heard.

During all three games — featuring Gotham FC versus Washington Spirit, North Carolina Courage versus Racing Louisville and Houston Dash versus Portland Thorns — players from opposing teams linked arms in the center circle during a moment of silence. The games had been delayed due to the scandal.

In a statement released late Wednesday by the National Women’s Soccer League Players Association, the athletes said they sought to “reclaim our place on the field, because we will not let our joy be taken from us.”

“But this is not business as usual,” added the statement, which included a list of eight fresh demands for their league to do more in the wake of the scandal.

“The reckoning has already begun. We will not be silent,” the players added. “We will be relentless in our pursuit of a league that deserves the players in it.”

Finally, the statement said the the players will refuse to take questions from the media that are not related to the abuse and “systemic change.”

Late last week, sports outlet The Athletic published a bombshell report in which two former NWSL players, Sinead Farrelly and Mana Shim, accused North Carolina coach Paul Riley of sexual coercion and misconduct. Riley told The Athletic that the allegations were “completely untrue.”

Riley was fired shortly after the report was published. League commissioner Lisa Baird resigned a few days later amid accusations, including emails from Farrelly to Baird published on Twitter by U.S. star Alex Morgan, that she did not act forcefully enough on players’ complaints about Riley. The NWSL, FIFA and U.S. Soccer all announced they would launch investigations into the claims.

“On behalf of the entire league, we are heartbroken for what far too many players have had to endure in order to simply play the game they love, and we are so incredibly sorry,” the NWSL’s newly formed executive committee, created in the wake of Baird’s resignation, said in a statement.

“We understand that we must undertake a significant systemic and cultural transformation to address the issues required to become the type of league that NWSL players and their fans deserve and regain the trust of both,” the statement added. “We’re committed to doing just that and recognize that this won’t happen overnight, but only through vigilance over time.”

The scandal is the latest to hit U.S. women’s soccer and reveal the unequal treatment women athletes still face.

In a separate saga, some of the top U.S. women soccer players on the national team have alleged unequal pay for years, despite seeing much more success on the international arena than their American male counterparts.

ESPN contributed to this report.

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Eighteen former NBA players charged with defrauding the NBA’s health and welfare benefit plan

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(NEW YORK) — Eighteen former NBA players, including Sebastian Telfair, Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Darius Miles, have been charged with defrauding the NBA’s health and welfare benefit plan out of approximately $4 million, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

The players were charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud as part of what prosecutors called a “widespread scheme to defraud” the NBA health care benefit plan.

They allegedly submitted false or fraudulent claims totaling nearly $4 million, from which the ex-players took in about $2.5 million.

The records submitted by the ex-players “described medical and dental services that were not in fact provided,” the indictment said.

The fraudulent invoices were created by a chiropractic office in Encino, California, two dentist offices in Beverly Hills and a wellness office in Washington state. The indictment named none of the offices allegedly involved and they were not charged.

Other ex-players charged include Terrence Williams, Alan Anderson, Anthony Allen, Shannon Brown, William Bynum, Christopher Douglas-Roberts, Melvin Ely, Jamario Moon, Milton Palacio, Ruben Patterson, Eddie Robinson, Gregory Smith, Charles Watson Jr., Antoine Wright and Anthony Wroten.

“Williams recruited other plan participants to defraud the plan by offering to supply them with false invoices to support their false and fraudulent claims to the plan in exchange for the payment kickbacks to Williams,” the indictment said.

The indictment also alleges that Williams impersonated an individual who processed the plan’s claims. Williams, the indictment said, received $230,000 in kickbacks from the other defendants for his role.

The defrauded NBA plan is intended to give additional coverage to eligible NBA players’ existing medical coverage, according to the indictment, by reimbursing “certain medical expenses incurred by eligible active and former NBA players, their spouses, and other dependents that are no covered by a player’s primary insurance carrier.”

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Scoreboard roundup — 10/6/21

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(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Wednesday’s sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
LA Dodgers 3, St. Louis 1

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PRESEASON
Phoenix 117, LA Lakers 105
Detroit 115, San Antonio 105
Cleveland 99, Atlanta 96
New Orleans 104, Orlando 86
Dallas 111, Utah 101
Golden State 118, Denver 116
Sacramento 113 LA Clippers 98

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PRESEASON
Columbus 4, Detroit 2
NY Rangers 6, New Jersey 2
Washington 4, Boston 3 (OT)
Minnesota 4, St. Louis 3 (OT)
Winnipeg 3, Calgary 2
Los Angeles 6, Anaheim 3

WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Chicago 79, Connecticut 69
Las Vegas 93, Phoenix 76

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DOJ reviewing decision to not charge agents involved in investigating Larry Nassar

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(WASHINGTON) — Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said at a Senate hearing Tuesday that the Department of Justice is conducting a review into its decision to not bring charges against agents who failed to investigate allegations of sex abuse by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

Less than three weeks ago, gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman testified before the Senate over alleged FBI failures in handling the case against Nassar.

Monaco’s announcement followed widespread condemnation from lawmakers during a blockbuster hearing last month with the gymnasts, who detailed horrific experiences of sexual assault, and a damning inspector general report that highlighted the abuses and how agents initially on the case appear to have mishandled the athletes’ allegations.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were deeply critical of the Justice Department last month for declining their invitation to attend the hearing alongside FBI Director Christopher Wray and IG Michael Horowitz.

“I can inform the committee today that the recently confirmed assistant attorney general for the criminal division [Kenneth Polite] is currently reviewing this matter, including new information that has come to light,” Monaco said. “In light of that review, I think you’ll understand, Mr. Chairman, that I’m constrained in what more I can say about it, but I do want the committee, and frankly I want the survivors, to understand how exceptionally seriously we take this issue and believe that this deserves a thorough and full review.”

Monaco further assured Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., there was a “sense of urgency and gravity” with the recently launched review.

Earlier in her testimony, Monaco said she was “shocked” and “horrified” both about the findings included in the DOJ IG’s report as well as the experiences detailed by Biles, Maroney, Nichols and Raisman.

“I am deeply sorry that in this case the victims did not receive the response or the protection that they deserved,” Monaco said.

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Scoreboard roundup — 10/5/21

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(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Tuesday’s sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

AMERICAN LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
Boston 6, NY Yankees 2

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PRESEASON
New York 125, Indiana 104
Chicago 131, Cleveland 95
Houston 125, Washington 119
Memphis 87, Milwaukee 77

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PRESEASON
Florida 3, Tampa Bay 2
NY Islanders 3, Philadelphia 0
Final Toronto 6 Montreal 2
Nashville 3, Carolina 2 (OT)
Pittsburgh 5, Buffalo 4 (SO)
Dallas 3, St. Louis 1
Vegas 7, Colorado 4
Seattle 4, Vancouver 0
Arizona 4, Los Angeles 1

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Scoreboard roundup — 10/4/21

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(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Monday’s sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PRESEASON
Toronto 123, Philadelphia 107
Boston 98, Orlando 97
Miami 125, Atlanta 99
Charlotte 113, Oklahoma City 97
Minnesota 117, New Orleans 114
San Antonio 111, Utah 85
Sacramento 117, Phoenix 106
Final Golden State 121, Portland 107
LA Clippers 103, Denver 102

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PRESEASON
Columbus 5, Buffalo 3
New Jersey 4, Washington 1
Toronto 3, Ottawa 1
Philadelphia 2, Boston 1 (OT)
Chicago 6, Detroit 4
Minnesota 3, Colorado 1
Edmonton 4, Calgary 3
Anaheim 3, San Jose 2 (OT)

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
LA Chargers 28, Las Vegas 14

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Scoreboard roundup — 10/03/21

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(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Sunday’s sports events:

INTERLEAGUE

Final  Boston   7  Washington   5

 

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Final  Cleveland      6  Texas               0

Final  Houston        7  Oakland             6

Final  N.Y. Yankees   1  Tampa Bay           0

Final  Minnesota      7  Kansas City         3

Final  Detroit        5  Chicago White Sox   2

Final  Toronto       12  Baltimore           4

Final  L.A. Angels    7  Seattle             3

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Final  Chicago Cubs    3  St. Louis      2

Final  Atlanta         5  N.Y. Mets      0

Final  Miami           5  Philadelphia   4

Final  San Francisco  11  San Diego      4

Final  Cincinnati      6  Pittsburgh     3

Final  L.A. Dodgers   10  Milwaukee      3

Final  Arizona         5  Colorado       4

 

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Final  Buffalo       40  Houston         0

Final  Chicago       24  Detroit        14

Final  Cleveland     14  Minnesota       7

Final  Dallas        36  Carolina       28

Final  Indianapolis  27  Miami          17

Final  Kansas City   42  Philadelphia   30

Final OT  N-Y Giants    27  New Orleans    21

Final OT  N-Y Jets      27  Tennessee      24

Final  Washington    34  Atlanta        30

Final  Arizona       37  L.A. Rams      20

Final  Seattle       28  San Francisco  21

Final  Baltimore     23  Denver          7

Final  Green Bay     27  Pittsburgh     17

Final  Tampa Bay     19  New England    17

 

WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS

Final  Chicago  86  Connecticut  83

Final  Phoenix  87  Las Vegas    60

 

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

Final tie  Nashville              0  New York City FC   0

Final  Philadelphia           3  Columbus           0

Final  Toronto FC             3  Chicago            1

Final  Sporting Kansas City   4  Houston            2

Final  Portland               1  Miami              0

Final tie  Los Angeles FC         1  LA Galaxy          1

Final  Seattle                3  Colorado           0
 

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PRESEASON

Final  Brooklyn  123  L.A. Lakers  97

 

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PRESEASON

Final  Pittsburgh   5  Detroit    1

Final  Dallas       6  Arizona    3

Final  Vancouver    3  Winnipeg   2

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