The PGA tour is back and the first round was even more silent than it usually is. A member of Colonial, who raised funds for COVID-19, Ryan Palmer began the match and he took the shot on the PGA Tour after three months of lockdown. His presence was marked with an announcement but the sound was muffled due to the mask. The event came to halt at 8:46 am when a moment of silence was observed for the murder of George Floyd and the racial injustice that prevails in America was recognized. “I think just being out here is successful, to be honest with you, getting started,” Palmer said. “I don’t see anything holding us back moving forward. I think today was the biggest day, just getting this first day off. People are going to watch golf back home and be interested to watch it tomorrow, and that’s a great thing.”Source: PGA Justin Rose and Harold Varner shared the lead at 7-under 63 with Justin Thomas among those with a stroke back. Tom Lehman, a 61-year-old former champion at Colonial scored a 65. The game was back on track but there were no cheers by the crowd. “It kind of feels like a competitive practice round,” said Rose, who won at Colonial two years ago. “But obviously, I think we all know what’s on the line. We all know what we’re playing for. We all know the competition this week especially, the field is incredible. Obviously, we miss the fans. They definitely provide a ton of energy and atmosphere.” As the conditions of the lockdown are coming to ease, Golf has also resumed in the US. The safety measures observed by them include coronavirus tests for all the players, caddies, and personnel present on the field. “We’re all taking risks playing golf, obviously,” Palmer said. “Being back out here, everybody leaves the club, they’re going out to dinner and doing things, so everybody is taking that risk to be here. Everybody is pretty confident that we’re going to all be safe. I think everything has been done the right way.” Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, and Brooks Koepka are considered the top three golf players in the world and they all played in the same group. Fourteen people were present outside the ropes behind the 10th green and six were involved in the broadcast. All of them tested negative for coronavirus after the game was over.
NFL players are not holding back as they are using their platforms to criticize the actions of the President and the police system. Overnight, they compiled a video delivering a powerful message and challenged the organization to come up with better policies against racism. The players also demanded the NFL to apologize for all their racist behaviours against black sportspeople. The video contains messages from Saquon Barkley, Patrick Mahomes, Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr, and Ezekiel Elliot among others. Source: Twitter The clip focuses on all the players asking the same question to the organization: “What if I was George Flood?”. Then, they named most of the black people like Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and Travyon Martin who have been killed due to the color of their skin. The players want the NFL to issue a public apology and condemn the systematic oppression of black people that the organization has promoted. The video also slams Drew Brees who issued a comment earlier, expressing his refusal to kneel down during the national anthem as a protest against the injustice. In 2018, the NFL punished the players for taking a knee on the field and has a policy that forbids any form of protest against police brutality. The organization did issue a statement on anti-racism on 30th May, but Jacksonville Jaguars safety Peyton Thompson called it "trash” because of their hypocrisy.
George Floyd’s murder has brought everyone on the same platform and during NFL games, players started to take the knee in protest against the police system. However, New Orleans Saints quarterback said that he will “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag”. This did not sit well with his teammates and other players including LeBron James who began to criticize his statement. Source: CNN On Wednesday, Brees was asked about taking the knee during his upcoming game and he said that the National Anthem is about showing respect to the military and also people who sacrifice their lives for your country. “And is everything right with our country right now? No, it's not,” Brees said in the interview. “We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together, we can all do better, and that we are all part of the solution.” Just a few hours after the interview, LeBron James took to Twitter to express his anger over the comment. “You literally still don't understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee??” James said in a tweet, referencing Colin Kaepernick. “Has absolutely nothing to do with the disrespect of (the flag of the United States) and our soldiers.” Source: Twitter James said that his own father was in the military and he did not find anything wrong with Kaepernick who famously knelt during the national anthem to protest against racial injustice “because he and I both know what's right is right and what's wrong is wrong!” A wide receiver of the Saints, Micheal Thomas, retweeted a comment from a journalist saying, “How can anyone watch George Floyd get murdered and their first response when asked about it is ResPEcC tHe fLAg.” Thomas added a puking emoji next to it. Malcolm Jenkins, safety for the Saints reacted by posting a four-minute emotional video where he expressed his disappointment in Brees. “When I step off the field and I take my helmet off, I'm a black man walking around in America and I'm telling you I'm dealing with these things, I'm telling you my communities are dealing with these things, and your response to me is don't talk about that here ... where is the place, Drew?” “When the world tells you that you're not worthy, that your life doesn't matter, the last place you want to hear it from are the guys that you go to war with and the guys you consider to be your allies and your friends," Jenkins said. "Even though we're teammates, I can't let this slide.” Right now, 70% of all NFL players are black. However, when they knelt during the anthem in 2018 to protest against police brutality, a policy was made to punish the players. Later, the punishment was revoked but the players are still not allowed to protest against any injustices on the field.
Another breakthrough comes for Microsoft as the tech company has signed a deal with the National Basketball Association to become the official AI, Cloud and laptop provider for the league. This means that the NBA will use Microsoft’s Azure platform to broadcast live and on-demand basketball games for personalized content. Source: The Verge Even though the purpose hasn't been revealed yet, Microsoft’s Surface products will also be utilized by the NBA. In 2013, the company made a similar deal with the National Football League (NFL) to supply Surface tablets but with the NBA, the clauses only mention “Official Cloud and Laptop Partner”. Microsoft also extended its NFL deal recently so that all 32 teams will use Microsoft Teams for communications. As a part of this new deal, Microsoft will also assist the NBA with its historical video archive and data sources to introduce new ways of using machine learning and data analytics. “This will create a more personalized fan experience that tailors the content to the preferences of the fan, rewards participation, and provides more insights and analysis than ever,” explains Microsoft. Right now, the NBA is on hold due to coronavirus and so the deal has been made for the 2020-2021 session which upon resume will make Microsoft “an associate partner of future marquee events, including NBA All-Star, MGM Resorts NBA Summer League and WNBA All-Star.”
The world is a scary place right now and with more than 7000 fatalities caused by the virus, one more has been added to the list. On Sunday, a 21-year-old youth football coach passed away after being diagnosed with coronavirus and leukaemia.Source: Talk SportAccording to The Independent, Francisco Garcia experienced symptoms of COVID-19 and tested positive for the virus. However, in addition to the deadly virus, his test also revealed that his condition was declining because of cancer. He was struggling to breathe and was asked to seek medical assistance regarding the symptoms.Atletico Portada Alta released a statement in Spanish after his death saying, "From Atletico Portada Alta we want to express our most profound condolences to the family and friends of our coach Francisco Garcia who has unfortunately left us today. What will we do without you now, Francis? You were always there with us at Portada or wherever we needed you, helping. How are we going to continue to conquer kilometres in the league? We don't know how but for sure, we will do so for you. We will never forget you."Source: MetroGracia was coaching the junior team for Atletico Portada Alta in Malaga and was quite popular in the league due to his exceptional leadership skills. La Liga 2 team Malaga CF tweeted a tribute for him in Spanish. The English translation states, "From the club we want to transmit to @AtlPortadaAlta our deepest condolences for the loss of one of its coaches, Francisco García, as well as sending a warm hug to his family and friends. Together we must stop #COVID-19."Sports seasons around the world have been called off due to the spread of coronavirus. Spain has issued an emergency in the region, and along with Major League Soccer, Major League Basketball and NHL, La Liga management has also postponed the season. Source: Daily ExpressFrom the latest report issued on Monday, 7988 known cases of Covid-19 with 294 fatalities have been reported from Spain. The lockdown is said to last for more than 15 days as extra time is needed to win the battle against coronavirus.
If there is one soccer team that is suffering due to the impact of coronavirus, it is the Italian football club, Juventus. Serie A defending champions are now facing problems because Cristiano Ronaldo has gone back to Portugal to visit his mother who had a stroke. Source: Bleacher ReportAs explained by a training report on Wednesday, the club said, "Ronaldo has not trained and remains in Madeira pending developments related to the current health emergency."Meanwhile, the Italian center back for Juventus, Daniele Rugani, has tested positive for coronavirus and therefore, the Serie A tournament has been called off by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC). Source: AS EnglishIt was a major setback for the team as they would not be able to compete anyway. Also, other members are being tested for the presence of the pandemic. However, Rugani has said that he feels "fine" and the assurance came right after Serie A was cancelled. "You've read the news, so I want to reassure everyone who's worried about me, I'm fine. I urge everyone to respect the rules, because this virus makes no distinction! Let's do it for ourselves, for our loved ones and for those around us", he tweeted. Rugani's presence has been quite crucial for the tournament as he starred in seven matches but was benched for the Sunday game against Inter Milan. Juventus won 2-0, but there were no spectators to celebrate as the Juventus Allianz Stadium was not open to the general public. Source: The SaxonBut that didn't stop Ronaldo from greeting some imaginary fans as he passed the stands reserved for the crowd. After they won the match, he also thanked the appreciation of the imaginary audience that came out to support Juventus. Watch the full video here:It is reported that all the media, technical staff, stadium staff and high ranking club officials were allowed inside the stadium but after having their temperatures and conditions thoroughly checked. There was no intense atmosphere and appeared almost boring for all those watching on the television. You could clearly hear the football rolling on the field, the coaches yelling orders and there was no sense of excitement whatsoever in the players. The Federation is facing issues as to how they should decide the fate of Serie A because of the current situation. Should they cancel the tournament for this year, should they include staging playoffs, or should they just decide the winner on the current position of the point table? Source: India Today Even though they still have not cancelled the event, the final decision related to Serie A might not arrive until April 3, which is the deadline for the lockdown in Italy. Italy is in a major crisis as the country is the second most affected in the world after China. According to the latest reports by Angelo Borrelli, head of Italy's Civil Protection Agency, almost 250 people had lost their lives in one day increasing the total number to 1200.