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WATCH: Megan Rapinoe: ‘We Have a White Nationalist – I Think

U.S. Women’s National Team star and frequent Trump critic Megan Rapinoe, referred to the president as a “white nationalist,” during a recent interview.

“We have a white nationalist — I think — in the White House,” Rapinoe told VICE’s Anand Giridharadas.

“And, the spewing of hate and the other’ing of the rest of the country has only led to more rife between people and more despair and more anxiety and more fear going forward.”

Furthermore, Rapinoe claimed that Trump has hurt his own supporters.

“It’s not like he’s giving them a bunch of jobs. It’s not like he’s made life really better for them,” Rapinoe said. “He’s just given them this false reason why maybe they’re not happy with their lives. There’s been no sort of path forward.”

Of course, the economy was working quite well for Trump supporters and Trump haters alike, before the coronavirus pandemic forced a lockdown of the country.

Rapinoe was also asked about her political aspirations.

“I’m not totally shutting the door but it seems wild,” Rapinoe explained.

The U.S. Women’s Soccer star has frequently criticized the president. Most notably last year when she told reporters that there was no way she was going to the “f*ck*ng White House” if the USWNT won the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

It’s unknow if the White House ever extended an invitation to Rapinoe and her teammates. In any event, the USWNT partied in New York City with a parade down the Canyon of Heroes.

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‘We Want to Get Sports Back’

President Trump called into an NBC Sports golf broadcast on Sunday, to talk about how important it is to get the country’s sports leagues back on the playing field.

The call took place during the TaylorMade Driving Relief event in Florida, the first televised golf event held in about two months. Trump told NBC announcer Mike Tirico vital sports were to the nation’s “psyche.”

“We want to get sports back. We miss sports,” Trump said. “We need sports in terms of the psyche, the psyche of our country.

“We want to be back to normal where you have the big crowds where they’re practically standing on top of each other, not where they’re worried.”

Trump’s remarks about wanting to see the return of “big crowds,” comes on a day when NASCAR made its return in front of an empty track in Darlington, South Carolina. The UFC, the first organization to return to action since the sports world went silent roughly two months ago, held three events from May 9th through May 16th, all without fans in attendance.

Still, as Carolina Panthers Owner Dave Tepper said this week, there’s some optimism that fan attendance – with social distancing restrictions in place – could return in the next few months.

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‘Pretty Much a Done Deal’ Fox Will Use Fake Crowd Noise, Virtual Fans for NFL Games

The NFL may not have any fans in their stadiums this year, but that’s reportedly not going to stop Fox from making it sound like they are there.

Fox lead play-by-play man Joe Buck told Andy Cohen of Sirius XM radio, it’s “pretty much a done deal” that his network will pipe fake crowd noise into stadiums if fans are not in attendance.

Not only that, Buck also says that virtual fans will be used to make the stadium appear full. Of course, everyone will know that the stadium isn’t full and that the crowd noise is not real, but Fox is determined to create the illusion.

It’s unknown whether the virtual fans will be impartial, or if they will support the home team. All told, it’s a pretty dumb idea.

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Trump Is ‘Absolutely Watching What We’re Doing’

As President Trump plots how to return the country to the playing field and back to work, he will be closely monitoring how the UFC handles its return this weekend, according to UFC President Dana White.

During an interview on TMZ Live, White was asked if the president would have his eyes on how White’s organization handles UFC 249 on Saturday night. The UFC chief’s answer left no room for doubt.

“Absolutely,” White said. “His whole philosophy was let’s get sports back first, figure out how to do that safely. Then let’s start figuring out how do you get people back in the office? How do you get people in cubicles? And, then how do you get kids back in school?

“So, this is something we’ve been working on and yes, he’s absolutely watching what we’re doing this weekend.”

White insists that testing will be a central part of the plan to keep his athlete’s safe.

“Health and safety is something we worry about every single weekend … there’s gonna be a lot of testing going on here.

It’s really expensive,” White concluded.

If UFC 249 should provide more than its fair share of fireworks. The headlining bout features two of the most exciting fighters in the game, in Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. In the co-Main Event, the dynamic Henry Cejudo will face Dominick Cruz who makes his long-awaited return the Octagon.

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‘We Will Be Prepared to Make Adjustments’

The NFL is determined to play its 2020 regular-season schedule, and as proof of that, the league released its schedule Thursday night.

However, that doesn’t mean they’re not planning for contingencies related to the coronavirus.

Along with releasing the schedule, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement saying that the league “will continue to make our decisions based on the latest medical and public health advice, in compliance with government regulations, and with appropriate safety protocols to protect the health of our fans, players, club and league personnel, and our communities.”

“The release of the NFL schedule is something our fans eagerly anticipate every year, as they look forward with hope and optimism to the season ahead,” Goodell wrote. “In preparing to play the season as scheduled, we will continue to make our decisions based on the latest medical and public health advice, in compliance with government regulations, and with appropriate safety protocols to protect the health of our fans, players, club and league personnel, and our communities.

“We will be prepared to make adjustments as necessary, as we have during this off-season in safely and efficiently conducting key activities such as free agency, the virtual off-season program, and the 2020 NFL draft.”

The NFL has openly talked about holding games without fans, at least at the beginning of the season. However, as Pro Football Talk reports, the question of fan attendance will largely be determined by the amount of coronavirus testing available at the start of the season.

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Korean Baseball Returns with Socially Distant First Pitch

Baseball has returned to South Korea, but it certainly did not start in a way that anyone would recognize.

The first day of baseball in the Korean league began with a tradition that most Americans would recognize, the first pitch. Though, that’s where the similarities would end, as the kid selected to make the first pitch walked to home plate in a bubble.

Watch:

Nice of the hitter to take a mock swing at the kid in the bubble just before he got to home plate.

The scene would have seemed odd at any other point in world history, but not so much in our current pandemic predicament. Of course, people will take sports in any form from any country nowadays. ESPN is broadcasting six Korean baseball league games a week after the Scott Van Pelt Show, just to give American fans some much needed sports relief.

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Fans Want Sports Back, But Without Spectators

A recent survey conducted by ESPN shows that fans definitely want their sports back. Though, they’d prefer to watch on television, as opposed to going to the stadium.

The survey, known as the ESPN Coronavirus Lockdown Fan Study, sought input form 1,004 adult sports fans. According to the results, 65% of fans approved of a return to sports even if it meant fans could not attend. A larger majority, 76%, said they would approve of a return to sports without fans coupled with players being kept in hotels and closely monitored.

According to ESPN:

Whenever sports do return, 88% of study participants who consider themselves avid sports fans said they plan to watch as much sports as they can.

The ESPN Coronavirus Lockdown Fan Study was conducted nationwide April 17-20 with subsequent waves scheduled over the next few months to monitor and track any important shifts in fan sentiment

Games without fans has been a common theme across all sports leagues, as reports emerge about plans to return. In addition, several leagues, most notably the NBA, are working out ways of keeping players in “bubbles.” The primary purpose of which would be to regulate player movement and access from the public. Having players in designated areas would also make testing much easier.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn



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