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Poll reveals racial divide over whether college athletes should be paid

Should college athletes be paid beyond their full scholarship? The results of an August poll by the Washington Post and the University of Massachusetts Lowell show a racial divide in the answer to that question.

>> Read more trending news

When coaches are being paid millions, and sports facilities cost tens of millions, some say athletes should also be compensated.

Although 52 percent of Americans believe a scholarship is enough, 54 percent of black Americans said they believe athletes should be paid based on the revenue they generate. 

"The schools are making an awful lot of money, and the coaches are making millions and millions of dollars, and they're (the players) the ones bringing in the money, really," one black respondent said.

But whites see things differently. 

"The whole reason they go to college is to get an education, and a scholarship should be enough," a white nurse said. "They shouldn't be paid to play football."

The majority of whites who took the poll agreed with her.

Take an in-depth look at what some economists and labor lawyers call a critical problem with college sports on myajc.com

Woman claims Delta paid her $4,000 to give up seat on overbooked flight

How much money is a single football game worth to you?

For a plane full of University of Georgia fans heading to South Bend, Indiana, to watch their team play Notre Dame last weekend, that number is pretty high.

>> Read more trending news

WSB-TV sports director Zach Klein was on a full Delta Air Lines flight Friday morning leaving from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

The plane was overbooked and when the crew realized it was overbooked, they started offering money for someone to give up their seat.

“Offers started at $2,200. Then it was $2,800. Later it got to $3,000,” Klein said.

Tracy Jarvis Smith eventually took the offer when the crew bumped the amount to $4,000.

“$4,000 was my magic number,” Smith later tweeted.

According to Klein, Smith was bumped for a 7 p.m. flight that day.

“Not one fan wanted to get in late,” Klein said.

Klein posted a photo with the Georgia fan who took Smith’s seat.

Smith also tweeted later that day. She said she got in about eight hours later than she had planned, making it worth the money.

The Georgia Bulldogs went on to beat the Fighting Irish 20-19.

>> Related: Delta will now pay passengers up to $9,950 to give up seats

 

'Racism is as American as baseball' banner unfurled over Fenway Park's Green Monster

During Wednesday’s baseball game at Fenway Park, a few fans unfurled a banner over the Green Monster that ruffled a lot of feathers.

>> See the sign here

"Racism is as American as baseball," the sign said.

A Red Sox spokesman said security removed the four fans who held the sign, according to The Associated Press. One fan reportedly said the group drew inspiration from Black Lives Matter.

>> Read more trending news

The Red Sox issued the following statement:

“During the 4th inning of tonight’s game, four fans unfurled a banner over the left field wall in violation of the club’s policy prohibiting signs of any kind to be hung or affixed to the ballpark. The individuals involved were escorted out of Fenway Park.”

Read more here.

Report: Pitch clocks, more changes ahead for baseball

Good news on the baseball pace-of-play front: Longtime baseball scribe Ken Rosenthal reports at The Athletic that players and Major League Baseball officials are working together to bring about changes soon. 

>> Read more trending news

This comes after some contentious exchanges earlier in the year in which MLB commissioner Rob Manfred threatened to impose changes regardless of the players’ acceptance. 

With the great American Pastime getting even slower this year, it’s nice to see the players could be coming to their senses and being open to things that can make the game more appealing to a wider audience without compromising what makes it great. 

They played the game for about 130 years without pitchers walking around the mound and the batter stepping out after every pitch. They can learn to do so again. 

Indians set AL mark with 21st straight win; now chase disputed MLB record

The Cleveland Indians became the first American League team to win 21 consecutive games Wednesday, as a 5-3 victory against the Detroit Tigers completed a series sweep. The Indians’ victory snapped a tie with the Oakland Athletics, who won 20 consecutive games in 2002.

>> Read more trending news

Whether the Indians, now tied with the 1935 Chicago Cubs of the National League with 21 straight wins, go for the major-league record Thursday when they host the Kansas City Royals depends on whether you believe in asterisks.

A Giant asterisk.

The New York Giants were unbeaten in 26 games during the 1916 season, but there was a tie game sandwiched in the middle of the steak. The Giants won 12 straight games, played a 1-1 tie and then won 14 in a row.

The official record keeper of Major League Baseball still recognizes the Giants’ streak

"A tie was never an acceptable result of a baseball game," Steve Hirdt, executive vice president at the Elias Sports Bureau, told ABC News. "If one happened because of darkness or rain or some certain circumstance, the game was played over.

“The Giants' 26-game winning streak has existed since the beginning of time," Hirdt told ABC News. “I do not know why certain people are looking at the 21 now and holding that up as the record or alternately trying to parse language so that they can somehow exclude the 26.

"It's the longest winning streak, it's the record for most consecutive wins, etc., because a tie game breaks neither a winning streak or losing streak for a team because it always gets replayed unless the season ends first."

Some media outlets refused to split hairs. Fox Sports tweeted “The @Indians tie the MLB record for most consecutive games with a win.”

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports tweeted his agreement with Fox Sports, posting that “Unbeaten ≠ winning streak.”

The official Twitter account of Major League Baseball was vague enough to satisfy both sides: 

Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer off Buck Farmer (4-3), and Mike Clevinger (10-5) won his fourth straight start for Cleveland.

Los Angeles to host 2028 Summer Olympics; Paris wins 2024 Games

The city of Los Angeles will host the Summer Olympics in 2028 instead of the 2024 Games, as previously considered, The Associated Press confirmed Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the International Olympic Committee was expected to make an announcement confirming the news last month.

It will be the city’s third time hosting the event. Los Angeles previously hosted the Games in 1932 and again in 1984. 

>> Read more trending news 

The last time the Games took place on American soil was in 2002, when the Winter Games took place in Salt Lake City. Before that, the most recent Games hosted in the U.S. were in Atlanta during the summer of 1996.

According to the AP, this year marks the first time in history the IOC, which also announced the Paris 2024 Summer Games, has granted two Summer Olympics at once.

The decision came after deliberations in which Pyeongchang and Los Angeles were the final two cities considered for the 2024 Summer Games, and the IOC “couldn’t bear to see either lose,” the AP reported.

The following cities have won bids for upcoming Olympic Games: 

  • Pyeongchang -- Winter Games 2018
  • Tokyo -- Summer Games 2020
  • Beijing -- Winter Games 2022
  • Paris -- Summer Games 2024
  • Los Angeles -- Summer Games 2028

Read more at The Associated Press. 

Danica Patrick loses NASCAR job

Danica Patrick, the only female driver at NASCAR's top level, is likely at the end of her driving career after a sponsorship shake-up left her without a ride at Stewart-Haas Racing.

>> Read more trending news 

Patrick posted a statement on her Facebook page Tuesday saying her time with Stewart-Haas "had come to an end" due to a new sponsorship arrangement for the team next season. The statement came shortly after Smithfield Foods said it will leave Richard Petty Motorsports to become a primary sponsor at Stewart-Haas next year.

The news is a blow to RPM, which is also losing driver Aric Almirola. But it also forced changes at Stewart-Haas, which has struggled with sponsorship for three of its four cars, including the No. 10 Ford driven by Patrick.

"It has been my honor to drive for Tony Stewart, Gene Haas and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing for the past six seasons," Patrick wrote. "Sponsorship plays a vital role in our sport, and I have been very fortunate over the course of my career, but this year threw us for a curve."

Patrick, whose participation in NASCAR has always been polarizing given the attention she receives despite her lack of success, closed the post by writing: "I have the utmost faith in myself and those around me, and feel confident about my future."

Patrick has launched a clothing line, has a book coming out next year and has made a huge transition into promoting a healthy and fit lifestyle. It has her positioned for a second career at the age of 35 if she chooses. She's also in a long-term relationship with fellow driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who will make his debut in the playoffs this weekend.

Sponsorship dollars have been hard to come by for a number of drivers and teams. Smithfield's decision leaves Petty's team in need of a sponsor, and Almirola is looking for a ride.

But the bigger changes are clearly underway at SHR, which didn't reveal where Smithfield will be in the organization in 2018.

"Details of the agreement, including the driver who will be added to SHR's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series lineup in 2018, will be provided at a later date," SHR said in a statement.

That means Smithfield could end up on the car Patrick has driven. Clint Bowyer and Kurt Busch both need sponsorship on their cars, too. Busch, the Daytona 500 winner, does not have a deal with SHR for next season.

Both Harvick and Busch will represent SHR in the 10-race playoffs that begin Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway.

Now that Patrick has confirmed she's out at SHR, the team could choose to downsize to three cars, or pursue Almirola, Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne or any other available driver. The team could be in the market to replace just Patrick, or both Patrick and Busch.

Patrick has driven for Stewart-Haas Racing her entire Cup career. She has seven top-10 finishes in 180 career starts and is currently 28th in the standings, the lowest in her Cup career.

Still, she won the pole for the 2013 Daytona 500, won an IndyCar race in 2008, is the highest finishing female driver in Indianapolis 500 history with a third-place run in 2009 and is the only woman to lead laps in both the Indy 500 and the Daytona 500. Patrick is the only woman to win a Cup pole and those top-10 finishes are the most of any female Cup driver.

"She will go down as the best female NASCAR driver of all time. Will likely take decades to see anyone even challenge her legacy," Brad Keselowski posted on Twitter. He later added in a second post: "Have come to accept that mankind never knows or appreciates what it has until its gone. NASCAR fans will miss her badly in time."

Patrick's contract with SHR ran through 2018, but the team has been searching for sponsorship since Nature's Bakery abruptly ended its three-year deal after one season.

RPM is now in a similar bind because it lost Smithfield, which has been associated with Petty the last six years. RPM this year downsized to one Cup car because of sponsorship reasons, and talks on a contract extension with Almirola stalled when Smithfield began looking at other options.

Petty ripped the company and suggested he was blindsided.

"Over the past few months, Smithfield had continually told me they wanted to be with us, and I recently shook hands on a deal to extend our relationship," Petty said. "I come from a time when we did major deals with sponsors like STP on a handshake. I'm sad to see this is where we are now. This decision is very unexpected, and we are extremely disappointed in this late and abrupt change of direction."

Smithfield CEO Kenneth M. Sullivan called Petty's claim of a handshake deal "unequivocally and patently false," and accused the team of not delivering on "tens of millions of dollars of unwavering financial support."

"Smithfield's numerous discussions with RPM over the past several months focused exclusively around one issue: RPM's inability to deliver on the track and the organization's repeated failure to present a plan to address its lack of competitiveness," Sullivan said in a statement. "It is very unfortunate and disheartening that RPM has chosen to disseminate false statements regarding our communications to NASCAR fans who we have supported wholeheartedly with more than a $100 million investment in the sport over the last several years."

Almirola was 20th in the standings when he broke his back in May. It caused him to miss seven races, and the team is currently 25th in the standings. He did make NASCAR's playoffs, in 2014, after he won at Daytona in July.

Petty, the Hall of Fame driver and seven-time NASCAR champion, is no longer the primary owner of his race team. Andrew Murstein of Medallion Financial Corp. is the majority owner of the team.

Petty said he and Murstein were committed to "moving forward" with the No. 43 team.

"Losing a sponsor of this magnitude in September is a significant set-back to Richard Petty Motorsports," Petty said. "We've been around since 1949, and we'll be around a lot longer."

ESPN apologizes after Jemele Hill calls Trump a 'white supremacist'

ESPN anchor Jemele Hill may find herself in hot water with the network after she called President Donald Trump a "white supremacist" on Twitter.

"Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists," she wrote Monday. "The height of white privilege is being able to ignore his white supremacy, because it's of no threat to you. Well, it's a threat to me."

>> Read more trending news

She added: "Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime. His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period."

Her tweets quickly went viral. Read her full remarks below:

The network released an apology, which was shared by ESPN PR on Twitter:

“The comments on Twitter from Jemele Hill regarding the President do not represent the position of ESPN,” the statement read. “We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate.”

>> Read the statement here

Read more here. 

Hurricane Irma: Tim Tebow works with Florida Gov. Rick Scott in preparing for storm

Tim Tebow is doing charitable things once again.

>> Click here for complete Hurricane Irma coverage from the Palm Beach Post

Per "The Paul Finebaum Show," the former Florida Gators quarterback is working alongside Gov. Rick Scott in helping the Sunshine State prepare for Hurricane Irma, which is supposed to arrive this weekend.

>> Hurricane Irma: Live updates

Irma already has caused the cancellation of several college football games, including the Gators hosting Northern Colorado on Saturday. Miami decided not to travel to Arkansas State, and South Florida vs. Connecticut also was postponed.

>> PHOTOS: Hurricane Irma approaches Florida

Scott has been asking Florida citizens to volunteer to assist those who are in need as the disastrous storm heads their way.

>> Read more trending news

People willing to volunteer can go to VolunteerFlorida.org to sign up.

Michael Bennett speaks out about Las Vegas police ‘excessive use of force’

UPDATE Sept. 6 7:12 PM:  NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement on Michael Bennett’s letter about Las Vegas police.

According to the statement, the Las Vegas police will respond to the letter later Wednesday evening.

“Our foremost concern is the welfare of Michael and his family...,” the statement said. “We will support Micahel and all NFL players in promoting mutual respect between law enforcement and the communities they loyally serve and fair and equal treatment under the law.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

In an open letter posted on Twitter, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett says Las Vegas police ordered him to the ground at gunpoint, put a gun near his head and threatened to shoot him after hearing gunshots were fired nearby.

Bennett detailed the incident that was captured in a brief video posted by TMZ Sports on Aug. 26 when he was in Las Vegas to watch the Mayweather-McGregor fight.

Bennett said after the match, while he was heading back to the hotel that night, people heard gunshots fired and he, like others, tried to flee. 

>> Read more trending news

According to Bennett's statement, police ordered him to the ground at gunpoint, jammed a knee into his back and handcuffed him so tightly that his fingers went numb.

The video, which is reportedly shot outside of Drai’s Nightclub on the Las Vegas Strip, shows Bennett asking why he was being detained. 

“I wasn’t doing nothing, man,” Bennett is heard saying in the video. “They told us to get out and everybody ran.”

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, parts of Drai’s Nightclub were evacuated early Sunday for shooting reports that turned out to be false. The police department found that large statues were knocked down onto the tile floor during a fight, which caused panic and prompted reports of a shooting. 

In his letter, Bennett called it an excessive use of force, simply because he was a “black man in the wrong place at the wrong time.” He said one officer placed a gun near his head and warned him if he moved he would “blow his (expletive) head off.”

Bennett said officers refused to answer him when he asked, “What did I do?” He said he feared for his life.

According to TMZ Sports, citing unnamed sources it says are connected to the investigation, police ordered everyone to get down and not move. When Bennett ran, an officer stopped him at gunpoint and ordered him to get on the ground.

Eventually, after sitting in the back of a police car “for what felt like an eternity,” he was released after they realized he “was not a thug, common criminal or ordinary black man, but Michael Bennett, a famous professional football player.”

Bennett, who has been sitting in protest during the national anthem in recent games, gave his reasoning for the protest in the letter.

“(E)quality doesn’t live in this country, and no matter how much money you make, what job title you have or have much you give, when you are seen as a ‘(racial slur)’ you will be treated that way.”

Bennett spoke more about the letter at a news conference Wednesday, calling the police confrontation a “traumatic experience.”

“Do I think every police officer is bad? No,” Bennett said. “Do I believe some people judge people on the color of their skin? I do believe that.”

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said at the same news conference he and the team “stand in support of him and anyone facing inequalities.”

“May this incident inspire all of us to respond with compassion when inequalities are brought to light. And allow us to stand up for change, because we can do better than this,” Carroll said.

ESPN reported that Bennett said he was considering filing a civil rights lawsuit. His letter said he has hired Oakland civil rights attorney John Burris.

The full letter can be read on Bennett’s Twitter page.

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