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NASCAR Bans Confederate Flag At All Events

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In a statement made Tuesday, NASCAR announced it is banning the display of the Confederate flag at all of the sport’s events, according to ABC News.

What We Know:

  • “The presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry,” NASCAR’s statement read.
  • The decision comes just one day after Bubba Wallace, the only black driver in the Cup Series (NASCAR’s highest level), called on the league to remove the flags. Wallace raced Wednesday in a “Black Lives Matter” themed car, stating, “running this race car, being on live television — I think it’s going to speak volumes for what I stand for, but also what the initiative that NASCAR, the whole sport, is trying to push.”
  • The Confederate flag, used by the Confederacy after seceding from the Union in 1861 in an effort to uphold slavery, has a history of being flown at NASCAR events. Though the sport has reached national popularity, it has always been rooted in the south.
  • The White House had no comment on NASCAR’s decision to ban the flag. President Trump attended the Daytona 500 in February and said Wednesday he would “not even consider” renaming military bases named after Confederate leaders.

NASCAR’s move comes as calls for systematic change have lead to nation wide protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

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Dodgers Defeat Braves, Complete 3-1 Comeback

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The job isn’t done. The Los Angeles Dodgers are now just four wins away from a World Series Championship after completing a historic 3-1 comeback against the Atlanta Braves.

What We Know:

  • The Dodgers eked out a close 4-3 win Sunday night to advance to the World Series. LA did not have a lead for most of the night. For the majority of the game, the Braves were up or the score was tied. It wasn’t until the bottom of the seventh that Cody Bellinger was able to give the Dodgers their first lead and deliver the final home run.

  • Bellinger hit that on Chris Martin, who had only allowed one home run over the last 24 innings of regular season and playoff play. The Braves took a 2-0 lead early in the game and then held a 3-2 lead at the bottom of the sixth. Enrique Hernandez was able to tie it for the Dodgers, setting the stage for Bellinger.
  • The Dodgers will now have a chance to win their first World Series since 1988. This will be LA’s third trip to the World Series in the last four years. After adding Mookie Betts this year, LA looked like heavy favorites to win it all. They’ll now have their chance to prove themselves against the Tampa Bay Rays.

2020 has been the year of 3-1 comebacks. The Dodger’s win marks the third successful 3-1 comeback in sports this year. The Denver Nuggets of the NBA completed the first two against the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers, becoming the first team in sports to complete multiple 3-1 comebacks in the same postseason.

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Kansas City Chiefs Sign Le’Veon Bell

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The rich continue to get richer as the reigning Super Bowl champions add an All-Pro level running back.

What We Know:

  • Le’Veon Bell has signed a one-year deal to join the Kansas City Chiefs. Bell was released by the New York Jets just days ago after a disappointing and contentious start to the 2020 season.
  • Bell and members of the Chiefs organization expressed their excitement on Twitter. Bell will get a chance to square off against the Jets in week 8.

  • Per NFL protocol, Bell will go through five days of COVID-19 testing before joining the team. He will not be ready to play in the Chiefs’ next game on Monday against the Buffalo Bills.
  • According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Bell narrowed his decision to the Chiefs, Bills, and Miami Dolphins. The Chiefs are 4-1 and coming off a dominant Super Bowl season.
  • The Chiefs rank 13th in rushing yards per game and 10th in yards per carry. Since week 1, they’ve only ranked 19th in rushing and none of their running backs have scored a touchdown. Starting running back Damien Williams opted out of the season for coronavirus concerns. Bell should hopefully bolster their running attack.
  • Bell previously signed a $52 million deal with the Jets in 2019. The former three-time Pro Bowl selection did not meet expectations and did not click with head coach Adam Gase. Both sides agreed to explore trade options and Bell was cut after nothing materialized.

Bell immediately goes from a winless team to the top team in the AFC West. Kansas City has put themselves in great position to defend their Super Bowl title.

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Tyronne Lue to Be Next Clippers Head Coach

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The Los Angeles Clippers are finalizing a five-year agreement to have Tyronne Lue become the next head coach.

What We Know:

  • Lue was an assistant coach with the Clippers during the 2019-2020 season and will replace Doc Rivers. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, former All-Star and Finals MVP Chauncey Billups will join as Lue’s lead assistant coach. Billups had emerged as a candidate for several head coaching and front office vacancies over the years.
  • Lue has been a highly sought after head coaching candidate since the summer of 2019. He initially became the favorite for the Los Angeles Lakers job last summer, but a satisfactory deal was never reached. This offseason, Lue has been one of the top candidates for the Clippers, Rockets, 76ers, and Pelicans.
  • Lue has prior head coaching experience with the Cleveland Cavaliers, leading the team for two and a half seasons. Lue won a championship with the Cavs in his first season as head coach and led the team to three straight finals appearances.
  • Lue’s situation with the Clippers is actually quite similar to his previous stint in Cleveland. Lue was an assistant for the Cavs under David Blatt, and he took over as head coach after Blatt’s dismissal and led them to the 2016 NBA Championship. In LA, he’ll be taking over for a team that he is already well accustomed to and he has star talent in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
  • The Clippers were title favorites in the eyes of many this year, but their early playoff exit left a sour taste. They suffered one of the most epic collapses in NBA history, blowing a 3-1 lead to the underdog Denver Nuggets. Additionally, they again failed to reach the Western Conference Finals, a destination that they’ve never reached in their 50-year existence.

The Clippers should still be in the championship mix next season. They have the star talent and a new yet proven head coach, and they should be motivated to make up for this season.

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