Brees backlash … Olympian wants apology … Premier League allowing 5 subs

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Drew Brees is being sharply criticized by fellow high-profile athletes after the Saints quarterback reiterated his opposition to kneeling during the national anthem. Brees made his comments during a Yahoo interview in which he was asked to revisit former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s 2016 protest of police brutality against minorities. Brees says he supports people protesting police brutality but the national anthem is not proper forum. LeBron James was among those reacting on Twitter, saying he couldn’t believe Brees was still confused about what Kaepernick was trying to do. The Lakers’ star says kneeling was not about showing disrespect to the flag or the military but instead about police brutality.

UNDATED (AP) — Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry wants an apology from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee for shaming her last summer. She captured headlines when she used her turn on the gold-medal podium at the Pan-Am Games to raise her fist as a show of her frustration with America’s treatment of blacks. The USOPC put Berry on a 12-month probation for her gesture. It’s a gesture that has taken on new meaning in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death and the protests that have followed. Berry found it galling the USOPC recently issued a statement saying the organization “stands with those who demand equality.” 

UNDATED (AP) — Premier League clubs have agreed to allow five substitutions in soccer matches. They will adopt the temporary law change when the league resumes on June 17 amid the coronavirus pandemic. There can still only be three pauses to bring on substitutes. Premier League clubs have also agreed to temporarily increase the number of substitute players from seven to nine.

UNDATED (AP) — All referees in Italy’s top soccer league have tested negative for the coronavirus. The Serie A referees and some from the second division were tested at the Italian federation’s training headquarters on the outskirts of Florence. They will remain there until June 10 to have further tests and continue training and preparing for the resumption of Serie A on June 20.

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UNDATED (AP) — Rafael Nadal says if he had to decide right now he wouldn’t play in the U.S. Open, but he wants to wait and see what happens with the coronavirus pandemic. The 19-time Grand Slam champion thinks it’s important that there be two requirements for tennis to return: assuring everyone’s health and making sure players from all countries can travel. All sanctioned tennis has been on hold since March. Nadal recently resumed practicing lightly. He is a 12-time champion at the French Open. That tournament should have been in Week 2 now but was postponed until September. The U.S. Open is scheduled to start in late August.

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