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Bud Grant: NFL should toughen up, reduce fair catches and kneeldowns

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Bud Grant, 95, is virtually older than the NFL itself. So when the previous Minnesota Vikings coach and Corridor of Famer speaks, it’s price a pay attention.

And Grant did in actual fact converse — particularly concerning the guidelines as they relate to quarterback kneeldowns and the kicking sport. Mainly, he thinks it’s all gotten too delicate. So he want to see the league discover a strategy to cut back kneeldowns and touchbacks, and sure, even honest catches.

“I’d complain to folks about the concept that when the trailing workforce was out of timeouts, the quarterback begins kneeling down and the followers are leaving,” Grant informed the Minneapolis Star Tribune, including that the reply was all the time, ‘There’s nothing that may be finished about it.’ I saved occupied with it and determined, ‘Sure, there may be. The workforce on offense has to make a yard — 1 yard — or the clock stops. A number of issues can occur when attempting to make a yard. You will get stuffed. You’ll be able to fumble. You will get a penalty. And you retain the followers .”

Corridor of Fame head coach Bud Grant acknowledges the group earlier than talking because the Minnesota Vikings honor their 1969 workforce throughout halftime of the sport in opposition to the Oakland Raiders at U.S. Financial institution Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
(Picture by Hannah Foslien/Getty Pictures)

Previous to teaching the Vikings, Grant was the principle man on the sideline with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Soccer League, profitable 4 Gray Cups. Within the CFL, there’s no such factor as a good catch.

“I attended sufficient conferences to know the NFL needs to keep away from admitting Canadian soccer has a greater concept about something. But, they need to comply with Canada and take away the honest catch,” Grant stated. “There’s no honest catch in Canada, however the protection additionally has to offer the returner 5 yards. NFL folks hear this and so they’ll say, ‘It is going to enhance accidents.’ The 5-yard cushion makes all of the distinction. My opinion is there received’t be an actual enhance in accidents, and the punt would grow to be an attention-grabbing play.”

And don’t even get him began on gamers kneeling ultimately zone on kickoffs.

Head Coach Bud Grant of the Minnesota Vikings stands with his team prior to the start of an NFL football game circa 1977. Grant was the head coach of the Vikings from 1967-83 and 1985.

Head Coach Bud Grant of the Minnesota Vikings stands together with his workforce previous to the beginning of an NFL soccer sport circa 1977. Grant was the pinnacle coach of the Vikings from 1967-83 and 1985.
(Picture by Concentrate on Sport/Getty Pictures)

“Why trouble, in case your objective is to make the kickoff the most-nothing play in soccer? They are saying it’s about security. Accidents occur on each play,” Grant stated. “They’ve made a number of modifications on the way in which you possibly can block on the kickoff. They will maintain these. However you wait three minutes via a timeout, they arrive again, kick off, stroll the ball out to 25.”

“It’s ridiculous,” he added. “Transfer the kickoff again 5 yards [to the 30], and in the event you don’t convey it out, you don’t get rewarded with the 25. You get the ball on the 15.”

Head Coach Bud Grant of the Minnesota Vikings walks off the field after an NFL football game circa 1970 at Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Grant was the head coach of the Vikings from 1967-83 and 1985.

Head Coach Bud Grant of the Minnesota Vikings walks off the sphere after an NFL soccer sport circa 1970 at Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Grant was the pinnacle coach of the Vikings from 1967-83 and 1985.
(Picture by Concentrate on Sport/Getty Pictures)

Grant’s concepts are literally fairly respectable. However he’s in all probability proper concerning the NFL not be prepared to pay attention and make issues extra fulfilling for the followers. In spite of everything, the NFL thinks it all the time is aware of finest. Neglect the actual fact Grant has been round about so long as it has.

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Brittney Griner’s Trial in Russia Is Starting, and Likely to End in a Conviction

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Greater than 4 months after she was first detained, the W.N.B.A. star Brittney Griner is predicted to look in a Russian courtroom on Friday for the beginning of a trial on drug costs that authorized specialists stated was all however sure to finish in a conviction regardless of the clamor in the US for her launch.

“There’s a bias primarily as a result of the Russian judicial system says they actually shouldn’t go to trial except the defendant goes to be convicted,” stated William Pomeranz, the appearing director of the Kennan Institute and an professional on Russian legislation. “There’s no actual concept or expectation that the defendant could possibly be harmless. There’s no presumption of innocence, actually.”

Russian customs officers stated they discovered vape cartridges containing traces of cannabis oil in Griner’s baggage when she handed via a safety checkpoint in an airport close to Moscow on Feb. 17. The drug costs that Griner faces carry a sentence of as much as 10 years at a penal colony.

Aleksandr Boikov, Griner’s lawyer, stated on Monday that he anticipated the trial to start on Friday and last as long as two months.

“We have no idea at this level what proof they’ve,” Pomeranz stated. “We don’t know what number of volumes of proof they wish to learn into the report, however often, in any such case, it’s formidable and important.”

Griner’s detainment arrives at a fragile geopolitical second throughout Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and amid Russia’s strained diplomatic relationships with the US and a few European international locations. From the beginning of Griner’s detainment, her supporters feared that she could possibly be utilized by Russia in the course of the international battle.

In Could, the U.S. State Division affirmed these considerations by declaring Griner had been “wrongfully detained.” That shifted accountability for the case to the federal government bureau that leads and coordinates the US’ diplomatic and strategic efforts on abroad hostage circumstances.

“Brittney has been labeled as wrongfully detained since April 29, which signifies that the U.S. authorities has decided she is getting used as a political pawn and in consequence, is partaking in negotiations for her launch, whatever the authorized course of,” Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, stated in an electronic mail on Wednesday. “As such, our expectation — Brittney’s household included — stays that President Biden get a deal completed to carry her dwelling.”

Griner’s household and supporters are more and more imploring President Biden and the U.S. authorities to safe Griner’s launch.

Kagawa Colas not too long ago coordinated a letter to Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris signed by teams together with the Nationwide Group for Ladies, the Human Rights Marketing campaign, the Nationwide City League and the Nationwide Motion Community. The letter referred to as for the federal government to strike a deal for Griner’s launch.

In April, Russia, after agreeing to a prisoner trade, freed Trevor Reed, a former U.S. Marine who was sentenced to 9 years in jail after being accused of endangering Russian law enforcement officials throughout an altercation.

Reed’s deteriorating well being in Russia more than likely performed a consider Moscow’s willingness to launch him, stated Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon, a Ph.D. pupil within the historical past division on the College of Pennsylvania, whose areas of examine embody African American experiences within the Soviet Union, Ukraine and Russia.

“The issue is Brittney, politically, is value a lot extra by way of the buying and selling of prisoners than Trevor Reed due to her profile. So the ask goes to be a lot greater, and I believe the ask that they’ve been telegraphing within the Russian information is for Viktor Bout,” stated St. Julian-Varnon, who has consulted with the W.N.B.A. gamers’ union about Griner’s detainment.

Bout, a world arms seller, was convicted by an American court docket and sentenced to 25 years in jail. Russia additionally has curiosity in liberating Roman Seleznev, a hacker who was convicted in the US for working a large bank card and id theft operation and sentenced to 27 years in jail. In addition to Griner, Russia has additionally detained Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine sentenced to 16 years on espionage costs.

“That is the traditional dilemma of hostage conditions,” stated Thomas Firestone, a former Justice Division official who labored in Moscow as a lawyer. “When you negotiate for the discharge, you could be encouraging future hostage taking. When you don’t, the individual might by no means be launched.”

Jake Sullivan, Biden’s nationwide safety adviser, informed reporters on Tuesday that he and Secretary of State Antony Blinken had spoken to Griner’s spouse, Cherelle Griner, in latest days.

“America authorities is actively engaged in making an attempt to resolve this case and get Brittney dwelling,” Sullivan stated. He added: “It has the fullest consideration of the president and each senior member of his nationwide safety and diplomatic staff. And we’re actively working to discover a decision to this case and can proceed to take action with out relaxation till we get Brittney safely dwelling.”

On Tuesday, Russia introduced it had barred Biden, the primary woman, Jill Biden, and others from getting into the nation in response to far-ranging sanctions. The listing included 4 senators: the Republicans Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Susan Collins of Maine and Ben Sasse of Nebraska and the Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

“Free Brittney Griner,” Sasse stated in a press release. “It’s no large deal when Putin throws a tantrum and bans Individuals from Russia — however we’ve obtained an issue when he takes an American prisoner.”

Griner is likely one of the world’s most embellished basketball gamers — a seven-time W.N.B.A. All-Star, two-time Olympic gold medalist and the primary brazenly homosexual athlete signed to an endorsement contract by Nike. She traveled to Russia after a two-week break to play for UMMC Ekaterinburg, a powerhouse skilled ladies’s basketball staff.

Updates on Griner since have been scarce and largely parceled out by Russian state media. Griner has communicated with W.N.B.A. colleagues via letters and emails, in line with The Related Press. However Cherelle Griner informed The A.P. {that a} latest long-planned telephone name between the 2 didn’t happen due to a logistical error on the U.S. embassy in Moscow.

“I discover it unacceptable, and I’ve zero belief in our authorities proper now,” Cherelle Griner informed The A.P. in late June. “If I can’t belief you to catch a Saturday name exterior of enterprise hours, how can I belief you to truly be negotiating on my spouse’s behalf to return dwelling?”

In a radio interview Wednesday with the Rev. Al Sharpton, who is also the founding father of the Nationwide Motion Community, Cherelle Griner stated she hadn’t spoken together with her spouse since February however had acquired letters.

“She’s telling me she’s OK,” Cherelle Griner stated of her spouse’s letters. “She’s like, ‘I’m OK, babe. I’m hardened. I’m not me proper now. Once I come dwelling, it’s going to take me a minute to get again to myself, however I’m holding on. I received’t break till I come dwelling. I received’t allow them to break me. I do know they’re making an attempt to, however I’m going to do my finest to only maintain on till I can get dwelling.’”

Paris Hatcher turned extra dismayed after studying of Brittney Griner’s detention being prolonged on Monday and seeing an image of Griner circulated by Russian state media.

“She seems scared,” stated Hatcher, whose group, Black Feminist Future, created a #BringBrittneyHome on-line marketing campaign: “The large piece round that is there’s any person who’s been detained. That is round dignity. That is about somebody’s humanity. She deserves to be linked to her household.”

The rights of these accused in Russia distinction sharply with somebody charged with a criminal offense in the US, St. Julian-Varnon stated.

“You don’t have a proper to a trial by jury,” St. Julian-Varnon stated. “You don’t have a proper on your lawyer to name no matter witnesses they need. Your complete case in opposition to you and the case supporting you comes from proof collected by the state.”

Nonetheless, St. Julian-Varnon stated she remained cautiously optimistic that Griner would possibly finally be launched both via a prisoner trade or by being convicted on a lesser cost and agreeing to pay a large fantastic.

“There’s plenty of shifting items,” St. Julian-Varnon stated. “I wish to stay optimistic, as a result of it’s nonetheless her life. It’s Brittney’s life. It’s Cherelle’s life.”

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Brittney Griner detention: Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr using Russia connections to help WNBA star return to US

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WNBA star Brittney Griner has a fellow celebrity athlete in her nook as she fights to return residence to the US.

Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. is providing up his connections in Russia to assist the American athlete after she was arrested at an airport close to Moscow in February on expenses of possession and transportation of hashish – and he or she’s been detained there ever since.

Roy Jones Jr. trains an aspiring fighter at his fitness center in Pensacola, Florida.
(Lorraine Taylor/Fox Information Digital)

Jones, thought of by many to be one of many biggest boxers of all time with an illustrious profession spanning almost 30 years, grew to become conscious of Griner’s predicament and determined he would possibly be capable to assist.

“First, she’s an athlete. I’ve ties with Russia due to my athleticism and my athletic profession,” Jones instructed Fox Information Digital. “It’s nothing political. It’s all about sports activities.”

BRITTNEY GRINER’S AGENT IMPLORES WHITE HOUSE TO ‘GET A DEAL DONE’ AFTER WNBA STAR’S TRIAL DATE SET IN RUSSIA

Jones defined that again within the top of his boxing profession, there have been solely two or three TV channels in Russia – and a type of channels was boxing. He stated boxing grew to become a extremely popular sport within the nation in consequence, and he was requested to coach boxers to “assist them up their recreation.”

Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. works with aspiring fighters at his gym in Pensacola, Florida. Jones hopes to help WNBA star Brittney Griner who is detained in Russia.

Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. works with aspiring fighters at his fitness center in Pensacola, Florida. Jones hopes to assist WNBA star Brittney Griner who’s detained in Russia.
(Lorraine Taylor/Fox Information Digital)

Jones, 53, is a twin U.S. and Russian citizen. He was working a fitness center in Moscow the place he educated younger boxers earlier than Russia’s battle with Ukraine pressured him to shutter his operation. He hopes to sometime return to proceed his work with the aspiring fighters.

“If my athlete affiliations may help rectify the scenario – why wouldn’t I strive?” he stated of Griner’s scenario. 

BRITTNEY GRINER APPEARS IN RUSSIAN COURTROOM, CRIMINAL TRIAL DATE SET

FILE - Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner pauses on the court during the second half of a WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm, Sept. 3, 2019, in Phoenix.

FILE – Phoenix Mercury heart Brittney Griner pauses on the courtroom through the second half of a WNBA basketball recreation towards the Seattle Storm, Sept. 3, 2019, in Phoenix.
(AP Picture/Ross D. Franklin, File)

“So, I thought of it for a short time and one evening I used to be sleeping and it hit me – what if it was my daughter caught out of the country?” Jones continued. “They don’t communicate no English and he or she don’t communicate the language that they communicate. It’s dangerous sufficient being incarcerated however what if you happen to incarcerated in a international land the place they don’t communicate your language? You know the way dangerous that’s? So, that thought alone terrified me.”

Jones stated he reached out to his lawyer to get involved with the White Home. He additionally linked with a good friend who is aware of folks well-connected in Russian politics.

Jones stated his contact was in a position to attain authorities in Russia who expressed willingness to conduct a prisoner swap with the U.S. Jones stated the method was gradual shifting and has since stalled. He’s hoping to proceed to assist facilitate future communication or negotiations as a lot as he’s ready.

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a hearing, in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 27, 2022.

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a listening to, in Khimki simply exterior Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 27, 2022.
(AP Picture/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Russian information media has repeatedly prompt that Griner might be swapped for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, in any other case often known as “The Service provider of Dying.” Bout is serving a 25-year sentence on conviction of conspiracy to kill U.S. residents and offering support to a terrorist group.

However U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken wouldn’t disclose U.S. plans to convey Griner residence when requested if a swap was being thought of.

BRITTNEY GRINER DETENTION: WNBA STAR’S WIFE WANTS BIDEN ADMIN TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON RHETORIC

Jones continues to be hopeful that Griner will be capable to return residence safely. 

Roy Jones Jr. is hoping he can use his connections in Russia to help free WNBA star Brittney Griner. Jones is pictured here training at his gym in Pensacola, Florida.

Roy Jones Jr. is hoping he can use his connections in Russia to assist free WNBA star Brittney Griner. Jones is pictured right here coaching at his fitness center in Pensacola, Florida.
(Lorraine Taylor/Fox Information Digital)

“I’m not a politician,” he stated. “I don’t do all that. But when I can get her residence, they usually say they’re prepared to do a prisoner swap and anyone right here is prepared to try this – then let’s make it occur.”

He continued, “I might really feel dangerous sitting there comfy at evening figuring out she’s in that nation in jail and I’ve citizenship in that nation and I’m not attempting to do nothing to assist. That may be dangerous on my half.”

Jones stated he has been unable to succeed in Griner or her household, however he’s open and prepared to speak ought to they attain out.

“That is what I do. God blessed me with boxing, so I’m attempting to cross my blessing all the way down to different folks as a result of that’s what God gave me,” Jones stated.

MIKE TYSON, ROY JONES JR. FIGHT TO A DRAW IN BOXING SPECTACLE

Roy Jones Jr. trains aspiring boxers at his gym in Pensacola, Florida.

Roy Jones Jr. trains aspiring boxers at his fitness center in Pensacola, Florida.
(Lorraine Taylor/Fox Information Digital)

The Mercury heart’s arrest occurred lower than per week earlier than Russia invaded Ukraine. Griner, an Olympic gold medalist, had been taking part in abroad through the league’s offseason to earn cash. She’s been taking part in basketball in Russia for the previous seven years.

The U.S. State Division categorized Griner as wrongfully detained in Could. She appeared in courtroom Monday for a preliminary listening to. The courtroom ordered her detention to be prolonged for six months. She faces as much as 10 years in jail if she’s convicted. Her trial is ready to start on Friday.

When requested if he had a message to share with Griner, Jones merely stated: “Maintain God first in every part you do and issues will work out.”

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Hawks to acquire Dejounte Murray in trade with Spurs ahead of NBA free agency opening: Reports

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The Atlanta Hawks reportedly acquired Dejounte Murray in a commerce with the San Antonio Spurs that ought to bolster the Hawks for the foreseeable future.

In keeping with a number of experiences Wednesday, the Spurs traded Murray to the Hawks for Danilo Gallinari and three first-round picks. 

The deal figures to offer the Hawks one of many high backcourts within the Jap Convention with Trae Younger.

Dejounte Murray of the San Antonio Spurs throughout the first quarter of the 2022 NBA play-in match at Smoothie King Heart April 13, 2022, in New Orleans.
(Sean Gardner/Getty Photos)

Younger reacted to the reported deal in a tweet.

“This (poop emoji) simply obtained actual. Let’s get busy my brotha,” he wrote.

JAMES HARDEN, BRADLEY BEAL DECLINE PLAYER OPTIONS AHEAD OF NBA FREE AGENCY: REPORTS

The potential beginning 5 for the Hawks to begin subsequent season could possibly be Younger, Murray, De’Andre Hunter, John Collins and Clint Capela. 

Atlanta gained its video games within the play-in match to earn the ultimate seed in final 12 months’s playoffs however was eradicated by the Miami Warmth.

Atlanta Hawks forward Danilo Gallinari (8) is fouled by Golden State Warriors forward Kent Bazemore (26) in the second half of a game April 4, 2021, in Atlanta.

Atlanta Hawks ahead Danilo Gallinari (8) is fouled by Golden State Warriors ahead Kent Bazemore (26) within the second half of a recreation April 4, 2021, in Atlanta.
(AP Photograph/John Bazemore)

Murray was an All-Star for the primary time final season. He averaged 21.1 factors, 9.2 assists and eight.3 rebounds in 68 video games for the Spurs and led the NBA with two steals per recreation.

Gallinari can be on the sixth workforce of his profession. The previous lottery choose averaged 11.7 factors and 4.7 rebounds per recreation final season. He shot 38% from three-point vary.

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young reacts to a foul call during the first half of the team's NBA play-in game against the Cleveland Cavaliers April 15, 2022, in Cleveland.

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Younger reacts to a foul name throughout the first half of the workforce’s NBA play-in recreation in opposition to the Cleveland Cavaliers April 15, 2022, in Cleveland.
(AP Photograph/Nick Cammett)

San Antonio additionally will get picks to assist them rebuild for the long run. The Spurs have missed the playoffs three straight seasons.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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