Mets’ Alonso: ‘I will not remain silent’ on racial injustice

Sports

Liverpool soccer team manager Jurgen Klopp waves as he arrives at the club’s Melwood training ground after the English Premier League announced players can return to training in small groups as the coronavirus lockdown is eased Wednesday May 20, 2020. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

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The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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New York Mets star Pete Alonso is the latest high-profile athlete to speak out against racial injustice in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

“For the past couple of days, I’ve struggled to wrap my mind around what’s happening,” Alonso posted on Instagram. “I have a voice and I will not remain silent. My heart has been broken over the murder of George Floyd.

“I will never know what it feels like to be discriminated against because the color of my skin. To anyone who faces this type of discrimination, I will fight for you and be an ally. I will always stand with you. There needs to be justice and change made for the better of humanity. Let words be our sword and unity be our armor. Take care of each other,” he wrote.

The 25-year-old Alonso was the NL Rookie of the Year last season. The first baseman led the majors with 53 home runs, a record for rookies.

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The English Football League says the second-tier Championship is set to resume on June 20.

The Premier League announced Thursday that play is due to return on June 17 following the coronavirus suspension that began mid-March.

The EFL followed suit on Sunday evening, announcing that the Championship is set to restart around the same time.

In a statement, the EFL says: “Following Saturday’s announcement by the government to allow elite sporting events to return behind closed doors, the EFL has this weekend agreed to a provisional restart date of the weekend of 20 June 2020 for matches in the Sky Bet Championship.”

The date was “subject to the strict proviso that all safety requirements and government guidance is met; and that clubs receive clearance from their local authorities in order to stage matches at their home grounds.”

The aim is to end the season with the Championship playoff final “on or around 30 July” with details of games still to be confirmed.

Leeds and West Bromwich Albion currently sit in the automatic promotion spots.

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Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp says having the squad back together is a “massive, massive lift” as his team prepares to wrap up a first league title in 30 years.

English football has been on hold since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic but “Project Restart” is well underway and the Premier League is set resume on June 17.

Liverpool has a massive 25-point lead over nearest rivals Manchester City.

Liverpool stepped up preparations by resuming contact training in recent days, with Klopp looking to hit the ground running in the postponed Merseyside derby.

“We don’t have to be match-fit now,” he told Liverpoolfc.com. “We try it with increasing intensity, day by day, but we have to be fit on the 19th or 20th, whichever day they will give us against Everton, I think. That’s the moment when we want to be at 100%.”

Klopp noted the length of the break was unprecedented.

“We never had nine weeks without football training in our lives – since we played football, pretty much,” Klopp said.

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Sri Lanka’s national cricket squad will start training from Monday after more than two months of restrictions.

Sri Lanka Cricket announced Sunday that 13 players for the men’s team — selected across the three formats of the game — will undergo a 12-day residential training camp at Colombo Cricket Club.

Bowlers dominate the squad. They will need more time for conditioning before going into matches, the cricket board said.

The training camp will be conducted under strict health guidelines and the players will not be allowed to venture out of the training venue or their hotel for personal purposes during the camp, the board said.

There are 1,630 COVID-19 cases reported from Sri Lanka so far with 10 deaths. Authorities say these come from identifiable clusters and from among those returning from overseas.

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The coach of Italian soccer club Atalanta says he acquired COVID-19 and was concerned for his life in mid-March.

Gian Piero Gasperini tells the Gazzetta dello Sport that he started feeling sick on March 9, a day before Atalanta played at Valencia in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16.

He says that when he returned to Bergamo, which was quickly becoming the epicenter of the pandemic, “I didn’t have a fever but I felt destroyed and as if I had a 40-degree (Celsius, or 104 Fahrenheit) fever.”

He adds, “Every two minutes an ambulance passed by as there’s a hospital nearby. It seemed like a war. At night, I would think, ‘If go in (the hospital), what will happen to me?’”

Gasperini said he quickly recovered without checking into the hospital and didn’t confirm he had the virus until the entire Atalanta team was tested 10 days ago.

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