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Toronto Raptors’ ambassador Drake calls for WNBA expansion

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We know Drake, the Canadian-born hip-hop star, is a huge basketball fan. He’s often seen at NBA and WNBA events and references both leagues in various lyrics. He even has an official job with his hometown team, the Toronto Raptors.

Now the superstar musician is trying to get the WNBA in Canada.

“I need a Toronto team,” Drake, born Aubrey Graham, posted on an Instagram story Wednesday morning to his 95.5 million followers. He tagged the official WNBA account, too.

The evidence that Drake supports The W has existed for some time. Over the summer, the four-time Grammy winner was seen rocking the WNBA’s iconic orange hoodie. In his verse on Travis Scott’s 2018 track “Sicko Mode,” Drake referenced Liz Cambage. He posted a picture on Instagram with the Las Vegas Aces star forward on Wednesday night.

Even though the NBA has been in Canada since 1995, there are no WNBA teams outside of the United States. The last time the 12-team league expanded was in 2009, when it added the Atlanta Dream.

Expansion, however, is not a new subject for the league and, according to WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert, new teams could be added soon.

“I suspect by next summer or this time next year, in our 26th season, we’ll be talking about the number of teams and a list of where [new franchises might land],” Engelbert told ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel and Tisha Thompson in October.

Former WNBA player Alana Beard has joined the effort to bring an expansion team to Oakland, the 14-year veteran announced in October.

Beard, who won the 2016 WNBA championship with the Los Angeles Sparks, announced that she will partner with the African American Sports & Entertainment Group in pursuit of a new franchise.

Drake’s pitch isn’t the first one about a team in Canada.

Minnesota Lynx guard Bridget Carleton — who is from Chatham-Kent in Ontario and has played on the Canadian national team — tweeted that she “officially started manifesting” bringing a professional women’s basketball league to her home country.

In 2019, The Undefeated’s Sean Hurd wrote how Drake’s successful work with the Raptors makes him an ideal candidate to bring an expansion team to Canada.

Meanwhile, WNBA teams have consistently sold for about $10 million to $15 million, according to public records, published reports and sports bankers. Drake’s net worth? An estimated $150 million or more. Insert eye emoji here.




Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency/news feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor.

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Did NFL know unvaccinated Aaron Rodgers was breaking COVID-19 protocols?

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The NFL on Wednesday announced it would review the Packers’ enforcement of league COVID-19 protocols for unvaccinated players following Aaron Rodgers’ positive test for the disease.

The league, in a statement obtained by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, said the onus of enforcing league-mandated protocols fell on teams. It also added that failure to properly enforce said protocols had resulted in discipline against other clubs in the past.

MORE: Aaron Rodgers’ ‘immunized’ comments bite Packers QB after COVID-19 positive diagnosis

“The primary responsibility for enforcement of the COVID protocols within club facilities rests with each club,” the NFL said. “Failure to properly enforce the protocols has resulted in discipline being assessed against individual clubs in the past. The league is aware of the current situation in Green Bay and will be reviewing the matter with the Packers.”

Rodgers in late August said he was “immunized” when asked whether he was vaccinated. His phrasing at the time seemed to suggest he was vaccinated against COVID-19, but his positive test and ensuing 10-day isolation period, revealed on Wednesday, indicates that was not the case. He will be out of action until at least Nov. 13, the day before the Packers host the visiting Seahawks.

It’s also worth noting the league appeared to know of Rodgers’ unvaccinated status, considering he applied for — and was denied — an exemption from league COVID-19 protocols for unvaccinated players.

According to a report from NFL.com, he reportedly received homeopathic treatment from his personal doctor to raise his antibody levels, basing his exemption request on that. The NFLPA , league and an infectious disease consultant all agreed the treatment did not provide documentable protection from the disease, and still considered him unvaccinated.

MORE: Aaron Rodgers tests positive for COVID-19: What’s next after Packers QB ruled out vs. Chiefs

USA Today provided a list of mandates regarding unvaccinated players, at least one of of which Rodgers appears to have violated by traveling with the Packers on the team charter. From USA Today:

  • Unvaccinated players are not permitted to travel on the team charter, even with a religious or medical exemption, and must travel separately. They also must pass a COVID-19 test to rejoin the traveling party and must test daily thereafter during road trips. They cannot eat in the cafeteria. All players, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask during air travel and on buses.

A report from Madison.com indicates Rodgers followed NFL COVID protocols for unvaccinated players while in the team facility, including wearing a mask around coaches and teammates. But he also has been seen speaking with media in person without a mask.

MORE: Packers QB depth chart: Jordan Love to make first NFL start after Aaron Rodgers tests positive for COVID

The Titans, Raiders, Saints and Patriots all faced fines for failure to enforce protocols in 2020, respectively. Las Vegas also nearly lost a sixth-round pick as a result of NFL discipline, but kept it on appeal.

The league must now determine to what extent Rodgers violated protocols as a result of his unvaccinated status, whether the Packers were aware of the situation and how much to fine both parties as a result.




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Colts vs. Jets prediction, odds and picks – November 4, 2021

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The Indianapolis Colts will host the New York Jets in the Week 9 opener of the 2021 NFL season on Thursday Night Football.

The Colts are coming off a deflating loss at the hands of the Titans, while the Jets pulled off one of the biggest upset wins of the 2021 NFL season, beating the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8.

The Colts’ loss heavily dented their playoff odds and nothing less than a win on Thursday night would suffice if they are to keep their hopes of snagging a wild-card spot alive. The Jets aren’t under much pressure but could do with another big win in head coach Robert Saleh’s rookie season as head coach.

Colts vs. Jets match details

When: Thursday, November 4th, 8:20 pm ET

Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana

Colts vs. Jets betting odds

Spreads

Colts: -10.5 (-115)

Jets: +10.5 (-115)

Moneyline

Colts: -535

Jets: +385

Totals

Colts: U46.0 (-110)

Jets: O46.0 (-110)

Colts vs. Jets picks

With T.Y. Hilton out, the Colts will again rely on young wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. to be their X-factor in the passing game. Carson Wentz should have a good outing against a Jets team that’s allowing 275 passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks. Expect Wentz to throw for over 300 yards and Pittman to catch for at least 100.

Colts vs. Jets key injuries

Indianapolis Colts

  • WR T.Y. Hilton (Quad): Out
  • CB BoPete Keyes (Hamstring): Questionable
  • S Khari Willis (Calf): Out
  • G Quenten Nelson (Toe): Questionable

New York Jets

  • RB Tevin Coleman (Hamstring): Out
  • WR Corey Davis (Hip): Doubtful
  • QB Zach Wilson (Knee): Out

Colts vs. Jets head-to-head

The Colts and Jets have faced every 75 times in the NFL. Indianapolis holds a 43-32 lead in all-time head-to-head games between the two teams.

However, the Jets have won four of their last six games against the Colts.

Colts vs. Jets Prediction

The spirits are high in New York, but their defense is still one of the worst in the NFL and that won’t change in the space of three days since their last win. The Colts suffered a bad loss in Week 8 but are a much better team than the Jets.

Prediction: The Colts’ defense come through in the clutch to help their team secure a close win.


Edited by Jay Lokegaonkar

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