An online video chat with New York Rangers prospect K'Andre Miller was interrupted by a hacker that posted racial slurs.

Miller – who is African-American – was the 22nd overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and completed his sophomore season at Wisconsin.

The 20-year-old from St. Paul, Minnesota signed a three-year, $3.8million contract with the Rangers one day before the 2019-20 season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is unknown if Miller saw the derogatory message on the Zoom chat, but he finished the interview on Friday.

"We were incredibly appalled by this behavior, which has no place online, on the ice, or anywhere, and we are investigating the matter," the Rangers said in a statement.

The NHL also released a statement, which read: "The National Hockey League is appalled that the video call arranged today by the New York Rangers to introduce their fans to one of the league's incoming stars, K'Andre Miller, was hacked with racist, cowardly taunts.

"The person who committed this despicable act is in no way an NHL fan and not welcome in the hockey community.

"No one deserves to be subjected to such ugly treatment and it will not be tolerated in our league. We join the Rangers in condemning this disgusting behaviour."

Brooklyn Nets superstar and top seed Kevin Durant was upset in the opening round of the NBA 2K20 tournament on Friday.

With the NBA postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic, a charity tournament has been put together to raise money in support of COVID-19 relief efforts.

Winner of the single-elimination Xbox One tournament will receive $100,000 to give to charity, but Durant was a high-profile casualty on the opening day.

In the first matchup, two-time NBA champion Durant used the Los Angeles Clippers but lost to 16th seed and Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr.

Jones' Milwaukee Bucks topped Durant's Clippers 78-62 to advance to the quarter-finals.

The tournament, aired on ESPN, will run through to April 11.

Former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson likened star midfielder Bruno Fernandes to club great Paul Scholes.

Fernandes has taken United by storm since arriving from Portuguese side Sporting CP in January, scoring three goals across all competitions prior to the postponement of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A pair of goals and three assists earned Fernandes the Premier League Player of the Month in February before scooping United's Player of the Month award for March.

Robson heaped praise on the 25-year-old Portugal international following his flying start to life in Manchester.

"Since he came in he has looked a special player. He has a fantastic attitude", Robson told talkSPORT. "I have met him a few times, I have seen him at the training ground, he mixes really well with the lads, you can see why he was captain of Sporting [Lisbon] and what a talent he is.

"He is not like a Roy Keane, Paul Ince or a Nicky Butt-type of player, for me, he is more like a Paul Scholes; he is brilliant at getting into little pockets in between the defence and the midfield, he gets into these areas and gets himself space.

"But he has also got terrific vision where he sees a pass but he can also perform a pass like Paul Scholes could, and he can score a goal.

"Hopefully he proves me right and he goes on to be another Paul Scholes for Manchester United."

 

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has not been playing basketball during the NBA hiatus as he does not have access to a hoop at home.

The NBA suspended the season on March 11 amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed more than 58,800 lives globally from over one million confirmed cases.

The United States has the highest number of cases – exceeding 275,800 – as basketballers and fellow professional athletes are forced to stay fit at home.

However, reigning NBA MVP Antetokounmpo has been unable play basketball within his Wisconsin house.

"So, I don't have access to hoop," Antetokounmpo said during a conference call on Friday.

"A lot of NBA players have a court in their house or something, but now I just get home workouts. Ride the bike, treadmill, lift weights and pretty much stay sharp that way, but I don't play basketball."

Antetokounmpo – whose Bucks were leading the NBA prior to the postponement – added: "Obviously, they give us bands, a bike. "They provide us with workouts that we can do at home and also provide us with food. They have a catering company that brings us food for us and our families in the house.

"That's pretty much it. We're supposed to stay home, do our workouts, take care of our bodies at home, and that's pretty much it."

"Spending time with your family is great," Antetokounmpo continued. "We don't get to do that a lot during the season, but at the end of the day, I know everybody in this group misses basketball. Everybody on the team misses playing basketball."

Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers have teamed up to donate $1.3million to Penn Medicine for critical support of healthcare workers fighting coronavirus.

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc globally, with more than one million confirmed cases and over 58,800 deaths.

Sport has also been brought to a standstill amid the coronavirus pandemic – the NBA among the leagues on hiatus around the world.

76ers All-Star Embiid, along with managing partner Josh Harris and co-managing partner David Blitzer made a significant contribution to the funding campaign for COVID-19 antibody testing of frontline healthcare workers, identifying those with potential immunity.

"During this pandemic, many doctors and nurses are working like soldiers on the front lines of a war and they need to be provided with as much armour as possible in this battle," Embiid said.

"COVID-19 antibody testing can help Philadelphia health care workers at this critical time, and we need to do everything possible to help those heroes who are putting their lives at risk to help us."

Harris added: "The only way for us to get through this terrible global crisis is to ensure a safe work environment for health care professionals and ultimately find a treatment for COVID-19. We are very proud to partner with the incredible team at Penn Medicine, who are tirelessly working towards this by identifying immunity in our brave doctors and nurses.

"Joel has been a leader in highlighting the urgent need for this kind of testing—David and I thank him for his leadership in this area and are excited to join forces with him. Our medical workers are on the frontlines of this crisis, have been hit hardest by it and need all the help and support we can give them. We have rough days ahead, but with collective action like this, together we will make it through."

University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann said: "We are enormously grateful to Joel Embiid, Josh Harris, and David Blitzer for stepping up in a time of great need with forward-thinking philanthropy—helping us to understand COVID-19 through the lens of precision medicine.

"We will take this new and powerful knowledge about how our bodies react to the virus and use it to protect our healthcare heroes, sharing these lessons with the City of Philadelphia and across the world."

The city of Calgary has canceled all public events through to June 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic, dealing another blow to the already shrinking chances that the NHL can hold a full playoffs and award the Stanley Cup for the 2019-20 season.

Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi announced the restrictions on Friday, preventing all public gatherings, including home games for the Calgary Flames and the Canadian Football League's Calgary Stampeders.

Even if the NHL were to resume the season before the end of June, the Flames would need to play their scheduled home games at neutral sites away from the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Flames built a 36-27-7 record and were sitting in second place in the Pacific Division when the league suspended play due to the COVID-19 outbreak last month. The franchise has lost 12 of its last 14 playoff games and has not won a playoff series since the 2014-15 season.

The news comes a few days after the NHL extended its self-isolation policy to April 15, keeping team facilities closed to all employees, including players. The league had originally set a date of March 27 for players to self-quarantine before extending it twice.

Four players have tested positive for COVID-19 – two from the Ottawa Senators and two from the Colorado Avalanche.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said last Friday that the NHL is still hopeful it can finish the regular season and play a full playoffs, even if it means playing the Stanley Cup Final in August.

 

 

Blaine Gabbert has returned to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and will compete to be named as Tom Brady's backup quarterback.

The 30-year-old was with the Bucs last year but suffered a dislocated shoulder in the preseason, meaning he did not see competitive action.

Ryan Griffin is the other QB on the roster after the departure of former number one overall pick Jameis Winston, who remains a free agent.

The Bucs confirmed the return of Gabbert on Friday, with his contract reportedly a fully guaranteed one-year deal.

Gabbert has 48 career starts in his NFL career, having previously represented the Jacksonville Jaguars, San Franciso 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans.

He was selected at number 10 in the first round of the 2011 draft by the Jags, and previously worked with Bucs head coach Bruce Arians in Arizona.

The free agency signing of Brady, who left the New England Patriots after 20 years, has the Bucs dreaming of a Super Bowl appearance at their home stadium at the conclusion of the 2020 season.

They have not reached the playoffs since 2007, but have a stellar cast of receiving talent to work with Brady.

Brady was this week allowed to claim his trademark number 12 jersey by previous holder Chris Godwin, while Gabbert will again wear 11.

FIFA's COVID-19 working group has recommended the postponement of all international matches due to be played in the June window.

The working group, which the world game's governing body recently established to address the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, met for the first time via conference call on Friday.

They made a series of recommendations to the Bureau of the FIFA Council including the postponement of all men's and women's international fixtures for June.

All measures received unanimous agreement from the panel, including setting up "bilateral discussions with confederations concerning 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers" with the aim of finalising "a revised match schedule pending health and safety developments".

"FIFA would like to thank the positive contributions and cooperation of all Confederations' representatives and highlight the spirit of unity, solidarity and mutual understanding which culminated in the adoption of these decisions," read the organisation's statement.

"FIFA also reiterates that health must always be the first priority and the main criteria in any decision-making process, especially in these challenging times."

Friendlies scheduled for June include Spain taking on Portugal, Germany travelling to Switzerland and England hosting Romania.

Copa America and Euro 2020, both due to start later that month, have already been postponed for one year.

The French Football Federation (FFF) will delay any decision over the outcome of its leagues until containment measures in the country have been lifted.

With the coronavirus pandemic having put sport on lockdown across the globe, football in France is on an indefinite hiatus.

The FFF ruled out voiding the campaign, insisting that a season without promotion or relegation would defy "sporting logic".

In a statement released on Friday, the FFF identified several criteria that would factor into its decision over how and when to conclude the 2019-20 season.

"A resumption of competitions would not mean playing all the days that remain to be played to go to the end of the championships," it read.

"It is out of the question to impose an unrealistic pace of recovery, depending on the level of the championships, to make them go to completion.

"Partial completion of the season will be considered.

"The end date of the championships will logically depend on the level of competition."

The FFF confirmed that regional competitions must end by June 30, and added that the €86million budget allocated to amateur football will be maintained.

Nick Foles is excited by the prospect of competing to be the Chicago Bears' starting quarterback after the team confirmed they would hold an "open competition" at the position.

Former Super Bowl champion Foles was brought in by the Bears in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for a fourth-round draft selection.

That move piled the pressure on incumbent starter Mitchell Trubisky, whose job is now under threat three years after he was drafted at number two overall by general manager Ryan Pace.

Foles, 31, has already spoken to Trubisky and hopes they can put the team first going into training camp. 

"The opportunity to be a full-time starter and do those things is something any player would love to do in the right situation," Foles told reporters. "It's an opportunity I'm excited for.

"Mitch and I have already talked and we want to start out on the right foot. Ultimately, it's all about what’s best for the Chicago Bears."

Pace and head coach Matt Nagy have praised the way Trubisky has taken to the challenge of Foles arrival.

"With the addition of Nick Foles it's exactly what we talked about from the start - we want to create competition," Pace said. 

"We've talked to both players and it's an open competition. We understand the focus is on the quarterback position.

"It's been a focus for us with the addition of Nick Foles. We've increased competition at a critical position, we talked to both players, and credit to both those guys for embracing it."

Nagy believes the blame for Trubisky being unable to hit the heights of other QBs in the early stages of his NFL career should be shared.

"What we're trying to do is what's best for the Chicago Bears, plain and simple," he said. "You could feel how much of a competitor Mitch is. He's embracing it and he's excited to get back to work.

"Part of the conversation we discussed, too, was understanding the big picture. I know Mitch gets a lot of this, but we could have been a lot better coaching, schematically. I could have been a better head coach.

"And then as we all know, we can all be better as players around him as well. That's the focus there.

"Mitch has had an unbelievable personality throughout it. All he wants to do is be the best quarterback he can be for the Chicago Bears.

"And when we walk in on the first day, whenever it is, Mitch will be first in the huddle."

Hansi Flick has done enough to convince Bayern Munich to make him their permanent head coach, with the club confirming on Friday he had signed a contract until 2023.

A former assistant to Germany coach Joachim Low, Flick steadied the ship in the wake of Niko Kovac's sacking and has gone on to gain the second-best points-per-game record in Bundesliga history at 2.47 – only Pep Guardiola's 2.52 is better.

Bayern have scored 67 goals in their 21 games in all competitions since he took the helm and were on a 15-game unbeaten run when the coronavirus outbreak brought the majority of football in Europe to a halt.

We take a look at the games that may well have convinced Flick's superiors to keep him in the top job for the next three years.

 

November 9, 2019 - Bayern Munich 4-0 Borussia Dortmund

After overseeing a 2-0 Champions League win over Olympiacos in his first game at the helm, Flick's first taste of Bundesliga action came in Der Klassiker against Dortmund.

Despite the change of coach, Robert Lewandowski continued his fine scoring streak by taking his Bundesliga tally to 16 with a double – one goal either side of an effort from Serge Gnabry early in the second half.

An own goal from former Bayern defender Mats Hummels capped a resounding victory.

Lewandowski said: "Hansi Flick did a great job in just a few days to set us up tactically very well. The players believed directly in him and his words, he has breathed a new life into us."

During the international break that was followed it was confirmed Flick would stay on until at least Christmas.

 

December 11, 2019 – Bayern Munich 3-1 Tottenham

Flick went on to rack up four straight wins to start his tenure, but back-to-back defeats to Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach left Bayern seventh in the Bundesliga and seven points off top.

They quickly got back on track with a 3-1 win over Tottenham in a Champions League group-stage clash at the Allianz Arena.

Kingsley Coman scored the opener but was forced off in the 27th minute with a knee injury that kept him out for two months.

Thomas Muller and Philippe Coutinho made sure of the win after Ryan Sessegnon's equaliser, with Lewandowski remaining an unused substitute as Bayern reached the last 16 with maximum points.

 

February 1, 2020 – Mainz 1-3 Bayern Munich

Bayern confirmed Flick would see out the campaign during the mid-season break and this victory over Mainz made it seven straight successes in all competitions.

The reigning Bundesliga champions effectively put the game to bed within 26 minutes – Lewandowski, Muller and Thiago Alcantara scoring during a rampant first-half showing.

Most importantly, though, it sent the Bavarian giants to the top of the table and there has been no moving them since.

 

February 25, 2020 – Chelsea 0-3 Bayern Munich

A last-16 tie with Chelsea in the Champions League looked sure to provide plenty of entertainment and the first leg at Stamford Bridge was tightly poised at half-time.

Gnabry struck twice in the space of three minutes early in the second half to break the game open and Lewandowski's instinctive finish in the closing stages ensured Bayern left west London with a healthy aggregate lead.

The result carried even more weight given that it was the first time the teams had met in Europe's premier club competition since Chelsea defeated Bayern in the final at the Allianz Arena in 2012.

 

February 29, 2020 – Hoffenheim 0-6 Bayern Munich

Lewandowski suffered a broken tibia in his left leg against Chelsea and was consequently ruled out for approximately one month.

The Poland international had scored 39 goals in 33 appearances in all competitions for Bayern in 2019-20, but his team-mates stepped up to the mark in their first game without him.

In a match that was overshadowed by demonstrations against Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp that forced a stoppage in play, Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich and Joshua Zirkzee – who was making his first Bundesliga start – struck inside the opening 15 minutes and Coutinho made it 4-0 by half-time.

Coutinho doubled his tally early in the second half and Leon Goretzka rounded off a triumph that sent out a message to Bayern's title rivals.

The Montreal Canadiens and forward Laurent Dauphin agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract for the 2020-21 season on Friday.

Dauphin, acquired by Montreal from Nashville for forward Michael McCarron on January 7, will earn $200,000 guaranteed with a $700,000 salary at the NHL level and a $175,000 in the AHL.

The 25-year-old recorded 14 goals and 17 assists in 58 games with Laval and Milwaukee of the AHL this season, including seven goals and eight assists in 25 games with Laval following the trade.

A second-round pick of Arizona in the 2013 NHL draft, Dauphin appeared in 35 games with the Coyotes between 2015-19 and compiled three goals, one assist and 18 penalty minutes. 

His most extensive NHL action came in 2016-17, when the Quebec native registered two goals and one assist in 24 games. 

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas is on track to be ready for the team's delayed season opener as he continues his recovery from a forearm injury he sustained during spring training, general manager John Mozeliak has said.

Mozeliak, speaking at a teleconference with reporters on Thursday, said Mikolas has progressed to playing catch up to 120 feet and is close to being cleared for throwing a light bullpen session. 

The 2018 All-Star was briefly shut down during spring training after being diagnosed with a flexor tendon strain in his right forearm in February.

Mikolas had been slated to miss the start of the 2020 season prior to Major League Baseball's shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The 31-year-old made 32 starts in each of his first two seasons with St. Louis after returning to the majors following a successful three-year stint in Japan, though he slipped to a 9-14 record and a 4.16 ERA in 2019 after going 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA the previous season.

Mozeliak also gave a positive report on reliever Andrew Miller, who made just one Grapefruit League appearance before games were suspended as he dealt with a lack of feel for his pitches. The veteran left-hander has been working out at his home in Tampa and barring any setbacks, figures to be ready if and when the season resumes.

Fellow reliever Brett Cecil, who strained his right hamstring during a Grapefruit League game on March 11, is expected to return to rehabilitation activities next week after taking some time off for personal reasons, according to Mozeliak.

Mozeliak added that the Cardinals' spring facility in Jupiter, Florida remains "basically closed" as the team complies with social distancing guidelines intended to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"We do have a couple of players that are in the Jupiter area that are coming in for their medical rehab treatment," he said. "It's not business as usual. It's very quiet."

Anthony Joshua's world heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev has been postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua was due to fight Bulgarian Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20.

But the proliferation of COVID-19 has led to a decision to postpone the bout.

Joshua's promoters Matchroom confirmed the news on Friday and have begun working on a new date, with the prospect of hosting it at Spurs' ground still open.

Pulev and Joshua had previously been due to fight in 2017 but the challenger had to withdraw due to injury. After this delay, they now hope it will prove third time lucky.

"A new date for the event promoted by Matchroom Boxing and 258 Management in association with Top Rank and Epic Sports Entertainment is currently being worked on," read a statement from Matchroom.

"We will announce any updates in due course and continue to explore the possibility of hosting this fight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium."

Earlier this week, the heavyweight fight between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin was called off, as was the clash between Oleksandr Usyk and Dereck Chisora.

The winners of those two bouts, which were both scheduled for May, would have been in the mix for world title fights against either the winner of Joshua's clash against Pulev, or the scheduled third meeting between WBC champion Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.

Joshua regained his titles by winning his rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia on points.

That December victory came six months after the Briton had suffered shock stoppage defeat to Ruiz in New York.

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