Categories
Soccer

Manchester City vs Liverpool team news: Phil Foden and Eric Garcia start for City vs unchanged champions

Phil Foden will start for Manchester City against Liverpool on Thursday evening, live on Sky Sports, with Eric Garcia also named in the starting XI.

Foden and Garcia come in as two of three changes from the 2-1 defeat at Chelsea last week, with Gabriel Jesus also in for Bernardo Silva. Riyad Mahrez drops to the bench, while Fernandinho is serving the second of his two-match ban for his sending off at Chelsea.

Garcia has been out since suffering a worrying head injury in the win over Arsenal on June 17.

  • £18 Premier League and Football channel offer
  • Premier League table | Fixtures | Live on Sky
  • Fanzone: Watch City vs Liverpool with friends and family

Newly-crowned champions Liverpool are unchanged from their 4-0 win over Crystal Palace last week.

Joel Matip appeared in the Merseyside derby when Liverpool resumed their season on June 21 but has been sidelined since with a toe problem.

  • Follow Manchester City vs Liverpool LIVE!
  • Premier League restart: The live games on Sky Sports
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The teams

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Laporte, Garcia, Mendy, Gundogan, Rodri, Foden, De Bruyne, Sterling, Jesus

Subs: Bravo, Stones, Zinchenko, Bernardo, David Silva, Mahrez, Cancelo, Otamendi, Doyle

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Gomez, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Henderson, Mane, Salah, Firmino

Subs: Adrian, Milner, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Origi, Jones, Elliott, Williams

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Categories
Rugby

Match Report – Melbourne 27 – 25 Sydney

The Melbourne Storm produced a stunning comeback to down the Roosters 27-25 in a golden-point thriller at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night.

Trailing 22-12 with 12 minutes remaining the Storm were running out of time, but scored two tries in three minutes through Jahrome Hughes and Paul Momirovski to give them a 24-22 lead.

With two minutes remaining, Kyle Flanagan landed a superb penalty to level the scores before Luke Keary knocked over a field goal to make it 25-24 to the Roosters with a minute on the clock.

However, the drama was not over as Ryan Papenhuyzen nailed a one-pointer of his own to send the game into golden time at 25-25.

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Categories
Soccer

Sky Sports Fanzone & Watchalongs: What is it, how it works, where to experience

Take the return of the Premier League to the next level with the Fanzone feature as part of Sky Sports’ live coverage.

TAP HERE TO ACCESS FANZONE FROM 8PM ON THURSDAY

Man City vs Liverpool Watchalong

On Thursday night, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Glen Johnson are the special guests from 8pm on Sky Sports Football

Fans will now be able to use a new feature on the Sky Sports website on your phone (optimised on iOS for iphone 8 and above), laptop or PC to watch select matches with friends in a video room and interact while the action unfolds, giving them the chance to chat about the match and influence the crowd noise they hear on screen.

  • £18 Premier League and Football channel offer
  • Watch 39 Premier League & 45 EFL games exclusively live

Whether watching with fans of your own club or mixing with rival supporters, users of the feature can post predictions, join in-match polls and use the Sky Sports stats to fuel the virtual conversation.

Get into the game with family and friends

Invite up to five people to your Fanzone to catch the match together. Log in online on your phone, laptop or PC, set up your Fanzone and send a link to your fellow fans. The Fanzone opens 15 minutes before kick-off and will close 15 minutes after the match.

  • Premier League fixtures: The new kick-offs and dates
  • Premier League restart: The live games on Sky Sports

Have your say/pretend you’re a pundit

Do you usually yell at the screen during a game? Or fancy yourself as the next big-name pundit reporting live from the Sky Sports News studio? Share your views on the players and their performance in live opinion polls.

Watchalong with pundits and presenters

While using the Fanzone feature on skysports.com, fans can also simultaneously view the Sky Sports Watchalongs (via the Sky Sports Football channel), where Sky Sports pundits and presenters will be watching the game, reacting to events and answering your social media questions.

Choose the cheer you hear with Watchalong

Also with the Watchalong, fill your home with the sound of the stands so you feel like you are right there at the game. Drown out any support for the opposition and vote for your team’s chant to be played through the TV.

Viewers can see which crowd noise is being voted for in the ‘Choose a Chant’ poll and analyse match stats as the game is going on.

Where can I experience Fanzone and Watchalongs?

The Fanzone feature is available to Sky Sports customers on skysports.com on phone, laptop or PC on the following games, with more to be announced for future rounds.

The Watchalong feature will be available to view on Sky Sports Football; Carlton Cole and Steve Sidwell join Adam Smith and Zac Djellab from 8pm on Sky Sports Football.

Man City vs Liverpool – Thursday, July 2 (Kick-off 8.15pm)

More games to be announced

There are three ways to watch the game on TV, where Fanzone is available. For the full Fanzone experience head to the Football channel.

  • Sky Sports Main Event: Where the crowds atmosphere sounds like it used to.
  • Sky Sports Premier League: Where the atmosphere stays true to how it really is.
  • Sky Sports Football: Watch along with Sky pundits and presenters on your TV. And if you’re using Fanzone as a companion experience on your phone or laptop, you’ll be able to see and hear how all fans have voted.

Who can use Sky Sports Fanzone?

If you are a Sky customer with a Sky Sports subscription, you can create a Fanzone, but you can share your Fanzone link with anyone. If you invite someone who has Sky Sports with another provider to your Fanzone, their live stream may be out of sync with yours.

How do I create my Fanzone?

  • Sign in to skysports.com/fanzone on your phone or laptop
  • Select Sky Sports Fanzone
  • Select Create Your Fanzone. You’ll see an icon to invite people to your Fanzone which creates a link that’s unique to your room
  • Copy and share your link with up to five other people to catch the match together in your Fanzone. Please don’t share your link on social media in case someone unwanted tries to join.

How long is the Fanzone?

Sky Sports Fanzone opens 15 minutes before live kick-off. If you use video call, this will close 15 minutes after the match ends, but you can keep the conversation going via text chat. The Fanzone session will stay open until it’s closed by Sky.

Let us know what you think

With the Premier League returning, we couldn’t wait to create Sky Sports Fanzone. It’s a new beta feature available for some upcoming games, which means we’re still working on it. We’d love to know what you think so we can make it even better. Please email your feedback to [email protected]

Here’s a list of all the supported devices and browsers.

  • Android 4.1 and above, using Chrome 58 and above.
  • iPad and iPhone 8 or above, running iOS/Safari 12.1 and above .
  • macOS 10 and above, using Chrome 64, Firefox 75, Safari 12.1 and above.
  • Windows 10, using Chrome 64, Firefox 75 and above.

To create a Fanzone, you’ll need to be aged 18 or over, have a Sky Sports subscription, and be in the UK or Ireland. Please sign in below and see FAQs for more information.

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Categories
Soccer

Sports to come together to celebrate NHS and key workers

A range of sports, including football, cricket and rugby union, are to come together to celebrate the NHS and key workers on the organisation’s 72nd birthday this weekend.

Members of the public are also encouraged to take part in the ‘Thank You Together’ initiative by applauding the “commitment, courage and sacrifice shown by so many” on their doorsteps at 5pm on Sunday.


Wolves vs Arsenal

July 4, 2020, 5:15pm

Live on

This weekend’s Premier League and EFL fixtures will be preceded by a moment’s applause, while England’s Test series against the West Indies – which begins on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports – has been named the #raisethebat series.


England vs W Indies

July 8, 2020, 10:30am

Live on

England rugby union head coach Eddie Jones and a selection of his players will also record thank you messages.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “The Premier League will support the NHS and its moment of thanks to recognise the efforts of the health workers, key workers and all those who have shown kindness and care to others during these months.”

Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney added: “Rugby, like the wider sporting community and the nation as a whole, is extremely grateful to and proud of all those who have worked tirelessly through this pandemic going above and beyond to support local communities and the NHS.

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Categories
Basketball

Lakers won’t replace Howard, ‘hopeful’ he’ll play

  • Lakers and NBA reporter for ESPN.
  • Covered the Lakers and NBA for ESPNLosAngeles.com from 2009-14, the Cavaliers from 2014-18 for ESPN.com and the NBA for NBA.com from 2005-09.

LOS ANGELES — Lakers coach Frank Vogel says the team will not seek a replacement player for Dwight Howard for the Orlando restart. And, according to Vogel, the team will not ask the replacement player that it did add, JR Smith, to play like the player he replaced, Avery Bradley.

Speaking on a video conference call with reporters Wednesday at the start of the Lakers’ “pre” training camp comprised of individual workouts before the team flies to Florida next week, Vogel restated L.A.’s commitment to the backup center.

“We’ve been in communication with Dwight the whole way with supportive phone calls and text messages,” Vogel said. “We don’t know what the level of participation is going to be yet. He wants to play. We’re hopeful that he’s able to join us.”

Howard is currently with his family in Georgia, where he is satisfying the NBA’s home quarantine and testing protocol required of all players who will participate in Orlando, a league source told ESPN.

Howard’s 6-year-old son, David, is in his care. David’s mother, Melissa Rios, died of an epileptic seizure on March 27 at her home in Calabasas, California.

Not only is Howard juggling his responsibilities as a father with preparation for the finale to the season, but as a Black man he has also been deeply affected by the social unrest facing this country, according to Howard’s agent, Charles Briscoe.

“Basketball, or entertainment period, isn’t needed at this moment, and will only be a distraction,” Howard said in a statement issued to CNN through Briscoe last month.

Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka told reporters this week that the team is working with Howard, Briscoe, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association in order to find a workable path for the former three-time Defensive Player of the Year to eventually report to the team.

All 22 teams participating in the restart were required to submit to the league their 36-person traveling party list — including their roster of up to 17 players — by Wednesday. Vogel said “we don’t have any intention” of keeping Howard off the Lakers’ list.

“He has an extenuating circumstance that he’s working with the league on in terms of what that is ultimately going to look like,” Vogel said. “But we’re hopeful and optimistic that he’ll be able to join us in Orlando.”

The NBA has already assessed player circumstances on a case-by-case basis, as players have tested positive for COVID-19 before returning to their teams. Sacramento Kings forward Jabari Parker, for example, will remain in Chicago before joining his teammates in Orlando as he recovers from the coronavirus, rather than trek to the West Coast beforehand.

As for Smith, he officially signed a contract with the Lakers on Wednesday, giving L.A. another option at guard after Bradley opted out of playing in Orlando last week because of family concerns. The 34-year-old, who hasn’t played in the league since November of 2018, will wear No. 21 for the Lakers.

“In terms of what he brings to the table, just the experience factor,” Vogel said of Smith, who paired with LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers to win a championship in 2016. “I mean, this guy is a big-time player. He’s proven it over the course of his career. We know he can help us.

“We almost added him earlier in the year when we added Dion Waiters and now we have the luxury of having both. We’re not going to ask him to come in and be Avery Bradley. He’s going to come in and be JR Smith. He’s going to just fill that position, more than fill that role.”

The Lakers’ Instagram account posted photos of three players working out at their El Segundo, California, facility Wednesday: James, Anthony Davis and Alex Caruso.

Caruso, who averaged 17.8 minutes before the season was suspended to Bradley’s 24.2, said he hopes to pick up some of the slack created by Bradley’s absence.

“I’m not sure if I’m going to be the sole provider of everything that Avery did,” he said on a video conference call with reporters. “That’s a lot to ask for just because of how good he is at what he does. But I’m definitely going to be ready to fill part of that gap and that need.”

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Categories
Golf

Harold Varner III, Bubba Watson to play Jason Day, Wesley Bryan in charity exhibition match

Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson will team up with Harold Varner III for a special charity exhibition match ahead of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

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The pair will take on former world No 1 Jason Day and Wesley Bryan in a nine-hole contest on the back nine of Detroit Golf Club, venue for this week’s PGA Tour event.

The special will be raising money for the tournament’s “Changing the Course” initiative, a multi-year campaign is to ensure every Detroit resident has access to the internet, technology and digital literacy training they deserve.

Detroit currently ranks as the least-connected city in America, with nearly a third of its homes without broadband of any type and the “digital divide” leaving them excluded from opportunities for education and employment.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun to get out there Wednesday for a little hit and giggle with some friends to raise money for a great cause,” Watson said.

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Categories
Soccer

Black Lives Matter: Andy Walker hopes Scottish football will support movement when new season starts

In his latest column, Sky Sports’ Andy Walker says he hopes Scottish football will support the Black Lives Matter movement when the new season starts in August…

At a time when the eyes of the footballing world will be on us, I’m really hoping that Scottish football can add its voice and support to the Black Lives Matter movement when the long-awaited Premiership season kicks off on August 1.

  • Dyer: I had to work harder because I’m black
  • ‘Scottish football must take racism more seriously’
  • Jermain Defoe Q&A: Enough is enough

Ideally, the SPFL will be proactive and follow the powerful message and image of all the English football I’ve watched over the last couple of weeks with players, officials and coaching staff all taking the knee to protest against racism and the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

    Too many black lives are in danger unnecessarily and it’s undeniable that not enough black people are given senior posts and opportunities in my sport.

    I have no idea what it is like to live life as a black man in the UK but in the world of football that I have operated in since becoming a professional in 1984, I have spent time living in Scotland and England and have watched and played alongside some gifted and talented black players.

    It just can’t be acceptable knowing that so many black players have lit up my sport in that time and yet, so few have been able to extend their love of the game by being given an opportunity as a coach or manager. No matter the colour of your skin, everyone wants a chance to show what they’re capable of. It can’t be too much to ask.

    I was astonished to hear that my former team-mate Kevin Harper was the first black, Asian or minority ethnic manager of an SPFL club in 15 years when he got the job as boss of Albion Rovers in 2018. We had a brief spell as team-mates in 1998 with Hibs and his skill and ability helped me score a few goals for the Edinburgh side.

    In truth, he did a remarkable job for Albion Rovers, saving them from relegation against all odds by winning five of their last nine games in 2019. Kevin had a marvellous career, reaching the heights of the Premier League with Derby County and playing a significant role for Portsmouth in their promotion to England’s top flight in 2003.

    Obviously, he had plenty of knowledge to pass on and without his input, Albion Rovers may well have lost their senior status before he guided them to safety.

    It was also disheartening to hear Rangers striker Jermain Defoe recently questioning whether it was worth it for him to take his coaching badges given that none of the black players he has looked up to in his life are working in management.

    Surely there have to be opportunities for people like Kevin and Jermain? Role models in any walk of life are important and they are just two examples of how you can achieve success on the pitch before putting those life skills earned as a player of working as a team, achieving goals, overcoming setbacks and still gaining success into a coaching environment.

    That’s why it was welcome to hear the combined efforts of the Premier League, the PFA in England and the EFL launching a new coach placement scheme aimed at increasing the number of BAME players moving into full-time coaching roles in the professional game.

    An estimated 35 per cent of Premier League players are from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background, but there is nowhere near the same number in executive, managerial or leadership roles.

    Here in Scotland, it looks as though Alex Dyer can be an inspirational figure for young black men and women given that he has now signed a permanent two-year deal as manager of Kilmarnock after taking over from Angelo Alessio.

    Scotland manager Stevie Clarke appreciated the qualities that Alex brought as his assistant to Kilmarnock’s success over the last few years.

    In general terms, I honestly don’t know how some black players put up with the level of abuse they get in football and it’s important to recognise that nothing will change overnight.

    I played in a game against Rangers at Celtic Park in January 1988 when dozens of bananas were thrown at Mark Walters.

    It was shameful behaviour, but we let it wash over us and moved on to the next game.

    Paul Elliott was a team-mate of mine at Celtic a year later and he too had to endure some dreadful abuse. Again, we did nothing about it and ignored the problem.

    Fast forward 30 years to when Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele were starring in Scottish football and it was disgusting seeing them having to suffer from sickening monkey chants.

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    Categories
    MLB

    Ron Rivera: Don’t bet against Cam with Patriots

    Ron Rivera has a message for those ready to doubt that Cam Newton can rebound with the New England Patriots: Don’t bet against him.

    Rivera, who coached the Carolina Panthers for nine seasons with Newton as his starting quarterback, was asked Monday on 670 The Score in Chicago about whether he thought Newton has recovered from the injuries that have marred his past two seasons. Rivera said he had watched the workout videos that Newton posted on social media.

    “He’s headed in the right direction,” Rivera said on the McNeil & Parkins Show. “I mean, he’s probably about as healthy as it gets from what I’ve seen on video. I think he’s ready to bust out.

    “I would never bet against the young man, that’s for sure.”

    Newton, who holds most of Carolina’s career passing records, missed 14 games last season with a Lisfranc injury and the final two games of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury that also required surgery.

    He reached an agreement on a one-year, incentive-laden deal with the Patriots on Sunday, league sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. ‬The Patriots were the only team to make him an offer after he was released by the Panthers in March, according to Schefter.

    Rivera said on 670 The Score that he believes the coronavirus pandemic, which prevented teams from conducting in-person workouts, was the main reason more teams didn’t try to sign him. As for why Rivera didn’t try to bring Newton to the Washington Redskins, he pointed to the presence of quarterback Dwayne Haskins, drafted by the Redskins in the first round last year.

    “Honestly, if the circumstances would have allowed us, I would have had no issues with that. I would have been very confident and comfortable in going after him and bringing him to be part of what we’re doing here. To me those circumstances would have been going through an opportunity to see what we have in Dwayne,” he said.

    Rivera instead brought another former Panthers quarterback to the Redskins, trading for Kyle Allen earlier this offseason. He said the benefit of being in his first year as the Redskins’ coach is that he can be patient with Haskins, who threw for 1,365 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions after being selected with the No. 15 pick in 2019.

    “We’ve been in this tough situation because there was a number of veteran guys that we liked but we have to find out what we have in the young guy, and that’s the benefit of being a new head coach is that we can go ahead and we can be patient. We can put these guys through workouts and get to know what we have and feel good about it or don’t feel good about it and then we’ve got to go out and make some changes,” he said.

    “But until we get that opportunity to know what we have, it would have been very hard to bring in a guy who’s had such a solid career, who was league MVP at one time (in 2015), and expect the young guy to get chances to grow, so I just felt that because of our circumstances we could play this slow — and good for [Newton], he went to New England, which I think is going to be a great spot for him and I think he’s going to have a lot of success.”

    With the Patriots, Newton will be in the mix to help replace Tom Brady, who left to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency. The Patriots did not select a quarterback in April’s draft, with 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham and 11-year veteran Brian Hoyer atop the depth chart.

    On Tuesday, wide receiver Julian Edelman welcomed Newton to New England via Twitter:

    Rivera was asked what he’d say to those who believe Newton’s best days are behind him.

    “Don’t bet against him,” Rivera said. “I really wouldn’t. First of all, you got to know who he is and understand what all he’s gone through. He’s a guy that’s always tried to do things, I think, because he’s felt the pressure. He felt the pressure of being the No. 1 pick. He felt the pressure of having won the Heisman Trophy and being the No. 1 pick. He felt the pressure of being a Black quarterback, with all this stuff that’s been heaped on him.

    “He’s really had to find his way through it, and he’s done a great job with it.”

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    Categories
    Tennis

    Coronavirus: Boris Becker feuds with Nick Kyrgios over Alexander Zverev criticism

    Nick Kyrgios and Boris Becker have traded insults on social media following the Australian’s criticism of Alexander Zverev after a video appeared to show the German dancing in a crowded club despite the coronavirus pandemic.

    The video was posted on Instagram by German designer Philipp Plein and later deleted. There was no indication of when the video was taken.

    Zverev said last week he would self-isolate after playing in Novak Djokovic’s ill-fated Adria Tour exhibition tournament in Serbia and Croatia, which had to be abandoned after numerous players tested positive for COVID-19.

    Kyrgios on Monday called Zverev, the current men’s world number seven, “selfish”, prompting a rebuke from commentator and former six-time Grand Slam champion Becker.

    Don’t like no #rats ! Anybody telling off fellow sportsman/woman is no friend of mine! Look yourself in the mirror and think your better than us…@NickKyrgios @farfetch

    “Don’t like no #rats! Anybody telling off fellow sportsman/woman is no friend of mine! Look yourself in the mirror and think your better than us… @NickKyrgios,” Becker said on Twitter.

    Kyrgios, the world number 40, was prompt in his reply: “For goodness sake Boris, I’m not competing or trying to throw anyone under the bus. It’s a global pandemic and if someone is as idiotic as Alex to do what he has done, I’ll call him out for it. Simple.”

    Zverev, 23, took part in Djokovic’s event, which saw crowds packed into stands in Belgrade while players hugged at the net and played basketball in Croatia. The German player said he and his team had tested negative.

    “We all live in the pandemic called #Covid_19! It’s terrible and it killed to many lives…we should protect our families/loved ones and follow the guidelines but still don’t like #rats @NickKyrgios,” Becker continued.

    Kyrgios had previously criticised the organisers of the Balkan event and hit out at governing bodies for their plans to restart professional tennis during the pandemic.

    “Rats? For holding someone accountable? Strange way to think of it champion, I’m just looking out for people. When my family and families all over the world have respectfully done the right thing,” Kyrgios said.

    @TheBorisBecker is a bigger doughnut than I thought. 😂😂 can hit a volley, obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed though.

    “@TheBorisBecker is a bigger doughnut than I thought … can hit a volley, obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed though.”

    Becker then attempted to steer the conversation away from coronavirus and to Kyrgios’ career. The talented 25-year-old has reached just two Grand Slam quarter-finals, with a series of on-court controversies having led to criticism from fellow professionals.

    Becker wrote: “I really would like to see @NickKyrgios fulfill his potential and win a grandslam! He would be an incredible role model for for the youth of the world addressing the issues of equality/race/heritage! Man up buddy and deliver!”

    However, Kyrgios, whose last competitive match came in Mexico in February, was not impressed by Becker’s attempt to change the subject.

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    Categories
    MLB

    MVPs say time to pull Landis name off plaques

    NEW YORK — Something still bothers Barry Larkin about his Most Valuable Player award.

    The other name engraved on the trophy: Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

    “Why is it on there?” said Larkin, the Black shortstop voted National League MVP in 1995 with the Cincinnati Reds.

    “I was always aware of his name and what that meant to slowing the color line in Major League Baseball, of the racial injustice and inequality that Black players had to go through,” the Hall of Famer said this week.

    Hired in 1920 as the sport’s first commissioner to help clean up rampant gambling, Landis and his legacy are “always a complicated story” that includes “documented racism,” official MLB historian John Thorn said.

    This much is true, in black and white, about the son of a Union Army doctor wounded at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain in Georgia during the Civil War: No Blacks played in the majors during his quarter-century tenure; Jackie Robinson broke the barrier in April 1947, about 2 1/2 years after Landis died.

    “Landis is a part of history, even though it was a dark history,” Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker said.

    Fact is, few fans realize Landis’ name is plastered all over the Most Valuable Player trophies. Most people just call it the MVP.

    But there it is, prominently displayed on every American League and NL MVP plaque since 1944 — Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Baseball Award, in shiny, gold letters literally twice as big as those of the winner.

    With a sizable imprint of Landis’ face, too.

    To some MVPs, it’s time for that 75-year run to end.

    “If you’re looking to expose individuals in baseball’s history who promoted racism by continuing to close baseball’s doors to men of color, Kenesaw Landis would be a candidate,” three-time NL MVP Mike Schmidt of Philadelphia said.

    “Looking back to baseball in the early 1900s, this was the norm. It doesn’t make it right, though,” the Hall of Famer said. “Removing his name from the MVP trophy would expose the injustice of that era. I’d gladly replace the engraving on my trophies.”

    Added 1991 NL MVP Terry Pendleton of Atlanta, who is Black: “This is 2020 now and things have changed all around the world. It can change for the better.

    “Statues are coming down, people are looking at monuments and memorials,” he said. “We need to get to the bottom of things, to do what’s right. Yes, maybe it is time to change the name.

    “I’ve always thought about that, why is that still on there?” Pendleton said. “No doubt, MVP stands on its own. It doesn’t need a name.”

    Many hallowed baseball trophies are graced by the names of the greats: Robinson, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Cy Young, Willie Mays, Ted Williams and more.

    How Landis got etched into the list is easy to trace.

    A federal judge in Chicago, Landis quickly established his powerful authority as commissioner, banning Shoeless Joe Jackson and the Black Sox for throwing the 1919 World Series.

    In 1931, Landis decided members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America would pick and present the MVP awards. Before that, the leagues had their own mishmash system.

    Then during the 1944 World Series, the BBWAA voted to add Landis’ name to the plaque as “an acknowledgement of his relationship with the writers,” longtime BBWAA secretary-treasuer Jack O’Connell said.

    A month later, Landis died at 78. He soon was elected to the Hall of Fame.

    “Landis is who he is. He was who he was,” Thorn said. “I absolutely support the movement to remove Confederate monuments, and Landis was pretty damn near Confederate.”

    His precise role in racial issues has been debated for decades.

    Landis broke up exhibitions between Black and white All-Star teams. He invited a group of Black newspaper publishers to address owners in what became a cordial but totally fruitless presentation.

    Toward the end of his tenure, he told owners they were free to sign Black players. But there is no evidence he pushed for baseball integration, either, as the status quo of segregation remained.

    “If you have the Jackie Robinson Award and the Kenesaw Mountain Landis Award, you are at diametrically opposed poles,” Thorn said. “And it does represent a conundrum.”

    O’Connell said no MVP had voiced a complaint to him about Landis since taking his post in 1994. He said Landis’ name on the plaque wasn’t pledged or part of the BBWAA constitution.

    Any BBWAA member could raise an objection to Landis’ presence. Normally, that would be discussed at the organization’s next gathering, currently scheduled for December at the winter meetings in Dallas. The coronavirus pandemic has put the event in peril.

    O’Connell said that if someone raised the issue now, it could be brought up to the board and opened to discussion and a vote. To pull Landis’ name “would be a simple matter of redesigning the plaque,” he said.

    To Larkin, that would remove the tarnish from the trophy.

    Larkin recalled that shortly after he was voted MVP, he got a call from two-time NL MVP Joe Morgan. The star Black second baseman of the Big Red Machine talked about Landis’ legacy and “he said it never sat well with him, having that name on there,” Larkin recalled.

    Larkin agrees.

    “His name should not be represented on a plaque or award of honor, especially at this day and time,” he said. “If his name was taken off, I would not be opposed to it at all.”

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