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NEWS

XFL Unveils Schedule for Inaugural Season

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The XFL has officially unveiled it’s official schedule for the 2020 reboot season that will kickoff on February 8th with a clash between the D.C. Defenders and the Seattle Dragons that will take place in Washington.

The eight team league is divided into two divisions, and will play five home games and five away games between February 8th and April 26th. Those games will be followed by a playoff tournament, one round of two playoff games and a championship game to be held on April 26th.

“It’s a big moment for us,” XFL commissioner Oliver Luck said, according to ESPN’s Kevin Seifart. “We’ve got great time slots on the weekends. We think it’s a well-designed schedule in terms of competitive balance.”

“If you think about football in this country, I think you’d certainly have to think about ABC and ESPN and Fox with what they do, so I think these are trusted broadcasters, they’ve broadcast literally hundreds of thousands of NFL games, major college games,” Luck said. “So their talent that they’ll assign will be top-notch talent. So we think there’s never been quite honestly a startup league that’s had these kinds of windows, this kind of exposure.”

The XFL will be hoping to do what the AAF failed to do: provide a viable professional football league opposite of the NFL.

The XFL won’t compete with the NFL directly, as they have scheduled their games around the NFL’s winter and spring events.

Luck says that the XFL will not be centered on gimmicks, and that the league hopes to provide a faster paced game.

You can view the full schedule here.

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Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media and DiMoro Enterprises LLC. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony hosts the Anthony DiMoro Show podcast, and formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

MLB

Major League Baseball Drops Marijuana, Adds Opioids, Cocaine to List of ‘Drugs Of Abuse’

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Major League Baseball officially announced a number of changes to it’s drug use and testing policies on Thursday, most notably removing marijuana from its “drugs of abuse” while announcing mandatory tests for cocaine and opioids, which will take place starting in 2020 during Spring Training.

“The opioid epidemic in our country is an issue of significant concern to Major League Baseball,” league Chief Legal Officer Dan Halem said, in an official statement. “It is our hope that this agreement – which is based on principles of prevention, treatment, awareness and education – will help protect the health and safety of our Players.”

League officials said changes to the policy were agreed to by the Players Association and made to protect athletes from lethal and addictive substances.

Marijuana will now be treated the same as alcohol and players caught using cannabis will be referred to a treatment board under specific conditions. However, athletes cannot be punished for failing to participate in a treatment program.

The policy change comes several months following the sudden death of Los Angeles Angels’ pitcher Tyler Skaggs, whose autopsy showed a presence of opioids and alcohol in his body. Furthermore, a medical examiner concluded that Skaggs choked on his vomit while under the influence of “alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication.”

“I think you saw it in terms of the reaction following that terrible event,” Manfred said, in the below video from the Los Angeles Post-Examiner. “I think that it was a motivating factor in the commissioner’s office and the MLBPA getting together and addressing in the context of our industry what is really a societal problem in terms of opioids.”

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NBA

Ex-NBA Commissioner David Stern Hospitalized Following Brain Hemorrhage

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David Stern

Former NBA commissioner David Stern, who is credited with globalizing the NBA during his monumental tenure atop the NBA organizatgion, was admitted to a New York City hospital Thursday afternoon after suffering a brain hemorrhage, according to an official league announcement.

“NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern suffered a sudden brain hemorrhage earlier today for which he underwent emergency surgery,” the NBA said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with David and his family.

New York’s fire department responded to a 911 emergency call at a Midtown restaurant at 1:59 pm EST, and transported Stern to Mount Sinai West medical center. There was no immediate word on his condition.

Stern, 77, served as NBA commissioner from 1984 until 2014 and was instrumental in building the NBA into a global force. During his tenure, the league added seven teams, relocated six other franchises, increased the league’s annual revenue from television contracts, and a boom in value of NBA franchises.

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New York Giants

Giants Waive Janoris Jenkins Following ‘Offensive’ Tweet to Fan

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Janoris Jenkins

The New York Giants have waived veteran defensive back Janoris Jenkins, two days after he tweeted an inappropriate response to a fan on Twitter.

When a fan was criticizing Jenkins on Twitter, Jenkins tweeted back at the fan, calling him a “retard” in response to the fan’s questioning of the statistics that Jenkins was using to demonstrate his effectiveness was not proving to be successful for the team.

Jenkins offered an odd explanation on Thursday, saying that the use of the word was “slang” and adding that it is “just part of my culture.”

“This was an organizational decision,” Giants’ head coach Pat Shurmur said (h/t ESPN). “From ownership to management to our football operations, we felt it was in the best interests of the franchise and the player. Obviously, what happened this week, and the refusal to acknowledge the inappropriate and offensive language, was the determining factor.”

Jenkins, 31, was released with one year and $11.25 million left on his contract. Jenkins collected 54 tackles and 4 interceptions this season for the Giants.

Jenkins issued the following response after he was released.

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