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Shannon Sharpe apologizes for bizarre Lakers sideline rant

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WTF is going on over at Undisputed these days?
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Shannon Sharpe’s sideline tirade directed toward the Memphis Grizzlies turned the retired NFL tight end and Undisputed co-host into a trending figure during Friday night’s NBA on ESPN matchup. Sharpe’s feud with the Grizzlies just before halftime distracted from what was an otherwise entertaining game and on Monday’s show, Sharpe opened Undisputed with an apology for his behavior.

During a three-minute opening mea culpa, Sharpe apologized to the fans, Jeanie Buss, the Lakers organization, the Grizzlies, Dillon Brooks, Ja Morant, LeBron James, his network, and even his stylist for the unwanted attention.

His sincerity was in stark contrast to the childish non-apology Skip Bayless delivered two weeks ago for his insensitive Damar Hamlin tweet. Sharpe’s attempt to take on the entire Grizzlies team, a new take on man vs. bear (I’m taking the man), turned the host into a polarizing figure.

Afterward, LeBron James leaped to defend “Unk” in his postgame press conference by telling the assembled media, “I ride with Shannon 365 days — 366 on a leap year — 24/7. So that’s my guy. I always got his back. And he’s got mine. He can talk with the best of them, for sure.”

WTAs usual though, fireworks from the Undisputed co-hosts have been good for their show’s visibility. Still, there’s no doubt that if the host had been a non-celebrity fan, he probably wouldn’t have been courtside for the remainder of the game.

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White assistants hired since Eric Bieniemy’s 1st AFC title game

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Super Bowl 57 already has a ton of storylines. Andy Reid will be facing a franchise that he once led to football’s biggest stage. Travis and Jason Kelce are making history as the first brothers to play against each other in the game. Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts are the first two Black quarterbacks to headline. And then there’s the subplot that people are overlooking — the fact that the Kansas City Chiefs have reached five AFC Championship Games and three Super Bowls since Eric Bieniemy took over as offensive coordinator, and he still hasn’t been offered a head coaching job.

Days after Kellen Moore “mutually agreed to part ways” with the Dallas Cowboys as their offensive coordinator, he was hired by the Los Angeles Chargers to do the same job in another example of how NFL franchises love to keep hiring the same white guys over and over.

This isn’t about Moore or how his race is the reason why he will remain gainfully employed until he decides to hang it up. It’s about what Moore represents, which is the infatuation that teams have with putting white coaches at the front of the line — skipping the usually overqualified Black candidates that have more than waited their turn for promotion.

“You guys know how I feel about Eric,” Reid said about Bieniemy back in 2020. “I think he’d be tremendous. There’s a team out there — I don’t know the team, but there’s a team out there — that could really use him. Being the leader of men that he is, you’re not going to find people better than that in that category. And he’s a sharp offensive mind on top of that. So I’m a big fan. Don’t want to lose him, but reality is, there’s a good chance that happens.”

Over the last few years, Bieniemy has been interviewed close to 20 times for head coaching jobs but has yet to receive an offer. It’s mind-blowing given that the Chiefs took off on this historic run once he and Mahomes became the architects of one of the most electrifying offensives in the league’s history.

But, instead of telling you just how unfair this has been to Bieniemy, I’m going to show you. Here’s a look at the white offensive assistants that have been hired as head coaches since Bieniemy and the Chiefs started their run in 2018.

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Hakim Ziyech: Paris Saint-Germain claim Chelsea’s document gaffe scuppered loan move for winger | Football News

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Hakim Ziyech’s loan move to Paris Saint-Germain from Chelsea has collapsed with Ligue 1 unwilling to ratify the transfer following the late submission of documents. 

PSG lodged an appeal to the Professional Football League (LFP)’s legal committee, alleging that the Stamford Bridge side had initially sent through the incorrect paperwork after the terms of an agreement had been finalised.

When it was flagged, they claim Chelsea sent the right documents twice but without a signature. When the correct version was received, the deadline had already passed.

The LFP met at 10:30am local time on Wednesday morning to study the paperwork and discuss the case. They decided against signing the loan move off.

Chelsea have yet to comment on PSG’s version of events with the French giants angered by the administrative gaffes which affected their outgoings, like Ismael Gharbi’s temporary switch to Nice.

Ziyech had passed his medical and was waiting in Paris on Tuesday to be unveiled.

More to follow…

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Whip rule changes: Champion trainer Paul Nicholls calls for delay until after spring festivals amid jockey backlash | Racing News

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Multiple champion trainer Paul Nicholls has called for the introduction of the new whip rules to be delayed until after the major spring festivals.

Nicholls took to social media to condemn the proposed new regulations after it was suggested his stable jockey Harry Cobden would have picked up a 24-day ban for his winning ride on Il Ridoto at Cheltenham on Saturday.

The same was also said of Sean Bowen, currently second in the jockeys’ championship behind Brian Hughes, for his successful ride on Back On The Lash in the Cross Country Chase.

The new rules, which are due to come into force on February 13, include severe penalties for jockeys raising their hand coming above head height.

Jockeys are currently riding within a ‘bedding-in’ period where the current regulations apply for sanctions purposes, but riders are being advised if they would have breached the new rules.

Nicholls tweeted: “Two fantastic top rides. How they can get bans is beyond me. Cobden excelled on Il Ridoto. This all needs postponing until after the spring festivals otherwise this is all going to be a disaster for the sport. For once common sense needs to prevail.”

Cobden confirmed on Nick Luck’s Daily Podcast that he had fallen foul of the new rule concerning using the whip over shoulder height.

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Speaking during the whip review process, Harry Cobden told Racing Debate he thought the process hasn’t been handled well and would need altering.

He said: “I went into the stewards’ room and they froze the images of the replay where they thought my hand was over shoulder height on three of the hits.

“You could clearly see that I was in breach of the rule, my hand was ever so slightly over and I was told that I would get eight days for each hit. Because it was a class one race that it was why it was eight days rather than four, so I would have come out of the race with a 24-day ban.”

He went on: “I’ve always ridden like this, I’ve never been called in for over shoulder height before. Before Saturday I hadn’t ridden for 12 days, so had missed a lot of the bedding-in period.

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French racing expert Laurent Barbarin says it is only a matter of time until the use of the whip is completely banned in the country amid reports France Galop are set to lower the whip count from five to four.

“It’s difficult, we’re all trying but I think that rule definitely needs to be tweaked.

“We’re happy with the penalty structure, the numbers we are fine with, the only rule we have an issue with, and the one that keeps popping up, is the over shoulder height, so I think we need to change the wording or do something about it.

“I don’t think lessening the penalties will work as jockeys will still get banned. Somehow we need to change the wording of that rule. If it looks forceful then fair enough, but if you are riding a horse like I rode Il Ridoto, nobody sees anything wrong with that and I think it’s unfair to get 24 days for one ride.

“If your arm is straight up then that is not right, but if your hand is a couple of inches above and it doesn’t look out of place, I don’t think it should be a problem.”

The British Horseracing Authority, however, underlined the stewards are not responsible for the length of the bans as that will fall under the remit of the Whip Review Committee that will regularly meet on Tuesdays.

On its Twitter account, the said: “The BHA is aware of information being posted on social media speculating about potential ‘suspensions’ under the new whip rules. Please note this information is not accurate as the Whip Review Committee have not yet met this week to consider the rides in the period 16 – 29 Jan.

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Former jockey Freddy Tylicki is in agreement with the decision to continue allowing the forehand use of the whip, a change made by the BHA following backlash from riders.

“Also, a reminder that no suspensions are being imposed at present. The purpose of the bedding-in period is to provide riders with information as to where adaptations to riding style might be needed ahead of full implementation of the rules on 13 Feb.”

A previously scheduled meeting will take place in the coming days between the BHA, Professional Jockeys Association and trainers and jockeys as part of the ongoing discussion surrounding the new rules, but not on the back of the fallout of last weekend’s racing.

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