As the countdown to the Women’s World Cup final taking place at Lyon, France on Sunday continues to tick away, the United States Women’s team is ramping up for their attempt at a fourth World Cup title.
During the tournament, USA’s Megan Rapinoe has been the center of the spotlight, for both her phenomenal play, and for comments she made about not attending the White House in the event that the American’s win, which drew the ire of President Donald Trump.
The Americans have also been called “arrogant” by the press across the pond.
When the big game kicks off on Sunday, Rapinoe will have the support of her girlfriend, WNBA star Sue Bird.
“What they’re doing right now, it’s amazing,” Bird said (h/t ESPN).
Bird has already come to the defense of her girlfriend, taking Trump to task during an article she penned on The Players’ Tribune.
“On some levels, if you read it, there is some humor in there. It’s a light, fun way to use your voice, but also address some things,” Bird said. “More than anything, I wanted to hype Megan up a little bit and also have her back. … It was challenging at times trying to get the right messaging across that I wanted to convey, but I think all in all I’m happy with it. There has been a lot more love than hate. Unfortunately, there has been some hate, but that’s just reality we live in right now.”
“I don’t feel political. To me, this isn’t a matter of tax reform and things of that nature,” she said. “This is treating people with respect, treating people like they’re a human, just like you are. That’s where I stand with it. That’s what I believe in. It’s very similar to what Megan believes in. More than anything, I wanted to have her back, and talk about some soccer.”
Bird said that she can relate to Rapinoe, who is hoping to be 100% for Sunday’s game, and spoke about her continued rehabilitation from left knee surgery that took place back in May.
“I was actually ready right around the playoffs. Then it becomes this team has played an entire season without me, is that fair? And I’m already putting the carriage before the horse because who knows if I’m going to be ready by then?” she said. “It was definitely more extensive than we had initially thought going in. Which isn’t a bad thing, I think long term it’s a good thing. It just kind of sucks for this season.”
Tiger-Cats’ Brandon Banks Upset with Fine
Hamilton Tiger-Cats wide receiver Brandon Banks is upset over a fine he was hit with for “making unnecessary contact on an on-field official” during his team’s win over the Calgary Stampeders back on Saturday.
Banks was hit with a 10-yard objectionable conduct penalty during the questionable play, which took place during the third quarter of play.
Banks, who was named a top performer for his performance, hauled in 9 receptions for 86 yards and two touchdown. Banks also returned a missed field goal for a touchdown.
Banks responded to the fine on Twitter, directing his message to CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrose.
“This is bull—- @RandyAmbrosie! I want U to review this type and I want a personal meeting with u about this one I not letting this one slide by easy!!”
R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers Defends Pay Gap
R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers is defending the massive pay gap in regards to the purses for The Open Championship and the Women’s British Open.
Slumbers was being flooded with questions from the media regarding the sizable disparity, but stood his ground in defending it.
“We’re as ambitious for the Women’s British Open as we are for The Open,” Slumbers said, according to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach. “But as I have said previously, we want to grow the women’s game. We’re passionate about growing the women’s game, but we need to build a sustainable women’s game, and that means building a bigger amateur game right from the very beginning up to the top.
“To build the economics of the Women’s British Open, to be able to keep raising the prize money we need to do it as a sustainable business model. It needs to be a long-term business model, and that is what we are spending a long time doing. How do we build a better model to have a more financially successful Women’s British Open that will flow then down into the prize money? Where it ends up, I don’t know. But my ambition is to keep growing the overall performance of it and keep enhancing the status of the event.”
The purse for the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush Golf Club this week is $10.75 million, with the Champion Golfer of the Year collecting $1.935 million.
In comparison, the purse for the 43rd Women’s British Open is $4.5 million, with the winner taking home $675,000.
“As we’re looking at the Women’s British Open, how we attract more people to watch the championship, to watch it live or watch it on TV, it may be that only being on links courses might not be the right answer. I wouldn’t be surprised to see with the Women’s British Open a mix of some of the great inland courses and the great links courses, but all aimed at trying to make the championship more engaged with by the public.”
“There’s been a lot of talk about (taking The Open outside England) and I think that’s because of the success of bringing it to Royal Portrush,” Slumbers said. “But we have 10 courses in the pool that we use and we think they’re the best links courses in the world, and we’re happy with those courses.
“If we think about the past few years, going back to Carnoustie, going back to Hoylake and coming back to here, they’ve been great successes. We are not looking, at the moment, beyond those 10 courses.”
Rory McIlroy Starts The Open with Quadruple-Bogey
Rory McIlroy didn’t kick off his play at The Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club in the way he may have wanted to. In fact, it couldn’t have gone much worse.
McIlroy, widely considered to be the favorite to win and playing in his native Northern Ireland, hit his tee shot on the first hole out of bounds and ended up with a quadruple-bogey 8 on the par-4, 421-yard hole.
Statistics show that tt’s the first time McIlroy started a major championship with a double-bogey or worse since the 2012 Masters.,
“I’m just treating this like any other Open Championship,” McIlroy said, according to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach.
“I’ve played well here for the last few years. I’ve played well on this golf course. So I’ve just got to go out and hit the shots and stay in the present. If I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, hopefully by Sunday night that will be good enough.”
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