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Mercury’s Diana Taurasi Criticizes WNBA

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Diana Taurasi

Phoenix Mercury superstar and WNBA legend Diana Taurasi is taking aim at how the WNBA is marketing their game, and their players, as well as how players are getting paid, and how the league treats it’s players.

Basically, Taurasi isn’t happy with how the WNBA operates as a whole, and isn’t shy about sharing her opinion.

“It’s just so sad to me. You know, 15 years in, it’s just such a sad thing to talk about” Taurasi said when discussing the pay disparity in the league, according to ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss.

“We had to go to a communist country to get paid like capitalists, which is so backward to everything that was in the history books in sixth grade. And even then, even within our pay scale, it doesn’t make sense. On a team, you could have seven players making the same amount of money. That doesn’t make sense to me.”

“Something’s missing. I don’t know. I don’t know what the solution is. But what’s going on now, it’s not working. And I use an example of when B.G. [Brittney Griner] was a rookie, she was walking in this arena, and the janitor was making more money than her. But you want Brittney Griner to be this superstar and carry the league into where? The kid’s got to go to Russia [in the offseason] for the next 10 years to get paid what she deserves.

And it’s just shocking to me, as we have the NBA as the best model ever. But the WNBA always finds a way to mess it up. I just don’t get it. I’m so disillusioned with it all … not because of what I had to go through, but for the younger kids. When you’re in it, when you’re playing and you’re young, you don’t worry about these things. You’re just so worried about proving yourself and getting to the playoffs, being a better basketball player.

But when you get older, like Sue [Bird] and I, we start thinking about these things, like it’s been 15 years. I think Sue said it best. In the last 11 years, I think we’ve had a 1.5% increase in our pay salary. I mean, who doesn’t leave that job? It’s like [Lionel] Messi. You play for Barcelona, and then you go back to Argentina and play in a YMCA league because you love the game. And you know what? We come back every single summer because we love the game. It’s pathetic.”

Taurasi says that the WNBA simply doesn’t care that players have to go overseas to play and make money, and noted that a contentious CBA negotiation is likely to take place because of these, and many other, issues.

Of those other issues, Taurasi isn’t thrilled with how the WNBA has marketed the game, or it’s superstars.

“Once again, I just don’t understand how the NBA has made rock stars out of their best players … if you think about what they’ve been able to do marketing-wise. And obviously it started with Magic and Larry and Isiah, and then obviously Jordan took it to the next level. And then you had Kobe, Shaq, and now you have LeBron, Harden, Steph, Durant.

They’ve made rock stars out of these players. And we just have not been able to capitalize on any of that. Not even a little bit. Not even one bit. Like, are you kidding me with some of the stuff that they do marketing and promoting-wise? It’s almost mind-boggling.”

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Golf

European Tour Suspends Thorbjorn Olesen

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Thorbjorn Olesen

The European Tour has officially suspended Thorbjorn Olesen pending the investigation into his recent arrest on charges of being drunk on an aircraft a and assaulting a female passenger while she slept.

Olesen was arrested at Heathrow Airport on July 29th upon his return from the World Golf Championships event in Tennessee, and he is set to appear in court on August 21st to face charges of sexual assault, being drunk on an aircraft and common assault, according to Metropolitan Police in London.

The European Tour issued a statement saying that Olesen has been suspended pending the outcome of his case, adding that they would not make any further comments on the matter while the legal process moves forward.

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CFL

Stampeders’ Bo Levi Mitchell Ruled Out

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Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell has been ruled out for Week 9’s game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Thursday.

Mitchell was able to return to practice on Tuesday, and was able to make a number of throws at various distances and lengths, but the team ultimately decided that he was not ready for action just yet.

Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson had left the door open for Mitchell to dress against Winnipeg, but now he is not going to dress for the game either.

Mitchell, for his part, is remaining upbeat about his injured shoulder.

“It felt great” Mitchell said on Tuesday, according to TSN. “I didn’t really want to take the helmet off…overall, I felt pretty good.

“That’s Dave (Dickenson’s) decision. Dave and Huf (GM John Hufnagel) – let those guys decide.”

Mitchell will now set his sights on Week 10, where he could return as the team takes on the Montreal Alouettes at home.

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Sun Trade Kristine Anigwe to Wings for Theresa Plaisance

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WNBA

The Connecticut Sun had acquired forward/center Theresa Plaisance from the Dallas Wings in exchange for rookie forward/center Kristine Anigwe, according to ESPN.

“Theresa is a talented, versatile offensive player and is considered one of the best stretch post players in the league. She is someone who we have targeted for a few seasons and we are excited to have her with us. Theresa gives us an experienced, young veteran presence who has a tremendous reputation across the league as a fantastic teammate and unifier in the locker room,” Sun coach and general manager Curt Miller said in an official statement.

Plaisance is averaging 6 points and 4.4 rebounds for the Wings this season and is second among centers with 23 made 3-pointers this year.

Anigwe is averaging 2.6 points and 1.8 rebounds in 17 games this season. She was the 9th overall pick by the Sun in the 2019 WNBA draft.

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