Pep Guardiola contacts former Arsenal flop as Man City prepare €50m bid

Pep Guardiola has contacted Milan midfielder Ismael Bennacer with Manchester City primed to launch a €50million bid.

The Algeria international has resurrected his career in Serie after he failed to make the grade during the course of a two-year spell in north London with Arsenal.

Indeed, Bennacer made just a solitary senior appearance during a League Cup defeat at Sheffield Wednesday before he was loaned out to Tours by Arsene Wenger.

The gifted playmaker subsequently moved to and excelled at Empoli last season and earned himself a move to San Siro where he has enjoyed another reputation enhancing campaign, despite Milan’s struggles.

City are on the brink of surrendering their Premier League title to Liverpool and although their spending power might be limited this summer, Guardiola is already making plans to rebuild a squad capable of challenging Jurgen Klopp’s relentless winning machine.

According to RMC, Guardiola has already spoken to the 22-year-old and outlined his vision for the player, who could team up with his compatriot Riyad Mahrez at the Etihad Stadium.

Despite failing to make an impact at Arsenal, Bennacer harbours no ill feeling towards his former club and earlier this week credited the likes of Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla with having a major impact on his career.

‘I arrived in England in July 2015, then stayed in a hotel for the first two months because I didn’t want to live with a family I didn’t know,’ he told La Gazzetta dello Sport magazine Sportweek.

‘I was 17 years old and couldn’t live on my own, so my sister came to live with me, then the girl I’d been dating since school who in England would go on to become my wife.

‘Finally, in September, I got some time on the pitch, but I was thrown on after two other injuries against Sheffield, played wide left in a trident attack, which I had never done before. I felt incredible pressure and wasn’t sure what was going on.

‘I never played again after that, but I have no regrets, as I still got to train with important players like Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla. I had four years left on the Arsenal contract, but I had to be at a club where they really wanted me.

‘I didn’t know Empoli, but I accepted a move down from the Premier League to Serie B because they were the club who wanted me the most. I did the same when deciding on Milan – I chose them for their history too, but also because it was the best project for me.’

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Mercedes leaves the door open to sign Sebastian Vettel

Toto Wolff has confirmed that Mercedes will “monitor” Sebastian Vettel’s situation now he is leaving Ferrari and that F1’s world champions cannot yet rule the German out of a 2021 drive.

Vettel’s F1 future beyond this year is hugely uncertain after the four-time champion and Ferrari decided to part ways at the end of the year.

Mercedes are now the only one of F1’s leading teams yet to sign up either of their drivers for next season, with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas’ deals expiring in December.

Hamilton, in particular, is expected to strike a new deal and the prospect of Mercedes teaming the six-time champion with long-time rival Vettel in what would be the most decorated F1 line-up of all time is still considered unlikely.

Nonetheless, in an interview with Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle, Wolff said: “Sebastian is a four-time world champion and him suddenly becoming available was unexpected.

“And, therefore, it is a situation that needs to be monitored.

“Where could he potentially go, where are we with our drivers, and what I said (before) is I wouldn’t discount Sebastian for any seat.

“We have looked at the situation. Our priority and concentration is on our Mercedes drivers — that’s Lewis, Valtteri and the juniors. George Russell being one of them; Esteban Ocon is obviously a Renault driver today.

“And only if we can’t find a solution within that group of drivers we will look elsewhere and then obviously Sebastian is in a very good position.”

Speaking in a later press conference with the wider media, Wolff said it is not simply out of respect for Vettel that he is not yet discounting the 32-year-old.

Wolff pointed to then-newly-crowned world champion Nico Rosberg’s sudden retirement at the end of 2016 as an example of how the driver market can be turned on its head completely out of the blue.

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Sebastian Vettel joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes would be the biggest news of the year.Source:Getty Images

“It’s not lip service, but we owe it to a four-time champion not to come out and say straight away ‘no’. You need to think about it,” said Wolff.

“On the other side, we have a fantastic line-up and I’ve very happy with both our pilots and George (Russell), but you never know. One of them may decide he doesn’t want to go racing anymore and suddenly you have a vacant spot.

“This is why I don’t want to come out in June and say, ‘No chance, Sebastian is not racing for us’. I wouldn’t do it to him as a driver, to be that blunt, and on the other side I’ve seen black swans appearing when nobody suspected — remember Nico Rosberg.

“In that respect, we’re just keeping our options open, but of course concentrating our discussions with our current drivers.”

WOLFF HOPES HAMILTON CONTRACT AGREED ‘PRETTY SOON’

Mercedes are out-of-sync compared to their F1 rivals in terms of driver contracts for 2021, with Ferrari already confirming Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz as their line-up, while Max Verstappen is on a long-term deal at Red Bull.

But Wolff explained that he expects to kickstart discussions with Hamilton once the season gets going next month.

“We didn’t see each other over lockdown, we were in different parts of the world, but we were in regular contact,” he said. “But we didn’t work on any agreement.

“Between us there is a lot of trust, we have been together for a long time, and never in these years together (have) we had to take the contracts out and read what was written in them because it comes so naturally.

“Therefore, once racing resumes, we’re going to spend some time together, take the contract out of the cupboard, look at the timings and the numbers and the rights, and hopefully have something pretty soon.”

This article first appeared on Sky Sports and was reproduced with permission

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Robin Goodfellow's racing tips: Best bets for Thursday, June 4

Robin Goodfellow’s racing tips: Best bets for Thursday, June 4

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Thursday’s meetings at Newcastle and Newmarket.

A magnificent festival of racing begins at Newmarket on Thursday as HQ builds up to a Classic weekend.

However, with six of the 10 races set aside for juveniles, winner finding may not be straight forward.

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Thursday’s meetings

As informative as those events will no doubt prove, Newcastle could offer more to the punter with the Group 3 Pavilion Stakes a cracking event which may also have a bearing on the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in a fortnight’s time.

Connections of MALOTRU (Newcastle, 3.55) and A’Ali will certainly be hoping that the six-furlong Gosforth Park feature offers a satisfactory stepping stone for the season and preference for the former is marginal with his seven-furlong stamina an added positive given events of the week.

The Tapeta surface at Newcastle has ridden pretty deep all week since the resumption of racing on Monday and the ability to stay beyond six furlongs could prove a deciding factor in this event.

Malotru confirmed six and seven furlongs come alike to him at Lingfield in February when landing the Spring Cup in style and he may have too much power in the last furlong for A’Ali who proved so effective over the minimum trip as a juvenile, winning three times at Group 2 level.

GUIPURE (Newcastle, 1.00) hails from a yard which have hit the ground running since the resumption of racing and the Dutch Art filly could continue that bright start in the opening handicap.

Trainer Karl Burke found the score sheet with an impressive juvenile winner on Tuesday and Guipure could prove the type to thrive as a three-year-old when presented with a stiff test at a mile.

She certainly relished that trip at Pontefract last autumn when powering clear of Magna Moralia and looks fairly treated starting off a mark of 75 this summer. 

ROBIN GOODFELLOW   

1.15 Bungledupinblue 

1.50 Zamaani 

2.25 Existent 

3.00 Dark Lion 

3.35 Sky Angel 

4.10 Sunset Memory 

4.45 Count Otto 

5.20 Ginger Jam 

5.55 Via Serendipity 

6.30 Inclyne 

GIMCRACK  

1.15 Sacred 

1.50 Tactical 

2.25 Existent 

3.00 Creative Force 

3.35 Risk Of Thunder 

4.10 Cirrus 

4.45 Mia Mento (nb) 

5.20 Magic J 

5.55 Cliffs Of Capri 

6.30 Givinitsum 

NEWMARKET – 4.45 Mia Mento (nap); 5.20 Commander Han (nb).

NEWCASTLE

ROBIN GOODFELLOW    

1.00 Guipure (nap) 

1.35 Brunch 

2.10 Al Salt 

2.45 Rich Approach 

3.20 Leoch 

3.55 Malotru 

4.30 Tapeten Toni 

5.05 Barrington 

5.40 Accessor (nb) 

6.15 Mabre 

GIMCRACK    

1.00 Bottom Bay 

1.35 Splinter 

2.10 Al Salt 

2.45 Thaayer 

3.20 Rogue Tide 

3.55 Ventura Rebel (nap) 

4.30 High Peak 

5.05 Buniann 

5.40 Nataleena 

6.15 Brodick 

NORTHERNER – 1.35 Splinter (nap); 5.05 Buniann (nb)

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Man Utd star Bruno Fernandes gives emphatic verdict on playing with Paul Pogba

Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes has opened up on playing alongside Paul Pogba and has hailed the World Cup winner as ‘fantastic’. Red Devils fans are excited to see the two line up together at Old Trafford when the Premier League restarts.

Fernandes has been sensational since joining United in the January transfer window from Sporting Lisbon.

The Portuguese has netted twice and provided three assists in just five Premier League appearances for his new side.

And on Instagram he has opened up on his excitement to get going with Pogba for the remainder of the campaign.

“I think Paul is one of the best players in Manchester and in the world,” Fernandes said during an Instagram Live with Mario Djurovski.

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“He was injured for a lot of time.

“The opportunity to play side to side with him is fantastic because you want to play with the best players you can.”

Former United star Dimitar Berbatov thinks Pogba’s return to full fitness is undoubtedly a boost for the club but warns that a fruitful partnership between the World Cup winner and Fernandes could take more time.

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“Manchester United have had a huge boost in Paul Pogba returning to fitness. It is great news for the team,” Berbatov told Betfair.

“The dangerous thing is that he hasn’t played for so long, so hopefully he has prepared well and he will be ready to play at 100 percent again.

“Is he going to start? I’m not too sure, coming back from a long injury may impact him starting, it will be interesting to see if Solskjaer puts him straight into the battle. I’m sure if the manager asks Pogba how he feels and if he is ready, then Paul will say ‘of course I am ready.’

“It will be the first time we get to see Fernandes and Pogba play together and it will be interesting to see if they can hit it off, they will have had the chance to get to know each other in training but that is totally different to a game.

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“It could be a great partnership and I am sure that Pogba’s return is a massive boost and will give huge confidence to the whole team.

“One player doesn’t define a team, but when you have good, quality, confident players putting all their effort in to help the team then you are going to succeed.”

United currently sit fifth in the Premier League and will look to leapfrog Chelsea when the season restarts in a couple of weeks.

The Red Devils will be desperate to qualify for the Champions League as they look to add the likes of Jadon Sancho to their ranks this summer.

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Man City Champions League ban: CAS reveal when appeal verdict will finally be given

Manchester City could have to wait for two months before they find out if their Champions League ban has been overturned. The defending Premier League champions were handed a two-season ban from European competition in February.

City received the suspension, and a £25million fine, in February after they were adjudged to have broken Financial Fair Play rules.

The Etihad club immediately appealed the suspension, lobbying to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

City’s appeal is being heard by CAS this week, despite restrictions stemming from the coronavirus outbreak.

City are hoping to have a swift resolution to the hearing in order to give them time to prepare for the 2020/21 season.

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Manchester City receiveda two-year suspension from European competition in February

But according to the Daily Mirror, their wish won’t be granted.

They claim City could have to wait for two months to find out if they’ll be in next season’s Champions League.

Both UEFA and City are hoping for CAS to render their decision before the draw for next season’s tournament.

Should CAS uphold City’s ban, the fifth-placed Premier League side will qualify for Europe’s elite club competition.

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The upholding of City’s suspension has led to suggestions Guardiola could leave the club at the end of the season.

Guardiola, however, insists he’ll be at the Etihad at the start of the 2020/21 campaign.

He said: “We are going to fight like we have fought every single game and day we are together until the end of the season.

“We are optimistic that at the end the truth will prevail and next season we will be in the Champions League.

“If they don’t sack me I will stay here 100% more than ever. First, because I want to stay.

“It’s something special, more than the contract I have. I said before, I say now I want to stay and help the club and maintain this level as long as possible.’

He added: “Why should I leave? When I said I love this club I like to be here, why should I leave?

“No matter what happens I will be here next season.”

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Bold rule changes and fake crowd noises – how NRL’s return has created an impact

English star performers, bold rule changes and artificial crowd effects – Australia’s NRL has burst back onto screens around the world as one of the first elite competitions back in action.

Former Wigan half-back George Williams produced one of the performances of last weekend’s return for high-flying Canberra, alongside fellow countrymen Josh Hodgson and Elliott Whitehead.

The decision to import fake fan noises was met with a largely positive response, along with a rule that scraps penalties for tackle infringements, and instead resets the tackle count. And with the action being shown in 70 countries across the globe – including all eight on Sky Sports – rugby league Down Under has never been more widely watched.

Sky’s former Great Britain international Phil Clarke – who played for Sydney Roosters himself – says the changes have improved to the sport’s spectacle.

Clarke said: “I watched the behind closed doors games before the lockdown and didn’t like the silence, and the crowd effects added to the coverage. They have four different sound engineers working to make sure different noises are added depending on whether teams are attacking or defending and I thought that worked well.

“The rule change seemed to make the game faster and flow better. Rugby league needs a natural flow to it, so that fatigue becomes an important element and it’s not just about power. The new ‘six again’ rule allows the team at fault to be penalised without interrupting that flow.

“I noticed that Eddie Jones commented on it and used it as an example that World Rugby should look at when making rule changes to make rugby union faster and a better spectacle. He loves his rugby league and he’s been saying in rugby union circles that it’s been a success.

“The other important factor is that if the NRL has been criticised for anything in the past it’s for being a bit too structured. The new rule seems to encourage a greater spontaneity and that’s good for the game.”

Clarke sees the Roosters, Canberra and table-topping Parramatta as the most likely champions in the scaled-down 2020 season, which now concludes at the end of October.

He continued: “Canberra are one of the favourites to win it and you could call them ‘Little Britain’ now. Ricky Stuart absolutely loves his British players, he’s got a lot of time and respect for them. George Williams was outstanding last week and he’s one to look out for again.

“I love the Roosters with them being my former club – the people at the club were and are great friends. It would be amazing if they could win it three years in a row.

“But perhaps the most exciting team at the moment is Parramatta Eels. Many people in this country who started watching rugby league in the 1980s had them as their favourite sides, because they had the likes of Brett Kenny, Peter Sterling and Eric Grothe.

“Now after what seems like years of underperforming they look back to their best – they produce a lot of offloads and are really good to watch.”

Despite his admiration for those three sides, Clarke says any newcomers to the sport should look to New Zealand Warriors, who committed to moving their entire squad to Australia to help restart the competition.

Clarke added: “We’ve heard about football teams here not watching to play at neutral venues so it’s a fascinating story of sacrifice. How many people would move away from their home and family for several months to do their job?

“I know a lot of soldiers, NHS and caseworkers have been making what are greater sacrifices, but from a sporting perspective the Warriors have shown they’re prepared to roll their sleeves up.

“They might not win the competition this year but New Zealand Warriors certainly deserve our respect.”

CLUB-BY-CLUB GUIDE

Brisbane Broncos

Position: 9th

English connection: Lancashire-born youngster Herbie Farnworth has broken into the first team.

One to Watch: Giant 20-year-old prop Payne Haas has a big future ahead of him.

Canberra Raiders

Position: 2nd

English connection: The club's 'Fab Five' of John Batemen, George Williams, Elliott Whitehead, Ryan Sutton and Josh Hodgson.

One to Watch: George Williams was on fire in last week's impressive win at Melbourne.

Canterbury Bulldogs

Position: 15th

English connection: St Helens prop Luke Thompson heads there in 2021 and the Bulldogs want him now.

One to Watch: Half-back Kieran Foran has a lot on his shoulders returning from injury.

Cronulla Sharks

Position: 13th

English connection: Tommy Bishop led the Sharks to their first Grand Final in 1973.

One to Watch: Former Golden Boot winner Shaun Johnson is a magician on his day.

Gold Coast Titans

Position: 16th

English connection: Richie Mathers, Dan Sarginson and Kallum Watkins all turned out for the Titans.

One to Watch: Forward Jai Arrow often stands tall in a struggling team.

Manly Sea Eagles

Position: 6th

English connection: Prop Kevin Ward played a key role in the 1987 Grand Final win.

One to Watch: Full-back Tom Trbojevic is setting the competition alight at present.

Melbourne Storm

Position: 8th

English connection: Warrington playmaker Gareth Widdop built his career at the Storm.

One to Watch: Hooker Cameron Smith is an all-time rugby league great.

Newcastle Knights

Position: 3rd

English connection: Malcolm Reilly coached the Knights to Grand Final success in 1997.

One to Watch: Youngster Bradman Best is catching the eye at centre.

New Zealand Warriors

Position: 12th

English connection: Andy Platt and Denis Betts were members of the Warriors’ first squad in 1995.

One to Watch: International Player of the Year Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is an excitement machine.

North Queensland Cowboys

Position: 5th

English connection: Well travelled hooker Scott Moore played made six appearances for the Cowboys in 2013.

One to Watch: Electric Valentine Holmes is back in league after a brief flirtation with the NFL.

Parramatta Eels

Position: 1st

English connection: Current Workington coach Chris Thorman played 11 times for the Eels in 2004.

One to Watch: Fijian winger Maika Sivo is unstoppable on his day.

Penrith Panthers

Position: 4th

English connection: Zak Hardaker had a brief spell with the Panthers in 2016.

One to Watch: Fijian back rower Viliame Kikau is a destructive runner out wide.

South Sydney Rabbitohs

Position: 11th

English connection: All four Burgess brothers famously played together there – only Tom remains.

One to Watch: Aussie international Damien Cook is a non-stop live-wire from hooker.

St George Illawarra Dragons

Position: 14th

English connection: Stalwart James Graham is still leading the Dragons from the front.

One to Watch: Hooker Cameron McInnes has an unbelievably high work rate.

Sydney Roosters

Position: 10th

English connection: England and ex-Leeds winger Ryan Hall is in the squad.

One to Watch: Many believe full-back James Tedesco is the best player in the world.

Wests Tigers

Position: 7th

English connection: Gareth Ellis became a local hero during four stellar seasons with the Tigers.

One to Watch: Brilliant veteran Benji Marshall still has all his old tricks up his sleeve.

This weekend’s NRL action

All matches simultaneously on Sky Sports Mix, Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports Main Event.

THURSDAY: Brisbane Broncos v Sydney Roosters (10.50am)

FRIDAY: Penrith Panthers v New Zealand Warriors (9am), Melbourne Storm v South Sydney Rabbitohs (10.55am)

SATURDAY: Parramatta Eels v Manly Sea Eagles (8.30am), North Queensland Cowboys v Cronulla Sharks (10.35am)

SUNDAY: Canberra Raiders v Newcastle Knights (7am), Gold Coast Titans v Wests Tigers (9.25am)

MONDAY: Canterbury Bulldogs v St George-Illawarra Dragons (7.05am)

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George Floyd: Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott makes $1m donation to address ‘systemic racism’

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has pledged to donate $1m (£793,850) for police training and addressing “systemic racism” in the U.S.A, following the death of George Floyd.

Floyd, 46, died last week in Minneapolis after police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on his neck for at least eight minutes while arresting him for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 note in a shop.

In a powerful Instagram post, 26-year-old Prescott wrote: “We will clean our streets and our communities not only of the looting and violence, but most importantly the racism, racial-profiling and hate.

“I plan to take action and pledge $1,000,000 to improve our police training and address our systemic racism through education and advocacy in our country.”

On the nationwide protests over the last week, he added: “I have the utmost respect for those of you with a passion for protecting and serving your communities.

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“When you chose to wear the badge of a police officer, you pledged to PROTECT life and property through the enforcement of our laws and regulations.

“How can you claim to uphold the law when those within your own ranks don’t abide by it?

“You need to hold your own accountable! Each of you are as guilty as the men who stood beside Derek Chauvin if you do not stand up against the systemic racism plaguing our police forces nationwide. TAKE ACTION!”

“As our communities take action, protesting and fighting for the justice of George Floyd and every black life, I am with you!”

Prescott’s NFL side the Cowboys have yet to comment formally on the death of Floyd in Minneapolis.

Several high-profile NFL current and former players and coaches have made donations and have spoken out about Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests in the United States.

Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti has pledged $1m for social justice reform.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement on May 30 calling for a “urgent need for action” and stressed the League was committed to addressing “systemic issues”.

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EFL announce NINE positive coronavirus tests in the Championship

EFL announce NINE positive coronavirus tests out of 1,094 across SIX different Championship clubs – including Preston and Sheffield Wednesday – after the latest round of checks

  • A total of 1,094 players and staff were tested from all 24 Championship clubs
  • Sheffield Wednesday confirmed a staff member was one of those to test positive
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Nine individuals from the Championship have tested positive for coronavirus in the latest round of testing in the EFL.

A total of 1,094 players and staff were tested in a four-day period ending on Tuesday, with the positive tests coming from six different clubs.

In League Two, where only the four clubs in the play-off places are participating, there were zero positive cases from a sample size of 126.

EFL has announced nine positive coronavirus tests in Championship across six different clubs

Anyone who has tested positive will enter self isolation in line with the guidelines provided by the EFL.

Sheffield Wednesday confirmed a staff member was one of those to test positive, with Preston saying they had returned one positive result too.

A statement by the EFL on Wednesday evening read: ‘Following the latest round of Covid-19 testing, the EFL can confirm that 1,094 players and club staff from the 24 Championship Clubs were tested over the course of Saturday 30 May, Sunday 31 May, Monday 1 June and Tuesday 2 June with nine individuals testing positive from six clubs.

‘Those players or club staff who have tested positive will now self-isolate in line with the guidelines provided by the EFL and only those who have tested negative will be permitted to enter training ground facilities.’

The EFL agreed a provisional date of June 20 for the Championship to resume earlier this week.

Championship clubs were permitted to begin contact training on Tuesday once they submitted updated policies to the EFL. Preston and league leaders Leeds United were among those teams to begin.  

Sportsmail exclusively revealed that Preston’s restart plans were thrown into disarray on Tuesday when a positive coronavirus test was revealed after their first full-contact training session.  

Sheffield Wednesday confirmed a staff member was one of those to test positive




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Brees: Will never agree with disrespecting flag

  • Covered Saints for eight years at New Orleans Times-Picayune
  • Previously covered LSU football, San Francisco 49ers
  • Iowa native and University of Iowa graduate

METAIRIE, La. — After earlier sharing a message of unity on social media, Drew Brees attracted backlash later Wednesday when he reiterated his stance on how he will “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America” during an interview with Yahoo Finance.

They were his first comments in the wake of George Floyd’s killing last week.

The star New Orleans Saints quarterback gave a lengthy response to ESPN when asked about the perceived conflict between those two stances — including the potential divide in his own locker room, where players like Malcolm Jenkins and Demario Davis are among the leaders of the Players Coalition seeking social justice and racial equality.

“I love and respect my teammates and I stand right there with them in regards to fighting for racial equality and justice,” Brees said. “I also stand with my grandfathers who risked their lives for this country and countless other military men and women who do it on a daily basis.”

Brees was outspoken in 2016 when he said he supported Colin Kaepernick’s desire to speak out against racial injustice, but he disagreed with Kaepernick’s method of protest during the national anthem.

He has not wavered from that stance — though he insisted Wednesday that his actions should represent what kind of a person he is.

“I believe we should all stand for the national anthem and respect our country and all those who sacrificed so much for our freedoms,” Brees said via text message. “That includes all those who marched for women’s suffrage in the 1920s and all those who marched in the civil rights movements and continue to march for racial equality. All of us … EVERYONE … represent that flag. Same way I respect all the citizens of our country … no matter their race, color, religion.

“And I would ask anyone who has a problem with what I said to look at the way I live my life. Do I come across as someone who is not doing my absolute best to make this world a better place, to bring justice and equality to others, and hope & opportunity to those who don’t have it? That’s what I meant by actions speak louder than words. … My ACTIONS speak for themselves.”

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Words to unite.. A mentor of mine once told me that if you listen closely, the sound of children playing is the same no matter where you are in the world. The laughing, shouting, screaming, giggling… No matter what language you speak, no matter what your race, color, religion… the exact same. At some point we all change… The reasons… Our environment, experiences, education…The voices and influences around us. If you are reading this, you are probably one of those whose voice and influence is very powerful in the life of a young person. So when you ask what difference you can make in this world… It’s exactly that. Raise, teach, but most importantly model to young people what it is to love all and respect all. There is a saying in every locker room I have been in… Don’t just talk about it, be about it. Acknowledge the problem, and accept the fact that we all have a responsibility to make it better. “Your actions speak so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying”

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on

Brees was referencing his social media post from Wednesday morning, which began with the header, “Words to unite” and talked about the importance of teaching and modeling to children “what it is to love all and respect all.”

“There is a saying in every locker room I have been in,” Brees wrote. “‘Don’t just talk about it, be about it.’ Acknowledge the problem, and accept the fact that we all have a responsibility to make it better. ‘Your actions speak so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.'”

Brees and his wife Brittany have been heavily involved in charitable efforts throughout his 19-year NFL career, including a recent donation of $5 million to help Louisiana during the coronavirus pandemic.

Brees’ comments were not specifically addressed by teammates immediately on Wednesday, though receiver Michael Thomas replied with an emoji to a reporter’s comment that read, “How can anyone watch George Floyd get murdered and their first response when asked about it is ResPEcC tHe fLAg.”

Thomas also retweeted other comments directed toward Brees’ statements.

Saints coach Sean Payton offered a passionate stance Tuesday, saying on social media that Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery were “murdered not killed” and calling for change in the November elections.

Saints and New Orleans Pelicans owner Gayle Benson released a lengthy statement Monday, decrying police brutality and announcing the creation of a Social Justice Leadership Coalition within both organizations involving Davis, Lonzo Ball and JJ Redick.

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