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President Donald Trump calls for sports to resume play at UFC 249

President Donald Trump calls for sports to resume play at UFC 249

Last night, live sports returned in the United States at UFC 249. Held in an empty arena without fans, with a load of coronavirus prevention guidelines and testing, some normalcy returned to the sports world.

President Donald Trump addressed UFC fans during the broadcast in a video from the White House.

"I'm standing in a very important spot, right outside the Oval Office, and you're looking at the White House behind me," Trump said. "It's an honor to be here and an honor to salute you. I want to congratulate Dana White and the UFC. They're going to have a big match.

"We love it. We think it's important. Get the sports league back. Let's play. Do the social distancing and whatever else you have to do, but we need sports. We want our sports back."

It's worth noting that UFC light heavyweight Jacare Souza tested positive for COVID-19 and his bout with Uriah Hall was pulled from the event, but the card continued otherwise. It's also worth noting that Trump and UFC president Dana White have a close personal relationship, with White speaking at the Republican National Convention in 2016.

Trump has reportedly held calls with the commissioners of the major sports leagues about how to get sports going again. As of now, the NBA, NHL and MLB seasons are suspended, and there isn't a clear return date or plan in mind. Reports of options have crept out, but nothing concrete is in place.

The NFL released its schedule in early May and is planning on starting in early September, as usual. However, there are contingency plans in place if the season needs to be delayed.

NBC Sports Chicago to present 'Race In America: A Candid Conversation'

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NBC Sports Chicago

NBC Sports Chicago to present 'Race In America: A Candid Conversation'

Chicago, IL (June 11, 2020) – NBC Sports Chicago has announced it will deliver a new half-hour special presentation entitled Race in America: A Candid Conversation airing this Sunday evening, June 14 at 7:00 PM CT.  Hosted by NBC Sports Chicago’s Laurence Holmes and featuring a panel of some of Chicago’s most-admired pro athletes including Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward, Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson, Bulls power forward Thaddeus Young and former Bears linebacker Sam Acho, Race in America: A Candid Conversation will provide viewers with personal reactions on the death of George Floyd, commentary on the current state of race relations in the nation, along with deep discussion on the societal requirements needed for change moving forward.  NOTES: Authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers can also stream Race in America: A Candid Conversation online at NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive; NBC Sports Chicago will also re-air the special Wednesday, June 17 at 10:30 PM.

“Our community is hurting right now and we have reached a critical point in our city and nation’s history,” said Kevin Cross, Senior Vice President/General Manager, NBC Sports Chicago.  “As a network, we feel strongly that in order to make change happen, we need to have an increased frequency of candid, open discussions on race relations, but more importantly, we need to simply listen to one another more.  The athletes showcased on this program entertain us in competition, but they are also experiencing this moment in time as black men.  As an African-American myself, I appreciate their willingness to talk openly on this important subject and I encourage the entire Chicago community to tune in to not only watch, but to listen as well.”

Please note the following highlighted quotes from NBC Sports Chicago’s special presentation Race in America: A Candid Conversation, premiering Sunday, June 14 at 7:00 PM CT:

Allen Robinson
“It doesn’t need a situation like George Floyd for other people of different demographics to say, ‘Well, let’s hear their thoughts about this, let’s hear their thoughts about that.’ I would, and I think that we would appreciate it, and that’s what we want. We want our voices to be heard, we’re people just like everyone else. We have built this country just like everyone else. We want our voice to be heard just like everyone else.”

Thaddeus Young
“We as African-Americans, we have to be able to speak up, and stand up, and have to keep doing it with precision, and the ultimate goal at hand is to create some kind of change, and that’s what we have to keep in our mindset, change. If we don’t keep that in our mindset, and we start to follow these smoke screens, it takes away from the true power that we have in our hands and the true power that we can use to create the change.”

Jason Heyward
“I think it’s okay to live in a spot where we’re angry, but I think it’s necessary as well. I think we need to have that chip on our shoulder and we got to use that as motivation to get this right, to keep pushing for it to be right. It’s not about a clean slate, no one’s got a clean slate. We’re just saying we don’t get treated fairly…we don’t get treated equally.”

Sam Acho
“There’s a large group of people that are just ignorant, and those people need to be educated. They need to understand that, ‘Hey, these biases do exist, I need to do something about them.’ Then you need to empathize with people, no matter how much money you make, no matter what socioeconomic class you’re in, they need to understand that people who have hatred and anger in their hearts toward African-Americans, racists, people who also are ignorant, they don’t care about how much money you make, they just see your skin and they judge you, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

NOTE:  For the latest news, analysis, team/league updates and team-specific podcasts, fans are urged to visit NBCSportsChicago.com or download the “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app.  

NBC Sports Chicago, a partnership between the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL), Chicago Bulls (NBA), Chicago White Sox (MLB) and the NBC Sports Group, features over 275 live pro games in high definition each year.  In addition, NBC Sports Chicago delivers extensive pre/post-game coverage for its core pro team partners, as well as Chicago Bears and Chicago Cubs multi-platform coverage, plus - local sports discussion programs that includes SportsTalk Live, and massive cross-platform coverage provided by the network’s growing digital platform, NBCSportsChicago.com, the “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app, and its variety of fan-focused social media outlets. Fans can follow the network on Twitter via @NBCSChicago.  

NBC Sports Regional Networks is NBC Sports Group’s portfolio of nine regional networks that delivers more than 2,200 live sporting events and original content to more than 35 million homes. Aligned within Eastern and Western Divisions, the NBC Sports Regional Networks are: NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC Sports Philadelphia +, NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Washington + and SNY; and NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago/NBC Sports Chicago+, and NBC Sports Northwest. For more information on NBC Sports Group properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios, headshots and logos, please visit www.NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com.

Anthony Pettis, Anderson Silva open to a UFC super fight

Anthony Pettis, Anderson Silva open to a UFC super fight

UFC Fight Island might just get a super fight!

Former UFC lightweight champion and Milwaukee native Anthony Pettis challenged former long-time UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva to a fight.

And it seems like everyone is in agreement.

"Let's do it," Silva replied on Instagram.

The UFC is one of the only sports actually happening right now, and despite that they're struggling with some stars demanding more pay. UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has aired his grievances publicly, Conor McGregor has retired, for a third time, after being offered to fill-in on short notice and Jorge Masvidal has also took to Twitter to complain.

But with logistical hurdles shaping fights, a super fight between Silva and Pettis would certainly be intriguing, if not a crazy mismatch.

Pettis has fought as low as featherweight (145 pounds) while Silva has fought at light heavyweight (205 pounds) and won.

Pettis has fought at welterweight before, and his last two wins came against Donald Cerrone and Stephen Thompson, a former welterweight title contender.

But Silva could be a whole different challenge.

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