Entertainment

Rumors Are Swirling That Luis Suárez Might Be Trying To Jump From Barcelona To The MLS

Former Uruguayan teammate and friend, Nicolas Lodeiro, told Major League Soccer (MLS) that Barcelona forward Luis Suárez, 32, “wants to come to MLS.” Suárez and Lodeiro are both native to Uruguay and have played alongside each other at Ajax and during international matches like the 2019 Copa América. Lodeiro, who currently plays midfielder for the Seattle Sounders, is hoping Suárez comes to play for the Sounders. It wouldn’t be the first time Suárez speaks with the Sounders General Manager Garth Lagerwey. While Lodeiro and Suárez were together at Copa América this summer, Suárez reportedly overheard Lodeiro get frustrated with his English while on the phone with Lagerway. Suárez grabbed the phone and translated the transfer negotiation that landed Lodeiro in The Emerald City. Now, Lodeiro is hoping Suárez will follow suit.

“Sooner or later he’ll come to MLS. Well, hopefully,” Lodeiro said Thursday. “He likes the league. He’s always asking me things about it. Hopefully, he can also play for Seattle Sounders. It may be a more difficult task. I think it’s only a matter of time before he’s out here.”

The FC Barcelona star’s contract is set to expire in 2021, but it may happen sooner than planned.

Credit: @luissuarez9 / Instagram

The club just spent nearly $150 million on young striker Antoine Griezmann. “It’s not strange if they’re looking for or want to bring in another striker. That’s the reality of football,” Suárez told Ovacion. “It will be better for me because it will place demands on me. It’ll be better for the club because it’ll boost competition,” he told the Uruguay outlet. Suárez has been urging Nou Camp manager Ernesto Valverde to release him from his contract during the January transfer window. The club may want to recoup Suárez’ annual salary to offset the costs of signing Griezmann.

“There will come a time when my age won’t allow me to be at the high level that it is needed for Barcelona,” Suárez added during his Ovacion interview. “It has been five years with the same pressure and I always try to respond in the same way,” he said. “It’s not easy to come to play at a club like this and win your place. You have an exam every three days. There’s no rest and a bad day isn’t forgiven.”

Rumors that Suárez may join America’s Major League Soccer are competing with rumors that he’d play for Argentina.

Credit: @luissuarez9 / Instagram

“He told me maybe he comes in seven years,” Sounders’ manager Lagerwey joked in late 2016. “That was his quote, so maybe that’s when his contract runs out…I told him we’d love to have him whenever he’s ready.” Argentina is certainly vying to claim the superstar for their own. Both Boca Juniors and San Lorenzo are trying to woo Suárez. San Lorenzo’s vice president recently made Suárez a club member and gave him a team shirt. Of course, Suárez could relocate his family back to his home country of Uruguay and play for Nacional.

Basically, everyone wants Suárez to come to play for them, and it’s no wonder why.

Suárez has won 18 trophies during his career.

Credit: @luissuarez9 / Instagram

Of those trophies, six are league titles. It was Suárez who ended Lionel Messi’s six-year streak by winning the 2016 La Liga’s Pichichi Trophy. He’s scored 467 career goals for the various clubs he’s played for and for his country, Uruguay. His career started when he was just 14 years old and started playing for Nacional. By the time he was 19, Groningen bought him from Nacional and he happily moved to the Netherlands. He wanted to be closer to his then-girlfriend and now-wife, Sofía Balbi, who lived in Barcelona. They started dating when Suárez was just 15 years old. They married six years later and now have three children together. 

It wouldn’t be the first time Suárez was courted in the middle of a contract.

Credit: @luissuarez9 / Instagram

When Suárez was playing for Ajax, he was placed on a suspension after biting a player, and being dubbed the “Cannibal of Ajax.” During his suspension, Liverpool offered Ajax a $30 million offer, the club’s most expensive signing at that time. Despite a second biting incident, Suárez went onto be named the Player of the Year during the 2013-2014 season. It seems the only reason Suárez would stay with Barcelona is that his wife’s family lives in Barcelona.

READ: Here’s How Luis Suarez Pissed Off His Former Team During A Semi-Final Match

Nets Player Kyrie Irving Commits $1.5 Million To Help Pay The Salaries Of WNBA Players Opting Out Of The 2020 Season

Entertainment

Nets Player Kyrie Irving Commits $1.5 Million To Help Pay The Salaries Of WNBA Players Opting Out Of The 2020 Season

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While WNBA players were able to receive a modest salary increase in the 2019-20 season, the bump up has yet to give way to the opportunity of true equity. This has proven to be particularly true when their male counterparts of the NBA are thrown into the mix.

Today, the average salary of a WNBA player starts at around $50,000 and caps off at $110,000. On the other hand, a player starting out in the NBA starts out with a salary that averages around $560,000. Currently, amid COVID-19 shutdowns, this massive gap in salary is heavily affecting the WNBA players who are being paid less and opting to forgo playing during the 2020 season.

According to NBC Sports, WNBA executives and athletes have agreed that players who are considered “at-risk” for the COVID-19 virus can opt-out of playing this season and still receive a full paycheck. Meanwhile, those who are not “at-risk” but make the decision not to play will not receive compensation.

Fortunately, many NBA players are aware of the ways in which this disparity affects them differently and are working to support the women who play the game as well.

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is leading the charge to ensure that WNBA athletes who opt out of playing this season can do so without worrying about finances. 

The Nets point guard announced in a statement made via his KAI Empowerment Initiative, that he pledges to commit $1.5 million to cover the salaries of WNBA players who have opted out of playing in the 2020 season. As part of his effort, Irving has also partnered with the investment banking company UBS to offer financial literacy programs to each of the players in the WNBA.

“This platform was created to provide support for all WNBA players in hopes to relieve some of the financial strain imposed during these challenging times,” Irving explained in a statement. “Whether a person decided to fight for social justice, play basketball, focus on physical or mental health, or simply connect with their families, this initiative can hopefully support their priorities and decisions.”

Players must provide the reasons behind their decision to not participate in the 2020 season to qualify.

In order to qualify, WNBA players cannot receive any additional financial support from other organizations.

According to CNBC, Irving makes an annual average salary of roughly $34 million and said that he was inspired to start the fund “after WNBA players Natasha Cloud of the Washington Mystics and Jewell Loyd of the Seattle Storm connected him with several of their WNBA peers who discussed some of the challenges they would face if they opted not to play when the season started on July 25.”

Cloud recently announced that she will be committing her time during the season to fight for racial and social justice instead of playing.

Players Renee Montgomery and Tiffany Hayes of the Atlanta Dream, have also confirmed their decision to take part in the fight. In addition, ten other WNBA athletes have also confirmed that they will not be playing this year because of health concerns or other reasons related to the fight for social justice.

Speaking with ESPN’s The Undefeated, Cloud explained, “It’s hard to think about basketball with the climate of what we’re in right now socially after George Floyd was murdered.” 

Miami Marlins Covid Outbreak Causes Chaos Of MLB Season After One Weekend

Entertainment

Miami Marlins Covid Outbreak Causes Chaos Of MLB Season After One Weekend

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An outbreak of Covid among MLB players and coaches has postponed the highly anticipated and very hyped return of the season. It took less than a week since the sport came back for there to be a viral outbreak within the league.

The Miami Marlins are dealing with a Covid outbreak within the team before their opening games.

Half of the players for the Miami Marlins are positive for Covid-19 before the home opener against the Baltimore Orioles. The Marlins’ season has been paused through the weekend and the lineup was changed up to make sure the season can continue.

“Obviously, we don’t want any player to get exposed. It’s not a positive thing,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said Monday night on the MLB Network. “But I don’t see it as a nightmare.” He continued: “We think we can keep people safe and continue to play.”

Phillies Outfielder Andrew McCutchen took to Twitter to vent his frustration about MLB communication.

Apparently, McCutchen didn’t know that the Phillies game against the New York Yankees Tuesday was canceled until getting on Twitter. The weekend schedule was thrown into turmoil after news broke about the outbreak on the Miami Marlins. The outbreak comes as some have criticized the MLB for not trying a bubble conference, like the NBA and NHL.

Other teams in the league are showing their own discomfort with the current situation.

The Nationals were supposed to play in Miami this weekend but the surge in Covid cases in Florida put an end to that. The Washington Nationals voted to postpone and the MLB followed their lead and canceled that series.

In a statement by the MLB, the Miami Marlins are the only confirmed team to have a Covid outbreak. The league recently conducted 6,400 tests among players and coaches and haven’t found other outbreaks on the remaining 29 teams.

READ: This MLB Team Just Swore In 15 New American Citizens And Our Hearts Are Overflowing With Emotion