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The Sports Report: Carl Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib (94) leaves the field after an NFL football game.
Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib.
(Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Ethan Sears on the NFL: On Monday, Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib made history, becoming the first active NFL player to come out as gay.

“What’s up people?” Nassib said in a video posted to his Instagram account. “I’m at my house here in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest. I really have the best life, I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for.

“I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that one day, videos like this and the whole coming out process are just not necessary. But until then, I’m going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project.”

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Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib.
Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib.
(John Bazemore / AP)

The Trevor Project, which Nassib said he plans to partner with, provides suicide prevention services and crisis intervention to the LGBTQ community.

“The Trevor Project is grateful to Carl Nassib for living his truth and supporting LGBTQ youth,” Trevor Project CEO and executive director Amit Paley said in a statement. “This generous donation will help us scale our life-saving crisis services to reach the more than 1.8 million LGBTQ youth who seriously consider suicide each year in the U.S.

“Coming out is an intensely personal decision, and it can be an incredibly scary and difficult one to make. We hope that Carl’s historic representation in the NFL will inspire young LGBTQ athletes across the country to live their truth and pursue their dreams.”

Nassib, who enters his sixth year in the league, had 2½ sacks for the Raiders in 2020 and 20½ in his career. Defensive end Michael Sam became the first openly gay player to be drafted when the Rams took him in the seventh round in 2014, but never played in a regular-season game.

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Jason Collins weighs in on Carl Nassib’s decision to announce he is gay

Carl Nassib draws support on social media after coming out as gay

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NCAA

J. Brady McCollough on the NCAA: Should college athletes be compensated beyond the value of an education? The Supreme Court waded into that debate Monday, ruling against the NCAA’s strict rules on amateurism that ban schools from providing perks like paid internships, postgraduate scholarships and free laptops.

While narrow, the justices’ unanimous decision — upholding a U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals finding that schools were violating antitrust law in setting limits on athletes’ education-related benefits — hinted that further change is inevitable. Writing in a separate opinion, Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh said that the “NCAA’s business model would be flatly illegal in almost any other industry in America.”

The Supreme Court’s action comes as the NCAA’s rules prohibiting college athletes from profiting off the use of their name, image and likeness (NIL) are squarely in the crosshairs of state legislators from coast to coast. California jumped ahead in the fall of 2019 with the first state law restoring NIL rights to college athletes, allowing them to be paid for endorsement deals and the like without fear of NCAA punishment starting in 2023. Dozens of states have followed since, and some laws are scheduled to go into effect July 1.

Schools may not be ready for the chaos to come, but if so, it won’t be because they didn’t have enough time to prepare.

“We’ve become a multibillion-dollar business, and when that happens people are going to look at your business,” UCLA men’s basketball coach Mick Cronin said Monday. “The first thing people are going to say is, well, what about the employees?

“The days of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar just being thankful to play at UCLA are over. The days of Bill Walton just playing at UCLA and being thankful for the scholarship are over.”

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‘We all better get on board’: Mick Cronin on Supreme Court’s unanimous NCAA ruling

CLIPPERS

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue.
Clippers coach Tyronn Lue.
(Associated Press)

Andrew Greif on the Clippers: It was around 2 p.m. Monday when Kawhi Leonard tried to video chat with his coach, eager to know how the Clippers planned to adjust a day after losing Game 1 of the conference finals in Phoenix while the All-Star forward stayed home nursing an injury.

“But I don’t like FaceTime,” Tyronn Lue said, less than an hour later, chuckling.

Instead, Lue and Leonard, who remains in California receiving treatment for a strained right knee, used text messages. Leonard wanted to understand the adjustments Lue planned for Game 2 on Tuesday to know where the team had succeeded and failed.

“Just being able to hold guys accountable, talking to guys, talking to the players, what we need to do better on what he sees,” the Clippers coach said. “If he knows the game plan, then he can definitely do that.

“So he’s talked to the guys every day, as well; not just the coaching staff. He’s very engaged and that’s what you need from your players. He’s locked in and still in tune.”

Leonard, who‘s averaging 30 points in these playoffs, has remained a connected presence while being unable to score, rebound and defend, with Lue and others describing him as willing to lend his postseason expertise to aid teammates tasked with filling his void.

————

An NBA conspiracy theory on how Zion Williamson may be responsible for the Suns’ rise

DODGERS

Manny Machado is congratulated by Wil Myers after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning.
(Associated Press)

Jorge Castillo on the Dodgers: Two months ago, when the Dodgers and San Diego Padres squared off for the first time in 2021, their three-game series was billed as a clash between the top teams in the National League West and Major League Baseball’s newest rivals. It was as hyped as an April series could get. And it delivered thrills to match the expectations inside a Petco Park filled to one-third capacity.

On Monday, the teams reconvened at Petco Park to begin a three-game series with a sellout crowd and a slightly different tagline: Second- and third-place clubs trying to not lose ground on the surging first-place San Francisco Giants.

The Padres took the first round, a 6-1 wire-to-wire win behind Yu Darvish’s six-inning performance to snap the Dodgers’ four-game winning streak. The Dodgers (44-28) have lost five of six games against San Diego since winning the clubs’ first two meetings. The Padres (43-32) moved within 2.5 games of the Dodgers and 4.5 games of the Giants in the standings.

The result came down to the two starting pitchers. Darvish held the Dodgers – still without Corey Seager, Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger – to one run and two hits. He had one walk and 11 strikeouts and became the first pitcher in major league history to reach 1,500 career strikeouts in fewer than 200 games. He’s limited his former team to three runs over 20 innings in three starts this season.

On the other side, Julio Urías yielded four runs in the first inning and was pulled before recording an out in the fifth. He gave up six runs on six hits in four-plus innings and issued a season-high five walks.

Monday was launch day for Major League Baseball’s efforts to more strictly police pitchers’ use of foreign substances. MLB officially warned teams the enhanced enforcement was coming last week. Pitchers, starting Monday, are barred from using anything but rosin. Violators get ejected and suspended 10 games with pay. Teams cannot replace suspended pitchers on the roster.

MLB said umpires will check starting pitchers more than once per game. Relievers get inspected at the end of the inning or when they’re removed from the game, whichever happens first. The question was how those checks would look. The answer: quick and in plain sight.

Darvish was examined first, after working around a walk in the first inning. Home plate Jordan Baker and first base umpire Chris Segal checked his hat and glove. The crowd booed. The umpires deemed him clean. Urías was also cleared after the first inning and each pitcher was cleared once more. Belts were not examined.

That’s about all the two pitchers had in common.

ANGELS

Mike DiGiovanna on the Angels: he Angels announced Monday morning that they have optioned reliever Chris Rodriguez, who has struggled since returning from a shoulder injury in early June, to double-A Rocket City and right-hander Jaime Barría to triple-A Salt Lake.

José Quintana, out since late May because of shoulder inflammation, was also reinstated from the injured list, and the veteran left-hander is expected to be moved from the rotation to the bullpen.

Angels general manager Perry Minasian said through a team spokesperson that Rodriguez will start at double-A “but that doesn’t mean he can’t come back up later in the year as a reliever.”

OLYMPICS

Laurel Hubbard during the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
(Mark Schiefelbein / Associated Press)

Laurel Hubbard hefted 628 pounds in two lifts on the way to qualifying in the women’s super-heavyweight division for the Tokyo Olympics. She will be the first transgender athlete to compete at an Olympic Games.

Hubbard was among five weightlifters confirmed Monday in New Zealand’s team for Tokyo. At 43, she will also be the oldest weightlifter at the games, and will be ranked fourth in the competition Aug. 2 for women 192 pounds and over.

Hubbard won a silver medal at the 2017 world championships and gold in the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa. She competed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games but sustained a serious injury that set back her career.

“I am grateful and humbled by the kindness and support that has been given to me by so many New Zealanders,” Hubbard said in a statement. “When I broke my arm at the Commonwealth Games three years ago, I was advised that my sporting career had likely reached its end. But your support, your encouragement, and your aroha [love] carried me through the darkness.

Surf Ranch innovator and 11-time world champion surfer Kelly Slater.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Kelly Slater attempting an aerial high over a wave.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

See the rest of the photos here: Jeep Surf Ranch Pro event in Lemoore, Calif., draws surfers from around the globe

NBA PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE/RESULTS

All times Pacific

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

No. 2 Phoenix vs. No. 4 Clippers
Phoenix 120, Clippers 114
Tonight: at Phoenix, 6 p.m., ESPN
Thursday: at Clippers, 6 p.m., ESPN
Saturday: at Clippers, 6 p.m., ESPN
*Monday, June 28: at Phoenix, 6 p.m., ESPN
*Wed., June 30: at Clippers, 6 p.m., ESPN
*Friday, July 2: at Phoenix, 6 p.m.

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

No. 3 Milwaukee vs. No. 5 Atlanta
Wednesday: at Milwaukee, 5:30 p.m., TNT
Friday: at Milwaukee, 5:30 p.m., TNT
Sunday: at Atlanta, 5:30 p.m., TNT
Tuesday, June 29: at Atlanta, 5:30 p.m., TNT
*Thursday, July 1: at Milwaukee, 5:30 p.m., TNT
*Saturday, July 3: at Atlanta, 5:30 p.m., TNT
*Monday, July 5: at Milwaukee, 5:30 p.m., TNT

*-if necessary

NHL PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE/RESULTS

STANLEY CUP SEMIFINALS
All times Pacific

No. 1 Vegas vs. No. 4 Montreal

Vegas 4, Montreal 1
Montreal 3, Vegas 2
Montreal 3, Vegas 2, OT
Vegas 2, Montreal 1, OT
Tonight: at Vegas, 6 p.m., NBCSN
Thursday: at Montreal, 5 p.m., USA
*Saturday: at Vegas, 5 p.m., NBCSN

No. 2 Tampa Bay vs. No. 3 New York Islanders

New York 2, Tampa Bay 1
Tampa Bay 4, New York 2
Tampa Bay 2, New York 1
New York 3, Tampa Bay 2
Tampa Bay 8, New York 0
Wednesday: at New York, 5 p.m., NBCSN
*Friday: at Tampa Bay, 5 p.m., NBCSN

*-if necessary

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1918 — Molla Bjurstedt wins the women’s U.S. Lawn Tennis Assn. title for the fourth straight year, beating Eleanor Goss 6-4, 6-3.

1937 — Joe Louis knocks out Jim Braddock in the eighth round at Chicago’s Comiskey Park to win the world heavyweight title, which he would hold for 11 years.

1938 — In a rematch portrayed in both countries as good vs. evil, Joe Louis of the U.S. knocks out Germany’s Max Schmeling at 2:04 of the first round at Yankee Stadium to retain the world heavyweight title.

1949 — Ezzard Charles scores a 15-round unanimous decision over Jersey Joe Walcott at Comiskey Park in Chicago to win the vacant world heavyweight title.

1997 — John Ziegler is named the fourth president in NHL history, succeeding Clarence Campbell.

1979 — Larry Holmes stops Mike Weaver in the 12th round to retain the WBC heavyweight title at Madison Square Garden in New York.

1981 — John McEnroe throws a tantrum in his 7-6 (5), 7-5, 6-3 first-round win over Tom Gullikson on the opening day at Wimbledon. McEnroe’s return of Gullickson’s serve is ruled out by chair umpire Edward James. McEnroe shouts his famous line, “You cannot be serious.” He then calls James the “the pits of the world” and an “incompetent fool.” Tournament referee Fred Hoyles is called to the court after James hits McEnroe with a point penalty. After McEnroe’s arguments with Hoyle go unsatisfied, Gullikson holds serve and McEnroe curses Hoyle on the changeover, prompting another point penalty. He is later fined $1,500.

1994 — The Houston Rockets, led by Hakeem Olajuwon, win their first NBA title, beating New York 90-84 in Game 7 of the finals. Olajuwon gets 25 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks.

1999 — In one of the greatest upsets in Wimbledon’s 113-year history, top-ranked Martina Hingis loses 6-2, 6-0 in the opening round to Jelena Dokic, a 16-year-old qualifier ranked 129th.

2001 — Karrie Webb sets two scoring records in the LPGA Championship in shooting a 7-under 64 for a three-stroke lead. Webb, at 11-under 131, breaks the 36-hole scoring record by two strokes. Webb shoots a 29 on the front nine for the lowest nine-hole score in the 47-year history of the championship.

2006 — The U.S. soccer team is eliminated from World Cup play with a 2-1 loss to Ghana.

2007 — For the first time, Americans are taken with the top two picks in the NHL draft. Chicago selects Patrick Kane with the first pick. Philadelphia then selects left wing James vanRiemsdyk with the second pick.

2012 — Jerry Sandusky is convicted on 45 counts of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years. The accusations had led to the firing of Joe Paterno, Penn State’s beloved coach who died of lung cancer Jan. 22. Penn State’s Board of Trustees ousted Paterno for what was called his “failure of leadership” surrounding allegations about Sandusky.

2014 — Michelle Wie wins the U.S. Women’s Open for her first major championship. She beats top-ranked Stacy Lewis by two shots.

2014 — Cristiano Ronaldo sets up Varela for a late goal to give Portugal a 2-2 draw with the U.S. and hope for a spot in the second round of the World Cup.

And finally

John McEnroe’s “You cannot be serious!” moment. Watch it here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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