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Klopp upset to see Liverpool reputation ‘trashed’ over Super League

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Klopp upset to see Liverpool reputation 'trashed' over Super League

Jurgen Klopp says he has been hurt by the way Liverpool’s reputation has been “trashed” in the wake of the Super League debacle.

The Reds were one of the 12 founding clubs of the breakaway league which was announced on Sunday. The plans rapidly fell apart, however, as most clubs have pulled out of the competition following outrage from football associations, fans and pundits. 

Liverpool were among those heavily criticised but Klopp fears their reputation is being regarded as irredeemable. 

What did Klopp say?

“It is difficult for me in truth, because I have found some of the reaction around it difficult to take. And by this I don’t mean those who were against it or the protests. This was a great victory for football supporters – I want to make this clear from the outset. I agreed with their opposition. I made this clear to our owners,” Klopp wrote in his programme notes ahead of Saturday’s Premier League match against Newcastle.

“The part I have struggled with is seeing this club, a place I love and am now proud to call my home, trashed. And done so in a manner which suggests no redemption is possible. That I can’t take.

“It was right to take apart the concept and it was fair to criticise it, along with those who came up with it and also how it was presented. All legitimate in my view. The anger and disappointment was justified.

“But there were times when the distinction between ‘club’ and this decision (and yes, those responsible for it) were too quickly blurred into one. To do so is an insult to the supporters in my view. And the players.

“The supporters’ actions have earned them distinction. Likewise the players. And THEY are the club. They always have been and always will be. 

“I am not free from blame either for letting emotion get the better of me during this. Particularly after the Leeds United game. When I found out that the flags were being removed from the Kop in protest it hurt me and I reacted in a way I wish I hadn’t.

“Of all the things that we have achieved at Liverpool I would argue that the bond between this team and our fans is arguably the most important because without it none of the success we have enjoyed would have been possible. 

“So seeing a division appear was very difficult for me to accept. I now better understand the reasons why the supporters groups felt it necessary and I respect them but I would hope that we are never in this kind of situation again. They are always the solution and never the problem.”

How did Liverpool fans react to the Super League?

Liverpool players and supporters united to reject the club’s plans to enter the Super League, with captain Jordan Henderson and club legend Kenny Dalglish among those voicing their disappointment.

Spirit of Shankly, the Liverpool supporters’ union, then urged Fenway Sports Group to consider giving up ownership of the club. Liverpool confirmed on Wednesday that they were pulling out of the project.

Liverpool owner John W Henry then released a video message apologising to the club’s fans and taking responsibility for their role in the plot to form the breakaway league.

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Twitter reacts to Russell Westbrook’s NBA-record 182nd career triple-double

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Twitter reacts to Russell Westbrook's NBA-record 182nd career triple-double

Russell Westbrook made history Monday night, notching his 182nd career triple-double — and moving past Oscar Robertson for the all-time NBA record.

Robertson’s record lasted 47 years, from 1974 through Monday night when a fourth-quarter rebound in front of a reduced-capacity crowd in Atlanta gave Westbrook sole possession of the record. It took him 12 years to surpass Robertson’s record after he achieved his first triple-double (17 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds) in 2009 as a rookie with the Thunder.

MORE: Jaylen Brown injury update: Celtics star out for rest of season with torn wrist ligament

Monday’s triple-double was Westbrook’s 36th of the year. That insane output is helping him average, for the fourth time in his career, a triple-double over the course of the season. The previous such campaigns came in 2016-17 through 2018-19.

Westbrook finished with 28 points, 21 assists and 13 rebounds in the Wizards’ 125-124 loss to the Hawks; the loss dropped Washington to 32-37 on the season, but the team still ranks 10th in the Eastern Conference standings. The Wizards’ playoff hopes pale in comparison to the history Westbrook made, however.

He even made sure to get the game ball from officials so he could be certain to commemorate the historic achievement.

Here are some of the best reactions to Westbrook’s history-making feat:

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Kenny Mayne’s ESPN cover letter was perfect precursor to his incredible career

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Kenny Mayne's ESPN cover letter was perfect precursor to his incredible career

ESPN’s Kenny Mayne, one of the most recognizable talents in sports broadcasting, is leaving the network, he announced on Monday.

The 27-year ESPN anchor broke the news on Twitter, describing his exit from the worldwide leader in sports as a “salary cap casualty.” Naturally, he could only include some of the dry humor that helped him become a beloved presence in the studio and on millions of sports fans’ TVs.

MORE: ESPN anchors get emotional over laid-off co-workers: ‘We are all hurting’

The longtime “SportsCenter” host’s final day will be on May 24, bringing to an end a 27-year stint at ESPN that began in 1994. His absence will undoubtedly be noted among fans who appreciated his humor and presence in ESPN’s studios — but his Monday announcement is as good a reason as any to remember the incredible cover letter that first landed him the gig in 1994.

Mayne sent a short and sweet cover letter to ESPN’s John Walsh in 1994, offering him three checkboxes in the former’s bid to land a job with ESPN:

Unsurprisingly, Mayne made Walsh smile. Walsh wouldn’t be the last person to smile at Mayne’s humor and creativity.

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Jaylen Brown injury update: Celtics star out for rest of season with torn wrist ligament

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Jaylen Brown injury update: Celtics star out for rest of season with torn wrist ligament

The Celtics will have to fight for a playoff spot without one of their most important players.

Boston announced Monday night that All-Star forward Jaylen Brown has suffered a torn scapholunate ligament in his left wrist and will miss the rest of the 2020-21 season. He is expected to undergo surgery later this week.

MORE: Will LeBron James return vs. Knicks?

The Celtics offered no specific timetable for Brown’s return to the court, but as The Athletic’s Jared Weiss noted, Boston guard Romeo Langford suffered the same injury last year and took about six months to recover. If Brown stays roughly on that timeline, he should be available to rejoin the lineup for the start of the 2021-22 campaign.

Brown dealt with injury and COVID-19 issues throughout the season, but the 24-year-old still managed to earn his first All-Star selection with some of the best individual numbers of his career. He averaged a career-high 24.7 points per game while shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from 3-point range.

Without Brown available, Boston will rely heavily on Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker to produce offensively. The Celtics will also need more from trade deadline acquisition Evan Fournier, who most recently scored 30 points in a loss to the Heat on Sunday — his highest scoring output since joining the team.

Even if other players step up in Brown’s absence, the Celtics, currently the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference standings, are unlikely to make a deep run in the 2021 NBA playoffs. They would face an uphill battle in a potential first-round series against the 76ers, Nets or Bucks, the top three seeds in the Eastern Conference.

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