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Valencia back Diakhaby after alleged racial abuse from Cadiz player leads to walk off – ‘We support you Mouctar!’

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Valencia back Diakhaby after alleged racial abuse from Cadiz player leads to walk off - 'We support you Mouctar!'

Valencia walked off the pitch on Sunday during their Liga clash with Cadiz after defender Mouctar Diakhaby claimed he was racially abused by an opponent, Juan Cala.

Diakhaby was visibly upset after an altercation with Cala, with the game halting in the 30th minute as the two argued on the field.

Valencia proceeded to walk off the pitch in the wake of the incident, with Diakhaby then reportedly urging his team-mates to return to the pitch with the squad facing the threat of docket points for abandoning the action. The club then issued a statement backing its player, writing on social media: “WE SUPPORT YOU MOUCTAR.”

What happened?

The incident began with the score at 1-1 in the 29th minute, with centre-back Diakhaby moving into the midfield to confront Cala.

As play continued around them, the two were seen in a heated exchange before the referee moved to break up the pair.

Diakhaby was seen to be visibly upset as team-mates looked to break up the altercation before several moved to confront Cala themselves. Valencia then opted to walk off the pitch in support of Diakhaby.

After about 15 minutes, Valencia returned to the field, with the club saying they did so due to Diakhaby’s insistence that the game should continue.

Diakhaby, though, did not return and was replaced by Hugo Guillamon while Cala stayed on the field for Cadiz.

Cadiz went on to win the game 2-1 with Marcos Mauro scoring the game-winner in the 88th minute.

What was said?

“Diakhaby has told us that they have insulted him and, from Valencia, we condemn that,” Valencia’s Jose Gaya said after the match. “We left the field for that, but they have told us that we had to leave [the dressing room] because if we did not, they could take three points and maybe more from us.

“Diakhaby has told us to come back to the field and that is why we went out. He wanted us to go out. Without his permission, we would not have done it. “

Gaya added: “He was not ready to go out. He is sunk. It is a very ugly insult, I am not going to say it. Cala was the last to go out on the field and did not speak to him.”

FIFPro expressed “serious concerns” about the incident and said it exposes the lack of protection for players in the face of discrimination.

“The situation in the match [Cadiz vs Valencia] today raises serious concerns. We will be monitoring the situation around the match together with our colleagues from [Association of Spanish Footballers],” a statement published on Twitter read.

“Whilst a lot is yet to be investigated, the notion that pressure existed towards a team that responded in collective solidarity with a teammate to continue a match under threat of sanction shows flaws in both the regulation and the response to anti-discrimination action.

“Tonight’s events show again that the protocols built to protect players in situations of discriminatory abuse are actually prioritizing protection of the match, which is not only a failure of the system but can also further harm the individuals who are already impacted.”

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Is Julian Edelman a Hall of Famer? Twitter debates retired receiver’s credentials

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Is Julian Edelman a Hall of Famer? Twitter debates retired receiver's credentials

Julian Edelman called it quits Monday, announcing his retirement after an 11-year NFL career, all of it spent with the Patriots.

Edelman’s final stat line: 620 receptions for 6,866 receiving yards (11 yards per reception) and 36 receiving touchdowns; 58 rushes for 413 yards (7.1 yards per carry); 177 punt returns for 1,986 yards and four touchdowns. His yardage ranks 156h in NFL history, and his receiving touchdowns are tied for 261st.

Zero Pro Bowl selections. Three Super Bowl rings. One Super Bowl MVP. And a member of the Patriots’ 2010 All-Decade team.

Now, the ensuing debate: Are those numbers good enough to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (which Edelman won’t be eligible for until 2026)? The pure numbers say no, but that didn’t stop Twitter users from making “HOFer” and “Edelman” trend Monday evening as they discussed Edelman’s Hall of Fame credentials.

MORE: Why did Patriots cut Julian Edelman? Failed physical only part of New England roster move

Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer in May 2019 made a compelling argument that Edelman’s Hall of Fame case isn’t so cut and dry. Working in Edelman’s favor is the fact that only Jerry Rice ranks ahead of Edelman in postseason receptions (151 to Edelman’s 118) and receiving yards (2,245 to Edelman’s 1,442). He was also one of the favorite targets of Tom Brady — himself a first-ballot Hall of Famer — as the two won three Super Bowls together.

But Edelman only led the Patriots three times in receiving yards, and never put together more than 1,117 yards in a season (in 2019, his last fully healthy season). He had three 1,000-yard receiving seasons and never scored more than seven receiving touchdowns a year. People were also quick to point out his stats pale in comparison to other non-Hall of Famers with considerably better stats, including Hines Ward, who in 2021 failed to make it into Canton for the fifth consecutive year.

Regardless of whether Edelman makes it into the Hall of Fame, the fact that his candidacy is so hotly debated — not even 24 hours removed from announcing his retirement — is a testament to his impact on the game.

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Why did Patriots cut Julian Edelman? Failed physical only part of New England roster move

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Why did Patriots cut Julian Edelman? Failed physical only part of New England roster move

The Patriots sent shockwaves throughout the NFL on Monday — tremors, at least — with the announcement that they would cut veteran receiver Julian Edelman.

Multiple reports suggest that New England cut Edelman, 34, because he failed his physical; he would have played his 12th season in the league in 2021 after missing the final 10 games of the 2020 season while recovering from knee surgery.

That said, New England’s decision to cut Edelman was more than just a simple failed physical. Either way, Monday’s decision could put the cap on an 11-year career that saw Edelman catch 620 passes for 6,822 yards and 36 touchdowns and win three Super Bowls.

NFL MOCK DRAFTS 2021: Compare Mel Kiper, Daniel Jeremiah, Todd McShay & other experts

Here’s everything you need to know about the decision, and Edelman’s future in the NFL.

Why did the Patriots cut Julian Edelman?

The initial reason for Edelman’s tenure ending in New England was a failed physical. That makes sense on the surface, considering that the 34-year-old receiver played in the fewest games in a given season since he entered the NFL in 2009. Considering how busy New England coach/GM Bill Belichick was in free agency, it also stands to reason that Edelman would have seen fewer targets in 2021 after the Patriots added receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, and tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith.

However, that was only part of the Patriots’ decision. Per Mike Weiss of ESPN, the decision could simply be a formality and precursor to Edelman retiring from football.

Edelman later confirmed rumors that he was, indeed, retiring. Edelman, in a pre-recorded video, announced his decision.

Why is Edelman retiring from the NFL?

In the video, Edelman credited an undisclosed knee injury from the 2020 season as the reason for his retirement. He underwent surgery on Oct. 29 and did not return for the remainder of New England’s 7-9 season.

“Nothing in my career has ever come easy. And, no surprise, this isn’t going to be easy, either,” Edelman said in his announcement. “I always said, ‘I’m gonna go until the wheels come off.’ And they finally have fallen off. Due to an injury last year, I’ll be making my official announcement of retirement from football. It was a hard decision, but the right decision for me and my family. And I’m honored, and so proud, to be retiring a Patriot.

That last line also puts an end to any rumors that Edelman will attempt a comeback somewhere else in the NFL — notably, in Tampa Bay with former teammates Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.

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Dustin Poirier says Conor McGregor never donated promised $500K to former’s charity

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Dustin Poirier says Conor McGregor never donated promised $500K to former's charity

Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor are confirmed to be fighting again … on Twitter.

The latest clash between the two UFC fighters stems from a Poirier claim Sunday night that McGregor and his team failed to deliver on a promised $500,000 donation. It would have gone to Poirier’s charity, “The Good Fight,” after their UFC 257 bout in January, which Poirier won via second-round TKO.

McGregor responded in kind, saying that Poirier never said exactly where the money was going and how it would be used.

MORE: Francis Ngannou wins heavyweight title at UFC 260 after KO of Stipe Miocic

All this stemmed from a 2020 exchange between the two fighters where McGregor teased a comeback outside of UFC. He proposed a PPV with Poirier, saying all the money would go to charity. He eventually settled on the $500,000 amount, which would be donated after their January bout. Poirier confirmed in December 2020 that McGregor’s team had begun the process of donating to his foundation.

Poirier and McGregor’s online squabble further devolved from there, with Poirier claiming that McGregor’s team quit responding to emails and McGregor calling Poirier a “brain dead hillbilly” — before canceling their trilogy fight.

Both fighters have reportedly signed contracts to a trilogy fight on July 10 at UFC 264, though that promotion hasn’t been made official. What’s also uncertain is whether McGregor’s claim that the fight is off is him simply letting off steam or retaliation against Poirier.

Just another day in the UFC.

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