Bengals player calls President Trump ‘a clown’

Published: Monday, September 25, 2017 @ 6:34 PM
Updated: Monday, September 25, 2017 @ 6:36 PM

Bengals' Iloka on President Trump: He's 'a clown'

The Cincinnati Bengals made a unified, silent statement Sunday at Green Bay in response to President Donald Trump when players and coaches stood with their arms locked during the national anthem.

Monday afternoon, safety George Iloka broke that silence when asked if he took President Trump’s words personally.

»RELATED: Marvin Lewis says Bengals weren’t going to let divisive words divide team

“It’s Donald. Take it with a grain of salt. Dude’s a clown,” Iloka said. “You have to take him serious because he’s the leader, if you want to call him that, of the free world. I put ‘free’ in quotations. But you’ve got to take what he says with a grain of salt. One day it’s this, the next day it’s that. He says a lot just for outrage and clicks and things like that. It worked for his election.

“He’s offended a lot of people,” Iloka continued. “So I’ll join the line of people who’ve been offended by Donald Trump.”

»RELATED: Winless Bengals and winless Browns face off in futility bowl

Iloka was responding to comments Trump made at a political rally in Alabama on Friday, when he said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired.’”

Iloka said it wasn’t the specific language Trump used that bothered him, but the overall message.

Iloka on Trump: Dude's a clown

»RELATED: Grading the Bengals loss to the Packers

“Regular people, civilians, employers, your boss, my boss, whatever it may be, it’s different when they say those things,” Iloka said. “But when a politician, a government official is telling the public to essentially punish other citizens for exercising their right, that kind of throws off the purpose.

“I know those soldiers went overseas and fought for my rights,” he continued. “But it’s contradicted if the same rights that they fought for and died for, the President is trying to punish me for it. Why fight for it if you’re going to punish us for exercising it?”

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The Bengals are one of the few teams that have yet to have a player take a knee during the anthem since Colin Kaepernick began the practice last season.

Asked if there was directive for the coaching staff or front office that they not do it, Iloka took a long pause before answering.

“There’s been discussions,” he said. “What we ended up doing yesterday was a team effort and something that we all came together and decided to do.”

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Reds top prospect will miss rest of season

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 11:05 AM

2018 Cincinnati Reds: 10 things to know

Cincinnati Reds top prospect Nick Senzel will miss the rest of the season after tearing a tendon in his right index finger Friday, the Reds announced Saturday.

Senzel, who will undergo surgery Tuesday, addressed the injury in a message posted to Twitter and Instagram.

» PROSPECT WATCH: How the top Reds minor leaguers are doing

“I would like to start by thanking my family, friends and teammates and fans for the support over the last 24 hours,” Senzel wrote. “It had been a challenging season from the start, but it has made me grow. The news this morning was very unfortunate, but I was prepared mentally on how to handle it whether good or bad. I had a goal this season, and it was to make it to the big leagues and help the Cincinnati Reds win ballgames. Although I did not fulfill this goal, it will not stop my drive to continue to fulfill my dream. The support that has been shown is what makes me blessed and thankful for everything in my life, inside and outside of baseball. It’s what makes me keep going, and make no mistake, I will be back stronger than ever. Love u all Reds nation.”

» RELATED: Reds win fifth straight

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft, Senzel was hitting .310 with six home runs and 25 RBIs with Triple-A Louisville.

Senzel’s 2017 season was also cut short as he battled vertigo late last season while playing for Double-A Pensacola. The same condition cost him time this spring.

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Dayton draft drought ends as Antetokounmpo chosen with last pick

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 12:04 AM

Who is Kostas Antetokounmpo? Facts about the former Dayton forward

A 28-year drought ended for the Dayton Flyers on Thursday as the Dallas Mavericks selected Kostas Antetokounmpo, a 6-foot-10 forward, with the 30th and last pick of the second round in the NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was the 60th player chosen overall.

» FIVE THINGS TO KNOW: Who is Kostas Antetokounmpo?

Antetokounmpo, 20, is the first Dayton player drafted since Negele Knight in 1990. The Phoenix Suns drafted Knight in the second round.

Dayton had 38 players drafted between 1952 and 1990. Twenty Flyers have played in the NBA, including four undrafted players (Chris Wright, Chris Johnson, Brian Roberts and Charles Cooke) since Knight was drafted.

Antetokounmpo seeks to become the third member of his family to play in the NBA. His brother Giannis Antetokounmpo, 23, was the 15th pick of the first round in 2013 and now is one of the top players in the league. He averaged 26.9 points per game last season for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Thanasis Antetokounmpo, 25, played in two games in 2016 for the New York Knicks. He was a second-round pick in 2014.

» KOSTAS STORIES: High ceilingTrying to live up to his name | A star in victory over Saint Louis

The 6-foot-10 Antetokounmpo committed to Dayton in June 2016 but sat out his freshman season as a NCAA partial qualifier.

Antetokounmpo debuted in the 2017-18 season and averaged 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per game. He led the team with 31 blocks. He appeared in 29 of 32 games and started six games.

» RELATED: Grant talks about Dayton’s offseason | Knight last Dayton player to be drafted

In late March, weeks after the end of a 14-17 season, Antetokounmpo left the program and the university.

“His mindset was he wants to test the waters to see what his prospects are for being in the NBA,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. “And he felt it was in his best interest to leave school to do it. I’m not trying to judge his decision in terms of basketball, but the timing of his leaving did surprise me with just six weeks of school left.”

     

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Blue Jays reliever Roberto Osuna suspended 75 games 

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 5:11 AM

Toronto Blue Jays reliever Roberto Osuna was suspended for 75 games.
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Toronto Blue Jays reliever Roberto Osuna was suspended for 75 games.(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Toronto Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna was suspended for 75 games without pay, retroactive to May 8, for violating baseball’s domestic violence policy, the New York Daily News reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Osuna, 23, an All-Star in 2017, was charged with one count of assault in Toronto and was put on administrative leave, the Daily News reported. The right-hander has not pitched since May 6. 

Osuna has nine saves and a 2.93 ERA in 15 games.

The suspension will cost Osuna $2.54 million of his annual $5.3 million salary, the Daily News reported. He will participate in an evaluation and treatment program, which is confidential and supervised by the joint policy board of Major League Baseball and the players’ association, the newspaper reported.

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Sorting through some 2026 World Cup questions

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 2:41 AM

Xherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland shoots past Dusko Tosic of Serbia during the Friday's match at the World Cup in Russia.
Clive Rose/Getty Images
Xherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland shoots past Dusko Tosic of Serbia during the Friday's match at the World Cup in Russia.(Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Soccer’s international governing body, FIFA, voted last week to play the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

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And while the announcement raised much excitement in North American soccer circles, it left questions that won’t be fully answered for years. Here are some of them.

WHICH CITIES WILL HOST MATCHES? 

Sixteen North American cities -- at least 10 in the United States -- will be chosen by FIFA in 2020 or 2021 to host matches. Those 16 choices will come from 23 “candidate cities.” FIFA will have negotiating leverage in whittling the number.

The U.S. host cities will be chosen from among these candidates: Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium), Baltimore (M&T Bank Stadium), Boston (Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts), Cincinnati (Paul Brown Stadium), Dallas (AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas), Denver (Broncos Stadium at Mile High), Houston (NRG Stadium), Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium), Los Angeles (Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, or the new NFL stadium under construction), Miami (Hard Rock Stadium), Nashville (Nissan Stadium), New York (MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey), Orlando, Florida (Camping World Stadium), Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field), San Francisco (Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California), Seattle (CenturyLink Field) and Washington (FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.) 

In addition, current plans call for matches to be played in up to three cities in Canada (Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto) and up to three in Mexico (Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey). 

"We are blessed with 23 really world-class stadiums -- some iconic, some brand-new cutting-edge and everything in between," U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro said. "I think it will be a very difficult decision to make … when we have to determine the final 16 cities. But it’s a high-class problem.”

Under current plans, 60 matches will be played in the U.S., 10 in Canada and 10 in Mexico. 

WHAT IS THE COST OF HOSTING? 

It helps that no new stadiums will have to be built in North America for the event, but the costs of security, transportation and other requirements will be considerable in any host city. 

“We’ve been told during the bid process it is on the level of (hosting) a Super Bowl,” said Dan Corso, president of the Atlanta Sports Council and chairman of Atlanta’s World Cup committee. “We have not gotten into too much detail on that yet, but we will during this next phase of the process.” 

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