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NFL All-Pros: Kelce, Jefferson unanimous; 16 first-timers

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NFL

NFL All-Pro Team is made up of Travis Kelce, Justin Jefferson, and Sauce Gardner. Sauce Gardner is the first rookie cornerback to be chosen in 41 years.

Kelce of the Chiefs and Jefferson of the Vikings won first-team votes from all 50 members of a panel of media members who covered the NFL on Friday.

Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, Nick Bosa of the San Francisco 49ers, and Chris Jones of the Kansas City Chiefs received 49 of 50 first-team votes. With four players on the first team, the Chiefs and Niners led the way.

Gardner, the New York Jets’ fourth-round pick, was named on all 50 ballots and received 43 first-place votes. Ronnie Lott, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, was the final rookie cornerback chosen for the first team in 1981.

NFL

Hard Work Pays off In The NFL

“That means a lot to me,” Gardner. “It was one of my objectives before training camp. It is something I hope for. I worked extremely hard for it. It’s unquestionably a blessing.”

Jason, Kelce’s older brother, was also named to the first team for the fifth time in his career, keeping him one step ahead of his pass-catching brother. Lane Johnson, a fellow Philadelphia Eagles lineman, joins Jason Kelce on the squad.

“Big honor, very pleased for (Johnson), who is undoubtedly the finest tackle in the NFL, especially on the right side,” Jason Kelce

Johnson, a two-time All-Pro, has missed the last two games due to an adductor injury but hopes to be back when the Eagles host a divisional-round playoff game next week.

“We spend a lot of time and effort into the game, and as you get older, you start to cherish it,” Johns

NFL

An Honour To Be Selected

Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders is one of 16 first-time All-Pros. Jacobs led the NFL in rushing with 1,653 yards, 12 touchdowns, and a 4.9-yard-per-carry average. Despite finishing 6-11, the Raiders had three first-team picks.

“The year clearly didn’t go how we wanted it to, but it’s absolutely an honor to be selected,” Jacobs

The other newcomer on offense is Jefferson, who had a league-high 128 catches and 1,809 yards receiving. Tyreek Hill of Miami made it for the fourth time, the third as a receiver. Hill caught 119 passes for 1,710 yards and seven touchdowns in his rookie season with the Dolphins. Davante Adams of the Raiders was selected for the third time. In his debut season in Las Vegas, Adams had 100 receptions for 1,516 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Cowboys right guard Zack Martin is a six-time All-Pro, as are 49ers left tackle Trent Williams and Browns left guard Joel Bitonio.

NFL

Bosa Led The NFL

Mahomes was an All-Pro as well as the NFL MVP in 2018. He led the league with 5,250 yards passing and 41 touchdowns, guiding the Chiefs to their seventh straight AFC West title. Jalen Hurts of Philadelphia received one first-team vote, keeping Mahomes from becoming a unanimous choice.

The only returning All-Pros on defense are Cowboys edge rusher Micah Parsons, 49ers linebacker Fred Warner, and Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick is back for the third time. Parsons, who had 13 1/2 sacks in his rookie season, made the team as a linebacker.

All-Pro  NFL selections included Bosa, Jones, Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, Ravens linebacker Roquan Smith, Bills linebacker Matt Milano, Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain II, and Niners safety Talanoa Hufanga.

Bosa led the NFL in sacks with 18 1/2. Williams had 11 points.

“I tell my wife my goals every day so she can hold me accountable and make sure I do the right thing,” Williams told the Associated Press. “To hear this news, all of my hard work has paid off, and I must continue to do the same.”

NFL

All Six Special-Team Players Are Also Rookies

They are the Raiders’ Daniel Carlson, the Chiefs’ Tommy Townsend, the Packers’ Keisean Nixon, the Patriots’ Marcus Jones, the Commanders’ Jeremy Reaves, and the Vikings’ Andrew DePaola.

The AP’s new voting system debuted this year. Voters selected a first and second team. First-team votes are worth three points, while second-team votes are worth one point.

SOURCE – (AP)

 

 

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Kenya Mourns As Marathon World Record-Holder Kelvin Kiptum Is Given A State Funeral

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NAIROBI, Kenya – Kelvin Kiptum, Kenya’s world marathon record holder, was accorded a state funeral Friday after being killed in a vehicle accident earlier this month, prompting many Kenyans to call on the government to do more to protect the country’s famed sportsmen.

Hundreds of dignitaries, including Kenyan President William Ruto and World Athletics Federation President Sebastian Coe, paid their final respects to Kiptum as he was interred in Naiberi, some 6 kilometres (4 miles) from his village of Chepkorio in western Kenya.

The 24-year-old runner and his Rwandan coach, Gervais Hakizimana, died in a collision two weeks ago near the town of Kaptagat in western Kenya, in the heart of a high-altitude region known as a training ground for Kenya’s and the world’s greatest distance runners.

kiptum

Kenya Mourns As Marathon World Record-Holder Kelvin Kiptum Is Given A State Funeral

Kiptum was one of the most promising road runners to emerge in recent years, breaking the world record in only his third competitive marathon outing. Just days before his death, the world track body World Athletics certified his record of 2 hours and 35 seconds achieved at the Chicago Marathon last October.

Kiptum intended to break the two-hour marathon record in Rotterdam in April and make his Olympic debut in Paris this year.

His death echoed throughout Kenya, where runners are the biggest sports heroes, and many people have become accustomed to tragedies involving their best athletes, with dozens dying in traffic accidents or as a result of domestic abuse.

According to officials, Kiptum was driving on the night of February 11 when the car went off the road into a ditch and collided with a huge tree. He and Hakizimana died instantly. Sharon Kosgei, another passenger, was also hurt in the incident.

Kiptum, an only child, leaves his wife, Asentah Cheruto, and their two children. A High Court on Thursday declined to postpone the funeral in response to a woman’s legal claim that Kiptum fathered her kid.

kiptum

Kenya Mourns As Marathon World Record-Holder Kelvin Kiptum Is Given A State Funeral

Kiptum ran the fastest as a marathon debutant in the 2022 Valencia Marathon. The next year, he won two of the world’s most prestigious marathons: London and Chicago. He set a new course record at the London Marathon in April; months later, he set the global record in Chicago.

He became the latest Kenyan celebrity to die in sad circumstances.

David Lelei, an All-Africa Games silver medalist, was killed in a car crash in 2010. Francis Kiplagat, a marathon runner, was among five individuals who died in a crash in 2018. Nicholas Bett, who won gold in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2015 World Championships, was also killed in a car accident in 2018.

Many Kenyans believe the government should do more to protect athletes who bring international attention to their country, such as providing them with security, drivers, and advisors.

Elizabeth Wairimu, a vegetable trader in the western Kenya town of Nakuru, said the number of athletes killed in road accidents was frightening.

“I am asking myself what is the problem with our athletes,” she said. “The government should look into this… figure out what is killing our athletes. Where are we headed?”

She expressed sadness that the government was rushing through the process instead of Kiptum, who had pledged to build a new house for his parents.

kiptum

Kenya Mourns As Marathon World Record-Holder Kelvin Kiptum Is Given A State Funeral

Others in the packed market agreed with Wairimu’s comments.

“The government should not wait until the legends are dead to start caring about their welfare,” said George Thuo, a market seller.

Jimmy Muindi, a six-time Honolulu Marathon winner from Kenya, believes young athletes who reach Kiptum’s level require assistance managing their newfound celebrity status. Former marathoner Isaac Macharia concurred, stating that a support system is required to develop stars.

Jack Tuwei, the president of Athletics Kenya, urged President Ruto and MPs to find a solution to secure the athletes’ well-being and “allow them to have everything they need to be safe.”

Ruto announced that an endowment fund would be established for athletes and that the government would provide Kiptum’s widow with another house and $34,000 in support.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Former NFL Star Richard Sherman Arrested On Suspicion Of DUI, Authorities In Washington State Say

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SEATTLE — Former NFL player Richard Sherman was arrested early Saturday on charges of driving while intoxicated, according to the Washington State Patrol.

In a probable cause statement, Trooper Jordan Hazzard-Thomas, who assisted with the traffic stop, described speaking with Sherman and noticing “the odour of intoxicants” as well as Sherman’s eyes being “bloodshot and watery.”

sherman

Former NFL Star Richard Sherman Arrested On Suspicion Of DUI, Authorities In Washington State Say

Emails seeking comment on Sherman’s arrest were sent Saturday to a representative identified on his social media sites and an attorney who has previously represented him. According to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Sherman will appear in court on Monday.

sherman

Former NFL Star Richard Sherman Arrested On Suspicion Of DUI, Authorities In Washington State Say

He was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s All-Decade Team of the 2010s in 2020 after being one of the best defensive players of his era.

Sherman played seven seasons in Seattle before moving to San Francisco for three. He also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and attended Stanford University.

sherman

Former NFL Star Richard Sherman Arrested On Suspicion Of DUI, Authorities In Washington State Say

More recently, he served as a football analyst.

In 2022, Sherman pled guilty in Seattle to two misdemeanour offences coming from a drunken driving and domestic dispute the previous year. He also admitted to a criminal charge of speeding in a construction zone.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Heat’s Jimmy Butler, 3 Others, Ejected After Scuffle With Pelicans

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NEW ORLEANS — Miami’s Jimmy Butler was one of four players tossed after a scuffle early in the fourth quarter of the Heat’s 106-95 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

“I don’t think I should have gotten thrown out of the game,” Butler said, stressing that he was attempting to keep Pelicans player Naji Marshall away from Kevin Love when he placed his hand on Marshall’s throat.

Heat reserve Thomas Bryant and two Pelicans, Marshall and Jose Alvarado, were dismissed when fisticuffs broke out with 11:19 remaining and Miami leading 84-81.

The altercation erupted when Pelicans star player Zion Williamson stole the ball from Butler, and Love grabbed Williamson to prevent an uncontested layup.

As Love whistled for a foul, Williamson fell to the ground, and Marshall raced in to protest how he was fouled.

butler

Heat’s Jimmy Butler, 3 Others, Ejected After Scuffle With Pelicans

“I wasn’t tripping about K-Love because he actually protected me on my fall,” Williamson told ESPN. “All of a sudden I see Butler kind of lunging towards Naji, so I’m trying to get there like, ‘Yo, relax, like what’s going on?'” Williamson stated.

However, Williamson stated that the intensity demonstrated throughout the standoff is “hard not to love.”

“It’s people competing — people riding for their teammates,” he stated.

Butler suggested that Williamson failed, saying Williamson “knew he shouldn’t have done that.”

“Then (Marshall) came and put his hands on K-Love, and that’s how it escalated,” Butler said.

butler

Heat’s Jimmy Butler, 3 Others, Ejected After Scuffle With Pelicans

Butler confronted Marshall, and they briefly held each other by the neck while teammates and coaches gathered around them.

“It was just, I think, a misunderstanding of the play,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I believe Zion stumbled on the play when K-Love grabbed him, and it appeared worse than it was. And then everyone overreacted.

“I believe they misinterpreted that K-Love threw Williams down. On K-Love’s best day, I doubt he could knock him down.”

After it looked like officials had successfully separated the teams, Bryant and Alvarado continued arguing near the scorers’ table and exchanging blows as a fresh scrum built around them.

Emotions rose in the stands as well.

As Alvarado and Bryant scuffled, a fan wearing a Pelicans jersey began hurling objects at Miami players, prompting security to remove him. Soon later, a supporter wearing a Heat jersey was led out.

Officials watched videos of the altercations for several minutes before settling on the four ejections. Love was given a common foul.

Marshall and Alvarado, both popular reserves known for their aggressive play, received a standing ovation as they exited the court. Marshall and Alvarado exited the arena without speaking to the media.

The NBA may impose penalties, including fines or suspensions, in response to the altercation. However, Spoelstra stated that the energy on the court that resulted in the melee is “what competitors want.” This is what the supporters desire. It’s what everyone desires, and it occasionally boils over, regrettably.”

butler

Heat’s Jimmy Butler, 3 Others, Ejected After Scuffle With Pelicans

“We’ll just see what happens in the league,” Spoelstra stated. “Everybody’s intentions were right at first but you get a bunch of competitive people out there and it kind of boiled over.”

Butler said he wouldn’t be shocked if some of the heat from Friday’s game spills over to the team’s next matchup in Miami on March 22.

“We’ll beat them the next time, too,” Butler added. “We are just a better squad.

“Our team is so ready for anything that anybody’s thrown at us,” he said. “We’re playing some amazing basketball together. It doesn’t matter who we’re up against right now. “It is that time of year.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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