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Jim Irsay suspended six games, fined $500K

Jim IrsayJim Irsay pleaded guilty on Tuesday to driving while intoxicated, which paved the way for Roger Goodell to finally hand down his punishment of the Indianapolis Colts owner. Irsay has been suspended for the first six games of the 2014 season, fined $500,000 and banned from discussing his team or the NFL on social media.

“I have stated on numerous occasions that owners, management personnel and coaches must be held to a higher standard than players,” Goodell said in a letter to Irsay. “We discussed this during our meeting and you expressed your support for that view, volunteering that owners should be held to the highest standard.”

Goodell also noted that the Colts would not be forced to forfeit a draft pick or face any other type of competitive sanction because Irsay’s conduct “did not have competitive consequences.”

[Related: Jim Irsay had pills, pill bottles and $30K on him at time of arrest]

For a guy who has more money than he knows what to do with, this equates to a slap on the wrist for Irsay. He can’t be around the team until after the Colts face the Houston Texans on Oct. 9, but big deal. He’s an owner, not a coach.

Goodell is really punishing the fans, because Irsay runs one of the most entertaining Twitter accounts in sports. We don’t know the exact terms of his social media ban, but if Irsay can’t tweet ridiculous photos of himself getting jacked up for games then we’re all the real losers here.

H/T Mike Garafolo

Stephanie McMahon invites Michael Sam to WWE Raw

Michael-Sam-WWE

Michael Sam was released by the St. Louis Rams last week and was not signed to the team’s practice squad, meaning he is free to pursue a job elsewhere in the NFL. In the meantime, the former Missouri star has been invited to speak to WWE fans during next week’s edition of Monday Night Raw.

On Tuesday morning, WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon invited Sam to appear on Raw in a letter on WWE.com:

Exhibiting class and dignity rarely shown in professional sports, Michael Sam, WWE invites you to next Monday’s Raw to speak of your struggles to succeed, lessons you have learned along the way, the courage it takes to be yourself and the prospects of your continued journey.

You are a role model, who, by example, can encourage everyone to stand up and openly be themselves.

Signed,
Stephanie McMahon
CBO, WWE

Sam has not yet responded to the invite, and he might be better off focusing on football and trying to convince a team to sign him instead of making public appearances at a WWE event. NFL stars like Chad Ochocinco and Michael Strahan have appeared on Raw, but that was after their careers were established. While Sam’s story is unique and certainly one worth sharing, his mind is probably on one thing only at the moment.

H/T Jimmy Traina’s The Big Buzz

Bob Melvin rips A’s after sweep by Angels

Bob MelvinBob Melvin ripped his Oakland A’s after they lost to the Angels 9-1 on Sunday, which ended a 4-game sweep by their AL West rivals.

The A’s entered Thursday’s series opener one game behind the Angels in the division and ended up five games back after Sunday.

“What can you say? It was embarrassing. Pathetic. We don’t play like that,” Melvin said after the game. “The last three games here are the worst I’ve seen this team play in… I can’t remember how long. I feel bad for our fans to have to watch that.

“The reason I’m upset is because that’s not who we are. That’s not who we’ve been for three years. And for the last … I don’t know how long, it’s mounted. It’s been frustrating. But that last three games for us is just not who we are. At all. And it’s embarrassing. They all should be embarrassed.”

The A’s were held scoreless for a streak of 29 straight innings during the series. They held a closed-door meeting after the sweep.

“I definitely think something needed to be said,” third baseman Josh Donaldson said. “This is the time of the season where you need to start playing your best. And right now, we’re playing our worst.”

Despite the 4-game sweep and a 5-game losing streak to the Angels, the series between the teams is still tied 8-8. The A’s still have a full month to make up ground on the Angels, including a 3-game series later in the month in Oakland when they might be able to flip the standings. It’s way too early to count them out or hand the Angels the division.

Michael Sam released by Rams

Michael Sam money gesture

The St. Louis Rams released Michael Sam as part of their final roster cuts on Saturday afternoon, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

While it had long been reported that Sam was on the roster bubble, his fate with the Rams will come as a surprise to people who watched the former Missouri star throughout the preseason. There were times when Sam did a great job of pressuring the quarterback, registering two sacks, two QB hits and four QB hurries on 133 preseason snaps.

Sam is slightly undersized for a defensive end and it not exactly a freak athlete, but many felt he had showed enough to earn a spot on the Rams roster. The fact that he does not play on special teams made it a tougher decision for the Rams. St. Louis will likely try to keep him on board as a practice player, but don’t be surprised if Sam finds a home elsewhere.

More Michael Sam coverage:
Video: ESPN reports on Michael Sam’s showering habits
Chris Long: Everyone but ESPN is over Michael Sam being gay
Video: Michael Sam sacks Johnny Manziel, flashes money sign

50 Cent opens up about relationship with Floyd Mayweather

floyd-mayweather-50-cent

For whatever reason, 50 Cent has launched a full-blown social media assault on Floyd Mayweather Jr. over the past couple of weeks. It started with 50′s spin-off on the Ice Bucket Challenge when he offered to donate a ton of money to the charity of Mayweather’s choice if Floyd could read one page of a Harry Potter book. The feud has snowballed from there.

The interesting thing about all this is 50 Cent and Mayweather used to be best friends. During a recent interview with Miranda Johnson of XXL Magazine, 50 tried to explain how his relationship with the champ went south.

“Floyd is one-dimensional,” he said, via Edward Chaykovsky of BoxingScene.com. “The Money Team concept is one-dimensional. We actually started pushing it during the recession. It was cool because his viewership was going up but it’s not actually the right message for me and who I am.

“So I started working with the United Nations and The World Food Program and Feeding America. Providing meals through the SK Energy Shots and that was at the same time because I started realizing that this is not the right concept of what you should present to the public.”

In other words, 50 decided that Floyd is too selfish. He said that Mayweather does things he doesn’t understand, which results in 50 becoming agitated and doing things in response — like posting this hilarious Manny Pacquiao meme mocking Floyd. However, 50 insists he loves Mayweather like a little brother.

“I don’t hate him. I love him, actually,” he said. “Entering the sport of boxing is a reflection of that relationship. He doesn’t make any money away from the sport of boxing. That tells you when he’s done fighting, he’s done period. I just try to encourage him to do things away from the sport…

“It’s pretty tough to digest the concept that we don’t spend money the same. He spends all of his money. He lives a richer lifestyle than we actually live day to day. In the end, it’s not a sustainable lifestyle. I’ll have to help him when it gets too tough. We’ve had conversations about this.”

Could this be why Mayweather recently welcomed Warren Buffett to The Money Team? Maybe he realized that he needs to explore other avenues for making money, especially since he is in his late 30s. I doubt he’s worried just yet, regardless of what Curtis has to say.

USC RB Anthony Brown calls Steve Sarkisian a racist on Instagram, quits team

Anthony Brown USC

USC senior running back Anthony Brown quit the program this week and went out with a blaze of glory.

Well, not exactly.

Brown called new Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian a racist on Instagram Thursday morning and quit the football team.

Here’s the Instagram post and caption, which has since been deleted:

Anthony Brown USC Instagram

According to TMZ, Brown’s racist accusations stem from a meeting with Sark in the coach’s office Tuesday. Brown wanted to meet with the coach to find out where he stood with the team since he has been injured.

“When I walked in the room [Sarkisian] said, ‘You have the f**king guts to walk in here — coward.’

“The way he was talking to me … it was like a slave master talking to his slave.”

According to TMZ, Brown says Sark never used any racist words, but he felt the coach had a “racist” tone.

“I called a meeting up with this disrespectful guy!!! He called me a coward, all types of f**k words.”

“He stereotype my mom and dad. like he belittle me to another level.”

“I just responded Yes Sir and No Sir!”

“Never been treated like that before!! Don’t Wish it upon anyone! That’s who he is!”

Sarkisian responded to Brown’s accusations Thursday and disagreed.

“Quite honestly I’m shocked,” Sarkisian said to the media in response.

“It’s ridiculous. Any of you guys that know me, ask any of our players. That’s the furthest thing from the truth,” said Sark via ESPN reporter Arash Markazi. “I had encouraged him to play. I thought he could play. I didn’t want him to quit.”

According to the LA Daily News’ Scott Wolf, Sarkisian met with Brown Thursday to go over the running back missing rehab sessions.

Brown played both ways as a high school senior at Kaiser High in Fontana, Calif., and arrived on campus aiming to play running back for Lane Kiffin. He made the switch to cornerback and was a starter the past two seasons, but he was limited by injuries. He decided to switch back to running back for his senior season, but that did not go well — he was buried on the depth chart.

Lest you think this is a common sentiment among Trojans players, here’s defensive tackle Antwaun Woods defending Sark:

Overall it’s been a terrible week for USC in terms of media attention. First they had to deal with Josh Shaw fabricating a story about rescuing a drowning nephew, and now this. Oh, and they’re also getting picked on by the national media, too.

Josh Shaw lied to USC about drowning story, is suspended indefinitely

Josh Shaw USC Trojans

Josh Shaw on Wednesday admitted to USC officials that he lied about the story of how he injured his ankles. He has been suspended by the program indefinitely.

Shaw suffered two high-ankle sprains on Saturday and told USC the injuries occurred when he jumped off a second-story balcony to save a 7-year-old nephew from drowning in a swimming pool. USC publicized that account with a story published on their website Monday, complete with quotes from Shaw and head coach Steve Sarkisian.

A day after the heroic story went viral, USC began investigating the story more thoroughly. There were rumors that Shaw was not out in his hometown of Palmdale that night, but rather that he was involved in an incident with his girlfriend and may have injured himself escaping from her apartment.

[Previously: Police responded to scream at apartment of Josh Shaw's girlfriend]

“We are extremely disappointed in Josh,” said USC head football coach Steve Sarkisian. “He let us all down. As I have said, nothing in his background led us to doubt him when he told us of his injuries, nor did anything after our initial vetting of his story.

“I appreciate that Josh has now admitted that he lied and has apologized. Although this type of behavior is out of character for Josh, it is unacceptable. Honesty and integrity must be at the center of our program. I believe Josh will learn from this. I hope that he will not be defined by this incident, and that the Trojan Family will accept his apology and support him.”

USC also says Shaw now has Donald Etra as legal counsel. It’s unclear what he needs a legal adviser for, but it could be related to the alleged incident with his girlfriend.

Etra released the following statement on Shaw’s behalf.

“On Saturday August 23, 2014, I injured myself in a fall. I made up a story about this fall that was untrue. I was wrong to not tell the truth. I apologize to USC for this action on my part.

“My USC coaches, the USC Athletic Department, and especially Coach Sarkisian have all been supportive of me during my college career and for that, I am very grateful.”