Canada Akim Aliu announced as competitor for Battle of the Blades as diversity takes centre stage
Stanley Cup Final betting preview: Stars offer value vs. shorthanded Lightning
Find line reports, best bets, and subscribe to push notifications in the Betting News section. We closed out Round 3 with an 8-2 record to continue what's been a very profitable postseason. Now, we're about to be treated to a terrific Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars. The Lightning entered the postseason as betting favorites in the Eastern Conference and have shown why by losing just four times en route to the finals.Dallas took a much different path.
In a move that reflects the ongoing protests promoting equality and racial justice across North America, Canadian figure skating reality show Battle of the Blades is making diversity a major priority for the upcoming sixth season with its selection of competitors and judges.
Nadal shocked by Schwartzman, Djokovic smashes racket but wins in Rome
Argentine Diego Schwartzman was 0-9 in his career against Rafael Nadal entering Saturday's quarterfinal clash at the Italian Open in Rome. Make that 1-9 after World No. 15 Schwartzman beat nine-time Rome champion Nadal 6-2, 7-5. Schwartzman, who had never previously beaten a top-five player, is off to the last four of an ATP 1000 contest for just the second time after first reaching the mark last year during the same clay-court event at the Foro Italico.Nadal struggled mightily with his serve, winning just 48% of first-serve points. The Spanish left-hander's record at the Italian Masters 1000 event falls to 63-7 with the defeat to Schwartzman.
Four Black athletes and one Black judge will be taking part in the new season, and three female hockey players are participating for the first time in the show's history.
Former Calgary Flames player Akim Aliu, who has been vocal about the racial discrimination he faced during his hockey career, was announced as one of the show's new competitors on Friday.
The 31-year-old Nigerian-born Canadian athlete has been on the forefront of promoting equality in sport, as he helped form the Hockey Diversity Alliance in June with the goal of eliminating racism from the game.
Aliu posted a series of tweets last November detailing the racial abuse he was a victim of during his time in the NHL, with specific examples regarding former Flames head coach Bill Peters. He also established a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) youth hockey team in Toronto earlier this month.
Canada's Andreescu withdraws from French Open
Bianca Andreescu has pulled out of this year's French Open, the 20-year-old's agent told the Canadian Press on Saturday. Andreescu, who became Canada's first-ever Grand Slam champion when she won the 2019 US Open, withdrew from the 2020 installment, citing an interrupted recovery from a knee injury due to the global pandemic. Andreescu, ranked No. 7 in the world, hasn't competed in a WTA tour event since last October at the WTA Finals in China because of the knee concern.The French Open at Roland Garros in Paris was pushed back four months due to the coronavirus and will start Sept. 21.
He is being paired with Vanessa James, a Black figure skater who is returning to the show for another season. James was the 2019 European Champion in pairs and has represented France at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Fellow Black hockey player Anthony Stewart will also be competing on the new season alongside figure skater Violetta Afanasieva. Stewart is a former first-round NHL pick who played for the Panthers, Thrashers and Hurricanes.
The other pairings for Season 6 are Jessica Campbell with Asher Hill, Jennifer Botterill with Eric Radford, Meagan Duhamel with Wojtek Wolski, Carlotta Edwards with Kris Versteeg, Kaitlyn Weaver with Bryan Bickell, and Meghan Agosta with Andrew Poje.
Hockey payer Natalie Spooner will serve as one of the judges. The Scarborough, Ont., native participated as a competitor last season where she finished as the runner-up behind fellow hockey player Sheldon Kennedy.
Kevin Harvick edges Kyle Busch in fierce battle at Bristol; four drivers eliminated from playoffs
Kevin Harvick held off a hard-charging Kyle Busch Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway to earn his ninth win of the season.Harvick denied the reigning Cup Series champion his first win of the season when he took the lead a little more than 100 laps from the finish and held off every challenge from Busch the rest of the way. Busch furiously tried to catch him as the two weaved their way through lapped traffic, but Harvick held firm in the No. 4 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing.
Black professional skater Elladj Baldé and Olympic gold medallist Scott Moir will serve as the other two judges. Ron MacLean is returning as host, and four-time World champion Kurt Browning is stepping into a new role as Elite Battle Expert.
Charities promoting diversity
Some of the charities supported by the pairs share an aim to make youth sports more diverse and accessible to everyone, regardless of race or background.
These selected charities include the Black Legal Action Centre in Ontario, Opokaa'sin Early Intervention Society in Alberta, and The Time to Dream Foundation. The season's winner will have $100K donated to a charity of their choice.
The seven-episode season kicks off on Oct. 15 on CBC and CBC Gem before wrapping up on Nov. 26, with a virtual audience taking the place of general admissions due to the pandemic.
Fans from all across Canada can apply to become a member of the virtual audience, allowing them to join the action from home and be viewed on video screens in the arena through a virtual video conference.
Blake Shelton Stops By ‘Ellen’, Declares ‘2020 Sucks’ .
Blake Shelton is dropping by “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Monday where he looked back his year so far. DeGeneres thanked Shelton and girlfriend Gwen Stefani for “reaching out when things went crazy.” A reference to the toxic workplace allegations the talk show host has been facing. RELATED: Watch Blake Shelton Perform ‘God’s Country’ On A Rooftop With Broken Roots On ‘AGT’ "Absolutely, we love you," Shelton responded before they reminisced about losing at the 2020 Grammy awards. "2020 sucks and I refuse to spend another minute sober," Shelton joked. Elsewhere in the conversation, Shelton spoke about his duet "Happy Anywhere" with Stefani.