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« on: September 14, 2018, 12:56:46 AM »
 

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San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was suspended Tuesday without pay for the first two games of the regular season for violating the NFL's conduct and substance-abuse policy.

The NFL said Foster will also be fined for violations from a weapons offense and misdemeanor drug charge that were resolved earlier this offseason.

Foster will miss San Francisco's games against Minnesota and Detroit before being allowed to return on Sept. 17 before the Niners play Kansas City.

"I accept the League's decision and am sorry that my mistakes have hurt my team Danny Amendola Jersey ," Foster said in a statement. "I have a responsibility to the 49ers, our fans and our community, and I am committed to learning from this situation and making better choices in the future. The support I have received over the last five months has been humbling, and I do not take it for granted."

Foster was charged in January in Alabama with second-degree marijuana possession. That charge was eventually dismissed after he completed a first-time offender diversion course.

Foster then faced more serious charges for an incident in California in February. He was initially charged in April with felonies for domestic violence, making criminal threats and weapons possession after being accused of beating up his ex-girlfriend.

A judge ruled there was no probable cause on the first two charges after the ex-girlfriend recanted the allegations and the judge found no other evidence to support the charges. The weapons charge was reduced to a misdemeanor and Foster pleaded no-contest to that in June.

He was sentenced to two years' probation, 232 hours of community service, and $235 in fines. He will not be allowed to own guns while he's on probation.

The 49ers initially told Foster to stay away from the offseason program after the felony charges were filed in the domestic violence case before welcoming him back after that was resolved in May.

"Our organization understands and supports the League's decision," general manager John Lynch said. "Although we are disappointed that Reuben will not be with our team for the first two games of the season, we will continue to work with him on making better decisions and eliminating unnecessary distractions. We are encouraged to see Reuben take responsibility for his mistakes, and hopeful that he has learned from them as well."

The 49ers drafted Foster 31st overall last year after questions about his health and character caused him to drop from being a possible top 10 pick.

Foster delivered on the field, ranking second on the team with 72 tackles in 10 games as a rookie and looking like a key part of San Francisco's defensive future.
In the soundstage where Johnny Carson and Jay Leno spent four decades filming ”The Tonight Show,” a former Washington State computer science student named Seagull is pursuing a South Korean teenager with a very big gun.

Their characters’ exploits inside ”Overwatch,” the wildly popular multiplayer game not yet 2 years old Vonn Bell Jersey , flicker above their heads on an enormous high-definition screen. Hundreds of mostly millennial fans in the renamed, sold-out Blizzard Arena put down their Doritos and roar for the combat between these six-player teams, eventually rising in ecstasy when the Dallas Fuel earn an unexpected point against the powerhouse Seoul Dynasty.

Here’s the new Johnny. He plays video games for a minimum $50,000 salary, health benefits, a retirement savings plan and a chunk of $3.5 million in prize money.
 
Esports history was made Wednesday night with the debut of the Overwatch League, the first attempt to present elite computer gaming within a traditional North American sports structure comparable to the NBA or NFL. The league’s 12 franchises represent cities from Shanghai to London, and they build teamwork and stress player development while competing on a weekly schedule stretching into summer.

If the esports industry is still in its adolescence, this well-funded venture is a significant milestone in its maturation. The Overwatch League is about to find out whether fans will grow along with it.

”It’s a new frontier,” said Ari Segal, president and chief operating officer of the Los Angeles Valiant. ”It is the biggest, boldest bet in sports and entertainment maybe since the NFL and AFL merged. Maybe since baseball introduced the designated hitter. I don’t even know what it stacks up against, because it is so different.”

Segal had a career as a hockey executive before he moved into esports last year. He is one of many seasoned professionals from traditional sports and business who couldn’t resist the opportunity to shape the future of professional gaming Pierre Garcon Jersey , which has expanded with all the cohesion of a pipe bomb.

Shortly after Blizzard Entertainment published this hero-based, first-person PC shooter to acclaim in 2016, the game developer announced plans for a league backed by deep-pocketed investors ranging from NFL owners Stan Kroenke and Robert Kraft to current giants of the esports scene.

They might not all know their way around a mouse, but they know a growing industry when they see it.

”I come from traditional sports, and from the outside, it seemed like esports had grown up as this exciting, massive, organic, somewhat unstructured ecosystem that benefited from that fact, but was also held back by it,” said Pete Vlastelica, president and CEO of Major League Gaming, which operates the league for Blizzard’s parent company.

”It felt to me a lot like boxing Olivier Vernon Jersey ,” added Vlastelica, a former executive at Fox Sports. ”Anybody can create a circuit. Anybody be a trainer. Anybody can sign a fighter. Anybody can win a belt. But what’s the belt? I think boxing suffers from an ambiguity about whether any particular competition means anything, and it felt like that was really similar in esports.”

The Overwatch League aims to end that ambiguity with traditional sports touchstones, and it made sense to the luminaries from sports, tech and business who dominate the list of investors.

Kroenke, the billionaire owner of Arsenal and the Los Angeles Rams, also owns the Los Angeles Gladiators, who plan to be based within the vast entertainment complex around his Inglewood football stadium after it is completed in 2020. The Boston Uprising are owned by Kraft’s investment group, and they might end up based in Foxborough, Massachusetts, to share some training facilities with the New England Patriots.

The San Francisco Shock’s investor group includes Jennifer Lopez, Shaquille O’Neal and Marshawn Lynch. The Philadelphia Fusion are owned by Comcast Spectacor, and the New York Excelsior are the property of a venture capital fund sponsored by the Wilpon family of New York Mets fame.

Many of the Overwatch League’s owners might not be gamers Adam Butler Jersey , but they understand the visceral importance of going to a good event. League commissioner Nate Nanzer is confident it will eventually harness income from ticket sales and concessions and other areas that haven’t meant much in esports so far.

”Why do people go to a Dodger game? You go because it’s more fun to sit with 40,000 other fans and cheer for a home run than it is to do it at home,” Nanzer said. ”Video games are so incredibly mainstream right now. It’s such a big part of our fans’ lives. When people play `Overwatch,’ they play a lot of `Overwatch.’ It’s a special moment to go share that with people who have the same passion as you.”

Although the geographical specificity of the teams is an important part of their future business plans, those home cities are largely theoretical at this point.

For this season and the near future, every team will live in the Los Angeles area and play all its matches in Burbank. Nanzer said the logistics of staging the competition around the globe were too enormous to be solved immediately.

That’s not the only geographical dissonance: The Overwatch League’s only ”European” team, the London Spitfire, are owned by an American esports organization, and its roster consists entirely of South Korean players living in Los Angeles.

But the Overwatch League has bought itself time to find its footing. The league has sponsorship deals with blue-chip companies including HP Inc. and Intel Corp., an Authentic Womens Trent Murphy Jersey