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WNBA suspends Courtney Williams, Crystal Bradford for roles in fight outside Atlanta club earlier this year

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Last month, former Atlanta Dream guard Courtney Williams posted a video to YouTube that showed her and multiple teammates involved in a brawl outside of a club. Because the Dream’s season was over by the time the video surfaced, the team could not hand out a punishment besides informing the players that they would not be re-signed in the offseason. 

Now, however, the league has decided to get involved. On Tuesday, the WNBA announced that both players have been suspended for their roles in the fight. 

The WNBA announced today that former Atlanta Dream players Courtney Williams and Crystal Bradford have been suspended without pay for their roles in an altercation outside of an Atlanta-area club in May and for related health and safety protocol violations. Williams’ suspension is for two games and Bradford’s suspension is for one game.

The suspensions will be served starting with the first regular season game that each player is eligible to play following the signing of a new Standard Player Contract. 

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Both Williams and Bradford are free agents, and it remains to be seen how much this incident will impact their ability to find a new team. The Dream have already made it clear that they are not welcome back in Atlanta, and other clubs may make the same decision. 

Williams is such a talented offensive player that she’ll likely find a new home, but this is particularly concerning for Bradford. A former first-round pick in 2015, Bradford had been out of the league for five seasons and had finally earned another chance with the Dream. It may not be as easy for her to convince another team to give her a shot. 

WNBA free agency typically begins on Feb. 1, so there’s still a few months until the process will really get going. 

As for the Dream, that video was just one of a number of unfortunate moments from a frustrating and forgettable season. Amid coaching changes, injuries and off-court drama, the team finished in 11th place at 8-24 — the third-worst record in franchise history. 

They have made a number of changes already this offseason, however, and are trying to move on from their dysfunctional reputation. Reigning back-to-back Executive of the Year, Dan Padover, was hired as GM, while Tanisha Wright was named head coach. They have the second-best odds of winning the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming Draft Lottery and have tons of roster flexibility with only one guaranteed deal on the books for next season. The past few years have been rough, but there’s hope for a bright future in Atlanta. 

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Morocco's Abdelhamid Sabiri scores goal vs. Belgium in 73' | 2022 FIFA World Cup

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Watch Morocco’s Abdelhamid Sabiri scoring a goal against Belgium in the 73′ in the 2022 Men’s FIFA World Cup.



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Neymar working ’24 hours a day’ to return from injury at World Cup

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DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Neymar is working “24 hours a day” to try to recover from his ankle injury and play again at the World Cup, Brazil teammate Marquinhos said Sunday.

Neymar damaged ligaments in his right ankle in the team’s 2-0 opening win over Serbia on Thursday and will miss the match against Switzerland on Monday. He remained hopeful of recovering but team doctors still haven’t given a timetable on his return — or said if he will return at all.

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“He is sleeping in physiotherapy, 24 hours a day,” Marquinhos said. “That shows how much he wants to be back with us. We don’t know when it’s going to happen, but we hope we will have him with us again as soon as possible and in good health mentally and physically.”

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Brazil coach Tite said he had to “force” Neymar and right back Danilo — who is also injured — to stop their treatment on Sunday and go be with teammates at the last training before the match against Switzerland. Tite said after the match against Serbia, Neymar was in physiotherapy until five or six in the morning.

Neymar had said Saturday on Instagram that he was “sure” he would “have a chance to return.” He posted photos of his ankle still looking very swollen.

Marquinhos said Neymar had been feeling down after the injury but was getting more upbeat.

“I see him very well and confident about returning,” the defender said ahead of the match against Switzerland. “He is very focused on coming back.”

Tite remained optimistic about the return of both Neymar and Danilo, who sprained his ankle against Serbia.

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“I’m not a doctor, I’m not an expert,” Tite said. “But I still believe that Neymar and Danilo will play in the World Cup. I think we will still be able to use them.”

Tite has plenty of options to fill in for Neymar but admitted it’s hard to replace the talent of a player like him.

“These great talents can show up two or three times and make the difference,” Tite said. “And that’s what Neymar can do for us.”

The coach did not say who would replace Neymar or Danilo in the starting lineup on Monday. The options to replace Danilo included Dani Alves or Éder Militão.

The 30-year-old Neymar is second on Brazil’s scoring list with 75 goals, two behind Pelé’s record with the national team. He has yet to win a major title with Brazil.

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Neymar had to leave the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after hurting his back in the quarterfinals against Colombia. He also missed the 2019 Copa América because of a right ankle injury.

Brazil, seeking its first World Cup title in two decades, faces Cameroon in its last Group G match. The team can reach the round of 16 with a win on Monday if Cameroon doesn’t defeat Serbia in the other group match.



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Morocco's Hakim Ziyech puts a free kick in the net but Romain Saïss caught offside in 45'+2'| 2022 FIFA World Cup

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Hakim Ziyech put Morocco on the board momentarily after a strong free kick from the right wing, but Romain Saïss was caught offside and the goal was disallowed.



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