Collett not going to waste Cradle Mountain’s advantage

Jason Collett hasn't been down to 53kg for a while. Actually, he can’t remember when he last got down there but for Cradle Mountain he will make sure he will ride the limit in the Razor Sharp Handicap at Randwick on Saturday.

He has been sitting down to “healthy meals” across from trainer – and his partner – Clare Cunningham for the past week. It is something that usually goes unseen by trainers but Collett knows how much this sprinter means to both Cunningham and himself.

Taking advatage: Jason Collett will get down to 53kg to ride Cradle Mountain in the Razor Sharp Handicap on SaturdayCredit:AAP

“She doesn’t like it when I’m doing it [wasting], because it makes it hard for her to eat a big meal. But I want to take every advantage on Cradle Mountain,” Collett said. “He is our first real good horse.

“I’m pretty busy this week riding, so that will help me. I’m aiming to be 53kg on Saturday and strong, I’ll sweat the last bit after riding at Canterbury on Friday.

“Cradle Mountain won’t get a chance like this again to run with 53kg, so I need to make sure that is all he carries. It is his biggest test but I think we have all seen he is up to [taking on] these better sprinters.”

Collett has been the regular rider for the six-time winner at all but one of his nine starts and knows what a speed machine he is. He was on Cradle Mountain when he broke down at Scone and was delighted to see him come back with an easy win at Rosehill last month.

He missed the next win because of suspension with Kerrin McEvoy taking over as Cradle Mountain once again proved too strong over 1300m at Rosehill three weeks ago.

“Those two wins have shown he is back and we always thought this race would be a good test for him,” Collett said. “It will get his rating up as well, because you need to make sure he can get into the right races next year.

“This is going to be his last run because when he was injured he actually stayed in the stable, so Clare could make sure he was looked after properly.”

Cradle Mountain was tended to by Cunningham as he overcame a leg injury. She nursed the $4000 purchase back to fitness, but there was always the doubt that he would return the same horse.

“The first day back, I was nervous but he just did what he always does and was too good,” Collett said. “He is a group sprinter and we get to find out how far he will go next year, but this is a good test, which he is up to.”

Collett has a great book of rides at Randwick with Our Century fighting for favouritism for the Christmas Cup and Organza looking to continue her climb through the grades.

The rain will be of benefit for Our Century, which is third-up after winning on return over 1900m before being a solid runner-up in the ATC Cup.

“He had such a tough run the other day, it was really a good effort to hold on for second. If he had the soft run of the winner I'm sure he would have won,” Collett said.

“I think he will be even better suited at the 2400m and soft ground will be to his favour.

“I like a couple of rides I have for Godolphin, Organza was very strong winning last start and is down in the weights and I think Gongs is ready to run a big race as well earlier in the day."

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Cause of death for former Clemson running back C.J. Fuller related to football injury

Former Clemson University running back C.J. Fuller died of a pulmonary thromboembolism and deep vein thrombosis connected to a football-related knee injury, according to a report made public Tuesday by the Pickens County Coroner's Office.

Fuller, 22, died Oct. 3.

Fuller was doing physical therapy for a knee injury and began to experience chest pains in the moments before his death Wednesday, his aunt, Zola Fuller Beeks, said after his death in an interview with the Independent Mail and The Greenville News.

Fuller played at Clemson from 2014 to 2017, redshirting in 2014 before accumulating 599 yards rushing on 147 carries with five touchdowns over the next three seasons. He also had 290 yards on 17 career kickoff returns, including a 20-yard kickoff return in the 2016 national championship game that jump-started the Tigers' game-winning drive against Alabama.

Check back for more on this developing story. 

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What scares Mets about relief targets — but didn’t about Edwin Diaz

LAS VEGAS — Mets officials knew the team needed to acquire a closer this offseason, surveyed the free-agent market and were concerned about wear and tear on the potential candidates.

Andrew Miller was on the DL three times, Cody Allen had regressed into his worst season, so had even the projected best of the bunch, Craig Kimbrel.

The more and more they delved into a market that also includes Zach Britton, Jeurys Familia, Joakim Soria and many others, the more Mets officials worried about the combination of age, workload, injury history and potential cost of those they considered.

Which is why, despite taking on $63 million left on Robinson Cano, the Mets saw their trade with the Mariners as less of a gamble. Because the key piece, Edwin Diaz, doesn’t turn 25 until March, and over the next four years should cost someplace — through the arbitration process — around $30 million-ish.

Except if you do a bit of digging, even Diaz comes with workload concerns. The Mariners have not made the playoffs since 2001 — the longest drought among the four major sports leagues — and, among other things, pushed Diaz the past two seasons, especially in 2018, to try to get to the postseason.

No pitcher appeared in more games on no-day’s rest over the past two years than Diaz at 47 — Blake Treinen at 43 was second-most (thanks to the MLB Network research department for the help here).

In 2018, the only pitcher to work on no-day’s rest more often than Diaz’s 26 was Sergio Romo, who was part of the Rays’ “opener” program. Diaz was tied with sidewinder Brad Ziegler, who retired after the season. Ziegler averaged a major league relief-low 84.4 mph with his fastball, Diaz 97.3 mph.

In addition, Diaz pitched four times in five days seven times last year. The last was Aug. 9-12, when he pitched on four straight days and recorded a save in each against the first-place Astros as the Mariners closed within four games of first place.

Seattle, though, faded, and Diaz pitched on even consecutive days just one more time in 2018.

“We did that work [about workload] not only on Diaz, but all the relievers in the market,” Brodie Van Wagenen said. “We used the data to make our decision. The fact [Diaz] is 24 years old and we now control how he is used moving forward made us comfortable with the deal.”

The Mets still are pursuing a reliever from that free-agent grouping to serve as a primary setup man to Diaz, and the three names who have been mentioned most to me are Miller, Adam Ottavino and David Robertson.

Of that group, Robertson is by far the most durable, having appeared in at least 60 games nine straight years. That could be both an alluring figure and a worrisome one. Bryan Shaw’s durability was central to him landing a three-year, $27 million pact with the Rockies, for whom he performed horribly.

Colorado spent $106 million last offseason on Shaw, Jake McGee and closer Wade Davis, and none pitched well. One reason the Rockies made the playoffs, though, was Ottavino, the Brooklyn-born righty who had a 2.43 ERA and averaged 13 strikeouts per nine innings. His success has Ottavino in demand this offseason, including by the Yankees, who met with his representative Tuesday night, though no offers were exchanged.

Miller has history with Mets manager Mickey Callaway, who was his pitching coach in Cleveland. Teams are going to have to be confident the 33-year-old lefty can bounce back physically. His allure — besides his stuff when healthy — is that Miller has the reputation as one of the best teammates in the sport.

The Mets believe Diaz, despite his recent workloads, provides less risk than any of the relievers they are considering to be his setup man. Plus, the Mets think that by landing Diaz so early in the offseason, they have the key pen piece they needed and can therefore be more patient as they try to decide which risky bet to make on a setup man.

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Winnipeg pro hoopster trying to rebound after knee surgery

With over 1,000 rebounds in her U.S. college basketball career, rebounding is a skill Emily Potter perfected as a member of the Division 1 Utah Utes.

But now, the six-foot-six forward is trying to rebound from knee surgery. Her first pro job in Poland was cut short when she was told she had to go under the knife for cartilage damage after just a few exhibition games.

“I feel like I finally just made it,” Potter said. “Becoming a professional, signing a contract, going overseas, and then my rookie season is kind of over.”

The Winnipeg native has been down this road before, tearing the ACL in her other knee, which caused her to miss her entire sophomore season at Utah.

RELATED: Winnipeg’s Emily Potter signs contract to play professional basketball in Poland

“It hits harder in other ways because this is my livelihood; it’s my career,” she said. “So it’s scary when you don’t have a job. Right now, I’m unemployed — being in a college atmosphere before, you had a lot of support, but now I’m kind of on my own.”

While she heals, Potter has gone back to Glenlawn Collegiate to help coach the team she once led to back-to-back provincial finals.

“She was one of the greatest players ever at our school,” Glenlawn varsity girls’ head coach Bryan Kornberger said. “But I must be honest with you, her team-building leadership skills are the things I remember the most.”

“Her interpersonal skills are so outstanding that I’ve already seen her pull people off to the side, and getting them feeling good about themselves.”

RELATED: Manitoba’s Emily Potter headed to WNBA training camp

But it’s only temporary, as the 23-year-old hopes to be back playing professionally in the next month or so.

“I want to make sure I do it the right way and make sure I’m not in any pain so I have to think of the longevity of my career,” Potter said. “I want to play for many years down the line.”

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Hitchcock has Edmonton Oilers rolling, but other NHL coaching changes falling flat

When the struggling Edmonton Oilers dropped the axe on head coach Todd McLellan and replaced him with the briefly-retired Ken Hitchcock last month, part of Peter Chiarelli’s reasoning for the move came from a belief his team’s roster was good enough to make the playoffs.

It’s only been 11 games, but it appears the embattled general manager was onto something.

Watch below: Some Global News videos about Ken Hitchcock.

Sitting five points below the cut line at 9-10-1 before the coaching change, the Oilers are an impressive 8-2-1 under Hitchcock — tied for the NHL’s third-best record over that span heading into Wednesday’s action — and occupy the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot.

As the 66-year-old has done throughout his career, he’s making previously-average looking goalies seem like world beaters.

The Oilers are surrendering similar shot totals since McLellan’s removal, but are giving up more than a full goal less per game on average as Hitchcock continues to implement his defensive structure.

Mikko Koskinen, a 30-year-old with four games of NHL experience in 2010-11 prior to this season, has wrestled the starting netminder’s job from Cam Talbot.

Watch below: Some recent video about the Edmonton Oilers.

In eight appearances since Hitchcock took over, Koskinen has a .936 save percentage, up from .917 with McLellan. Talbot has also seen a bump in his statistics with a .925 mark in three games after putting up an ugly .888 in 14 previous outings.

“It’s not going to change overnight, but we can start taking some steps,” Hitchcock said in the wake of his hiring. “I told the players I can take them to a place personally that they can’t get to themselves.

“But they’ve got to buy into that, and it’s not going to be comfortable at times.”

Watch below: On Nov. 30, 2018, The Oilers’ new head coach Ken Hitchcock talked about what it’s like to coach in Edmonton.

And while the three other teams that fired coaches during a 17-day November stretch in hopes turning around their seasons don’t have a forward group led by Connor McDavid, they haven’t responded nearly as well.

The Los Angeles Kings were the first to make a move, parting ways with John Stevens and his 4-8-1 record on Nov. 4. Former Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins is 7-11-1 since, unable to get much more out of a slow, veteran group.

Joel Quenneville, a three-time Stanley Cup champion with Chicago, was handed his walking papers by the Blackhawks two days after Stevens following a 6-6-3 start to the year.

Jeremy Colliton was promoted from the club’s AHL affiliate to try to right the ship, but the rookie’s tenure behind the bench has been a disaster so far with a 3-12-2 record, including a regulation losing streak that stretched to eight games with Tuesday’s 6-3 defeat in Winnipeg.

“If I had [a reason] I would have fixed it already,” Colliton told reporters after the latest setback.

And the St. Louis Blues, who underwent a major roster overhaul this summer that included a blockbuster trade for forward Ryan O’Reilly, fired Mike Yeo (7-9-3) the day before McLellan was sent packing Nov. 20.

Craig Berube, who has won two of his last three, is a pedestrian 4-5-1 as interim coach.

St. Louis (28th overall), Los Angeles (30th) and Chicago (31st) are the bottom three teams in the West. At the other end of the spectrum, the Oilers are flying, winners of four straight and six of their last seven.

Hitchcock, however, is still looking for more.

“We’re going to need more contributions from more people if we expect to be a playoff team,” he said following Edmonton’s 6-4 victory in Colorado on Tuesday. “We’re going to push in that direction.”

Battle of Alberta brewing?

Speaking of Alberta teams, if the playoffs started Wednesday, the first round would have featured Calgary taking on Edmonton in the post-season for the first time since 1991. Like the Oilers, the Flames were 8-2-1 over their last 11. Edmonton owns a 4-1 record in playoff series against Calgary, with the Flames’ only victory coming in 1986.

Pettersson continues to impress

The meteoric rise continues for Elias Pettersson, the NHL’s first star of the week. Vancouver’s 20-year-old rookie centre is the first player since Alexei Yashin in 1993-94 to record 32 points in his first 27 NHL games. Pettersson’s 16 goals are also the most by a rookie to start a career since Alex Ovechkin scored 17 times in 27 games in 2005-06.

Blue-line prowess

With scoring up across the NHL, a group of elite defenceman are the owners of some impressive stat lines. No blue-liner has averaged a point a game in a season since Erik Karlsson in 2015-16, but Washington’s John Carlson, Toronto’s Morgan Rielly, Ottawa’s Thomas Chabot and Calgary’s Mark Giordano all currently sit at or above the threshold. The last time more than one defenceman averaged a point a game or better in a season was in 1995-96 when Brian Leetch, Sergei Zubov and Ray Bourque accomplished the feat. Karlsson, Nicklas Lidstrom (2005-06) and Mike Green (2008-09 and 2009-10) are the only other blue-liners to reach the mark since in a full season.

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Starc workout contradicts calm over concerns for Australian spearhead

Mitchell Starc put Australia's struggling batsmen through their paces on Wednesday in a training session which revealed plenty about the concerns the hosts are taking into the second Test.

As captain Tim Paine watched from the dressing room, senior paceman Starc was part of a group undergoing centre-wicket practice at the WACA in a move at odds with the team's public statements over the left-arm quick.

Inconsistent: Mitchell Starc needs to find his range in both innings in Perth.Credit:AAP

The Australian camp has sung Starc's praises since his erratic display in Adelaide but their actions have suggested there are real worries over his form.

Paine banished Starc after only two overs with the second new ball on Sunday after the pace ace lost his radar in a brief spell which saw him drag two balls way down leg side that could almost have been called wides.

On Wednesday, he was the only member of Australia's big three pacemen to bowl in a week where revitalisation, rather than hard yards, has been the theme of training due to the short turnaround between Tests.

After a one-on-one chat with coach Justin Langer, Starc then had a lengthy session bowling to Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch, which was recorded by a camera at the bowler's end and another in a drone overhead.

"Yeah quick, he bowled pretty well," Marcus Harris said. "There was obviously a bit of talk about him after the game but I thought he bowled pretty well during the game and he's felt like he was in good rhythm out there before. I'm sure he's ready and raring to go for Friday."

Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins have managed to retain the fast bowler's snarl without jeopardising the team's commitment to cleaning up their conduct but less so Starc, who has been criticised for his perceived poor body language.

The Australians missed Starc's aggression, particularly in the first innings when they skittled the top order but battled to clean up the tail.

At his best, Starc would be a handful on an Optus Stadium deck that has been tipped to be fast and bouncy like the WACA pitches of old.

Dropping Starc for this match would be a very bold move and another wayward display here, should he get the nod, would severely test the faith of selectors, who were due to meet on Wednesday after training to discuss their XI.

Should they recall all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, that would be another sign of their worries over Starc.

Perth boy Marcus Harris trains at the WACA ahead of the second Test in front of a home crowd starting Friday.Credit:AAP

The Australians are adamant Paine, who was cracked on his troublesome index finger in the run chase, will play despite missing training. The official line is that he is keeping himself fresh.

Australia's major selection query in the batting is over Aaron Finch, who did little in the first Test to prove he is a viable option at the top of the order at home.

Dumping Finch would prompt a reshuffle of a batting order that many believe needs stability after the turmoil this year.

Australia are drawing encouragement from their gallant run chase when they gave India a bigger scare than many predicted. That, however, was due largely to the resistance shown by the lower order and tail.

"I think we took some good confidence from the fight we showed," Harris said. "I know when I looked at it as a batter I thought "bugger, I wish I could've got 60 or 70", so we got pretty close and the fight we showed hopefully we can take some momentum into the game on Friday. I think the wicket will suit us a little bit more with the conditions.

"We would've loved to win the game, but the boys bowled really well, the bowlers also batted really well, so it's probably on us batters to take a bit of the weight from them."

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Jon Gruden Rule? NFL makes changes to Rooney Rule in light of Raiders’ process

IRVING, Texas – Call it the Jon Gruden Rule.

The NFL announced a few tweaks to the Rooney Rule on Wednesday that conceivably adds teeth to its policy – and maybe reduces the possibility of sham interviews – for requiring teams to interview at least one minority candidate for head coaching and general manager vacancies.

Revisions include mandating that teams interview candidates from outside their organizations, including those deemed viable by the league’s career development advisory panel, maintaining complete records pertaining to the process that must be turned over to the league upon request and a requirement that final decision-makers participate in the interviews for every candidate.

Make no mistake: These changes are largely a response to the Oakland Raiders’ process last December in hiring Gruden, which sparked criticism that the spirit of the rule was violated – although commissioner Roger Goodell ultimately determined the Raiders and team owner Mark Davis complied.

“This is a win,” Cyrus Mehri, counsel for the Fritz Pollard Alliance (FPA), which promotes and monitors minority hiring in the NFL, told USA TODAY during a phone interview shortly after the league revealed the changes during a one-day league meeting. “It’s trying to close a loophole. We wanted to end the ‘check the box’ compliance and instead have robust commitment to give minority candidates opportunities for legitimate interviews.

“And it’s also to make sure that what happened in Oakland never happens again.”

The rule, though, was not expanded to include vacancies of coordinator positions, which some within the league had hoped for.

Mehri, who was a key figure in crafting the policy that the NFL adopted for coaches in 2003 (and revised in 2009 to include GMs), was part of the FPA’s contingent that met with Goodell and other league officials in New York on Monday. For months, after the group publicly criticized the Raiders’ process with Gruden and the Cleveland Browns' search before hiring general manager John Dorsey, the FPA has engaged in a series of conversations with the league with the intent of adding weight to the Rooney Rule.

Jocelyn Moore, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications and public affairs, said the league made the changes after consulting with various outside entities, including the FPA.

Yet clearly, no organization has pressured the NFL on matters relating to the Rooney Rule like the FPA.

Robert Gulliver, the NFL’s chief human resources executive, said the stipulation that final decision-makers are engaged with all candidates was added to “ensure consistency.”

Before hiring Gruden, lured personally by Davis, the team’s owner didn’t conduct the interview with University of Southern California offensive coordinator Tee Martin. Instead, since-fired GM Reggie McKenzie interview Martin, which Goodell accepted as compliant with the Rooney Rule.

Although the Detroit Lions’ hiring of Steve Mariucci in 2003 is the only case in which a team has ever been disciplined for violating the Rooney Rule (then-GM Matt Millen was fined $200,000), there are routinely suspect situations that appear to be less-than-legitimate interview opportunities.

Last year, the Raiders also interviewed their tight ends coach, Bobby Johnson, whose name had never come up among head candidates. That drew comparisons to cases in previous years that included Washington’s Jerry Gray and Philadelphia’s Duce Staley, position coaches who were seemingly tapped for interviews by their employers merely to comply with the Rooney Rule.

“That’s been an annoying problem,” Mehri said. “Walk down the hall and find a black assistant coach to interview and check the box.”

It’s doubtful that so-called “sham” interviews still won’t be conducted – especially in cases where a team owner has a specific target in mind to hire as coach or GM – but with the revision of the Rooney Rule, the standards for compliance just became much tighter.

Follow Jarrett Bell on Twitter @JarrettBell.

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Brighton's Ezequiel Schelotto is aiming to bring Argentinian fashion – and Lionel Messi – to the UK with his new boutique

The Brighton defender has just opened a boutique in the city stocking some of the most stylish clothing his country has to offer – and he could soon have Lionel Messi knocking on his door.

Luxurious Forget Me Knot sells high-end ladies' garments from his country's top designers, with Messi's wife Antonella Roccuzzo and Cesc Fabregas’ other half Daniella Semaan already huge fans of their stunning handmade range.

Schelotto, his wife Gisela and two Argentinian friends who he met in Brighton after joining the Seagulls for £2.7million from Sporting Lisbon last year only started trading last month.

But while they have no background in the clothing business, 29-year-old Schelotto and Gisela are huge fans of Argentinian designers and have no doubts that bringing them to the British market will be a huge success.

The full back, who is understandably fashion conscious after spending two years at Inter Milan, told Sun Sport: 'We really believe in these brands and  that’s why we were really interested to start this project.

"We are both Argentinian so we know about the quality of them.

"Our friends (business partners Narela Ortolani and Sebastian Puga) don't need to explain anything about the brands, when you hear the names you say 'Wow'."

Brighton are Schelotto’s tenth club, having plied his trade at eight different Italian sides before heading to the South Coast via Portugal.

He had a great first campaign with Chris Hughton’s side and became a fan favourite at the Amex, but has struggled for game time this season.


But despite that, does the fact that he has opened a business in Brighton’s famous Lanes mean he could be looking to put some roots down in Sussex?

He explained: “The idea of opening a shop in the city is great because I really love Brighton.

“It’s such a good city for opening the shop for the tourists and the people. I love the fans, they are very loyal.

“I’m really happy in Brighton and I’ve chosen to expand here. But the business is a good business and I can still be involved wherever I go.”

Last month’s big launch got a mixed reaction from Schelotto’s team-mates, many of whom came along for the shop’s opening day.

He explained:  “The Brighton players and wives came and it was really fun.

“And they want to come back and buy something so that’s a really good sign.

“They are all really excited and are starting to pop up to check it out.

“They all say that if they need something they know where to go now. That’s music to our ears.

“But the players say to me, 'Why did you open a shop for the women and not the men?' – and that their wives now need to spend even more money'."

And is there any chance of his playing pals getting a discount?

"No", Schelotto jokes. "I tell them they must pay double."

Forget Me Not – which was a year in planning – was the brainchild of Narela and Sebastian, who have backgrounds in marketing and accountancy.

The four friends are equal partners and the division of labour seems to suit everyone.

It means Schelotto is having no problem juggling his new life as a fashion entrepreneur with a career as a professional footballer.

He said: “It's OK because my wife is working on the project so I can focus on football.

“I am very happy with the project and if I can help in any way, like the open day and inviting the players, of course I will do it.

“But it works perfectly as these guys can run it and I don’t have to work in the shop and can focus on football.”

There are already plans to open a new shop in London in the next year before branching out worldwide, and with famous fans of their products including the partners of Messi and Fabregas, it makes sense to aim high.

Antonella Ruccuzzo was seen at Fabregas' Ibiza wedding party earlier this year in a green Natalia Antolin dress, the only other version of which is available at Forget Me Knot for £919.

And Daniela Semaan has also been seen wearing the designer's outfits, with a white dress she was pictured in on Instagram on sale in the Brighton boutique for £1,027.

The shop also stocks items including shoes and handbags, as well as the extravagant evening gowns that footballers’ wives go for.

And plenty of items are affordable for women who don’t have a footballer as a husband.

Saying that, Schelotto jokes that a number of Argentinian stars who play in England could soon be popping down to Brighton for a shopping trip with their partners, including Manchester United's Marcos Rojo and Spurs star Eric Lamela.

When asked if Lionel Messi's wife might be joining them, he confidently replies: "Yes, why not?"

And with that sort of ambition, it would be no surprise if Forget Me Not soon became a name to remember.


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Defending champion lacrosse team sings 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' despite song's controversy

The Saskatchewan Rush sing ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ during halftime of their game against the Calgary Roughnecks.
(Facebook/Saskatchewan Rush)

A champion professional lacrosse team took a shot at critics opposing controversial Christmas classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by singing it during halftime of an exhibition game during the weekend.

The Saskatchewan Rush host a singalong for fans at halftime in each of their home games. Against the Calgary Roughnecks on Saturday, the team encouraged attendees to sing the classic tune as the Rush players held a fake newspaper with the song title across the top.

The team posted photos on its Facebook page with the caption: “Have you heard? Baby, it’s cold outside.”

The song has come under fire over the last month for lyrics that some call troubling. Critics say the song may send the wrong message about consent.

Bruce Urban, the team owner, said the intention was to poke fun at how sensitive the world has become, according to the Canadian Press. Urban called “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” a “flirtatious, fun Christmas song.”

The Saskatchewan Rush received some backlash after singing ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ during halftime of their game against the Calgary Roughnecks.
(Facebook/Saskatchewan Rush)

“For those people who are sensitive, I get it. I’m all for a movement that talks about proper and equal rights for men and women…but we need to keep in the limits and not get carried away as well,” Urban said.

However, social media users didn’t see eye-to-eye with Urban’s point of view.

One Twitter user said the Rush’s decision to play the song was “tone deaf, loutish and reinforces the ‘dumb, privileged male athlete’ stereotype.”

On Facebook, one woman commented that the move was “silly.”

“Look at these white men getting uppitty (sic) about something pretty much insignificant. Why not put this kind of effort into (something) that matters? There are a lot homeless folks that could use energy like this to help them when it’s cold outside,” the person wrote.

Other fans appeared to support the team’s decision to sing the song.

The Christmas song was written by Frank Loesser in 1944 and won an Oscar for “Best Original Song” in the 1949 film “Neptune’s Daughter."

But in late November, Ohio radio station WDOK Christmas 102.1 announced it was pulling the song from its music rotation after receiving a call from a listener saying the holiday classic may be inappropriate in the #MeToo era.

Pulling the song also sparked a major backlash, leading to some stations, such as KOIT in California, to reinstate the tune on its holiday playlist lineup.

Several radio stations in Canada have also pulled the song, according to the Canadian Press.

The song recently made large gains, however, according to Billboard’s Holiday Digital Sales chart despite the debate that has engulfed the U.S. and Canada.

The Rush are the defending National Lacrosse League champions and are set to get their season underway Dec. 28 against the New England Black Wolves.

Fox News' Katherine Lam contributed to this report.

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Man Utd players ordered to train at 4pm on Christmas Day by Jose Mourinho as he risks further unrest

The players were hoping for a day off to celebrate the festive season with their families and loved ones.

But the struggling squad will train on Christmas Day at Carrington before going to Lowry Hotel where they will spend the night and eat together.

A source said: “Under Sir Alex, the players used to train first thing on Christmas Day and then go home and spend time with their family and enjoy a festive dinner.

"But this year there’s not going to be much fun for them.

“They’ll probably have some pasta pre training and then spend Christmas Day evening alone in their rooms at the Lowry.”

The manager is understood to be jetting to Portugal on December 23 to spend time with his family in his homeland before returning by private jet on December 25.

In his first season at United, Mourinho wanted to train at Old Trafford on Christmas Day.

But he was told it wasn’t possible due to the amount of support staff which would be required to work, from cleaners to stand-by electricians.

Louis van Gaal – who was replaced by Mourinho as United boss – was regarded as a strict disciplinarian but gave the players Christmas Day off.

United, who are slumped at sixth in the Premier League, will face Huddersfield at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.

Mourinho's men will be up against Bournemouth on New Year's Eve before their trip to Newcastle just two days later.

But the boss could chose to rest some of his first-team players for the FA Cup clash against Reading on January 5.


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