Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports news from Friday, highlighted by the latest turn in the Antonio Brown offseason saga, which featured him returning to practice and posting a video of a leaked phone call between him and coach Jon Gruden.
ATTENTION: UFC 242, including the World Lightweight Championship — Khabib vs. Poirier, starts today at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. You can watch it right here.
We’ll also take a look at Rafael Nadal advancing to the U.S. Open final where he will be looking to win his 19th Grand Slam title.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Saturday!
Antonio Brown Expected to Play Monday Night After Apologizing to Teammates; Posts Video of Leaked Phone Conversation With Gruden
In yet another twist and turn in the ever-changing Antonio Brown offseason saga, the Oakland Raiders’ star wide receiver is now expected to play Monday night in the team’s opening game after he was back at practice on Friday.
A day after reports circulated that the Raiders were planning on suspending Brown for the heated exchange he had with the team’s general manager Mike Mayock, Brown apologized to his teammates during a team meeting on Friday morning, sources told ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
Brown would go on to apologize publicly, speaking to reporters:
“I’m excited to be out here today. I want to apologize to my teammates, the organization. Enough talk, man. I’m excited to be out here with my teammates, grateful for all the fans. I’m excited to be part of the Raiders and I’ll see you guys soon.”
Speaking to the media before Friday’s practice, coach Jon Gruden affirmed that the Raiders are planning to have Brown available on Monday night.
“That’s the plan. That’s the plan, yes,” said Gruden. “Antonio is back today. We’re really excited about that. Ready to move on. He’s had a lot of, obviously, time to think about things. We’re happy to have him back, and I know Raider Nation is excited about that, too.”
But just when things finally seemed to be settling down, Brown posted a video on his Instagram on Friday night with leaked audio from a phone call he had with Gruden, in which Brown clearly feels that he has been painted as a villain.
He captioned the video with the following:
“With all these false narratives antagonizing me, it’s time for me to control my own narrative. Show the world I’m not the bad guy. Show the world you can free yourself from the lies and become your own person. I am not just AB the football player, I am Antonio Brown, the person, who paved a way for himself to be in charge of his own life. Watch for yourself. Link in bio. Free me!”
You can watch the full version of the video, below:
How did coach Gruden react to having his conversation with Brown used in this video? Apparently, he was “amused,” according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
What will tomorrow bring in this never-ending pre-season saga? Stay tuned.
Rafael Nadal Keeps on Rolling, Advances to U.S. Open Final
Rafael Nadal survived a tough first set tiebreak and then rolled to a straight-set win over Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in the U.S. Open semifinals on Friday night, 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-1.
The 33-year-old Nadal fought off two set points in the first set tiebreak, ultimately taking it from the No. 24-seeded Berrettini, who was playing just two days following his epic fifth set tiebreak win over Gael Monfils in the quarterfinals.
The 18-time Grand Slam champion Nadal will face the No. 5-seeded Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s championship match.
Coming up this afternoon will be the women’s final which will feature Serena Williams looking to tie Margaret Court’s all-time mark of 24 Grand Slam singles titles, as she takes on 19-year-old Canadian, Bianca Andreescu at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Headlines
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WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLD
TENNIS: U.S. Open Women’s Final
All eyes will be on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as Serena Williams looks to tie Margaret Court’s all-time Grand Slam singles title record of 24. Williams will take on 19-year-old Canadian Bianca Andreescu, who is making her U.S. Open main draw debut this year.
WHEN: Today, 4 p.m. ET
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: No. 6 LSU (1-0) at No. 9 Texas (1-0)
An early-season marquee Saturday night matchup features LSU and Texas in the biggest college game played in Austin in more than a decade.
WHEN: Tonight, 7:30 p.m. ET
Missed Yesterday’s Roundup? Click here for it.