Tag Archives: threats

Impeachment is over. These four threats now loom over Donald Trump

Look, he warned you. Way back at the dawn of his political adventure, Donald Trump opined that his supporters would stay with him forever, even if he pulled out a gun and shot somebody in the middle of a Manhattan avenue.

That proposition has fortunately never been tested.

Yet his second impeachment, and the 57-43 vote which led to his acquittal, have managed to unearth thorny truths about American politics and his indelible place in it.

One obvious takeaway from this unusual episode is that the U.S. Constitution’s impeachment provisions have revealed themselves to be a dull-toothed tiger.

This has potentially long-lasting implications: Trump could run for office again, and the country’s constitutional guardrails have proven feeble at a time of mounting threats to democracy. 

The Senate’s most powerful figure, Democrat Chuck Schumer, called it a vote that will live in infamy and expressed his fear of this acquittal setting a precedent with bleak implications for the republic.

“If encouraging political violence becomes the norm, it will be open season — open season — on our democracy,” Schumer, the Senate’s majority leader, said.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks after the Senate acquitted Trump on Saturday in Washington. Schumer expressed his fear that the former president’s acquittal following a violent attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 will set a precedent. (Senate Television via The Associated Press)

“Everything will be up for grabs by whoever has the biggest clubs; the sharpest spears; the most powerful guns.”

His Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell, spent minutes on the Senate floor also ripping into Trump, saying the former president could yet face criminal and civil threats and that he hadn’t gotten away with anything.

McConnell voted to acquit Trump, however, which he described as a technical matter of agreeing with scholars who argue you can’t convict a former official.

Forty-three of the 50 Senate Republicans opposed conviction. Strikingly, this is weak by historical standards: The seven Republicans voting to convict a president of their own party actually set a new record.

And that speaks volumes about how impeachment has worked.

Political parties didn’t exist back when the framers, in their powdered wigs, gathered in downtown Philadelphia to put impeachment rules to paper in 1787 — let alone today’s entrenched party solidarity, which renders the idea of achieving a Senate conviction as remote to our generation as a presidential tweetstorm would have seemed to James Madison’s.

Trump has now single-handedly created a fuller sample size to measure what happens when an impeachment case reaches the Senate, by doubling the number of presidential impeachments in U.S. history from two to four.

The answer is: probably nothing.

When the U.S. Constitution was written in 1787, political parties did not exist and would not have factored into the framers’ thinking when they set the bar for conviction in an impeachment trial at two-thirds of the Senate. (U.S. National Archives)

Attaining that 67-vote threshold to convict is hard when the person on trial is the de facto leader of one party in the chamber; it’s even harder when Congress is deeply unpopular, and senators are being asked to turf a leader their supporters prefer to them.

Most Republicans made clear they wanted to avoid the trial, and the few who’d backed impeachment faced the wrath of Trump supporters in their home states.

It was all pretty predictable. 

They sat through days of testimony where Democrats accused the ex-president of the most serious crime ever committed against the republic by an American commander-in-chief: turning a mob against the state.

Was there a point to all of this?

Republicans watched presentations accusing Trump of whipping up this mob with years of violence-threatening rhetoric; of fomenting its anger with weeks of delusional attacks on the election result; and of timing it all to crash into the Capitol on Jan. 6, when he organized a rally just as lawmakers met to certify the election of Joe Biden as president.

Trump’s lawyers countered that, yes, he urged supporters to march on the Capitol — but, they noted, Trump told them to stay peaceful, and when he urged them to “fight like hell,” they said, he was using a term commonly employed by all politicians.

If the result was so utterly predictable, then that in itself raises an important question. Was this pointless? 

It’s far too soon to conclude that this process left Trump unblemished — or for that matter that he leads a consequence-free political existence. 

The trial went as expected, aside from last-minute drama about calling witnesses. Trump spokesperson Jason Miller, shown Saturday, held a sheet threatening to subpoena Democrats as witnesses if they called their own. The Democrats dropped their call for witnesses. (Greg Nash/The Associated Press)

Accountability mechanisms still exist in American politics, even if dented and hammered beyond the shape originally fashioned by the founders.

There are at least four potential consequences for Trump’s past actions.

The impeachment itself, for starters, might have failed to deliver Trump a short-term sting but will carry a long-term stink.

For as long as there’s an American republic, schoolchildren will ask about that president who got impeached twice. 

Joseph Ellis, a presidential historian who participates in academic surveys ranking presidents, has said the likelihood of Trump being ranked dead last went up with his record-setting second impeachment.

The impeachment also allows voters, both in the Republican primaries and in the general election in 2024, to evaluate how candidates handled this moment. Did they back Trump strongly or meekly? Did they oppose him? Did they duck the debate? 

Next: ‘Serious’ criminal investigations

A second source of potential trouble ahead for Trump: the legal system. Prosecutors in several jurisdictions have publicly revealed they’ve opened criminal investigations related to him.

When asked about the likely outcome, two former prosecutors told CBC News they wouldn’t be surprised to see charges against Trump.

In fact, said Ben Gershman, who specialized in corruption cases at the Manhattan district level and state level in New York and now teaches law at Pace University: “I’d be surprised if he wasn’t charged.” 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, leaves the chamber on Saturday after the Senate voted to acquit Trump at his impeachment trial. McConnell, who was critical of Trump during the trial, ultimately voted to acquit the former president. (J. Scott Applewhite/The Associated Press)

He said that’s based on what’s already in the public domain. It includes tax and insurance fraud investigations reportedly underway at the city and state level in New York; state authorities saying they’re looking at a property deal in Westchester County; prosecutors in Georgia launching a criminal investigation into the ex-president’s attempt to pressure state officials to overturn the 2020 election result; Trump being an unindicted co-conspirator in the campaign finance-fraud case involving Stormy Daniels (though that case is reportedly dormant); accusations of mortgage fraud; and several incidents of potential obstruction of justice described in the Mueller report

Nick Akerman, a former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, described Trump’s legal exposure as: “Extremely serious. On the tax, the mortgage fraud [laws] and the matter in Georgia, where he’s on tape.”

The ultimate punishment

A third potential source of scrutiny involves investigations into what happened on Jan. 6. There have already been different processes launched in Congress, and there will be others, probing the attack and how the Trump administration responded.

Finally, there’s the punishment Trump has already started suffering: The sting of electoral rejection. 

That metaphor Trump used about shooting someone on Fifth Avenue was never completely accurate. It’s broadly, but not totally, true that his voters are an unbreakable block.

After four years of Trump’s presidency, a tiny percentage soured on him, in small-but-sufficient numbers to cost him some states.

Trump, shown in 2016, has insisted that he was a victim of the courts, the Democrats, weak-kneed Republican officials and voting machines in a supposed conspiracy that cost him numerous swing states in November’s election. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

That much-vaunted unflappability of his base cannot obscure the fact that not once — not for a moment in Trump’s presidency — did he build on that base to achieve approval numbers anywhere close to the ones currently enjoyed by Biden. Several surveys showed majority or plurality support for impeaching Trump.

Now settled into his post-presidency in his seaside home at Mar-a-Lago, Trump will keep arguing that he was robbed in the election.

He has insisted, and will keep insisting forever, that he was a victim of the courts, the Democrats, weak-kneed Republican officials and voting machines in a supposed conspiracy that cost him numerous swing states, and he’ll correctly point to the near-record total of 74 million votes he received. 

But it won’t change a thing about Trump’s status: defeated president.

Nothing he does will erase the other verdict rendered in a larger political court, by a record-smashing number of voters — 81,268,924 people who did what Republican senators never would to Donald John Trump.

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CBC | World News

Investigators poring through tips, threats and leads ahead of inauguration

Potential threats and leads are pouring in to law enforcement agencies across the U.S. after the insurrection at the Capitol last week. The challenge is now figuring out what’s real and what’s just noise.

Investigators are combing through a mountain of online posts, street surveillance and other intelligence, including information that suggests mobs could try to storm the Capitol again and threats to kill some members of Congress.

Security is being tightened from coast to coast. Thousands of National Guard troops are guarding the Capitol ahead of president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Governors and lawmakers are stepping up protections at statehouses after an FBI bulletin this week warned of threats to legislative sessions and other inaugural ceremonies.

A primary concern is the safety of members of Congress, particularly when they are travelling through airports, according to two U.S. officials briefed on the matter.

The FBI and other federal authorities are using their substantial resources to prepare. But smaller local police departments lack the staff to hunt down every tip. They must rely heavily on state and federal assessments to inform their work, and that information sometimes slips through the cracks — which apparently happened last week.

The siege on the U.S. Capitol, seen here in the glow of police munitions, has led to the second impeachment of Donald Trump. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Schools ‘better protected than the Capitol’

A day before the deadly attack on the Capitol, the FBI sent an intelligence bulletin warning of potential violence to other agencies, including the Capitol Police. But officials either did not receive it or ignored it — and instead prepared for a free-speech protest, not a riot. It took nearly two hours for reinforcements to arrive to help disperse the mob. Five people died, including a Capitol officer.

“There are some grammar schools that are better protected than the Capitol,” said Brian Higgins, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and the former chief of a northern New Jersey police force.

Since last week, the FBI has opened 170 case files and received more than 100,000 pieces of digital media. The threats have ranged in specificity and complexity, according to officials briefed on them, making it difficult for authorities to determine which could be credible.

Combing through intelligence isn’t the same as shoe-leather detective work. Large departments like New York and Los Angeles have dedicated intelligence units — the NYPD even disseminated its own bulletin ahead of the riot. But smaller police forces rely on joint terrorism task forces and so-called “fusion centres” that were set up around the country after the 2001 attacks to improve communication between agencies.

National Guard members walk near the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Wednesday. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

Norton, Kan., Police Chief Gerald Cullumber leads a seven-member department in the northwestern part of the state. He said he relies on larger agencies like the Kansas Highway Patrol because his agency is too small to do its own intelligence work. But Cullumber said he stays up to date on the latest information and briefs his officers.

“It doesn’t mean that we rest on our laurels,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that we ignore things.”

Once they receive intelligence reports, it’s up to local agencies to plan and take action to keep their communities safe, said Rich Stanek, the former sheriff of Hennepin County in Minnesota who now works in consulting and started the Public Safety Strategies Group.

“If I was the sheriff today, I would be taking it very seriously,” he said. “If they told me Jan. 17 is the date, yeah, I think it’s reasonable to plan for one week ahead and one week behind.”

Mike Koval, who retired in 2019 as the police chief in Madison, Wis., said his state’s two fusion centres have technology and resources that go far beyond those of a single local police department.

Staying on top of all the potential intelligence on the internet is like “going to a water fountain to get a drink of water, and it’s coming out with the strength of a fire hydrant and it will take your jaw off,” Koval said.

The National Guard and state troopers protect the Capitol grounds in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday. (Ricardo B. Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman via The Associated Press)

Meanwhile, elected officials nationwide, including President Donald Trump, have started to urge calm amid the threats. Trump egged on the riots during a speech at the Washington Monument, beseeching his loyalists to go to the Capitol as Congress was certifying Biden’s victory. He took no responsibility for the riot.

“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind,” Trump said in a statement Wednesday. “That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers.”

Experts say explicit or implicit bias likely helped downplay last week’s threat because the protesters were white, and that must change, said Eric K. Ward, a senior fellow with the Southern Poverty Law Center and an expert on authoritarian movements and hate groups.

That could be why Capitol police were so unprepared, compared with the much more aggressive law enforcement response to last summer’s protests following the death of George Floyd and other Black men killed by law enforcement.

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Cybersecurity expert fired by Trump files lawsuit over death threats

The election and cybersecurity official who was fired last month by U.S. President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit Tuesday over threatening remarks by a lawyer for the president that prompted a wave of death threats against him.

Christopher Krebs says in the suit that he has been “bombarded” with threats since attorney Joseph diGenova appeared on the pro-Trump TV network Newsmax and called for Krebs to be killed.

“The defendant’s threats have upended plaintiff’s life, as well as his family’s security, and caused serious fear, distress, suffering, and even physical damage,” he said in the suit, filed in diGenova’s home state of Maryland.

Krebs was director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency until he was fired in a Nov. 17 tweet by Trump after he and other officials who oversaw the election determined it was free of major fraud or interference, contradicting the president’s unsubstantiated assertions to the contrary.

DiGenova said in a Nov. 30 appearance on Newsmax that Krebs should be “drawn and quartered” and “taken out at dawn and shot” for his defence of the November election won by Joe Biden and his participation in what he portrayed as a “coup” against the president.

‘Shockingly irresponsible’

He later said he had been joking in the interview but the lawsuit calls the remarks “shockingly irresponsible and dangerous,” in the tense political climate.

“No one should be targeted and defamed as a ‘traitor’ for faithfully performing the duties of public service,” attorney Jim Walden said. “That is what happened to Chris and to Republicans all across the country, who truthfully, and based on their substantial experience, are upholding the integrity of the election in the face of a false narrative regarding its results.”

Krebs is seeking financial damages from diGenova, Newsmax and the Trump campaign.

Newsmax said in response to questions about the suit that it has no official ties to diGenova, who was appearing on a syndicated radio program whose content is licensed by the network. It noted that his remarks about Krebs were “inappropriate” but that he did not intend for them to be taken seriously and he has apologized.

“Newsmax believes that claims made by Mr. Krebs in his suit of a ‘conspiracy’ and defamation against him are a threat to free speech and his legal action endangers all media organizations that seek an open discourse of ideas and news,” the network said.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A former Microsoft executive, Krebs ran the agency, known as CISA, from its creation in the wake of Russian interference with the 2016 election through the November election. He won bipartisan praise as CISA co-ordinated federal state and local efforts to defend electoral systems from foreign or domestic interference.

CISA issued a statement in November with a coalition of government and industry election officials from around the country that defended the 2020 election as the “most secure in American history.” It was widely viewed as a direct repudiation of Trump’s efforts to undermine the integrity of the contest.

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A nation on edge: Uncommon threats, fears mark this U.S. election day

Just a few years into the birth of their new country, George Washington warned Americans that all-consuming hostility between political parties could be the toxin that would kill their young republic and fling it down a dark ditch toward despotism.

That experiment in self-government has endured through 231 years, 58 presidential elections and one civil war, and is by some assessments the world’s oldest democracy.

Now, the old republic faces uncommon strain in today’s election.

Years of escalating enmity between political parties has led to a place where different risk-assessment firms that usually deliver warnings involving less-developed countries now express fear of instability in the global superpower.

The warnings run a gamut from threats of violence, to legal fights over whose votes will count, to the potential reactions of one inimitable American president, Donald Trump.

So a campaign that’s already produced an anthology of unusual moments for a mature democracy now ends with storefront windows being boarded up in several cities and an unscalable fence being erected around the White House.

Workers board up a store on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles in preparation for election day. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Americans have been expressing angst for a while about this election. In everyday conversations lately, you hear casual utterances of hair-raising concerns.

“I’m hoping love will prevail. … that there won’t be race wars,” community activist Taleah Taylor said near a ballot drop-box location in downtown Philadelphia, Pa.

“That’s the only thing I do fear — that a race war will start out. Just because [Republicans] didn’t win.”

A man nearby about to cast his ballot paused to ask whether this was indeed a legitimate drop box.

Jackson Golden’s fear was that it might be a counterfeit site erected by Republicans to collect, and possibly destroy, votes from people in Democratic-leaning Philadelphia.

“I just want to make sure this thing gets counted,” said Golden, before casting his ballot Monday in the very real drop box near city hall. 

“Some people in America are not treating this election fairly and can only win if they cheat. … It seems pretty clear that’s the plan. I think it’s been broadcast, in pretty clear daylight.”

Many Republicans feel the same mistrust of Democrats. Some have pointed out it’s cities that vote Democratic putting up those storefront barriers in anticipation of post-election vandalism from progressives.

Candis Houston protests the fact that Republican lawyers went to court to try to have 127,000 ballots cast at drive-thru voting locations in Houston, Texas, tossed out. A judge rejected the suit on Monday. (CBC)

Around the same time Golden was voting, Candis Houston was down in Texas protesting an effort to cancel her vote.

Republican lawyers attempted to have a judge toss out 127,000 votes cast at drive-thru polling locations in Houston.

“This illegal underhanded vote grab, it could sway the election,” said Candis Houston, president of a local branch of a teachers union.

“It’s just another form of voter suppression.”

She said her two daughters, who voted in the drive-thru with her, are now away at college and could not get back to vote on time if their ballots were cancelled. 

The good news for those 127,000 voters is the suit was rejected by a federal judge on Monday.

The risks

Yet, there’s already talk of an appeal, amid scores of other court cases, which, in the event of a tight race, could open the floodgates to a turbulent few weeks of litigation.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is favoured to win the election, according to the polls, though it could be close and the outcome is by no means guaranteed.

Merely counting the mail-in ballots could take days in some swing states, especially in the north.

That adds a new variable to the formula for potential turmoil that has political risk-assessment experts unusually worried about the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have made their final pitches to the American people in the race for the White House. (Carlos Barria/Reuters, Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A report from the International Crisis Group, a global think-tank headquartered in Brussels, lays out three broad categories of risk: Armed violence, efforts to delegitimize or disqualify mail-in ballots, and fights over deadlines for counting votes.

“It’s unprecedented,” Stephen Pomper, ICG’s senior policy director and former official with Barack Obama’s National Security Council, said of the level of fear in a modern U.S. election.

“The tinder here is pretty dry.”

WATCH | Trump supporters shut down a bridge in New York: 

A caravan of Donald Trump supporters were seen slowing traffic in the New York City area on Sunday. A spokesperson for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority said northbound traffic on the Garden State Parkway was blocked for a time. 0:38 

ICG cites four causes that could set the kindling aflame. It says these four factors, when occurring in combination, would spell trouble for any democracy, anywhere.

They include the country’s politics being polarized along racial and identity lines, the rise of armed groups with political agendas, and the possibility of a contested outcome.

Then comes the final combustible variable: Trump himself.

WATCH | Can Trump refuse to leave the White House if he loses?: 

Legal expert weighs in on potential challenge if U.S. President Donald Trump refuses to step down if he loses. 6:40

The president, who revels in torching conventions as much as he recoils at admitting defeat, employs behaviour without recent precedent for a U.S. president, says the report.

Trump has called this election rigged — just as he preemptively called the 2016 election rigged, and also repeatedly called the 2012 election rigged. He has said he will use lawyers to try ending the late counting of ballots received by mail. Trump has also refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose.

WATCH | Pomper on the risk of violence: 

A transnational think-tank says the 2020 U.S. election presents risks for conflict and violence not seen in recent history. Stephen Pomper of the International Crisis Group says political polarization seen in the U.S. and the presence of armed groups are both risk factors.    7:44

Pomper made clear — and it’s a critical point worth emphasizing — that his firm’s report does not project any sort of protracted conflict like a civil war. 

What he does worry about is sporadic violence that could begin in one area and spread, amid debates over the election’s integrity.

There’s already been an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over restrictions she imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19 and criminal charges over an alleged scheme to use robocalls to scare voters away from casting ballots.

In addition, for the second straight election, Trump has called for the arrest of his political opponents, while calling for the FBI to drop an investigation into his supporters. 

That probe opened after Trump supporters used their vehicles to surround a moving Democratic campaign bus in Texas. The highway confrontation included one collision and resulted in the Democratic team cancelling an event.

WATCH | A caravan of Trump supporters surrounds a Biden-Harris bus:

The FBI is investigating after a caravan of Donald Trump supporters surrounded a Biden-Harris campaign bus on a Texas highway between San Antonio and Austin on Friday. During a rally in Opa-Locka, Fla., on Monday, Trump called his supporters in the caravan ‘very good people.’ 0:26

There have been hundreds of lawsuits over voting rules, and court challenges to toss out previously cast ballots.

It’s worth noting that a blowout win, one way or the other, could prevent weeks of turmoil. 

And we’ll get our first indication tonight whether this election will be close or not from the results of southern swing states that count mail-in ballots quickly.

Florida and North Carolina should offer near-complete results tonight. 

If Trump has clearly won those southern swing states, we could then face a confusing days-long nail-biter as Pennsylvania and other northern states count ballots more slowly.

Where this is all headed

Steve Levitsky, co-author of the popular book How Democracies Die, says this election is by no means a make-or-break event for the American republic.

He says the president is a driver of discord: “Trump is infinitely reckless,” said Levitsky, a Harvard University expert on democratic decline.

“He will say anything without any regard for the consequences. … So I worry a lot about chaos and violence on election day.”

WATCH | Fear of voter intimidation, violence ahead of U.S. election:

Municipal authorities in the U.S. have vowed to keep voting safe, but the fears of voter intimidation and even violence at polling stations remain. 2:05

Levitsky expects a clear result would douse some of the tension.

However, the institutions of American democracy have been eroding over a couple of decades as the two major parties morph into increasingly bitter enemies, he said. 

And he expects that toxicity will persist regardless of who wins this election.

In other words, he agrees with the general takeaway of the ICG report:

The old republic will live on. But it’s in for a very rocky ride.

What do you want to know about the U.S. election? Your questions help inform our coverage. Email us at Ask@cbc.ca

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CBC | World News

Khari Jones received death threats as CFL player in Winnipeg

Khari Jones doesn’t have to look far for a reminder that racism exists in Canada.

The Montreal Alouettes head coach divulged during a teleconference Tuesday he received death threats while he was the quarterback of the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers because of his interracial marriage. Jones is black and his wife, Justine, is white.

An emotional Jones — speaking just over a week after a white policeman kneeled on the neck of a black man, resulting in a tragic death in Minneapolis — said the threats came in the form of letters that remain in his possession.

“It’s just a reminder you always have to be on alert a little bit,” Jones said. “It could’ve been one person but one is still too many and to do that on the basis of a person’s skin colour is horrible.

“Every once in a while, every blue moon I take a look at them. They never found the person who wrote the letters — he used a fake name — but he’s still out there, people like him are still out there. That was 20-something years ago and it’s still happening.”

WATCH | Eskimos lineman Justin Renfrow says he feels safer living in Canada:

After experiencing a violent incident of racial profiling in his home city of Philadelphia, Edmonton Eskimos offensive linesman Justin Renfrow made a decision to spend as much time in Canada as possible. 14:25

Jones, 49, played parts of five seasons with Winnipeg (2000-04). The soft-spoken and amiable Jones was named the CFL’s outstanding player in 2001 after leading the Bombers to a 14-4 regular-season record and Grey Cup appearance.

The five-foot-11, 195-pound Jones played for B.C., Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Hamilton from 1997-07. He rejoined the Bombers in October 2007 and retired as a member of the franchise. Jones began his CFL coaching career in 2009 as Hamilton’s quarterback coach.

Sadly, the threatening letters weren’t Jones’s first exposure to racism.

Wrongly arrested at gunpoint

In the early 1990s during Jones’s college days at UC Davis, Jones said himself, his brother, and some friends were wrongly arrested at gunpoint, forced to the ground and handcuffed by white policemen in Sacramento, Calif.

“It was a case of mistaken identity but we called it, at the time, being black while walking,” Jones said. “That’s just something that had happened with people you knew and it happened to me, four or five of my friends, my brother was there.

“It’s a horrible feeling to be pointed out for something like that.”

Jones’s eyes welled up discussing the tragic death last week of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died in Minneapolis while in police custody. With Floyd handcuffed and lying face down, Derek Chauvin, a white policeman, kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, the final two minutes 53 seconds after Floyd became unresponsive.

Video of the incident was readily available on television and social media. After watching, Jones took to Twitter on Monday — a rarity for the Alouettes coach — to express his pain, anger and sadness over Floyd’s death.

“I can’t stop thinking about George Floyd,” Jones tweeted. “He is me.

“Breonna Taylor [a black woman fatally shot March 13 by Louisville police officers] is my daughter. I’m angry, hurt, and sad.”

WATCH | Canadian athletes speak out against racism:

Canadian athletes have been speaking out against racism and for change, including tennis youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime, basketball legend Steve Nash, and Olympians Kia Nurse, Karina LeBlanc and Perdita Felicien 2:38

Jones, entering his second season as Alouettes head coach, said he posted the tweet after talking with Montreal starting quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. Following the Floyd incident, Jones wrote his players about what he’d experienced in his life.

“That’s just what I felt when I saw the video,” Jones said. “The inhumanity of it was something that struck a chord in me, for sure, and I think in a lot of the world.

“I won’t watch it again. It’s in there now.”

Jones said he hasn’t spoken to his two teenage daughters about Floyd’s death. But he doesn’t feel he really has to.

“I just couldn’t stop crying [after watching the video] so they knew how it affected me and I think it affected them as well,” he said. “I’ve spoken to them a little bit over the years … fortunately we’ve moved quite a bit in Canada and for the most part, every place we’ve lived has treated my girls well and treated us well.

“I think fortunately for them they haven’t had to deal with [racism] on a first-hand basis all that much, if at all. I’ve often discussed with them what it can be like in the States, in certain places in particular, just to be aware and to be careful out there. “

But Jones said it is always a challenge.

“When you’re black, you know some things might happen to you,” he said. “I knew what to do and how to try to behave when I was stopped for a traffic ticket or something.

“There’s just a different way you have to respond to things when tensions are heightened. Canada is, believe me, much better and I feel much better about the social climate but there are still issues.”

CFL clubs, players speak out

Last weekend, the CFL and its nine teams all issued statements condemning racism. Saskatchewan Roughriders linebacker Solomon Eliminian, the president of the CFL Players’ Association, also outlined his experiences in a letter to union members.

Montreal running back James Wilder Jr. has been a vocal advocate as well. The former Florida State star has participated in peaceful protests in Houston, where he’s currently training, and been active denouncing racism on social media.

“I think James is a smart person, I’m going to talk with him,” Jones said. “I never want to push the players one way or the other.

“I think these are smart men, they see what I see and they have brains too. I want them to do what they feel is necessary and some things go beyond your job. I’m proud of the players for their responses. I want to go protest too, I want to be out there too. I understand his [Wilder’s] pain and frustration with everything.”

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Xbox Chief: Amazon, Google Are the Greatest Threats the Xbox Faces

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This console cycle hasn’t been kind to Microsoft or the company’s gaming ambitions. Lifetime sales of the Xbox One are estimated at 46.52M units according to VGChartz. Call it 50 million by the time the Xbox Series X comes out, and you’d still be 35.8M units short of the Xbox 360’s lifetime total.

Given the hammering MS has taken over the past seven years, you might expect that the company would be laser-focused on taking the fight to Sony with the upcoming Xbox Series X. If it is, someone forgot to tell Phil Spencer. Microsoft’s President of Gaming recently spoke with Protocol, where he had this to say about the future of gaming and where Microsoft believed the greatest threats to its own video game business will come from.

“When you talk about Nintendo and Sony, we have a ton of respect for them, but we see Amazon and Google as the main competitors going forward,” Spencer said. “That’s not to disrespect Nintendo and Sony, but the traditional gaming companies are somewhat out of position. I guess they could try to re-create Azure, but we’ve invested tens of billions of dollars in cloud over the years.”

Spencer said Microsoft was willing to cooperate with Nintendo and Sony on initiatives like allowing gamers on the various companies’ systems to play with and against one another. He added: “I don’t want to be in a fight over format wars with those guys while Amazon and Google are focusing on how to get gaming to 7 billion people around the world. Ultimately, that’s the goal.”

Spencer made these comments in the context of an article about how tech giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple have increasingly monetized gaming or gaming-adjacent services. Amazon owns Twitch, Facebook has Oculus, Apple launched its Arcade service last year, and Google owns both Stadia and YouTube. That’s why he’s on the topic in the first place. But even with this context, Spencer’s comments are downright odd.

First of all, Sony bought Gaikai (a cloud gaming service) in 2012. It launched PlayStation Now in 2014, and it partnered with Microsoft to deliver the service in 2019. It’s a bit odd to see Spencer treating Sony as if the two companies weren’t already working together.

What’s a little more ominous is the reference to “traditional” gaming companies, as if Microsoft isn’t in the traditional gaming business now. After the debacle of 2013, I’d expect Microsoft to be emphasizing the Xbox Series X’s gaming capabilities. Media services, game sharing support, and streaming options are absolutely important to some of the console’s audience, but Microsoft blew the entire last generation by focusing on all of the wrong features of its new platform during the critical lead-up period.

At best, this feels like Spencer awkwardly shoehorning in mentions of Azure and cloud computing because under Satya Nadella, Microsoft has become a cloud-first company. At worst, it sounds like Microsoft once again misunderstanding what its own customers want. Game streaming services may be the future, but they’re not here yet. Nobody trusts Stadia. Nobody trusts Facebook. I genuinely want to see VR succeed, but the business market has been growing faster than the gaming side and Sony, not Facebook, has the largest VR ecosystem by deployed headsets. Many people in the United States cannot purchase the kinds of internet required to make flawless game streaming a viable replacement for local play.

Remember Crackdown 3?

This isn’t the first time Microsoft has made a lot of noise about the supposed advantages of cloud rendering and how it would make the Xbox One a better experience than anything the PS4 could offer.

Eurogamer did a major writeup on what happened to Crackdown 3 between 2013 and 2019. They conclude: “Looking back at the messaging of the time, it’s difficult to avoid a sense of hyperbole in the pitch, and whether it’s down to latency issues, varying levels of user bandwidth, or the sheer logistics of coping with a vast user base, cloud gaming as Microsoft defined it back in 2013 failed to happen.”

Microsoft has been discussing Project xCloud, its game service that leverages Azure’s back-end and allows gamers to take their titles to any device they want to play on — but again, this is the kind of feature that you’d explicitly expect to see the company mention as an advantage over Sony and the PS4. It’s an ecosystem play and potentially a good one, at least in areas with strong wireless connectivity. But the people most likely to subscribe to a service like xCloud are gamers already. xCloud could theoretically compete against the Switch for mobile-centric gamers who want the convenience of handheld play and the existing Sony / MS console space. The sorts of gamers who focus on Farmville and Facebook titles seem a genuinely poorer fit for the company’s projects.

I don’t want to slag Spencer, because I’m open to the idea that MS has some fundamental idea for better Azure integration than we’ve seen before, but I don’t think Google, Facebook, and Amazon are likely to represent Microsoft’s largest gaming competitors in 2020 or 2025, for that matter.

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Canada’s women’s basketball team commanding attention as serious Olympic medal threats

You can’t be what you can’t see.

That’s the mantra you’ll hear from the Canadian women’s basketball team, whether it’s coming from 1984 Olympian Beverly Smith, 2012 and 2016 Olympian Lizanne Murphy, or 2020 Olympic hopeful Kayla Alexander.

The three players represent the through-line of a Canadian women’s basketball program that has had its share of success.

There were third-place finishes at the world championships in 1976 and 1986, with a fourth-place Olympic finish sandwiched between in 1984. Smith was a key player in those early successes before returning for her stint as head coach from 1997-2001.

However, Canada failed to return to the Olympics until 1996, where it placed 11th, and by 2005 the national team had slumped to 24th in the worldwide rankings.

That nadir coincided with Murphy’s debut, when the team began its slow ascent back to the Olympics in 2012 and 2016. Today, with the Tokyo Games six months away and qualification potentially six days away, the fourth-ranked team can safely consider itself a medal contender.

WATCH | What Canada must do to qualify for Tokyo:

Canada is set to play in a tournament starting on Thursday, Feb. 6 that can get them into the Olympics. What do they need to do to get in? 1:09

Murphy recalls the 2010 world championships, where Canada finished 1-7, as relative turning point because of the precedent training camp.

“The joke in training camp was 40 days and 40 nights and we spent that much time together and that’s what allowed us to have historic results,” Murphy said. “And then moving forward you’re able to have more training camps, better quality training camps and that’s what ultimately makes the team come together and gel.”

Those “historic results” were not immediately felt at those world championships, but less than two years later, on Canada Day in 2012, the team finally clinched its return to the Olympics when it gained a berth in the London tournament.

The eighth-place result there served as a launching pad for 2015 Pan Am gold in Toronto, and another gold at the 2016 FIBA Americas tournament. The Rio Games resulted in seventh place.

Murphy hung them up in 2017, and Alexander laced them up with the national team for the first time in 2018.

Alexander, 29, from Milton, Ont., burst onto the international scene at the 2019 FIBA Americup in September, where she was named an all-star after pulling down a tournament-high 10.2 rebounds per game and adding a team-high 15.6 points per game, too.

However, she suffered a knee injury in the semifinals against Brazil, keeping her out of the eventual gold-medal game loss to the Americans.

Alexander said recently she “should be good to go full force” for the team’s upcoming Olympic qualifier in Belgium. Fourth-ranked Canada is grouped with the hosts (No. 9), Japan (No. 10) and Sweden (No. 22). With the Olympics in Tokyo, the Japanese side has an automatic bid.

In Belgium, each team will play the other once, and the top two squads outside of Japan will book berths for the Tokyo Games.

CBC Sports will carry live coverage for all of Canada’s games, beginning on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET against the hosts.

WATCH | Coach Lisa Thomaidis: ‘Ready for the challenge’

CBC Sports’ Meg Roberts interviews Canada women’s national basketball team coach Lisa Thomaidis ahead of the FIBA OIympic qualifiers in Ostend, Belgium. 2:35

All of Smith, Murphy and Alexander expect qualification, and probably a good shot at the Olympic podium, too.

Canadian women’s basketball is on the rise, and with that comes increased exposure. You can’t be what you can’t see, but more and more the team is, indeed, being seen.

One benefit of returning to the Olympics in 2012 was increased funding provided by Canadian Olympic initiative Own The Podium, which identifies medal contenders and offers support through money and resources.

But playing in London also increased exposure, and less than a year later the city of Edmonton stepped up with an initial $ 2 million outlay and a permanent place for the team to call home, a reversal of the nomadic lifestyle both Murphy and Smith pointed to as a major hurdle to the team’s success.

“It’s more than just a game at that [Olympic] level. It is representing your country and representing the thousands of young girls that may have watched you then, but are certainly watching you now,” Smith said.

Smith only had good things to say about her time with the team as a player.

“We didn’t know any different, right? It was very relative and so representing our country in 1984 or 1978 when I first began was as big of a thrill, if not bigger as it is now,” Smith said.

Smith, centre, oversees a practice during her time as an assistant coach in Edmonton in July 2016. (Dan Riedlhuber/The Canadian Press)

In 2001, Smith had taken the job as head coach of the women’s basketball team at the University of Oregon and originally planned to continue in her role as national team coach too, but found the struggle for funding too much.

“I don’t have the right energy for [the national team] because I’m looking at all the battles I can’t win,” Smith told CBC Sports at the time. “For so long, we’ve tried to do the best that we could with what we had and where we were and that’s just not enough anymore.”

Today, Smith still says that the funding has rarely, if ever, reached the desired level, but also understands the question marks surrounding a potential return on investment.

“What’s happened is we are using our funding in a more efficient and more effective way and I think when I was coaching in 2001 we weren’t doing a really good job of branding our young kids in the importance of fundamentals and the youth structure,” Smith said.

Improved training and travel

Murphy played for Smith when the latter returned as an assistant in the four-year cycle leading up to the Rio Games.

Where Smith saw a grassroots problem, Murphy’s time on the team presented more micro issues — specifically regarding training.

Murphy, who now works with the COC as a liaison to executives of the national sport organizations (such as Canada Basketball), said the team used to be reliant on other countries looking for competition against a solid, but underappreciated, Canadian squad.

Most of the time, those countries would be in Asia, which meant 30-plus hours for basketball players to be cramping their legs in a commercial airplane. Not to mention some of the weird flight connections.

The team also leaned on volunteer doctors and, at times, food provided by the players’ parents.

“When we did get funding our travel just became so much easier. We took flight paths that made sense and didn’t take 30 hours and didn’t involve physical challenges that came along with that. We were able to have an additional physiotherapist come along with us,” Murphy said.

And while the flight paths at the outset of Murphy’s career may have confused some, the team’s identity — or lack thereof — was blindingly clear.

Winning culture

Murphy said her first years on the team were spent trying to forge a successful, winning culture in the program. A vocal leader, Murphy was also often tasked with guarding the opponents’ best players.

Those roles became not only the essence of Murphy as a player, but of the team as a whole.

“I did have a huge part in my leadership towards the end of my career continuing to bring that passion and that wild energy all the time,” Murphy said, “but really parlaying that coming back to the team is so important and number one in everything you do.”

Alexander got the memo.

“It’s about team and I think because we play like that, we play for each other, it makes it easier. It’s not like, ‘how I’m gonna get my shot’ or ‘someone’s not gonna cover for me on defence.’ It’s ‘we’re playing together for each other,'” Alexander said.

Alexander’s journey to the national team was not a smooth one. She was cut twice at tryouts before being injured at a third and then finally playing with the team in 2018.

When Alexander returns to the court, the exposure will be there for a team full of young girls who once saw the likes of Smith and Murphy, then followed in their footsteps.

The question is no longer whether the team will be seen — that’s a given.

The task in the coming months for Canada’s women’s basketball team is to be seen where it’s never been seen before: standing on the Olympic podium.

“I feel like … I was just getting a shiver thinking about that … but I feel like the impact would be incredible. I think it would be great for young girls who are watching to say, ‘wow, anything’s possible if I put my mind to it.”

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‘Not safe to move’: Wildfire threats intensify in Australia

A father and son who were battling flames for two days on Kangaroo Island. off the coast of South Australia, are the latest victims of the worst wildfire season in Australian history, and the path of destruction widened in at least three states Saturday due to strong winds and high temperatures.

The death toll in the wildfire crisis is now up to 23 people, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said after calling up about 3,000 reservists to battle the escalating fires, which are expected to be particularly fierce throughout the weekend.

“We are facing another extremely difficult next 24 hours,” Morrison said at a televised news conference. “In recent times, particularly over the course of the balance of this week, we have seen this disaster escalate to an entirely new level.”

Dick Lang, a 78-year-old outback safari operator, and his 43-year-old son, Clayton, were identified by Australian authorities after their bodies were found Saturday on a highway on Kangaroo Island. Their family said their losses left them “heartbroken and reeling from this double tragedy.”

Lang, known as “Desert Dick,” was an acclaimed pilot and led tours for travellers throughout Australia and other countries. “He loved the bush, he loved adventure and he loved Kangaroo Island,” his family said.

Clayton Lang, one of Dick’s four sons, was a renowned plastic surgeon who specialized in hand surgery. One of the men was found inside a car after they were trapped by fire on the highway.

Soaring temperatures in Sydney suburbs

The fire danger increased as temperatures rose Saturday to record levels across Australia, surpassing 43 C in Canberra, the capital, and reaching a record-high 48.9 C in Penrith, in Sydney’s western suburbs.

Video and images shared on social media showed blood red skies taking over Mallacoota, a coastal town in Victoria where as many as 4,000 residents and tourists were forced to shelter on beaches as the navy tried to evacuate as many people as possible.

By Saturday evening, 3,600 firefighters were battling blazes across New South Wales state. Power was lost in some areas as fires downed transmissions lines, and residents were warned that the worst may be yet to come.

“We are now in a position where we are saying to people it’s not safe to move, it’s not safe to leave these areas,” state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters. “We are in for a long night and I make no bones about that. We are still yet to hit the worst of it.”

Morrison said the governor general had signed off on the calling up of reserves “to search and bring every possible capability to bear by deploying army brigades to fire-affected communities.”

Calling up reservists for 1st time to join fight

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said it was the first time that reservists had been called up “in this way in living memory and, in fact, I believe for the first time in our nation’s history.”

The deadly wildfires, which have been raging since September, have already burned about five million hectares (12.35 million acres) of land and destroyed more than 1,500 homes.

The early and devastating start to Australia’s summer wildfires has also been catastrophic for the country’s wildlife, likely killing nearly 500 million birds, reptiles and mammals in New South Wales alone, Sydney University ecologist Chris Dickman told the Sydney Morning Herald. Frogs, bats and insects are excluded from his estimate, making the toll on animals much greater.

Here is a view of fire damage on Friday in the town of Sarsfield, about 200 kilometres west of the small coastal town of Mallacoota, where on Friday people began fleeing the danger, aboard the ship HMAS Choules. (Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Experts say climate change has exacerbated the unprecedented wildfires around the world. Morrison has been criticized for his repeated refusal to say climate change is intensifying the fires, instead deeming them a natural disaster.

Some residents yelled at the prime minister earlier in the week during a visit to New South Wales, where people were upset with the lack of fire equipment their towns had. After fielding criticism for taking a family vacation in Hawaii as the wildfire crisis unfolded in December, Morrison announced he was postponing visits to India and Japan that were scheduled for later this month.

The government has committed 20 million Australian dollars ($ 18 million Cdn) to lease four fire-fighting aircraft for the duration of the crisis, and the helicopter-equipped HMAS Adelaide was deployed to assist evacuations from fire-ravaged areas.

The deadly fire on Kangaroo Island broke containment lines Friday and was described as “virtually unstoppable” as it destroyed buildings and burned through more than 14,000 hectares of Flinders Chase National Park. While the warning level for the fire was reduced Saturday, the Country Fire Service said it was still a risk to lives and property.

New South Wales Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers warned that the fires could move “frighteningly quick.” Embers carried by the wind had the potential to spark new fires or enlarge existing blazes.

Spread from national park to suburbs feared

Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fizsimmons said the 264,000-hectare Green Wattle Creek fire in a national park west of Sydney could spread into Sydney’s western suburbs. He said crews have been doing “extraordinary work” by setting controlled fires and using aircraft and machinery to try to keep the flames away.

More than 130 fires were burning in New South Wales, with at least half of them out of control.

Firefighters were battling a total of 53 fires across Victoria state, and conditions were expected to worsen with a southerly wind change. About 900,000 hectares (2.2 million acres) of bushland has already been burned through.

Here, flames burn through bush on Saturday in Lake Tabourie, New South Wales. A state of emergency has been declared across the southeastern state with dangerous fire conditions in the forecast. (Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

In a rare piece of good news, the number of people listed as missing or unaccounted for in Victoria was reduced from 28 to six.

“We still have those dynamic and dangerous conditions — the low humidity, the strong winds and, what underpins that, the state is tinder dry,” Victoria Emergency Services Commissioner Andrew Crisp said.

Thousands have already fled fire-threatened areas in Victoria, and local police reported heavy traffic flows on major roads.

“If you might be thinking about whether you get out on a particular road close to you, well there’s every chance that a fire could hit that particular road and you can’t get out,” Victoria Emergency Services Commissioner Andrew Crisp said.

Queen sends thoughts and prayers 

On Saturday, Queen Elizabeth expressed her sorrow over the devastating bushfires, sending her thoughts and prayers to all Australians, including emergency services.

The Queen, who is Australia’s head of state, sent a message of condolence as the fires continued to rage dangerously out of control.

“I have been deeply saddened to hear of the continued bushfires and their devastating impact across many parts of Australia,” the 93-year-old monarch said in a statement.

“My thanks go out to the emergency services, and those who put their own lives in danger to help communities in need. Prince Philip and I send our thoughts and prayers to all Australians at this difficult time.”

The message of condolence was sent to the Governor General of Australia, her representative in the country, and to the governors of states affected by the fires, including New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. It was also addressed to “all Australians.”

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Big Machine Records’ Offices Shut Down Due to Threats Amid Taylor Swift Feud (Exclusive)

Big Machine Records’ Offices Shut Down Due to Threats Amid Taylor Swift Feud | Entertainment Tonight

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TSN analyst gets death threats over criticism of U.S. celebrations of 13-0 World Cup win

Former Canadian national women’s soccer team member Kaylyn Kyle says she has received death threats for her TV criticism of the U.S. team for excessive goal celebrations in a 13-0 rout of 34th-ranked Thailand at the Women’s World Cup in France.

It was the largest margin of victory in tournament history. And the top-ranked Americans did not hold back on the celebrations as they began defence of their World Cup crown.

After making it 9-0 in the 79th minute Tuesday night in Reims, captain Megan Rapinoe held her arms out like airplane wings, twirled and then slid on the ground, kicking her leg into the air repeatedly before continuing the celebration with the American bench.

United States’ Carli Lloyd, second from left, celebrates with her teammate Megan Rapinoe after scoring her side’s 13th goal, during the Women’s World Cup Group F soccer match between United States and Thailand at the Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, France, Tuesday, June 11, 2019 (Alessandra Tarantino/The Associated Press)

“Obviously we have the utmost respect for everyone we play, but it’s the World Cup,” Rapinoe said later.

The lopsided result prompted debate over both running up the score — goal difference can be crucial in the group stage of a tournament — and the American celebrations as the score mounted.

Kyle, an analyst in TSN for the tournament, was one of those not impressed by the unbridled American jubilation after goals.

“As a Canadian we would just never ever think of doing something like that … For me it’s disrespectful, it’s disgraceful,” Kyle, who retired in 2017 after winning 101 caps, said on air. “Hats off to Thailand for holding their head high.”

Kyle subsequently said on social media that her comments had prompted death threats.

“To the people sending me death threats, let me set the record STRAIGHT!,” she wrote on her verified Twitter account. “I never once said to never score as many goals as you can in a World Cup!!! PLEASE WATCH FULL SEGMENT! I said the exact opposite. IT’S THE WORLD CUP. You score as many as you can and don’t take the foot off the gas pedal!

“I did say I thought it was excessive and disrespectful the goal celebrations of the American team once the score hit 8-0. Everyone is allowed their opinions towards my thoughts 100% but please leave the death threats!”

Kyle said the tweet would be her last comment on the issue.

Fellow TSN analyst Clare Rustad, a former international with 45 Canada caps, and veteran Canadian midfielder Diana Matheson, who is missing the tournament through injury, also criticized the American behaviour while noting the importance of goal differential.

“This was disgraceful from the United States,” said Rustad. “I would have hoped they could have won with humility and grace but celebrating goals 8, 9, and 10 the way they were doing is really unnecessary.”

Seven different players scored for the Americans, tying Germany for the most in a World Cup match. Alex Morgan’s five goals tied her with fellow American Michelle Akers for most goals in a single World Cup match.

Asked about the lopsided score, U.S. coach Jill Ellis wondered if a 10-0 victory in a men’s World Cup would prompt the same questions.

“This is a world championship, so every team here has been fantastic to get to this point. And I think that to be respectful to opponents is to play hard against opponents, and as Alex said, it’s a tournament where goal differential is important,” Ellis said.

Added Morgan, “Every goal matters in this tournament and that’s what we were working on.”

The U.S. team cancelled a scheduled training session Wednesday.

Former U.S. international Abby Wambach, whose world goal-scoring record is being chased by Canadian captain Christine Sinclair, also defended the scoreline.

“For all that have issue with many goals: for some players, this is their first World Cup goal, and they should be excited. Imagine it being you out there. This is your dream of playing and then scoring in a World Cup. Celebrate. Would you tell a men’s team to not score or celebrate?” she tweeted.

USA Today columnist Nancy Armour also had no time for the critics.

“You want the Americans to impose the slaughter rule or patronize their opponents by pretending they didn’t just tack another goal onto the scoreline? Go join the 6-year-olds in the park,” she wrote. “Maybe you’ll get a participation trophy and an orange slice while you’re at it.

“This is high-level competition, and the Americans have no reason to apologize for treating it as such.”

Retired American international Taylor Twellman, now an ESPN analyst, tweeted he had zero problems with the scoreline given “this is THE tournament BUT celebrating goals (like #9) leaves a sour taste in my mouth like many of you.”

“After beating Thailand 13-0 & celebrating each goal #USWNT may have lost fans, domestically & internationally…and sealed themselves as villains of the @FIFAWWC. I love it. But the soccer gods can be cruel and vindictive. If US goes on to fail, their behavior will be on a loop,” said Alexi Lalas, another former U.S. international turned TV pundit.

The Americans play No. 39 Chile in Paris on Sunday.

The Thailand rout set a number of Women’s World Cup records.

Morgan became the first player with five goals and three assists in the same match.

The Americans set another tournament record with four goals in six minutes in the second half. And the multi-goal performances by Morgan, Rose Lavelle and Samantha Mewis marked the first time a team has had three different players score multiple goals in one match at the tournament.

The U.S. outshot Thailand 30-2 (21-2 in shots on target) and had 75 percent possession.

Thailand made its World Cup debut four years ago in Canada, exiting after 4-0 preliminary-round losses to Norway and Germany and a 3-2 victory over the Ivory Coast.

The Thai women qualified for the 2019 tournament by reaching the semifinals of the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup where they lost in a penalty shootout to No. 6 Australia before losing the third-place match 3-1 to No. 16 China.

The top five finishers at the Asian qualifier advanced to the 24-team World Cup.

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