The San Francisco 49ers are going for a record-tying sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy, which would equal the record held by Pittsburgh and New England. The 49ers also are looking to be only the second team to go from 4-12 the previous season to the top of the heap. The Niners haven’t won it all since the 1994 season.The Chiefs are seeking their first title since 1970, when they beat the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth Super Bowl — a name coined by Kansas City’s founder, Lamar Hunt. That was the final AFL-NFL matchup. The leagues merged the next season, and Kansas City has waited 50 years to get back to the championship game.Game time is 6:30 p.m. Eastern at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.TENNIS-AUSTRALIAN OPENDjokovic tops Thiem, wins 8th Australian title WORLD WCUP-WOMEN’S SUPER-GBrignone wins super-G in overall leader Shiffrin’s absenceROSA KHUTOR, Russia (AP) — Federica Brignone (feh-deh-REE’-kah breen-YOH’-nay) won a women’s World Cup super-G after overall leader Mikaela Shiffrin sat out the race on Sunday, strengthening her runner-up position in the standings.The win left the Italian 270 points short of Shiffrin’s leading tally.The American three-time overall champion decided to skip the races in the 2014 Olympic resort after winning the previous super-G and a downhill in Bulgaria a week ago. Thiem was appearing in his third major final. He has lost them all.NBA/NHL SCHEDULESNBA and NHL have light, early schedules on Super Bowl SundayUNDATED (AP) — There’s a short schedule for the NBA and NHL on Super Bowl Sunday, with all the games taking place in the afternoon.There are four NBA games: Denver at Detroit, New Orleans at Houston, Phoenix at Milwaukee and Chicago at Toronto. The NHL has three games: Pittsburgh at Washington, Columbus at Montreal and Vancouver at Carolina.NBA-NETS-IRVING OUTKyrie Irving out at least a week with right knee sprainNEW YORK (AP) — Kyrie Irving will miss at least a week with a sprained medial ligament in his right knee.The Brooklyn Nets star had an MRI exam Sunday that confirmed the team’s diagnosis after he was injured Saturday in Washington. Associated Press February 2, 2020 MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) has won a record-extending eighth Australian Open championship and 17th Grand Slam title overall by beating Dominic Thiem (teem) in five sets in the final.Djokovic’s 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory means he will return to No. 1 in the rankings, replacing Rafael Nadal.Djokovic improved to 16-0 in semifinals and finals at Melbourne Park. No other man in the history of tennis has won this tournament more than six times.Djokovic adds his Australian Open haul to his five titles from Wimbledon, three from the U.S. Open and one from the French Open.Only Roger Federer, with 20, and Nadal, with 19, have won more men’s Grand Slam singles trophies. T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-ILLINOIS-IOWASunday’s lone Top 25 game matches ranked teamsIOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Two ranked teams meet Sunday afternoon as No. 19 Illinois visits No. 18 Iowa in a Big Ten showdown.Illinois has one win and two losses against ranked opponents this season, while Iowa has won four of its seven games against ranked teams.It’s the only game on Sunday’s men’s Top 25 schedule. Update on the latest sports Irving got hurt in the fourth quarter of a 113-107 loss, when he and Wizards guard Bradley Beal got tangled battling for a loose ball and Irving’s knee twisted as he landed on the court. He stayed down for a couple minutes before remaining in the game for the jump ball — in which he didn’t jump — and then left the court and went to the locker room.Irving had his highest-scoring game of the season the previous night, scoring 54 points in a victory over Chicago.The Nets said Irving will be re-evaluated in a week. He will miss at least home games against Phoenix and Golden State — whose point guard, D’Angelo Russell, he replaced on the Nets — as well as a game at Toronto.Irving previously missed 26 games in his first season in Brooklyn with a right shoulder injury. He also sat out one after returning with hamstring tightness and didn’t play last Sunday after learning of Kobe Bryant’s death while preparing to face the New York Knicks.PGA-PHOENIX OPEN-KOBE BRYANT PGA Tour remembers Kobe Bryant with 16th-hole pin positionSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The PGA Tour joined players with a 16th-hole tribute to Kobe Bryant on Sunday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, using his two Lakers uniform numbers to cut the final-round pin position on the stadium par 3.The pin was placed 24 yards from the front edge and 8 yards from the left edge, putting it in the back left corner of the green on the rowdy hole that holds more than 20,000 fans.Bryant, daughter Gianna and seven others were killed a week ago in a helicopter crash in California.Third-round leader Tony Finau (FEE’-now) and fourth-ranked Justin Thomas have donned Bryant jerseys on the hole. Finau birdied it Friday and Saturday wearing a yellow No. 8 Lakers jersey. Thomas has worn a white No. 33 Lower Merion High School jersey, selecting it over a Lakers jersey that he also brought from his collection. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNFL-SUPER BOWLThe big day has arrivedMIAMI (AP) — The waiting is almost over: The Super Bowl is just hours away. Shiffrin, who won the super-G world title and discipline standings last year, was not the only top contender to sit out this weekend’s races. Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova and Italy’s Marta Bassino also refrained from traveling to Russia.
Junior goaltender Alex Rigsby surrendered three goals in the two losses to Minnesota-Duluth.[/media-credit]The Badgers’ offense was nowhere to be found last weekend, as the Wisconsin women’s hockey team not only suffered their first two defeats of the season, but were shutout twice on the road against Minnesota-Duluth at AMSOIL Arena.The 2-0 and 1-0 defeats marked the first time since 2001 that the Badgers (3-2-1, 1-2-1 WCHA) have not managed a single score in back-to-back games. The series also marked the end of a six-game road trip for Wisconsin, one which included games against Minnesota State and Lindenwood.“The toughest thing in our business is to score goals,” head coach Mark Johnson said at his weekly press conference. “We were unfortunate this weekend to come away empty-handed both nights. … Their goalie was good, and we didn’t capitalize on a lot of opportunities, especially on the powerplay.”What the Badgers did get in Duluth were several difficult breaks. In Friday’s game, the Bulldogs’ (2-2, 2-2) first goal came off a botched clear that left an open net for UMD forward Brienna Gillanders. The second goal came after a solid poke check from Wisconsin’s goaltender, Alex Rigsby, which sent the puck behind her into the Badgers’ net. Saturday’s 1-0 defeat was equally disappointing, as UW failed to find a breakthrough despite multiple chances and 25 shots on goal.As Johnson pointed out, the other problem for the Badgers was the lack of scoring on powerplays. While the defense looked impressive, thwarting all eight UMD powerplays, the Wisconsin offense was another story. On Friday, the powerplay unit went 0-for-5, as Bulldogs’ goaltender Kayla Black turned aside all 31 shots. Saturday’s effort was similar as the Badgers yet again failed to capitalize, finishing 0-for-3 on powerplays. Despite their first two losses of the season, UW’s head coach said his team is not panicking.“Everything’s pretty upbeat; everything’s pretty positive,” Johnson said. “The team has played pretty well. Unfortunately, we just came away this past weekend with not scoring the goals we needed to win hockey games.”Instead, they are looking forward to their home opener and the first game ever played at LaBahn Arena. The puck will drop in the brand new 2,400-seat arena Friday at 7 p.m. against Bemidji State, and game two of the series will take place Sunday at 2 p.m.Located directly behind the Kohl Center, LaBahn Arena is a sign of the growth of the Wisconsin women’s hockey program over the last decade. The program has won four national titles since 2006 and also has six Frozen Four appearances over that period.In regard to the new arena and the home opener, Johnson had only high praise.“The future is bright for the young athletes to get a chance to work out of the facility,” he said. “There’s so many wonderful things about it. Now we get to open it up Friday night. It will be a special week. It will be a special night for the hockey program.”Some wonder how long it will take to make LaBahn feel like home for the team, as the Badgers posted a 19-2 record at the Kohl Center last year. Johnson noted that the team is beginning to adjust to its new home.The more we play, obviously, the more comfortable we’ll be,” Johnson said. “But our players, after spending a couple of weeks in the locker room, spending a couple of weeks practicing, those things are starting to come.”The Badgers will look to start turning their new house into a home against a Bemidji State team they beat in all four games last year, and currently sits at the bottom of the conference with a 1-3 overall record. However, there is no guarantee Friday’s game will end with a comfortable victory, as the Badgers only escaped the last meeting with a one-goal victory.But it may take until the first puck drop Friday night for Johnson to fully absorb the changing face of his program. “I had to pinch myself this morning as I drove down to work,” he said. “It’s a reality. It hasn’t really hit me yet.”That’s understandable since the women’s hockey team has called the Kohl Center home since 1998, sharing the venue with the men’s hockey team and both the men’s and women’s basketball teams.Once the game begins, Johnson believes that the “pinch myself” mindset will be gone and “reality will be with us Friday night.”And if they want to open their new arena on a positive note, the Badgers will be needing some goals as well.
MONTREAL — A Canadian is among a group of LGBTQ content creators who have launched a class action lawsuit against YouTube in the United States, alleging the popular video-sharing website is censoring their content.The group of eight, which includes several prominent U.S. creators and Montreal-based transgender YouTuber Chase Ross, announced it is taking a stand against the video publisher and its parent company, Google, in a suit filed in California on Wednesday.In a statement, YouTube said it doesn’t target LGBTQ content. But Ross, the lone Canadian plaintiff for now, said the mere mention in videos of such words as “transgender,” “gay” and “lesbian” — or the use of those words in titles and tags — can get a video flagged as sensitive, restricting their views and curtailing advertising.“We are a group of LGBTQ creators that have had enough,” Ross said. “It has been affecting us for years and I’m so glad we’re going to be doing something about it, because after doing videos and talking with YouTube, nothing happened.”Ross recounted in an interview being particularly affected last year when an anniversary video about his surgery was flagged.“I’d had surgery five years ago. It’s a big moment in my transition. I was really excited, and the moment I added the word ‘transgender’ in the title, it was demonetized,” Ross explained. Demonetization renders a video unsuitable for advertisers.“I did two tests and it still happened the same way so I made a big deal about it online, I made a big fuss because people needed to know.”Ross said an algorithm makes the determination, and LGBTQ videos often find themselves flagged, even if there’s nothing inherently offensive or inappropriate in them.“There are a lot of videos that talk about LGBT content — there’s nothing sexual in the video — and it’s demonetized,” Ross said.In a statement, YouTube spokesperson Alex Joseph said the company is proud that “so many LGBTQ creators have chosen YouTube as a place to share their stories and build community.”Joseph said all content on the site is subject to the same policies.“Our policies have no notion of sexual orientation or gender identity and our systems do not restrict or demonetize videos based on these factors or the inclusion of terms like ‘gay’ or ‘transgender,’ ” Joseph said. “In addition, we have strong policies prohibiting hate speech, and we quickly remove content that violates our policies and terminate accounts that do so repeatedly.”Ross, who began using the platform when he was 15, said YouTube was a revolutionary in his own experience.“YouTube is where I found myself — it’s where I found out what trans people were. It’s where I found out that you can be trans and can live, and it’s okay to be trans,” said Ross, now 28.“It really saved my life so when I started making content. I started making content for the younger me, the content that didn’t exist, the information that I never had when I was younger.”He now has 164,000 subscribers and his videos can get 10,000 views or more.Ultimately, Ross doesn’t want to be censored, nor does he want to have to censor himself to get published.“YouTube really changes lives and it helps people that live in places where a queer or trans community doesn’t exist, so they’re not so alone,” Ross said. “When content gets demonetized or is deemed as inappropriate, people see that and they associate the LGBT community with things that aren’t appropriate.”What Ross is looking for is accountability from Google/YouTube.“More than anything, I want systemic change, I want there to be change in the platform, I want people to be treated equally on the platform,” Ross said.The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court seeks an injunction requiring YouTube to “cease and desist from capriciously restricting, demonetizing, or otherwise censoring any content of videos uploaded to the YouTube site.” It is also seeking unspecified damages to be determined at trial.While the LGBTQ community is pushing the lawsuit, Ross said others like family bloggers and disabled people also face similar problems.“We are hoping that this is a stepping-stone to changing the system for everyone,” he said.Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press