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Wild’s Matt Dumba continues to combat racism with new initiative

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Wild’s Matt Dumba continues to combat racism with new initiative

In the span of a week and a half, Matt Dumba has seen firsthand both the progress the NHL has made and the work still left to be done.

As a member of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, an organization founded last year with the goal of eradicating racism from the sport, Dumba proudly sported customized tape on his stick before the Jan. 8 game against the Washington Capitals. His teammates followed suit during warmups.

It was a part of the #TapeOutHate campaign put on by the Hockey Diversity Alliance in conjunction with Budweiser Canada. The hope is to inspire change at a grassroots level with words like “RACISM HAS NO PLACE IN HOCKEY” plastered on the tape itself.

“We are so grateful and humbled that we are getting this type of response,” Dumba said. “It’s super cool to see. To have white players’ support is huge because of demographics and how the game is.”

But Dumba witnessed the other side of the spectrum on Jan. 17 after a game against the Colorado Avalanche. In that game, his teammate Jordan Greenway inadvertently ran goaltender Darcy Kuemper, a sequence that angered opposing fans.

On the bus after the game, Dumba sat alongside Greenway as various racial slurs flooded his direct messages on social media.

“We are sitting on the bus, like, ‘Look at how stupid this is. This is ridiculous,’ ” Dumba said. “That’s how real it is every day.”

This extends beyond sports. It’s the reality people of color push through on a daily basis.

As much as there has been tangible change in the past year and a half, with more people starting to take action, the truth is, racism has and always will exist in some form.

As a kid, Dumba couldn’t do anything to stop it. Now he has a platform to make a difference.

“This is us standing up for our 12-year-old selves, our future kids, the next generation,” Dumba said. “There’s no reason why a kid needs to feel that the color of his skin determines whether or not he is suitable or can play the game of hockey. And that’s what it’s been for too long.”

THE MEETING

This summer Dumba gathered with other members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance in Toronto.

The meeting was set up by Budweiser Canada in an effort to spark dialogue that could be used in a commercial for the #TapeOutHate campaign.

The open and honest conversation that followed was more than anyone expected.

“They gave us a couple of points to talk about, and we just started chopping it up,” Dumba said. “I think it was (supposed to be) like 30 to 45 minutes to shoot it and we carried on talking for an hour and a half.”

The commercial features Dumba sitting in a circle with retired hockey player Akim Aliu, Anthony Duclair of the Florida Panthers, Nazem Kadri of the Avalanche, and Wayne Simmonds of the Toronto Maple Leafs, each person talking about their experience within the sport that so often pushed them away when they were young.

There were powerful moments throughout the commercial, including the display of various racial slurs that members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance have encountered throughout their careers. There were also some poignant exchanges between the players that really hit home.

“Why would you want your kid to ever experience something like that?” Dumba asked the group during the commercial. “Would you put them in hockey?”

“If I knew she was going to have to face the same thing I faced, probably not,” Simmonds replied. “At the same time, I want her to be able to do what she loves.”

It was the first time Dumba could remember talking to other players in such a public forum. He has had many such conversations behind the scenes. Never in front of a camera.

“For us to have a conversation like that, so open and vulnerable, I don’t know if any of us had really dove in like that,” Dumba said. “You can talk forever about it because it’s been going on for so long. You can add some more bodies to that conversation. You can add guys who have played further in the past. You can add maybe some younger kids going through it. That’s our goal: To get people talking about it.”

THE INITIATIVE

As far as Dumba is concerned, he has gotten to a point in his life where he can deal with the nasty things keyboard warriors put out into the universe.

He’s not thinking about himself when he’s opening up about the racism he’s experienced. He’s thinking about the 10-year-old who recently downloaded social media for the first time and has to deal with name-calling from peers.

“You’re getting harassed online and getting harassed at the rink,” Dumba said. “It doesn’t feel like a safe place. Why would kids want to show up to the rink? There’s a sense of loneliness.”

That’s why the #TapeOutHate campaign is so impactful. It’s important for kids to see to see words like “RACISM HAS NO PLACE IN HOCKEY” being proudly displayed by players at the highest level.

Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba tapes his stick in the locker room of Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul before a Jan. 8, 2022 NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals. The tape is a part of the #TapeOutHate campaign put on by the Hockey Diversity Alliance. (Courtesy of the Minnesota Wild)

“That’s a great part of it,” Dumba said. “Whenever anyone sees the tape, it’s spreading that awareness and creating another potential conversation. I think the hockey world is doing such a great job, and we are thankful that they have picked it and supported it the way they have.”

As for the tape itself, it’s been so popular that Dumba joked that members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance can’t even get their hands on it right now.

“It’s jumping off the shelves,” he said. “We had some rolls shipped to us and the boys all used it for warmups. I was so proud. Just knowing that my teammates are supporting me and taking the time to ask and understand what it is.

“I explained it to the boys and showed them the videos. That was the talk of the locker room and guys were awesome wanting to back it and support it and put it out there. I’m really grateful for the kind of teammates that I have.”

THE FUTURE

From the moment Dumba took a knee for the national anthem before a game on Aug. 1 2020, doing so after giving an emotional speech about fighting racism within the sport, he became the face of a movement.

Though he has had lot of support along the way, especially from other members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, Dumba has been among the most vocal players about the need for change throughout the NHL.

That experience has been empowering for Dumba. Especially after feeling like an outcast as a kid, always trying to blend in, never trying to stick out. That way of thinking followed him to the NHL early in his career.

In the past couple of years, though, Dumba has grown more comfortable in his own skin. Even if it looks different than some of his peers.

In a perfect world, Dumba hopes the #TapeOutHate campaign, as well as some of the other initiatives the Hockey Diversity Alliance is taking on at the grassroots level, encourages kids to be more accepting from a young age.

“I don’t think anyone is (born) racist or angry or hateful,” Dumba said. “You learn it somewhere. There’s a sense of ignorance that comes with being a kid and finding a way. I think helping out with education programs and stuff like that, and teaching kids right from wrong, is a huge step in it all.”

It’s a step in the right direction. Now the marathon continues.

“Our mission statement with the (Hockey Diversity Alliance), to eradicate racism in the game, that’s no small task,” Dumba said. “Yes, it was taken on by us seven, eight, nine of us at the start. Now it’s grown. We have so many different parts of it and it’s still so fresh.

“We have to find pieces of the puzzle and what makes this whole organization come together and run seamlessly. It isn’t the easiest. But we are figuring it out and getting more people involved, which is awesome.”

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Correction window for NEET UG 2022, Steps to edit your Application

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NEET UG Aspirants appeal to President, NTA, education ministry to postpone exam

Correction window for NEET UG 2022, Steps to edit your Application

The National Testing Agency (NTA) will give NEET UG aspirants a one-time opportunity during which they can edit particulars filled in the application form and re-upload some documents.

NEET 2022 application form correction window will be available on neet.nta.nic.in. Schedule for this has not been announced by NTA.

It reads: “Ensure that correct data is submitted in the online application. Any correction pertaining to the photograph and signature of the candidate will be intimated through e-mail/SMS and the same will be available in the candidate’s login account. Other permissible corrections can also be carried through log-in account only during the schedule fixed for the same. Candidates may ensure clear photographs and signatures are uploaded. Thereafter, no request for correction(s) will be entertained except when the window for correction in all fields opens”.

Application process for NEET 2022, after extension, ended on May 20.

The UG medical entrance test is scheduled for July 17. The test will be held offline, in pen and paper mode.

NEET UG Aspirants appeal to President, NTA, education ministry to postpone exam

The post Correction window for NEET UG 2022, Steps to edit your Application appeared first on JK Breaking News.

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With Adley Rutschman in Baltimore and ‘blue skies ahead,’ eyes turn to Grayson Rodriguez, next wave of Orioles’ prospects

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With Adley Rutschman in Baltimore and ‘blue skies ahead,’ eyes turn to Grayson Rodriguez, next wave of Orioles’ prospects

A day after top prospect Adley Rutschman made his Orioles debut, Executive Vice President and general manager Mike Elias offered a reminder that more are coming as the organization continues to trend upward in the next stage of its rebuild.

“We’ve got blue skies ahead of us,” Elias said Sunday morning in the Orioles’ dugout at Camden Yards. “We’ve got a No. 1 farm system. We’ve got a young, talented major league team. We have payroll flexibility. We’re past the pandemic, and there’s gonna be more and more people coming into the ballpark. We’re gonna be renovating this place. There’s a lot to look forward to.”

Perhaps chief among those is the arrival of more prospects around Rutschman. The Orioles could’ve possibly had back-to-back debut days at Oriole Park, but No. 2 prospect Grayson Rodriguez instead started for Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday. He threw 87 pitches during his prior start — the same eighth-ranked prospect Kyle Bradish reached in his last Triple-A outing before being promoted — but Elias was clear the Orioles feel there remain steps to be taken for the game’s top pitching prospect.

Rodriguez, 22, posted a 2.65 ERA with a 38.5% strikeout rate in his first eight Triple-A starts, pitching beyond the fifth inning three times after doing so only once in 2021. The Orioles want to be able to let him loose in the majors, Elias said, while also building up his innings this year so that he can pitch without restrictions in 2023.

“When he comes up here, we want him to be able to go and pitch and help the team and not handcuff the team, and we’ve got to be super careful with the workload for this kid just because of who he is,” Elias said. “He’s getting close to a full build-up. We just want to see him keep going on the track that I feel like he’s been on. The last two or three outings have been markedly better in terms of stuff, location, delivery. I think his last outing was kind of vintage Grayson, which was exciting. And I’m watching each one of his starts very carefully, and I know we are as an organization.

“Grayson is one of the most important pitchers in baseball, and we want to make sure that we’re handling that responsibly.”

He did not offer specifics on what they feel Rodriguez must do to reach the majors, which has been standard. Only after Rutschman reached the majors did Elias say that the three straight games he caught for Norfolk from Tuesday to Thursday were what showed the organization he was ready after missing time with a strained strained tricep.

The timing allowed Rutschman to play his first game at home, where a raucous but modest crowd cheered his every move. Orioles manager Brandon Hyde compared the atmosphere to what he saw as a coach with the Chicago Cubs’ fan base when they first promoted eventual Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player Kris Bryant.

“Once that box was checked, we figured it was a live ball,” Elias said. “And then looking at the schedule, Yankee Stadium didn’t seem like a great option for a debut. And it just seemed he was ready, and this weekend made the most sense. And now, he will get the experience of going to play in Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park, which is cool for him because that’s life in the [American League] East and then come back for a nice homestand around Memorial Day, so I think the timing worked out as well as it could have given that we were constrained by his injury.”

The Orioles are also managing an injury comeback with No. 3 prospect DL Hall, a left-hander who is routinely showing upper-90s velocity in his return from a stress fracture in his pitching elbow. In three starts since joining Norfolk, Hall, 23, has a 6.52 ERA but has struck out more than 30% of the batters he’s faced.

“He’s got stuff that I think Triple-A is going to be speaking to him about, meaning the hitters there, and you saw the line last time, some walks,” Elias said. “His stuff is unbelievable. He’s been healthy. He looks great. He’s throwing harder than ever, but he’s doing it with ease and efficiency.

“He looks excellent. I think that the mixture of good and bad that we’ve seen in his performance so far in Norfolk is exactly what I would have expected, and I think that he’s ahead of sort of schedule and expectations in terms of where he came into the year, and this is all good stuff, healthy stuff that we’re seeing from him.”

Elias also provided updates on a trio of prospects all recovering with hamstring strains.

Outfielder Heston Kjerstad hasn’t played a professional game since the Orioles drafted him second overall in 2020. He was diagnosed with myocarditis (heart inflammation) shortly after he signed with Baltimore then suffered a left hamstring strain this spring as he finally appeared to be at full health.

Elias said Kjerstad, 23, will begin playing in extended spring training games “as soon as next week,” with the possibility he plays in Florida Complex League games when those begin next month.

“Our goal is to get him to [Low-A] Delmarva this summer,” Elias said. “I don’t know exactly when that’s gonna happen. But he’s doing well with the hamstring and the other stuff that he’s been through.

Last week, outfielder Yusniel Diaz suffered a recurrence of a right hamstring strain that cost about three weeks earlier this season. When on the field, he’s performed well for Norfolk, posting a .934 OPS. Once ranked the Orioles’ top prospect after coming to Baltimore in the Manny Machado trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Diaz, 25, has missed time with lower body injuries each of the past three minor league seasons.

“I don’t know what to say other than that it stinks,” Elias said. “It’s tough news. Once you have those, sometimes they get more susceptible to recurrence, and he’s a twitchy, explosive guy, and this stuff happens, but it’s really putting a hamper on his ability to get on a roll and make himself relevant for the major league team. I’m not ruling anything out, but this is a big setback timewise, and we’ll just keep working with him and get him back out there, and hopefully, maybe in the second half, he can get up here because his time’s overdue.”

Triple-A second baseman-outfielder Terrin Vavra, 25, is fully recovered from his right hamstring strain and is in a build-up period, Elias said. He’ll go to a lower affiliate for a rehab assignment before rejoining Norfolk.

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78,000 pounds of infant formula arrives in US

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78,000 pounds of infant formula arrives in US

By MICHAEL CONROY

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Enough specialty infant formula for more than half a million baby bottles arrived Sunday in Indianapolis.

The formula, weighing 78,000 pounds (35,380 kilograms), was being transported by military plane, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One as President Joe Biden flew from South Korea to Japan.

It is the first of several flights carrying infant formula from Europe expected this weekend to relieve the deepening shortage in the U.S. The flights were authorized by Biden.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was in Indianapolis to greet the arrival of the first shipment in Indianapolis.

The Biden administration — which has struggled to address a nationwide shortage of formula, particularly hypoallergenic varieties — has dubbed the effort “Operation Fly Formula.” The crisis follows the closure of the nation’s largest domestic manufacturing plant in Michigan in February due to safety issues.

The White House has said 132 pallets of Nestlé Health Science Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior formula was to leave Ramstein Air Base in Germany for the U.S. Another 114 pallets of Gerber Good Start Extensive HA formula were expected to arrive in the coming days. Altogether, about 1.5 million 8-ounce bottles of the three formulas, which are hypoallergenic for children with cow’s milk protein allergy, are expected to arrive this week.

Indianapolis was chosen because it is a Nestle distribution hub. The formula will be offloaded into FedEx semitractor-trailers and taken to a Nestle distribution center about a mile away where the company will do a standard quality control check before distributing the supplies to hospitals, pharmacies and doctor’s offices, according to an administration official on site.

Air Force planes are transporting the initial batch of formula because no commercial flights were available this weekend.

The flight was the first of several to provide “some incremental relief in the coming days” as the government works on a more lasting response to the shortage, Brian Deese, director of the White House National Economic Council, said Sunday.

Reese told CNN’s “State of the Union” that Sunday’s flight brought 15% of the specialty medical grade formula needed in the U.S., and because of various actions by the government, people should see “more formula in stores starting as early as this week.”

Longer term, he said, the U.S. needs more formula providers “so that no individual company has this much control over supply chains.”

Under “Operation Fly Formula,” the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services are authorized to request Department of Defense support to pick up overseas infant formula that meets U.S. health and safety standards, so it can get to store shelves faster, according to the USDA.

Alfamino is primarily available through hospitals and home health care companies that serve patients at home.

U.S. regulators and the manufacturer, Abbott Nutrition, hope to have its Michigan plant reopened next week, but it will take about two months before product is ready for delivery. The Food and Drug Administration this week eased importation requirements for baby formula to try to ease the supply crunch, which has left store shelves void of some brands and some retailers rationing supply for parents nervous about feeding their children.

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