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Posts Tagged ‘sport’

Take a knee – why are NFL players kneeling during the US national anthem and what is the row with Donald Trump all about?

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

Why are NFL players kneeling during the US national anthem?

 

The Take a Knee movement was started by quarterback Colin Kaepernick who knelt before a pre-season game for the San Francisco 49ers in 2016.

Kaepernick had said: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour.

“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

The poignant display has been adopted by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Other footballers have followed in Kaepernick’s footsteps and a verbal attack on those who protest by Trump prompted the largest-scale anti-racism protests in the league yet.

Who took part in the protests?

Protests were seen at every NFL game held in the United States, as well as at a match held at Wembley Stadium, in London.

Thirty of the 32 teams in the NFL released official statements after Donald Trump said those who protested during the national anthem should be sacked.

Across the country players knelt, sat or linked arms on the touchline as national anthem Star Spangled Banner was played.

A match between Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars held in London saw two dozen players take a knee.

Others including Jaguars owner Shad Khan – who donated £1million to Trump’s presidential campaign – stood and locked arms.

Both teams later stood as God Save the Queen was played.

Mr Khan said: “I met with our team captains prior to the game to express my support for them, all NFL players and the league following the divisive and contentious remarks made by President Trump, and was honoured to be arm in arm with them, their team-mates and our coaches during our anthem.”

Players from the Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks and Tenessee Titans remained in their locker rooms while the anthem was played.

 

Which celebrities have supported the protests?

Stars including Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams, John Legend and Bette Midler have rounded on Donald Trump after he criticised NFL stars.

Singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder showed his backing for the #TakeAKnee movement at the Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park.

Stevie Wonder told the music festival: “Tonight, I’m taking a knee for America.

“But not just one knee, I’m taking both knees, both knees in prayer for our planet, our future, our leaders of the world and our globe – amen.”

Pharrell Williams also dropped to one knee as he performed at the Concert for Charlottesville – organised after a woman was killed protesting against a white supremacist rally.

He said: “If I want to get on my knees right now for the people of my city, for the people of my state, that’s what this flag is for.”

Singer and actress Midler wrote: “A truth that Trump will not acknowledge, is that Take A Knee is not about disrespect for the flag. It’s about protesting police brutality.”

Chat show host Ellen DeGeneres also tweeted her support saying: “As a football fan, I am proud of the NFL players today. Nothing is more American than the right to peacefully protest.”

Singer John Legend said the protests are the “definition of patriotism”.

Writing for the publication Slate, he said: “I sing for a living – no one would want me on their NFL team. But if I could, I’d take a knee on Sundays.

“Because these conversations are necessary for progress … they are the definition of patriotism.”

Meanwhile actress Olivia Wilde shared an image from the stage of her Broadway production of 1984, writing on Instagram: “Proud to be a part of this cast, who took a knee as our curtain closed today.”

 

 

 Baltimore Ravens players kneel during the playing of the US national anthem at Wembley Stadium in London

West Brom legend Cyrille Regis dies at 59

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Former West Brom and Coventry forward Cyrille Regis has died, aged 59.

Regis won five caps for England between 1982 and 1987, having been one of the stars of the Baggies team between 1977 and 1984.

He scored 112 goals in 297 appearances for Albion before moving on to Coventry, winning the FA Cup with the Sky Blues in 1987.

The Professional Footballers’ Association announced the news on Monday morning and wrote in a tweet from its official account: “A true gentleman and legend, he will be deeply missed. Our sympathies to his family and friends.”

Regis was born in French Guiana in February 1958 but moved to London with his family at the age of five.

He did not come through the youth ranks with a professional club and was instead spotted playing Sunday morning football by the chairman of Surrey non-league club Molesey.

View photos

Laurie Cunningham, Brendan Batson and Cyrille Regis were nicknamed The Three Degrees – and here they are with the American pop trio

But it was in the top tier of English football that his goalscoring feats were most lauded, netting 158 league goals.

In 1984 he moved to Coventry City where he continued where he left off with the Baggies, with 62 goals – and his only major trophy in football came in 1987 when he won the FA Cup with the Sky Blues.

Regis also played for Aston Villa and Wolves before spells at Wycombe and Chester where he ended his career.

Regis represented England at under-21 level and won his first senior cap in February 1982 against Northern Ireland.

His final cap came against Turkey in October 1987.

After his stint at Coventry he also played for Aston Villa, Wolves, Wycombe and Chester before ending his playing career in 1996.

He worked as an agent for the Stellar Group after his retirement from the game, and the agency’s chief executive Jonathan Barnett released a statement to Press Association Sport on Monday.

Wonderful

“Cyrille was a wonderful person to work with and his death has left everyone in the company and the players he represented with a great sense of sadness,” Barnett said.

“Cyrille was a pioneer in British football and hugely respected by everyone in the game. He was a role model to his young clients and a genuinely lovely man.”

The statement from Stellar also praised Regis for his “passion, determination and integrity, especially in the way he would champion the careers of up and coming players”.

Praising the role played by Regis in dealing with racism, he said: “In later years I was privileged to get to know him as a friend and he just didn’t carry anger with him from that time. Apart from being a powerful and talented striker, Regis inspired a generation of black players at a time when they were a rarity in the top echelons of English soccer and were regularly subjected to racial abuse from crowds.

On one occasion he received a bullet in the mail along with a threat that he would get one in the knee if he played for England at Wembley.

“The racism was quite abhorrent but I turned a negative into a positive,” he recalled. “I chased harder and played harder, I wanted to score goals and win points.”

Regis returned to West Brom as a coach before becoming a football agent.

Whether verbal or physical, rugby can’t hide from its discipline problem

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

The old cliche about rugby being a game for hooligans played by gentlemen is still casually recycled on a regular basis.

Today’s footballers, frankly, should sue next time anyone with an oval-ball background seeks to use a superior tone. The weekend delivered more fresh ammunition: Toulon’s Mathieu Bastareaud has issued an apology for the homophobic abuse he appeared to direct at the Benetton lock Sebastian Negri but the reputational damage has been done, both to him and his sport. So much for noblesse oblige and sportsmanlike conduct.

Rugby’s noble image has, in truth, always been a subjective issue. Few who played in the south-west of France or in south Wales on a wet Wednesday night in the amateur era ever came across much in the way of soft play or kindly advice. “Do that again and you’ll live up to your name,” was the threat famously directed at Dai Young, the great Lions and Wales prop, only partly in jest. Part of rugby’s appeal used to be its twilight world, to borrow from AC/DC’s back catalogue, of dirty deeds done dirt cheap.

Plenty of people, in short, behaved badly but few beyond the participants ever heard about it, save for a few ribald after-dinner speeches a quarter of a century later. Now, with microphones and TV cameras practically inserted up the players’ nostrils there is no hiding place. A big Frenchman abuses a Zimbabwean-born Italian in the last minute of a relatively low-profile pool game and thousands have already passed judgment on social media before the pair reach the dressing rooms.

Bastareaud now finds himself staring down the barrel of a lengthy ban and rightly so. The only small consolation to which he can cling is that rugby’s sanctions are consistent only in their unpredictability. Last week Joe Marler received a six-week suspension for a shoulder to the head of TJ Ioane; some argued he should not even have received a red card. This week it is James Haskell’s turn in the dock following his sending-off for clattering high into Harlequins’ Jamie Roberts. Those insisting he was unlucky must have forgotten all the World Rugby directives last year specifically instructing referees to show zero tolerance towards players who, deliberately or not, catch opponents on the head.

Roll up, roll up: welcome to modern rugby’s moral maze. Bastareaud aside, the definition of serious naughtiness has never been more confusing. Catch a leaping player a split-second early in the air and you could receive anything from a penalty to a lengthy ban; clear out a ruck even a fraction too high and the same uneasy game of disciplinary roulette applies. You need the judgement of a Nasa scientist to be absolutely spot-on every time; either way an opponent will probably try to convince the referee otherwise.

The Bastareaud case, whether he was provoked or not, clearly belongs in a different category but imagine you are a member of rugby’s judiciary. Is abusing someone verbally a worse sin than attempting to gouge their eyes out? Is swearing at the referee a significantly more serious crime against the game’s core values than, say, faking injury or attempting to get an opponent sent off? Maybe the answer is a new catch-all offence, beyond mere unsportsmanlike conduct, carrying an entry-level punishment of six weeks for anyone guilty of tarnishing rugby’s good name, whether by word or deed.

The worsening picture is not all about money’s corrupting influence, either. Only last November the Scottish Rugby Union dished out a record 347 weeks of suspensions to 14 players, a coach and an official from Howe of Fife RFC following a grim initiation ceremony on a team bus which reportedly left one player with internal injuries. In September an 18-year-old Australian received a 10-year ban after striking the referee in the face during a local under-19s final.

No sport can ever be immune to bad publicity but rugby, given its physical nature, treads a more precarious line than most. The game’s traditional code of respect between players, coaches and officials – “Scrum please, sir” – has certainly never felt more frayed. To castigate everyone for the bigoted language of one individual might feel unfair but, when they look themselves in the mirror, rugby’s guardians should be honest enough to admit there is a growing problem. Never mind the moral high ground; rugby is on an increasingly slippery behavioural slope.

Muhammad Ali

Saturday, June 4th, 2016

watch Muhammad Ali

How Tennis’s Pay Gap Compares to Other Sports

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

This year’s U.S. Open tennis tournament will pay out a record $38.3 million in prize money, with $3 million going to the winner of the men’s and women’s singles titles, not including potential bonus money.

See an interactive graphic of the pay gap between No. 1 and No. 32 in tennis and other sports.

U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Stars Allege Pay Discrimination

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

Complaint says players earn a fraction of their male counterparts despite superior achievements

Five of the biggest stars on the world champion U.S. women’s national soccer team accused the U.S. Soccer Federation of pay discrimination, despite the women’s team’s superior on-field achievements and higher anticipated revenue.

The women’s national team is a three-time World Cup winner and defending Olympic champion.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” said Ms. Solo. “We are the best in the world, have three World Cup championships, four Olympic championships, and the [men’s national team] get paid more to just show up than we get paid to win major championships.”

“We continue to be told we should be grateful just to have the opportunity to play professional soccer, to get paid for doing it,” said Ms. Solo, a goalkeeper and two-time Olympic goal medalist who has been playing for the team since 2000, in the “Today” interview on Thursday.

“We believe now the time is right because we believe it’s our responsibility for women’s sports and specifically for women’s soccer to do whatever it takes to push for equal pay and equal rights. And to be treated with respect,” she added.

Rugby world cup

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

A video about rugby, of course, but you can also enjoy the breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand :

South Africa

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

The game which united a country : more information here

More information about the South African flag

South Africa : history

 

Invictus

Monday, January 18th, 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9Ovkye6lac

Nelson Mandela’s biography is here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2d3ENhn8Kg

The business of football

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

ON TUESDAY June 9th Real Madrid, a Spanish football club, sealed the transfer of Kaká from Italy’s AC Milan for €65m ($90m), the second-priciest deal in history. Real will also pay the Brazilian player over €200,000 a week. However, Spain’s top league spends less on wages, measured as a proportion of its revenue, than counterparts in France and Italy.

AFP

 

read more about it here