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Sport | The Guardian

Sports news, scores, blogs and opinion on US and world sports from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

Published: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 11:20:10 GMT2018-04-24T11:20:10Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2018

Starbucks and the San Antonio Spurs: a tale of two misguided boycotts

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 08:00:14 GMT2018-04-24T08:00:14Z

The emerging movements against Starbucks and the Spurs are not only unnecessary and doomed to failure, they manage to dilute the power of boycotting as an instrument of change

In 1971’s Inner City Blues, Marvin Gaye gave voice to every marginalized and disenfranchised person when he passionately sang: Make me wanna holler / The way they do my life. The problem is that one voice hollering alone is easily dismissed as grouchy complaining. But gather a group of fervid voices chanting the same thing and it’s suddenly a righteous choir for change. One of the most effective tools of change is the righteous choir belting for a boycott. During the past couple weeks, two very different types of boycotts have been in the news. The arrest of two African-American men at a Philadelphia Starbucks for Loitering While Black has prompted a call to boycott all Starbucks nationwide. The other boycott involves fans of the San Antonio Spurs who, reacting to head coach Gregg Popovich’s outspoken criticism of president Donald Trump, have chosen to stop supporting the team. Both boycotts are legitimate in that they express the frustrations of people fed up with certain behavior they find offensive. The problem is that both boycotts are misguided and therefore ultimately ineffective at creating positive change.

Boycotts work. And they are non-violent. But they require perseverance and dedication. The Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 lasted for over a year, creating tremendous hardships for those boycotters who relied on the buses to get to work, but their commitment and endurance led to the toppling of a lot of racist dominoes, vastly improving the lives of people of color. In the last few years, several prominent boycotts have resulted in practical change: large companies threatened to boycott Indiana after they passed the Religious Restoration Act, the NBA All-Star game boycotted North Carolina after it passed House Bill 2 that restricted rights of the LGBTQ community, and sponsors boycotted Bill O’Reilly after revelations of alleged sexual harassment, causing the cancellation of his popular show. I have participated in many boycotts over the past 50 years in support of causes I believed in. But activists, despite their sincerity, have to be careful not to create a “boycott fatigue” in which we add so many targets to the list, with the chance of minimal return, that we dilute the power of boycotting as an instrument of change.

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Rockets throttle Wolves with 50-point quarter, most in playoff game since 1962

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 03:04:03 GMT2018-04-24T03:04:03Z

  • Harden and Rockets cruise past Wolves with 50-point third quarter
  • Houston take three-games-to-one advantage in first-round series
  • Jazz push Thunder to brink of elimination with 113-96 Game 4 win

James Harden gave Houston quite the jump-start with 22 of the team’s 50 points in the third quarter, as the Rockets cruised past the Minnesota Timberwolves 119-100 on Monday night to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Chris Paul scored 15 of his 25 points in the near-record third for the Rockets, who turned a 50-49 halftime edge into a 31-point advantage after the torrid 12-minute span. The only team in the history of the NBA playoffs with more points in one quarter was the Los Angeles Lakers, who scored 51 points in the fourth on 31 March 1962 in a loss to the Detroit Pistons.

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Pennsylvania golf club apologizes for calling police on black female members

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 04:30:30 GMT2018-04-24T04:30:30Z

  • Club reported women for playing too slowly
  • Police ‘called for an issue that did not warrant charges’

A golf club in Pennsylvania has apologized for calling police on a group of black women after the co-owner and his father said they were playing too slowly and refused requests to leave the course.

“I felt we were discriminated against,” one of the women, Myneca Ojo, told the York Daily Record. “It was a horrific experience.”

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Roma must avoid slipping into bunker mentality in face of Liverpool storm | Jonathan Wilson

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 10:55:17 GMT2018-04-24T10:55:17Z

Liverpool’s physicality and ferocious pressing mean the tactics that served Roma against Barcelona will have to be redesigned for the Champions League semi-final first leg

Two problems dominate all others before Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final at Anfield – at least in determining how the game will be won. Can Roma stop Mohamed Salah and can Liverpool defend set plays?

A key factor in Roma’s success against Barcelona was Eusebio Di Francesco’s switch to a 3-5-2, having fielded a 4-3-3 in every other game bar one this season. It not only wrong-footed Barcelona but meant Roma had three against two at the back and in midfield, something that was possible because the two wing-backs, Alessandro Florenzi and Aleksandar Kolarov, had the energy to drive back Barça’s wide men, Sergi Roberto and Andrés Iniesta. It forced them to defend rather than tucking in to offer support to the two central midfielders, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic.

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Agent expects Tom Brady to play for New England Patriots in 2018

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 18:36:31 GMT2018-04-23T18:36:31Z

  • Brady’s agent expects quarterback will return for 2018 campaign
  • Quarterback will be 41 when Patriots open season in September

Tom Brady’s agent put to rest any speculation his client was considering walking away from football, confirming to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday that he expects the New England Patriots quarterback to return for the 2018 season.

Related: NFL 2018 schedule: the 17 must-watch games of the upcoming season

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Madison Brengle sues WTA and ITF over injuries allegedly caused by doping tests

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 22:25:35 GMT2018-04-09T22:25:35Z

  • World No83 claims her injuries were caused by anti-doping tests
  • Brengle, 28, says she disclosed rare condition triggered by needles
  • American seeks damages ‘believed to be in excess of $10 million’

American tennis player Madison Brengle filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Women’s Tennis Association and the International Tennis Federation seeking damages stemming from their “abusive administration of the anti-doping program” regarding injuries she claims were caused by needle injections from drug tests.

The complaint filed Monday in Manatee County circuit court in Florida alleges the governing bodies repeatedly subjected Brengle to venipuncture anti-doping tests, despite repeated disclosures that she has been diagnosed with a rare medical condition that is triggered by injections.

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Sarah Sellers: the nurse who stunned the world at the Boston Marathon

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 08:00:09 GMT2018-04-21T08:00:09Z

A previously anonymous 26-year-old nurse is an overnight sensation (and Olympic hopeful) after a fairytale runner-up finish in Boston wrought by talent, perseverance and grit

The story was so good it seemed impossible to imagine. A 26-year-old woman with no sponsors or agents, who had run only one marathon in her life, finished second in Monday’s Boston Marathon, one of the world’s most prestigious road races. And no sooner had she crossed the finish line did the question begin to buzz down Boylston Street.

Who is Sarah Sellers?

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How Villanova learned to beat college basketball's NBA talent factories

Tue, 03 Apr 2018 12:15:56 GMT2018-04-03T12:15:56Z

The Wildcats have their second title in three years. Along with his innate smarts, Coach Jay Wright looked to an NBA team from the past for inspiration

The NCAA Tournament that featured the first-ever victory by a 16-seed and a run to the Final Four by Loyola-Chicago and 98-year-old nun Sister Jean fittingly had an underdog story even in a title game won by the heavily-favored Villanova Wildcats. Michigan led for most of the first half, but Villanova took the lead with 6:08 remaining before the break on a three-pointer by redshirt sophomore reserve Donte DiVincenzo. It was the second of five three-pointers DiVincenzo would hit on the night on the way to a career-high 31 points. Villanova would not trail again in the game and cruised to their second national championship in three years, 79-62.

“Even if we had played our best, it would have been very difficult to win that game with what DiVincenzo did,” Michigan head coach John Beilein said after the game. “Sometimes those individual performances just beat you, and you just say: ‘OK, we played you the best we could, and tonight you were better that us.’” 

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Lieke Martens: ‘Ronaldinho was my idol. Long hair, great dribbles … I loved him’ | Suzanne Wrack

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 09:16:52 GMT2018-04-24T09:16:52Z

The Netherlands midfielder, the reigning Fifa and Uefa player of the year, on life at Barcelona and the pressures of being a role model

The unusual girl playing football in the small Dutch town of Bergen in the late 90s does not know there is a women’s game. Instead her idol is Ronaldinho. Why? “Because I was a Barça fan,” says Lieke Martens. “He had long hair like me and great dribbles. I loved him. He was technical, made a lot of goals.”

Related: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lieke Martens take Fifa player-of-the-year awards

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Manchester United to target full-backs with Danny Rose on shopping list

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 09:03:31 GMT2018-04-24T09:03:31Z

• José Mourinho ready to step up chase for Tottenham’s left-back
• Rose has had difficult season after criticising Spurs’ transfer policy

José Mourinho is targeting a right-back and left-back in the summer transfer market, with Manchester United’s manager hopeful of prising Danny Rose from Tottenham Hotspur.

Mourinho is intent on upgrading each position, believing this will increase United’s prospects of mounting a serious challenge to the champions, Manchester City, next season.

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Daniele De Rossi ends his long wait for dream date at Anfield | Paolo Bandini

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 08:00:14 GMT2018-04-24T08:00:14Z

Club captain has been with Roma for 16 years and is yearning to lead his hometown club into the final of the Champions League

Daniele De Rossi has waited a whole career to be part of a European night at Anfield. He was 18 the last time Roma played away to Liverpool, back in March 2002, newly promoted from the academy and with a handful of cup games for the senior team under his belt. This was not yet the time for the manager, Fabio Capello, to put his faith in precocious talent.

Roma lost 2-0 and exited the Champions League. De Rossi went on to become one of the club’s most beloved stars. Before long fans were calling him Capitan Futuro – the Future Captain – destined to follow in Francesco Totti’s footsteps as the latest homegrown player to wear the armband.

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Football quiz: Liverpool in Europe

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 10:52:46 GMT2018-04-24T10:52:46Z

Today’s questions have got a big night ahead of themJürgen Klopp: ‘I have this helping syndrome. I care about people’Against which French team did Liverpool famously overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit in 1991-92?MetzLilleAuxerreParis Saint-GermainWho were Liverpool's opponents on their return to Europe in 1991-92?FC Swarovski TirolKuusysi LahtiMetzGenoaWhen did Liverpool reach their first European final?1966196919731977Liverpool qualified from the second group stage of the Champions League in 2001-02. How many of their six group games did they win1346Who did Liverpool beat in the semi-finals en route to winning their first European Cup in 1977?Saint-EtienneTrabzonsporFC ZurichBarcelonaWho was the only Liverpool player to miss in the penalty shootout against Roma in the 1984 European Cup final?Phil NealIan RushSteve NicolGraeme SounessWho were the first side to win a European game at Anfield?JuventusInternazionaleFerencvarosCataniaWho scored Liverpool's goals in the 3-1 victory over St Etienne in the second leg of the quarter-final at Anfield en route to winning the European Cup in 1977?John Toshack, Ray Kennedy, David FaircloughKevin Keegan, Ray Kennedy, David FaircloughSteve Heighway, Tommy Smith, David FaircloughKevin Keegan, Joey Jones, David FaircloughHow many men were sent off for Alavés in the 2001 Uefa Cup final?0OneTwoThreeExcluding the Super Cup, how many European trophies have Liverpool won?SixSevenEightNine1 and above.You're not fit to wear the shirt ...2 and above.You're not even good enough to play for Accrington Stanley ...3 and above.You're more Roy Evans than Roy of the Rovers ...4 and above.You're the Paul Telfer of football quiz land ...5 and above.Stay off the shandy and you may one day play professionally ...6 and above.You're a reasonable winger but you need to work on your crossing ...7 and above.You could get an international call-up if you maintain this kind of form ...8 and above.You're so good you've got a wag and a mock Tudor house in the suburbs ...9 and above.You've won the league, you could star in Dallas, you've got more silver than Buckingham Palace ...10 and above.Maradona, Pele, Zidane. They've got nothing on you ... Continue reading...[...]

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Large debts, absent owner, no identity – what next for Sunderland? | Louise Taylor

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 17:12:14 GMT2018-04-23T17:12:14Z

Sunderland’s rapid fall into the third tier has left a proud club on its knees and in need of reconstructive surgery. But how did it happen and what are the options?

Last November the man who led Wales to the Euro 2016 semi‑finals became Sunderland’s ninth manager in six years. Since then Coleman, whose record in club management is mixed, has won only five games. The consensus among fans is that he should be allowed to rebuild in League One and the 47‑year‑old keeps reiterating he wants to stay. Matters are complicated by Coleman having never spoken to Ellis Short, the club’s Florida-domiciled American billionaire owner who is desperate to sell. Coleman will demand the financial resources needed to mastermind a promotion challenge. If that does not happen a manager who was merely half joking when he said “I’ve thought about door-stepping Ellis”, could resign. He admits to feeling engulfed by a sense of “helplessness”.

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Theo Walcott clarifies Everton’s superiority over toothless Newcastle

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 22:44:56 GMT2018-04-23T22:44:56Z

One banner called for Sam Allardyce to go at Goodison Park but Theo Walcott’s sharp finish shielded the Everton manager from further hostility. Those wishing to register distrust in the former England manager’s style must make do with a club survey for now.

Walcott’s third Everton goal since arriving from Arsenal in January lifted an otherwise grim affair and Everton to eighth in the Premier League as Newcastle’s winning streak came to a subdued end. Rafael Benítez and his players have defied expectations to haul themselves clear of relegation danger but a lack of quality in attack was glaring.

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Gary Cahill tires of having to show Chelsea he is still the main man

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 21:30:02 GMT2018-04-23T21:30:02Z

• Centre-half says he has nothing to prove at Chelsea
• Cahill: ‘Wining the FA Cup would rescue our season’

Gary Cahill hopes his return to the Chelsea starting XI can bring about a happy end to the season for himself and his club but admits it is tiring having to prove himself at the age of 32.

The club captain played his part in a 2-0 win against Southampton on Sunday that sent Chelsea into the FA Cup final against Manchester United and he believes a trophy can yet rescue their season.

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Football transfer rumours: Manchester City close in on Jorginho?

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 08:25:09 GMT2018-04-24T08:25:09Z

Today’s tell-all can’t knock Everton’s football but can knock some of their passing that went astray

While Liverpool have considerably larger Italian-based fish to fry at Anfield, their fans may be saddened by reports that Manchester City are in the box-seat to land a whopper Jürgen Klopp had been hoping to lure to Anfield. The German has been a longtime admirer of the Napoli midfielder Jorginho since the player’s time at Hellas Verona and his subsequent success at Napoli, whose formation and tactics are not entirely dissimilar to those employed by Liverpool, is only likely to have made Klopp covet him more.

Unfortunately for Liverpool, reports suggest City are close to getting a £50m deal for the Brazil-born Italy international over the line and are therefore prepared to drop their interest in Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fred. Elsewhere, the Currant Bun claims exclusively that Pep Guardiola has tired of waiting for John Stones to fulfil his potential and will reluctantly let him leave the Etihad Stadium if the price is right.

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AFL to review its bump rules at end of season

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 05:46:07 GMT2018-04-24T05:46:07Z

  • Steve Hocking says laws will be looked at again
  • Ryan Burton cleared after his bump concussed Shaun Higgins

The AFL will review its controversial rules around high bumps at the end of the season amid furore over the Ryan Burton incident. 

AFL football operations manager Steve Hocking is adamant the right call was made on the Hawthorn defender but there have been shifts in bumps laws over the last few years and Hocking says the league will look at them again after the season.

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Andrew Bogut retires from NBA and warns NBL rivals he is home to win

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 03:42:40 GMT2018-04-24T03:42:40Z

  • Deal with Sydney Kings includes stake in club
  • NBA veteran will play two seasons for Kings

Andrew Bogut has announced his retirement from the NBA, confirming he will play two NBL seasons for the Sydney Kings and also become a future part owner. Bogut told media on Tuesday there were “no outs” in his NBL deal and he warned rival clubs he was joining the Andrew Gaze-coached Kings to “win games” and not just “sell tickets”.

A 13-year NBA veteran and championship winner, Bogut said he had always intended to come home to Australia and play in the NBL and it was only a question of when, not if. He said it was the “world class negotiations” of the Kings that sealed the deal, despite heavy interest from hometown club Melbourne United, the reigning champions.

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Wallaroos lock in double-headers with Wallabies against New Zealand

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 01:14:53 GMT2018-04-24T01:14:53Z

  • Women to join men on Bledisloe Test dates in August
  • Sydney and Auckland to host historic games

Back-to-back double headers for the Wallabies and Wallaroos against New Zealand in August will be another step in Australia’s bid to host the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup.

The Australian women’s team will play a double header with the men’s team on home soil for the first time when they tackle the world champion Black Ferns before the Wallabies and All Blacks clash in the first Bledisloe Cup Test at ANZ Stadium on Saturday, 11 August.

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Fifa chief to hold meeting over plan to create 24-team Club World Cup

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 22:18:25 GMT2018-04-23T22:18:25Z

• Gianni Infantino to meet heads of six continental confederations
• Fifa offered $25bn by Japanese-led consortium to revamp cup

Fifa will hold a special meeting next month over a $25bn offer to revitalise the Club World Cup and also create a global national team competition to replace the Confederations Cup.

Football’s world governing body says it has held “positive” talks with regional confederations, individual associations and clubs over the creation of a revamped Club World Cup and a new “Nations League” that could generate around £17.9bn in revenue.

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Jürgen Klopp implores Liverpool to ‘show their very best’ for Roma visit

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 21:30:01 GMT2018-04-23T21:30:01Z

• Manager wants players and fans to create a great atmosphere
• Roma seeking to avenge defeat in 1984 European Cup final

Jürgen Klopp has filmed a message urging Liverpool fans to receive Roma as guests and show “our very best to the world” when an old rivalry is renewed in the Champions League semi-final. Liverpool council is showing its hospitable side too, posting “Benvenuti a Liverpool” signs in Roma colours around the city and hiring a ukulele band to serenade the 1,000 Italians expected through John Lennon Airport on Tuesday morning.

Related: Jürgen Klopp: 'I have this helping syndrome. I really care about people ' | Donald McRae

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London Marathon organisers hoping to secure Mo Farah return for next year

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 21:00:01 GMT2018-04-23T21:00:01Z

• Farah finished third in a race won by Eliud Kipchoge
• Coach Gary Lough backs him to challenge winner in future

London Marathon organisers are already lining up Mo Farah to run in next year’s race while his coach, Gary Lough, believes he could yet reach a “similar level” as the winner this year, Eliud Kipchoge.

The 35-year-old Farah is yet to decide on his next race over 26.2 miles but the likelihood is he will choose an autumn marathon in Chicago or New York – with Dubai in January an outside bet – before returning to the British capital next April. It is a prospect which one senior London Marathon figure told the Guardian they “would love to see happen”.

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Robot helps disabled young fan enjoy Everton mascot experience from home

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 20:52:27 GMT2018-04-23T20:52:27Z

• Teenager with severely reduced mobility able to join heroes
• ‘It was a once-in-a-lifetime moment,’ says his mother

A 14-year-old Everton fan, Jack McLinden, became part of Premier League history on Monday, serving as a “remote” match-day mascot for the game against Newcastle United with the aid of a robot.

Related: Everton v Newcastle: Premier League – live!

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ECB in firing line as PCA expresses dismay at 100-ball tournament idea

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 19:42:00 GMT2018-04-23T19:42:00Z

• County players said to be unimpressed by ‘gimmick’ competition
• Representatives unhappy the plans have been presented publicly

The England and Wales Cricket Board will meet representatives from the country’s 420 professional players next month following a backlash over its new 100‑ball competition.

The announcement last week that the ECB’s new eight-team tournament from 2020 would not be played using Twenty20 but rather a reduced version of the format is understood to have caused anger and disbelief among committee members of the Professional Cricketers Association.

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‘Cincinnati Loudmouth’ Adrien Broner is an annoying contradiction | Kevin Mitchell

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 21:20:14 GMT2018-04-23T21:20:14Z

The former four-weight world champion can sell a fight but he shocked everyone bar his own fans with a slew of insults after drawing with Jessie Vargas in Brooklyn

It has always been an irritating paradox that Adrien Broner is so classy with gloves on and wilfully obnoxious anywhere near a microphone.

Both sides of the Cincinnati Loudmouth, a former four-weight world champion, were seen when he toughed out a majority draw over 12 rounds at 144lbs catchweight against Jessie Vargas in Brooklyn on Saturday night. He shook hands with his opponent in the ring and smiled briefly, then, after brushing aside the Showtime interviewer, Jim Gray, unleashed a slew of racist and homophobic insults that shocked all but his own hardcore team and supporters.

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Klopp urges Liverpool fans not to repeat Man City bus incident against Roma – video

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 10:11:16 GMT2018-04-24T10:11:16Z

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has released a video message to fans of the club urging them to receive Champions League semi-final opponents Roma as guests and show 'our very best to the world'. The message follows the incident in which the Manchester City bus was damaged before the quarter-final tie at Anfield.

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Mohamed Salah: The rise of the Egyptian king – video

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 15:52:35 GMT2018-04-23T15:52:35Z

Mohamed Salah topped off an already impressive season with a trophy of his own as he was crowned the men's PFA player of the year on Sunday evening. The Egypt international beat the likes of Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sané and David Silva. However, Salah's rise to stardom has come after years of hard work on and off the pitch, after failing to impress at Chelsea and spending time away from the Premier League he's developed into one of the world's most prolific footballers. Here's a look at his stellar rise.

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Mohamed Salah crowned PFA player of the year … then ordered home by Klopp – video

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 09:40:33 GMT2018-04-23T09:40:33Z

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has been named as the Professional Footballers’ Association player of the year for the 2017-18 season. Salah arrived at Anfield last June for a fee of £36.9m, scoring 41 goals in his debut season. Jürgen Klopp congratulated the Egyptian then told him to come back quickly to prepare for Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final against Roma

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Paul Lambert: 'As a team, Stoke City never give up' – video

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 18:25:37 GMT2018-04-22T18:25:37Z

Stoke City manager Paul Lambert insists his side must get a result against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday with their hopes of Premier League survival fading after failing to record a victory in their past 11 matches

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Arsène Wenger: 'I got more praise – and criticism – than I deserved' – video

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 17:12:52 GMT2018-04-22T17:12:52Z

Arsène Wenger described his time at Arsenal as 'difficult, but fantastic' after his side scored three late goals to beat West Ham 4-1.

Wenger announced his decision to step down as manager on Friday, after 20 seasons at the club.

He insisted that every decision - good and bad - had been for the good of the side, and that when the fans were happy, he was too.

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Mo Farah finishes third in the London Marathon with a new British record – video

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 14:35:06 GMT2018-04-22T14:35:06Z

Mo Farah defied sweltering conditions to set another British record on Sunday by finishing third in the London Marathon in a time of 2hr 6min 21sec.

Farah kept pace with the leaders for much of the race, but finished two minutes and four seconds behind winner Eliud Kipchoge.

The four-time Olympic champion was competing in his first marathon since retiring from the track, and broke Steve Jones' 33-year-old British record.

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Mauricio Pochettino: 'Spurs fans need to be realistic' – video

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 13:51:18 GMT2018-04-22T13:51:18Z

Mauricio Pochettino urged realism from Tottenham fans after the side crashed out of the FA Cup at the semi-final stage again. 

Dele Alli had given the London side an early lead, but goals from Alexis Sánchez and Ander Herrera ensured that it was Manchester United who progressed to the final for a record-equalling 20th time.

Spurs are now without any silverware since 2008, with Pochettino insisting a top four Premier League finish would still represent a successful season

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José Mourinho: 'The season is successful if we finish second' – video

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 13:22:45 GMT2018-04-22T13:22:45Z

One game does not define a season, insisted José Mourinho after Manchester United beat Spurs 2-1 to reach the FA Cup final. 

Spurs took an early lead through Dele Alli, but goals from Alexis Sánchez and Ander Herrera sent Manchester United into a record-equalling 20th FA Cup final. 

With Manchester City having already won the league, the Manchester United manager was clear that his side could still consider their own season a success  by finishing in second place. 

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Premier League managers react to Arsène Wenger's departure – video

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 15:08:11 GMT2018-04-21T15:08:11Z

Pep Guardiola, Jürgen Klopp, Rafa Benítez and Antonio Conté were among the Premier League managers to praise Arsène Wenger after the Arsenal manager's announcement that he is to leave the club after 22 years. Guardiola, who has faced Wenger as manager of three different clubs, said: 'The Premier League is the Premier League thanks to what he has done.'

David Hytner: Wenger stirred Arsenal exasperation but was a martyr to his values

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Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season – video report

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 10:45:38 GMT2018-04-20T10:45:38Z

Arsène Wenger, Arsenal's longest-serving manager, has announced that he is to step down at the end of the season, bringing a 22-year reign to a close. Wenger replaced Bruce Rioch in 1996 before leading Arsenal to Premier League title wins in 1998, 2002 and 2004. While he has struggled to recreate his early success, he has steered Arsenal to three FA Cup wins in the last four years

Arsenal’s miracle worker lost touch but kept his values

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Brad Shields needs to wear a Wasps shirt in anger before England call | Robert Kitson

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 07:26:43 GMT2018-04-24T07:26:43Z

To parachute the New Zealand-born forward into the England squad sight unseen recalls the unsatisfactory precedents of Ireland’s Michael Bent and Scotland’s Brendan Laney

The story of Brad Shields is a tale of everyday modern professional sport. Born in Masterton, on North Island, the back-row forward has played all his rugby in New Zealand, represented the Junior All Blacks in 2011 against an England Under-20 side containing Owen Farrell, George Ford, Elliot Daly and Mako Vunipola and is the captain of the Hurricanes. Now, on the basis of his English parentage, he wants to be part of England’s touring squad to South Africa in June.

We should wish him good luck, clearly, as he seeks to become a capped England international. He is eligible, keen and his globe-trotting parents moved back to Berkshire a couple of years ago.

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Masterchef contestant, 29, dies after collapsing during London Marathon

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 11:06:25 GMT2018-04-23T11:06:25Z

  • Matt Campbell collapsed at the 22.5-mile mark
  • Race had taken place in record temperatures

Matt Campbell, aged 29, a professional chef from the Lake District, has died after collapsing in Sunday’s London Marathon.

The 29-year-old was running his first London marathon for the Brathay Trust, a charity that inspires vulnerable young people to make positive changes in their lives, yet was a keen and talented athlete who ran under three hours at the Manchester marathon earlier this month.

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Talking Horses: Willie Mullins has quality to pip rival at Punchestown

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 09:28:00 GMT2018-04-24T09:28:00Z

Douvan can deliver again for Willie Mullins in his Irish trainers’ championship battle with Gordon Elliott

A calculator will be an essential accessory for committed racegoers at Punchestown’s Festival meeting this week as, for the second year running, Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins throw everything at the final five days of their year-long tussle for the Irish trainers’ championship.

For one of the pair, disappointment awaits on Saturday and, if it is Mullins who gets over the line to win his 11th straight title and his 12th in all, Elliott will spend the summer wondering just what he needs to do to get his name on the roll of honour for the first time.

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Barry Hearn ups stakes in attempt to solve mystery of the missing maximums | Paul MacInnes

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 16:02:00 GMT2018-04-23T16:02:00Z

A lack of financial reward for a maximum 147 break has been touted as a reason for the recent gold rush not spreading to the world championship

The 2018 snooker world championship has gone off like a rocket. Mark Selby, the champion of the past two years, has been comprehensively beaten in the first round, 10-4 by Joe Perry. Ronnie O’Sullivan had to mount a mighty comeback himself, winning seven of the final eight frames to knock out Stephen Maguire 10-7. The opening weekend has already made the matter of who will claim the title an open one but it is not the only intriguing question at the Crucible this year.

Two weeks ago the sporting impresario Barry Hearn, who among other things has a controlling interest in the commercial operations of snooker’s governing body, announced he would be raising the prize money for a 147 maximum at the Crucible this year. The bonus, which had been based on a slightly complicated rollover system with a minimum reward of £5,000, will now default to £40,000. It is a big raise to counter a striking anomaly: in recent years snooker has gone 147‑loopy everywhere bar the world championship.

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Results-based evidence points towards second Super Rugby cull | Bret Harris

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 18:00:08 GMT2018-04-23T18:00:08Z

After a woeful round for Australian teams it may be time to think the unthinkable

In an alarming round Australia’s Super Rugby teams – the Brumbies, Melbourne Rebels, NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds – all lost their games even though three of the matches were played on home grounds. It exposed the weakness of the Australian conference and also raises the unpalatable question: can Australia support four Super Rugby franchises and be competitive against New Zealand and even South African sides?

Rugby Australia would have no appetite to cut an Australian team after the agony of culling the Western Force last year and that is entirely understandable. It was a messy and painful execution, which has left scars on the Australian rugby landscape, particularly in Western Australia.

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County cricket talking points: Essex back to winning ways in title defence

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 10:41:02 GMT2018-04-24T10:41:02Z

Jamie Porter was the main man for Essex against Lancashire and he could do a job for England

By Gary Naylor for the 99.94 Cricket Blog

Essex won 10 of their 14 Division One matches last year and six of 16 in their promotion season (2016), so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see them win again after the last week’s Headingley bogout. But, at 94-7 just after lunch against fancied Lancashire, the Chelmsford faithful must have been wondering. A winning mentality can be as infectious as a losing one and, even by the end of that first day, the champions were probably favourites. There were handy contributions from Simon Harmer and James Foster, but Jamie Porter’s nine wickets got the home side back into the match and then finished off the visitors’ resistance, as the fourth-innings target loomed closer and closer. Porter fits the description of a late developer and, were he a spin bowler, he would probably be ascribed plenty of nous, though, for seamers, that usually just means “lost his nip”. One thing is for sure – Porter knows how to win cricket matches – and England could do with a bit of that kind of knowledge just now.

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Adrien Broner and Jessie Vargas fight to draw as Gervonta Davis wins back title

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 04:17:28 GMT2018-04-22T04:17:28Z

  • Broner and Vargas fight to majority draw in Brooklyn bout
  • Jermall Charlo wins interim middleweight title with knockout
  • Gervonta Davis captures WBA super featherweight title

Adrien Broner and Jessie Vargas fought to a 12-round majority draw in a welterweight fight Saturday night at the Barclays Center.

Judge Julie Lederman scored the fight 115-113 for Broner, and Eric Marlinski and Kevin Morgan had it 114-114.

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Greatest final ever? When Luton’s ‘plastic fantastics’ toppled Arsenal | Sean Ingle

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 10:00:08 GMT2018-04-23T10:00:08Z

The Hatters’ promotion from the fourth tier stirs memories of being a ballboy when they won the League Cup with an underdog comeback worthy of Rocky

Tuesday marks the 30-year anniversary of one of the great Wembley cup finals – perhaps even the greatest. It was Luton versus Arsenal in the League Cup, underdog versus coming force, and to these eyes it had everything: four goals and a penalty save in the last 19 minutes, a whirler‑twirler of a match that swung one way and then the other and ended in a shock 3-2 win. Then again I am horribly biased, given I enjoyed my only experience as a ballboy that day.

Even as a 13-year-old it felt like an out-of-body experience. How many kids are fortunate enough to get changed in a Wembley dressing room – in my case swapping a Luton Schools Under-13 side shirt and tie for an official white and green Littlewoods Cup tracksuit? Or, as a few of us did before the game, get to play keepie‑uppie with the Luton midfielder, Danny Wilson, in the Wembley tunnel?

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Cavaliers' role players step up in Game 4 win as Wizards, Bucks and Spurs prevail

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 21:43:40 GMT2018-04-22T21:43:40Z

  • Cavaliers tie first-round series with Indiana at two apiece
  • Wizards deliver series-tying win over top-seeded Toronto
  • Giannis tip-in lifts Milwaukee to Game 4 win over Boston
  • Spurs stave off elimination with victory over Golden State

LeBron James has been the first-round king for 12 years.

On Sunday night, he needed Kyle Korver’s three-point shooting to put him in position to extend his reign.

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Chris Froome salbutamol case expected to be resolved before Tour de France

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 13:35:19 GMT2018-04-22T13:35:19Z

• Race organiser Christian Prudhomme confident of UCI ruling
• Froome convinced of innocence and expects verdict to go his way

Christian Prudhomme, the Tour de France organiser, says he is confident that Chris Froome’s salbutamol case will be resolved one way or another before this year’s race starting on 7 July.

Speaking before the start of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège Classic, Prudhomme said: “I have said since December that we need a rapid solution. The statements of the president of the UCI indicate that there will certainly be an answer before the Tour de France.

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The NFL’s plan to protect America from witches | Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Fri, 06 Apr 2018 08:30:27 GMT2018-04-06T08:30:27Z

The NFL’s cheerleader problem shows exactly what’s wrong with the league’s management: They insist on being the self-appointed guardians of America’s mythological vision of itself

Witches, man. Just when you thought we were safe from their malignant influence on America’s virtue, the NFL has proven we are still in real danger from their dark powers. It is fortunate for our country’s moral fiber that the NFL has kept current in their reading, channeling Heinrich Kramer’s 1487 tome, Malleus Maleficarum (“The Hammer of Witches”), which was the go-to DIY text in many countries for conducting witch trials and public executions. As a result, an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 witches were put to death, about 80% of which were females. Why so many women? Kramer explains that it’s because a woman “is more carnal than man, as is clear in connection with many filthy carnal acts”. He believed that the sexual desire men felt when looking at a woman who was not their wife was due to the vixen casting magic spells to tempt them. As punishment, these sexual sirens must be, if not beheaded, drowned, or hanged, at least fired from their cheerleading jobs.

Bailey Davis, the 22-year-old former New Orleans Saints cheerleader, was recently fired for violating team social media rules by posting an Instagram photo of herself in one-piece lingerie that shows as much skin as a one-piece swimsuit in a Nordstrom’s ad, and a lot less than their cheerleading outfits. She has since filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for gender discrimination. When she spoke to a representative from the Saints’ human resources department, he complained that in her photo she had a “dirty face” (clear proof she was casting her spell compelling virtuous men to “filthy carnal acts”) and that he’d never allow his granddaughters to post something like that.

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