Showing posts with label International Sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label International Sports. Show all posts

April 10, 2019

If President Obama Accomplished IT Then It Must Be Bad ~Trump Will Tear It Down~ Good For The Nation? It Never Crosses His Desk

The Trump administration has canceled a deal between Major League Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation that would have allowed Cuban players to join professional teams in the U.S. and Canada.
Under the four-month-old agreement, a major league club seeking to sign certain Cuban players would have to pay a release fee – 25 percent over the player's signing bonus – to the Federation. The player would also have to pay Cuban income taxes on foreign earnings.
The deal, which was initially negotiated under President Barack Obama, met with immediate opposition from the Trump administration.

Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox, seen in 2017, was one of the Cuban players who survived a risky, secret journey to the U.S. to play baseball.
Morry Gash/AP
It was designed to end the often dangerous pattern of ambitious Cuban stars seeking to join the major leagues by defecting and arranging to smuggle themselves out of Cuba with the aid of human traffickers. Under the agreement, Cuban players may return to the island during the off-season, unlike those who defect.
A senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said in a briefing that the agreement itself was a form of "human trafficking" by the Cuban government and that the Cuban Baseball Federation is a subsidiary of the Cuban government.
"We look forward to the day that Cuban baseball players can fully contract with Major League Baseball like players from every other country in the world and not as pawns of the Cuban dictatorship," the official told reporters.
Major League Baseball defended the plan.
"We stand by the goal of the agreement, which is to end the human trafficking of baseball players from Cuba," said league vice president Michael Teevan, in a terse e-mailed statement.
The administration blocked the baseball deal just a few days after the Cuban federation released the names of 34 players eligible to sign with MLB teams. Cuban players older than 25 years old and with six years of experience were eligible for the arrangement. Younger players were required to get the Cuban Baseball Federation's blessing to play for MLB teams. "The agreement with #MLB seeks to stop the trafficking of human beings, encourage cooperation and raise the level of baseball," the Cuban Baseball Federation said in a message on Twitter as quoted by Reuters. "Any contrary idea is false news. Attacks with political motivation against the agreement achieved harm the athletes, their families and the fans."
Some Florida lawmakers had opposed the baseball agreement for being an accommodation with the Cuban government. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, in December, called the deal "both illegal and immoral."
Among the Cuban-born players who have defected and struck it rich signing with MLB clubs in recent years are Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox, Yoenis Cespedes of the New York Mets and Yasiel Puig of the Cincinnati Reds.

February 20, 2017

Professional Racing Driver Danny Watts Comes Out Gay

 Professional Racing Driver Danny Watts

The 37-year-old star has told his fans that he identifies as gay after years of struggling to come to terms with his sexuality.

The professional racing driver – who recently retired from the sport – revealed that he felt he had to keep his true self hidden while competing in the largely macho world of motor racing.

“There isn’t any one moment that stands out in my mind as the moment I realized I would need to live in the closet if I wanted my motor sport career to go anywhere; it was just a general feeling I got,” Danny explained.

“There were enough gay jokes and homophobic slurs to go around, and I felt like if I lifted my head out of the trenches, I’d be immediately annihilated.

“All the other guys in the paddock had girlfriends, so I got one to blend in. When that relationship ended, I got another one, and so I continued pretending to be straight for seventeen years.

“I knew from quite young that I preferred gay porn to straight, but kept that side of my life hidden to avoid upsetting people in my team, people in racing, and the wider public.”

Danny admitted that he became “one of the worst of the womanisers” in an attempt to conceal his sexuality, while adding that he didn’t have any gay friends in fear that “someone would notice and connect the dots”.

“Eventually, something in me flipped, and I couldn’t keep it in any more,” he said. “I came out to my wife, who told me she’d known I was gay for ages and she was happy I’d finally come out.

“We started the process of an amicable divorce while working to create the least impact possible on our son’s life.”

He added: “From there, my ability to keep it secret slowly unravelled. I came out to more and more people in my private life, which went well for the most part.

“I even got up the courage to wear a Pride bracelet and a pendant with the gay man logo to the track, and started hanging out with the fun people who noticed and commented on my jewellery in the autograph queue.”

Danny explained that coming out to his friends and family in his immediate circle has made him feel much more comfortable with who he is, but he’s very aware of the negative reaction he could receive from some motorsport fans.

“There are trolls in the motor sport community who could very well rear their heads to try silence me, but there’s a group of researchers keeping track of my Twitter mentions as I come out to help inform other queer racers wanting to come out,” he said.

“Their opinion no longer matters to me, though. I no longer need to kow-tow to sponsors; a bad reaction no longer impacts on my ability to earn.

“My ‘coming out’ interview with a racing journalist is pending publication,” he added. “I have no idea the kind of response I’ll get to that article. I hope that there are a few people who are supportive.

“If the response I’ve had from the queer motor sport community thus far is any gauge, I feel hopeful that I’ll find a supportive group to start driving change for my queer siblings in the sport I love.”

Danny Watts enjoyed a long and successful career in professional racing driving, which included winning the legendary Le Mans 24 Hour endurance race.

November 11, 2015

Russia May Be Banned from Athletics for Doping

Russia could be banned from international athletics, including the 2016 Olympic Games, after an anti-doping commission report released on Monday alleging widespread corruption supporting a state-sponsored drug culture. [Run cursor over interactive graphic to get instant updated numbers]

August 24, 2015

Worldly New past Time of Nude Jogging [US, Europe, Brazil]

It’s still swimsuit season, there’s still time to lace up those sneakers and get moving. Which is exactly what some folks are doing as they seek out classic jogging sensations: the steady bounce, the adrenaline build, the burning quads, the wind against their … genitals?
These days, a certain group of people are running around, only they’re doing it buck naked, sporting just sneakers for flair. Here in the industrial town of Porto Alegre, Brazil, the trend has been happening so often that it’s being called febre de pleads, or naked fever. Over the past several months, around the city’s streets and parks, folks have spotted — and often snapped with cellphone cameras ­— naked joggers. Some call it silly, others outrageous, but the police call it something between criminal and insane.
The Porto Alegre joggers aren’t alone. Across the globe, from Colorado and Ohio to the U.K. and New Zealand, people are heading out for naked sprints. Some recently cycled nude in cities around the world to raise awareness for different causes, while others have poured buckets of red wine over their bare bosoms to protest bloodshed in Ukraine. Of course, public nudity isn’t particularly new. But watch the global headlines and you might notice that naked running seems to be having a prolonged revival, sometimes for familiar reasons: out of political protest, to support feminism or animal rights, or simply for the sheer enjoyment of jogging cru. In Brazil and some other countries, people appear to be doing it on a lark. Which makes the whole trend seem even more “ridiculous,” to 34-year-old Porto Alegre professor Rafael Pereira, “because this is one of the coldest places in Brazil.”
In a time of X-rated selfies and sexting, nude jogging can seem almost quaint, even pure.
Not surprisingly, the naked jogging trend has sparked another trend: the banning of naked jogging, or public nudity in general. In 2012, San Francisco passed a public nudity ban, shutting down the thrills of those like nude protester George Davis, who griped to the San Francisco Chronicle that his hometown would soon lose its reputation as “the kinkiest city.” Just last week, Topeka, Kansas, followed (anti-birthday) suit, and Sacramento is considering doing the same. Go to New York, and you’ll find a city entrenched in a battle over the desnudas of Times Square, who cover their breasts only with paint and pose for pictures in exchange for tips. Recently, a controversy kicked up in Cambodia over tourists posing for photos near Angkor Wat with brilliantly white smiles and a lot of brilliantly white skin. Barcelona, the place where the party doesn’t start until dawn, went even further and banned “partial nudity” — such as wearing a bikini around town. As it turns out, at least in the realm of the European Court of Human Rights, public nudity is not a basic human right.
running naked (153804501)
 It’s been a long, uphill jog for nudity lovers over the years. Throughout history, so-called nonsexual social nudity has been linked to cultural touchstones, from naked competitors in the Olympics of ancient Greece to the development of the sport of surfing in 1800s Polynesia. Around the turn of the 20th century, the first naturist club was founded in India, and the first naturist resort founded in Germany. But 1974 may have been the high-water mark for public nudity, with a rash of streaking events across American college campuses. The fad even slipped onto the stage at the Oscars that year. Topless movements sparked across the U.S. in the ’90s, but today — to the chagrin of frequently topless comedian Chelsea Handler and others — toplessness is still not legal in about a third of the states.
And yet we might be seeing a revival of the time-honored practice of public buck-nakedness. In 2010, Felicity Jones co-founded the Young Naturists America to promote the cause to millennials via events like topless Meetups, naked hikes and that perennial favorite, skinny-dipping. Its second-annual NYC Bodypainting Day attracted 70 artists and 100 models this year, twice as many as last year, but it could have been even bigger: “We’re trying to not grow it too quickly,” says 27-year-old Jones. The American Association for Nude Recreation says the naked rec market — think nude beaches, resorts, cruises — is already worth almost half a billion dollars. Even the TV networks are taking a crack at showing crack: Seemingly endless nude reality shows have crept up on us, from Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid to VH1’s Dating Naked. Turns out that while all the participants strip down, executives line their pockets. 
Though it may sound surprising given the bronzed-butt-and-thong situation, toplessness is still illegal on the beaches of Brazil. That, of course, has led to repeated protests, which often look like small groups of bare-breasted women encircled by the erect zoom lenses of hordes of “photographers.” Repeating an argument often made elsewhere, Ana Paula Nogueira, leader of the 1,000-strong Topless in Rio movement, says it’s just not fair that men can go to restaurants and even church without shirts, but women can’t go topless on the beach. “Brazil is a bit schizophrenic,” Nogueira says: Underlying the country’s hypersexualized image, there’s a deep strain of sexual conservatism. Those topless protests? Maybe they’re a spectacle now, but she insists they’re really about gender equality, and meant to normalize public nudity in the long run. 
Indeed, when it comes to public nudity, our cyberlicious modern world turns up one constant around the globe: the share factor. For every topless protest, there are a thousand InstaPics; for every nude trot, a grainy cellphone vid. Ask folks like Nogueira and the media attention is part of the deal. But in a time of X-rated selfies and indiscriminate sexting, naked jogging on your own can seem almost quaint, even pure.
So why should you slip on your birthday suit alfresco? “When you shed your clothes, you shed your stress,” proclaims Carolyn Hawkins, spokeswoman for the AANR. In her view, meeting someone at a nudist resort takes on an equalizing dimension. “You find out who they are from inside, from the heart,” she says. Similar logic drives the latest (nude) trend in yoga. Practitioners liken their naked asanas to a philosophical stance, driven by deep moral beliefs about authenticity, transparency and the like. Such lofty claims aside, being naked among other naked people in quasi public settings can be just, well, fun. “A lot of people just enjoy it,” says Jones, of the Young Naturists. 
But the impact of seeing a bouncing jogger in the nude has been taken quite seriously in some places. In Colorado a few years ago, a priest was found guilty of “indecent exposure” for dashing nude around a high school track. And down in Porto Alegre, the reaction to bare-skinned runners has been to send at least one of them to a mental hospital for being “imbalanced.” Mixed martial artist Betina Baino was one of those who recently strolled naked there on a rainy afternoon; she told Globo TV she did so for “personal reasons,” but her former trainer said he was worried she might have a psychological problem. Neither Baino nor her ex-trainer could be reached for comment, but Antonio Barbaresco, a spokesman for the city of Porto Alegre, says no one seems to know why more nude joggers have been out and about. “It’s something spontaneous that no one understands,” he says. 
There is some hope for public-nudity advocates. Munich recently created six “Urban Naked Zones” for sunbathing in the buff, while Barcelona dropped its “partial nudity” (aka bikini) ban in April. Meanwhile, in New Zealand, an appeals court overturned a ruling against a naked runner for “offensive behavior.” “If it was offensive,” the man told the local paper, “then God wouldn’t have given us genitals.”

Shannon Sims

May 17, 2014

World Men’s Swimming Series 2014 at Havana de Cuba


The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2014 got underway last weekend in Cuba at Havana’s iconic Morro Castle.
The world’s top cliff divers, including ten men and five women, plunged 27 meters (88 feet) into the water below.
Between May and October 2014, these divers will gather to perform at the highest level and fighting for glory around the globe.
Watch a teaser clip of the competition below:

March 7, 2014

In Spain Naked Rugby Team with Buns of Steel
NSFW: Spain’s University of Girona Rugby Team Loves To Play In The Nude!

 What??You are fired!

September 18, 2013

Stonewall & Paddy Power Want Gay Players to Get Support by Having All Players to Wear Rainbow Laces


Stonewall and Paddy Power team up for 'Right Behind Gay Footballers' campaign
UK gay rights organization, Stonewall, and bookmaker, Paddy Power, are calling on footballers to show support for their gay players by lacing up their boots with rainbow colours, Pink Newsreports.
Laces have been sent out to the players in all 134 professional clubs in the UK.
The campaign, “Right Behind Gay Footballers,” is urging every player to wear the laces during the upcoming weekend’s matches on Sept 21 and 22.
“It’s time for football clubs and players to step up and make a visible stand against homophobia in our national game. That’s why we’re working with Paddy Power on this fun and simple campaign,” Stonewall’s deputy chief executive Laura Doughty says. “By wearing rainbow laces players will send a message of support to gay players and can begin to drag football in to the 21st century.” 
A Paddy Power spokesman says football needs “a kick up the arse,” adding that it’s time the sport to adopt the stance that it doesn’t matter “what team they play for.”
Queens Park Ranger player Joey Barton has already thrown his support behind the campaign, tweeting photos of himself wearing the laces and encouraging other professional players in England and Scotland to join the campaign. According to Pink News, Barton has spoken out against homophobia in the past but was summoned before an ethics committee of the French Football Association earlier in the year for transphobic remarks he made to a Paris Saint-Germain player.
Meanwhile, Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) chairman Clarke Carlisle has said that at least eight players have told him they are gay, with seven saying they are reluctant to go public because of the potential negative reaction of fans and media. 
"We have anecdotal evidence that players are out within their clubs and don't have a problem . . . we are trying to create an atmosphere for people to come out safely, but at the moment there is a big barrier," Gay Football Supporters Network chairman Chris Basiurski has said. "The fact is, we have never really tested the fans, both home or away, on this."
Basiurski praised the Stonewall-Paddy Power campaign. “Footballers are admired for their bravery on the pitch and we encourage them to show equal bravery off the pitch by standing up for their gay teammates. We’re delighted to see a high-profile, anti-homophobia-in-football campaign with backing from a major company."
But just recently, Oliver Kahn, a former goalkeeper for the German national team advised gay players to stay in the closet, even as he concludes that homosexuality is not a “big deal” in society anymore.
“It may sound sad, but I wouldn’t advise [a gay player] to come out,” Kahn says, arguing that abuse from fans of opposing teams is a potential problem for gay players.

August 5, 2013

Canada’s Athletes Protest Russian Anti Gay Laws

Vancouver Pride Parade

VANCOUVER, Canada -- With the 2014 Sochi Games only seven months away, Russia's anti-gay laws continue to be a point of concern in the Olympic world.
This weekend, Canadian athletes Mike Janyk and Mercedes Nicoll took part in gay pride festivities that saw thousands jamming the streets of Vancouver on a sunny, bright Sunday.
"Rocking out olympians supporting in the Vancouver pride parade," Janyk tweeted during the day. "Lots of fun with @mercedes nicoll."
The pair drew support from the president of the Canadian Olympic Committee.
"Today, as our Canadian Olympic athletes march in Vancouver Pride 2013, we are reminded that sport is a human right and that everyone - regardless of race, religion, creed or sexual orientation - has the right to participate free of discrimination," Marcel Aubut said in a statement released to various media outlets.
Russia has banned the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations around minors." That makes it illegal to speak about gay rights and relationships where young people might overhear.
Amid worldwide protests, the International Olympic Committee has said the laws will not be enforced among athletes at the Games.
 By David Wharton

July 16, 2013

Adidas Dumps Tyson Gay on Doping

Tyson Gay – AP
Tyson Gay – AP
(Melton Williams, Gleaner Writer)

Sportswear manufacturer Adidas has suspended its sponsorship of sprinter Tyson Gay after the American failed a drugs test.

An out-of-competition test completed by Gay in May tested positive, according to the US Anti-Doping Agency.

A spokesman for Adidas says the company is shocked by the recent allegations.

Thirty-year-old Gay is the joint-second fastest man ever over 100 metres.

He is also the fastest man in the world this year and won gold in the 100, 200 and 4x100 metres at the 2007 World Championships.

The sprinter is awaiting the results of his B sample.

Gay says he does not have a sabotage story as he basically put his trust in someone and was let down.

Gay says he is hoping to run again, but will take whatever punishment he gets like a man.

 Transcript of PBS News Hour on Gay Being Kicked Out on Doping:

GWEN IFILL: Now: new revelations on doping in sports and the fallout for one of America's best track and field runners.
The 30-year-old American sprinter Tyson Gay was off to a great start this season after being plagued by injuries in recent years. But on Friday, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, USADA, notified Gay that he had tested positive for an unnamed banned substance in May.
 Gay broke the news himself. 
In an Associated Press telephone interview, he said:
"I don't have any sabotage story. I don't have any lies. I basically put my trust in someone and I was let down."
It was quite an admission from the former world champion who previously subjected him to enhanced drug testing as part of USADA's My Victory program.
Why Lance Armstrong May Be Coming Clean About PEDs

Gay talked about competing clean during a My Victory promotional video in 2008.
TYSON GAY, sprinter: I really believe in fairness, and, besides that, my mom would kill me.
GWEN IFILL: Gay's is the biggest U.S. track name linked to doping since Marion Jones tearfully admitted in 2007 to using performance-enhancing drugs.
MARION JONES, athlete: And so it is with a great amount of shame that I stand before you and tell you that I have betrayed your trust.
GWEN IFILL: It was also reported this weekend that five Jamaican athletes had failed drug tests, including Asafa Powell, a former world record holder in the 100-meter dash, and Sherone Simpson, an Olympic relay gold medalist.
Last month, another Jamaican gold medalist, Veronica Campbell Brown, tested positive as well. All three have denied cheating.
As for Tyson Gay, he has withdrawn from next month's world championships in Moscow and today he lost his Adidas endorsement deal.
For more about Tyson Gay and the issues this raises, we are joined by Christine Brennan, a sports journalist and columnist for USA Today and ABC.
Welcome back.
GWEN IFILL: So, how big a blow is this to track and field?
CHRISTINE BRENNAN: Oh, I think it's huge.
Tyson Gay was known as Mr. Clean. This is a man who went on the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Web site, Gwen, and said, I am clean. If I'm not, my mother will kill me.
Well, mom is not happy today, obviously. He went and professed that he is one of the athletes to trust and believe in. He is 30 years old. His whole career has been about this.
And now he has tested positive. It is a devastating blow for the sport, a sport that's already been reeling over the years from Ben Johnson in '88, Marion Jones 10 years ago, and now this. And you really wonder if it is kind of taking and pushing the sport into oblivion.
GWEN IFILL: How about the U.S. track and field in particular? I want to separate that out from what we also heard is happening with Jamaican runners.
Well, USA track and field has really never been the same after some of the scandals, even though Ben Johnson was Canadian. But you can remember the days -- sports fans certainly can -- when track and field athletes would be on the cover of "Sports Illustrated" three, four, five times a year many.
The names Marty Liquori and Jim Ryun, milers. The Penn Relays were a big deal. This is lore and legend of another generation. But it was a big-time sport. And it has fallen so far. And I think it's really, other than cycling, a sport that has been hit the hardest in the United States and around the world, but U.S., because of the steroid scandals.
If you can't -- if you're looking at a footrace and if you can't trust eight men or eight women running in a footrace, what can you trust? And then why should you watch?
GWEN IFILL: Well, you mentioned cycling. How does this compare to what we saw unfold slowly, painfully over years with Lance Armstrong?
CHRISTINE BRENNAN: Great question, obviously different issues, because here you have got the one huge name, Lance Armstrong, who lied for years, who also transcended his sport because of his work in the cancer community.
CHRISTINE BRENNAN: So, he was an icon, a cultural icon, not just a sports icon. Tyson Gay that is not that, is not Lance Armstrong.
But I think there's a similarity there. People looking at cycling and saying, why am I watching this? How can I trust this? When you have got all those years of -- and when Lance is kicked out and no one can take the top spot because they all cheated too. And you almost wonder if track and field is there.
GWEN IFILL: What is the punishment for Tyson Gay?
CHRISTINE BRENNAN: If he is found to be guilty, a two-year ban, and then it would be lifetime after that, so first offense, two years and second -- now, there can be mitigating circumstances. And we don't yet know if there was a supplement that was tainted.
But the bottom line is he's responsible for what's in his body.
GWEN IFILL: And has said as much. He has said he is not going to lie about this.
CHRISTINE BRENNAN: And that is admirable.
In the midst of this terrible turn of events for him and for his sport, he has been honest and said -- at least we believe he's honest -- saying, hey, I'm not going to point fingers. I'm not going to say I was sabotaged. I did this myself. I trusted someone.
Bottom line on Tyson Gay or any athlete, Gwen, is they have to know what they put in their body. It is inexcusable to take a substance and not know the contents. You can call the 24/7 800-number from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and ask about any chemical at any point.
GWEN IFILL: You cover a lot of this, Chris, and you must know after all the years of watching these, people rise and the disappointments, that a lot of sports fans look at this and think, who do I trust? What do I trust anymore? What is the answer to that question?
CHRISTINE BRENNAN: It is a great question, because the testing in the Olympic world is the toughest going.
So while we talk about baseball and the problems there, and looming scandal and looming suspensions with the Biogenesis saga there, we talk about other sports that don't even have as stringent testing as the Olympics or baseball, you say at least Olympics have tough testing, and then you see this.
And the reality is Marion Jones never failed a drug test and she is sadly one of the worst cheaters of all times, and Lance Armstrong never failed a drug test. It's hard to look people in the eye and say, what can you trust anymore?
I would like to say swimming. I would like to say you could trust Missy Franklin, you could trust Michael Phelps. But we all know, as we live here, we were not born yesterday, that you start to wonder. I'm not saying Michael Phelps or Missy Franklin, but you start to wonder about anything just because of the nature and the level.
Bad chemists, Gwen, are way ahead of the good chemists in this case.
GWEN IFILL: Business as usual now for elite athletes to dope?
CHRISTINE BRENNAN: It seems like, as I said, bad chemists way ahead of the good chemists, the sense that there's designer drugs that we haven't of, that the authorities haven't even begun to test for because they don't know they exist that these athletes might be taking.
It's a very sad -- this is a devastating blow when Mr. Clean, the guy who stood up there and said I am clean, now has tested positive, and the Jamaicans as well.
I would like to say there are some positive aspects or hope, but tougher drug testing has to be the answer and athletes who finally decide they can't cheat anymore.
GWEN IFILL: So disappointing.
GWEN IFILL: Christine Brennan, USA Today and ABC, thank you so much.
CHRISTINE BRENNAN: Gwen, thank you

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