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LeBron James’ previously untouchable standing among basketball fans in Hong Kong has taken a battering after comments the NBA star made about free speech.
James found himself front and centre in fallout between the NBA and China in the wake of his observations about a league executive who started the dispute with what the Los Angeles Lakers superstar derided as a “misinformed” tweet.
Politicians, human rights groups and fans on social media have blasted James, who is rarely short of an opinion. Many called into question the true motivation of his comments.
James spoke out Monday, his seven-minute session with reporters putting him squarely in the centre of the ongoing international schism.
Houston general manager Daryl Morey was “not really educated on the situation,” James asserted, when he sent out that since-deleted October 4 tweet showing support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests.
On Tuesday, James acknowledged the criticism and said he expected that it would be coming.
“Obviously, it’s a tough situation that we’re all in right now, … I think when an issue comes up, if you feel passionate about it or you feel like it’s something you want to talk about, then so be it,” James said.
“I also don’t think that every issue should be everybody’s problem as well.”
Monday’s comments unleashed a backlash against James, who has often spoken out on social and political matters, with some expressing dismay that this time he seemed to be more concerned about protecting his own brand and financial interests in China, where he enjoys enormous popularity.
“I’ve always been welcomed with open arms,” James said.
“I’ve been to China probably 15 to 20 times … to have this beautiful game that we all love to be able to bring people together in the most positive way.”
That is not the case right now.
Protesters in Hong Kong on Tuesday trampled on James’s jerseys, burning one, and threw basketballs at a photo of the four-time NBA MVP – a global sports icon whose image has taken a clear hit.
Among James’ comments Monday night, his first publicly shared thoughts on the matter: “So many people could have been harmed, not only financially but emotionally, physically and spiritually” by Morey’s tweet.
That fanned the fallout fire, including from US lawmakers who said they believed the NBA’s primary goal had been to protect the league’s massive financial interest when it comes to its relationship with China instead of more vigorously defending Morey’s right to free speech.
The drug administered to Essendon players that led to their suspension in 2016 was only listed as a banned substance several months after the injections were stopped.
A total of 34 Bombers players were banned for 12 months after a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled the players were injected several times with the banned substance Thymosin Beta-4.
But the drug was only deemed to be logged as prohibitive on February 4, 2013 – months after the club had stopped injecting the players.
The Herald Sun obtained the information under Freedom of Information laws.
“An ASADA official ran a check on the public site for “research” at 10.34am and no flag was generated for Thymosin Beta-4,” the newspaper report said.
“Another check on Thymosin Beta-4 just over two hours later at 12.59pm by an ASADA staffer listed it as ‘banned in sport’.
“The status update came on the same day AFL boss Andrew Demetriou called Essendon chairman David Evans about a secret investigation into the club’s supplements program, prompting the Bombers to ‘self-report’ to ASADA.”
Scientist Bob O’Dea said: “The evidence of a stitch-up is compelling”.
The players’ defence team did not know the timing of the logging of the ban when they were found guilty in January 2016, the publication added.
Questions have also been raised about the update’s timing, with suggestions it was an attempt by some staff to shore up evidence after the fact.
Adam Taggart, Jackson Irvine and Harry Souttar each scored twice as the Socceroos dominated Chinese Taipei 7-1 in their 2022 World Cup qualifier at Kaohsiung on Tuesday night (AEDT).
But it wasn’t all one-way traffic for the Australians, which featured six changes from the side that started in the 5-0 win over Nepal in Canberra last Thursday.
The in-form Taggart, who plays for Suwon Samsung Bluewings in South Korea’s K-League, scored his first international goal in six years with a 12th-minute diving header from a pinpoint Rhyan Grant cross.
He swiftly made it two in a matter of minutes by tucking away Brad Smith’s cutback from close range following a lovely move down the left hand side in the 19th minute.
The moment Adam Taggart scored his first @Socceroos goals in 6️⃣ years!
— Caltex Socceroos (@Socceroos) October 15, 2019
Undeterred, Chinese Taipei highlighted its quality with a fine goal two minutes later when Chen Yi-Wei ghosted between central defenders Milos Degenek and Harry Souttar to send a bullet header past goalkeeper Mat Ryan.
The Brighton and Hove Albion keeper was captaining his nation – in the absence of the rested Mark Milligan – for the first time in his 58th appearance.
But Hull City midfielder Irvine calmed the nerves by restoring Australia’s two-goal buffer in the space of two first-half minutes.
Irvine first beat goalkeeper Pan Wen-chieh after Aaron Mooy found Grant with a fantastic searching pass, and he secured his first international double two minutes later by powering into the box to meet Awer Mabil’s cross.
"Goodness me, you just can't stop big Harry Souttar!"
The big defender grabs a brace against Chinese Taipei.
— Caltex Socceroos (@Socceroos) October 15, 2019
Mustafa Amini replaced Mooy and Ajdin Hrustic came on for Brandon Borrello in the second half as Chinese Taipei held firm, but the hosts’ resistance was broken when Souttar headed home Hrustic’s free kick with 15 minutes remaining.
Jamie Maclaren – who scored a hat-trick against Nepal – netted within five minutes of replacing Taggart, applying a confident finish on the angle after Hrustic had set up the Melbourne City striker.
And Hrustic, who is making his mark at FC Groningen in the Dutch Eredivisie, claimed a hat-trick of assists when Souttar powered in another header – his third of the week – to seal the comprehensive win.
Taggart said the scoreline was a deserved reward for the team’s hard work on a warm night.
“It was a good performance all round. We dominated the game. Chinese Taipei set up very defensively and it was tough to break down,” Taggart told Fox Sports.
The win to maintain Australia’s perfect qualification record for Qatar 2022 would have pleased coach Graham Arnold.
It left Australia five points clear of Kuwait and Jordan at the top of the Group B qualifying group after three matches.
Th Socceroos also enjoy a substantial advantage in goal difference before it next plays Jordan at Amman on November 14.
The post Socceroos recover from early shock to down Chinese Taipei 7-1 in World Cup qualifier appeared first on The New Daily.
Quick question: Which squad in the Rugby World Cup has the most foreign-born players. Answer at the end of the article – and don’t skip ahead.
It wouldn’t be a Rugby World Cup without the odd sportswriter sledging teams. The Sunday Times rugby correspondent, Stephen Jones, has managed to sledge both the Wallabies and England’s coach ahead of their quarter final this Saturday.
Well, the English coach is Australian. And Jones is Welsh. And he also is very wrong – not that The Sunday Times readership would care.
In a column mainly spent casting doubt on Eddie Jones’ preparation of England and thinking that the England v France match being abandoned could see Australia win (good work, Stephen, keep sowing seeds of doubt), Stephen Jones still manages to sideswipe Australia, entering the murky waters of where players come from, while delivering some bouquets and brickbats.
“This Australian team is profoundly different to any who suffered in that run of defeats,” S. Jones opines, referring to the past six meetings between Australia and England – all won by England.
“For a start they are about as Australian as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. They are a Pacific Island conglomerate and have done Wales an enormous favour.
“Had all Australian’s Fijian contingent in the squad and around it been available for Fiji in that glorious match in Oita last week, Wales may have been packing their bags this weekend instead of cruising on to the quarters.
“The feeble Australian pack of recent years has been shored up by the massive Tolu Latu at hooker and Allan Alaalatoa upfront.
“Scott Sio, so quiet in 2015 in England, (when the Wallabies and Wales saw that England didn’t make the quarters) has been in sensational form, arguably the best loose-head in the tournament. Isi Naisarani, yet another Fijian, (um, he’s the first one you’ve mentioned, Stephen) has added a ball-carrier to their attack.
“Of course they have weaknesses. At five-eighth, Bernard Foley is way off his old form (doubt he’ll be playing, Steve); Matt To’omua came on and made a flashy start against Wales but did not back up that form. And Christian Lealiifano is frail in build, if soaring in morale.
“But do not forget that for 20 minutes in the second half against Wales they looked all over the winners. (Actually, they were the better side for more like 50 minutes of the match.) They had heavy men pounding at close quarters, with Samu Kerevi at the apex.”
We’ll skip the other stuff and look at the central sledge – “the Wallabies aren’t really Australian.” S. Jones doesn’t understand modern Australia.
The question of place-of-origin has been stirred up before during the RWC and the rules are being changed to require five rather than three years residency to qualify.
Simplistic readings of “foreigner-sounding” names and places of birth don’t tell the real story. There were plenty of those in the 2015 RWC side anyway.
The Wallabies 2019 RWC squad of 31 has 12 players who were not born in Australia – but 10 of those 12 were raised in Australia.
We are happily and fortunately a nation of migrants. Nearly 29 per cent of us were born overseas. Nearly half of us have at least one parent born overseas.
The Americasrugbynew.com site has done the best job I’ve seen of cutting through the cheap and misleading shots to tell the real story about player origins, listing place of birth, but also where the player was raised and how they qualified for their country.
Tell Will Genia he’s not Australian because he was born in Papua New Guinea. Ditto that foreign-born David Pocock. New Zealand-born Christian Lealiifano made his three-year residency requirement in 1997 – I reckon a quarter of a century probably qualifies as pretty Aussie.
The only two relatively recent arrivals are Isi Naisarani who qualified this year and Taniela Tupou who qualified in 2017. So, depending on what month of 2017 that was, only one of the present squad would be troubled by the five-year rule if it were in force now.
The Wallabies aren’t a “Pacific Islands conglomerate”, Mr Jones, they are the result of the international conglomeration that makes Australians Australians – the joyous multinational mix we should be very proud of. From the player with the oldest links to this country, Kurtley Beale, to the most recent arrival, it’s an Australian team, mate.
Besides, rugby union luxuriates in being a great international game. Turn up just about anywhere on earth and you can find a rugby club and a game and kindred spirits and friendship. It’s a globalisation joy.
And it really is the game they play in Heaven, where everyone is simply listed as coming from Earth.
P.S. “The Hanging Gardens of Babylon” was a particularly strange simile for what Mr Jones was trying to say. I suspect he might have meant something like the Tower of Babel – wrong again.
P.P.S. There’s some serious folding money to be won betting innocent souls on the details in the Americasrugbynews.com piece.
For example: Which RWC squad has the most foreign-born players?
Which has the second-most?
Japan has 16, Scotland 15, USA 13, then us.
The English squad, not counting the coach, has six including Mako and Billy Vunipola, Manu Tuilagi and Joe Cokanasiga. Does that that make them a Pacific Conglomerate?
And while Australia has 12 foreign-born players in the Wallabies squad, guess how many Australian-born players are representing other nations at the RWC?
We are running an international player trade surplus – 13.
The post English media’s ill-informed swipe at Wallabies’ ring-ins appeared first on The New Daily.
NBA superstar LeBron James believes Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey “was either misinformed or not really educated on the situation” regarding the potential consequences of his actions when he tweeted in support of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests.
James made the comment in his first public appearance since the Los Angeles Lakers returned home from a strange week-long tour of China immediately after Morey’s incendiary tweet.
James’s lengthy answer to a question about whether the Houston executive should be punished for his tweet didn’t appear to specifically address the merits of Morey’s support of Hong Kong sovereignty.
The three-time NBA champion instead characterised the international incident caused by Morey’s post as a cautionary tale about the power of social media.
“Yes, we do have freedom of speech,” James said.
“But at times, there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others, when you only think about yourself.
“I don’t want to get into a word or sentence feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke.
“So many people could have been harmed, not only financially but physically, emotionally, spiritually.
“So just be careful what we tweet and what we say and what we do.
“Even though yes, we do have freedom of speech, it can be a lot of negative that comes with it.”
When asked to clarify his thoughts, James went further.
“I believe (Morey) was either misinformed or not really educated on the situation, and if he was, then so be it,” James said.
“But I have no idea. That’s just my belief…”
A Rockets spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to request for comment Monday night on James’s remarks.
James’s comments set off swift reaction on social media, with many perceiving his comments as criticism of the democracy movement in Hong Kong.
— Tam M (@ttam_mm) October 15, 2019
James addressed the issue again in two tweets before the Lakers’ pre-season game against Golden State at Staples Center, in which he
“Let me clear up the confusion,” James tweeted.
“I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet. I’m not discussing the substance. Others can talk about that…
Let me clear up the confusion. I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet. I’m not discussing the substance. Others can talk About that.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 15, 2019
“My team and this league just went through a difficult week. I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others.
“And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen. Could have waited a week to send it.”
GWS senior assistant coach Matthew Nicks has been announced as Adelaide Football Club’s new senior coach.
The former Sydney Swans player will replace Don Pyke, who stepped down from the role on September 12.
Nicks, 44, was an assistant coach at Port Adelaide Football Club from 2011 until 2018.
He played 175 games for the Swans after being recruited from West Adelaide Football Club.
Nicks’ selection was endorsed by the club’s board last night following a recommendation put forward by the coach recruitment panel.
The announcement was made on social media this morning, with the Crows sharing a video montage of the team’s coaches since joining the AFL in 1991.
In a statement released by the club, Nicks said he had long held aspirations of being a senior coach and to do so in his home state of South Australia was an added bonus.
“I am honoured to be given the opportunity to coach at Adelaide and even more excited about what we can achieve together as players, coaches and staff,” he said.
“Timing is everything and I feel very well prepared, having progressed from being a development coach to a senior assistant at two different clubs in vastly different markets.
“We will be a team that not only embraces the contest but seeks it out.
“A team-first mentality also sits at the core of all successful clubs and from this day forward it will always be a clear focus and priority.”
— Adelaide Crows (@Adelaide_FC) October 15, 2019
Don Pyke departed the club on September 12 with two years remaining on his contract, and said he felt he was not part of the solution to fix the Crows’ woes.
Appointed in 2016 in the aftermath of the tragic death of Phil Walsh, Pyke was charged with leading the club after winning 13 games and making a semi-final in 2015.
While the 2017 grand final appearance was the high point in Pyke’s tenure, the Crows failed to deal with the pressure placed on them, and were thumped by 48 points in the decider.
The Crows languished in 2018 to slip out of the finals and collapsed after the round 14 bye this year, losing seven of their last nine games to finish 11th.
The AFL confirmed yesterday that Crows star Eddie Betts would return to his former club, Carlton.
Crows chairman Rob Chapman said Nicks had a good understanding of the South Australian football landscape.
“Our club is embarking upon an exciting new era and Matthew is the perfect person to guide and develop our talented playing list as it goes through a period of rejuvenation,” he said.
Crows chief executive Andrew Fagan said Nicks had impressed during each stage of the recruitment process.
“Matthew is incredibly well-rounded and matched up extremely well against the attributes that we were targeting,” Fagan said.
“He is recognised for his ability to build strong and sustainable personal relationships, as well as being an excellent communicator and has significant finals experience as a player and coach.
“Importantly, he also possesses a sharp tactical nous and is clearly ready to coach his own team at the elite level.”
The Crows still need to appoint a new head of football and assistant coach after Brett Burton and Scott Camporeale were sacked last week.
The post Adelaide Crows announce Matthew Nicks as new coach appeared first on The New Daily.
New Zealand sharpshooter Maria Folau won’t play in the looming Super Netball season after rejecting offers to return to the Adelaide Thunderbirds.
Folau, the wife of axed Wallabies star Israel Folau, won the Thunderbirds’ best-and-fairest award for 2019 but won’t return to the Adelaide club or any Super Netball rival.
The 32-year-old Folau’s season in Adelaide was marred by the furore surrounding her husband’s religious social media posts.
Israel Folau’s contract with Rugby Australia was terminated after his posts. He is now embroiled in an unfair dismissal case against rugby’s governing body.
Maria Folau was drawn into the controversy in June when, on her social media accounts, she shared Israel’s crowd-funding campaign for his legal fight. The campaign was later shutdown.
Australian netball hierarchy investigated Maria’s actions but ruled she didn’t breach any of the competition’s rules.
Adelaide was keen to re-sign Folau but the Kiwi veteran rejected overtures to return.
She is, however, still playing top-level netball – at least for the immediate future.
Folau played a leading role in the Silver Ferns’ narrow win over the Australian Diamonds in the Constellation Cup opener on Sunday. She is also likely to be named in the New Zealand team for Wednesday’s second Constellation Cup match in Auckland.
Kiwi coach Noeline Taurua was quizzed about Folau’s future at a Silver Ferns media session on Tuesday.
“To be honest I’m not too sure,” she told TVNZ. “I’ve just sort of got her in this mix here and just taking it series by series and not putting the pressure on.”
Folau’s contribution to netball had been amazing, Taurua said.
Meanwhile, the Thunderbirds have signed South Africa’s first-choice goalshooter Lenize Potgieter as a replacement for the Kiwi star.
“[Potgieter] is an athlete who has excelled on the international stage and will be looking to stamp her mark on the competition,” Thunderbirds coach Tania Obst said on Tuesday.
The contracting period for all Super Netball clubs ended on Monday.
The International Cricket Council has announced plans to change the rules of the super over which saw England win the World Cup on boundaries count are to be changed.
Eoin Morgan’s men secured a first World Cup triumph by the narrowest of all margins at Lord’s in July, when both sides had been tied at 241 runs following the regulation 50 overs.
England then went on to make 15 in their six-ball shoot-out, which was matched by New Zealand, meaning the hosts were crowned world champions after having scored more boundaries, fours and sixes, during the match.
The detail of the tie-break regulations – which had only occurred 11 times in international history and never before in a one-day international – drew some criticism.
Since events of the summer, the Big Bash tournament has amended the rules for their next competition.
On Monday, the world governing body also confirmed changes, which will now see any super over in a final repeated until one side has more runs.
“Following on from a recommendation from the ICC Cricket Committee, the Chief Executives’ Committee agreed that use of the super over as a way to decide results at ICC events will be retained,” an ICC statement read following a board meeting in Dubai.
“Both the Cricket Committee and CEC agreed it was an exciting and engaging conclusion to the game and will remain in place covering all games at both ODI and T20 World Cups.
“In group stages, if the Super Over is tied the match will be tied.
“In semi-finals and finals, there is one change to the super over regulation in keeping with the basic principle of scoring more runs than the opponent to win, the super over will be repeated until one team has more runs than the other.”