NHL talks set to restart
NHL labor talks were to resume yesterday, with both sides still focusing on secondary matters and not the core economic issues that continue to divide owners and players in a league-imposed lockout entering its third week. The NHL confirmed on Monday that talks were set to resume in New York. Negotiators for the league and NHL Players’ Association were expected to pick up where they left off on Sunday, when they completed three straight days of discussions. The talks focused on secondary issues, such as what should define hockey-related revenue, player health and safety. Though both sides have made progress during the latest series of discussions, they have failed to make much of a dent in determining how to split up more than US$3 billion in league revenues.
Tyson gets ‘line call’ visa
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said a decision by immigration officials to award former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson a visa to enter New Zealand was a “line call,” given his criminal convictions. Tyson, who is due to visit New Zealand on a speaking tour this month, was sentenced in 1992 to six years in prison after being convicted of rape. A serious criminal conviction would usually lead to the refusal of a visa, but Key said immigration officials were able to exercise discretion in individual cases. Key said Tyson’s visa application was approved on a “line call” because his conviction was 20 years ago and he would be in New Zealand “for about 20 hours.” He added: “It’s a marginal call and there are always issues that have to be reflected.”
Homophobic slur probed
Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said someone posted a homophobic slur on pitcher Derek Holland’s Twitter account on Sunday that was directed at a heckler. Major League Baseball is investigating the post, which was quickly taken down. Holland said on Monday in Oakland he was pitching at the time and he did not do it. He said that only his fiancee, Lauren, had access to his account and she told him she was not involved. He also checked with family members, who said they knew nothing about it. Daniels calls it a “serious issue, it’s an unacceptable term to use.”
Women’s boxing to debut
Following a hugely popular debut at the London Olympics in August, women’s boxing has been included in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, organizers said. It will be the first time women’s boxing has been included in the Games, held every four years for more than 70 countries, mostly of the former British Empire. Prior to London, women’s boxing had been criticized by many in the sport. However, the all-out attacking displays at the Games drew huge acclaim and won over many critics.
Celtics head back to Europe
The Boston Celtics are heading back to Europe, and they are hoping for the same results as the last time. The Celtics went to Rome and London in 2007 so the New Big Three could bond and get used to each other — and ended up winning the NBA title that season. Now they are going to Milan and Istanbul for a pair of exhibition games. Coach Doc Rivers says that any time spent on the road helps teammates bond. The Celtics brought in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in the summer of 2007, so Rivers thought it would be helpful for them to have some time together.