Panthers fire coach Rivera
The Carolina Panthers on Tuesday fired head coach Ron Rivera in the wake of the team’s defeat to the Washington Redskins last weekend. Rivera, who guided the Panthers to a Super Bowl appearance, leaves Carolina after nine seasons in charge. “I believe this is the best decision for the long-term success of our team,” Panthers owner David Tepper said in a statement. “I have a great deal of respect for Ron and the contributions he has made to this franchise and to this community. I wish him the best. I will immediately begin the search for the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers.” The 57-year-old’s position came under fierce scrutiny after the Panthers crashed to a 29-21 home defeat against 3-9 Washington on Sunday. The loss was the Panthers’ fourth straight defeat, leaving them at 5-7 for the season and on course to miss out on the playoffs. Rivera, who was appointed in 2011, led the Panthers to a National Football Conference Championship and three NFC South titles during his tenure and was named NFL Coach of the Year in the 2015 season. The Panthers would undertake a “comprehensive and thorough” review of the team’s operation following Rivera’s dismissal, Tepper said.
Woods declines Saudi event
Former world No. 1 Tiger Woods on Tuesday said that he had turned down offers to play in the Saudi International tournament, but defended the right of players to participate in the event. Speaking on the eve of the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, Woods said that he had rejected approaches to play in Saudi Arabia, despite appearance fees reportedly in the region of US$3 million. “I just don’t want to go over there,” Woods told ESPN. “It’s a long way.” Golfers participating in the Saudi International faced criticism at the inaugural event, which took place just months after the killing of US-based Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October last year. ESPN reported that Woods had first turned down an approach from organizers to play in this year’s event prior to Khashoggi’s murder and rejected a second offer to play in next year’s tournament, which is to take place from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2. Woods’ comments came after Phil Mickelson became the latest golfer to confirm he would play the event.
RA, Folau settle lawsuit
Former Wallabies fullback Israel Folau yesterday settled his unfair dismissal case with Rugby Australia (RA) and the New South Wales Waratahs, bringing an end to a prolonged and bitter dispute triggered by an explosive social media post. Folau, a fundamentalist Christian, launched legal action after his four-year contract was torn up in May for posting a meme on social media that said hell awaits “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers” and other groups. RA and Folau announced the settlement in a joint statement yesterday after being locked in mediation for about 14 hours. Days before entering mediation at the Australian Federal Circuit Court on Monday, Folau had hiked his compensation claim for lost income and sponsorship from A$10 million to A$14 million (US$6.8 million to US$9.5 million), and reiterated his demand to have his contract reinstated. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on