Gay couple ‘saved’ by Ben Stokes, now want him knighted

first_imgTHE couple Ben Stokes ‘saved’ in a street fight in 2018 are calling for the cricketer to be knighted following his incredible Ashes innings.Millions of people across the country were glued to televisions and radios, eagerly following an innings that started as improbable, before becoming the inexplicable.Two of those watching were Kai Barry and William O’Connor. The couple claim Stokes defended them during a late-night brawl in Bristol last year and now they want the all-rounder to be made a knight of the realm after his recent heroics.Stokes ended up in court for his part in the incident but was eventually cleared of all charges. Barry and O’Connor stated throughout that they had been the victim of homophobic abuse and that Stokes had stepped in to defend them.Barry told The Sun: “There’s no question he should get a knighthood. He saved us, now he’s saved the Ashes. Ben risked his career for us. He’s my hero. He’s showed immense strength of character.”Even Prime Minister Boris Johnson weighed in. He said: “It was one of the most extraordinary innings I’ve ever seen. I think I’ve already promised that Ben Stokes should get a Dukedom so I can’t go any higher than that.“Clearly it’s not a matter for me but for some honours committee. I’m sure they’ll take the appropriate decision.”It comes after Stokes rescued England from almost certain defeat with an unbeaten 135 on Sunday.Australia were well on their way to winning the Test match, taking a 2-0 lead in the series and retaining the Ashes. After a promising innings in the field, England had been skittled out for just 67, Joe Denly top-scoring with 12.It was the lowest score England has posted in the Ashes in over 70 years. By the time Australia had completed their second innings, England were set the improbable target of 359.When Stokes came to the crease on Saturday evening it was all about survival. He scored just two runs from 50 deliveries; exactly what was needed at the time.Sunday began in a similar vein. He dug in and scored three runs of 73, only increasing it slightly afterwards to 51 off 152 balls. As his teammates played various cameos alongside him, he took centre stage, going on to produce arguably the greatest innings of all-time, certainly for an Englishman.His 135 not out means that the Test series remains alive and England still have a chance to win the Ashes this summer.After the win Stokes told the BBC: “Your family go through everything with you, good and bad, so it is great to be able to celebrate with them at times like this,”“I didn’t actually see Clare until late in the evening and I still had my training gear on and my England cap. (Yahoo Sport Uk)last_img read more

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COLUMN: Obama’s departure is sad day for sports

first_imgYesterday was former President Barack Obama’s final day in office and — regardless of where you fall in the political spectrum — a sad day for sports fans across the country. Of the few presidencies I’ve lived through, no commander in chief has been as involved and as knowledgeable about the world of sports as Obama. Devout sports fans such as myself can tell almost immediately whether people in power — politicians, CEOs and celebrities — actually care about sports or are just trying to flub their way through a speech they didn’t write to cozy up to famous athletes (like San Francisco mayor Ed Lee calling Stephen Curry “Steve Curry” in 2013 when presenting the Golden State Warriors star a key to the city. That was cringe worthy).Through his eight years in office, I’ve watched Obama welcome championship teams and sports icons to the White House with casual jokes, references and remarks that make him feel more like a friend talking sports with you in a bar than the President of the United States making a speech. From making fun of Deflategate to calling Michael Jordan “more than just an internet meme,” Obama certainly has the sports jokes down. I’ve watched him fill out his bracket before the NCAA Tournament each year, explaining his picks and breaking down teams on ESPN, making more sense than some analysts the network somehow still employs (looking at you, Stephen A. Smith). In an interview with Grantland in 2012, Obama said he watches SportsCenter during his morning workouts, sneaks a peek at a ball game from time to time while reading briefings and even pays for NBA League Pass himself. GQ published an oral history this week describing Obama’s love of pickup basketball. He routinely played during both of his campaigns, including the day of both elections. It’s easy to say that all of this is pointless. Sports is unimportant in comparison to running a country. But can’t we all say that about our lives? Just because your team won a big game doesn’t mean you’ll get a promotion at work the next day. In this sense, Obama connected with us common folk who watch sports and use it as an escape from the stress of everyday life.There’s also something bigger about sports that Obama touched on beautifully on Monday, when he welcomed the World Series champions Chicago Cubs to the East Room for his final White House ceremony.“It is worth remembering — because sometimes people wonder, ‘Well, why are you spending time on sports? There’s other stuff going on’ — throughout our history, sports has had this power to bring us together, even when the country is divided,” he said. “Sports has changed attitudes and culture in ways that seem subtle but that ultimately made us think differently about ourselves and who we were. It is a game, and it is celebration, but there’s a direct line between Jackie Robinson and me standing here.”Robinson, of course, broke the color code in professional baseball, paving the way for the diverse world of sports we have now. In fact, black athletes make up the majority of players in both the NBA and NFL today, while minorities compose roughly 40 percent of MLB players. Sports are proof that no matter the political climate in the outside world, everyone on the playing field is one and the same, separated by their talents and abilities rather than race. It’s more than just the players: Anyone can be a sports fan. Go to a sporting event and you’ll see people across all walks of life cheering in unison for their team. “When you see this group of folks of different shades and different backgrounds coming from different communities and neighborhoods all across the country and then playing as one team and playing the right way and celebrating each other and being joyous in that, that tells us a little something about what America is and what America can be,” said Obama, describing Cubs players after their World Series victory. That is the true value of sports, which are so much more than simple objectives like putting a ball in a basket or running into an end zone. Obama understood that while Robinson was just a baseball player, he made it acceptable for people of color to participate in a league reserved for whites. That paved the way — more than half a century later — for a black man to lead the country, a position previously held solely by white men. And in the end, Obama was just as much a Chicago sports fan as he was the commander in chief. He cared about his March Madness brackets as much as the guy working a nine-to-five desk job, snuck in baseball games as much as the college student “multitasking” while studying, watched SportsCenter at the gym just like you or I would and shot hoops with his friends like any other dude. Say what you want about his politics or the legacy he leaves behind. But I’ll simply say this, from one sports fan to another: Thanks, Obama, for reminding us of what sports are all about and how they can make a tremendous impact on progress in society.Eric He is a sophomore studying print and digital journalism. He is also the associate managing editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Grinding Gears,” runs on Fridays.last_img read more

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Nigeria/Iceland Stats

first_img•All six of Nigeria’s wins at the World Cup have come against European opposition, and they have kept a clean sheet in five of those six victories.•This was Iceland’s first ever defeat in a group stage match at a major international tournament (Euros and World Cup), having previously drawn three and won one of four such games.•This was only Nigeria’s second win in their last 14 matches at the World Cup (D3 L9), having also beaten Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2014.•Nigeria did not attempt a single shot in the opening 45 minutes, the first side to do so in the first half of a World Cup match since South Korea against Algeria in 2014•Iceland’s Gylfi Sigurdsson fired in two shots on target in the first six minutes of this match, as many as his side managed in total in 90 minutes against Argentina in their opening match. Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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