Jamaican-born athlete drowns in St Kitts


KINGSTON, Jamaica – Daundre Barnaby, a Jamaican-born Canadian Olympic 400m runner, is suspected to have drowned while swimming in St Kitts-Nevis yesterday.

Athletics Canada on Friday reported that Barnaby, 24, was swimming at a training camp on the Caribbean island with his teammates when a strong current swept him out to sea.

“Daundre was swimming in the ocean with teammates during down time when he disappeared around 11:00 am. A strong back current took him out, his teammates tried to save him,” Athletics Canada said in a statement. “His body was found around 3:30 pm by local search and rescue.

The statement also said an Athletics Canada grief counsellor was on the way to St Kitts to provide the necessary support to athletes, coaches and staff on-site.

Barnaby is from St Ann and, according to Athletics Canada, officially became a Canadian citizen in 2012, representing Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games.

He reportedly finished sixth in his heat at the London Olympics 2012 and reached the semi-finals at last year’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Barnaby’s most recent international competition was the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Athletics Canada Chief Executive Officer Rob Guy called Barnaby “an outstanding athlete and an even better young man”.

Source: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com

Black girls’ sexual burden: Why Mo’ne Davis was really called a “slut”

Mo'ne Davis

Mo’ne Davis is a Black girl wunderkind. At age 13, she has pitched a shutout at the Little League World Series, becoming the first girl ever to do so, and she has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Disney is now planning to do a movie about her called, “Throw Like Mo.”

 I’m not ashamed to admit that I still watch the Disney Channel, and I will certainly be tuning in. But everyone isn’t as excited as I am to see a Black girl on the come up. Last week, Joey Casselberry, a sophomore baseball player from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, called Mo’ne a “slut” in response to the news about the movie. He was subsequently expelled from the team.

In response, Davis has forgiven him and she and her coach have asked that he be reinstated. About Casselberry, Davis released a statement, which said:

Everyone makes mistakes and everyone deserves a second chance. I know he didn’t mean it in that type of way, and I know a lot of people get tired of like seeing me on TV but just think about what you’re doing before you actually do it. I know right now he’s really hurt and I know how hard he worked just to get where he is right now.

Her level of empathy is remarkable but not particularly surprising. Black girls learn almost from the womb to empathize with others, even when those others have committed deep injustices toward us.  Perhaps it is the unparalleled level of our suffering that makes us always look with empathy upon others.

But I am troubled. It is absolutely wonderful that Davis has this kind of care and concern and a heart so huge that she can forgive a nearly adult person for insulting her. It goes without saying that she’s a better person than Casselberry.

But she should not have to be. For starters, he meant what he said. One doesn’t slip up and mistakenly call a young teen girl a slut. Second, it bothers me that she sounds almost apologetic about how much others have to see her on television. Girls in our culture are taught that they should never take up too much space, that they should be seen (and look real pretty), but not heard. And Black girls in our culture are damn near invisible, whether in regards to their triumphs or their struggles.

Lest we think this inappropriate sexual shaming of Black girls is an isolated incident, let us not forget that in 2013, The Onion “jokingly” referred to then 9-year old actress Quvenzhané Wallis, as a “c*nt” in reference to her Oscar nomination that year for Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Source: http://www.salon.com

Boys get into gear on opening day of Champs 2015


CALABAR High’s wunderkid Christopher Taylor woke up a sleepy National Stadium yesterday with his now customary first round ‘gallop’, clocking a swift and easy-looking 47.25 seconds to win his heat of the Class Two 400m as the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ & Girls’ Athletics Championships got under way under overcast skies yesterday.

Taylor, who set the Class Three record in the first round last year, easily cruised past the field by the 250m mark and was off on his own merry way as he chased the 46.64- second mark set by Devaughn Baker of Jamaica College two years ago. Taylor’s teammate, Anthony Carpenter, had the next best time of 49.34 seconds with the St Elizabeth Technical pair of Jauavney James (49.83 seconds) and Leonardo Ledgister (49.67 seconds) looking set to upset the predictions.

Morant Bay High’s Keco Morrison was second to Taylor with 49.87 seconds, while Acebe Thompson of Excelsior (49.82 seconds), Sheldon Smith of Munro College (49.81 seconds) and Tyrek Bryan of Kingston College (49.63 seconds) were also among the fastest qualifiers.

Greater Portmore High’s Terry Thomas blazed 46.12 seconds to lead the Class One 400m, while Kingston College’s Twayne Crooks won his heat in 47.23 seconds; teammate Akeem Bloomfield ran 48.11 seconds to win his heat with Munro College’s Fabian Murray third in 48.33 seconds. St Jago’s Nathan Allen ran 48.22 seconds to win his heat, while World Youth Championships gold medallist Martin Manley ran 48.23 seconds. In the Class Three 400m, Tajai Jackson of Calabar led the qualifying with 51.91 seconds with Holmwood Technical’s Tajay Broomfield next with 51.92 seconds; Evaldo Whitehourne of Calabar (51.95 seconds) and Hydel High’s Raheem Russell (52.07 seconds) leading the qualifiers. The fireworks are expected to start as soon as today with three finals down to be contested — Class One and Two long jump, as well as the steeplechase, plus the running of the first rounds of the 200m in all four classes, the 400m hurdles where Wolmer’s Boys’ Jaheel Hyde, the World Junior champion, will make his first appearance.

Three finals are down to be contested today, the Class One and Two long jump and the 2000m steeplechase, while the first five events in the decathlon Open will also be contested, as well as the preliminaries of the Class One discus throw, the 800m and the 4x100m relays will also be contested. Michael O’Hara is expected to redeem himself after last year’s implosion and will start as favourite to win the Class One 200m, but a battle is expected with Kingston College’s Twayne Crooks and St Jago’s Chad Walker.

Kingston College’s Jevaughn Matherson and Calabar’s Christopher Taylor are the early favourites in Class Two, while in Class Three Green Island’s Javier Johnson looks well set to win his first Champs gold medal. Jamaica College’s Obrien Wasome, who was third last year, leads the Class One long jump qualifying, jumping 7.54m, well ahead of the Cornwall College pair of Odaine Lewis (7.13m) and Alrick Ottey (7.12m).

Ajani James, also of Jamaica College, jumped 7.12m to advance to today’s final, along with Campion College’s Jordan Scott,while St George’s College’s Carlington Moulton was the only other jumper over 7.00m. Adrian Mitchell of Calabar High led the javelin Open qualifying with 55.71m ahead of Petersfield’s Kevin Nedrick with 53.64m, Jevaud Pringle of Bellefield with 53.52m, Najair Jackson of Calabar with 53.45m and Ronque Taylor of STETHS with 49.79m in the top five.

Source: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com

Raheem Sterling rejecting £100,000 a week is obscene – but at least he’s honest

Sometime in 1999, a journalist relatively new to a sports reporting career was granted a thorough education into the fantastical financial perspectives of a professional footballer.

He found himself discussing salaries with a top class player and decided to have a bit of a moan.

“I only earn £12,500,” was the complaint.

There was a pause.

“Is that a week or a month?” was the player’s response.

The reporter waited for the giggle, but it was a straight face staring back.

The realisation that some (not all) footballers have no concept of the value of a pound – believing we all measure pay slips in thousands over a week rather than a year – was both amusing and disillusioning. The empathy gap has been widening ever since.

To those of us accommodated in that distant dwelling from training grounds we like to call ‘reality’, many footballers and agents inhabit the kind of world Terry Pratchett would have been proud to call his own. Egos clash if players have the audacity to reject offers that will only make them a mega millionaire when it is quite evident they have their heart set on being multi-mega millionaires. We become so accustomed to seeing numbers between £80,000 and £200,000 a week in the Premier League, rarely is there a moment to pause, digest and consider its grotesqueness, judgment invariably passed based on popularity.

“Have you seen his recent goals or assist record? He deserves every penny he gets,” is a regular justification.

“He wants how much? He can’t even take a penalty,” the counter-argument.

Every so often someone like Raheem Sterling comes along to become the poster boy for these economic excesses, even though using him and his stance over a new contract at Liverpool as the basis for a diatribe against players’ wages would be too easy, and also unfair. Sterling is no more than a product of the age, and for football to rail against him is rather like Victor Frankenstein holding head in hands as his creation develops free will.

Footballers have a talent with a value placed upon it and a short career, so good luck to all of them if they can manipulate an industry created to facilitate such exploitation. It’s hideous, of course, but that’s capitalism, kids. The entertainment business pays well.

Clubs treat some players shabbily, but those in demand have the expertise to maximise their worth. Talent is power is money in all the most popular sports, and the political battle between clubs, players, managers, agents, leagues and governing bodies to protect and enhance their own interests, position and wealth is ceaseless.

Got your back: Brendan Rodgers has helped Raheem Sterling flourish this season

Liverpool have little to fear from the Sterling situation, other than the small detail of losing the player, which they’ll easily get over if it comes to that. They’ve lost better in the last 12 months, never mind in their history, and every wage bill has its ceiling.

The Anfield board knows there will be a popular movement in their favour as the figure Sterling rejected (an obscene £100,000 a week) and is demanding (an even more obscene £150,000 a week) is dissected in public. If Sterling is sold for £40 million this summer, it is more likely to provoke a bit of disappointment and ‘ho-hum’ than a fans protest. There was a noticeably impatient murmur whenever Sterling lost possession against Manchester United on Sunday. Presumably he knows why.

Uneasy: Raheem Sterling’s display against Manchester United cause unrest among fans

Sterling and his agent Aidy Ward will have their sympathisers, but broadly speaking the pounding in the PR war has started, while Fenway Sport Group’s hard-line stance will be presented as an ‘example’ to others. If every promising 20-year-old is valued according to what his agent wants, that new TV deal will be absorbed within one round of contract extensions – and we can’t have that when there are so many middle managers doing the square root of absolutely nothing in need of subsidising at Premier League clubs these days.

As we lay it on the player there should be a note of caution, however. Liverpool, lest we forget, bought into this when they invested so heavily in Sterling as a 15-year-old and there should be no surprises at what has come to pass – the biters are being bitten.

• Liverpool target Walcott as Sterling plays hard ball

When Liverpool signed Sterling five years ago they knew what they were getting on and off the pitch. He was taken from the QPR Academy by the highest bidder, the big club removing the crown jewels from a smaller one. He chose Liverpool because they paid more than anyone else, not because they had any recent track record blooding youngsters.

What is happening now is on a grander, higher profile scale where Ward is exploiting interest from elsewhere to provoke Liverpool into paying more money. Are Liverpool really surprised the kid who wanted to be the highest paid 15-year-old in English football, and then wanted to be the highest paid 18-year-old in English football, now wants to be the highest paid 20-year-old in English football? Blaming Sterling for behaving exactly as he did when he left QPR is hypocrisy. Those who knew Sterling and his representatives at Loftus Road must be granting themselves a wry smile.

Worth the hassle? Raheem Sterling’s form has put him in a strong bargaining position

True, the deal in 2010 was completed before FSG’s takeover and well before Brendan Rodgers was manager. We’ll never know if John W. Henry would have sanctioned it like Tom Hicks and George Gillett. At Rodgers’ behest, recent changes at Academy level at Anfield are shifting the onus firmly onto self-development rather than plucking players from elsewhere, but there must be acknowledgement the most successful recent graduates from the youth team – Sterling and Jordon Ibe – were products of a now abandoned policy.

In defence of those who signed them, Liverpool have gone so long since producing a world class player from the locality (Steven Gerrard in 1998) they felt they had to act by looking beyond The Mersey and for the last three seasons Sterling has been presented as if he is one of Liverpool’s own, the current regime quite happy to assume credit for Sterling when it suits.

On the walls of Liverpool’s Academy there is a photographic display celebrating all those who came through the club’s youth ranks and Sterling’s portrait rests alongside that of the local boys Robbie Fowler, Gerrard, Michael Owen, Jamie Carragher, Steve McManaman and the rest.

Given Sterling was spotted and nurtured by others, at best his place does not sit comfortably and to be blunt it should not be there at all.

The current situation exposes the difference between players shaped by their club – and in the case of Liverpool the working class community in which they were raised – and teenagers lured with the promise of millions. It’s the price you pay by spending so much on youth players in the first place.

Anfield history shows it is much easier to take advantage of the loyalty and connection of the local players to their badge to keep their salaries at a manageable level throughout their career – a fine line often tread between incremental rewarding and taking advantage. All clubs are the same. When they say the onus should be on developing their Academy, the consideration is financial as much as one of identity.

Contrast Sterling with 21-year-old Harry Kane, brought through the ranks at Tottenham Hotspur and recently rewarded with a £45,000 a week deal, incomparable to that requested by Sterling. Is one such a more exciting prospect than the other?

Hot-shot: Harry Kane’s good form was recently rewarded with a new contract

The products of Liverpool’s Academy ‘Golden Age’ under Steve Heighway between 1993-1999 had to wait until their mid to late 20s to get anywhere near parity with the club’s highest earners, and with the greatest respect most were better players than Sterling at the same point in their careers.

That’s the fundamental image problem Sterling has as phrases such as ‘going rate’ and ‘market value’ are sprinkled liberally into the justification for his position. No-one at Anfield – in the stands as much as on the board – really thinks he is worth it.

Sterling is a good player, a very good player, but the problem for him and his advisor is this.

He is not (yet) great.

He is not Robbie Fowler aged 17 great.

He is not Michael Owen aged 18 great.

He is not Steven Gerrard aged 19 great, or Steve McManaman aged 20 great.

He is not Jamie Carragher in Istanbul great (if you were assessing wages ahead of the 2005 Champions League Final, Carragher would have come in above Dijimi Traore but well below Harry Kewell and Djibril Cisse).

Many of those players can argue they were undervalued as they saw expensive recruits move to Merseyside who were paid double what they were commanding, the club calculating the players’ love of Liverpool and the stature of the club would keep them more than salaries. Those who called the bluff like McManaman, who only matched talent and wages by moving to Real Madrid in 1999, had to suffer the predictable ‘greed’ taunts before he left, even though history has shown that criticism was unjust.

Even the millions Gerrard turned down when he was offered massive pay rises to leave Anfield were deemed inconsequential once his Liverpool critics deemed him no longer value for money in his mid-30s.

Loyal: Steven Gerrard turned down big money elsewhere to stay at Liverpool

“This is business,” is a common, logical explanation when a sober position is demanded from the club. There is often an absence of such rationality when players adopt the same position and have the audacity to threaten to leave.

Sterling is not yet worth £150,000, £140,000, £130,000 or even £100,000 a week, but for all that there is something admirable in the manner he and Ward view Liverpool as mere employers, ignoring the guff about ‘loyalty’ that so often pollutes these matters.

Their detachment from any emotional pull to Anfield has enabled them to dismiss as irrelevant the tsunami of criticism that is coming their way if no deal is struck, Ward is presumably revelling in the image of himself as the Hooded Claw presenting his terms to the Anfield board.

He must also have convinced Sterling the likelihood he’ll be made a scapegoat for every poor Liverpool display – as against Manchester United – is a price worth paying for the long-term goal. That might be brave or daft, but it’s certainly new territory for Liverpool when discussing terms with a 20-year-old.

Whatever the outcome, the cold, professional approach to the negotiation is to be welcomed for the insight into the mind-set of some modern players, which is so often disguised whenever contract extensions are under discussion. This is so much more candid than those disingenuous statements we’re expected to swallow whenever deals are extended – the equivalent of inviting your fanbase to applaud a millionaire’s pay rise. Some deals are penned to expedite a transfer six months later – see Luis Suarez last season for more details.

Deal or no deal? Luis Suarez signed a new contract at Liverpool only to join Barcelona a year later

In a different time and place, Sterling would have signed the first offer of £80,000 a week before Christmas and the club would have released a statement about how the (then) teenager has become part of Anfield kin and never gave any hint he wanted to play for anyone else.

There is a perverse sense of pleasure we’ve been spared the usual insincerity, the only blip when Sterling was asked to speak prior to Liverpool’s Europa League with Besiktas and implied there was no better place than Anfield for a young player. A carefully worded response on his behalf would not have been so clumsy.

You can call Sterling greedy or poorly advised or ungrateful or arrogant or naïve or overrated as much as you wish – and supporters are evidently going be more intolerant of poor performances – but the one thing you can’t call him through all this is dishonest.

Sterling and his agent are guilty of no more than exposing what top-level football clubs hate most: the unpalatable truth that for the majority of footballers, managers and board members, commitment to their ‘family’ club is no more than a business arrangement to be renegotiated every two years.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Mo’ne Davis Forgives Baseball Player Over Insult Asks College to Reinstate Him


Mo’ne Davis continues to show why she’s the most mature 13-year-old alive — we’ve just learned she reached out to the president of Bloomsburg University and asked him to reinstate the baseball player who called her a bad name on Twitter.

TMZ Sports spoke with a rep for Bloomsburg who tells us … President David L. Soltz received an email from Davis and her coach in which they ask that Joey Casselberry’s dismissal from the team be reconsidered.

Casselberry was booted from the squad this weekend after he posted a tweet saying, “Disney is making a movie about Mo’ne Davis? WHAT A JOKE. That s*** got rocked by Nevada.”

The team said Casselberry violated the athletic department’s social media policy — and possibly the school’s code of conduct.

While Bloomsburg says they respect Davis’ opinion and praise her for being incredibly mature about the situation — the school will NOT reinstate the baseball player … saying, “Right now we’re standing firm.”

For his part, Casselberry apologized for the tweet and says he’s a huge Mo’ne Davis fan.

Read more: http://www.tmz.com



There is a burning intensity to the New Zealand Cricket team at the moment. And it is the incandescent Brendon McCullum who is fanning the flames, having poured the fuel and lit the fire just in time for the ICC Cricket World Cup. A team that usually flies well under the radar, has grown stronger and stronger, to the point that the tag of favourite rests lightly on its shoulders going into the fourth quarter-final of the tournament, against West Indies, at the Wellington Regional Stadium on Saturday (March 21).

New Zealand walk into its first knockout game of the tournament wearing a settled look, the only doubt being whether Adam Milne, the fast bowler, would recover from a shoulder injury soon enough to reclaim his place, currently being filled by Mitchell McClenaghan.

West Indies was in a less comfortable position, and the sight of Chris Gayle rocking up for training the day before the game, and hitting the ball hard enough to take out a picket fence at the Basin Reserve would have brought some comfort. Jason Holder, the young West Indies captain, would not speculate on how big a chance there was of Gayle missing out, but confirmed that a final decision could only be made on match morning.

“Well, obviously Chris’s stats speak for themselves. He’s one of the most feared batsmen in world cricket. So to have Chris on the squad is a plus for anybody. So to have him there, just his presence, is something. We just hope that he can perform the way he’s been known to perform over the years and we get the best of him,” said Holder.

He stressed that West Indies was not about one man alone. “Well, we won the last game without him, so I can’t say we can’t win without him, you know? Obviously he’s been a very good player for us over the years. But it’s shown that we’ve got people to fit the bill. We’ve got Johnson Charles who came in the last game and he got a half-century and looked the part. So we’ve got people to fill the boots in a sense. But obviously having Chris Gayle is a plus for us.”

Holder also believed that the way to go for West Indies was to “fight fire with fire,” when it came to containing the damage McCullum might do, and believed that his team, having reached the knockouts, had it in them to deliver the punch needed to floor New Zealand. “If you’ve been following what’s been said, people pretty much didn’t expect us to get to the quarterfinal stage and now we’re here,” said Holder. “So, we’re just going out all guns blazing tomorrow and just giving our all. New Zealand can be beaten. We beat them in the past in our last series we played them here, and I know that we can beat them tomorrow.”

Holder’s summary of West Indies’s chances isn’t inaccurate in that his team will have to be at its very best to beat New Zealand. For the home team, however, the situation is a touch different. It will believe that it has the ammunition, the skill and the wherewithal to make it to the final four even if it does not play the perfect game.

On the day before the game, New Zealand’s training session was a treat to watch. The intensity with which the players approached what could otherwise have been light fielding drills showed just how fired up the group is. In the past, New Zealand teams have punched above its weight at global events, hoping for the best, but not quite believing that it could go all the way. For once, the situation is different. All McCullum’s men need to do is keep up the good work. From there on, the real question is whether West Indies can resist it.

To be sure, New Zealand has looked vulnerable when McCullum has been dismissed early, and there is an element of risk to its all-out aggressive approach with the ball. When there has been swing – and it’s hard to recall a New Zealand game where there has been absolutely nothing for the quick bowlers – McCullum attacks from start to finish. What this means is that a team who can weather the initial storm could capitalise later on, at least in theory, but no opponent has really managed to put this into practice yet.

Source: http://www.icc-cricket.com

Reading’s Garath McCleary allegedly racially abused by supporter

The Reading winger Garath McCleary was allegedly racially abused by a supporter during Monday night’s FA Cup replay at the Madejski Stadium, with an individual arrested and removed from the stadium during half-time.

McCleary, who scored the second of Reading’s three goals during a convincing 3-0 victory, complained to an assistant following an incident five minutes before half-time. The information was then passed on to the game’s fourth official, Andre Marriner, who relayed the complaint to a Reading security official.

Garath McCleary

McCleary was preparing to take a corner in front of the Bradford City supporters when the alleged abuse occurred. A Reading spokesman said: “An incident was reported to the match officials just before half time, who in turn told Reading staff. A man was then arrested and ejected during the half-time interval.”

The Reading manager, Steve Clarke, did not know the details when questioned after the match, although he was aware an incident had taken place.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com

24-year-old NFL player retires over concussion risks

One of the NFL’s most promising young players has announced that he is quitting professional football today, blaming the risk of concussion and serious brain injury on his decision to walk away from the sport. Chris Borland, linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers, told ESPN that he was retiring because he wanted to do what was best for his health, and didn’t think football was “worth the risk.” By leaving the league at only 24 years old, after a stellar rookie season, Borland rapidly becomes one of the most damning examples of the NFL’s ongoing concussion crisis.


Borland says his decision to quit came from him wanting to “be proactive,” leaving the sport while his brain is still healthy. The linebacker began to have doubts about his long-term career as a professional football player in his very first NFL training camp, during which he received a suspected concussion on a running play but decided to play through it in a bid to make the team. He told ESPN “I just thought to myself, ‘What am I doing? Is this how I’m going to live my adult life, banging my head, especially with what I’ve learned and knew about the dangers?'” After the fourth game of his rookie season, Borland told his parents his time as a pro player would be short.

The linebacker told ESPN that he currently feels as sharp as he’s ever been, but that he had researched the issue heavily, speaking with concussion researchers and former players, more than 4,500 of whom have sued the NFL for failing to adequately protect them from head injuries during their time in the league.


In his statement, Borland thanked the 49ers, saying the team “truly looked out for players’ best interests,” but his departure from the league is made even more notable by coinciding with the exit of several prominent young players. Borland was scheduled to be one of the stars of the San Francisco 49ers defense, playing the last season as the heir apparent to Patrick Willis, another top-tier defensive player who chose this year to retire from the sport after developing chronic pain in his feet. He was joined by by Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds, who announced this month that he was retiring from pro football to pursue other interests.


The NFL has had a long-running problem with concussions and head injuries, and its lackluster methods of protecting players, as detailed in the PBS documentary League of Denial. Many who have played the sport have gone on to suffer debilitating brain diseases. A number of players, including standout San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots linebacker Junior Seau, have committed suicide in the years after their retirement. Seau shot himself in the chest so his brain could be studied after his death — after autopsy, it was determined that he had been from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a type of degenerative brain damage found in other players.

The NFL has made advances in technology designed to help reduce head injuries, but players such as Jahvid Best, a former first-round draft pick who sued both the NFL and helmet maker Riddell after receiving three concussions in two years, are still receiving knockout blows on the field of play that could disable them in later life. The league has also come under fire for a too-weak concussion protocol that allows clearly woozy players back onto the field. In October last year, Chargers defensive back Jahleel Addae played an entire game after being knocked out on the first play. In the fourth quarter, several hours after taking the blow to the head, Addae seemed to lose control of his body after making another hit, jerking his limbs and stepping awkwardly as he attempted to stay upright.

By stepping away from the sport at 24, Borland will avoid the kind of head injuries that could leave him crippled, with diminished mental faculties, or prone to fly into uncontrollable rages. Meanwhile, instead of pouring its efforts into keeping its players safe, the NFL still appears to be in favor of extending the regular season to a gruelling 18 games, despite arguments from the people who actually play the sport.

Source: http://www.theverge.com