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SBD/August 28, 2013/Leagues and Governing BodiesPrint All
The NFL has "plastered giant posters" of Ravens QB Joe Flacco on the side of Sports Authority Field at Mile High and on lamp posts throughout Denver this week in anticipation of next Thursday's season opener, which has "incited a fan revolt," according to Lindsay Jones of USA TODAY. Sports radio stations, social media and Internet message boards "have been flooded with angry response to any mention of the Ravens." Denver-based KCNC-CBS anchor Vic Lombardi "even organized an impromptu protest" yesterday, encouraging his Twitter followers to "join him in defacing Flacco posters." Meanwhile, the Broncos have "gone out of their way to point out that it is the NFL, and not the team, that has erected the signage" (USATODAY.com, 8/27). In Denver, Benjamin Hochman notes the banners "are sponsored by the NFL and Pepsi" (DENVER POST, 8/28). Broncos QB Peyton Manning, also featured on a stadium banner, yesterday told Denver-based KOA-AM, "It doesn't seem to make much sense that the Denver Broncos have to have an opposing player on their stadium" (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/27). In Colorado Springs, Paul Klee writes, "This isn't a Super Bowl on a neutral field. Last time I checked, this is a Broncos home game" (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 8/28). The Broncos' official Twitter feed on Monday wrote, "Because the NFL promotes both teams playing in its annual Kickoff Game, fans will notice signage outside @SportsAuthField and around town ... that features the Broncos and Ravens. But regardless of league guidelines, this will always be #BroncosCountry ... and we can't wait to see all the orange in the stands a week from Thursday!"
Puerto Rico native Monica Puig has "tapped into a fast-growing Hispanic demographic that has not been widely represented in tennis and has thus lagged in its participation in the sport," according to Mary Pilon of the N.Y. TIMES. The 19-year-old Puig is ranked No. 44 in the WTA singles rankings, and is "among a handful of younger tennis players resonating with Spanish-speaking fans" at the U.S. Open. In recent years, the trend of low Hispanic participation in tennis is "showing signs of reversal." USTA data shows that the total participation of Hispanic players in '12 was 3.84 million, "up from 2.58 million" in '10. Hispanics "represented only" 13.7% of total players, while making up 16.7% of the overall population in the most recent census. While there are "many top Spanish-speaking players from Spain and South America, there have been only a handful of Hispanic-American tennis stars." During Puig's first-round U.S. Open match on Monday, "rows of fans were brought to their feet in reaction to the play on court, drowning out the noise in the other courts." Puig said, "Everywhere I go, there's always Puerto Rican fans. It's very exciting and it's nice to have that fan base and have people from my neck of the woods" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/28).