SBD Global/September 14, 2017/People and Pop Culture

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  • Aussie Rugby Player Israel Folau Says That He Will Not Support Gay Marriage

    Australian rugby player ISRAEL FOLAU said that he "will not support gay marriage, prompting a quick response from Test teammate DAVID POCOCK" to voice his support of the "yes" campaign, according to the AAP. Two of Australian rugby's "marquee men tweeted their differing opinions" just 24 hours after the Australian Rugby Union joined football, cricket and rugby league in supporting same-sex marriage (AAP, 9/13).

    STARK CONTRAST: The AAP also reported Folau "is believed to be the first high-profile sportsperson to have publicly announced their opposition to same-sex marriage." The 28-year-old was raised as a Mormon "but is now a devout Christian" after his family converted in '11. His views "are in stark contrast" to Pocock, "who has taken the year off rugby but will be back in the Test ranks alongside Folau next year." A "passionate campaigner for a variety of social issues" including homophobia and marriage equality, Pocock "famously declared four years ago that he would not tie the knot with his partner EMMA PALANDRI until gay people were legally permitted to do the same" (AAP, 9/13).

    STEERING CLEAR: In Sydney, Andrew Webster reported the Australian Olympic Committee "has refused to join" other sporting organizations in backing same-sex marriage because it does "not want to offend religious groups," CEO MATT CARROLL revealed. He said, "I'm not ducking anything. I'm just saying there are two sides to this discussion and I'm respecting both sides of this discussion. People's religious views are important and they should be respected." The AOC "has been mute on the issue so far" but released a statement in which it said it "respects diversity and supports raising awareness of discrimination" but did not commit to a position. Carroll said that the AOC "was in a tough position because it represented 45 sports." He said, "We are a diverse, umbrella organization. [The CEOs of other sports] represent one sport. I cannot speak on behalf of 40 sports, right? We are an umbrella organization" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 9/13).

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  • Executive Transactions

    Former Havas Sport & Entertainment CEO TOVE OKUNNIWA, the former head of marketing for BBC Sport, was named London Sport's new CEO. Okunniwa, who also serves as deputy chair of England Boxing, will take up her post on Sept. 18. She has served as an independent consultant to London Sport since '15, advising on commercial and marketing strategies. Her previous experience also includes a stint as managing director of WPP agency MEC Access (London Sport).

    COACHES/MANAGERS: Former England Manager ROY HODGSON was named EPL side Crystal Palace's new manager on a two-year deal. He replaces FRANK DE BOER, who was sacked on Monday after 77 days and five matches in charge. The 70-year-old "has been out of management since resigning as England boss" after a loss to Iceland in the last-16 stage of Euro 2016 (BBC, 9/12). ... Ecuadorian national football team Manager GUSTAVO QUINTEROS was sacked on Tuesday. He will be replaced by JORGE CÉLICO, who is currently an assistant coach (EL COMERCIO, 9/12).

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  • Names In The News

    League Championship side Barnsley's mortally sick owner, PATRICK CRYNE, wrote a "poignant letter to fans" in their matchday program, telling supporters that he was "living on borrowed time" and did "not expect to live to see the ultimate outcome" of the new season. Cryne stepped down from day-to-day duties at Oakwell in November "after being diagnosed with bowel cancer, and was told in May this year that his condition was terminal" (London TELEGRAPH, 9/13). ... CARLOS TEVEZ is “overweight” and will not play for Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua until he gets in shape, according to interim Manager WU JINGUI. Having taken time off to rehab a muscle injury in his native Argentina, the striker returned in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Henan Jianye, "a result which saw GUS POYET sacked as manager." But the Uruguayan’s replacement "appeared to be less willing to indulge a player who has failed to live up to his reported" £600,000 ($792,180)-a-week wages (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 9/13). ... South Korea's basketball governing body said Wednesday that it will "start the naturalization process" for an American forward to "boost the international competitiveness of its men's national team." The Korea Basketball Association said that it reached an agreement with the Korean Basketball League to seek special naturalization for RICARDO RATLIFFE, who has been playing in South Korea since '12. The 28-year-old, who plays for the Seoul Samsung Thunders, said in January that he "wants to acquire South Korean citizenship and play on the national basketball team for his adopted country" (YONHAP, 9/13).

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  • The Starting Five

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