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Volume 25 No. 177
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Names In The News

Warriors President & COO RICK WELTS was profiled on HBO’s “Real Sports” last night, with HBO’s Soledad O’Brien saying Welts is a “master of marketing” and has “helped build the NBA as we know it.” O’Brien: “What truly puts Welts in a league of his own is that he is the only man to run an American sports franchise who is openly gay.” NBA Commissioner Emeritus DAVID STERN: "This is a hard business and I would say that Rick Welts, although it pains me to say it, probably understands it better than anyone, including me.” Warriors coach STEVE KERR said Welts is "one of the most prominent figures in the sports world to ever come out." Kerr: "That's a pretty big step and a pretty courageous act.” Welts: “I hope in some ways just the way I'm leading my life and what I represent to other people can be that person that I didn't have. That person that they can look at and say, ‘I could really relate to that,’ and, ‘Wow, that worked out pretty well for him'" (“Real Sports,” HBO, 11/28).

USA Water Polo now can be held responsible over serious head injuries after a new ruling
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

CHANGING TIDE: A federal appeals court yesterday said that USA Water Polo "can be sued for failing to protect an athlete from serious head injuries by letting her return to play after she has suffered a concussion." Sports organizations and managers of recreational areas "cannot be sued for injuries that are considered an inherent part of the sport, like a hard tackle in football or a hit batter in baseball." But the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in S.F. yesterday said that injuries to a player who is "sent back to the pool after a concussion are not 'an inherent risk in water polo,' and the sponsoring agency, USA Water Polo, can be held responsible" (SFGATE.com, 11/28).

FOR A GOOD CAUSE: ESPN.com’s RACHEL NICHOLS yesterday discussed the net's Kicks To Beat Cancer initiative which benefits the V Foundation. Nichols:  We dug around in the closets of more than 25 current and former NBA superstars (and) asked them to donate one of their favorite pair of sneakers." The autographed sneakers will then go on eBay. ESPN’s NICK DEPAULA said the initiative began with “ESPN talent” of former NBAers and “once guys around the league got word of it, they all wanted to jump on-board as well.” DePaula said there are “tons of huge names that have been donating stuff and so far, some of these bids are really getting up there” (“The Jump,” ESPN, 11/28).

NAMES: Cowboys QB DAK PRESCOTT will "match EZEKIEL ELLIOTT's donation of $21,000 to the Salvation Army." Fans can also "buy a t-shirt of Prescott standing in The Salvation Army kettle" at AT&T Stadium, like he did following a touchdown on Thanksgiving. All proceeds will go to The Salvation Army (DALLASNEWS.com, 11/28)....The Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary raised about C$12.35M for "youth-based charities throughout the province," the "largest charitable gift in PGA Champions Tour history" (CALGARY SUN, 11/29)....MLB Network’s PETER GAMMONS will be “one of six honorees inducted” into the Cape Cod Baseball League HOF on Saturday morning in ceremonies at the Chatham Bars Inn (BOSTONGLOBE.com, 11/28)....Sportsnet’s JEFF BLAIR has been named the winner of the Canadian Baseball HOF’s ’18 Jack Graney Award. The award is given annually to a member of the media who has made significant contributions to baseball in Canada (Canadian Baseball HOF)....NASCAR Chair & CEO JIM FRANCE last night was named the recipient of the ’18 Myers Brothers Award (NEWS-JOURNALONLINE.com, 11/28).