Names In The News
RICHARD BRANSON attended his first NFL game Sunday. The British business magnate and founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways was at Gillette Stadium "for the TOM BRADY vs. PEYTON MANNING showdown." Branson was a guest of New England Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT. Branson is a huge fan of rugby and senses that his familiarity with that sport will help him understand the NFL's game that he insists on calling "American Rugby." Branson said, "What I don't understand is why you've distorted a great English game? Maybe at the end of the day, I'll understand" (USA TODAY, 10/7). ... USAIN BOLT has revealed he plans to defend his Olympic sprint titles in the Rio Games. Bolt said, "Rio is about going and defending my titles. To do the three-peat, that is the focus" (London GUARDIAN, 10/8). ... Scottish side Rangers Manager ALLY MCCOIST has received the "unequivocal backing" of CEO CHARLES GREEN after a 1-0 defeat to Stirling Albion on Saturday. Speaking after a defeat he called "unacceptable," Green pledged "100%" support to McCoist (SCOTSMAN, 10/8).
MAGIC MOMENT: NBA L.A. Lakers legend MAGIC JOHNSON attended the Clasico at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona and said that LIONEL MESSI was the best player in the world. Johnson: "Messi is the best player in the world and he makes everything easier for his teammates. Watching this Barça team is a pleasure for anybody that likes football" (SPORT.es, 10/8). ... Veteran broadcaster BO HANSSON has been banned from the press box at Swedish football team AIK "after he was heard referring to black players as 'darkies' in a radio commentary booth." Hansson was watching AIK's match against Gefle from the Sveriges Radio commentary position "unaware he was being broadcast." AIK Managing Dir THOMAS EDSELIUS said, "Bo Hansson is no longer allowed into the press box this season. What he has done is contrary to our values. We have zero tolerance for racism" (REUTERS, 10/8). ... Five-time Olympic Gold Medalist IAN THORPE will join a panel of top sports men and women at the Doha GOALS Forum on Dec. 10-12 to discuss whether federations and organizations are doing enough to protect athletes. The panel will also address how to help retired athletes retrain in new careers. Thorpe will be joined by sports agent PHIL DE PICCIOTTO, U.S. Anti Doping Agency President TRAVIS TYGART and LOCOG board member JONATHAN EDWARDS (Pitch).