(Field Level media) Longtime Canadian hockey commentator Don Cherry was fired yesterday after his on-air comments that many believed disparaged immigrants. Cherry, 85, was speaking Saturday on his “Coach’s Corner” segment on “Hockey Night In Canada” and began a discussion of Remembrance Day – the Canadian equivalent of Veterans Day. People often wear red poppies, paper poppies or similar pins to mark the day.“I live in Mississauga,” he said on the air. “Very few people wear the poppy. Downtown Toronto, forget it. Nobody wears the poppy. … Now you go to the small cities. You people … that come here, whatever it is — you love our way of life. You love our milk and honey. At least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada. These guys paid the biggest price for that.”On Sunday, Sportsnet president Bart Yabsley apologized for Cherry’s comments, and the network fired him on Monday. “Sports brings people together. It unites us, not divides us. Following further discussions with Don Cherry after Saturday night’s broadcast, it has been decided it is the right thing for him to immediately step down. During the broadcast, he made divisive remarks that do not represent our values or what we stand for,” Yabsley said in a statement on Monday. “Don is synonymous with hockey and has played an integral role in growing the game over the past 40 years. We would like to thank Don for his contributions to hockey and sports broadcasting in Canada.”Cherry confirmed his firing to the Toronto Sun on Monday afternoon and said he didn’t regret his comments.“I have just learned I’ve been fired by Sportsnet for comments made on Coach’s Corner Nov. 9,” Cherry said in a phone interview. “No problem.” He added: “I know what I said and I meant it. Everybody in Canada should wear a poppy to honor our fallen soldiers.”He said his comments were not meant to be insensitive to other cultures.“I speak the truth and I walk the walk,” he said. “I have visited the bases of the troops, been to Afghanistan with our brave soldiers at Christmas, been to cemeteries of our fallen around the world and honored our fallen troops on Coach’s Corner.” Cherry toiled in pro hockey from 1951-72, playing all but one game in the minor leagues. His only NHL appearance came in 1955 with the Boston Bruins.He returned to Boston as coach from 1974-79, leading the Bruins to five playoff appearances and a 231-105-64 record.He coached one more season, 1979-80, with the Colorado Rockies and posted a 19-48-13 record. The Rockies later became the New Jersey Devils. CBC hired him in 1981 to appear on “Hockey Night In Canada.” He quickly became known for his over-the-top apparel and controversial opinions. Among his talking points, he commented on why female reporters didn’t belong in locker rooms, expressed negative thoughts about European hockey players, blasted believers in climate change and talked about the benefits of fighting, despite the NHL’s efforts to prevent concussions.
The Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China yesterday concluded a Memorandum of Understanding between the two sides to commence a partnership which places the development of table tennis at the fore. Chen Xilai, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China and Godfrey Munroe, President of the tennis body, signed on behalf of the two entities. The agreement according to Munroe reflects the position of the Government of China to provide technical and other support to the Guyanese sport body. “This forms part of an MOU and ongoing support between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) which includes the provision of high-level coaching to national table tennis players at all levels in high yield environments in China, provision of equipment support to schools, communities and the developmental initiatives of GTTA,” Munroe pronounced at a simple ceremony at the Ministry of Education NCERD building in Kingston. Provisions for the training of Guyanese coaches and “support” for the construction of a home for table tennis in Guyana are other major components of the agreement. One aspect of the MOU was served up straight away with the Embassy donating a variety of table tennis equipment including tables, rackets and balls to fifty schools across Guyana to stimulate interest in table tennis in schools. Meanwhile the Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, Cui Jianchun, who is an avid follower of the sport both locally and abroad, briefly recalled the history of co-operation between Guyana and China through the use of sports. “Chinese and Guyanese people have always enjoyed extensive exchanges in table tennis. As early as 1973, the Guyana table tennis team visited China and participated in the Asian, African and Latin American Table Tennis Friendship Invitational Tournament held in Beijing. Over the past few decades, China has sent several table tennis coaches to Guyana to help the development of table tennis here,” the Chinese Ambassador remarked. Dr. Karen Cummings, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Dr. Nicolette Henry, Minister of Education also attended the ceremony and delivered remarks. The former, in particular, lamented on the influence of sport in continuing to shape the extant bonds between Guyana and China. “Let me join the speakers who have preceded me in applauding the efforts of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, the Guyana Table Tennis Association and all others who have played a part in bringing today’s happy activity to fruition. “Today’s ceremony is a fitting symbol and another concrete expression of the historic, strong and continued friendship and meaningful collaboration between Guyana and China since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries,” Dr Cummings remarked.
The curtain came down Thursday last at Strikers Sports Club when the inaugural All Female Christmas Bonanza aggregate dominoes competition concluded. Six female teams, for six weeks, had battled for supremacy in a points system aggregate domino tournament.The six teams were Turning Point, All Seasons Angels, In Time, Cody’s Girls, Big Boss Girls and Big Girls.The captains were Sandra Welch, Barbara Marshall, Loraine Rodney, Claire Benjamin, Charlyn Barnwell and Yonette Christmas respectively. This gesture was seen as a step in the right direction according to all the captains of the various teams in their closing remarks as the tourney concluded.The idea was that the six teams would play each other twice while amassing points. There were five points for winning the round, three points for placing second and one point for bringing third.Women are always made to compete against men and most of the time are at a disadvantage because the numbers are against them i.e. if there is a tournament consisting of 21 teams, we barely may find at the most three (3) all-female teams that can compete and, this does not augur well for them. They are usually booted out by their male counterparts before, as we would say in Guyanese parlance, seeing the Promised Land. The idea was also to move away from the traditional monetary prizes and present hampers and tokens instead for the winners. After due diligence and lobbying six all female teams were gathered to compete among themselves. The winning teams received a hamper each from Dynasty Sports Club while the Most Valuable Player from the other teams, also received hampers compliments of Earle Aaron of Sterling Products Limited and Nigel Worrell of Ansa McAL Trading under the Stag Brand. A complete Gas Range was donated by Heekima Paul of Massy Gas Products Guyana Ltd for the overall Most Valuable Player.A bonus was added for the finals by Clifton’s Electronics of two Black and Decker Irons and one Black and Decker Microwavable bowl set for the winners of the final matchup and the first love in the finals. Tokens were also given to each participant compliments of Strikers Sports Club. Trophies were sponsored by Stephen Thomas of Sunrise Marina Inc., Dynasty Sports Club and Big Boss Transportation Services.At the conclusion, Big Boss Girls were the winners with 24 points, Turning Point Girls and Big Girls were locked on 19 points, Cody’s Girls 16 points, In Time Girls 15 points and All Seasons Angels 14 points. The overall MVP and player of the finals was Cheryl Fraser while the MVP for Turning Point was June Watts, Emily Dodson was the MVP for Big Girls, Amanda Singh was adjudged best player for All Seasons Angels, Loraine Rodney was the top scorer for In Time Girls and Sheron Jerome was the MVP for Cody’s Girls. The first love in the finals was shared by Ann Thomson of Cody’s Girls. Barbara Lee also of Cody’s Girls and Roseann Taylor of In Time Girls won the Black and Decker Irons.
The final round of group stage matches in the 3rd annual Magnum Tonic Wine Mashramani Cup Futsal Championship commences tonight at the National Gymnasium on Mandela Avenue. In the opening at 19:00hrs, Island All-Stars and Kingston will face-off, with the second encounter pitting Belfield Warriors against Stabroek Ballers at 19:30hrs. This will be followed by the Showstoppers and Avocado Ballers match from 20:00hrs. Sparta Boss and Bad-a-Yard will take center stage at 20:30hrs, with Future Stars battling Alexander Village from 21:00hrs and Broad Street opposing Sophia at 21:30hrs. The final two showdowns will then pit Gold is Money against Albouystown at 22:00hrs and Bent Street against North East La Penitence from 22:30hrs. Esan Griffith, tournament coordinator and Co-Director of San Sports said, “Tonight will be judgement day for several teams as they vie for the remaining berths to the elimination section. The tournament has certainly provided unpredictable results, with several newcomers challenging and beating their established counterparts.!This provides a breath of fresh air to the event and clearly highlights that skill level amongst the respective teams is diminishing. Another wonderful night of action is expected which will continue the trend of the competition since its inception.”Winner of the event will pocket $700,000 and the championship trophy, while the second place side will collect $400,000 and the respective accolade. On the other hand, the third and fourth place unit will receive $200,000 and $100,000 respectively and the corresponding trophy.Day-5-Tuesday Feb-4th Kingston vs Island All-Stars-19:00hrs Belfield Warriors vs Stabroek Ballers-19:30hrsShowstoppers vs Avocado Ballers-20:00hrsSparta Boss vs Bad-a-Yard-20:30hrs Future Stars vs Alex Village-21:00hrsBroad St vs Sophia-21:30hrsGold is Money vs Albouystown-22:00hrsBent St vs North East La Penitence-22:30hrs
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – India became the first team to reach the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup semi-finals yesterday after beating New Zealand by three runs to register a third successive victory at the tournament. India, put into bat, could not make the most of a strong start but their 133-8 still proved beyond Sophie Devine’s team, who managed 130-6.Once again, leading India’s charge was opener Shafali Verma whose 46 earned the 16-year-old her second player-of-the-match award at Melbourne’s Junction Oval.Her opening partner Smriti Mandhana disappointed again though, dragging a wide Lea Tahuhu delivery onto her stumps to depart on 11. Verma and Taniya Bhatia (23) forged a half-century stand to prop up the Indian innings, aided by some sloppy catching by their opponents.Verma, who smashed Anna Peterson for back-to-back sixes, was first dropped by Maddy Green at long on and then at midwicket by Tahuhu.The opener eventually holed out at long-off as wickets started tumbling. “She’s giving us good starts as we expected from her,” said captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who fell for her third successive single digit score.“I hope she continues that because those initial runs are very crucial for us.”New Zealand wobbled early in their chase after their top three, including skipper Devine, departed with the team reeling at 34-3. Green made 24 and Katey Martin contributed 25 to arrest the slide but it was Amelia Kerr’s lion-hearted 34 not out down the order which injected excitement into the contest.Needing 16 off the last over from Shikha Pandey, Hayley Jensen and Kerr hit a boundary each and ran three singles but could not reach the target.Defending champions Australia remained on course to be the second team from Group A to make the semi-finals after crushing Bangladesh by 86 runs in Canberra. Electing to bat, the hosts capitalised on a blistering start from Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney to post 189-1, the highest total at this year’s tournament.Player-of-the-match Healy smacked three sixes in her 53-ball 83, while Mooney remained not out on 81 off 58 balls.The duo featured in a record opening stand of 151 before Healy fell in the 17th over.Left with a mountain to climb, Bangladesh managed 103-9, losing three wickets in three balls, including two run-outs, in the final over. “It was a good all-round performance. It was something that we really needed,” home captain Meg Lanning said.“We were a little bit timid in the first few games. World Cups are all about big games and we want to be a part of them.”
Junior National Table Tennis Coach Dwain Dick is calling on the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) and other related sports bodies to provide virtual psychosocial support for athletes who may be physiologically affected by the impact of the Coronavirus. Dick mooted the idea in response to questions posed by Stabroek Sports on how sports federations can remain relevant during this period of uncertainty. “I would’ve liked to see the GOA, NSC and the national federations playing a more active role in terms of athlete support; taking this time to publicly reassure athletes through virtual seminars or meetings by giving advice, guidance, and direction, especially to the younger athletes,” he suggested.
The Donald Trump administration has backpedalled on its promise to strip visas of students whose classes are moving entirely online for the new school year. Many Guyanese student athletes in the USA were worried about their status and having to return to the 592 after Trump’s administration announced earlier this month that international students who would not attend in-person classes would have their visas rescinded and subsequently deported.“Good sense prevailed in the end” said Coach Julian Edmonds who has five USA based students competing in Track and Field on the collegiate circuit.
Earning Guyana’s next Olympic medal is still a top priority for standout boxer, Keevin Allicock. This was reiterated by the prized fighter during his first interview since returning home on Friday night after being stranded in Cuba for 126 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The Commonwealth Youth Games silver medalist told Stabroek Sport yesterday that he is more determined than ever to clinch an Olympic berth and a medal after his ordeal on the Spanish speaking island.Allicock, along with Colin Lewis, Desmond Amsterdam and Dennis Thomas, departed for Cuba on January 4 for a three-month training stint ahead of the Olympic Qualifiers which was scheduled to be held four months ago. The quartet was scheduled to return home on March 19 before traveling to Argentina for the March 26-April 3 Olympic Qualifiers which had to be shelved. Allicock admitted that being stranded in Cuba was his toughest fight both mentally and physically to date. More often than not, mental fortitude pulls out a victory for a fighter in a close battle. With a new found resilience, he feels that he is now more equipped with the cerebral tools necessary to be among the best in the world and on the podium in Tokyo in 2021.After his mandatory seven-day home quarantine, the 21 year-old revealed that he will jump right back into training. “It feels good to be back home, sleeping in my own bed and being around my family and friends. I can’t wait to be back at the gym and training. The goal still remains to be a medalist at the Olympics.”Allicock who is the lone Guyanese boxer to be included in the latest world rankings released by world governing body AIBA, stated that winning a medal at the next Olympic Games would be the ultimate silver lining behind the dark cloud of the global pandemic.The product of the Forgotten Youth Foundation concluded by thanking the Guyana Boxing Association, the GOA, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Sports Commission for collaborating to ensure the contingent’s safe return from Cuba.
Following their biggest win of the season against the Detroit Lions on Monday night, the Ravens now see their playoff possibilities coming into sharp focus with two weeks remaining in the regular season.Paths to a division title or the second wild-card spot in the AFC remain very reasonable with the Ravens having complete control over both of those outcomes, but Baltimore still has a chance — unlikely as it might be — to earn the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye after the top three teams in the conference all lost in Week 15.While there are clearly no scenarios in which the Ravens could clinch the division or the No. 2 seed in Week 16, they could punch their ticket to the postseason if they continue their current winning streak and receive help from other teams on Sunday.Here are the Ravens’ current playoff scenarios entering Week 16:The Ravens will clinch a playoff spot on Sunday with:A win over New England AND a Miami loss at Buffalo AND a San Diego loss or tie against OaklandSkinny: Some have erroneously said the Ravens would clinch the No. 6 seed with a win over the Patriots and a Dolphins loss, but the Chargers remain in the hunt with a 7-7 record, leaving open the possibility of a three-way tie for the No. 6 seed at the end of Week 17. Though the Ravens would win individual tiebreakers against Miami (their Week 5 win) or San Diego (superior conference record), the Dolphins would win the three-way tiebreaker with the best conference record should all three teams finish 9-7 or 8-8.The Ravens can win the AFC North with:Two wins OR two Cincinnati losses (home games against Minnesota and Baltimore)Skinny: The Bengals would clinch the division with a win or a tie against the Vikings and a Baltimore loss against New England in Week 16, but a Ravens win over the Patriots or a Bengals loss to Minnesota would guarantee an AFC North championship game in Week 17. Baltimore would own the head-to-head tiebreaker with a win over the Bengals after defeating them once earlier in the season.The Ravens would clinch the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye with:Two wins AND two New England losses (at Baltimore and home against Buffalo) AND one Indianapolis loss (at Kansas City or home against Jacksonville) AND one Miami loss (at Buffalo or home against the New York Jets)ORTwo wins AND two New England losses AND two Indianapolis lossesSkinny: Under the first scenario presented, the Ravens would finish with a better conference record than New England and a better record against common opponents than Indianapolis. However, if the Patriots would lose out and the Dolphins would win out, Miami would win the AFC East and the door would remain open for a three-way tie among Baltimore, Indianapolis, and Miami that would give the Dolphins the No. 2 seed by way of the best conference record. This possibility would be eliminated if the Colts were to lose two games as the Ravens would still own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Dolphins, meaning a Miami loss wouldn’t be needed.
Renewing what was once a fierce rivalry in the days of the AFC Central, the Ravens welcome the Tennessee Titans to Baltimore for their first meeting since the 2011 season.In recent years, the Ravens and Titans have gone in opposite directions with Baltimore consistently being one of the better teams in the AFC and Tennessee not having made the playoffs since 2008. This season has been no different as the 5-4 Ravens are still in the playoff hunt despite losing two straight while the Titans have struggled to a 2-6 record under new head coach Ken Whisenhunt.Coming off their bye, the Titans have lost six of seven and have handed the reins of their offense to a sixth-round rookie quarterback. In contrast, the Ravens hope to regain some momentum going into their bye as they try to find answers in the secondary following the season-ending loss of cornerback Jimmy Smith.Sunday marks the 18th regular-season meeting between Baltimore and Tennessee with the Titans holding a 9-8 advantage. The series in Baltimore is tied 4-4 with Tennessee coming to M&T Bank Stadium for the first time since the 2008 season.Here’s what to expect as the Ravens try to improve to 6-4 and keep pace in the AFC North …1. Lardarius Webb will record his first interception of the 2014 season. The Ravens surviving in the secondary would be easier if Webb begins playing more like he did a couple years ago when he was emerging as one of the best cornerbacks in the AFC before his second ACL injury. He acknowledged this week that he needs to step up his performance after moving back into a full-time role over the last month. The Ravens’ only interception in the secondary this year was made by Smith against Tampa Bay, but more opportunities will come against Zach Mettenberger and the rookie will be pressured into making a bad throw that Webb will take advantage of.2. Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey will pick up a sack, but the Baltimore offensive line will bounce back from last week’s showing in Pittsburgh. The Ravens were poor in pass protection last week with Eugene Monroe, Jeremy Zuttah, and Kelechi Osemele all struggling against the Steelers’ rush, and Casey is one of the best 3-technique defensive linemen in the NFL. Slowing him will be a challenge, but Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda and Osemele will be ready as the Ravens will do a better job protecting Joe Flacco. The defensive front is one of the Titans’ biggest strengths, but the Ravens won’t be caught by surprise like they were with a turn-back-the-clock performance by James Harrison last week.3. Justin Forsett will go over the century mark for the second time this year as the Ravens rush for a season-high 175 yards. Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak spoke earlier this week about the inability to run the ball as effectively against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, so expect the Ravens to try to exploit the league’s 28th-ranked run defense. Baltimore will be aggressive to establish a lead before turning it over to the running game with Forsett being the most trustworthy of the backs. In the first half of their last two games, the Ravens carried 30 times for 103 yards before needing to essentially abandon the run in the second half, but they’ll be effective running between the tackles throughout Sunday’s game. 4. Zach Mettenberger will throw two touchdowns, but the damage won’t come until the second half. Much like they did against Tampa Bay a few weeks ago, the Ravens will bring pressure and play strong defense in the first half to hold a sizable lead before loosening the reins in the final 30 minutes, which will lead to some opportunities for Mettenberger. The rookie has some decent weapons in tight end Delanie Walker and young receivers Justin Hunter and Kendall Wright, so Sunday will offer a low-pressure tuneup for the likes of Danny Gorrer and Tramain Jacobs in the secondary. A porous offensive line will make it a long first half for Mettenberger before the Ravens call off the dogs and sit back in coverage with a big lead.5. The Ravens will feel better about themselves going into the bye week with a 31-16 win over Tennessee. This game might make you nervous if it were being played in Nashville, but the Ravens just don’t lose home games to bad football teams with rookie quarterbacks, which is what the Titans are. Playing in Baltimore will help Flacco and the offense bounce back after a couple rough weeks and the Ravens will take better care of the football. The secondary will have a respectable effort, but there won’t be much to take away from this game as the coaching staff will try to figure things out in the back end during the off-week. Their issues are obvious, but a 6-4 record still keeps the Ravens in decent position for a postseason run.