12-12-2018 If every racist at football was silenced stadiums would still be full of racists | John Barnes

In times of stress, like the period we’re living through, people look for ways to communicate their superiority over othersI wasn’t surprised to see white people allegedly shouting racist abuse at Raheem Sterling and I don’t blame racists for holding those beliefs. We all discriminate, consciously or subconsciously. To be angry at a few people is a distraction. When it happens, the problem is not that people shout racist abuse, it is that they want to shout racist abuse. If every racist who came to football was silenced, football stadiums would still be full of racists. Racism is everywhere in our society, it is inside every one of us.The next day Sterling turned the spotlight on to how the media portrays young black footballers, compared with how they report similar stories about white players. It was right of him to do so, and it has started a debate on black representation in the media. But we can’t just focus on particular groups, on trying to get more black people into the police force, or running football clubs, or into journalism. Talking about what any one section of our society has to do to combat racism just stops people outside that group asking difficult questions of themselves. We keep looking at symptoms and not treating the cause. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 David Squires on … the mistreatment of Raheem Sterling

Our cartoonist on why it’s hard to exaggerate the vilification Raheem Sterling has been subjected to in recent yearsIf you like David’s cartoons, buy his book Goalless Draws Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Sport on the BBC: Best of this week's TV & radio coverage

This week's sport on the BBC includes the final round of matches in the group stages of the Champions League, European rugby union and the Sports Personality of the Year Awards.

12-12-2018 Football transfer rumours: Real Madrid's Marco Asensio to join Spurs?

Today’s fluff has got plenty of problemsMarcus Rashford is a target for Milan. Paul Pogba is unhappy. And José Mourinho has gone to the absurd lengths of distancing himself from a claim that he’s committed to Manchester United made by his own agent. “It’s not my statement, I didn’t know at all and I didn’t care about it.” Poor Ed Woodward. And there’s Theresa May thinking she’s got problems.But here’s some slightly more upbeat news for the beleaguered giants: Manchester United are hopeful of finally landing that elusive, game-changing central defender in the upcoming window! Step forward Pablo, Bordeaux’s 27-year-old Brazilian international. Not only that, hot Ajax pair Matthijs De Ligt and Frenkie De Jong are on their radar, as is the young Middlesbrough winger Marcus Tavernier. And Juan Mata is eager to sign a new contract. So it’s swings and roundabouts. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Luka Doncic's genius has managed to make a great NBA rookie class look average

The 2018 draft-class may well end up being one of the greatest in history. But they risk being eclipsed by the Slovenian teenagerPoor Marvin Bagley. The bouncy one-and-done Duke big man went second overall in the 2018 NBA draft and so far he is having what is, by any reasonable standard, an excellent rookie season, even though he plays for the Sacramento Kings, which is hardly his fault. Bagley is not an excellent NBA player right now; in fact, by most metrics, he’s kind of a bad NBA player. But most rookies, even the really good ones, are bad players. And just 20 games into his career, Bagley is pouring in points and grabbing rebounds at the same ferocious clip he did at Duke – 12.9 and 6.2 in just under 24 minutes per game – and he’s doing it despite taking several thousand fewer shots than Trae Young.In almost any other season, Bagley’s nifty stats plus his arrival coinciding with the Kings’ revival would be enough to anoint him an early rookie of the year candidate. If he’d come out of college two years ago, when Malcolm Brogdon won the award because Ben Simmons was injured and the rest of the 2016 draft class was trash, it would be Bagley’s name on that trophy and not Brogdon’s. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Alvarez v Fielding: Briton ready to seize chance against Mexican legend

Rocky Fielding used his selfie with Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez to impress Mexicans on holiday - now he is preparing to fight the country's boxing icon.

12-12-2018 Raiders owner calls Oakland's lawsuit over team's move to Vegas 'malicious'

City is seeking damages for money invested in RaidersLawsuit does not aim to stop team moving to Las VegasThe city of Oakland has filed a federal antitrust lawsuit trying to recover damages for the Raiders’ upcoming move to Las Vegas.The suit, which was filed on Tuesday against the Raiders, the NFL and the other 31 teams, seeks lost revenue, money Oakland taxpayers invested in the Raiders and other costs. The suit does not ask the court to prevent the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas but asks for damages that will help pay off the approximately $80m in debt remaining from renovations on the Coliseum. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Joel Matip: Liverpool defender out for up to six weeks with fractured collarbone

Liverpool defender Joel Matip could be out for up to six weeks as he needs surgery on a fractured collarbone.

12-12-2018 Alisson the rock in Liverpool’s solid defence but Matip injury is a blow

• Goalkeeper vital to defensive improvement this season•Defender out for six weeks after suffering a fractured collarboneThere was a grin from Virgil van Dijk before giving his assessment of Alisson’s contribution to Liverpool’s victory over Napoli. “He was there to do his job,” the defender said. Bear hugs and effusive praise could come from others. Van Dijk was, of course, correct, although a Liverpool goalkeeper doing his job so well, so consistently and so decisively feels a novelty in the context of Anfield’s recent history. Related: Klopp says £67m Alisson ‘worth double’ after save puts Liverpool through Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Irish police investigate rape claim against 'sports star' in Dublin

Woman reportedly filed complaint before being taken to sexual assault unitIrish police are investigating a claim that a prominent sports star raped a young woman in a hotel in Dublin city centre.Detectives from Pearse Street Garda station are investigating the alleged assault, which is said to have happened between midnight and 2am on Monday. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Australia head west and into the unknown for second Test against India | Geoff Lemon

The series moves to Perth and a new Test venue with plenty of local influence in the home team “A good South Australian question,” laughed Justin Langer at Adelaide airport when local journalists finished his departure press conference on the topics of local boys Alex Carey and Travis Head. But the national men’s coach is from Western Australia, and his state is no less parochial.If you didn’t know where Langer was from, a walk around the old Waca Ground would soon get you up to date. “The water that Langer and co grew up on,” promises a sign above the drinking taps, while an elevated bar is named “Langer’s Loft”. The walkway walls are covered in huge photos of various Western Warriors and Perth Scorchers, and inside one gate is a three-man montage mural of Marshes: Geoff flanked by sons Mitchell and Shaun, in a visual display of elite lineage. Continue reading...