(REUTERS) – Reports of discrimination across all levels of professional soccer in England and Wales rose by 42% last season, despite it was suspended for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-racism organisation Kick It Out has said.There were 446 reports of discrimination in the 2019-20 season, up from 313 in the previous campaign, while reports of racial abuse increased by 53%. There were also 117 reports of abuse based on sexual orientation – a 95% rise.Premier League teams have sought to highlight racial injustice following the season’s restart in June with Black Lives Matter protests before kickoffs but Kick It Out chairman Sanjay Bhandari said there was still work to be done.“This year the pandemic and the killing of George Floyd turned the world on its head,” Bhandari said.“Football responded positively with clubs increasing their work in the community and with the players symbolising the demand for greater equality of opportunity, by taking a knee.“But beneath the surface, hate and division in society remains a lurking pernicious threat.”Crystal Palace’s Patrick van Aanholt and Wilfried Zaha had called for social media platforms to take stronger action against racism after they were both subjected to online racial abuse.“The FA has made huge strides in recent years to ensure that English football is a diverse and inclusive game, but we know there is more to be done,” Paul Elliott, chair of the Football Association’s Inclusion Advisory Board, said.“We strongly condemn all forms of discrimination and … we investigate all reported forms of discriminatory abuse in English football at every level of the game.”
What do a journalism major with a sports media minor and a cinema and media studies major have in common? Enough to argue about.Think of this as an introduction, the only edition of this column in an explanatory format. Every edition after this will read as a running dialogue between the two of us about a number of subjects under the umbrella topic of sports entertainment, including narrative films, television shows and documentaries.We felt that a written conversation was the best way to display our thoughts in the most engaging manner. Sports and movies are particularly ripe topics for fun and informative arguments among friends, and we want this to read almost exactly that way.The cyclical nature of sports culture is inextricably linked to entertainment. From beach volleyball Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings drawing inspiration from soccer star Mia Hamm’s prominence after mainly watching male athletes on the screen, to researchers studying the effects of watching televised sports on physical activity, the connection is stronger than ever.There’s even more ways to investigate their mutual influence (if you’re willing to separate sports as its own entity from entertainment), whether it be Jim Brown and Gina Carano turning in the pads and gloves for the silver screen, Jay-Z selling his portion of the Brooklyn Nets to lead Roc Nation Sports as an agent or the Golden State Warriors becoming the “centerpiece” of a larger sports and entertainment conglomerate.It brings us here — a place that hasn’t quite been tapped as much as it can be — as our tenuous connection to sports currently relies on a cable TV, a WiFi connection and professional sports organizations throwing their players to the coronavirus wolves. Mediums such as movies, television and more are some of the ways that have brought us closer to the sports and athletes we love, and we want to discuss why they are so good at imparting those experiences.There needs to be an honest examination of how the entertainment side of sports culture exploits the same athletes that bring us to the TV or theater.We’ve seen athletes recounting the mental health suffering that goes ignored once they are past their “prime.” We saw it when the NFL Draft relayed with sickening tediousness the trials and tribulations athletes faced to even get a spot on the map. All of this highlights structural inequities of race, class, gender, sexual orientation and disability that often are swept under the rug unless it has a quantifiable entertainment “value” to it.A key motivation for us writing this column is the fact that sport is a fantastic source of original stories, and so it makes sense that it would translate to entertainment mediums. There’s inherent drama that comes with games and seasons where the outcome is unknown, which is the entire basis of movies and television (as long as no one spoils them for you). We track the streaks and runs of games and seasons for the same reason we follow “Game of Thrones” to the bitter, bitter end: We want to find out what happens, who wins and who loses.That leads us to the first — though not necessarily most important — purpose we want this column to fill: It will be a space for us to explore how the storytelling structures of movies, TV and documentaries apply to sports.Sometimes the sports side of the story is too good to stray away from (as was the case in “Miracle”). Sometimes sports are used as a way to ground the story and provide an intriguing subplot (like in “Uncut Gems”). And sometimes sport is lazily thrown in a way that spits on the entire industry (clearly, “Duff” didn’t have anyone on staff who had seen a snap of football in their life and could keep Robbie Amell’s travesty of a throwing motion from seeing the light of day).We will also examine how documentaries go about telling the stories of things that really happened. For example, we can reflect on a long overdue portrait of the “Women of Troy” and their influence that will last generations. Or, after we watch “The Last Dance,” do we really want to accept that Michael Jordan could be a total jerk, or do we want to keep the image of our idols alive and well?Second, we’d like the column to serve as a forum for us to discuss and appreciate how sports entertainment adds to sports culture. A lot of the stories we discuss will be fictional, but they still teach viewers a lot about sports’ core values and place in society. “Rocky,” “The League” and “The Fab Five” center on the important roles of competitiveness, social life and capitalism in sports, respectively, and those are just a few examples of the lessons we can learn from these mediums.Lastly, since we are both sports and entertainment nerds, this will be a place for us to geek out on some of our favorite viewing experiences. So expect to see “White Men Can’t Jump” brought up at least once. Maybe we’ll mention the ESPN 30 for 30 “Trojan War” segment, too.Aidan Berg and Lauren Mattice are seniors writing about sports culture and entertainment. They are also the deputy outreach director and digital managing editor of the Daily Trojan, respectively. Their column, “Screen & Roll,” runs every other Monday.
Rafa Nadal’s bid to get back to top form before the French Open suffered a setback when he crashed to a 6-4 7-6 (6) defeat to 13th-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini in the third round of the Barcelona Open on Thursday.Nadal, the world number four and second seed, produced an erratic performance on the clay in the Catalan capital and the big-hitting Fognini punished the Spaniard’s errors to scupper Nadal’s bid for a ninth Barcelona title.Fognini, who beat Nadal on clay in the semi-finals in Rio de Janeiro in February, his only win in five previous meetings, said he had needed to draw on his mental strength to see out the match.Backed by a fiercely partisan crowd, Nadal saved three match points in the tiebreak before sending a forehand long to hand Fognini victory on the fourth. “Unless you play at your highest level against Rafa for the whole match you are not going to get the better of him,” Fognini told Spanish television.”Beating a player who is the greatest in history on this surface is worth double,” he added.”I knew I had my chances today and I just tried to keep to my game plan and give it my all.” Nadal, whose 2014 season was wrecked by illness and injury, is looking to rediscover his dominance on the red dust before he makes a bid for a record-extending 10th French Open crown starting at the end of next month.The Majorca native lost to world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of last week’s Monte Carlo Masters and many are tipping the Serb to end his great rival’s stranglehold at Roland Garros.Fognini will play unseeded Spaniard Pablo Andujar in Friday’s Barcelona quarter-finals. Andujar upset compatriot and fifth seed Feliciano Lopez 6-3 6-4 earlier on Thursday.On the other side of the draw, champion and top seed Kei Nishikori of Japan eased past Colombian Santiago Giraldo 6-2 6-1 and will play Spaniard Roberto Bautista for a place in Saturday’s semi-finals.–
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersEmbiid went for 32 points and 16 rebounds in a 109-105 victory over the host Clippers on Monday.“I saw some highlights on SportsCenter when I got home,” Walton said of Embiid. “He’s a pretty good basketball player. But the way Simmons is playing right now, J.J. (Redick) shooting the ball, they’re doing some pretty good things over there. … So it’s going to be a good challenge for us.”Redick is the 76ers’ fourth-leading scorer at 15.1 points per game, forward Robert Covington is at 16.8 and Simmons, who missed the 2016-17 season recovering from foot surgery, is averaging 17.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists.Kyle Kuzma, the Lakers’ rookie forward, is impressed with Simmons.“Pretty good young player, having a good year, does a lot for their team, so we’re going to have our hands full,” he said following practice Tuesday. EL SEGUNDO — When the Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers square off Wednesday night at Staples Center, the game will feature two teams that haven’t seen the playoffs in a while and have spent recent years at or near the bottom of their respective Western and Eastern conference standings.The 76ers (7-6) last made the postseason in the strike-shortened 2011-12 campaign, the Lakers in 2012-13. Both franchises appear to be on the rise, and have acquired some promising young talent, so Lakers coach Luke Walton and his players are looking forward to the matchup.“Yeah, I think it’ll be exciting,” said Walton, whose team is 6-8. “There’s a lot of good teams out there, so it’s always exciting to get out there and play. But with young, high draft picks and teams going at each other, I think that’s always a little extra for them.”Philadelphia is built around second-year center Joel Embiid and 6-foot-10 rookie point guard Ben Simmons. Embiid missed the 2014-15 and ’15-’16 seasons because of a foot injury, then played in only 31 games last season because of a knee injury. Now healthy, he’s averaging 20.9 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.5 blocked shots this season. WALTON HAPPY FOR UCLA TRIOWalton was glad to hear that the three UCLA freshman basketball players – LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill – on Tuesday were flying back to Los Angeles after being detained in China following their arrest for allegedly shoplifting from stores there.Ball is the younger brother of Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball.“Yeah, I mean, I’m happy for them,” Walton said. “They’re college kids and it’s gotta be kind of a little scary for them to be in another country and not know what’s going on. So, obviously, I’m happy whether it’s them or any college kids returning home.”Of Lonzo Ball, Walton said, “Happy for him, obviously, that his brother is home and safe.”ALSOThe Lakers on Tuesday assigned rookie guard Josh Hart and second-year center Ivica Zubac to the South Bay Lakers of the G-League and recalled rookie center Thomas Bryant. Bryant averaged 20.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots in four games with South Bay. Kuzma also likes the notion that this game will pit a pair of teams making some headway.“Yeah, they have a really young core and we have a young core, too,” said Kuzma, whose 14.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game rank third and second on the team, respectively. “Hopefully, each of those cores kind of grow and develop and fight for championships. We’ve got that opportunity and chance, too.” Lakers reserve guard Jordan Clarkson also assessed Philadelphia, and it was no surprise when Embiid and Simmons were mentioned.“Like a young team trying to come together,” Clarkson said. “I haven’t really seen much. I’ve seen Ben Simmons, Joel, they’re having solid years right now.”Clarkson leads the Lakers in scoring with a 15.5 average, even though he’s averaging just 21.4 minutes.