Leftist football clubs worldwide


This July 2010 video says about itself:

ANTIFA FOOTBALL TEAMS EUROPE. UNITED WE STAND AGAINST RACISM AND WHITE PRIDE. FUCK NAZIS. SEXISM SUCKS. ACAB. ANTIFA HOOLIGANS. GATE 9 ST PAULI MARSEILLE ULTRAS HAPOEL ULTRAS INFERNO WERDER BREMEN LIVORNO SEVILLA OMONOIA AC CHE GUEVARA

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 26 July 2020:

Leftist clubs around the world

SOME of the biggest clubs in the world have strong leftist elements, like Celtic, Liverpool, Boca Juniors and Olympique de Marseille.

Meanwhile German second-tier outfit St Pauli remains a global lightning rod for the left’s football network, with fan groups across the globe from Buffalo to Belfast, and friendships with clubs throughout Europe, many of whom we have covered in this series.

Then there are less well known but equally passionate antifa fan groups around the world, from Standard Liege (Belgium), Adana Demirspor (Turkey), Virtus Verona (Italy), Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders (United States) and Tennis Borussia Berlin (Germany), to non-league clubs like Clapton in east London and Altona 93 in Hamburg.

We Can’t Breathe, English footballers against racism


Black Lives matter slogan on English football shoe

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 24 July 2020:

Men’s Football: SRtRC launch “We Can’t Breathe” new anti-racism campaign

LIVERPOOL’S Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold are helping spearhead a new anti-racism campaign.

The Premier League-winning duo have linked up with Show Racism the Red Card for the charity’s video “We Can’t Breathe.”

This 24 July 2020 video from Britain says about itself:

We Can’t Breathe: A Show Racism the Red Card original film

Two months after the murder of George Floyd the world is still reeling from watching yet another unarmed Black person’s life be taken away from them.

Show Racism the Red Card’s latest original film: ‘We Can’t Breathe: How Eight Horrifying Minutes Lead to a Global Reckoning” explores Black Lives Matter in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, and highlights the importance of education in eradicating racism and discrimination from our society.

In the United States, Black Americans are two-and-a-half times more likely to be shot and killed by police. Whilst in the UK, one-in-eight young black men were the subjects of stop in searches in London during the lockdown.

Systemic barriers still stand in the way of BAME people in Britain, and whilst George Floyd made people sit up and pay attention, there is still an awfully long way to go.

The Morning Star article continues:

The video also includes former Wales rugby player Colin Charvis and ex-England cricketer Monty Panesar and aims to teach people about the impact of George Floyd’s death.

Floyd died while being restrained by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25 and it sparked protests across the world, with Premier League players taking a knee before games in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Members of Parliament and Black Lives Matter activists are involved.

Former West Ham and Newcastle goalkeeper Shaka Hislop is the charity’s honorary president and has joined protest marches himself in the United States.

He said: “The experiences [in the video] live out in real time and they weigh heavy. We took the decision, despite the pandemic, to go into battle in the nearest city where we live and join the Black Lives Matter march.”

Labour MP David Lammy contributes to the video.

Show Racism the Red Card chief executive Ged Grebby said: “We are dedicated to tackling racism and promoting change in society through education. With this short film, we’re hoping we can again contribute to a discussion around combatting rife racism in society.

“However more still needs to be done. As the recent events over the past couple of months show, racism is still very much alive around the world, and we stand alongside all those who are protesting against it.”

British gay Prime League footballer in closet


This 9 February 2020 video says about itself:

Only 8 male football players have come out as gay. There can be extremely negative consequences for male footballers who come out. Mocking, insults: homophobia is widespread in men’s football, and that clearly explains why only 8 male players have come out as gay.

Far more than eight male soccer players have come out of the closet. The video should say ‘8 INTERNATIONALLY WELL-KNOWN PROFESSIONAL players’.

An open letter by a British gay Prime League footballer today:

As a kid, all I ever wanted to be was a footballer. I wasn’t interested in doing well at school. Instead of doing homework, every spare minute I had was spent with a ball. In the end, it paid off. But even now I still have to pinch myself when I run out and get to play each week in front of tens of thousands of people.

However, there is something that sets me apart from most of the other players in the Premier League. I am gay. Even writing that down in this letter is a big step for me. But only my family members and a select group of friends are aware of my sexuality. I don’t feel ready to share it with my team or my manager. That’s hard. I spend most of my life with these guys and when we step out on the pitch we are a team.

But still, something inside me makes it impossible for me to be open with them about how I feel. I dearly hope one day soon I will be able to. I’ve known since I was about 19 that I was gay. How does it feel having to live like this? Day-to-day, it can be an absolute nightmare. And it is affecting my mental health more and more. I feel trapped and my fear is that disclosing the truth about what I am will only make things worse.

So, although my heart often tells me I need to do it my head always says the same thing: “Why risk it all?” I am lucky enough to earn a very good wage. I have a nice car, a wardrobe full of designer clothes and can afford to buy anything I want for my family and friends.

But one thing I am missing is companionship. I am at an age where I would love to be in a relationship. But because of the job I do the level of trust in having a long-term partner has to be extremely high.

So, at the moment, I avoid relationships at all. I dearly hope I will soon meet someone who I think I will be able to trust enough. The truth is I just don’t think football is ready yet for a player to come out. The game would need to make radical changes in order for me to feel able to make that step.

The Professional Footballers Association say they are ready to help a player to come out. And they have said they will offer counselling and support to anyone who needs it. This is missing the point. If I need a counsellor I can go and book a session with one whenever I want.

What those running the game need to do is educate fans, players, managers, agents, club owners basically everyone involved in the game. If I was to make that step I’d want to know that I would be supported at each step of my journey. Right now, I don’t feel I would be.

I wish I didn’t have to live my life in such a way. But the reality is there is still a huge amount of prejudice in football. There are countless times I’ve heard homophobic chants and comments from supporters directed at no one in particular.

Strangely it doesn’t really bother me during the matches. I am too focused on playing. It’s when I get back on the plane or the coach and I have time to think that it gets to me. As things stand my plan is to carry on playing for as long as I feel able to and then come out when I have retired.

It was great last month to see Thomas Beattie raise his hand and admit to being gay. But the fact he had to wait until retirement tells you all you need to know. Footballers are still too scared to make the step while they are playing.

For the past year I have been getting support from the Justin Fashanu Foundation, not least to cope with the toll this is all having on my mental health.

It is hard to put into words how much the Foundation has helped. It has made me feel supported and understood as well as giving me the confidence to be more open and honest with myself especially.

Without that support I really don’t know where I’d be now. I know it might get to the point where I find it impossible to keep living a lie. If I do my plan is to retire early and come out. I might be throwing away years of a lucrative career.

But you can’t put a price on your peace of mind. And I don’t want to live like this forever.

Dutch women’s national team lesbian football player Vivianne Miedema, playing in Britain, says: ‘Gay male Premier League players, please come out of the closet. Even just one man coming out will help lots of other players’.

The Dutch football league president says that professional football club bosses stop gay players from coming out of the closet for fear of losing money.

COVID-19 stops Texas Major League Soccer


This 7 July 2020 video says about itself:

FC Dallas OUT of MLS is Back: Commissioner Don Garber says the tournament will go on | ESPN FC

Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber joins SportsCenter on ESPN the decision to send FC Dallas home ahead of the MLS is Back Tournament. Garber expresses the league’s emphasis on the safety of players and personnel and the effectiveness of the protocol inside their bubble in Orlando, Florida. He also says the tournament will go on as planned, beginning with the first-ever meeting between Orlando City and Inter Miami on Wednesday, July 8 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

FC Dallas has to miss the restart of Major League Soccer (MLS). Ten players of the Dallas club appear to be infected with coronavirus. …

The United States soccer league starts again … after a few months of no football because of the outbreak of the coronavirus. The MLS, which had only two rounds of play before the coronavirus interruption, is being completed in tournament form at Disney World in Orlando.

So, in Florida.

While teenagers and others die of COVID-19 in Florida. While Disney corporation workers protest again dangerous premature management reopening schemes.

Virtual Tour de France mountain stage video


This 5 July 2020 video says about itself:

Virtual Tour de France 2020 – Live Stage 2

In the context of a completely unprecedented health crisis in which most cycling events have been cancelled or postponed, Zwift and Amaury Sport Organisation have decided to do something useful together and create the very first virtual Tour de France. It will be the starting point for a strong solidarity campaign around cycling.

During the first three weekends of July 2020, men’s and women’s professional races will be organised as part of virtual stages of the Tour de France.

Today, the second stage, was a mountain stage. The winner of today’s women’s race was Lauren Stephens from the USA. The winner of the men’s race was Julien Bernard from France.

Egyptian footballers refuse unsafe play during pandemic


This 3 July 2020 video says about itself:

Egyptian giant Zamalek to boycott league [Football Planet]

Uncertainty still lingers in the forthcoming 2021 CAF. The cancellation of FIFA dates in September further complicates the CAF’s 2020 games.

In Egypt, after issuing several threats, Zamalek has finally taken action. The frustration of some clubs with the decision to resume the championship takes a dramatic turn. The Cairo-based club has announced that it will not be resuming the season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This 3 July 2020 video is called From Scarred Lungs to Diabetes: How COVID May Stick With People Long-Term | SciShow News.

Online Tour de France cycling, 4 July


This 29 June 2020 video says about itself:

Official Virtual Tour de France 2020 – Cycling Race | Zwift

The Virtual Tour de France is coming to Zwift. The top men’s and women’s teams from across the world will compete for the ultimate prize. With Virtual L’Etape du Tour rides on new courses and high octane pro races to watch, this is cycling history in the making. #TDFVirtual

Watch the world’s best Zwift racers take on some ‘first-ever’ courses in the new France and Paris maps. Women and men pros are racing on Saturday and Sunday for three consecutive weekends beginning July 4th.

23 men’s teams and 17 women’s teams will participate.

Among the male participants will be former Tour de France winners Chris Froome, Egan Bernal, and Geraint Thomas. Greg Van Avermaet, Olympic champion and online Tour of Flanders victor this year, will also participate. Among the women, there will be Marianne Vos, Kirsten Wild, Olympic champion and 2018 world champion Anna van der Breggen, all from the Netherlands; and Chloé Dygert-Owen, from the USA, track cycling pursuit world champion.

The cyclists will ride on their home trainers at home. So, no coronavirus risk.

This virtual Tour de France will be six races, during the next three weekends. The start will be on 4 July: first the ladies, then the gentlemen. Both on a virtual hilly landscape based on the surroundings of Nice city in southern France.

The fifth stage will be climbing the famous Mont Ventoux mountain.

The sixth and final stage will be on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

TV stations in 130 countries will report about it.

The teams

Women

Alé BTC Ljubljana
Team Arkéa
Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team
CANYON//SRAM Racing
CCC-Liv Team
Ceratizit – WNT Pro Cycling
Drops
FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
Lotto Soudal Ladies
Parkhotel Valkenburg
Rally Cycling
TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank
Trek-Segafredo Women
TWENTY20 Pro Cycling
Team Sunweb
Valcar Travel & Service

Men

AG2R La Mondiale
Arkéa Samsic
Alpecin-Fenix
Astana Pro Team
B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
Team Bahrain McLaren
Bora Hansgrohe
CCC Team
Team Cofidis
Circus-Wanty Gobert
Deceuninck – Quick-Step
EF Education First Pro Cycling
Groupama-FDJ
Israel Start-Up Nation
Team INEOS
Team Jumbo-Visma
Lotto-Soudal
Mitchelton-SCOTT
NTT Pro Cycling
Rally Cycling
Team Sunweb
TOTAL Direct Énergie
Trek-Segafredo

Coronavirus in United States soccer, Australia


This 10 June 2020 Mayor League Soccer video from the USA says about itself:

MLS Is Back Tournament! What You Need To Know About Return To Play

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

In the highest United States soccer league (Mayor League Soccer), twenty players tested positive for the coronavirus. The virus has also been diagnosed with six staff members. …

The remaining games will be completed during the MLS is back event, July 8 through August 11, at the Disney World complex in Florida.

Florida, a COVID-19 hotspot where infections are on the rise. Disney World, where the workers oppose the bosses’ dangerous premature for-profit reopening plans.

Also from NOS radio:

Australia reports the largest daily increase in coronavirus infections since April 11. 85 people have been diagnosed with the virus in the past 24 hours. Most new infections came to light in the state of Victoria.

Tennis player Djokovic gets COVID-19


This 23 June 2020 ABC Australia TV video says about itself:

Novak Djokovic tests positive to COVID-19

The World No. 1 tennis star is the fourth player to contract the virus while taking part in a charity event he organised. The Adria tour has drawn criticism for going ahead amid the coronavirus pandemic, without adequate physical distancing measures in place.

COVID-19 US Open tennis, without Nadal


This 2019 tennis video is called Rafael Nadal – 20 Shots That Will Make You Say WOW!

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the professional tennis circuit has been shut down. After Roland Garros was moved to September and Wimbledon was canceled, the organization of the US Open announced last week that the grand slam tournament in New York will continue on the normal date. …

The question is how many players dare to travel to the United States which is badly hit by coronavirus? The professional circuit will start again in early August, culminating in the US Open from August 31 to September 13. …

It’s an industry with a lot of money …

Many players have already said that they do not feel like playing at the US Open for various reasons. Among them Simona Halep, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Roger Federer will no longer play this year due to a knee injury.

[Dutch tennis commentator Marcella] Mesker: “Nadal is actually a coward.”

No, Ms Mesker, Nadal is more of a hero than a coward! He refuses to play Russian roulette with the health and lives of himself, other players, umpires, ball boys, ball girls and their contacts. Russian roulette in New York City, where COVID-19 dead are dumped into mass graves and vans with 100 decomposing dead bodies were found.

Dutch Kiki Bertens is not sure yet whether she will play at the US Open. She doubts it.

Also translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Tennis players Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric have been infected with the coronavirus. The Bulgarian, number nineteen in the world rankings, and the Croat, number 33, have announced this on social media.

Grigor Dimitrov on coronavirus

Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev, the world’s number three and seven, also took part in the Adria tour.

Where it turned out that Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric were infected.

UPDATE: another tennis player infected: Viktor Troicki.

Also, five players of Red Star Belgrade football team turn out to have COVID-19.