Compete Network Feature Stories

April ’16 Speed Read



BNP Paribas Open Tournament Director Resigns Over Outrageous Sexist Comments
Raymond Moore resigned from his position as CEO and tournament director for BNP Paribas Open after saying that the top tier of women tennis players rode “on the coattails of the men” and were “very, very lucky” to have equal prize money. He also said that “If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport.” He and his remarks were widely condemned by Serena Williams and Martina Navratilova and the ATP men’s tour formally denounced him.

SXSW Apologizes Following Gaffe Asking U.S. Olympic Fencer to Remove Hijab
Ibtihaj Muhammad, the U.S. Olympic fencer actually had two bad experiences at the recent South by Southwest festival (SXSW); first when someone asked her to remove her hijab for a security photo, not realizing that she wears it for religious purposes, and second when she was given a credential with an incorrect name – that of Tamir Muhammad who supposedly works for Time Warner, Inc. SXSW apologized for the gaffes that gave the organization a black eye … or two.

FIFA Acknowledges World Cup Hosting Bribes: Asks U.S. for Cash
FIFA has acknowledged that past World Cups for soccer were awarded based on bribes and now has asked U.S. prosecutors to give the organization back “tens of millions of dollars” seized from the former FIFA officials who took the cash.

Former NFL Helmet Maker Facing Lawsuit Trouble
Riddell, the former NFL helmet maker is facing serious allegations about knowing the concussion risks for athletes wearing their helmets but failing to inform players of the dangers. While the NFL has settled its concussion suit, the suit against Riddell is still up in the air. And according to the players’ lead attorney Jason Luckasevic, there are a number of new documents that have surfaced since the NFL suit was settled in 2013, causing him to say “We are going to put an end to that helmet maker.”

Patriots Player Leaves Team to Train for U.S. Olympic Rugby Team
Nate Ebner, a safety for the New England Patriots is taking a leave of absence to train for the U.S. Olympic rugby team for the Rio Olympics. Thanking both the Patriots and USA Rugby for giving him the opportunity to chase his boyhood dream, Ebner says, “I can’t put into words how much this opportunity means to not only me, but my friends and family as well.” Already resigned with the Patriots, Ebner is expected to rejoin his NFL team after the Olympic rugby competition that runs from August 6-11.

Leading PLAINTIFF in NFL Concussion Lawsuit Dies of ALS
Kevin Turner, a leading plaintiff in the concussion lawsuit brought against the NFL by former players, died March 24 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS (aka, Lou Gehrig’s disease) at age 46. The former fullback played eight seasons in the NFL for the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles before being diagnosed with ALS in 2010. He is survived by his wife, Allison and their three children, ages 18, 15 and 12 as well as his parents.

Turner believed his condition was a direct result of his time in the NFL. In a late 2014 interview with Rick Maese of the Washington Post, Turner said he didn’t know exactly how many concussions he had received but he was definitely aware of research that suggests that former NFL players are four-to-eight times more likely to be diagnosed with ALS than the general population. He also told Maese that upon his death he wanted researchers to study his brain and spinal cord to see if they can better understand the link between concussions and ALS.

Refugee Athletes Train for Olympic Team
With the large number of refugees escaping war and violence in the Middle East and Africa, there is a group of 43 displaced men and women ranging in age from 17-30 who are being considered for selection into a new team called “Refugee Olympic Athletes.” The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is creating a small refugee team to compete in Rio under the Olympic flag instead of competing for their former homelands. Final team selection will be announced by the IOC in June at its next executive board meeting.

The team will march together into the Maracana Stadium for the opening ceremony behind the white flag bearing the five Olympic rings, just ahead of the Brazilian team that as the host nation, marches last. The team will live in the Olympic Village with other teams and the IOC will supply them with team uniforms, coaches and technical officials. And if one of the refugee athletes wins a gold medal, the Olympic anthem will be played.

Billy Bean Represents MLB at NYU’s Conference on Social Responsibility of Sports
Billy Bean, along with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred represented their sport as they joined NBA commissioner Adam Silver, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, MLS commissioner Don Garber and NASCAR CEO Brian France at an NYU conference as part of a conversation about Social Responsibility of Sports.



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