TIME Football

Cam Newton Calls Out Panthers Fans for Cheering After Manziel’s Injury

Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel
Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers and Johnny Manziel #2 of the Cleveland Browns exchange words after their game at Bank of America Stadium on Dec. 21, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Streeter Lecka—Getty Images

"I was saddened to see the crowd's response to when he got hurt"

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton called out fans Sunday who cheered after Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel left with an injury.

The Browns and Panthers faced each other in Charlotte Sunday afternoon, when Manziel left the game in the second quarter after taking a hard hit from two Panthers defenders. Cleveland said Manziel had a hamstring injury, and he did not return in the second half.

While he was down on the field, cheers could be heard throughout Bank of America Stadium. Newton responded with harsh criticism after the game:

“I was saddened to see the crowd’s response to when he got hurt,” Newton said. “It was classless. Anytime when a person gets hurt you don’t celebrate. I have had that done in my career and it just takes the integrity out of the game.”

“For the crowd to respond in that sort of way — we’re better than that,” Newton said.

Giants’ Tom Coughlin, Jets’ Nick Mangold honor slain NYPD officers

The Panthers won, 17-13.

Brian Hoyer replaced Manziel and went 7-of-13 for 134 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. The Browns briefly took a fourth-quarter lead after an 81-yard pass from Hoyer to Jordan Cameron with 9:59 to go.

Less than three minutes later, Newton led the Panthers on a seven-play, 66-yard drive that ended in a 9-yard Jonathan Steward touchdown run to put Carolina up 17-13.

This article originally appeared on SportsIllustrated.com

TIME Football

Raiders’ Menelik Watson Donates Game Check to 4-Year-Old With Heart Syndrome

Britain Raiders Football
Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Menelik Watson at a press conference at Pennyhill Park, Bagshot, England, Sept. 24, 2014. Tim Ireland—AP

Check goes to the family of a four-year-old fan who has hypoplastic left heart syndrome

On Sunday, Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported that Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Menelik Watson donated his game check for this week to the family of a four-year-old fan who has hypoplastic left heart syndrome, according to ProFootballTalk.

Ava Urrea, who was born with half a heart and has had 14 surgeries, got to visit the Raiders this week after Glazer arranged for the meeting through his Touchdown Dreams program.

Grizzlies buy new car for intern after his gets stolen​

Players gave her a signed helmet, signed footballs and made her captain for a day, according to Glazer.

ProFootballTalk found that Watson’s base salary for the year is $622,948, making his weekly gross salary $36,944. Accounting for taxes, Urrea and her family should receive around $18,000.

This article originally appeared on SportsIllustrated.com

TIME Sports

Multiple People Injured by Lightning Strike After Buccaneers Game

Buccaneers Lightning Strike
Tampa Police Officers talk to spectators after football fans were reportedly taken to the hospital with injuries after a lightning strike near the Raymond James Stadium, Dec. 21, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. Brian Blanco—AP

At least six were being treated by paramedics

Between five to seven people were injured by a lightning strike as the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers game ended at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, according to USA Today.

It is unknown if they were hit by a direct strike or injured by a nearby bolt, however Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Tampa Fire and Rescue said it doesn’t appear the people were struck by lightning, but “knocked to the ground nearby.”

Tampa Fire and Rescue said at least six were being treated by paramedics, and all of the victims were taken to a local area hospital. None of the injuries are fatal, according to Auman.

The injuries occurred in the parking lot at the north end of the stadium.

This article originally appeared on SportsIllustrated.com


Third Ray Rice Video Surfaces, Showing the Couple Post-Assault

Suspended Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice Attends Appeals Hearing In New York
Ray Rice, right, and his wife Janay Palmer arrive for a hearing on Nov. 5, 2014 in New York. Andrew Burton—Getty Images

Footage shows the couple, handcuffed by police, kissing before they're separated

A third video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice on the night of his assault against his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, surfaced in the news on Saturday.

Security camera footage released by ABC News shows a visibly distraught Janay Palmer, shortly after the assault, being questioned in the lobby of an Atlantic City casino. Moments later she is joined by Ray Rice, who is restrained by handcuffs. Palmer is also handcuffed and led into an elevator, where the couple appears to exchange a kiss before they are separated in two waiting police cars.

Rice had aggravated assault charges dropped after entering a pretrial intervention program. He is currently challenging the Ravens’ decision to terminate his contract, seeking $3.52 million in payment for the season.

Read more at ABC News.

TIME Football

FCC Rejects Claim That the Word ‘Redskins’ Is Obscene

Washington Redskins helmets lay on the ground during a game against the Oakland Raiders
Washington Redskins helmets lay on the ground during a game against the Oakland Raiders Ezra Shaw—Getty Images

Denies a law professor’s attempt to strip a radio station of its license because of repeated use of the word

The Federal Communications Commission denied a Washington area law professor’s petition to strip a radio station of its license because of repeated use of the word “redskins” when talking about the football team.

George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf believes the Washington Redskins name is offensive to Native Americans, and should be banned. On Thursday, however, the FCC denied his petition to reject a license renewal by Buckland, Va.-based sports broadcaster, WWXX-FM on the grounds that they use obscene or profane language. The broadcasting licensee’s parent company is part owned by Daniel Snyder, who is also the team’s general manager.

The FCC said the word isn’t obscene, citing a Supreme Court ruling defining obscene material as something sexual in nature. Banzhaf’s petition was one of several to be considered by the FCC.

There has been a growing coalition of groups, politicians, and broadcasters speaking out against the use of “Redskin” as part of the Washington football team name. Last May, 50 U.S. Senators asked Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change the name, and at least one federal agency has deemed it too racist to stand. Over the summer, the U.S. patent office canceled the team’s trademark license. The team, however, has appealed that ruling.

TIME Qatar

Two-Speed Labor System in Qatar for 2022 World Cup

Qatar Soccer Labor Shame
In this photo taken on Nov. 9, 2014, construction work is under way at the Khalifa Stadium in Doha, Qatar. Rob Harris—AP

It's not just the construction workers who are experiencing terrible working conditions

(DOHA, QATAR) — Men crammed together, dozens to a room, on bunk beds so close they can reach over and shake hands.

Qatar, on paper at least, has rules that forbid such uncomfortable conditions for its massive workforce of migrant laborers. Yet this is how the government-owned transport company, which the Gulf nation will use to ferry visitors around the 2022 World Cup, has housed some of its workers.

As Qatar employs legions of migrants to build stadiums and other works for the football showcase, widespread labor abuses documented by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other critics have blackened its name and $160 billion preparations.

Hundreds of worker deaths, many apparently from cardiac arrests, have also fueled concerns that laborers are being overworked in desert conditions and shoddily treated. Reporting this April on a fact-finding mission, the U.N’s special adviser on migrants’ rights, Francois Crepeau, cited “anecdotal evidence that too many of these mostly young men return home in a coffin.”

Problems, The Associated Press found, aren’t limited to the construction sector.

Accommodation for drivers of buses and of Qatar’s distinctive turquoise taxis is a walled-off compound in the bleak industrial zone of Doha, the capital. Dust-covered cadavers of burned-out buses and broken taxis abandoned on surrounding wasteland make the luxury malls and gleaming towers of central Doha seem far away.

The compound walls and flag over the main gate bear the name Mowasalat. The transporter plans to have 7,000 taxis on the roads by the World Cup.

In one dormitory block, in what drivers said was meant to be a recreation room for table tennis and other pastimes, the AP saw two dozen bunk beds in three tight lines.

The arrangements were apparently meant to be only temporary, but drivers said they had lived like this for months. Without lockers, they hung clothes and towels from bed frames. In a corner, one man gave another a shave. Drivers said around 30 of them were housed there and that other blocks in the compound which the AP didn’t visit had similarly crowded rooms.

Yet a 2005 ministerial decree said workers should not be housed more than four to a room or be made to sleep in bunks.

In its company brochure, Mowasalat speaks of “excellent housing facilities” for employees. But even a standard dormitory room the AP saw slept six, also on bunks. Drivers said the close living is physically and morally wearing, with rest difficult and quarrels easy.

Mowasalat did not reply to emailed questions. But it did appear to thin out numbers in the supposed “recreation” rooms after the AP showed a photo of the cramped conditions to Mowasalat executives. Drivers subsequently reached by phone said some of them were moved to other rooms. One said he was transferred from a room with 43 drivers, where he spent two months, to another with 16, still on bunks.

“Thanks for highlighting our plight to some Mowasalat management,” another driver wrote by email to the AP. “Since you raised the mat(t)er they have slightly decongested the common room. Still it is no decent way for workers to live but it’s a step forward.”

Qatar’s World Cup organizers are trying to limit the reputational damage of labor abuses by treating their own workers better than the norm.

Officials for the Supreme Committee putting together the World Cup gave the AP a tour of housing for stadium builders from Southeast Asia. They sleep three to a room, some with en-suite bathrooms, and on their own beds, not bunks, with curtains for additional privacy. They even have a pool. In the free canteen, workers heaped their plates with rice, flatbreads and curries.

In his consulting room with the sign “WE ARE HERE FOR YOU” on one wall, the camp’s jovial doctor said the workers’ health problems are generally no more serious than allergic coughs and sniffles from working in dust and sand, skin itches from sweating, and the aches, pains, sprains and scrapes of manual labor.

World Cup workers are also covered by special regulations which lay out their “right to be treated in a manner that ensures at all times their wellbeing, health, safety and security” and detail how contractors must ethically recruit, promptly pay, and decently house them.

The Supreme Committee’s power to award tournament-related contracts also gives it leverage to force improvements.

“I have had to make the phone call several times to contractors to say ‘Sorry mate, we’ve been to your camp. We don’t think you’re treating your people the way we want anyone on our sites to be treated, so you’re out of the running, I can’t work with you,'” said Tamim el-Abed, project manager of Lusail Stadium earmarked for the 2022 opening game and final.

“They scrabble around trying to pull together a superficial Band-Aid response. We see through that,” he said. “Sometimes they do a genuine turn-around and they improve their facilities.”

“It’s about culture change,” he said.

However, to critics, singling out World Cup workers for better treatment smacks of double standards. They want deeper, across-the-board reforms for all.

Even at the stadium builders’ facility, not all are treated equally. A Kenyan security guard there complained to the AP that six sleep in his small room, on bunks. Supreme Committee officials said the man isn’t directly employed by them but by a subcontractor.

“Putting in place a two-tier labor system, which is what they are talking about, is not much of a legacy,” said Nicholas McGeehan, a Middle East researcher for Human Rights Watch.

“I don’t think it’s something that we should accept,” McGeehan said. “It’s OK to protect World Cup workers but it’s not OK to protect, what, transport workers? Taxi drivers? Cleaners? Do they not deserve the same?”

TIME Soccer

FIFA’s Ethics Investigator Quits Over the Handling of His World Cup Probe

FIFA's Michael Garcia photographed during a press conference at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland, on Friday, 27. July 2012 Walter Bieri—Keystone/AP

"My role in this process is at an end," says Michael Garcia

FIFA’s independent ethics investigator Michael Garcia has resigned in protest over the handling of his report on the controversial bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup.

Garcia said FIFA’s 42-page summary of his 430-page report was “erroneous.” He quit after the world soccer governing body rejected his complaint, the BBC reports.

“It is the lack of leadership on these issues within FIFA that leads me to conclude that my role in this process is at an end,” he said.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said: “I am surprised by Mr Garcia’s decision. The work of the ethics committee will nonetheless continue.”

Garcia’s report probed alleged corruption in the designation of Russia and Qatar as World Cup hosts in 2018 and 2022. His resignation adds to the turmoil surrounding the organization.

“We wanted all transparency but this is a new failure for FIFA,” said Michel Platini, president of the governing body of European soccer, UEFA.

FIFA said in a statement that the acting chairman of the ethics committee would take Garcia’s place, pending the election of a successor.


TIME Football

San Francisco 49ers Release Ray McDonald Over Behavior ‘Pattern’

Ray McDonald at a game between San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sep. 21, 2014.
Ray McDonald at a game between San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sep. 21, 2014. John Biever—Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

McDonald is being investigated for a possible sexual assault

San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke announced Wednesday that the team has released defensive tackle Ray McDonald.

Baalke said the decision to cut McDonald was due to a “pattern” of behavior by the player.

Earlier Wednesday, the San Jose Police Department announced that McDonald is being investigated for a possible sexual assault. McDonald’s house was served with a search warrant on Tuesday night after the department received a call from a local hospital regarding the alleged victim, who was receiving treatment. No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.

“We certainly believe in due process, and have demonstrated that over time. But when it becomes a pattern of poor decision making, which it has in this case, it becomes a time it leaves you with no other choice than the one we made today,” Baalke said.​

McDonald, 30, spent eight seasons in San Francisco after being drafted in the third round in 2007.

He made 68 starts for the 49ers and has 210 tackles, 19.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries in his career. The veteran started all 14 games to date this season and had 39 tackles and three sacks.

Last month, McDonald was cleared after an investigation into an alleged domestic violence incident at his home. He was arrested on Aug. 31 on suspicion of felony domestic violence, and after the investigation, the district attorney said it did not find sufficient evidence to press charges and characterized it as a “physical struggle between two parties, each party blaming the other.”

In September, police revealed an earlier incident that occurred at the home of McDonald and his fiancée. In May, police had been called to the home due to a dispute between a man and a woman in which the woman eventually pulled a gun on the man.

McDonald continued to play throughout his investigation for domestic violence, as 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and CEO Jed York both said they would not discipline McDonald until there were further developments in his case.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Football

Brain-Injury Program Working With NFL Players

(LANSING, Mich.) — A brain-injury treatment program originally designed for military veterans injured on the battlefield has been updated to include professional athletes.

Representatives with the Eisenhower Center announced Tuesday that it will be the primary facility used by the NFL Players Association for treating brain injuries and other neurological issues through the After the Impact program.

The residential neuro-rehabilitation facility is based in Ann Arbor.

The program provides intense treatment for soldiers and athletes recovering from concussions, mild traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and other problems. It evolved from the Eisenhower Center’s transitional treatment program to help military members deal with brain injuries.

The NFL expects 6,000 of nearly 20,000 retired players — or 28 percent — to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or at least moderate dementia someday. Former players have sued.

Current Detroit Lions tight end Joseph Fauria and former quarterback Eric Hipple attended Tuesday’s announcement.

“Nearly one-third of all retired NFL players will suffer from a long-term cognitive problem,” Hipple said. “The players and veterans who have gone through the After the Impact program have learned a lot from each other and helped each other on the path to recovery.”

The NFL last month urged a judge to approve an estimated $1 billion settlement of concussion lawsuits despite concerns raised by former players or survivors who felt left out. The 65-year fund would resolve thousands of lawsuits that accuse the NFL of long hiding what it knew about concussions and brain injuries to keep players on the field.

The issue is a significant one in hockey too. In October, a consolidated class-action lawsuit by former NHL players against the league over concussion-related injuries was filed in federal court.


Adrian Peterson, NFL Exec Discuss Suspension on Leaked Tape

Suspended Minnesota Vikings running back Peterson exits following his hearing against the NFL over his punishment for child abuse, in New York
Suspended Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (L) exits following his hearing against the NFL over his punishment for child abuse, in New York City on Dec. 2, 2014. Brendan McDermid—Reuters

Peterson was charged with a felony after being accused of hitting his four-year-old son with a switch

The NFL’s executive vice president for football operations Troy Vincent appeared to tell Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson that he would only be suspended for two games, according to recordings of their conversation obtained by ABC News.

Peterson appeared to call Vincent in order to determine whether his time served on the Commissioner’s/Exempt List — when the running back was suspended with pay — would factor in the NFL’s sentencing. Peterson was suspended without pay for the rest of the season last month. His appeal was denied on Friday, and he will not be considered for reinstatement until April 15. On Monday, the NFLPA filed a lawsuit challenging the NFL’s Peterson decision, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

Earlier this season, Peterson was placed on the Commissioner’s List when he was charged with a felony after being accused of hitting his four-year-old son with a switch. In court, Peterson pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault. He was fined $4,000 and ordered to perform 80 hours of community service.

In the Nov. 12 conversation between Peterson and Vincent, the NFL executive appears to tell Peterson that his time served on the Commissioner’s List will count toward his suspension. Peterson’s legal team has been claiming the NFL promised the running back that he would only receive a two-game suspension.

McCANN: Exploring Adrian Peterson’s legal options following failed appeal

In the recording, Peterson asks Vincent whether he will get a two-game suspension.

Vincent replies, “Yeah.”

Peterson: “It will be two additional games — not time served?”

Vincent: “No, no, no, no, no, no. It won’t..the one this weekend. So really it’s next weekend. You will be back.”

Peterson, a six-time Pro Bowler, has missed all but one of the team’s games this season.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

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