President of St Louis Chess Club Rex Sinquefield (left) and Republican congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer at a special event held at United States Capitol Building in 2013 in Washington, DC. Photograph: Ilya S Savenok/Getty Images

Former investor is spending big as he seeks to reverse decline of American chess

Arnold Palmer walks up the 18th fairway and waves to the gallery for the last time during the second round of the Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 9th, 2004 in Augusta, Georgia. Photograph:  Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Palmer, Nicklaus, Ali and Foreman evoke fond memories of a more genuine era

Fab Melo (number 51) of the Syracuse Orange dunks the ball during the Big East Conference game against the Louisville Cardinals in Louisville, Kentucky. Photograph: Andy Lyons/Getty Images.

Institutions pay scant regard to educating the athletes who make them millions

Brazilian Kaka who earns $7.1 million at  Orlando City while some team-mates receive  just $700 a week on contracts which can be waived without compensation at a certain point in the season. Photo:  Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty

MLS exercise excessive control over where employees go and how much they earn

Michael Jordan is a legendarily impatient character. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

NBA legend is golf-mad and has thrown a very public strop over slow play

‘In a sport where the machismo ‘Ya gotta play hurt’ mantra is drilled into children from an early age, a price eventually had to be paid.’ Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

The NFL is facing a class-action lawsuit by an estimated 5,000 former NFL players

Alex  Rodriguez: hardly the first steroid user to come back to the diamond, he  is the most brazen and obstinate of them all. Photo:  Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

For good reason the New York Yankees ‘star’ has been dubbed baseball’s Lance Armstrong

 Bruce Jenner after the 1,500 metres which sealed his win at the 1976 Olympic decathlon in Montreal. Photograph: Allsport UK/Allsport

Olympic gold medalist’s decision should spark interest in transgender rights

Serena Williams poses with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after winning the women’s singles final at the 2015 Australian Open in Melbourne. Photograph: Reuters.

Following her 19th Grand Slam victory, she is almost certainly the most under-appreciated legend in American sport

Chicago Bears defensive tackle William Perry,  aka ‘The Refrigerator’, is now battling Guillain–Barré syndrome. Photograph: Bill Smith/Getty Images

Over 20 players who won Super Bowl XX are now in various states of incapacitation

 Pádraig Harrington  punts a football into the grandstands on the 16th hole during the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Photograph: Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Tiger Woods will make his seasonal debut in the ‘debauchery’ of Scottsdale

Quarterback Russell Wilson leads his Seattle Seahawks team-mates in prayer moments after providing a touchdown pass against Green Bay Packers in the second half of their NFC Championship Playoffs at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Photograph: John G Mabanglo/EPA

NBA rivals often pray together, while victories are clear signs of benevolence from above

Muhammad Ali and his best friend Howard Bingham: we will always have the champion’s canon of remarkable stories Photograph: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

One night in LA the world heavyweight champion talked a man down from the edge

Dallas Cowboys’ Dez Bryant waits for a replay of his spectacular catch late in the fourth quarter against Green Bay Packers. Photograph: Rob Carr/Getty Image.

Feeling prevails that too many games are being decided by video replay

Kelley Currin (centre)    before she talks to the media after her former swim coach Rick Curl was sentenced for abusing her on   May 23rd, 2013 in Washington, DC.  Photograph:  Getty Images

Truth of decades of abuse is seeping out with more than 100 coaches banned

Freddy Adu became the youngest athlete to play professional sports in the United States in more than a century when he signed for DC United at just 14 years of age.  Photograph: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

The hype surrounding the American prodigy was never based on reality

Executive chairman of Madison Square Garden James Dolan (left) with Phil Jackson. Photograph:  Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Side boasts two of the top five earners in NBA yet vies with 76ers for title of worst team

The physical nature of gridiron football has caused concerns about it being played at high school level and the correct concussion protocols ulitised by coaches and medical staff. Photograph: Getty Images)

A suit filed has authorities admitting the case could result in schools opting to drop gridiron altogether

Robbie Keane  was named the league’s Most Valuable Player ahead of Sunday’s final with New England Revolution.   Photograph: Harry How/Getty Images

The Ireland captain has embraced Major League Soccer in a way few imports have

US President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Freedom to former professional golfer Charles Sifford. He was the first African-American to earn a PGA card.   Photograph:  Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Twenty years on from his arrival, we still await a generation of black players

Jack Johnson in acton for the Columbus Blue Jackets. When he filed bankruptcy papers the balance in his current account was $2,202.62.  Photograph: Getty Images

American Letter: In the NFL, almost four out of five players will be in severe financial distress just two years after hanging up (...)

A typical collision in an NFL game. Retired footballers abuse opioid pain pills at a rate more than four times the general population. Photograph: Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

Powerful league under pressure from class action lawsuit and DEA investigation

Actor Sylvester Stallone and Chris Algieri at a press conference to publicize the latter’s WBO world welterweight title with Manny Pacquiao in Macau. Photograph: Getty.

A latecomer to boxing, the New Yorker has reached the big time

Landon Donovan played 17 English Premier League games during two spells on loan with Everton. Photograph: Getty.

Statistics alone do not show true nature of striker’s contribution to US soccer

Sprinter turned 7s sensation Carlin Isles is proof USA Rugby are open to attracting athletes from other sports. Photograph: Getty Images.

All Blacks arrive in Chicago at a time when country is awakening to merits of sport

LeBron James: that rarest of commodities – a prodigy who lived up to his advance billing. Photograph: Hans Deryk/Reuters.

NBA star has gone from hero to villiain to hero again in his native Ohio

 Running back Todd Gurley of the Georgia Bulldogs is getting  a  free  college  education in return for bringing his considerable talents to bear for the Bulldogs every autumn.   Photograph: Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Signing autographs and footballs for money brings wrath of NCAA down on one player

A memorial to Tom Cutinella, who died  after being injured during a high-school football game, at Shoreham-Wading River High School in Shoreham, New York.

Three deaths in quick succession have once again put the focus on the dangers of grid-iron football

Mike Trout (right) of the Los Angeles Angels: in an ESPN poll earlier this year that asked American kids, 12 and older, to name their favourite athlete, Lionel Messi finished fourth while Trout ranked 100th.  Photograph:  Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The prospect of the sport’s grey-haired supporters’ base dying off is a very real concern

Dubliner Conor McGregor (left) has entralled the Irish public when he beat Diego Brandao of Brazil at the O2 Arena, Dublin, in a UFC fight in July. Photograph: Inpho.

Despite celebrating 21 years, the mixed martial arts sport’s maturity is in real doubt

Ryder Cup captains Paul McGinley (right) and Tom Watson.

Over there in Europe the competition seems to really matter. Over here, it doesn’t.

Shantel Jackson: ex-fiancee of Floyd Mayweather jnr looks on as her attorney Gloria Allred holds up a photograph of the couple after announcing a lawsuit against the boxer for battery, assault, invasion of privacy, defamation and false imprisonment. Photograph: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Jackson claims she wasn’t allowed leave his house unless escorted by a TMT employee

Michael Sam during pre-game workouts for the St Louis Rams in Miami. Photograph: Marc Serota/Getty Images

First openly gay NFL player joins practice squad of self-styled “America’s Team”

Before the fall: Joe Paterno   watches as his Penn State Nittany Lions team play Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois in 2009, three years before his  sacking over allegations he helped cover up child sexual abuse allegations against his assistant coach.  Photograph:  Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Sacking of Joe Paterno, the 'winningest' coach in US college history continues to generate controversy

John Isner returns a serve against Andy Murray, from Great Britain, during a match at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament, in Mason, Ohio. Photograph: Al Behrman/AP

There was a time when 10 of the top 17 male players were American, but times change

Original fight club that produced Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson will be lost to Detroit and the world

Donald Trump: some NFL owners have previous with the business man that may not bode well for his chances. Photograph: Shawn Thew/EPA

The attention-grabbing billonaire is trying to push his way into the NFL

Running back Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens addresses a news conference with his wife Janay at the Ravens training centre in Owings Mills, Maryland. Rice was involved in an incident with Janay at an Atlantic City casino. Photograph:  Rob Carr/Getty Images

Ray Rice is the latest in a sorry line of players unable to control a runaway temper

Actor James Garner playing  a shot during the hole-in shootout at the annual Michael Douglas & Friends Celebrity Golf event   in Ojai, California. Photograph:  Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Playing Arnold Palmer for a two-dollar Nassau, roaring on his beloved Raiders from the bench, or careering around Brands Hatch in (...)

American TV station ESPN is dedicating an entire channel to covering Tiger Woods’ every move at the British Open at Hoylake this week in a seemingly desperate attempt to boost tumbling viewing figures for golf. Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA

TV station and golf itself desperately gambling on major fireworks from game’s main draw

Yasiel Puig  of the Los Angeles Dodgers: courtroom might represent the best chance anybody has of unearthing the whole truth about Puig’s remarkable journey from there to here. Photograph: Getty Images

The 23-year-old still refuses to discuss the circumstances of his escape from Cuba

USA captain Clint Dempsey: journey from a trailer park in Nacogdoches, east Texas, to captaining the USA in Brazil almost veered off course because of money. Photographer: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters

America at large: The prohibitive cost of developing young players in the US is militating against soccer’s progress

Fans in Grant Park, Chicago, watch the US beat Ghana, a victory that elevated awareness of the game to a whole new level. Photograph: Getty Images

Soccer has won over the sceptics as US fans flock to bars and parks to watch the national team compete in the World Cup

Brendan Behan aboard the Cunard Liner Queen Elizabeth, at Pier 90, North River, Manhattan. Photograph: Fred Morgan/NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images

Behan’s celebrity in the US was so great, he got away with some of his worst behaviour there

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