A New York Red Bulls supporter holds a sign before a MLS game against   New York City FC. Photograph: Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Defeat to Red Bulls reflective of crass marketing attempts that do MLS no favours

Penn State University head coach Joe Paterno: According to court documents pertaining to a lawsuit between Penn State and an insurance company, one boy informed Jpe Paterno about an attack in 1976. Photograph: Jeff Haynes/Reuters

Refusal to accept their hero did anything wrong by not reporting child molester Jerry Sandusky to police

‘I’m living under a series of mantras from The Grateful Dead right now,’ says Bill Walton, ‘I learned from them about how to become a champion.’ Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

Bastketball great’s musing makes for compelling television entertainment

For all the puerile trash-talking and braggadocio, both men now find themselves in remarkably similar, awkward situations.

New Yorker born into riches and former apprentice appeal to same demographic

Curt Schilling of the Boston Red Sox: “There’s no grey area. If you do it and you don’t stop, you are going to eventually get cancer of the mouth.” Photo:  Nick Laham/Getty Images)

American municipalities now starting to outlaw the vile habit from sports venues

D’Brickashaw Ferguson (in green) of the New York Jets in action against the New England Patriots. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images

Numerous big-name players are taking matters into own hands and quitting game

Augusta National Golf Club is spoken about in hushed tones but the vast majority of the city’s residents could not care less about blushing azaleas or stately loblolly pines. Photograph: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Masters aside, this is a city of meth labs and pawn shops, strip joints and gang culture

Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully acknowledges applause from fans in front of wife Sandi , and sons Kevin  and Todd  before the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium on September 23, 2015. Photograph: Harry How/Getty Images

The voice of baseball’s LA Dodgers will call time on his commentary career at the end of this season

Leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has won the favour of a number of current and former US sports stars. Photograph: Ralph Fresco/Getty Images.

Dave Hannigan’s America at Large: John Daly the latest to row in behind presidential candidate

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning speaks during his retirement announcement. He left many in the room in tears. Photograph:  David Zalubowski/AP Photo

Tawdry allegations and crass commercialisation made this a strange farewell

Steven Gerrard of Los Angeles Galaxy and  Andrea Pirlo  of New York City FC make all the right noises about the standard of play. Photograph: Getty Images

Pirlo shows why real progress is difficult to quantify for US soccer league

Mike Francesa (left) and Chris Russo: their relationship is to be the subject of a forthcoming ESPN documentary. Photograph: Andrew H Walker/Getty Images

Mike Francesa, New York’s most popular sports talk show host, is bowing out

 Gymnast Simone Biles: In competition, on the beam, on the vault or on the floor, she is a study of impeccable grace under pressure. Photo:  Harry How/Getty Images)

The coming Olympics will showcase the talent of perhaps the best gymnast ever seen

Dave Mirra riding in 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. Photograph: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Suicide of BMX icon Dave Mirra has called into question attitude towards safety in sport

 Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton pauses in front of a television camera after scoring a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in  January. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA

Treatment of NFL’s most exhilarating quarterback is a window into race relations in US

US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally in St Paul, Minnesota. Photograph: Eric Miller/Reuters

US presidential candidate’s democratic socialism has its roots in sport of his childhood

Jeff Sims (left) in action against Tim Witherspoon in Atlantic City in January 1990, three years before he was shot dead outside a Miami store

Troubled Florida contender Jeff Sims couldn’t keep dodging the bullets

Paul DePodesta has excelled is at harvesting the reams of information now available to coaches and scouts. Photograph:  Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Paul DePodesta expected to be nothing less than saviour at struggling Cleveland Browns

 Peyton Manning, whose clean-cut image is in danger of unravelling. Photograph: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Denver Broncos quarterback accused of using Human Growth Hormone

Tregg Duerson, the son of Dave Duerson, and his mother Alicia with the late Chicago Bears defensive back’s NFL Man of the Year trophy. The family is upset at the portrayal of Duerson in Concussion. Photograph: Marc Serota/The New York Times

Hard-hitting film exposes traumatic links between American football and brain injury

 Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors  has been kind of Jordanesque, averaging almost 32 points despite playing less than 35 minutes per game. Photograph: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

LeBron James is a player for ages but Stephen Curry could be ready to usurp him

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady chats with Donald Trump. Photograph:  Donna Connor/WireImage

NFL icon in minority as star athletes including Charles Barkley lambast Republican

Former San Francisco Giants batter Barry Bonds’ misdemeanours have been quickly forgiven by the public and those in baseball. Photograph:Thearon W Henderson/Getty Images

Rehabilitation of former San Francisco Giant and others shows criticism dies quick

 Muhammad Ali: the three-time world champion and social activist  went on to become arguably the greatest sportsman of the century. He famously refused to fight in the Vietnam War saying “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet-Cong – they never called me nigger”.

Comparing the Irish UFC fighter to someone like Muhammad Ali simply ludicrous

Mal Whitfield (right) of the USA beats Arthur Wint of Jamaica to win the 800 metres at the 1948 London Olympics. Photograph: Getty Images.

Wherever he went, he held training clinics and woke up a continent to athletics

Abby Wambach holds the World Cup trophy after the USA’s  5-2 victory over Japan in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final in July in Vancouver, Canada. Photograph: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

World Cup winner and record goalscorer Abby Wambach bows out next month

 A Washington Redskins helmet sits on the grass during a preseason football game between the Redskins and Cleveland Browns in Landover, Maryland. Photo:   TJ Root/Getty Images)

Club appealing a court decision to ban their trademark which offends Native Americans

Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne: will captain two teams of former greats in a Twenty20 game at the New York Mets’ Citifield. Photograph: Earl Wilson/The New York Times)

For a decade cricket became a sinister means of surveilling New York’s Muslim community

New York Mets infielder Daniel Murphy scores in the fourth inning of Game 1 of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Photo: Richard Perry/The New York Times

Improbable rise to World Series place a big achievement for Big Apple’s second team

 Gennady Golovkin celebrates his eigth round tko against David Lemieux during their WBA/WBC interim/IBF middleweight title unification bout at Madison Square Garden. in New York City. Photo:  Al Bello/Getty Images

Kazakh boxer has conquered America to become the world’s most exciting fighter

 Travis d’Arnaud  of the New York Mets celebrates after hitting a two-run homer  in the third inning against  Los Angeles Dodgers  at Citi Field in New York City. Photo:  Elsa/Getty Images

Sport which strictly observes by the game’s arcane by-laws turned a blind eye to drugs issue

Louisville Cardinals coach Rick Pitino has denied claims made in Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen”. Photograph: Getty Images.

College basketball accused of using all means in recruitment drive of young talent

Joe Frazier: It is 40 years since  arguably the greatest world title fight of all when he fought Muhammad Ali in  the famed  Thrilla in Manila. Photo: PA Wire.

Forty years on from the Thrilla in Manila, his place in boxing’s history is assured

In the first week of the new NFL season, DraftKings and FanDuelspent a combined $27 million on television advertising

Billion-dollar industry exploiting loopholes in US’s notoriously restrictive gambling laws

Irish republican leader Eamon de Valera speaking at a packed Fenway Park in Boston in 1919. Photograph: Getty Images/General Photographic Agency

Dublin and Galway hurlers have lot of history to live up to in November

Tom Brady, quarterback for the New England Patriots of the National Football League exits federal court in New York. Brady had his four-match for allgedly deflating balls to gain a competitive advantage overturned. Photograph: Bloomberg

American Football seems impervious to the type of blows that seriously damage rivals

The Great Lakes team of Bowling Green, Kentucky, and the Southeast team from Northwood, South Carolina, compete at Lamade Stadium, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, during the ESPN-televised Little League World Series this month. Photograph: Alex Trautwig/Getty Images.

Middle ground needed between the extremes used to teach children on how to view sport

Michael Sam (front) left Canadian Football League side Montreal Alouettes’ last Friday. Photograph: Reuters.

Blazing a trail brings its own, very different kind of burden. Sometimes, that weight will drag a body down

‘I don’t think I ever once opened a gear bag in a dressing-room that didn’t have everything I needed perfectly packed inside.’

For my mam, there was no sulking in defeat and, even more adamantly, no boasting in victory

Michael Phelps was back to his dominant best at the the US Nationals in San Antonio, Texas. Photograph: Eric Gay/AP

Most decorated Olympian of all time over his addiction problems and targeting more gold medals

The Ohio State University band performs on the field before the college football playoff national championship game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas last January. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty

Secret songbook included songs mocking Holocaust victims and gays and ditties about rape

 UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey accepts the best female athlete award at the 2015 ESPYS  in Los Angeles, California. Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Ronda Rousey’s last three fights have lasted a mere 14, 16 and 66 seconds

Rookie outfit Orlando City are paying Kaka $6.6 million while the 30 other squad players receive a total of $4 million between them.  Photo:  Alex Menendez/Getty

San Jose squad earn less than new LA Galaxy star and ex-Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard

A golfer on the links at the Trump Ferry Point Golf Course, near the Whitestone Bridge in New York. Paid for by New York City,  and maintained by the Trump organization, this course in the city’s poorest borough offers a stark visual lesson in inequality. Photograph: Richard Perry/The New York Times

New York facility was built with taxpayers’ money but is set to make tycoon even richer

Beneath the old Confederate States flag, a fan watches the racers flash past the wall during the Nascar Winston Cup Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at the Darlington Raceway, Darlington, South Carolina. Photograph: Donald Miralle/ALLSPORT

Sport has become embroiled in renewed debate about future of Southern Cross

Jordan Spieth: added the US Open to his Masters title last weekend. His performance at Augusta was reckoned to be worth almost $34 million in exposure to Under Armour.

Sportswear company benefiting hugely from the Texan golfer’s spectacular rise

Norway’s Maren Mjelde goal against Germany at Lansdowne Stadium in Ottawa, Canada, at the women’s World Cup. Photograph: Andre Ringuette/Getty Images

Stephen A Smith is presenter with expertise in offensive outbursts – and he has flourished

Boston: Many on the ground regard the whole thing as ill-advised given the extent of the city’s more pressing social problems. Photo: Paul Marotta/Getty

Bostonians increasingly opposed to the city’s 2024 Olympics bid

United States striker Abby Wambach was less than impressed when she met Sepp Blatter. Photograph: Elsa/Getty Images

Stephanie Roche was always likely to struggle in the top-class American soccer league

Former Philadelphia 76ers basketball player Allen Iverson burned through a $154 million fortune amassed throughout his career. Photograph: Getty Images.

Extravagant lifestyle of basketball legend has led to him being without the ‘money for a cheeseburger’

US Air Force Thunderbirds fly over the stadium prior to Super Bowl XLIX between Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1st, this year in Glendale, Arizona. Photograph:  Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Franchises turn a quick and cynical buck by using men and women in uniform as props

John Krackauer’s new book is about a corner of Montana once dubbed “the rape capital of America”.

Sex assault victims can be made to feel like pariahs if they go to the police

Alex Rodriguez hits his 660th career home run to tie Willie Mays record during a game with Boston Red Sox in the 8th inning at Fenway Park Boston, Massachusetts. Photo: Jim Rogash/Getty

New York Yankees’ stance turning reviled baseball ‘star’ into a sympathetic figure

Many in the media believe two guilty verdicts for crimes against women is no big deal

Bruce Jenner  during his two-hour interview with ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer on Friday. Photograph: ABC News/Handout via Reuters

‘For all intents and purposes, I am a woman,’ Olympic gold medallist tells Diane Sawyer

Gregg Popovich was one of the first NBA coaches to start seriously trawling overseas for talent, the constant influx of under-rated international players has helped Spurs to a quintet of titles. Photograph: Paul Buck/Epa.

The former intelligence officer for the US Air Force has become the finest coach of his generation

Quarterback Jameis Winston of Florida State University has been accused of rape by a fellow student. Photograph: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Clubs have spent $3m trying to work out if Jameis Winston is worth the gamble

Andy Lee and Peter Quillin exchange punches during the Premier Boxing Champions Middleweight bout at Barclays Center on April 11th, 2015 in Brooklyn, New York City. Photograph: Elsa/Getty Images

Ireland’s WBO middleweight world champion forges comeback in New York

 Andy Lee defeated Matt Koborov to claim the WBO world middleweight title in Las Vegas. He will defend his title against Peter Quillin in Saturday’s big televised fight. Photo:  David Becker/Getty Images

Lee’s fight is being shown live on NBC and over three million viewers are expected to tune in

New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady celebrate their side’s victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. Photograph: Rob Carr/Getty Images

When so many pros come across as dour, it’s refreshing how Gronkowski revels in his fame

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

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