Sports Illustrated announced last week that it was laying off half its staff. Photograph: Jeenah Moon/New York Times

From over three million copies a week, magazine has seen business model steadily eroded

Elena Delle Donne: has been breaking scoring records as she bids to  lead the Washington Mystics to a WNBA title.  Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

Relationship with ‘most unique sister in the world’ keeps Washington Mystics’ scoring star perfectly grounded

A Texas flag flies at half mast during a prayer services at the La Vernia High School Football stadium to grieve the 26 victims killed at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs on November 7th, 2017. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Dave Hannigan: Five consecutive weekends with attacks have led to ramped up security

 Citadel’s  Jacob Godek kicking a field goal against Georgia Tech. The Citadel’s heroics sparked an all too brief discussion about guarantee games. Photograph: Getty Images

Major football colleges can hire opponents for big money to boost their win record

Over the course of nearly two decades knocking around youth sport on Long Island, I have witnessed so many disturbing cameos.

Dave Hannigan: In almost two decades on Long Island I’ve seen some disturbing cameos

Former baseball star Curt Schilling has been one of the more high-profile supporters of Donald Trump. Photograph: Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Former Red Sox pitcher’s possible Congress bid gets backing from the president

It didn’t take Dave Hannigan’s father long to find the passages about legendary Cork hurler Christy Ring. Photo: Connolly Collection/Sportsfile

Dave Hannigan: Sports reminiscence therapy now being used across the United States

Jared Lorenzen of the New York Giants sits in the stands at a media briefing ahead of Super Bowl XLII in 2008. Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Former New York Giants quarterback died last month after a lifetime of weight issues

Lebron James and agent Rich Paul. Photo: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Klutch Sports Group

College basketball governing body caved quickly on new rule when James got involved

Megan Rapinoe speaks at the homecoming celebrations for the US women’s soccer team in New York after they won the World Cup. Photo: Ira L. Black/Getty Images

Dave Hannigan: Women's game on a high after World Cup win but only for a few

US president Donald Trump presents Tiger Woods the medal of freedom during a ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House. Photograph: Getty Images

The president counters critics by exploiting every athlete willing to associate with him

Dave Hannigan’s former family house (right) in Clashduv Park, Togher, Cork. Every time I came in from playing, my mother’s radar pinged and her voice came booming from within: “Go round the back, there’s mud on your shoes”.

I cast an emigrant’s misty eye over the house that used to be my Cork family’s home

Bobby Bonilla last played for the New York Mets two decades ago. Photo: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Former player is paid over $1 million every year despite last playing two decaded ago

Kellen Winslow Jr could spend the rest of his life in prison. Photo: Cliff Welch/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images

Details of former Cleveland Browns tight end’s convictions have emerged in court

 Eamon de Valera addressing a meeting in Los Angeles on his US tour as priomh-aire of Dáil Eireann. Photograph: Hulton Archive

Huge crowds turned up in 1919 to hear from the self-styled ‘president of the Irish republic’

Jaelene Hinkle:  “If I never get another national team call-up again then that’s just a part of His plan, and that’s okay.”  Photograph: Diego Diaz//Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Fundamentalist Christian Jaelene Hinkle refused to wear jersey supporting LGBT rights

Don Elbaum (left) speaks to Vernoca L. Michael and ring announcer Larry Tornambe in Philadelphia. Photo: Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Legendary promoter was part of Al ‘Blue’ Lewis’ camp when he fought Ali in Dublin

Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins stands on the blue line before taking on the St. Louis Blues in Game One of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals at TD Garden  in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo: Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

Slovakian captain of the Boston Bruins is a different type of sportsman in many ways

Dr Richard Strauss was found to have sexually assaulted more than 170 Ohio State athletes, male and female, over a 20 year period during his time as chief doctor. Photo: Angie Wang/AP Photo

Report released shows Dr Richard Strauss sexually assaulted more than 170 athletes

Brandel Chamblee:  On the Golf Channel, a network which most of the time is the sport’s equivalent of state-run TV, his outbreaks of candour have made him persona non grata among many of the leading pros. Photograph:  Scott Halleran/Getty Images

America at Large: American golfer-turned-pundit is not afraid to ruffle a few feathers

Muhammad Ali: in trying to exalt Medenica’s medical prowess, Ali’s shambolic performance unintentionally weakened his testimony.  Photograph:  Andrew H. Walker/Getty

In his desperation due to poor health, the greatest put his faith in Dr Rajko Medenica

Richard Dormer: arrived in New York as an 18-year-old and after a career in law enforcement  rose to the rank of Suffolk County Police Commissioner.

America at Large: Emigrant excelled in US but never forgot his roots or his sporting passions

Coach Sylvia Hatchell: according to several witnesses she  regularly put the health of individual players at risk, forcing them to play and to train when battling torn labrums, torn knee tendons and even a broken hand.  Photograph:  Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Racist allegations against Sylvia Hatchell just the latest incident in crazy college sports world

Ian Poulter retrieves his ball out of Rae’s Creek, the water hazard that winds through Amen Corner, lovingly named for John Rae, the Irish-born fur trader, slave owner, and convicted murderer. Photograph: Harry How/Getty Images

Whiff of racism never far away from a club with a distinctly southern heritage

Lauren Isackson was on the women’s soccer roster at UCLA in 2017, despite never having played soccer before. Photo: Aubrey Washington /Allsport

US college system is rife for corruption as wealthy parents pay their kids’ way to the top

New York City FC’s Yankee Stadium: currently averages attendances of around 23,000 with a small number of disruptive neo-Nazi ultras. Photograph: Elsa/Getty

Commissioner's tepid response to New York City FC ultras was disconcerting

Irish mixed martial artist Conor McGregor joins the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Chicago. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Dave Hannigan: Fighter now in grimy netherworld of being famous because he’s famous

US’s forward Megan Rapinoe (L) celebrates her goal with teammates Alex Morgan (C) and McCall Zerboni during the Tournament of Nations women’s football match between Brazil and the US in Bridgeview, Illinois. Photograph: Jim Young/AFP/Getty Images

Team has been battling their own governing body for years and now it's crunch time

 Barry McGuigan  in action against  Eusebio Pedroza  at Loftus Road Stadium,  London in 1985. “I thank God every day that I didn’t beat McGuigan,” said Pedroza. “If I had, I would not have left that place alive. They would have torn me to shreds.” Photograph: Steve Powell/Getty Images

Panamanian who juggled politics and boxing lost his world title to McGuigan in 1985

Katie Taylor lifts the WBA lightweight title belt aloft after defeating Anahi Esther Sanchez at the  Principality Stadium, Cardiff in 2017.  Photograph: Lawrence Lustig/Inpho

America at Large: Too many women with poor records somehow fighting for world titles

Kansas Jayhawks’ Silvio de Sousa  celebrates cutting down the net after defeating the Duke Blue Devils  in the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Midwest Regional at  in Omaha, Nebraska. Photograph: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The kid from Angola was controversially banned from playing following NCAA ruling

Tiger Woods and wife Elin watch as Pete Sampras and Roger Federer of Switzerland play an exhibition match at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 2008. A year later the scandl broke around Woods. Photo: Nick Laham/Getty Images

Golfer gave 12-page exclusive to Men’s Fitness in 2007 but it was all a ruse to cover affairs

New England Patriots’ Julian Edelman celebrates with the Vince Lombardi trophy after winning the Super Bowl LIII. Edelman missed the first four games of the season through a drug suspension. Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters

Patriots receiver was suspended for four games but on Sunday named Super Bowl MVP

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots being interviewed by Jim Nantz. Photograph: Jim Rogash/Getty Images

America at Large: Critics argue commentator is more strident about the colour of his toast than the sports he covers

Caydee Denney and John Coughlin skate in the pairs short program during the 2014 US Figure Skating Championships. Coughlin took his own life last week after allegations of sexual misconduct. Photo: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

US figure skating personality had been accused of sexual offences against minors

Kansas City Chiefs  defensive line coach Britt Reid with Allen Bailey during a game against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium  in Kansas City, Missouri, in December. Photograph: David Eulitt/Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs’ defensive coach has beaten addiction. His brother was not so lucky

Tom Brady  with Alex Guerrero who is  his  personal body coach and godfather to one of his children. Photograph: Elsa/Getty Images

New England Patriots quarterback is devoted to Alex Guerrero’s bizarre methods

 Quarterback Philip Rivers  of the Los Angeles Chargers stands during the national anthem before a game against the Denver Broncos at Broncos Stadium at Mile High  in Denver, Colorado. Photograph:  Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Los Angeles Chargers' celebrated quarterback has yet to play in Super Bowl

Former Chicago Bears running back Merril Hoge (right) alongside George Martin, executive director of the NFL Alumni Association, during a US house judiciary hearing on head injuries among NFL players. Photograph: Scott J Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images

America at Large: Former running back forced to retire is challenging real science

Josef Martinez  of Atlanta United after scoring against the Portland Timbers in the   MLS Cup  in Atlanta  on December 8th. Photograph:  Kevin C Cox/Getty Images

Rather than pay fading stars millions to attract casual fans, MLS champions have built a proper team

Ali in Beirut in 1985 after he was sent to help secure the release of US prisoners. Photo: Arnaud Borrel/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Boxer was sent a number of times to negotiate the release of American prisoners

 William Goldman at the New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves NBA game at Madison Square Garden in December  2003. Photograph: Ray Amati/Getty Images

America at Large: The screenwriter missed his own Oscar win to watch the New York Knicks

Joe Frazier drops Muhammad Ali during the 15th round  of ‘The Fight of the Century’ at Madison Square Gardens. Photograph:  Keystone/Getty

Jerry Perenchio was the brains behind ‘The Fight of the Century’ won by Joe Frazier

Hall of Fame inductee Willie O’Ree is honoured prior to the 2018 Hockey Hall of Fame Legends Classic Game at the Scotiabank Placein Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The first black man to play in the NHL has finally been recognised in the hall of fame

Jon Gruden is finding it quite tough at the Oakland Raiders with just one win from eight. Photo: Dan Istitene/Getty Images

America at Large: TV broadcaster signed with former club for most lucrative contract ever but has lost eight of first nine footbal(...)

James and Mbappe exchange shirts last August.

Barcelona may play Girona in Miami while jerseys are becoming a lot more common

 Quarterback Steve Young of the Los Angeles Express in action  during an USFL game at the Coliseum in Los Angeles in 1984, California. Photograph:  Alvin Chung/Allsport

One of the many ‘colourful’ club owners was Donald J Trump of the New Jersey Generals

Beto O’Rourke, running for the US Senate seat, addresses supporters during a campaign rally at Texas Southern University in Houston last week. Photo: Loren Elliott/Reuters

Robert ‘Beto’ O’Rourke isn’t a typical senator but is he hoping to shake up the state of Texas

Conor McGregor walks into the cage before fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov in their lightweight title bout at UFC 229 in Las Vegas. Photo: John Locher/AP Photo

In a sport where verbal crime pays, the Irishman is laughing all the way to the bank

Katie Ledecky of the United States leads the field in the  800m freestyle final at the  2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

After winning four Olympic golds in Rio, the swimmer was happy to be just another teenager starting college

Anthony Kim of the USA celebrates with an American flag after the USA 16 1/2 - 11 1/2 at the 2008 Ryder Cup in Kentucky. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Brash youngster who beat Sergio Garcia in Valhalla has been missing in action

The basement where boxers trained in the Kronk boxing gym. The Kronk was a place that welcomed any kid searching for a purpose or an outlet. Photograph: Getty Images

Gym produced 30 world champions, three Olympic golds, and saved lives of hundreds more

American actor Burt Reynolds holds a helmet while standing in a ‘Mean Machine’ football jersey in a still from the film, The Longest Yard, directed by Robert Aldrich, 1974. Photo: Paramount Pictures/Courtesy of Getty Images

After Reynolds's death last week he was honoured by his old college football team

Former Germany striker  Gerd Mueller in action for  the Fort Lauderdale Strikers  during an NASL game circa 1979. Mueller played for the Strikers from 1979-81. Photograph: Getty Images

There would be no Major League Soccer today without him and a few other visionaries

 Attorney Gloria Allred holds a t-shirt that reads ‘$7.25’ during a press conference about the low pay and treatment of former Houston Texans cheerleaders, outside the National Football League  headquarters on Park Avenue,  in New York City. Photograph:  Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Latest lawsuit alleges humiliating treatment of poorly-paid women by Houston Texans

University of Maryland player Jordan McNair, who died in June after collapsing during a training session. Photograph: Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images

American sport is in a toxic cycle of win at all costs – even if the cost is a player’s life

Mike Trout: despite comparisons to Mickey Mantle, the New Jersey prodigy doesn’t even feature on the top-five-selling baseball jerseys.  Photograph: Harry How/Getty Images

Los Angeles Angel could be the greatest ever but he is also America’s best kept secret

A combination photo of NBA basketball player LeBron James and US President Donald Trump. Photo: Robert Galbraith/Reuters, Leah Millis/File Photo

Basketball star has long been an outspoken activist and won’t back down even for Trump

 Jimmy Garoppolo: “Even social media, I’m not out there a ton. But my life’s looked at differently. I’m under a microscope.”  Photo: by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Tabloid spotlight on San Francisco’s quarterback after date with adult film star

Katie Taylor celebrates her win over Victoria Bustos  after their WBA & IBF world lightweight title unification bout in New York City. Photograph:  Elsa/Getty Images

Can a sport be deemed professional if most participants cannot earn a living wage from it?

Papa John’s founder  John Schnatter  in Indianapolis, Indiana, in May 2015. File photograph: Michael Hickey/Getty Images

America at Large: Pizza company founder’s use of N-word led to immediate backlash

Kevin Na holds aloft the trophy after winning A Military Tribute At The Greenbrier last week. Photo: Getty Images

A Military Tribute At The Greenbrier on the PGA Tour is the latest propaganda exercise

 John Sterling: New York Yankees’ radio broadcaster. The team plays 162 regular season games and he hasn’t missed a single one since 1990. Photograph:  Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

America at Large: No catchphrase too corny for New York club’s long-serving commentator

  Poet Donald Hall, who died aged 89 last weekend, at his home in Wilmot, New Hampshire in June  2006. Photograph: Bob LaPree/The New York Times

Poet and baseball devotee tried out for Pittsburgh Pirates and wrote over 50 books

In April 1983 Muhammad Ali set off on an eventful roadtrip. Photo: Getty Images

In 1983 Ali set off on a drive from Chicago to LA in a gold-plated 1978 Stutz Bearcat

Dwayne Wade: “I think enjoying wine comes with age and sophistication and a certain kind of maturity.” Photograph:

Just what is it that has America’s NBA stars dribbling by day and drinking fine wines by night?

 Becky Hammon in 2016, as assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs. Photograph:  Christian Petersen/Getty

She’s proven she’s good enough but will a team be bold enough to give her the chance?

The Incredible Hulk and Lou Ferrigno at a celebrity red carpet event in Los Angeles, California, in 2017. Photograph: Getty Images

A history with steroids does not disqualify ‘The Incredible Hulk’ from serving on Trump council

Jack Johnson on July 4th, 1910, before his successful title defense against ‘’The Great White Hope’’ James J. Jeffries in Reno, Nevada. Donald Trump has said that he may offer the former world champion a full pardon. Photo: Sporting News/Sporting News via Getty Images

America at Large: Trump has said he may offer a full pardon to convicted boxer Jack Johnson

 Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Los Angeles Galaxy celebrates his  goal against the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. Photograph:  Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Sweden’s outspoken veteran embracing one last spin on the celebrity merry-go-round

William Nack at the premiere of Secretariat in 2010 Photograph: Alberto E Rodriguez/Getty Images

Late, great writer had exceptional talent and love for scribes such as Seamus Heaney

Flowers lie at centre of the ice as people gather for a vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, to honour the victims of a fatal bus accident on  April 8th. Photograph: AFP Photo

You must understand that in Canada, there is hockey and then there is everything else

Conor McGregor during the weigh-In  last August in Las Vegas for the  Mayweather fight. Photograph: Derek Hogan/Inpho

McGregor earned more in a carnival sideshow last summer than he earned in cage career

Delonte West: suffered with  bipolar disorder that eventually cost him his NBA career. Photograph: Michael Mulvey/Washington Post/Getty Images

Revelations from stars like Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan bring issue to the fore

Some commentators in the American media are questioning whether any club should be getting into what is essentially a moral judgement for the individuals involved.

Spring training in Arizona includes a lecture from lobby group ‘Fight The New Drug’

George Plimpton plays against a blindfolded Paul Magriel in 1977

America at Large: The professor of mathematics became a backgammon master before hitting the poker tables

Neil McNab in his playing days for Manchester City in 1985. He made a total of 260 appearances for the club and was one of their finest players during that decade. Photograph:  Mark Leech/Getty Images

Tiny fraction of the club’s massive wealth would clear former stalwart’s medical bills

 Wendell Carter Jnr  of the Duke Blue Devils. His  mother  is named in a  federal case because she received a free meal worth $106.36 from an agent who was interested in her son. Photograph: Getty Image

America at Large: Taking advantage of young players is at the very heart of the college game

Barry Bonds: In the pantheon of chemical cheats, the former San Francisco Giants player is regarded as up there with the greatest in any sport. Photograph:  Harry How/Getty Images

Retiring the number 25 shirt worn by San Francisco’s baseball cheat an absurd idea

 Muhammad Ail takes a punch from  Al ‘Blue’ Lewis during their non-title bout at at Croke Park in July 1972.  Photograph: Tommy Collins

Man who fought at Croke Park in 1972 was a survivor from Detroit’s meanest streets

 Philadelphia Eagles fans wear their underdog heads before the start off the NFC Championship game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles. Photograph: Jason Szenes/EPA

Dave Hannigan: The City of brotherly love quickly descends to hate when it comes to sports

Ragan Smith is congratulated by Bela Karolyi during the  2016 US  Olympic Trials. Photograph:  Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Generations of physical, emotional and psychological abuse runs through Karolyi Ranch

 New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts as Tom Brady  looks on before the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photograph: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

New England Patriots’ remarkable coach is closing in on a sixth Super Bowl success

Senator Orrin Hatch speaks at the memorial service for Muhammad Ali after his death in 2016. Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Late boxer befriended and campaigned for Orrin Hatch despite their clear differences

 A Buffalo Bills fan shows his enthusiasm  during the game against the Indianapolis Colts last month  at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. Photograph:  Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Dave Hannigan: First NFL play-off spot in 18 years beckons in Florida for die-hard fans

San Francisco Demons in action against Los Angeles Extreme in 2001. A league then that will mandate blind patriotism and ignore the possibility of brain trauma could just work in Donald Trump-era USA. Photograph: Paul Sakuma/AP

America at Large: Man behind failed XFL wants another go at cashing in on national obsession

Former NBA basketball player Charles Barkley campaigning in support  of Democratic Alabama senate candidate Doug Jones during a rally at Old Car Heaven in Birmingham, Alabama. Photograph: Marvin Gentry/Reuters

America at Large: Former NBA star helps Doug Jones turn the tables in senate race

George Chuvalo taking on Muhammad Ali in Vancouver in a 1972 rematch. The Canadian pushed Ali the distance for a second time. Photo: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Fighting Ali is nothing compared to the battles the ‘toughest man in Canada’ has faced

Baker Mayfield of the Oklahoma Sooners tries on the Golden Hat Trophy after a win over the Texas Longhorns in October. Photograph: Richard W Rodriguez/Getty Images

College football’s best quarterback is special, but maybe not special enough for the NFL

Eric Trump, Donald Trump, Tiger Woods, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. in Miami Beach, Florida in 2014. Photo: Uri Schanker/GC Images

America at Large: Golfers queuing up to be extras in the president’s tragi-comic farce

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks to the media after the NFL owners meeting at the Conrad Hotel. Photo: Catalina Fragoso/USA TODAY Sports

Despite plenty of reasons to leave the NFL commissioner is set to extend his contract

Aaron Hernandez stood in Attleboro District Court in 2013. Photo: Yoon S. Byun/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Hernandez was found to have one of worst cases of CTE ever seen in someone so young

 Tom Brady  of the New England Patriots and trainer Alex Guerrero.  Guerrero became godfather to one of Brady’s children, and is regarded as a member of his and his wife’s  extended family. Photograph:   Getty Images

Patriots star has very close relationship with sinister character and questionable concoctions

Jerwin Ancajas of the Philippines celebrates a knockout win against Fadhili Majiha of Tanzania during their bantamweight fight at The Venetian in Macau in 2015. Ancajas will fight Jamie Conlan in Belfast next month. Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

‘Head Knucklehead’ Sean Gibbons has lined up Jerwin Ancajas to fight Jamie Conlan

McKayla Maroney pulls “that face” after receiving her silver medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Photo: Thomas Coex/Getty Images

Olympic silver medalist was abused by USA team doctor Larry Nassar from the age of 13

 Soviet Georgian chess player Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian playing American Bobby Fischer in in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1971. Photograph:  Keystone/Getty Images

Former New York priest played a huge role in Bobby Fischer’s rise to world champion

Billie Jean King was ferried to the court on a throne fit for Cleopatra, carried by four shirtless hunks from Rice University. She defeated Riggs in three sets to claim the $100,000 winner-takes-all purse.

Billie Jean King/Bobby Riggs showdown in 1973 a bizarre interlude in a turbulent time

 Tiger Woods  and his son Charlie Axel Woods  attending the US Open  at Flushing Meadows in New York. in New York. Photograph: Elsa/Getty

Bizarre odyssey from icon to ignominy a cautionary tale for our times

Carl Pownall shows off his impressive Subbuteo set and stadium. Photograph: Getty Images

In an extract from his new book, Boy Wonder, Dave Hannigan reflects on his Subbuteo love affair

A protest at  efforts by the Trump administration to phase out DACA, which gives certain rights to immigrants who arrived in the US  as children without proper papers before January 1st, 2007. Photograph: Getty Images

Repatriation has already begun of those brought to live in the US as children

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