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Posted at 07:10 PM ET, 07/28/2014

Judge rules against Donald Sterling, allowing sale of Clippers

Clippers owner Donald T. Sterling, right, shown in 2012 with his wife, Shelly, lost his court battle to prevent her from selling the team. (Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

Donald Sterling lost his case in Los Angeles Superior Court against his wife Monday, clearing the way for a $2 billion sale of his NBA team, the Clippers.

At issue in the trial was whether Shelly Sterling acted properly when she took over the family trust in which the Clippers were held, citing the opinion of doctors that her husband was mentally incapacitated, and agreed to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Judge Michael Levanas agreed with attorneys for Shelly Sterling on three counts: that she was officially in charge of the trust when she negotiated the sale; that Donald Sterling’s attempts to revoke the trust did not remove the court’s jurisdiction in the case; and that a clause in California probate code, section 1310(b), effectively renders the ruling invulnerable to appeal.

Section 1310(b) can be invoked when there is a threat that a trust may lose a great amount of value. During the trial, Clippers interim CEO Richard Parsons testified that Donald Sterling’s continued ownership of the team could plunge it further into a “death spiral.” Parsons also said that Coach Doc Rivers was inclined to leave if Sterling stayed, which he termed “a disaster.” Parsons also cited a potential loss of major corporate sponsors.

The ruling represents a huge victory not only for Shelly Sterling, but for the NBA, which had been seeking Donald Sterling’s ouster since April, when audio recordings of Sterling making racist comments emerged. Shortly thereafter, NBA Commissioner Adam Sterling announced that he was giving Sterling a lifetime ban.

However, recently Silver had warned that the legal wrangling could allow Sterling to remain as Clippers owner into the coming NBA season. The team’s star point guard, Chris Paul, described that scenario as “unacceptable.”

Ballmer’s $2 billion bid for the Clippers would represent the largest amount of money ever spent to acquire a North American franchise.

By Des Bieler  |  07:10 PM ET, 07/28/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Donald Sterling

Posted at 05:18 PM ET, 07/28/2014

Who needs South Korean baseball fans in the stands when you can have robot fans instead?

Wish you were at the big game but instead are being dragged to some other event and have to settle for checking your phone? Pshaw! There may be a solution for that, at least if you’re a fan of South Korea’s Hanwha Eagles baseball team. They’re trying to improve the atmosphere at games and allow those unable to attend to join in on stadium cheers by installing a crowd of “fanbots,” or robots who pose as fans, in the stands. The New York Post reports:

“The robots can cheer, chant and can even do the wave if you so desire. If you’re worried that the robots won’t have the same personal touch that you can add to the stadium, you will be pleased to know that you can upload a picture of your face to the robot to add that human element.”

Creepy? Yes. But also kind of cool? Also yes. Absentee fans are able to control the robots through the Internet, which they had previously used simply to watch games and comment on them.

“It’s a pretty neat idea,” pitcher Andrew Albers said in a video about the fanbots. “I think it gets the crowd into it [and] really helps then get involved.”

And the Eagles need it. The team has been struggling lately to attract people to the stadiums as they attempt to recover from a long-term losing streak. The team’s current overall record is 30-49, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

By Marissa Payne  |  05:18 PM ET, 07/28/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:13 PM ET, 07/28/2014

Joakim Noah gets Derrick Rose to star in his new #StandUpChicago ad

Chicago Bulls All-Star Joakim Noah talks to a group of kids about gun violence, part of his work with his Noah’s Arc Foundation. (Chandler West/AP)

Chicago Bulls basketball star Joakim Noah wants his city’s residents to put their guns down and stand up for good instead. So does Derrick Rose. The two Chicago sports celebrities starred in a video promoted by Noah’s anti-violence non-profit, Noah’s Arc Foundation, that implores people to stop the violence that has gripped the city.

The public service announcement, which came out this weekend, accompanied Noah’s third annual “peace tournament,” aka the “One City” basketball tournament held Saturday. The tournament gathers teams made up of 18-to-24-year-old “at risk” men from all over Chicago.

“These are men Noah wants to see return to their communities to ‘influence’ younger kids in a positive way,” ESPN’s Jon Greenberg writes.

“This city has given me so much, it’s hard to know what’s really going on a couple blocks from here,” on the West Side, the 29-year-old star told ESPN during the tournament at United Center. “The South Side is close. This is where I live. I live in Chicago now. I just want to do my best. I don’t know all the answers. At the end of the day, I just want to go out there and help, because this is just as important to me as winning a championship.”

Rose was also on hand to join Noah at his charity event, along with Chicago natives such as free agent Nazr Mohammed, Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley and Bulls special assistant Randy Brown.

By Marissa Payne  |  05:13 PM ET, 07/28/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:28 PM ET, 07/28/2014

Migrant World Cup workers in Qatar reportedly haven’t been paid in a year

Construction helmets are arranged in front of the Qatari embassy in Vienna to commemorate the 1,200 workers who have died during the building of facilities for the 2022 World Cup. (Leonhard Foeger/Reuters)

The FIFA World Cup is back in the news again and not for a good reason. Migrant workers who moved to Qatar to build luxury offices for the 2022 World Cup organizers have reportedly not been paid in over a year. This revelation comes months after a report noted the staggering number of migrant worker deaths connected to the World Cup in Qatar. The Guardian reports:

“Officials in Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy have been using offices on the 38th and 39th floors of Doha’s landmark Al Bidda skyscraper — known as the Tower of Football — which were fitted out by men from Nepal, Sri Lanka and India who say they have not been paid for up to 13 months’ work.”

The wages, the workers told The Guardian, amount to about $10 per day.

“We don’t know how much they are spending on the World Cup but we just need our salary,” one worker told The Guardian after losing a year’s pay on the $4.25 million project. “We were working but not getting the salary. The government, the company: just provide the money.”

To get by, the migrant workers have reportedly been living in squalor on mere pennies per day. The Guardian writes:

“The migrants are squeezed seven to a room, sleeping on thin, dirty mattresses on the floor and on bunk beds, in breach of Qatar’s own labor standards. They live in constant fear of imprisonment because they have been left without paperwork after the contractor on the project, Lee Trading and Contracting, collapsed. They say they are now being exploited on wages as low as 50 pence (85 cents) an hour.”

In response, Qatar’s World Cup organizing committee condemned the actions of Lee Trading and Contracting, telling The Guardian that the committee is “heavily dismayed to learn of the behavior … with regard to the timely payment of its workers. We strongly disapprove and will continue to press for a speedy and fair conclusion to all cases.”

This is the latest accusation to come out over the alleged unfair and sometimes inhumane treatment of migrant workers, who have traveled to Qatar to prepare for the 2022 World Cup.

The Middle Eastern nation has also run into trouble regarding how it won the 2022 bid. After a report came out that accused Qatari officials of offering bribes to ensure votes to get the Cup to the country, FIFA began an internal investigation. That too has received its fair share of criticism after officials announced last week that the report would not go public as planned this month, but instead be passed on to another FIFA committee in September.

These ongoing problems have led many to question whether the World Cup should go on as currently planned in Qatar or be moved to another country. So far, FIFA has stated the tournament will take place in Qatar as planned, but at least one official has called for a re-vote to move the World Cup elsewhere.

The next World Cup is scheduled to take place in Russia in 2018.

By Marissa Payne  |  04:28 PM ET, 07/28/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:57 PM ET, 07/28/2014

Watch Peyton Manning, Wes Welker dance to ‘Rocky Top.’ Please. We beg you.

Someone wanted to dance Monday. (AP)

Among the sports things to be thankful for today, there is this: Peyton Manning went to a university with a fight song that makes people want to dance.

And, on Monday, darned if he didn’t do that. When “Rocky Top,” the Tennessee fight song, blared over the loudspeaker at the Denver Broncos’ training camp, he got moving. Britton Colquitt, another Tennessee alum, got into it, too, and then wonderfully, inexplicably (and wonderfully inexplicably) Wes Welker got into the act.

Maybe Welker was dancing to the Texas Tech fight song.

By  |  02:57 PM ET, 07/28/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)


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