NBA legends Kerr, LeBron lead sports world fury after Texas school shooting

NBA legends Kerr, LeBron lead sports world fury after Texas school shooting
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr makes a statement before Warriors played the Dallas Mavericks in Game 4 of the NBA basketball playoffs Western Conference finals Tuesday in Dallas. (San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
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Updated 25 May 2022

NBA legends Kerr, LeBron lead sports world fury after Texas school shooting

NBA legends Kerr, LeBron lead sports world fury after Texas school shooting
  • Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr in one of the most outspoken and articulate voices on social issues in American sport

LOS ANGELES: Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr made an impassioned plea for gun control in the wake of the Texas school shooting that left 18 children dead on Tuesday as the US sporting world reacted with horror over the tragedy.

Kerr refused to talk about his team’s NBA playoff match with the Dallas Mavericks in a pre-game press conference, held hours after a teenage gunman opened fire at a school in the Texas town of Uvalde.

An emotional Kerr, one of the most outspoken and articulate voices on social issues in American sport, slammed his hand on a table as he accused US lawmakers who refuse to vote on tougher gun laws of “holding the American people hostage.”

“I’m not going to talk about basketball,” Kerr told reporters shortly before Tuesday’s Eastern Conference finals game four in Dallas. “Any basketball questions don’t matter.

“Since we left shootaround, 14 children were killed 400 miles from here, and a teacher. In the last 10 days, we’ve had elderly black people killed in a supermarket in Buffalo, we’ve had Asian churchgoers killed in Southern California, now we have children murdered at school.

“When are we going to do something? I’m tired. I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there.

“I’ve had enough. We’re going to play the game tonight. But I want every person here, every person listening to this, to think about your own child or grandchild, mother or father, sister, brother.

“How would you feel if this happened to you today” asked Kerr, whose father was murdered by Islamic militants in Beirut in 1984.

Kerr reserved toughest criticism for members of the US Senate who have refused to vote on legislation that would introduce stricter background checks for gun owners.

“Fifty Senators in Washington are going to hold us hostage,” Kerr said. “Do you realize that 90 percent of Americans, regardless of political party, want background checks, universal background checks? Ninety percent of us.

“We are being held hostage by 50 Senators in Washington who refuse to even put it to a vote, despite what we the American people want.”

Kerr’s sense of outrage was shared by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who also called for change.

“Like when is enough enough man!!!,” James wrote on Twitter. “These are kids and we keep putting them in harms way at school. Like seriously, “AT SCHOOL” where it’s suppose to be the safest!

“There simply has to be change. HAS TO BE!!“

NFL athletes also demanded change. The Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl-winning quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who grew up in Texas, wrote on Twitter: “Has to stop man...prayers to all the families in Texas.”

Dallas Cowboys defensive star DeMarcus Lawrence meanwhile tweeted directly at Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

“Who is going to stand up and DEMAND we have better security at all these schools that can’t afford it????” Lawrence wrote. “How are our tax dollars not going to those who need the most protection??!! OUR CHILDREN! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!“

Former Houston Texans icon J.J. Watt added: “Devastated doesn’t even begin to describe it. Horrifying horrifying news out of Texas.”


NEOM subsidiary to power off-road racing series Extreme E with green hydrogen

NEOM subsidiary to power off-road racing series Extreme E with green hydrogen
Updated 12 sec ago

NEOM subsidiary to power off-road racing series Extreme E with green hydrogen

NEOM subsidiary to power off-road racing series Extreme E with green hydrogen

RIYADH: NEOM’s energy, water and hydrogen subsidiary ENOWA has partnered with Extreme E to introduce green hydrogen power to their global sustainable racing series. 

This development comes on the heels of the announcement that NEOM became the title partner of the McLaren Formula E and Extreme E racing teams under the banner of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing, according to a statement. 

NEOM has partnered with McLaren Racing to drive innovation and talent development in electric motorsport.

With the partnership, Extreme E and ENOWA aim to implement innovative green hydrogen-based technologies.

ENOWA will play a part on the scientific advisory board of Extreme E and together both parties will develop educational programs to young generations about climate positive solutions.

“Our partnership is aimed toward both creating visibility to the most urgent problems the planet is facing but at the same time demonstrating solutions that deliver meaningful impact,” ENOWA CEO said. 

“Together we can accelerate innovations in clean technologies powered by green hydrogen, contributing to hydrogen mobility markets and the future of global decarbonization,” Peter Terium added. 

At the Season 2 opener of Extreme E in NEOM in February 2022, the series revealed its plans to launch an off-road hydrogen Championship in 2024. 

Named Extreme H, the championship will sit alongside Extreme E, its existing electric racing series, and will be a world-first for motorsport. 

Development for the Extreme H vehicle is already underway, with the aim being the launch of a prototype in early 2023.


Last World Cup tickets to go on sale next week: FIFA

Last World Cup tickets to go on sale next week: FIFA
Updated 29 June 2022

Last World Cup tickets to go on sale next week: FIFA

Last World Cup tickets to go on sale next week: FIFA
  • About 1.8 million tickets sold so far
  • Tickets to go on sale online from July 5 until August 16

DOHA: The remaining tickets for this year’s World Cup in Qatar will be available on a first-come, first-served basis from next week, FIFA said on Wednesday.
About 1.8 million tickets were sold in the first two batches of sales, FIFA said, without saying how many are now available.
Qatar will host the first World Cup in the Middle East from November 21 to December 18 at eight stadiums in and around the capital, Doha.
The latest tickets will go on sale online from July 5 at 12pm Doha time (0900 GMT) until 12pm on August 16, FIFA said in a press release.
“Huge worldwide interest is anticipated in the new sales period,” the world body said.
Officials said three million tickets are available in total, including those allocated to sponsors.
Last week, the World Cup’s chief organizer Hassan Al-Thawadi said 1.2 million tickets had been sold so far.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino said there were five million ticket requests just for the final at the 80,000-seat Lusail stadium.
Doha, with a population of about 2.4 million and limited accommodation, is bracing itself for a huge influx of visitors for the 32-team tournament.
Last month, Qatar announced scores of daily shuttle flights from neighboring Gulf countries, allowing fans to stay elsewhere and fly in to watch games.


World’s media hail Al-Hilal’s 18th Saudi Pro League title triumph

World’s media hail Al-Hilal’s 18th Saudi Pro League title triumph
Al-Hilal's Argentine coach Ramon Diaz (third from left) celebrates winning the Saudi Pro League title. (Arriyadiyah)
Updated 29 June 2022

World’s media hail Al-Hilal’s 18th Saudi Pro League title triumph

World’s media hail Al-Hilal’s 18th Saudi Pro League title triumph
  • Outlets in Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria and other international networks celebrate third consecutive trophy for the reigning Asian champions

The world’s media has hailed Al-Hilal’s record-extending 18th Saudi Pro League title after Ramon Diaz’s team defeated Al-Faisaly 2-1 at King Fahd International Stadium on Monday night.

The victory secured a third consecutive domestic title for the reigning Asian champions, finishing two points clear of long-time league leaders Al-Ittihad.

Argentina’s El Grafico highlighted the achievement of compatriot Diaz and several other South American players in Al-Hilal’s ranks, including Matheus Pereira (Brazil), Gustavo Cuellar (Colombia) and Andre Carrillo (Peru). Also, ESPN’s Spanish-language Twitter account posted a photo of the champions with the caption “It’s Ramon’s team.”

Nigerian outlet Sports Brief meanwhile celebrated the role of forward Odion Ighalo who’s double confirmed the title on Monday, and who also bagged the SPL’s Golden Boot for top scorer with 24 goals this season.

Brazilian network TNT congratulated former Flamengo forward Michael Delgado for his contribution to the championship win, while online website Soccernet ran with the headline “Ex-Manchester United star Ighalo leads Al-Hilal to league triumph.”


Morocco crowned 2022 Arab Futsal Cup champions in Dammam

Morocco crowned 2022 Arab Futsal Cup champions in Dammam
Morocco are the 2022 Arab Futsal Cup champions. (SAFF)
Updated 29 June 2022

Morocco crowned 2022 Arab Futsal Cup champions in Dammam

Morocco crowned 2022 Arab Futsal Cup champions in Dammam
  • A 3-0 win over Iraq sees team retain the title they won in Cairo last year

DUBAI: Morocco are the 2022 Arab Futsal Cup champions after defeating Iraq 3-0 in the final at the Green Hall in Dammam on Tuesday evening.

The 10-team tournament, organized by the Union of Arab Football Associations and hosted by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, kicked off on June 20, and is the sixth edition of the competition.

The triumph sees Morocco retain the trophy they won last year in Cairo, and means they are now two-time champions, a record shared with Egypt and Libya.

Badr bin Abdulrahman Al-Qadi, Saudi deputy minister of sports, presented the victorious North African team with their medal, and Anis Al-Ayan, with the man of the match award.

The award for the best player of the tournament went to Morocco’s Sufian Al-Masrar, and top goalscorer award to Kuwait’s Abdulrahman Al-Taweel.

Iraq’s Zaher Hadi was named the tournament’s best goalkeeper, with the Egyptian team receiving the event’s fair play award.


Gamers8 and Spotify team up for Saudi Arabia’s first live international esports season

Gamers8 and Spotify team up for Saudi Arabia’s first live international esports season
Updated 29 June 2022

Gamers8 and Spotify team up for Saudi Arabia’s first live international esports season

Gamers8 and Spotify team up for Saudi Arabia’s first live international esports season
  • The world’s most popular audio streaming platform will be exclusive partner for the $15m event
  • Highly anticipated anthem by DJ and producer R3HAB, featuring Kingdom’s pop artist Meteb Alshalan, set for release

RIYADH: Gamers8 have unveiled an exclusive partnership with streaming giant Spotify, who will become the official audio streaming partner for the all-new major esports and gaming season taking place live in Riyadh this summer.

Spotify boasts a community of more than 422 million monthly active listeners, including 182 million subscribers, across 183 markets. Under this partnership, gamers and their fans can enjoy specially curated audio inspired by the esports community.

Gamers8, from the creators of Gamers Without Borders, will be held in the Saudi capital from July 14 to Sept. 8, with a total prize pool of $15 million.

Omar Batterjee, head of marketing, communications, and partnerships at the Saudi Esports Federation, said: “Music and audio are an essential part of esports. We are thrilled to partner with Spotify to provide our fans with a one-stop destination where they can enjoy the ultimate curated content and iconic experiences. Together with Spotify, we can collectively combine esports, technology, entertainment, and music to inspire the gaming community, as well as the next generation of gamers and fans.”

Gamers8 will have an official co-curated playlist by Spotify’s music team as well as lists by gaming professionals and celebrities. In addition, Spotify and Gamers8 will create and launch a podcast dedicated to the season in partnership with Rising Giants Network. The eight-episode series will be the go-to place for gaming enthusiasts to hear about the top players through game highlights and one-on-one interviews.

The partnership will also see the release of the highly anticipated Gamers8 anthem produced by DJ and producer R3HAB, featuring Saudi pop artist Meteb Alshalan.

Commenting on the partnership, Nicole Aoun, Spotify’s marketing and partnership lead in Saudi Arabia, said: “While at Spotify, we continue to be laser-focused on growing the creators’ community, we are equally as passionate about creating memorable experiences for the Saudi youth, demonstrating our commitment to the local community.

“The Saudi Esports Federation shares our vision of providing world-class entertainment for the gaming community, and we are thrilled to embark on this journey together, making Saudi gamers and fans connect meaningfully through music and podcasts.”