His spirit has returned
Stuff we didn’t see coming in 2018: NSW leading the Origin series after game one, the West Coast Eagles leading the AFL at the halfway mark of the season, and the Penrith Panthers leading the NRL at the same point.
By the way, did you know that Panthers are not a cat in their own right? They’re actually a black version of a jaguar or leopard or other big cat that pops out reverse albino. True story.
Here are some other true stories we liked this week. These are our favourite stories about elite sportspeople, as told by elite sportspeople around the world, from our favourite athlete platforms. Just like you get on PlayersVoice every day.
the more things change …
America’s NFL recently banned the act of ‘taking a knee’ – the protest started by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who said ‘I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour’.
We’ve been to a very similar place before.
Fifty-one years ago this week, a group of prominent American black athletes came together to support Muhammad Ali in his fight for justice at an event known as ‘the Ali Summit’. That, too, was frowned upon by sports authorities.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 5, 2018
For the record, James this week said that no matter who wins the 2018 NBA Finals series, no one plans to accept the invite anyway to the White House. The man is no fan of the president’s opposition to athletes taking a knee, so it’s no surprise he’s helping plug the Ali doco.
harnessing the passion
We liked this story about Canberra Raiders NRL captain Jarrod Croker and his passion for harness racing.
There’s also a funny moment at the start where he recounts how when he was a nice young Catholic boy, he would take Communion at church with his footy gear underneath so he could dash off to the game immediately after completing his religious duties. You can find the story at Exclusive Insight.
— exclusive insight (@exinsight) June 2, 2018
what ronaldo told iceland
These guys do not come from “Niceland”. They come from a serious football nation and they’re out to do damage to Argentina in their first FIFA World Cup 2018 match on Saturday June 16, just after the Socceroos play France.
Icelander Aron Gunnarsson, who plays for Premier League-bound Cardiff City, has opened up to The Players’ Tribune about what Cristiano Ronaldo said to him after nation’s famous draw with Portugal two years ago in the group phase of Euro 2016. Hint: it was complimentary.
You will recall that Portugal went on to win the 2016 Euros. And that Iceland went on to knock England out in the round of 16. And that Australians went on to laugh at England for many months afterwards.
Aron Gunnarsson says he almost felt sorry for England after Iceland's famous win at Euro 2016.
— Cardiff City Online (@CardiffCityLive) June 6, 2018
Recommendation for a quiet evening over the long weekend: this poddie from former North Melbourne Kangaroo and Bali bombing survivor Jason McCartney. It’s haunting stuff.
From a young man growing up dreaming of playing League footy, to lying in a hospital bed fighting for his life, this is a story of tragedy, courage and iron will.
— PodcastOne Australia (@PodcastOneAU) June 7, 2018
the man who beat an ‘unbeaten’ fighter
If you haven’t yet watched our fantastic Jeff Horn fight diary, get around it. Each day this week, we’ve brought you an instalment of our inside view of Horn’s training and life as he prepares for his title fight against unbeaten American, Terence Crawford.
Crawford, by the way, is one hell of an interesting guy. Dude got shot once. In the head. This actually happened. You can read his full story here to see how he survived – and we should point out that no other Australian site or platform has gotten Crawford to say a word about himself.
Plenty of keen judges rate Crawford among the best two or three boxers currently fighting anywhere in the world. His professional record reads 32-0. But here’s the catch. He lost back in his amateur days, and the guy who beat him was American Ray Robinson, who’s been sparring with Horn in training.
Here’s hoping that after next weekend, Robinson ain’t no Robinson Crusoe in terms of beating Crawford.