Sport shorts: Adidas Arsenal kit tweets spark racism row, Lionesses set for semi-final, Rihanna cheers on the Windies
Ten things from the world of sport on Tuesday 2 July
1. Adidas under fire over kit tweets
Adidas has come under fire, The Guardian reports, after the sportswear giant’s “botched” Arsenal kit launch was hijacked on social media by accounts with offensive or insensitive Twitter handles.
A promotional campaign called #DareToCreate encouraged Twitter users to share a tweet with the message “This is home. Welcome to the squad”.
Twitter posts from accounts such as @GasAllJewss, @MadelineMcCann and @96wasnotenough were retweeted by @AdidasUK before being removed.
An Adidas statement said: “As part of our partnership launch with Arsenal we have been made aware of the abuse of a Twitter personalisation mechanic created to allow excited fans to get their name on the back of the new jersey.
“Due to a small minority creating offensive versions of this we have immediately turned off the functionality and the Twitter team will be investigating.”
2. Palace ‘incensed’ by Zaha bid
Crystal Palace have been left “incensed” by Arsenal’s move for Wilfried Zaha, the BBC reports. The Gunners’s £40m bid will not even be considered by “furious” Palace chiefs and they expect a fee “drastically higher” than the £50m Manchester United paid for Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
3. United in pole position for Maguire
BBC Sport reported yesterday that Marcus Rashford had signed a new deal until 2023 at Manchester United worth £200,000 a week. With Rashford now staying for the long term could he be joined at Old Trafford by his England team-mate Harry Maguire? Sky Sports News says that United have “moved ahead” of rivals Manchester City in the pursuit of Leicester defender Maguire. United have upped their bid to £70m.
4. Cavendish out of Tour
British cyclist Mark Cavendish will not ride in the Tour de France for the first time since 2007 after failing to make the Team Dimension Data squad. The 2019 Tour de France starts in Brussels on Saturday.
5. Lionesses prepared for semi-final
Phil Neville says that his England side are ready to tackle the United States head on in tonight’s semi-final of the Fifa Women’s World Cup. The Lionesses face the defending champions in Lyon and Neville said: “We’ve planned for it, we’ve played against them and we know how we’re going to play.”
6. Nine-game ban for Burgess
England rugby league prop George Burgess will miss the remainder of South Sydney Rabbitohs’ regular-season games after being found guilty of eye gouging during the match against Wests Tigers. The 27-year-old has been handed a nine-game ban by Australia’s National Rugby League.
7. Plunkett confident ahead of Kiwi clash
England face New Zealand tomorrow in a match they must win to ensure their qualification for the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup. Bowler Liam Plunkett was in bullish mood when he addressed the press. He said: “We’ve got momentum now and know we can beat anyone on our day.”
8. Rihanna cheers on the Windies in Durham
Although the West Indies lost against Sri Lanka yesterday they can at least boast the most famous supporter at the Cricket World Cup - pop superstar Rihanna. It’s not often - in fact it may be a first - that Durham has hosted the Barbadian singer but she looked to be enjoying the atmosphere at Chester-le-Street. The West Indies squad were certainly delighted with their special guest. In a post on Twitter the Windies said: “Look who came to #Rally with the #MenInMaroon.”
9. Angels mourn pitcher Skaggs
Major League Baseball team the Los Angeles Angels have confirmed that pitcher Tyler Skaggs has died at the age of 27. The BBC reports that Skaggs was found unconscious in his hotel room in Texas yesterday afternoon. Police have said that no foul play is suspected.
10. Cori thanks ‘inspiration’ Venus
A 15-year-old schoolgirl thanked Venus Williams for being her “inspiration” after beating the five-time champion in straight sets in the Wimbledon first round yesterday. Cori Gauff is the youngest person to qualify for the main draw of the tennis tournament since the sport’s professional era began in 1968, and is 24 years younger than Williams - who had won Wimbledon twice before Gauff was even born.