Obama Medal marks end of golf's shame
The excitement of the weekend's DP World Tour Championship closing out golf's Race to Dubai, which Rory McIlroy won, and Shane Lowry playing himself into the Top 50 for the first time, might have overshadowed another important landmark in golf. On Monday, President Obama presented a Medal of Freedom to Charlie Sifford (92), a black golfer who, while dominating black tournaments in the 1950s, was only allowed to caddy on the PGA Tour, which enforced a "Caucasians only" rule. Despite death threats and abuse, Sifford continued to challenge discrimination until eventually receiving his Tour card in 1961 at 38. The first black player to win a PGA event, the Hartford Open in '75, he's been congratulated by Tiger Woods who tweeted, "You're the grandpa I never had. Your past sacrifices allow me to play golf today…"
Following Manny Pacquiao's systematic punishment of Chris Algeri on Sunday in Macao, there are promising signs that the most lucrative boxing bout in history will be staged some time early next year. Talks between both camps resume this week with Pacquiao's agent Bob Arum engaging with Leslie Moonves boss of Showtime, who've yet to screen two of a six fight agreement which earns Floyd Mayweather €150 million. A single Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is expected to gross in excess of €250 million. So far, personal animosities, financial demands and drug allegations have prevented this fight. "It has to happen," says Pacquiao. Mayweather is believed to want a re-match clause in the agreement.
It's fascinating how a couple of good results can change the quality of a football manager's life. A month ago the pressured was on Alan Pardew at Newcastle and Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs. Currently as we head towards the Christmas season, it's Arsenal's Arsene Wenger and Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers who are on the receiving end of fans' frustrations. At Aston Villa, a precious point against Southampton, sees Paul Lambert's side two points outside the drop zone. But hasn't convinced many supporters he should be let go.
Early this month, Pele (74) had surgery for the removal of thirteen kidney stones and was released two days later from the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paolo. On Monday Pele was readmitted to hospital with a urinary infection. A spokesperson says he's stable. His hospitalisation came on the day his son Edinho, a 43-year old goalkeeping coach, was released from jail to appeal the 33 year sentence he received in May for money-laundering.