The Sports Link Up
Author: Stephen Jones | Friday 12th March 2021
Welcome to the first edition of The Sports Link Up.
Sports is a living and breathing organism that doesn’t sleep. It won't take rests, and it will never nap. Sports keeps on feeding and consumes minds, bodies, and souls in every corner of the globe. So as you can imagine, it has a lot of news that goes along with it, and you can’t be expected to keep updated with absolutely everything.
This is why we wanted to give you our weekly round-up of some of the stories we think you’ll be interested in. It doesn’t have to be breaking news, and it doesn’t have to fit an agenda - we just want you to link up with sports news that you might have missed out on.
So here is the first edition - remember to stay safe people, and whatever you do, if you see Piers Morgan out for a walk, tell him to “suck his mum”.
Brazilian footballer Robinho sentenced to 9-year jail term for ‘brutally humiliating gang-rape victim’
Shockwaves hit the streets this week as former baller Robinho was handed a nine-year prison sentence for being part of a gang rape while he was playing for AC Milan in 2015. The 37-year old striker was said to have “brutally humiliated” and “belittled” an Albanian woman in a nightclub in Milan back in 2013.
Robinho told UOL, “A girl approached me, we started to have contact with her consent and mine too... then I went home,"
When she approached me, she wasn't drunk because she remembers my name, she remembers who I am. The person who drinks doesn't remember anything. She remembers."
It is believed he has 45 days to make a third and final appeal to the highest court of Italian justice.
Does this man ever stop? Everybody's favourite villain was back at it again as he sent Atletico Madrid six points clear at the top of the table. It was a classic Luis Suarez penalty that sealed the deal as he scored early in the second half to bring victory to the Atleti.
Yesterday was Didier Drogba’s birthday, and for that reason, it's only right we shout it from the rooftops.
Light-Heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz executed a perfect game plan to handle middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, handing him the first defeat of his MMA career.
The two traded shots through the first three rounds with Adesanya looking to capitalise on his faster, youthful and dynamic style. Going into the championship rounds Blachowicz answered back by grinding into his wrestling and ground and pound. He took the Style bender down to the canvas and scored the better of the two in the final two rounds midway.
The fight went the distance and the judges scored it 49-46, 49-45, 49-45 in favour of the Pole and defending champion Jan Blachowicz.
"It was a tough fight, it was a close fight," Blachowicz said. "I'm happy I can be the first to beat him. He's one of the best in the world. I had to defend the division and I did it.”
"I proved I'm a true champion. Now I will celebrate. We have a whole fridge of beer. We are going to start drinking and I don't know when we will finish."
The middleweight champion had a few things to say on his loss at the post-fight conference.
“Losses are part of life, and losses are something I deal with occasionally… Just this is my first one in MMA, but as they say, it is what it is.”
“If I was going to lose to anyone, what better guy to lose to than a guy like Jan. A classy champion. A cool dude. A very nice guy. A guy who has a great story himself. On his way to getting cut from the company, comes back and then dominates, becomes light heavyweight champion and then hands this guy, a future legend, his first loss. If I’m going to lose to anyone, I’m glad I lost to him.”
“You’ll see me back at 205 later in the future. Right now, I’ve got a division I’ve got to dominate. I know what they’re thinking, ‘Oh, that’s it, you’ve just got to take him down and then you’ve got him.’ All right, cool, bet, but I’ll remind them again why I’m the king of 185.”
“Everyone who supports me, all my people, I appreciate you. I’m sorry. I like to make my fans be proud when they say what I’m going to do, what I’ve already said being champ-champ or double champ, whatever. I’m sorry I let you down but if you want to get off the hype train, get the f**k off the hype train.”
“We’re just stopping for a little gas. Understand? You can get the f**k off, but if you want to stick with me, stick with me and trust me, I’ll show you a good time. It’s going to be a fun ride. I appreciate y’all.”
Chasing greatness can come at great risk and we are excited to see what Adesanya can do bouncing back off this loss.
Blake Griffin had been bought out by the Detroit Pistons last week, which ultimately led to Griffin being a prospect on the free agency list. Griffin states there were four teams interested in him becoming a part of their squad, but his decision was final and that was with the Brooklyn Nets.
“They have a need for a four-man. I’ve always had a lot of respect for Steve Nash and all of the guys that they have. Sean Marks has done a great job there. It was a tough decision and I wanted to be on a team that was contending.”
He didn’t name the teams that were interested, but he chose the Nets over three other teams after he and the Pistons agreed to a buyout on Friday.
“At the end of it, I narrowed it down to four teams so all four are great teams and organisations but like I keep saying, I tried to make the best decision.” Griffin told Eisen on his Rich Eisen Show.
“There was definitely other teams. It wasn’t an easy decision by any means but I’ve known KD, James, DeAndre obviously, and Kai for a long time and you always think about playing with different guys. Ultimately, just made the decision I thought was best for myself. I’m excited about the opportunity and obviously a great team and I’m happy to be a part of the organisation.”
When Eisen asked if the Nets “Big Three” and DJ had tried to recruit, Griffin smiled.
“Not until the appropriate time because of tampering but I spoke to some of them,” said Griffin. “From all the teams, I talked to several guys so like I said, it was a tough decision but I went with what I thought was best.”
League rules strictly prohibit teams and players from recruiting off of other teams’ rosters. Griffin said he’s met with Steve Nash and talked about the role he would play in a team moving forward.
”I think they need a 4 and sometimes they’ll play me as a small-ball 5. I’m there to help out where I can. I think at this point in my career, I am able to fit different roles. My whole goal is to help this team win like every year but obviously, the teams that I was looking at, there are real chances to do that so I was appreciative of all the teams but I am excited to be a Net.”
Griffin also touch on how his time ended with The Pistons.
“They just came to me and said ‘Hey listen, we are going in a different direction. This is pretty much a full rebuild. This year, they kept Derrick Rose and I on and they sort of wanted us from training camp, mentor, and help out so many young guys and so many new guys. They wanted us to be there for that. We did that and Derrick made the decision that he wanted to try to play for a playoff team and play more minutes somewhere and they honoured that.”
“Anything can happen but I guess I’d be inclined to believe it. Anything can happen in this league. Now, we are here.”
Tom Brady's right-hand man Rob Gronkowski has pleased American Football fans as he says that he will return to play football in 2021.
"I'm back, man!" Gronkowski said. "I will be back playing football, man. I love the game of football. I loved playing last year. I had a great time."
Written by Abdul-Ahad Patel & Stephen Jones
We hope you enjoyed a little insight into some interesting sports stories. The Sports Link Up will be back next week.