Hamil­ton sad­dened, hurt by Ec­cle­stone’s racism com­ments

Times Standard (Eureka) - - SPORTS - Wire Ser­vices

PARIS » For­mula One cham­pion Lewis Hamil­ton has crit­i­cized “ig­no­rant and un­e­d­u­cated” com­ments by for­mer F1 boss Bernie Ec­cle­stone.

Hamil­ton, a six-time world cham­pion and the only Black driver in F1, was shocked by Ec­cle­stone’s claim dur­ing an in­ter­view with broad­caster CNN on Fri­day that “in lots of cases, Black peo­ple are more racist” than white peo­ple.

“Damn, I just don’t even know where to start on this one ... so sad and dis­ap­point­ing to read th­ese com­ments,” Hamil­ton posted on In­sta­gram. “This is ex­actly what is wrong - ig­no­rant and un­e­d­u­cated com­ments which show us how far we as a so­ci­ety need to go be­fore real equal­ity can hap­pen.”

Ec­cle­stone made his as­ser­tion when he was asked his opin­ion on Hamil­ton set­ting up a com­mis­sion to in­crease di­ver­sity in mo­tor­sport.

“I don’t think it’s go­ing to do any­thing bad or good for For­mula One. It will just make peo­ple think, which is more im­por­tant,”

Most of the races at Dis­ney will be for seed­ing. Mil­wau­kee can­not fin­ish lower than No. 2 in the East and Toronto needs only one win to be as­sured of a top-four seed. The West can still see some shake­ups, with four games separat­ing sec­ond place from sixth place and only 2 ½ games separat­ing fourth place from sev­enth.

HEAT CHECK » Mi­ami had a league-high eight games re­main­ing against the eight teams that didn’t qual­ify for the Dis­ney restart.

Now the Heat will have a fight on their hands just to hang onto the No. 4 spot in the East.

Mi­ami plays Bos­ton, Den­ver, In­di­ana twice, Mil­wau­kee, Ok­la­homa City, Toronto and Phoenix in the seed­ing games. That sched­ule ranks harder than In­di­ana’s or Philadel­phia’s — the Pac­ers and 76ers both will head to Dis­ney two games be­hind the Heat in the East stand­ings.

Or­lando and the Lak­ers both saw seven games against the eight Dis­neynon-qual­i­fiers can­celed, tied for sec­ond-most in the league be­hind Mi­ami. Mem­phis had the fewest such games lost, with just one — a matchup against New York.

HOME ON THE ROAD » All 22 teams will be stay­ing at the Dis­ney cam­pus for the rest of their sea­sons. Yes, that in­cludes the Or­lando Magic — whose home arena is about 20 miles from Dis­ney World.

The Magic sim­ply see it as do­ing their part to make the restart hap­pen.

“We ap­pre­ci­ate the lead­er­ship of NBA Com­mis­sioner Adam Sil­ver, our long­time part­ner, Dis­ney, and our lo­cal lead­ers in this un­prece­dented time,” Or­lando Magic CEO Alex Martins said. “We look for­ward to pro­vid­ing as­sis­tance as needed in restart­ing the NBA sea­son in Or­lando, while us­ing our col­lec­tive plat­form to drive mean­ing­ful so­cial im­pact.”

SPEAK­ING OF ROAD » Philadel­phia was the NBA’s best home team this sea­son, go­ing 29-2 — on pace to be the sec­ond-best home record in a sea­son in fran­chise his­tory. The 1949-50 Syra­cuse Na­tion­als were bet­ter, go­ing 36-2 at the State Fair Coli­seum in the fran­chise’s in­au­gu­ral sea­son. Prob­lem is, the 76ers won’t be play­ing in Philly again un­til next sea­son.

Philadel­phia went just 10-24 on the road in the reg­u­lar sea­son, the sec­ond­worst road mark of the 22 teams that will be play­ing at Dis­ney. Only Washington (8-24) was worse.

If the 76ers are go­ing to go deep in th­ese play­offs, they’ll need to fig­ure out how to win with­out the rau­cous Wells Fargo Cen­ter ad­van­tage.

THEY WILL BE MISSED » Mil­wau­kee has the NBA’s best record, and one of the rea­sons the Bucks hold that mark right now is be­cause of

Ec­cle­stone replied. “Peo­ple ought to think a lit­tle bit and say ‘what the hell’, some­body’s not the same as white peo­ple and that Black peo­ple should think the same about white peo­ple. Be­cause I think in lots of cases, Black peo­ple are more racist than what white peo­ple are.”

Chal­lenged to give ev­i­dence, Ec­cle­stone replied: “Things over the years I’ve no­ticed and there’s no need for it.”

Hamil­ton re­cently at­tended a Black Lives Mat­ter march in Lon­don. He has spo­ken widely about racism in re­cent weeks after say­ing he felt “so much anger, sad­ness and dis­be­lief” fol­low­ing the killing of Ge­orge Floyd - a hand­cuffed and un­armed Black man - by a po­lice of­fi­cer in Min­neapo­lis last month.

“Lewis is a lit­tle bit spe­cial. First he’s very, very, very tal­ented as a driver and he seems to be now ex­tremely tal­ented when he’s stand­ing up mak­ing speeches,” Ec­cle­stone said. “This last cam­paign he’s do­ing for the Black peo­ple is won­der­ful. He’s do­ing a great job and it’s peo­ple (who are) eas­ily rec­og­niz­able that peo­ple lis­ten to.”

how good they were against the eight teams (Char­lotte, Chicago, Detroit, Cleve­land, At­lanta, New York, Min­nesota and Golden State) that didn’t qual­ify for the Dis­ney restart.

The Bucks were 22-0 against those eight teams — one of three NBA teams to go un­beaten against that group. Ok­la­homa City was 15-0 and the Lak­ers were 120. Toronto and Bos­ton were both 19-1 and Utah was 15-1.

Only one re­main­ing team had a los­ing record against those eight clubs: San An­to­nio went 7-8.

LAKER BREAK » The sched­ule means that the Lak­ers won’t play a back-to-backto-back after all.

The Lak­ers would have played home games on April 7, 8 and 9 against Golden State, Chicago and the Clip­pers — the last of those com­ing be­cause a game that was sched­uled to be played shortly after Kobe Bryant’s death was moved un­til later in the sea­son.

HELLO, AGAIN » For 26 play­ers on the ros­ters of the 22 teams, Dis­ney is go­ing to look fa­mil­iar. They played there in col­lege.

The Dis­ney cam­pus plays host to the Or­lando In­vi­ta­tional over Thanks­giv­ing, and some alumni of that event are headed back there now for NBA con­tests. Among them: Heat team­mates Jimmy But­ler (Mar­quette, 2009) and Kelly Olynyk (Gon­zaga, 2012), Port­land’s Zach Collins (Gon­zaga, 2016), Washington’s Rui Hachimura (Gon­zaga, 2016), Mil­wau­kee’s Khris Mid­dle­ton (Texas A&M, 2010), In­di­ana’s Ed­mond Sum­ner (Xavier, 2015), Phoenix’s Kelly Oubre Jr. (Kansas, 2014) and Bos­ton’s Mar­cus Smart (Ok­la­homa State, 2013).

And lest we for­get, the Lopez broth­ers — Mil­wau­kee team­mates Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez — are huge Dis­ney fans, and have made their affin­ity for the place very well-known in re­cent weeks.

NO 3’S RECORD » For the first time in eight sea­sons, the league record for to­tal 3-point­ers made won’t get bro­ken. It was on pace to be smashed.

NBA teams have com­bined for 23,560 3-point­ers made so far this sea­son, which is al­ready the fourth­most of any sea­son in league his­tory. The league was on pace for 29,844 3-point­ers, which is 1,889 more than the record of 27,955 set last sea­son.

STATE OF BAS­KET­BALL » Florida — the Sun­shine State — will be the epi­cen­ter of bas­ket­ball this sum­mer.

While the NBA is headed to Dis­ney, the WNBA sea­son is also sched­uled to be­gin next month and be head­quar­tered in Braden­ton, Florida. That’s about 100 miles from where the NBA will be play­ing. The WNBA plan is for its play­ers to be housed at the IMG Academy, with games to be played at the nearby Feld En­ter­tain­ment Cen­ter.

Bernie Ec­cle­stone, Pres­i­dent and CEO of For­mula One Man­age­ment, left, talks to Mercedes driver Lewis Hamil­ton of Bri­tain in Sakhir, Bahrain on April 16, 2015. Hamil­ton has crit­i­cized “ig­no­rant and un­e­d­u­cated” com­ments by Ec­cle­stone.


LIVER­POOL CON­DEMNS FAN BE­HAV­IOR IN TI­TLE CEL­E­BRA­TIONS » English cham­pion Liver­pool has con­demned the be­hav­ior of some fans who gath­ered in the city to cel­e­brate the club’s Premier League ti­tle win after a 30year wait.

Mersey­side Po­lice is­sued a dis­per­sal or­der for Liver­pool city cen­ter on Fri­day night. This al­lowed po­lice to dis­perse crowds who gath­ered on the Pier Head, after part of the Liver Build­ing caught fire amid the

wild cel­e­bra­tions de­spite the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.


DODGERS’ TOLES JAILED IN FLORIDA ON TRES­PASS CHARGE » Los An­ge­les Dodgers out­fielder Andrew Toles was in jail on a tres­pass­ing charge.

The 28-year-old player was de­tained this week at the air­port in Key West, Florida, by a Mon­roe County sher­iff deputy.

A re­port by the sher­iff’s of­fice said Toles was found sleep­ing be­hind a Fed­eral

Ex­press build­ing at the air­port and re­fused to move after sev­eral warn­ings by deputies that he had to leave or be ar­rested.

Jail records show Toles ap­peared to be home­less when ar­rested Mon­day on the mis­de­meanor charge of tres­pass­ing prop­erty. His bond was set at $500 but he re­mained jailed and is sched­uled for ar­raign­ment Thurs­day.

“We are un­able to com­ment,” team spokesman Joe Jareck said Satur­day.

Horse racing

BEL­MONT PARK BARN UN­DER PRE­CAU­TION­ARY QUAR­AN­TINE » A barn at Bel­mont Park has been placed un­der a pre­cau­tion­ary quar­an­tine be­cause of a sus­pected case of equine her­pesvirus Type 1.

New York Racing As­so­ci­a­tion of­fi­cials say a 4-yearold colt trained by Chris Englehart ex­hib­ited fever and neu­ro­log­i­cal symp­toms as­so­ci­ated with EHV-1 and is be­ing treated by a pri­vate vet­eri­nar­ian. The colt named Freud­nme last raced at Fin­ger Lakes in up­state New York in June 2019.

EHV-1 can cause up­per res­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tion in young horses. If a num­ber of horses are housed to­gether, they can be­come sick and then re­cover un­event­fully. How­ever, equine her­pesvirus-1 can also cause a se­vere neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­ease that af­fects a horse’s brain and spinal cord, and may re­sult in paral­y­sis and death.


FOR­MER NFL, COL­LEGE COACH KRUEGER DIES AT 90 » Phil Krueger, who helped build a dom­i­nant de­fense as an as­sis­tant for 1967 na­tional cham­pion South­ern Cal­i­for­nia and later be­came part of the first coach­ing staff in Tampa Bay Buc­ca­neers’ his­tory, has died. He was 90.

Krueger died at his home, his fam­ily said.

Skilled in all phases of the game, Krueger coached of­fense, de­fense and spe­cial teams dur­ing more than three decades in the NFL and col­lege. He was the head coach at Fresno State and Utah State, go­ing 31-22, and an as­sis­tant at Illi­nois.

Krueger moved from the field to Tampa Bay’s front of­fice and spent 10 years as an ex­ec­u­tive, known for his skill in ne­go­ti­at­ing con­tracts. He was hired as the Buc­ca­neers’ first gen­eral man­ager in 1991.


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