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Politics v sport – F1 drivers speak out against anti-gay laws

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Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have spoken out against Hungary’s new anti-LGBTQ+ law

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – OCTOBER 27: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and second placed Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari celebrate on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 27, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Hamilton, a seven-time world champion and eight-time winner of the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest, posted in support of the country’s LGBTQ+ community ahead of this year’s edition of the race.

https://twitter.com/RacingPrideHQ/status/1420694541980536832

He wrote: “To all in this beautiful country Hungary. Ahead of the Grand Prix this weekend, I want to share my support for those affected by the governments’ anti-LGBTQ+ law. It is unacceptable, cowardly and misguiding for those in power suggest such a law.

“Everyone deserves to have the freedom to be themselves, no matter who they love or how they identify. I urge the people of Hungary to vote in the upcoming referendum to protect the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, they need our support more than ever.

“Please show love for those around you because Love will always win. Sending positivity. #lgbtq”

Following suit, Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel, arrived at the Budapest paddock with a rainbow strip on his trainers.

https://twitter.com/sebvettelnews/status/1420744360585437186

“Everybody’s free to do what they want and exactly that I guess is the point,” Vettel said. “So I find it embarrassing for a country that is in the European Union having to vote or having some laws like this as part of their constitution, whatever,” Vettel said.

“I just think we’ve had so many opportunities to learn in the past and I can’t understand why you’re struggling to see everybody should be free to do what they like, love who they like and it’s along the lines of ‘live and let live’.

“So it’s obviously not for us to make the law, that’s not our role, but I think just to express the support for obviously those who are affected by it.”

Politics vs sport

The law has become a controversial issue within sport.

The country is holding a referendum on a law which includes a ban on the depiction or promotion of homosexuality and gender change to under-18s.

Last month, UEFA refused a request from Munich’s Mayor for a stadium to be lit in rainbow colours ahead of Germany’s Euro 2020 clash against Hungary.


UEFA has refused a request from Munich’s Mayor for a stadium to be lit in rainbow colours ahead of Germany’s Euro 2020 clash against Hungary.

https://fast.wistia.net/embed/iframe/ppjxiaae4v?dnt=1#?secret=vmIxpBbpnw

UEFA says the decision was consistent with being a “politically and religiously neutral organisation”.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said Hungary will hold a referendum on the issue by early 2022 at the latest.

Sport

Team USA to require vaccination for 2022 Winter Olympians

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Staff and athletes will be required to be fully vaccinated before the Beijing Winter Olympics, according to a policy announced by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) announced the policy on Wednesday.

The USOPC won’t consider unvaccinated athletes for the Beijing games, who will need to provide proof of vaccination by December 1st. The Winter Olympics will begin on the 4th of February next year.

The Associated Press obtained the letter CEO Sarah Hirshland sent to athletes and staff detailing the decision to implement the policy for future Olympic and Paralympic Games, starting with the 2022 Tokyo Winter Olympic Games.

“Effective Nov. 1, 2021, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee will require all USOPC staff, athletes and those utilizing USOPC facilities – including the training centers – to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” Hirshland wrote.

“This requirement will also apply to our full Team USA delegation at future Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Athletes will be given the opportunity to apply for an exemption, and Hirshland hopes most COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted in time for the Games.

“The stark reality is that this pandemic is far from over,” Hirshland wrote.

“This step will increase our ability to create a safe and productive environment for Team USA athletes and staff, and allow us to restore consistency in planning, preparation and service to athletes.”

The USOPC also revealed data on vaccination rates at the Tokyo Olympics via their website, with 83% of Team USA, and 86% of international athletes at the Olympic Village being fully vaccinated.

Athletes previously weren’t required to be vaccinated by the International Olympic Committee to attend the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, although they encouraged athletes to get vaccinated.

-by Parker McKenzie

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UEFA shuts down FIFA proposal

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UEFA has urged FIFA to stop pushing its plan for a two-year World Cup and instead to engage in “genuine consultation” about reform of the international match calendar

FIFA is currently conducting a feasibility study into holding the tournament on a biennial basis.

(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The proposal would signify a switch from the current four-yearly cycle. But FIFA has made no secret of its desire to switch to such a format.

epa08868644 A handout photo made available by FIFA of the World Cup Trophy during the European qualifying draw for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in Zurich, Switzerland, 07 December 2020. EPA-EFE/Kurt Schorrer / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

It follows Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s head of Global Football Development, says he was “100 percent convinced” to the switch.

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Major League Baseball has told a team to stop testing for Coronavirus

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A Boston Redsox outfielder said that MLB told his team struggling with COVID-19 to treat symptoms, instead of testing

The Boston Redsox have nine players who have tested positive with coronavirus.

When questioned about the situation on WEEI’s Merloni & Fauria show, Refroe said the league had instructed the team to stop testing for the virus.

“MLB basically told us to stop the testing and just treat the symptoms,” Renfroe said.

“We’re like ‘No. We’re gonna figure out what’s going on and try to keep this thing under control.'”

When the bewildered host asked Renfroe to confirm if Major League Baseball had asked the team to stop testing, he confirmed “yes”.

Major League Baseball quickly released a statement to Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe saying Renfroe’s claim was incorrect.

“He (Renfroe) is completely wrong and inaccurate.” the statement said.

The Red Sox are currently missing shortstop Xander Bogart, starters Nick Pivetta and Martin Perez, outfielder Jarren Duran, and closer Matt Barnes because of the outbreak.

The Redsox have released a statement saying they have followed league COVID restrictions, and will continue to test. The team is currently under the 85% vaccinated threshold to ease restrictions imposed by the league.

-By Parker McKenzie



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