1. An English rugby match had to be halted on the weekend because spectators complained about the amount of racist sledging they could hear coming from the field of play. The match between Northampton and Bath was stopped in the 57th minute after four fans – barracking for both teams – took issue with the racist abuse. The referee was forced to speak to both captains about the issue. Of course, the subsequent inquiry by rugby’s ruling body has found no evidence of racism. Strangely, despite the official thumbs up all round, it still felt moved to warn a New Zealand player, Mark Robinson, to watch his future conduct.

2. A former Ohio State gridiron star, Maurice Clarett, will only be dreaming of touchdowns for the next three and a half years, at least, after changing his plea to guilty relating to aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon. The man who led his team, Ohio State, to the college championship in 2002 drew seven and a half years, but can be out four years earlier if he behaves in jail. Clarett, who held up two people outside a bar and was later found to have four guns in his car, has apologised for his behaviour. He’s 22 years old.

3. A basketballer from a Pittsburgh college remains in a critical condition after he and four of his teammates for the Duquesne team were shot by two men, including a jealous boyfriend. Sam Ashaolu is believed to have a bullet lodged in his head while teammate Stuard Baldonado is in a serious condition, after a bullet went through his abdomen and apparently hit his spine. The five Duquesne players were apparently walking away from a man who wasn’t happy with the attention his girlfriend was giving them after a dance when the shots were fired. One player ran into a nearby football field to get away before realising he had been shot in the foot. A Mass to help deal with the shooting was attended by more than 300 people. Police are still looking for the gunmen.

Peter Fray

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