Dublin: 3°C Saturday 27 November 2021

A former Liverpool defender's redemption and more of the week's best sportswriting

A selection of some of our favourite reads published elsewhere over the past seven days.

“Many families have since lamented how much better it would have been if that could have stood as the end of the ordeal. Yet if 96 people have been unlawfully killed, and the accounts given by a police force and its officers wholly disbelieved by a jury, the system has to provide some accountability. But the system is not coherent. It does not adopt the conclusions and facts as established by one legal process, and determine how to hold accountable the people and organisations whose fault has been proved. Every stage is entirely separate. To seek accountability, the law moved to criminal prosecutions – a wholly new set of proceedings.”

– The Guardian’s David Conn examines how families of victims of the Hillsborough disaster have been failed by the justice system.

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press-conference-hamilton-lewis-gbr-mercedes-amg-f1-gp-w12-e-performance-portrait-during-the-formula-1-aramco-united-states-grand-prix-2021-17th-round-of-the-2021-fia-formula-one-world-championsh Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton on media duty ahead of the US Grand Prix. Source: Alamy Stock Photo

“Netflix is protective over its numbers, but over the last few years, there has been plenty of anecdotal evidence of new F1 fans saying, ‘I saw it on Netflix.’ Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing said over the summer, ‘It’s got to be the single most important impact in North America. Almost every comment you get out of someone out of the US, they reference Drive to Survive.’ And it shows in sales. Per Formula 1, the United States Grand Prix on Sunday has been sold out for a few weeks.”

– For Sports Illustrated, Madeline Coleman assesses the effect that the Drive to Survive series on Netflix has had on Formula One’s popularity.

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“On several occasions during group conversations, participants raised concerns that I could be a member of the Saudi police or security service moonlighting as a journalist. The imperative is clear. This is Saudi Arabia, where the adherence to strict interpretations of Sharia law renders it illegal to be LGBT+ and punishable by arrest, lashings, imprisonment, or even death. The Saudi LGBT+ community not only detail their struggle at the hands of the state but also address the Newcastle takeover. They present the manner in which they would like those of us who cover football as journalists or follow the sport as supporters to respond to the Saudi investment.”

– In the wake of the Newcastle United takeover, The Athletic’s Adam Crafton illustrates the reality of life for LGBT+ people in Saudi Arabia.

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“Last Sunday I bumped into a fellow Ballinamore man an hour before the county final in Carrick-on-Shannon. He hadn’t had any dreams the night before, pleasant or otherwise, because he hadn’t slept a wink with the nerves. Most of us didn’t sleep many winks Sunday night either. But we definitely woke up with a smile Monday morning. We were senior county champions for the 21st time. It was the town’s first title since 1990. The famine had nearly killed us. The celebrations would nearly kill a few of us too.”

– The aftermath of Ballinamore’s long-awaited Leitrim SFC title triumph, as detailed by the Sunday Independent’s Tommy Conlon.

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2ECTWTA Djimi Traore kisses the trophy after the 2005 Champions League final. Source: Alamy Stock Photo

“I took off my kit and got into the shower, but I just stood there thinking about my performance because it had been poor and I felt as if I’d let down my team-mates. And then maybe 20 seconds later Rafa’s assistant, Pako [Ayestarán], came and said: ‘Djimi, you’re in again’ – Steve Finnan was injured so he was coming off instead. I got out of the shower and refocused. This was a second chance for me to do well in a massive game and fortunately that is what happened with the clearance. It was redemption.”

– Former Liverpool defender Djimi Traore is interviewed by Sachin Nakrani for The Guardian.

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