Former India Sourav Ganguly said it was difficult to pick the greatest of all time from India Today’s selection of Muhammad Ali, Diego Maradona, Roger Federer, Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. However, Ganguly said the five were the brands of their respective sports and benchmarks for everyone.WATCH FULL VIDEO”It’s so hard to say which champion is bigger than the other – These are what champions made of. They are champions because they choose when to finish,” Ganguly told India Today when asked to pick his greatest of the five. “Ali, Maradona, Federer, Bolt and Phelps are all champions. It’s hard to pick who is bigger than the other.”Reuters PhotoGanguly said the five would be remembered for their efforts for the next several years.”They are five different sports and they are brands of the sports and will continue to remain for the next 50, 60 or 100 years – just like Bradman in cricket,” he said. In terms of achievement, they are all on the same page.Bolt’s 100 metres springing career finally came to an end on Saturday at the World Championships in London.The Jamaican could not bow out on a high but he certainly gave the fans a great time before leaving the arena.Bolt finished third to Justin Gaitlin and Christian Coleman in the race to go out with a bronze. Now he has 34 medals in international competitions. Out of which 25 of them are gold, seven silvers and two bronze. He finished with a whopping 75 per cent gold tally, followed by 20 per cent silver and six per cent bronze.advertisementFederer recently won his eighth Wimbledon and 19th majors title to create history in men’s tennis. Phelps is the greatest Olympian of all time with 23 gold medals.Reuters PhotoHowever, Ganguly was sure about one choice. Asked to pick the greatest of the two footballers Maradona and Pele, Dada chose the Argentinean.”I’ll always say Maradona. I’ve been blunt about it. People always say why does Sourav always take a side in life? Why can’t Sourav be in the middle and not get criticised by people around the world? But that’s the way I am. I take a decision and I’ve given my decision. I’ve given my decision with honesty, with what I feel and hopefully everyone will respect that. There’s nothing more to it except for what I see with my own eyes. When I see Pele and Maradona play together…my eye tells my mind that the man with the left foot is probably the greatest in the world. I’ll keep that thought right throughout and I’ve said that before,” said Ganguly.Reuters Photo”That doesn’t make Pele a smaller player. There are no hard feelings but for me it is the man with the left foot because when I saw him in 87…the game against England. I just felt that nobody could play better football than he did,” he added.(With inputs from AP)
The Toronto Maple Leafs announced on Thursday that the club will host a celebration of life honouring legend Johnny Bower.The event, which will include past and present Maple Leaf players and guests from the NHL, will be open to the public and will take place at the Air Canada Centre on Jan. 3.Bower, a Hall of Fame goaltender who remained a beloved face of the Leafs long after his retirement from the NHL, died Tuesday at age 93 after a short battle with pneumonia.A private funeral for Bower has also been planned and will be held in Oakville, Ont.Bower spent 11 seasons with the Maple Leafs and led them to four Stanley Cup titles, including their last one in 1967.
TORONTO – An 11-year-old girl’s claim that a scissors-wielding man approached her on the way to school and cut her hijab has turned out to be untrue, Toronto police said Monday as they closed their investigation into what was suspected to be a hate crime.The alleged incident, which was reported on Friday, made international headlines and had drawn swift public condemnation from the prime minister, Ontario’s premier and Toronto’s mayor.On Monday, police said their investigation concluded with no charges laid and no consequences for the girl.“These allegations were extremely serious and not surprisingly, they received national and international attention,” police spokesman Mark Pugash said in an interview. “We investigated, we put together a significant amount of evidence and we came to the conclusion that what was described did not happen.”Pugash said police don’t know how the story escalated. He stressed that it’s “very unusual” for someone to make such false allegations and said he hopes it will not discourage others from coming forward.Canadian Muslim organizations expressed similar concerns, saying they feared others who experience hate crimes may be reluctant to report them out of worry that they will not be believed.The executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, Ihsaan Gardee, said that while the group is relieved the girl wasn’t attacked, the fact that a false report was filed is “unsettling.” Such reports “not only affect the person making them, but may also affect persons who are in fact targeted by Islamophobic and hateful acts,” Gardee said.Safwan Choudhry, spokesman for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Canada, said it would also be naive to ignore the risk of potential backlash against the girl and her family as well as other Muslims in light of Monday’s news.“While this incident has proven not to be true, we did all witness that just a couple years ago a Muslim mother was brutally beaten up in Toronto while she was dropping her kids off at school,” he said. In that alleged incident in 2015, police said the woman was kicked, beaten and had her cellphone stolen by two males before fleeing to a nearby school.There was a dip in police-reported hate crimes targeting Muslims in 2016, with 139 reported, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada. That followed what the agency called a “notable increase” in such crimes the previous year.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who strongly denounced the alleged hijab-cutting incident on Friday, told The Canadian Press on Monday he would not comment on the findings of the police investigation. But he said there is nonetheless a pattern of hate crimes against religious minorities, particularly women, that needs to be addressed.“This is something that we need to take very, very, very seriously and the pattern or trend lines that we’re seeing is … one of those warning signs about intolerance,” he said.“And reminding people that we are a country that defends freedom of religion, defends freedom of expression, defends people’s rights to go to school and not be fearful or harassed is fundamental to who we are.”Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne thanked police for their work and said she was “thankful and relieved” the alleged assault didn’t take place.Toronto Mayor John Tory defended his decision to speak out, saying he would continue to do so “any time there are reports or allegations of hate or intolerance in our city.”“It is good to know that this event didn’t happen,” he said. “We all must remain vigilant in the fight against hate, racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia to make sure our city remains an inclusive place.”The Toronto District School Board — which had pledged last week to offer support to the girl, her family and other students — said only that they were “very thankful that this assault did not in fact happen.”Titus Gho, whose child goes to the school the girl at the centre of the incident attends, said he was relieved that there hadn’t been an attack but saddened that it may become harder for people who suffer real hate crimes to find justice in the future.“You kind of have to be responsible for what you’re saying especially when it is such a serious allegation because when …. you’re talking about Islamophobia and racism and things like that, there are a lot of emotions that are attached to it,” he said. “Next time when you have a similar incident somebody is going to think ‘Well maybe this is fake again.’”Victoria Talwar, an expert on children’s social-cognitive development at McGill University, said it’s common for children to lie but those are more often “little fibs” than big lies with serious consequences.Though she said she could not comment on this case, Talwar said children tend to lie for the same reasons as adults: to avoid negative consequences, for personal gain or to appear more likeable, among others. And sometimes those lies backfire, she said.The Grade 6 student whose claims were investigated had said she was walking to Pauline Johnson Junior Public School with her younger brother when a man came up behind her, pulled off her jacket hood, and started cutting the bottom of her hijab.She said the man ran off but returned and once again started cutting her hijab from behind. The girl said that when she turned to confront him, the man smiled and ran away.— with files from Peter Goffin in Toronto and Joanna Smith in Ottawa.
Margaret Atwood has taken to Twitter to defend herself after writing a controversial op-ed in which she wondered if she was a “bad feminist” for questioning the tactics of the #MeToo movement.In a piece published Saturday in The Globe and Mail, Atwood called #MeToo “a symptom of a broken legal system”.The op-ed drew sharp criticism from some observers, who were angered by what they saw as a betrayal of feminist values by an author who has long been interested in examining and questioning power structures that subjugate women.She wrote in the piece that women are increasingly using online channels to make accusations of sexual misconduct because the legal system is often ineffective.But she expressed misgivings about the movement going too far, writing of the dangers of “vigilante justice” which she said can turn into “a culturally solidified lynch-mob habit.”The 78-year-old author of “The Handmaid’s Tale”, who is famously active on Twitter, sent out more than 30 tweets on Sunday morning defending the positions she made in the piece.She also tweeted links to two other pieces that questioned #MeToo.One of them, “It’s Time to Resist the Excesses of #MeToo” by Andrew Sullivan in New York Magazine, compares an anonymous crowd-sourced list started by a woman working in media to warn other women about potentially dangerous men to the destructive, career-ending paranoia of the McCarthy era.Some of Atwood’s fans said they were upset by her characterization of #MeToo as a dangerous “witch hunt”, which her piece connects to movements that arose to deal with issues that weren’t being addressed by the legal system and evolved into politically-sanctioned violence, like the early days of the Cosa Nostra mafia and the beheadings during the French Revolution.Many fans were particularly rankled by her linking to the New York article, but Atwood insisted it was an attempt to understand opposing points of view and not an endorsement.Bestselling author Roxane Gay, who published a high-profile essay collection called “Bad Feminist” in 2104 about the nuances of feminist ideology, tweeted about Atwood’s piece, writing “Actually, Margaret…. with all due respect, this isn’t what I meant by Bad Feminist.”Several of Gay’s fans expressed disappointment that Atwood used the term without mentioning Gay, which some characterized as a dismissal of black women’s contributions to feminist discourse.This is not the first time Atwood’s feminist credentials have been questioned, a fact she draws into the argument of her op-ed.In the fall of 2016, she was one of many major Canadian authors who signed an open letter to the University of British Columbia in protest of the university’s handling of complaints of sexual misconduct against creative writing chair Stephen Galloway. The letter characterized the school’s investigation as secretive and unfair. Many of Galloway’s alleged victims and their supporters took issue with the letter’s signatories, who they said took Galloway’s side over that of his accusers.“A fair-minded person would now withhold judgment as to guilt until the report and the evidence are available for us to see,” she writes of the ongoing grievance Galloway’s union has filed against his dismissal from UBC. “My critics … have already made up their minds.”At the end of her piece, Atwood writes that patriarchy depends on keeping women divided against one another, and that women should resist those divisions.“If @MargaretAtwood would like to stop warring amongst women, she should stop declaring war against younger, less powerful women and start listening,” one user responded.Atwood could not immediately be reached for comment.