Bundesliga soccer games kicked off to uncustomary silence Tuesday as German fans protested inconvenient kickoff times, increased ticket prices and the general commercialization of the game.
Following through on an "atmosphere boycott" that was announced before the games, Werder Bremen fans stayed silent for the first 18 minutes of their team's 3-1 win over Hertha Berlin — Hertha fans waited the planned 20 minutes — while there were similar scenes at Bundesliga matches in Munich, Hannover and Freiburg.
The protests target the German soccer federation (DFB) and German soccer league (DFL) after a dialogue with fans failed to result in a satisfactory outcome for the supporters.
Banners carrying slogans against pay-TV such as, "Imagine it's football and no one can go" and "Stop the carve-up of game days" were displayed in Bremen's stadium.
The protests were due to take place at all games across Germany's top three divisions.
Griner leads U.S. to victory over Latvia
Brittney Griner scored 15 points in her first game of the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup to lead the U.S. to a 102-76 victory over Latvia in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain.
Griner missed the first two games because of a mildly sprained right ankle and came in midway through the first quarter in this one. She scored six straight during a stretch in the second quarter, including an impressive post move where she faked out her defender.
With Latvia hanging around in the second half only down 11, Griner took over. She scored the first seven points during a 17-0 run to close the third quarter, including a three-point play with 2:16 left.
A'ja Wilson then scored the next seven points and Latvia was finished.
Tina Charles finished with 18 points to lead the U.S. and Diana Taurasi added 16.
Tar Heels nearly at full strength
North Carolina is nearly back at full strength its game at No. 16 Miami (Fla.) after with the return of several players who were suspended for selling team-issued shoes.
Seven players — including quarterback Chazz Surratt — are eligible to make their season debut against the Hurricanes. And after being down as many as 11 players in the opener against California, UNC will be down just one — starting defensive end Tomon Fox — for the shoe issue this week.
"I'm looking forward to seeing them all, because we need every single one of them," UNC coach Larry Fedora said. "There's a lot of guys that give us some depth at some positions where we've been really thin and it's been really shaky at this point. But now we've got some guys that can get back into the fray, start competing."