Robot mascot allows 14-year-old boy to virtually attend football match

This little robot just made history at a football match.
This little robot just made history at a football match.

Image: Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

A 14-year-old boy with multiple health conditions was given the chance to be the mascot for a football match on Monday — by using an iPad linked to a specially-designed miniature robot.

The white device in the photo below is known as a “telepresence robot”. It was used during a match between Everton FC and Manchester City on Monday night to give Jack McLinden the chance to be the first ever “virtual matchday mascot”, according to a story on Everton’s official club website.

Here’s a close-up of the little guy:

The robot has a built-in camera, speaker and microphone. The device was linked to McLinden’s iPad, allowing him to experience everything as it happened and interact with players via the robot.

The robot was created by a Norweigan company called No Isolation, who worked with UK children’s charity WellChild to help make the event happen.

“Having the support from the amazing team at WellChild, from Esther our dedicated WellChild Nurse… means we’re never alone, isolated or without support,” Jack’s mother Michell Wignall, who also works as a WellChild ambassador, said in a statement.  

“We are thrilled that, through No Isolation and Everton Football Club, Jack was able to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.”

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This soccer player has started celebrating goals by doing the dances in ‘Fortnite’

Every now and then, a game will get so popular that it starts to sneak its way into popular culture.

Animal Crossing did it recently. Pokémon Go did it in a massive way a couple of years back.

And now, it seems to be Fortnite‘s turn.

The battle royale survival-shooter has already made one headline today, when the rapper Drake helped break a Twitch record by playing the game with Ninja, one of its most popular streamers.

Apparently Drake isn’t the only celebrity who’s a fan, though.

Recently, Cardiff City footballer Callum Paterson has begun celebrating goals with dance moves from the game.

Look, here he is doing the always-popular “take the L” dance:

Here’s how that dance looks in the game:

It’s not the only Fortnite dance he’s busted out, either:

Paterson confirmed in an interview that his celebrations are indeed inspired by the game.

“[The last two] are from a game on the PS4 called Fortnite that all the kids are playing,” he was quoted as saying in Wales Online. “So I thought I’d give it a bash.”

Amazing.

[H/T Twitter Moments]

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Soccer star criticised for posting blackface photo of himself

French soccer star Antoine Griezmann has come under fire for his blackface costume.
French soccer star Antoine Griezmann has come under fire for his blackface costume.

Image: Sonia Canada/Getty Images

Another day, another case of blackface.

French soccer star Antoine Griezmann has been criticised for posting a photo of himself in full blackface online for an “’80s party” online on Sunday.

Dressed as what appears to be a Harlem Globetrotters basketball player, complete with an afro wig and darkened skin, 26-year-old Griezmann received a string of angry comments about the costume.

Griezmann reportedly responded to the photo by telling people to “calm down” and that it was “a tribute,” but the backlash continued, and the player eventually apologised and deleted the photo.

“I admit it’s awkward on my part. If I hurt some people I apologise,” he wrote in French.

Griezmann currently plays for Spanish La Liga team Atletico Madrid, and has been linked to rumours of big money transfers to either Barcelona or Chelsea.

For one of the sport’s most liked players, the donning of blackface was a pretty dumb move, to say the least.

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The U.S. men will miss the World Cup because of course we can’t have a unifying moment right now

There is one silver lining to the U.S. men’s national soccer team missing the World Cup—all eyes will now be on the far-superior women’s team. 

That’s the only upside to take from Tuesday night’s crushing loss to Trinidad and Tobago. The U.S. team has now officially missed qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. 

It is, in a word, tragic. Not because of the soccer itself (again, the women’s team is far, far better), but because of what we’ll all miss out on—a rare chance for everyone in the U.S. to get on the same team for just a few hours. 

Such is life in Trump’s America. How ridiculous of me to think that we could have had such a moment. And on an own goal, no less.

The past two World Cups have been a blast. Soccer’s strong foothold in the U.S. has made the World Cup into the only time when the country really rallies around a single team. The Olympics are great and all, but there’s a ton of events. 

The growth of soccer in the U.S. isn’t just about our home team. The U.S. is a major exporter of culture, but recently has also started to import some. English Premier League soccer has a small, fervent group of fans in America. U.S.-based Major League Soccer has taken a firm hold as a niche sport—and among the biggest draws in some major cities.

This has made the World Cup into a unique event. There’s just not that many times, if any, in which everyone in the U.S. is on the same page. And that’s the kind of moment we could really use right now.  

Just watch this compilation video of reactions to Landon Donovan’s game winning goal from 2010:

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U.S. men’s games in the World Cup had become events. Some 25 million Americans watched the 2014 2-2 draw versus Portugal. That’s not Super Bowl numbers, but the Super Bowl never turns into a patriotic event with the country all rooting for the same thing (unless you count rooting for good commercials). 

And it was going to be in Russia! We had a prime chance for our guys to show out against the country that so brazenly messed with our 2016 election.

Instead, we’ll have to watch as a bunch of other countries get to enjoy that kind experience, though far fewer Americans are now expected to care about the World Cup.

How much do people expect the U.S. absence to hurt American interest? Shares in Twenty-First Century Fox fell on the news.

FYI, the Women’s World Cup is in 2019. Get on the bandwagon now.

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Breitbart ‘confuses’ German soccer player for gangster on jet-skis

Steve Bannon is back to Breitbart News but that didn’t prevent the far-right website from making a spectacular blunder. 

On Sunday, Breitbart published an article with the headline “Spanish Police Crack Gang Moving Migrants on Jet-Skis” featuring two men on a jet ski. The things is, the image is of German soccer player Lukas Podolski. 

Podolski played as a striker for Arsenal and recently retired from international football.

After a social media backlash, Breitbart changed the photo and published an editor’s note. 

“This image appeared as an illustration of a person on a jet ski. Breitbart London wishes to apologise to Mr. Podolski,” the statement read. 

“There is no evidence Mr. Podolski is either a migrant gang member, nor being human trafficked. We wish Mr. Podolski well in his recently announced international retirement.”

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Cristiano Ronaldo posts adorable photo with all his children and we’re swooning

Portuguese demigod and soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo posted a sweet picture with all of his children for the first time on Instagram on Tuesday. 

The Real Madrid player, who’s enjoying a brief holiday football post-season, captioned the adorable snap, “blessed.”

Blessed

A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on Jul 4, 2017 at 8:45am PDT

In the pic, his first son, 7-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo Jr., is holding baby boy Mateo. The 32-year-old Ronaldo is carefully cradling his daughter, Eva.

Earlier this week, Ronaldo announced the birth of his twins to the world for the first time via Facebook.

“I’m very happy, finally, to be with my children for the first time,” Ronaldo said.

The twins were born via an unidentified surrogate mother.

Looks like the footballer and his wife, model Georgina Rodriguez, have their hands full with their new bundles of joy.

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Skilled toddler puts out birthday candle with well-aimed soccer ball

However good you might be at soccer, you’ve got nothing on this kid.

2-year-old Korbin Jackson has an Instagram account dedicated to all sorts of trick shots. Previous videos suggest he’s already a total pro at basketball and ping pong, but from the looks of the clip he shared two days ago we can safely add a new skill to his list — snuffing out the candle of a birthday cake with a soccer ball.

Not bad, eh?

As you can see, his talentless are boundless:

The only issue this kid’s going to have when he’s older is deciding which sport to go pro in.

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