the role of commissioner
WEST BROMWICH, England -- Striker Nicolas Anelka announced he has terminated his contract with Premier League club West Bromwich Albion with immediate effect on Friday after being suspended for five matches by the Football Association for a racially aggravated goal celebration. Patrick Robinson Jersey . The former France forward, whose career has been marred by controversies, was suspended last month for performing a gesture which is known in France as a "quenelle" and regarded as anti-Semitic. Anelka said on his Twitter account on Friday that he decided to leave the club because he could not accept West Broms conditions for being allowed back into the squad. "Proposals have been made for me to rejoin the group under certain conditions that I cant accept," Anelka said in French on his 35th birthday. "Wishing to keep my integrity, I took the decision to free myself and end the contract linking me with West Bromwich Albion until 2014, with immediate effect." In January, Anelka hinted that he could end his career at the end of the season but also mentioned interests from clubs including Lazio in signing him. Anelka performed the quenelle as he celebrated scoring in West Broms 3-3 draw with West Ham last December. The gesture involves pointing one straightened arm downward while touching the shoulder with the opposite hand. It was popularized by French comedian Dieudonne MBala MBala, who has been convicted for inciting racial hatred and anti-Semitism. After his suspension was announced at the end of last month, both Anelka and West Brom decided not to appeal the sanction. In Anelkas witness statement, the striker said he became aware of Dieudonne in about 2000, met him once, and watched recordings of his shows. He said he made the gesture "purely to say hello to my friend." Anelka, who had previously been photographed performing the salute, joined West Brom last summer after two disappointing seasons at Shanghai Shenhua and Juventus. The former Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Bolton and Chelsea player is one of the most talented and controversial players France has produced since former Manchester United great Eric Cantona. After growing up in a Parisian suburb, Anelka started his career at Paris Saint-Germain and was quickly spotted by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who signed him in 1997. Known for his immense technical skills, Anelka played a big part in the Gunners winning both the Premier League and the FA Cup but missed out on a place in the France team that won the 1998 World Cup. Anelkas sometimes nonchalant attitude and apparent lack of commitment to the team started to anger the Arsenal fans, who gave him the nickname "Le Sulk." Anelka then joined Real Madrid, where he won the Champions League, before moving to PSG, Liverpool, Manchester City, Fenerbahce and Bolton. The much-travelled Frenchman then struck up an electric partnership with Didier Drogba at Chelsea, winning the Premier League title and two FA Cups with the Blues. Anelka caused the biggest controversy of his career with the French national team, when he was sent home from the 2010 World Cup after insulting then-coach Raymond Domenech in the dressing room. The stubborn Anelka refused to apologize and ended his international career in the wake of the scandal with 14 goals in 69 appearances. Cameron Meredith Jersey .com) - John Wall supplied 24 points and 11 assists in leading the Washington Wizards to a 102-91 win over the New York Knicks on Christmas Day. TreQuan Smith Saints Jersey .Y. -- Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire will have less time to remain eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot under changes made Saturday.NEW YORK -- His name is already on the ball. Now Adam Silver can put his stamp on the NBA. On All-Star Saturday in New Orleans, Silver will deliver his first state of the league press conference as commissioner, a chance to tell a worldwide viewing audience how he plans to make the NBA bigger and better than it was under David Stern. Dont expect anything major. After working so closely with Stern during his 22 years at the league, Silvers fingerprints were already all over the $5.5 billion business long before he became in charge of it 10 days ago. "Im not coming in with a five-point plan," Silver told The Associated Press during an interview in his office at NBA headquarters. "Im not an outsider coming into the league. Ive been part of this league for a long time and if there was something that I thought shouldve been done markedly different than the way its done now, I think David and I would have pushed each other to do it. "My priority is the game and thats what Ill be telling people next Saturday." He has been at the NBA since 1992, overseeing the leagues entertainment empire, helping negotiate collective bargaining agreements, and on Feb. 1, he replaced Stern. He is liked by owners and respected by players, all believing Silver is the person to continue the massive growth the league saw under Stern. "Hes someone who has the same kind of feel that we have, in the sense of how can we make this pie bigger? How can we make this game bigger? Miami Heat All-Star Dwyane Wade said. "Hes going to be a good commissioner I believe. Strong in what he believes in. He was in the (CBA) meetings as well, so we know what kind of guy he is and we respect him." Silver, 51, ended up at taking Sterns old job after ignoring his advice early in his career. He laughs now when recalling the path that led to him becoming the NBA commissioner. "It never even was a consideration of working at the NBA," Silver said. "I dont think I understood what that meant. I truly stumbled into working at the NBA." Silver began his career in the legal field but was interested in transitioning to business, the same move Stern had so successfully made. So he wrote to Stern, who had worked at the same firm where Silvers father, Edward, was a lawyer. Silver had handled some media cases and was aware of Sterns accomplishments in negotiating cable TV deals. Stern gave him the number of someone to call, but the job was outside New York. Silveer wasnt interested in moving, which he explained to Stern when they spoke again. Jermon Bushrod Saints Jersey. "He said, Why didnt you tell me? Ive got some other ideas," Silver said. "It was happenstance," he added. "I dont think I quite understood what I was getting into at the time." He doesnt plan on changing much, insisting that he and Stern would have already made whatever changes they felt necessary. But while the NBAs international growth is frequently considered Sterns greatest achievement, Silver seems focused on boosting the games popularity in the United States. Silver has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to basketball. He attended Duke in the early 1980s before the Blue Devils became a powerhouse, when nobody camped out outside Cameron Indoor Stadium because you could just get into games with a student ID. He moved to Chicago to attend law school and began going to games with friends in the early days of Michael Jordan, before the Bulls became the biggest thing in basketball. Now Silver is following one of sports greatest commissioners. He acknowledges there will be times it will feel "lonely" without Stern there to face big decisions together, but Silver has worked so closely with Stern and been involved in so many aspects of the league that the transition should be a natural one. "Adam has been preparing for the job for a long time, he understands the business and I dont see him having much difficulty shifting into the role of commissioner," former NBA Players Association executive director Billy Hunter said. But Silver, designated as Sterns successor in October 2012, knows that doesnt mean it will always be easy. "I didnt have the same appreciation for what he was going through on a daily basis as the commissioner until I really thought about, What if that were I and I had to make that decision?" Silver said. "And its very different being sort of the voice in the ear of the guy making the decision as opposed to the guy making the decision." Nonetheless, he believes the league is in a good place and ready to grow. He met with executives from Facebook and Twitter while visiting Sacramento and Golden State during his first week as commissioner, seeking ways to bring the NBA to a larger audience than ever. "To me," Silver said, "the game is fantastic. The challenge is to use these new technologies and platforms to help more fans discover the game."
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