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One by one, late on a Friday evening, Robert Lewandowski called his Poland teammates. They were scattered across Europe, and most of them were busily preparing for club games that weekend, but his question could not wait.

They had all seen the footage emerging from Ukraine: Russian tanks rolling across the border, Russian artillery bombarding cities and towns, Ukrainian refugees flooding out of the country, hundreds of thousands of them seeking shelter in Poland.

In a matter of weeks, Poland was scheduled to face Russia in a crucial World Cup qualifier. Lewandowski had known immediately, once the invasion of Ukraine had begun, that he did not want the game in late March to go ahead. He had already called the president of the Polish soccer federation and made that clear. Now he wanted to know how his teammates felt.

Without exception, the answer was emphatic. Lewandowski did not, he said in an interview, “have to convince anyone.” The conversation he had with Wojciech Szczesny, the Juventus goalkeeper who has been one of Lewandowski’s Poland teammates for more than a decade, was typical. “I just said, ‘I’m not playing the game,’” Szczesny said. “That was how he felt, too. We all said the same thing.”

After finishing his calls late on that February night, Lewandowski — the Poland captain and, by some distance, his country’s most high-profile athlete — relayed his conversations to executives at the federation. The players, he said, were unanimous: They would not take the field against Russia. It did not matter if the game was held on neutral territory or if Russia played it under a neutral flag.

It did not even matter to them if Poland was thrown out of the World Cup as a result. “We didn’t think about the consequences or whether we might be punished,” Szczesny said. “We only cared about the outcome. We were prepared to forfeit the game. We were not going to play.”

The federation readily acceded to the players’ decision. They told Lewandowski they would relay a message to FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, the next morning to inform the organization of the Polish position. “We said that on Saturday we would announce there would be no games at all with Russia,” Jakub Kwiatkowski, the general manager of the Polish men’s national team, told the BBC.


Credit…Albert Gea/Reuters

The move seemed to force FIFA’s hand. The organization had, for much of the first week of the invasion, been studiously quiet on the subject of whether Russia — or any of its club teams — would be allowed to continue to play either in World Cup qualifying or in competitions under the auspices of UEFA, European soccer’s governing body.

The Polish authorities had been trying for several days to force FIFA to commit to a position. They had already sent the governing body two letters: one in which it confirmed that Poland would refuse to play games in Russia, and one in which Sweden and the Czech Republic — the two other teams that stand in Poland’s way of a place at the World Cup this winter — joined its boycott. “There was no reaction,” Kwiatkowski said.

It took several more days for FIFA to respond at all, and when it did so it “did not go far enough,” Szczesny said. FIFA’s initial punishment prevented Russia only from playing on home soil, and under its own flag. Other than that, it would be free to compete. “It didn’t go down very well with the players,” Szczesny said. “It was not enough.”

FIFA’s position changed quickly once the vehemence of the Polish players’ opposition became clear. “We sent them a statement that was very clear,” Kwiatkowski said. “We will not play Russia at all, regardless of the name they play under or where the venue might be.” By the next Monday, Feb. 28, FIFA had reversed course completely. Russia and Russian clubs, it declared, would no longer be able to play in its competitions, or in UEFA events. A subsequent ruling would decree that foreign players on Russian teams would be allowed to break their contracts and complete the season elsewhere.

That it was the intervention of the players that broke the bureaucratic deadlock was significant, particularly as Russia prepares to contest its sporting isolation at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the secretive, unelected judicial body that serves as a sort of voluntary high court for sporting matters.

Traditionally, for all their fame, soccer’s leading stars have proved reluctant to involve themselves in anything that might be considered a political issue. That has started to change, though, in the aftermath of both the coronavirus pandemic and the broader Black Lives Matter movement. Players in the Premier League in England continue to take the knee before games, a gesture that was first adopted, in European soccer, by players in the Bundesliga in Germany.

Jordan Henderson, the Liverpool captain, spearheaded a campaign to help raise donations for the National Health Service at the height of the pandemic, after crude attempts by lawmakers in Britain to decry soccer players as greedy mercenaries. Marcus Rashford, the Manchester United striker, managed to force the country’s Conservative government into a series of humiliating climb-downs on the issue of child food poverty.

While soccer has staged various initiatives to demonstrate its solidarity with Ukraine in the days and weeks after the Russian invasion, a number of players have done so individually, too. To Szczesny — whose partner is of Ukrainian heritage — that is a duty that comes with their profile and platform. “Social media helps us a lot, of course, but that means you have to be prepared to speak up about these things,” he said. “We have to be among the first to stand up and speak out.”

Lewandowski, too, is adamant that the sport and the people that play it have a “responsibility” to make their voices heard. “That is important,” he said in an email. “Football is the most popular sport in the world. It is more than just entertainment. But it is more than part of our job. It is primarily a matter of decency.”

That sense of duty, that conviction, is unlikely to wane, regardless of whether Russia’s appeal succeeds at CAS. Poland’s players were happy to sacrifice a place in the World Cup to do the right thing once. There is no reason to believe they would not do so again.


By: Rory Smith
Title: Poland Refused to Play Russia Once. It May Have to Do So Again.
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Published Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2022 15:07:57 +0000

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5th Annual Society of Composers & Lyricists Awards Announces Nominees in Film, TV, and Visual Media

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The Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) announced today the nominees for the 2024 SCL Awards. Many of the contenders reflect the Oscar shortlist that was also announced today. The nominees include songwriters Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, Lenny Kravitz, Diane Warren, and Jon Batiste who earned spots on the Oscar shortlist for Best Original Song. […]


By: Clarence Moye
Title: 5th Annual Society of Composers & Lyricists Awards Announces Nominees in Film, TV, and Visual Media
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Published Date: Fri, 22 Dec 2023 13:45:13 +0000

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2024 Oscars: Best Original Song Predictions

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With the 2024 Oscars shortlists now out, it’s clear that “Barbie” will have a significant presence in the Best Original Song category.


Title: 2024 Oscars: Best Original Song Predictions
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Published Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2023 22:30:00 +0000

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Deontay Wilder Net Worth: Career Earnings, Biggest Fight Purse & Endorsement Deals Of ‘The Bronze Bomber’

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Deontay Wilder Net Worth: Career Earnings, Biggest Fight Purse & Endorsement Deals Of ‘The Bronze Bomber’ – originally posted on

Here is everything you need to know about the single hardest puncher in boxing and the former world heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder. This includes his net worth, career earnings and endorsement deals.

Deontay Wilder Net Worth

Deontay Wilder has been a professional boxer since his debut back in November 2008. He has been boxing consistently for over 15 years straight now in the pro ranks, earning more and more money as his career has progressed up to world level.

The 1985-born boxing superstar is one of the most fearsome punchers the sport of boxing has ever seen. Deontay Wilder’s boxing record consists of 43 wins – 42 of which have come via knockout. The only man to go the distance with ‘The Bronze Bomber’ was Bermane Stiverne, who Wilder then knocked out in a round in their rematch.

As of December 2023, it is reported that Deontay Wilder’s net worth is somewhere in the region of $30 million (source: Celebrity Net Worth).

Of course, given the fact the Alabama man is supremely wealthy, he likes his fair share of luxury items too. Wilder has acquired real estate, expensive jewelry, flashy cars and various other assets that have contributed to his riches.

Wilder reportedly has eight kids in total from various relationships, including one with his current girlfriend Telli Swift. Evidently a fair amount of Wilder’s earnings in the ring is used on providing for his big family and loved ones. Be sure to see Deontay Wilder’s net worth continue to grow for the remainder of his career, as long as that lasts.

Deontay Wilder

Deontay Wilder Career Earnings

After 46 professional boxing fights, Deontay Wilder’s biggest fight purse is reported to have been around $28 million (source: Forbes). This was reportedly how much ‘The Bronze Bomber’ earned for his rematch bout with Tyson Fury back in February 2020.

Wilder went into the fight as the marginal favorite with the best offshore sportsbooks, given that he was still the reigning champion following his draw with Fury 14 months prior. Despite getting conclusively knocked out in Round 7 of the fight, this still remains the biggest purse of Wilder’s career to date.

Deontay Wilder has reportedly earned a total sum of around $95 million in his professional boxing career from his debut up to now. This is right up there with the likes of heavyweight rivals Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, and is more than the likes of Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis and Terence Crawford.

The 2008 Beijing Olympic Bronze Medallist has been earnings even figure purses ever since he became world heavyweight champion back in January 2015. Of his last 10 fights, just one has been less than seven figures (Washington – $900k). In fact, Wilder has earned around $80 million just from his last five fights.

See the full table below for a detailed breakdown of the purses Deontay Wilder has received for his last 10 fights. All in all, it is fair to say that the 38-year-old isn’t short of a dollar or two. His net worth, salary and fight purses will continue to rise as his career rolls on at world level.

Deontay Wilder Fight Purses (Last 10):

Fight Fight Purse
Deontay Wilder vs Robert Helenius $10 million
Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 3 $12 million
Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 2 $28 million
Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz 2 $20 million
Deontay Wilder vs Dominic Breazeale $10 million
Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury $10 million
Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz $2 million
Deontay Wilder vs Bermane Stiverne 2 $1.4 million
Deontay Wilder vs Gerald Washington $900,000
Deontay Wilder vs Chris Arreola $1.4 million

Deontay Wilder purse info per Sports Payouts & Sporting News

Deontay Wilder Endorsements & Sponsorship

Although the vast majority of Deontay Wilder’s earnings comes from prize fighting, he also earns an extremely lucrative sum of money outside of the ring. These vast endorsement deals from outside of the ring are a big player in boosting Wilder’s net worth and salary.

The 1985-born boxing phenom’s biggest endorsement deal as of today is his partnership with Everlast. Wilder has shown great loyalty to Everlast for several years during his boxing career, and still sports their boxing gear to this day. He also regularly uses Everlast boxing gloves in the ring for his world title fights, as well as during training camps.

Some of Deontay Wilder’s other endorsements include his partnerships with PureKana CBD, Raising Cane’s and IHC Crypto. There is not much else known about Wilder’s endorsements and sponsors outside of his career as a boxer.

All in all, Deontay Wilder’s various sponsorships certainly help boost his net worth. Per Forbes, he reportedly earns an estimated $500,000 per annum through endorsements. Ultimately though it is punching people in the face for a living that pays ‘The Bronze Bomber’ the most money.

Be sure to claim the various sports betting apps bonuses and boxing free bets available on the SportsLens site ahead of Deontay Wilder’s next fight.

From – NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB News, Rumors & Betting Picks


By: Paul Kelly
Title: Deontay Wilder Net Worth: Career Earnings, Biggest Fight Purse & Endorsement Deals Of ‘The Bronze Bomber’
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Published Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2023 10:59:17 +0000

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