The top ten sports crises of 2018 – and what we can learn from them

While sport should entertain and inspire, there are always likely to be crises that dominate the news agenda throughout the year.

In 2017, major sports personalities including Tiger Woods, Maria Sharapova, and Wayne Rooney hit the headlines for the wrong reasons after misdemeanours in their private and professional lives.

It’s fair to say that 2018 was no different and as with life in general, the greatest mistake we can make is to ignore the lessons of the past.

Sports stars, clubs, federations and brands have all suffered when scandal strikes and as sports crisis communications experts, here are some of the major sports crises of the past 12 months and what lessons can be learnt to avoid encountering the same problems.

Why I want to help young people – by Amir Khan

When I was growing up, it would have been easy for me to go off the rails.

I faced challenges as a young man and I’ve been fortunate that boxing has given me opportunities and a support network that has helped me throughout my life.

Every day you read about kids getting mixed up in crime and more than 100 young people have been murdered in London alone this year.

Charity work and helping the community gives me the same adrenaline buzz as fighting. I’ve gone to places where kids have nothing – no food, no water – and you can make them laugh. It’s the best feeling ever.

I want kids to put their energy into something positive and let their aggression out, but we’re educating them as well to have focus, discipline and respect in life.

From the London Underground to the brink of history – how one Essex man came close to the $1m Spartan Trifecta prize

Few people outside of the running community had heard of him last month, but thanks to a remarkable season, Jonathan Albon’s name is recognised around the world for his racing exploits this year.

The 29-year-old obstacle course racer from Essex stood on the brink of history when he attempted to become the first winner of Spartan’s ‘Million Dollar Trifecta’ after winning the World Championship in North Lake Tahoe and the Trifecta World Championship in Sparta, Greece.

Although his bid fell short in the third and final Spartan Ultra World Championship race in Iceland, Albon remains the number one obstacle course racer in the world and can look back on his incredible season with an immense sense of pride.

How will society react to Raheem Sterling racism claims?

When I first started watching football in the 1980s, the beautiful game was anything but a family-friendly affair.

I remember watching bus loads of fans being carted away before or after starting trouble at non-descript games; the National Front handing out leaflets at one particular East London club ground; and Arsenal fans sitting around me making monkey noises and laughing about it.

And racism at football is what happens in other countries, right?

It’s as if we have regressed to a darker age, where racist comments are acceptable in many scenarios, whether overtly or through subliminal use of language which is just about pejorative enough to plant seeds of negativity into the minds of those more easily swayed.

No way José – how can Mourinho restore his reputation?

There was a time when it seemed as if Jose Mourinho could walk on water.

After leading Porto to Champions League success, he joined the Roman Abramovich revolution at Chelsea and created a team that formed the bedrock for a decade of success.

Having announced himself as ‘The Special One’ upon his arrival in West London, his status did not wane when he left Chelsea. He went on to win the Champions League again with Inter Milan and then more titles at Real Madrid.

But things began to unravel towards the end of his second spell at Chelsea, where, having won the Premier League once more, his charm was replaced by more fractious relationships.

Where once he used to gloat at other managers and their shortcomings, since joining Manchester United, his demeanour has been one of frustration and conflict.

One man who works closely with Mourinho is Daily Mirror Manchester Football Correspondent, David McDonnell…