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ESPN suspends Curt Schilling for remainder of season

09.03.15 at 7:02 pm ET
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Curt Schilling‘s suspension from ESPN has been extended to the entire season, including the American League wild card playoff game, the network announced Thursday.

Schilling was pulled off the network’s coverage of the Little League World Series and the Aug. 25 edition of Sunday Night Baseball after he retweeted a graphic that pictured Adolf Hitler and compared Muslims to Nazi-era Germans.


Above the graphic was a line that read: The math is staggering when you get to true #’€™s.

He acknowledged his poor decision and accepted the network’s punishment. The former Red Sox pitcher was back in the news this week when he wrote a harsh email to the website Awful Announcing and criticized a writer for misrepresenting the tweet and implying Schilling was comparing all Muslims to Nazis.

Said ESPN in a statement: At all times during the course of their engagement with us, our commentators are directly linked to ESPN and are the face of our brand. We are a sports media company Curt’s actions have not been consistent with his contractual obligations nor have they been professionally handled; they have obviously not reflected well on the company.  As a result, he will not appear on ESPN through the remainder of the regular season and our wild card playoff game.

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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Another fan injured at Fenway Park in foul ball incident

09.03.15 at 8:06 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NFL preseason: Giants at Patriots, 7:30 p.m. (WBZ-TV)
NFL preseason: Eagles at Jets, 7 p.m. (NFL Network)
NFL preseason: Raiders at Seahawks, 10 p.m. (Fox)
College football: Colorado at Hawaii, 12:59 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: North Carolina at South Carolina, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Florida International at UCF, 6 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: Oklahoma State at Central Michigan, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Michigan at Utah, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)
College football: TCU at Minnesota, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Duke at Tulane, 9:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
MLB: Tigers at Royals, 8:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Giants at Rockies, 8:40 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Sky at Liberty, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: Mystics at Sparks, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: Euro 2016 qualifying, Italy vs. Malta, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Tennis: U.S. Open, 1 p.m. (ESPN), 5 p.m. (ESPN2)


— It’s been a rough season for Red Sox fans, and not just because the team is struggling to another last-place finish in the American League East. Fan safety has become a major issue this summer, and every time things start to quiet down, another incident occurs. During Wednesday’s 13-8 loss to the Yankees at Fenway, a man was injured trying to catch a foul ball and was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to be evaluated for a concussion.

According to reports out of Fenway, the fan was sitting in the last row of lower box seats when he reached for a foul ball in the seventh inning and flipped backward over a railing. He landed on a concrete walkway that separates the lower and upper boxes.

The fan was treated by emergency medical personnel before being taken away on a stretcher, leaving a blood-stained shirt behind.

The Red Sox released a statement indicating the man was expected to be released from the hospital Wednesday night.

Earlier this season, a woman was seriously injured when she was hit in the head by a broken bat during a game against the Blue Jays. During a July game against the Yankees, a Sox fan was hit in the head by a foul ball and needed stitches to close a gash on her forehead. On Monday, Yankee Brian McCann lost his bat on a swing and it hit a woman in the arm.

In Atlanta on Saturday, a 60-year-old man fell to his death from the upper deck, reportedly while booing Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez.

— It’s been a challenging first season in the NFL for Washington general manager Scot McCloughan, and his wife isn’t helping matters.

Amid reports that the front office is divided about parting ways with Robert Griffin III, the oft-injured quarterback who lost his starting job to Kirk Cousins, McCloughan’s wife accused ESPN reporter Dianna Russini of using sexual favors to gain information.

Jessica McCloughan on Wednesday issued an apology, although the statement did not mention Russini by name.

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Curt Schilling goes on defensive about controversial tweet, takes shot at ESPN colleague Chris Mortensen in process

09.02.15 at 7:45 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 4:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Angels at Athletics, 3:35 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Nationals at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Mystics at Mercury, 3:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
Tennis: U.S. Open, 1 p.m. (ESPN), 6 p.m. (ESPN2)


Curt Schilling has been mostly quiet since his suspension from ESPN last week following his retweet of a post that compared Muslims to Nazi-era Germans, but on Tuesday he lashed out at a website for what he considered biased reporting, and in the process he took a swipe at ESPN colleague Chris Mortensen.

The website Awful Announcing published an email Schilling wrote to one of its writers in which the former Red Sox pitcher complains that the site misrepresented Schilling’s tweet by implying he was comparing all Muslims to Nazis.

Wrote Schilling: If you want to rip me, or talk [expletive] about me, please do it with more than an ounce of pride in your job. Nowhere, ever, before during or after, have I ever compared “Muslims” to “Nazis”, ever. Normal every day peace loving Muslims have as much to do with “radical” as I do with “fleet afoot”.

However it appears, like many, you ‘made me say it’ anyway.

Added Schilling: You chose to make it up, ‘misremember’ as best you can, and create something that didn’t exist because it was the ‘flavor of the day”. Even if it wasn’t true> Very Chris Mortensen of you.

I don’t have a racist bone in my body, never have. Anyone that knows me even a little knows that.

Yet you, like so many others, continue to destroy what’s left of the publics trust and confidence in media by creating a story of your own design and liking when you didn’t need to, and smearing someone’s reputation ato do it. Any thought at all as to my children and their thoughts if they read the lie you created? That’s an honest question. I dealt with it in my home, but I always wonder when people of your ilk give ruining someone a shot, if you ever do think about the family you impact. Especially when you are creating a story that never happened to do it.

Schilling asked that the email “remain between us,” and asked for God’s forgiveness for “this rant.” However, the site reprinted the email and included a response from writer Dan Levy.

Wrote Levy: You have no idea how hurtful your messages are to people, so you can hide behind your love of soldiers, the flag and the bible all you want, but what you publish is vile and racist, no matter what Sarah Palin says in your defense. That has nothing to do with my integrity.

— Veteran running back Fred Jackson is looking for new employment after being released by the Bills — he took a physical for the Seahawks on Tuesday — but he isn’t leaving Buffalo quietly.

Jackson, the third-leading rusher in Bills history, thanked fans for their support during his nine years with the team, but he expressed his frustration with general manager Doug Whaley.

“There’s only one person in that organization that I haven’t gotten honesty from, and that was [Whaley],” Jackson told The Buffalo News.

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Read More: Curt Schilling, Fred Jackson,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: RGIII loses out on starting QB job, but Washington denies trade rumors

09.01.15 at 8:10 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
Tennis: U.S. Open, 1 p.m. (ESPN)


— The Robert Griffin saga continues in Washington, as the team named Kirk Cousins its starter Monday amid reports that more members of the coaching staff and front office are ready to move on from the oft-injured RGIII.

Griffin did not help his cause when his Instagram account liked a post that criticized the team. Griffin blamed an intern for that embarrassment.

Wrote Griffin: I just wanted to set the record straight on this one. I did not “like” that IG post ridiculing our team. I have not been social media active consistently for awhile now and am ultra-focused on working to get back on the field and trying to help this team. One of our interns who helps with Instagram liked the post. As soon as I was made aware of it, it was immediately unliked. That is not how I feel and I appreciate your understanding.

According to an ESPN report, team ownership is resisting trading RGIII. The story also indicates there have been trade conversations with a “handful of NFL teams” but nothing has come of it.

Coach Jay Gruden denied that report, insisting, “The door is not shut on Robert Griffin. There have been no discussions about letting him go.”

Two teams that had been rumored to have interest in Griffin are in the AFC East: the Jets and Bills. However, reports out of New York indicate the Jets aren’t willing to take on Griffin’s injury-guaranteed 2016 salary of $16 million.

Said Jets coach Todd Bowles: “He’s in [Washington] and we have our guys right now. That’s not my concern.”

The Bills on Monday announced that their starter will be Tyrod Taylor, who spent the past four seasons as Joe Flacco‘s backup in Baltimore. Taylor beat out 2013 first-round pick EJ Manuel and former Patriot Matt Cassel.

Griffin was selected second overall in the 2012 draft out of Baylor, after Washington traded up to get him. After an impressive debut season after which he was named Offensive Rookie of the Year, Griffin has struggled with injuries to his knee and ankle. He suffered a concussion in the second week of the preseason and has not played since.

— Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant’s four-game suspension was upheld by the NFL on Monday, meaning another big name will be out for next Thursday’s season-opening game against the Patriots in Foxboro.

Bryant, who became one of the team’s more reliable receivers during the second half of last season as a rookie, was punished for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

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Read More: Hulk Hogan, Martavis Bryant, RGIII, Robert Griffin III

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta’s no-hitter vs. Dodgers comes with controversy

08.31.15 at 7:17 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Giants at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
Tennis: U.S. Open, 1 p.m. (ESPN), 6 p.m. (ESPN2)


— Jake Arrieta’s no-hitter Sunday night against the Dodgers is the league’s sixth this season, one fewer than the league record of seven set in 1990 and repeated in 1991 and 2012, and it came with a little controversy.

Even Arrieta suggested an error on Cubs second baseman Starlin Castro in the third inning should have been ruled a hit. Castro tried to field a scorched ball that short-hopped him and the ball deflected away, allowing Kike Hernandez to reach safely.

“[Hernandez] hit it pretty well. I think [the call] could have gone either way,” Arrieta said. “I wasn’t aware that it was an error until I think an inning or two later. It was kind of out of sight, out of mind. But even if it was a hit, I would have kept the same mindset.”

Said Hernandez, whose team was no-hit for the second time in 10 days: “It should have been a hit. I knew if we didn’t get another hit they weren’t going to change it. He overmatched us tonight and they gave him the benefit of the doubt.”

Arrieta, a 29-year-old right-hander, became the first 17 game-winner in the majors, improving to 17-6 with a 2.11 ERA with the 2-0 victory.

“He has that kind of stuff nightly,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s really crazy. The ball looks like a whiffle ball from the side. You can see the break on the slider and the curveball. Right now he’s pitching at a different level.”

The Braves said Sunday that they are “deeply saddened” by the death of long-time season ticket-holder Gregory K. Murrey, who fell from the upper deck into the lower-level stands during Saturday’s game against the Yankees.

The team flew the American flag at half-staff and observed a moment of silence for Murrey before Sunday’s game.

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Read More: Jake Arrieta, Mark Shapiro,

Thinking Out Loud: Red Sox owe Don Orsillo opportunity to seek other employment immediately

08.28.15 at 6:41 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering what has made this world go mad?

— My thoughts and prayers are extended to the families of the two TV journalists (Alison Parker and Adam Ward) who lost their lives simply doing their jobs this week, and to their fellow employees at WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. As someone who has made his living doing exactly what they were doing at the time they were attacked, words simply cannot express all of my thoughts. Like many, I’m asking only one question: Why?

— What a scary, scary world this has become. Mental health issues need to be discussed, certainly as much as gun control is talked about. Isn’t it about time we tackle this?

— After this disaster of a baseball season at Fenway, to have NESN and Red Sox brass make the move to remove Don Orsillo from the broadcast booth simply shows the side of this business that too many people don’t see. It’s ugly, largely unfair, and the price many ultimately pay for following a dream. Don is truly one of the good guys in a field full of mines, trap doors and insincerity, as well as insecurity. But he’s a big boy, too, and undoubtedly understands the business side of the equation.

— All too often, moves are made just for the sake of making them. Just to change things up. Poor ratings? Come on now, the team’s performance had more to do with that. There really isn’t any other way to rationalize the irrational. Blame it on a contract, new management, ratings, whatever you want. Everyone in the broadcast business is hired to be fired, eventually.

— Dave O’Brien, who will move over from the WEEI radio broadcast into the TV booth, will do a fantastic job. Another good guy, and superb pro — no matter the venue. I can assure you no one in this line of work likes to reap the benefit from someone else’s misfortune.

David Ortiz‘€™s reaction probably put this rather sordid tale in its proper context. He told the Boston Herald, “No one is safe unless you are your own boss.” These days, I question that too, Papi.

— Orsillo is apparently under contract through December, and reportedly can’t look for another gig until then. Does that seem fair? Welcome to the realities of the broadcast world. NESN needs to do the right thing, today, and allow him the ability to seek other employment. Tom Werner and John Henry should step up and own this.

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Read More: Curt Schilling, Don Orsillo,

Friday’s Morning’s Mashup: Former VP candidate Sarah Palin defends Curt Schilling, rips ESPN

08.28.15 at 8:07 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Mets, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Rockies at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cardinals at Giants, 10:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NFL preseason: Patriots at Panthers, 7:30 p.m. (WBZ-TV)
WNBA: Sparks at Shock, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: Stars at Storm, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)


Curt Schilling has been quiet since being yanked from the air by ESPN for retweeting a comment comparing Muslims to Germans when Nazis took over the country before World War II, but his defenders are out in full force.

The latest is former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who posted a message on Facebook titled “ESPN is a journalistic embarrassment.”

Wrote Palin: ESPN – what happened to you? Your intolerant PC police are running amok and making a joke out of you!

By picking and choosing who they’ll tolerate and who they’ll try to destroy, ESPN has zero credibility as a round and reasonable media outlet.

There’s been crude, rude bile spewing from the once-great sports network for years now. Trust me. I know. My name and reputation’s been in it. One ESPN affiliate’s on-air rant featuring their misogynist, animalistic “analysts” grunting and giggling through an entire x-rated celebration of violence against women didn’t even draw a chirp from ESPN’s wussified leaders. Look it up; I don’t want to have to recount it. ESPN radio affiliate in Las Vegas got its kicks out of convicted rapist Mike Tyson describing the next rape he’d want to see. (Warning, graphic language throughout that Sept. 20, 2011 broadcast.)

Palin went on to write that the stats in Schilling’s tweet — claiming “only 5-10 percent of Muslims are extremists” — likely is “too generous in estimating Muslims’ attitudes.”

Added Palin: By denying the accuracy of Schilling’s tweet, ESPN shows its weakness as it buys into the propaganda of ISIS and other terror organizations, helping mislead the public about the very real threat of terrorism. It shows once again that ESPN would rather concentrate on liberal global politics instead of report well on our beloved sports.

From those of us who used to LOVE the network (to the point of addiction, some would confess!), I say to ESPN – you are awful in this. Stick to sports.

— The NBA community expressed shock and sadness after learning of the death of Darryl Dawkins, the former 76ers star who was known for his thunderous dunks and larger-than-life persona.

Dawkins died Thursday at a hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, of a heart attack, according to his family. He was 58 years old.

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Read More: Curt Schilling, Darryl Dawkins, Johnny Manziel, Sarah Palin

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: 49ers LB Ahmad Brooks sent home after being charged with sexual battery

08.27.15 at 8:20 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Orioles at Royals, 2:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Twins at Rays, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
Little League World Series: Mexico vs. Venezuela, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
Little League World Series: California vs. Texas, 8 p.m. (ESPN)


Ahmad Brooks

Ahmad Brooks

— The 49ers‘ miserable offseason continued to get worse Wednesday, as linebacker Ahmad Brooks was charged with misdemeanor sexual battery for an alleged assault related to an incident in December involving former Niners defensive lineman Ray McDonald.

McDonald, who was charged with one count of rape of an intoxicated person, faces up to eight years in prison. He also was indicted by a grand jury for violation of a restraining order in May, when he allegedly broke down a bedroom door to get to his former fiancee and their infant. He was released by the 49ers in December, then signed with the Bears in March but was released after his May arrest.

Brooks faces a maximum of six months in jail for his alleged assault of the victim in the December incident. A woman filed a civil lawsuit in May against both men.

Brooks was sent home from Colorado, where the team is having joint practices with the Broncos leading up to Saturday’s preseason game.

“The organization is aware that a misdemeanor charge has been filed against Ahmad Brooks stemming from a December 2014 matter. We take any charge against a member of this organization seriously and are in communication with the NFL,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement.

Brooks, 31, has some discipline issues last season that led to his benching after 60 straight starts, but he promised that he had turned things around this offseason, including changing to a healthier diet and cutting out alcohol.

The 49ers have been reeling this offseason, parting ways with coach Jim Harbaugh, losing a handful of players to free agency (Mike Iupati, Frank Gore, Chris Culliver, Michael Crabtree and Perrish Cox), seeing four key players retire (Chris Borland, Anthony Davis, Patrick Willis and Justin Smith) and releasing pass rusher Aldon Smith earlier this month following his latest arrest.

— Recently retired offensive lineman Jonathan Martin opened up about his problems, saying that the challenges of being a football player — along with longstanding issues of trying to fit in — led him to attempt suicide multiple times.

Martin, who was the focus of the Dolphins’ bullying scandal as a second-year pro in 2013, played for the 49ers last season. He signed with the Panthers in the offseason but quit after injuring his back in the offseason.

Wrote Martin on Facebook: It nearly destroys you, many times, not fitting in. Your talent & accomplishments on the field never seem to be able to overcome the demons that you carry with you.

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Read More: Ahmad Brooks, Jonathan Martin, Ray McDonald,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Curt Schilling accepts ESPN punishment after inflammatory tweet about Muslims

08.26.15 at 7:50 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at White Sox, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Astros at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Twins at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Giants, 10L15 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA: Sparks at Fever, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Manchester United at Club Brugge, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


Curt Schilling was removed from ESPN’s coverage of the Little League World Series on Tuesday after he retweeted an inflammatory comment about Muslims, and the former Red Sox pitcher — scheduled to join the Dennis & Callahan show at 9:05 a.m. — said he understands it. [UPDATE: Schilling postponed his D&C appearance, indicating he hopes to talk later in the week.]

The tweet featured a graphic with a photo of Adolf Hitler saluting. The text read: IT’S SAID ONLY 5-10% OF MUSLIMS ARE EXTREMISTS. IN 1940, ONLY 7% OF GERMANS WERE NAZIS. HOW’D THAT GO?

Above the graphic was a line that read: The math is staggering when you get to true #’s.

ESPN yanked Schilling and released a statement that read: “Curt’s tweet was completely unacceptable and in now way represents our company’s perspective. We made that point very strongly to Curt and have removed him from his current Little League assignment pending further consideration.”

Schilling removed the graphic and followed with a tweet acknowledging a lapse in judgment, writing: I understand and accept my suspension. 100% my fault. Bad choices have bad consequences and this was a bad decision in every way on my part.

Michael Vick has gone from one Patriots rival to another, landing with the Steelers after playing for the Jets last season.

The 35-year-old signed a one-year deal Tuesday night to back up Ben Roethlisberger — or serve as a third-stringer behind third-year pro Landry Jones.

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Read More: Curt Schilling, michael vick, Steve Sarkisian,

IndyCar driver Justin Wilson dies of injuries sustained during race

08.25.15 at 9:17 am ET
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IndyCar driver Justin Wilson, 37, who was struck in the head with debris during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway Sunday, passed away Monday, according to IndyStar.

Wilson was hit by a piece of debris from Sage Karam’s car. Karam, who led the race at the time of the accident, spun out on his own, spreading debris across the track. The open cockpit style of IndyCar racing left Wilson vulnerable to the nose cone of Karam’s car, which came back and struck him in the helmet.

Immediately after he was hit, Wilson went unconscious. His car began to veer sharply and he crashed into the inside wall.

Wilson was airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital, where he went into a coma.

IndyCar announced Wilson’s death at approximately 9 p.m. Monday. The organization said he was surrounded by his family when he passed away. He’s survived by his wife Julia and their two children.

“This is a monumentally sad day for IndyCar and the motorsports community as a whole,” IndyCar CEO Mark Miles said in a statement. “Justin’s elite ability to drive a race car was matched by his unwavering kindness, character and humility — which is what made him one of the most respected members of the paddock. As we know, the racing industry is one big family, and our efforts moving forward will be focused on rallying around Justin’s family to ensure they get the support they need during this unbelievably difficult time.”

IndyCar said it would answer more questions about Wilson’s death in the coming days.

Wilson is the first IndyCar Series driver to die since Dan Wheldon in 2011. Wheldon was killed after suffering a massive head injury in a large crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

A native of Sheffield, England, Wilson had seven major U.S. open-wheel wins, including three in the IndyCar Series.

Read More: IndyCar, Justin Wilson,