Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

Supreme Court May Dunk on NCAA

September 22, 2021

Supreme Court May Dunk on NCAA

The Supreme Court will begin hearing cases again on October 4th, the first Monday in October, while 2021 NCAA fall sports seasons are well under way. A spring SCOTUS opinion by Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh suggests the court and the “amateur sports” monopoly may have a showdown before June.

“Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market rate on the theory that their product is defined by not paying their workers a fair market rate,” Kavanaugh wrote. “And under ordinary principles of antitrust law, it is not evident why college sports should be any different. The NCAA is not above the law.”

More:

How US college sport became an $8bn inequity racket. And why it may fall,” Bryan Armen Graham, The Guardian

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Move Over Babe, Here Comes Henry

January 23, 2021

“Move Over Babe (Here Comes Henry),” written by Bill Slayback and Ernie Harwell, recorded by Bill Slayback, 1973. The song commemorates Atlanta baseball player Hank Aaron, who broke Babe Ruth’s 714 home run career record. With Hank Aaron’s death, the title sounds like a seating change in baseball heaven.

More:

“Babe Ruth’s record was a mythical monument of white superiority. Hank Aaron tore it down.” Kevin B. Blackistone, Washington Post

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Golf Loser: PGA Scratches Trump Course for 2022 Championship

January 12, 2021

Golf Loser: PGA Scratches Trump Course for 2022 Championship

The PGA announced Sunday that it would not hold its 2022 Championship at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, in New Jersey. The move will certainly be seen as politically motivated by some, but it’s simple economics: it’s about sponsorship. What corporation would want its name and reputation linked with Trump after a violent mob acting in his name attacked the U.S. Capitol and killed a police officer?

The famously litigious Trump will no doubt sue, but the PGA’s lawyers are certainly more capable than, say, Trump golf buddy and attorney Rudy Giuliani.

This hits notorious golf cheat Trump where he lives. Golf is a central part of his self-identity, not just his portfolio. To make matters worse, Trump got shafted by a Florida neighbor. PGA HQ is in Palm Beach Gardens, a 17-mile drive from Mar-a-Lago.

In other sports news, the UK’s Royal and Ancient Golf Club (R&A) said on Monday that it will not hold the British Open or any other major tournaments at Trump Turnberry in Scotland as long as that orange-faced American owns the property.

More:

“PGA Championship leaving Trump National in ’22 tournament,” Doug Ferguson, Associated Press

“PGA of America votes to move 2022 PGA Championship from Trump Bedminster golf club,” Kyle Porter, CBS Sports

“R&A has no plans for British Open at Trump Turnberry in Scotland,” Jason Lusk, Golfweek

“PGA strips Trump-owned golf course of 2022 championship,” Rebecca Falconer, Axios

“The Trump Reckoning Spreads to the Golf World,” Matt Stieb, New York Magazine

“Trump is reportedly more upset about his club not hosting a golf tournament than he is about likely being impeached for a 2nd time,” Oma Seddiq, Business Insider

“An Urgent Reckoning for the Trump Brand After US Capitol Attack,” Eric Lipton, Ben Protess and Steve Eder, New York Times

Related:

“Trump kicks his golf ball back on the course so much that caddies have nicknamed him ‘Pelé,'” Jeva Lange, The Week

“The Serial Golf Cheat in the White House,” John Cassidy, The New Yorker

“Business grows skittish about Trump and GOP after riots,” Josh Boak, Brian Slodysko, and Tom Krisher, Associated Press

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Sports Genius Trump Sends Military Cadets to the NFL

July 15, 2019

Sports Genius Trump Sends Military Cadets to NFL

Donald Trump is a football expert. He once owned a signed Tim Tebow helmet he bought with $12,000 of his charity’s money, so that should prove it. Not only that, he’s the former owner of the failed New Jersey Generals of the US Football League. In just a few years, Mr. Trump managed to tank the entire USFL.

Not content with those pro sports triumphs, now that he’s president, Mr. Trump has ordered that sports star graduates of our country’s military academies, educated at taxpayer expense, can defer their military service until after the end of their pro sports careers, so America can be defended by worn out and injured ex-jocks. Make the NFL Great Again!

More:

“President Trump orders new policy for service academy graduates pursuing professional sports,” Ava Wallace, Washington Post

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Image (“Commander-In-Chief of the Jersey Generals”) by Mike Licht. Download copies here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com.

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Surf’s Up — Inland

July 19, 2018

Surf’s up at the Surf Ranch, a hundred miles from the nearest ocean. Bryant Gumbel explains.

More:

“Surfing goes inland: Kelly Slater’s artificial waves push pro tour into uncharted waters,” Alex Dick-Read, The Guardian

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Skateboarders Conquer the World

July 11, 2018

Skateboarders Conquer the World
“After decades of commandeering streets, sidewalks, parking lots and public sculptures, skaters entered the mainstream. Now New York City, the United States, and the world at large have all seen a surge of skate park development. With skateboarding entering the Olympic Games in 2020, the international growth of skate parks is likely only beginning.”

“Skateboarders Won,” Jeff Ihaza, New York Times

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Image (“Woman with a Skateboard, after Fernand Léger”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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The Ball

June 26, 2018

Meet the 2018 World Cup football.

“This year’s World Cup ball is called the Telstar 18, a nod to the original design. While the panels have changed to just six propeller-shaped pieces to make the ball even more spherical, the black-and-white checkered design is back.”

A Vox video.

More:

“Satellites and microchips: the surprising tech behind the World Cup ball,” Marc Chacksfield, TechRadar

“From Russia With Lough: Adidas Telstar 18 Is Specifically Designed to Stop Dip & Swerve,” Sports Illustrated

“World Cup 2018: Adidas boffins produce ball specially designed to stop Cristiano Ronaldo’s free-kicks,” Duncan Wright, The Sun

“Fifa World Cup 2018 ball: Adidas Telstar 18 football ‘a problem for goalkeepers,'” Jamie Teather, Evening Standard

“Telstar 18: From satellites to microchips – The tech behind FIFA World Cup 2018 ball,” Manas Tiwari, Financial Express

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Baseball: Keeping Score

April 30, 2018

Darryl Wilson keeps the score straight at Wrigley Field. The Chicago Cubs’ ballpark has a manually-operated scoreboard that tracks eight different games at once. Video via Great Big Story.

More: 

“Inside Wrigley Field, The Scorekeepers Stay True To Baseball’s Beginnings,” David Schaper, NPR

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NCAA Claims Unpaid College Athletes Are Like Prison Labor

February 27, 2018

NCAA Claims Unpaid College Athletes Are Like Prison Labor

It’s almost March, when America’s thoughts turn to college basketball. NCAA March Madness alone earns $900 million for the NCAA, and big university athletic programs and their coaches reap lucrative rewards from sports, but collegiate basketball and football players are unpaid, being considered “student athletes.” In answer to a pending lawsuit, the NCAA justifies this situation by citing the clause of the 13th Amendment that allows unpaid prison labor. This jaw-dropping argument is compounded by the fact that the purpose of the 13th Amendment was the abolition of slavery in the United States, and Division 1 college athletes are overwhelmingly African American.

The suit against the NCAA was brought by former Villanova receiver Lawrence “Poppy” Livers on behalf of all athletic scholarship players, who are required to play in sports by the terms of their agreements. A previous suit failed because it also included “walk-on” players without such binding scholarship agreements. Livers vs. NCAA claims sports scholarship athletes, like students in work-study programs, should be considered university employees and compensated.

More:

“The NCAA Says Student-Athletes Shouldn’t Be Paid Because the 13th Amendment Allows Unpaid Prison Labor,” Shaun King, The Intercept

Related:

“Four Years A Student-Athlete: The Racial Injustice of Big-Time College Sports,” Patrick Hruby, VICE sports

“Your March Madness Bracket Is Exploiting Student-Athletes,”  Dave Zirin, The Nation

“When will NCAA be done exploiting athletes?” Editorial Board, Charlotte Observer

“The NCAA Must Change the Rules in Order to Solve College Basketball’s Existential Crisis,” Andy Staples, Sports Illustrated

“Let High School Players Go Straight to the NBA Again,” Sean Cunningham, RealClearLife

“The NCAA,” Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, 2015 (20:53)

“What Would Happen if the Players Ran College Basketball?” Ray Glier, Ozy

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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Soccer Trial In Brooklyn: Guilty

December 23, 2017

Soccer Trial In Brooklyn: Guilty

Two former officials of the South American soccer association were found guilty in U.S. Federal Court on Friday of accepting millions of dollars in bribes. The jury will deliberate on a third defendant next week. 24 other people tied to FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, have pleaded guilty, and 15 more charged in the racketeering  and money-laundering probe are fighting extradition to the U.S.

More:

“2 Top Soccer Officials Found Guilty in FIFA Case,” Rebecca R. Ruiz, New York Times

“Fifa trial: two ex-soccer officials found guilty on multiple charges of corruption,” Oliver Laughland, The Guardian

Update:

“Fifa trial: ex-president of Peru soccer acquitted of corruption charge,” AP via The Guardian

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