Posts Tagged ‘pro sports’

Professional Disc Golf

June 30, 2021

Paul McBeth, the world’s top-ranked disc golfer, has become the richest athlete in the sport’s history after signing a record $10m endorsement contract with Discraft to represent the manufacturer through 2031.”

— “Driving ambition: Pro disc golfer Paul McBeth signs unprecedented $10m deal,” The Guardian [links added]

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Baseball: Negro League Stars

June 14, 2021

Between 1920 and 1948, when baseball’s Major Leagues were segregated, some 3,400 players competed in the Negro Leagues. Neil Paine introduces some Negro League stars who should be household names.

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Renaming the DC NFL Team

July 8, 2020

Renaming the DC NFL Team

Last week, DC’s professional foorball team announced that its name, an historic racial slur, was “under review,” evoking the image of a booth full of league replay officials staring at a slo-mo recording of the letters r-e-d-s-k-i-n-s. Owner Dan Snyder once said he would “NEVER change the name of the team,” but that play is clearly out-of-bounds in today’s climate of heightened racial awareness.

It wasn’t the death of George Floyd or kneeling team players that changed Snyder’s narrow mind, but his own bottom linesponsors, investors, and business partners are applying pressure. Nike, Target, Walmart, Amazon, and Dick’s Sporting Goods have removed DC team-branded merchandise from their websites and stores. How’s this for irony: FedEx, which owns naming rights for the DC squad’s stadium, now wants the team to change its own name.

Although nobody has suggested renaming the squad “Washington Rappas” in honor of the region’s Rappahannock people, there is no shortage of suggested team names and logos. The current fan favorite is “Washington Redtails,” after WWII’s African American 332nd Fighter Group (maybe you saw the movie). In an only-in-Washington move, two local lawyers have already submitted a trademark application for “Washington Redtails.” Hey, how about calling the team “The Litigators”?

A name change is expected by September.

More:

“D.C. NFL Team Considering Name Change After Public And Corporate Outcry,” Eliza Berkon, WAMU

“An NFL Name Change That Has Been a Long Time Coming,” Leonard Shapiro, Washington City Paper

“FedEx asks ‘the team in Washington’ to dump racist nickname as Nike pulls gear,” The Guardian

“Daniel Snyder no longer has a choice, and he knows it. Battle over name has reached its endgame.” Jerry Brewer, Washington Post

“Lawmakers And FedEx Urge D.C.’s NFL Team To Change Its Name Amid Bid For RFK Stadium,” Kavitha Cardoza, DCist

“Trump Supports Washington Team Name. Retailers Pull Merchandise.” Ken Belsen, New York Times

Update:

“FedEx Made a Demand Dan Snyder Couldn’t Afford to Dismiss,” Ken Belson and Kevin Draper, New York Times

 

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The Shame of the DC NFL Team Name

June 22, 2020

The Shame of DC NFL Team's Name

“If the NFL season opens as planned with training camps this summer, Washington’s team should do so under another name. Under its new name. Whatever that might be.” —
Barry Svrluga, Washington Post

More:

“Change the name of the Washington NFL team. Now.” Washington Post editorial

“The Washington football team can’t duck and run on its name ever again,” Mike Wise, Washington Post

“Daniel Snyder has a chance to change the legacy of the team he loves. He should.” John Feinstein, Washington Post

Updates:

“Does Congress have the leverage to force a name change for Washington’s football team?” Clyde McGrady, Roll Call

“Native American Leader Challenges Players on Washington’s NFL Team to Sit,” Andrew Beaujon, Washingtonian

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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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Sumo Match of the Century!

May 26, 2016

Sumo Match of the Century!

In sports news, the Haru Basho (Spring Tournament) in Osaka made Sumo wrestling history earlier this month as defending champ Hakuhō Shō faced off with Harumafuji Kōhei. It was over faster than the 2nd Ali-Liston fight.

Harumafuji lunged at Hakuhō, who sidestepped. Harumafuji couldn’t stop, and staggered out of the ring to lose. It was over in 1 second. Hakuhō had won his 36th Emperor’s Cup.

Some Sumo fans are saying that Hakuhō, a 31-year-old veteran, should hang up his mawashi and go out a winner after this wild match, but he plans to fight on for his 37th Emperor’s Cup title.

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The NFL: Bastion of American Socialism

November 18, 2014

The NFL: Bastion of America's Socialism

America’s National Football League has held a few games in the UK and is trying to form a franchise there. British writer Matthew Engel has let his compatriots in on the league’s radical secret:

“In the US, sport is the habitat of the nation’s secret socialism. Through revenue sharing, salary caps and the draft (which gives the worst teams first pick), the NFL pioneered the notions that the last must be allowed to finish first. To that end, the rich must subsidise the poor.

In part, this is a mechanism to make capitalism work better, though it is not a mechanism favoured in other aspects of American life ….”

“… I suspect the NFL is using London as it uses Los Angeles which, bizarrely, has been without a franchise for 20 years. If any city gets mean and refuses to subsidise a new stadium or whatever, there is a threat so obvious it hardly needs saying: ‘Pay up or LA will.’ In Britain, such geographical shifts are almost unknown and totally anathema. Another piece of secret socialism: American teams are subsidy junkies.”

— “‘Socialist’ NFL would fail in capitalist London,” Matthew Engel, Financial Times

Hipper Brits already knew this, because UK artist Fraser Davidson animated the passage of Bill Maher’s book that points it out:

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The NBA Wants Gambling. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

November 15, 2014

The NBA Wants Gambling. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver wants betting on professional sports legalized in places other than Las Vegas, and wrote a New York Times op-ed about it. After all, why should the crooks get all that sports book money, $400 billion a year? Besides, nothing could go wrong, except maybe a bit of point shaving and a few dirty referee calls.

So will it happen? Don’t bet on it. It would take an act of Congress, a repeal of the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. And with this do-nothing Congress, odds are surely against it.

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Photo by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com  Note: Product pictured is not made from hair.

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What’s In a Name? Plenty.

September 27, 2014

More:

“‘Daily Show’ airs segment pitting Redskins fans against Native Americans,” Ian Shapira, Washington Post

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TV: Will the DC NFL Team Name Be Benched?

September 12, 2014

TV: Will the DC NFL Team Name Be Benched?

Sportscasters Tony Dungy, Phil Simms, Tom Jackson, and Lisa Salters won’t use the racist, derogatory name of DC’s NFL team. Neither will ESPN’s Lindsay Czarniak, who comes from the DC area. But what if the FCC rules that name cannot be uttered over the public airwaves?

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says he finds the name “offensive and derogatory” and believes it should be changed. He hopes DC team owner Dan Snyder will come to his senses and change the name voluntarily.

But former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt and former Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Nicholas Johnson are urging the FCC to make an indecency case against broadcasters who use the name on the air.

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