Posts Tagged ‘sports news’

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By @anarchyroll

Michael Jordan has ended his silence and neutrality on social issues in America. 

As someone raised in the Chicago area, Michael Jordan is on his own level of the iconosphere. He is beyond the words hero and role model. He is the unquestioned, undisputed Greatest Of All Time at his profession. To have been privileged enough to see a part of his career are memories I can’t forget even if I want to.

Another thing I can’t forget about Jordan even if I want to (besides Space Jam) is the fact that he never took a stand on any social issue during his playing career. Race, religion, economic inequality, gender pay gap, abortion, immigration. You name it, MJ was neutral or silent about it.

To take a stand on a social or political issue means you upset and/or alienate potential customers. In addition to being the greatest basketball player of all time, Jordan is also the greatest product spokesman of all time. His list of endorsements is lengthy and legendary. Jordan didn’t just make money with his endorsements, he made companies and changed culture with his endorsements.

That is why fellow NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said Jordan chose “commerce over conscious” with his silence on any and all social issues during Air Jordan’s run of greatness in the 1980s and 90s.

Better late than never is a term served well in this case. There has been a lot of inequality and death in the African-American community since Jordans playing career. 2016 seems destined to go down as either a tipping point or a boiling point of race relations in America. Jordan breaking his silence with words and cold hard cash to raise both awareness and tangible prospects for progress are as welcome as they are overdue.

Michael Jordan has a net worth of $1.14 billion. Out of that billion, he has donated $2 million, split evenly between the NAACP and a community policing organization. A token gesture is better than no gesture. When it comes to race relations between African-American communities and the police, it’s all hands on deck and help will be taken anywhere it can be received.

Rapper and former Bernie Sanders campaign representative Killer Mike recently challenged Jordan to do something beyond a token gesture.

 

How can $2 million be a token gesture? How can the most famous athlete in the world breaking three decades of silence and neutrality be a token gesture?

Are there not already African-American athletes donating money? Have prominent celebrities not already spoken out to draw attention and press to this issue? Is it not clear that there exists a very big problem with race relations in America?

$2 million or .2% of Jordan’s net worth is a good start, but is only a good start. If it is not the beginning of a plan or process than it is like shooting a heat seeking missile into the sun. It is a month later and this story is all but forgotten. Which is fine, the story can be lost in the shuffle, but Jordan’s tangible impact shouldn’t be. Diverting income from his already flushed coffers into black financial institutions for the long haul is how Jordan shows his actions are meant for serious impact rather than news cycle fodder.

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By @anarchyroll

Why does it matter that the NFL is offering bribes, pulling money for concussion research, and having their actions investigated by Congress?

The body cannot exist without the mind.

In America there is a growing concern, over the growing number of people who are being diagnosed with brain trauma and mental injury related to sports participation. Specifically there is a growing concern that football is too dangerous to be acceptable to be played.

The concern was initially limited to the participation of youths in pee wee football.

But the concern has morphed into concern that even adults should not be playing.
Why the concern for grown ass men who can make their own decisions? Because traumatic brain injuries seem to be less of RISK of playing football and more of an UNAVOIDABLE CONSEQUENCE with every passing research study.

The NFL knows this. The writing has been on the wall for decades but so many money is up for grabs that it is only natural that they would do what was in the financial interest of their $9 billion business to suppress as much of the science/information on brain injury research as possible.

Protecting financial interest seems to be the number one excuse for doing despicable things in America. The NFL’s actions in regard to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is despicable. So despicable Congress has publically called them out.

Something so bad it made Congress come together and actually do something? Eek.

 

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By @anarchyroll

Professional sports are about dollars and cents. They are entertainment. All professional sports become more like professional wrestling with each passing year. The winners may not be predetermined. But the manipulation of the integrity of the game for entertainment purposes has been the norm and becomes more the norm in every major professional sports league in America each season.

The NFL is top dog in this regard. They turn everything into an event. Football season now never ends because there is not football season, just a never ending series of staged events. Think those controversial referee calls are an accident?

Right beside the NFL, competing for title of New America’s Past Time is the sport of mixed martial arts and the Ultimate Fighting Championship promotion in particular.

Unlike all the other national sports leagues, the UFC has no offseason. And more importantly, they have such a grip on their always growing fan base to charge money to watch their shows in addition to having multiple free shows per month on FOX and Fox Sports 1. Not to mention UFC’s exclusive apparel sponsorship deal with Reebok.

Another thing that separated UFC and MMA as a sport from the others was that every other sports league has two franchises in New York City (or its boroughs) and three of the four major leagues have their headquarters in Manhattan. MMA on the other hand was banned/illegal in New York State.

Doesn’t that just read as weird? MMA banned in New York state in the year 2016. One of the most popular sports in the world, banned from the biggest media market in the world. How is that possible?

Dirty politics is the answer. Is that a really a surprise?

How much bigger would the UFC be if it had been holding events in Madison Square Garden for the last twenty years? They have filled the Rogers Centre in Toronto, no reason to think a show at Giants Stadium is out of the question in the medium term future.

MMA becoming legal in New York is the sports story of the year thus far and is on the shortlist for sports stories of the decade. Why? Dollars and cents.

The UFC is worth a estimated at $2 billion right now and they are just now going to start running events live in the biggest media market in the world. Running shows from New York changes things for the bigger. That’s just the way it is and this is coming from a life long Chicagoan. The amount of monetary capital in New York is vast to say the least. Five years down the line, this story will be looked back upon as a truly historic moment in the world of sports.

The UFC will not just get bigger Bellator MMA, World Series of Fighting, and local independent mix martial arts promotions will all flourish in a densely populated, highly affluent state. The ripple effect on the economics of mixed martial arts will be felt far and wide. The first event UFC holds at Madison Square Garden will demonstrate that.

The other story of the decade candidate going on right now is the Golden State Warriors and their quest to tie and/or surpass the 72 win 10 loss regular season NBA record held by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls. That remarkable feet will not have nearly the economic/business impact for the NBA and the sport of basketball as mma becoming legal in New York.

Mixed martial arts becoming legal in New York is a billion dollar economic news story as opposed to an event or accomplishment that is only a big deal within the industrial sports news and opinion complex. It crosses the barrier and moves the needle. It is the biggest sports story of 2016

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by @anarchyroll
10/16/2014

Have you noticed how there are now four major 24 hour sports networks? ESPN, FOX Sports 1, NBC Sports Network, CBS Sports Network.

There are more than four total. Each of the above listed networks have at least one secondary sports network, in the case of ESPN there’s at least three or four more as poked fun at in the movie Dodgeball.

America sure likes its sports. I know I do. I was raised to be a sports fan, and played competitive sports for ten years of my life. I watch/listen to PTI on ESPN every morning while I am making/eating my breakfast. Watching Chicago professional team sports has been the vast majority of bonding time with  my father for most of my life.

Professional sports these days, are used as a tremendous escape and distraction from the issues of our individual lives and the world at large. I watch pro wrestling for the same reason most people watch football. The main difference, less concussions and drugs, hahaha just kidding the brains of the athletes in both sports have been turned to jelly and dust for our amusement and money.

The latter, the money, is why there are now four major 24 hour sports “news” networks. Obviously nothing that happens in sports is actually news. We might lie to ourselves and each other that it is, but it’s not. The only news that comes out of sports is when taxpayer money is used to build stadiums instead of schools, bridges, or fund education programs. Or when an athlete gets arrested or dies. Those stories often only get reported if violence/blood are involved. If it bleeds it leads after all. Sports are often the lead topic in local newscasts these days. They’re upbeat and entertaining. Sports are meant to entertain. Just like pro wrestling, “real” sports have no dignity or integrity to them, it is all about making money through entertainment.

24 hour sports networks play up smack talk, rivalries, and personal feuds between athletes the same way that pro wrestling promoters, announcers, and managers do. ESPN and FSN are farmed out hype machines, WWE just does all their hyping in-house. The major professional sports leagues provide the content, the networks provide the hype. Highlighting the highlights, spotlighting the star players, dissecting referee decisions, and most importantly promoting upcoming contests.

The biggest job of these networks; is to make children’s games played by men seem more important than politics, environment issues, or economic policy.

The major sports leagues in recent years have all starting broadcasting their own 24 hour networks for their individual league and minor league(s). The NFL Network said it best when they launched; “where football season never ends.” That is the exact purpose AND the exact problem with 24 hour sports networks. The distraction and escapism never ends.

Hard working people deserve a break and an escape via entertainment. They earn it by giving their bodies and/or minds for the bulk of their adult lives, often in the service of other people’s dreams. From movies to concerts to soap operas to hiking to video games to traveling to television; there are many ways to escape reality for a little while to rest and recover one’s body, mind, and spirit.

The problem with professional sports and professional sports networks in America; is the astonishing rate at which time, attention, and money are being siphoned from communities, cultures, and societies in the name of never-ending, passive, spectator based escapism. Playing sports after work is one thing. It is physical exercise and creates real bonds between real people. Watching sports all weekend, every weekend while eating unhealthy foods and consuming large quantities of alcohol while sitting down…Noticed how the leagues and networks are sponsored by fast food companies, soda makers, and liquor distillers? How much advertising for those products are consumers exposed to each game/highlight show?

What would American society and culture look like if the time, attention, resources, and money that are spent on professional sports spectating went to economic inequality, environment concerns, infrastructure development, and/or civics? Everyone who works for a living deserves a break. Part of being an adult is that at some point, playtime is over and it’s time to do the unpleasant work of bettering not just our life but the world we live in. I am as guilty as anyone of trying to stretch my childhood into adulthood. Judging by the ratings and profits of the professional sports leagues, I can see that I’m not the only one.