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February 2020 Archives

Myles Garrett reinstated by the NFL

The football world stopped and took notice on November 14 when a brawl near the end of the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns broke out. At the center of the controversy was Browns' defensive end Myles Garrett removing quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet as they grappled. Garrett succeeded and then used the helmet as a weapon, hitting the quarterback in the head with the helmet. Garrett was suspended indefinitely after the game, missing the final six games of the season and fined $50,000.

NCAA and federal lawmakers' inaction leaves athletes in limbo

There was a sense of optimism when California passed its Fair Pay for Play law in October 2019. Other states quickly jumped into the debate regarding compensating college players, although no other state has followed California's lead of actually passing a law. The federal government is also looking at the issue, with a recent Senate hearing in early February.

Fans at soccer match take anti-racist stand

There have been numerous accounts of European soccer fans exhibiting increasingly racist tendencies during matches. The continent’s teams at all levels feature players from all over the world, but foreign-born or dark-skinned players are singled out even by fans of the player's club. 

The Killer Inside Doc tells a dark tale of brain trauma

The new documentary series of former NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez is eye-opening on many levels. It tracks the rise, fall and eventual suicide in 2017 after his 2014 conviction for murdering Odin Lloyd. The film features interviews with teammates, journalists covering Hernandez, his defense lawyer as well as friends and family.

NCAA allows elite athletes to secure support for expenses and training

Financial compensation for athletes under the NCAA governance is now a reality thanks to California’s Fair Pay to Play Act, which prompted the NCAA to update its archaic policies in 2019. Ostensibly this means payment for athletes playing Division 1 football and basketball for their contributions to billion-dollar industries by enabling them to legally capitalize on their name, image and likeness for business endorsements and other opportunities. Athletes in other sports will likely do so as well, particularly those elite athletes who compete in Olympic and Paralympic sports while also representing universities.

NBA changes all-star game format as it celebrates Kobe Bryant

The world is in shock since NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others died while aboard a helicopter that crashed on January 26 in the mountains north of Los Angeles. Since then, the tributes to Bryant have gone from impromptu outpourings of grief from all over the world to more formalized celebrations. One of the keynote events will take place at the NBA All-Star Game on February 16.

Antonio Brown faces more trouble

No one is going to argue that talented NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown is his own worst enemy. His career is marked by questionable judgment, erratic behavior on and off the field, and, seemingly, attempts to sabotage a lucrative football career. This has led both a former agent and the mother of his three children to question his mental health. Some have even questioned whether Brown's behavior could be related to CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), where repeated trauma to the head inhibits normal brain function and impulse control.

MLB announces Red Sox investigation

Baseball has a particular appreciation for stealing bases or taking advantage when a pitcher tips their pitches. However, digitally assisted sign-stealing using replay technology is where it draws the line since Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred sent out a memo on this matter in September of 2017.

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