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Current Events Archives

All major sports take a timeout

Sports in the United States have followed the lead of the European leagues and other international organizations by calling time out. This is in light of COVID-19 spreading to the U.S. This is the first time since World War I that professional sports have paused for more than a week, as they did after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

IOC says Tokyo games to proceed

The International Olympic Committee announced in mid-February that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would proceed regardless of the coronavirus outbreak. At the time, China was the primary locale for this flu-like virus. It has since spread into Europe, the Middle East and North America. Major sporting events (soccer, golf, cycling, track and field, rugby, tennis, formula 1 racing, and others) have been canceled or held in empty stadiums in Europe mainly but elsewhere too. Ostensibly, this prevents thousands of people from congregating and spreading this highly contagious virus.

Kobe Bryant's wife files wrongful death lawsuit

The tragic death of Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash is likely one of the biggest tragedies of 2020. The final cause of the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter’s crash into a hillside in Calabasas (of Los Angeles) amid heavy fog is not official. Still, lawyers for Bryant’s wife filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the aircraft’s owners and the pilot’s estate. There was no evidence that there was a mechanical issue that caused the crash.

NFL changes could mean more problems

One of the more interesting proposals in the ongoing collective bargaining discussions between the NFL and the NFLPA involves changes to the playoffs: principally, (i) an expanded 17-game season that would remove one of the preseason games; and (ii) expanding the playoffs to include 14 teams with only the number 1 seed getting a bye.

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.

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.

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