• Jonathan Brannan

5-POINT FRIDAY, JULY 3rd, 2020

Here is this week's dose of “5-Point Friday”. A weekly round-up of the sports news and stories that I find most interesting and enjoyable.


Softball story I am excited by -


After all 18 members of the Scrap Yard Dawgs professional softball team walked out in protest to a since-deleted tweet by the team's general manager, the players made good on their vows to never again play for Texas-based Scrap Yard. Instead the players decided to form a brand new team called 'This Is Us,' using their own resources.


The new team's mission statement says it is "here to spark a necessary change in the softball community, gaining and sharing knowledge about racial injustice in our world."


In addition to stepping back on the softball field, players are utilizing their platforms to raise awareness, empower young women, and unite the softball community. 


This Is Us players returned to the field for a contest against USSSA Pride, sporting new uniforms with their new team branding on the front, and the back displayed the surname of a current or former black softball player.


Furthermore, This Is Us has started a donation drive to cover expenses associated with training and playing in July, including housing, transportation (cars & gas), and possible flights.

NFL story I am reading about -


According to Adweek, investment firms and shareholders worth a collective $620 billion have asked Nike, FedEx, and PepsiCo to terminate their business relationships with the Washington Redskins unless the team agrees to change its name.


The report says three separate letters signed by 87 investment firms and shareholders were written Friday to the three major corporations.


“This is a broader movement now that’s happening that Indigenous peoples are part of,” Carla Fredericks (@cbassnyc), director of First Peoples Worldwide. “Indigenous peoples were sort of left out of the civil rights movement in the late 1960s in many respects, because our conditions were so dire on reservations and our ability to engage publicly was very limited because of that. With social media now, obviously everything is very different.”


First Peoples Worldwide is one of the seven firms that led the charge in organizing the letters. Fredericks said investors are concerned about the brands taking actions that run counter to recent commitments about diversity and inclusion. Each letter quotes pledges by the brands to be a part of the fight against systemic racism.


Soccer news I am learning about -


English Championship side Wigan Athletic have become the first English professional club to go into administration since the coronavirus pandemic began.


The English Football League has stated that the club will be deducted 12 points. The sanction will be applied at the end of this season if the Latics, 14th in the Championship, finish outside the bottom three after 46 games. Should Wigan finish in the relegation zone, the penalty will be applied during the 2020-21 season instead.


The Hong Kong-based Next Leader Fund only took over ownership of the club in May. Administrator Paul Stanley said: "I don't think it's played a massive part in terms of the way the club's been run, because the club's been run very well.


"The funding that was due to come in from the owners didn't come in. I've had no contact with the owners and I don't know why the funding didn't come in. It might be coronavirus-related, I just don't know."


Wigan is the first, but the big question is how many more clubs will enter administration when the full financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic starts to be felt?


Baseball news I am following -


There will be no minor league baseball in 2020. MiLB announced yesterday that it was canceling the season after MLB teams said they would not provide affiliated clubs with players.


With no games this year, some communities might not have a goodbye tour for their local teams as MiLB had started to work with MLB to realign the minors and eliminate approximately 40 organizations. Minor League Baseball is now in “dire straits,” according to MiLB CEO Pat O’Conner.


“It’s north of half [of teams] who could either have to sell [or go insolvent without government or other help,” O’Conner said. “I could see this [economic impact] lingering into 2022, 2023 easily. In some cases, possibly a little longer.”


Several teams in Texas and Oklahoma were granted limited expansion franchises for the Texas Collegiate League, which opened yesterday.


However, many teams across the country have been forced to lay off or furlough employees and more could be on the way to doing the same now without a season to look forward to in 2020.


Minor league players are also facing several issues of their own, ranging from long-term development after missing a full season to whether or not teams will keep paying their $400 per week stipends as MLB required through at least May 31. Many teams have committed to paying the minor leaguers through the end of the season.

What I've been watching -


Ford v Ferrari directed by James Mangold (@mang0ld). The movie follows the journey of automotive designer Carroll Shelby and driver, Ken Miles, who are set the task of building a Ford racing car designed to defeat Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans race.

Have a wonderful weekend, all!

Jonathan