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  • Shauna Rush

5-POINT FRIDAY, JUNE 26th, 2020

This article was originally published on June 26th, 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.

Baseball news I am interested in -

As the MLB has now set a date for the 2020 season, the league also looks set to allow franchises to sell sponsorship patches on team jerseys during the next two seasons.

The new inventory would be available for teams to sell during the salvaged 2020 season as well as during the last year of the current CBA in 2021. The new branding is being permitted to help franchises with the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

A report by analyst Nielsen in August 2019 suggested that an MLB sleeve sponsor would appear on camera almost three times as often and as long as the NBA jersey patches, generating $11 million in brand value per team each season.

Soccer story I have been following -

As Manchester City hosted Burnley this week, the Premier League game quickly became overshadowed by an aircraft flying overhead. The plane carrying a banner reading "White Lives Matter Burnley" began circled over the Etihad Stadium moments after players and staff of both teams had taken a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

In a statement, Burnley said that the banner "in no way represents" what the club stands for and that they will "work fully with the authorities to identify those responsible and take appropriate action".

"Burnley strongly condemns the actions of those responsible for the aircraft and offensive banner," the statement added.

"We wish to make it clear that those responsible are not welcome at Turf Moor.

"We apologize unreservedly to the Premier League, to Manchester City and to all those helping to promote Black Lives Matter.

"The club has a proud record of working with all genders, religions and faiths through its award-winning community scheme, and stands against racism of any kind.

"We are fully behind the Premier League's Black Lives Matter initiative and, in line with all other Premier League games undertaken since Project Restart, our players and football staff willingly took the knee at kick-off at Manchester City."

The club later found the fan responsible for the stunt and had issued a lifetime ban.

NFL news I am learning about -

Rather than enforcing league-wide stadium capacity restrictions, the NFL has reportedly told its teams to make their own decisions based on local government health guidelines. This could lead to some teams hosting games at or near full capacity, while others play in empty stadiums.

“Attendance will be a state-by-state, county-by-county thing. It will not be a one size fits all,” an anonymous NFL source said, according to The Athletic.

The source also expressed concerns over current plans for the season. “I wish they would push back the start of the year to October to give us more time to learn from these other leagues.”

Softball story I am following -

Members of the Scrap Yard Dawgs professional softball team walked out en masse after the opening game of a series with the USSSA Pride, many vowing they will never again play for the team after a since-deleted tweet from general manager Connie May.

The tweet, which multiple players said May acknowledged posting during the game, included a photo of Scrap Yard players standing during the national anthem and tagged President Donald Trump's Twitter handle with a message that included the words "Everyone respecting the FLAG!"

Scrap Yard players, along with their Pride counterparts, were quick to voice their objections to May's tweet on social media. Among them was Scrap Yard's Kelsey Stewart (@stewartkels7), who is also one of the few Black players on the U.S. Olympic team.

"I felt like she projected her political views and her stance on the matter onto me as an athlete under Scrap Yard," Stewart said. "I felt like she took my voice away. I feel like with everything going on in the world today, she hasn't listened and she hasn't tried to understand. I felt completely disrespected, and I was hurt and I was angry."

"That trust is entirely broken," Stewart added. "I will never play for the Scrap Yard organization again."

"Lots of people think it's about the flag, but it's not about the flag whatsoever," Stewart further stated. "It's the fact that she projected her views and her political views on us.

"She took our voice away when no one knew about it."

Cricket news I am excited for -

This year’s Women’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia amassed a global unique audience of 89 million, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has revealed.

The figure marks a 131% increase on the previous edition of the tournament hosted by the West Indies in 2018.

The ICC had already hailed the 2020 edition of the tournament as the most-watched women’s cricket event ever, clocking some 1.1 billion video views across the global governing body’s digital channels.

The latest figures reveal that global viewing minutes soared to 113.5 million compared to 55.9 million in 2018, while live coverage hours increased by 62% to 1,529 in 2020. India accounted for 76% of global viewing figures, while live viewing hours in host nation Australia surged a whopping 473% to reach 13.45 million.

The final, which saw Australia beat India by 85 runs in front of 86,174 fans at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), was watched by 53 million viewers globally. The average audience of 1.2 million in Australia made it the most-watched women’s cricket match in the country’s history.

“We are delighted with these outstanding global viewership numbers that demonstrate the power of women’s cricket to attract huge audiences across the globe,” said ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney. “It reinforces our belief that there is a significant opportunity around the women’s game and collectively we must promote it further so more fans can enjoy it, more kids are inspired by it and sponsors and broadcasters want to be a part of it.”

Have a wonderful weekend, all!



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