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 front office news that I am excited by -
Kim Ng has become the first female general manager in MLB history, after being hired by the Miami Marlins. She is also the first Asian-American general manager in MLB history.
Ng has 30 years of experience in the major leagues, having previously worked for the Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, and Los Angeles Dodgers.
"When I got into this business, it seemed unlikely a woman would lead a major league team," she said. "But I am dogged in the pursuit of my goals."
The Yankees won three Monde Series titles during Ng's four years as assistant general manager there. She has previously interviewed for the general manager role at several major league sides.
Since 2011, Ng has worked in the MLB commissioner's office as senior vice-president for baseball operations.
"This challenge is one I don't take lightly," added Ng. "My goal is to bring championship baseball to Miami. I am both humbled and eager to continue building the winning culture our fans expect and deserve."
"We look forward to Kim bringing a wealth of knowledge and championship-level experience to the Miami Marlins," said Marlins chief executive Derek Jeter.
Soccer news I am looking forward to -
Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) and Rob McElhenney (@RMcElhenney) where announced as the new owners of Welsh club Wrexham, who currently play in the fifth-tier English National League.
Wrexham Supporters Trust (WST) members voted overwhelmingly to back the takeover with 98.6% of those who responded backing the bid.
Out of plus than 2,000 trust members eligible to vote, 1,809 approved, 26 were against and nine abstained.
The trust wished the pair "the very best of luck in charge" and "look forward to what the future brings".
Reynolds and McElhenney have suggested wanting to invest $2.6 million into the club. Content opportunities are reportedly at the center of the actors’ interest in the team, describing plans for a documentary series like HBO’s “Hard Knocks” or Amazon’s “All or Nothing.”
“These are two very successful people who have done great things on-screen and some great things off-screen,” said Spencer Harris, Wrexham director. “They’re really interested in taking something with real potential, which this club has, investing in it, molding it and watching it grow. That journey is their ultimate motivation, and part of what they want to do is document that journey as they go. But I think it’s more about that journey.”
Women's soccer news I am happy to hear -
Angel City FC, the new Los Angeles entry in the NWSL, announced that they will be playing their home matches at Banc of California Stadium, starting in spring 2022. The club will share the stadium with MLS side LAFC.
Angel City also announced that Heineken USA will be a major sponsor. The team and brewer will allocate 10% of sponsorship funds in direct support of the LGBTQ community in the Los Angeles area.
"Announcing our venue partner is a major milestone for Angel City, and we could not be more excited than to play in this spectacular venue right here in the heart of Los Angeles," said ACFC Founder and President, Julie Uhrman. "We are building a club for all Los Angelenos, united in their support of women's soccer and the magic that L.A. brings to its fans, players, and teams."
Athletics news I will be following -
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya (@caster800m) announced that she will be appealing to the European Court of Human Rights to attempt to reverse a ruling from World Athletics, the governing body for track and field, that would require her to take testosterone-suppressing measures to compete in her signature events.
“We will be taking Monde Athletics to the European Court of Human Rights, and public support goes a long way to help show how the rules from Monde Athletics are against public interest,” Semenya’s lawyer Greg Nott said in a statement on Nov. 17. “With growing support from institutions and bodies across the globe, we remain hopeful that World Athletics will see the error it has made and reverse the prohibitive rules which restrict Ms. Semenya from competing.”
World Athletics’ controversial rule, which took effect in 2019, limits testosterone levels for athletes with differences of sexual development in the women’s 400m, 800m and 1500m races to 5nmol/L.
Under the rule, Semenya, who is undefeated in the 800 since 2016, would have to take drugs or undergo surgery to compete in those events.
“World Athletics has always maintained that its regulations are lawful and legitimate, and that they represent a fair, necessary and proportionate means of ensuring the rights of all female athletes to participate on fair and equal terms,” the governing body has previously said.
Semenya and her team have vowed to fight the rule, but she has switched to competing in the 200m in the interim in order to avoid the rule.
In September, Semenya lost an appeal with the Swiss Federal Tribunal after previously losing in Switzerland’s Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“Excluding female athletes or endangering our health solely because of our natural abilities puts World Athletics on the wrong side of history,” Semenya said after losing in the Swiss court. “I will continue to fight for the human rights of female athletes, both on the track and off the track, until we can all run free the way we were born. I know what is right and will do all I can to protect basic human rights, for young girls everywhere.”
Soccer story I am following -
Arsenal signed up to the U.N. Sports for Climate Action Framework, becoming the first Premier League club to join the United Nations in its initiative to combat climate change. The aim of the framework is to bring greenhouse emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.
Other signatories include FIFA, the FA and the IOC.
"Arsenal is committed to leading the way on sustainability among Premier League clubs and we are proud to be the first club to sign up to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework," Arsenal operations director Hywel Sloman said.
"Together with our partners, we've already implemented a number of environmentally friendly practices across the club.
"We will continue to use the power and reach of Arsenal to inspire our global communities and push each other towards a more sustainable future."
The initiative aims to achieve its ambition by adhering to five principles; undertaking systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility, reducing overall climate impact, educating on climate action, promotion sustainable and responsible consumption and advocating for climate action through communication.
Have a wonderful weekend, all!