Weekly Replay 07.13

Hail To The… ???  –

The Washington Redskins announced this morning that they are finally changing the team mascot. Native American leaders and organizations sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell calling for the league to stop using Native American names, imagery and logos.  They specifically demanded that Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder change the team name immediately. 

Pressure mounted when the team’s naming rights sponsor, FedEx, requested that the club change because it is inconsistent with its commitment to a more inclusive society, does not share its people-first philosophy and damaging to their brand reputation. The founder and chairman of FedEx, Frederick Smith, is a minority of the team.  Other sponsors including Bank of America, Nike and PepsiCo followed.

Native Americans have been challenging the name for decades.  Protesting, picketing at stadiums where the team played and boycotting products.  Through it all, Snyder had vowed to never make the change.  In fact in 2013, he told USA Today, “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.  The NFL had supported the stance citing popularity of the name among fans.  Now facing the threat of losing valuable sponsors, Snyder is called an audible on that play.

Punt the season  –

College football conferences are trying to figure out the season.  Southeastern Conference (SEC) commissioner Greg Sankey says his concern is high to very high.  Frankly, he told ESPN “the direct reality is not good” and double-downed on his quote with a tweet.  The SEC is meeting today and plan have a decision at the end of July.

Here is the latest on the Power Five conferences.

ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) – Considering conference opponents only; announcing decision at the end of July

Big 12 – Expecting to have a plan together in late July

Big Ten – Announced playing conference opponents only on July 9

Pac-12 (Pacific-12) – Announced playing conference opponents only on July 10

Block Droplets  –

The NFL unveiled a new Oakley Mouth Shield that will go on NFL helmets to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 during the 2020 season. It was designed by doctors and engineers from the NFL and NFL Players Association.  Dr. Thom Mayer from the players’ union said that quarterbacks who have tried the shield didn’t have issues calling out plays.  The shield is not required for players at the moment, but the NFL is shipping them to all teams and encouraging players to wear.

Check out the new shield.

Out of the Bubble  – 

NBA teams made it to Disney to prepare for the restart of the 2019-2020.  All players and personnel on the NBA Campus will be tested for the coronavirus regularly.  There are very strict guidelines in the “NBA Bubble” which includes resorts where the teams are playing (Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs, the Grand Floridian and the Yacht Club), Coronado Springs and the Grand Floridian convention centers, and Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports, where games will be played.

Play doubles on ping pong, eat during social activities or forget to throw away those playing cards after a game and you could be kicked out of the bubble.  

Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook didn’t make it to the bubble.  He tested positive for COVID-19 before the team left for Orlando.

Games start on July 30.  View the full schedule for each team.

Game On,

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