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LeBron James Says NBA Won’t Miss Trump’s Viewership

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The Los Angelas Lakers star laughed off the president’s criticisms about NBA players taking a knee during the national anthem, CNN reports.

What We Know:

  • As calls for racial and social justice remain at the forefront of conversation around the country, NBA players and coaches across the league have taken a knee during the national anthem while wearing “Black Lives Matter” shirts.
  • President Donald Trump told Fox News Wednesday that their decision was “not acceptable,” and cited his support for the leagues restart during the coronavirus pandemic. Trump also added that other than Abraham Lincoln, he had done the most for the Black community.
  • “Are you trying to make me laugh right now?” LeBron said to reporters after hearing the president’s comments. “I really don’t think the basketball community [is] sad about losing his viewership,” he added. “The game will go on without his eyes on it. I can sit here and speak for all of us that love the game of basketball. We [couldn’t] care less.”
  • James also noted the importance of the November election in instituting change. “I hope everyone, no matter the race, no matter the color, no matter their sides, see what leadership that we have at the top of our country and understand that November is right around the corner, and it’s a big moment for us as Americans.”
  • LeBron has been a consistent advocate of the fight for racial equality, even starting the “More Than A Vote” initiative to help protect Black voting rights.

Though he is happy with the efforts the NBA is taking to recognize the problem, James has pushed for further change, saying we can’t “let our foot off the gas.”

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Coronavirus

Fan at Chiefs-Texans Game Tests Positive for COVID-19

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A fan who attended the Kansas City Chiefs-Houston Texans game on September 10th has tested positive for the coronavirus.

What We Know:

  • The Kansas City Health Department has confirmed that a person who was in attendance at the NFL season opener at Arrowhead Stadium has tested positive for COVID-19. The department has quarantined 10 other people for possible exposure to the virus as well.
  • The Chiefs were one of the few teams to allow in-person fans for Week 1. The team said that their protocol required all fans and personnel to wear face coverings while inside. Several other NFL teams have stated that they will not allow fans into stadiums for the rest of 2020.
  • The Chiefs defended themselves in their statement, saying that their contact tracing mechanisms and mask mandate limited potential exposure to a single seating zone of the stadium and allowed officials to identify all exposed people. The Chiefs have not made any announcements about allowing spectators for future games.
  • The Chiefs-Texans game was the first NFL game to be held in front of fans. The Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, and Indianapolis Colts are the only teams that allowed fans to be in attendance at the start of the season. Arrowhead Stadium’s capacity is approximately 76,000 and it has been reduced in accordance with coronavirus protocols. Almost 16,000 fans were in attendance for this game.
  • The Chiefs-Texans season opener was also in the news for the scene fans made before the game. Players from both sides held a “moment of unity” pregame and displayed messages supporting Black Lives Matter and racial justice. The fans in attendance could be heard on the broadcast booing the players during this moment.

The NFL has not made any official statements about this positive case of a fan. There is no official league-wide rule about having fans in stadiums. The NFL also announced seven new positive cases among players and team personnel in the latest round of testing.

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A’ja Wilson Wins WNBA MVP

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Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson was named the WNBA’s MVP on Thursday.

What We Know:

  • A’ja Wilson has won the 2020 WNBA MVP. Crystal Dangerfield and Cheryl Reeve of the Minnesota Lynx won Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively. Wilson is only in her third year as a professional and averaged 20.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game.
  • Wilson earned 43 out of 47 first-place votes for the award. The Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart finished in second place, and the Los Angeles Sparks’ Candace Parker finished in third.
  • Wilson was surprised with the award by WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert on Thursday. She was given the honor in front of her teammates and called her family immediately afterward to share the good news.

“I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was probably crying before Cathy finished her speech . . . I needed my teammates to know I’m going to produce X amount of things every game, because that’s how you win, when you can count on people. That’s probably the biggest thing for me being MVP.” – A’ja Wilson

  • The 6-foot-4 Wilson was the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft and won Rookie of the Year that season.  She led the Aces to an 18-4 record and the best and the No. 1 seed. With Liz Cambage out of the bubble, Wilson stepped up her production across the board and improved upon her previous season in which she was named an All-Star.

Wilson and the Aces will face the Connecticut Sun in the semifinal round of the playoffs. Game 1 is scheduled for Sunday.

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Coronavirus

Big 10 to Begin Football Season in October

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One of the nation’s power 5 college sports conferences has announced that it will begin its football season next month, a reversal of its decision earlier this summer, CBS Sports reports.

What We Know:

  • Teams in the league will play eight regular-season games as well as a Big Ten Championship game set for December 19th. Their schedule will make them eligible for the College Football Playoff as the season’s final rankings announcement is slated for December 20th. Consolation games will also be played at the conclusion of the season.
  • No tickets will be sold and fans will not be permitted to enter any games. Some exceptions may be made for family members of players, coaches, and staff.
  • In regards to coronavirus safety, the conference will institute mandatory, daily COVID-19 testing for athletes and coaches beginning September 30. If a member of any team tests positive for the virus, the earliest they could return to the field is 21 days following their testing.

The decision follows pressure to resume play, including from President Donald Trump who is eager to see a return to normalcy. No decision has been made from PAC-12 officials regarding a reconsideration. The Big 10’s decision makes them the only power 5 conference not playing college football this year.

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