Stop The Spread. Food Trucks. Phyllis George. Equality. Saturday Is For College Football? Let’s Not Ever Forget. The German Restart.
“It’s the wild west”. Not a quote from James West or Artemis Gordon from the television show The Wild Wild West. It is a quote from the Governor of Wisconsin after the courts overturned a statewide order to ‘shelter at home’. I am staying away from the politics here….I try to stay away from politics and religion. What I don’t understand is the hundreds of people packing into bars, all over each other, with no respect to social distancing. I get that the healthcare experts still do not have clear and concise data regarding the spread of Covid-19, but the data we do review clearly shows that social distancing and facial coverings are slowly decreasing the spread of the virus. I am sensitive to all the business owners who need revenue streams to stay in business – but let’s try to do it the right way to slow down the spread and protect our loved ones. It is a lot to ask, but do we really have a choice at this point?
Headline in the new normal: Trucks used to store bodies amid coronavirus can go back to hauling food. Yes, you read that correctly. The Food & Drug Administration gave the go-ahead on Wednesday of last week. A sad testament to the Covid-19 pandemic – and one that does not sit well with anyone.
A woman who opened the door for female sports anchors, Phyllis George had charisma, charm and beauty. The impact she made on Sundays as a host of CBS’ The NFL Today was amazing and I definitely remember my father, brother and I glued to the television set watching her tell us about the day’s NFL games. She was Miss America, the First Lady of Kentucky, and a leader and supporter of women in the workplace. Phyllis George passed away yesterday from a rare blood disorder. She was really something.
I am a fan of the United States National Teams – both the women and men. For what seems like many years, the Women’s National Team (WNT) has been engrossed and consumed with a lawsuit filed against their employer, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). There are a few pieces to the lawsuit, with the most prominent claim “purposeful gender discrimination”. The contention surrounds the WNT claiming that they have been unfairly compensated compared to the Men’s National Team (MNT). I will not go into a diatribe regarding gender discrimination or pay inequality. What I will do is state the following: the women, and their counsel, went through their due diligence and a negotiation within the boundaries of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). I do not have a legal background nor am I the sharpest pencil in the stack, but the women accepted their terms of compensation after the ‘collective bargaining’ process was completed. The women agreed to the terms of the CBA, and I am assuming their counsel provided them guidance and advice to do so. I know there are many women and men who disagree with the claim being thrown out, and if you do, take time to read the actual court ruling. To me, the Women’s National Team contract is exactly what they bargained for. A key excerpt from the ruling:. Judge Klausner noted that representatives for the players rejected a pay-for-play model identical to the men early in those negotiations in 2016. In later negotiations, the players offered a counter proposal with lesser bonuses than the federation’s offer in exchange for more contracted players and higher base salaries — benefits not part of the CBA between U.S. Soccer and the men’s union. Don’t misunderstand me – I have been and will be a huge supporter of the women’s national team. This is a very unfortunate circumstance for our country’s most successful national team. If only our men’s national team had the same pedigree.
Speaking of sports, college football programs, being only mid-May, seem to have a decent runway to make decisions on how to handle their season. A stake was put in the ground last week by the California State University System announcing that their fall semester with again be virtual with no students attending classes on campus. Does this lay the groundwork that sports programs will follow suit? No college football, soccer and all the other Fall sports cancelled? Do other state university systems follow California’s directive? A contrarian view is Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford, who said that his conference is moving ahead and planning for college sports. Opinions please.
Why did it take twenty-five years? How, with the world’s intelligence agencies and capabilities, did Felicien Kabuga escape the grasp of authorities? When people discuss THE holocaust, it usually includes the mandate: “we must never forget” to ensure that it does not happen ever again. I came away from my visit to Dachau and it’s concentration camp with an everlasting memory that I for one, will never forget. So someone please explain the reality of Felicien Kabuga, a Rwandan financier, who in 1994 orchestrated the genocide of 800,000 Rwandans, and why it took so long capture him? When authorities finally found Kabuga yesterday morning, he was not hiding in a cave in the mountains of Afghanistan or the deep throws of the jungles of central Africa. He was found just north of Paris living with his family. How the hell could one of the world’s most wanted fugitives live untouched for 25 years in a suburb of Paris? I am not going down the blame game with the French authorities because if memory serves me right, it took 16 years for American authorities to find and arrest Whitey Bulger, the mob boss who was tied to 19 murders. You can’t compare Whitey Bulger with Felicien Kabuga – their crimes of humanity are heinous but certainly different. It just does not sit well that genocide, as much as we think ‘will never happen again’, has been and still goes on around the world.
The German soccer league (Bundesliga) restarted their league play yesterday. There is no doubt that the world’s sporting authorities, team ownership groups, sponsors, partners, and fans are keeping a close eye on the outcome from this weekend’s games. I took in a few minutes of yesterday’s Dortmund-Schalke match and overall it was quite watchable. Obviously, with no crowd noise, the echoing effect was prevalent but overall the broadcast was well-presented. Let’s hope all sports leagues around the world can have a positive restart from bench-marking the stringent protocols set up by the Bundesliga and the governing body of German soccer.
Adios, pay it forward, be safe, and have a Funday Sunday!