How the former hoops star went from NBA outcast to international trailblazer.
The Cleveland Indians will be making a big change.
After 105 years, the Ohio-based baseball team is changing its name, which has been criticized for being racist, the team confirmed in a statement provided to PEOPLE.
“In our statement in June 2020, we acknowledged the importance of taking a leadership role in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts across the community and enhancing our support for underserved and under-represented groups,” the statement said. “As part of that commitment, we heard from individuals and groups who shared a variety of views and opinions on the issue. We are deeply grateful for the interest and engagement from Native American communities, civic leaders, leading researchers, fans, corporate partners, players, and internal teammates devoted to these formal and informal conversations.”
The statement said, “After reflecting upon those discussions, we believe our organization is at its best when we can unify our community and bring people together – and we believe a new name will allow us to do this more fully.”
The team said the change will be a multi-phase process, and that “future decisions, including new name identification and brand development, are complex and will take time. While we work to identify a new and enduring franchise name, we will continue using the Indians name.”
The name change comes after the Cleveland team removed the Chief Wahoo logo from game jerseys and caps two years ago. The league said that the logo, which features a smiling Native American, is not appropriate for field use.
“Major League Baseball is committed to building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement at the time. “Over the past year, we encouraged dialogue with the Indians organization about the club’s use of the Chief Wahoo logo. During our constructive conversations, [Indians owner] Paul Dolan made clear that there are fans who have a long-standing attachment to the logo and its place in the history of the team.
“Nonetheless, the club ultimately agreed with my position that the logo is no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball, and I appreciate Mr. Dolan’s acknowledgment that removing it from the on-field uniform by the start of the 2019 season is the right course,” Manfred added.
Earlier this year, the Cleveland baseball team announced that they would look into the changing of the name, hours after the NFL’s Washington Football Team announced a similar move in July. Similar to the Washington team, Cleveland has faced pressure for years to change its name.
“We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and embrace our responsibility to advance social justice and equality,” a statement from the MLB team said on Twitter at the time. “Our organization fully recognizes our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community.”
Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo is having an outstanding 2020 season and looks to be on track to make his first Pro Bowl.
Thus far, Koo has converted on 96 percent of his kicks, making 24 out of 25 field goals. He’s a perfect 5-for-5 on his attempts from 50 yards or more, trailing only Jason Sanders of the Jets.
Koo joined the Falcons in 2019 after the team parted ways with long-time veteran, Matt Bryant. Koo went 23-for-26 the rest of the way and made it a point in the offseason to become more consistent with his kicks.
That hard work looks to be paying off for Koo, as for the 26-year-old leads all NFC kickers in Pro Bowl voting.
Source: The Falcons Wire
Charlotte Hornets fans have loved the teal pinstripes since 1988. The team listened and learned.
Next season’s primary uniforms will be white jerseys with teal pinstripes and teal jerseys with white pinstripes, the Hornets announced Monday. They won’t quite be direct replicas of Alexander Julian’s iconic design, but they’re close.
The new look will be available to fans for retail purchase Oct. 1.
When the Bobcats re-branded to the Hornets’ name and look in the spring of 2014, they adopted the original teal and purple color scheme. However, the uniforms were dissimilar to Julian’s pinstripe-and-pleats look, which so contributed to the expansion team’s popularity in the early 1990s. They were teal as the dominant color, but had broader stripes down the side of jerseys.
The Hornets wore replicas of the original uniforms for a handful of games each of the past three seasons, and again that uniform was wildly popular. So, this new design owes heavily to that look.
“We really had our ear to the ground listening to our fans’ comments, many of which through social media,” said Seth Bennett, Hornets senior vice president for consumer engagement. “As we were unveiling some of the uniforms, we kind of paid attention to the feedback and comments we were getting. And some of the polls that we used, to see the popularity of various uniforms.
“We definitely used that to inform the process.”
Under NBA rules, Bennett said, the Hornets couldn’t change the look of their primary uniforms for at least five years.
The Hornets will wear the new pinstripe uniforms most games next season. There will be two other uniforms available: Purple ones with “CHA” stenciled across the chest and an updated version of the “city edition,” to be unveiled later. Most recently, that “city edition” was a gray uniform with “CHA” across the chest.
The rebrand to Hornets has been a success: Bennett said the Hornets have been in the top half of the NBA in merchandise sales consistently since the switch from Bobcats to Hornets
The original classic uniforms, worn by the likes of Larry Johnson, Dell Curry and Muggsy Bogues, will now only be available for celebrating anniversaries. Bennett said, “it will be a few seasons before you see those classic jerseys again.”
Source: The Charlotte Observer
The Brooklyn Nets, led by owners Joe and Clara Wu Tsai, are pledging $50 million over 10 years to establish and support they hope will lead to economic mobility in the Black community.
The couple will lead a “five-point plan,” which will include continued support for its players pushing for social and economic equality and address wage gaps in communities of color, starting in Brooklyn. The plan will also address diversity within the Nets organization and the National Basketball Association league office.
“After George Floyd’s death, we felt like we needed to take a firm stand on racial injustice,” Clara Wu Tsai said in an interview with CNBC on Monday. “I wanted to state our beliefs on this issue — that racism is pervasive and needs to be addressed, and I wanted to lay out core principles that clarified our purpose as an organization.”
Forever remembered as one of the most iconic basketball movies, Space Jam a film widely known for its unification of the great Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes, is set to release a sequel next Summer starring none other than LA Lakers’ superstar LeBron James. Distracting hoops fans from all things related to the bubble playoffs for a brief moment, the King is shifting our attention towards one of his most anticipated on-screen initiatives for the upcoming Space Jam: A New Legacy film. Although the motion picture isn’t expected to hit theaters (or possible streaming services if COVID-19 is still around), it’s already teasing what appear to be the modernized Tune Squad uniforms.
Source: Sneaker News
“I’m simply creating this GoFundMe as my commitment to my previous tweets. As of now 2625.8 BTC (bitcoin) is roughly equivalent to $24,632,630 USD (U.S. dollars). If we hit the target then I will allow the fan base to determine my next team decision and sign a one year contract at that destination. If we do not hit the target goal then I will be donating 100% of this campaign to charity. Fan engagement comes in all shapes and sizes, lets have fun folks!”
Source: USA Today
After being listed as out of stock for much of Monday, the NBAStore.com on Monday evening was selling purple-and-gold Bryant jerseys for $300. By comparison, LeBron James jerseys were selling for $110 and Shaquille O’Neal were selling fro $130.
Source: CBS News