Paolo Uggetti, one of the nation’s most talented young sports journalists, has joined ESPN as a college football writer.
Uggetti has covered the NBA nationally for The Ringer for the past five years, writing features on everything from Devin Booker’s Mexican heritage to players’ mental health in the bubble, to tracking down the KIA that Blake Griffin dunked over in the 2011 dunk contest.
Uggetti also interned with The Wall Street Journal sports department, where he discovered the kinds of stories he loves to write — niche, sometimes quirky, but always human.
“After working on finding compelling stories in the NBA for a few seasons, I’m really looking forward to diving into the unique culture of college football alongside the team at ESPN,” said Uggetti. “The number of story opportunities in a sport that’s going through so much change is exciting, and I can’t wait to get a chance to tell some of those stories.”
ESPN college football deputy editor Ryan Canner-O’Mealy added: “We couldn’t be more excited to add Paolo to our talented team. His eye for interesting stories and history of in-depth reporting will make for a seamless transition into the world of college football.”
Uggetti is proudly from El Salvador but moved to Los Angeles when he was nine years old, falling in love with other sports besides fútbol. Uggetti is fluent in his native Spanish and graduated from USC in 2017. There, he covered the Trojans football team for two seasons and won two LA Press Club awards for stories he wrote for the student-run online publication.
The top 3 international undrafted players playing in the NBA today
Typically, teams in the league would use the Summer League to evaluate drafted or undrafted talent to make roster decisions. With the pandemic, the franchises were not given that opportunity.
Even with the chances to watch those games, some teams strike out on undrafted prospects and allow other teams to swoop in and make a deal. That’s why you never seed betting sites, like BetMGM Indiana, set odds on undrafted players signing with teams. There have been some pretty solid undrafted international prospects in today’s league that have come to the NBA and made a difference in the league. These are currently the top three.
Tacko Fall-Boston Celtics (Honorable-Mention)
Fall enjoyed a four-year college career at the University of Central Florida; however, he didn’t move to the United States from Senegal until he was 16 years old. The 7-foot-6 big man is a recent member of the All-Defensive Team for the G-League after being undrafted in 2019. Fall has only played seven games in his NBA career, but he is still learning.
Joe Ingles – Utah Jazz
When it comes to international awards, the Australian has racked up quite a few. He is a former EuroLeague champion (2014), Israeli League champion (2014), two-time Spanish League champion (2011, 2012), and Catalan League champion (2012). In 2009, he started his trophy case by winning the NBL with the South Dragons.
Today, Ingles is a key contributor for the Utah Jazz, the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Ingles is shooting over 44% from the three-point range and averaging 11.7 points per game. After playing five games with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014, he was shipped to the Jazz, where he has spent his entire career up to now.
Maxi Kleber-Dallas Mavericks
Kleber entered the 2014 NBA draft after spending three seasons playing professional ball in Germany. He went undrafted and then spent the next three seasons playing for German and Spanish Clubs. In 2015 and 2017, he was a German League All-Star, which led to him joining the Dallas Mavericks in 2017.
Kleber’s breakout season came last year, where he averaged 9.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and shot 37.3% from the three-point range. He has gone back and forth starting for the Mavericks this season. This year, he is spotting an impressive 47.5% clip from the three-point range.
Chris Boucher-Toronto Raptors
Boucher hails from Canada and is having a breakout campaign with the Raptors. Boucher has spent the last three seasons with the Raptors after starting his career with the Golden State Warriors in 2017. Currently, he is averaging 13.2 points per game and 6.8 rebounds.
He was a member of the Warriors championship team in 2018 and then won a title as a reserve in 2019 with the Raptors. In 2019, he was the G-League MVP. In what has been an early career, he has accomplished more than some veterans have ever achieved.
LeBron James and L.A. Lakers Help Sell Confederate Merchandise
“Hypocrite” Basketball Star Wears Logo of Retailer Marketing Confederate Flags and Robert E. Lee Lunch Bags
Despite cultivating the reputation of a social justice warrior, basketball star LeBron James and his Los Angeles Lakers teammates have hit the court with the logo of online retailer Wish on their uniforms since 2017. Members of the Project 21 black leadership network criticized James, the Lakers and the NBA for political inconsistency for their relationship of a retailer that sells products honoring the Confederacy.
“I wish LeBron wasn’t a hypocrite, but I guess it’s part of being on the woke left,” said Project 21 member Richard Holt. “But let’s be even more honest here. The NBA, LeBron and all the other social justice warriors are ultimately in it for the money. I don’t think they really care about you and me if there’s a dollar to be made. So, they can keep promoting state’s rights through Wish sales all they want maybe when the South rises again they can make money on the Robert E. Lee baseball hats.”
“We Wish LeBron Was Consistent,” a page on Project 21’s website, features images of only a few of the many Confederate and Southern pride items that can be obtained through Wish, an e-commerce platform designed to make it easier for third-party sellers to reach customers. This includes a wide array of Confederate-themed items including Confederate flag pillows, blankets, kids’ military uniforms, portraits of Confederate generals and even anti-COVID face masks featuring the rebel flag. James and the Lakers wear the Wish logo on their uniforms that the NBA promotes through the league’s own online store as “a call to action, a command for greatness.”
“Wish can sell these things if it wants to, but why have LeBron and the Lakers lent their reputation to help them sell it?” the webpage asks. “Why has the NBA allowed this to happen after claiming to be all-in on social justice?”
The team’s partnership with Wish, and its pride in these uniforms, is particularly perplexing given its loud activism supporting “woke” causes.
“Prior to the start of the 2017-2018 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers signed a three-season deal with Wish. Lakers Chief Operating Officer Tim Harris called Wish ‘a company that shares our commitment to giving back to the community.’ Of course, when that community is the Lakers, and it is getting $12-14 million every season for the label rights, I guess it overlooked some of the products sold by Wish that should be decried by the team’s star player,” said Project 21 member Martin Baker. “Amidst all of the controversy over the Confederate flag, will James now call out his employers who just extended his contract through 2023 over the products that their sponsor sells? Or is he happy just cashing his own checks? Hypocrisy, thy name is the average professional athlete.”
Project 21 suggests people ask James, Lakers management and NBA officials why they did not properly check Wish sellers’ inventories and continue monitoring them before entering into this controversial relationship. A Twitter tool has been put on Project 21’s webpage to facilitate outreach and discussion.
“Let’s face it, LeBron is a publicity hog. We all can figure LeBron hasn’t done any due diligence into the practices of Wish and probably never will,” said Project 21 member Donna Jackson. “LeBron likes to position himself as a social justice warrior, but his primary wishes are really to stay in the news cycle and to generate profits for him and his sponsors. Since his activism has almost single-handedly tanked NBA ratings over the past two years, I’m sure this wish won’t become a reality.”
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.
Founded in 1982, the National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from some 60,000 individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. Sign up for email updates here.
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Moneybagg Yo unveils his new song “Rookie of the Year” via CMG/N-Less/Interscope Records ahead of the release of Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant’s new six-part docuseries, “PROMISELAND.”
The triumphant track will air toward the end of “PROMISELAND,” a new docuseries that provides an inside look into Morant’s unexpected rise from unranked high school basketball prospect to NBA 2019-2020 Rookie of the Year.
The song’s inclusion in the docuseries signals a unique collaboration between the Memphis entertainer and the Memphis-based hooper. Bagg’s new song arrives fresh on the heels of his new studio album, A Gangsta’s Pain, which spent two weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
PROMISELAND is set to premiere as a Crackle Original on the service on June 3. The six-part series, created and directed by Dexton Deboree, founder of Falkon and visionary behind the award-winning feature film, Unbanned: The Legend of AJ1, chronicles Morant’s rapid ascension from an unknown high school prospect and overnight small college standout to the top tier of the NBA. The series is a joint project from the production teams of Deboree’s Falkon Entertainment, DLP Media Group, RTG Features, Interscope Films and Waffle Iron Entertainment, and will be introduced by Crackle at the NewFronts this month.
“Made For More”, featuring NBA All-Star Donovan Mitchell.
“Made For More” is all about hydrating and celebrating a special kind of person – those who are in the pursuit to be better by making the most of every day, embracing their authenticity and making choices that result in better outcomes. As a world-class athlete, Donovan perfectly exemplifies the essence of this campaign.
7-time Grammy Award-winning superstar and Bodyarmor’s first-ever lifestyle equity partner, Carrie Underwood, is also featured within the “Made For More” campaign, which you can watch here! Watch the Made for More SportWater campaign featuring Donovan Mitchell here!
“It’s been exciting to stay involved with Bodyarmor and build upon the relationship I’ve had with them since 2018,” said basketball superstar Donovan Mitchell. “Today, we’re launching our new ‘Made for More’ campaign, showcasing how Bodyarmor SportWater is the ultimate all-day hydration partner for the most active and multi-faceted people out there. The alkaline pH9+ and proprietary electrolyte formula helps fuel my busy days and allows me to be more productive day-in and day-out.”
The best ways to hydrate & the benefits of alkaline water.
We all know that water is foundational to our well-being. Our health and our life depend on it. Yet, an estimated 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, a figure that is exacerbated by the constant consumption of caffeinated beverages, alcohol and diets high in sodium. We’ve all experienced fatigue, irritability, headaches, or a foggy mind from dehydration. So why not pay more attention to how we hydrate? The simple act of drinking refreshing alkaline water, monitoring consumption, and developing better hydration habits can boost energy, support skin and immune health, and so much more. Here’s how you can get started.
What is Alkaline Water?
Alkaline water has a higher pH level, typically 8 or 9, as opposed to regular water which taps out around 7. Water with a higher pH can help balance the acid in your body, support a healthy immune system, keep things moving, and ultimately achieve a more premium state of hydration. For these and many other benefits, alkaline water has been deemed the go-to water option in achieving optimum hydration.
One brand we recommend is, Perfect Hydration (pH) Alkaline Water, which has a pH level of 9.5 and a unique blend of electrolyte minerals, without the sodium and chlorine used by most other water brands. Ultra-purified and ionized, pH’s 9 stage-filtration process also results in an incredibly crisp and refreshing taste, making it easier to consume higher quantities of water at a time.
Who should drink alkaline water?
Short answer – everyone! Alkaline is safe to drink at all ages and stages of life. Over the past year as many people transitioned to work from home due to the pandemic, alkaline water has become a popular choice for consumers looking to support their immune health, particularly those increasingly seeking solutions that can be easily incorporated into their daily routines.
Alkaline water has also been adopted by many top tier athletes – including Julian Edelman (NFL Wide Receiver), Alfonzo McKinnie (NBA Player), Livlo Golding (Fitness Expert), Summer Fenton (Professional Snowboarder) and Sierra Blair Coyle (Professional Rock Climber) – who have all partnered with Perfect Hydration to keep their bodies in a peak, hydrated state for ultimate performance. Any athlete knows that water consumption to replace sweat loss is essential in thermoregulation and preventing cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and more.
In the hot, summer months, hydration becomes even more important. Avoiding products with high sugar and sodium levels is key among health-minded individuals who are swapping complicated, sugar-dense beverages with functional beverages that serve the body.
What Alkaline Water Can Do For You
Beyond hydration and immunity, alkaline water is believed to have properties that aid in:
detoxifying the body
reducing bone loss
reducing headaches and inflammation
improving metabolism and digestion
In attempting to keep the body in an optimum state of hydration, consuming adequate quantities water is key. Recommended daily intake of water ranges from about 11-16 cups or 88-128 oz. But the average intake among Americans is about 3.9 cups per day, indicating that small sips from a glass throughout the day just isn’t enough. Keeping a liter or more on hand at all times allows you to track the amount of water you are consuming to ensure your hydration goals are met.
Perfect Hydration recently launched a 1.5 liter bottle and one-gallon bottle at select Ralph’s stores in southern California and CVS stores across the US. These new sizes are flying off the shelves as consumers call for function, value and convenience in every water product they purchase.
The alkaline water industry is catching on to consumer’s desire for packaging beyond plastic, pushing beverage leaders to think about their sustainability practices. This year, Perfect Hydration is launching their premium, enhanced water in 16.9 oz. recyclable aluminum cans to meet the growing demand for functionality, hydration, and sustainability. They are also converting their 1-liter, 1.5-liter and 1-gallon bottles to post-consumer recycled plastic (rPET) as a part of their commitment to serve the wellness of consumers and the health of the planet.
Unlike other brands that mine water sheds and mineral springs, pH uses US-based renewable water sources. They don’t have to ship water to or from remote locations across the globe, which means lower carbon emissions as a result of less freight. In addition, Perfect Hydration’s current bottles are made of BPA-free, 100% recyclable PET-1, which is the most commonly recycled plastic on the planet.
Perfect Hydration is also an Official Supporter of the American Red Cross, offering $250k in donations that benefit disaster relief and blood services programs.
Their model proves proper hydration can be achieved in tandem with eco-conscious and community-based efforts.
A Bright Future
It may not surprise you that global sales and consumption of alkaline water continues to steadily rise, with sales growth consistent at more than 40% per year since 2013, according to a report by Zenith Global. Its benefits are wide reaching, and the crisp taste has consumers coming back for more.
NFL Highest Average Franchise Value Among North American Sports Leagues – Over $3B in 2020
The North American sports industry is one of the most lucrative industries in the world. Since 2010 the average franchise value of the four major North American sports leagues has risen at a dramatic rate. Iconic franchises such as the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys, just to name a few, are now worth billions of dollars.
According to data presented by Safe Betting Sites, the NFL had the highest average franchise value among the major North American sports leagues while the NBA had the highest CAGR from 2010-2020.
NFL Average Franchise Value Over $3B in 2020; NHL Only League to Experience A Decline
In 2020 the average value of NFL franchises stood at $3.045B – the highest average franchise value among the four major North American sports leagues. This figure was a 6.5%YoY increase from 2019’s value of $2.86B. The NBA had the second-largest average franchise value after leapfrogging MLB in 2019.
The average value of an NBA franchise stood at $2.123B in 2020, a 13.65% YoY increase from 2019 – the highest rate of increase among the four leagues. The NHL was the only North American sports league that experienced a decline in its average franchise value for 2020. The average value of an NHL team in 2020 stood at $653M, 2.1% less than 2019’s average value of $667M.
NBA Had Highest CAGR from 2010-2020 – 19.19%
North American sports leagues enjoyed significant growth in the last decade. In 2014 the average franchise value of the NFL, NBA and MLB had all crossed the $1B mark while the NHL crossed the $500M mark for the first time. In the period from 2010-2020, it was the NBA that experienced the highest growth among North America’s sports leagues.
In 2010 the average franchise value of the NBA stood at only $367M. Since then, this value has experienced an impressive 10-Year CAGR of 19.19% – the highest CAGR among the leagues. MLB registered the second largest CAGR of 14.2% while both the NFL and NHL had a CAGR of just over 11%.
Dallas Cowboys, NY Knicks, NY Yankees and NY Rangers Most Valuable Franchises Per League
The Dallas Cowboys of the NFL is the most valuable North American sports franchise with an estimated value of $5.5B in 2020. New York solidified its place as North America’s most lucrative sports market with the three other most valuable teams in their respective leagues calling it home. The Yankees, Knicks and Rangers were worth $5.25B, $5B, and $1.65B respectively in 2020.
Nike has filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit against MSCHF shoes that released a controversial customized version of its sneakers “Satan Shoes” with rapper Lil Nas X. In the lawsuit filed today, Nike accused MSCHF Product Studio, Inc. of trademark infringement over the designer’s 666 pairs of modified Nike sneakers made in collaboration with the “Old Town Road” singer. All 666 pairs sold out Monday.
Fara Sunderji is a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney in its New York office. Sunderji has extensive expertise in all stages of trademark, copyright, clearance, prosecution, maintenance, enforcement, and litigation. Of the lawsuit she says,
“Nike’s swoosh is probably one of the most recognizable non-word trademarks in the world. You see it and you automatically think of Nike as the source of the good on which it appears. This is how trademarks are supposed to operate, as a source identified. Nike’s case here is pretty simple to understand: MSCHF is selling Nike Air Max 97’s that have been modified in a way in which Nike does not approve. People see these “Satan Shoes” and think they come from Nike and some people don’t like that. Nike, therefore, claims that the release of these “Santa Shoes” is harming its valuable brand,” Sunderji says.
“MSCHF will likely argue that they are protected under a theory called the First Sale Doctrine, which allows third parties to resell trademarked goods that have already entered the marketplace. But the doctrine is limited to the sale of genuine goods. The doctrine is based on the premise that consumers are not being deceived because they are receiving what they have bargained for, the trademarked good. Under Second Circuit case law, goods are not genuine if they do not conform to the brand owner’s quality control standards, and it is easy to guess Nike’s take on this issue – Just don’t do it,” Sunderji says.
According to NBC News, the lawsuit states “We don’t have any further details to share on pending legal matters,” Nike said. “However, we can tell you we do not have a relationship with Lil Nas X or MSCHF.”
Trademark attorney Josh Gerben of Gerben Perrott PLLC stated to CNN Business that “It’s a legal rationale that grants artists who purchase and repurpose individual copyrighted products the ability to express and profit off their own creativity.”. He also pointed out Nike shoe redesigners like MSCHF commonly sell their work on online marketplaces. “You’ve got all kinds of artists that go out there and they take a shoe, and they’ll do a whole bunch of custom art on the shoe and maybe resell it for $1,000-3,000,” Gerben said. “This is something Nike is well aware of and has done absolutely nothing to mess with because there’s a sneaker culture here.”
Lil Nas X isn’t named as a party in the lawsuit. Representatives for the musician did not respond to calls or emails requesting comment.
The backlash from social media is incredible with thousands of people expressing their opinions with the shoes and the representation they bring:
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem tweeted “Our kids are being told that this kind of product, is not only okay, it’s “exclusive.” But do you know what’s more exclusive? Their God-given eternal soul. We are in a fight for the soul of our nation. We need to fight hard. And we need to fight smart. We have to win.”.
NBA star Nick Young tweeted “My kids will never play Old Town Road again… I’m still debating about wearing Nike after this come Nike a drop of blood for real”.
On Instagram, celebrity musician Miley Cyrus shares a photo proudly wearing the controversial sneakers, captioning the post “Can you see Satan?”.
The controversial ‘Satan Shoes’ were strategically dropped after the release of Lil Nas X’s music video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”, which has already been viewed more than 54 million times.
Lil Nas X took to Twitter in his true fashion posting “I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the shit y’all preached would happen to me because I was gay. So I hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.”
On Fifth Anniversary of HB 2 ‘Bathroom Bill’ Passage, North Carolina Introduces Anti-Trans Sports Ban.
North Carolina puts forward another anti-transgender bill, again invoking the rhetoric of protecting women and girls from transgender people.
Late Monday, the North Carolina House introduced House Bill 358, an anti-transgender bill that would ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports (including college sports) consistent with their gender identity. The timing of this bill introduction could not have been more ironic, as it came on the eve of the fifth anniversary of Governor Pat McCrory signing the now-notorious House Bill 2, which mandated discrimination against transgender people in bathrooms.
Like HB2, the “Save Women’s Sports” bills rely on false narratives based in fear, rather than facts or science. Like HB2, these sports bans are fear mongering and an attempt to score political points by singling out already marginalized people for additional discrimination.
“In a moment of sad irony, North Carolina legislators have shown they clearly did not learn their lesson from the HB 2 ‘Bathroom Bill’ fight that threatened the state to the tune of billions in revenue, taxpayer-funded litigation, and a tarnished reputation–in addition to the personal reputational harm Gov. Pat McCrory suffered that cost him his job,” said Human Rights Campaign State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Kate Oakley. “By introducing an anti-transgender sports ban bill, they are playing with fire once again, and engaging in a fight that is doomed to the same fate. This legislation is simply the latest iteration in a failed series of attempts to thwart equality for LGBTQ people. Two conservative governors have either threatened to veto or vetoed anti-transgender sports ban legislation out of the same fears that were realized in North Carolina five years ago. Let North Carolina’s ‘bathroom bill’ fight be a lesson to all states and governors considering anti-transgender legislation this session. North Carolina does not want to go down this road again.”
The legislative fight to pass discriminatory anti-transgender legislation has been fast and furious, led by national groups aiming to stymie LGBTQ progress made on the national level and in many states – quite like the bathroom bill push in 2016. There are 174 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country so far this year. Of those, 95 directly target transgender people and about half of those would, like HB 358, ban transgender girls from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity. As was the case in the HB 2 fight, legislators across the country invoke hypothetical scenarios of harm but have failed to provide actual examples of issues in their states to attempt to justify these attacks, laying bare the reality that these are attacks on transgender youth that are fueled by discrimination and not supported by fact. Collegiate and professional sports organizations have had trans-inclusive policies for years without incident, and there is no reason North Carolina or any other state needs a ban on transgender participation in sports.
Wide range of business and advocacy groups, athletes oppose anti-trans legislation
Earlier this month, more than 55 major U.S. corporations stood up and spoke out to oppose anti-transgender legislation being proposed in states across the country. New companies like Facebook, Pfizer, Altria, Peloton, and Dell joined companies like Amazon, American Airlines, Apple, AT&T, AirBnB, Google, Hilton, IBM, IKEA, Microsoft, Nike, Paypal, Uber, and Verizon in objecting to these bills.
The nation’s leading child health and welfare groups-representing more than 7 million youth-serving professionals and more than 1,000 child welfare organizations-released an open letter calling for lawmakers in states across the country to oppose dozens of bills that target LGBTQ people, and transgender children in particular.
States that pass anti-transgender legislation suffer economic, legal, reputational harm
Analyses conducted in the aftermath of previous divisive anti-transgender bills across the country, like the bathroom bills introduced in Texas and North Carolina and an anti-transgender sports ban in Idaho, show that there would be or has been devastating fallout.
The Idaho anti-transgender sports bill that passedwas swiftly suspended by a federal district court. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) came out against the Idaho bill and others like it and subsequently moved planned tournament games out of Idaho.
During a fight over an anti-transgender bathroom bill in 2017, theTexas Association of Business estimated $8.5 billion in economic losses, risking 185,000 jobs in the process due to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and professional sporting event cancellations, a ban on taxpayer funded travel to those states, cancellation of movie productions, and businesses moving projects out of state.
The economy and reputation of North Carolina suffered very real harm caused by HB2. Here’s just a snapshot of the overwhelming outcry at the time of the bill’s passage:
Over 200 major business leaders, from Apple to Zola, signed an open letter to NC Gov. Pat McCrory opposing HB2, because discrimination is bad for business. The letter was first announced on March 29, 2016, when it was hand-delivered to Pat McCrory by HRC President Chad Griffin, Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro and transgender advocate Candis Cox.
On April 5, 2016, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman announced that the company will seek an alternative location for its new “global operations center.” PayPal’s investment was expected to bring 400 skilled jobs to North Carolina, with an annual payroll impact of more than $20 million. In its statement, Schulman said, “The new law perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture.”
On April 8, 2016 Bruce Springsteen cancelled his concert in North Carolina over HB2, saying, “Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry-which is happening as I write-is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”
On May 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice determined North Carolina’s discriminatory HB 2 violates federal civil rights law, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. At a press conference on May 9, Attorney General Loretta Lynch spoke directly to the transgender community, saying “We see you. We stand with you, and we will do everything we can to protect you going forward.”
On July 21, 2016, the NBA decided to stand up to North Carolina lawmakers who refused to repeal HB2 by pulling its 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, NC. Despite the NBA’s repeated warnings that it would have to consider moving the high-profile game out of the state if the anti-LGBTQ law was not repealed, the state’s General Assembly shamefully adjourned after 100 days of inaction.
In North Carolina, basketball is king-but that didn’t stop the NCAA from standing up for their LGBTQ players, employees and fans by vowing to move tournament events from the state because of HB2. The NCAA announced that they would move all 2016-2017 championship games out of the state on September 12, 2016.
On Election Day, NC Governor Pat McCrory, who signed HB2 into law, was defeated at the ballot box — the only incumbent governor from either party to lose on Election Day. Polling by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research showed that HB2 was the most cited issue leading to McCrory’s defeat in those who voted against McCrory.
In February, the North Carolina Sports Association sent a letter to lawmakers warning of a loss of NCAA championship games through 2022 if HB2 is not immediately repealed. In the letter, the sports association warned that the NCAA decision could cost the state at least another half a billion dollars in economic activity when other sports organizations follow the NCAA’s lead in moving events out of the state. In November 2016, Forbes estimated that the state had already lost hundreds of millions of dollars due to HB2.
In March, the Greensboro Coliseum Complex revealed it had lost $23.5 million in revenue from various championships and conventions because of HB2.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organizations working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
With more and more of the world spending time at home, the interest in leisure activities has shifted. Over the past year or so, many are looking for ways to relax without spending a fortune. With trips to casinos often on hold and card nights amongst friends canceled, those who have fun gambling are often at a loss.
However, activities such as sports betting are available online and easy for anyone to get started. For those who don’t know how sports betting online works, it can feel like a scam. Worse yet, it can be a self-destructive hobby. In reality, it’s neither. Sports betting doesn’t require a large financial investment or blind faith in a website. In fact, many reputable sports betting sites will give you a hand getting started.
Is Online Sports Betting Illegal?
Absolutely not. While many forms of gambling, including online poker and blackjack, are now illegal in some countries, online sports betting is perfectly legitimate. There are, of course, strict rules and regulations that keep the industry in check. However, these rules and regulations are for the benefit of those placing bets. The crackdown on internet gambling that began a few years ago made sure that those sports betting sites that operate today are trustworthy and honest.
You can win real money with online sports betting, but most players deal in small amounts. The thrill of winning is not necessarily in the form of a briefcase full of cash but the fun of rooting for your favorite teams and players.
How Do I Get Started?
If you’ve placed money on a game before, you’re likely somewhat familiar with sports betting. The goal is to maximize the opportunities to win, plain and simple. However, each website has its own way of handling transactions and making bets. Before you begin playing, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations.
Read the fine print carefully to find out how long it takes for winnings to hit your account, when you can cash out, and how many transactions you can place in any given period. Fans of sports betting online tend to enjoy the convenience of logging in and seeing all activity in one place. That way, betting and money management are simpler.
What Is a “No-Deposit” Bonus?
It may sound too good to be true, but sometimes there’s such a thing as free money! Most large online sports betting establishments attract customers by offering a no-deposit bonus. This means you’ll be given a certain amount of money just for signing up and completing registration, a perk of many gaming and gambling sites.
However, in sports betting, it’s not just applicable to your first deposit. You have the option to only bet using the money given to you as a bonus. It’s typically a small amount, from $5 to $15. If you win, you’ll win real money as with any other kind of bet. If you lose, you’ve only lost free bonus money. Many websites even return this in some form. It’s a wonderful way to ease into a new hobby or check out a new website.
How Do I Know if This Is for Me?
The benefit of the no-deposit bonus is that, win or lose, you have a sense of how online sports betting works and the culture of a particular website. Many will also offer chat rooms, forums, and interactive tools that connect players. Any new hobby tends to be fun when shared with like-minded individuals, and it’s not necessary to study sports and stats to enjoy betting.
If you end up not enjoying a particular site or sports betting doesn’t hold your interest, there’s nothing lost. With a responsible and knowledgeable attitude, though, many find fun and success. The past year has been one of exploring new interests from the comfort of home for many people. Why not give it a try?
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