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Weekend FTB: Sports and media in the changing world

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A lot happened yesterday for a Friday in summer, catch up here.

Burnaby Winter Club Skating Rink Re-Opens
Cameron Johnson puts on his skates in a socially distant stall in a parking lot before skating at the Burnaby Winter Club skating rinks May 7, 2020.
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Sports Business News

There isn’t going to be good news for sports as a business for a long time. Teams, particularly minor-league teams, are struggling, and one WHL team has already gone bankrupt. In that case the owner was in the oil business and suddenly wasn’t this endless pot of money like Scrooge McDuck any longer.

Sports media is no different, and is carrying the double whammy of nothing to cover and parent companies struggling just to pay for their news division. Even sports media that isn’t welded onto a news division is hurting:

List to date:

There are several NHL writers on this list, some like Joe Yerdon, who cover teams out of the playoffs, some who cover teams who are in.

Several SBNation writers accepted buyouts as well.

Sports Media and Society

People are speaking up to tell you what it’s like to cover sports while Black.

Or how reporting can be affected, even unconsciously, by race:

Direct Action

EA Sports was pushed into acting to improve the experience of players of their games. Edging closer, one baby step at a time, to providing equality of experience.

Sports Organizations

Hockey Canada is establishing an equity, diversity and inclusion task team that will develop an incident-tracking system that will allow it to begin tracking reported incidents of racism, bullying and harassment, the organization said in a statement to TSN.

The national governing body for grassroots hockey in Canada said it would also establish a new requirement in its registration database to help identify racialized participation in Hockey Canada programs, which may begin in the 2021-22 season.

Joel Ward had thoughts on this:

Hockey in Society posted this academic, yet accessible paper yesterday:

And their call for action from Hockey Canada is extensive and includes:

3. CONSISTENCY OF ENFORCEMENT

a. We call upon Hockey Canada to institute a “duty to report” policy with relation to all incidents of suspected racism in the sport.

b. We call upon Hockey Canada to track all such incidents over time, to establish objectives with regards to the elimination of such incidents, and to develop metrics for assessing the success of anti-racism initiatives.

c. We call upon Hockey Canada to develop a “zero tolerance” policy with relation to racism in the sport and to institute clear protocols for dealing with racist incidents that will be considered required knowledge for all coaches, administrators, and officials.

6. DATA COLLECTION

a. We call upon Hockey Canada to implement a system to collect ongoing information on the participation of racialized groups in hockey in order to monitor demographic changes and trends.

Also included are a lot of other things that fall under the heading of why aren’t they doing that already? Joel Ward is right, this data is meaningless if it isn’t public.

And, in MLSE news:

Phase 2

If you missed the news earlier, NHL teams are allowed to start Phase 2 on Monday morning.

So far, it’s not known how many of the 24 teams returning to play will not participate in Phase 2 immediately, but some don’t have enough players on hand to do it.

Other News

GIBBONS: Split between Senators and Sens foundation boils down to money | Ottawa Sun
Surely, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has now secured the undisputed title of Most Unpopular Professional Sports Owner Ever Anywhere now that even his team’s charitable foundation has quit on him in utter frustration.

Nationally Renowned Commentator Chris Cuthbert Joins Sportsnet’s NHL Broadcast Team | Sportsnet Media Centre
One of the best in the business is coming on board as Sportsnet welcomes award-winning broadcaster – and one of the country’s most recognizable hockey voices – Chris Cuthbert to the Sportsnet family.


And that sets you up for the weekend. Have a good one everyone, remember to wash your hands and keep up the distancing.