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Get Up! Debates Realities Of NBA Players Threatening Not To Play

“Remember, players have until June 24 to decide whether or not they will participate in the restart.”

Ricky Keeler

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As the NBA unveiled their health and safety protocol handbook on Tuesday, one of the major storylines around the league is whether or not some players are going to return to the league due to wanting to keep awareness of the social injustice in this country. 

A group of players led by Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets and Avery Bradley of the Los Angeles Lakers have met and discussed changes they want to see happen in the NBA that are important to them. Here is what Bradley had to say to ESPN

“I agree (the) Orlando (restart) will give the players checks to contribute back into their communities,” Bradley said. “But how much of that bubble check are players actually able to contribute? Why (is) all of the responsibility being put on the players?”

There was an interesting segment on Get Up on Wednesday with Stephen A. Smith, former NBA player Matt Barnes, and ESPN analyst and former Vice President of the NFL Players Association Executive Committee and Chief Operating Officer of the NBAPA Dominique Foxworth about the NBA restart and the group thinking about sitting out games due to raising awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement. Remember, players have until June 24 to decide whether or not they will participate in the restart. Barnes mentioned that he has spoke to players that are close to the movement.

“In regard to the Black Lives Matter movement, the players have to understand the moment… We have to be able to seize the moment. I am not against players sitting out, but I am against players sitting out without a plan…just to sit out without a plan is counterproductive,” said Barnes. 

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime situation if we think back about it. When did the world shut down? When the NBA stopped playing. I think everyone is looking to the NBA to set the tone again and I think this would be a tremendous mistake If players don’t play and then pass this on to football and baseball. Although those sports have players that feel like we feel, they don’t really have the platform and the voices like we do,” added Barnes. 

Smith voiced his frustration with Irving, saying if there is no action, it makes sitting out counterproductive.

“I can disagree with Kyrie Irving simply expressing himself without a plan. I applaud what he’s doing in terms of where his heart lies. If it doesn’t come with productivity moving forward, then what have you accomplished? This is not just a moment to me, this is a time, this is our time. It is an opportunity to take the bull by the horn and make it happen.”

Dominique Foxworth added another opinion towards the end of the conversation about why players might think that sitting out might be the way to go to keep the conversations going. 

“You have to be ready to hold out. I think it is admirable,” Foxworth said. “I don’t agree with Kyrie as the messenger, but I think it is admirable what they are doing in this moment no matter the timing. What they are doing is using the leverage they have because as soon as they show up, the leverage is gone.” 

In addition, he mentioned how playing games does create a way for some people to avoid any uncomfortable conversations about what is happening in America right now.

“This is about making white people uncomfortable, making them face the uncomfortable reality… They say sports is their refuge. We don’t have a refuge as black people…. ESPN, the past several weeks, we have done social stuff just as much as we have done other sports. As soon as they start playing basketball games, we are going to pay lip service to whatever kneeling or shirts that people are wearing…We can’t deny that it does afford some place to exit the conversation.” 

Smith and Barnes talked about how a plan is needed in order to raise awareness and Foxworth voiced the frustration that some people are probably feeling right now. It was a debate on Get Up that showed both sides of the story as the dialogue in this country continues. 

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The NFL Still Considering Multiple Offers For Sunday Ticket

The NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has not bid for the package but has stated it is willing to partner with the new rightsholder for a potential deal.

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Sunday Ticket Negotiations

DirecTV currently has the rights to Sunday Ticket. That deal expires at the end of this upcoming football season. The NFL is expected to make a boatload of cash when they decide which media organization gets the next rights to the package. The only question is… who will that be?

Alex Sherman of CNBC reports that the NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has decided not bid for the package. However, they are interested in partnering with the new rightsholder for a potential deal. DirecTV knows that Sunday Ticket is a staple in bars and restaurants and is interested in maintaining those relationships.

Outside of the bar/restaurant industry, success has been limited for the satellite provider with the football package. Fewer than two million subscribers signed up for Sunday Ticket each year which made the package a money-loser for the satellite TV provider.

According to the report, the NFL wants more than $2 billion for the rights and a stake in NFL Media, which is being packaged with Sunday Ticket. Also on the table is the NFL’s mobile rights. The league’s previous mobile agreement with Verizon has ended.

An interesting piece of the negotiations is Sunday Ticket price. According to the report, a buyer would have limited flexibility on pricing. The NFL signed contracts with CBS and Fox and within the framework of those deals, language mandates Sunday Ticket have a premium price. That’s to prevent loss of viewers from the networks that feature local market Sunday afternoon games. So essentially, the price is the price for the consumer.

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F1 Renews With ESPN For U.S. Media Rights

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

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F1 ESPN

The racing series F1 has decided to stick with ESPN through 2025.

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

The reported value of the three-year contract is set to pay F1 $75-90M per year for the U.S. media rights. Amazon had offered to pay roughly $100M per year, with the right to sublicense to a linear broadcast network. Comcast’s offer was similar to ESPN’s in terms of value and the structure. They also wanted to put select races on it’s streaming service, Peacock.

Netflix was in on the negotiations, as well. The makers of Drive to Survive, the streaming series that many credit with the sport’s explosion in popularity in recent years, wasn’t close on on their financial offer. Also, it seems F1 executives were not ready to put all of its races on a streaming service just yet.

Currently, F1 receives $5M per year for ESPN to broadcast it’s races. ESPN has grabbed about 1.0 million viewers per race. That makes F1 a more than viable option for the network to invest into again. ESPN will be able to put a small number of races on its ESPN+ streaming service exclusively. The vast majority being on ABC or ESPN.

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Skip Bayless Says He And Stephen A. Smith ‘Sorted Out’ Their Disagreement

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

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Skip Bayless

Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless were locked in a war of words last week following the First Take host’s appearance on JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.

The origins of their partnership were discussed and Bayless admitted he did not like the way Smith characterized the state of First Take before he arrived on set. Smith insisted that Bayless simply misunderstood what he meant by saying that he was told the show needed him.

Over the weekend, Skip Bayless says he and Stephen A. Smith got together at the Bayless home in California to talk things out in private.

“He was in LA, he came over, we sat by the pool,” he said on the latest episode of The Skip Bayless Show. “It wasn’t the easiest conversation for a while, but we slowly but surely sorted it out. We got through it, and we have been through so much together.”

Bayless reiterated that he considers Smith a brother. They love each other. That doesn’t mean they are always going to remember events the same way or see eye-to-eye all the time.

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

Fighting doesn’t mean the relationship is fractured. In fact, Skip Bayless was adamant that he remains closer to Smith than he is to most people in his life.

“I don’t trust easily because of the way I was raised, but I do trust Stephen Anthony Smith. Trust him with my life. Always have and always will. I trust he will always be there for me, and you better believe I will always be there for him.”

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