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What’s Next For The World Of Sports – The Top Three Predictions For 2020

  

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 From ranging political issues to discovering new athletes, the world of sports moves fast. As we welcome a new decade and draw another one to a close, a lot of things have transpired in between. 

In fact, looking back in 2009 there were a lot of star athletes we are to discover.  From the newbie Colin Kaepernick, who was just a promising prospect at the University of Nevada. Within three years, Kaepernick had already made a name for himself in the Superbowl. Then, three years after, who would have thought that he had lefts sports altogether.

In 2009, the name Mike Trout is relatively unheard of. In a span of ten years, his career skyrocketed to becoming the three-time American League “Most Valuable” player. The “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo was just 15 and it would take him a few more years to play in the NBA court. Then, there’s our forever complicated relationship with the rise and fall of Tiger Woods. 

 

So what will the next decade bring for the sports industry? In a recent blog post for the New Yorker, Will Leitch, editor of a sports blog Deadspin, has put together the top three bold sports predictions for the next decade. With so many changes in the past year who knows what to expect? 

 

The Reemergence Of Labor Issues

Sports associations such as the Major League, the NFL, and the NBA are expecting the looming threats of labor issues, as owners are frantically sealing collective bargaining agreements to avoid any possibility of a work stoppage. 

 

Although there has not been a canceled season since 2004, Leitch believes that everyone is preparing for the next three to four years. “[Major sports organizations] are all fortifying themselves for a labor apocalypse in the next three to four years, with owners locking up hard-line stances on their collective-bargaining agreements and players already stowing away game checks for a presumed labor nuclear winter.

Finding The Next Medium 

With amped-up music and endless time-out session, no wonder ticket sales only made up a minimal 15.95% of all NFL revenue. As the sales dipped within each following year, the sports league makes the most out of its revenue through licensing and television deals. 

 

This is why they are more likely to favor in television and video streaming as the new medium, rather than focusing on live gameplay experience. With new tech and better soundstage, it might pass in for a better viewing experience. 

 

Women Can Lead 

Since the inception of sports leagues, a female head coach over a men’s sports team is virtually unheard of. However, with rising issues such as labor and gender equality in the industry, this might not be too far from reality. 

In fact, Spur’s Becky Hammon who had worked alongside Gregg Popovich has been a constant candidate.  Women are also becoming more welcome in leading major league teams as the NBA currently has 11 full-time assistant coach and the NFL has 10. Not to mention that the Yankees have a hitting instructor who is also a woman. 

 

With all the major changes in the sports league, we are safe to assume that the next decade will surely bring in a roster of twists and turns. While this might just be a prediction, “trying to guess what sort of major sports events will happen over the next decade is a fool’s errand. But we are those fools, and this is our kind of errand” Leitch humorously wrote. 


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COVID-19 Study: Screen Recovering Athletes Heart for Inflammation before Allowing Them to Play

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Recent research asserts that doctors need to make sure that athletes who previously contracted COVID-19 are cleared from any kind of heart inflammation before they are allowed to play. This suggested protocol, the athletes COVID-19 study says, helps ensure the safety of the athletes as they get back to doing strenuous physical activities.

New Athletes COVID-19 Study Detects Myocarditis

Done by researchers of Ohio State University, the new study discovered that conducted 4 cardiac MRIs (magnetic resonance images) among 26 of the university’s roster of athletes recovering from the said coronavirus disease showed myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart causing its reduced ability to pump blood effectively.

In a letter published in the JAMA Cardiology journal, the said researchers stressed the importance of ensuring athletes heart health before providing them the permission to return to their games.   “Our objective was to investigate the use of cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging in competitive athletes recovered from COVID-19 to detect myocardial inflammation that would identify high-risk athletes for return to competitive play,” they assert.

MRI tests were done on the athletes at the university’s sports medicine clinic after discovering that they tested positive for COVID-19 between June and August. The said athletes specialized in various sports including basketball, football, lacrosse, soccer, and track. All of them did not display severe symptoms that necessitated hospitalization.

Examined Athletes Have Myocarditis

While more than half of them were asymptomatic, exhibiting no visible symptoms of the coronavirus disease, 12 of them mentioned that they experienced mild symptoms such as shortness of breath, sore throat, and fever. Cardiac MRI was done on them after at least 11 days of quarantine period.

Imaging results manifested that 4 or 15% of the athletes had myocarditis while 8 or 30.8% showed prior myocardial condition. The said study does not clearly mention whether the said injury is temporary or permanent.

The researchers report that such myocardial injury must be taken into account when deciding to allow athletes to return to their games. Cardiac MRIs help determine when it is safe to return to physical activities and how to prevent the games’ corresponding adverse effects especially on those currently displaying the said injury. “CMR may provide an excellent risk stratification assessment for myocarditis in athletes who have recovered from COVID-19 to guide safe competitive sports participation,” the researchers add.

More Research Needed

Although this new athletes COVID-19 study suggests this MRI protocol, more research is necessary. Determining whether or not this condition emerges on a number of other athletes across the different colleges and universities is essential.

This summer, Ohio State joined the Big Ten conference that announced postponement of all fall sports participation. Similarly, the said university was among the different schools that reported massive COVID-19 infection among their athletes. The said athletes COVID-19 research can certainly help protect university and college athletes as they prepare themselves for future participation in the different sports tournaments.

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Basketball

#BLM: Why the NBA Strike Matters to America’s Labor Movement

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The August 26 strike illustrated the power of striking and the influence of athletes advocating for a cause beyond their leagues. The world of sports blew up in protest as teams, and sports stars took a stand against the police shooting incident of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Among all athlete protesters, the Milwaukee Bucks’ players were the first to announce that they would not compete in their scheduled playoff game against Orlando Magic just before the first-round match. Soon after, all other NBA teams joined the wildcat strike.

Starting from a powerful league such as the NBA advocating for #BLM, more influential athletes and clubs followed suit, including some MLS, NHL, NFL, MLB, and WNBA teams. Among other Major League Baseball teams, the New York Mets and the Miami Marlins staged a silent protest as they placed a #BLM shirt on the home plate. Even the tennis icon, Naomi Osaka, announced that she would not be playing her game in the Western & Southern Open, which caused the league to suspend the match.

The NBA officials provided some compromises, including establishing a social injustice union in the league and the use of numerous basketball courts around the country as voting locations. Playoff games resumed two days after these terms were put into place. This just goes to show how the NBA players were able to successfully demand concessions from the league’s management as an effect of temporarily folding the playoff season.

Beyond promoting awareness on the #BLM movement, the NBA strike has brought about the idea that striking could result in changes beneficial for employees experiencing injustices from their employers. During the Trump administration, the number of strikes rose radically through union-led workplace walkouts. This includes the teacher’s strikes in the course of 2018 to 2019, the New York taxi drivers’ strike in 2017, and the longshore workers’ strike in 2020. 

These unionized workers not only rally for improvements in their own workplaces, but also for causes that go beyond their personal benefit. Among these are campaigns against the Muslim ban on cab drivers and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Unionized workers have more confidence in participating in activism because they are protected by national labor laws that extend to strikes and work stoppages. They are part of organizations strengthened by solidarity in an aim to protect workers from the oppression of employers. However, studies show that unions have been going more political in terms of mobilizing their workers to vote, encouraging them to gain more knowledge in politics, and even moderate their sentiments on racial resentment. 

The #BLM movement rallied together unionized athletes to participate in protest for a growing social cause. It struck the whole world as a major league halted to challenge political issues surrounding today’s society. This serves as a clear reminder of the significance brought by labor unions towards more progressive and democratic politics. Movement mobilization and partnerships can create a transformative political stand that will pave the way for future proceedings.

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Los Angeles Lakers Lead 2-1 Past Trail Blazers

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Los Angeles superstars Anthony Davis and LeBron James lead the Lakers to another win against the Trail Blazers on Saturday night. Through a stunning performance of dominating defense, the Lakers now lead Portland 2-1.

Power Plays

The Lakers defeated the high-scoring Trail Blazers in two straight games after a roaring James scored 38 points, made 12 rebounds, and eight assists, combined with Davis’ 29 points, 23 of which were scored in the second half. The game ended at 116-108 in favor of LA, who is now starting to look like the best team in the West.

As the Lakers rallied to conquer Game 2, Anthony Davis stepped up to the plate and shared a message to his teammate. “I told LeBron at half I’ve got to take some of the pressure off of him,” said Davis.

Portland has been outstripped of its number one spot after losing Game 1 to Los Angeles. The second game is the Trail Blazers’ highest-scoring game in the series, yet the effort wasn’t enough to overcome the impressive performance of the Lakers.

Scoring Points

Damian Lillard raked in 34 points even with a dislocated finger, and CJ McCollum contributed 28 points for Portland. The Trail Blazers tweaked their lineup, playing a big starting five with Hassan Whiteside and Jusuf Nurkic. This strategy kicked-off a great first quarter for Portland as they managed to ease through the second quarter with a lead. McCollum scored 13 points in the quarter, capped with a three-pointer at the buzzer ending the first half at 57-53.

James continued to execute 5 for 6 for 15 within an eight-minute period in the second quarter, preventing the Trail Blazers from outscoring the Lakers. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and James added a total of 12 consecutive points to pull the lead down to six at 70-64. Davis answered back with three straight jumpers and a dunk, tieing the game at 72. 

Los Angeles went on a shooting spree with a 10 to nothing run that easily ranked up the scoring to 89-78 as they entered the fourth quarter leading by seven points. 

Catching Up

The Trail Blazers quickly caught up and were only down by three in the fourth quarter with nine and a half minutes of playtime. But then, Davis re-entered the game all fired up, making perimeter shots and dunks, closing the period with 12 points.

A pressing defense handled the rest for the Lakers as the Trail Blazers were put off-track, making only three field goals in over seven minutes in the quarter. Los Angeles was able to escalate the lead to 109-98, with only over 2 minutes left in the game.

Everything came down to the fourth quarter, in which Lillard’s dislocated finger started to affect his ball-handling and shooting, causing the veteran to miss all four attempts from the three-point arch at the crucial last quarter. 

Where It Boils Down

Tery Stotts, Portland Trail Blazers’ coach, said, “It came down to a fourth-quarter game. Anthony Davis made his perimeter shots, and we came up empty too often.”

The Trail Blazers will attempt to make a comeback and even the series on Game 4.

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