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⚽USWNT Settles Part of Ongoing Equal Pay Lawsuit
Remind me about the lawsuit?: Sure thing. In March 2019, the USWNT filed a gender discrimination suit against the USSF, seeking two things: equal pay and equal working conditions. On Tuesday, the two sides settled on the working conditions.
- The USSF will now “implement revised policies on four working conditions: charter flights, venue selection, professional support and hotel accommodations” to equalize the treatment of the men’s and women’s teams. Seems like a major win to us.
Awesome! Now what?: Now the harder part. A judge already ruled against the equal pay part of the suit earlier this year, on the reasoning that the USWNT actually earned more than the men’s team overall, which is true.
🏒Preview: 2021 NHL Season
...isn’t it?: Honestly, we have no idea. Yesterday, commissioner Gary Bettman said that the New Year’s Day start is still “a work in progress,” depending heavily on the advice of medical experts, but after the league’s Return To Play committee meeting, it was reported that Bettman doesn’t seem to be in much of a hurry.
- You’d think he would be, as both sides — the team owners and the players’ association (NHLPA) — are pressuring him to get something going. Unfortunately, the league is in the middle of a financial stalemate right now, and while a dreaded lockout is off the table, a season suspension is definitely a possibility. How very 2020 that would be.
Ugh. Any good hockey news?: The World Juniors are still on. After two positive COVID-19 cases last week, Team Canada’s training camp still has another week in quarantine (brutal), but other participating teams have named their preliminary rosters and are starting training camps ahead of their travels to the Edmonton bubble. At least one of our holiday traditions is looking solid.
- And if the bad news from the NHL proves true and the season is delayed, it could mean even better news for the World Juniors: first overall 2020 draft pick Alexis Lafreniére would be eligible and available to play for Team Canada. The decision needs to be made by Sunday. Sounds like a Festivus miracle is in store!
🏆Bits & Bites: This Week in Sports
🎾Tennis: First it was the wildfires in 2020, now the pandemic in 2021...who’s taking a murder hornet infestation to threaten the 2022 Australian Open? The first tennis major of the year, usually set to start at the end of January, will likely be pushed back by three weeks to February 8th to better accommodate a mandatory two-week quarantine. We can wait.
- Speaking of next season, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) is adopting a new naming system for their 2021 tournaments to better align with the men’s Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Just one more step towards the WTA-ATP merger we’ve all been waiting for.
🏈NFL: This one’s a head scratcher. Commissioner Roger Goodell stated that the NFL probably won’t proceed with bubble environments for the playoffs after all, saying, “We feel strongly our protocols are working.”
- Goodell said this yesterday, the same day that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens finally played their Thanksgiving game after it was postponed three times due to COVID-19 outbreaks. The league also announced that there were 156 positive cases among players and personnel in the last two weeks of November. The irony.
🏀NBA: Christmas came early for LeBron James. The almost 36-year-old superstar signed a two-year, $85 million extension with the NBA champion LA Lakers yesterday. The new contract will take him into 2023, which is the same year his son Bronny could enter the league.
- Russell Westbrook got his Christmas wish already, too. After asking for a trade from the Houston Rockets, where he spent one season, Russ is heading to the Washington Wizards in exchange for John Wall and a first-round pick. He must’ve been on Santa’s nice list.
- For the rest of us, the NBA gave us something to look forward to...five somethings, actually. The tentative Christmas Day schedule was released this week with five games scheduled over 12 hours. Deck the
🏈NFL Off-field Drama
Where to start?: The undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0) had their highly anticipated Thanksgiving game against the Baltimore Ravens (6-4) postponed to yesterday and then again to tomorrow night due to ongoing COVID-19 issues with both teams.
- As of yesterday, the Ravens had 22 players on the COVID-19 reserve list. For their part, the Steelers have placed four players, including running back (RB) and cancer survivor James Conner, on the list, too.
Yikes: Yikes is right. In other COVID-19 news, all four Denver Broncos quarterbacks (QBs) were put on the COVID-19 reserve list after one of them tested positive last week and the other three interacted with him without masks, leaving the team QB-less heading into yesterday’s matchup against the New Orleans Saints.
- The NFL chose not to postpone the game (cue eye roll), leaving the Broncos with little choice but to promote practice squad wide receiver (WR) Kendall Hinton to starting QB. The Broncos also tried to sign offensive assistant coach Rob Calabrese as back-up, but the league wouldn’t allow it.
- To no one’s surprise, NOLA won 31–3. Guess they won’t be making a Keanu Reeves movie about this game.
Is the NFL trying to fix this mess?: Apparently, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Moving in the right direction, the Saints and New England Patriots are the latest teams to be fined for protocol violations, and the league is also looking at bubbles for the playoffs.
🏈NFL Sunday Recap
Here are our favorite history-making highlights from yesterday’s games:
- Take it on the Chinn: Carolina Panthers (4-8) rookie linebacker/safety Jeremy Chinn made history as the first defensive player to notch back-to-back fumble returns (in a mere 10 seconds of game time!). On top of those two touchdowns, he also added seven tackles for good measure, but it wasn’t enough for a win over the Minnesota Vikings (5-6).
- King of the Hill: With 203 yards in the first quarter alone, Kansas City Chiefs (10-1) WR Tyreek Hill became just the third player in 30 years to record over 200 yards in a single quarter. Hill ended the 27–24 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5) with 269 yards, three TDs and one backflip. But let’s not forget: being a good football player doesn’t make you a good person.
- #CoachLikeAGirl: The Cleveland Browns (8-3) made herstory yesterday when Callie Brownson subbed in as the tight ends coach, becoming the first-ever female positional coach to work an NFL game. And, of course, the Browns won 27–25 over the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10).
Awesome. What’s up next?: The Seattle Seahawks (7-3) are in the City of Brotherly Love to face the Philadelphia Eagles (3-6-1) tonight for Monday Night Football at 8:15 p.m. ET, and that Steelers-Ravens game is still supposed to happen tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET...but who can really say?