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WNBA Players Walk Out During National Anthem



Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP

Members of the New York Liberty (left) and Seattle Storm observe a moment of silence in honor of Breonna Taylor before their Saturday game.

The players of two Women’s National Basketball Association teams walked off the court as the national anthem was playing during a season-opening game in Florida on Saturday in an act of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

At the game in Bradenton, the Seattle Storm and New York Liberty players were also wearing black sweaters with the words “Say Her Name” written prominently on them, as part of a tribute to Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Black woman whose death at the hands of Louisville police has helped trigger national protests.

Athletes have protested during the national anthem before, but this appeared to be the first time members from two entire professional teams had walked out altogether while it played.

The players’ walk-off was part of a seasonlong initiative called the Justice Movement that the WNBA and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) had announced earlier this month. Through a series of coordinated actions, the organizers of this collaborative effort hope “to be a driving force of necessary and continuing conversations about race, voting rights, LGBTQ+ advocacy, and gun control amongst other important societal issues,” according to a WNBA statement. The two organizations hope to raise awareness through community conversations, roundtable discussions, and podcasts among other initiatives.

As the national anthem was played, the @nyliberty and @seattlestorm walked off the floor as part of the social justice initiative.

This is not the first time that WNBA players have protested during their games. As ESPN reports, Indiana Fever players knelt in solidarity with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 as part of his protests against the police killings of Black men. According to ESPN, the Los Angeles Sparks also walked off the court in 2017 to raise awareness about the Black Lives Matter movement, while in 2016 Minnesota Lynx players wore pregame warm-up shirts that featured Philando Castile and Alton Sterling in an effort to draw attention to police brutality, according to the Guardian.

There is a long history of basketball players protesting myriad social justice movements, including NBA players who boycotted games to highlight the racial segregation of hotels or those who marched in protests after Martin Luther King Jr.’s death.

President Donald Trump and other high-ranking members of his administration have castigated athletes who take part in protests during the national anthem.

“We will say her name.”

The @nyliberty and @seattlestorm participated in a powerful moment of recognition for Breonna Taylor ahead of Saturday’s game.

Earlier during Saturday’s game, the two teams had observed a 26-second-long moment of silence in honor of Taylor — one second for each year of her life.

“We’re dedicating this season to Breonna Taylor, an outstanding EMT who was murdered over 130 days ago in her home,” said New York Liberty player Layshia Clarendon, who is also the first vice president of the WNBPA and is one of the leaders of the initiative. “We will say her name.”

Clarendon further noted that the organizations are dedicating this season to the “Say Her Name” campaign, which is committed to fighting for social justice for Black women, mentioning other victims, including Sandra Bland who died in police custody five years ago.

As is the case for many American sports, the WNBA season was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Hill, all games for the abbreviated 22-game schedule will be held at the IMG Academy in Bradenton.

The Seattle Storm players won Saturday’s game 87 to 71, according to ESPN.

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Indian Premier League: Despite coronavirus, advertising revenue from Indian Premier League crosses Rs 3,100 crore





Despite the Covid-19 outbreak, the broadcaster was expecting the IPL to outperform all previous records this season and had held on to ad rates, asking Rs 12.5 lakh for a 10-second slot on TV. The 13th season of the IPL, which was initially scheduled to be played in April-June, was pushed to September due the pandemic, which also forced the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to take the entire tournament to the UAE.

MUMBAI: Star & Disney India generated more than Rs 3,100 crore in television and digital ad revenue from the recently concluded Indian Premier League despite the global pandemic, a sluggish economy and an entire season being hosted outside India, which could not diminish the popularity of the tournament or its attractiveness to marketers.The broadcaster’s revenue from the 13th edition of the league was 30% higher than last year.Star India

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Pro Volleyball League: Baseline Ventures wins arbitration, Volleyball Federation asked to pay Rs 4 crore




MUMBAI: Sports marketing firm Baseline Ventures, which organised the first season of the Pro Volleyball League in February 2019, has won the wrongful termination case against the Volleyball Federation of India (VFI).

Justice (Retd) K Kannan, the Madras high court-appointed arbitrator, has awarded Rs 4 crore plus interest as damages and legal fees to Baseline Ventures in its dispute against VFI for the ‘wrongful termination’ of the 10-year contract for Pro Volleyball League.

VFI had terminated the agreement with Baseline Venture on November 18th, 2019, alleging financial irregularities and manipulation by the firm.

After almost 10 months of arbitration, Kannan ruled against VFI stating that there was no ground to terminate Baseline’s contract, and moreover, the federation did not follow due process to terminate the contract.

The arbitrator has also dismissed all allegations made by VFI against Baseline pertaining to the breach of contract.

In its order, a copy of which was accessed by ET, the arbitrator noted that if VFI had the players interest in mind and wanted to foster the sport as a popular entertainment, it ought to have known that closing all options and terminating the agreement was too big a price to pay.

“In the light of my finding that the respondent’s (VFI) termination of contract was not justified, the claim for damages estimated based on initial projections is not tenable. The respondent killed the goose that laid golden eggs,” Kannan said while dismissing the counter claim of Rs 14.93 crore made by the VFI against Baseline Ventures.

“This judgement is a total vindication of the fact that the VFI had absolutely no grounds to terminate the contract after a successful season,” said Joy Bhattacharjya, VP at Baseline Ventures, who led the first edition of the league as its CEO. “It’s important that they are held accountable not just to us, but to all the volleyball players and coaches who were the most impacted by their wilful actions. This is a victory for fair play in Indian sport.”

The arbitrator has also asked Baseline Ventures to hand over the IPR of the Pro Volleyball League to VFI.

Tuhin Mishra, co-founder and MD, Baseline Ventures, said, “When we started legal proceedings, we had the option of whether we wanted our rights to conduct and market the league reinstated apart from the damages which we were looking at.”

However, he added that given the “capricious nature” of VFI’s actions over the past year, the company had absolutely no confidence that this nature of event would not happen again considering the “blatant display of malafide intent” on the federation’s part.

“So we voluntarily gave up the option of reinstatement of our rights even before the proceedings. We are happy to hand over the logo rights to VFI, we just want our damages to be paid before any commercial agreements are executed by VFI,” Mishra said.

VFI had cited a report by one of the big four audit and consulting firms, which it claimed corroborated the manipulations of the accounts by Baseline and VFI had used that report supposedly to terminate the agreement with Baseline.

However, the firm in question later backtracked and forwarded an application to the arbitrator to eschew the report on the ground that it was meant to be confidential by the terms of their engagement by the respondent (VFI).

There had been a disclaimer that it was not meant to be an auditor’s report and they had only examined whatever documents were presented by the respondent and it’s views did not have any legal standing.

The firm had not even consulted Baseline while verifying the documents which VFI had given them.

Based on an earlier judgement, VFI had to pay up Rs 2.25 crore to Baseline, which was received by the company in February 2020.

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Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma set to miss Australia Test series | Cricket News




(This story originally appeared in on Nov 24, 2020)

It may be the end of the road for Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma where the tour of Australia is concerned. Neither of them, as things stand, are likely to make it to the Indian squad to take part in the Test series in December-January.
Mirror has learnt that the two will not be able to recover in time for the four-Test series from December 17 to January 19 in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The two have been undergoing rehab at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore for different periods and the report is learnt to be not so encouraging.
A meeting of the experts of the NCA is understood to have taken place recently when the fitness status of the duo was discussed and then informally conveyed to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), national selectors and the team-management. A formal communication is expected soon.
So, when Ravi Shastri said the duo need to board the flight in 3-4 days to be able to participate in the Tests, he may have given it away.
“He (Rohit) was never going to play the white-ball series, they were just looking to see how long he needed the rest, because you can’t afford to be resting for too long. If you need to play in the Test series or any red-ball cricket, you’ve got to be on the flight in the next three or four days. If you aren’t, then it’s going to be tough.
“It’s a similar case (Ishant’s injury) to Rohit. You don’t really know how quickly he’ll be available to fly out. Like I said, if anyone has to play in the Test series, he has to be on the flight in the next four or five days. Otherwise, it’s very difficult,” Shastri told ABC Sports.
The team management is believed to have made it clear that the duo should be sent only if they are fully fit – that is after they’ve achieved the desired fitness levels required for international duty as opposed to that in the IPL, which Rohit played recently.
Besides, they also factored in the 14-day quarantine which means full confinement in Australia. The Indian players, having travelled from the IPL bubble to Australia, are being allowed to practise during quarantine. The same privilege may not be extended to Rohit and Ishant.
Chief selector Sunil Joshi did not respond to a message from this paper.

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