Kick It Out Gets Kicked Back: It seemed like a great sign of unity for a positive message. The anti-racism campaign Kick It Out struck a deal with the Barclays Premier League to have all players wear t-shorts as a sign of anti-bullying prior to matches this weekend. A clear, powerful message delivered by a diverse group of players on the largest of global stages.
However a number of players, most notably Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand, decided not to wear the t-shirt in protest of the lack of action from the organization. The players remain unconvinced that the platform holds any water when driving interest in anti-bullying, because of the amount of issues that continue to go on. The racist incident that involved Anton Ferdinand in October 2011 came days after an altercation between Liverpool’s Luis Suárez and Manchester United’s Patrice Evra, which saw the Uruguayan receive an eight-match ban and £40,000 fine after being found guilty of racial abuse by the FA. Other issues continue to arise as well, leading to the player’s issues wearing the shirts pre-match.
Be that as it may, the player’s issues seem to be directed in the wrong place. Participation by all sends a strong message to those watching that bullying is an issue and should not be tolerated on any level, not just amongst those playing football. The charity is the conduit to try and spread the message, nit the governing body that can control what goes on and levy fines to players in violation. There is no doubt that some of the protesting players are staunchly with an anti-bullying campaign. Not participating in the symbolic gesture probably makes the rift a little wider, and drew even more negative publicity to a campaign that tried to raise awareness through solidarity. Sometimes two wrongs don’t help anyone get things right.
Hello Brooklyn: The Brooklyn Nets have become one of the first professional teams to pool all their fans digital assets, using the hashtags #HelloBrooklyn and #BarclaysCenter . The cumulative site is smart because it gives fans the opportunity to tag all media they create in and around the arena, not just tied to a game. Therefore sharing Jay-Z concert pictures with those fans at NBA games will help build more affinity for the arena brand, and bring some commonality to all those coming to the arena. It also gives casual fans a chance to see what other events have look and felt like at the new building and maybe gives them a second thought when looking for another night out that is not on their A list for event.
RIP UFL: After reporting losses of over $120 million the UFL announced this past weekend it would suspend the season but pick it up again in the spring…before moving back to the fall later in 2013. So if they somehow get the money to play the last half of a season with four teams and do well in the spring they are going to them go back to the fall, where they have been a colossal failure. Instead of staying in the spring with no competition, they go back to the issue of the NFL, high school and college football not to mention hockey, hoops, NASCAR, MLS and oh yeah, the playoffs and the World Series for MLB.
The definition of lunacy is continuing to do the same thing repeatedly and hoping for a different result. Fits the UFL’s business plan. Too bad, the league has solid players and coaching and a good TV presence. Just no sports business sense. The league will never get to crown another champion, let alone play another game in all likelihood.