That time the Padres nearly became San Diego’s forever

While the occasional article is free for everyone, the vast majority of this content is restricted to my Patreon subscribers, whose support allows me to write all of this in the first place. Please consider becoming a subscriber! -Marc Normandin
To view this content, you must be a member of Marc Normandin's Patreon at $5 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.

WWE policy change reopens question of independent contractor status

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to allow me to keep writing posts like this one.

The wrestlers of World Wrestling Entertainment perform exclusively for WWE. They travel across America, Canada, and overseas to perform live television shows multiple times per week, and have a touring brand for “house” shows, non-televised performances, as well. They do this 52 weeks per year, they do not get an offseason, and the physical toll on their bodies is obvious in a way it isn’t for most other non-football sports.

And yet, WWE’s wrestlers are not full-time employees. They’re independent contractors, without access to benefits or health insurance. They are responsible for arranging and paying for their own rental cars. They don’t, except in rare circumstances, receive a meaningful cut (or any cut) of merchandising revenue that their own performances drive the sales of. They are entirely at the whims of a 75-year-old egomaniac who equates WWE with wrestling itself and vice versa, and himself with both of those things as well. Saying no or making a fuss about anything could lead to being taken off of television, being let go, or having to spend months being publicly humiliated on camera.

Continue reading “WWE policy change reopens question of independent contractor status”

MLB plans to replace MiLB teams with clubs full of unpaid players

While the occasional article is free for everyone, the vast majority of this content is restricted to my Patreon subscribers, whose support allows me to write all of this in the first place. Please consider becoming a subscriber! -Marc Normandin
To view this content, you must be a member of Marc Normandin's Patreon at $5 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.

The NBA’s players might not want NBA approval anymore

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to gain access to the rest of my work and allow me to keep writing posts like this one.

Earlier this month, I published a piece in this space that discussed, in part, how NBA players had missed an opportunity to wield their collective power by giving in to the league and resuming the season amid a pandemic and nationwide Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality. Nathaniel Friedman and Jesse Einhorn, at The New Republic, went much further and deeper on that particular angle in a feature titled, “The Dismal Politics of the Sports World’s “Wokest” League.”

Within that piece, Friedman and Einhorn explained how there were two opposing camps when it came to the return: the one led by Kyrie Irving and Avery Bradley wanted to tackle this moment in time by not playing, and instead do what they could to help and bring attention to the Black Lives Matter protests. The other camp, led by LeBron James, was more in concert with the NBA, with a different vision of activism. One more corporately approved, the thinking behind which led to this graph from the New Republic pair:

Continue reading “The NBA’s players might not want NBA approval anymore”

Shrinking the minors will cost more than players their jobs

While the occasional article is free for everyone, the vast majority of this content is restricted to my Patreon subscribers, whose support allows me to write all of this in the first place. Please consider becoming a subscriber! -Marc Normandin
To view this content, you must be a member of Marc Normandin's Patreon at $5 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.

The Chiefs removed some racist elements, Braves continue waffling

While the occasional article is free for everyone, the vast majority of this content is restricted to my Patreon subscribers, whose support allows me to write all of this in the first place. Please consider becoming a subscriber! -Marc Normandin
To view this content, you must be a member of Marc Normandin's Patreon at $5 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.

MLB’s season has restarted, but not for struggling stadium workers

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to gain access to the rest of my work and allow me to keep writing posts like this one.

Major League Baseball began its season last month, which meant television revenues could start rolling in once more. Owners and investors will be paid, players will be paid, coaches and trainers and clubhouse attendants and grounds crew will all be paid, too. Stadium workers, though, aren’t working these games: without fans, there was no need to bring them back into the fold just yet. Unlike with the minor-league players MLB teams are paying during the pandemic, though — at least during the timeframe their regular season would have happened — not all of these stadium workers are being helped out by their clubs.

And now that the $600 per week the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has run out, that lack of assistance is even more apparent and harmful. Throw in that the Senate just left session without a sequel stimulus plan in place, and won’t be back to ignore or vote down the next plan until after Labor Day despite a literal pandemic impacting people who don’t make all the money they’ll ever need from corporate bribes and lobbyists, and times are even worse for folks like those who work at Oracle Park in San Francisco.

Continue reading “MLB’s season has restarted, but not for struggling stadium workers”

Some MLB teams still haven’t promised to pay minor leaguers in August

While the occasional article is free for everyone, the vast majority of this content is restricted to my Patreon subscribers, whose support allows me to write all of this in the first place. Please consider becoming a subscriber! -Marc Normandin
To view this content, you must be a member of Marc Normandin's Patreon at $5 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.

MLB failed its first real coronavirus test

While the occasional article is free for everyone, the vast majority of this content is restricted to my Patreon subscribers, whose support allows me to write all of this in the first place. Please consider becoming a subscriber! -Marc Normandin
To view this content, you must be a member of Marc Normandin's Patreon at $5 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.

Sports aren’t taking coronavirus resources from the public, unless they are

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to gain access to the rest of my work and allow me to keep writing posts like this one.

We have been assured, again and again, that there are enough coronavirus tests available that athletes being continually tested throughout the return of sports won’t be taking away tests from the public. This is a point I have a hard time believing on its face, because no one has bothered to show the math on that yet, but I’m willing to acknowledge that it might be the truth. The thing is, though, that this line, that there are enough tests to go around and resources aren’t being taken away from the public in order to test and retest and retest athletes yet again, is still misleading. Because even if there are enough tests, it’s clear there aren’t enough or robust enough labs to analyze all of the tests: it doesn’t matter if you have enough tests if you lack the machines or technicians to analyze them all in a timely fashion.

Priority is being given to athletes over regular people, and that is where the resource issue is.

Continue reading “Sports aren’t taking coronavirus resources from the public, unless they are”