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With the start of the NFL season days away, the league and its players' union, the NFL Players Association, have agreed to continue testing players for COVID-19 daily, except on game days, according to a memo distributed to teams on Saturday. The daily-testing requirement applies to players as well as all team employees categorized in Tiers 1 and 2, the Associated Press reports. Tier 1 includes players and others — like coaches and trainers — who need to come into direct contact with players, while Tier 2 employees are those who may need to be in close proximity to players. According to the new guidelines, pregame coronavirus tests will occur the day before a game and must be conducted before a team travels, per the AP. The memo sent to teams also outlines a testing schedule designed to give teams enough time to deal with any false-positive results, ESPN reports. Players will be allowed on the field so long as they receive a negative test at least two hours before kickoff. The NFL has been administering coronavirus exams to players each day since training camp began in July, and the latest daily-testing agreement between the league and the NFLPA was set to expire on Saturday. The NFL and NFLPA said that daily testing for Tier 1 and Tier 2 personnel would continue "until we advise otherwise," according to The Washington Post. The new protocols also state that Tier 1 and 2 personnel cannot access team facilities the day after a game and that players must wear a mask when participating in the coin toss, according to the AP. Face coverings are recommended but not mandatory for players on the sidelines, save for in cities where local regulations require them. The NFL season starts September 10th with a matchup between the Houston Texans and the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Swayze Valentine is the only female treating fighters' cuts and bruises inside the UFC octagon
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NBA players made history on Wednesday, when a sudden "wildcat strike" in protest over police violence...NBA players made history on Wednesday, when a sudden "wildcat strike" in protest over police violence brought the league's restart, and playoffs, to a sudden halt. The history of the league shows a willingness by players to strike since the 1950s, but activism has never been as common or pronounced as in the Black Lives Matter era. The league, Disney, and ESPN have billions riding on the conclusion of the season, and the players know the leverage they have. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. In June, not everyone thought the NBA should come back. Doing so would only detract from the historic protests over the police killing of George Floyd, caught on video. Now, less than a month after play resumed on July 30, Milwaukee Bucks players have gone on strike — what the team originally called a "boycott" — to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, also caught on video. Blake was shot in the back and now appears to be paralyzed from the waist down. By the evening after Milwaukee's players went on strike, the next three games had been called off. The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that Bucks players were attempting to contact Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul from their locker room. Later on Wednesday night, Charania, David Aldridge, and Joe Vardon reported that the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers — along with Milwaukee the two other best teams in the league this season — had voted to cancel the season, although other reports indicated the vote was not a binding one. By Thursday, Charania was reporting that the players had agreed to continue playing, "but want to find new and improved ways to make social justice statements." They have already made a bold statement. The sudden collective action by NBA players, essentially a "wildcat strike," when union members stop work without leadership's authorization, is already the largest sudden work stoppage in NBA history. Even if the playoffs conclude, this moment has high stakes for the league and its partners, especially Disney and its subsidiary ESPN, with $1 billion invested in creating the "bubble" that allows play to safely resume. NBA players, long unionized and ready and willing to strike, have all the leverage right now over their league and its partners. The dynamics have clicked into focus over the past 24 hours: A group of overwhelmingly Black workers has withheld its labor to advocate for political changes, with billions on the line. They are the most powerful employees in America, and they are acting like they know it. Labor, employment, and replace-ability The members of the Players Association have outstanding leverage, compared to many employees, due to a range of factors. The first is commonly associated with Michael Jordan: the superstar effect. Teams already employ the best of the best: just 1.2% of college players make it to the NBA, and 0.03% of high school players, per the NCAA. That might suggest thousands of basketball players are waiting in line to play if a player steps out of line, the superstar effect — whereby the marginal difference between very good and exceptional leads to outsize financial rewards — allows for big name players with lofty endorsements to make it difficult for teams to just get rid of them. The same holds true for today's leaders, like the Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Lakers' LeBron James. Another is the presence of a strong union, an exception in current American business. Per Investopedia, all the major American sports leagues have had unions for about 70 years. The NBA union was repeatedly locked out under former Commissioner David Stern, who famously took a scorched-earth approach to negotiations. But Stern isn't commissioner anymore, now it's his protege Adam Silver, a famously player-friendly leader, and the former union chief that Stern regularly got the better off, Billy Hunter, was replaced by Michele Roberts, a fierce cogitator. Plus, the NBA players union benefits from having superstar players leading the drive. All-star Chris Paul serves as president, and superstars like Kyrie Irving — who warned that the bubble could distract from civil rights momentum — and Finals MVP Andre Iguodala work as vice presidents. James was also once a vice president of the union, a turning point for the unit's high-profile leadership. NBA players have been leading strikes since the 1950s Back in 1959, a few years after the NBA players' union formed, Minneapolis Lakers star Elgin Baylor sat out a high-profile game after a hotel refused to house him with the rest of his white teammates. Baylor told his teammate and fellow NBA great Rod Hundley, "Rod, I'm a human being. I'm not an animal put in a cage and let out for the show," the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported. Baylor's protest resulted in then-NBA Commissioner Maurice Podoloff promising to end hotel separation between Black and white players. A few years later, after the union was unsuccessful in getting pensions and other requests approved, a strike was on the cards at the 1964 All-Star Game, the first ever televised. "The players were controlled by the owners," former all-star Jerry West told the Los Angeles Times in 2011. "All of us felt like we were slaves in the sense we had no rights." The owners agreed to the players' demands, and the game was delayed about five minutes. The Black Lives Matter era raised the stakes for activism — and aggressive labor tactics The next major threat of a strike happened many years later, in 2014, when players were ready to strike during a nationally televised game in the aftermath of audio being leaked to the media depicting Clippers owner Donald Sterling telling his girlfriend to delete a photo of her and Magic Johnson because he is Black. The San Jose Mercury News' Marcus Thompson reported that plans for "all" NBA games were being formulated that day, but Commissioner Adam Silver took the unprecedented step of banishing Sterling and forcing the sale of his team to, eventually, billionaire Steve Ballmer. The Sterling affair demonstrated how race has become a catalyst for collective action by NBA players in the last decade. Basketball players have perhaps been most politically vocal since Trump's election, as many prominent players, coaches, and owners have denounced the president. The Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors, the NBA champions since 2017, have not visited the White House. The Milwaukee Bucks have become particularly outspoken on the issue of police misconduct after the team's Black players have suffered abuse in their hometown. Sterling Brown is suing the city for, among other things, tasing him and kneeling on his neck, and has written extensively in The Players' Tribune about his experience. In response to the strike last night, the Bucks released a statement that said in part, "We stand firmly against reoccurring issues of excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging the black community." After Blake's shooting, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said while Republicans had been "spewing fear" during the national convention this week, Black Americans were the ones "getting killed." He told media on Wednesday, "It's amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back. It's really so sad." The GOAT and the whole new game In the Wednesday night vote held by the players, one voice was leading in arguing for the end of the season: Lakers superstar and NBA icon LeBron James, who had tweeted earlier that night: "F*** THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT". It's fitting James is a major player in this turn to activism, since a large part of his case for "greatest of all time," or "GOAT," rests on his greater outspokenness on civil rights issues than Michael Jordan, the reigning GOAT. This dates at least back to James speaking out about the Trayvon Martin shooting in 2012, itself so reminiscent of Floyd and Blake. James' willingness to advocate for social change is one of many examples of the NBA community growing more vocal as the Black Lives Matter movement emerged in the last decade. Perhaps James is so vocal about his political beliefs because as the game's best player for much of his career, he has long known something his colleagues are all starting to come around to: His power lies in how he can't be replaced. Without the players, there is no game, after all, and to these athletes, pro basketball is no longer just a game.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A cleaning expert reveals her 3-step method for cleaning your entire home quickly
'Imagine if you're Colin Kaepernick': Former Green Beret who advised NFL player to kneel criticizes viral attack dog video
A retired US Army Special Forces soldier who advised former NFL quarterback and civil rights activist...A retired US Army Special Forces soldier who advised former NFL quarterback and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick said that a demonstration at the National Navy SEAL Museum, where dogs bit a human target wearing Kaepernick's football jersey, was tasteless and lacked critical thinking. "That was a very specific intention – as if he's the antithesis of the American flag, a symbol of freedom, or military stance," Nate Boyer, a retired Green Beret, told Insider. "It's almost like he's an enemy of the United States." Boyer consulted with Kaepernick — who sparked controversy over kneeling during the national anthem —on how to respectfully protest during the national anthem in 2016. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. A retired US Army Special Forces soldier who advised former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick criticized the US Navy for hosting a demonstration that featured dogs biting a human target wearing Kaepernick's football jersey, as tasteless and lacking in any critical thinking. "I thought it was a soft-target thing. It was pretty weak," Nate Boyer, a retired Green Beret and a former long snapper for the Seattle Seahawks, told Insider. "They're trying to raise money for a charity event and that's what they were using? I don't know, I think that it's a weak move." Boyer noted that the decision to dress the target in a Kaepernick jersey was done with "very specific intention – as if he's the antithesis of the American flag, a symbol of freedom, or military stance. It's almost like he's an enemy of the United States." A video of several dogs attacking a man wearing protective gear under a Kaepernick football jersey received over 7 million views after it circulated on social media over the weekend. The demonstration was hosted in 2019 by the National Navy SEAL Museum in Florida, a nonprofit group that is not supervised by the US Navy, and included armed participants who wore camouflaged uniforms. Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce used “Colin Kaepernick stand-in" for K-9 demonstration at fundraiser last year #BecauseFlorida https://t.co/COHFCeJ3GN pic.twitter.com/EpcELHxrSe — Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) August 2, 2020 The Navy said in a statement that initial indications showed that there were no military equipment or active-duty personnel used during the event. On Tuesday, the service branch announced it would cut ties with the non-profit organization due the perception of the video, adding that it was "completely inconsistent with the values and ethos of ... the US Navy." "While the museum is an independent non-profit organization and the participants were contracted employees from outside the [Department of Defense], in many ways, these facts are irrelevant. We have been inextricably linked to this organization that represents our history," US Navy Rear Adm. Collin Green of the Naval Special Warfare Command said in an email obtained by the Associated Press. "We may not have contributed to the misperception in this case, but we suffer from it and will not allow it to continue," Green reportedly added. Retired Marine Corps Col. David Lapan, a former Pentagon spokesman, agreed that the demonstration put the Navy and the SEAL community "in a very bad light." "I'm also concerned with any of the general public who were over there watching the demonstration, and not being able to make the distinction between a private organization and the military itself — especially when you have people carrying weapons and dressed in uniforms that people associate with the military," Lapan told Insider. "The stunt is in extremely poor taste," Lapan added. Boyer likened the demonstration to comedians "who consistently use a soft target like Donald Trump." "To a lot of people it might be funny, but it's an easy way out," Boyer said. "I'd like people to think a little harder and to try to be more creative and uniting. "Imagine if you're Colin Kaepernick in this situation," Boyer added. Boyer, who now leads several veterans groups, became acquainted with Kaepernick in 2016 after writing an open letter to the football player. At the time, Kaepernick drew criticism after he refused to stand during the playing of the national anthem at football games, as a protest to police brutality against African Americans. In his letter, Boyer wrote that he was trying to understand Kaepernick's views and that he was keeping an open mind. "I'm not judging you for standing up for what you believe in. It's your inalienable right," Boyer wrote. "What you are doing takes a lot of courage, and I'd be lying if I said I knew what it was like to walk around in your shoes. I've never had to deal with prejudice because of the color of my skin, and for me to say I can relate to what you've gone through is as ignorant as someone who's never been in a combat zone telling me they understand what it's like to go to war." "Even though my initial reaction to your protest was one of anger, I'm trying to listen to what you're saying and why you're doing it," Boyer added. "I look forward to the day you're inspired to once again stand during our national anthem. I'll be standing right there next to you." Following his letter, Boyer and Kaepernick held a meeting, where the two discussed how to send a message that would resonate with more observers. Boyer advised that kneeling, rather than sitting down, would do just that. Kaepernick played for the San Francisco 49ers during the 2016 season but then opted out of his contract after one year. He became a free agent but failed to obtain a contract with another NFL team. In 2018, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell banned players from kneeling during the national anthem, and threatened to fine teams if any of their players violated the rule. In 2017, Kaepernick sued the league, claiming there was collusion to keep him out of the league, and settled his case with the NFL in 2019. President Trump has periodically waded into the kneeling controversy. In 2017 he referred to Kaepernick as "son of a bitch," and a year later he told Fox & Friends, "You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there, maybe you shouldn't be in the country." Trump has recently reversed course over Kaepernick, as has Goodell, who in June — following protests around the death of George Floyd — publicly apologized for the earlier ban. "We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest," he said. Join the conversation about this story »
Congress remains divided as expanded unemployment payments endCould the Lincoln Project take down Donald Trump?Texas ‘wide...Congress remains divided as expanded unemployment payments endCould the Lincoln Project take down Donald Trump?Texas ‘wide open for business’ despite surge in Covid-19 casesFollow the latest coronavirus developments on our global blogSign up to our First Thing newsletter 10.32pm BST We’ll be shutting down today’s blog shortly. Here’s a glance at today’s major news items: 10.10pm BST The coronavirus forced baseball’s 17th postponement in 10 days on Saturday, prompting at least two more players to opt out of the season entirely and casting doubt on whether the league can complete a truncated 2020 season.A game between the Cardinals and Brewers in Milwaukee was postponed for the second straight day after one more player and three staff members with St Louis tested positive for the coronavirus. Friday’s series opener between the midwestern rivals had been scuttled only hours before the first pitch due to two Cardinals players testing positive. Related: Doubts over MLB season grow as Covid-19 forces 17th postponement in 10 days Continue reading...