Things Taking Over the Sports World
Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson and the NFL have reached a deal.
Watson’s sexual misconduct allegations. Last year, more than two dozen women filed civil lawsuits against Watson, accusing him of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior during massage sessions. The allegations date back to March 2020 when he played for the Texans. Earlier this month, a disciplinary officer initially handed Watson a six-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy. But many said it was too lenient — including the NFL. But now, the NFL and the players association have reached a settlement.
Starting on Aug 30, Watson will serve an 11-game suspension without pay until Nov 14. He also has to complete a mandatory evaluation and treatment program and pay a $5 million fine. That money will go toward a fund to prevent sexual misconduct and support survivors. The NFL and Browns have also agreed to donate $1 million each to the fund. The QB says he’s “truly sorry” to the women impacted but still stands by his innocence. An attorney for the victims said the NFL’s settlement shows the league “doesn't care” about survivors and called for a longer suspension.
The NFL has long faced criticism for issuing short suspensions in response to personal conduct violations (see: Antonio Brown and Ezekiel Elliott). And some see Deshaun Watson’s punishment as yet another example of the NFL choosing profit over accountability.
The Big Ten
The Big Ten Conference has landed the biggest-ever TV paycheck for college sports.
Yesterday, the athletic conference announced a $7 billion deal over the course of seven years. The conference seems to have taken a page out of the NFL’s playbook to go big league. Under the new deal, the Big Ten will share its rights to football and basketball games with Fox, CBS, and NBC. But ESPN — the largest sports network in the US — apparently wasn't on board. The change goes into effect next July and comes as the Big Ten conference continues to expand. But many are calling for more changes.
Less game day, more payday. For years, the NCAA has said it doesn’t need to pay its college athletes because they're amateurs. (Ouch.) But after countless lawsuits, the NCAA has loosened some of its restrictions on players earning money from endorsements or social media. Not included: billion-dollar TV contracts. Now, this agreement’s got some wondering whether players should get a piece of the pie. Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren says they’ll talk about it. But for now, it looks like college athletes will remain empty-handed.
One of the top conferences in the sports world just struck a major deal. And it’s expected to ramp up college athletics on the small screen. Game on.
What has updates...
The Mar-a-Lago search. Yesterday, a federal judge gave the DOJ a week to reveal parts of the affidavit used to obtain a search warrant on former President Trump’s Palm Beach home. The FBI had used the warrant to remove 11 sets of classified documents from Mar-a-Lago when investigating Trump for federal violations including violating the Espionage Act. The DOJ is against releasing the affidavit, arguing that making it public could interfere with their investigation. But the judge said the gov hasn’t convinced him that it should remain fully sealed. If released, the document could reveal the probable cause that warranted the unprecedented search of a former president's home.
...Oh speaking of things surrounding former President Trump, yesterday ex-Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty to evading more than $1.7 million in taxes. He will serve five months in prison and five years of probation.
What doesn't have a seat at the popular table…
Cable TV. Yesterday, the media company Nielsen announced that cable TV is old news after streaming services drew more viewers than cable TV last month. In July, streaming services (think: Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube) made up over one-third of all TV usage in the US. Cable and broadcast snagged less, with cable trailing by less than 1% of the viewership and broadcast TV grabbing about one-fifth. Out of the streaming services, Netflix was the biggest star — with the hit show “Stranger Things” to thank for nearly 18 billion viewing minutes. But before streaming does a victory lap, it should keep in mind: one Nielsen employee reportedly said that broadcast and cable will likely “see some rebound” in the fall with football season.
What might make another star appearance…
The northern lights. Tonight, the phenomenon people normally travel for could be visible in parts of the continental US. That’s because explosions from the sun are hitting the Earth’s magnetic field and sending the aurora further south than usual. In other words: “The Golden Compass” fans — specifically in Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Oregon — this may be your night. Grab your daemon, get to a place with high elevation and lower light pollution, and look up. Oh my, starry-eyed surprise.
While all Mariah Carey wants is to be the "Queen of Christmas"...
There is only one Megan Thee Stallion.
Why winter is coming early...
The “Game of Thrones“ prequel said so.
Sign up for the Daily Skimm email newsletter. Delivered to your inbox every morning and prepares you for your day in minutes.