News·4 min read

Daily Skimm: Damar Hamlin, Speaker of the House, and Quavo

Buffalo Bills fans attend a candlelight prayer vigil for player Damar Hamlin at Highmark Stadium
January 5, 2023

NFL on Defense

The Story

People are still thinking about Damar Hamlin.

What’s the latest?

Days after the Buffalo Bills safety went into cardiac arrest following a seemingly routine tackle, Hamlin remains on a ventilator and in critical condition. His family says there are “signs of improvement.” And the NFL says its medical officer is investigating every possible cause behind the cardiac arrest. But the news has left the football community shaken and the NFL on defense.

What do you mean?

It took the NFL more than an hour to make the rare decision of postponing the game. But players’ health and safety has been a talker for years. This season alone, fans have seen a number of health scares. Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa suffered a concussion in September. Indianapolis Colts QB Nick Foles convulsed on the field earlier this week. And in the same game that sent Hamlin to the hospital, Bills cornerback Taron Johnson had to be evaluated for head injuries. Meanwhile, more than 300 former NFL players have been diagnosed with CTE — a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated blows to the head. It’s an issue the league avoided talking about — and didn’t acknowledge — until 2016.

So what happens now?

While the NFL has poured tens of millions of dollars into concussion and helmet research, many worry it’s not enough. There are 30 healthcare providers on-site at every game, but the NFL still relies on players to self-report injuries. Meanwhile, all of these health threats are disproportionately being felt by people of color. Most team owners and coaches are white. But the majority of players (about 70%) are Black. And the league has been accused of making it harder for Black players to get concussion settlements. Case in point: It was only a little over a year ago that the NFL stopped assuming racial differences in Black players' brain capacity to avoid payouts. And it wasn’t until a Ni­ger­ian-American doctor discovered CTE in football players that many started taking it seriously.


Football is America’s most popular sport. But the game is leaving its players with life-altering and threatening injuries. Many are saying ‘enough is enough.’ And want to hold the NFL accountable to a higher standard of safety and respect for players’ health.

And Also...This

What’s starting to feel like “Groundhog Day”… 

Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) speakership bid. Yesterday, he failed to get the 218 votes needed to become House speaker for a fourth, fifth, and then sixth time. That’s despite an appeal by former President Trump to the group of 20 hardline Republicans, urging them to rally behind McCarthy to avoid “embarrassing defeat.” Turns out, the former president doesn’t have the sway he once had. And that this group of 20 really doesn't want to budge, despite McCarthy’s concessions. Instead, they nominated someone else: Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL). And with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) nominated to lead the Dems, it marked the first time in history that two Black Americans were nominated for speaker. But McCarthy’s not giving up yet. Last night he met up with the hardliners to try to work something out before the House reconvenes at noon. In the meantime, Dems are bringing out the popcorn

What's creating a buzz...

This new vaccine. Yesterday, the Agriculture Dept gave the green light to the world’s first vaccine for honeybees. For context: one-third of the global food supply relies on pollination, and healthy commercial hives are essential to secure high crop yields. But the colonies had no protection against diseases that regularly wiped them out. It really stung. Now, a biotech company has developed a vaccine containing bacteria that is ingested by the queen, deposited in her ovaries, and ultimately gives immunity to developing larvae as they hatch. It will only be available to commercial beekeepers. The developer is calling it a “breakthrough” in protecting honeybees" that can positively impact food production on a global scale.

Which ill-fated love story is continuing to play out…

Romeo and Juliet.” Last week, two stars from the 1968 film sued Paramount Pictures for more than $500 million. The box-office hit took home two Oscars. But now, Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting — then 15 and 16 years old respectively — say they were deceived into filming nude. And that in the decades since, they’ve suffered emotional damage and mental anguish. Paramount Pictures has yet to respond.

What’s living out our money dreams for 2023... 

SurgoCap Partners. This week, the hedge fund reportedly made its debut as the largest led by a woman. Its $1.8 billion launch comes months after Avala Global became the first billion-dollar woman-run hedge fund. 

Who's remembering Takeoff...


Who's giving a preview of its roses...

The Bachelor.”

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