In August, college football conferences were asked to peer into their crystal balls and make a prediction about the safety of their student athletes in the age of COVID-19. Several conferences said they were going ahead with their seasons, albeit with some limitations and added regulations. The Big 10, however, home to such NCAA powerhouse programs such as Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State, decided that the conference was not going to play, at least until spring 2021, if at all.
When Tom Brady went south to Tampa, much of the attention usually paid to the New England Patriots went with him. “Tampa Tom” became the tagline and the hashtag, while New England just went to work, looking for a replacement for the six-time Super Bowl champion.
This was already going to be a strange U.S. Open. With some of tennis’ top stars not even bothering to show up for the competition due to COVID-19 concerns, most expected tennis superstar – and number 1 ranked player – Novak Djokovic to run away with the title in the men’s division.
That, as it turned out, was not to be. Instead, Djokovic was tossed out of the tournament after hitting a line judge with an errant ball. At the time, Novak was trailing in the first set of his fourth-round match against Carreno Busta. Angry with himself and his play, while walking off the court, Djokovic smacked a ball, which, according to press reports, “flew right at the line judge, who dropped to her knees…”
The top-seeded player and tournament favorite immediately expressed regret, rushing over to see the line judge. Once the judge was attended to, after a conversation involving the tournament referee and the chair umpire, Djokovic was given a chance to offer his side of the incident. The decision was made that, despite the obvious lack of intent on Novak’s part, the player should be expelled from the tournament.
Speaking to the press after the incident, tournament referee Soeren Friemel said it was clear Djokovic did not act intentionally to strike the line umpire, “He said, ‘Yes, I was angry. I hit the ball. I hit the line umpire. The facts are very clear. But it wasn’t my intent… I didn’t do it on purpose…’ So, (Djokovic) did not believe he should be defaulted for it… We all agree he didn’t do it on purpose, but the facts are still that he hit the line umpire…”
According to the judges, the consequences for those facts were for Djokovic to leave the tournament. After some more discussion, Djokovic eventually agreed to shake hands with Busta and leave the court. While he did not speak with reporters directly after the incident, opting instead to leave the tournament grounds, Djokovic did later release a statement on social media.
“I’m extremely sorry to have caused (the judge) such stress. So unintended. So wrong. Thank God she is feeling okay… This whole situation has left me really sad and empty. I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth as a player and human being… I apologize…”
While it was disappointing for fans and sponsors to see the top seed exit the tournament in that fashion, his statement after the fact seemed to strike the right chord. People understood he made a mistake and regretted it, and it appears that the player’s apology is being accepted as sincere, and his statement about maturing through it is being welcomed.
Djokovic came into the tournament a perfect 26-0 this season, winner of five of the last seven Grand Slam tournaments. In the record books, this will show as a loss, but the presence and message the player sends in the weeks and months ahead will show a lot more.
Ever since Netflix started producing original content, the streaming service began to transform the small screen marketplace. With massive hits like Stranger Things, Orange Is The New Black, Narcos, Daredevil, and Ozark, the streaming service changed the way people watched – and talked about – television, while transforming the kind of programming people could see on TV. Sure, there have been some “misses” over the years, but for the most part, Netflix has gotten significant to acceptable ROI from its original programming.
Social media titan, Facebook, is continuing to position itself and a tech brand fighting back hard against misinformation. After a fiasco during the last presidential election that brought the company year after year of negative publicity and bruised consumer PR, Facebook is promising to do better, as Americans prepare to vote in the next Presidential election this November.
In a recent statement, Facebook said the platform would be “restricting” new political ads up to a week prior to election day, as well as removing posts that “convey misinformation about COVID-19 and voting.”
For years now, ESPN’s stable media channels have obeyed a hard and fast rule: “Stick to sports.” That rule was in play a few years ago when the network denounced an employee, Jemele Hill, for tweeting negative comments about the U.S. President. Recently, though, some people, both viewers and professional media critics, have noticed a shift, at least in the application of that policy.
Ask any racing fan, and they will tell you there’s absolutely no substitute for being there, in the stands, on race day. This year, though, has closed many of those stands to live spectators, making TV and the internet the only way to watch their favorite drivers compete in their favorite races.
When a producer succeeds in creating and broadcasting a popular television program these days, it’s almost a guarantee that there will be critics, both professional and amateur, letting the world know everything they think is wrong with that program. So it’s not surprising that critics have come after the popular Netflix program, Indian Matchmaking.
In recent weeks, social media titans Facebook and Twitter have been at odds publicly over Twitter’s handling of tweets the company feels are misleading. When Twitter’s new policy was announced, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his company would maintain a different policy. This statement was almost immediately tested by President Donald Trump, who stepped away from Twitter a bit to post some things on Facebook that some users found “controversial.”
After Facebook did nothing to censor or fact-check the President, some Facebook employees chose to stage a public protest. Since many are working from home anyway, they staged a “virtual” walkout, opting not to do any work on a certain day. As a result, media reports that Facebook told department managers to take no retaliatory action against these employees, nor were they to require these employees to use their paid time off.