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• FIFA has postponed plans to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams for the 2022 event in Qatar. The plan is still being considered for the 2026 World Cup, which will be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. According to FIFA, “(There was not enough) time for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact.” The World Cup is scheduled for Nov. 21-Dec. 18, 2022.

• The NFL and NFL Players Association have unveiled two joint agreements that are intended to “support further resources directed to address pain management and behavioral health.” Full story here.

• The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and social impact education innovator EVERFI, Inc. have oined the students of Santee Elementary School in San Jose to launch The Compassion Project for the 2019-2020 school year, described as a “national nonprofit dedicated to providing compassion education to elementary school students across the U.S.”

• The U.S. Golf Association has aligned with Marvel Entertainment to create exclusive golf education products to “engage junior golfers on the essential elements to learning the game." Scheduled to launch in June at the 2019 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach, the collaboration features printed and digital comic books with many of Marvel’s super heroes The story follows Tony Stark (Iron Man) and other Avengers as they teach the next generation of Marvel Super Heroes about golf. Limited-edition Marvel-themed golf posters will be distributed (while supplies last) at the Junior Experience at the 2019 U.S. Open.

• Major League Lacrosse has signed a deal with Anheuser-Busch to have its Bud Light brand become the official beer partner for the 2019 MLL All-Star Game, being played in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD on July 27. The deal includes “prominent signage on the playing field, fan zone activation and various on-site promotions at several sports bars and retail locations in the Greater Annapolis area leading up to the All-Star Game.”

• Stating that “we are continually seeking opportunities to evolve our product offerings,’ Kohl’s has signed an exclusive long-term alliance with Fanatics, a global leader in licensed sports merchandise with the addition of “hundreds of thousands of items.” Full story here.

• Pete Frates and Pat Quinn, co-founders of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, have launched with The ALS Assn. the 5th anniversary of “Challenge Me” with a “new call to action to reignite the passion and generosity of the millions of people who dumped ice water on their heads in the summer of 2014.” 

POLL POSITION

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 23 players who will represent the U.S. in France and seek to defend their FIFA Women’s World Cup crown (July 7-Aug.7).

GOALKEEPERS

Adrianna Franch* (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris** (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher** (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS
Abby Dahlkemper* (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson* (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn* (NC Courage), Ali Krieger*** (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara*** (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn*** (Utah Royals FC), Emily Sonnett* (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS
Morgan Brian** (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz** (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan* (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle* (Washington Spirit), Allie Long* (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis* (NC Courage)
FORWARDS
Tobin Heath*** (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd**** (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald* (NC Courage), Alex Morgan*** (Orlando Pride), Christen Press** (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh* (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe*** (Reign FC)
* First Women’s World Cup
** Second Women’s World Cup
*** Third Women’s World Cup
**** Fourth Women’s World Cup

KEEPING SCORE

Luka Dončić, Trae Young Head NBA All-Rookie Team
Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Luka Dončić and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young have been unanimously selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Dončić and Young both received NBA All-Rookie First Team votes on all 100 ballots to finish with 200 points each.  They are joined on the NBA All-Rookie First Team by Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (195 points; 95 First Team votes), Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr. (159 points; 60 First Team votes) and Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (156 points; 56 First Team votes).

The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Second Team includes LA Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (138 points), Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (132), Clippers guard Landry Shamet (85), New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (77) and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (45).

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office May 17-19
1. John Wick 3 $57M
2. Avengers: Endgame $29.4M
3. Pokemon Detective Pikachu $24.8M
4. A Dog’s Journey $8M
5. The Hustle $6M
6. The Intruder $4M
7. Long Shot $3.4M
8,. The Sun Is Also A Star $2.6M
9. Poms $2M
10. Uglydolls $1.6M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Channel Chasers

NFL UK 2019
• Oct. 6 Chicago Bears v Oakland Raiders Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 13 Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 27  Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Rams Wembley Stadium
• Nov. 3 Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Wembley Stadium

NFL Mexico 2019
• Nov. 18 Kansas City  Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers Mexico City Estadio Azteca (ESPN Monday Night Football).

Thursday
Sep272018

MLB, ESPN To Air ‘Shred Hate’ Anti-Bullying Campaign With Stars During Post-Season

By Barry Janoff

September 27, 2018: Nolan Arenado, Javier Báez, Mookie Betts, Sean Doolittle, Aaron Judge, Francisco Lindor, George Springer, Mike Trout  and Justin Verlander would make a formidable roster if they pooled their talent on one team.

They have, not on the playing field, but as part of an anti-bullying campaign, “Shred Hate," under the auspices of non-profit group No Bully and with the support of partners MLB and ESPN.

The PSA campaign is anchored by a spot, “Join Our Team,” in which the players urge people to join the anti-bully movement, which is being highlighted in October during National Bullying Prevention Month.

A separate spot starring 2017 World Series MVP George Springer is another a key element in the MLB component of the campaign.

“Join Our Team’ will break on ESPN during its MLB coverage this week, then run on its coverage of the National League Wild Card Game presented by Hankook  (Oct. 2).

“Join Our Team” and the Springer spot (pictured) will air throughout October during MLB post-season games on-air and at Web sites including MLB.com, MLB club sites and PlayBall.org.

Support includes social media with the hash tag #ShredHate and activation on-site at MLB post-season games.

Shred Hate is a joint program among MLB, ESPN and its X Games platform, "striving to put an end to bullying in schools by encouraging youth to choose kindness."

In addition to MLB and ESPN, No Bully partners include Abercrombie & Fitch, Burger King, the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, Hasbro and Toms.

“We are incredibly appreciative of each of these All-Stars, whose participation in this campaign to end bullying will have an impact on children throughout our country for years to come,” Billy Bean, vp and special assistant to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, said via the league.

“Our sport has a unique opportunity to impact lives and help our youth re-define the school experience through the foundations of respect, kindness and dignity. We are fortunate to have some of baseball’s very best join us as we continue to battle against this epidemic.” 

Shred Hate was launched in January 2017 at X Games Aspen.

According to San Francisco-based No Bully, it has since reached nearly 30,000 students; and the No Bully System methodology, which is implemented in schools through the Shred Hate initiative, has been able to remediate more than 90% of bullying instances.

Numerous MLB clubs currently support Shred Hate in-school bullying prevention efforts, including the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals.

“I went through the ups and downs from being made fun of, “ said Springer, who has continued to overcome his own personal experience with a stutter, and has been a major advocate for The Stuttering Association for the Young) while also regularly speaking out against bullying.

“Sports allowed me to do and be who I wanted to be, to participate and speak freely, and to come out of my shell. I want kids and adults to be themselves. Being who you want to be, and being who you are, is the most important thing in this world. Don’t let anybody stop you from that.”

According to Judge, “I don’t want to be defined only as a baseball player. There are a lot of things off the field that make me who I am.

"I want to be someone that helps spread the message that every kid should feel respected and understood. That’s the kind of mark I want to leave. I want to be a positive influence and a role model for kids.”

Lindor spoke for all the players when he said, “Shred Hate is delivering a really important message.

“Over ten million kids per year are targets of bullying in schools and even more are targeted on social media. No one deserves to be bullied and it’s up to all of us to make sure it doesn’t happen.”

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