SBD/13/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • LEAGUE NOTES

         Charlotte Motor Speedway will put up a track-record
    $3,563,794 in purses for its seven days of racing in May,
    culminating with the NASCAR Winston Cup Coca-Cola 600.  Speedway
    founder Bruton Smith is on a tour of 20 cities in 13 states and
    Europe to promote a second issue of stock in Speedway
    Motorsports.  This issue is for 3,100,000 shares (CHARLOTTE
    OBSERVER, 3/13)....As reported yesterday, MLB licensing money was
    distributed at $14,000 a player, well under previous years.
    Baseball economist Andrew Zimbalist notes the drop is due to the
    fact the MLBPA is reserving a large sum for their work stoppage
    fund and that licensing revenue was down around 40% last year due
    to the strike.  Zimbalist expects the cut to be back at $100,000
    this year (THE DAILY)....Promoter Jose Venzor has filed suit
    against Don King and Julio Cesar Chavez, alleging the two
    conspired to fix a fight last October (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/13).
    

    Print | Tags: Coca-Cola, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, NASCAR, R J Reynolds
  • LPGA FACES THE FIRST "COMING OUT" BY ONE OF ITS PLAYERS

         In the current issue of SI, 18-year LPGA Tour veteran Muffin
    Spencer-Devlin speaks openly about her lesbian lifestyle.  In the
    wake of last year's Ben Wright controversy, the responses from
    tour officials "sounded like spin."  SI's Garrity & Nutt note,
    "That's because the issue of lesbians in golf has usually been
    framed in terms of their perceived impact on the LPGA."  LPGA
    President Vicki Fergon:  "I applaud Muffin.  I'm not saying every
    player will be thrilled about it, but we're a family and we
    respect each other."  LPGA Tour Commissioner Jim Ritts:  "I don't
    think I'm naive, but I don't have any concerns about this."
    Spencer-Devlin said rumors that small network TV audiences and
    open dates have something to do with perceived lesbianism on tour
    had nothing to do with her decision.  Spencer-Devlin:  "I'm not
    anybody's mouthpiece and I don't want to be perceived as such."
    Spencer-Devlin, who plans to exchange vows in May with composer
    Lynda Roth, says lesbians are a "minority" on the tour.  Spencer-
    Devlin is sponsored by MET-RX, USA Inc. (a food supplement
    manufacturer), and Callaway Golf.  Callaway President Don Dye:
    "If it doesn't interfere with her ability to hit a golf ball and
    she continues to show the kind of integrity that she clearly
    does, she's our kind of spokesperson."  The piece adds, "To the
    LPGA any unpleasantness surrounding the coming out is outweighed
    by the benefits of having a face to put on its lesbian
    community."  Ritts:  "When you label someone with a single word,
    a stereotype gets attached, and the individual's real qualities
    get clouded" (SI, 3/18 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: Callaway Golf, Leagues and Governing Bodies, LPGA, Sports Illustrated
  • NBA SUSPENDS ABDUL-RAUF SUSPENDED OVER ANTHEM FLAP

         Nuggets Guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf was suspended by the NBA
    without pay for refusing to stand during the playing of the
    national anthem.  Abdul-Rauf:  "My beliefs are more important
    than anything.  If I have to give up basketball, I will."  Abdul-
    Rauf said due to his Muslim religion, he does not believe in
    recognizing nationalistic ideology.  Calling the U.S. flag a
    "symbol of oppression, of tyranny," Abdul-Rauf added, "It's clear
    in the Koran, Islam is the only way.  I don't criticize those who
    stand, so don't criticize me for sitting.  I won't waver from my
    decision."  Abdul-Rauf meets with NBA Commissioner David Stern in
    New York today to discuss the issue (John Mossman, WASHINGTON
    POST, 3/13).
         REAX:  Charles Lyons, President of Nuggets' parent company,
    Ascent Entertainment, supports the league.  Lyons:  "The NBA's
    rule on this point is very clear."  But Shaquille O'Neal, a
    college teammate of the former Chris Jackson at LSU, backs his
    friend:  "It isn't dishonorable.  Mahmoud is Muslim, and you have
    to respect that.  Chris is a good person.  He's not a butthole"
    (Colorado Springs GAZETTE-TELEGRAPH, 3/13).  Nuggets teammate
    Dikembe Motumbo:  "They should have known that Mahmoud never
    participated in that.  It's like the man be coming in your house
    and be sleeping with your wife and you don't know"
    ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 3/12).  TNT's Ernie Johnson:  "I don't
    think the NBA wants a political or religious -- or any kind of
    situation on its hands -- that might divide it" ("NBA on TNT,"
    3/12).
         LEGAL ANALYSIS:  ABC Legal Editor Arthur Miller, from this
    morning's "Good Morning America":  "This is not completely
    irrelevant to the business of basketball.  The business of
    basketball is pleasing fans, and if it a characteristic of fans
    that they are patriotic, that they want respect shown to the
    flag, it is quite reasonable for the employer to say, `We want
    you to show that type of respect.' ... The question is if there
    is a legitimate business purpose to be insistent by the league
    that the rules be obeyed.  That's a very delicate question.   I
    can see a judge or a jury saying, `Look you can't have absolute
    obedience to religion when it offends the customer.'  A waiter
    who refuses to bathe or shave on grounds of religion need not
    continue in employment" (ABC, 3/13).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Denver Nuggets, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, TBS/TNT, Walt Disney
  • NBA TAKES ACTION AGAINST UNION, GROUP OF AGENTS

         The NBA filed an unfair labor practice charge against the
    NBPA yesterday and charged the union's new legal team with
    rejecting some terms of the six-year CBA recently negotiated with
    the players.  According to USA TODAY, the league is also suing
    agents Frank Catapano, David Falk, Marc Fleisher, Ron Grinker,
    Steve Kauffman and Arn Tellem, "charging them with attempting to
    upset the agreement."  Other agents are expected to be added.
    Lawyers for the union and league have been working on details of
    the CBA,  which has not been ratified.  NBPA attorneys Jeffrey
    Kessler and Jim Quinn, who found some terms unacceptable,
    represented the group of players who tried to decertify the union
    last summer.  NBPA officials claim the league "is attempting to
    impose new terms involving salary cap mechanics, measures to
    prevent circumvention of the salary cap and group licensing"
    (Roscoe Nance, USA TODAY, 3/13).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA
  • NFL MEETINGS NEWS & NOTES: RETURN OF INSTANT REPLAY?

         NFL owners are expected to vote today on a proposal to bring
    back instant replay.  If approved by 23 of the league's 30
    owners, replay would be used on a test basis in '96 -- "not
    affecting play outcomes," according to NEWSDAY's Bob Glauber --
    and implemented in '97.  Redskins GM Charley Casserly, who is
    leading the pro-replay lobbing effort, believes a USFL-style
    "challenge system" with a sideline monitor could pass (NEWSDAY,
    3/13).  Mike Holmgren, acting Competition Committee Co-Chair:
    "There is a way to do this that doesn't disrupt the game, the
    timing of the game, it corrects a potentially poor call, and it
    is not used as much as it was in the past" ("SportsCenter," ESPN,
    3/12).
         NASHVILLE:  In yet another day of discussion of franchise
    movement, Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen made a presentation on
    the positives of his city and the league's entry into the "mid-
    South" region.  Raiders Owner Al Davis:  "All I can say is that
    it was an outstanding presentation" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER,
    3/13).  While the Oilers are pushing for a vote today, the
    Finance and Stadium Committees "still have many questions."  NFL
    Commissioner Paul Tagliabue hinted the matter will be dealt with
    before the end of April (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/13).  ESPN's
    Keith Olbermann, on Houston Mayor Bob Lanier's presence Monday:
    "Bredesen looked like the clear winner" ("SportsCenter," 3/12).
         CLEVELAND:  Steelers President Dan Rooney said he would be
    surprised -- "and more than a little upset" -- if Cleveland gets
    an expansion team in '99.  Rooney:  "We can't be expanding
    everywhere in the country that loses a team."  While current
    prospects for Cleveland include the Bengals, Bucs and Patriots,
    league officials said the field could widen.  One owner:  "Some
    of the candidates might surprise you" (Bart Hubbuch, Akron BEACON
    JOURNAL, 3/13).
         SUPER BOWL SITES:  The Rose Bowl joins Miami as one of the
    possible replacements as a site for the Super Bowl in '99, with
    San Francisco expected to ask for a delay of several years.  If
    Miami gets '99, Pasadena would be the leading candidate for 2000
    -- and vice versa.  The league could ask Southern CA to submit a
    bid for '99 as early as next month (Bill Plaschke, L.A. TIMES,
    3/13).
         FREE AGENCY:  CNN's Mark Morgan examined the state of NFL
    free agency.  Broncos President Pat Bowlen:  "Right now I think
    the mood of the ownership in the league is that the labor deal
    isn't working in the way we thought it would and we as owners
    aren't really all that enthusiastic about the labor agreement"
    ("Sports Tonight," CNN. 3/12).
    

    Print | Tags: Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Edmonton Oilers, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, New England Patriots, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Time Warner, Walt Disney, Washington Redskins
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