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Volume 25 No. 27

People and Pop Culture

NBA Kings Owner & Chair VIVEK RANADIVE recently discussed his views on free speech and social justice, and said his players have "amazing track records in terms of what they do in the community," according to a profile by Ryan Lillis of the SACRAMENTO BEE. Ranadive: "These are generous and big-hearted people and I love them and I support them." Ranadive said of NBAers potentially protesting during the national anthem, "I personally, being an immigrant, I love the national anthem, I stand up for it. But I 100 percent support our players in every way. Part of this is that everyone is shaped by their personal experiences." Ranadive said that his 29-year-old son ANDRE "enlisted in the Army a few weeks back and is enrolled in basic training at Fort Benning in Georgia." Meanwhile, Lillis noted the Kings are beginning their "second season in Golden 1 Center" and the 250-room Sawyer Hotel that overlooks the arena is now open. Restaurants, stores and a revamped movie theater are "expected to open in the Downtown Commons neighborhood by the end of the year." Golden 1 Center in its first year "hosted 153 ticketed events, including 43 concerts, 34 family shows and 68 sporting events." The Kings said that more than 1.6 million people "attended games and concerts since the arena opened," and the facility "ranks among the 15 busiest in the country so far this year for concerts." Ranadive said of future plans for Golden 1 Center, "There’s going to be restaurants, there will be movies, concerts, games, farmers markets. It’s going to be a spectacle every night. This is just the beginning" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 10/18).

"Going Off The Grid" is a weekly survey of sports execs and personalities offering their thoughts on a handful of pressing (and trivial) issues in sports and pop culture. This week, panelists discuss their favorite Halloween costume and their first NBA memory.

  • Bucks Chief Digital Officer Mike Grahl
    – Is interested in all things tech.
  • Wasserman Senior VP/Broadcasting & Coaching Debbie Spander
    – Enjoys listening to Imagine Dragons, Adele and Sam Smith.
  • PNC Arena VP/Ticketing Operations Bill Nowicki
    – Interests include the rise of microbreweries and the emergence of MMA.
Going Off The Grid
  More future player activism - NHL or MLB? Favorite Halloween costume you have worn Level of interest in NASCAR's playoffs First NBA memory Which "Space Jam" character are you?

NHL Homemade Dracula Small Sidney Moncrief "Sir Sid" Nike Poster I wanna be like Mike

MLB by a slim margin A stage mom for my daughter going as Taylor Swift Not much...all MLB playoffs and NBA for me Going to the '75 Championship Game in the Cow Palace Stan Podolak -- MJ's agent

NHL players are definitely more active  A homemade sock monkey costume NASCAR has playoffs?!? Watching the Celtics and Larry Bird tear apart the NBA Tazmanian Devil

Do you want to get your thoughts in the Grid? If so, shoot an e-mail to

DraftKings named Dish Network Exec VP, General Counsel & Secretary R. STANTON DODGE Chief Legal Officer (DraftKings)....TPC Sawgrass named Liberty National Golf Club Managing Dir DEREK SPRAGUE GM. Sprague served as PGA of America President from '15-16 (, 10/18)....NASL club Jacksonville Armada promoted Technical Dir NATHAN WALTER to President & GM. Walter, who has been with the club since its '15 debut, has been "in charge of player personnel" since August '16 (, 10/18)....ISC Manager of Corporate Communications GENTRY BAUMLINE-ROBINSON has left the company to return to the travel and tourism industry. Her final day was last Friday and ISC is in the process of filling her former position (Adam Stern, Staff Writer)....Eastern Michigan Univ. promoted DAN MCLEAN to Senior Associate AD/Development and named ANDY ROWDON Senior Associate AD/External Affairs (EMU).

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Lightning RW J.T. BROWN will "no longer raise his [fist] as a protest during the national anthem before games." He will instead "continue a more hands-on approach in the community in an attempt to raise awareness and understanding of issues he believes are important: police brutality and racial inequality." Brown "plans to donate Lightning tickets and his time to several Tampa Bay area organizations." Brown "thanked the Lightning" -- including Owner JEFF VINIK, management and teammates -- for "supporting him 'regardless of their personal feelings' about his protest" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 10/19).

THE AWARD GOES TO...: NESN President & CEO SEAN MCGRAIL was honored last night as a "Cable TV Pioneer at the 51st Annual Cable TV Pioneers Banquet" in Denver (, 10/17)....The Women's Sports Foundation 38th Annual Salute to Women in Sports awards gala took place last night in N.Y. Gold Medal-winning U.S. swimmer KATIE LEDECKY received the '17 Sportswoman of the Year award in the individual sport category and Lynx F MAYA MOORE received the award in the team category. Former U.S. Secretary of State CONDOLEEZZA RICE received the Billie Jean King Leadership Award (WSF).

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: Filmmaker DAVID TALBERTLEBRON JAMES and actress GABRIELLE UNION are developing a single-camera comedy called “WHITE DAVE” for ABC. The show is about a young African-American teen who has “grown up in an all-white suburb” and “suddenly moves to an all-black neighborhood when his mom remarries” (, 10/18).

NAMES: The joint efforts of JENNIFER LOPEZ, MARC ANTHONY and ALEX RODRIGUEZ have raised more than $35M for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico (, 10/18)....EVANDER HOLYFIELD is being honored in Atlanta with a “bronze sculpture that depicts” him in his “Humble Warrior” pose. It is “expected to be” unveiled in December at a park in the city (, 10/18)....Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT and his family are “hosting a hush-hush party” at Gillette Stadium on Nov. 8 with ELTON JOHN as musical guest (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/19)....Former NHL player agent STACEY MCALPINE was arrested on Tuesday after police “alleged he bilked victims" out of more than $12M between ’04-11. McAlpine repped former NHLers DANY HEATLEY and CHRIS PHILLIPS, who both have “sued McAlpine previously for shaky real estate investments they said cost them millions" (WINNIPEG SUN, 10/19)....Musical perfomances by LCD SOUNDSYSTEM, METHOD MAN and REDMAN, MARTIN GARRIX and MARSHMELLO will “headline X Games Aspen” in January. All four headliners from the X Games venue at Buttermilk Ski Area will “also headline shows at Belly Up Aspen downtown” (, 10/18)....The Fashion Group Int’l has “lined up its award presenters” for the Oct. 26 Night of Stars at the Cipriani Wall Street restaurant in N.Y. Among the presenters is Cavaliers G DWYANE WADE (, 10/19).

: HELEN DEVOS, wife of Magic Owner RICH DEVOS, died yesterday of complications from a stroke following a recent diagnosis of myeloid leukemia (Magic).

The 13th annual SportsBusiness Journal/Daily Reader Survey is now live. This year's survey gives you a chance to quickly weigh in on topics such as:

* Hottest sports properties
* Sports properties headed in the wrong direction
* Most effective commissioner
* Model franchise in pro sports
* NFL’s decision on Chargers and Raiders
* NHL’s next expansion market
* MLS’s next expansion market
* League most likely to face a CBA battle

Cast your votes and then look for results in SportsBusiness Journal and THE DAILY the week of Nov. 27.

The Lagardѐre Sports esports Rising Conference
November 9 - Marriott Marina del Rey, CA

The State of the Industry: Multiple Perspectives

Inside the Industry:
Current Trends and Future Projections
Robert Müller von Vultejus, Managing Director, Lagardère Sports Germany

Inside the Fan: Our Exclusive Fan Panel

You’ll Hear Firsthand: What intrigues fans; their likes/dislikes; consumption patterns; and their hope for the sport moving forward.

For the PROGRAM AGENDA or to REGISTER, please visit