In N.Y., Larry Brooks wrote having Kid Rock perform at NHL All-Star Weekend is "offensive." It is "mystifying why this league ... would damage its reputation by inviting this barely relevant person to share the spotlight with its greatest athletes" (N.Y. POST, 1/21). In Las Vegas, David Schoen noted the timing of the NHL defending its selection of Kid Rock is "notable, as the NHL last week honored the 60th anniversary of Willie O'Ree breaking the league's color barrier." Kid Rock’s performance also will come "days before the start of the NHL’s 'Hockey is for Everyone' month in February, which seeks to 'drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities' through hockey" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 1/21).
SOMETHING TO CHEER FOR? In Boston, Margery Eagan writes in the midst of the #MeToo social media movement to raise awareness about sexual assault, it is "time to rethink NFL cheerleaders and their barely covered breasts being ogled on the sidelines by drunken men with binoculars." At least five NFL teams "manage to muddle along without such female helpers." If NFL teams "really respected cheerleaders, they’d pay them well." Football is a "hyper violent game with a lousy history of violence against women." Eagan: "Juxtaposing all that with pom-pom shakers in tight white leather boots, well, it feels wrong, especially now" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/22).
BUYING IN: ESPN.com's Jacob Wolf noted esports tournament organizer Rivalcade has "sold three franchise spots" for its Esports Battle League -- each at a $1M buy-in price. Esports Battle League is a "geolocated league that hopes to feature a multitude of esports titles," and the league "hopes to obtain three to five more buyers for its league by its targeted launch" this summer (ESPN.com, 1/21).