A West Coast Celebration
Latest on Juneteenth, Six West Coast Reads and 20 jobs from the Pacific Time Zone
What’s Good People,
Shout out to everyone who found a few typos last week. Double shouts for those who completed any of the feedback surveys. I got some feedback about those specifically so I wanted to clear some things up.
The survey info is really only needed for purposes of defining you the audience. I’m not selling that info but it is needed as I continue evaluating the project because I want to serve your perspective and interests.
As to what is new this week, I recently stopped lurking on Indie Hacker and started archiving some of the jobs in a public Linkedin group which you can join. Also happy to announce there are more than 50 subscribers getting this email.
This week’s newsletter is a product of over 150 news sources from the Pacific Standard Time Zone along with curated jobs from seven top job aggregators.
I apologize for getting this out late. We held an emergency scholarship board meeting to aid journalism students at my Alma Mater. I really just needed to write this address so hopefully next week I can hit the 3 PM publish deadline.
Stay good and healthy.
Pete aka a Man who grew up in Rome’s Jungle
Juneteenth on the West Coast
Many teams and players across the West Coast celebrated, recognized and raised awareness about June 19th as the day that all enslaved Black people in the U.S. learned they had been freed from bondage.
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Liberation Day, is an American holiday recognized by 47 states. Virginia recently became the latest state to recognize the importance of the day.
While the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect Jan. 1863, it wasn’t until June 19, 1865 where all freed slaves were read President Abraham Lincoln's decree in Texas. Senators in California are currently working on legislation to make this a National Holiday.
Otherwise, Nike, Uber, Twitter and Spotify made it a paid holiday while Amazon and Google encouraged employees to cancel meetings. The NFL took the lead commemorating Juneteenth as a company holiday and encouraging teams to follow in a memo. Other leagues maid similar memos and the MLS announced the formation of a Black Players Coalition along with a large donation.
Here’s how the sports world paid respect.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson tweeted about the importance to celebrate Black culture on the annual holiday. The Hawks also closed their facilities and tweeted their support.
Las Vegas Raiders and L.A. Chargers offices were closed as employees got a paid day off in recognition of the Holiday.
The Los Angeles Rams gave their workers the holiday and encouraged people to support Black businesses.
San Francisco 49ers recognized the official team holiday along with election day. There’s also a ‘Black Lives Matter’ flag flying in front of their stadium now.
LAFC advocated making the date a federal holiday with a petition. The L.A. Galaxy shared a video about the holiday.
The Portland Timbers and forward Jeremy Ebobisse got into the weeds, acknowledging the day’s importance.
The Seattle Mariners hosted a panel on the team’s YouTube channel with several Black players.
The Sacramento Republic spoke about the Holiday on their channels too.
The San Diego Padres donated $19,000 in support of the Black Business Relief Grant Fund. Mr. Padre, Tony Gwyn wore No. 19.
The Oakland A’s also hosted a discussion on the topic.
The San Jose Sharks dropped a t-shirt altering their logo to recognize the holiday. They hosted an auction and matched proceeds from the shirt to raise funds for the African American Community Service Agency in San Jose.
The Sacramento Kings shared resources online and donated 10,000 masks to organizers for participating guests and volunteers at peace marches.
Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves participated in a discussion on the topic on the NHL Network.
The Los Angeles Lakers announced the hiring of the the first director of racial equity and action. They hired Karina Brown to help the organization understand new ways to understand racism.
The L.A. Clippers also gave their employees across the board a day off as well as advocated for a national holiday.
The Golden State Warriors gave the day off and encouraged employee participation in Black Lives Matter movements around the Bay.
Portland Trail Blazers players and coaches produced a video recognizing Black Lives Matter on the 155th anniversary. of Juneteenth. Guard C.J. Mccollum also helped feed the Portland community.
The L.A. Sparks hosted their own virtual celebration with trivia, songs and poems.
WHY IT MATTERS: Over the past few weeks, teams voiced their support of Black Lives Matter through protests and donations. It’s equally important to recognize the teams willing to stop work. Moreover, recognize those organizations willing to share an important piece of history and culture that has been symbolically annihilated from public dialogue in the past.
More West Coast News From the Week
Players Punting the NBA’s Bubble
COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Florida but the NBA still plans to play in Orlando.
The NBA and NBAPA also agreed on an enhanced insurance plan for career-ending injuries related to COVID-19.
A ton of tampering is expected when all the NBA convenes in Orlando. Four players for a Western Conference team reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
The deadline for players decision to enter bubble is so here’s what we know so far:
Portland Trail Blazers forward Trevor Ariza won’t play in Orlando because of a one-month visitation window he has with his 12-year-old son.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley is also opting out due to a history of respiratory issues as well as his preference to not put his family at risk. The Lake Show are rumored to consider signing J.R. Smith as a replacement.
Clippers guard Lou Williams has said he’s 50-50 on a return and wants to see more players empowered to speak on social justice in Orlando. Meanwhile, Joakim Noah will stick with the Clippers.
Free agent DeMarcus Cousins was also reportedly withdrawing from consideration for the NBA’s bubble but then his agent took that back.
The Kings signed veteran forward Corey Brewer for their bubble run.
MORE ON THE RETURN: The Portland Thorns start the return of sports in the States on Saturday despite the Orlando team pulling out from the NWSL tournament due to COVID.
Here are details on the MLB’s mandated season including opening day, scheduling, DH rules and COVID preparations despite over 40 players and staff testing positive for the virus recently. It took them eight proposals but they MLB finally appears to be headed back. Oh by the way, the Dodgers are tied for the favorites.
Live from L.A.’s Living Room?
This year’s ESPYS got weird as a trio of remote hosts (Russell Wilson, Megan Rapinoe, and Sue Bird) invited celebrities and athletes to join them from their living rooms.
Usually this is a black-tie, invite only event from the red carpet in Los Angeles. Obviously, there was no live audience this time around.
However, that did not stop sports and entertainment celebrities from delivering powerful segments and exciting montages as this year’s event focused on humanitarian issues due to the lack of live sports. Other West Coast moments from the evening:
Lakers great Pau Gasol and Snoop Dogg collabed on a tribute for Pau’s friend and teammate Kobe Bryant. The D-O-Double-G dropped a rap tribute for the late Mamba which Pau introduced.
Oregon native and UCLA alumni Kevin Love received the Arthur Asche Award for leading the fight to end the stigma around mental health with athletes.
The Dodgers won the Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year award after they built 51 baseball and softball fields across L.A.
Colin Kaepernick also got his own tribute.
COOL, BUT: Sunday’s broadcast was the lowest-rated ESPYS ever. The average rating was about a third of the awards’ previous low and well under recent Sunday ESPN premieres.
PEACE OUT Mixer
Microsoft announced the end of their streaming service Mixer. Users will get moved over to Facebook gaming over the next month as Mixer never gained the scale needed to compete with Twitch or Youtube gaming.
On July 22, Mixer sites and apps will redirect to Facebook Gaming. The new Facebook service which launched in April already featured more hours streamed than Mixer which splurged on top talent like Ninja and Shroud to get off the ground.
They hope this partnership will help Microsoft’s forthcoming xCloud game streaming service unlock gameplay for 2 billion players. The Facebook and Microsoft offices are close to each other too so they hope collaboration won’t be an issue.
Yet only a day before the official decommission, a former Black Mixer employee released a statement about his team with the company. This included racist comments from an executive and a lack of discipline from HR. Many streamers responded to the former employee comments by suspending their own streams before the platform was officially decommissioned.
MAYBE UNRELATED: Just a few days later, Microsoft announced it will invest $150 million into diversity and it vowed to double the number of Black Employees in senior and leadership positions over the next five years.
Los Angeles Takes More Hard Knocks
Despite no real answers on how football will return after the pandemic, HBO’s Hard Knocks will return bigger than ever. The Los Angeles Rams and L.A. Chargers will both get features in the annual inside NFL training camp show.
Both teams already featured enough pressure entering a new stadium after missing the playoffs. That’s amplified now.
Plus, Rams QB Jared Goff already went on record about how the series disrupted his development as a rookie. Chargers QB Tyrod Taylor was also on the series a few years ago when he competed with rookie Baker Mayfield for the starting job in Cleveland. Now, he’ll do the same versus rookie Justin Herbert. More potential storylines include:
The Rams sans Todd Gurley
McVay’s new staff
Chargers post Philip Rivers
How football is played in the pandemic
Unfiltered access when access may be more restricted than ever due to COVID-19
Don’t forget these teams headquarters aren’t close to each other so expect some contrasting L.A. experiences.
BOLTS CAN’T GET ANYTHING: Considering the Chargers were already having a hard time building a base in Los Angeles, it would make sense for them to be the solo Hard Knocks feature. The Chargers could’ve carried the show with their battle at QB along with a roster that’s underachieved due to injuries. Factor in a Black head coach who’s been vocal about Black Lives Matter, a quiet family ownership and the best uniforms in football, the Chargers are made for T.V.
The Kid Hates the Yanks
Ken Griffey Jr. infamously said he’d retire if the Yankees were the last and only team to offer him a deal.
Griffey Jr. shared insight into why during his latest MLB documentary spanning over his 22 MLB seasons.
Apparently, Griffey Jr. was watching his Dad warm-up when Sr. was with the Yankees. The Kid was asked to go to his dad’s locker despite another player’s son hanging out on third.
WHY IT MATTERS: Griffey Jr. was a ‘90s icon but so were the Yankees.
More MLS Moves
The Timbers and Sounders both made moves while the LAFC shared more on one of their recent additions.
The Timbers signed the first Army men’s soccer player selected in the MLS draft. Zac McGraw, 23, was the club’s third-round pick in the 2020 MLS Super Draft. The defender was a multi-sport athlete at Torrance High School in California.
Portland also acquired defender Pablo Banilla from its USL Championship affiliate T2. The 20-year-old is from Venezuela.
The Sounders added two teenage homegrown players in Josh Atencio and Ethan Dobbelaere. You can read more about their pro experience and expected roles here.
LAFC Andy Najar returns to the MLS after seven years in Europe. He is coming back from a knee injury but the 27-year-old said he is a significantly different player than when he left MLS in 2017. The defender is also excited to play for L.A.’s large population of people from Honduras.
ODDS MAKERS: LAFC the favs to win MLS is Back Tournament
Links You Might Have Missed from the Pacific Standard Time Zone
An Oakland-based group wants to create the league’s first Black-owned franchise.
SERENA: The GOAT can’t wait to return to New York for the 2020 U.S. Open.
Draymond Green gives LeBron his flowers.
Yes, you can buy a beer with Ty Lue getting stepped over by A.I.
The Mariners hosted a Women’s in Sports panel on the anniversary of Title IX.
Al’s torch a permanent resident in Henderson. More Raiders Honored at new stadium.
West Coast Sports Jobs
Senior Marketing Manager, Tagboard
Advertising Sales Executive, GSMC Podcast Network
Lead Business Analyst, Nike
Sports Information Director, Pacific University
High School Athletic Director, Douglas Education
Sports Anchor, KHQ
Content Curator, US Tech Solutions
Campaign Manager, Amazon
Media Negotiator, Ocean Media
Digital Operations Director, Sinclair
Mobile Producer, Activision
Design Manager, CBS
Sponsorship Sales Specialist, Primetime Entertainment
Athletic Director, Catholic Archdioceses
Social Media Producer, Clippers
Program Director, Iheart
Social Media Manager, William Hill
Ad Operations Specialist, VSIN
Digital Marketing Specialist, LIV Body
Freelance Writers, Gambling.com
One More West Coast Vibe
This week’s West Coast Vibe is someone with a familiar name and sound. It comes from NHale aka Nate Dogg’s son aka the guy who has called out University of Washington Football several times.
Check out his album from earlier this year if you haven’t already. The funk and melody sound like his pops but he brings his own twist to the game. Looking forward to whatever else this man puts out for sure.
Please send me West Coast music suggestions for next week’s vibe by replying to this email. Special preference towards artists from the Pacific North West or Bay Area as well as those outside of hip hop.
As always, sharing with a friend or your social channels is the best way to support this project and newsletter. If you’re reading this for the first time, make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss the best jobs and news from the West Coast Sports community every Wednesday.
P.S. you can also check out my podcast cohost and I featured in this podcast. We discussed our journey beginning in college and got into a lot of things about the future of football and journalism.