It’s Friday, and I hope you guys are gearing up for a fun weekend.
Personally, I’ve got a big weekend planned of little league baseball coaching. I’m the third base coach. Should be a wild time.
Good news for fans of sports gambling: Arizona and New York have both recently passed bills to allow online sports wagering. So if you’re in those states or in Tennessee, Virginia, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia, Colorado, Pennsylvania or New Jersey, you can now sign up and get up to $1,000 first bet with no risk. So go sign up today.
“From the woke sports world, who would you rather have on the show for a conversation Lebron? Steve Kerr? or Rob Manfred? Would any have the stones to come on?”
I’d love to have all of them on for a conversation on OutKick. Or I’d go on any of their platforms as well as long as they guaranteed they’d run the entire conversation unedited.
Look, I disagree with many people about many things. But I don’t believe the way to debate issues is to create media silos where individuals never have their opinions challenged. Competition is good. Conflict is necessary. That’s how we determine which arguments should win in our modern society.
It’s why I still read and subscribe to the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. Every day, I read all three papers to ensure that I’m exposed to ideas that I may disagree with. I don’t think you strengthen your own positions by reading only things that you agree with all day long. Given how adroit big tech algorithms have become, we’re all in danger of being served information that reinforces our beliefs all day, every day.
Back to your question: none of these guys will actually come on my show, but they all have open invitations to do so.
One way you can determine, by the way, who has strength of conviction and who doesn’t is by determining who will debate issues and who won’t. The sports media, in general, is so flaccid that sports figures know they can say whatever they want and essentially never get challenged by anyone on anything. That’s how the NBA can get away with its insane hypocrisy on China and how Rob Manfred can make his decision on Atlanta and not have to answer questions from anyone about it.
The sports media is mostly worthless, to be honest. Outside of OutKick, there is virtually no media entity truly holding powerful sports figures accountable for their political commentaries.
But just so you know, we’ve requested many of these guys for years on the radio show, and they won’t do it. We’ve told them we’ll record interviews with them at any time of the day or night, and they still won’t do it. And we’ve told them we’ll run the entire conversation unedited as well. And they still won’t do it.
So that’s where we are.
The First Amendment is alive and well on OutKick, which is why we continue to thrive and why so many other sports media companies continue to collapse.
“Is it possible that Deshaun Watson demanded a trade earlier this year thinking if he moved, the lawsuits wouldn’t follow him? He couldn’t possibly be that dumb, still…”
I don’t think that was the reason Watson demanded a trade. I think his feelings were hurt over how the Texans went about hiring their new general manager and coach. As the franchise quarterback, I think he believed he should have been consulted on these hires and when he wasn’t, he pouted. Demanding a trade was just evidence he was caught up in his feelings.
I don’t think it had anything to do with the sexual assault allegations.
The bigger issue here is this: Deshaun Watson got disastrous advice from his agent, lawyers, and sports representatives when the initial demand for payment from the first masseuse arrived from plaintiff’s attorney Tony Buzbee. For $100,000, Watson could have made this entire story go away.
Given that he’s presently signed to a $156 million contract and stands to make hundreds of millions more from future deals in his career, that settlement’s a rounding error for him. He should have negotiated a settlement to make this first case go away.
I understand that Watson may have believed he’d done nothing wrong, but you can’t tell me that he could have been having hundreds of massages, mostly from different women, and none of his representatives knew this was going on or that it was a risk for him once the first complaint arrived. Given the frequency and volume of these massages, it would have been virtually impossible for him to hide. Now they may not know what was going on during the massages, but let’s be honest, this is strange behavior. Something was up here, just based on the sheer volume of massages Watson was getting.
Put it this way: how many 25-year-old men do you know who are getting around 120 or 150 massages a year? I mean, that’s an absolutely insane number of massages. Most people don’t even go to the gym that many days in a year. And if an athlete really needed that many massages for therapeutic reasons, especially during COVID, they are likely going to the same masseuse over and over again.
It doesn’t take a genius to believe that Watson was after something other than a therapeutic massage. So Watson’s representatives needed to have an uncomfortable conversation with him when the first allegation arrived. And even if he claimed he’d done nothing wrong, they needed to consider and explain to him what would happen the moment this first woman went public and advised him to settle. It’s worth $100k, way more than that in fact, just to have this first accusation never go public.
That’s especially the case because any good advisor would have immediately realized that once one woman went public, there was a decent chance, given the fact Watson was having over a hundred massages a year from a wide variety of women, that eventually other women were going to go public too. In other words, once the first accusation was made, it was eminently foreseeable what would happen next — that other women would see the first woman had come forward and there was a strong likelihood others would follow. That first lawsuit effectively acted as an advertisement for other women.
So you needed to prevent that first advertisement from ever going public.
Yes, Watson should have been smarter than to put himself in this situation, but this is just awful management by Watson’s advisors. They could have potentially eliminated any of these stories ever coming out for $100k, and now Watson’s entire career is in danger. I mean, seriously, he could end up in jail over these issues. Not to mention, he’s going to have to pay, at the absolute minimum, tens of millions of dollars to settle all these cases now.
He should fire everyone who advises him for being awful at their jobs.
And if I were advising him now, I’d tell him to pay whatever it takes to settle these cases now and pray that keeps these women from deciding to cooperate any more fully than they already have with the Houston police. Because once criminal charges are filed, and I think that could happen sooner rather than later, Watson is in even more legal jeopardy.
Forget playing football. Watson could end up in prison for years, if he’s not careful here.
“As a Browns season ticket holder, what do you expect NFL teams to require as far as entry into games this fall?”
I don’t think there will be one NFL policy as it pertains to vaccinations because different states and jurisdictions will make different choices. I also think it could depend on how things look by August and September. If, as seems fairly likely, the number of deaths and cases continues to decline fairly substantially, then I think the fear, even among the coronabros, will decline enormously making vaccine checks less likely.
Meaning the virtue signaling will be less paramount.
I also think there’s a decent chance lawsuits will be filed over vaccination requirements by some fans, and our courts may make decisions about the legality of their implementation.
But I think it’s a bad idea in general. Here’s why: First, the entire process of checking vaccinations would be a total mess at the games themselves. Are you going to have people checking vaccine cards at the gates to the stadium? Have you seen how long lines back up just for entry to stadiums in a normal setting? And now you’re going to require tickets and proof of vaccination? And you’re going to have the random guys and girls making $10 an hour working security and checking tickets to be in charge of checking vaccination records? I mean, it’s just a recipe for total disaster.
Second, even if you tried some sort of pre-clearance for season ticket holders, many people with NFL season tickets, including me, sometimes give away or sell our tickets to others. So that would be impossible manage. And you’ve also got many people, including me, who bring kids to games. And there’s no way kids are going to be vaccinated by the time the season starts.
Requiring vaccinations to attend games is virtue signaling madness.
Here’s the deal: if you’re terrified of COVID, you can be vaccinated between now and football season with ease. And if you aren’t terrified of COVID and don’t feel like you are at much of a risk from the virus, then you don’t have to get the vaccine. That way, everyone is making their own decision about risk. Given that this virus, unlike many others, isn’t evenly distributed across the entire age range in the country, the people with the most risk factors should be the most zealous about getting the vaccine. But the data reflects that most non-obese people under fifty, for instance, are more likely to die driving to or from the stadium than they are from COVID.
I hope most NFL teams come to their senses, have a totally normal stadium environment this fall, and don’t get involved in the vaccine virtue signaling. But the Bills, among others, are already signaling that they plan to require vaccines. So gear up for some major battles, both legal and cultural this fall over vaccination.
“Hey Clay. Newer listening (started like 3 months ago) I went to a Braves game recently and wanted to know if you’re still going to attend a game as we wanted to support the Braves since they went against the MLB’s decision.”
Yes, I’m going to take my family to Braves games this spring and/or summer.
It feels unfair to punish the Braves for MLB’s decision to pull the All Star Game from Atlanta when they completely objected to it. So I’ll be there eventually.
We have to finish the little league season here in Nashville first, but we’ll be down to Atlanta in June or July for a series or two.
A to Z writes:
“Some sports venues are requiring COVID19 vaccines and a large corporations are setting up different rules for vaxxed vs non vaxxed. Isn’t this just going to create a new branch of class warfare?”
I’m less interested in the class warfare and more interested in this legal issue. Let’s say you’re an employer who requires all employees to be vaccinated in order to work at your business.
And let’s say someone who is healthy and under virtually no statistical risk from COVID decides to follow their employer mandate and gets a vaccine he or she otherwise wouldn’t have gotten and dies as a result of the vaccine. Wouldn’t there be substantial liability on the employer’s behalf in a court of law?
I think so.
I’m not sure how many people are considering this in their decision making, but I think every major corporate legal department in the country should be considering it.
Look, I own a company, OutKick, and we employ a decent number of people now. I’m not going to say a word to any of my employees about their choices as it pertains to the COVID vaccine. They can make whatever choice they believe makes the most sense for themselves and their families. Why would it be my company’s job to get involved in a choice like this for them?
It just seems nonsensical for any company to get involved to me.
So I can’t tell you what other companies will be doing, but I can tell you what OutKick will be doing.
“Have you been vaccinated? Has your family been? If not, have you considered the impact if airlines, sports arenas, universities mandate it and you can’t go to said locations?”
I have not been vaccinated, nor has any of my immediate family. That is, my wife or my kids. My parents and in-laws have all been vaccinated, however. Given that they are over the age of 75, I encouraged them to do so.
As I wrote on Tuesday, I was scheduled to get the Johnson & Johnson one shot vaccine dose on Tuesday, but the morning of my appointment, the vaccine was pulled from the market. I got a call from Publix, where I was scheduled to go to receive my vaccine, notifying me that my appointment was canceled.
I don’t believe I’m under any risk at all from COVID. I’m a healthy 42-year-old, non-obese man. As I said above, I’m more likely to die driving around the city of Nashville than I am from COVID. But I feel like my industry, sports media, is so overrun by coronabros, that I suspect there will be vaccine requirements in order to do my job. (For instance, I could see the NFL mandating Super Bowl media attendees be vaccinated. Or teams mandating media entering the locker room be vaccinated.) So I was going to go ahead and get it done.
I will not, however, be getting my kids a COVID vaccine any time soon for a couple of reasons: 1. it’s going to be a long time, I think, before COVID vaccines are given to children and 2. kids are under virtually zero health risk from COVID.
So far, our school district has said they won’t be mandating any COVID vaccines for children.
But, as I said above, you and your family can make your own decisions as well.
“With what we know, is getting a free donut because you got a COVID shot the same as getting a free cigarette after completing cancer treatment?”
Also, unfortunately, most of our advice about COVID has been awful. Especially since the CDC has said 80% of those who died with COVID were obese. Instead of mandating lockdowns, we should have mandated exercise. And eating less fatty foods.
Shutting down beaches, parks, and outdoor trails will likely rank as one of the absolute dumbest governmental decisions of all time since we now know the odds of COVID spreading outdoors are virtually zero. Instead of telling people to stay in their homes, we should have been encouraging everyone to be outdoors getting exercise.
I’ve said it for a long time now, but I really do believe our response to COVID is the biggest governmental failure since the Vietnam War.
As always, thank you for reading the OutKick mailbag, and I hope you guys have a fantastic weekend.