Entertainment

Snoop Dog Just Called The U.S. Men’s Soccer Team ‘Sorry’ And Is Demanding Equal Pay For The Women’s Team

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer team deserve every ounce of praise and glory. Yesterday’s incredible 2-0 win against the Netherlands, made them World Cup champions once again and brought the women a tremendous amount of support both as fantastic players and as passionate activists for women’s rights. The U.S. Women’s team has taken on a legal battle, complaining to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, against their employer the United States Soccer Federation for gender discrimination, and they’re demanding equal pay. So what will it take? They certainly have support from their fans. If you missed yesterday’s game, here’s a short recap: after the women scored their winning goal and everyone was celebrating on the field, the crowd at the stadium in Lyon, France began to chant “equal pay” — so there’s no hiding the appalling disparity now.

There’s even more support for the women’s team as major sponsorships is putting these female athletes on a massive center stage.  

Fresh off the heels of a great championship game, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team is now the star of a new Nike ad that is resonating with feminists everywhere. 

Nike Youtube.com

The commercial is dramatically cool with its black-and-white aesthetic and features star players including Crystal Dunn, Alex Morgan, Alyssa Naeher, Tobin Heath, and of course, Megan Rapinoe. A woman’s voice in the ad says, “I believe that we will be four-time champions and keep winning until we not only become the best female soccer team but the best soccer team in the world. And that a whole generation of girls and boys will go out and play and say things like, ‘I want to be like Megan Rapinoe when I grow up,’ and that they’ll be inspired to talk and win and stand up for themselves.”

The empowering commercial also touches on the women’s team’s demand for equal pay.

Nike Youtube.com

The team has made it no secret that they’re suing the U.S. soccer for gender discrimination. According to Glamour, “the women’s team made $20 million more in revenue than the men’s team did last year—while making four times less.” The U.S. Men’s team has never won a World Cup. And this fight for equal pay isn’t new. 

“I think that we’ve proven our worth over the years,” Carli Lloyd, the 2015 FIFA women’s player of the year, said in an interview on NBC’s Today show back in 2016. “Just coming off of a World Cup win, the pay disparity between the men and women is just too large.” Four years later, nothing has changed. Perhaps this second-consecutive World Cup win and the new Nike commercial will help improve things for good.

The ad is aimed to inspire young girls and boys alike, as well as soccer fans new and old.

Nike Youtube.com

“I believe that we will make our voices heard, and TV shows will be talking about us every single day and not just once every four years,” the ad continues. “And that women will conquer more than just the soccer field by breaking every single glass ceiling and having their faces carved on Mount Rushmore; and that we’ll be fighting not just to make history, but to change it—forever.”

If naysayers need another reason to argue that the women’s soccer team doesn’t bring in as much money as the men’s (which is not true), here’s another indicator that they’re wrong:

The women’s Nike jersey is outselling the men’s.

Nike Youtube.com

“The USA women’s home jersey is now the number one soccer jersey — men’s or women’s — ever sold on Nike.com in one season,” Nike CEO Mark Parker said in the company’s earnings call, according to the Women In The World News

Fans on social media are praising Nike for their latest ad.

Perfect timing, right?

Even Snoop Dog called out the equal pay injustice the women’s team has long endured.

In a post to his Instagram page, the rapper broke down why he thought it was unfair for the women’s team to be paid less than the men’s saying “Food for thought. Shout out to the USA Women’s Soccer Team for their fourth World Cup, but what I want to talk about is that they only get $90,000 per player, but the men, if they win, they get $500,000 per player.”

It’s almost as if Nike knew the U.S. women’s team was going to win. But didn’t we all?

Perfect words for a perfect team that deserves a raise. 

If you didn’t get emotional watching that… you have no heart!

This team has done so much for the sport. 

What is there left to say but “Equal pay! Equal pay!”

The women’s team is still under litigation, but we will definitely be ready for that final ruling that says these women must get equal pay — or more, especially as returning World Cup champions. 

Nike strikes again with another powerful commercial.

Oh, it was us too. We couldn’t stop with tears. We were cheering and crying at the same time!

Here’s the entire commercial below.

Let us know what you think of the ad. 

The Young Girl Struck By A Foul Ball Last Year By Cubs Player Has Permanent Brain Damage

Entertainment

The Young Girl Struck By A Foul Ball Last Year By Cubs Player Has Permanent Brain Damage

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There is terrible news concerning a two-year-old girl that was struck by a foul ball during an Astros game at Minute Maid Park last May. According to an attorney representing her family, the young girl sustained permanent brain damage from the injury and continues to receive anti-seizure medication. Her family fears the injury could put her at risk of seizures for the rest of her life. “She has an injury to a part of the brain, and it is permanent,” attorney Richard Mithoff told the Houston Chronicle. “She remains subject to seizures and is on medication and will be, perhaps, for the rest of her life. That may or may not be resolved.”

The line drive foul ball came off the bat of Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, who was visibly in shock when he saw that the young girl was injured. “It’s opened my eyes to other things,” Almora told the AP a few days after the incident. “I never want it to happen again.”

The young girl, whose identity has not been released, was sitting on her grandfather’s lap seated right next to third base, an area that had no net protection. The foul ball made its way into the stands and struck her in the back of the head. 

The extent of the injury revealed that the girl’s central nervous system was certainly affected by the brain injury, in a way that bears similarities to that of a stroke, doctors said. This part of the brain when injured can cause “seizures, loss of spatial awareness and loss of sensation.” The girl’s parents reported that she has had “periods of unresponsiveness and staring spells, frequent headaches and night terrors,” since the incident. 

When the injury initially happened, the girl had a fractured skull and suffered a seizure. She would also endure associated subdural bleeding, brain contusions, and brain edema. As of now, there has been no notice of any legal action taken against the Astros organization or whether the family intends to do so. NBC reports that the girl’s family has paid for all of her medical bills. 

“She is able to continue with much of her routine as a girl her age would do, but her parents have to be particularly vigilant, as they are,” Mithoff said. “She has wonderful parents and is receiving wonderful care. They obviously are concerned, but she is blessed with a family that is doing relatively well, considering everything.”

If there are any positives to come out of this is Major League Baseball being pushed to take action on fan safety. Just last month, it made the announcement that “all 30 clubs will have netting in place that extends substantially beyond the far end of the dugout.” 

After the incident, the Astors replaced netting and expanded it from foul line to foul line in August, following the same moves by the Chicago White Sox and Washington Nationals in July. The move to extend netting took years and multiple fan injuries for MLB to take action.

In December, MLB finally made the announcement that all 30 clubs would have extended netting in time for the 2020 season. Seven ballparks will have extended netting from foul pole to foul pole and 15 will extend nets to the where the stands angle away from the field of play. The other eight ballparks will have netting that extends “substantially beyond the far end of the dugout,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said. 

“There’s a lot of kids coming to the games — young kids who want to watch us play, and the balls come in hard,” Kris Bryant, Almora’s teammate said after the incident. “I mean, the speed of the game is quick, and I think any safety measure we can take to make sure that the fans are safe, we should do it.”

The issue of ballpark safety has been a hot topic issue in recent years as the number of fans being struck in the stands has increased. According to an NBC News investigation last October, there had been at least 808 reports of injuries to fans from baseballs from 2012 to 2019. Some of those injuries included concussions and permanent vision loss. 

“The family is gratified by the announcement from Major League Baseball that the netting will be extended in all 30 ballparks,” Mithoff said. “This is obviously a very significant step forward.”

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As Andy Ruiz Jr. Gets Set For A Rematch Against Anthony Joshua, He’s Already A Champion For Many Latinos

Entertainment

As Andy Ruiz Jr. Gets Set For A Rematch Against Anthony Joshua, He’s Already A Champion For Many Latinos

andy_destroyer13 / Instagram

Underdog is a word that gets tossed around quite frequently in the world of sports. That may be because as humans we love the story of the often-counted out, disregarded and overlooked individual coming out on top. David vs Goliath. Rocky vs Apollo Creed. The list goes on.

This past June, Latinos got their own modern-day underdog story in the upset victory of Andy Ruiz Jr. over Anthony Joshua. It was a moment that will live on among the biggest upsets in sports within the past several decades. As the boxing world gets set for the highly anticipated rematch between Ruiz and Joshua, many Latinos have already won before Ruiz has even put on a pair of gloves. 

The-then 268 pound Ruiz knocked out three-belt heavyweight champion Joshua to become the first boxer of Mexican descent to win a heavyweight title. But as every underdog story goes, the victory didn’t come easy or expected.

Ruiz wasn’t even supposed to be at the fight until he was called in as a last-minute replacement for Jarrell Miller, who submitted three positive drug tests. Ruiz was dubbed “overweight,” “out of shape,” and a fill-in of what was supposed to be Joshua’s coming out party in his first fight in the United States. Ruiz entered the match as a +1100 underdog with a résumé of victories that took place in small casino venues from Tijuana to Tucson. 

Suddenly, he’d be fighting against one of the most feared boxers in Joshua in one of the most famous arenas in the world, Madison Square Garden in New York City.  

To put it in simplest terms, Ruiz had won the lottery without getting a single cent. Remember how I said humans love underdog stories? Yeah, this had all the makings of an underdog story but the easiest part of the script was already written. The world was just waiting for Ruiz to do his part

Seven rounds of punches later, Ruiz had accomplished what few had ever expected a man of his background, style and size to ever accomplish in a boxing ring. But more importantly, Ruiz became an inspiration to so many Latinos in a time when anti-Latino sentiment seems to be the only thing seen in the headlines. 

Whether it be from the U.S. president, a white-supremacist shooter targeting “Mexicans” in El Paso, Texas and the constant narrative of an “invasion” from the Southern Border. But on June 2, 2019, the world woke up to a headline that didn’t read “Joshua KO’s Ruiz” or “Ruiz Who?”, they read “Ruiz Becomes First Mexican Heavyweight Champion.” 

“It means a lot, especially knowing I’ve worked from 6 years old to get to where I’m at now,” Ruiz told the LA Times after the fight. “But it won’t mean something only to me. Each Mexican has his own dream, and I’ve come to believe as long as we focus, you can accomplish anything you want. So maybe by winning, I can change some minds.”

What has ensued since that legendary June night is a celebratory tour that few Mexican boxers have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. 

Overnight, Ruiz became a folk hero of some sorts to countless of Latinos who embraced the boxer and his underdog story. Ruiz came from humble beginnings, born in Imperial Valley, California and was raised by Mexican immigrant parents. His journey began at the age of six when he started his boxing career and would train long days and nights with his father, Andy Ruiz Sr. He would take his son with him for daily training sessions in Mexicali and would endure 90-minute waits at the border crossing. 

Ruiz was born already counted out and that helped him become the fighter he is today.

Credit: andy_destroyer13 / Instagram

That rugged street mentality was etched in his mind from a young age and still follows him to this day. 

“We know their struggles,”  Jorge Munoz, director of Sparta boxing club where Ruiz would train in his hometown of the  Imperial Valley, told The Guardian. “We know how many times they wanted to give up. And the people in the boxing world, they understand how much you go to tournaments and you sacrifice, sometimes you don’t have food, you come back and you try to raise the money to go somewhere else and all these struggles you go through with one goal that you might never get the chance for.”

What ensued after his victory was a championship tour the likes of which a Mexican boxer had never seen. Ruiz met with the Mexican president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. He made an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” There was even a photoshoot with GQ Mexico. The crowning moment was a hometown parade on June 22 in the Imperial Valley where thousands of fans showed up to cheer the champ. 

“He’s one of us, so this is a big deal,” Reyna Gutierrez, a fan of Ruiz who was at that parade, told the Desert Sun. “People might not understand. He’s representing our community and he’s the first Mexican heavyweight champion. We’re so proud of that.”

Whatever the rematch result may be, it won’t matter to many Latinos. Ruiz has already done more than bring home a title, he’s become an underdog that Latinos can call their own.

The rematch bout is being billed as the “Clash on the Dunes,” as Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) will take on Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia about six months after history was made. One day before the fight, Ruiz already made headlines at the official weigh-in as he tipped the scale coming in at a surprising 283.7 pounds, 15 pounds heavier than in his first fight. 

“I kind of wanted to be a little over what I was last time so I could be stronger and feel actually a little better than in the first fight,” Joshua told Yahoo Sports. “We were [planning to be 268], but they were making us wait before we got to the scales and so I had already ate. Plus, I weighed with all my clothes. That’s one of the reasons why I weighed probably too much

While the extra pounds might be concerning to some, experts and analysts see the match as a tossup. For Ruiz, he likes being counted out. He thrives on it. It’s the only way he knows how to feel entering the boxing ring. 

“I never gave up, after everybody was telling me that I wasn’t gonna do nothing (because of) the way that I look … I kept training, I kept listening to my father, my team (and) my coaches. … When I got knocked down, I got back up like the warrior that I am. … (To) all the kids that have dreams, dream big,” Ruiz said at his hometown parade

Never give up. Get back up. Dream big. 

Yes, those are the words that sound like the description of an underdog. Andy Ruiz knows too well about that label and so do many Latinos. That’s why when that bell rings in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, the world will be breathing in their collective breath as the latest chapter in this underdog story is written. 

Latinos wouldn’t have it any other way. 

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