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December 8, 2022

Brittney Griner Freed in Prisoner Swap

Since February, the clarion call has rung steady and true: Free BG. Now, after 302 days, Brittney Griner has been released from a Russian penal colony. Russian authorities detained the WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist and charged her with possession of cannabis at an airport as she attempted to leave the country in the early days of its conflict with Ukraine. Griner was leaving the country in the early days of its conflict with Ukraine. The courts sentenced her to nine years in prison, and she was recently relocated to a penal colony, where reports of her condition were grim. On Thursday, she was released as part of a prisoner exchange, in which the United States gave up the arms dealer, Viktor Bout. President Joe Biden confirmed the news in an early morning press conference at the White House.

Sue Bird, Megan Rapinoe Jointly Launch New Production Company

Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe are no strangers to a big stage. They are taking their talents to Hollywood. The newly retired WNBA star and her USWNT fiancé announced the launch of their newest joint venture – A Touch More. The company will create scripted and unscripted programming, with its first venture set to launch on Dec. 8. “A Touch More is a manifestation of our values, and our desire to bring to the surface stories of those who shape and move culture forward,” Bird said in a statement. The project is a collaboration with TOGETHXR, a production venture that sits at the intersection of culture, lifestyle, and sport, co-founded by Bird, Alex Morgan, Simone Manuel, and Chloe Kim.

Read more from Boardroom’s Vinciane Ngomsi.

Derek Jeter's Arena Club Closes a $10M Series A

Derek Jeter is leaning into new challenges these days. The Yankees legend announced the launch of his new venture, Arena Club, earlier this year. The online trading card platform confirmed it has closed a $10 million Series A, led by M13, defy.vc, Lightspeed Ventures, Elysian Park Ventures, and BAM Ventures.

Read more from Boardroom’s Russell Steinberg.

Ken Griffey Jr. Set to Introduce HBCU Swingman Classic at MLB All-Star

Ken Griffey Jr. continues to make his mark on the MLB. The Hall of Famer announced that he will bring the HBCU Swingman Classic to next summer’s MLB All-Star game in Seattle. The event will allow some of the best talent at HBCUs from across the country to put their skills on the mainstage. It will be a collaboration between Griffey and the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation.

Xander Bogaerts Heads West with $280M Deal with the Padres

It’s a sad day for Red Sox fans. Boston’s four-time all-star shortstop is heading to San Diego, where he has signed an 11-year, $280 million deal. The news comes as the Sox signed Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida to a five-year, $90 million guaranteed contract.

Music and Metaverse Merge with PIXELYNX Acquisition

Animoca Brands is doubling down on building out the infrastructure for its future in the metaverse. The gaming company announced that it acquired Deadmau5 and Richie Hawtin’s metaverse company PIXELYNX. In a statement, Animoca Brands indicated that the investment would enable the company to “build, invest in, and acquire studios, infrastructure, and technologies that will power the future of the music industry through integration with gaming and Web3 technologies and communities.”