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September 15, 2021

USMNT’s Pefok Hands Man United Shock Loss as Champions League Kicks Off

The 2021-22 UEFA Champions League kicked off Tuesday with a stunning last-gasp loss by Manchester United, a 2-1 decision against Switzerland’s Young Boys. The winning goal came from US Men’s National Team forward Jordan Pefok in the fifth minute of stoppage time thanks to an error from Jesse Lingard.

Biles, Brady, and Ohtani Among Top Athletes Featured in Time100 Most Influential

Time magazine released its list of the 100 most influential people of 2021 on Wednesday — and several star athletes made the cut. Simone Biles, who earned a spot on one of the magazine’s covers, was included on the list, as was fellow gymnast Suni Lee, Bucs quarterback Tom Brady, Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani, tennis champ Naomi Osaka, track and field icon Allyson Felix, and more.

LeBron James, Russell Westbrook Appear in Nas’ “Brunch on Sundays” Music Video

They haven’t shared the court together as Lakers quite yet, but LeBron James and Russell Westbrook are officially teammates — in the music video for Nas’ “No Brunch on Sundays,” the second video from his album King’s Disease II. The track also features LA rapper Blxst.

Aaron Gordon, Nuggets Reach 4-year, $92M Extension

Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon has agreed to a four-year, $92 million contract extension — making him the 11th player this offseason to sign a veteran extension. The deal, first reported on Tuesday by The Athletic,  includes $88 million in base salary and $4 million in incentives.

NFL Week 1 Viewership Experiences Bump, MNF Delivers Best Numbers since 2013

Following a wild first week of on-field action, the NFL drew an average of 17.4 million viewers, an increase of 7% from last year. The Monday Night Football MegaCast brought in 15.2 million viewers, up 42% from 2020. ESPN2’s alternate ManningCast brought in an additional 800,000 viewers.

NBPA Squashes a Vaccine Mandate, Calls it a “Nonstarter” 

NBA players will not be required to get vaccinated for the upcoming 2021-2022 season, according to details of ongoing negotiations between the league and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) regarding COVID-19 protocols. The proposed protocols include having unvaccinated players’ lockers far away from their vaccinated teammates, in addition to players having to eat and travel separately. Previous reports indicate that some teams–such as those in California and New York–will be subject to local guidelines.

COVID Outbreak Among Saints Coaches, WR Michael Thomas

Six offensive coaches, one player, and a team nutritionist for the New Orleans Saints have tested positive for COVID-19, NFL Media and ESPN reported Tuesday. The positive tests, which reportedly involve WR Michael Thomas, means the team will be in the mitigation protocol, which may impact Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers.

US Soccer Offers Identical Deals to Men and Women’s Teams 

US Soccer officials announced Tuesday that both the  US Women’s National Team and the US Men’s National Team have been offered identical proposals for a new collective bargaining agreement. The announcement from the US Soccer Federation ensures that both teams receive equals compensation, most notably from FIFA World Cup prize money.

Paul Rabil Announces Retirement from PLL 

After an iconic 14-year career, lacrosse’s all-time leading scorer, Paul Rabil announced his plans to retire from the sport. Rabil changed the game when he launched the Premier Lacrosse League in 2019, revolutionizing the business of the sport and centering players as key partners.

Click here to listen to Rabil’s appearance on Boardroom’s “Out of Office” podcast.

UEFA Sticks with Topps, Plans to Expand into NFTs 

Weeks after losing key contracts with Major League Baseball and the NBA, Topps announced that it will remain as the exclusive trading card and memorabilia partner for UEFA, including the Champions League, Women’s Champions League, and Europa League. As part of the deal, Topps will extend their selection of digital collectibles, including NFTs.

Following Exclusive Deal with NBCU, Stephen Curry to Join Ryder Cup Coverage

NBA All-Star and avid golfer Stephen Curry is taking his talents to NBC, joining desk coverage for this weekend’s Ryder Cup. Curry and his media company, Unanimous Media, inked a deal with  NBC Universal, which will also include the development of exclusive scripted and unscripted content for the network. 

Click here to read more from Boardroom’s Nick DePaula.

Sportradar Officially Goes Public, CEO Carsten Koerl Minted a Billionaire

Over the last two decades, the data giant has covered over 600,000 sporting events and cultivated countless data points, which help fuel the booming sports betting market. On Tuesday, CEO and Founder Carsten Koerl was joined by a number of investors, including Michael Jordan, as the company went public with an $8.3 billion valuation.