Sport Clint Bowyer: “I’m ready to have fans back ... it’s time”
Mike Tomlin: Incentivizing minority hires could fix 'broken' system
Last week, reports emerged that the NFL had tabled a proposal that could reward clubs with improved draft picks for hiring and keeping minority coaches, general managers, and team executives. © Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 8, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is in favor of some version of that plan.
Since NASCAR’s return to racing, there have been several on-track incidents which likely would have brought crowds to their feet.
There was Kyle Busch wrecking Chase Elliott in the final laps of a Cup race at Darlington, robbing him of an opportunity at a victory.
Then there was Elliott holding off a furious charge from Busch to win the Truck race at Charlotte last week, collecting a $100,000 bounty for ending Busch’s winning streak.
And then Sunday, Elliott started a wreck with Logano – who had just passed him for the race lead with two laps to go – ending both drivers’ chance at victory at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
Harvick cruises with another dominant performance in Atlanta
Kevin Harvick turned in another dominating run at Atlanta Motor Speedway, cruising to victory over Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. in the NASCAR Cup race Sunday. Competing again in front of empty grandstands, Harvick won for the second time since NASCAR returned from the shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, adding to his emotional victory at Darlington in the first race back.Harvick came into the day having led 1,138 laps on the 1.54-mile Atlanta trioval, far more than any other driver in the 40-car field.This one was more of the same.
Each of those occasions would normally draw a raucous response from race fans but under the current COVID-19 pandemic, they were met by silence from the grandstands.
The only way NASCAR racing could return as quickly as it did two weeks ago was to hold events without fans.
Clint Bowyer, who fell into a runner-up finish Sunday thanks to the Elliott-Logano incident, said the absence of fans was especially felt this weekend at Bristol.
“It’s starting to bother me,” Bowyer said Sunday night. “We’re starting to see other racing, people in the stands, everything else. This is such a special place.
“You’re starting to see racing going on with fans in the stands, (with) social distancing, stuff like that. A place like Bristol – honestly, it’s the first time I really felt like, ‘Man, it’s empty.’ Kind of felt that empty feeling where even racing out there, you can feel the vibe.”
Red Sox confirm Torii Hunter's 'experience' with racism at Fenway is 'real'
In the statement released by the Red Sox, they said "there are well-established consequences for fans who use racial slurs and hate speech in our venue, and we know we have more work to do.""Torii Hunter's experience is real. If you doubt him because you've never heard it yourself, take it from us, it happens," the Red Sox said in a statement. "Last year, there were 7 reported incidents at Fenway Park where fans used racial slurs. Those are just the ones we know about. And it's not only players. It happens to the dedicated Black employees who work for us on game days. Their uniforms may be different, but their voices and experiences are just as important.
In recent weeks, some states have relaxed their stay-at-home restrictions enough to allow spectator events with limited capacity.
However, NASCAR’s first eight events since its restart have been held in South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee, all states where large spectator events are not yet permitted.
NASCAR currently has a schedule of races planned out through June 21, none of which allow for fan attendance.
Where most participants just seemed happy to be able to compete when NASCAR first started back, Bowyer said something seems to be missing racing just in front of a TV audience.
“That deal with (Elliott) and (Logano), you get out of the car right there and this place would have been standing on end. It would have erupted,” he said. “Without that, it’s kind of like, ‘Well, I guess we’ll go home.’
“I’m ready to have fans back is what I’m saying. I think it’s time.
NBA shares full schedule for resumption of season with teams .
Barring an unexpected change, the NBA should officially be returning in seven weeks. Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily.