The Los Angeles Times formally opened an investigation last week into accusations that sports columnist Arash Markazi is guilty of plagiarism. Vice News reports that other members of the paper’s sports staff “sent a letter to leadership stating that they were ‘angry and embarrassed about the repeated ethical breaches’ by Markazi, which they claimed included ‘plagiarism, misrepresenting how his information for stories is obtained, and using his social media accounts to work as a de facto PR representative.'”
In the letter, the signees also say that Markazi’s actions have effected not just the paper’s reputation, but their personal reputations and relationships “with the people, teams, and leagues that we cover, as well as our peers.”
Markazi is currently on paid leave during the investigation. He did not return emails or texts from Vice News seeking comment. Hillary Manning, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Times, issued a statement to Vice that said “all allegations received by newsroom management are taken seriously. As a journalism organization, we have responsibility to both ensure that our reporters maintain the highest standards of professional ethics and that our reporters are treated fairly when questions of their ethics are raised.”
Vice News published a story by Laura Wagner and Maxwell Strachan earlier this month that detailed several failings of The Los Angeles Times. Markazi’s transgressions were just part of what was highlighted, but the duo’s investigation did show “a number of questionable journalistic decisions by Markazi, including an apparent act of plagiarism.”
In the letter to Times leadership, the signees write that “multiple editors have been informed repeatedly of [Markazi’s] unwillingness to adhere to ethical standards, yet he continued to write columns, attend events, travel, and peddle influence. He is heretofore undeterred.”
Sports Media Rips Baseball Hall Of Fame For Barry Bonds Snub
“David Ortíz got the nod from 77% of voters. He was the only one to get more than the required 75% for induction.”
Performance-enhancing drugs are a non-starter for some Hall of Fame voters. “Some” in this case likely means about 34% of those with a ballot. It is the only explanation for Barry Bonds not getting in.
The Hall of Fame revealed its 2022 class on Tuesday night. David Ortíz got the nod from 77% of voters. He was the only one to get more than the required 75% for induction. Bonds finished second in the voting with his name showing up on 66% of the ballots.
Bonds and Ortíz were amongst a group of candidates who were considered controversial. Based on numbers and on-field performance, they, along with Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, and Curt Schilling likely belong in the Hall of Fame. Bonds, Clemens, Ortiz, and Rodriguez have all been tied to the use of performance enhancing drugs and human growth hormone. Schilling has become something of a pariah in baseball due to his political extremism.
While cases can be made for all five men, the sports media seemed to zero-in on Barry Bonds. His exclusion drew a series of damning tweets and criticism of the Hall of Fame and its voters.
For the record, Barry Bonds is both the single season and all-time leader in home runs. He also holds the all-time record for walks and single season records for walks, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. He is also a seven-time MVP and fourteen-time all star.
Wynn Resorts Plans To Cut Losses, Sell Sports Betting Unit For $500M
Wynn increased revenue from Q3 of 2020 at $370.5 million to $994.6 million in revenue in Q3 2021.
Due to high marketing costs to bring in new customers, Wynn Resorts is looking to sell Wynn Interactive, the company’s betting unit, for $500 million. Wynn Interactive was valued at $3 billion last year, according to the New York Post, and has grown in revenue and popularity. But the costs are proving to be too much to handle.
The WynnBET sportsbook has market access in multiple states including Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia, Louisiana, and New York. It had also partnered up with NFL franchises and multiple professional athletes. Among these were the Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, and New York Jets, along with Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Howard, and Chad Johnson.
Wynn increased revenue from Q3 of 2020 at $370.5 million to $994.6 million in revenue in Q3 2021. However, the company still remained at a net loss of $166.2 million during the quarter, down from a net loss of $758.1 million in Q3 2020.
Wynn is having to do a bit of backtracking and trying to cut their losses. They acquired a $1.5 billion line of credit from the Bank of China last September, with $100 million of it being planned to use to market the sports betting app for this year’s football season.
In another cancellation, Wynn was hoping to take the online sports betting division public via a SPAC merger with Austerlitz Acquisition Corporation but had to kiss that goodbye last November.
FanDuel Makes Nearly $17 Million In New York After NFL Wild Card Weekend
Plenty of bettors in New York were chomping at the bit to legally wager on games.
Mobile sports gambling has only been live in New York for a few weeks and already, the sportsbooks and the state are raking in the cash.
New York City news station WPIX reported Monday that FanDuel saw $16.9 million in gross revenue following Saturday and Sunday NFL Wild Card playoff games. The Monday night game featuring the Los Angeles Rams and the Arizona Cardinals was excluded from that total, but the sportsbook made an additional $2 million.
In New Jersey, PIX reported the state made $41.8 million in gross revenue in January 2021. That number was expected to be exceeded by FanDuel in New York as of Monday.
The station also reported $3.9 million in earnings for DraftKings, $14.1 million for Caesars Sportsbook, and $70,433 for RushStreet following NFL Wild Card Weekend.
Plenty of bettors in New York were chomping at the bit to legally wager on games and it’s clear the floodgates opened once everything went live earlier this month.
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