Here’s a look at my Confidential for Friday August 18th. Enjoy and if you a story for a future Confidential you can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @realmattlanta
NFLPA leader: Lockout or strike in 2021 a ‘virtual certainty’
A labor disagreement between the NFLPA and NFL is imminent, according to one executive.
De Smith, the executive director of the NFLPA, told The Monday Morning Quarterback’s Albert Breer that a lockout or strike in 2021 is “almost a virtual certainty.”
“I think that the likelihood of either a strike or a lockout in 2021 is almost a virtual certainty,” Smith told Breer.
Ezekiel Elliot plans to appeal his six-game suspension
By: Ryan Glasspiegel – The Big Lead.com
The exchange is contained in the 160-page report prepared by NFL investigators into allegations that Elliott committed multiple acts of violence against ex-girlfriend Tiffany Thompson. Within that report, investigators noted a September 2016 text message exchange between Thompson and a friend, in which Thompson raised the idea of selling sex videos of herself and Elliott. During the conversation, Thompson’s friend suggested, “we could black mail him w[ith] that,” to which Thompson responded, “I want to bro.” The NFL’s report also stated that Thompson admitted registering an email address titled “ezekielelliott sex vids” in August 2016.
Robinson’s full report features the entire text exchange.
Earlier this week, we learned that Elliott alleged that Thompson made repeated threats to ruin his career, including, according to Elliott, saying, “You are a black male athlete. I’m a white girl. They are not going to believe you.”
Elliott also filed a harassment report with the Frisco, Texas police after Thompson allegedly called him 50-plus times in less than eight hours.
Clearly, the intent of these leaks is to impugn Thompson’s credibility. But it doesn’t change the fact that the NFL determined Thompson is a victim of domestic violence, finding evidence that Elliott “engaged in physical violence” against her three times in one week. A victim doesn’t need to behave perfectly to remain a victim.
All of the information leaked was in the hands of the NFL when the league made the conclusion that domestic violence had occurred and that Elliott would be suspended for six games. It remains to be seen if this information, now that it is public, will have any impact on Elliott’s appeal, given that it is being heard by the same people who presided over the first investigation and punishment process.
How Netflix changed David Johnson's diet
After watching two food documentaries on Netflix, Johnson and his wife, Meghan, both adopted a plant-based diet about a month ago. Thus far, according to Johnson, an All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection a year ago, he feels better since (mostly) removing meat from his diet.
He reported to training camp at 223 pounds, lighter than he had been in the past. His lower weight made him more agile, which Johnson said benefited him as a receiver, but he needed to maintain a certain weight to be effective, so he began adding meat in his meals.
By and large, he’s cut most meat out of his diet and has noticed he has more energy and less fatigue.
Johnson changed his diet after watching two documentaries on Netflix: “What the Health” and “Forks Over Knives.” Both films expound on the benefits and virtues of a plant-based diet, using support from research papers and experts. Those documentaries, plus their own research, led the Johnsons to make the switch.
Report: New Marlins owners will seriously consider trading Stanton
Where there’s smoke, there’s often fire, and it’s getting pretty smoky on the Giancarlo Stanton trade front.
Earlier this week a report said Stanton cleared revocable waivers, which is not too surprising given the slugger’s bloated contract. Clearing waivers means Stanton could be traded prior to the end of the month. Some teams reportedly have shown interest in Stanton, but they would likely need the Marlins to chip in some money to cover what the $295 million Stanton is owed.
Then on Wednesday, a report said the team was open to trading Stanton. As if that message were not clear enough, Fan Rag Sports’ Jon Heyman says the Marlins will seriously consider trading Stanton this winter.
The Yankees, Giants, Cardinals and Phillies are all teams that have been linked to Stanton, who this year has set the Marlins’ single-season record for home runs.
The Marlins are in the process of being sold, and the new owners are said to have a desire to shed payroll. Getting rid of the $25-plus million a year Stanton is owed would be the easiest way to do just that.
Hawks land jersey sponsorship with Atlanta-based health company led by Dr. Oz
The Atlanta Hawks have landed a uniform sponsorship for the upcoming season with health and wellness engagement platform Sharecare that will place the company’s logo on the left shoulder of the team jersey, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The agreement between the Hawks and Sharecare, according to the report, spans for five years; the NBA‘s new pilot program that made the ad space on the jersey available is only a three-year program, but could be extended.
Atlanta is the 13th team to take advantage of the NBA’s new rule that allows a team to sell the coveted ad space on the jersey, joining the likes of the, and others. Previous deals have varied from $2.5 million to $10 million annually, and although financial terms haven’t been disclosed for this particular agreement, Sharecare CEO Jeff Arnold said it might be in the mid-range of that price point.
“We’re not the lowest, and we’re not the highest,” Arnold told the paper.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, better known as Dr. Oz from television, is also one of the founders of Sharecare.
Monetary value of the ad space will vary from team to team, as reports from July suggested the NBA champion Golden State Warriors were seeking $15 to $20 million for their ad space, which is still yet to be sold.
According to Hawks chief revenue officer Andrew Saltzman, the deal with Sharecare is the team’s second largest annual sponsorship, behind only the Philips Arena naming rights deal.
Report: Ric Flair’s drinking problem contributed to health issues
WWE legend Ric Flair remains in the hospital after undergoing surgery for an undisclosed medical issue, and one report claims his admitted problem with drinking alcohol helped lead the 68-year-old to where he is.
A source close to the Flair family told Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated that the Nature Boy had part of his bowel removed after being diagnosed with an intestinal blockage. Reports of Flair having heart issues are said to be inaccurate.
According to SI, Flair’s drinking problem has “exacerbated his issues.” Earlier this month, Flair admitted that drinking alcohol has been his “one vice.”
“I had one vice,” Flair said. “I’m not going to point my finger at anybody else. My vice was drinking. I didn’t have any pain issues, addiction problems, marijuana, cocaine, nothing like that. It’s a fact that I kept myself up all night and always had a good time.”
Flair is expected to recover, though he could need to spend an extended period in the hospital after the surgery led to further complications. His fiancee, Wendy Barlow, wrote on Facebook Wednesday that Ric has had “multiple organ problems.”
“Just want to give an update to my friends and family as I have been unable to talk on the phone without crying and just feel shocked over events,” Barlow said. “I took Ric to the hospital Friday night with severe abdominal pain. From that moment on it all seems like a nightmare … multiple organ problems.”
While Flair’s family has yet to reveal the exact nature of his medical problem, a social media post from his daughter indicated the situation is serious. Hopefully the Nature Boy gets some good news in the coming days.
Mayweather/McGregor Fight Attracts a Slew of Big Celebrities
Here’s a partial list:
There are other celebs who have bought tickets under the radar and will just show up. And there are a bunch of celebs who will go to Vegas a week from Saturday but won’t go near the ring. They’ll watch the fight at party venues and attend what everyone expects to be the wildest after-parties of the year.