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Welcome to 2022!
Sports in Los Angeles in 2022 is still alive but far from normal. While Covid surges with new variants fans are masked but they are going to games. And the biggest game in town will still happen at Sofi Stadium on February 13th...Superbowl.
The Rams are still looking to play in that game but the Chargers could not make it past the Raiders...and there is alot more on that game.
Since December 1st 2021, MLB has decided they cannot come to terms on a new contract between players and owners so they are LOCKED OUT.
The Lakers and Clippers are playing at what is now called Crypto. Staples is no longer and the name change was touted as something between a funeral and a coming out party.
There will be a NASCAR event the LA Memorial Coliseum and the Long Beach Grand Prix will return in April.
Finally 2022 will also be a year where Diversity and Inclusion will happen. It will be visual. Maybe not how you might imagine but you will see they are leaving out a very large group of people. The same group that most businesses say they never discriminate against, but almost never hire. So lets start there.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION in Sports
My name is Maria Serrao. If you are reading this, you might already know who I am and what I do for a living. I am a sports reporter in Los Angeles and have been for 20 years.
I also use a wheelchair to get around. It has never prevented me from doing my job, but it has prevented me from getting a job.
The same executives who post that they do not discriminate based on gender, sexual orientation, race or disability DO DISCRIMINATE against hiring me.
My resume speaks for itself from covering the Dodgers in the World Series to the Rams in the Superbowl, the Lakers in the Finals, the Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Indy 500. This includes everyday reporting for every professional sports team in Los Angeles.
You know who has never discriminated against me? Athletes and Professional Sports Teams. Never. Never treated me different than any other reporter who covers their teams.
Its all about lack of knowledge and ignorance. Statistics show that 25% of all people have a disability or injury. That INCLUDES and does not discriminate against Sex, Race, Religion or Gender. Across the board 25%.
I thought by now people in power would be more cutting edge. More open to new ideas. ESPN claims they are the Worldwide leader in Sports. The NFL is all about overcoming adversity even hiring coaches in wheelchairs. MLB and the NBA are being more inclusive to women in power positions than ever before. NBC Sports covers Olympic Games that include Paralympics. IndyCar has an owner of a race team who is a quadriplegic.
I am in the process of meeting with every Diversity and Inclusion department at all of the entities mentioned above. Mainly because I need to find a new way in past the little thinkers who can't find their way out of the box.
As you may have figured out I am not a quitter. This is the year I will be covering sports at a National Level. Stay Tuned...
MLB IS BACK!
Thankfully MLB and the MLBPA came to an agreement on their collective bargaining agreement and the 2022 MLB Season is underway. Well at least Spring Training is underway. Now there is a frenzy of free agent signings as all 30 teams scramble to put themselves together in time for an April 8th start. That means a shortened Spring Training, which most players will tell you is too long anyway. Pitchers more than position players need the time. There were many points of contention to go through with this new agreement, far too many to hash out here. (Go on line and look them up) I am still asking the question, why didn't they get this done back in December? Did they like the drama and the possibility of a lost season? There was no reason to wait until the 11th hour which is what they did. The Commissioner had to threaten a shortened season a couple of times. Then once they began seriously talking, these meetings would go into the wee hours of the night. Only to be told the next day that the too sides were miles apart on the issues. On top of this erratic schedule, the meeting location would be in Florida for a day or two, then back to New York. How about an outline of days to meet, where the meetings would take place until the deal was completed. Am I too organized for this? The entire MLB season was at stake and both sides dug in. In the end they did come to an agreement and we can move past this but really...don't run your business this way.
RAMS RUN IT BACK?
When you win a Superbowl what is the very next thought a team has? Win it again. Simple. Not with free agency. Over the next few weeks leading up to the NFL Draft, we will see all 32 NFL teams selling off players and replacing them with other players. Back in the day it was easier to keep players in place on one team but that doesn't happen much anymore. For the Rams they are already big changes. Walter Peyton Man of the Year Andrew Whitworth retired this week. Linebacker Von Miller who made a huge impact mid season and helped the Rams win the Superbowl was expected to return. That was until the Buffalo Bills Mafia offered him 120 million for 6 years. A good deal more than the Rams could offer. You can see how the pieces on the chess board move around. GM Les Snead is one of the most creative players in the chess game and it is now up to him to run the Rams back with a different group on the field. But for now the Rams are the Superbowl Champions and they have the trophy to prove it.
LAKERS ARE A MESS /CLIPPERS HANGING ON
I was attempting to say something positive about this Lakers team but its very difficult. Think about a team with LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard on it. That is what you have on the Lakers. Unfortunately they don't play well together. At one time this would have been an unstoppable team of Allstars but now it is just a team of over the hill players, none of which play much defense. The Clippers who have had their 2 stars in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on IR have played better with less...and they beat the Lakers all four times they have played this season. The Clippers are scrappy and responding well to Head Coach Ty Lue. Will either of these teams go anywhere in the post season, it's not likely but if you had to bet, bet on scrappy not Allstar.
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