Whipping is Different from Abuse – Barkley ; Gambling Expansion Coming ; Budweiser Rattles NFL

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Charles Barkley: ‘Whipping’ kids is different from child abuse

The former Sixer said his daughter was “spanked pretty good.”


by Peter Mucha
The ever-outspoken Charles Barkley is again making news for controversial comments, this time defending parents physically disciplining kids.

This morning, on Dan Patrick’s syndicated radio show, Barkley, the NBA legend turned TNT analyst, went even further than he did yesterday on CBS Sports’ NFL Today.

On Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings star arrested Saturday on child-abuse charges: “This is a way overblown story. We can debate whether Adrian Peterson went overboard. We can debate that. … This sounds like some lightweight prosecutor just trying to get some free pub.”

Barkley pointed out that the first grand jury failed to indict Peterson.

On disciplining his own daughter, who is now 25: “I hope I never crossed the line. … She was spanked pretty good a few times, and she probably deserved it.”

On “hypocrites” in the media and the public: “It just bothers me how everyone who gets in the media and these idiots in the public, they’re like, they never made a mistake and this drives me crazy. … That’s one of the reasons I save my money, so I can tell all these people to shut the hell up and kiss my ass all the time.”

On being punished himself: “I’m pretty sure my grandmother, who was the greatest woman who ever lived, may have crossed the line at times, but you know what? I feel pretty good about the person I am today.”

Sunday morning, Barkley told Jim Rome on CBS Sports’ The NFL Today, “I’m from the South. Whipping — we do that all the time. Every black parent in the South is going to be in jail under those circumstances.”

To be clear, Barkley repeatedly tried to distinguish between spanking and even using a branch or switch and “beating” or child abuse.

Responding to strong remarks by quarterback-turned-broadcaster Boomer Esiason, Barkley said, “I understand Boomer’s rage and anger, … but he’s a white guy and I’m a black guy,” then emphasized how growing up in the South is different.

When Rome replied, “It doesn’t matter where you’re from: Right is right and wrong is wrong,” Barkley said, “I don’t believe that because, listen, we spank kids in the South. … Listen, Jim, we all grow up in different environments.”

Rome: “Let’s make a distinction between ‘child rearing’ and ‘child abuse.’ That was child abuse. There’s no fine line here.”

Barkley: “I think there’s a fine line. Jim, I’ve had many welts on my legs.”

“Like that young man?” Rome asked, referring to Peterson’s son. (There were “cuts and bruises to the child’s back, buttocks, ankles, legs and scrotum, along with defensive wounds to the child’s hands,” according to a CBS Houston report.)

Barkley: “Oh yeah, I’ve gotten beat with switches — and I don’t even like the term. When the media talks about it, ‘beating a child’ …

Rome: “But that’s what that was, Charles. … If I see open wounds or bruises throughout a body, that is a beating.”

Barkley: “Sure. I think those pictures are disturbing. And I think Adrian said he went overboard. … I think we have to really be careful trying to teach other parents how to discipline their kids. That’s a very fine line.”

On Patrick’s show, Barkley said he’d heard from plenty of white people who said, “Our parents spanked the hell out of us, too.”

Last year, a Harris poll found an overwhelming percentage of Americans (81 percent) believed spanking was sometimes appropriate, with the greatest support in the South (86 percent).

Eighty-six percent of adult respondents said they were spanked as a child, and, of those, 21 percent said the punishment was too violent, while 79 percent said it wasn’t.

About half of Americans said there were occasions they should have been spanked but weren’t.

Social media isn’t exactly supportive.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Charles_Barkley_defends_whipping_kids.html#LBMTMe0ovGpKx6qG.99


We are on the cusp of the largest expansion of gambling
by Robert Turner
The passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) marked the beginning of the end of the online poker boom in the U.S. What many people may not realize is the bill specifically exempts fantasy sports games that meet certain criteria.

Especially true is the requirement that winning outcomes reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the participants. This “carve out” language has helped fuel its explosive growth.

In January of this year, Forbes published an article called “Fantasy Sports Legal Issues Will Remain a Hot Topic in 2014,” which notes there are grey areas yet to be resolved. However, for the most part, fantasy sports is legal under federal law. As Marc Edelman writes, the fantasy sports industry is “overall in a far safer legal position than online poker, sports books, and many other types of online contests that involve both chance and skill.”

A few states have passed laws against pay-to-play leagues, but fantasy sports from a federal viewpoint is legal as long as the prize is not tied to a score of the contest but is predicted on statistics. Also, the prize has to be published before the contest starts.

This nation loves to bet, and fantasy sports has the potential to be bigger than any gambling platform the world has seen. Seeing the potential for monetizing fantasy sports and realizing the loophole lawmakers have created, everyone from individuals to media giants like ESPN, CBS Sports and Yahoo see the future and want a piece of the action.

According to Tony Miller, director of race and sports at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, “Fantasy sports has taken off and exploded into a whole new genre of sports wagering.”

With competition from online gambling, casinos are always looking for new revenue streams. Fantasy sports couldn’t have come at a more critical time. And it is only going to grow. Even Wall Street has taken notice.

Just last week the New York Times reported that FanDuel, an online fantasy sports site, raised $70 million while DraftKings, its rival, raised $41 million from investors. According to FanDuel’s chief executive, Nigel Eccles, his company will pay out an estimated $400 million in prize money this year. Last month, a fantasy baseball championship held in Las Vegas paid out $1 million to the winner, and the size of the pots will grow as more players compete.

They have essentially taken a game that has been ruled a game of skill with a fan base of 150 million people and turned it into pure gambling. If you are gambling on the Internet, even if a state has a problem with some of the contest rules, who is going to be the enforcement agency? The problem is there is no turning back now; the genie is out of the bottle.

Even the major league sports teams are trying to get in on the action. The new Commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, said legalization of sports betting in the U.S. is inevitable.

The potential for mainstream gambling on sports is a hundred times bigger than poker. Casino gambling could really benefit from the world’s appetite for sports betting. I envision a day when sports terminals will be as common as ATM machines.

One day in the not-too-distant future ATM machines will even connect to your fantasy sports accounts at companies like FanDuel or DraftKings to make hourly bets, deposits and withdrawals possible.

We are on the cusp of the largest expansion of gambling in our country’s history. Anyone 18 and over with a cell phone can bet daily on any conceivable contest or sporting event. Lottery terminals like the ones in Montana for betting on sporting events will become common place.

Whether it’s right or wrong is another question. Fantasy sports is the next big thing in gambling. Bet on that.

Robert Turner is a legendary poker player and billiard marketing expert, best known for inventing the game of Omaha poker and introducing it to Nevada in 1982 and to California in 1986. In the year 2000, he created World Team Poker, the first professional league for poker. He has over 30 years experience in the gaming industry and is co-founder of Crown Digital Games. Twitter @thechipburnerRobert can be reached at robertturner@gamingtoday.com.


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Armour: NFL should be rattled by Budweiser statement


Nancy Armour, USA TODAY Sports


Now the NFL has real trouble on its hands.

Fed up with the league’s woeful inconsistencies on domestic violence and its belligerent insistence on protecting misbehaving players, Anheuser-Busch took the NFL to task on Tuesday. No, it didn’t say it was pulling its $1.2 billion, six-year contract – yet.

But it doesn’t take a marketing genius to see what’s down the road if the NFL doesn’t get its act together. And fast.

Already, Radisson has temporarily cut ties to the Minnesota Vikings following general manager Rick Spielman’s inept statement Monday that star running back Adrian Peterson was simply “disciplining a child” when he left welts and bruises on his young son’s body that resulted in an indictment on charges of child abuse.

“We are disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season. We are not yet satisfied with the league’s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code,” Anheuser-Busch said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports.

“We have shared our concerns and expectations with the league.”

With a mere three sentences, the beer maker managed to do what that ugly Ray Rice video and the sickening photos of the injuries to Peterson’s son could not. The fear of ticking off big-money sponsors is what keeps Roger Goodell awake at night, and if he and the NFL owners don’t get now that coddling players accused of beating their wives and children is unacceptable, they never will.

“We understand,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement. “We are taking action and there will be much more to come.”

Anheuser-Busch is one of the league’s largest sponsors, spending $149 million just on Super Bowl commercials from 2009-13, according to Adweek. It is also a local sponsor of more than three-quarters of the 32 teams. That’s hardly pocket change, even in a league that generates more than $9 billion a year.

Remember when Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban predicted a few months ago that the NFL was due for an “implosion” in the next 10 years? Take away Budweiser and Bud Light, and it would be more like two or three.

“The implications of that, in terms of the investment, not to exaggerate but it would be staggering over the years,” said Chris Cakebread, a Boston University professor who specializes in sports advertising. “It would be a very, very difficult process for the league to replace that because there just aren’t that many brands that have that kind of money.

“They were probably waiting for everything to blow over,” Cakebread added. “This is not blowing over.”

The NFL has made some moves to address its shortcomings on domestic violence. In addition to tougher penalties, Goodell announced Monday that he had expanded the role of one female vice president and was adding three women to help advise him on the issue.

On Tuesday, he announced the addition of another female executive, Cynthia C. Hogan, who will be the league’s senior vice president of public policy and government affairs.

But the San Francisco 49ers have stubbornly stood by Ray McDonald, who is facing domestic assault charges while the Vikings reinstated Peterson. (No coincidence that came after a 30-7 drubbing without Peterson.) Greg Hardy, who was convicted by a judge of domestic assault and is now awaiting a jury trial, could return to the Carolina Panthers this week after sitting out last weekend.

Goodell and the teams claim they’re waiting for legal proceedings to be resolved, but that’s just another excuse. Employers suspend or discipline employees accused of wrongdoing all the time – often for offenses far less serious than this.

No, the NFL assumed it could weather the fallout just as it has the bad publicity from the concussion crisis. Former players are dying at an alarming rate from brain trauma suffered during their careers, and it hasn’t even put a dent in the NFL’s bottom line.

But shrugging your shoulders at players who beat women and children isn’t just reprehensible, it’s bad math.

About 45 % of the NFL’s fan base is female, according to an NFL-commissioned report last year by C. Keith Harrison, an associate professor at the University of Central Florida. Citing another study, Harrison also said women influence 85% of purchasing decisions related to disposable income.

In other words, all those women the NFL panders to with pink apparel in October spend a lot of money the other 11 months out of the year, too.

“It’s not just a bunch of old guys drinking beer in their man caves. You’ve got a sizeable portion of women,” Cakebread said. “Advertisers are really reluctant to lose that, and they’re being very conscious in their reaction.”

In other words, money talks. The NFL had better be listening.



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