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Two former NHL off-ice officials in a newly filed lawsuit allege that they were "fired for reporting a colleague who used racist and sexually charged language for years while working for the league." Lawyers for DAVID WALKOWIAK and JAMES WATKINS, former crew officials who worked for the NHL during Lightning games in Tampa, wrote that the two "should be rehired by the NHL and receive punitive damages for their treatment." The amount the two former officials are suing for is "not specified," but the legal complaint is "similar to another lawsuit filed against the NHL in November 2020 by a former NHL official in Tampa who settled his wrongful dismissal case with the league last year" (TSN.ca, 1/11).

Mookie Betts' One Media/Marketing Group will partner with Propagate on multiple projects that are currently in developmentGETTY IMAGES

RIGHT ON SCRIPT: Dodgers RF MOOKIE BETTS has "signed a producing deal" with BEN SILVERMAN and HOWARD OWENS’ Propagate that will see Betts' One Media/Marketing Group "develop scripted and unscripted film, TV and podcast projects." OMG will partner with Propagate on "multiple projects that are currently in development." In addition, OMG has also "partnered with producers from scripted, reality, unscripted and comedy for a slate of projects that are to be developed this year alongside other pre-existing fare." Betts is repped by PATRICE HORTON (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 1/12).

Knicks F KEVIN KNOX II donated $2M to his alma mater, Tampa Catholic High School, to "create a new gym facility." The new facility, which "will be named the Kevin Knox II Fieldhouse," will feature a "fitness center, a Hall of Fame Pavilion, Champions Hall, coaching suites, video scoreboard, men’s and women’s locker rooms, bleachers and concessions." It is anticipated to be "complete by spring" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 1/13)....San Antonio’s La Cantera Spa & Resort has "filed a counterclaim" against Astros 3B ALEX BREGMAN in an "ongoing dispute over his canceled wedding." The resort is suing Bregman for $61,407 in "cancellation fees after his December 2020 wedding was called off." Bregman in April "sued the resort for a nearly $80,000 deposit it allegedly refused to return" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 1/13)....F1 Miami Grand Prix organizers South Florida Motorsports and the City of Miami Gardens have launched the F1 in Schools program at the City of Miami Gardens’ Bunche Park Alternative Sports and Fitness Center. Meals were provided to participants from local Miami Gardens business Drinks on Me 305 (SFM).

IN MEMORY: Former WIVB-CBS and Empire Sports Network sportscaster BRIAN BLESSING died at 64 after an "apparent heart attack over the weekend at his Las Vegas home" (BUFFALO NEWS, 1/13).

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: July 7, 2022

Talking points from Sun Valley; Pac-12 retains Sports Media Advisors; Oak View Group to sell Top Golf national sponsorships and Rapino remains influential with new deal at Live Nation

SBJ Unpacks: LIV Golf tees off in Portland

Ahead of the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic in Illinois and LIV Golf Invitational Portland, SBJ’s Josh Carpenter, and David Rumsey spoke with Sports Illustrated's Bob Harig and Brendan Porath of The Fried Egg to discuss the current state of golf.

SBJ Spotlight: TikTok’s threat to traditional sports media

While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

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