👋 Good morning!
Today's word count: 1,131 words (4 mins)
Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and music mogul Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter held a news conference yesterday to officially announce a multiyear partnership between the NFL and Carter's entertainment company, Roc Nation.
Why it matters: Carter was repeatedly asked to explain his reasoning for partnering with the NFL on social justice initiatives while Colin Kaepernick, whom he has strongly supported, remains conspicuously absent from the league.
"We forget that Colin's whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice. In that case, this is a success. This is the next phase. There [are] two parts of protesting. You go outside and you protest, and then the company or the individual says, 'I hear you. What do we do next?'"
"I think we have moved past kneeling. I think it's time to go into actionable items."
The bottom line, per NYT's Ken Belson: "In the end, the deal announced Wednesday may lead to a more entertaining Super Bowl. It may also raise a lot more money for groups fighting social injustice that the league is backing through its 'Inspire Change' campaign."
P.S. … Kaepernick has yet to publicly comment on the Roc Nation-NFL partnership, but hours after the news conference, he took to social media to mark the three-year anniversary of his initial protest.
Photo: Alex Trautwig/MLB via Getty Images
The 2019 Little League World Series begins today (1pm ET) in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with 10-to-12-year-olds from all over the world vying to be crowned champions.
Look: Full schedule.
Photo: Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images
The long-anticipated mediation talks between the U.S. women's national team and the U.S. Soccer Federation collapsed without a resolution yesterday.
What they're saying:
What's next: With no further mediation sessions scheduled, the USWNT's gender discrimination lawsuit will likely proceed to federal court — and perhaps to a trial next year.
Travis Kelce. Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
1. Travis Kelce, Chiefs: The 29-year-old has finished as the top fantasy TE in each of the past three seasons, and there's nothing to suggest he can't do it again. In fact, look for him to challenge Gronk's TE scoring record (331 PPR points in 2011).
2. George Kittle, 49ers: The 25-year-old set the single-season record for receiving yards by a TE last year (1,377 yards), and that was with C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens under center. Now that Garoppolo is back, Kittle's ceiling is sky-high.
3. Zach Ertz, Eagles: The 28-year-old set the single-season record for receptions by a TE last year (116 receptions). That number could go down with the addition of DeSean Jackson and a few other pickups, but he still remains a top three option.
4. Evan Engram, Giants: While Baker Mayfield's stock rose after the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, the 24-year-old Engram may have benefitted the most. Look for him to approach triple digit targets this year.
5. O.J. Howard, Buccaneers: The biggest concern is health, as both of the 24-year-old's first two seasons were cut short due to injury. Conversely, here is the list of players with a career yards per target mark greater than 11.4: O.J. Howard.
ISTANBUL — Liverpool beat Chelsea 5-4 on penalties following a 2-2 draw to win the European Super Cup, which pits the reigning champs of the Champions League and Europa League against each other.
MEDINAH, ILLINOIS — Final preparations have been made ahead of today's BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club's No. 3 course (site of the 1999 and 2006 PGA Championships, as well as the 2012 Ryder Cup). The top 30 finishers will advance to next week's Tour Championship. Here's everything you need to know.
PHILADELPHIA — 75-year-old Charlie Manuel, who managed the 2008 Phillies team that won the World Series, made his debut as the team's new hitting coach yesterday. The offense responded with an 11-1 victory over the Cubs that featured two dingers from Bryce Harper.
Photo: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Seven years ago today, Seattle Mariners legend Felix Hernandez pitched the 23rd — and most recent — perfect game in MLB history, shutting down the Tampa Bay Rays.
Watch: Hernandez's final perfect pitch (YouTube)
Albert Pujols recorded his 3,167th hit last night to set a new record for foreign-born players.
Answer at the bottom.
"Death Diving" is a Norwegian extreme sport in which divers jump from a 10-meter-high board with their arms and legs spread out in an X-formation.
See you tomorrow,
Kendall "How can you not love Jürgen Klopp?" Baker
Trivia answer: Adrian Beltre