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POLL RESULTS: Here’s how Boston.com readers feel about mandatory flu shots for Mass. students - Boston.com
"Public health is not a personal choice.”
Its probably no surprise that people feel strongly about Gov. Charlie Bakers flu shot mandate for Massachusetts students after all, it was enough to draw activists to the streets to protest the issue not just once, but twice. And a class action lawsuit is said to be pending over the matter. But even though the movement against the mandate has been more visible, a poll of Boston.com readers that drew almost 1,200 responses found 60% in favor of the governors action, with 40% objecting. Thats still a sizable portion uncomfortable with the government mandating children get a vaccine that, unlike other inoculations, must be given every year and is typically only partially effective. But the Massachusetts Medical Society describes the flu vaccine as a safe and important step toward protecting yourself, your family, your co-workers, your classmates, and your community, and is strongly urging all residents to get one before the end of October in order to avoid overloading hospitals with flu patients while doctors deal with a possible coronavirus surge. Those resources are resources needed for patients who have bad cases of COVID, the Societys president, Dr. David Rosman, told WBUR. There are only so many ICU beds and we want to make sure we preserve them as best needed. As far as the effectiveness of the vaccine, The flu shot varies in how effective it is year after year, Dr. Ali Raja, executive vice chairman for the department of emergency medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, told Boston.com during last winters flu season. Some years it can be low as 30 percent effective in preventing the flu. Some years it can be as high as 70 percent. But, regardless of whether or not it prevents you from getting the flu, the evidence shows that if you do get the flu, you are both going to have less severity and a shorter duration of symptoms, he said meaning fewer hospitalizations needed. More than 200 poll respondents weighed in with more details as to why they were for or against the flu shot mandate, with some strong opinions on both sides. Heres a sampling of those responses. Pro: The whole point of the vaccine mandate is so there is no outbreak of the flu on top of COVID which would overwhelm the healthcare system. As someone who is on the front lines, please get vaccinated. We are struggling already with just COVID but if we have a flu outbreak the system will break. Parents have a choice. Send their kid to public school or dont. Thats the choice. There are little to no repercussions in getting the shot and it protects the children. These people are endangering their own kids with their willful ignorance. Since both illnesses share some symptoms, we could max out hospitals and testing capacity if people do not take all the precautions that are available. Lucy, Stoughton There are several mandated vaccines; this is no different, especially during this pandemic. From a public health perspective it is very important to reduce flu during a pandemic. Protect yourself and each other by getting a safe flu vaccine. This extends the time all of our kids get a chance to be in-person at school. Our health system needs the resources (pediatricians & hospitals included) to focus on pandemic response. Heather, Arlington Yes, people can follow My Child, My Choice. However, as with all choices we make, there are consequences. In the current situation, the consequence of not getting your child vaccinated is that your child will not be allowed to interact with other children at school. Public schools should offer remote learning to students who cannot attend for other reasons, and include the No-Vax students in those remote classes. As important as an effort to reduce the load on hospitals and the health care system is reducing the testing required. Symptoms for each are similar, and an increased volume of testing will further diminish already strained resources. Add to that quarantines that happen while waiting to find out if someone has COVID or influenza, and you have the potential for shutting down schools and businesses. Tim, Weymouth The flu shot is an established vaccine that protects an individual as well as the community he or she belongs to from the chances of catching the flu. At the beginning of COVID people were saying that some were overreacting because the flu kills more. The flu kills and getting the shot stems it spread. An individuals freedom does not extend to harming the community at large by potentially being a virus spreader. If the decision is based in science, which I assume it is, then it is 100% the correct decision. How the hell are schools supposed to tell the difference between influenza and SARS-CoV-2 based on symptoms? Eliminate one by having kids (and everyone else) be vaccinated. Im starting to question if we as a species have already gone too far down the path of idiocracy. Frustrated Independent, Scientist, Western Mass. Not being vaccinated is literally life-threatening in this environment. Flu shots should be mandated. There are still reasons for exemption. If kids have to get vaccines for MMR, Hep A and B, etc., they should have to also get the flu vaccine. Go to a private school where this isnt required if you dont want to make your child do this. You have a choice. This is for public health. Linnea, Northborough Science should lead our decisions as a community, not dogma, ideology nor ignorance. The government is doing what it deems best in order to protect the most number of people possible. Unfortunately, they clearly realized that in order to maximize the number of school children who get the flu shot this year they have to issue a mandate on the subject. Its sad that it has to come to this (I really wish it didnt) but it is what it is and if that means freeing up more resources for a potential second COVID-19 wave then so be it. This is going to the same issue as masks. Individual rights end where other peoples rights begin, and we eradicated many diseases with vaccines. The last thing we need right now is for any of them to come back including a much higher caseload of the flu this winter when we are already dealing with higher hospital admissions because of COVID-19. Karen, Manchester-by-the-Sea The real question is: why do these people feel it is their right to force their children to suffer through a preventable disease? I am certain that this was mandated to protect everyone, not to take away peoples freedom or rights. Why is the U.S. so individualistic when it comes to public health and decency? Flu shot vaccines have been proven for safety as well as efficacy over the last three decades. I understand concern over a rush to a COVID vaccine, but flu shots have been proven to be extremely safe. Tim, Melrose Public health is not a personal choice. Carson, Newton If a child shouldnt have it, theres typically a reason and the parents and a doctor know why. If not, they should get a shot. Those crying out are more than likely not mask wearers for COVID. The argument is being made that this is about choice. People do have a choice they can forgo the shot and keep their kids away from the rest of the world, or they can get the shot and gain the services they desire. We dont argue about requirements for other safety oriented structures. You can learn to drive and get a drivers license or you can forgo it and not drive. It would be one thing if all these poor health decisions were made in a vacuum and only affected the people foolish enough to make these choices, but sadly we know this to be not the case. But I suppose it should come as no surprise that there are people refusing to take steps for the greater good and endangering everyone else around them. Its why were still neck deep in this pandemic in the first place. Witness the results firsthand of conflating opinion with fact and the death of the expert. We had a good run. Matt, Chelsea This wouldnt have been a political issue at any point in the last 25 years. Weve allowed stupid to have a seat at the table, and its going to ruin us all. Frankly Im curious how this frivolous lawsuit will play out. Why is the flu vaccine different from other vaccines that are mandated (MMR, chicken pox, polio, etc.) for kids to go to school or daycare? I see no difference. If they dont want to vaccinate their kids (simply for the sake of having the right not to vaccinate vs. their child having a legitimate reason) should not be able to participate in public school or daycare activities. It is not YOUR child. You may be the kids parent, but you and the kid are part of a COMMUNITY. Which, among other things, pays taxes for your kids education, medical care, police and fire protection, mobility systems (roads, trains, buses, bike paths, etc.). We ALL have a responsibility to keep everyone in our community safe. Sometimes that means getting a vaccination with an overwhelmingly safe vaccine. I believe in science. Because its science. Science! Science, b***h! Con: Anything that has possible serious side effects should not be mandatory. Yet again Baker has overstepped his authority. We dont live in China. A few years ago my husband had a bad reaction to the flu shot and it has made us very wary of it since. With the transmission and survival rates of the flu, it should not be mandatory. Seasonal flu is not severe enough to mandate a vaccine. Also, if we are required to wear masks to protect us from COVID, which has proven to have a higher transmission and death rate than seasonal flu, then why do we need a flu shot? Shouldnt the same mask be protecting us from flu, same as COVID? This is lunacy and is an attempt to prepare us for an unproven COVID-19 vaccine. I dont support mandatory flu vaccines. For healthy children there is no strong science flu shot effective. Supporting immune system matters most healthy lifestyle, sleep are key. Sarah, Duxbury With the COVID-19 safety protocols, the spread of the flu is almost impossible. Besides, mandatory vaccination is not acceptable. My kids are 20 and 16. None of us have had a flu shot in about 10 years and none of us have had the flu. I understand that for most that get it there are no issues however the benefits do not outweigh the risks in my opinion. Where there is low efficacy and high risk, there must be choice. Maria, Douglas Doctors with patients and patients parents should be making medical decisions together, NOT the government. Karrie, Petersham If it was isolated to this year only then fine, but to require children, for the first 18+ years of their lives, to get a yearly shot that is modified each year and has a less than 50% efficiency rate, in order for them to receive child care and an education at a public or private establishment in this state is outrageous and a huge government overstep. Independent of whether or not you believe the vaccine is effective or safe, the government should not be allowed to dictate what gets put into our bodies. Maybe I am comfortable with the flu vaccine but this would set a dangerous precedent for the future of our medical freedom. Vaccines, as do most medicines, come with the risk of potential side effects. Baker, Boston Why would you enforce a vaccine that guesses the strain wrong every year? Never has the healthcare system become overwhelmed during this entire pandemic. What I choose to vaccinate myself and my family for is my choice, not a paid government employee. The flu shot is not very effective and the government is getting too prescriptive with our children and our bodies. We are already distancing and wearing masks and stuck in our houses, set up for a low flu season. Its America. Government needs to stay out of health care. We all do not participate in his version of health care. We live a holistic lifestyle with NO poisons. Also, we need FREEDOM to decide our own health care. Jessica, Manchester-by-the-Sea It is government overreach to determine who has to get a flu shot If he wants to make it a law he should get the Legislature to get it passed, and good luck with that. The government should not be able to mandate a medical procedure ever. Especially one with such a low efficacy rate. He has continually overstepped his bounds in response to the pandemic and should consider himself lucky he hasnt faced more challenge at the Supreme Court. I have a feeling that is still to come. I am generally for vaccinating my children, and do get them the flu shot, but that is my choice, not his or the states. I understand mandatory vaccinations for some other diseases like MMR, etc. as we have largely eradicated these, but those are typically administered once or in infrequent increments over the span of a lifetime, and have a high efficacy. The flu shot is marginally effective as there are so many strains of the flu and the antibody quickly leaves the body, hence why another vaccine is needed the next year. I believe there are many compelling reasons why this mandate must be reversed. These reasons include: We do not fully understand how the flu vaccine will react with the COVID virus; students and their parents are being denied their medical freedom for no good reason as the ineffectiveness of the flu vaccine means that even if ALL residents were immunized, herd immunity would not be obtained; other currently used protocols to prevent the spread of COVID are actually more effective than the flu shot itself in preventing the flu with no potential associated health risks. We get flu shots every year. But this year we are quarantining. My child is doing remote school and we are not going into public buildings. We would have to break our quarantine and risk COVID exposure to get a flu shot at a time when we will not be in a position to contract or spread the flu. Governor Baker is overstepping. Just like he did with the shutdown. We shouldnt still be shut down and wearing masks. We also shouldnt be told what goes into our childrens bodies. They are our concern. Not his. He needs to remove this mandate immediately. Our bodies do not belong to any government. While I may CHOOSE to vaccinate my children based on facts, science, and other factors, it is not up to the government to MAKE ME. The government should focus on safety of the vaccine for citizens so we can make a logical choice based on FREE WILL. Nikki, Winchester Completely unnecessary vaccine to give to children. This should be left up to to the parent or individual. If we are all wearing masks, cleaning and social distancing, there is absolutely no need for this vaccine and the extra contaminants it contains. Enough is enough. Adam, Weston If we are going to mandate the flu shot, why not mandate it for the frail and elderly, who are the ones likely to have worse outcomes? Why the kids? For our smaller children, we are the parents. We know our children and their health better than anyone. This should be a personal decision, a personal choice that parents make. As children become adults, they should be able to make their own choices as well. Government should not be stepping in and telling anyone what they must put into their bodies This is morally wrong and so very unethical in so many ways. Sabrina, Lexington Baker[s] stated reason for the flu mandate for kids is [to] keep hospital situation at bay. Really? Have kids ever had a flu breakout where many kids get hospitalized? As it is, MA has one of the highest vaccinations rates in the country. No need to mandate this garbage. David, Seekonk Its not the job of the executive branch (governor) to enact laws, which is essentially what this is. This mandate should be voted on by the citizens of Mass. before denying parents the right to decide for their children. Theres also no time limit on this mandate, which means its forever. This is classic government overreach, never letting a good crisis go to waste. Whatever happened to my body, my choice? And whats next? 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Patriots’ Week 2 injury report: Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry limited in practice for second straight day - Boston.com
Patriots receivers Julian Edelman and NKeal Harry were limited for the second-straight practice ahead of their matchup against the Seahawks. Edelman is listed on the injury report with a knee injury for the second-straight week. He was a limited participant for the Patriots first two practices last before being a full participant in their final practice ahead of their Week 1 matchup. He had five catches on five targets for 57 yards and had a rush for 23 yards in the Patriots win over the Dolphins. Harry is on the report with a shoulder injury. He was placed on last weeks injury report for the final practice of the week with the same injury but was still a full participant. He had five catches on six targets for 39 yards in Week 1. One of his catches resulted in a fumble at the Dolphins goal line, allowing the Dolphins to make it a one-score game in the fourth quarter. Linebacker Josh Uche was added to Thursdays injury report as he did not participate due to an ankle injury. Uche was inactive for Week 1. Defensive tackle Adam Butler and linebacker Brandon Copeland were limited participants for the second-straight practice. Tight end Dalton Keene is still on the injury report but was a full participant for Thursdays practice. Linebacker Cassh Maluia and cornerback Jonathan Jones were removed from the injury report on Thursday. For Seattle, Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams was added to the injury report on Thursday due to an elbow injury. He was a full participant. Here is this weeks full injury report for the Patriots and Seahawks: Patriots Thursday DID NOT PARTICIPATELB Josh Uche (ankle) LIMITED AVAILABILITYDT Adam Butler (shoulder)LB Brandon Copeland (knee)WR Julian Edelman (knee)WR NKeal Harry (shoulder) FULL AVAILABILITYTE Dalton Keene (neck) Wednesday DID NOT PARTICIPATENo Players Listed LIMITED AVAILABILITYDT Adam Butler (shoulder)LB Brandon Copeland (knee)WR Julian Edelman (knee)WR NKeal Harry (shoulder)CB Jonathan Jones (foot) FULL AVAILABILITYTE Dalton Keene (neck)LB Cassh Maluia (knee) Seahawks Thursday DID NOT PARTICIPATEDE Rasheem Green (neck)T Cedric Ogbuehi (pectoral) LIMITED AVAILABILITY T Duane Brown (resting veteran) WR Phillip Dorsett (foot) FULL AVAILABILITYS Jamal Adams (elbow) Wednesday DID NOT PARTICIPATET Duane Brown (resting veteran)DE Rasheem Green (neck)T Cedric Ogbuehi (pectoral) LIMITED AVAILABILITYWR Phillip Dorsett (foot) FULL AVAILABILITYNo Players Listed. Get Boston.com's browser alerts: Enable breaking news notifications straight to your internet browser. Turn on notifications
Lewd cheerleader videos, sexist rules: Ex-employees decry Washington’s NFL team workplace - Boston.com
Twenty-five women told The Post that they experienced sexual harassment while working for the team.
In Beauties on the Beach, the official video chronicling the making of the Washington NFL teams 2008 cheerleader swimsuit calendar, the women frolic in the sand, rave about their custom bikinis and praise a photographer for putting them at ease in settings where sometimes only a strategically placed prop or tightly framed shot shielded otherwise bare breasts. What the cheerleaders didnt know was that another video, intended strictly for private use, would be produced using footage from that same shoot. Set to classic rock, the 10-minute unofficial video featured moments when nipples were inadvertently exposed as the women shifted positions or adjusted props. The lewd outtakes were what Larry Michael, then the teams lead broadcaster and a senior vice president, referred to as the good bits or the good parts, according to Brad Baker, a former member of Michaels staff. Baker said in an interview that he was present when Michael told staffers to make the video for team owner Daniel Snyder. Snyder and the team provided no comment after they were given repeated opportunities to respond to this and other allegations before the publication of this report. In a statement released hours after this report was published at washingtonpost.com on Wednesday, Snyder wrote, I do not have any knowledge of the ten-year old videos referenced in the story. I did not request their creation and I never saw them. Michael also adamantly denied the allegation. Nothing can be further from the truth. I was never asked to nor did I ask someone to compile videos as you described, Michael said in an interview. Baker recalls otherwise. Larry said something to the effect of, We have a special project that we need to get done for the owner today: He needs us to get the good bits of the behind-the-scenes video from the cheerleader shoot onto a DVD for him,' said Baker, who was a producer in the teams broadcast department from 2007 to 2009. The Washington Post obtained a copy of the 2008 video from another former employee, along with a similar outtakes video from the squads swimsuit calendar shoot in the Dominican Republic in 2010 that included a close-up of one cheerleaders pubic area, obscured only by gold body paint. In addition, a former broadcasting producer for the team told The Post that Michael ordered that the 2010 video be burned to a DVD titled For Executive Meeting. The former producer did not recall Michael mentioning Snyder. Both former employees spoke on the condition of anonymity because they feared retaliation. Michael denied knowledge of any such videos. On Aug. 18, The Post emailed the teams public relations representative a summary of its reporting and detailed questions. The team, through its public relations firm and lawyer, requested additional days to respond and did not accept repeated offers from The Post to show team officials these videos. Ultimately, the team provided no comment, and Snyder did not agree to an interview. The six-paragraph statement Snyder released Wednesday began, The behavior described in the Washington Posts latest story has no place in our franchise, or in our society. While I was unaware of these allegations until they surfaced in the media, I take full responsibility for the culture of our organization. In response to last months Post report detailing allegations of widespread sexual harassment in his teams front office, including by Michael, Snyder publicly stated that such behavior has no place in our franchise and hired a law firm to set new employee standards for the future. But interviews with more than 100 current and former employees and a review of internal company documents and other records show that, in his 21 years of ownership, Snyder has presided over an organization in which women say they have been marginalized, discriminated against and exploited. The employees also described an atmosphere in which bullying and demeaning behavior by management created a climate of fear that allowed abusive behavior to continue unchecked. Twenty-five women most of them speaking on the condition of anonymity because of nondisclosure agreements or fear of reprisal told The Post that they experienced sexual harassment while working for the team. They described male bosses, colleagues and players commenting on their bodies and clothing, incorporating sexual innuendos into workplace conversation and making unwanted advances in person or via emails, text messages and social media. Many said they were motivated to speak out because they were angered by Snyders comments after The Post report last month that detailed allegations from another 17 women, which they read as an attempt to distance himself from the workplace culture described. One of the women interviewed for this story accused Snyder of directly humiliating her, the first such claim made to The Post. Former cheerleader Tiffany Bacon Scourby said Snyder approached her at a 2004 charity event at which the cheerleaders were performing and suggested she join his close friend in a hotel room so they could get to know each other better. Scourbys account was supported by three friends she spoke to shortly afterward about the alleged incident, including the teams former cheerleader director. In his statement, Snyder said, We are disappointed Ms. Scourby would speak to the newspaper but never bring any of these allegations to managements attention, particularly since she is still part of our organization as a volunteer with our cheerleaders. I want to unequivocally state that this never happened. Ms. Scourby did not report this alleged incident to anyone on the team in 2004, in her 8 years as a cheerleader, or at any time in the past 16 years. Many of the women who have come forward in recent weeks with harassment allegations pointed to former executives named in the previous Post report: Alex Santos, the recently fired pro personnel director; Michael, the clubs longtime radio voice and a senior vice president, who abruptly retired last month; Dennis Greene, former president of business operations, who left in 2018 amid allegations he had sold access to cheerleaders; and Mitch Gershman, former chief operating officer, who left in 2015. Santos and Gershman declined to comment for this story. Greene did not respond to requests for comment. Some women described an overwhelming sense of helplessness and an absence of options because the teams one-person human resources department has been supervised by executives who appeared, to them, to condone this behavior. One former intern said she tried to lodge a sexual harassment complaint against Santos in 2016, but Stephen Choi, the organizations chief financial officer, told her the team had a male-dominated culture and she would have to avoid Santos or quit. She quit. Choi declined to comment. Many women also said gender-based official policies and informal practices limited their ability to do their jobs and denied them opportunities for career advancement. Alicia Klein, a 27-year-old Georgetown University graduate student when she interned for the team in 2010, said she passed up a chance to extend her internship because she felt so uncomfortable about male executives constantly remarking on her looks. It was pervasive, said Klein, now a sports executive and professor in Brazil. I didnt tell anyone because it was embarrassing and demeaning, and I wanted to tell everyone that I had worked in the NFL. In 2017, at Chois direction, the teams human resources staffer emailed all employees a conduct policy restricting the movement of women in the building to minimize their interaction with players. The email made formal what long had been an understood directive, according to several former employees, that women should avoid football operations areas out of concern they would distract players. Several women said they endured harassment and verbal abuse that left lingering emotional damage. Some formed an informal online support group for former team employees. Some said they felt working for the team left them with post-traumatic stress disorder. Brittany Pareti, a D.C.-area marketing executive who worked in the teams community and charitable programs from 2007 to 2012, said she became so angry and depressed during her time with the team that her family staged an intervention to convince her to seek therapy. It was like fresh meat to a pack of wolves every time a new pack of interns would come in, Pareti said. It was like a frat house, with men lined up in the lobby watching women walk in and out. You constantly felt there were eyes on you. Pareti and Scourby are among 12 former team employees who have retained attorney Lisa Banks, partner in the D.C. firm Katz, Marshall and Banks, which specializes in civil rights, employment and sexual harassment law. A workplace culture this toxic and pervasive, at the highest levels of the organization, simply cannot exist without the knowledge and encouragement of the owner, said Banks, whose firm represented Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey Ford when she went public in 2018 with accusations of sexual assault against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who denied them. Some former team employees were referred to Banks by the Times Up Legal Defense Fund, an initiative that connects women who are sexually harassed at work with legal and public relations professionals. The new allegations come at a perilous time for Snyder, 55, who recently dropped the teams name under pressure from sponsors and critics who said it was racist. He also faces the possible exodus of his three co-owners, who are trying to sell their collective 40% stake in the franchise. Snyder has gone to court twice in recent weeks to defend his reputation. He sued an online media company for publishing what he said were defamatory stories about him. In his statement, Snyder said, I have admittedly been too hands-off as an owner and have allowed others to have day-to-day control to the detriment of our organization. Going forward I am going to be more involved, and we have already made major changes in personnel bringing in new leadership to drive the cultural transformation on and off the field. Snyder also is accusing a former employee, Mary Ellen Blair, and her landlord of helping to orchestrate and bankroll those stories. The landlord is a company led by the son-in-law and daughter of Dwight Schar, one of the minority owners seeking to sell his share of the team. Blair and the company have denied the allegations. In an Aug. 21 court filing, lawyers for the company, Comstock Holdings, characterized Snyders pursuit of financial information to bolster his claim as a speculative fishing expedition. Since the first Post report, Snyder has diversified his teams senior leadership with two high-profile hires. Last week, he named Jason Wright, a former NFL player and partner at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, as team president; Wright is the first Black person to hold that title in the NFL. Last month, Snyder hired sports broadcaster Julie Donaldson to replace Michael as senior vice president of media, making her the teams highest-ranking woman. Snyder also hired D.C. attorney Beth Wilkinson to conduct a full, unbiased investigation of the workplace. Many former employees told The Post they hope the NFL takes over the investigation to ensure thorough scrutiny of Snyders conduct. Several incidents they recounted may violate the NFLs personal conduct policy, which requires team owners, staff members and players to avoid conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League. An independent investigation is needed, Pareti said. We cannot trust a report from this organization to be unbiased. Cigar smoke and the laughter and chatter of more than 2,000 of the regions wealthiest men filled the Washington Hilton ballroom as Fight Night the bawdy, boxing-themed charity event that was discontinued after last years edition got underway on a November evening in 2004. The centerpiece of the event, which raised money for childrens charities, was a boxing ring where young fighters competed and Washingtons cheerleaders performed. Snyder wasnt a Fight Night regular, attendees said, but a photographer captured him in his tuxedo that night with his arm around Schar. Snyder won an auction for a limited edition Harley-Davidson motorcycle, spending $80,000. Scourby said she had finished dancing in the ring with her teammates wearing black bustiers, gold shorts and black fishnet arm stockings and returned to mingling with guests and selling copies of that years swimsuit calendar when she saw Snyder. Tiffany! Scourby recalled Snyder calling to her. Then 26, she had never spoken to Snyder before, she said, and was surprised he knew her name. Scourby recalled a brief, awkward conversation before Snyder said, You know, Tony is here, and gestured to Anthony Roberts, his longtime friend, who was 40 years old at the time. Roberts, an eye doctor, had performed LASIK surgery on Scourby the year before one of her friends had recommended him and she said she had noticed him in Snyders suite at FedEx Field before a game a few months later, peering through binoculars and waving at her. The official ophthalmologist of the team, Roberts has known Snyder since they were classmates at a Rockville, Md. high school. As teenagers, they watched Washington games together at Snyders home in Silver Spring, Md. according to a 1999 Post story. When Snyder had one of his first successful business forays, at 22, he and Roberts bought Porsches together. We have a hotel room, Snyder said that 2004 night, according to Scourby. Why dont you and Tony go upstairs and get to know each other better? Scourby said she laughed sheepishly and waited for a laugh from Snyder that would indicate he was joking. He didnt laugh, she said. Oh, Im working. Have a great time, Scourby said she told him before quickly walking back into the crowd. Later that night, she confided in Donald Wells, the cheerleader director, about the conversation. I remember her saying, Daniel Snyder offered me the suite with one of his friends, said Wells, who led the squad from 1997 to early 2009, when he was laid off with roughly 20 other employees amid the economic downturn. She was more or less propositioned. Two other people supported Scourbys recollection of that evening: her boyfriend at the time, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, and a longtime friend, who said Scourby told her about the incident a few days later. Snyder let it be known he had a room in the hotel and Tiffany and his friend should go get to know each other better, recalled Kristi Kelly, a cannabis industry executive who lives in Michigan. She gracefully exited the conversation. Years later, Scourby said, she is still unsure whether Roberts knew about Snyders remark. Roberts did not respond to repeated requests for comment from The Post. Theres a power dynamic, and Dan Snyder looked down on me, Scourby said. Because hes powerful and our employer, he thinks he somehow has the right to say these things to us, to make these requests of us, and he doesnt. Its disgusting. Scourby continued to work as a cheerleader for four years after that Fight Night, serving as team captain in 2008 and representing the team at the 2009 Pro Bowl. A 42-year-old single mother of two young boys, she said she maintains a connection to the teams cheerleaders as a sideline assistant, a volunteer coaching position. This is Scourbys second allegation of inappropriate behavior against a high-profile man. In 2017, she accused actor Jeremy Piven of sexually assaulting her in 2003 during a brief encounter in New York. Piven denied the allegation, along with similar claims of sexual misconduct by seven other women. CBS canceled the drama he was starring in at the time. Powerful men in powerful positions need to realize that they cant do this, she said. The request for the unofficial cheerleader video came after a routine production meeting in 2008, according to Baker, a former production manager in the teams broadcasting department. The cheerleaders recently had returned from their calendar shoot that year in Aruba. Baker said Michael excused two female colleagues and asked him to stay, along with two male colleagues: Tim DeLaney, then vice president of production, and Marc Dress, a videographer. After Michael asked for the video of the good bits, there was an awkward pause, said Baker, who was unsure what they were being asked to do. Yeah, Ill take care of it, DeLaney said, according to Baker. Later that day, Baker said, he walked into the editing room to find DeLaney, assisted by Dress, assembling footage that included multiple shots of cheerleaders exposed nipples. His co-workers appeared visibly uncomfortable doing the work, he said. Nobody said anything; it was just palpable tension, said Baker, who was among those laid off in 2009 and now lives in Nashville, Tenn. The door, which typically would be open, was shut, Baker said. His co-workers spoke in hushed tones, he said, and when he left the room, DeLaney told him to close the door. DeLaney and Dress disputed Bakers account. I was never asked to create an outtakes video, and I have no knowledge of anyone creating one or even being asked to create one, said DeLaney, now vice president of broadcast and digital content for the Arizona Cardinals. I certainly would have remembered that conversation had it happened. Ive never seen anything like that, said Dress, now an independent videographer in Maryland. I was a shooter; I shot it. What happened after I turned it in, I cant tell you. Megan Imbert, a former producer in the broadcast department, said she walked into an editing bay in the summer of 2008 and saw an image on the screen she learned years later from Baker was part of this video: a zoomed-in shot of a cheerleaders bikini bottom, focused on the pubic area. I thought: Thats a really weird place for a shot to be stopped. . . . I hope thats never used for anything, Imbert said. The 10-minute outtakes video was created June 9, 2008, according to metadata in the video file. A technical analysis by The Post and a researcher from the Infomedia Lab at Carnegie Mellon University found no evidence that it had been manipulated. It and a promotional video broadcast by the team share what appear to be identical frames from a topless photo shoot, with the official version blurred and the outtakes version in sharp focus. The 2010 video featuring partly nude cheerleaders was created June 22 that year, according to its metadata, shortly after the years calendar shoot in the Dominican Republic. Both videos share the same soundtrack: The Rolling Stones Jumpin Jack Flash, Aerosmiths Sweet Emotion and U2s Mysterious Ways. In both outtakes videos, the cheerleaders look directly at the camera repeatedly. The Post showed the videos to Banks, Scourbys attorney, who also represents Baker. It is absolutely appalling but perhaps not surprising that the Washington football organization would produce these highly sexualized videos without the knowledge or consent of the women featured, Banks said. The videos appear to have been created to serve no other purpose than to satisfy the prurient interests of the teams executive leadership. The former employee who provided both videos to The Post described seeing a producer splice the footage together for the 2010 video. According to the former employee, the producer identified the footage as outtakes of the recent cheerleader shoot and said the video was being compiled for Snyder. The former employee told The Post, I saved the video because I didnt think anyone would believe it was real. This former employee decided to provide the videos to The Post after its July 16 report, out of a desire to see the NFL hold the team more accountable. The producer did not recall the brief exchange described by the former co-worker but said it was plausible because the outtakes were put together in a shared editing room. The producer said Michael asked for the calendar footage to be scoured for the good stuff partially nude and other salacious moments and to splice it together onto a DVD titled, For Executive Meeting. Michael never said explicitly that the video was for Snyder, according to the producer, who said two copies were given to Michael. The producer viewed the 2010 video obtained by The Post and confirmed its authenticity. In an interview, the producer expressed shame for taking part in its production. It was extremely unprofessional and perverted, the kind of culture that would only exist in a world where there were barely any women in powerful positions, no human resources and no accountability, the producer said. Contacted by The Post, Michael had no explanation for who edited the videos reviewed by The Post and said he could not explain why multiple, lower-level employees who worked for the team in different years said managers had ordered up the videos for team executives. The former employee who provided the videos to The Post reached out through a newsroom tip line. Baker separately told The Post what he recalled about the 2008 version. Post reporters then contacted former employees from the same time period, including the one who confirmed making the 2010 video. In interviews with The Post, as they learned about the unofficial videos for the first time, several former cheerleaders said they felt exploited by an organization that, at the time, paid them each about $1,000 per year. Heather Tran, who posed for the 2008 calendar, said she asked for a closed shoot, in which only essential staff, the photographer and the videographer were allowed to attend. I feel betrayed and violated, said Tran, who was 29 when she posed topless. In the authorized version of the video, several beaded necklaces covered parts of her breasts; in the unauthorized version, her nipples are briefly exposed. Now a 41-year-old business analyst, she cheered for the team from 2004 to 2010 and has worked as a sideline assistant since then. Shown the 2008 outtakes video, she said she was sure it was compiled from the same footage as the promotional videos broadcast on television and online. Scourby was involved in both shoots: in 2008 as a cheerleader and in 2010 as a volunteer helping to coordinate the shoot. She also viewed the videos and said she was certain the footage came from the teams videographers. Im horrified. Im nauseous, Scourby said. The video was a huge violation of my sisters and I. Wells, the longtime cheerleader director, was so taken aback by the news of the videos that he cried. I worked so hard to protect them, he said. They are daughters and wives and mothers. This is disgusting. Another former cheerleader, Brittni Abell, whose nipples were visible through body paint in the 2010 outtakes but airbrushed in the official promotional videos that year, issued a statement through lawyer Gloria Allred: If these allegations are true, the use of my image in such an inappropriate manner, without my knowledge or consent, is reprehensible and appalling. Shortly after reporting for their first day of work at team headquarters in Ashburn, Va., dozens of employees said, they learned several unwritten rules: Always call the owner Mr. Snyder or Sir, never Dan. Never look him in the eyes. And if he comes walking your way, turn around and head in the other direction. The fear is instilled in employees from Day One, said Imbert, who worked for the team from 2008 until 2011. The organization is led by fear. Susan Miller, a retired former president of a Virginia employee referral agency, said she stopped sending people to work for the team in the early 2000s after growing appalled by how Snyder treated his employees. He denigrated people. He treated women like servants, Miller said. One time, in 2000 or 2001, Miller recalled, she got a phone call from Snyders executive assistant informing her Snyder had fired a woman Miller had referred there because he thought she looked frumpy or dowdy. Hed just passed her in the hall once . . . and then just said, Get rid of her, Miller said. The executive assistant did not respond to requests for comment. Former executive assistants to Snyder described a high-pressure job with high turnover that requires two or three staffers to ensure, among many other duties, that his bar has an ample supply of Crown Royal XR and that the end of the toilet paper in his private bathroom is folded in a hotel-style point. Those who work directly for Snyder heed a long list of protocols, according to three former executive assistants: Dont speak too loudly; never eat in front of him; dont go to the bathroom unless another assistant is available to cover the phones; dont take a lunch break, but if you must eat at your desk, make sure the food doesnt smell; clean the owners desk each morning, ensuring that his calendar and daily kitchen menu are in the proper locations and that his paper clips all face the same direction. Female assistants said additional directives often put them in no-win situations: Wear heels but dont let your heels clack loudly. Wear smart business attire but be prepared to run down two flights of stairs and up again for ice from the kitchen in the basement, which Snyder preferred over the ice from the kitchen on the executive floor. When he wants something, he wanted it 10 minutes ago, a former executive assistant said. I cant tell you how much running I did. . . . I was drenched in sweat more often than not. For ice cubes. I felt like part of my job description apparently was cocktail waitress in the evening. Former employees from across Snyders tenure, in interviews, scoffed at what they considered the teams inadequate human resources department: one full-time employee who reports to the chief financial officer. While the teams code of conduct forbids unwelcome or unsolicited sexual advances and conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment, dozens of women said they routinely experienced unwelcome advances. Things that go on there would never go on in a normal office, said Michelle Tessier, the teams public relations director from 2000 to 2004. Being friendly was taken as an invitation to make comments. I was cornered in offices. . . . There would be no one else around, and the flirting and the innuendo starts, and they take it too far. Since 2016, the teams lone human resources staffer has reported to Choi, the chief financial officer, whose handling of two situations described by former employees deepened a sense that the teams code of conduct regarding sexual harassment and gender equality existed only on paper. Choi, who has worked for the team since 2009, declined an interview request through a team spokesman. In early 2016, Shannon Slate, a 22-year-old college intern at the time, said she met with Choi to try to file a complaint against Santos, then 40. In a phone interview, Slate described her increasing level of discomfort as Santos pursued her throughout her internship. It started with daily visits to her desk and unwanted gifts such as a team visor or a water bottle. It was like fresh meat to a pack of wolves every time a new pack of interns would come in. One day after work, Slate said, Santos called her, asking about her favorite bars and whether she would date him. Santos would stop by daily and comment on her clothing, she said, including a day she wore a blue dress she considered professional and Santos told her, Thats a little too short for me not to look at. Counseled by two female supervisors, Slate said, she went to Choi. His reaction marked an end to Slates career in professional sports. He basically said: . . . This is a sports organization; men dominate it, Slate recalled. You have two options: Keep your distance from Alex, or you can end the internship early. I ended the internship early. Slates account was supported by a college roommate she told at the time as well as by Slates older sister. I guess they kind of wanted to sweep it under the rug, said Ashley Slate, a nanny in Monmouth Beach, N.J. I wanted to call them and ask them what the hell was wrong with them. Santos declined to comment. Under Choi, an email sent to all employees in 2017 sparked outrage among women. The Post obtained a copy of the email. The email, sent by Julie Kalmanides, the teams sole human resources employee, included a list of conduct policies. Among them, Kalmanides wrote, It has also been requested that, if at all possible, females are not present in any football areas while the players are here. The implication, made clear in follow-up instructions by team executives, according to four women, was that they were a distraction to players. They said executives told female employees that, as a practical matter, men generally should perform any task that required going to the first floor at team headquarters where the locker room, weight room, training room and team dining room are located. If women were assigned such a task but could not delegate, they were told, they could go downstairs only if accompanied by a male employee. Kalmanides, who now works in human resources for D.C. United, Washingtons Major League Soccer club, said in a statement to The Post that the email was written by senior executives she declined to name. Kalmanides reported directly to Choi. At their request, I distributed the email to all staff. . . . I had no involvement in the creation of this instruction, she wrote. Women in the teams sales, marketing and sponsorship departments who might be escorting clients from the front lobby to the practice fields said the policy presented three options: Lead their guests around the side of the building and down a hill on a path used by golf carts to reach the field; direct clients to walk themselves down the staircase and out to the field while explaining that they would have to walk around the building and meet them outside; or violate the policy and escort guests down the staircase their male colleagues were allowed to access. We are adults in a workplace, one female former marketing employee said. Women were professionally dressed. . . . Thats on the men for not being able to keep it professional. In May 2018, Snyder made a decision that, for a few months, gave many younger staffers hope the teams culture was finally about to change: He hired Brian Lafemina, then a senior vice president at the NFL, as the teams president of business operations and chief operating officer. Lafemina, whom Snyder publicly praised for fresh thinking and big ideas, got to work. He publicly acknowledged that a season ticket waiting list the team once claimed included 200,000 people no longer existed. He offered discounted tickets to government employees, scouts and service members. And he pledged to treat [fans] the way they ought to be treated. Internally, Lafemina distributed copies of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team to front-office managers, hoping to spur a cultural shift based on the leadership manuals lessons on trust, commitment and accountability. When he learned how female employees had been treated, he responded swiftly. Rachel Engleson was the messenger. A 2010 Maryland graduate, she said she endured years of sexual harassment from Michael during her ascent from unpaid intern to senior director of marketing and client services. It started with comments about her hair and outfits, she said, and it escalated to kisses on the cheek, a suggestive email and unwelcome hugs. Nearly all of those overtures were in front of others, she said, making her humiliation worse. Because Engleson had no faith in the teams human resources office, she said, she informed her supervisor at the time, Jason Friedman, who offered to tell Michael to leave her alone. According to Engleson, Friedman did so, and it helped for a time until Michael, who was more than 30 years older and a senior vice president, resumed his unwelcome overtures at training camp in 2013. In an interview with the The Post, Michael denied repeated instances of harassment and any improper touching but acknowledged making one inappropriate remark in her presence, which he declined to detail. There were things that were said and done in public involving Rachel that I have apologized for, Michael said. Friedman did not respond to messages seeking comment. Several years later, after Lafeminas arrival, Engleson requested a meeting with his new deputies, Steven Ziff and Jake Bye, to tell them how the team treated women. They needed to know what they were getting into, said Engleson, now 31. And I needed to know, for my own future, if the place was going to change. Engleson said she told Ziff and Bye about Michaels harassment. She also told them about the teams inadequate process for reporting harassment and her wariness of confiding in any executive close to Snyder. They were horrified, said Engleson, who wept while recounting the conversation. I could not look them in the eye. I was looking at the ground the entire time. They both said, This is not normal, and this is not OK, and this is not what its like anywhere else. Lafemina followed up once he was informed, according to Engleson. He brought in a consultant from New York to lead workplace training on sexual harassment the first such training arranged by the team, she said, during her eight-year tenure. Lafemina and Ziff declined to comment for this story. Bye could not be reached to comment. Not everyone shared Lafeminas vision for a new era. His three-year business plan, which included limiting the number of FedEx Field tickets available to opponents fans on the resale market, predictably resulted in short-term financial declines in exchange for what he envisioned as long-term gains. But after one financial quarter showed a steep revenue drop, Snyder fired him and two of his deputies Dec. 26, 2018, after less than eight months on the job. Bye had resigned Dec. 21. Employees were informed that afternoon in a hastily called meeting led by Terry Bateman, a former team executive whom Snyder had recently rehired. The team declined to make Bateman available for an interview. According to Engleson and several others who attended the meeting, Bateman sought to allay concerns, explaining that the organization would be going back to how things were. What do you mean, Back to how things were? Engleson recalled asking. Within six months, Engleson was among more than 40 employees one-fourth of the teams non-football staff who left the team, convinced the culture change they had been counting on would never come. The Washington Posts Alice Crites contributed to this report. Get Boston.com's browser alerts: Enable breaking news notifications straight to your internet browser. Turn on notifications
More COVID cases linked to Maine wedding reception, totaling 53 cases so far - Boston.com
Maine state health officials said Saturday that so far, 53 cases of the virus have been traced back to the Aug. 7 reception in Millinocket. One person has died, according to a local hospital.
MAINE (AP) More cases of COVID-19 have been linked to a Maine wedding reception that violated attendance limits. Maine state health officials said Saturday that so far, 53 cases of the virus have been traced back to the Aug. 7 reception in Millinocket. One person has died, according to a local hospital. The reception at the Big Moose Inn exceeded the states indoor gathering limit, among other violations of state rules. The outbreak affected individuals from 4 to 78 years old, officials said. About 65 people more than the limit of 50 attended the reception. A representative for the Big Moose Inn has declined to comment. One person whose infection has been linked to the reception died Friday afternoon at Millinocket Regional Hospital, the hospitals CEO announced Friday. Because of the outbreak, the hospital is closed to visitors. The town hall and schools also were closed. Thirty-two new cases and one additional death were announced Saturday by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The deceased was a man in his 70s from Cumberland County. The updated figures bring the total number of coronavirus cases to nearly 4,320 and the number of deaths to 130, according to the Maine CDC. The daily update does not include the death reported Friday in Millinocket. Sign up and receive coronavirus news and breaking updates, from our newsroom to your inbox.
Will the Patriots start Cam Newton or Jarrett Stidham? Here are 4 factors to consider. - Boston.com
It’s not a lock yet to declare Newton the runaway favorite to be the Patriots' starting QB in Week 1.
COMMENTARY While Cam Newton is the odds-on favorite to start at quarterback for New England in Week 1, there are a few factors to consider that could help Jarrett Stidhams case. It wasnt too long ago that we were discussing who would win the Patriots starting quarterback competition between Stidham and Brian Hoyer. Post-Tom Brady, the Patriots QB options earlier this offseason were a retread veteran backup in Hoyer and a talented but inexperienced player in Stidham. Nobody could be blamed for lacking enthusiasm about choosing between them after having watched Brady for the past 20 years. The signing of former NFL MVP Cam Newton, however, completely changes any conversations about the Patriots plans at quarterback, and significantly elevates the talent ceiling at the position heading into the 2020 season. By signing Newton to a one-year minimum deal worth up to $7.5 million, the race for the starting quarterback job in Foxborough now appears to be between two former Auburn Tigers quarterbacks, Newton and Stidham. Even the official depth chart on the teams website has both Newton and Stidham listed as the starting quarterback. The debate over Stidham vs. Newton is a much more entertaining one than Stidham vs. Hoyer. Its not a lock yet to declare Newton the runaway favorite to be the Patriots starting QB in Week 1. In a vacuum, Newton has the talent and the resume to be the superior option to Stidham, but there are several factors that will come into play in training camp that could sway the competition in Stidhams favor. Familiarity with the playbook. There is still much unknown about the timeline for NFL football in 2020 amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The league and its players have yet to come to an agreement on health and safety protocols, and while training camps are set to begin on July 28, individual state mandates and guidelines could impact teams ability to begin training camp if large group gatherings are banned again. With the potential for an already-shortened training camp to further be cut down due to the coronavirus, this could be a major impediment for Newtons push to win the starting job this summer. Newton can spend all the time in the world studying the New England playbook on his own, but without the proper number of on-field reps with his new teammates, he could struggle to get up to speed in what is sure to be a fast-paced training camp this summer. Stidham, on the other hand, has the benefit of a year in the Patriots offense under his belt. While the New England offense is expected to undergo some changes this season, Stidham still has more familiarity with the coaching staff, his teammates, and the general verbiage of the New England offense. That should aid him in his competition with Newton. Fit in new-look Patriots offense As New England shows signs of becoming a run-first, power scheme offense in 2020, starting a quarterback that is just as much of a threat with his legs as he is in arm in Cam Newton would add another problem for opposing defenses to prepare for, and would help the offensive transition to a more ground-based attack. Newton, as detailed in our breakdown of his game here, has plenty of experience running the ball out of the zone read, RPO plays, and even the triple option. If he is healthy enough and hasnt lost any explosion or agility, Newtons running ability makes him a better fit for what New Englands offense could look like in 2020. But dont completely discount Stidham here either. Coming out of high school, in fact, Stidham was known as the top dual-threat quarterback recruit in the nation. At Auburn, Stidham ran a decent amount of RPO plays, and as explained in our breakdown of Stidhams preseason tape from 2019, the second-year signal caller can make plays on the ground too. via GIPHY Both quarterbacks can make plays with their feet, but only one quarterback is a former NFL MVP and someone who has proven he can win at the highest levels. Newton should have the leg up here. Health The greatest question of them all with Newton: at 31 years old, are the recent injuries that have sidelined him anomalies, or signs of deteriorating health for a player who has taken a lot of hits on the football field in his career? Newtons most recent injury that sidelined him for most of the 2019 regular season, a Lisfranc injury that required surgery, is a concerning one for an athlete who relies on his mobility to make a lot of plays. Lisfranc injuries tend to take a while to fully heal, and can become re-aggravated if athletes come back too soon. If Newton is not at 100 percent, the door opens even more for Stidham to win the job with a strong training camp performance of his own. Even if Newton does win the competition, having a capable backup quarterback waiting in the wings like Stidam will be key, as Newton hasnt played a full season in three of the last four. Experience For all the talent that Stidham has, it could be that the 4th-round draft pick from 2019 simply needs some more time adjusting to the NFL before he is ready to push for starting position. Just like Newton could be affected by the shortened training camp, so too could Stidham, who will need all the reps he can get to show his teammates and coaches that he is ready to make the jump and become an NFL starting quarterback. Newton, on the other hand, has taken a team to a Super Bowl already, has won an MVP, and is a well-liked figure in the locker room. When it comes to the resumes of both quarterbacks, theres no competition here. Newton has the edge.
7-year-old girl among 5 killed in July 4 Chicago shootings - Boston.com
“Tonight, a 7-year-old girl in Austin joined a list of teenagers and children whose hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on Twitter late Saturday.
CHICAGO (AP) A 7-year-old girl at a family party and a teenage boy were among five people shot and killed in Chicago on the Fourth of July, police said. In one shooting, just before midnight Saturday, four males opened fire on a large gathering in the street in the Englewood neighborhood, police spokesman Tom Ahern said. Two males died at the scene and two more, including a 14-year-old boy, died at a hospital, Ahern said. Four others were injured; One is in critical condition and the other three are in fair condition, Ahern said. The four attackers fled the scene. No one was arrested. The 7-year-old girl was fatally shot in the head while standing on the sidewalk at her grandmothers house during a Fourth of July party around 7 p.m. in the Austin neighborhood, police said. Suspects got out of a car and began shooting, police said. No one was has been arrested. Tonight, a 7-year-old girl in Austin joined a list of teenagers and children whose hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on Twitter late Saturday. As a city, we must wrap our arms around our youth so they understand theres a future for them that isnt wrapped up in gun violence. A 32-year-old man was injured in the shooting and was in fair condition. The shootings this weekend that killed young people followed tragedy the weekend before when victims included a 1-year-old boy riding in a car with his mother and a 10-year-old girl who was inside her home when a bullet fired a block away pierced a window and struck her in the head as she sat on a couch. In response to violence that has occurred since Memorial Day weekend, police said they would have 1,200 extra officers on the streets for this holiday weekend.
Cam Newton posts vlog saying farewell to Carolina and hello to New England - Boston.com
Quarterback Cam Newton bid farewell to the Carolina Panthers in a vlog posted to his YouTube channel Monday evening, the day after he agreed to a one-year deal with the Patriots. The five-minute video includes footage of Newton working out in Atlanta on March 17, the day the Panthers gave him permission to seek a trade after nine seasons together. At the time, Newton was quick to publicly clarify that he did not ask for a trade a stance he also made clear in the vlog. Right now, I feel angry, I feel let down, Newton said. But at the same time, Im not bitter, you know what I mean? I know since the first day that I came into this league, that this day was going to come. In the video, Newton reiterated he did not want to part ways with the Panthers, but said he ultimately asked for a trade because he realized the situation at hand. Newton acknowledged the NFL is a business and, though he did not yet know his next steps, he cited a line from the late rapper Nipsey Hussle: The marathon continues. I never once wanted to leave Carolina, Newton said. Dont let them make you believe anything else. It was their decision. I stuck with it, and I knew that, so I asked for a trade. The video transitioned to highlights from Newtons NFL career, including when he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2011 and when he won the leagues MVP award in 2015. There was also footage from community events he organized in the Charlotte area. Then, the video cut to undated clips from Newtons most recent surgery and recovery process. The 31-year-old quarterback suffered a Lisfranc fracture in his left foot last season and underwent surgery in December. With Kanye Wests Blood On The Leaves playing, the vlog showed Newton rehabbing in the weight room and pool, getting treatment, and throwing the football. It closed with him addressing the camera. Oh, what a feeling, Newton said. I got so much on my mind right now, but Im gonna keep this [expletive] brief: Im at your neck.
AMC Theaters reverses course on masks after backlash - Boston.com
“It is clear from this response that we did not go far enough on the usage of masks.”
LOS ANGELES (AP) The nations largest movie theater chain changed its position on mask-wearing less than a day after the company became a target on social media for saying it would defer to local governments on the issue. AMC Theaters CEO Adam Aron said Friday that its theaters will require patrons to wear masks upon reopening, which will begin in mid-July. Customers who dont wear masks wont be admitted or allowed to stay. We think it is absolutely crucial that we listen to our guests, Aron said. It is clear from this response that we did not go far enough on the usage of masks. Rival chain Regal followed AMCs lead. Spokesman Richard Grover said Friday that moviegoers must wear masks in all its theaters as well. AMC Theaters wasnt the first to say it would defer to officials on the mask issue. That policy was identical to what Cinemark announced earlier this month. Cineplex Inc., which has a 75% box office market share in Canada, said they will leave it up to moviegoers to decide if they wear a face mask inside their theaters. Company spokeswoman Sarah Van Lange said they are taking the lead from public health authorities and provincial guidelines. She said employees will be required to wear masks. Most major retailers require masks for customers only where local rules mandate it. But the AMC plan hit a nerve for many on Thursday and #boycottAMC quickly became a trending topic on Twitter. The outrage was further flamed by one of Arons comments in an interview with the Hollywood trade Variety that implied that taking a hard stance on mask-wearing was a political matter. We did not want to be drawn into a political controversy, Aron said. We thought it might be counterproductive if we forced mask wearing on those people who believe strongly that it is not necessary. He also said that he thought the vast majority of AMC guests will be wearing masks and that he planned to lead by example and would be wearing a mask himself. The interview came on the same day that California started requiring people throughout the state to wear masks in most indoor settings and outdoors when distancing isnt possible. While public health officials say wearing a mask is important in helping stop the spread of COVID-19, not wearing one has become a political statement for people who say it violates their freedom or exaggerates the threat of the coronavirus. President Donald Trump has pushed back against masks, even as the virus has killed more than 100,000 Americans this year. Earlier Friday, Alamo Drafthouse, which operates around 40 locations in the U.S. said that it would be requiring that guests wear masks at its theaters, with a caveat for eating and drinking. Those without masks, it said, would be given one. AMC plans to sell masks for $1. Most indoor U.S. theaters have been closed since mid-March because of COVID-19. But both independent locations and major chains are readying to reopen within the next month. AMC said it will open 450 of its U.S. locations on July 15, with the goal of having most of its theaters in operation by July 24 for the opening of Disneys Mulan and Christopher Nolans Tenet the following week. AP Business Writer Tali Arbel contributed from New York. Robert Gillies contributed from Toronto.
Flushing the toilet may fling coronavirus aerosols all over - Boston.com
A new study shows how turbulence from a toilet bowl can create a large plume that is potentially infectious to a bathroom’s next visitor.
Heres one more behavior to be hyper-aware of in order to prevent coronavirus transmission: what you do after you use the toilet. Scientists have found that in addition to clearing out whatever business youve left behind, flushing a toilet can generate a cloud of aerosol droplets that rises nearly 3 feet. Those droplets may linger in the air long enough to be inhaled by a shared toilets next user, or land on surfaces in the bathroom. This toilet plume isnt just gross. In simulations, it can carry infectious coronavirus particles that are already present in the surrounding air or recently shed in a persons stool. The research, published Tuesday in the journal Physics of Fluids, adds to growing evidence that the coronavirus can be passed not only through respiratory droplets but also through virus-laden feces, too. And while it remains unknown whether public or shared toilets are a common point of transmission of the virus, the research highlights the need during a pandemic to rethink some of the common spaces people share. The aerosols generated by toilets are something that weve kind of known about for a while, but many people have taken for granted, said Joshua L. Santarpia, a professor of pathology and microbiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center who was not involved in the research. This study adds a lot of the evidence that everyone needs in order to take better action. Typically, the coronavirus is most at home in cells in the lungs and upper respiratory tract. But studies have found it can also dock to cell receptors in the small intestine. Patients have been reported to experience diarrhea, nausea and vomiting among other symptoms. And researchers have found viable virus particles in patients feces, as well as traces of viral RNA on toilet bowls and sinks in their hospital isolation rooms, although experiments in the lab have suggested that material may be less likely to be infectious compared with virus that is coughed out. A computer simulation of the toilet flushing mechanism showed that when water pours into the toilet and generates a vortex, it displaces air in the bowl. These vortices move upward and the centrifugal force pushes out about 6,000 tiny droplets and even tinier aerosol particles. Depending on the number of inlets in the toilet, flushing can force anywhere from 40% to 60% of the produced aerosols high above the seat. Its very alarming, said Ji-Xiang Wang, who studies fluid dynamics at Yangzhou University and was a co-author of the study. Its virtually impossible to keep bathrooms sanitized all the time, and sharing a toilet may be unavoidable for family members, even when one person is sick and isolating in a separate room at home, Wang said. As cities around the world navigate the reopening of restaurants, offices and other businesses, more and more people will also need to use public or shared restrooms. But while diners can be moved outdoors and employees spaced out, people may find it harder to practice social distancing in small bathrooms. Aerosolized particles may still linger in single-use toilets, and bathrooms are frequently poorly ventilated spaces, which can increase the risk of exposure to infection. Users also have to consider risks from high-touch surfaces, like doorknobs and faucets. Experience with other coronaviruses shows how quickly the fecal-oral route can lead to spread of disease. In March 2003, more than 300 people living in the Amoy Gardens apartment complex in Hong Kong got infected with the original SARS coronavirus because infectious fecal aerosols spread through faulty plumbing and ventilation systems. While Wang acknowledged that scientists had yet to look at toilet aerosols in real-world situations involving the new coronavirus, other research has shown that viral RNA was found in shared toilet areas at one hospital in Wuhan, China. But researchers do not know how much infectious virus is in aerosols or whether people with more severe cases of COVID-19 shed more virus than patients with milder illness, he said. Thankfully, people can also easily prevent the spread of infections from the toilet plume. Close the lid first and then trigger the flushing process, Wang said, which he acknowledged isnt always possible in public bathrooms. You should also wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, especially if youre using a shared restroom where the toilet doesnt have a lid or the flush is automatically triggered on standing up. Avoid touching your face, and keep your mask on in the bathroom, which could prevent some exposure to the coronavirus. Wang hopes the new research will help lead to improvements in bathroom design, including increased attention to contactless dispensers for soap and paper towels, and toilets that flush only after they have been covered with a lid. Other experts are already considering indoor ultraviolet lights and automated disinfectant sprays that will zap the coronavirus and relieve some of the pressure on keeping public toilets clean. And Santarpia said that Wangs study could point to a way of monitoring coronavirus clusters. You could simply monitor samples from a shared bathroom on a daily basis, he said. And if something were to come up positive, you could then go look at everyone who was there and who they had contact with, rather than testing everybody all the time. Sign up and receive coronavirus news and breaking updates, from our newsroom to your inbox.
Morning sports update: Joe Kennedy calls for the Patriots to sign Colin Kaepernick - Boston.com
Kennedy also believes the NFL should apologize to the 32-year-old quarterback.
On Tuesday, Patriots safety Devin McCourty was honored at a virtual fundraiser for Boston Uncovered, a non-profit that seeks to provide a positive path for gang-involved individuals. McCourty, 32, was called the ultimate role model by Bill Belichick, and also received praise in a video message from Tom Brady. I know sometimes you wouldnt think that I would be looking up to you because Im a lot older than you, but the reality is, I have, and Ive learned more from you than you probably ever learned from me, Brady told his former teammate. Joe Kennedys message to the NFL and the Patriots: Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy, who is currently in a senate primary race with incumbent Ed Markey, weighed in on Colin Kaepernick in a tweet on Tuesday evening. Kaepernick, who drew international attention in 2016 for his decision to kneel during the national anthem to bring attention to racial injustice and police brutality, has remained unsigned by any NFL team since that season. In the wake of recent protests over the same issues and NFL commissioner Roger Goodells acknowledgement that the league was wrong to not listen to players earlier Kennedy thinks its time for the league to apologize to the 32-year-old Kaepernick. And on top of that, he thinks the Patriots should sign the free agent quarterback. The NFL should apologize to Colin Kaepernick and the Patriots should sign him. Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) June 9, 2020 With Tom Brady now with the Buccaneers, the Patriots currently have four quarterbacks, two of whom are undrafted free agents. More from Boston.com: Robert Kraft made a joking reference to Tom Brady: The moment comes near the 3:25 mark of the video. The first step of many. RKK announces $100K donation to @CollegeBoundDots #BostonUncornered, the first in the Kraft Familys $1M pledge to social justice causes, as @McCourtyTwins (Dmac) is honored as their 2020 Uncornered Champion. pic.twitter.com/bix4nqfFOK New England Patriots (@Patriots) June 10, 2020 The latest on Major League Baseballs ongoing dispute between owners and players: On this day: In 1938, Red Sox rookie pitcher Bill LeFebvre hit a home run in his first and only plate appearance of the season. Unfortunately for LeFebvre a Rhode Island native who had pitched for Holy Cross in college the White Sox hit a few home runs of their own. LeFebvre gave up six runs in four innings of relief work, including a grand slam to his counterpart, Chicago pitcher Monty Stratton. The White Sox won the game, 15-2. Something more: Learning the pick and roll from Red Auerbach and the 1980s Celtics.