These are the stories shaping sports and business for Wednesday, October 14th, 2020.
Who's the True GOAT?
While there won’t be any basketball played for months, after LeBron James said it is up to us to decide most sports media outlets have been playing the greatest hits...or hit...that being the greatest of all-time sports debate asking who is the true GOAT between James and Michael Jordan. Good luck convincing anyone to change their mind or reaching any sort of consensus there. And while the Lakers championship may have bolstered the argument for those like myself who think LeBron is top two and not two...I do believe what a fourth ring really did is cement his place next to MJ--meaning when you are discussing the GOAT there is now truly a 1a and 1b, Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
According to Johns Hopkins, There are over 37.9 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over one million deaths.
The U.S. has surpassed 7.8 million cases with 215,000 deaths.
Per the COVID-19 Tracking Project, there were 43,043 new cases reported Monday, which is lower than the 46,776 cases reported the day earlier. Over one million new tests were reported. And 284 deaths were reported yesterday, which is lower than the 464 deaths reported the day prior.
Johnson & Johnson paused its vaccine trial for COVID-19 following an unexplained illness in a patient.
The healthcare giant said the trial participant’s illness was being reviewed and evaluated.
J&J said in a statement, "We are committed to providing transparent updates throughout the clinical development process of our vaccine candidate, in compliance with regulatory standards and our own high ethical and scientific principles.”
The company added, "Adverse events--illnesses, accidents, etc.--even those that are serious, are an expected part of any clinical study, especially large studies.”
Red Sox Going Public?
The business of sports could soon run smack dab into the sport of business as Fenway Sports, the ownership group behind the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC, is reportedly looking to go public through a reverse SPAC merger with RedBall Acquisition group.
RedBall is a special purpose acquisition company, or blank check company, that was launched by Oakland Athletics front office maven, Billy Bean.
SPACs have been all the rage in 2020 as a reverse merger with one of these publicly traded companies allows a private company to go public without having to go through all of the rigors of an initial public offering.
Long story short, if the reports are true you may soon be able to purchase shares of the company that owns the Red Sox and Liverpool.
The flip side, sports side, of this story is that Billy Bean may have to step down from his position with the team if the deal goes through.
Beane has spent 30 years with the A’s and was canonized in the Brad Pitt film Moneyball, but his run with the team could be over if the reports are true that Fenway Sports is looking to merge with his SPAC.
Sports Illustrated's Robin Lundberg and TheStreet's Tony Owusu contributed to this report.
You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.
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