Here are the stories shaping sports and business on Thursday, May 21.
Some Athletes Are Not Returning Yet
Professional Golfer Adam Scott will not join the PGA tour when the tournament restarts next month due to concerns over the coronavirus and the PGA’s policy regarding testing and guidelines.
Scott is the first professional athlete to voluntarily remove himself from action due to concerns over the coronavirus. There’s a handful of athletes including Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell who say they won’t play once games resume because of disputes over compensation in a shortened season due to the coronavirus. Scott is the first professional athlete not comfortable with coming back to action because of fear of contracting the virus.
Scott told the Australian Associated Press he would be annoyed if he had to self isolate in a city after contracting the virus from an asymptotic player that the PGA protocols for testing didn’t pick up on.
The PGA tour released their guidelines for testing last week. It includes golfers self-testing prior to traveling for a tournament, daily screening and thermal readings once the golfers arrive at the event.
A Coronavirus Update
We have surpassed five million cases of the coronavirus worldwide. There are 328,000 fatalities worldwide.
The U.S. has over 1.5 million cases, with 93,000 fatalities. Russia has 317,000 cases, Brazil has over 291,000 cases. The United Kingdom has over 249,000 cases with over 35,000 deaths.
Weekly jobless claims rose by another 2.44 million, the government reported on Thursday, in yet another sign of how detrimental an impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the U.S. economy and its workforce.
The Labor Department said 2.438 million Americans filed jobless claims for the week ended May 16, even as parts of the U.S. economy slowly began to reopen after more than two months of being shuttered amid the coronavirus pandemic. This means that around 38 million Americans have now filed for unemployment.
Magic Johnson Aims to Help Minority Business Owners Access PPP
NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson is helping minority business owners through a partnership with MBE Capital Partners. Johnson, who is the CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises is offering $100 million in loans to minority and women owner companies that were impacted by state’s quarantine orders during the coronavirus pandemic.
The United States government dedicated $349 billion to help small businesses as part of the CARES act but that money quickly ran dry. Johnson told CNBC, “This will allow them to keep their employees and keep their doors open.”
This announcement comes after a lot of criticism of the PPP program. First, we saw a lot of public companies--and the LA Lakers--get PPP funding. Now, some of those companies have said that they will or have returned the funds, but the fact remained that funds were allocated to businesses that had access to capital from other sources and not the small businesses that need the loans.
And then there’s a CNN report from last month that said that big banks such as JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and US Bank were sued for concealing--and this comes straight from the lawsuits--"from the public that it was reshuffling the PPP applications it received and prioritizing the applications that would make the bank the most money.”
And there are other issues that have popped up in the process--such as the types of relationships small businesses needed to have with their banks in order to even apply for the loan.
But, all of this is to say, programs like Magic Johnson’s could help build a bridge for business owners who still need to get access to funding to help keep their businesses afloat.