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Monday Mailbag: Brendon LaBatte’s suspension, CFL media access – 3downnation.com

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The 3DownNation Monday Mailbag answers questions from readers across the country every week.

You can submit a question via email ([email protected]) or direct message on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

When submitting questions via email, please type “Monday Mailbag” into the subject line. On social media, please start your message with the words “3DownNation Monday Mailbag.” This really helps us find and manage the questions we get.

Please note that by sending us a question you are giving us the right to publish it along with your name. Questions may be lightly edited for spelling and/or formatting.

We’ve answered a handful of questions below. If your question didn’t get picked, don’t panic — we’ll save it to potentially answer here next week or on the 3DownNation Podcast.

***

Why was Brendon LaBatte suspended by the Riders? I thought he wasn’t going to play this year.

-Christine

Thanks for the question, Christine.

Teams are only allowed to bring 100 players to training camp, all of whom must be on the active roster. Keeping LaBatte on the active roster would have cost Saskatchewan a roster spot for training camp, which would have been a waste considering he’s not going to play this year.

The suspended list has a dubious name but it’s used for many reasons, most of which have nothing to do with illicit behaviour. LaBatte didn’t get suspended because he did something untoward — it’s just a way for the Riders to keep his rights without forfeiting an active roster spot.

The most common reasons that players are placed on the suspended list are not reporting to training camp, leaving the team or missing practice during the season without team approval.

It’s rare for players to be added to the suspended list during the season because teams also get a practice roster, a one-game injured list, and a six-game injured list. Even if a player gets in trouble during the season, teams will sometimes put them on the one-game injured list instead of suspending them to avoid scrutiny.

In the off-season there is only an active roster and a suspended list. Every player has to be on one of these two lists unless they have retired or been released. LaBatte hasn’t retired or been released, so the suspended list is the only other place for him to go.

I would expect each team to suspend a number of players — some of whom will eventually report and some of whom won’t — ahead of training camp to help maximize roster space.

***

Does football have a problem with access media?

I keep hearing how “great” the CFL game is and how it would be a shame to lose it — merging with the XFL — but, admittedly, the CFL has made some real blunders over the years (ie. adding four coaches’ challenges per game and coaches using them to fish for penalties).

Any business would have problems operating if it was continued to be run in this way. The CFL is not unique in this. So, leading back to my question, are CFL media types afraid of being critical of the league, thinking they might lose access?

Thanks,

Robert S.

Thanks for the question, Robert.

I’m not going to speak on behalf of all CFL media, but I do believe that losing access to teams is a concern for many people in the modern sports media landscape.

Player salaries have become so lucrative in some leagues that players have no incentive to speak to the media. A generation ago, getting featured in the newspaper could help players secure an off-season job or a small endorsement deal with a local company. Nowadays, working an off-season job would be unthinkable for a player in the NHL or NFL.

It’s also important to note how teams have started covering themselves by employing in-house media people. Coverage from independent publications — even when critical — used to serve as an important form of publicity for the product. It’s a lot less important to receive third-party coverage when teams can produce content themselves and push it out to millions of followers on social media.

I think it’s perfectly fair for teams to cover themselves provided they allow the same level of access to independent media. 3DownNation has always received strong support from the league office and eight of the league’s nine teams, though our access to the ninth team has recently improved.

As for criticism, I try to ensure that my criticism is always fair and professional. I’ve ruffled some feathers, but that’s bound to happen at times. People are emotional and feelings get hurt, even when criticism is warranted.

We’ve received criticism at 3DownNation in the past and made corresponding changes to our process, layout, and content. If we criticize others, we need to be open to criticism ourselves — it’s only fair and makes us all better.

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AJ Contrast wins One World Media Award – Al Jazeera English

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Al Jazeera Digital’s innovation studio site highlights challenges women with disabilities face in navigating megacities.

Al Jazeera’s immersive storytelling and media innovation studio, AJ Contrast, has won a top prize at the One World Media Awards in London.

One World jurors conferred the win in the Digital Media category for AJ Contrast’s interactive site, Inaccessible Cities.

The project brings audiences into the experiences of three women with disabilities as they struggle to navigate their cities – Mumbai, Lagos and New York.

Winners were announced across 15 categories during a ceremony in London on June 16.

The One World Media Awards recognise excellence in unreported stories from the Global South that “break stereotypes, change the narrative and connect people across cultures”.

Inaccessible Cities added the award to numerous other wins so far this year in the Drum Online, Gracie, New York Festivals and Telly Awards.

More than one billion people – 15 percent of the global population – experience some form of disability. Many live in urban areas.

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The Inaccessible Cities site begins with a simple question: “How would you get around a megacity if you couldn’t walk, see signs or hear cars passing by?”

“It’s a great honour to be recognised by the One World Media Awards,” said Zahra Rasool, head of AJ Contrast.

“Our aim has always been to highlight unreported stories about the people most impacted by inequality, often in the Global South.

“With Inaccessible Cities, we wanted to show how a lack of accessible public transport and infrastructure impacts people with disabilities – especially women – from fully and independently participating in society.

“Our aim is to continue inspiring a new standard for digital news content that’s fully inclusive of people with disabilities and to bring awareness to their challenges.”

In keeping with AJ Contrast’s emphasis on collaboration, the team worked closely with journalists with disabilities, local talent and the women who are the subject of the interactive experience.

“We are very proud of our AJ Contrast team,” said Carlos van Meek, Al Jazeera’s director of Digital Innovation and Programming. “Despite the production challenges brought on by COVID-19, this driven, talented team has continued to innovate and set the benchmark for immersive storytelling.”

Other Al Jazeera Digital teams made the One World long list, including the AJLabs series Visualising the Afghan War and two films by short documentary unit AJ Close Up – Russia’s Banned Youth and Norway’s Afghan Sons.

The Al Jazeera English broadcast channel also was long listed in the News category for the 101 East documentary India’s COVID Warriors. Jurors evaluated a record number of entries from 96 countries.

The complete list of One World winners can be found in the One World Media winners’ gallery.

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Toronto politician accused of homophobic social media posts resigns from city council – blogTO

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Rosemarie Bryan, a newly appointed city councillor for Toronto’s Etobicoke North district, resigned from her position just hours after several homophobic tweets were surfaced from her social media account. 

Bryan was meant to fill the seat of departing City Councillor Michael Ford who resigned his position after his recent victory in the provincial election.

Rather than have an election to fill the open seat, the convention is for the departing city councillor to recommend his or her replacement and as we learned this week, the current city councillors basically agree to the recommendation without any proper vetting or due diligence.

All was fine and well until a number of anti-2SLGBTQ+, Islamophobic and anti-Asian social media posts were surfaced by local journalist Jonathan Goldsbie.

Councillors quickly realized they might have been a tad too hasty to back the appointment which was done through a simple vote. Only two councillors voted against confirming Bryan.

“I want to state unequivocally that had I seen these posts before the vote, I would have never supported Rosemary,” wrote councillor Buxton Potts in a tweet. 

Many of the councillors who voted for Bryan now admit the process needs to change and that the confirmation of replacement councillors has relied too heavily on the recommendation of the departing one.

In this case, no councillors appeared to do any due diligence that could have possibly surfaced the social media posts before Bryan’s appointment was confirmed. 

Some of Bryan’s old posts include shared content from Tucker Carlson and statements from preachers that claim “homosexuality is wrong” and that “divine order is needed in [] churches,” along with comments of approval from Bryan that had, at one point, clearly supported these messages. 

Bryan’s social media posts were first uncovered by Goldsbie on Friday night when he tweeted that City Council’s newest member is a person who has “repeatedly shared anti-LGBTQ content on Facebook” which, the discovery shocking enough on its own, was found at the start of Pride weekend

Councillors began to weigh-in just moments after Goldsbie’s revelation, regretting not digging enough earlier to uncover what would later make a huge difference. 

Bryan issued a statement late Friday stating she was “so devastated” that past social media posts she made “are now being thrown against” her decades of commitment to the community. 

Bryan claims she will “remain committed to helping [her] community in every way that [she] can.”

Many people are still upset at the fact that Bryan was ever appointed in the first place.

People are also critiquing her “apology” or lack thereof, saying that the only apology issued was an apology about the fact that she was discovered. 

Mayor John Tory tweeted that he has now “asked City officials to review the overall appointment process ahead of future Council appointments.”

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Newest council appointment resigns after controversial social media posts surface – CityNews Toronto

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[unable to retrieve full-text content]

  1. Newest council appointment resigns after controversial social media posts surface  CityNews Toronto
  2. Newly appointed Toronto councillor resigns after controversial social media posts resurfaced  CTV News Toronto
  3. Toronto politician accused of homophobic social media posts resigns from city council  blogTO
  4. Toronto’s newest councillor resigns hours after she was appointed  Global News
  5. View Full coverage on Google News



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