The unique perspective and provocative opinions of Joe O’Neill
conflicts have precluded the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots
from being welcomed to the White House for a customary ceremonial visit.
The irony has been well noted—given that owner Robert K. Kraft, head coach Bill
Belichick and All-Pro QB Tom Brady are hardly the NFL’s version of Megan
Rapinoe. But what doesn’t get enough attention—especially in the problematic
era of the Trump presidency—is why there are White House congratulatory
ceremonies for professional athletes in the first place. A presidential welcome
should only be extended to athletes who have represented their country—from
World Cups to Olympiads—not their franchise employers.
to Tampa Bay Tech grad Michael Penix Jr, who turned in an impressive
debut as Indiana University quarterback. The redshirt freshman threw for more
than 300 yards and a TD in IU’s’s 34-24 win over Ball State.
Tampa Bay Rowdies of the second-tier USL still envision being part of MLS,
but it still remains beyond reach. And it had to be a bit disheartening, but
hardly unexpected, to see MLS continue to expand—but not yet to this market.
For the record, MLS added Cincinnati this year as its 24th
franchise. Next year will bring Nashville and Miami. Austin is targeted for
2021 and St. Louis in 2022. Moreover, the St. Louis franchise will be the first
female-majority-owned team in MLS history. Ultimately, MLS plans to expand
to 30 franchises. That window is nearly closed.