Category Archives: Sports

Donald Sterling, Stephen A. Smith & NYC Racial Politics

ronn torossian prWhile the Donald Sterling saga and debates about race continue, is not it great that New York City is largely invisible in this story about race, and NYC media isn’t jumping on this bandwagon? As a 39-year old born and bred New Yorker, I remember the racial fears that existed in this city when I was growing up. Who can forget the racial politics of this city in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s which seem like so long ago?

Abner Louima & the Crown Heights Riots? Were those really in the ‘90’s? I remember so clearly being at Stuyvesant High School and school ending early in 1991 when the Rodney King riots erupted – and how the city was gripped with fear. How I remember dreading my 1.5 hour train rides on the graffiti-filled subways.

Those of us who gripe today about bicycle lanes, and the Disneyfication of Times Square should be thankful for these gripes.

The comments of billionaire technology mogul, Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban aren’t featured in our local tabloids – and can one imagine the uproar in years past in response to his comments, “I mean, we’re all prejudiced in one way or another. If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it’s late at night, I’m walking to the other side of the street. And if on that side of the street, there’s a guy that has tattoos all over his face — white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere — I’m walking back to the other side of the street.” (Where else in America do people “walk down streets” – aren’t people driving everywhere else?)

Today, as Queens native Stephen A. Smith of ESPN defends Cuban, New York media is not all over the story as they would have been years ago. As a New Yorker who grew up in this great city, how wonderful is it that the racial politics and dangers of this city are by and large gone?

With a hot summer approaching, one should be thankful that of all the fears New Yorkers have, racial tensions is not very high on that list. Race relations in this city — with a bi-racial family occupying City Hall – are thankfully better than ever.

Ronn Torossian is a resident of the Upper West Side, CEO of 5WPR, and author of “For Immediate Release.

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Filed under Branding, Politics, Public Relations, Sports

Juda Engelmayer of HerldPR on CBS about Lance Armstrong’s Brand and Crisis

Juda Engelmayer of HeraldPR on CBS about Lance Armstrong’s Brand and Crisis.  Amidst the doping scandal, Armstrong lost many of his key endorsement deals.  Can his brand be rebuilt and what will it take?

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Filed under Crisis Management, Lance Armstrong, Social Media, Sports, Video

Was quoted on the NFL umpire union strike

NFL won’t budge in its war over referees

League officials sticking with replacements, whose blown calls have enraged coaches, players and fans.


The Kansas City Star

JOHN LOK | The Associated Press
The notorious Monday night call
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In the Chiefs’ 27-24 overtime win Sunday at New Orleans, Saints quarterback Drew Brees argued with replacement referees that Lance Moore had caught a touchdown pass after they ruled he was down at the 1-yard line. On replay, officials ruled Moore didn’t catch the ball. <a title="<br />
Both coaches in the Ravens-Patriots game Sunday night made contact with the officials. New England’s Bill Belichick grabbed an official, asking whether the Ravens’ game –winning field goal was under review. It wasn’t. The Ravens won 31-30."

Randy Covitz, The Star

The NFL, a league that prides itself on image and integrity, has a firestorm on its hands.Instead of headlines heralding the play on the field, including overtime thrillers and dynamic rookie quarterbacks, the NFL is embroiled in controversy because it has locked out its game officials this season.A year after settling a work stoppage with its players, the NFL, a $9 billion industry, is haggling over a few million dollars with its part-time officials and is using replacement officials…

My quotes

The brand power of the NFL needs more than one screw-up to affect it. “A couple more calls like this, and the public will start seeing the owners as greedy people who don’t care about the game any more.

“When Roger Goodell is setting out to bust the union to get what he wants, the trick is to show you can do better without the union. In this case he’s failing. He’s actually proving the union’s point that they’re needed.”

That call was the call seen around the world, the laughable call around the world,” said Engelmayer. “Everyone knew that. The NFL’s becoming amateur hour. It’s not going to take much more to start eroding the fan base.”)

— Juda Engelmayer, senior vice-president for crisis management for 5W Public Relations in New York

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