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Los Angeles Lakers to Return Small Business Paycheck Protection Loan

The Lakers are not a ‘small business.’

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The Los Angeles Lakers are returning a loan they received through the paycheck protection program of the CARES Act stimulus, raising serious questions as to how one of America’s most valuable pro sports franchises was able to secure funds from the program.

The Lakers will return $4.6 million to the federal government, having sought out a loan of their own accord. A spokesman for the team claimed they had decided to return the money after learning that the program had been depleted, although it appears possible they were shamed into giving back the loan.

Once we found out the funds from the program had been depleted, we repaid the loan so that financial support would be directed to those most in need. The Lakers remain completely committed to supporting both our employees and our community.

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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had earlier scolded the team for gaming the small business program, claiming it was “outrageous” that the Lakers had found a way to access the funds.

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The Lakers are the second most valuable team in the NBA, with an estimation valuation of $4.4 billion. They’re not the only big business with access to capital that found a way to receive federal bailout money, with reports indicating that more than 200 publicly traded companies secured money through the PPP program.

Some other big businesses that gamed the system are returning the money, either of their own volition or after being shamed by the public or government officials. Mnuchin was warned of official auditing for all companies receiving more than $2 million through the program, suggesting the megabusinesses seeking to help themselves to small business resources will face more consequences for their greed.

Sports

Make-A-Wish Vanderbilt Kicker Sarah Fuller Will Take Part in Joe Biden’s Inauguration

Naturally.

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Vanderbilt University student Sarah Fuller, goalie for the women’s soccer team and erstwhile emergency kicker for the men’s football team, will be taking part in the inauguration of Joe Biden.

USA Today reports that Fuller will participate in a television program titled “Celebrating America,” which will be simulcast the evening of Inauguration Day on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, and PBS.

Fuller confirmed the news on Twitter Sunday afternoon.

“It’s an honor to be invited to participate in one of America’s greatest traditions,” Fuller tweeted with pictures of herself on the Vanderbilt football field. “This historic inauguration is especially meaningful for American women and girls. The glass ceilings are breaking and it is the time to #LeadLikeAWoman.”

Multiple guests will appear on the program in addition to Fuller. Tom Hanks is hosting and both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be giving speeches.

Back in November and December the mainstream media lauded Fuller for becoming the first woman to play and then score in a Power Five college football game. In her first appearance she squib kicked the ball to Missouri’s 37-yard line and subsequently hurried to the sidelines. In later appearances she made two extra points following Vanderbilt touchdowns.

Fuller became Vanderbilt’s emergency kicker after their starting and backup kickers could not play due to COVID-19 protocols.

Big League Politics previously covered the Sarah Fuller story, specifically the reaction of Jason Whitlock, a conservative-friendly sports writer who once worked for Fox Sports. Whitlock called her appearance a “Make-A-Wish” publicity stunt.

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