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.”
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.
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.
Cheater Lance Armstrong’s Store Forbids Sale of Bicycles to Austin Police Department
He’s a real moral authority.
A bicycle store in Austin, Texas owned by disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong announced it would no longer sell bikes to the Austin Police Department, taking offense at the way that the city’s police department had treated the Black Lives Matter movement during recent protests in the city.
“It was a staff-wide store decision,” said general manager Will Black. “It’s something we discussed for a pretty good length of time to make sure we were all on the same page and doing the right thing. All of us were uncomfortable with what’s going on. It’s all the people who work at the bike shop.”
Mellow Johnny’s is owned by Tour de France champion(a title since revoked) Lance Armstrong. While the business appears willing to castigate its local police department for supposed abuses, its entire public image and incentive structure is based upon the legacy of a man who took performance-enhancing drugs to secure an undue advantage for his own competitive gain.
The company announced it would no longer provide bikes to the Austin police in a tweet earlier this week.
— mellowjohnnys (@mellowjohnnys) August 6, 2020
Mellow Johnny’s states in the announcement that they still expect the police to protect them from alleged threats the business has been receiving.
Mellow Johnny’s has adopted a marketing technique of pandering to cultural liberals before, trying to insulate the business from any transactions with companies that sell and manufacture firearms.
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