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1,400 athletes sign letter demanding Congress end qualified immunity for law enforcement

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More than 1,400 current and former athletes, coaches and executives from major professional sports leagues — including several major league baseball players — have signed a letter to members of Congress in support of a bill that would eliminate qualified immunity for government officials, including law enforcement.

The letter was released by the Players Coalition, which is a group founded by NFL players in 2017 to address social justice and racial inequality. Among its signatories are ballplayers Giancarlo Stanton, Alex Bregman, CC Sabathia, Andrew McCutchen, Chris Archer, Jack Flaherty, Tim Anderson, Dexter Fowler, Delino DeShields Jr., Matt Kemp, Dee Gordon, J.P. Crawford, Cameron Maybin, Niko Goodrum, and Tony Gwynn Jr.

Qualified immunity is a judge-created legal doctrine that insulates public officials, most notably law enforcement, from lawsuits. The idea behind the doctrine was to protect police from frivolous lawsuits in response to cases which involve split-second judgments that are made in tense and dangerous situations. In practice, however, the doctrine has barred the vast majority of police brutality suits on questionable grounds, hollowing out 150-year-old civil rights legislation which gave individuals the right to sue state and municipal government officials if their rights were violated. Qualified immunity is under renewed scrutiny in the wake of the Breonna Taylor and George Floyd killings by police officers.

From the Players’ Coalition letter:

We are tired of conversations around police accountability that go nowhere, and we have engaged in too many ‘listening sessions,’ where we discuss whether there is a problem of police violence in this country. There is a problem. The world witnessed it when Officer [Derek] Chauvin murdered George Floyd, and the world is watching it now, as officers deploy enormous force on peaceful protestors like those who were standing outside of the White House last week. The time for debate about the unchecked authority of the police is over; it is now time for change.

The letter supports a bill introduced by U.S. Representatives Justin Amash (L-Michigan) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Massachusetts) last week which seeks to eliminate the doctrine of qualified immunity.

Will fans be allowed to attend MLB playoff games?

The MLB Playoffs are underway!
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After a condensed 60-game regular season, the MLB playoffs kicked off this week with an usual 16-team format that you can read more about below, but one of the many questions on everyone’s mind is whether or not fans will be allowed to attend MLB playoff games.

Will fans be allowed to go to MLB playoff games?

There have been no spectators at any games this season but fans will finally have the opportunity to go to the NL Championship Series and World Series at new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas–one of the few states allowing spectators to attend events this year. The NLCS is scheduled on seven straight days from Oct. 12-18 and the World Series from Oct. 20-28, with traditional off days between Games 2 and 3 and Games 5 and 6, if the Series goes that far. Major League Baseball said Wednesday that about 11,500 tickets will be available for each game.

Below is the format and locations for each round. Unlike the regular season, there will be a bubble setup for each series in the postseason with the exception of the Wild Card round. Click here for the MLB schedule and scoreboard.

MLB Playoffs Format

Wild Card Series (Best-of-three): September 29 – October 2

All games will be held at the higher seed’s ball park.

American League

No. 1 Rays vs. No. 8 Blue Jays
No. 2 Athletics vs. No. 7 White Sox
No. 3 Twins vs. No. 6 Astros
No. 4 Cleveland vs. No. 5 Yankees

National League

No. 1 Dodgers vs. No. 8 Brewers
No. 2 Braves vs. No. 7 Reds
No. 3 Cubs vs. No. 6 Marlins
No. 4 Padres vs. No. 5 Cardinals

Division Series (Best-of-five): October 5 -10

The American League Division Series will be contested at Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The National League Division Series will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas and Minute Maid Park in Houston.

League Championship Series (Best-of-seven): October 11-18

The American League Championship Series will be held at Petco Park in San Diego while the National League Championship Series will take place at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

World Series (Best-of-seven): October 20-28

The World Series will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington. Home field advantage will go to the team with the best regular-season record.

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