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There's a good chance that a corporate statement starting with the words "not wanting to be in the political discourse" or something like that is becoming the modern version of "with all due respect" when the next part has very little respect offered.

AMC theaters CEO Adam Aron knows what I am talking about.

No one knows what our next normal will look like, and when we actually go back to movie theaters in huge numbers is anyone's guess.

In advance of opening theaters next month, AMC said moviegoers would not be required to wear masks.

In an interview with Variety, Aron tried to stay outside the political fray, but got caught in the tornado like he was riding between Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt in "Twister."

"We did not want to be drawn into a political controversy,"Aron told the magazine. "We thought it might be counterproductive if we forced mask wearing on those people who believe strongly that it is not necessary."

Well, that announcement for the July 15 opening outraged every mask wearer from trick-or-treaters to the Lone Ranger.

Phrases like #BoycottAMC and #AMCisCanceled trended on social media after Aron and AMC reversed field quicker than Gale Sayers in his heyday.

 

Speaking of movies

We spoke last week about "Gone With the Wind" being pulled from HBO Max amid protests in the aftermath of George Floyd's death last month in Minneapolis and in light of its portrayal of blacks and slavery.

Companies are moving fast to change the images or packaging of everything from syrup to butter and rice.

It's easy to alter the appearance of a product, and I'm sure those business-minded decisions to erase racist connotations are thoughtful and well-intentioned.

Are these gestures appreciated? Sure they are, but if the guy on the Cream of Wheat box is changed, is that going to make us whole? Not hardly.

 

New spin on 'All Lives Matter'

This is not the "All Lives Matter" grumblings about white people.

But look at the Washington Redskins — easily the most egregious racial slur among all sports teams names — in this moment. And know the team's action Friday was to take down a statue of a former owner who was against integrating the NFL and was forced to draft a black player in the 1960s.

That owner's past is not worthy of a defense, and his statue, like so many others, was coming down at some point regardless. But for the Redskins to take any step — no matter how warranted — about racial equality before changing that name is head-scratchingly obtuse.

That's ornamental change, not real change, no? And that's not fighting racism as much as trying to convince others you're not racist, in my opinion.

And about that name ...

 

Shark tanks

Among the business hammered by coronavirus, the sports betting industry — with the absence of sports — is chief among those.

In fact, before professional golf and NASCAR got back into action — never mind the first leg of this year's Triple Crown in horse racing is today — the most popular sport to wager on was table tennis.

Seriously.

Well, MyBookie.com has offered a variety of betting odds on the migratory patterns of nine great white sharks that have been tagged with high-tech tracking systems. Again, seriously.

Some of the betting options are how far the sharks will travel between pings (a ping happens when the tagged shark comes to the surface), whether a shark will enter a certain body of water, and the dates of the next ping for a particular shark.

There are no offered odds on whether any of the nine sharks would attack a human. (Some gamblers think the lack of that option bites.)

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com

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Jay Greeson
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