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S2 E20: Stadiums, Iran & the Confederate Flag: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

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S2 E20: Stadiums, Iran & the Confederate Flag: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Nuclear Deal

  • Iran may be close to reaching a historic nuclear deal after a year and a half of negotiations.

Greece's Financial Crisis

  • Greece is in desperate need of another bailout and may be forced to abandon the Euro altogether, leading to a potential "Grexit."

Confederate Symbols

  • The Confederate Battle Flag was removed from the South Carolina State House grounds after 54 years, but other racist symbols remain in government institutions.

Whoopi Goldberg's Controversial Statements

Sports Stadiums in America

  • The main story focuses on the increasingly extravagant sports stadiums in America, particularly the Dallas Cowboys' stadium, which features art, party suites, cabanas, and swimming pools suspended above the field.
  • New stadiums are expensive and mostly built with public money.
  • Teams get to keep almost all the revenue from these stadiums.
  • Teams often threaten to leave cities unless they get new stadiums.
  • Teams promise that new stadiums will revitalize their surrounding areas, but there is no evidence to support this.
  • Using public money to pay for stadiums can lead to cuts in other important public services.
  • Taxpayers are responsible for paying for future stadium amenities, including holographic replay machines, that may not even exist yet.
  • Teams often include unusual demands in stadium deals, such as helipads, submarine docks, and even a monkey named Professor Bananas.
  • Politicians often capitulate to teams' demands due to civic pride and the fear of losing a team.
  • Glendale, Arizona's mayor faced backlash for trying to get out of an unfavorable stadium deal with the Coyotes, leading to a public hearing where she was heckled and eventually tased by fans.

Irrational Behavior in Sports

  • Sports can make people behave irrationally, as evidenced by a tattoo of Tim Tebow as a centaur.

Fighting Back Against Unfair Stadium Deals

  • The author encourages American sports fans to fight back against unfair stadium deals by saying "no" to unreasonable demands and not using public money to fund private stadiums.
  • Cities should recognize their own value beyond the sports teams that play there and not be afraid to stand up to team owners.

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