Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The Athletes’ Advisory Council (AAC), an athlete-led group within the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), met this past weekend to discuss the possibility of forming a union, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: "The push for more compensation and influence by athletes long considered 'amateurs' is building in several corners of the sports world, including college athletics," writes the WSJ's Rachel Bachman.

  • "Now it's extending to Olympic sports, where an expanding global movement seeks to treat athletes like the professionals many of them have become."

On one side of the room was Sarah Hirshland, the newly-hired USOC president. She represents the status quo, in which administrators — not athletes — hold the power and make the big bucks.

  • The backdrop: Olympic athletes have long rebelled against the USOC, but the recent Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal raised the stakes. This is no longer about their influence and earning potential — it's about their safety and well-being.
  • "We are eager to change," USOC chairwoman Susanne Lyons told the athletes in the room. "We want to change, and we want to know what it is you want us to do."

On the other side was Donald Fehr, who led the MLB Players Association in its successful fight against ownership in the 1990s and is now executive director of the NHL Players Association.

  • "Just having him here, it lends a different level of credibility," said AAC chairman and table tennis athlete Han Xiao. "It recognizes that [athlete] leadership is serious."

The big picture, courtesy of former Olympic kayaker and past AAC chairman, Norm Bellingham:

"It feels almost like there's an Arab Spring taking place. Waiting for the people in power to implement appropriate changes is something athletes are less and less willing to tolerate."

The bottom line: "The USOC is essentially defrauding us, and our champions," the Washington Post's Sally Jenkins wrote last year.

  • It's supposed to be a nonprofit, yet 129 blazer-wearing staff members make over six figures, and 14 execs are paid more than $200,000 a year. Meanwhile, our Olympians are dead broke.

Go deeper: Doping cheats athletes of glory — and big paydays

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

4 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!