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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The outcome of the 2020 election will greatly impact the sports world. And through its efforts to increase voter turnout, the sports world could greatly impact the outcome of the 2020 election.

Where it stands: College sports are off. The NCAA is requiring that all Division I programs give their student athletes the day off from sports today, an idea that was first introduced in June by Georgia Tech assistant basketball coach Eric Reveno.

  • Sports ads: The Trump and Biden campaigns spent $41.1 million on 2,801 ads that aired during sports telecasts from Aug. 17 through today, per SBJ. Biden spent $26.7 million ($19.7M on national; $7M on local), while Trump spent $14.4 million ($5.2M on national; $9.2M on local).
  • All eyes on Georgia: State Farm Arena has been one of the most active in-stadium voting sites, the Falcons recruited high schoolers to be poll workers, and Kelly Loeffler's feud with WNBA players could cost her a Senate seat.
  • NCAA reform: The future of college sports will be shaped by 2020's Senate races. If Democrats win control, they're likely to pursue legislation that would completely reform the NCAA, while Republicans support a more limited bill that focuses on name, image and likeness.
  • Latest from LeBron: LeBron James and Michael Bloomberg are leading a multimillion-dollar effort to pay off court fees for Florida felons, which could make nearly 13,000 of them eligible to vote today, per the Tampa Bay Times.
  • "NFL Votes" initiative: 15 NFL stadiums will be used as polling sites today, and all NFL, NFLPA and team facilities are closed to ensure that everyone has the chance to vote.

The big picture: Through repeated attacks on athletes and ongoing feuds with leagues, President Trump has toppled the walls between politics and sports.

  • The president has support in the sports world, with household names like Jack Nicklaus and Brett Favre recently endorsing him.
  • But he's also made enemies — and now the battle is being waged on the ballot, with Election Day promising more drama and higher stakes than any sports competition ever could.

Go deeper

Nov 24, 2020 - Sports

NFL makes history with all-Black officiating crew in Tampa

The first all-Black officiating crew works Monday's football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Rams at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams' NFL game was officiated by an all-Black crew Monday night.

Why it matters: It's the first time in NFL history this has happened. It comes "55 years after Burl Toler became the first Black official in the NFL," the Rams noted in a statement. NFL football operations executive vice president Troy Vincent said in a statement, "This historic Week 11 crew is a testament to the countless and immeasurable contributions of Black officials to the game, their exemplary performance, and to the power of inclusion that is the hallmark of this great game."

Read more: In the Axios Sports newsletter

2 mins ago - World

Israeli parliament opts for early elections in preliminary vote

Netanyahu (C) arrives in parliament today. Photo: Alex Kolomiensky/Pool/AFP via Getty

After six months of a dysfunctional power-sharing government, Israel is headed for its fourth elections in less than two years, most likely at the end of March.

Driving the news: The Knesset voted 61-54 today to approve the preliminary reading of a bill to dissolve the parliament and call new elections. Benny Gantz's Blue and White party supported the bill while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud and the rest of the coalition voted against.

1 hour ago - Sports

The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Packed stadiums and a more normal fan experience could return by late 2021, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said yesterday.

Why it matters: If Fauci's prediction comes true, it could save countless programs from going extinct next year.