Wednesday's sports stories

Apr 7, 2021 - Sports

Nike suspends Deshaun Watson endorsement deal amid allegations, lawsuits

Texans QB Deshaun Watson during a game against the Indianapolis Colts, December 2020. Photo: Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Nike on Wednesday suspended its endorsement deal with Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who faces multiple lawsuits and criminal complaints alleging sexual assault and harassment.

Why it matters: 22 women have filed civil lawsuits against Watson, accusing the athlete of sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions. Two of the women went public on Tuesday for the first time detailing their allegations.

Apr 7, 2021 - World

China warns of "robust" response if U.S. boycotts Beijing Olympics

A sculpture depicts Olympic figure skaters for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics at Shougang Park on Dec. 16, 2020 in Beijing, China. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

The Chinese government on Wednesday warned the U.S. that it would respond strongly if Washington boycott's next year's Winter Olympics set to be held in Beijing, AP reports.

Driving the news: The message comes after a State Department spokesman said at a briefing Tuesday that a joint boycott by the U.S. and its allies "is something that we certainly wish to discuss," in response to a question about how to punish China for what observers have described as a genocide against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.

2 of Deshaun Watson's accusers go public with sexual misconduct claims

Deshaun Watson in action for the Houston Texans against the Tennessee Titans at NRG Stadium in Houston in January. Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

A woman who went public Tuesday with sexual misconduct allegations against Deshaun Watson said she has filed a criminal complaint with police, the second known criminal complaint made against the Houston Texans quarterback.

Driving the news: Ashley Solis said at a news conference in Houston that she's a "survivor of assault and harassment" and "Watson is my assaulter and my harasser, he assaulted me at my home doing what I love most, massage therapy." Watson has denied any wrongdoing.

Updated Apr 6, 2021 - World

U.S. could consider boycotting 2022 Beijing Olympics with allies

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaking in the State Department on April 5 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Alexander Drago/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. would discuss a joint boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in China with its allies and partners, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said during a press conference on Tuesday.

Why it matters: An Olympics boycott by the U.S. and its allies could help persuade international legal institutions to open an investigation related to allegations of genocide in Xinjiang, human rights lawyer Djaouida Siaci tells Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Apr 6, 2021 - Sports

Almost a third of MLB players were born outside the U.S.

Jazz Chisholm. Photo: Adam Glanzman/MLB Photos via Getty Images

28.3% of MLB players were born outside the U.S., according to the league's annual report. That's down slightly from a record 29.8% in 2017.

By the numbers: There were 256 such players of the 906 total on Opening Day rosters, injured lists, the restricted list and the paternity list.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Apr 6, 2021 - Sports

Sacramento Kings to offer bitcoin as salary option

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Sacramento Kings will become the first major sports franchise to offer a bitcoin payment option to all players and staff, Coindesk reports.

The backdrop: Russell Okung made headlines in December for becoming the first NFL player to convert some of his salary into bitcoin.

Apr 6, 2021 - World

North Korea first country to pull out of Olympics over COVID concerns

The Olympic Rings installation in Odaiba Marine Park, Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Stanislav Kogiku/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

North Korea's sports ministry announced Tuesday that it's decided to pull out of this summer's Tokyo Olympics "to protect athletes from the global health crisis caused by the coronavirus."

Why it matters: North Korea is the first country to withdraw its team from the Games because of pandemic concerns.

In photos: Baylor ends Gonzaga's winning streak to win first NCAA title

Baylor Bears head coach Scott Drew addresses the crowd after beating the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the National Championship game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, Monday. Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Baylor Bears defeated the Gonzaga Bulldogs 86-70 in the Division I men's basketball title game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Monday night.

Why it matters: This was Baylor's first NCAA title, handing the Bulldogs their first loss of the pandemic-interrupted season and quashing their hopes of becoming the first unbeaten champion since 1976.

Report: MLB relocating All-Star Game to Denver's Coors Field

A general view of the stadium as the Colorado Rockies takes on the San Diego Padres without fans in attendance during pandemic restroctions last August in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Major League Baseball is moving its 2021 All-Star Game to Denver's Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, on July 13, according to multiple reports Monday night.

Driving the news: After the MLB pulled the event from Atlanta over Georgia's new voting restrictions, a spokesperson for Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said last Friday he would be "burning up the phones" to bring the game to Denver.