The big picture

The third coronavirus wave means even more sports uncertainty

They have to figure out how to keep going from an even worse financial position.

Nov 2, 2020 - Sports
Ranking MLB's all-time rosters

We took into account players, franchise success and a little bit of gut feeling.

Oct 20, 2020 - Sports
Ranking the NBA's all-time rosters

We compiled and ranked the all-time rosters for all 30 NBA franchises

Sep 30, 2020 - Sports
Special report: War, fever and baseball in 1918

1918 saw the Curse of the Bambino take hold.

Apr 6, 2020 - Sports

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Sep 10, 2021 - Sports

Trevor Bauer out for rest of season amid assault allegations

Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer looks on during the sixth inning against the San Francisco Giants. Photo: Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer will miss the rest of the 2021 Major League Baseball regular season and postseason after the league and the MLB Players Association agreed to extend his paid administrative leave, The Athletic reports.

Why it matters: This is the ninth time Bauer's leave was extended. The 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner was initially placed on seven-day paid administrative leave on July 2 amid assault allegations.

Sep 8, 2021 - Sports

Three retired NFL players plead guilty to health care fraud scheme

Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis during a game at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on Sept. 4, 2008. Photo: Getty Images

Three retired NFL players pleaded guilty to numerous fraud charges related to a nationwide health care fraud scheme, bringing the total number of retired athletes who have pleaded guilty to 15, the Department of Justice said Tuesday.

Driving the news: The three defendants admitted to defrauding the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan. The fund, created in 2006, gives tax-free reimbursements of up up to $350,000 per player for out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Sep 8, 2021 - Sports

NFL Players Association calls for daily COVID testing for all players

Cleveland Browns Center JC Tretter in Uniform. Photo:Jason Miller/Getty Images

NFL Players Association President and Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter in a blog post Tuesday called for daily COVID-19 testing for all players for the 2021 season due to the spread of the Delta variant.

Driving the news: Tretter's call comes after NFL announced that it will conduct weekly tests for players during the season. The league previously said it will cancel games and force teams to forfeit if they have an outbreak.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Sep 7, 2021 - Sports

Farewell, paper tickets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Tickets were once mementos — physical items soaked in memories and nostalgia, tucked away in attics and scrapbooks. They are now barcodes on our phones.

By the numbers: 98% of NFL fans used mobile tickets during preseason games this summer, according to the league. That's up from 67% in 2019.

Sep 5, 2021 - Sports

NFL will allow players to display social justice messages on helmets

A "Stop Hate" slogan on the back of a New York Jets player's helmet. Photo: Al Pereira/Getty Images

The NFL will allow players to display choice social justice messages on their helmets and will stencil in "It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism” messages in the end zones of every field, the Associated Press reported.

Why it matters: Approximately 70% of the NFL's active players are Black and the initiative is an effort by league officials to display solidarity with players protesting social justice causes like Black Lives Matter, per the New York Times.

Sep 1, 2021 - Sports

Washington Nationals, VP Bob Boone part ways after vaccine mandate

Washington Nationals VP Bob Boone. Photo: Alex Trautwig/MLB via Getty Images

The Washington Nationals and Vice President Bob Boone are parting ways over the team's vaccine mandate for all full-time staff, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

Driving the news: The Nationals informed staff of the vaccine mandate on Aug. 14. Employees had until Aug. 26 to provide either proof of full vaccination or one dose of the vaccine or apply for an exemption, per WashPost.

The Tampa Bay Rays' Wander Franco is making baseball history already

Wander Franco hits a two-run single in the eighth against the Red Sox at the Trop on Monday. Photo: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

In his debut season, Wander Franco is on pace to break records set by baseball greats like Ted Williams and Ken Griffey Jr., DRays Bay reports.

  • Franco has reached base in 48 of his first 53 games as a big leaguer. He’s one of just two players under 21 to reach base in that many games over his first 53 games — Willie Mays was the other.

NFL to restrict media access in locker rooms for second season

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The NFL will restrict media access for a second straight season amid the coronavirus pandemic, permitting only team employees inside the locker room when players are present.

Why it matters: Sports teams already operate like media companies, churning out content, growing audiences and publishing news updates. Keeping journalists at a distance gives them even more narrative control.

Aug 27, 2021 - Health

NBA staff must be vaccinated if around players, referees

Fully vaccinated fans are seen in the vaccinated section of the stadium during the NBA Play-In Tournament game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center on May 19. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The NBA said Friday that all personnel who will be in close proximity to players and referees must be fully vaccinated, according to a company memo shared with Axios.

State of play: This includes anyone who travels with teams, those who are around the bench areas and those who have access to the locker rooms. Team staff must be vaccinated by Oct. 1.

The advertising invasion

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The NHL will allow teams to sell sponsorship patches on their uniforms beginning in the 2022-23 season.

Why it matters: Jersey advertisements have become increasingly prevalent in North American sports over the past decade or so, and the pandemic appears to be speeding up adoption.

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