NFL, NBA, MLB & NHL

The big picture

Sports in the coronavirus era might need an asterisk

It's worth considering how champions will be remembered years from now.

Jul 8, 2020
How the NBA's "smart rings" work to assess coronavirus risk

They track heart and respiratory rate, as well as temperature and sleep patterns.

Jun 30, 2020
Sports leagues are preparing for an era without fans

Teams face a surreal environment without the energy and noise that fans provide.

May 13, 2020
Special report: War, fever and baseball in 1918

1918 saw the Curse of the Bambino take hold.

Apr 6, 2020

All NFL, NBA, MLB & NHL stories

Jul 14, 2020 - Sports

The NBA's YouTube generation documents life in Orlando bubble

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The NBA bubble at Walt Disney World demands a documentary and will surely get its own "30 for 30" one day. But as the action begins to unfolds, it's clear that the players, themselves, will be the primary storytellers.

Why it matters: The most unique sporting event in history (just ahead of every other event this year) will be documented by its participants, making it less of a traditional "sports season" and more of a must-see reality show.

Washington Redskins will change team name

Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins announced Monday that the NFL team plans to change its name.

Why it matters: It brings an end to decades of debate around the name — considered by many to be racist toward Native Americans. The change was jumpstarted by nationwide protests against systemic racism in the U.S. this summer.

Jul 13, 2020 - Sports

DeSean Jackson's anti-Semitic posts kick off weeklong firestorm

Photo: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

When Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson posted an anti-Semitic quote on Instagram last week, falsely attributed to Adolf Hitler, it set off a firestorm that built over a week.

What happened: Jackson first apologized within a day, claiming he "didn't realize what this passage was saying," but plenty of people jumped into the fray from various sports leagues to both defend and criticize him over the incident.

Jul 12, 2020 - Sports

ESPN suspends star NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski for profane Hawley email

Photo: Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images

ESPN has suspended star NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski after he sent a profane email to Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Outkick first reported. The New York Post reports that the suspension is without pay.

Catch up fast: Hawley sent a letter to NBA commissioner Adam Silver criticizing the league for allowing players to wear pre-approved social justice messages on their uniforms, without allowing criticism of the Chinese Communist Party or support for Hong Kong. Wojnarowski, one of ESPN's most prominent reporters, responded with an email that read “F–k you.”

Jul 11, 2020 - Sports

Senator rebukes NBA for not allowing players to address China's human rights abuses

Sen. Josh Hawley in June. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) criticized the NBA's decision to limit political messages players can wear while on court in a letter to league Commissioner Adam Silver on Friday.

Why it matters: Hawley accused the league of censoring players' support for law enforcement officers and the military, as well as their criticism of the Chinese Communist Party's human rights abuses in Hong Kong and against Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.

Jul 8, 2020 - Sports

The push to bring baseball to Nashville

Nashville's skyline. Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images for Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

MLB wants to eventually expand to 32 teams, and Nashville, Tennessee, has emerged as a potential landing spot.

Driving the news: The Music City Baseball group, which hopes to bring a team to Nashville through expansion or relocation, gained considerable clout Monday when former GM Dave Dombrowski joined the effort, USA Today reports.

Jul 8, 2020 - Sports

Networks fear a fall without the NFL

Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While all major sports scramble to rescue their seasons, the networks are fixated on the NFL, which accounted for 41 of the 50 top-rated telecasts of any kind in 2019, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The NFL made up 39% of all ad revenue for Fox last year, 24% for CBS, 21% for NBC and 17% for ESPN (including ABC playoff simulcasts). "It’s practically the only thing on the minds of the networks," John Kosner, a former ESPN executive who is an industry consultant, told the Post. "If you lost an NFL season, you’re looking at a financial hemorrhage."

Jul 7, 2020 - Sports

Patrick Mahomes signs richest NFL deal ever

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed a 10-year contract extension on Monday worth up to $503 million, ESPN reports.

Why it matters: It's the largest contract in the history of American sports and almost double the career earnings of Eli Manning, the highest-paid player by salary in NFL history.

Jul 7, 2020 - Sports

Japan preps for baseball fans as U.S. struggles with coronavirus surge

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Chart: Axios Visuals

While MLB struggles with testing delays ahead of its shortened season, Japan's Nippon Pro Baseball (NPB) — the world's second-best league behind MLB — has not only resumed play, but will soon allow fans at games.