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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Smithsonian exhibit catches the history of Latinos and baseball

¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Photo: Russell Contreras/Axios

A bilingual exhibit in Washington, D.C., is focusing on how Latinos transformed baseball in the U.S. and how the game allowed them to fight for civil rights.

The big picture: ¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues, at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, opened last month and goes on until summer 2022. The exhibit comes as more than 30% of Major League players are Latino and the nation's pastime becomes more diverse.

Jul 29, 2021 - World

Lawmakers demand NBA players cut ties with Chinese firms accused of "human slavery"

Dwyane Wade. Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Some Republican lawmakers are demanding that NBA players end their endorsement contracts with Chinese sports retailers Anta and Li-Ning, which continue to source cotton from the Xinjiang region, Politico reports.

Why it matters: The U.S. government has warned that businesses with supply chains and investments in Xinjiang — where China has been accused of carrying out a genocide against Uyghur Muslims — run a "high risk" of violating U.S. laws on forced labor.

Jul 27, 2021 - Sports

Obama joins NBA Africa as strategic adviser

Obama in 2014. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Obama has joined NBA Africa as a strategic adviser, the league announced Tuesday.

Driving the news: Obama will "help advance the league’s social responsibility efforts across the continent," including initiatives that "support greater gender equality and economic inclusion."

Jul 24, 2021 - Sports

NFL to fine unvaccinated players $14K for violating COVID-19 protocols

Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs wears a facemask while preparing for the start of Super Bowl LV. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The NFL will fine unvaccinated players $14,650 if they violate COVID-19 protocols this season, ESPN reports.

The big picture: The rule change comes two days after the NFL announced that postponed games due to coronavirus outbreaks among unvaccinated players or staffers will not be rescheduled and teams responsible for delays will automatically forfeit.

Jul 23, 2021 - Sports

Cleveland Indians change name to "Guardians"

The Cleveland Indians baseball team announced Friday that it will change its name to the "Guardians," following years of activism and protests against a moniker considered offensive by many Native Americans.

Why it matters: It's the first time the team will change its name since 1915, a move that comes in the wake of the nationwide racial reckoning that began with the murder of George Floyd.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Jul 23, 2021 - Sports

NFL raises vaccine pressure

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In the latest attempt to encourage players to get vaccinated, the NFL is threatening forfeits and the loss of game checks if an outbreak occurs.

Driving the news: If a game can't be played due to an outbreak among unvaccinated players/staff this upcoming season — and the NFL can't find "a suitable date to reschedule" — the team responsible will forfeit and both teams will lose their game checks.

Jul 23, 2021 - Sports

New allegations emerge in sexual assault suit against ex-Blackhawks coach

Photo: Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

An amended sexual assault lawsuit against former Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach Brad Aldrich contains new allegations that Aldrich threatened a former player with a souvenir baseball bat before forcing nonconsensual sex, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Why it matters: Aldrich, who worked as an assistant high school hockey coach after leaving the Blackhawks, was convicted on criminal sexual conduct charges involving a student in 2013, per AP. The unnamed player sued the team earlier this year, alleging a pattern of inaction that enabled Aldrich to continue his behavior for years and later abuse the student.

Jul 22, 2021 - Sports

NFL says teams will forfeit games delayed by coronavirus outbreaks

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at the 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland, Ohio, in April. Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The NFL told teams Thursday that postponed games due to coronavirus outbreaks among unvaccinated players or staffers will not be rescheduled this coming season and teams responsible for delays will automatically forfeit, according to NFL Network.

Why it matters: The league hasn't mandated vaccines for players, but this rule incentivizes teams to pressure unvaccinated players to get inoculated.

Jul 22, 2021 - Sports

The business of Shohei Ohtani

Photo illustration: Trent Joaquin. Photo: Thearon W. Henderson /Getty Images

Shohei Ohtani is an MVP candidate on the field, and his new exclusive memorabilia deal with Fanatics reflects his exploding off-field value.

By the numbers: Ohtani's $6 million in annual endorsements is already tops in MLB, per Forbes, thanks to his two-way stardom and popularity in two of the world's biggest markets.

Jul 21, 2021 - Sports

Maria Taylor to exit ESPN after contract negotiations fail

Maria Taylor. Photo: Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

ESPN and sports reporter Maria Taylor jointly announced Wednesday that the host is leaving the network after the two sides failed to reach an agreement to extend Taylor's contract.

Why it matters: Taylor's departure comes just weeks after the New York Times published leaked audio of basketball reporter Rachel Nichols suggesting Taylor, who is Black, was promoted because ESPN was "feeling pressure" on diversity.

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