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Dec 10, 2020 - Sports

Most expensive stadium ever built could finish NFL season without hosting a fan

Photo: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The perfect coda for 2020: The most expensive stadium ever built could conclude its first NFL season without hosting a single fan.

Why it matters: SoFi Stadium in L.A. was supposed to be a Mecca for fans. Instead, it's the most beautiful $5 billion placeholder money can buy.

Dec 9, 2020 - Sports

Proposing athletes jump the vaccine line

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Some public health experts have suggested that pro athletes should be among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, believing it could engender confidence in those who are hesitant to get vaccinated.

The big picture: Though there was backlash over the summer when it looked like leagues were consuming an unfair proportion of limited testing resources, the benefits of athletes as "vaccine-influencers" may be too great to pass up.

Nov 29, 2020 - Sports

NBA announces new coronavirus protocols

The Los Angeles Lakers play the Miami Heat in Game Six of the 2020 NBA Finals. Photo: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The NBA has laid out new coronavirus protocols, including restrictions on when players can return to play after testing positive for COVID-19, ESPN first reported Saturday.

Why it matters: The protocols, which must still be ratified by the league and the National Basketball Players Association, come as players prepare for training camps next week, AP notes. The preseason begins Dec. 11 and the 72-game regular-season starts Dec. 22.

Nov 28, 2020 - Health

NFL bans in-person team activities Monday, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge

Houston Texans play the Detroit Lions in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day. Photo: Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The NFL said it will prohibit all in-person team activities on Monday and Tuesday to help curb the spread of the coronavirus among teams.

Driving the news: The move comes "in response to the continuous increase in positivity rates throughout the country” and because “a number of players and staff celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday with out-of-town guests," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a memo late on Friday, per the NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

Updated Nov 27, 2020 - Sports

NFL reschedules Thanksgiving matchup for second time due to COVID outbreak

Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

The NFL has once again postponed a Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers matchup originally scheduled for primetime on Thanksgiving day due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Why it matters: It's the first time the league has had to scrap a game since October, as the U.S. copes with another surge in coronavirus infections heading into the holidays.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Nov 24, 2020 - Sports

When athletes find out about trades on Twitter

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

There's a new tradition in sports: finding out you've been traded on social media.

The latest: Ricky Rubio found out he'd been traded by the Suns last week while scrolling Twitter at his home in Barcelona, he told The Athletic.

  • Kelly Oubre found out he'd been dealt after a workout at the Suns' facility.
  • "I just see people looking at me with like a glare in their eyes," he said. "I was like, hmm. And then Cheick Diallo was like, 'Hey, my boy, check Twitter.'"
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

Nov 19, 2020 - Sports

NFL expands "intensive" coronavirus restrictions to all teams

Defensive end Arden Key and offensive tackle Sam Young at Allegiant Stadium on Nov. 1. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The NFL announced Wednesday that all 32 teams must follow the league's "intensive" coronavirus restrictions for the rest of the season starting this Saturday.

Why it matters: The decision comes after the Las Vegas Raiders placed seven more players on its coronavirus reserve list, bringing the total to 11, according to ESPN.

Nov 13, 2020 - Sports

Marlins hire MLB's first female GM

Kim Ng. Photo: Kirby Lee/WireImage

The Miami Marlins have hired Kim Ng as their general manager, making her the first female and second Asian American general manager in Major League Baseball, the team announced on Friday.

The big picture: According to AP, Ng, 51, started her career in Major League Baseball as an intern and has over 20 years of experience in professional baseball.

Nov 5, 2020 - Health

NBA's Toronto Raptors weigh temporary stay in U.S.

Photo: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The NBA's Toronto Raptors would love to play next season at home, but with travel between the U.S. and Canada currently restricted — including a 14-day quarantine — they're weighing a temporary U.S. residence.

The state of play: The NBA season is expected to start on Dec. 22, and a surge in positive cases in the U.S. means travel restrictions could remain for a while.