Tom Goldman

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Major League Baseball has finally accepted players from the Negro Leagues as major leaguers. MLB says this decision comes 100 years after the start of the Negro Leagues. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

For more than 50 years, the NCAA has imposed academic rules to make sure college athletes aren't just athletes, and the decades-long process has generated plenty of controversy.

Critics claim the academic standards, and the penalties for not meeting them, discriminate against Black college athletes and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Life has become more challenging, and potentially dangerous, as winter weather forces more people inside during the coronavirus pandemic.

And the concerns extend to the world of sports.

A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll with the Center for Sports Communication at Marist College reveals 56% of American sports fans believe people should not be participating in indoor team sports such as basketball.

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There's been a significant suspension for doping in Major League Baseball.

MLB announced Wednesday that New York Mets second baseman Robinson Canó will miss all of next season, without pay, after he tested positive for an anabolic steroid banned by baseball.

Canó's ban is 162 games, the length of a normal MLB regular season. He also has to forfeit his $24 million salary for 2021.

Professional and college sports are playing through the pandemic, although it's taken a toll.

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Back in the studio, time for sports.

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SIMON: All right, I got a grip now. The Dodgers are a game up on the Rays, but sometimes the story is the game within the game. Meanwhile, Big Ten football takes the field.

Tonight, it's a familiar moment in an otherwise strange baseball season. Game One of the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays. First pitch is at 8:09 p.m. ET.

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The Week In Sports

Oct 10, 2020

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And it's time for sports.

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SIMON: And a couple of games last night reminded us of the human drama sports can deliver, even when there are only cardboard fans in the seats. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Tom, thanks so much for being with us.

For Major League Baseball, it's on to the postseason.

This year, that's saying a lot.

The sport wrapped up its regular season Sunday and got through it without being in a protective bubble like other leagues. There were COVID-19 outbreaks and postponed games.

There still could be problems in the playoffs.

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I wait all week to say it's time for sports.

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A semi-full slate of college football games is scheduled for this weekend as a season unfolds....anxiously.

Already, two of the five major Division 1 conference have decided not to play this fall because of the coronavirus.

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The pandemic had already shortened the baseball season. And now less than a week into it, there are big problems with the coronavirus.

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The Summer Olympics in Tokyo were supposed to start Friday.

The Games were, of course, postponed until next July because of the coronavirus outbreak. It forced thousands of athletes to pause and re-order their training schedules.

But some decided a year was too long to wait.

The run-don't-walk Major League Baseball season begins Thursday night.

Normally it's a 162-game stroll. But the Washington Nationals vs New York Yankees opener, in D.C., represents the beginning of a 60-game sprint through a pandemic shortened schedule.

Florida continues to see record coronavirus cases and, at the same time, delays in getting test results.

But that's not the case for NBA and Major League Soccer athletes playing in the Orlando area. Their season restarts have included frequent and quick COVID-19 testing.

The discrepancy is raising ethical questions about the process.

Not helpful, and potentially dangerous

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been criticized for his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, including opening the state early, in the beginning of May.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Washington's NFL team is changing its name. In a statement today, the Redskins confirmed they are retiring that name and their logo. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman is following this story. Tom, good morning.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Morning, Steve.

Not long ago, a Major League Baseball season seemed improbable, with owners and players fighting about how to restart in the middle of a pandemic.

Now, the fighting is over, at least publicly.

And the Majors are a little more than two weeks away from playing ball. If all goes well.

Updated at 7:54 p.m. ET

Ready or not, the NBA restart is a go.

It appears the league is as ready as it can be to play three months of basketball inside a protective bubble near Orlando, Fla., while on the outside coronavirus cases currently soar.

Whether it's a success – at this point all one can do is dust off the oldest of clichés.

Time will tell.

NASCAR has finished its investigation and says it still doesn't know who tied a noose that was discovered this past weekend in the garage stall used by African American stock car driver Bubba Wallace at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

What's in a name?

In the current climate, a lot. And enough to force change when that name offends.

On Tuesday, the University of Cincinnati board of trustees voted unanimously to take down the name of Marge Schott from the school's baseball stadium, effective immediately.

The board cited Schott's "record of racism and bigotry" in making its decision.

The FBI has joined NASCAR in an investigation into who left a noose in the racetrack garage of African American driver Bubba Wallace.

The incident happened Sunday in Wallace's garage area at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Stock car's top drivers are there for the annual Talladega race. It was postponed Sunday because of bad weather and rescheduled for Monday.

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