What's New In Sports News & Notes During The Pandemic

March 27, 2020

Photo: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease | Bay Area News Group

During an online conversation with Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading expert on the coronavirus pandemic, made it clear: “This is serious business.” Nearly 50,000 people tuned into Curry’s Instagram as the Warriors star and Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had a 30-minute conversation covering topics from the importance of social distancing, the development of tests and a vaccine and how to prevent future pandemics.

The shift for apparel companies is to make basic medical goods quickly, using material and equipment that are not specialized, like those required for some respirators.

Major League Baseball (MLB) and global sports merchandise specialists Fanatics have agreed to stop production of their player jerseys at a Pennsylvania factory to focus their efforts on producing medical masks and gowns to help the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said that “baseball will be back” and that it “will be part of the recovery,” in an interview on ESPN’s SportsCenter Wednesday night. Manfred said that the league would “not be able to do” a full 162-game season. Still, he said the league is willing to experiment and “make sure we provide as many games as possible and as entertaining a product as possible.”

Drew Brees and his wife Brittany announced they’re donating $5 million to the state of Louisiana, an incredible gift that shows again the love the New Orleans Saints quarterback and his family have for their adopted home state.

The Tokyo Olympics have finally been postponed, leaving the city, organizers and especially athletes to grapple with what comes next. The delay is expected to add $2.7 billion to the cost for Japan, which conservatively will make these the second-most-costly Games ever

Six members of boxing teams who attended an Olympic qualifier in London earlier this month are said to have contracted coronavirus. The Turkish Boxing Federation said two fighters and a coach tested positive since returning from the event, while the Croatian Boxing Federation’s Marko Marovic claims a fighter and two of its coaches have been infected.

The NCAA will reduce its direct distribution to Division I conferences and schools for 2020 by about $375 million to $225 million. This was down to a fall in revenues from the cancellation of the Division I men’s basketball tournament.

The NBA will be reducing salaries by 20% for 100 of its top-earning executives, ESPN reported. The reductions include commissioner Adam Silver and deputy commissioner Mark Tatum, but there are no widespread cuts to the rest of the league or its administrative staff.

The Los Angeles Clippers have taken a significant step towards building a new arena after the National Basketball Association (NBA) team’s owner Steve Ballmer agreed a deal with the Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) to buy The Forum in Inglewood, California.

The 2020 WNBA Draft will be held on 17th April as scheduled but the league will conduct a virtual draft without players, guests and media.

Kirk Herbstreit in the camp of people who aren’t expecting the 2020 football seasons to go on as scheduled. Herbstreit appeared on ESPN Radio on Thursday night and said he would be “shocked” if the NFL and college football seasons happened because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Via TMZ:

“I’ll be shocked if we have NFL football this fall, if we have college football. I’ll be so surprised if that happens,” Herbstreit said.

“Just because from what I understand, people that I listen to, you’re 12 to 18 months from a [coronavirus] vaccine. I don’t know how you let these guys go into locker rooms and let stadiums be filled up and how you can play ball. I just don’t know how you can do it with the optics of it.”

Comcast, the parent of NBCUniversal, has insurance to cover postponement-related expenses from the Tokyo Olympics but is warning investors it will continue to face pressure. One among many questions still to be answered: What to do with the Olympic soccer tournament, both with qualifying and with scheduling?

Media companies including AT&T Inc. and ViacomCBS Inc. are pressing the pause button on asset sales worth more than $5 billion because of the global coronavirus pandemic, according to people familiar with the matter.

Bill Simmons’ The Ringer is returning to classic HBO show The Wire. The Spotify-owned podcast network is prepping a new show, The Wire: Way Down in the Hole, that will deep dive into every episode of the crime drama, starting with season one. The Ringer’s Van Lathan will host alongside podcaster and The Atlantic contributor Jemele Hill.

Athletes Unlimited is planning on launching leagues in three different women’s professional sports. Athletes will earn more of the profits as the league succeeds, and athletes will also participate in company governance.

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