Tom Goldman

We've been hearing about possible plans for restarting Major League Baseball after its coronavirus shutdown.

Now the league is joining the fight against the virus in a way that could help society get going again.

The coronavirus outbreak has hit sports worldwide causing event postponements and cancellations.

Now it appears the pandemic has led to the total shutdown of a league.

Monday, the parent company of the rebooted XFL filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This followed last Friday's decision by the pro football league to suspend operations and lay off nearly all of those who worked for the XFL.

The shock of the NCAA canceling college sports largely is gone.

The cost, is not.

You won't hear a lot of sympathy these days for professional athletes who can't play their games because of the coronavirus outbreak. Technically, they're out of work. But most are also getting paid handsomely, although not as handsomely as they usually are.

Normally, right now, much of this country would be consumed by March Madness.

It's March and for college basketball fans, that mean Madness is coming.

When the women's tournament begins in a little over two weeks, the University of Oregon and star guard Sabrina Ionescu should generate a lot of attention. She led the Ducks to last season's Final Four and was named national player-of-the-year. Ionescu then delayed a professional career to return for her senior season.

It appears it was a good decision.

A former high-ranking official at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee is suing the organization because he says he was fired last year for raising concerns about its treatment of Olympic athletes.

For all its recent success, Esports still has a bit of a problem.

In less than a decade, competitive video gaming has become a global phenomenon with multi-billions in revenue and hundreds of millions of fans.

But for all who embrace Esports, there are those who remain on the outside.

This is a thing?

David Stern, a basketball Hall of Famer and former commissioner of the NBA, died on Wednesday at age 77. The NBA issued a statement saying that his death was the result of a brain hemorrhage that he suffered in mid-December.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Here's something Bernie Sanders is fighting for right now - the future of baseball. Yesterday in Iowa, he took a few minutes to take a few swings.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BERNIE SANDERS: There you go.

Fat Bear Week 2019 officially ended Tuesday night. And the winner is ...

No. 435, or if you prefer a name, Holly.

Fat Bear Week has been an annual event for the past five years in Katmai National Park and Preserve in southwestern Alaska. The idea is to publicize and celebrate the process of bears eating as much as they can to build up crucial fat reserves in advance of winter hibernation.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

With a new NFL season starting, concerns about head injuries in football are expected to ramp up again.

But now the discussion is expanding to women's soccer. On the heels of this summer's World Cup, researchers are preparing to study the potential toll on women from a lifetime of head impacts, including heading the ball.

Expanding research

The University of Alabama's Crimson Tide have won five national championships in the past 10 years. "That's too many!" shout the haters, who especially love to pillory Alabama's stern head coach Nick Saban. But in Alabama — and especially the team's hometown of Tuscaloosa — there's mostly devotion.

Fans of the World Cup champion U.S. women's national soccer team are getting what they want.

More.

The team began a victory tour last weekend. It runs until October.

It's a heady time for women's soccer. But other women's sports want to take advantage of the moment as well. And they're hoping to overcome cultural obstacles that traditionally have made their sports less relevant.

Powerful potential

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