February 23, 2021

What We're Reading: February 2021

February has been a busy month for sports. Check out what we’ve been reading this month:

Black History Month

ESPN is launching a “Black History Always” initiative to assert a commitment to black athletes on and off the court.  This initiative will highlight moments of heroism, change, and progress for black athletes and provide inspiration for the improvements that need to be enacted. 

A tribute to MLB hall of famer Hank Aaron and his remarkable career in baseball.  This article recounts some of his greatest moments including breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record as well as the struggles of being a black athlete during the civil rights movement. 

NCAA FCS

After two long weeks without a game, football is back! The NCAA Football Championship Subdivision restarted its season February 13th with McNeese State beating Tarleton State in double-overtime. As Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger wrote, the McNeese State team had to overcome some serious obstacles outside of COVID-19 to even take the field. Even with the decision to pause the season last fall, FCS teams will still have to grapple with the pandemic and some teams won’t be suiting up this spring. Considering all the changes and the casual college football fan’s unfamiliarity with the FCS, Sam Cooper from Yahoo! Sports provides a preview of the upcoming FCS season

NFL Offseason Moves

With Super Bowl LV in the books, the NFL Offseason is in full swing. Like every other professional sport this past year, the NFL felt the full effects of COVID-19, making significant adjustments to its normal course of operations in 2020. The impact of the pandemic will likely stretch into future seasons as the league gets ready to set its salary cap figure for 2021. The NFL has historically had modest salary cap increases each year, but this year’s salary cap projects to be static at best given COVID’s effect on league revenues. Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton gives his prediction for some of the most surprising cut candidates for the 2021 season. On top of the many potential salary cap casualties, significant further changes are expected at the quarterback position. Although the league year doesn’t officially start until March 17th, three signal-callers have already changed teams and the league may see the highest turnover at the QB position ever in 2021.

The Australian Open

The Australian Open made headlines this week, as Tennis Australia managed to complete one of the first major international sporting events since COVID-19. This isn't to say that the Australian Open didn't face its own set of challenges; the NYTimes describes how the Tokyo Games can learn from these setbacks as it stages the Olympics in July. Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim offers his parting thoughts on the Australian Open's biggest stories, including Novak Djokovic extending his lead in the 'Big Titles' race and Naomi Osaka keeping a perfect record in major finals.


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