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WNPR News sports coverage brings you a mix of local and statewide news from our reporters as well as national and global news from around the world from NPR.

Lorie Shaull / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Sun continue preparations for the 2020 WNBA season despite recent controversial comments from Atlanta Dream co-owner and Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler about the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Senior Jacob Gilman, 18, wears a Red Hawks shirt while his friend, 18-year-old Josh Monty, wears a Redmen shirt during a Killingly High varsity basketball game on Jan. 11. Gilman says he wore the shirt mostly because he got it for free.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

The racial injustice reckoning the nation is experiencing in the wake of George Floyd’s death has only amplified calls for sports teams to get rid of Native American nicknames. That’s a movement that was already underway in Connecticut. 

ALI WARSHAVSKY / Connecticut Public

The shouts and the clack of bat on ball may sound like a typical Little League game, but it looks a bit different during a pandemic. 

“In the old days the umpire would be behind the plate, and now he’s behind the pitcher,” said Mike Noto, Stamford American Little League president. 

Universal Pictures

The raft of renaming going on right now obviously hasn't spared popular culture. The Dixie Chicks and Lady Antebellum are now The Chicks and Lady A, respectively. Björk's record label changed its name. Democrats want to rename John Wayne Airport. FedEx has formally asked the Washington Redskins to change their name, and Guilford's board of education voted to drop the town's "Indians" nickname. And, while Splash Mountain is going to keep being called Splash Mountain, it won't be based on Song of the South anymore.

And: The King of Staten Island is the sixth feature film directed by Judd Apatow. It stars Pete Davidson (who also co-wrote the movie with Apatow and Dave Sirus) as a 24-year-old high school dropout who lives with his mother on Staten Island. It's available for rental on digital platforms.

Courtesy: Janet Wang

The coach of the women’s rowing team at UConn said she hasn’t ruled out filing a Title IX complaint after the school’s shocking announcement that it will end its investment in the team. Women’s rowing was one of four sports UConn said it won’t fund after the upcoming academic year in a bid to cut its budget.

Doug Kerr / Creative Commons

Seven years after old Big East broke apart, UConn is back in the conference -- as of July 1. The university reached an agreement to rejoin the league a year ago, but teams had to finish out last season in the American Athletic Conference first and then pay the AAC $17 million to leave. So will this move help UConn athletics get out of debt? Was this a “nostalgia” move? What will it do for recruiting? 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Faced with a massive deficit -- only exacerbated by the economic pain of coronavirus shutdowns -- the University of Connecticut’s athletics department is making cuts.

AP Photo/Eric Gay

The NBA could get an assist from Yale University in monitoring the spread of COVID-19 when its season resumes.

Yale’s School of Public Health has announced that select NBA players, coaches and staff will take part in the university’s efforts to determine whether saliva testing for COVID-19 is effective. 

Jonathan McNicol / Connecticut Public Radio

The leagues are working in earnest toward starting back up. The NBA has a plan. Major League Baseball can't seem to work one out. Major League Soccer might beat them both back onto the field.

How is this all going to work? What are sports going to look like when they start playing games again? Should they start playing games again?

Max Pixel

While swimming is a popular pastime for many Americans, a history of discrimination at pools nationwide in the 20th century has led to startling racial disparities in swimming abilities. A 2017 USA Swimming Foundation report found more than 6 in 10 African American children have low to no swimming skills.

And that has deadly consequences: Black and Latino children are statistically much more likely to drown than their white peers.

This hour, we hear from a historian about how we got to this point.

Glenn Lungarini
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference canceled its spring sports season this week after news that public schools will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year. Executive director Glen Lungarini talked with All Things Considered host John Henry Smith about this decision and the criticism he faced when he canceled the winter sports playoff schedule back in March.

NASCAR Cup Series driver Michael McDowell
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public/NPR

The impact of the coronavirus on sports is stark -- from golf’s Masters Tournament being postponed to the cancellation of the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournament. The COVID-19 pandemic has athletes scrambling to find competition and the fans who watch them struggling to find their fix.

FX Productions, LLC

The novel coronavirus has started to take its toll on figures from our popular culture. Adam Schlesinger, who founded Fountains of Wayne and wrote songs for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend among other things, died on Wednesday. The great playwright Terrence McNally died last week. The list goes on: songwriter Alan Merrill, country music star Joe Diffie, fashion designer Jenny Polanco, college basketball star Dave Edwards, actor Mark Blum, soccer star Lorenzo Sanz. And it seems like the jazz community has been especially vulnerable: guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, pianists Ellis Marsalis and Mike Longo, and trumpeter Wallace Roney have all died.

And then: Dave is an FXX comedy series that tells a fictionalized version of the rise of rapper Lil Dicky, and John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch is a Netflix children's special that Mulaney made "on purpose."

Noah Salzman / Creative Commons

Besides the occasional outdoor run or a trip to get groceries, Team USA goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher is hunkering down like the rest of us. Unlike the rest of us, the coronavirus pandemic means she’s forgoing a trip to the Olympics this summer.

Jonathan McNicol / Connecticut Public Radio

The NBA, the NHL, and Major League Soccer have all suspended their seasons. Major League Baseball canceled spring training and postponed opening day until at least mid-May. The NCAA canceled March Madness (which would've started in earnest today) and, in fact, all of its winter and spring sports championships. Tennis's French Open is postponed until September, and soccer's Euro 2020 is postponed until 2021.

There have been cancellations and postponements in archery, badminton, canoe-kayak, cricket, curling, handball, judo, rowing, rugby, sailing, shooting, skating, snooker, sumo, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, water polo, weightlifting… The list goes on.

Put a bit more simply: Sports is canceled.

Pomperaug High School senior swimmer Ethan Waskiel, 17, tries to get someone to open the front door as hundreds of high school student-athletes, parents and coaches protest the cancellation of winter sports.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Student-athletes and their coaches are upset with Connecticut’s high school sports association for its decision to cut the winter sports season short due to the spread of COVID-19. In Cheshire Wednesday, some of them protested outside the offices of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference. 

Senior Maddi Larkin held up a sign that read, “Corona is not a reason to cancel the tournament.”

Her Sheehan High School team from Wallingford was about to play in the quarterfinals of the CIAC Class MM girls basketball tournament.

David Butler II / CPTV Sports

The fallout from the spread of the coronavirus has hit high school sports in the state. The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has notified schools that it has canceled the state championships for all winter sports. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

139 wins, 0 losses.

That’s the mark -- including seven postseason titles -- the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team finishes with as members of the American Athletic Conference.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Jim Calhoun’s University of Saint Joseph men’s basketball team played its first NCAA Division III Tournament game Friday, 16 months after the Blue Jays had their first game.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

March Madness begins in a couple of weeks, a favorite time of year for people who love watching college basketball. But if you want to legally place bets on your favorite team, inside Connecticut you’re out of luck.

This hour: will the General Assembly legalize sports betting this legislative session?

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