TORONTO/TOKYO -- Major sporting nations Australia and Canada quit the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on Monday as organizers faced global pressure to postpone the Games due to the coronavirus crisis for the first time in their 124-year modern history. Putting back the July 24-Aug. 9 event, as is looking inevitable, would be a massive blow for host Japan which has pumped in more than $12 billion of investment. Huge sums are also at stake for sponsors and broadcasters.
ATHENS -- The International Olympic Committee is stepping up its "scenario planning" for the Tokyo 2020 Games -- including a possible postponement -- as the coronavirus pandemic spreads, it said after an emergency meeting on Sunday, March 22. The IOC will hold discussions that will include an option of putting back the July 24 start date or even moving the Games by a year or more due to the global coronavirus pandemic but said canceling the Games would not solve problems or help anybody.
Six-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday, transforming the team into a championship contender. The face of the New England Patriots for two decades, Brady will have a new home after agreeing a one-year deal worth $30 million according to a report on NFL.com. "Excited, humble and hungry," Brady said on an Instagram post with a picture of him signing what appeared to be a contract.
NFL players have voted to approve a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that will expand the playoff field and allow owners the option to lengthen the regular season, the NFL Players' Association (NFLPA) said on Sunday, March 15. The new 10-year labor deal extends through the 2030 season and offers increased compensation for every minimum-salary player, or about 60% of the NFL. The players voted to approve ratification by a vote tally of 1,019 to 959, the league's players' association said on Twitter.
TOKYO-- Japan is still preparing to host the Olympics, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Saturday, March 14, despite rising global concern about the viability of the summer Games due to the coronavirus outbreak. Abe and his government have been adamant the Olympics will go ahead, even as other global sporting events have been put on hold. Speculation about a delay from the July start date has grown since U.S. President Donald Trump said organizers should consider a one-year postponement.
AUGUSTA, Ga. --The Masters, which brings together the world's best golfers in April for the year's first major, has been postponed because of concerns about the coronavirus, Augusta National Golf Club said on Friday. People from all over the world attend the Masters at Augusta National, which this year was scheduled for April 9-12. "We hope this postponement puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date," Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley said in a statement.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — The Players Championship will go from being one of golf's best attended events to a sporting ghost town after the PGA Tour on Thursday said it was banning spectators from tournaments because of concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. The announcement made by commissioner Jay Monahan at high noon Thursday was jarring and at odds with the buzz at TPC Sawgrass as the world's top golfers went about their business while fans cheered and groaned with each shot under clear blue skies.
The Golden State Warriors will play their Thursday home game without spectators because of concerns about coronavirus, the San Francisco-based NBA team said on Wednesday. The decision was announced shortly after the city and county of San Francisco announced a two-week ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people in a bid to slow the spread of the virus. After hosting the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, the Warriors will play their next five games on the road before returning home to face the Atlanta Hawks on March 25.
ATHENS, Greece — The Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia will be the first in more than 35 years to be held without spectators after organizers on Monday introduced tighter measures to protect against the coronavirus. Greece's Olympic Committee said spectators would be excluded from both the dress rehearsal at the ancient site on Wednesday and the widely broadcast ceremony on Thursday.
Major League Baseball said its players should avoid taking balls and pens from fans to sign autographs in an effort to protect themselves from the coronavirus, but it has no plans yet to cancel or postpone games, ESPN reported on Tuesday. A memo distributed to hundreds of high-ranking baseball officials also said players should opt against handshakes with fans, a recommendation that echoes advice given earlier this week by the NBA, which told its players to use fist-bumps instead.