Tom Goldman

Tom Goldman is NPR's sports correspondent. His reports can be heard throughout NPR's news programming, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and on NPR.org.

With a beat covering the entire world of professional sports, both in and outside of the United States, Goldman reporting covers the broad spectrum of athletics from the people to the business of athletics.

During his nearly 30 years with NPR, Goldman has covered every major athletic competition including the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA Finals, golf and tennis championships, and the Olympic Games.

His pieces are diverse and include both perspective and context. Goldman often explores people's motivations for doing what they do, whether it's solo sailing around the world or pursuing a gold medal. In his reporting, Goldman searches for the stories about the inspirational and relatable amateur and professional athletes.

Goldman contributed to NPR's 2009 Edward R. Murrow award for his coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and to a 2010 Murrow Award for contribution to a series on high school football, "Friday Night Lives." Earlier in his career, Goldman's piece about Native American basketball players earned a 2004 Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award from the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University and a 2004 Unity Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association.

In January 1990, Goldman came to NPR to work as an associate producer for sports with Morning Edition. For the next seven years he reported, edited, and produced stories and programs. In June 1997, he became NPR's first full-time sports correspondent.

For five years before NPR, Goldman worked as a news reporter and then news director in local public radio. In 1984, he spent a year living on an Israeli kibbutz. Two years prior he took his first professional job in radio in Anchorage, Alaska, at the Alaska Public Radio Network.

It appears, with less than five months to go, the Tokyo Olympics will happen.

Organizers continue to insist the Games that were postponed last year, are on, despite lingering uncertainty.

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Across the country, coal-burning power plants are closing. Wind turbines and solar farms are expanding. This transition cleans the air. It reduces greenhouse emissions. But it can also be painful. In North Dakota, some local officials are trying to keep a coal plant alive by blocking construction of new wind power. NPR's Dan Charles has more.

Sunday, the Super Bowl will offer up history when the Kansas City Chiefs play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa.

That alone is historic. It's the first time a team has played a Super Bowl in its home stadium.

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For more than 50 years, the NCAA has imposed academic rules to make sure college athletes aren't just athletes, and the decades-long process has generated plenty of controversy.

Critics claim the academic standards, and the penalties for not meeting them, discriminate against Black college athletes and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Life has become more challenging, and potentially dangerous, as winter weather forces more people inside during the coronavirus pandemic.

And the concerns extend to the world of sports.

A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll with the Center for Sports Communication at Marist College reveals 56% of American sports fans believe people should not be participating in indoor team sports such as basketball.

Professional and college sports are playing through the pandemic, although it's taken a toll.

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For Major League Baseball, it's on to the postseason.

This year, that's saying a lot.

The sport wrapped up its regular season Sunday and got through it without being in a protective bubble like other leagues. There were COVID-19 outbreaks and postponed games.

There still could be problems in the playoffs.

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America's most popular spectator sport is back. Albeit with fewer spectators because of the pandemic.

A new NFL season, the league's 101st, begins Thursday night in Kansas City with the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans.

And here's a surprise. Fans at sporting events are a rarity these days, but in fact, there'll be a far-from-capacity crowd at Arrowhead Stadium, with a slew of COVID-19 precautions waiting for them.

A semi-full slate of college football games is scheduled for this weekend as a season unfolds....anxiously.

Already, two of the five major Division 1 conference have decided not to play this fall because of the coronavirus.

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The pandemic had already shortened the baseball season. And now less than a week into it, there are big problems with the coronavirus.

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The Summer Olympics in Tokyo were supposed to start Friday.

The Games were, of course, postponed until next July because of the coronavirus outbreak. It forced thousands of athletes to pause and re-order their training schedules.

But some decided a year was too long to wait.

The run-don't-walk Major League Baseball season begins Thursday night.

Normally it's a 162-game stroll. But the Washington Nationals vs New York Yankees opener, in D.C., represents the beginning of a 60-game sprint through a pandemic shortened schedule.

Florida continues to see record coronavirus cases and, at the same time, delays in getting test results.

But that's not the case for NBA and Major League Soccer athletes playing in the Orlando area. Their season restarts have included frequent and quick COVID-19 testing.

The discrepancy is raising ethical questions about the process.

Not helpful, and potentially dangerous

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been criticized for his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, including opening the state early, in the beginning of May.

Not long ago, a Major League Baseball season seemed improbable, with owners and players fighting about how to restart in the middle of a pandemic.

Now, the fighting is over, at least publicly.

And the Majors are a little more than two weeks away from playing ball. If all goes well.

Updated at 7:54 p.m. ET

Ready or not, the NBA restart is a go.

It appears the league is as ready as it can be to play three months of basketball inside a protective bubble near Orlando, Fla., while on the outside coronavirus cases currently soar.

Whether it's a success – at this point all one can do is dust off the oldest of clichés.

Time will tell.

NASCAR has finished its investigation and says it still doesn't know who tied a noose that was discovered this past weekend in the garage stall used by African American stock car driver Bubba Wallace at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

What's in a name?

In the current climate, a lot. And enough to force change when that name offends.

On Tuesday, the University of Cincinnati board of trustees voted unanimously to take down the name of Marge Schott from the school's baseball stadium, effective immediately.

The board cited Schott's "record of racism and bigotry" in making its decision.

Updated at 2:16 p.m. ET Saturday

Major League Baseball will shut down and disinfect all 30 teams' Spring Training facilities in Florida and Arizona, as the coronavirus continues to make its presence felt.

The league says players and other personnel will need a negative test for the virus before they can get back into the facilities after the deep cleaning.

Before the announcement late Friday night, several teams made the decision on their own to shut down.

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The Great Sports Freeze of 2020, due to the coronavirus outbreak, appears to be thawing. Despite increases of COVID-19 cases in nearly half of the country, sports and leagues are marching ahead with plans to reopen.

As nationwide protests against police brutality and racism demand change to current laws and institutions, the ripple effects are reaching historic symbols of white supremacy.

The effort to dismantle, relocate or rename symbols is happening in the sports world as well.

Athletes have gotten involved in a potential name change at the University of Cincinnati.

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Sports are part of the fabric of American society, and often they've provided a medium for athlete protest. In recent years, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the face of the movement. In 2016, he began kneeling before games, during the playing of the national anthem, to protest police treatment of minorities and social inequality.

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NASCAR returned to action yesterday, but, sports fans, this country's other major pro sports remain shut down because of the coronavirus. Momentum has been building for them to restart. Here's NPR's Tom Goldman on whether it's too soon for a comeback.

As communities start to emerge from COVID-19 shutdowns, so do recreational opportunities.

Carefully.

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