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Sports

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Tina Charles has won two Olympic golds, the WNBA Rookie of the Year and MVP awards, and now is the starting center for the New York Liberty.

As a University of Connecticut alum, she's a proud Husky, so we'll ask her three questions about actual huskies — you know, the dogs that pull sleds through the snow.

Click the audio link above to find out how she does.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And now to the mellow sounds of B.J. Lederman, who writes our theme music. It's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown has been accused of rape in a federal lawsuit in Florida. From member station WGBH in Boston, Esteban Bustillos has more.

Top-tier black college athletes should take their talents to historically black institutions. That's the argument that Jemele Hill is making in a new piece for The Atlantic. She says that doing so could benefit both the colleges and the communities around them.

Embattled Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown is expected to practice with the team on Wednesday, a day after Brown's former trainer accused him of rape in a federal lawsuit.

In a combative press conference, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said the accusations "are what they are" and that "I won't be entering into a discussion about that right now," adding that the team is taking the latest controversy involving Brown "one day at a time."

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The roar of the crowd, the boom of the sound system, the flash of fireworks — all part of the thrill for many fans who flock to NFL games, but for others, including those on the autism spectrum with sensory issues, the experience can be too much.

Now a growing number of teams are including "sensory inclusive spaces" within their arenas to accommodate them.

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

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Rafael Nadal enjoys a well-earned reputation as tennis' long-reigning king of clay — but on Sunday, Nadal reminded the world he's anything but a one-surface wonder. The 33-year-old Spaniard reasserted his mastery of the hard court, as well, claiming his fourth career U.S. Open title over an opponent roughly a decade his junior.

A line stretches down the hall, up the stairs, and out the door at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The voice of an event organizer echoes throughout space: "No fakes! We catch you selling fakes, you're getting kicked out!" he warns. "Embarrassment!"

It's Sneaker Con. Organizers say they are expecting about 10,000 people to converge at the convention center over the weekend for this stop of the global tour.

Sneaker Con is exactly what it sounds like.

Athletes' bodies are on display constantly. Whether they're running, climbing, jumping, throwing, skating, hitting or engaging in any other motion, we're watching them. But how often do we stop to think about how varied those bodies are?

That is exactly what ESPN The Magazine set out to do with its Body Issue. The annual issue is meant to celebrate athletes from across the sporting world and across gender, from the superfamous to the less well-known, in carefully composed nude photographs.

Updated at 9:35 p.m. ET

Canadian Bianca Andreescu beat Serena Williams (6-3, 7-5) at the U.S. Open on Saturday, becoming the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title.

Her victory at Arthur Ashe Stadium — the site of Williams' first Grand Slam win in 1999 — kept Williams from tying Australia's Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles.

Barbershop: NFL's 100th Season

Sep 7, 2019

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

How nice it is to find time for sports.

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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

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET

The U.S. Department of Education has levied a $4.5 million fine against Michigan State University for its "systemic failure" to address the sexual abuse committed by Larry Nassar, the MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor who admitted to sexually assaulting his patients for decades.

The fine that was announced Thursday came after two investigations ordered by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The NFL season begins tomorrow without some of the top players in the game. Some players are contract holdouts; one made a high-profile retirement. Commentator Mike Pesca says, many players face a question. How much money makes it worth the injuries and pain?

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

OK. Now let's check in on the U.S. Open in New York. ESPN analyst and six-time Grand Slam champion Rennae Stubbs has been sitting courtside. She knows a good tournament when she sees one.

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

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Over the weekend, sports fans were given a treat by two of the rising stars of women's tennis. Twenty-one-year-old Naomi Osaka faced 15-year-old Coco Gauff in the third round at the U.S. Open.

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Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander lifted both his arms aloft then bent to his knees with the clenched fists of a victorious warrior before his teammates thronged him from all sides.

Verlander was not just not marking any old win. The right-hander tossed a no-hitter Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Chronicling The Ouster Of Donald Sterling

Sep 1, 2019

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LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Five years ago, the young girlfriend of an old, wealthy, married man felt slighted, ignored, dismissed. She got mad, so mad that she released a recording of one of their arguments to TMZ.

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Amid the chaos and misery that have engulfed Venezuela lies a strange parcel of tranquility, tucked within a valley surrounded by poplar trees and mountains some 20 miles south of the Caribbean coast.

It is a field populated by dozens of lanky teenage boys who are spending this particular evening — as they often do — galloping around the grass in pursuit of an oval ball.

These impoverished Venezuelans are training in the skills of a sport not often seen in a South American nation that's mad about soccer, baseball and horse racing: They are playing rugby.

Saturday Sports: Andrew Luck, Tyler Skaggs

Aug 31, 2019

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And now it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Updated at 6:37 p.m. ET

Autopsy results for Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs revealed the presence of opioids and alcohol in his body after he was found dead in a Texas hotel room on July 1.

The toxicology report released Friday by the Tarrant County medical examiner says the cause of death was a mixture of "alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication" and that Skaggs essentially choked on his vomit while under the influence.

Just over a week after Luis Castillo and Octavio Dotel headlined a list of suspects named in the Dominican Republic's recent drug trafficking bust, a local judge has cleared the retired MLB players of money laundering charges. Judge José Alejandro Vargas decided Thursday that the prosecution had failed to show enough evidence to implicate Castillo or Dotel.

As the 2019 U.S. Open tennis tournament ramps up in Queens, N.Y., this week, all eyes will be on the elite athletes competing. But it's hard to miss the anonymous people darting back and forth on the court.

Each match has six ballpersons: a pair at either end of the court and a pair at the net. They have to run after balls out of play, quickly and accurately roll them to the backcourt and give the players towels and balls to serve — all as unobtrusively as possible.

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

U.S. soccer star Carli Lloyd is all over the news this week because of a kick.

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UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: Lloyd may get one here. Carli Lloyd - she's got it - 13-0 U.S.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Man Kaur started running in 2009, when she was in her 90s — it was her son's idea — and began racking up medals. We first wrote about her when she was 101. Is she still a track and field star?

The Blooper Burger is what happens when ALL the food is stacked between two slices of Texas toast: four cheeseburger patties, a footlong hot dog, four chicken tenders, lettuce, tomato, onion, jalapenos and tater tots.

There's also American cheese and nacho cheese sauce.

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