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Natalie Weiner


What Sports Have Taught Me

The first time I wrote about sports, I was terrified.  If 16-year-old me — who reflexively, defensively believed that not liking sports was a sign of superior intellect, or something — knew 24-year-old me would be taking a red-eye bus to Virginia Beach to cover a Seahawks player’s charity basketball…

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SPORTS

How To Celebrate History Without Erasing It

There is something to watching a person do what’s never been done. It feels like an objective, impartial good, an impossibility vanquished by humankind on our trajectory up and up and up. We, all of us, couldn’t do it before; now at least one of us can, and it seems…

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SPORTS

College Basketball Is A Tragic Example Of COVID-19 Mismanagement

For a while, there were no sports. It was sad, but logical — in the face of mass death and extreme uncertainty, playing sports simply couldn’t be a priority. Then, suddenly, there were all the sports, played with precautions of varying rigidity and thus, varying degrees of effectiveness. Athletes and…

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SPORTS

Even In Rodeo, Including Women Is A Marketing Opportunity

Rodeo happens fast — like 1.89 seconds fast, in the case of 20-year-old Kansan Beau Peterson, who roped a calf in that span to get to the finals of the inaugural Women’s Rodeo World Championship last week. All the contests happen in a matter of seconds, with winners and losers…

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SPORTS

How Women Play Tackle Football In A Country That Would Prefer They Didn’t

Women play football. Not only soccer or flag football, but full-contact American football. I and others have spilled thousands of words — even made whole documentaries — trying to convince people of this simple point, yet women and girls who play are still treated like anomalies. Even after decades on…

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SPORTS

For the NFL, the System is Still Working as Intended

This week, it’s challenging to focus on much else besides the agonizing trickle of election results — the wait for the end of a literally years-long contest, one whose outcome is ultimately arbitrary. It’s a familiar cycle, one that has left so many people understandably cynical about politics as a…

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football on field

FEATURES

Sue Wicks, the First Out WNBA Player, on the Activism of the League

There are few things more complicated than the way women athletes challenge conventional gender norms, and few aspects of conventional gender norms more fraught than sexuality. One of the stereotypes that was instantly attached to the WNBA (and one that persists to this day) is that all its players are…

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SPORTS

Volleyball is the Grim Specter of Indoor Sports in the Pandemic

There is a reality that exists right now within the United States — land of the unchecked pandemic and home of the hundreds of thousands dead — where you can go inside a college or high school gym and watch people play volleyball. Not because you know any of them,…

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volleyball pandemic

SPORTS

Inside Bravest ATL, The Fans Looking to Correct Atlanta’s Offensive Team Name

Indigenous Peoples Day fell on Monday, October 12 this year. When the holiday was initially created 30 years ago in South Dakota, the goal was to — in some small way — recognize the tragedies perpetrated by European settlers (like Columbus, whose day it is intended to replace) on America’s…

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bravest atl large logo

SPORTS

The Player-Centric Future of Pro Sports Looks Like this Brand New Softball League

2020 was supposed to be a big year for softball — a year when the popular sport could actually hope to claim some of the spotlight, thanks to its return to the Olympics (where the U.S. has historically dominated) after more than a decade’s absence. Then, obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic…

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athletes unlimited softball all teams

SPORTS

College Football is Back and Jesus It’s Grim

“Football is back, kind of, for some teams,”  the voiceover in a Dr. Pepper ad insists, an attempt at some kind of gallows humor. “Whatever this is, football is back.” An allegedly inspirational montage opens the show, rife with military symbolism. Eagles fly, military jets fly, people cheer, unpaid football…

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American football fans among falling confetti

SPORTS

Good Form: You Are What You Eat

America is in the midst of a sports binge. On September 10, 2020, for example, you could watch an NBA playoff game or a crucial regular season victory for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics that put them in position to earn a playoff spot. You could watch Naomi Osaka win a…

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Every Single Sport

SPORTS