Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
MLS players ratify labor deal, finalize plan to resume season
The MLS Players Association has ratified a new collective bargaining agreement in a vote that also finalized a plan to resume the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it said on Wednesday. The MLSPA, which did not provide details of the return-to-play plan, said the new labor deal will run through the 2025 Major League Soccer season.
Motorcycling: MotoGP sets end of July deadline for non-European races
MotoGP has set an end of July deadline to decide whether this year’s coronavirus-hit championship will be confined to Europe or expand to Asia and the Americas, CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta said on Wednesday. The only long-haul races yet to be canceled due to the pandemic are ones in Thailand, Malaysia, the United States (Texas) and Argentina.
Rally Finland canceled due to pandemic
The Finnish round of the World Rally Championship in August has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers said on Wednesday. Rally Finland is the country’s biggest annual sporting event and was scheduled for Aug. 6-9 in and around the central city of Jyvaskyla.
PGA Tour coronavirus testing convoy ready to roll
The PGA Tour will roll out three mobile laboratories that will conduct on site testing at all tournaments as the sport returns from a nearly three-month coronavirus hiatus next week with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas. The mobile testing units, each manned by a driver and three technicians, will arrive the Saturday before the tournament and test all players, caddies, and essential personnel.
Horse racing: Fauci the favorite as racing returns to Belmont Park
Any bettors looking to ride a hunch when horse racing returns to New York’s Belmont Park on Wednesday might find a winner in Fauci. Named after Doctor Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert at the center of U.S. efforts to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak, Fauci has been installed as the 4-5 favorite in the third race.
Panthers offer Kuechly scouting role
If Luke Kuechly identifies talent as well as he does ballcarriers, the Carolina Panthers could be adding a game-changing scout. Kuechly, the five-time All-Pro linebacker who announced his retirement in January, is weighing a role in personnel with the Panthers.
‘Big Three’ join #BlackoutTuesday campaign against racial injustice
Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, and Novak Djokovic were among the tennis players who joined the #BlackOutTuesday campaign against racial injustice, as protests continue over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody. Floyd died after a white policeman pinned his neck under a knee for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis on May 25.
Broncos’ Fangio: ‘I don’t see racism at all in the NFL’
Vic Fangio sees racism as a problem in society as a whole, but not so much in the NFL. The Denver Broncos head coach, talking Tuesday on a video conference call, spoke out in favor of societal changes in the wake of George Floyd’s death. He then went on to defend the NFL’s record on race.
League targets mid-October finish to virus-hit campaign
The National Basketball Association has targeted Oct. 12 as the last possible date to complete the 2019-20 season, which has been on hold since mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, ESPN reported on Tuesday. The report, which was based on unnamed sources, said a timeline shared with teams showed Oct. 12 as the latest the best-of-seven NBA Finals could finish and a proposal would go to a vote of the league’s board of governors on Thursday.
Pirates RHP Archer out for season following TOS surgery
Right-hander Chris Archer will not pitch until 2021 after undergoing surgery to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced Wednesday. Archer, who had surgery in St. Louis, consulted “with several leading vascular and orthopedic surgeons in recent weeks,” the team said.