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.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

The University of Alabama's Crimson Tide have won five national championships in the past 10 years. "That's too many!" shout the haters, who especially love to pillory Alabama's stern head coach Nick Saban. But in Alabama — and especially the team's hometown of Tuscaloosa — there's mostly devotion.

Fans of the World Cup champion U.S. women's national soccer team are getting what they want.

More.

The team began a victory tour last weekend. It runs until October.

It's a heady time for women's soccer. But other women's sports want to take advantage of the moment as well. And they're hoping to overcome cultural obstacles that traditionally have made their sports less relevant.

Powerful potential

It's been a month since the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team won a second straight World Cup, and gained rock star popularity in the process.

Since the win, the goal has been to capitalize on that success.

The celebration of the Women's World Cup soccer championship shifts this week from France to New York City. On Wednesday, the U.S. Women's National Team will be honored with a ticker tape parade and keys to the city, following its 2-0 win over the Netherlands in Sunday's final in France.

Some of Bud Selig's new book may surprise you.

In For the Good of the Game, the former Major League Baseball commissioner is candid, sometimes foul-mouthed and angry. That's a stark contrast to his public persona when he led the sport for more than two decades, and navigated tumultuous events like the devastating player strike and the spread of performance-enhancing drugs.

Selig retired in 2015, but he's still closely connected to the game he fell in love with as a boy — and that he helped change in profound ways.

Sharp edges

Updated at 7:55 p.m. ET

There will be the usual excitement for the Belmont Stakes in New York this weekend — the third and final event of horse racing's Triple Crown.

Every now and then, boxing fights its way back into the crowded sports headlines. Saturday was one of those moments.

Little-known Andy Ruiz Jr. gave sports fans a new Rocky moment. The 29-year-old fighter beat the favored and previously undefeated Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden in New York, and he became the heavyweight champion of the world.

Or, to be specific, Ruiz became the champion of the confusing, alphabet soup world of boxing. He's now the top heavyweight in the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO fight-sanctioning bodies.

The famed horse racing track, Santa Anita Park, is up and running after being closed for much of last month following a spike in racehorse deaths. Since the end of December 2018, 23 thoroughbreds have died — mostly due to injuries from racing or training. The fatalities have forced the horse racing industry, and the public, to take a hard look at the sport and some of the issues that have been debated for years: Are the economics of horse racing taking priority over the animals' health and welfare? Should racehorses be medicated and, if so, how much?

Baseball is back. Thursday is opening day for the major leagues. All 30 teams are in action. And while the cry of "play ball!" sounds throughout the majors, baseball officials hope the game embraces a companion cry of "hurry up!"

Since 2014, the average time of a nine-inning game has hovered at or above three hours, which may be driving away the younger demographic baseball is trying to appeal to.

Sunday in Atlanta, Super Bowl LIII matches the New England Patriots against the Los Angeles Rams.

Again.

Well not exactly. Seventeen years ago, it was the St. Louis Rams.

But there are parallels between Super Bowls LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and XXXVI at what is now the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, beyond luxury cars.

Bernice Sandler, the "godmother of Title IX" who died Saturday at the age of 90, is being remembered this week for her lifelong fight to reverse decades of institutional bias in U.S. schools and open new paths for women and girls.

It all started in an elementary school in Brooklyn, N.Y., when Sandler was a determined little girl nicknamed Bunny. She was offended by the way the boys got to do all the classroom activities.

"For example, running a slide projector," says Marty Langelan, who was Sandler's friend and colleague for nearly 50 years.

The Malheur Enterprise was founded in 1909, and, like many other newspapers, was languishing. But in the past few years, its circulation has surged and it has won several national awards. Perhaps surprisingly, the weekly paper's turnaround and increased popularity happened in a part of the state that strongly supports President Trump, who continues to lash out at the media.

The 1968 Mexico City Olympics often are remembered for the victory stand protest by U.S. athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos.

But there were iconic sports moments too.

Bob Beamon smashed the long jump record. Sprinter Wyomia Tyus became the first person, woman or man, to win a second straight Olympic gold medal in the 100 meters.

Flat track is the oldest form of motorcycle racing in the U.S., on dirt tracks, stretching back to the early 1900s. The sport, rooted in the country's heartland, is now showing signs of broader appeal, even in America's crowded sports landscape.

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.


This week marked one of the biggest dates on the American sports calendar: the start of a new NFL regular season, with the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles hosting the Atlanta Falcons. But there was a third player in the game, too — a musical one.

CTE has been part of the national lexicon in the U.S. since the 2015 movie Concussion dramatized the discovery of this degenerative brain disease among football players.

American tennis player Serena Williams will play in the Wimbledon Ladies singles final for the tenth time on Saturday. She is favored against Germany's Angelique Kerber to win her eighth Wimbledon singles title. And Williams has lost only one set in her six matches so far.

"There's a sense we've seen this movie before," says Sports Illustrated Executive Editor Jon Wertheim.

Croatia has advanced to its first-ever World Cup final in men's soccer. The Croatian National team came from behind and upset favored England 2-to-1 in a semifinal match decided in extra time on Wednesday in Moscow.

Croatia was supposed to be a tired team coming into the match.

Its previous two games went to extra time and then emotionally draining penalty shootouts. But if anything, the grueling lead-up to the clash against England solidified Croatia's mental toughness, which served the Croats well on Wednesday.

At the World Cup in Russia, it finally happened.

It took a record 37 matches, but Tuesday at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Denmark and France played to a scoreless tie. Or if you want to sound like someone who knows futbol, a nil-nil draw.

It was the tournament's first. According to FIFA, international soccer's governing body, the 36 matches that preceded Tuesday's double goose eggs "smashed" the previous record, when it took 26 matches at a World Cup to finally get to a scoreless tie.

The United States is among the notable no-shows for the month-long World Cup tournament. It's the first time since 1986 the U.S. men haven't qualified for their sport's biggest event.

Soccer officials say they are moving on from criticism and controversy to get the men's national team back on track. But some wonder whether they're focusing on what really needs to be fixed — from improving coaching to broadening the appeal of the sport at the youth level — to put the American team back on the world stage.

Still stings

With a few minutes left in game two of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, this past Sunday, something unremarkable happened: Quinn Cook scored.

It was a layup, and it happened when the game already was decided and the bench players, like Warriors reserve guard Cook, were on the court. Unremarkable. Still, there was Cook in a Warriors uniform, playing and scoring in the Finals. Kind of amazing for those who followed his story.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Saturday at the Masters golf tournament begins with American Patrick Reed holding a two-shot lead over Australia's Marc Leishman. Reed expertly handled the tricky, shifty winds and slick greens to post the best round of the day Friday – 6 under par 66.

He's the only golfer in the field to score both rounds in the 60's. Now that field has been whittled from 87 to 53 following yesterday's cut. Saturday, nicknamed "Moving Day," is when the tournament begins in earnest.

Here are 5 things to know as Moving Day begins.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy ended his drought in convincing fashion Sunday.

The four-time major tournament winner went on a final-round birdie binge to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla. It was his first victory since 2016. McIlroy pulled away at the end with five birdies on the last six holes for an 8-under par 64.

As dominant as his win was, McIlroy shared the spotlight with Tiger Woods, who finished eight shots back.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The Paralympics begins a 10-day run Friday in South Korea, featuring the world's best athletes with disabilities. Close to 700 athletes are gathered in Pyeongchang, where they'll compete in six sports, including alpine skiing, biathlon and snowboarding.

Most of these athletes have dramatic stories — about succeeding in sport despite physical disabilities, and about the journeys that led them to South Korea.

The Winter Olympics end Sunday after a 17-day run in and around Pyeongchang, South Korea.

But let's go back to the start and do some quick math.

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