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Sex segregation is the default in sports, but why?

Nancy Leong advocates against sex segregation, saying it doesn't make sense. Take T-ball leagues for four year-olds. Girls play on separate teams, though it’s not clear why.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, let's turn now to the NFL. At a lengthy press conference yesterday, President Trump went after players, again, who have decided to kneel during the national anthem.

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Free-agent NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has filed a grievance against the NFL and team owners alleging that they colluded to keep him out of the league following his pregame protests during the National Anthem.

Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who took a knee during the playing of the national anthem before games last season to protest police treatment of blacks, alleges that the NFL and team owners violated anti-collusion provisions in the league's collective bargaining agreement with its players.

Bill Radke speaks with Steven Agen, Seattle editor of Prost Amerika and host of the podcast Radio Cascadia, about the causes and fall out of the U.S. Men's National Soccer team failing to make it into the World Cup in Russia in 2018. 

A win or a tie would have done it. Or even one loss or tie by the underdogs in Tuesday night's other two qualifying games.

Or beating Honduras a month ago, or beating Panama in March, or not losing both games to Costa Rica.

A 2-1 loss Tuesday night to Trinidad and Tobago — the only team below the U.S. soccer team in the standings — and wins by Honduras and Panama over the qualifying tourney's best two teams mean the Americans will miss the 2018 World Cup in Russia. They'd played in seven World Cups in a row dating back to 1990.

Updated Monday 8:20 a.m. ET

President Trump on Monday defended Vice President Mike Pence's decision to walk out of Sunday's NFL game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers in Indianapolis.

Bhangra and skateboarding: 'I can do my own thing and that’s fine with me'

Oct 4, 2017
Flickr photo / joellofving https://flic.kr/p/8bouzQ

Two stories on our podcast this week about Seattleites breaking free and breaking stereotypes:

  • Jesse Weinstock is an avid skater. “Most of my best friends I met through skateboarding. My oldest friend, Andy, I met on the first day of seventh grade. I was like, 'You have a skate shirt on, do you skate?' We’ve been friends now for 30 years.” 
  • Ashveen Matharu has been dancing Bhangra since middle school (she recently graduated high school). “I was motivated to dance Bhangra because it’s a stereotype for girls not to dance Bhangra.” 


Baltimore native Joe Odoms had been singing the national anthem at Ravens home games since 2014.

On Tuesday, the member of the Maryland National Guard who served tours of duty in Afghanistan resigned.

In an Instagram post, Odoms wrote: "The tone/actions of a large number of NFL fans in the midst of our country's culture crisis, have convinced me that I do not belong there."

1 In 5 Teens Reports A Concussion Diagnosis

Sep 26, 2017

Concussions have gotten a lot of attention in recent years, especially as professional football players' brains have shown signs of degenerative brain disease linked with repeated blows to the head. Now, a new analysis confirms what many doctors fear — that concussions start showing up at a high rate in teens who are active in contact sports.

Bill Radke talks with sportswriters Percy Allen and Michael-Shawn Dugar about the protests that rippled across the entire NFL schedule after President Trump said he'd love to see owners fire players for disrespecting the national anthem.

It seemed like the controversy involving NFL players kneeling during the national anthem had died down a bit — that is until President Trump stirred up a hornet's nest Friday night during a campaign trip to Alabama.

Trump unleashed a tirade of strong comments against NFL players who don't stand during the playing of "The Star Spangled Banner."

Race is again proving to be the sharpest dividing line of the Trump era.

This week, President Trump and conservatives went after ESPN, the cable sports network, for comments made by Jemele Hill, who hosts one of the flagship SportsCenter shows.

It all started on Monday when Hill, who is black, tweeted in reply to someone else: "Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists."

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Hill's comment a "fireable offense."

Hailey Dawson's favorite thing to do is throw out the first pitch at a baseball game, and thanks to a majority of all the MLB teams, she's going to be doing quite a bit of that in the future.

The first pitch seven-year-old Hailey threw out was at a University of Nevada, Las Vegas Rebels game. The UNLV engineering department had made it possible.

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett talks to reporters, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Renton, Wash. The Seahawks will play the Atlanta Falcons in an NFL football NFC playoff game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017 in Atlanta (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Seattle Seahawk Michael Bennett said he has retained an attorney after Las Vegas police assaulted him.

In an open letter on Twitter Wednesday morning, Bennett said he was ordered to the ground outside a casino and held at gunpoint by police after the Mayweather-McGregor fight on Aug. 26.

In a stats-driven sport like baseball, it seems we know everything there is to know about a player. From batting average to a pitcher's power finesse ratio.

Measuring a player's ability isn't limited to his or her skill. There's also a wealth of information in an athlete's body.

Bill Radke talks to Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation, about Seahawks player Michael Bennett's decision to sit during the national anthem at the Seahawks' first pre-season game against the San Diego Chargers. 

Less than a month away from the start of the regular season, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick remains a player without a team.

Kaepernick took a knee during the playing of the national anthem before games last season. He said he was protesting treatment of people in black communities during a time of great tension sparked by police shootings of African-Americans.

Bill Radke speaks with hydroplane drivers Brent Hall and Jerry Hopp about their love of racing. Hall speaks about his childhood dreams of being behind the wheel of a hydroplane and what it was like to start racing at the age of 36. Hopp talks about his long hydroplane career, racing for almost fifty years. And both of them explain some of the finer points of Seafair's most popular sport. 

Football
Flickr Photo/Eierschneider (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1Ok5MYl

Bill Radke speaks with Seatle Times staff reporter Claudia Rowe about her investigation into how football and basketball teams at Seattle Public Schools use a law to protect homeless students as a way to get around eligibility requirements for student athletes.

Gina Mazany grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. And that's where she had her first fight.

"It was right after I turned 18," she recalls.

A local bar had a boxing ring, and Mazany decided to give it a shot. Her opponent was an older woman with a "mom haircut."

"She beat the crap out of me," Mazany says. "Like she didn't knock me out, she didn't finish me. But she just knocked me around for three rounds. And I remember, later that night I was very, very nauseous. I was throwing up that night."

It was her first concussion.

O.J. Simpson will find out on Thursday if he soon will be released from the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada. He has been held there for nearly nine years for convictions on armed robbery and other charges.

The former NFL hero, TV pitchman and movie star, now 70, stands a good chance of being granted parole when he appears before the Nevada Parole Board via video link. No one has registered to testify against him. He will likely try to persuade the board of his good behavior behind bars.

If paroled, Simpson would be released from prison no sooner than Oct. 1.

Is it time for a change to King's Court?

Jul 11, 2017
King's Court at Safeco Field
Flickr Photo/Nekonomist (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/emf7pu

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle Times sports columnist Larry Stone about why he thinks Mariners fans should change the King's Court, a special cheering section at Safeco Field for pitcher Felix Hernandez.  

USA Gymnastics announced Tuesday that it will adopt all 70 of the recommendations in an independent review of its policies about reporting abuse. An investigation by The Indianapolis Star last year found that at least 368 gymnasts have alleged they were sexually assaulted by adults working in the sport.

An Orcas Island, Washington, man has become the first person to complete the Race to Alaska on a standup paddleboard. Karl Kruger stroked 750 miles solo from Port Townsend up the Inside Passage, crossing the finish line in Ketchikan Sunday evening. 

A naming rights agreement with Safeco Insurance and the Seattle Mariner's baseball field ends after the 2018 season.
Flickr Photo/Ashley Murphy (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/aeMMq5

Safeco Field, the home of the Seattle Mariners, will be getting a new name. Safeco Insurance and the ball club said they’re ending their agreement.

It doesn’t sound like people in Seattle are too concerned about the name change.

'Week in Review' panel C.R. Douglas, Joni Balter, Jonathan Martin and Essex Porter.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says any future NBA team should play at Seattle Center and picks a development team that includes Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer to renovate KeyArena.

Former FBI director James Comey tells a Senate investigative panel that he was fired because of the investigation he was leading into ties between Russia and President Trump's campaign.

Key Arena is home court for Sue Bird, a 9 time WNBA All-Star
Seattle Storm

Bill Radke speaks with Wally Walker, former general manager of the Seattle Sonics, about his support for a plan to build a NBA and NHL arena in Sodo.

However, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray chose an investor group to renovate KeyArena. He said he wants hockey and basketball in Seattle Center, not Sodo. 

Has the city now abandoned the Sodo idea? Walker says no.

Seattle's Key Arena is the former home of the NBA's Seattle Sonics, and current home of the WBNA Storm
Seattle Storm

It's the beginning of the end for Key Arena as we know it.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced Wednesday the city is accepting a bid from Oak View Group to renovate the facility. Flanked by high-status members of the music, film and sports industries, Murray signed a contract with the OVG for them to renovate the arena.

How valuable are the naming rights for an NFL stadium? In Seattle, the answer is nearly $163 million over 15 years.

It was time for Emily Harrington to make a choice.

Harrington is a professional climber. In 2014, she was trying to reach the top of the tallest peak in Southeast Asia, a little-known mountain called Hkakabo Razi that had been successfully climbed only once before.

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