A look ahead to top enterprise and feature stories planned globally by AP Sports. New digests will go out each Thursday and Monday and will be repeated on other weekdays. Please note that story plans may change depending on news and other issues.
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As with all our operations, we welcome and want your feedback. If you have thoughts or questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia, assistant sports editor for the U.S. east region, at 215-446-6632 or at ogarcia(at)ap.org.
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All times are Eastern.
NOTE: The stories slugged Black History-Game Changers are part of AP’s coverage during Black History Month of how African-American athletes have used their platforms during the last 100 years to influence social and political change. Please see the Black History Month advisory for more details on the series.
FRIDAY, Feb. 2
BLACK HISTORY-GAME CHANGERS-KAEPERNICK
Colin Kaepernick knew he was sending a message when he first refused to stand during the national anthem, before a preseason game in 2016. He probably never would’ve guessed the price he would pay. Because of the efforts of the now-unemployed quarterback, the days of excluding politics and social issues from sports appear to be over, and those who have followed Kaepernick’s lead are feeling more and more empowered to use their platform for something other than mere fun and games. By National Writer Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 950 words, photos and video by 3 a.m. Friday.
BLACK HISTORY-GAME CHANGERS-BLACK ATHLETES
Sports and race have been intertwined in America’s journey to become a more perfect union, and black athletes have often found themselves at the center of the struggle for racial progress. From Jack Johnson’s defiance outside of the boxing ring, thumbing his nose at segregation and challenging notions of black inferiority to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel silently during the national anthem ahead of NFL games that many point to as the reason he is now out of the league, black athletes have protested for generations in ways large and small in an effort to highlight injustice, expose hypocrisy and move the country forward. Often met with hate by fans uninterested in mixing sports and social issues, many have taken stances that risk their careers, choosing race over the games they love. Where does that leave us? By AP National Writer Errin Haines Whack. UPCOMING: 1,200 words, photos and video by 1 p.m. Friday.
MONDAY, Feb. 5
Shaun White says there were times in the weeks after he slammed his face into a halfpipe in New Zealand and had to be helicoptered off the mountain when he wondered what was to be learned from it all. To outsiders, the answer is simple. The accident served as a jarring reminder of the hurdles White was willing to overcome to make it back to the Olympics – and this time, to leave with a third gold medal. By National Writer Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 3 a.m. Monday.
TUESDAY, Feb. 6
DALLAS – Dirk Nowitzki made peace years ago with the reality that spending his entire career with the Dallas Mavericks would likely mean little or no chance to win a second championship. The most accomplished European player in NBA history never seriously considered leaving the franchise that courted him as a teenager in Germany and drafted him five days after his 20th birthday in 1998. Now in his 20th season, Nowitzki is comfortable with the idea that he led the Mavericks to their first championship and can try to help a younger core build toward making Dallas a title contender again. By Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos by 3 a.m. Tuesday.
THURSDAY, Feb. 8
BLACK HISTORY-GAME CHANGERS-JOHNSON
There was no more potent or more closely guarded symbol of white domination at the turn of the 20th Century than the title of heavyweight champion of the world. Then 32-year-old Jack Johnson stepped into the ring. By AP Sports Writer Kareem Copeland. UPCOMING: 950 words, photos and video by 3 a.m. Eastern on Thursday, Feb. 8.
Again, if you have questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia, assistant sports editor for the U.S. east region, at 215-446-6632 or at ogarcia(at)ap.org.