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U.S. sports commissioners to speak Monday on ‘The Return of Sports’

U.S. sports commissioners to speak Monday on ‘The Return of Sports’

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will join the NBA’s Adam Silver, MLB’s Rob Manfred and three other American professional sports league commissioners on The Return of Sports Monday on ESPN.

The two-hour discussion, which starts at 9 p.m. EDT, will be hosted by Mike Greenberg. Commissioners Gary Bettman (NHL), Cathy Engelbert (WNBA) and Don Garber (MLS) will join Goodell, Silver and Manfred to provide fans with insight about how players and workers will return to play amid the coronavirus pandemic, economic issues the leagues face and social justice reform after the death of George Floyd.

ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton, Baltimore Ravens star Calais Campbell, Portland Trailblazers guard Damian Lillard, Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, U.S. soccer’s Crystal Dunn, WNBA star Brianna Turner, the Philadelphia Union’s Alejandro Bedoya, Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon, WNBA star Chiney Ogwumike and ESPN’s Taylor Twellman will also be part of the broadcast.

“We are living through unprecedented times in this nation and around the world, and I look forward to speaking with many of the most powerful people in the industry about the role sports can play in helping to bring about unity, healing and meaningful change,” Greenberg said.

NASCAR, UFC and the PGA Tour are the only sports leagues in the United States that have returned to live events after suspensions due to the pandemic. The NBA, MLS, NHL, WNBA and NWSL have plans for resumed seasons and/or tournaments this summer. NFL teams have met virtually during off-season workouts and still are on track to start the pre-season in August. MLB team owners and the players’ union are in negotiations to decide the format and player salary rates for a potential 2020 regular season.

Germany’s Bundesliga soccer league, Spain’s La Liga soccer league and professional baseball in South Korea have all resumed their seasons amid the pandemic.

Greenberg will anchor the show from ESPN’s studio in Bristol, Conn. The guests will participate from remote locations.

“Since sports came to a halt three months ago, we’ve all been eagerly awaiting their return. In this SportsCenter special, fans will hear directly from commissioners, managers and athletes about the decisions they’ve made and the challenges they’ve faced throughout this unprecedented time, and what the resumption of sports will look like over the coming weeks and months,” said Stephanie Druley, ESPN executive vice president of event and studio production.

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