sports

Stephen Fowler

 

Atlanta’s professional soccer team plays its first ever playoff game tonight against the Columbus Crew at Mercedes Benz Stadium.

 

Atlanta United FC has enjoyed a stellar inaugural season, performing well on the field but even better in the stands.

A new novel by Atlanta-based author Nic Stone explores police violence against people of color through the eyes of a teenage boy. He tries to make sense of contemporary racism using the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr., asking if those teachings still hold up. “Dear Martin” is out today, Oct. 17. The book launches with an event tonight at The National Center for Human and Civil Rights in Atlanta. Author Nic Stone joins us live in the studio.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Over the last year, Atlanta’s soccer scene has blown up thanks to a new professional soccer club, Atlanta United FC. You can’t miss the black, red, and gold jerseys and flags that fans are sporting. In about three weeks, the team begins its next chapter when it plays at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Dikembe Mutombo is one of the most recognizable players in Atlanta Hawks history. Now retired, the seven-foot-two-inch center spent five seasons in Atlanta, and was a defensive powerhouse in the NBA for 18 seasons.

WIKIPEDIA

The NBA playoffs began this past weekend and it was a rough start for the Atlanta Hawks.

They lost on Sunday to the Washington Wizards, 114-107, in the first of a seven game series.

It's been an up and down season for Atlanta's basketball team. But will things change in time for the playoffs?

the Atlanta Braves

SunTrust Park opens with an exhibition game this Friday. The road to a new home for the Atlanta Braves has been a long and expensive one. The estimated cost of the project is now more than $1 billion. We talked about the massive undertaking with GPB senior sports correspondent Jon Nelson.

@ATLUTD

After securing their first win on the road last weekend, Atlanta United FC put together another signature performance to capture their first home win on Saturday.

Atlanta United (2-1) shut out the Chicago Fire (1-2) by a score of 4-0 in the afternoon contest.

: Taylor Gantt

The Harlem Globetrotters are one of the most storied basketball teams in history.

They have been combining athleticism, theater and comedy for over 90 years.

 

But they've also been responsible for promoting change in the sports world by way of their unique act on the basketball court.

We sit down with "Buckets Blakes" to talk about the legacy of the team and the changes they've experienced over the years.

The Globetrotters are headed to Atlanta this weekend for a pair of games on Saturday.

IMAGE SOURCE

Fans of the Atlanta Falcons are slowly working past a crushing defeat in the Super Bowl. The team gave up a 25 point lead and squandered away a game that was well in hand for the first three quarters.  

As the Falcons returned back to Atlanta on Monday, many fans took to the airwaves on sports radio shows to voice their disappointment. But psychology experts say if you hold on to negative emotions too long it could end up hurting you physically. 

One aspect of college football has received a significant deal of negative attention: “guarantee games.” These are matchups where a large school pays a smaller school a significant sum of money to schedule a matchup against them. Some claim that historically black colleges and universities are often forced to take guarantee games to help fund their struggling athletic departments, which puts players at risk against unfair competition.

As a result of Hurricane Matthew last week, more than 1.3 million gallons of partially treated wastewater was discharged into the Savannah River. Information about the spill was sent out to the public, but a recent story in Georgia Health News says many environmental spills in the state are left out of the public’s eye.  We’ll talk about transparency in environmental disasters with Georgia Health News editor Andy Miller and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Jason Ulseth. 

NBA

The Center for Civil and Human Rights will present a new exhibit in Atlanta this month. It's called “Breaking Barriers” and will focus on historical moments when sports led to meaningful social change. Athletes and political leaders will be featured in the exhibit, including Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, and Nelson Mandela. The Atlanta Hawks will host a preview of “Breaking Barriers” at Phillips Arena this month.

Political sportswriter Dave Zirin and ESPN’s Kevin Martinez join us to talk about the intersection of sports and social change. 

Atlanta will host its first super bowl since 1998 in 2019. The game will be played in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is slated to open by the start of the 2017 season. Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank sees his multi-billion dollar project as a way to raise Atlanta’s international profile and boost the surrounding community. We look back at our conversation with him in August about the new stadium and his thoughts on Atlanta hosting the Super Bowl. 

@ATLUTD

Atlanta’s new soccer team - Atlanta United FC – may not have a head coach yet, but it has tons of fans. The team has already set a new record for the most season tickets sold by an expansion team. 

We speak with Atlanta United Team President Darren Eales about the new team and soccer’s growing popularity in the South. We also speak with Tara Goodwin-Ruffus, the events director for the Atlanta soccer support club Terminus Legion.

FLICKR

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has come a long way since its early days as a one-time niche event. The UFC recently sold for a staggering $4.2 billion and has millions of fans across the world, including here in Georgia.

Producer Taylor Gantt stopped by a local gym and asked two trainers why they think the sport has become so popular. 

More Info: Atlanta's UFC Perimeter Gym

WWE

Wrestling icon Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts struggled with substance abuse in and out of the ring. Wrestler Diamond Dallas Page moved in with Roberts to help him get his life back on track. The documentary “The Resurrection of Jake ‘The Snake” chronicles their friendship and Roberts’ recovery.

We speak with the two wrestlers and director Steve Yu about the documentary.

You can find more information on the documentary here.

SECRANT

Professional sports in Atlanta can be exciting, but more often than not, they’re under whelming. Atlanta last brought home a championship in 1995. But since then, the teams of the ATL have struggled to become relevant on the national sports scene.

Producer Taylor Gantt offers his perspective as one of the city’s beleaguered fans

For the first time, the Cleveland Cavaliers are NBA champions. The Cavs defeated the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 to win the title. It's the city's first major sports championship since the Browns won the NFL championship in 1964.

"We made history tonight," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said.

Wikimedia Commons

Atlanta will host Super Bowl LIII in 2019. Owners of the National Football League voted to give Atlanta the big game on Tuesday after a presentation from team owner Arthur Blank and civil rights leader Andrew Young. GPB sports correspondent Jon Nelson explains what this bombshell announcement means for the city.   

flickr.com

The Atlanta Braves are currently one of the worst teams in baseball with a paltry 9-28 record so far this season. And to make matters worse, manager Freddie Gonzalez was fired by the team yesterday during his sixth season with the ball club.

Jon Nelson of GPB Sports stops by to bemoan the current state of the Braves

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Communities in Georgia often spend public dollars on sports facilities with economic development in mind. Think a new major league baseball stadium in Cobb County. But not every sports-centric development is that large. In Macon, for example, money was poured into a new tennis complex.

Macon-Bibb County has taken the adage spend money to make money to the tennis court. About $1 million  from a 1 cent sales tax increase for special project went to renovate the county’s John Drew Tennis Center.  

Andy Watson/BullStockMedia.com

Professional Bull Riding is a growing action sport, but many people have yet to experience an event in person. More than a thousand cowboys are members of the Professional Bull Riders organization, known as the PBR, which has doled out upwards of $140 million to winners in its more than 20 year existence.

 

We take a listen to an audio postcard from a PBR event in Duluth and hear from Shane Proctor and Derek Kolbaba , two daredevil riders who tangle with two-ton bulls for a career. 

VIDEO: Watch the event kick-off with pyrotechnics and fireworks: