Newsweek's Top 20 Sports Moments of 2020: Nos. 6-10

The countdown of Newsweek's most memorable sports moments of 2020 continues today with the No. 6 spot up to No. 10. COVID-19 played its way into two of these, and the social justice movement worked its way into another. There was a gender barrier broken and a Super Bowl win that was 50 years in the making.

Here are the next five moments of 2020:

No. 10
Chiefs win the Super Bowl
The Kansas City Chiefs won their second-ever Super Bowl last February when they beat the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20, in Miami. Coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs in the first Super Bowl win in 50 years. Their previous Super Bowl win was over the Minnesota Vikings at Super Bowl IV in 1970.

Mahomes was the Super Bowl LIV MVP, and it was Reid's first Super Bowl title as a head coach. The Chiefs trailed the 49ers, 20-10, heading into the fourth quarter.

No. 9
Vanderbilt's Sarah Fuller breaks gender barrier in major college football
Sarah Fuller, a goalkeeper for the Vanderbilt University women's soccer team, became the first female to play in a Power 5 football game when she kicked off to start the second half in a road game against Missouri.

Two weekes later, she became the first female to score in such a game when she cleanly drilled two extra points in a home loss to Tennessee. Fuller broke that major gender barrier just weeks after she led the Commodores to an SEC soccer championship.

NASCAR Confederate Flags
Confederate flag merchandise is seen at a hut across the street from the Talladega Superspeedway prior to the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 on June 22, 2020 in Talladega, Alabama. A noose was found in the garage stall of NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace at Talladega Superspeedway a week after the organization banned the Confederate flag at its facilities. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

No. 8
NASCAR bans Confederate flag, noose found in Bubba Wallace's garage
In a summer filled with social justice marches, sports began to feel the urgency to make changes. NASCAR was one of the first sports to implement changes, and the first move was to ban the Confederate flag at all of its events and properties. This came at the urging of Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver on NASCAR's top circuit—the Cup Series.

NASCAR also eased its requirement of all drivers and teams to stand during the national anthem.

Later in the summer at the Talladega Speedway, a rope in Wallace's garage appeared to look like a hangman's noose. The FBI was brought in to investigate, and they found no harm or ill will was intended toward Wallace or his team.

No. 7
NBA abruptly postpones season, other leagues follow
On March 10, Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The next day, the NBA immediately postponed its 2019-20 season until further notice. Then, on March 12, dominoes fell in the sports world. First, the NHL postponed, Major League Baseball postponed and the NCAA canceled all of its winter and sprig championships.

The shutdown of sports officially began with the NBA, though.

2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics
A man walks along a corridor past an official Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics advertisement board in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo on November 30, 2020. The Games were postponed a year because of COVID-19. Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images

No. 6
2020 Tokyo Olympics postponed a year
The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics postponed the Games by exactly one year after the COVID-19 pandemic looked like a legitimate threat. Why then? The organizers in Tokyo, during the early stages of the pandemic, felt the virus would go away, and that the Games could go as scheduled.

As the summer neared, it appeared the virus would not go away so soon. Several countries began indicating they would not attend the Tokyo Olympics, prompting the International Olympic Committee to postpone the Summer Games until 2021. This is the first time the modern Olympics have been postponed, and the first Games to not be held (with the exception of years during World Wars I and II).

Here's a recap of 11-20:

No. 11 Tom Brady leaves New England, signs with Tampa Bay
No. 12 Michael Jordan documentary "The Last Dance"
No. 13 Patrick Mahomes $500 million contract
No. 14 Dodgers win 7th title, first since 1988
No. 15 Football returns, many with fans in stands
No. 16 LeBron James makes 10th NBA Finals, wins fourth career title
No. 17 Dustin Johnson wins the November Masters Tournament
No. 18 NFL injuries
No. 19 NFL's Raiders move from Oakland to Las Vegas
No. 20 U.S. Women's Soccer demands equal pay, but judge dismisses the case

Honorable mentions:

  • NFL holds virtual draft
  • 2017 Astros coaches not around in 2020 for their cheating roles
  • Los Angeles wins two pro titles in same year (Lakers/Dodgers)
  • Dodgers' Justin Turner pulled from championship-deciding game for COVID, returns for celebration with no mask
  • LSU wins national championship
  • Notre Dame football joins the ACC for one season
  • XFL halts operation and The Rock buys the league.

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