The best sports documentaries on Netflix

If you’re looking for30 for 30on Netflix, you’re out of luck. While select documentaries were once available to stream on-demand, the entire series has been pulled from the service. If you want to , you’ll need a subscription to . (You can learn more .)

But Netflix does offer plenty of thrilling sports documentaries for your consideration.You won’t findNature Boy, but you can dig into the gloriousGLOW: The Story of the Glorious Ladies of Wrestling, which looks into the ’80s wrestling federation that inspired the hit Netflix series. You can’t streamNo Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson, but Netflix carries Showtime’s 2014 documentary on the former Philadelphia 76ers star. Likewise, in lieu ofChasing Tysonand42 to 1, there’s a 2008 documentary on Mike Tyson that’s well worth your time. Plus, Netflix has produced a handful of sports documentaries that are every bit as compelling as the best30 for 30s, most notablythe Oscar-winningIcarus, which exposed Russia’s widespread doping scandal, andNobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press, which chronicles Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker Media and the chilling effects it could have on journalism.

Consider this an audible at the line of scrimmage.

The best sports documentaries on Netflix


Filmmaker Bryan Fogel set out to make a film that exposes the drug testing process in cycling but ends up uncovering something much larger. With the cooperation of Russian doctor Grigory Rodchenkov, Fabeltakes the audience inside whistleblowing on Russias long-running and highly successful doping scheme. Icarus is a documentary that plays like a top-shelf legal thriller with life-or-death stakes. It’s also one of the best documentaries of 2017, and one of the best sports movies on Netflix overall. Eddie Strait


2) Last Chance U

Pay attention all youFriday Night Lightsfans out there.Last Chance Utakes a look at the East Mississippi Community College Football team. As the players pursue their NFL dreams, they deal with hardships at EMCC and in their home lives. The show is an intimate, occasionally inspiring look at one of the most unconventional, unrecognized, and effective programs in college football. Chris Osterndorf



Losers puts defeat in its crosshairs, with the understanding that no one prepares for losingthey survive it. The eight-episode sports docuseries captures the agonies of defeat and considers the cumulative cost of failure in the lives of its subjects. In the end, people who fail on a grand scale usually arrive at triumph through adversity.Losersfinally allows time and space for the humanity thats often lost in the middle. Kahron Spearman


4) Iverson

Hes one of the best point guards in NBA history, but for those who are unfamiliar,Allen Iversonhas quite a backstory. He grew up in poverty in Virginia, and he was sentenced to 15 years in prison after he was convicted of a felony stemming from a bowling alley fight at the age of 17 (his term was eventually granted clemency by Virginias governor). He managed to become an 11-time NBA All-Star, and in this 2014 Showtime documentary, Iverson tells much of his story himself. Along with plenty of highlights from his career, the film shows the impact Iverson had on the league with his basketball talents, the way he wore his clothes, and the tattoos he displayed. And yes, the movie talks aboutthe practice?!? rantthat might be the most famous press conference moment in sports history. Josh Katzowitz


    5) Tyson

    Mike Tyson has had one of the most unique careers in the history of the sport. He was one of the most frightening heavyweight champions ever. He suffered one of the biggest upset losses in all of sports, was convicted of rape, and eventually became a cultural touchstone while playing air drums inThe Hangover. Hes starred on Broadway, and more than a decade after his career was over, hes one of the most relevant ex-athletes around. In this 2008 documentary, Tyson speaks about his history, his failures, and how hes trying to be a better person. Tyson has had a difficult lifeand hes made life difficult for many othersbut this film shines a light on who Tyson is and who he wants to be.J.K.

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    This documentary follows three boxersthe raw high-school kid whos just beginning his career, the amateur whos dreaming of Olympic glory, and the former world champion whos trying to revitalize his careerand shows how theyre making their way through the sport. The underbelly of boxing is a nasty, cutthroat game filled with shifty politics and shady figures. This documentary shows all of that and presents, for better or for worse, how the sport is run from the inside.


    7) At All Costs

    If you want to understand what high-level amateur basketball is all about and how that translates into potential college stardom and NBA riches, this 2016 documentary lays out all the behind-the-scenes highs and lows. The filmmakers focus on AAU (Athletic Amateur Union) basketball, as they follow the players and their parents who hope to makeit big (and the shoe companies that are looking to profit). The documentary shows the one factor thats behind the entire amateur basketball enterprise: money. Josh Katzowitz


    8) GLOW: The Story of the Glorious Ladies of Wrestling

    So youve already seenthe Netflixseries, and found it to be as glorious as its name promises? Good, now you can watch the documentary that inspired the shows creators. Interviewing the ladies who starred in the originalGlorious Ladies of Wrestling, filmmakers Brett Whitcomb and Bradford Thomason dig deep into one of the wrestling worlds most important and heretofore unknown stories. Now, years afterGLOWfirst debuted, the Netflix series and this documentary are finally giving the groundbreaking show its due.Chris Osterndorf


      9) Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press

      The best kind of journalism takes you on a journey you didnt expect.Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Pressstarts with a wrestlers sex tape, then pivots into both a celebration of the fourth estate and a stark warning about the ability of a free and independent press to survive the machinations of the billionaire class. Its shocking, its surreal, and its easily the most important thing to come out of Hulk Hogans career. David Wharton

      Eve Edelheit/Netflix

      10) Long Shot

      The doc focuses on Juan Catalan, who was arrested in August 2003 for the May 2003 murder of 16-year-old Martha Puebla. We see the soft-spoken Catalan present day and in court in 2003. We hear audio of his interrogation by two LAPD officers. Catalan maintains his innocence, but things appear grim. Hes been identified in a lineup by a witness, and detectives seem satisfied. Until this point,Long Shotis a fairly routine true-crime doc, but it finds its groove when Catalan picks up high-profile lawyer Todd Melnik, and they try to back up his alibi: He was at a Dodgers game with his daughter the night of the murder. And soLong Shotgoes to the tape and starts breaking down the extraordinary circumstances of the game: HBO was shooting an episode ofCurb Your Enthusiasmon that same night, and LaMendola heightens the tension by drawing out the big reveal. Audra Schroeder


      Still not sure what to watch tonight? Here are our guides for the absolute , must-see , , , and .

      Looking for something more specific? Here are our Netflix guides for the , , anime, , , , , , , , , , and streaming right now. There are also guaranteed to make you cry, to melt your brain, , and when you really need to laugh.

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