Sports Briefs

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Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

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BASKETBALL

Bryant’s gay slur sparks outrage from activists

LOS ANGELES | A leading gay-rights organization has demanded an apology from Kobe Bryant for apparently using a derogatory gay term in frustration over a referee’s call during the Lakers’ game Tuesday night.

The NBA is investigating the actions of the five-time NBA champion guard, who cursed and appeared to use a common homophobic slur when referee Bennie Adams called a technical foul on him in the third quarter of Los Angeles’ win over the Spurs.

After Bryant issued a statement Wednesday, saying his words came out of frustration and shouldn’t be taken literally, the Human Rights Campaign demanded an apology from Bryant rather than an explanation.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Former Army coach Homer Smith dies

WEST POINT, N.Y. | Former Army head coach Homer Smith, regarded as one of keenest offensive minds in the annals of college football, has died. He was 79. Mr. Smith, coach of the Black Knights from 1974-78, died Sunday at his home in Tuscaloosa, Ala., after a four-year battle with cancer.

Mr. Smith was an assistant at several schools in his 39-year career, never staying long enough at any one place to put down roots. He coached at Stanford, Air Force, Alabama, Arizona, the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, and served three stints at UCLA.

While with the Bruins, Mr. Smith developed seven future NFL quarterbacks, including Tommy Maddox, Jay Schroeder, and current UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel.

BASEBALL

Delgado calls it a career after 17 seasons

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO | Carlos Delgado officially gave up Wednesday on coming back from a hip injury, announcing his retirement from baseball two years after he was sidelined.

The former New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays first baseman announced his decision at a news conference in his native Puerto Rico.

The two-time All-Star played 17 major league seasons, finishing with 473 home runs and a .280 batting average. Delgado, 38, played for the Blue Jays from 1993-2004, went to the Florida Marlins for a season and finished his career with the Mets from 2006-09.

SWIMMING

U.S. group seeks change after Crippen’s death

Without assistance or cooperation from the world governing body, USA Swimming is pressing forward with proposals that would place limits on water temperatures and require adequate rescue personnel and other safety improvements at open-water meets after the death of American star Fran Crippen.

A five-member panel headed by former International Olympic Committee vice president Dick Pound released its report Wednesday, though it couldn’t address exactly what happened to the former University of Virginia standout during a 10-kilometer race in the United Arab Emirates on Oct. 23.

That’s because FINA, which governs the sport around the world, denied repeated requests for any information related to Crippen’s death.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Breunig formalizes commitment to Terps

Martin Breunig, a 6-foot-9 forward, signed with Maryland. The native of Germany averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds at St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy last winter. He committed to the Terrapins in February.

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