- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 13, 2019

FOOTBALL

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - Oakland Raiders receiver Antonio Brown has lost his grievance with the NFL over his use of an old helmet that is no longer certified as safe to use for practice or play.

The arbitrator issued the ruling Monday after holding a hearing last week with Brown, representatives from the league and the players’ union.

Brown said in a statement on Twitter that he disagreed with the decision. He also said he looks forward to getting back on the field as soon as he is fully healthy.

Brown has not participated in a full practice for the Raiders after starting training camp on the non-football injury list with injuries to his feet that reportedly came from frostbite suffered while getting cryotherapy treatment in France. Brown was cleared to practice on July 28 and participated in part of two sessions but wasn’t around the team last week when he had a grievance hearing with the NFL over his helmet.



BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Browns defensive end Chad Thomas sustained a sprained neck but avoided a more serious injury during a scary moment at training camp.

Thomas was immobilized on the field and taken by ambulance to University Hospitals.

A team spokesman said Thomas, a third-round pick in 2018, was back at the Browns’ facility Monday evening. His return to practice will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.

Thomas appeared to absorb a blow to his right shoulder and head area during a play. The 6-foot-5, 280-pounder stood up but then went to the ground, where he was treated by Browns medical personnel.

As his teammates and fans at camp watched somberly, Thomas was put on a backboard and carted away.

NEW YORK (AP) - A petition reportedly has been filed with the National Labor Relations Board seeking to create a separate union for NFL running backs.

According to the website Law360, the petition was filed Thursday by the International Brotherhood of Professional Running Backs and focuses on the shorter careers for players at the position.

“These employees have unique career structures; and the current one-size fits all unit is inappropriate,” the petition says of players’ representation by the NFL Players Association. “Excluded: All other player groups,” it said.

The NFL Management Council and the union have begun preliminary negotiations on a collective bargaining agreement. The current 10-year deal expires in March 2021.

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - Oakland Raiders cornerback Nevin Lawson has been suspended four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

The league announced the decision Monday, one week after Lawson revealed he had tested positive for Ostarine despite “never knowingly” taking the substance.

Lawson signed a one-year deal with the Raiders in March after spending the past five seasons with the Detroit Lions. He was in the mix for one of the backup spots at cornerback for Oakland this season.

BASEBALL

CLEVELAND (AP) - Indians outfielder Yasiel Puig has dropped the appeal for his three-game suspension for his involvement in a brawl when he was with Cincinnati.

Puig will begin serving his ban Monday night when the Indians, who have climbed back into a tie for first in the AL Central, open a three-game series against Boston.

Puig was disciplined for his involvement in the latest benches-clearing incident between the Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates on July 30. The fracas began shortly after Puig was dealt to the Indians as part of a three-team trade that sent right-hander Trevor Bauer from Cleveland to Cincinnati.

NEW YORK (AP) - Major League Baseball will open its 2020 season on March 26, its earliest start other than international games. The schedule also features an April series in Puerto Rico between the New York Mets and Miami Marlins.

Globe Life Field, the new home of the Texas Rangers, opens March 31. This is the first new ballpark since the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park opened in 2017. Globe Life will be the seventh big league stadium with a retractable roof.

The commissioner’s office said Monday all 30 teams could play on opening day for the first time since 1968. The 2020 regular season is to end Sept. 27, putting the World Series on track to run from Oct. 20-28.

BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - The NBA schedule is a little bit easier on players.

Fans might be catching a break - and some more sleep - as well.

The league announced its 2019-20 schedule on Monday, featuring another dip in back-to-back games for teams and a major change in the number of nationally televised games starting at 10:30 p.m. on the East coast. Golden State and the Los Angeles Lakers will start several games a half-hour earlier than usual, while broadcasters ESPN and Turner are going to earlier start times on many of their midweek doubleheader nights.

Such a change has been on NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s mind for some time, especially since roughly half of the nation’s television homes are in the East time zone - but now, a number of the league’s biggest stars play on the West coast. It wasn’t uncommon for nationally televised midweek games to end around 1 a.m. or even later last season, and that was not good for ratings.

NEW YORK (AP) - Kyle Lowry of the NBA champion Toronto Raptors says his surgically repaired thumb has not recovered sufficiently enough to allow him to participate with USA Basketball in camp for the FIBA World Cup, and is withdrawing from consideration for the team.

Lowry made the announcement Monday after meeting with his surgeon to gauge the recovery of his thumb, which was operated on last month. He was hoping to be on the court with the Americans this week when they resume practice in Southern California.

Lowry’s decision means there are 15 players in the running for 12 spots on the final roster.

Lowry says he loves “playing for USAB but I have to sit this one out and support the team from home.”

SOCCER

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) - A 14-year-old soccer player has signed a professional contract with USL Championship club Orange County SC.

Francis Jacobs is the youngest male player ever to sign a pro soccer contract in the U.S., according to the club.

Jacobs is from Laguna Beach, California. He was 14 years, four months and 29 days old when he signed his deal last month.

That’s less than a month younger than Freddy Adu was when he signed with Major League Soccer’s DC United in November 2003.

Jacobs has been training with Orange County SC’s first team since May. He has trained at Bayer Leverkusen and Köln in Germany, but the midfielder is starting his pro career near his hometown. He could play for Orange County later this season.

HORSE RACING

DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) - A fourth horse has died in training at Del Mar.

A spokesman for the track located north of San Diego confirmed Monday’s fatality.

Bri Bri, an unraced 3-year-old filly trained by Jim Cassidy, sustained a broken pelvis after a workout under exercise rider Abel Hernandez, who wasn’t injured.

It’s the fourth death since the summer meet began July 17. The first two deaths came July 18 when horses collided and the third was a breakdown July 29 on the main dirt track. There have been no deaths in 171 races.

Cassidy also had a horse die during Santa Anita’s recent winter-spring meet, where 30 horses died.

COURTS

NEW YORK (AP) - Former NBA player Sebastian Telfair has been sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison in a New York City gun case.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said on Monday that Telfair received the term for his conviction in April on a gun-possession charge.

Police had arrested the 33-year-old Telfair in 2017 after finding a loaded pistol in his pickup truck during a traffic stop.

The Brooklyn-born Telfair was a first-round draft pick out of high school in 2004. He started with the Portland Trail Blazers and spent time with the Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves and other teams before ending his career in China in 2014.

OBITUARY

Sherman Poppen, the snowboard inventor who laid the groundwork for a multibillion-dollar industry, has died. He was 89.

Poppen died July 31 at his home in Griffin, Georgia.

In 1965, while living in Michigan, Poppen was looking for a way to entertain his daughters on a snowy Christmas Day. So he strapped two skis together and held them in place with wooden crossbars. His wife dubbed it a “Snurfer.” A year later, he got a patent on the contraption.

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