- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 21, 2020

NFL

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Six Super Bowl rings may get you special treatment in a lot of places, but former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady learned that it won’t get you anything when you’re caught working out in a park that is closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said during a news briefing Monday that the new Buccaneers quarterback was spotted working out by himself at a park downtown by staff patrol. The staffer went over to tell him he had to leave and she recognized the man to be the 42-year-old Brady.

The City of Tampa tweeted from its page Monday, “Sorry @TomBrady! Our @tampaparksrec team can’t wait to welcome you and our entire community back with even bigger smiles - until then, stay safe and stay home as much as you can to help flatten the curve.”

Brady recently moved his family into a furnished mansion he’s renting from former New York Yankees star Derek Jeter in Tampa.



NEW YORK (AP) - The latest results of the joint testing done by the NFL and the players’ union was released Monday, concluding a comprehensive new testing method that went beyond examining only new helmet models joining the market this year.

As the NFL and NFLPA continue to evolve testing around what are the best models of helmets for players to wear, all 35 models of helmets were tested and rated by biomechanical engineers appointed by the league and the union. On-field data have helped engineers develop an improved testing model and more defined results.

The three top-graded models for the 2020 season all come from Riddell with its SpeedFlex Precision Diamond, SpeedFlex Precision and SpeedFlex Diamond — the highest-rated new helmet —topping the list.

MLB

NEW YORK (AP) - Major League Baseball players are upset over the prospect teams may seek additional pay cuts if games are played in empty ballparks due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Their anger was stoked last week when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was told by Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon that the union would have to agree to lower salaries if games are played without fans.

A March 26 deal between the sides stated “the Office of the Commissioner and Players Association will discuss in good faith the economic feasibility of playing games in the absence of spectators or at appropriate substitute neutral sites.” The union points to another passage covering salaries in which players agree to give up 1/162nd of base pay for each regular season game lost.

“Players recently reached an agreement with Major League Baseball that outlines economic terms for resumption of play, which included significant salary adjustments and a number of other compromises. That negotiation is over,” union head Tony Clark said in a statement Monday.

NEW YORK (AP) - Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has made a move that allows teams to lay off or cut the pay of major and minor league managers, coaches, trainers and full-time scouts starting May 1.

Manfred has suspended uniform employee contracts that cover about 9,000 people, including general managers on some teams. Manfred cited the inability to play games due to the national emergency caused by the new coronavirus pandemic.

Arizona, Atlanta, Boston, the Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati, Minnesota, the New York Yankees, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco and Toronto are among the teams that have committed to paying full-time employees through May, and Miami will pay full-time baseball operations staff through the month. The Cubs will pay those on UECs and front-office staff through their May 29 paychecks.

MIAMI (AP) - Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter told team employees during a conference call Monday he is forgoing his salary during the coronavirus pandemic, a person familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press.

The person confirmed Jeter’s comments to the AP on condition of anonymity because the Marlins have not commented publicly on the call.

The person said other members of the Marlins’ executive team agreed to take pay cuts, while baseball operations personnel will continue to receive their full salaries through at least May 31. The person didn’t specify the figures of the pay cuts.

-By AP Sports Writer Steven Wine.

GOLF

Tim Finchem, who expanded the PGA Tour’s footprint around the world and negotiated TV contracts that more than tripled prize money during his two decades as commissioner, has been elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Finchem was elected through the contributor category and will become the ninth administrator to be inducted, joining predecessor Deane Beman.

“It is the greatest honor to be elected to join golf’s most legendary players and contributors in the World Golf Hall of Fame,” Finchem said. “I am especially proud to stand alongside one of the world’s all-time greats, Tiger Woods, in the Class of 2021 and look forward to what will be an exciting year ahead.”

Marion Hollins, one of the leading women in golf a century ago, also was elected as a contributor.

SPORTS POLL

With the distinct possibility of pro sports resuming in empty venues, a recent poll suggests a majority of U.S. fans wouldn’t feel safe attending games anyway without a COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the Seton Hall Sports Poll, 72% of Americans said they would not feel safe attending games without a vaccine, though the number dropped to 61% among people who identified themselves as sports fans. Nearly half the respondents in the poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points, said they either didn’t follow sports closely or didn’t follow sports at all.

So even if fans are allowed back in stadiums or arenas, many may not come. And the financial losses in such a scenario will be significant without the revenue that comes from tickets, concessions and merchandise, among other things - even if money is flowing from lucrative media rights deals.

OLYMPICS

TOKYO (AP) - A Japanese professor of infectious disease says he is “very pessimistic” the postponed Tokyo Olympics can open in 15 months.

“To be honest with you, I don’t think the Olympics is likely to be held next year,” Kentaro Iwata, a professor of infectious disease at Kobe University, said Monday speaking in English on a teleconference. “Holding the Olympics needs two conditions; one, controlling COVID-19 in Japan, and controlling COVID-19 everywhere.”

Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, expressed similar reservations 10 days ago. Since then, the organizing committee and the International Olympic Committee have said there is no “Plan B″ other than working for the Olympics to open on July 23, 2021.

“I am very pessimistic about holding the Olympic Games next summer unless you hold the Olympic Games in a totally different structure such as no audience, or a very limited participation,” Iwata said.

TENNIS

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) - Novak Djokovic says if an anti-coronavirus vaccination is compulsory for tennis players to return to the world tours then he won’t take it.

Ranked No. 1 in the world, Djokovic said in a live Facebook chat he wouldn’t “be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel.”

“Hypothetically, if the season was to resume in July, August or September, though unlikely, I understand that a vaccine will become a requirement straight after we are out of strict quarantine and there is no vaccine yet.”

Djokovic spoke on Sunday. He and his wife Jelena, who have two children, have spoken previously against vaccinations.

NEW YORK (AP) - Top 100 tennis player Nicolas Jarry was given an 11-month doping ban by the International Tennis Federation on Monday, stemming from a failed test at the Davis Cup Finals in November.

In separate statements, Jarry, a 24-year-old from Chile, said he “accepted” the punishment, which will keep him from playing until Nov. 15, while the ITF said it “accepted” his explanation that two banned substances found in his urine sample came from vitamins made in Brazil.

His suspension comes while tennis - like nearly every sport around the globe - is on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. All sanctioned professional tournaments have been postponed or canceled until at least mid-July.

MMA

The cage door is locked for the season on the Professional Fighters League, the latest combat sports promotion flattened because of the coronavirus pandemic.

One Championship, Bellator and other regional promotions such as Cage Fury Fighting Championships all face uncertain start dates and have postponed or canceled dozens of fight nights combined. UFC, however, has pressed on and President Dana White has insisted cards will run starting in early May, even from vague locations, such as its proposed “Fight Island” (a private arena somewhere offshore).

The PFL has a unique MMA competition format that includes a regular season, a postseason and a championship event, meaning fighters could compete up to five times a year. The tightened schedule forced the PFL’s hand to move on; the league decided Monday to resume competition in spring 2021.

SOCCER

Canadian soccer star Alphonso Davies has agreed to a two-year contract extension with Bayern Munich through June 2025.

Bayern announced the agreement Monday with the 19-year-old from Edmonton, Alberta.

Davies made his senior club team debut with Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps in July 2016 at age 15. Born in Ghana, he became a Canadian citizen in June 2017 and played his his first game for the national team that month.

A left back and winger, he agreed in July 2018 to a deal with Bayern and transferred the following January.

COURTS

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Family members of four of the eight passengers killed in a helicopter crash with Kobe Bryant and his daughter have joined the NBA star’s widow in filing wrongful death lawsuits against the companies that owned and operated the aircraft.

The suits on behalf of three members of one family, and a woman who helped coach Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter in basketball, were filed electronically Sunday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The pair of lawsuits comes about two months after Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, the mother of Gianna, also sued Island Express Helicopters Inc., which operated the Sikorsky, and its owner, Island Express Holding Corp.

Unlike Vanessa Bryant’s lengthy lawsuit, the new identical 7-page cases do not name the dead pilot, Ara Zobayan, or his representative, as a defendant. All the suits allege that the two companies were careless and negligent.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A pair of fans in New York sued Major League Baseball, Commissioner Rob Manfred and the 30 teams, asking for their money back for tickets and for certification of class-action status.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by Matthew Ajzenman, who said he bought a partial season plan for more than 20 Mets games; and Susan Terry-Bazer, who said she purchased six tickets for a May 9 game at Yankee Stadium against Boston.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition from the Los Angeles Rams to send a lawsuit regarding their relocation from St. Louis into arbitration.

The court rejected the Rams’ long-shot petition Monday. The lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial in St. Louis late next year, or it could be settled out of court.

The city and county of St. Louis and the regional sports complex authority sued the Rams 15 months after owner Stan Kroenke returned his franchise to Los Angeles in early 2016.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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