Wednesday’s Sports in Brief

PRO FOOTBALL

ATLANTA (AP) NFL owners approved a new policy aimed at quelling the firestorm over national anthem protests sparked by Colin Kaepernick and polarized by President Trump, permitting players to stay in the locker room during the ”The Star-Spangled Banner” but requiring them to stand if they come to the field.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said the change was approved unanimously by the owners at their spring meeting in Atlanta, but even that was up for debate.

The head of the San Francisco 49ers – Kaepernick’s former team – said his franchise abstained from the vote. CEO Jed York said he wasn’t comfortable with a process that didn’t directly involve the players.

”I want to work with my team to make sure everything we do is about promoting the right types of social justice reform and getting to a better America,” York said.

The NFL Players Association said it wasn’t consulted about the new policy and would challenge any changes that violate the collective bargaining agreement.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – A Santa Clara County judge ruled that San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster will not have to stand trial on domestic violence charges after determining there was no evidence that Foster ever hit his ex-girlfriend.

Judge Nona Klippen said prosecutors didn’t meet the burden of probable cause on charges of felony domestic violence and forcefully attempting to dissuade a witness.

Foster was also charged with felony possession of an assault weapon after officers found a Sig Sauer 516 short-barreled rifle in his home while investigating his ex-girlfriend’s domestic violence report. That charge was reduced to a misdemeanor.

The 49ers have not allowed Foster to take part in the offseason program while he dealt with these charges and general manager John Lynch had said he would be cut from the team if it was determined that he hit a woman. Foster will be allowed back Thursday now that the domestic violence charges have been dropped.

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) – Richie Incognito, the NFL offensive lineman who was once suspended for bullying a teammate, was taken into custody Wednesday for psychiatric examination after an incident at a Florida gym.

Boca Raton police spokeswoman Jessica Desir said officers received a call Wednesday morning from a patron at Life Time Gym about a disturbance involving Incognito. He was taken into custody under Florida’s Baker Act, which allows for involuntary psychiatric commitment for people seen as a danger to themselves or others. She did not have details about the disturbance.

The 34-year-old Incognito announced this year that he was retiring after 11 seasons in the NFL, the last three with the Buffalo Bills. The Bills released him from their reserved/retired list on Monday, leaving open the possibility he could sign with another team.

PRO BASKETBALL

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales has apologized to Bucks player Sterling Brown for a January arrest that started with a parking violation and escalated to include the use of a stun gun, and he said some officers were disciplined.

Brown, who is African-American, says the incident was ”an attempt at police intimidation” and that it ”shouldn’t happen to anybody.” Meanwhile, community groups in Milwaukee are weighing in, too – criticizing police for how they handled Brown.

Morales’ apology on Wednesday came as police released body-camera footage that showed how a simple interaction over an illegally parked car quickly escalated. The video represents another setback for a department that for years has tried to rebuild its image and relationship with Milwaukee’s black residents after several high-profile cases of police misconduct.

Police did not identify the races of the officers, but most of the officers in the video appeared to be white.

ATHLETE ABUSE

WASHINGTON (AP) – Lawmakers used an emotionally charged House subcommittee hearing to get answers about what they portrayed as the U.S. Olympic Committee’s slow-moving, underfunded response to a steadily widening sex-abuse scandal in Olympic sports.

CEO Shellie Pfohl of the U.S. Center for SafeSport spoke during a hearing that had one representative choking back tears and another screaming at the witnesses.

Pfohl told lawmakers that when the office opened in 2017, it received 20 to 30 calls a month. She said in the wake of the (hash)MeToo movement and the Larry Nassar sentencing, it’s increased to 20 to 30 per week.

Despite the widening workload, the center has only 12 investigators and operates on an annual budget of $4.3 million.

Pfohl said she’s always in search of more money. The USOC’s acting CEO, Susanne Lyons, conceded seven years was too long to get the center up and running.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Sports coaches, the types of paid employees who allegedly learned Larry Nassar was molesting gymnasts and other athletes before the sexual abuse scandal broke, would still not be required to report such suspected abuse to the authorities under a watered-down proposal to expand Michigan’s mandatory reporting law.

A state House committee passed a bill that would add physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and – in a reversal from a day earlier – athletic trainers to the list of mandatory reporters. But it drew swift criticism for still backing away from Senate-passed legislation that also would require college employees, coaches and volunteers to report abuse, citing cost concerns, unintended consequences and other issues.

Sen. Rick Jones, a Grand Ledge Republican, said he would move to add paid coaches in his committee after the full House approves its Nassar-inspired bills on Thursday, though another key senator signaled the package would see no additional changes.