Weekend Sports In Brief
The purported comments by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling urging his girlfriend to not bring black people to his team’s games drew protests on Sunday, ranging from his players wearing their jerseys inside out to Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan saying ”I’m completely outraged.”
The Clippers went through their pregame routine with their red Clippers’ shirts on inside out to hide the team’s logo.
Players also wore black wristbands or armbands during the game, which they lost 118-97, and donned black socks with their normal jerseys.
Jordan released a statement Sunday addressing the matter, saying that as an owner, ”I’m completely disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views.”
Magic Johnson had some of the strongest condemnation.
”He shouldn’t own a team anymore,” Johnson said.
Even President Barack Obama weighed in on the issue at a news conference in Malaysia.
”When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk,” Obama said.
The recording of Sterling was first released by TMZ, and there still has been no official confirmation that Sterling is on the tape. Another tape was released Sunday by Deadspin.
NEW YORK (AP) Steve Kerr said Sunday he spoke with Phil Jackson twice over the weekend and that they will continue discussing the possibility of him becoming coach of the New York Knicks.
Kerr said he had dinner with Jackson, his former coach with Chicago and the new Knicks team president, on Friday night and they talked again Saturday. Kerr is in New York to work the game between the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors for TNT.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Michael Heisley, the billionaire businessman who bought the Vancouver Grizzlies and moved the NBA team to Memphis, died Saturday. He was 77.
The Grizzlies said Saturday night that a family member confirmed Heisley’s death. The Commercial Appeal reported that Heisley died in Illinois of complications from a massive stroke he suffered nearly 15 months ago.
Heisley sold the team to Robert Pera before the start of the 2012-13 season.
NEW YORK (AP) – Washington Wizards forward Nene was suspended by the NBA for Game 4 of the team’s first-round series against the Chicago Bulls for head-butting and grabbing Jimmy Butler around the neck with both hands and attempting to throw him down.
The Wizards won anyway, beating the Bulls to take a 2-1 series lead.
RENO, Nev. (AP) – A Nevada man who claims an illegal ticket policy kept him from attending San Francisco’s NFL playoff game at Seattle in January is suing the league and others for $50 million for alleged ”economic discrimination.”
John E. Williams III of Las Vegas says in a federal lawsuit against the NFL, the Seahawks, Ticketmaster and others that he was denied a chance to buy tickets to the NFC Championship Game under a sales policy that made them available only in selected markets.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – The Southeastern Conference decided to stick with its current football scheduling format of eight league games and a permanent non-division rival.
The conference’s presidents and chancellors approved the so-called 6-1-1 format Sunday at a special meeting in Atlanta. SEC teams will continue to play each of their six division rivals, plus one permanent crossover rivalry game and another non-divisional opponent that will rotate.
The one change to format will affect nonconference scheduling. Starting in 2016, all SEC teams will be required to play at least one game against a team from one of the other Big 5 conferences – the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12. But even that rule shouldn’t change much. SEC schools routinely play at least one team from those conferences per season.
CHICAGO (AP) – White Sox slugger Jose Abreu set a major league rookie record for RBIs through the end of April.
Abreu drove in four runs Sunday, giving him 31 RBIs this season. He homered and singled against Tampa Bay. He began the day tied for the record with Albert Pujols, who had 27 RBIs in early 2001 for St. Louis.
Abreu’s 10th homer extended his own record for home runs by a rookie through April.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Star outfielder Bryce Harper was placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Washington Nationals on Sunday with a sprained left thumb. The move is retroactive to Saturday.
TORONTO (AP) – The Toronto Blue Jays have set a major league record by fielding a starting lineup with six players from the Dominican Republic.
The Blue Jays did it Sunday at home against the Boston Red Sox.
AVONDALE, La. (AP) – Seung-Yul Noh overcame windy conditions and his nerves, shooting a 1-under 71 on Sunday to win the Zurich Classic by two shots for his first PGA Tour victory.
The seventh first-time PGA Tour winner in the last 10 years in the event, Noh finished at 19-under 269 and earned $1,224,000. Andrew Svoboda and Robert Streb tied for second. Svoboda had a 69, and Streb shot 70.
DALY CITY, Calif. (AP) – Lydia Ko birdied the final hole for her third LPGA Tour victory and first as a professional, holding off Stacy Lewis and Jenny Shin in the inaugural Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic.
It went down to the final shots, and the teen made a 6-foot birdie putt moments before Lewis knocked in a 4-footer of her own to finish one stroke back.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Joey Logano took advantage of a three-car duel by sneaking below the trio to take the lead Saturday night, outrunning former champions Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski to win at Richmond International Raceway.
Logano’s first career victory on the 0.75-mile oval came seemingly from nowhere after a restart with nine laps to go. He sat fourth and on the outside with Kenseth leading, Dale Earnhardt Jr. alongside in second and Gordon on the inside in third, in prime position to move underneath the leader and grab the victory.
Instead, when Gordon, Kenseth and Keselowski raced in a triangle jockeying for position, Logano went underneath all three with three laps to go and then held off Gordon for his fifth career NASCAR Sprint Cup victory.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – Ryan Hunter-Reay coasted to his second straight victory at Barber Motorsports Park when the rain-shortened IndyCar race finished under caution.
A full-course caution came out for the final seven minutes of the timed race after rookie Mikhail Aleshin lost control and went off the track. That left Hunter-Reay unchallenged, with Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti finishing second.
Scott Dixon was third, followed by Simon Pagenaud and pole-sitter Will Power, a two-time winner at Barber who was among the drivers dealing with a slippery track in spots.
LONDON (AP) – Manchester City took charge of the Premier League title race as Edin Dzeko and Yaya Toure scored first-half goals for a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Sunday.
After leader Liverpool lost 2-0 against Chelsea at home, City cut its deficit to three points with one game in hand. If it wins the three remaining matches and keeps a superior goal difference, Man City will be crowned champions.
VILLARREAL, Spain (AP) – Barcelona defender Dani Alves responded to a racist taunt Sunday in a game at Villarreal by picking up a banana that landed at his feet, peeling and then eating it before proceeding to take a corner kick.
Alves said after the match that humor is the best way to combat racism in sports.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) – Kei Nishikori of Japan beat Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo 6-2, 6-2 to win the Barcelona Open on Sunday for his first career title on clay.
STUTTGART, Germany (AP) – Maria Sharapova won her third straight Porsche Grand Prix title on Sunday by coming from behind to defeat Ana Ivanovic 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the final.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) – Top-seeded Grigor Dimitrov defeated defending champion Lukas Rosol 7-6 (2), 6-1 Sunday to win the Nastase Tiriac Trophy for his third ATP title.
FUZHOU, China (AP) – Three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh won her record 47th FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour title Sunday, teaming with April Ross to beat Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta Silva and Maria Antonelli 21-11, 21-18 in the Fuzhou Open final.
Walsh broke a tie with Brazil’s Larissa Franca for the record. The American teamed with Ross in September after longtime partner Misty May-Treanor retired following the London Olympics.