Thursday Sports in Brief
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Catcher Buster Posey offered a heartfelt goodbye to baseball following a 12-year career with the Giants during which he won three World Series championships and guided a long list of star pitchers.
He had an equally impressive career off the field with his tireless commitment to pediatric cancer and helping others.
Part of the reason he is walking away at age 34 after one of his best seasons yet is to spend more time with his four children.
And he will be busy. Posey opted out of the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season after he and wife Kristen adopted prematurely born baby girls.
PHOENIX (AP) — The NBA has asked a law firm to investigate the Phoenix Suns after a published report on Thursday detailed allegations that owner Robert Sarver has a history of racist, misogynistic and hostile incidents during his 17-year tenure in charge of the franchise.
ESPN said it talked to dozens of current and former team employees for the story, including some who detailed inappropriate behavior by Sarver. Most of the allegations are from anonymous sources but a few are on the record.
In ESPN’s report, Sarver denied or disputed most of the allegations through his legal team. The Suns also strongly denied the report in a lengthy statement released Thursday.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Jack Eichel era in Buffalo is over, and the former Sabres captain has approval from his new team — the Vegas Golden Knights — to have his preferred surgery to repair a herniated disk.
A nasty public eight-month feud reached its conclusion on Thursday when the Sabres traded Eichel to Vegas, ending a stalemate over how to treat his neck injury. The dispute revolved around the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement giving teams the final say over the treatment of injuries.
The Sabres balked at Eichel having artificial disk replacement surgery because it had never been performed on an NHL player, and they instead recommended fusion surgery.
The Golden Knights have no such issue.
Vegas general manager Kelly McCrimmon said Eichel has the go-ahead to have the procedure, which is expected to sideline him for four more months.
TORONTO (AP) — The executive board of the NHL Players’ Association has voted to approve an independent investigation into the union’s handling of sexual assault allegations by Kyle Beach in 2010.
Executive director Don Fehr recommended on a call earlier this week bringing in outside counsel to review what happened more than a decade ago when the PA learned of Beach’s allegations. The NHLPA announced Thursday that board members voted in favor of that.
Players in recent days expressed concern over the NHLPA’s handling of Beach’s allegations, even though he wasn’t technically a member because he never played in an NHL game. An investigation commissioned by the Chicago Blackhawks found that a confidant of Beach’s reached out to the NHLPA, with nothing coming of it.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Attorneys for former Washington State coach Nick Rolovich sent a letter to the university appealing his firing for refusing to get the coronavirus vaccine, contending school officials did not conduct a fair process to determine whether he should receive a religious exemption to a state mandate that all state employees must be vaccinated.
Attorneys Brian Fahling and Eric Kniffen’s letter to athletic director Pat Chun lays out their appeal of Rolovich’s firing for just cause.
The letter says Chun overturned a decision by the university’s Human Resource Services to grant Rolovich a religious exemption to the vaccination mandate. Rolovich has said he is Catholic. The Catholic Church has not prohibited vaccinations against COVID-19.
DENVER (AP) — The Western Athletic Conference has named Brian Thornton as its next commissioner.
Thornton will replace Jeff Hurd, who is ending a 10-year run as commissioner and 37 years overall with the conference on Dec. 31.
Thornton spent the past year as the American Athletic Conference associate commissioner for basketball, serving as the primary administrator for men’s and women’s basketball. He spent the previous two years as an assistant director for basketball development with the NCAA.
HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Dynamo parted ways with coach Tab Ramos on Thursday after finishing last in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference with just six wins.
The Dynamo decided not to extend Ramos’ contract, which expired at the end of this season. Ramos was appointed head coach in October 2019.
Houston’s season ended Wednesday night with a 2-0 loss at Montreal. The Dynamo finished 6-16-12.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Major League Soccer has engaged Janice Rubin and Melody Jahanzadeh of Rubin Thomlinson LLP to conduct an independent review of the Vancouver Whitecaps’ handling of misconduct allegations brought by members of the organization’s women’s team against former coaches Bob Birarda and Hubert Busby.
U.S. player Malloree Enoch detailed allegations of inappropriate behavior by Busby between 2010 and 2011 in an interview with the British newspaper, the Guardian. Enoch said Busby promised to sign her as a player, then repeatedly made her room with him on trips and eventually attempted to pressure her for sex.
TRACK AND FIELD
TORONTO (AP) — Rana Reider, the coach of Olympic 200-meter champion Andre De Grasse of Canada, is facing an investigation for alleged sexual misconduct.
The U.S. Center for SafeSport has begun investigating the 51-year-old, Florida-based track coach, Reider’s lawyer, Ryan Stevens, said in a statement to The Canadian Press.
“We have received no evidence whatsoever about the claims,” Stevens said in the statement. “The SafeSport Code defines ‘sexual misconduct’ broadly.”
Stevens added that his client has not received a notice of allegations.
LONDON (AP) — English cricket club Yorkshire has been suspended from hosting international matches as punishment for its handling of a racism case that has shaken the sport.
The England and Wales Cricket Board slammed the club for its “wholly unacceptable” response to the racism faced by former player Azeem Rafiq.
A number of Yorkshire’s sponsors have deserted the beleaguered club, and the ECB said the case “is causing serious damage to the reputation of the game.”
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