Friday Sports in Brief
Las Vegas Raiders team President Dan Ventrelle has left the organization less than a year after taking over the job.
Owner Mark Davis announced in a statement Friday that Ventrelle “is no longer with the Raiders organization” but divulged no details around the decision.
Ventrelle said in a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he was fired in retaliation for bringing concerns from multiple employees to the NFL about a “hostile work environment.”
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league officials “recently became aware of these allegations and take them very seriously. We will promptly look into the matter.”
LONDON (AP) — Chelsea is being sold to a consortium fronted by American sports investor Todd Boehly, ending 19 years of ownership and lavish investment by Roman Abramovich until the Russian oligarch was sanctioned and forced to offload the Premier League club.
The sale price of 2.5 billion pounds ($3.1 billion) is the most lucrative-ever for a sports team worldwide but Abramovich cannot receive the proceeds, which he hopes will go to a foundation for the victims of the war in Ukraine. A further 1.75 billion pounds ($2.2billion) is committed to be invested in the reigning FIFA Club World Cup winners.
Chelsea said Saturday that terms for the buyout had been agreed with a consortium also features Mark Walter, who is also part of the Dodgers group, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and funding from private equity firm Clearlake Capital.
PHOENIX (AP) — Major League Baseball veteran umpire Dan Bellino has issued an apology after ejecting Arizona Diamondbacks star pitcher Madison Bumgarner from a game in Miami this week.
The Diamondbacks said Friday they received a copy of Bellino’s apology from MLB.
“I would like to address my actions on May 4th involving Madison Bumgarner,” the statement said. “When I began my MLB career almost 15 years ago, I received some good advice. I was told to umpire every game as if my children were sitting in the front row. I fell short of those expectations this week. While I can’t go back and change what happened, I take full accountability. I will learn from this incident, and I sincerely apologize.”
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith will miss the rest of the postseason after he had core surgery.
DeSmith exited in the second overtime of Pittsburgh’s 4-3 victory in Game 1 of their best-of-seven series against the New York Rangers.
DeSmith’s injury leaves Louis Domingue as the starter as the series shifts to Pittsburgh. Domingue earned the victory in Game 1 but took the loss after allowing five goals on 40 shots in Game 2.
PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Mercury opened their season at home Friday against the Las Vegas Aces without star center Brittney Griner.
Griner is nearing the three-month mark of her detention in Russia with no timetable for her release. Griner was detained on Feb. 17 after authorities at the Moscow airport said they found vape cartridges that allegedly contained oil derived from cannabis in her luggage, which could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
The WNBA is acknowledging Griner with a floor decal with her initials on her No. 42 in arenas across the league.
Griner’s absence seemed to take a toll on the Mercury once the game started, both emotionally and on the floor. Phoenix, which was missing two other key players to injuries, fell into a big early hole and lost 106-88.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton protested the FIA’s crackdown on body piercings Friday by showing up at the Miami Grand Prix wearing every piece of jewelry he could fit on his body and suggesting he was willing to sit out races over the issue.
Hamilton arrived in the paddock wearing an all-denim outfit with several open buttons on his long-sleeved shirt that showed at least four stacked necklaces. Hamilton was later seen wearing at least three watches and with four rings on each hand. He also has earrings and a nose ring.
The FIA on Thursday tightened its ban on non-regulatory underwear and body piercings when new race director Niels Wittich issued a bulletin that makes the rule part of official scrutineering, meaning such choices are subject to review by race officials.
PHOENIX (AP) — Charles Oliveira didn’t make weight on Friday and must vacate his lightweight title. Now only Justin Gaethje can claim the belt during UFC 274.
Oliveira (32-8) came in a half-pound over the 155 limit. If he wins Saturday night, he will be the No. 1 contender and get a shot at winning the title back in his next fight.
The fight against Gaethje will be the co-main event at UFC 274, along with Rose Namajunas’ strawweight title defense against former champion Carla Esparza.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Secret Oath charged from pack to grab the lead from Yuugiri and off favorite Nest by two lengths Friday in the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, giving 86-year-old trainer D. Wayne Lukas his fifth Oaks win and first since 1990.
Coming off a third-place run behind colts Cyberknife and Barber Road in the Arkansas Derby, the chestnut filly started the 14-horse race from the rail and was in the middle as Yuugiri set the pace through the final turn. Secret Oath steadily worked forward and moved into contention by the far turn before surging along the rail into the lead.
The win was worth $767,250 for Secret Oath, ridden by Luis Saez. Secret Oath covered the 1 1/8th mile on a good track in 1:49.44 and paid $10.80, $5.60 and $4.60.
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