- Associated Press
Saturday, September 7, 2019

NFL

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - Star receiver Antonio Brown returned to the Oakland Raiders on Friday after a one-day absence and is set to play the season opener after apologizing following a run-in with general manager Mike Mayock that had put him in jeopardy of being suspended.


“I’m excited to be out here today,” Brown said in a brief statement after practice. “I want to apologize to my teammates, the organization. Enough talk now. I’m excited to be out here with my teammates and grateful for all the fans and I’m excited to be a part of the Raiders and see you guys soon.”

Brown addressed the team earlier in a meeting, a day after being sent home from the facility after a confrontation Wednesday at practice with Mayock. Brown had posted a letter earlier Wednesday from Mayock detailing nearly $54,000 in fines for missing a practice and walkthrough.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Kansas City Chiefs signed Tyreek Hill to a three-year, $54 million contract extension Friday, locking up the playmaking wide receiver whose off-the-field issues left his future in the NFL in question just a couple months ago.

The deal includes a $5.8 million signing bonus and $35.2 million in guarantees, a person with knowledge of the details told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Chiefs do not disclose the terms of contracts.

“I hope he can still run that fast with all that money in his pocket,” coach Andy Reid quipped after Friday’s walk-through ahead of the Chiefs’ opener Sunday in Jacksonville.

The length of the deal protects the Chiefs from investing too heavily in a dynamic player with a checkered past while also giving the 25-year-old Hill the chance for another payday down the road.

-By AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta.

TENNIS

NEW YORK (AP) - Rafael Nadal moved closer to his fourth U.S. Open title and 19th from all Grand Slam tournaments by pulling away for a 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-1 semifinal victory over 24th-seeded Matteo Berrettini of Italy.

Nadal trailed 4-0 and 6-4 in the opening-set tiebreaker but took the last four points.

One service break was all the second-seeded Nadal would need in the second set before he dominated the third. He never faced a break point in the entire match.

The 33-year-old Spaniard will face No. 5 seed Daniil Medvedev on Sunday.

It is Medvedev’s first major final.

If Nadal wins, he will pull within one of Roger Federer’s men’s record of 20 Grand Slam trophies.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - Major League Baseball and the players’ association will discuss the possibility of more widespread testing for opioids following the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area July 1 before the start of a series against the Texas Rangers. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office said the 27-year-old died after choking on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his body.

A toxicology report said his blood alcohol concentration was 0.122%, well above Texas’s alcohol limit of 0.08% for driving, and 3.8 nanograms per milliliter of fentanyl.

Players on 40-man rosters are tested for drugs of abuse such as opioids only if the player-management joint treatment board finds reasonable cause, if a player has been found to have used or possessed a drug of abuse, or if a player is subjected to testing under a treatment program. All players on 40-man rosters are subject to testing for banned performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids and for banned stimulants.

BASKETBALL

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - Vlade Divac led off the festivities at the Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2019 enshrinement ceremonies.

The Yugoslav and Los Angeles Lakers star was the first to be inducted on Friday night at Springfield’s Symphony Hall. He would be joined later by Jack Sikma, Sidney Moncrief, Paul Westphal, Bobby Jones, Al Attles and Teresa Weatherspoon.

Chuck Cooper and Carl Braun were inducted posthumously and Bill Fitch was unable to attend for health reasons.

SOCCER

JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Caster Semenya has signed for a South African soccer club and may be considering giving up track and field.

The Olympic 800-meter champion, who is currently in a legal battle with the IAAF over her right to compete without taking testosterone-suppressing medication, says she has joined women’s club JVW FC.

The Johannesburg-based club says Semenya is training with the team but will only play league games in 2020. Next year’s Tokyo Olympics are in July and August, when the women’s soccer season in South Africa will be in action.

Semenya is barred from defending her 800 title at this month’s world championships after refusing to follow IAAF rules requiring her to reduce her natural testosterone. She is appealing against those rules at the Swiss supreme court.

HOCKEY

The NHL for the first time selected four female officials to work on the ice at prospect tournaments held this weekend.

Katie Guay and Kelly Cooke were selected as referees, while Kirsten Welsh and Kendall Hanley will work as linesmen, the league announced Friday.

The four were selected out of a group of 96 officials, including 11 women, who participated in the league’s annual officials exposure combine last month in Buffalo, New York.

It’s the first time women have officiated at the pre-training camp prospects tournament level. It’s the next step in the league’s bid to have women officiate at the NHL level.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman previously said he envisions a woman officiating at the league level, without providing a timeline.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Joe Thornton is coming back for another season at age 40, signing a one-year, $2 million contract with the San Jose Sharks on Friday after briefly contemplating retirement at the end of last season.

Thornton decided in the offseason that he wasn’t ready to hang it up after 21 seasons in the NHL, saying he’d only play in San Jose. The Sharks were eager to bring Thornton back, but it took until a week before training camp for the finalized contract.

Thornton arrived in San Jose in a franchise-altering trade from Boston on Nov. 30, 2005, turning the Sharks into a perennial Cup contender that can never quite win it all.

COURTS

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A New Orleans Saints fan’s lawsuit against the NFL and game officials over the failure to call a crucial penalty against the Los Angeles Rams in a January playoff game was dismissed Friday by the Louisiana Supreme Court.

The ruling appeared to be a death blow to the last remaining lawsuit over what’s come to be known as the “NOLA No-Call.” It also means that, barring a reversal, Commissioner Roger Goodell and game officials will not have to be questioned under oath in New Orleans, as a lower court had previously ordered.

There were no dissents among the seven court members in the reversal of the lower court’s ruling.

Attorney Antonio LeMon had sued, alleging fraud and seeking damages over game officials’ failure to flag a blatant penalty: a Rams player’s helmet-to-helmet hit on a Saints receiver with a pass on the way. The lack of a penalty call for pass interference or roughness helped the Rams beat the Saints and advance to the Super Bowl.

OBITUARY

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Chris Duncan, the former outfielder who helped the St. Louis Cardinals win the 2006 World Series, died Friday. He was 38.

Duncan, the son of former St. Louis pitching coach Dave Duncan and brother of former major leaguer Shelley Duncan, died of brain cancer in his hometown of Tucson, Arizona.

“The Cardinals are deeply saddened by the passing of Chris Duncan and extend our heartfelt sympathy to his wife, Amy, the entire Duncan family, and his many friends,” Cardinals Chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement. “Chris was an integral part of our 2006 championship team and a great teammate and friend to many in the organization.”

Duncan hit .257 with 55 home runs and 175 RBIs in 381 games in five seasons with the Cardinals.

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) - Chester Williams, the only black player on South Africa’s famed 1995 Rugby World Cup winning team, died on Friday of a heart attack. He was 49.

SA Rugby announced Williams’ death and said he died in Cape Town, where he had been coaching a university team.

Williams became one of the faces of the new South Africa when the Springboks won the World Cup on home soil in front of Nelson Mandela. It was just a year after apartheid officially ended and South Africa elected Mandela as president in its first all-race elections.

Williams’ presence in the Springboks team, which had been all-white for years during the apartheid regime, underlined South Africa’s transformation.

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) - Abdul Qadir, the former Pakistan cricketer who was widely regarded as one of the greatest legspinners in history, died of a cardiac arrest on Friday. He was 63.

Qadir’s son, Salman Qadir, told reporters in Lahore his father was rushed to hospital but did not survive.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said on its official Twitter account it was “shocked” and “devastated” by the death of the “maestro.”

Qadir played 67 tests from 1977-90, taking 236 wickets including 9-56 against England at Lahore in 1987.

He made his one-day international debut in the 1983 World Cup, and took 132 wickets in 104 games before quitting in 1993.

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