CLEVELAND (AP)The Cleveland Indians are narrowing a final list of new names and vetting them for legal purposes after months of research and discussions with fans.
The American League team announced in December that it is changing its name for the first time since 1915, a decision that came during a national movement to remove and replace prejudicial names and symbols.
It’s not known how many names are being given final consideration for what will be the team’s new identity.
Once the Indians have their final name choices, they’ll draft options for logos, word marks and other brand elements. The club will also work with Major League Baseball to ensure legal viabilities.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – The Jaguars unveiled plans Thursday to develop downtown Jacksonville, with team owner Shad Khan committing $60 million to a city-owned performance center that was key in luring new coach Urban Meyer to the NFL.
The first of two phases would break ground by the end of the year and take four years to complete at an estimated cost of $441 million. The proposal still needs approval from a review board and city council.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The federal judge presiding over the NFL’s $1 billion settlement of brain injury claims on Thursday invited lawyers for Black players who call the settlement discriminatory to join court-led mediation over the issue.
The lawyers have challenged the settlement’s use of ”race-norming” in dementia testing since 2018. The practice assumes Black players start with lower cognitive skills and makes it harder for them to show injury and get awards from the settlement fund.
The judge’s order comes a day after the NFL issued a public pledge to abandon the practice and review the scores of retired players who believe the race-based adjustments deprived them of dementia settlements that average $500,000 or more.
NEW YORK (AP) – Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele was suspended for four games by the NHL on Thursday night for a crushing late hit on Montreal’s Jake Evans in Game 1 of the second-round series.
Evans was taken off the ice on a stretcher with 57 seconds left Wednesday night in Montreal’s 5-3 victory after being hit in the head and shoulder area an instant after tucking in an empty-net goal. Evans chased down the puck behind the net, tightly circled back around the goal cage and scored just before Scheifele’s sent him crashing to the ice. Scheifele was given a major for charging and a game misconduct.
Evans sustained a concussion.
PARIS (AP) – In women’s play, top-ranked Ash Barty retired from her second-round match, leaving the tournament without its top two women’s seeds and any of the top three women in the rankings.
The 2019 champion trailed 6-1, 2-2 in the second round when she signaled she was not able to keep playing against Polish opponent Magda Linette on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Barty has been dealing with a left hip problem and struggled through a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win over 70th-ranked Bernarda Pera in the first round.
Barty decided not to try to defend her title last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Barty played 13 matches on clay in the buildup to the French Open and won 11. But she was forced to retire in the quarterfinals in Rome in May because of an injury to her right arm.
TOKYO (AP) – The countdown clock for the Tokyo Olympics hit 50-days-to-go on Thursday, and the day also brought another problem for the delayed games.
About 10,000 of 80,000 unpaid volunteers for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have told organizers they will not participate when the games open on July 23.
Organizers said some dropped out because of worries about COVID-19. Few volunteers are expected to be vaccinated since most will have no contact with athletes or other key personnel.
Only about 2-3% of Japan’s general population has been fully vaccinated in a very slow rollout that is just now speeding up.
NEW YORK (AP) – The Southeastern Conference and the Big East eliminated their intraconference transfer policies Thursday, allowing athletes to transfer within the leagues without losing a year of eligibility.
The decisions were made in each conference by university presidents and chancellors. The changes take effect immediately and are in line with the trend throughout college sports to allow more freedom for athletes who switch schools.
The USFL is relaunching in 2022, four decades after the spring football league’s short-lived run that featured such stars as Reggie White, Herschel Walker, Steve Young, Jim Kelly and future president Donald Trump.
The new USFL announced Thursday it will play next spring with a minimum of eight teams ”and deliver high-quality, innovative professional football to fans.”
Although those teams, along with the cities, head coaches and schedules won’t be announced until later, the league said it retains the rights to ”key original team names.”
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers radio analyst Tunch Ilkin is retiring to focus on his fight against ALS.
Ilkin, who played 14 years on the offensive line for the Steelers from 1980-1993 and spent the last 23 as a broadcaster for the team, announced his decision Thursday.
The 63-year-old Ilkin, a two-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman during his playing career, revealed his ALS diagnosis last fall but continued to work through the remainder of the 2020 season. ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
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