Monday’s Sports in Brief
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians are dropping the Chief Wahoo logo from their uniforms next year after decades of protests and complaints that the grinning, red-faced caricature used in one version or another since 1947 is racist.
The move, announced, came after protracted discussions between team owner Paul Dolan and baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.
The cartoonish image of a big-toothed American Indian with a scarlet face and a single feather in his headdress will come off the team’s sleeves and caps starting with the 2019 season, when Cleveland will host the All-Star Game.
“Major League Baseball is committed to building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game,” Manfred said in a statement. He said the logo “is no longer appropriate for on-field use.”
The decision is unlikely to quell complaints from Native American organizations and others who see the symbol — and the team’s very name — as insensitive. The Indians will continue to wear the Wahoo logo in 2018, and even after it is gone from the uniform, the club will sell merchandise featuring the mascot in the Cleveland area.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has cancelled one of the key joint cooperation projects with South Korea planned for next month’s Winter Olympics, officials said, further proving the delicate nature of ties between the rivals split for seven decades.
North Korea sent a message saying it won’t hold a joint cultural event at the North’s Diamond Mountain on Feb. 4 to mark the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, according to Seoul’s Unification Ministry.
The ministry cited North Korea as saying it has no other option but to cancel the project because of South Korean media reports that it says defamed its “sincere” measures for the Olympics. The North also accused South Korean media of picking a fight over an unspecified domestic festival in North Korea, according to the ministry statement.
The statement said South Korea considers the North’s decision “very regrettable.”
MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Olympic Committee says an athlete banned for doping has been accredited as a coach for the Pyeongchang Olympics.
According to an ROC list of 80 coaches it says received International Olympic Committee accreditation, Sergei Chudinov is listed as the only skeleton coach.
That’s despite Chudinov being banned from the Olympics for life by an IOC disciplinary panel in November.
The IOC ruled Chudinov was part of a Russian doping scheme at the 2014 Olympics and ordered he was “ineligible to be accredited in any capacity” for future Olympics.
The Russia team is formally banned by the IOC for doping but 169 Russian athletes are allowed to compete as “Olympic Athletes from Russia” in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag.
GYMNASTICS SEXUAL ASSAULT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House followed up on the sex abuse scandal involving sports doctor Larry Nassar by passing legislation that requires governing bodies for amateur athletics to promptly report abuse claims to law enforcement.
Nassar was sentenced last week to up to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing more than 150 women and girls over 25 years.
The sentencing sparked new calls from lawmakers to complete action on legislation that had already received widespread support in both chambers of Congress. The House agreed to take up the Senate version of the bill to speed up its passage. The bill passed the House by a vote of 406-3.
The House made a change in the bill, which sent it back to the Senate for approval before it can go to President Donald Trump for his signature.
The Detroit Pistons shook up their struggling roster in dramatic fashion, acquiring star forward Blake Griffin in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Pistons announced the deal early Tuesday morning. Detroit sent forward Tobias Harris, guard Avery Bradley and center Boban Marjanovic to Los Angeles, with the Clippers also receiving draft picks. Detroit also acquired forward Brice Johnson and center Willie Reed in the deal.
Griffin is averaging 22.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 33 games this season, but the Clippers have been plagued by injuries and are ninth in the Western Conference standings.
Detroit is scuffling as well. The Pistons have lost eight straight heading into Tuesday night’s game against Cleveland.
The 28-year-old Griffin has been the face of the Clippers, and last July, he agreed to a $171 million, five-year deal, ending a brief flirtation with free agency. He told his teammates, coach Doc Rivers and owner Steve Ballmer, “I want my legacy to be a Clipper.”
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum will be renamed United Airlines Memorial Coliseum.
University of Southern California President C.L. Max Nikias announced the new name Monday during a ceremonial groundbreaking for a $270 million renovation of the 95-year-old stadium.
The Coliseum is home to the USC Trojans football team and is now managed and operated by the university.
Opened in 1923, the stadium hosted the 1932 and 1984 Olympics and will see the games again in 2028.
It also serves as the temporary home of the NFL’s Rams since their return from St. Louis and is a past home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the former Los Angeles Raiders and the UCLA Bruins.
The Coliseum once seated more than 100,000 spectators and now seats 93,600. Renovation will reduce that to 77,500.