Thursday’s Sports in Brief
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — As Colin Kaepernick watched from the apparel giant’s headquarters in Oregon, Nike aired its highly anticipated ad featuring the quarterback known for his social protests during the NFL season opener.
The spot highlighting the former 49ers quarterback locked in a grievance with the league aired during the first ad break in the third quarter of the Eagles-Falcons game, which started with no overt demonstrations by players during the national anthem.
A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Kaepernick was watching the ad’s first television airing on NBC at an event held at Nike’s world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the visit were not announced publicly.
Kaepernick’s deal with Nike for the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign was the most polarizing issue in sports this week, prompting heated debate on several topics including athletes protesting social injustice and Nike wading into political waters. Some fans responded to Kaepernick’s sponsorship deal by cutting or burning gear with Nike’s signature swoosh logo. Others argued the backlash and calls for a Nike boycott showed how debate has morphed beyond how to react to athletes trying to highlight issues like racial inequality and police shootings of unarmed minorities.
MIAMI (AP) — Two FIU football players were shot, and police said they were looking for who was responsible for what they called a drive-by attack.
Opa-locka (Florida) police chief James Dobson identified the players as running back Anthony Jones and offensive lineman Mershawn Miller. Jones was shot in the face and back, while Miller was shot in the arm. Both players were taken to Ryder Trauma Center, Jones getting airlifted there and Miller taken by ambulance.
Dobson said the condition of both players was stable, and that the injuries were not life-threatening. Police believe that Jones and Miller were visiting a friend in Opa-locka when someone in another car opened fire and sped away.
TORONTO (AP) — The Cleveland Indians have removed the Chief Wahoo logo from the sleeve of their uniforms for a four-game series in Toronto.
The decision to nix the logo was partially driven by a failed legal challenge against the team when it played in Toronto during the 2016 AL Championship Series. While Cleveland played the Blue Jays, a lawsuit was filed to have the logo and team name banned from Canadian TV. A judge dismissed the case.
The Indians have said they will permanently remove the logo from their uniforms next season. The move came after decades of protests and complaints that the grinning, red-faced caricature that dates to 1947 is racist. Cleveland will host the All-Star Game next season.
In recent years, the team has slowly moved away from the cartoonish image of a big-toothed American Indian with a scarlet face and a single feather in his headdress. The Indians now use a “C? as their primary logo and have removed signs depicting Chief Wahoo from their home stadium.
The Indians will return to their regular uniforms when they play at Tampa Bay next week.
UNDATED (AP) — Oregon State baseball coach Pat Casey, who led the Beavers to three national championships, has announced his retirement after 24 seasons with the team.
Casey’s most recent College World Series title came this summer, following back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007. Since 2005, the Beavers have made the NCAA tournament field 12 times and they’ve advanced to Omaha six times. The team also won five conference championships under Casey.
“My problem is, what I expect from my players on the field I expect out of myself,” Casey said during an emotional news conference in Corvallis on Thursday. “Right now I’m not positive that I can give that same effort that I expect of them, I’m not sure I can. But I will never put the uniform on unless I do it with that same passion I expect of them.”
Casey was hired by the Beavers in 1995 after a stint at Division III George Fox. He compiled a 900-458-6 (.662) record at Oregon State.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The president of the second-tier Mexican soccer club Dorados of Sinaloa says Argentine great Diego Maradona has been hired as the team’s coach.
Club president Jose Antonio Nunez confirmed Maradona’s hiring without providing details of his contract. The club’s Twitter account also welcomed Maradona with a photo of a shouting Maradona and the team’s logo.
The club planned a formal presentation of the new coach early next week in the Sinaloa state capital of Culiacan.
Maradona remains one of the most recognizable names in international soccer, having led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup championship in Mexico, helped by his infamous “Hand of God” goal.
As a coach, Maradona guided Argentina to the World Cup quarterfinals in 2010. He has also coached clubs in Argentina and abroad.
Maradona, who has struggled publicly with substance abuse, now heads to Mexico’s drug trafficking heartland.