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Thursday’s Sports in Brief

August 9, 2019

PRO FOOTBALL

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Miami Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills says he has no hard feelings toward Stephen Ross regarding the team owner’s support of Donald Trump, and says his objections to a fundraiser for the president aren’t political.

But Stills says there’s a contradiction in Ross supporting both racial equality and Trump.

“It’s not right,” Stills said following the Dolphins’ preseason win over the Atlanta Falcons. “Our country is in a rough place right now. I think there are other candidates he could support, but it’s not about Democrat or Republican. It’s about why are you trying to help this man raise money to continue to do the things he has been doing.”

In the wake of his recent criticism, Stills said, he has received death threats — “five to 10 in a night” — on social media but didn’t report them.

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Browns traded disgruntled running back Duke Johnson to the Houston Texans for an undisclosed 2020 draft pick. A person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press that Cleveland is getting a fourth-round pick that can become a third-rounder.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the teams are not providing details of the swap.

One of the NFL’s most versatile backs in the past four seasons, Johnson had grown unhappy with his role and asked to be traded this year after the Browns signed suspended free agent running back Kareem Hunt.

The 25-year-old Johnson has been sidelined for much of training camp with a hamstring injury. He skipped the team’s voluntary offseason program and in June and doubled down on his trade request, saying he was bothered the Browns weren’t showing him any loyalty after he signed a contract extension.

RUNNING

BOSTON (AP) — Rosie Ruiz, the Boston Marathon course-cutter who was stripped of her victory in the 1980 race and went on to become an enduring symbol of cheating in sports, has died. She was 66.

Ruiz, who was also known as Rosie Vivas, died in Florida of cancer on July 8, according to an obituary that made no mention of her Boston Marathon infamy.

An unknown who didn’t look or act like she had just run 26.2 miles, Ruiz finished first in the women’s division in Boston in 1980 in a then-record time of 2 hours, 31 minutes, 56 seconds. Even as she was awarded her medal and the traditional olive wreath, her competitors wondered how a woman they hadn’t ever heard of — or seen on the course — could have won.

Grilled by the Boston Athletic Association about her training methods and pace, she had no answers and did not seem to recognize terms that would be common for elite marathoners; she also could not identify landmarks she would have passed on the course. Two Harvard students soon came forward to say they saw her join the race near Kenmore Square, about a mile from the finish.

Ruiz was stripped of her title eight days after the race. Canadian Jacqueline Gareau was declared the rightful winner and brought back to Boston the next month to receive her due.

SOCCER

SAO PAULO (AP) — A Brazilian judge accepted a recommendation from prosecutors to close the investigation of soccer star Neymar on a rape allegation on the grounds of there being a lack of evidence against him.

Sao Paulo state prosecutors Flávia Merlini and Estefânia Paulin announced during the day that they agreed with a July 30 decision by police not to bring charges in the case. Judge Ana Paula Vieira de Moraes issued an order closing the case Thursday night.

Brazilian model Najila Trindade went to Sao Paulo police to accuse Neymar of raping her at a Paris hotel in May. No complaint was filed with French police. The Associated Press doesn’t name alleged sexual assault victims unless they make their identities public, which Trindade did in several interviews.

Neymar denied the accusation and said their relations were consensual. He is in France, where he plays for Paris Saint-Germain.

BASEBALL

The Chicago White Sox will play a game against the New York Yankees next August at the site in Iowa where the movie “Field of Dreams” was filmed.

Major League Baseball announced the White Sox will play host to the Yankees in Dyersville, Iowa, on Aug. 13.

A video tweeted by MLB shows Yankees star Aaron Judge asking Ray Kinsella, Kevin Costner’s character in the 1989 movie, if he was in heaven. Costner replies with one of the movie’s iconic lines — “No, it’s Iowa” — and Judge nods before trotting back into the corn beyond the outfield.

A temporary 8,000-seat stadium will be built on the site to accommodate the first major league game ever played in Iowa. The game will air nationally on Fox.

HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Astros will extend the protective netting at Minute Maid Park to cover more of the seating area, joining other teams that have taken safety measures after foul balls injured fans.

The team announced the extended netting would be installed before the homestand starting Aug. 19. It will run farther down the left-field and right-field lines to better protect fans from foul balls and bats that fly out of hitters’ hands.

A 2-year-old girl suffered a skull fracture when she struck by a foul ball during a May game in Houston.

Last month, the Chicago White Sox became the first major league team to extend protective netting from foul pole to foul pole. The safety measure was announced a week after a foul ball sent a woman to the hospital with her head bleeding.

The Astros also said their ballpark’s current netting would be upgraded to knot-less netting for better visibility.

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