Monday’s Sports in Brief
WASHINGTON (AP) — Digging deeper into a culture war that he’s repeatedly stoked, President Donald Trump called off a visit to the White House by the Philadelphia Eagles, citing the dispute over whether NFL players protesting racial injustice must stand during the playing of the national anthem.
Trump said in a statement Monday that some members of the Super Bowl championship team “disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country.”
He said the team wanted to send a smaller delegation Tuesday, but “the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better.”
Instead, Trump said he would be hosting “a different type of ceremony,” featuring the U.S. Marine Band and the U.S. Army Chorus, that “will honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the National Anthem.”
None of the Eagles took a knee during the anthem in 2017.
One of the people set to attend the ceremony told The Associated Press less than half of the team’s 53-man roster planned to go. The person spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the decision.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Capitals are one win away from the first Stanley Cup in franchise history after a 6-2 blowout of the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 4 gave them a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals will get their first chance to hoist the Cup in Game 5 on Thursday night in Las Vegas. No team since the Detroit Red Wings in 1942 has blown a 3-1 lead in the Cup Final.
Evgeny Kuznetsov dished out four assists, T.J. Oshie, Tom Wilson, Devante Smith-Pelly, John Carlson, Michal Kempny and Brett Connolly scored and Braden Holtby stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced.
The desperate Golden Knights outchanced the Capitals by a wide margin but fell apart after James Neal clanked a shot off the post instead of hitting a wide-open net early in the first period. The expansion team’s Cinderella run is in danger of coming to a quick end.
Marc-Andre Fleury allowed six goals on 23 shots, and by the time Neal and Reilly Smith scored in the third period, it was too late.
Kyler Murray says he is committed to playing football for Oklahoma this season even after becoming a top-10 pick in the Major League Baseball draft.
Murray, the favorite to replace Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield as the Sooners’ starting quarterback, was selected ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics on Monday night, putting him in position for a signing bonus of about $4.8 million to play baseball.
The speedy Murray has been a major league prospect since high school. He played outfield for the Sooners and hit .296 with 10 homers, 13 doubles and three triples in 189 at-bats this season.
Still, his selection so early in the first round was a surprise, and it could mean a change in career paths for the former five-star football recruit.
The slot value for the No. 9 pick is $4,761,500. If the A’s don’t sign him, they would lose that amount from their available bonus pool of $9,553,200 this year but would get the No. 8 pick as compensation next year. The deadline for Murray to sign is July 6.
ZURICH (AP) — FIFA can afford to have Morocco host the 2026 World Cup, according to President Gianni Infantino, even if the rival North American bid promises billions of dollars more in revenue.
Ahead of next week’s vote by FIFA member federations in Moscow, Infantino said: “FIFA can afford whatever the congress decides.”
“We have to live with that and to make the best of any decision which is taken,” said the FIFA leader, who Moroccan bid leaders have publicly suspected of favoring the joint United States-Canada-Mexico bid.
In a FIFA panel’s evaluation of the candidates, the North American bid got the only maximum mark for its tickets and corporate hospitality sales plan.
A difference in projected ticket sales of $1.3 billion between the two bids helped lead the report to note “significantly higher” forecast revenue of $14.3 billion from North Americans and $7.2 billion from Morocco.
PARIS (AP) — Serena Williams called off her Grand Slam comeback, pulling out of the French Open because of a chest injury before she was supposed to play Maria Sharapova.
Williams announced her withdrawal at a news conference at Roland Garros on Monday.
Williams’ voice quivered as she said she can’t serve because of a problem with her tight pectoral muscle.
She and Sharapova were scheduled to play a fourth-round match Monday.