Ruling due on concussions
A federal judge in Philadelphia plans to rule next month on whether former players can sue the National Football League over concussion-related injuries. The NFL wants the complaints handled in arbitration, not in court. Lawyers for more than 4,200 players say in their lawsuits that the league hid the known risks of concussions and rushed players back into the game. Senior US District Judge Anita Brody says she expects to issue her ruling on July 22 on whether the lawsuits can go forward. Brody heard brief arguments in early April from a pair of nationally prominent lawyers, David Frederick for the players and Paul Clement for the league. Many former players say they suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological conditions, and believe that they stem from on-field concussions.
Teams fined for tampering
The Atlanta Hawks and two other teams have been fined an undisclosed amount by the NBA for tampering. Tampering refers to interfering with the working relationship of players or coaches under contract to other teams. A league spokesman says a memo was sent to teams informing them of the penalties, but did not say which clubs were punished or provide the amount of the fines. However, the Hawks said on Monday they were one of them, saying that they “fully understand and respect the NBA’s decision.” The team recently sent a letter to potential ticket-buyers promoting its chances of signing Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, who will become free agents on July 1. Teams are not allowed to discuss their interest in players who are under contract to other teams.
Olympic Park to host fights
London’s Olympic Park will stage professional boxing in September at the Copper Box Arena, a venue that hosted handball and fencing in the modern pentathlon during last year’s Games.
A multi-fight agreement was struck on Monday for Sept. 21 at the 7,000-seat venue nicknamed the “box that rocks” during the Olympics, including a British middleweight title bout between champion Billy Joe Saunders and John Ryder. Organizers hope the deal will re-establish east London as “the spiritual home of boxing in the UK” and demonstrate to taxpayers that venues constructed for the Olympics can have lasting benefits. Promoter Frank Warren said: “The Copper Box is what all the investment in the Olympics was about — legacy and giving London a fantastic arena.” The north park of the Olympic Park reopens to the general public next month for the first time since the Games.
Garcia, Woods shake hands
Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia shook hands on Monday on the US Open practice range at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. It was the first time they have seen each other since Garcia jokingly said at an awards dinner in England that he would have Woods over for dinner during the US Open and “we will serve fried chicken.” Garcia apologized for the racially insensitive remark the next day at a news conference. A fan at the US Open took a picture of the handshake and posted it on Twitter. The last time the two shook hands was on May 12 at The Players Championship after completing the third round when they were paired together. Woods went on to win the tournament.