AP Sports SummaryBrief at 12:56 p.m. EST


Sports construction rolls right through economic uncertainty

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — With the galloping horses long gone, the Chicago Bears see 326 acres of opportunity at the shuttered Arlington International Racecourse. The Buffalo Bills also are making plans for a new home. Same for the Tennessee Titans and baseball’s Kansas City Royals, and on and on it goes. When it comes to construction for sports, today’s economic uncertainty is nothing compared to the promise of tomorrow. Interest rates, inflation and supply chain issues factor into the plans, according to construction and financing experts, but they haven’t been standing in the way.

Women break through as World Cup play-by-play voices

The World Cup will sound different this year. Jacqui Oatley will become the first woman play-by-play commentator for U.S. World Cup telecasts. She will head one of Fox’s five broadcast teams for the tournament in Qatar that opens Sunday. Pien Meulensteen, Vicki Sparks and Robyn Cowen are among the broadcasters for matches on BBC in Britain. Meulensteen said: “Loads of people will have negative comments about women and women commentators and that’s because that’s just the way that they think. They’re not open to hearing anything different.”

Verlander, Alcantara are unanimous Cy Young Award winners

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston’s Justin Verlander in the American League and Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in the National League are both unanimous selections for the Cy Young Award. It’s the second time the winners in both leagues were unanimous since the award began in 1956. The 39-year-old Verlander won the award for the first time, having previously won in 2011 with Detroit and 2019 with Houston. He’s the 11th player to win it three times. Verlander missed almost all of the previous two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He led the AL in ERA. Alcantara led the majors in complete games with six.

Rodgers, NFL players urge league to nix turf, go with grass

Aaron Rodgers and his peers around the NFL are calling for teams to tear up their turf playing surfaces and replace them with grass. The outpouring comes a week after NFL Players Association President JC Tretter called on six venues to immediately change their field types, saying the artificial turf in those stadiums was resulting in higher injury rates. Players are concerned about non-contact and lower extremity injuries. The NFL has said its data shows injury rates are similar on grass and artificial turf. Rodgers says owners could be “putting your money where your mouth is if player safety is important.”

Wimbledon relaxes all-white clothing rule for women

LONDON (AP) — Wimbledon is relaxing its requirement for all-white clothing to allow female players to wear colored undershorts to be more comfortable on their periods. Wimbledon’s strict policy about all-white attire for players is one of the best-known features of the grass-court Grand Slam tournament, but the All England Club said it decided to update the rules after discussions “with the WTA, clothing manufacturers and medical teams on how best to support women and girls competing at the championships.” The new rules state that women can now “wear solid, mid/dark-colored undershorts provided they are no longer than their shorts or skirt.”

Number of women working in the NFL steadily rising

From the owner’s suite to the front office to the sideline, the number of women in the NFL is steadily rising. And, they’re here to stay. Kalen Jackson was born into football, one of three daughters for Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay. Her introduction to the sport came by attending community events. Now, she has a seat at the table for owners’ meetings. Sam Rapoport fell in love with football the first time she held a ball and threw a spiral as a 12-year-old growing up in Canada. Rapoport ended up becoming a professional quarterback in a women’s tackle football league and has spent two decades working to expand career opportunities for women in the sport.

Curry scores 50 points, but Suns beat Warriors 130-119

PHOENIX (AP) — Cameron Payne scored a career-high 29 points, Devin Booker added 27 and the Phoenix Suns easily overcame Stephen Curry’s 50-point night to beat the Golden State Warriors 130-119 on Wednesday. The Suns controlled most of the game despite Curry’s scoring. The eight-time All-Star made 17 of 28 shots, going 7 of 11 from 3-point range. The problem for the Warriors was nobody else was helping. Klay Thompson finished with 19 points but shot just 6 of 17. The Warriors — defending NBA champs — fell to 6-9. Payne, starting in place of the injured Chris Paul, made 9 of 17 shots, including 6 of 10 from beyond the arc.

World Cup draws attention to equal rights, including attire

Official-looking flyers have circulated on social media describing cultural expectations for fans attending the World Cup in Qatar. Some include rules for women’s attire like shoulders and knees must be covered. It’s bogus. The local organizing committee suggests that fans “respect the culture” but no one will be arrested or barred from games in Qatar because of clothing choices. Persistent rumors swirling around appropriate garb at soccer’s biggest tournament have also drawn attention to the country’s record on equality.

Oregon State volleyball coach retiring after troubled tenure

Oregon State volleyball coach Mark Barnard will retire at the end of the season. It ends a tenure marked by frequent roster turnover and player allegations of emotional abuse. There is also a long-running Oregon State lawsuit against The Associated Press to withhold records about the athletic department’s response to complaints about Barnard. Barnard is 70-131 over nearly seven years as head coach. He took the Beavers to the NCAA Tournament in 2017.  Starting in July 2020, the AP ran stories documenting more than a dozen players who had either quit or transferred from Barnard’s program since he took over in 2016. Oregon State has disputed the AP reporting.

China-made Paris Olympics mascots fuel criticism in France

PARIS (AP) — The mascots for the 2024 Paris Olympics are a symbol of the French Republic. Most of them are made in China and that does not go down well in France. The Phryges mascots are manufactured by French companies Gipsy Toys and Doudou et Compagnie. They’ll use fabric developed in the French region of Brittany but the toys will primarily be manufactured in China. Only about 8% of the mascot will be made in France. French government spokesman Olivier Véran says manufacturing the mascots in China is due to “a structural problem.”