Sports in Brief – News & Observer
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Police acted appropriately and professionally detaining Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett when he ran from a casino as officers searched for an active shooter following a report of gunfire at an after-hours club on the Las Vegas Strip, the head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said Friday.
A review of hundreds of videos, including police body-worn cameras, found no evidence that the three officers who had direct contact with the NFL star early Aug. 27 profiled Bennett by race or used excessive force, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said.
“Mr. Bennett has a valid perspective as a person who experienced a reasonable-suspicion stop for a felony crime,” Lombardo told reporters. “Those who experience such a stop, especially when they have not committed a crime, are not likely to feel good about it.”
Bennett committed no crime, the sheriff said. But he was detained at gunpoint, handcuffed and seated for about 10 minutes in the back of a patrol car until police searching the crowded casino just hours after an Aug. 26 boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor concluded that what people thought was gunfire was actually the sharp sound of velvet rope stands knocked to a tile floor during a scuffle.
Video shows an officer with his gun out while handcuffing Bennett as he lies prone in a traffic lane on Las Vegas Boulevard outside the Cromwell casino.
But Lombardo said there was nothing to support Bennett’s allegation, made in a Twitter post more than a week later, that an officer put a gun to Bennett’s head and threatened to blow his head off.
“From the evidence we have at this point, we don’t know (the officer) said that,” the sheriff said.
Bennett’s attorney, John Burris in Oakland, California, said he wants to review videos more closely. But he said he believed the clips shown verified Bennett’s accounts.
“He was not acting improperly,” Burris told The Associated Press. “He was not acting suspicious. He was not involved in any criminal activity.”
“There’s nothing to go on, no description, other than you see this big black man running,” the attorney added. “He was running like everyone else, trying to get away.”
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook is staying with the Thunder.
The superstar point guard and reigning NBA MVP has signed a contract extension to remain in Oklahoma City. ESPN first reported the agreement and said it was for five years and worth $205 million.
Westbrook made an Instagram post Friday afternoon, a photo of him yelling at Chesapeake Energy Arena with his arms raised in the air. His words of choice to go with the photo are the words he lives by and the name of his charitable foundation: “WHY NOT??”
Westbrook said this week that Oklahoma City is where he wanted to be. He said he was thrilled with the offseason additions of four-time All-Star Paul George and 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony. Both have player options on their deals after this season.
“I love being here,” he said. “I’m excited about the season. Obviously, with a lot of new changes, and I’m excited.”
Thunder owner Clay Bennett values Westbrook’s importance to Oklahoma City on and off the court.
“We recognize and deeply appreciate Russell’s rare and unique abilities as he leads the Oklahoma City Thunder, but also understand his presence and impact on our community will be felt for decades to come,” Bennett said. “On behalf of the entire Thunder organization, our ownership group and all of Oklahoma, I want to express my deepest appreciation to Russell, and I know that the very best days for the Thunder are yet to come.”
Westbrook averaged a triple-double last season and was the league scoring champion. He averaged 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists and broke Oscar Robertson’s single-season record for triple-doubles with 42.
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball has named its World Series Most Valuable Player award after Willie Mays.
The decision was announced on the 63rd anniversary of Mays’ back-to-the-plate catch in deep center field at the Polo Grounds for the New York Giants against Cleveland’s Vic Wertz in the World Series opener. The Giants went on to sweep the Indians.
The Series MVP award began the following year, when it was won by Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Johnny Podres.
Now 86, Mays played in 24 All-Star Games during a 22-year-career with the New York and San Francisco Giants, and the New York Mets.
“I’d like to thank Commissioner Rob Manfred and his team at Major League Baseball for honoring me with this recognition,” Mays said in a statement. “Baseball has always taken care of me, and for that I am grateful. I think it’s just a wonderful thing to know that at 86 years of age, I can still give something back to the game. I am proud to lend my name to this important award. What a day this has been!”
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge has tossed a lawsuit brought by former Northern Illinois University running back Akeem Daniels against two daily fantasy sports sites that he accused of unlawfully using his name to generate millions of dollars in revenue.
Judge Tanya Pratt in the U.S. District Court for Southern Indiana threw out the suit in a Friday ruling on a motion to dismiss. She cited, among other things, that their references fell under an exception that allows such uses of names if they are considered newsworthy.
Daniels sued Boston-based DraftKings and New York-based FanDuel and sought class-action status to represent all college players.
The lawsuit mentions other players who appeared in games on the sites.
Several states have said that they consider such sites illegal.