Wednesday Sports in Brief
CLEVELAND (AP) — Baker Mayfield’s rocky run with the Cleveland Browns has officially ended.
The Browns traded the divisive quarterback and former No. 1 overall draft pick to the Carolina Panthers for a future draft pick on Wednesday.
Mayfield was pushed out of his starting job by the Browns’ pursuit of Deshaun Watson and is going to Carolina for a conditional draft pick in 2024 or 2025.
The Browns are also paying $10 million of Mayfield’s $18.8 million contract for next season, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The trade was announced by the Panthers, who will host the Browns in next season’s opener.
— By AP Sports Writer Tom Withers.
PHOENIX (AP) — Several hundred fans gathered for a public rally in support of Brittney Griner on Wednesday, hoping their sentiments would reach the WNBA player 6,000 miles away in a Russian jail cell.
They shared laughs, smiles, memories. There also were tears, fears, unease.
Griner has spent the past four months in a Russian prison and is currently on trial. She’s accused of possessing vape cartridges containing cannabis oil when she arrived at the Moscow airport while returning to play for her Russian team, facing a prison term of up to 10 years if convicted.
The WNBA and U.S. officials have worked to free Griner, without success. Griner was able to send a handwritten letter to President Joe Biden, saying she feared spending the rest of her life in prison while pushing the administration to not forget about other American detainees.
President Biden called Griner’s wife, Cherelle, on Wednesday to tell her that he is working to free her as soon as possible.
“One hundred thirty-nine days have passed since my wife has been able to speak to me, to our family and our friends,” Cherelle Griner said during the rally, stopping to compose herself several times. “I’m frustrated my wife is not going to get justice. I know you all are frustrated, too. That’s why you’re here.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday reassured the wife of detained WNBA player Brittney Griner, who is on trial in Russia, that he is working to win Griner’s freedom as soon as possible, the White House said. Cherelle Griner, who has criticized the way her wife’s case has been handled, said later that she was “grateful” for the outreach but would keep up the public pressure.
Biden’s conversation with Cherelle Griner followed Brittney Griner’s personal appeal to the president in a handwritten letter from the basketball player that the White House received on Monday. Griner said in the letter that she feared she would spend forever in detention in Russia and asked Biden to not “forget about me and the other American Detainees.”
Griner has been detained in Russia for more than four months and is currently on trial, accused of possessing vape cartridges containing cannabis oil.
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Rafael Nadal advanced to the Wimbledon semifinals after winning a fifth-set tiebreaker against Taylor Fritz of the United States on Wednesday.
Nadal beat the 11th-seeded American 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (10-4) on Centre Court. The victory keeps alive Nadal’s chances for a calendar-year Grand Slam. The 36-year-old Spaniard will next play Nick Kyrgios for a place in Sunday’s final.
Kyrgios advanced to the semifinals at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time by beating Cristian Garin 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
Elena Rybakina became the first woman from Kazakhstan to reach the semifinals at a Grand Slam tournament by beating Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 .
The 17th-seeded Rybakina hit 15 aces against Tomljanovic and will face 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep for a spot in the final.
Halep advanced with a 6-2, 6-4 win over 20-year-old Amanda Anisimova, the last American in the draw. The 2019 Wimbledon champion extended her winning streak at the All England Club to 12 matches.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Devils have named their first female assistant general manager, making Kate Madigan the sixth woman to hold the title in the NHL.
General Manager Tom Fitzgerald announced the promotion Wednesday, the day before the NHL draft.
The NHL has seen several women promoted to the assistant general manager’s role in the last month, with Hayley Wickenheiser getting the job in Toronto this week and Meghan Hunter promoted in Chicago last month.
NASCAR on Wednesday penalized Noah Gragson for a deliberate and dangerous crash he caused in the Xfinity Series race at Road America.
Gragson, who turns 24 later this month, was docked 30 points and fined $35,000 by NASCAR for intentionally crashing into Sage Karam on Saturday at the road course in Wisconsin. NASCAR cited a rule against “intentionally wrecking another vehicle” and “actions by a NASCAR Member that NASCAR finds to be detrimental to stock car racing or NASCAR.”
Gragson’s swerve into Karam triggered a frightening multicar crash that was so egregious, Gragson was criticized publicly by Dale Earnhardt Jr. ahead of the penalty announcement. The NASCAR Hall of Famer and co-owner of the JR Motorsports team Gragson has represented since 2019 was surprised NASCAR didn’t immediately penalize his driver.
The PGA Tour and LPGA Tour have canceled their tournaments in Shanghai that were scheduled for October because of ongoing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The HSBC Champions, part of the World Golf Championships series, was canceled for the third straight year. It was to be played at Sheshan International on Oct. 27-30.
The Buick LPGA Shanghai was to be held Oct. 13-16 at Qizhong Garden Golf Club. It also has not been played since 2019.
Grambling State fired first-year volleyball coach Chelsey Lucas amid an ongoing investigation into her pulling numerous scholarships from incumbent players.
But the university has not moved to reinstate players who’ve been cut since Lucas’ hiring last February.
Athletic director Trayvean Scott says the 12 scholarship players who were on the team at the time of Lucas’ firing would retain their current status at least through next season. None of Grambling’s current scholarship players were on the team last season.
An outside firm is investigating Lucas’ handling of roster cuts and Grambling officials say details won’t be discussed before that work is finished.
MONTREAL (AP) — Former NHL defenseman Bryan Marchment died Wednesday in Montreal, his agent said. He was 53.
Longtime agent Rick Curran confirmed Marchment’s death to The Associated Press. Marchment was attending the NHL draft in Montreal as a scout for the San Jose Sharks.
A cause of death was not immediately available.
Marchment played parts of 17 NHL seasons from 1989-2006 with Winnipeg, Chicago, Hartford, Edmonton, Tampa Bay, San Jose, Colorado, Toronto and Calgary. The Scarborough, Ontario native had been working in scouting and other roles for the Sharks and their American Hockey League affiliate since 2007.
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