Thursday Sports in Brief

Sports

TENNIS

Locked in a dispute over his COVID-19 vaccination status, Novak Djokovic was confined to an immigration detention hotel in Australia on Thursday as the No. 1 men’s tennis player in the world awaited a court ruling on whether he can compete in the Australian Open later this month.

Djokovic, a vocal skeptic of vaccines, had traveled to Australia after Victoria state authorities granted him a medical exemption to the country’s strict vaccination requirements. But when he arrived late Wednesday, the Australian Border Force rejected his exemption as invalid and barred him from entering the country.

A court hearing on his bid to stave off deportation was set for Monday, a week before the season’s first major tennis tournament is set to begin. The defending Australian Open champion is waiting it out in Melbourne at a secure hotel used by immigration officials to house asylum seekers and refugees.

NFL

TAMPA, Fla. (AP)The Tampa Bay Buccaneers officially severed ties with Antonio Brown, terminating the contract of the mercurial receiver while also contradicting the player’s claim that he was fired in the middle of a game for not playing through an ankle injury.

Coach Bruce Arians said Thursday that Brown was upset that he was not being targeted enough in the opening half of last Sunday’s game against the New York Jets and that the situation evolved to a boiling point in the third quarter.

The Bucs announced Brown’s contract was terminated one day after the receiver broke his silence on the matter, alleging in a statement released by the player’s attorney that Arians cut him on the spot because Brown declined to re-enter the game because he was too injured to continue playing.

NBA

MILWAUKEE (AP) – The Milwaukee Bucks waived DeMarcus Cousins on Thursday, a little over a month after signing the veteran center.

Milwaukee had until Friday to decide whether to guarantee his contract for the rest of the season or waive him.

The 31-year-old Cousins averaged 9.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 16.9 minutes in 17 games after signing with the Bucks on Nov. 30. He had 15 points and 10 rebounds in 20 minutes Wednesday night in a 117-111 home loss to the Toronto Raptors.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The NCAA updated its recommended pandemic-related protocols for winter sports athletes and teams to follow the latest federal guidelines on Thursday and also issued a statement to address the scheduling chaos that has hit college basketball for a second consecutive season.

Anyone will be considered fully vaccinated within two months of receiving a Johnson & Johnson single dose, within five months of completing both Pfizer doses or within six months of completing the Moderna doses. Under the guidelines released Thursday, anyone beyond those timeframes will have needed to receive a booster to be considered fully vaccinated.

The NCAA is also recommending five days of quarantine after a positive test, which falls in line with recent guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SPORTS MEDIA

NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Times Co. is buying sports news site The Athletic for $550 million, the latest move in its strategy to expand its audience of paying subscribers as the newspaper print ads business fades.

The Times, unlike many local news outlets, has thrived in the past several years. It gained millions of subscribers during the Trump presidency and the pandemic, keeping it on track for its previously stated goal of 10 million by 2025.

As of the most recent quarter, the Times had nearly 8.4 million. It has been diversifying its coverage with lifestyle advice, games and recipes, helping it counter a pullback from the politics-driven news traffic boom of 2020.

OBITUARY

Greg Robinson, who won two Super Bowl rings with the Denver Broncos while spending nearly four decades coaching in the NFL and college, has died. He was 70.

Robinson’s wife, Laura, said he died Wednesday from a form of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The soft-spoken Robinson also served as defensive coordinator for the New York Jets (1994) and Kansas City Chiefs (2001-03), but he attained his greatest success in six years with the Broncos (1995-2000) under Mike Shanahan. His defenses excelled as Denver won consecutive Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Blackhawks

More Blackhawks

Northwestern

More Northwestern

SportsClick

More SportsClick