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Sep 16, 2014

Tony Stewart fatal dirt-track accident to be heard by grand jury

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – The circumstances surrounding a fatal dirt-track accident involving three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart in upstate New York last month will be heard by a grand jury, authorities said on Tuesday.

Stewart, one of the biggest names in auto racing, struck and killed 20-year-old Kevin Ward during a non-NASCAR sprint car race on Aug. 9 at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

Sep 16, 2014

NFL’s Vikings reinstate Peterson after child abuse charge

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – Adrian Peterson, a marquee National Football League running back facing charges of child abuse for injuries he caused when disciplining his son, was reinstated by the Minnesota Vikings on Monday.

Peterson was held out of the Vikings’ game on Sunday, a 30-7 loss to the New England Patriots, following his indictment last week in Texas for negligent injury to his 4-year-old son, the latest domestic violence case to rock the NFL.

Sep 15, 2014

NFL’s Vikings decide to activate Adrian Peterson

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – Adrian Peterson, one of the National Football League’s top running backs, was reinstated on Monday by the Minnesota Vikings despite his indictment for negligent injury to a child.

“To be clear, we take very seriously any matter that involves the welfare of a child,” Vikings owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf said in a statement. “At this time, however, we believe this is a matter of due process and we should allow the legal system to proceed so we can come to the most effective conclusions and then determine the appropriate course of action.”

Sep 12, 2014

NFL domestic violence debacle threatens growing female fandom

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s fumbling of the Ray Rice domestic abuse case threatens to send women, an increasingly influential group of the National Football League’s fan base, scrambling to hit the off button on their remote controls, sports business analysts say.

Over the span of a generation, women have gone from being casual fans to meaningful customers of the league and now account for 45 percent of the NFL audience, between television and stadiums. Some 6 million women tune in to NFL games every week.

Sep 11, 2014

Goodell gets support and criticism after NFL orders new Rice probe

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – A major advertiser expressed support for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday, while a women’s advocacy group called for his resignation in the mounting controversy over his handling of former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice’s domestic violence case.

The NFL late on Wednesday named former FBI Director Robert Mueller III to lead an inquiry into how the league dealt with evidence in the case, particularly security video from an elevator showing Rice knocking out his then-fiancee and now-wife Janay Palmer with a punch.

Sep 11, 2014

NFL says looking into report it had Ray Rice video in April

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – The NFL said on Wednesday it was unaware of any of its officials obtaining a video five months ago showing former player Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancee in an elevator, but it will “look into” a report that it received the clip in April.

A law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press he had sent the video of the February incident to a league official in April because he wanted the NFL to have it before deciding how to punish Rice.

Sep 10, 2014

NFL’s Goodell says he doesn’t believe his job is in jeopardy

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – Embattled National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell said he did not believe his job was on the line over his handling of the Ray Rice domestic abuse case.

In a CBS This Morning interview that aired on Wednesday, Goodell said flatly, “No,” when asked if his job was in peril.

Sep 9, 2014

NFL’s Buffalo Bills to be sold to owners of city’s NHL franchise

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – The owners of the Buffalo Bills reached an agreement on Tuesday to sell the National Football League franchise to Terry and Kim Pegula, who already own the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres.

Terry Pegula, 63, a natural gas development and real estate mogul, has been a popular figure in Buffalo for his commitment to keep the franchise in western New York state.

Sep 9, 2014

Hawks discipline general manager for racial comments about Deng

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – The NBA’s Atlanta Hawks said on Tuesday they would discipline general manager Danny Ferry for making racially charged remarks, the latest incident that has raised concerns about racial attitudes in the franchise’s front office.

The team did not reveal what steps it was taking, but Ferry, a former NBA player who has been the Hawks’ general manager since 2012, said he had no plans to resign. Ferry defended himself in a statement on Tuesday, saying he was simply repeating words used in the team’s scouting reports.

Sep 9, 2014

Ray Rice’s wife rips media as video puts NFL on defensive

Sept 9 (Reuters) – Ray Rice’s wife defended the former
Baltimore Ravens running back on Tuesday after a video showed
him knocking her out, and assailed the media for its handling of
an incident that put the U.S. National Football League on the
defensive.

“I woke up this morning, feeling like I had a horrible
nightmare, feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest
friend,” Janay Rice wrote in an Instagram post. “But to have to
accept the fact that it’s reality is a nightmare itself.”