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Sports briefs for July 14, 2013

Falcons’ White apologizes for Zimmerman tweet

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White apologized for comments he made on Twitter related to the George Zimmerman verdict.

Zimmerman was found not guilty of murder Saturday in the shooting death of 17-year old Trayvon Martin.

Several NFL players reacted to the verdict over Twitter, with White writing, “All them jurors should go home tonight and kill themselves for letting a grown man get away with killing a kid.”

He later apologized in another tweet.

“I understand my tweet last nite was extreme,” White wrote Sunday. “I never meant for the people to do that. I was shocked and upset about the verdict. I am sorry.”

The NFL said on Sunday it would not comment on the Zimmerman verdict.

Dixon wins again in Toronto IndyCar race

TORONTO — Scott Dixon doubled up with Izod IndyCar Series victories in Toronto.

After winning the first race Saturday in a frenzied race, he calmly delivered a nearly flag-to-flag effort on Sunday for his third consecutive victory.

Dixon also won last week at Pocono Raceway, an oval track. He’ll go for a fourth in succession at the next race, Aug. 4, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

This weekend’s doubleheader in Toronto was only the second in modern IndyCar history, with the first last month in Detroit. A driver winning both races was guaranteed a $50,000 bonus, plus the unclaimed $50,000 bonus from Detroit.

Dixon, who had a disappointing start to the season, is now only 29 points behind Helio Castroneves for the top spot. Dixon is a two-time series champion; Castroneves has never won such a title.

Dixon has three race wins in a row for the second time in his career. He also did it in 2007 when he won at Watkins Glen, Nashville and Mid-Ohio in succession.

This win also gave Dixon, a New Zealander, 32 victories for his IndyCar career, moving him past Dario Franchitti, Paul Tracy and Sebastien Bourdais for seventh place all-time. Bourdais wasn’t all that disappointed. The former Champ Car champion, who scored his first IndyCar podium on Saturday with a second-place finish, finished third on Sunday to give Dragon Racing its second IndyCar podium, too.

Castroneves was second in this race and led two laps, giving him eight consecutive races as a leader.

Six more players named as All-Stars

Right-handed relievers Grant Balfour of the Oakland A’s and Greg Holland of the Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman, Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann, Pittsburgh Pirates right-handed relief pitcher Mark Melancon and San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo were officially named All-Stars on Sunday.

Balfour and Holland will replace inactive pitchers Bartolo Colon of the A’s and Hisashi Iwakuma of the Seattle Mariners Tillman replaces Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander, who pitched Sunday, for the American League squad.

McCann replaces inactive first baseman Freddie Freeman, also of the Braves. Melancon and Romo replace inactive pitchers Jeff Locke of the Pirates and Jordan Zimmermann of the Washington Nationals for the National League team.

Manziel leaves Manning camp with illness

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was excused from the 2013 Manning Passing Academy because of an apparent illness, ESPN reported Sunday.

Manziel, the Heisman Trophy winner, was serving the camp as a college coach/counselor. He missed assigned meetings and practice sessions because of the illness, camp officials said.

Some earlier internet reports stated that Manziel was sent home by Archie Manning because of “partying” but camp officials said those reports were not accurate.

The camp was at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La.

“Johnny Manziel did participate in some activities in the 2013 Manning Passing Academy as a college counselor/coach,” camp officials said in a statement said. “After missing and being late for practice assignments, Johnny explained that he had been feeling ill. Consequently, we agreed that it was in everyone’s best interest for him to go home a day early.”

Manziel also attended the academy twice while he was in high school.

“I enjoyed meeting Johnny,” Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning said. “I can remember a 20-year-old Eli (Manning) missing a meeting and catching some flak. We always have counselors who leave early. Johnny was great with the campers for the time he was here. He had to leave early. I wish him the best and I want him to come back as a counselor next year.”

Pro Football Hall of Fame removes Hernandez photo

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, removed a photo of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

The photo of Hernandez, who was charged with murdering 27-year-old semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, was the subject of complaints from visitors.

“In the spirit of good taste we thought we’d take it down,” said Joe Horrigan, vice president of communication and exhibits for the Hall of Fame.

The photo depicts Hernandez running into the end zone during a game against the Green Bay Packers in 2010. It was the winner of an annual Hall of Fame photo contest.

The Patriots released Hernandez after he was arrested in June.

World Peace clears waivers

Metta World Peace cleared waivers late Sunday afternoon, and according to ESPN, the New York Knicks already have reached out to the 14-year NBA veteran to gauge his interest in playing in his hometown.

World Peace has indicated he wants to play for the Knicks, but he also talked to Yao Ming on Sunday about playing in China. The former Los Angeles Laker also has shown some interest in remaining in Los Angeles to play for the Clippers.

“I know his name has been surfacing out there,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson told ESPN while in Las Vegas, where New York has a summer league team competing. “I like his skill sets a lot. I think a lot of teams have liked his skill sets over the years. He does a little bit of everything.”

After being waived on Thursday, World Peace expressed no desire to play in his hometown of New York. In fact, he was hoping not to be claimed.

“I don’t really want to play for anybody,” World Peace said. “I don’t want to go anywhere. I want to go to China, or coach or play arena football.”

Jamaican sprinters Powell, Simpson test positive

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Former world 100 meters record holder Asafa Powell and Olympic 4×100 relay silver medallist Sherone Simpson have both tested positive for the stimulant oxilophrine at last month’s Jamaican athletics championships.

In a statement on Sunday, Powell said he had tested positive for the stimulant, which has similar properties to ephedrine but a different chemical structure and is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) banned list.

“I want to be clear in saying to my family, friends, and most of all my fans worldwide that I have never knowingly or wilfully taken any supplements or substances that break any rules. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a cheat,” Powell said.

Powell, who has never won an individual global sprint title, held the 100 world record between 2005 and 2008 when his mark of 9.74 seconds was broken by current record holder and fellow-Jamaican Usain Bolt.

Simpson, who was a member of the Jamaican 4×100 metres relay team who won the silver medal at last year’s London Olympics, said she had been notified that she had tested positive for “This is a very difficult time for me,” Simpson said in a statement.

“As an athlete, I know I am responsible for whatever that goes into my body. I would not intentionally take an illegal substance of any form into my system.”

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