Wednesday's Sports In Brief
HOUSTON (AP) The NFL players' union sued the league on behalf of Ezekiel Elliott late Thursday night, seeking to vacate the upcoming ruling of an arbitrator on the appeal of the Dallas running back's six-game suspension in a domestic violence case.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Texas, accuses the NFL's appeal process of being ''fundamentally unfair'' because arbitrator Harold Henderson denied a request to have his ex-girlfriend testify at a hearing that wrapped up earlier Thursday.
The suit also claims that NFL executives hid information that was favorable to Elliott before Commissioner Roger Goodell imposed the punishment. The lawsuit accuses NFL special counsel Lisa Friel of withholding from Goodell the word of co-lead investigator Kia Roberts, who concluded the accuser wasn't credible and that discipline wasn't warranted.
Henderson is supposed to rule on the NFL's decision to suspend Elliott ''as soon as practicable,'' according to the labor agreement.
Elliott, the NFL's 2016 rushing leader as a rookie, was suspended after the league concluded he used physical force last summer in Ohio against Tiffany Thompson, his girlfriend at the time. Prosecutors didn't pursue the case, citing conflicting evidence.
The Houston Astros have acquired Justin Verlander in a trade with the Detroit Tigers.
The right-hander joins the American League West leaders and a rotation that includes Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers.
Astros owner Jim Crane says: ''He adds a boost to our rotation. He's been pitching well. We think he'll give us some leadership. He's been in the playoffs before and adds a dimension we didn't have.''
The 34-year-old Verlander, who won the Cy Young Award in 2011, is 10-8 with a 3.82 ERA this season. The Tigers will receive three minor league prospects.
Crane hopes Verlander is a piece that can help the Astros in the postseason. He says: ''We hope it positions us to get into the playoffs, get by the first round, get into the second round and get to the world series and win it. That's what we've been working at and that's what we'll continue to work at and we want to win.''
NEW YORK (AP) - New Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka's contact with Paul George's agent violated the NBA's anti-tampering rule and has resulted in Los Angeles being fined $500,000.
The league said Thursday that a law firm's independent investigation didn't find evidence of an agreement or an understanding that the Lakers would sign or acquire George, who was with the Indiana Pacers at the time. Paul later was traded to Oklahoma City.
The NBA had warned the Lakers about tampering following comments by president of basketball operations Magic Johnson about George on national TV on April 20.
The league said Pelinka's contact with George's agent ''constituted a prohibited expression of interest in the player while he was under contract.''
The NBA's anti-tampering rule prohibits teams from interfering with other teams' contractual relationships with NBA players.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Two of LaVar Ball's sons now have their own signature shoe. The latest one has led to plenty of questions.
Big Baller Brand shoes announced Thursday that it is coming out with a shoe for LaMelo Ball, who is a junior in high school. It is the first signature shoe for a player still in high school.
The MB1, which costs $395, is available for pre-order and will ship in December. In May, Big Baller introduced its first signature shoe for Lonzo Ball, the former UCLA star was drafted second overall by the Lakers. Those go for $495.
LaMelo Ball, who plays for Chino Hills High School, would still be eligible under California Interscholastic Federation rules as long as he's not wearing his team's uniform or logo while appearing in any advertisements or promotions for the shoe.
The bigger concern is with the NCAA. LaMelo Ball has committed to UCLA, where he would start playing in 2019.
LaVar Ball told ESPN on Thursday that his son's amateur status is not a concern at the moment.
LaMelo Ball, a 6-foot-3 guard, averaged 26.7 points and 10 assists as a sophomore last year.