FOOTBALL

Washington NFL owner Dan Snyder said Friday he’s committed to improving the culture inside the team after allegations of sexual harassment, while the league will wait for a law firm’s review before taking action.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that 15 female former employees said they were sexually harassed during their time with the team. Snyder said the behavior described in the story “has no place in our franchise or society.”

He hired District of Columbia law firm Wilkinson and Walsh to conduct an independent review of team policies, culture and allegations of workplace misconduct. The league said in a statement it will meet with lawyers after the investigation is complete and will act based on the findings.

Snyder also pledged to make organizational changes.

He said the commitment to establishing a new culture and higher standard began with the hiring of Ron Rivera as coach this year. Rivera told The Athletic he was brought in to change the culture and “create an environment of inclusion.”

The NFL said it expects the team and all employees to be cooperative but is not yet making its own review of the team.

Receiver A.J. Green signed his one-year, $17.9 million contract Friday after the deadline passed for agreeing to a long-term deal with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The club used its franchise tag on Green, who missed all last season because of an ankle injury. Green wanted a multiyear deal to stay in Cincinnati but said he wouldn’t hold out if the club used the tag to keep him around for another year.

The Arizona Cardinals signed offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum to a one-year deal.

Beachum, 31, is an eight-year veteran who played the last three seasons with the New York Jets. He started 45 games, all at left tackle.

BASKETBALL

NBA: The league told teams that none of the seeding games will be taken into consideration for any regular-season award, and that voting for those honors – such as MVP, All-NBA, rookie of the year and defensive player of the year – will be completed before the July 30 restart of the season at Walt Disney World.

“The decision to exclude seeding games from awards voting ensures a fair process in which players and coaches from all 30 teams will have the same opportunity to be honored as top performers for the regular season,” the NBA wrote in a memo sent to teams Friday.

Only 22 of the league’s 30 teams are participating in the NBA restart.

• Milwaukee Bucks Coach Mike Budenholzer confirmed that Eric Bledsoe tested positive for COVID-19, but remains cautiously optimistic the veteran point guard will be ready for the start of the season’s resumption.

WNBA: Washington Mystics forward Tina Charles was medically excused for the season by an independent panel of doctors, the team announced.

Charles, who came over to the Mystics in an offseason trade, wrote in The Players Tribune that she has a condition called extrinsic asthma that impacts her immune system and would make “playing during a pandemic a very risky and dangerous proposition.”

SOCCER

MLS: Major League Soccer delayed the first seasons of expansion teams in Charlotte, St. Louis and Sacramento by one year each because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Charlotte will start play in 2022, and St. Louis and Sacramento will take the field in 2023, the league said.

Austin remains on track to begin next year as the 27th team in MLS.

• Federico Higuain scored as a second-half substitute as D.C. United rallied for a 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution in the MLS is Back tournament in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Adam Buksa scored early in the second half for New England, which is tied with Toronto FC atop Group C with four points.

ENGLAND: Leeds United’s 16-year exile from the Premier League is over.

Leeds, a three-time champion in England’s top league, secured promotion from the second-tier Championship when West Bromwich lost to Huddersfield, 2-1.

HOCKEY

NHL: Edmonton’s mayor says a preliminary assessment shows storm damage to Rogers Place is not structural, and the arena will be able to hold upcoming NHL playoff games.

Edmonton and Toronto were chosen as the hub cities for the playoffs, with games to start Aug. 1.

AUTO RACING

INDYCAR: Simon Pagenaud came from the last starting spot to take the lead and held off Scott Dixon in the final laps to win the opener of IndyCar’s doubleheader at Iowa Speedway.

Pagenaud was sent to the back after a fuel pressure issue forced him to scrap his qualifying attempt. He wound up stretching his tires with a unique strategy – and got a little bit of luck from a timely caution flag – to give team owner Roger Penske his first IndyCar win since purchasing the series late last year.

The win also snapped a streak of four straight wins by Chip Ganassi’s team. Dixon still gave him a second-place run after three wins to start the season, while rookie Oliver Askew rounded out the podium.

COLLEGES

SEC: Southeastern Conference schools will honor the scholarships of athletes who opt not to participate in fall competition because of concerns about COVID-19.

The league hasn’t announced plans for football and other fall sports yet.

A-10: The Atlantic 10 Conference is postponing its fall sports season, which includes soccer, cross country, field hockey and women’s volleyball.

The conference announced it will try to play those sports in the spring semester, and has agreed to a “look-in” window during September to evaluate whether it is possible to conduct shortened, conference-only seasons in fall sports.

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