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SPORTSBRIEFING

Beckham fights NFL over watch

BEREA (AP) — Watch it: Odell Beckham Jr.’s taking a stand against the NFL on his lavish wrist wear.

Beckham said Tuesday that he intends to keep wearing the expensive watch he had on during Sunday’s season opener against the Tennessee Titans. The showy wide receiver believes the league has made an issue out of his jewelry only because it’s him.

“I’m here to play football. I would love for them to talk about football and what I do on the field, if I messed up on the field or if I didn’t do well on the field, talk about my performance,” he said. “Don’t talk about any extracurricular, that’s just it. If anybody else would’ve worn the watch, or if it was a $20 watch, it wouldn’t have been no problem.”

Beckham feels he’s being targeted.

“Yeah, that’s just my life,” he said. “If it ain’t this, it’s something else. If it wasn’t the watch, it would’ve been the way that I tie my shoes.”

On Monday, a league spokesman said there is no rule prohibiting players from wearing jewelry. However there is a policy “prohibiting hard objects.”

The league spoke to the Browns, but to this point Beckham said he has not been contacted.

McLeod was Cavs announcer

CLEVELAND (AP) — Fred McLeod’s passion poured through the TV no matter what game he was covering.

The longtime sportscaster and announcer, who called Cleveland’s NBA championship in 2016 and told his cameraman to keep rolling when Stanford’s band was on the field in 1982, died Monday. He was 67.

The Cavaliers said McLeod died suddenly but did not elaborate.

A popular play-by-play man because of his fervor and his rapport with commentator and former Cavs guard Austin Carr, McLeod did play-by play of the Cavs for 15 years following a long stint with the Pistons.

McLeod grew up in the Cleveland area, the city’s sports teams in his blood. After LeBron James and the Cavs stormed back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Golden State Warriors for the title three years ago, McLeod called the game’s final seconds and then broke down in tears.

It was the first championship for a Cleveland team since 1964.

James expressed his condolences on Twitter: “May you rest in Paradise my friend!”

The Cavs mourned the loss of a “great friend and teammate.”

“Fred’s deep love for Cleveland and the Cavaliers was clearly evident in everything he did in and around the community and on-air during his more than 1,000 Cavalier game broadcasts,” the team said. “He was a true, heart-felt ambassador for the team, fans and entire greater Cleveland community.”

McLeod spent 22 seasons announcing Pistons games before joining the Cavs in 2006. He recently celebrated his 36th season in broadcasting. McLeod also served as a TV announcer for the Indians and Tigers.

McLeod spent a few years working in San Francisco and was covering the California-Stanford game when the Golden Bears returned a kickoff on the game’s final play, with one of their players weaving through Stanford band members over the final few yards into the end zone.

In 2014, McLeod told Cavaliers.com that he instructed his cameraman to film the final seconds in case something strange happened. And it did — perhaps one of the most famous plays in college football history.

Antonio Brown accused of rape

New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown has been accused of rape by a former trainer.

Britney Taylor says Brown sexually assaulted her on three occasions, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida.

Brown has denied the allegations. Darren Heitner, a lawyer representing Brown, told The Associated Press his client plans to countersue.

“He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations,” Heitner said in a statement.

Heitner said Brown and Taylor had “a consensual personal relationship.”

The New York Times first reported about the lawsuit.

The AP does not ordinarily name the alleged victims of sex assaults, but Taylor was identified in the lawsuit and was quoted in a statement provided by her lawyer, David Haas.

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