NFL

Friday's Sports In Brief

NFL

LONDON (AP) The NFL placed Josh Brown on paid leave hours after coach Ben McAdoo struggled to answer questions about how the New York Giants might discipline the kicker for abusing his wife.

In a letter to the 14-year veteran, NFL senior vice president of labor policy Adolpho Birch said Brown was being placed on the league's ''exempt list'' while the league investigates whether he should be suspended as punishment for several alleged acts of spousal abuse. Birch said the move ''does not represent a finding that you have violated the personal conduct policy,'' but does pave the way toward potential further sanctions.

More from FoxSports

Being placed on Commissioner Roger Goodell's ''exempt'' list means Brown cannot attend practices or Giants games but can go to Giants headquarters for meetings and workouts.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) - Former NFL Alumni Association President George Martin told a concussion conference the injury is a scourge in contact sports with long-term consequences still widely underestimated.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including concussions.

Martin was the keynote speaker at the Ultimate Concussion Conference, a gathering of experts and policymakers in sports administration, law, education and health, including neuroscience and neuropsychology. About 80 people were expected for the three-day event.

NBA

MIAMI (AP) - A woman performing the national anthem before an NBA preseason game in Miami did so while kneeling at midcourt, and opening her jacket to show a shirt with the phrase ''Black Lives Matter.''

The singer was identified by the Heat as Denasia Lawrence. It was unclear if she remained in the arena after the performance, and messages left for her were not immediately returned.

Heat players and coaches stood side-by-side for the anthem, all with their arms linked as has been their custom during the preseason. Many had their heads down as Lawrence sang, and the team released a statement saying it had no advance knowledge that she planned to kneel.

NEW YORK (AP) - This season hasn't started and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver already has good news about next season.

It appears there's no chance it will be affected by a work stoppage.

Silver said Friday the league and players have made ''tremendous progress'' toward an extension of the collective bargaining agreement, saying he hoped a deal would be completed soon.

Silver said the process was far different than the contentious negotiations of 2011, which led to a lockout and a 2011-12 season that was shortened to 66 games.

This time, the sides have been meeting for a few months and seem eager to make a deal long before Dec. 15, when either side can notify the other of its intention to opt out of the 10-year pact, which expires in June 2021.

WNBA

NEW YORK (AP) - For the second time in a week during the WNBA Finals, the league acknowledged a late officiating mistake.

The WNBA said the officials missed a shot clock violation in the deciding Game 5 on Thursday night in which the Los Angeles Sparks beat the defending champion Minnesota Lynx 77-76.

''After reviewing postgame video, we have determined that Nneka Ogwumike's shot with 1:14 remaining in regulation time should not have counted due to a shot-clock violation, and that the referees improperly failed to review the play under the instant replay rules,'' Renee Brown, WNBA chief of basketball operations and player relations, said in a statement Friday.

Ogwumike's jumper with 3.1 seconds left, off the rebound of her blocked shot, won it for the Sparks.

AUTO RACING

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Mercedes duel is hitting full throttle at the U.S. Grand Prix.

Formula One championship leader Nico Rosberg put more pressure on teammate and rival Lewis Hamilton by posting the fastest lap in Friday's practice sessions as he seeks to tighten his grip on a potential first title.

Hamilton led the morning session before Rosberg came back in the afternoon with a lap of 1 minute, 37.358 seconds. Hamilton was third in the afternoon session, but his morning lap of 1:37.428 was second-quickest on the day.

FIGURE SKATING

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) - American Ashley Wagner won the Progressive Skate America short program with a score of 69.50, building on her second-place finish in the world championships.

Japan's Mai Mihara, making her Grand Prix Series debut at 17, was second at 65.75, and U.S. champion Gracie Gold third at 64.87. The free skate will determine the champion Saturday at Sears Centre Arena.