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Wednesday's Sports in Brief

By: The Associated Press, Associated Press
May 3, 2018 Updated: May 3, 2018 at 4:50 am
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PRO FOOTBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL players' union says former San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid filed a grievance against the league, alleging that he remains unsigned as a result of collusion by owners.

Reid, a Pro Bowler in 2013, had joined former teammate Colin Kaepernick two seasons ago in kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality.

Kaepernick wasn't signed for the 2017 season following his release in San Francisco. Reid continued the quarterback's protests. The 26-year-old safety became a free agent this offseason when his rookie contract with the 49ers expired.

Kaepernick previously filed a collusion grievance that is in the discovery stage. He deposed several league owners and executives, including Commissioner Roger Goodell. Reid is using the same attorneys as Kaepernick.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers placed linebacker Ryan Shazier on injured reserve for the 2018 season to give him more time to recover from spinal stabilization surgery.

The move will open up a roster spot for the AFC North champions as they begin organized team activities later this month.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert ruled Shazier out for 2018 earlier this year. Shazier, injured in a game at Cincinnati last December, walked publicly for the first time in nearly five months when he strode onto the stage to announce Pittsburgh's first-round pick in last week's NFL draft.

The 25-year-old Shazier has remained active in the organization during his rehabilitation.

PRO BASKETBALL

PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns hired Utah Jazz assistant Igor Kokoskov as their new head coach.

The 46-year-old Serbian becomes the first NBA head coach born and raised outside North America. He served as a Suns assistant from 2008 to 2013, a stretch that included Phoenix's 2010 run to the Western Conference finals.

Kokoskov agreed to terms with the Suns after the team conducted a long series of initial interviews followed by second interviews with what general manager Ryan McDonough termed "a handful" of finalists.

Kokoskov inherits an exceedingly young team that compiled a 21-61 record, worst in the NBA and second-worst in franchise history.

He succeeds interim coach Jay Triano, who took over after Earl Watson was fired three games into the season.

HOCKEY

The NHL is staging more exhibition games in China this fall, hoping to make further inroads in establishing hockey as a sport in the world's most populous nation.

The Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames will face off Sept. 15 in Shenzhen in southeast China and then again Sept. 19 in Beijing in the second incarnation of the China Games.

The Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks played preseason games in Shanghai and Beijing last September, the NHL's first foray there.

China represents an as-yet untapped resource for the NHL, especially ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Commissioner Gary Bettman has so far been noncommittal about the NHL going to the 2022 Games after skipping South Korea this year, but the work is already underway in China, where the NBA has had a presence for decades.

NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL suspended Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson three games for an illegal hit on Pittsburgh's Zach Aston-Reese.

The league announced the suspension less than 24 hours after Wilson broke Aston-Reese's jaw with a violent collision near the Washington bench in the second period of Washington's 4-3 victory over the Penguins in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series.

The league pointed out Wilson's status as a repeat offender as a factor in the length of the suspension it handed out.

Game 4 is Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — Siena hired Jamion Christian to replace Jimmy Patsos as its men's basketball coach.

Christian spent the past six seasons as head coach at his alma mater, Mount St. Mary's. He had a 101-95 record there with NCAA Tournament appearances in 2014 and 2017. Christian previously was an assistant at Virginia Commonwealth, William & Mary, and Emory & Henry, and was director of basketball operations at Bucknell.

He takes over a team that went 8-24 under Patsos last season, the program's third-worst showing since it moved to Division I 42 years ago and its third straight losing season.

AUTO RACING

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Spencer Gallagher was suspended indefinitely from NASCAR for violating its substance-abuse policy, less than a week after winning his first career Xfinity Series race.

The 28-year-old Gallagher agreed to participate in NASCAR's substance-abuse recovery program. Other details were not disclosed.

Gallagher took the lead on the overtime lap Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway to win for the first time in 49 tries in NASCAR's second-tier series. Gallagher is winless in 59 starts in the Truck Series. He has never made a Cup Series start.

OLYMPICS

MOSCOW (AP) — The head of the Russian Olympic Committee is stepping down from his post, three months after athletes from his country were forced to compete at the Pyeongchang Games as neutral athletes.

Alexander Zhukov said he wants to focus on his political career as a deputy speaker of parliament for the ruling United Russia party.

Zhukov has led the ROC since 2010 and spent much of that time battling allegations of widespread doping in Russian sport. His intention to leave paves the way for vice president Stanislav Pozdnyakov to take charge at scheduled elections on May 29. Pozdnyakov is the only confirmed candidate.

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