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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

San Francisco 49ers officials promised Chinese-American leaders Tuesday in San Francisco they would overhaul the team’s diversity policies to address anger over offensive training videos, including one that featured racial slurs about the Chinese community.

At a packed meeting in a Chinatown community hall, 49ers owner John York apologized on behalf of the team and vowed to strengthen the franchise’s ties to the Asian-American community.

“The 49ers want to apologize directly to you for this very offensive, tasteless and stupid training video,” York said. “We are here to listen to you and to incorporate your ideas to make sure this never happens again.”

The 49ers’ public relations director, Kirk Reynolds, produced at least two in-house videos to coach players on fielding media questions.

Reynolds, who resigned days after the tape became public June 1, said he felt the video was appropriate for the locker room, but not the general public.

Impersonating San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Reynolds opens the video sitting behind the mayor’s desk, then goes to Chinatown, where a 49ers team consultant wearing thick glasses and fake buck teeth translates a Chinese-language newspaper in broken English.

The release of the tape prompted intense criticism from Newsom and leaders of some of the minority communities mocked in the videos.

Team officials had already met previously with leaders of the gay and Asian communities and more meetings are expected in the coming weeks.

Pro football

Winslow has knee surgery

Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. had successful surgery at the Cleveland Clinic to repair the knee ligament he tore in a motorcycle accident.

Winslow, who will miss the 2005 season, also disclosed for the first time that in addition to the knee injury, he lacerated his liver and kidney, bruised his right shoulder and cracked a bone in his upper right leg in the crash.

“Red McCombs is no longer in charge of the Minnesota Vikings, but he still feels like they’re his team.

After signing off in Eden Prairie, Minn., on his $600 million sale of the franchise to a group headed by New Jersey real estate developer Zygi Wilf, McCombs gushed about his seven-year stint as the team’s owner.

“To me, this year – this will be my team, regardless of the fact that we’re totally out of ownership,” he said. “It’s obvious that we were involved in putting this team together.”

“Craig Krenzel was waived by Chicago, seven months after becoming the first Bears quarterback in nearly 40 years to start his career with three straight victories.

College football

Sexton mishap latest in FSU woes

Florida State quarterback Wyatt Sexton, wearing only a pair of shorts and acting delusional in the middle of a Tallahassee, Fla., residential street Monday afternoon, remained hospitalized after being forcibly restrained by police.

Sexton, 20, whose threatening behavior required police to subdue him with pepper spray, continued claiming he was the “Son of God” as he was being transported to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. While no alcohol use was detected, police suspect Sexton was in a drug-induced state.

Police said Sexton, who started seven games last season, will not be charged with a crime.

Sexton, the son of veteran FSU running backs coach Billy Sexton, was expected to begin preseason practice as the Seminoles’ No. 1 quarterback.

“The Bowl Championship Series has a plan for a new college football poll, and hired a company to find voters.

The new poll, which would be added to the BCS weekly rankings, would consist of former players, coaches, administrators and members of the media, the BCS said in a statement from New York.

“Cam Hall, a Boise State football player who faces four felony counts in a traffic accident that killed a family of three in May, will not be on the field this fall.

Hall, a 22-year-old senior strong safety from Kennewick, said he’ll continue classes and will turn out for practice, but he’s withdrawing from competition on the team.

“Florida A&M fired football coach Billy Joe and two assistants in Tallahassee, Fla. The school cited NCAA rules violations in recruiting and eligibility as reasons the coaches were dismissed.


United States U-20 ties Germany

The United States under-20 boys soccer team and Germany tied 0-0 at the World Youth Championship at Enschede, Netherlands.

The United States, which has yet to concede a goal in the tournament, plays Egypt in its last group match Saturday.

Auto racing

Jury hears from insurance agent

A day after a judge ruled in favor of the late Dale Earnhardt’s car owner in a trial pitting the racing team against an insurance company, the jury heard from the insurance agent who sold the $3.7 million policy in Lexington, N.C.

Insurance agent Knox Hillman testified he was contacted by Bill Patterson, executive vice president of Richard Childress Racing, about obtaining more coverage on the driver.

Richard Childress Racing, Earnhardt’s employer, was required to carry $7.2 million in insurance to cover the driver’s base salary, according to a portion of Earnhardt’s racing contract.

RCR claims insurer United of Omaha cheated widow Teresa Earnhardt out of $3.7 million after Earnhardt’s death in a last-lap crash in the 2001 Daytona 500.

United of Omaha claims the policy wasn’t valid because Earnhardt had not taken a required physical.