President Barack Obama sent Russia a clear message about its treatment of gays and lesbians with who he is - and isn't - sending to represent the United States at the Sochi Olympics.
Billie Jean King will be one of two openly gay athletes in the U.S. delegation for the opening and closing ceremonies, Obama announced Tuesday. For the first time since 2000, however, the U.S. will not send a president, former president, first lady or vice president to the Games.
Russia has come under fierce criticism for passing national laws banning ''gay propaganda.'' Though the White House did not specifically address the Russian laws in making its announcement, spokesman Shin Inouye said the delegation ''represents the diversity that is the United States'' and that Obama ''knows they will showcase to the world the best of America - diversity, determination and teamwork.''
COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. (AP) -- Shaun White will only compete in slopestyle at this week's World Cup snowboarding event, choosing to skip the halfpipe contest as he tries to get his ailing left ankle back to 100 percent.
The two-time defending Olympic gold medalist was injured Saturday on the halfpipe at the Dew Tour, where he finished second to Greg Bretz. White then pulled out of Sunday's slopestyle finals.
NEW YORK (AP) - On the first full day of February's Sochi Olympics American television viewers can watch a marquee event live from Russia - in the morning.
In a shift from NBC's coverage of past games outside North America, nearly every figure skating performance will air on cable during the day, with the key moments shown on tape delay on the main network that night as in previous Olympics.
NEW YORK (AP) - Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley, Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton and Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey were selected to The Associated Press All-America team for the second straight season.
They were joined by Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston from Florida State and Heisman finalists Andre Williams from Boston College and Northern Illinois' Jordan Lynch.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Alabama coach Nick Saban says ''there were no talks'' involving him and the Texas job.
Speaking after the third-ranked Crimson Tide had their first practice for the Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl against No. 11 Oklahoma, Saban said that such speculation is ''kind of over.''
He had said Friday night after agreeing to a new contract reportedly worth about $7 million a year that he planned to retire at Alabama.
Mack Brown announced his resignation the following day at Texas.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has been sued by the family of a man he's accused of killing while police investigate the death of another person on the periphery of that case.
The wrongful-death lawsuit was filed Monday in Superior Court in New Bedford, Mass., according to The Herald-News, based in nearby Fall River.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in the June 17 shooting death of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's girlfriend. He is held without bail.
Meanwhile, police are investigating the death of a Connecticut woman with ties to Hernandez.
Tabitha Perry, who lived in Hernandez's hometown, Bristol, was found unconscious and not breathing inside a Southington home. She died Monday.
METAIRIE, La. (AP) - The New Orleans Saints released kicker Garrett Hartley two days after he had one field goal blocked and hooked another wide in a 27-16 loss at St. Louis.
Hartley had been with the Saints since the middle of the 2008 season and made several crucial kicks during the Saints' 2009-10 run to a Super Bowl championship.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - The Denver Broncos bolstered their defensive line by signing defensive end Jeremy Mincey, who was released by Jacksonville after a falling-out with management last week.
CINCINNATI (AP) - Kevin Huber is scheduled for surgery Friday on his broken jaw, a season-ending injury that left the Bengals looking for another punter and holder to help them through their playoff surge.
Huber was hurt during a 30-20 loss in Pittsburgh on Sunday night. Terence Garvin blocked him during Antonio Brown's 67-yard punt return for a touchdown, hitting Huber's chin with the top of his helmet.
NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Yankees were hit with a $28 million luxury tax bill, pushing their total past the $250 million mark since the penalty began in 2003.
According to Major League Baseball calculations sent to teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers were the only other team that exceeded the tax threshold this year and must pay $11.4 million. Boston finished just under for the second straight year, coming in $225,666 shy of the $178 million mark.
TOKYO (AP) - Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka wants to move to Major League Baseball next season but his Japanese team doesn't want to let him go.
MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball's new posting system caps the fee for players at $20 million, less than half what Japanese teams received for pitchers Yu Darvish and Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Tanaka, a 25-year-old right-hander, went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Pacific League during the regular season. He will not become eligible for free agency until after the 2015 season and can move to MLB before then only if the Eagles agree to post him.
BALTIMORE (AP) - Two weeks after trading their closer to Oakland, the Baltimore Orioles agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract with former Athletics closer Grant Balfour, according to a person familiar with the deal.
Balfour's contract will not be completed until the right-hander passes a physical, the person told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because the transaction had not been announced by the Orioles.
NEW YORK (AP) - Making a pair of thrifty deals to fill holes on their roster, the New York Yankees agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract with second baseman Brian Roberts and a $7 million, two-year deal with left-hander Matt Thornton.
The deals are contingent on the players passing physicals, a person familiar with the agreements told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because the contracts were not final.
MIAMI (AP) - LeBron James did not practice with the Miami Heat because of a sprained left ankle, leaving his availability for Wednesday night's matchup against the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers in some doubt.
James was hurt in Monday's win over Utah. He was able to finish that game, but woke up with soreness Tuesday.
James said if the Heat were playing on Tuesday, he would not be in the lineup, ''for sure.'' It's not uncommon for him to heal from sprains quickly, however.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - Bobby Labonte will attempt to qualify for the Daytona 500 for Phoenix Racing.
The 2000 NASCAR champion will be making his attempt in a second entry for the team recently acquired by Harry Scott from long-time owner James Finch. Scott is fielding one full-time car for Justin Allgaier.
NEW YORK (AP) - Goaltender Devon Wills has become the first woman to be selected by a Major League Lacrosse team.
The New York Lizards claimed Wills from the player pool. The move means Wills likely will have a chance to make the team at training camp in April.
Wills is an assistant coach for the women's team at Southern California, was a collegiate star at Dartmouth and helped the United States win gold in the 2009 and 2013 World Cups.
IN THE COURTS
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A Los Angeles man who allegedly made prank calls about job vacancies to coaches in major league sports and universities, then posted them on social media sites, was charged with eavesdropping.
Kenneth Edward Tarr, 32, is charged with a felony for allegedly recording more than a half-dozen calls without consent. He could face a potential three-year sentence if convicted, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office announced.