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Last Update on September 17, 2014 00:47 GMT

NFL-SPONSORS CONCERN

UNDATED (AP) -- The NFL is beginning to hear from its major sponsors amid the league's recent instances of domestic abuse.

Anheuser (AN'-hy-zur)-Busch says it has spoken with the NFL about former Raven Ray Rice's domestic abuse situation and the child abuse charges against Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. McDonald's, Visa and Campbell Soup Co. say they have also voiced similar concerns to the league.

In response, the league issued a statement saying: "We understand. We are taking action and there will be much more to come."

Yearly sponsorship money is worth about $1.07 billion for the league and its teams, according to sponsorship consultancy IEG.

Radisson Hotels have pulled their sponsorship of the Vikings, and Nike (NY'-kee) stores in the Twin Cities area have pulled Peterson merchandise from their shelves.

Meanwhile, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton says Peterson should have remained suspended until an accusation of child abuse was resolved in the Texas legal system. Peterson is accused of causing injury to his 4-year old son by using a wooden switch to spank him.

The governor said in a statement to The Associated Press that Peterson is innocent until proven guilty. But Dayton also called Peterson's actions "a public embarrassment" to the Vikings and the state of Minnesota.

NFL-UNION-RICE APPEAL

NEW YORK (AP) -- The players' union today plans to appeal the indefinite suspension the NFL handed to Ray Rice last week.

NFL Players Association spokesman George Atallah told The Associated Press yesterday "we are expecting to appeal before the deadline on Tuesday night." That deadline is 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Rice originally was suspended two games under the NFL's personal conduct policy for striking his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator. When videotape of that incident was made public and showed Rice punching his now-wife Janay (jah-NAY'), knocking her unconscious, the Baltimore Ravens released the running back. Almost immediately after that, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made Rice's suspension indefinite.

NFL-REDSKINS NAME

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A U.S. senator says she will introduce a bill to eliminate the NFL's tax-exempt status because the league has not taken action over the Washington Redskins name. The announcement by Democrat Maria Cantwell of Washington state was one of several initiatives presented during a Capitol Hill news conference today aimed at increasing pressure on Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

NASCAR-STEWART

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) -- A grand jury will decide whether NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will be charged in the August death of a fellow driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo made the announcement after reviewing evidence collected by sheriff's investigators.

Stewart's car struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. at a dirt-track race in Canandaigua (kan-un-DAY'-gwuh) on Aug. 9.

Stewart issued a statement saying he looks forward to the process being completed and will continue to cooperate.

NBA-HAWKS SALE

ATLANTA (AP) -- Mayor Kasim (kah-SEEM') Reed says he has talked with six potential buyers of the Atlanta Hawks. He expects a sale of the team to move quickly after racially charged comments by owner Bruce Levenson and general manager Danny Ferry.

Reed says whoever buys the team would have majority ownership.

He says NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is lining up an investment bank to look into the finances of any potential buyer.

MLB-YANKEES

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- New York Yankees infielder-outfielder Martin Prado (mar-TEEN' PRAH'-doh) has had an appendectomy and will miss the rest of the season. The team says Prado had the surgery Tuesday and has been placed on the 60-day disabled list.

Prado has been a solid performer for the Yankees, posting a .316 batting average with seven homers and 16 RBIs in 37 games since being obtained from Arizona on July 31.

Masahiro Tanaka (mah-sah-HEE'-roh tah-NAH'-kah) is likely to rejoin the Yankees' rotation Sunday against Toronto and will have a pitch limit of 70 to 75. He has been sidelined since July 9 because of a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

If Tanaka doesn't have any setbacks, he would get a second outing during the Yankees' season-ending series at Boston.

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