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In Brief: NBA Owners Meet to Discuss Sterling’s Removal

New York — NBA owners discussed Donald Sterling’s CNN interview and the plans to terminate his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday in the third meeting of the advisory/finance committee.

A day after Commissioner Adam Silver repeated his desire to force Sterling to sell quickly, the committee met via conference call. League spokesman Mike Bass said owners reviewed the status of the charge for termination of the Clippers’ ownership.

Silver or an owner has to formally charge Sterling in writing with violating Article 13 of the NBA’s constitution. A hearing would then be held and require a three-fourths vote of the board of governors to force Sterling to sell the team he has owned since 1981.

Sterling criticized Magic Johnson in the interview that aired Monday, his first public comments since Silver banned him for life and fined him $2.5 million for making racist comments. Silver apologized to Johnson in a statement, adding that owners were working “as expeditiously as possible” on the process for removal.

Bass said the committee also discussed the media appearance of Shelly Sterling, who said she wants to keep her share of the franchise even if her estranged husband is forced to give up his. The NBA has said that wouldn’t be possible.

 Magic Johnson said L Sterling is “living in the stone ages” in his attitudes about minorities.

In an interview Tuesday with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Johnson said he was shocked such a prominent man would have such ignorant views on HIV and AIDS.

Sterling made his first public comments Monday since racist recordings emerged last month and earned him a lifetime NBA ban. In an interview with Cooper, he repeatedly brought up the ex-NBA star’s HIV and called him an unfit role model for children.

Johnson told Cooper he didn’t know how he got stuck in the middle of a personal dispute between Sterling and V. Stiviano. She recorded the comments with Sterling, and her photo of herself and Johnson on Instagram helped spur Sterling’s racist remarks.

Soccer

Premier League Scores on NBC

New York — NBC said 4.9 million viewers tuned in to watch U.S. English-language coverage Sunday of the 10 matches on the final day of the English Premier League season.

The total was up 172 percent from the previous high of 1.8 million for coverage on the last day of the 2011-12 season on ESPN2 and nine Fox networks. NBC said Tuesday the figures include anyone who watched at least 6 minutes.

The combined average viewership of the games on 10 NBCUniversal networks was 1.8 million, up 107 percent from 869,000 on the final day in 2011-12.

In data released Tuesday, NBC said 31.5 million viewers saw Premier League coverage on its networks this season, up from 13.3 million last year, when U.S. rights were shared by Fox and ESPN.

NBC and NBCSN averaged 438,000 viewers, up 99 percent from last season’s combined average of 220,000 on ESPN, ESPN2 and Fox Soccer.

Tennis

Djokovic Wins in Return

Rome — Novak Djokovic marked his return from a right wrist injury by beating Czech veteran Radek Stepanek 6-3, 7-5 in the second round of the Italian Open on Tuesday, while Italian hope Andreas Seppi complained about a decisive time violation in a loss to Tommy Haas.

With both new coach Boris Becker and long-time adviser Marian Vajda on hand, Djokovic showed no signs of pain after withdrawing from last week’s Madrid Open.

Also advancing was Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka, who routed Spanish qualifier Pere Riba 6-0, 6-3.

In first-round action, the 15th-seeded Haas overcame Seppi 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

Baseball

Phils Manager Left With Bad Taste

Philadelphia — Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said a Shake Shack hamburger at Citi Field gave him food poisoning during Philadelphia’s weekend series at the New York Mets.

Sandberg said he lost six pounds in two days because he became sick after eating the burger. Mets first baseman Lucas Duda also said a burger from the same place made him ill.

“A couple of coaches took a bite and didn’t like what they saw and threw the rest away,” Sandberg told reporters before Tuesday’s game. “I was in a rush, so I ended up putting it away. I had one piece of toast in two days, and I’m feeling fine about that. I don’t want anything in my stomach.”

Misc.

Effort Made To Save Astrodome

Houston — Efforts to protect the Houston Astrodome from demolition have taken a new turn, with a Texas agency looking at designating it as a “state antiquities landmark.”

After voters last year failed to approve a referendum that would have authorized up to $217 million in bonds to turn it into a giant convention and event center, the Astrodome seemed likely headed for the scrap heap. The stadium has been closed since 2009 and various ideas over the years to refurbish it — from water park to sports memorabilia museum — have gained little traction.

But efforts to save the so-called Eighth Wonder of the World gained momentum after an advisory committee of the Texas Historical Commission voted late last month to recommend that the Astrodome get the antiquities designation. The commission is expected to make a final decision during its meeting on July 30-31.

If the Astrodome is designated a state antiquities landmark, any proposals to alter or demolish it would have to be approved by the commission, making it more difficult to tear it down.