Sports briefs

Published: Monday, Jan. 3 2011 10:54 p.m. MST

Former Jets employees sue Favre

NEW YORK — Two massage therapists say in a lawsuit that complaining about sexually suggestive text messages from Brett Favre cost them their part-time jobs with the New York Jets.

Christina Scavo and Shannon O'Toole sued the former Minnesota Vikings quarterback, the Jets and a Jets massage coordinator Monday in a Manhattan court. The lawsuit comes days after the NFL fined Favre $50,000 for not being candid in an investigation into allegations that he sent lewd text messages and photos to a Jets game hostess.

Favre's agent didn't immediately return a telephone call. The Jets declined to comment.

The lawsuit says Favre send a third, unidentified massage therapist a 2008 text message asking whether she and Scavo "want to get together" and suggesting he had "bad intentions."

ESPN pulls announcer from Fiesta Bowl

BRISTOL, Conn. — ESPN pulled announcer Ron Franklin from its radio coverage of Saturday's Fiesta Bowl after he reportedly berated a female colleague.

Sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards wrote in an e-mail to USA Today in response to Internet reports that Franklin called her "sweet baby" in a condescending tone Friday. When she objected, he used a derogatory term. Edwards said a colleague reported the incident to ESPN officials.

Franklin said in a statement released by the network: "I said some things I shouldn't have and am sorry. I deserved to be taken off the Fiesta Bowl."

ESPN said in a statement that "adhering to our personal conduct policies and showing respect for colleagues are of the utmost importance to our company."

Mascot stages protest to support rival

LONDON — Soccer clubs have enough trouble keeping their players in line. Now they must contend with disruptive mascots.

An English league match was briefly delayed Monday by a mascot staging a sit-down protest in support of a feathered rival.

Preston's Deepdale Duck caused a flap on Saturday by reportedly trying to put off Derby goalkeeper Stephen Bywater during a League Championship match, which led to him being escorted from the side of the field.

But Captain Blade, Sheffield United's pirate mascot, wasn't prepared to see his rival forced to walk the plank by the second-tier club.

In an act of solidarity, the pirate was shown on television sitting on the field during halftime of Monday's match against Doncaster holding a sign reading "Free the Preston one."

—Deseret News staff and wire reports

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