Venus and Serena Williams have found a new sport: pro football.
The tennis-playing sisters will become the latest celebrities to own a stake in the Miami Dolphins, a person familiar with the deal said Wednesday. The person didn’t want to be identified because the team has not made the announcement.
Another person close to the negotiations said an agreement was near but not yet final. That person also didn’t want to be identified because the announcement has not been made.
The Williamses live in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., about an hour’s drive from the Dolphins’ stadium. Their new role will be significant in part because the NFL has no African-American majority team owner.
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Musicians Gloria and Emilio Estefan and Marc Anthony recently bought small shares of the team.
New Dolphins owner Stephen Ross also forged a partnership with singer Jimmy Buffett.
The Dolphins have said the involvement of the celebrities reflects the diversity of South Florida and shows that the franchise is connected with the community.
A Dolphins spokesman said the team had no comment regarding next week’s announcement.
The Williams sisters have combined to win 18 Grand Slam titles, and they staged their latest sibling showdown last month at Wimbledon, where Serena beat Venus in the final.
Serena has won 11 major titles and Venus seven.
Brink re-signs with Texans
Quarterback Alex Brink, Washington State’s all-time leading passer, has been re-signed by the Houston Texans.
Brink, Houston’s seventh-round draft pick last year, spent the entire 2008 season with the Texans but did not appear in any games.
Brink was released in June after Houston signed veteran quarterback Rex Grossman. The Texans re-signed Brink after Grossman suffered a pulled hamstring Saturday in an exhibition game.
Burress arraigned today
Plaxico Burress will be arraigned this morning on felony gun possession charges in New York Criminal Court.
Burress, who was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on Aug. 3 after testifying before the panel the previous week, still hopes to return to the NFL, although few teams have shown interest because of the uncertain future Burress faces.
A trial date will be set today for the former Giants receiver, who accidentally shot himself in the thigh with his own gun on Nov. 28 at a Manhattan club.
He went before the grand jury in hopes of avoiding an indictment, but now his testimony is on the record and may force Burress to accept a plea deal before trial if he wants to avoid serious jail time.
He faces a minimum of 31/2 years in prison if convicted.
Bernard ready to go
Defensive tackle Rocky Bernard passed his physical and was taken off the non-football injury list by the New York Giants.
Bernard, a former Seattle Seahawk who signed a four-year, $16 million contract as a free agent in the offseason, hurt his hamstring while working out on his own after the Giants’ minicamp.
Because the injury happened away from team supervision, the Giants placed him on the non-football injury list instead of the physically unable to perform list. Had Bernard not been able to play, the team would not have to pay him.
Ronald DuBuque, an 11-year assistant trainer for the St. Louis Rams, has reached a $134,000 settlement of a lawsuit that claimed the team discriminated against him because of his seizure disorder. The team was ordered to pay DuBuque, who has trauma-induced epilepsy, $100,000 in damages and award him a $34,000, two-year contract to work as a rehabilitation specialist. … The NFL and NBC are extending their contract for “Sunday Night Football” by two years. The league’s teams approved the extension at an owners meeting Wednesday in Chicago. The original six-year deal will now run through 2013. … Veteran cornerback Eric Green has been released by the Miami Dolphins, leaving rookies Sean Smith and Vontae Davis to contend for a starting job.