RONALDO IS TOPS FOR FOURTH TIME
Capping what he called the best year of his career, Cristiano Ronaldo won his fourth FIFA best player award Monday. The double European champion with Portugal and Real Madrid beat rival Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann to complete a sweep of top individual awards. "It was a year that was magnificent at a personal level and at a sporting level," Ronaldo, 31, said in Portuguese in his acceptance speech, which he began by exclaiming, "Wow, wow, wow."
Carli Lloyd of the United States won her second best women's player award, even if Olympic gold eluded her last year.
NASL: Bill Peterson is out as president of the troubled league, which is cutting from 12 teams to eight. Rishi Sehgal, the league's director of business development and legal affairs, was named interim commissioner.
NWSL: The Western New York Flash have been sold to a group that will move the team to Cary, N.C., for this season. North Carolina FC acquired the rights to the defending league champ, which will be renamed the North Carolina Courage.
UFC head: Streep an 'uppity' lady
UFC president Dana White took exception to actor Meryl Streep's dig at mixed martial arts during a Golden Globes acceptance speech Sunday in which she tried to make a point about diversity in artistic expression.
"Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners," Streep said. "If we kick them all out, you'll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts."
Responded White: "It's not going to be everybody's thing. And the last thing in the world I expect is an uppity, 80-year old lady to be in our demographic and love mixed martial arts."
Streep is 67.
"Of course it's an art," he added. "These fighters, these men and women … train their whole lives to be the best in the world. To say something stupid like that is like saying, 'She's not a talented actress,' which she is. She's a very talented actress."
BASEBALL: Former Rays pitching coach and major-league pitcher Jackie Brown died Sunday after a long illness in his native Holdenville, Okla. He was 73. Mr. Brown was Tampa Bay's pitching coach in 2002. … Former major-leaguer Manny Ramirez, 44, agreed to terms with the Kochi Fighting Dogs of Japan's independent Shikoku Island League. … Nationals RHP and NL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer injured a finger on his pitching hand and will miss the World Baseball Classic.
FIGURE SKATING: Defending U.S. champion Adam Rippon has a broken left foot that will sideline him up to three months.
TRACK: Russian runner Maxim Dyldin was banned for four years for failing to give a doping sample.