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Tyler Lauletta Oct-15-2017 282 0
Colin Kaepernick has filed a grievance against NFL owners for collusion. His attorney confirmed the report on Sunday.

According to Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman, Kaepernick is filing the grievance under the players' collective bargaining agreement, and has hired attorney Mark Geragos for the case, who has represented numerous high-profile clients.

Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers at the end of last season and planned to find a role with another NFL team. But through six weeks of the regular season, he has still yet to receive an offer, despite a proven history of winning caliber play and a fairly solid statistical season last year, when he threw for 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

A recent report said Kaepernick has been working out daily in hopes of getting another shot in the NFL.

The lack of offers looks even more egregious because numerous teams have been in desperate need of a functioning quarterback. E.J. Manuel, Scott Tolzien, and Matt Cassel have all started games this season, and Brandon Weeden just signed a deal with the Tennessee Titans.

Kaepernick made headlines last season when he became the first player in the NFL to begin kneeling during the national anthem to protest systemic racism and police brutality. Since then, more players have participated in protests of a similar nature that have become the focus of national attention after the president suggested that players that kneel during the anthem be fired.
Landon Haa Oct-13-2017 83 0
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans has vacated a Texas judge’s injunction in the Ezekiel Elliott case, meaning the Cowboys running back’s suspension is set to take effect immediately.

Elliott’s camp, however, is likely to file another temporary restraining order in a New York court to once again fight the six-game span that stems from domestic violence allegations made against him in Ohio last year.

Thursday's ruling came down ahead of the Cowboys' bye week, giving him ample time to restart the legal fight. Dallas next plays Oct. 22 in San Francisco.

An NFL spokesperson, however, told WFAA that Elliott's suspension begins immediately and that the second-year running back isn't allowed at the Cowboys' facility.

If Elliott isn't granted another injunction that keeps him on the field, he won't be eligible to play until the Cowboys' Nov. 30 game against Washington.

Elliott's lawyer, Frank Salzano, sent the following statement to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport:

“We are currently exploring all of our legal options and will make a decision as to what is the best course of action in the next few days. Until that time we have no further comment on the 5th circuit’s decision.”

The NFL Management Council on Thursday sent a letter to the New York district court, stating its intent to file a motion to confirm the six-game suspension.

Last month, the league requested an emergency stay of a judge’s injunction that allowed Elliott to play indefinitely, saying the court didn’t have subject matter jurisdiction to make the decision.

The appeals court ruled that Elliott and the NFLPA had not exhausted all available options when it asked for the preliminary injunction in a Texas court before the league ruled on Elliott's suspension.

Two weeks ago, the NFL sought to throw out Elliott’s entire lawsuit to restore the six-game suspension.

A three-judge panel heard arguments on the case on Oct. 2. No decision was made, but both sides had agreed to an expedited decision.

Elliott was not present at that hearing.

The six-game suspension was handed down in August after a 13-month investigation into an alleged string of domestic violence incidents in Columbus, Ohio the week of Elliott's 21st birthday.
K.Reminick Oct-12-2017 61 0
?It has been a long fall from grace for Tracy Porter.

He will forever be enshrined in the Saints history with his memorable pick-six in the Super Bowl off Peyton Manning sealing the win for New Orleans.

Many thought Porter would become a star player but he never quite reached his full potential. He went on to play for Broncos, Raiders, Redskins and Bears throughout his career.

Nowadays, Porter is finding himself in the news for the wrong reasons:

??It's not a good look for the for former Super Bowl champ. According to the report, Tracy was arrested for an incident that happened on Oct. 5.

It was said that a women whom he had been familiar with went to get her keys from him which turned into a verbal argument. The victim alleges that Porter grabbed her by the arm and the throat during the spat.

In addition to the battery charges, police also booked him for the possession of marijuana and the distribution of schedule II drugs.
Nick Birdsong Sep-30-2017 127 0
One NBA MVP candidate will be playing with a heavy heart this season.

Two days before the Bucks preseason opener, the team announced superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo's father Charles died Friday at the age of 54.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Charles, a native Nigerian and former professional soccer player who later moved his family to Greece, suffered a heart attack in his Wisconsin home. He also leaves behind wife Veronica and former Knick Thanasis, Dayton freshman Kostas and a budding high school prospect among his five children. Giannis is coming off his finest season as a pro, having averaged 22.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists to lead the Bucks to the playoffs while being named the league's Most Improved Player.

The Bucks kickoff their 2017-18 preseason slate Monday in Dallas. The team released the following statement after learning of Charles' death:

The Bucks family is heartbroken about the sudden death of Giannis' father, Charles. The entire organization, his teammates and coaches are here to support Giannis and his family during this incredibly difficult time. Charles was a big part of the Bucks and will be terribly missed by us all. On behalf of ownership, we express our utmost condolences and offer our prayers to Giannis and his family.
AP Sep-30-2017 146 0
Police acted appropriately and professionally detaining Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett when he ran from a casino as officers searched for an active shooter following a report of gunfire at an after-hours club on the Las Vegas Strip, the head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said Friday.

A review of hundreds of videos, including police body-worn cameras, found no evidence that the three officers who had direct contact with the NFL star early Aug. 27 profiled Bennett by race or used excessive force, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said.

"Mr. Bennett has a valid perspective as a person who experienced a reasonable-suspicion stop for a felony crime," Lombardo told reporters. "Those who experience such a stop, especially when they have not committed a crime, are not likely to feel good about it."

Bennett committed no crime, the sheriff said. But he was detained at gunpoint, handcuffed and seated for about 10 minutes in the back of a patrol car until police searching the crowded casino just hours after an Aug. 26 boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor concluded that what people thought was gunfire was actually the sharp sound of velvet rope stands knocked to a tile floor during a scuffle.

But Lombardo said there was nothing to support Bennett's allegation, made in a Twitter post more than a week later, that an officer put a gun to Bennett's head and threatened to blow his head off.

"From the evidence we have at this point, we don't know (the officer) said that," the sheriff said.

Bennett's post, titled "Dear World," said, "Las Vegas police officers singled me out and pointed their guns at me for doing nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Bennett announced in early August that he would sit during the national anthem this season to protest social injustice and was one the first NFL players to protest this year. He made the decision before protests by white supremacists at the University of Virginia. But Bennett said his decision was solidified by what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia, including the death of a young woman who was struck by a car deliberately driven into a group of counter-protesters.

Bennett has remained one of the most outspoken pro athletes on numerous social issues. Last month, he held a benefit for the family of a pregnant black woman who was fatally shot by two white Seattle police officers in June. Police said the woman threatened the officers with at least one knife after calling 911 to report that someone had broken into her apartment and stolen video-game consoles

Bennett's attorney, John Burris in Oakland, California, said he wants to review videos more closely. But he said he believed the clips shown verified Bennett's accounts.

"He was not acting improperly," Burris told The Associated Press. "He was not acting suspicious. He was not involved in any criminal activity."

"There's nothing to go on, no description, other than you see this big black man running," the attorney added. "He was running like everyone else, trying to get away."

Burris said the officer's gun was near Bennett's while he was being handcuffed, and he said he heard profanity in audio recordings captured on body-camera video. Burris said he heard no reference to race.

"There's a dispute over whether he threatened to blow his head off," the attorney said. "But there's no question that the officer said, 'Keep your hands up and keep them where I can see them.' "

Lombardo used a stop-motion narrative of casino surveillance video showing Bennett appear to dart behind a row of slot machines, and then body camera video from a sergeant joining the chase when officers noticed him running.

Neither Lombardo nor the executive of the 3,000-member Las Vegas police officers' union, who attended the media briefing, identified the officers involved in the incident.

Union official Steve Grammas said he believed Bennett owes them an apology.

The officer who chased Bennett and handcuffed him didn't have his body camera on at the time, Lombardo said, and might face departmental discipline.

Otherwise, "I believe they acted appropriately and professionally," the sheriff said of the officers.
TERESA M. WALKER, Sep-29-2017 112 0
Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker says he and his family have received death threats since he told fans not to come to games if they felt disrespected by NFL players' protests.

The Pro Bowl tight end shared the "heartbreaking" threats Thursday night in a social media post.

"The racist and violent words directed at me and my son only serve as another reminder that our country remains divided and full of hateful rhetoric," Walker wrote. "These words of hate will only fuel me in my efforts to continue my work reaching out to different community groups, listening to opposing voices, and honoring the men and women in the Armed Forces who risk their lives every day so that we may have this dialogue."

Walker and the Tennessee Titans joined the Seattle Seahawks in staying inside their locker rooms during the national anthem last weekend, and Walker walked out arm in arm with quarterback Marcus Mariota. On Monday, Walker tried to make clear he supports the military in a protest that is seeking equal rights.

"And the fans that don't want to come to the games, OK, bye," Walker said Monday. "I mean if you feel that's something where we're disrespecting you, don't come to the games. You don't have to. No one is telling you to come to the game. It's your freedom and your choice to do that."

The Titans had no comment Thursday night.

Walker took part this spring in the NFL's USO Tour of the Middle East. He said in his statement he gained an even greater appreciation for the men and women who defend American values. He said he used strong words in defending the Titans' right to make their own choices.

He wrote that it's his choice to try to spark conversation for positive change and fans' choice to attend Titans' games, a U.S. freedom so envied around the world.

"I am proud to represent the many faces of Titans fans and believe that only through a more respectful discourse can we achieves the goals of unity, peace and racial equality that I know we all strive for," Walker said.

Walker isn't the only NFL player dealing with a backlash from protesting.

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Akeem Spence shared on Twitter earlier Thursday that his father, a contractor, was denied a job on a house due to his protest. He was among the Lions who took a knee before their game against Atlanta.

AP Sep-28-2017 155 0
Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall says he appreciates NFL teams supporting the rights of their players to protest during the national anthem. He also suggests they show it by giving Colin Kaepernick a job.

"The dude, he's in shape, he's yoked, actually," said Marshall, who saw his ex-college teammate on a TMZ video recently. "He's so strong. He's ready to go. He told me he's been working out when I last talked to him. He said he's just waiting for a call. That's the next step."

Marshall is among many players who believe Kaepernick is being blackballed by NFL teams over the movement he started last year when he declined to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner" during the 2016 preseason to bring attention to racial inequality in America.

Kaepernick remains unsigned six months after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers and becoming a free agent.

"There's a lot of (poor) quarterback play around the league," Marshall said. "I'm not saying the Bears should sign him, but you know the player Mike Glennon is. You can't tell me he's better than Colin Kaepernick, and he's a starter right now."

Marshall, who attended the University of Nevada with Kaepernick, was one of the first NFL players to join Kaepernick in the national anthem protests last season. At times, Marshall was joined by a teammate or two, but for the most part he spent half the season as the sole protester on the Denver sideline.

He lost endorsements and fans over the protests. but also received kudos from general manager John Elway — who's no fan of the kneel-downs — for backing up his actions with charity and community work.

Marshall ended his protests last year after Denver police agreed to change their use-of-force policy.

Marshall didn't plan on kneeling this season, but he began reconsidering following the president's response to the racially charged conflicts in Charlottesville, Virginia.

He stood apart from his teammates during the first two weeks of the season but didn't take a knee until Sunday.

Marshall was among 200-plus players across the league who knelt, sat, stretched or prayer during the "Star Spangled Banner" in response to the president's call for team owners to fire players who disrespect flag and country by refusing to stand for the anthem.

He was one of 32 Broncos who took a knee in Buffalo.

"Last year I did it all by myself for eight games, but it's a lot different to have your brothers backing you," Marshall said. "I think whenever we decide to come together and do something, there's strength in numbers, they say, right? So, I definitely think that makes us stronger."

Yet, coach Vance Joseph is concerned this divisive issue in society could also bisect his locker room. So he's planning to address the issue with his players this week as they prepare for a game against the Oakland Raiders to "figure out what's best for our football team to keep us together."

The Dallas Cowboys took a knee together before the national anthem Monday night in Arizona and then stood arm-in-arm during "The Star-Spangled Banner." But Marshall said that's no blueprint for the Broncos.

"Everybody's not going to kneel," Marshall said, noting Derek Wolfe's comments about always standing for the flag.

Not everyone will stand, either, Marshall suggested.

"In my opinion, that means nothing if we all stand and lock arms," Marshall said. "I mean, I understand that's showing unity. But I just don't see the point in it."
Joe Rodgers Sep-27-2017 89 0
After warning Colin Kaepernick to keep quiet about social activism earlier this year, ?former Ravens great Ray Lewis knelt during the playing of the national anthem Sunday with current members of the team.

Lewis said Tuesday his decision to kneel on both knees was to "simply honor God in the midst of chaos." He was criticized for the anthem demonstration by both Kaepernick supporters and those who believe Lewis and the Ravens were disrespecting the flag.

The latter launched a petition Sunday to remove Lewis' statue from M&T Bank Stadium, saying on Change.org that kneeling during the anthem is "disrespectful, regardless of what you are protesting."

The petition addressed to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti has received more than 25,000 signatures as of Tuesday night.

“I took two knees because I have a first amendment right just like everybody else. And when I came out of that locker room, I had choice to make,” Lewis told 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore.

“And look at my fellow players and I looked at these young guys. I’m not in the protesting business, I’m not into this, whatever (Donald) Trump wanna say. I’m not into that mess, but if these young boys doing what they doing, then I got to meet them where they are.”

President Trump created quite a stir in the NFL by calling any player who kneels during the national anthem a "son of a b----" and calling for owners to "fire" those players.

NFL teams responded with a massive display of solidarity Sunday and Monday as players, coaches and owners all locked arms during the anthem to relay a message to Trump that they will not be divided.

“I’m not in the league anymore, so the Trump comments don’t bother me, but they’re so out of order,” said Lewis, a 13-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl MVP who played his entire career with the Ravens.

“You’re just talking about kids, you’re talking about the kids who got mothers, mothers who sacrificed everything and families who sacrificed everything, and now you don’t give us no platform to say nothing on — it just baffles me that he would come out and say something like that.”
AP Sep-26-2017 58 0
Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks was arrested after an officer saw a stolen gun in his car when he was pulled over for speeding, the California Highway Patrol said Tuesday.

Westbrooks was arrested Friday on suspicion of possessing a loaded firearm, possessing a stolen firearm and possessing a high-capacity magazine, said Sgt. Chris Carr.

Westbrooks was stopped for speeding along Interstate 5 near Bakersfield on Friday and an officer spotted a gun in the glove box as Westbrooks was looking for his car's registration document, Carr said.

The gun, which had been reported stolen in Sacramento in 2009, was loaded with a high-capacity clip that held 13 rounds, Carr said.

It wasn't immediately clear if Westbrooks had an attorney who could comment on the allegations and the team declined to comment Tuesday.

Westbrooks is a starting defensive end who received a one-year extension through 2018 earlier this month, as he had been valuable during the prolonged holdout of All-Pro lineman Aaron Donald.

He has one sack and five tackles in three games. He's in his fourth season.
JAKE BECKER Sep-26-2017 111 0
A reunion between Dwyane Wade and LeBron James is happening.

Wade, who was bought out by the Bulls this week after one season in Chicago, reached a one-year, $2.3 million deal with the Cavaliers on Tuesday afternoon, according to The Vertical.

The 12-time All-Star, who was an unrestricted free agent, was eligible to sign a veteran's minimum contract.

He had been rumored to rejoin the Heat in Miami, where he began his career in 2003 and co-starred with James from 2010-14. The longtime friends won two titles and appeared in four NBA Finals with the Heat.

But the 35-year-old reportedly prefers to reunite with James and join a contender while Cavs guard Isaiah Thomas remains out with an injury until at least January, according to the team.

The Spurs and Thunder had also emerged as options for the three-time NBA champion.

Wade, who signed a two-year, $47 million deal with the Bulls in 2016, returned approximately $8 million of his 2017-18 salary as part of the buyout agreement.

The shooting guard averaged 18 points for the Bulls last season, a year reportedly marred by issues inside the Chicago locker room.

Wade would add depth to a Cavs roster that already features ex-Knick Derrick Rose at guard.

Larry Brown Sep-23-2017 61 0
Ricky Williams spent the night in jail on Tuesday evening after being pulled over in a traffic stop in Austin, Texas.

KXAN in Austin reports the news on the former Heisman Trophy winner, who was stopped for not having a rear license plate. During the stop, the police officer learned Williams had two outstanding traffic warrants, so he was taken to jail.

KXAN says Williams spent the night in jail and was released Wednesday afternoon after paying a fine.

Williams was involved in an incident in January when police were called following a report of a suspicious person nearby a hotel in Tyler, Texas. The former Longhorns running back was in town for the Earl Campbell Award ceremony and was not arrested because he had not done anything wrong.

Williams played in the NFL for 11 seasons and was the league’s leading rusher in 2002.
Sep-23-2017 124 0
LeBron James is now involved in the very fresh Donald Trump - Stephen Curry beef. James echoed the thoughts of many saying that if Curry had already decided not to go, Trump can't take back an invitation that hadn't even technically been extended yet. He also called the president a "bum" and said "going to the White House was a great honor until you showed up!" Read those words again in the actual tweet.


ANDY CLAYTON Sep-23-2017 475 0
NFL and players’ union may have finally found some common ground. Donald Trump.

Both organizations released statements Saturday morning after Trump took aim at the league in an anti-NFL rant as part of a rambling speech during a campaign-style rally in Alabama Friday night.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say, ‘Get that son of a b---- off the field right now," Trump said. "Out, you’re fired!’”

"Total disrespect of our heritage, a total dispespect of everything that we stand for," the commander-in-chief added about the peaceful protest movement started last season by Colin Kaepernick.

DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Playes Association, echoed many of his outraged players when he released a statement early Saturday morning via Twitter.

"We will never back down," Smith titled his statement. "We no longer can afford to stick to sports."

Smith also took a swipe at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for not standing up more for players' "constitutional rights."

"Whether or not Roger and the owners will speak for themselves about their views on player rights and their commitment to player safety remains to be seen. This union, however, will never back down when it comes to protecting the constitutional rights of our players as citizens as well as their safety as men who compete in a game that exposes them to great risks."

Goodell answered back a few hours later with his own statement:

"The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture," the commmish wrote.

"There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we've experienced over the last month.

"Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities."

"The behavior of the President is unacceptable and needs to be addressed," Seahawks star Richard Sherman tweeted. "If you do not Condemn this divisive Rhetoric you are Condoning it!!"

Former NFL star Reggie Bush took to social media Friday night to urge his followers to "not allow this clown to divide us."

"Let's fight this ignorance show up together as one nation and persevere! #Kaepernick we riding with you bro."

Kaepernick began taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem last season while with the 49ers to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Malcolm Jenkins, Michael Bennett and others have continued Kaepernick's movement.

Eagles defensive end Chris Long, who has been a key ally to the NFL's anthem protestors, also took to Twitter to respond to Trump.

"Player- Let's promote equality, help our communities.

Mad Guy- All talk.

Player- Actually I do/have done X

Mad Guy- U just want attention!"



The Score Sep-15-2017 73 0
Floyd Mayweather came to the defense of President Donald Trump, arguing that the crude comments he made about women during a conversation with Billy Bush is a candid reflection of how men speak privately.

Trump's remarks were revealed on a tape obtained by Access Hollywood in October 2016 during the presidential election, where the then-Republican nominee tacitly described acts of sexual assault. Trump apologized and some withdrew their endorsement of him as a candidate, but he emerged victorious in the election.

Mayweather, who has faced battery and harassment charges for acts of violence against women, including his former girlfriend, seemed to revel in Trump's apparent candor.

"People don’t like the truth," Mayweather said in an interview to be released this week with Hollywood Unlocked. "He speak like a real man spoke. Real men speak like, 'Man, she had a fat a--. You see her a--? I had to squeeze her a--. I had to grab that fat a--.' Right? So he talking locker room talk. Locker room talk. 'I’m the man, you know what I’m saying? You know who I am. Yeah, I grabbed her by the p----. And?'"

"I feel people shy away from realness. This man didn’t do nothing. Listen, if y’all didn’t want the man in the White House, y’all should have voted the other way. It ain’t like he went and robbed - he done his homework. He did what he had to do and he got there."

Mayweather previously called Trump a friend after the businessman won the presidential election. Trump attended Mayweather's fight against Manny Pacquiao in May 2015.
larry brown Sep-11-2017 79 0
Kevin Sumlin and his family intend to take legal action against the sender of the threatening letter they received last week, his wife said on Twitter Sunday.

Last week, Sumlin’s Texas A&M Aggies blew a 44-10 lead at UCLA in their season opener and lost 45-44. Days later, Sumlin’s wife Charlene posted on Twitter a photo of a letter she says their family received at their home. The letter contained a racist word and threat.

Three days after posting the photo of the letter, Charlene shared a follow-up on Twitter. In her note, which Charlene appears to have originally posted on Facebook, Mrs. Sumlin says part of her mission to posting the letter online was to receive help in trying to track down the sender. She said they contacted local police, but they hit a “dead end,” leading her to post on Twitter. The result was people providing help in how they could track down the sender. She says they want to press charges against the sender to make an example of them.

On the field, Sumlin’s Aggies faced a tougher than expected game and beat Nicholls State 24-14 on Saturday. After the game, the coach commented on the letter, saying the open-ended threat crossed the line.

“The racial (aspect) is one part of it, but the open-ended threat at the end, (sent) to my house … I’ve got to draw the line there,” Sumlin said, via the Houston Chronicle. “(Charlene) didn’t like it, she didn’t feel safe about it, my kids didn’t feel safe about it. Beyond that, I want to thank the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office for what they’re doing right now, and I want to thank all the people who sent me notes and text messages and calls and things like that. That’s important, too.

“When you cross a line like that with people who have nothing to do with decisions that are made when it comes to my job, that’s not OK.”

The Sumlins have received the support of many since publicizing the letter, including from Texas A&M’s president.
Sep-09-2017 119 0
Sloane Stephens defeated Madison Keys 6-3, 6-0 in U.S. Open final for her first Grand Slam title.

Stephens broke No. 15 Madison Keys' serve twice and won the set 6-3. Keys hadn't lost her serve in either of her two previous matches.

The unseeded Stephens used her strong defensive skills to keep rallies alive, and Keys lost too many of them while making 17 unforced errors. Stephens committed just two.

This was the first all-American U.S. Open final in 15 years.

Stephens outlasted Venus Williams in her semifinal match on Thursday, while Keys routed a fourth American, CoCo Vandeweghe.

Stephens joined Kim Clijsters (2009) as the only unseeded U.S. Open women's champions in the Open era, which dates to 1968.
AP Sep-06-2017 74 0
Seattle Seahawks player Michael Bennett accused Las Vegas police on Wednesday of racially motivated excessive force, saying he was threatened at gunpoint and handcuffed following a report of gunshots at an after-hours club at a casino-hotel.

Bennett said on a Twitter message titled "Dear World," that police "singled me out and pointed their guns at me for doing nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Police later attributed a report of gunfire at Drai's at the Cromwell resort to the sharp sound of velvet rope stands being knocked to a tile floor. It happened a few hours after the Aug. 26 fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor.

Bennett, a 6-foot-4 (193 centimeters) defensive end who has been a leader of the national anthem protests started by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick , said he was among several hundred people running away.

He said he was handcuffed face-down on the ground after an officer held a gun to his head saying he would blow his head off if he moved.

"All I could think of was 'I'm going to die for no other reason than I am black and my skin color is somehow a threat,'" he wrote. He said he thought of his wife and children.

Bennett said he was taken to the back of a police car "until they apparently realized I was not a thug, common criminal or ordinary black man but Michael Bennett a famous professional football player." He was released without charges.

Las Vegas police Officer Jacinto Rivera said police were checking for casino and police body camera video and written reports. He said the department couldn't immediately verify Bennett's account or identify the officers involved.

"Without looking at video footage or reading any reports we can't say yet what happened," Rivera said.

A video posted by celebrity news site TMZ shows a view from a balcony as a police officer kneels on the back of a man who looks like Bennett. Protests are heard, including, "I wasn't doing nothing," and, "I was here with my friends. They told us to get out and everybody ran."

Bennett's attorney, John Burris in Oakland, California, confirmed the words were Bennett's. The attorney said he believed the 30-second video clip showed some of how his client was treated.

"We think there was an unlawful detention and the use of excessive force, with a gun put to his head," Burris told The Associated Press. "He was just in the crowd. He doesn't drink or do drugs. He wasn't in a fight. He wasn't resisting. He did nothing more or less than anyone in the crowd."

Burris said Bennett waited to make public his account of the incident until after Burris contacted Las Vegas police last week by letter and email, seeking police records of Bennett's detention.

Bennett's brother, Martellus Bennett, who plays for the Green Bay Packers, posted an Instagram account of a telephone call he said he got from Michael Bennett. He said he heard fear in his brother's voice.

"The emotion and the thought of almost losing you because of the way you look left me in one of the saddest places ever," Martellus Bennett said.

Michael Bennett has been one of the most outspoken pro athletes on numerous social issues. Last month, he held a benefit for the family of a pregnant black woman who was fatally shot by two white Seattle police officers in June. Police said the woman threatened the officers with at least one knife after calling 911 to report that someone had broken into her apartment and stolen video-game consoles.

"For me it's always finding a way to impact the community on every single level; locally, nationally, and globally," Bennett said following the benefit. "To be able to have something happen in your city and to be able to build a bridge between people regardless of color, regardless of gender, and regardless of economic hardships, you want to be able to bring people together and be able to do something for kids."

Advocates on Wednesday cited Bennett's treatment by police as an illustration of troubled race relations in America.

Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter advocacy group, called it "a testament to the police violence targeting black people in the United States."

Cullors endorsed an online petition calling for Las Vegas police to release information about what she called an assault on Bennett.

Jocelyn Benson, chief executive of the nonprofit Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, released a statement crediting Bennett with "courage and leadership in addressing issues of racial injustice in our country."

"The revelation of Michael Bennett's terrifying experience with Las Vegas police officers last month underscores the need to continue fighting against racial profiling and inequality," Benson said.
Vincent Frank Sep-05-2017 135 0
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is not one to speak up on the biggest and most controversial topics of the day. He’s remains quiet on numerous issues surrounding the football world and the broader American political landscape.

That’s why it was a bit of a surprise that Newton actually spoke up regarding Colin Kaepernick’s current status as an unemployed NFL quarterback.

In talking to the media on Tuesday, Newton seeemed to throw support behind Kaepernick. Again, it was a surprising comment from the usually reserved quarterback.

“I really think it’s unfair. I think it’s unfair,” Newton said. “But in my opinion do I think Kaepernick is better than some of these starting quarterbacks in this league? Absolutely. Should he be on a roster? Absolutely, there’s no question about that.”

Newton is just the latest player to come to Kaepernick’s defense. And a lot of the focus has been on the quality of quarterback play in today’s NFL.

In Week 1 alone, the likes of Josh McCown, Tom Savage, Jared Goff and Scott Tolzien are all slated to start. For his part, it’s looking more and more like Kaepernick will remain unemployed throughout the entire 2017 season.

Newton and the Panthers take on Kaepernick’s former San Francisco 49ers team on Sunday. That’s what led to this line of questioning.
MARY ALICE ROBBINS Sep-01-2017 86 0
Former Dallas Cowboys cornerback and Pro Hall of Famer Deoin Sanders isn't likely to be performing one of his famous touchdown dances in the wake of a Fifth Court of Appeals decision on Aug. 29.

A three-judge panel of the Dallas court of appeals ruled in Sanders v. Sanders that the 366th District Court in Collin County erred when it granted Deoin Sanders' motion for partial summary judgment on Pilar Sanders' liability for defamation.

In a defamation suit, Deoin Sanders had alleged that, after their divorce in 2013, Pilar Sanders had made statements on social media, in an online video and on a national television news program that he had physically abused her and their children and had attempted to murder her, according to the Fifth Court's opinion. As noted in the opinion, Deoin Sanders had alleged that the statements damaged his reputation and caused him economic damages.

The trial court had awarded the former NFL star and sports broadcaster $2.2 million in damages and ruled that he could offset the $1 million that the divorce decree required him to pay his ex-wife against the defamation damages award.

The Fifth Court panel reversed the judgment and remanded the case to the trial court, holding that Deoin Sanders failed to establish conclusively his ex-wife's negligence or malice regarding the truthfulness of her statements.

Craig A. Jackson, Pilar Sanders' appellate attorney, said his client argued on appeal that Deoin Sanders is a public figure. If a plaintiff in a defamation suit is a public figure, he must prove actual malice, showing that the defendant made the statement in question with knowledge that the statement was false or with reckless disregard of its truth. But the court did not have to address that issue, said Jackson, a partner in Brewer Jackson & Lang in Grapevine.

"They basically said there was no evidence of negligence or malice," he said.

One of the interesting legal issues in the case, Jackson said, is the fact that Pilar Sanders could not offer an affirmative defense of truth.

"She still maintains the truthfulness of her statements," Jackson said.

Deoin Sanders contended in his brief to the Fifth Court that the trial court resolved the allegations of abuse after a three-day hearing in the couple's divorce case with a finding that neither party committed family violence. That finding was confirmed in the subsequent jury trial on custody in which the jury, after being instructed it could not award custody to a parent who had committed abuse or family violence, recommended that Deoin Sanders should be the sole managing conservator of his two sons and joint managing conservator of his daughter.

David Keltner, a partner in Kelly Hart & Hallman in Fort Worth, is Deoin Sanders' appellate attorney, and Larry R. Boyd, a director and shareholder in Abernathy, Roeder, Boyd & Hullett in McKinney, represented the former football player at trial and on appeal. Neither Keltner nor Boyd returned phone calls seeking comment.
A.J. Perez Aug-25-2017 99 0
Former quarterback Michael Vick started the summer as a coaching intern with the Kansas City Chiefs. He will end the summer as a broadcaster with Fox Sports. 

Fox Sports will formally announce on Sunday that Vick, a four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, will serve as a studio analyst for FOX NFL Kickoff, the show that leads into Fox NFL Sunday. Vick will also make regular appearances on FS1 studio shows as part of his new job. 

"I'm very excited," Vick told USA TODAY Sports in a phone interview on Friday. "Over the last seven or eight months, I've done a lot of interviews, and I think I've gotten better as I've been put in those situations more often. Things really came together (with Fox) over the last couple months. They have shows that I have always watched and admired. My friends and family are thankful and proud of me."

As they did with former major league slugger Alex Rodriguez, Fox executives see upside in Vick's potential as a broadcaster.

“He was obviously an outstanding player, but we feel he has an incredibly bright future as an analyst," John Entz, Fox Sports president of production and executive producer, said in an email to USA TODAY Sports. "He has stayed close to the game and has many relationships with today's current coaches and players. We feel he can bring a truly unique perspective that intrigues and engages our viewers.” 

Vick already made news on one of FS1's studio shows, Speak For Yourself, in July when he said that free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick should “cut his hair” and “just go clean-cut." Kaepernick, who sat out the national anthem last season, remains unsigned after he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers. 

Vick said on the The Dan Patrick Show that he regretted that statement and wrote on Twitter that Kaepernick is "a bright kid with a great future."

"I think I'm ready for it," Vick said when asked if he's ready for every on-camera statement to be parsed by the public. "I have already been through that during my career and have had a lot of practice doing interviews. You have to be careful because anything you say can go viral. 

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"I have never criticized guys, but I will be critical. Great players understand that. I've seen the reactions from my teammates watching shows in the team lounge when they disagree with something. I'm a credible guy and I think people will respect that."

Vick, who didn't play last season, retired as a member of the Atlanta Falcons as part of a ceremony in June. Chiefs coach Andy Reid brought Vick on as a coaching intern last month, where he worked mainly with the quarterbacks. 

"Coaching will be part of my life that I engage in at some point, but right now isn't the best timing for it," Vick said. "I prayed about this decision, so I wouldn't make an impulsive decision when it came to coaching vs. being a sports analyst. It's in the same realm since I will be involved in football."

Vick played 13 seasons in the NFL, the first with six with the Falcons as he led the franchise to two playoff appearances and an NFC title game. His tenure with the Falcons was interrupted after a 2007 conviction for his role in a dogfighting operation run on his property in Virginia. 

Vick returned to the NFL in 2009 and played five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles before backup stints with the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers. 
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