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Tom Brady calls Trump's comments on national anthem protests 'divisive'

President Donald Trump has not been shy about pushing back on NFL players protesting the national anthem. As a result, the sports world has been set on fire with various players, coaches, front offices and even full leagues responding in kind. On Monday morning, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady followed suit.

>> Live updates: Trump slams NFL players for national anthem protests, athletes react

In response to Trump, with whom Brady is famously friendly, the legendary signal-caller took a stance in an interview with WEEI (via ESPN.com):

>> PHOTOS: NFL takes a stand on football Sunday

“I certainly disagree with what he said. I thought it was just divisive.

“I just want to support my teammates. I’m never one that says, ‘Oh, that’s wrong or that’s right.’ But I do believe in what I believe in, and I believe in bringing people together and respect and love and trust. Those are the values that my parents instilled in me and that’s how I try to live every day.

“I’ve been blessed to be in a locker room with guys from all over the United States over the course of my career. Some of my great friends are from Florida, Virginia, New York, Montana, Colorado, Texas. I think one thing about football is that it brings so many guys together, guys that you would never have the opportunity to be around, whether it was in college and all the way into the pros. We’re all different. We’re all unique. That’s what makes us all so special.”

>> Read more trending news

Brady did not blast Trump in the same way that many have, but he was plain in his comments about disagreeing and referring to Trump’s sentiments as “divisive.”

Read more here.

Pharrell Williams takes a knee in solidarity with NFL national anthem protests

Rapper and singer Pharrell Williams took a knee on Sunday night during a charity concert in Charlottesville, Virginia, to show his support for NFL players who knelt during the national anthem to bring attention to racial injustice.

>> Live updates: Trump slams players, NFL responds by taking a knee

Dave Matthews’ Concert for Charlottesville: An Evening of Music and Unity was held on Sunday night in the wake of the clashes last month after a rally by white nationalists.

>> PHOTOS: NFL takes a stand on football Sunday

“If I want to get on my knees right now for the people of my city, for the people of my state, that’s what this flag is for,” Williams told the crowd, according to Billboard.

The concert was held on the campus at the University of Virginia and was free to members of the Charlottesville and university communities. Justin Timberlake, Chris Stapleton and Ariana Grande were among the performers.

>> On Rare.us: Jennifer Lopez will donate $1 million to aid hurricane relief in Puerto Rico

Williams joined Stevie Wonder in showing his solidarity with the protest after Wonder started his show in New York City by taking a knee.

>> Stevie Wonder takes 'both knees' after Trump slams NFL stars' national anthem protests

“Tonight, I’m taking a knee for America,” Wonder said, according to People. “Not just one knee, but I’m taking both knees. Both knees in prayer for our planet, our future, leaders of our world and our globe. Amen.”

>> See the clip here

>> Read more trending news

Many celebrities, including “Will and Grace” star Megan MullallyDiddy and the members of the band Pearl Jam joined the protest on social media, writing, “#TakeAKnee.”

Steelers fans burn memorabilia over national anthem stance

The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t take to the field Sunday as the national anthem played before the team faced the Chicago Bears, and that decision isn’t sitting well with some fans.

>> Read more trending news

Steelers fans across America posted videos on social media showing them burning their memorabilia after the team failed to show up for the anthem. The protest comes amid tension between NFL players, who first started taking a knee during the anthem last year in protest of inequality and police violence, and President Donald Trump, who called the protests disrespectful.

>> Related: Trump slams NFL players for national anthem protests, athletes react

Jim Heaney, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, posted on YouTube and said, “Can't come out and stand for our anthem or flag? I'm done with you. #BoycottPittsburghSteelers #BoycottTheNFL.”

NFL stadium worker quits job after national anthem protest

After working for nearly three decades at New York’s New Era Field, a man quit his job Sunday after Buffalo Bills team members knelt in protest during the national anthem.

>> Read more trending news

“I waited until the national anthem ended,” stadium worker Erich Nikischer told WGRZ. “I took off my shirt, threw my Bills hat on the ground (and) walked out.”

Nikischer told the news station that he felt Bills players were being disrespectful with their failure to stand during the anthem, echoing statements made by President Donald Trump over the weekend in which he criticized players who have used the pre-game anthem for protest.

“That’s a total disrespect for our heritage,” Trump told a crowd gathered in Alabama on Friday. “That's a total disrespect for everything we stand for.”

Trump’s comments drew both criticism and applause.

>> Related: Trump slams players, NFL responds by taking a knee

Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula said in a statement Saturday that the team had a meeting in the wake of Trump’s comments, which they called “divisive and disrespectful.”

“We tried to use them as an opportunity to further unify our team and our organization,” the statement said. “Our players have the freedom to express themselves in a respectful and thoughtful manner, and we all agreed that our sole messages is to provide and to promote an environment that is focused on love and equality.”

Nikischer told WGRZ that he will miss his co-workers, but added that he will not return to the stadium until after the national anthem protests end.

“I believe people have the right to protest,” Nikischer said. “I just don’t believe that’s the proper venue for it.”

Live updates: Trump slams NFL players for national anthem protests, athletes react 

Players across the NFL fired back at President Donald Trump by taking a knee, standing or refusing to show up at all for the national anthem before Sunday’s games and again Monday night.

>> Read more trending news

The protests came after Trump suggested that NFL team owners should fire players who refuse to stand during the anthem, telling a crowd in Alabama on Friday that “that’s a total disrespect for our heritage.”

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first started kneeling during the anthem last year, to protest police violence against minorities. The protest got mixed reactions, but other NFL players -- and players in other sports -- have since followed Kaepernick’s lead to protest inequality.

WWII veteran, 97, kneels in support of NFL's national anthem protests

A photo of a World War II veteran kneeling in solidarity with NFL players quickly went viral amid Sunday's national anthem protests.

>> Live updates: Trump slams players, NFL responds by taking a knee

>> PHOTOS: NFL takes a stand on football Sunday

According to the Kansas City Star, Brennan Gilmore tweeted the snapshot of his 97-year-old grandfather, John Middlemas of Willard, Missouri, early Sunday. By Monday morning, it had been shared more than 100,000 times.

>> See the tweet here

"Those kids have every right to protest," Middlemas said, according to Gilmore's tweet.

Gilmore added: "Grandpa has been an ally to the civil rights movement for many years. He's an amazing man always on the side of justice."

>> See the tweet here

In an interview with the Springfield News-Leader, Middlemas said he wanted to promote peace.

>> Read more trending news

"I wanted to communicate what I always told to my grandkids and everybody else: When they'd go to bed at night, we'd tell the kids we wanted to be like Jesus," he said, adding, "I'm trying to say that you have to love everybody. ... We don't kill people. We want to make people live."

Read more here or here.

No Cincinnati Bengals kneel for national anthem; many players, coaches lock arms

Unlike many players across the NFL, no Cincinnati Bengals kneeled during the national anthem Sunday in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Instead, many players and coaches stood with their arms locked.

>> On DaytonDailyNews.com: Marvin Lewis explains anthem display

The team released a statement shortly after kickoff:

>> PHOTOS: NFL takes a stand on football Sunday

>> Live updates: Trump slams players, NFL responds by taking a knee

“Football and politics don’t mix easily. Fans come to NFL games to watch great competition on the playing field and that’s where our focus should be.”

>> On DaytonDailyNews.com: Several Browns continue practice of kneeling during anthem

Demonstrations increased across the league Sunday following President Donald Trump’s comments on Friday. Speaking at a campaign rally for Alabama Sen. Luther Strange in Hunstville, Ala., Trump said “Wouldn’t you love one of the NFL owners, when someone disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a [expletive] off the field right now. Out. He’s fired!’”

>> Read more trending news

Reaction to the comments was swift with numerous players chiming in on Twitter and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell releasing a statement that read, “The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. 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.”

Seahawks' Pete Carroll responds to Trump's condemnation of national anthem protests

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has responded to President Donald Trump's suggestion that NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. Trump also encouraged spectators to walk out in protest.

>> Trump withdraws White House invitation to Golden State Warriors

The statement from Carroll said:

>> Trump continues railing against protesting NFL, NBA players

"In this incredibly polarizing time, there’s no longer a place to sit silently. It’s time to take a stand. We stand for love and justice and civility. We stand for our players and their constitutional rights, just as we stand for equality for all people. We stand against divisiveness and hate and dehumanization. We are in the midst of a tremendously challenging time, a time longing for healing. Change needs to happen; we will stand for change. May we all have the courage to take a stand for our beliefs while not diminishing the rights of others as this is the beating heart of our democracy. As a team, we are united in a mission to bring people together to help create positive change. We can no longer remain silent. I will stand with our players."

>> Bruce Maxwell first MLB player to kneel during national anthem

The statement was released through Pete Carroll's Twitter account Saturday night: 

>> See the tweet here

In an extended riff during a freewheeling rally speech in Alabama on Friday night, Trump bemoaned that football games have become less violent.

>> Roger Goodell calls Trump’s attack on NFL players’ protests ‘divisive’

"They're ruining the game," he complained.

After Trump made his remarks, Seattle Seahawks players took to social media to respond. See the responses embedded below. 

>> Donald Trump says NFL anthem protesters should be ‘off the field’ and fired

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

Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett responded Saturday afternoon. 

>> Read more trending news

"My mom is a beautiful lady she has never been a (expletive)," Bennett wrote. 

His response comes after Trump said, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you'd say, 'Get that son of a (expletive) off the field right now. Out! He's fired."

Read more here.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

BYU is allowing Coca-Cola, caffeinated soda on campus and everyone is freaking out

On Thursday morning, Brigham Young University announced the university will offer caffeinated soft drinks – including Coca-Cola – on campus and fans couldn’t contain their excitement.

The BYU Twitter account posted the news along with a Q&A with BYU director of dining services Dean Wright on the decision to bring caffeinated soft drinks on the Provo, Utah, campus for the first time since the mid-1950s.

>> Read more trending news

BYU is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints and requires students to adhere to a strict honor code in line with the church’s beliefs. The honor code enforces a mandated dress code, personal grooming standards as well as abstinence from premarital sex, drugs and alcohol.

BYU is the largest religious university and third-largest private university in the United States.

>> Click here or scroll down for more

Middle school runner chooses kindness over competitiveness

A middle school athlete from Michigan showed that sportsmanship was more important than winning a cross country race, UpNorthLive.com reported.

>> Read more trending news

Amelia Malburg, an eighth-grader at Mason County Eastern, was running in a meet when she noticed her teammate was on the ground and struggling.

Malburg said she generally is near the front of the pack when running, but on that particular day her ankle was hurting.

“We were almost close to done, we were getting up the big hill,” Malburg told UpNorthLive.com. “[My teammate] fell down, she didn’t want to move forward because it was so hot and has asthma.”

Malburg stopped running and picked up her teammate, seventh-grader Alexis Shubert.

A photo of Malburg helping her teammate was shared on Facebook by a parent from another school.

The picture shows Malburg holding up Shubert, whose arm is wrapped around her teammate as both girls walk up the hill.

“I just wanted to sit there and just lay down and just stop,” Malburg told UpNorthLive.com. “Then Amelia came by and she helped me up and walked me up the hill and we started running together.”

“By stopping to help Alexis, [Mia] was basically sacrificing her own time and performance to try and help a teammate which is a pretty cool thing,” Mason County Eastern Principal Mark Fornor said.

The principal says the photo demonstrates sportsmanship and putting generosity over finishing first.

“It was just something that I kind of expected Mia to do she doesn’t like it when other people are hurt around her,” said Ginger Malburg, Amelia’s mother. “Knowing that people are choosing kindness over competitiveness."

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