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Broncos will ‘stand together’ before Sunday’s NFL game

The NFL’s Denver Broncos announced that team members and coaches would stand together before Sunday’s game in respect for the national anthem, the country and its veterans, Fox News reported Saturday. The Broncos will be hosting the Oakland Raiders in a nationally televised game on CBS.

>> Read more trending news

In a joint statement that also was posted to the team’s Twitter account, the 52-member squad said its actions last week were "in no way a protest of the military, the flag or those who keep us safe."

The statement comes a few days after Broncos executive John Elway -- who led Denver to victory in Super Bowl XXXII in January 1998 -- said he believes in standing for the anthem.

"Take the politics out of football," Elway said.

The team's statement also explained its demonstrations from the past week:

"Last week, members of our team joined their brothers around the NFL in a powerful display of unity. As controversial as it appeared, we needed to show our collective strength and resolve," the Broncos said.

The team said its locker room is very diverse, but that being members of the same squad unite them as a team.

"No matter how divisive some comments and issues can be, nothing should get in the way of that," the team said, appearing to reference President Donald Trump's comments in Alabama last week about NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem. The president suggested that players who took a knee should be fired from their teams, Fox News reported.

Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller, who helped lead the team's demonstrations last week, said after that game that Trump "assaulted" their freedom of speech and that "we had to do something."

Photo circulating of Seahawks' Michael Bennett burning flag is fake

A photo circulating online of Seattle Seahawks player Michael Bennett burning an American flag is fake.

The original photo of Bennett shows him dancing in the locker room after a victory. 

The original photo was shared by the Seattle Seahawks over Twitter on Jan. 3, 2016. The photo is credited to Rod Mar on the team's website.

>> Read more trending news

A photoshopped version of the photograph is circulating online and was posted to the “Vets for Trump” Facebook page where it has garnered over 6,000 shares. It was also shared to the KIRO 7 News Facebook page. The altered photo has since been removed from Facebook, but was captured in other social media posts.

FAKE PHOTO:

REAL PHOTO:

The fake photo was posted after a Sunday of NFL protests during football games. 

The Seattle Seahawks were among the protesters; the team stayed in the locker room during the anthem before their game. 

The Seahawks put out a statement in the afternoon before the game, saying they would not participate.

"As a team, we have decided we will not participate in the national anthem," the statement reads. "We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country. Out of love for our country and in honor of the sacrifices made on our behalf, we unite to oppose those that would deny our most basic freedoms."Earlier this week, Bennett shook hands with military veterans outside the team’s practice space, as photos on social media showed. 

Dayna Mink Coats wrote on Facebook that when driving near the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton on Tuesday, she saw a parked car in the middle of the road. 

“I thought it might be a car accident so I snapped a picture. As I got closer I realized it was group of military veterans who had assembled in front of the VMAC,” Coats wrote. “Mostly all Seniors who had probably seen the battlefield firsthand. They were proudly wearing their veteran’s hats, jackets and some carried American flags. The car in the middle of the road … it was Michael Bennett’s.” 

Coats said as she drove by the veterans and Bennett shaking hands, she became emotional. So she pulled over in tears.

Protesters unfurl ‘Stop Killing Us’ banner at Cardinals game

Protesters inside St. Louis’ Busch Stadium unfurled a banner at the Cardinals-Brewers game Friday night with a rendition of the team mascot and the words, "Stop Killing Us," th,Post-Dispatch reported.

>> Read more trending news

Protesters were upset with the acquittal of a white former police officer in the death of a black man two weeks ago, ESPN reported. The banner was hung over the upper deck railing in left field.

A video posted on Facebook showed a group of demonstrators high above the playing field holding a banner and chanting, “No Justice. No Baseball” and “You can’t stop the revolution,” Reuters reported.

By 9:30 p.m., the group had been ushered out of the stadium by police, the Post-Dispatch reported. They joined almost 200 gathered at Kiener Plaza, with police watching from nearby. From there, the protesters marched to Broadway and Walnut, where a confrontation took place with police in riot gear. As the game let out close to 10 p.m., some of the game attendees argued with some of the protesters. 

The protests are the latest sparked by a not-guilty verdict in the murder trial of former St. Louis patrolman Jason Stockley on Sept. 15, the Post-Dispatch reported. Stockley, who is white, shot and killed drug suspect Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in 2011, after a high-speed chase in which Stockley was recorded saying he intended to kill him, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Missouri bar owner: Anti-Kaepernick doormat not a ‘race thing’

A Missouri bar owner is defending his use of two NFL jerseys, including Colin Kaepernick’s, as doormats outside his buidling’s front door.

>> Read more trending news

KOMU-TV reports the display outside the SNAFU Bar in Lake Ozark originally showed Marshawn Lynch’s Oakland Raiders jersey taped to the ground to the left of Kaepernick’s 49ers jersey.

After someone who saw the display complained on the bar’s Facebook page that the arrangement of the names could be construed as a message calling for violence against Kaepernick, the station reports bar owner Jason Burle switched the jerseys’ placement.

Burle tells the station he meant no personal harm by the display. He says the jerseys were put there to protest NFL players kneeling during the national anthem and insists “it’s not a race thing.”

Russell Westbrook signs record 5-year, $205M deal with Thunder

Russell Westbrook signed the richest contract in NBA history on Friday, agreeing to a five-year, $205 million extension from the Oklahoma City Thunder, ESPN reported.

>> Read more trending news

Westbrook had until Oct. 16 to extend his existing contract, which had one season and a player option remaining. 

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, there is no place I would rather be than Oklahoma City,” the 6-foot-3, 200-pound forward said. “I am so honored to have the opportunity to continue my career here with the Thunder.”

Westbrook signed an extension last summer with the Thunder and responded by averaging a triple-double during the 2016-2017 season -- 31.6 point, 10.3 rebounds and 10.4 assists. He was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for 2016-2017.

Herschel Walker says ‘everyone needs to stand’ for national anthem

Former NFL star Herschel Walker says that, if he were commissioner, he would tell players to stand during the playing of the national anthem and he would protest beside them off the field.

In a Friday interview with TMZ Sports, Walker said he wasn’t trying to minimize the issues of race or police brutality, but the NFL is a business and needs to be treated as such.

>> Read more trending news

“If you want to protest, protest off the job,” Walker said. “Where was everyone before the season started? I didn’t see anyone protesting in front of the White House, protesting in front of Congress or protesting in front of police officers. Why did we wait until football season started then we start this again? 

“If you got to be behind it, you got to be behind it all the way.”

Such protests during the national anthem began to gain attention when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began sitting, then kneeling, during the anthem at preseason NFL games.

Walker, who has been a Trump supporter, said after examples like Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett being wrongfully profiled and handcuffed by Las Vegas police, the country needs to be responsible.

“Everyone needs to stand. Everyone needs to be respectful,” Walker said. “And then what I’d do is, ‘Guys, during the offseason, if you want to go walk the picket line in front of Congress, I will be right there with you, because black lives do matter.”

The former Heisman Trophy winner said it’s time for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to get involved and make a league-wide rule outlawing protesting on the field and taking a knee during the national anthem. He also said that the blame can not be placed on Trump.

“The way he says things ... sometimes I disagree with him, but he’s still my leader,” he said.

Redskins Keith Marshall, Rob Kelly buy Xbox One for boy wearing Kaepernick jersey

Washington Redskins running backs Keith Marshall and Rob Kelley made one 10-year-old boy very happy during a chance meeting at an Ashburn, Virginia, Gamestop Tuesday.

The Washington Post reported that when Jaden Watts, 10, walked into the store to ask about the price of the Xbox One, Kelley and Marshall complimented him on his Colin Kaepernick 49ers jersey.

>> Read more trending news

According to Kelley, Marshall overheard the boy mention saving up for the gaming console and asked his teammate about pitching in to get it for him then and there.

“I was cool with it,” Kelley told the Post. “I wish someone would’ve done something like that for me when I was growing up. His family is probably able to do whatever they want, but everybody is not able to have the stuff that we have the luxury of having. … To make an impact on somebody, I have no problem with it.”

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

Jaden ran to his grandmother, Saundra Watts, for permission. Watts was getting her makeup done nearby.

“He’s jumping up and down, saying, ‘Nana! Nana! Nana! These two guys want to buy me an Xbox. You’ve got to come right now,’” Watts said.

“The first thing I’m thinking is there’s some pedophile trying to buy my grandson an Xbox,” she said. “So I’m like, I’m going to bust up in there and bust his bubble.”

But the two had nothing but good intentions and bought Jaden the console and a copy of “NBA 2K18.”

“The next morning, he woke up and looked at me and said, ‘Nana, I had a dream that I was in a GameStop and two Redskins players bought me an Xbox.’ I said, ‘That wasn’t a dream, you dodo, that really happened,’” Watts told The Post. “It was un-be-lievable. Unbelievable. He’s just such a good kid and it was just such a blessing. It was just so wonderful, the experience of a lifetime.”

In a post on Facebook, Joey Snapp said he was also at the store and saw the players speaking to Jaden.

Snapp’s post was covered by the Redskins Blog and shared on the team’s Twitter page

Read more at The Washington Post.

Alabama football coach Nick Saban: NFL protests not meant to disrespect veterans, military

The question came off as a loaded one.

A fan, who identified himself as a retired veteran, called in to the weekly Nick Saban radio show on Thursday to ask the University of Alabama football coach for his opinion on the NFL protests and whether Saban’s former players who have protested would be welcome back in the locker room or on the sideline.

>> Read more trending news

As Saban did during his Monday news conference, he began his response with the “I’m just a football coach” line.

“I don’t have all the answers to the problems that we have in society,” he said.

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

The topic of football players kneeling in protest during the national anthem has dominated the sports landscape since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first took a knee last year in protest of police brutality against minorities. Scrutiny intensified after President Donald Trump last week called the protests disrespectful and suggested that players who don’t stand during the anthem should be fired.

“The one thing that’s a little disappointing to me is something that has always been real unifying … is no longer that way,” Saban said Thursday. “That is a little bothersome to me. I don’t think that what these people are doing is in any way, shape or form are meant to disrespect a veteran or somebody like yourself, who has worked so hard, fought so hard and sacrificed so much for all of us to have the quality of life that we want to have.

>> Related: Steelers fans burn memorabilia over national anthem stance

“But one of the things that you also fought for and made sacrifice for was that we all could have the freedom to have choice in terms of what we believe, what we did and what we said. This is not something -- look, I respect people’s individual rights. I have my opinion in terms of what I would do and how I would do (it). I would not want to ever disrespect the symbols that represent the values of our country. But, I also respect individual differences that other people have. I think they have the right to express those. Whether it’s our players or somebody else, whether I agree or disagree, I think they have the right to do that.”

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

College football players stay in the locker room during the national anthem.

No. 1 Alabama hosts Ole Miss on Saturday at 9 p.m. EDT.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton joins elite club with 59th homer

Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton joined an elite power-hitting club Thursday night, blasting his 58th and 59th homer in Miami’s 7-1 victory against Atlanta.

>> Read more trending news

Stanton, who has hit 33 homers since the All-Star break in July, joins Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Maris and Babe Ruth as the only major-leaguers to hit at least 59 home runs in a season.

Stanton’s 47 home runs while batting in the No. 2 slot set a major-league mark as he topped the 46 round-trippers hit by Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews in 1959, ESPN reported.

“It’s crazy to be in that company,” Stanton said . “It doesn’t sink in yet. It doesn’t make sense, really, yet. But it’s really cool. It’s everything I’ve worked for and it’s something really cool.”

Stanton hit a solo homer in the fourth inning, and then added a two-run shot in the eighth. It was his 10th multi-homer game of the season.

NFL national anthem singer quits job due to 'fans who attack players for protesting'

An Army veteran and member of the Maryland Army National Guard who was also the national anthem singer for the Baltimore Ravens announced Tuesday night that he is quitting his job because he feels he “do(es) not belong there,” The Baltimore Sun reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Joey Odoms posted on Instagram that he was resigning “as the Official National Anthem Singer of the Baltimore Ravens” because “the tone/actions of a large number of NFL fans in the midst of our country’s cultural crisis, have convinced me that I do not belong there.”

Odoms said he didn’t feel welcomed because of “fans who attack players for protesting.”

>> Related: ‘Get off your knees’ widow of ‘American sniper’ Chris Kyle tells NFL players

“Fans who attack players for protesting -- a right in which I fought to defend -- but are simply not interested in understanding why, is the reason I am resigning,” he wrote. “Someone once told me to always ‘go where you’re welcomed.’ This is not an emotional reaction to recent events, rather an ethical decision that part of me regrets but my core knows is the right choice.”

According to The Washington Post, Odoms served tours in Afghanistan. The Ravens accepted his resignation, saying, “We greatly appreciate the work Joey did for us, and we thank him.”

Odoms had been singing the national anthem for the Ravens since 2014.

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