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Florida man hires pilot to fly 'Boycott Jags, NFL' banner over stadium amid anthem protests

A man from Green Cove Springs, Florida, took his issues with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the NFL to the sky Sunday.

>> Watch the news report here

At 1,000 feet, you could read the statement on the plane-towed banner saying, “Be American. Boycott the Jags and the NFL.”

Terry Smiley had the message printed on a banner that was flown above EverBank Field before the Jacksonville Jaguars' game against the Los Angeles Rams. 

This all-American sport is dividing fans after some NFL players took a knee during the national anthem.

“I am asking people to boycott the football games. I don’t watch it on TV,” Smiley said. 

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: Jaguars fan says he was asked to leave stadium for silent protest

People's feelings about politics and football seem to bleed together on the turf. 

“People need to realize the true message that they’re trying to send,” Jaguars fan Jay Crossman said. 

Smiley said he was disgusted by the Jags players who knelt in London. Now, he’s taking a stand, making his voice be heard. 

“Do you believe in your country? Do you believe in 'The Star-Spangled Banner'? If you don’t stand up for it now, you won’t have it in the future,” Smiley said. 

As a former Jags fan, he hired a pilot to fly his banner over the stadium for two hours to send his message about players kneeling. 

“I have the right to protest, and I’m going to protest it with bumper stickers, airplanes – whatever I go to do. I will continue to protest,” Smiley said.

>> Pence abruptly leaves Colts game after players take a knee during anthem

Some fans are on the offensive, saying players are kneeling for a greater cause – equality. 

“They are taking it in a peaceful manner. They are trying to use their words and use their actions instead of taking it to violence,” Jaguars fan Jaumari Day said. 

“They have publicly stated that they care about veterans and the flag and that’s not what they’re kneeling against,” Crossman said. 

Smiley is giving away bumper stickers in hopes his supporters will join him and boycott NFL football. 

>> Read more trending news

“We boycott them and we hit them in the pocketbook where it (hurts) them. (Before) long, we’ll have them on both of their knees,” Smiley said. 

“We have people who are legitimate concerns who happen to be NFL players. They still live in the community. They have a right to protest. That’s (Smiley's) right. Just like the NFL players who take their knee that’s their right. He has the right to do what he is doing,” Jaguars fan Calvin Sinclair said. 

Roger Goodell’s wife had fake Twitter account to support husband against social media opponents

No one really knows who owns social media accounts. Case in point: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the wife of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had set up a Twitter account to defend her husband against negative comments on the social media platform.

>> Read more trending news 

Jane Skinner Goodell had set up the account @forargument under the assumed name  of Jones smith and used it to defend the top man in the NFL online. The account has been deleted since it came to light after The Wall Street Journal’s investigation, ESPN reported.

Skinner Goodell, who is a former Fox News host, admitted to owning the account, telling The Wall Street Journal that, “It was a really silly thing to do and done out of frustration -- and love,” CBS Sports reported.

College football player cut from team after kneeling for national anthem

A Pennsylvania quarterback is off his college team after he knelt for the national anthem for the second game in a row.

>> Do students have to stand for the Pledge, anthem?

Gyree Durante, a sophomore, is a second-string quarterback at Albright College in Reading. He said his decision to kneel was a protest against racism and social injustices in the nation. Durante, who is a native of Norristown, told WCAU: “At some point in life, there’s going to be a time when you’ve got to take a stand. For me, it just happened to be on Saturday afternoon.”

>> On Rare.us: A San Francisco 49ers player went after VP Mike Pence for leaving the football game

A spokeswoman for the college said the decision to stand during the anthem was agreed upon by the entire team. She says the team agreed to kneel during the coin toss and stand during the anthem. The spokeswoman explained that the decision to kneel was done “out of the mutual respect team members have for one another and the value they place on their differences.” Her statement went on to say that Durante’s decision to kneel showed that he “chose not to support team unity,” leading to his dismissal from the team.

>> Pence abruptly leaves Colts game after players take a knee during anthem

Durante’s teammates said they believe their colleague broke the trust of the team. One freshman said: "Time and time again he told us he would stand. … When you can’t have a player on a team that you can trust, he’s got to go.”

>> Read more trending news

Read more here.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants players to stand during national anthem, memo says

UPDATE Oct. 11:

The National Football League Players Association, the organization representing NFL players, said in a joint statement Wednesday that NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith will join NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in league meetings Oct. 17 and 19. Player leadership will also be in attendance.

“There has been no change in the current policy regarding the anthem. The agenda will be a continuation of how to make progress on the important social issues that players have vocalized,” the statement said. “Everyone who is part of our NFL community has a tremendous respect for our country, our flag, our anthem and our military, and we are coming together to deal with these issues in a civil and constructive way.”

Earlier Wednesday, a league spokesman told NFL.com the NFL does not have plans to mandate players stand for the national anthem, contrary to reports.

“Commentary this morning about the Commissioner's position on the Anthem is not accurate,” gthe spokesman said. “The NFL is doing the hard work of trying to move from protest to progress, working to bring people together.”

ORIGINAL STORY Oct. 10:

In a letter to the league, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he wants players to stand during the national anthem before games.

ESPN reported that Goodell expressly said he wanted players to do so. 

>> Read more trending news

“Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the national anthem,” Goodell wrote, according to The Washington Post. “It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.”

“Building on many discussions with clubs and players, we have worked to develop a plan that we will review with you at next week’s League meeting,” Goodell said, according to CNBC, which also obtained a copy of the Tuesday letter.

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

The letter did not have specifics on how Goodell will enforce players standing during the anthem, but the measure would “include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues.”

Goodell said chief executives and club presidents will “continue the unprecedented dialogue with our players.”

According to ESPN, discussions on the rule change would likely happen at the NFL’s regularly-scheduled fall meetings Oct. 17 and 18.

NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart told Yahoo Sports team owners will discuss anthem rules at the fall meeting.

“I expect and look forward to a full and open discussion of these issues when we meet next week in New York,” Goodell wrote. “Everyone involved in the game needs to come together on a path forward to continue to be a force of good within our communities, protect the game, and preserve our relationship with fans throughout the country.”

Read Goodell’s full memo, from NBC News, below. 

Related: The NFL Responds to Trump’s ‘Divisive’ Remarks

Florida man sets himself on fire after Cowboys lose to Packers, deputies say

An agreement to burn a losing team’s jersey went horribly wrong when a drunken Florida man tried to put the jersey on, deputies say.

>> Read more Floridoh! stories 

A husband and wife were watching the Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers game inside their Vero Beach home when the husband’s team lost and he went outside to incinerate his jersey, according to the Sebastian Daily.

>> On PalmBeachPost.com: Woman shot dead after running over Florida cop

“He was set on fire after losing a bet on the Cowboys game. … Skin was hanging off his arm and back,” a witness told Sebastian Daily.

Family members quickly took off the jersey and took him to Indian River Medical Center with with second- and third-degree burns to his back, right arm and hand, the report said. 

>> Read more trending news

The 27-year-old man said he was drunk, deputies said.

Read more at Sebastian Daily

Reports: Mike Pence's brief time at Colts game cost taxpayers at least $240,000

Mike Pence made headlines Sunday after the vice president and his wife left an NFL game in which the San Francisco 49ers were to face off against the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis. 

>> Read more trending news 

Pence, the former governor of Indiana, expressed excitement before the game on Twitter, where he wrote that he was looking forward to cheering on the Colts and celebrating the career of Peyton Manning, who played for the Colts from 1998 to 2011 and retired last year after 18 seasons in the league.

But when San Francisco 49er players knelt during the national anthem, Pence abruptly left the game.

“I left today's Colts game because (the president) and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem,” Pence wrote on Twitter. 

Donald Trump praised the move

Later, critics and politicians began adding up how much Pence’s brief trip cost taxpayers.

According to the Air Force, a flight on Air Force 2 costs about $30,000 per hour, CNN reported. That’s down from an estimated $42,936 per hour per trip in 2013, according to Time

Pence flew from Las Vegas to Indianapolis on Saturday and then from Indianapolis to Los Angeles on Sunday. 

The trip, which took at about 3.5 hours on the way there and about 4.5 hours for the second leg, cost at least $240,000, according to CNN.

And that doesn’t include the cost of rental cars for Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security personnel supporting the trip, The Indianapolis Star reported. There’s also the Saturday hotel room in Indianapolis and the cost of the extra security to consider.

A White House aide said if it weren’t for the game, Pence would have flown from Las Vegas to Washington, D.C., then to Los Angeles.

“The Vice President was not going to miss the Las Vegas memorial prayer walk on Saturday, which he was honored to attend on behalf of President Trump,” an aide said in a statement. “If the Vice President did not go to Indiana for the Colts game, he would have flown back to D.C. for the evening -- which means flying directly over Indiana. Instead, he made a shorter trip to Indiana for a game that was on his schedule for several weeks.”

If Pence had flown directly from Las Vegas to Los Angeles -- a 90-minute trip -- the cost of the flight would have been about $45,000.

Pence flew to Los Angeles for a political event. Some of the costs of the flight from Indianapolis to Los Angeles will be reimbursed by the Republican National Committee; the exact amount is unclear.

Miami Dolphins offensive line coach resigns after video allegedly shows him snorting powder

Chris Foerster resigned as Miami Dolphins offensive line coach, one day after a video was released that appeared to show him snorting a white powdered substance.

The Dolphins became aware of the video Sunday night and began to work to confirm its authenticity and when it was recorded.

>> Read more trending news

It’s an embarrassing moment for Foerster and the Dolphins, which brings unwanted national attention in some ways reminiscent of the way the the Richie Incognito bullying scandal did in 2013.

“I am resigning from my position with the Miami Dolphins and accept full responsibility for my actions,” Foerster said in a statement released Monday. “I want to apologize to the organization and my sole focus is on getting the help that I need with the support of my family and medical professionals.”

>> Related: Miami Dolphins investigating video that allegedly shows offensive line coach snorting powder

Foerster was Miami’s offensive line coach under coach Adam Gase for two seasons, returning to a franchise he worked for in 2004. That season, Foerster held the role of offensive coordinator under Dave Wannstedt after Joel Collier resigned for health reasons.

In the video, which lasts just under a minute, Foerster addresses a camera and speaks of missing the person watching, and states that he is snorting the substance before heading to a meeting.

Foerster can be seen snorting three lines of a substance with a $20 bill.

In a statement, the Dolphins said, “We were made aware of the video late last night and have no tolerance for this behavior. After speaking with Chris this morning, he accepted full responsibility and we accepted his resignation effective immediately. Although Chris is no longer with the organization, we will work with him to get the help he needs during this time.”

>> Former NFL player: Women are 'incapable' of knowing football

Here are a few excerpts from the video:

“Hey baby, miss you, thinking about you. How about me going into a meeting and doing this before I go?

“There’s those big grains falling, but I miss you, I miss you a lot.

“What do you think, I’m crazy? I don’t know babe, it’s going to be a while before we can do this again, cause I know you’re going to keep that baby. But I think about you when I do it. I think about how much I miss you. How high we get together. How much fun we have when we get together. It was so much fun. Last little bit before I go to my meeting.”

>> Pence abruptly leaves Colts’ game after players take a knee during anthem

The Palm Beach Post was alerted to the presence of the video posted on a Facebook page by a Twitter notification from a person alleging to be Kijuana Nige.

Foerster began his coaching career at Colorado State in 1982 before moving on to Stanford and Minnesota.

In 1993, Foerster began his NFL coaching career with the Vikings, moving on to Tampa, Indianapolis, Miami, Baltimore, San Francisco, Washington, San Francisco (again) and Miami (again), under coach Adam Gase.

After a 1-4 start last season, Miami’s had a better season thusfar in large part due to improvement by the offensive line. Less than two weeks ago, Gase credited Foerster for the work he does getting multiple players ready to play multiple positions.

During the final 11 games of the 2016 regular season, Miami ranked third in the NFL, with 132.9 rushing yards per game, and tied for third with 13 sacks allowed.

>> Follow the Daily Dolphin on Facebook

Foerster has mentored six players that were selected to 15 Pro Bowls – center Jeff Christy (2000), center Tony Mayberry (1996-99), guard Randall McDaniel (1993, 1995, 2000), tackle Jonathan Ogden (2005-07), tackle Joe Staley (2015) and tackle Trent Williams (2012-14).

With Miami, Foerster has worked with offensive linemen such as Branden Albert, Laremy Tunsil, Mike Pouncey and Ja’Wuan James, all former first-round draft choices.

Miami’s assistant offensive line coach is Chris Kuper, who has 10 years of NFL experience and is in his second season with the Dolphins.

Miami Dolphins investigating video that allegedly shows offensive line coach snorting powder

The Miami Dolphins are aware of a video which appears to show offensive line coach Chris Foerster snorting a white powdered substance.

“We were just made aware of the video and will have no comment at this time,” the Miami Dolphins said in a statement.

>> Follow the Daily Dolphin on Facebook

The team is working to confirm when the video was recorded and its validity.

Foerster has been Miami’s offensive line coach in 2016 and 2017, returning to a franchise he worked for in 2004.

>> Former NFL player: Women are 'incapable' of knowing football

That season, Foerster held the role of offensive coordinator under Dave Wannstedt after Joel Collier resigned for health reasons.

The person in the video is addressing a camera and speaks of missing the person watching, and states that he is snorting the substance before heading to a meeting.

Foerster began his coaching career at Colorado State in 1982 before moving on to Stanford and Minnesota.

>> Pence abruptly leaves Colts’ game after players take a knee during anthem

In 1993, Foerster began his NFL coaching career with the Vikings, moving on to Tampa, Indianapolis, Miami, Baltimore, San Francisco, Washington, San Francisco (again) and Miami (again), under coach Adam Gase.

After a 1-4 start last season, Miami’s play has improved in large part due to improvement by the offensive line.

During the final 11 games of the 2016 regular season, Miami ranked third in the NFL with 132.9 rushing yards per game and tied for third with just 13 sacks allowed.

>> Read more trending news

Foerster has mentored six players who were selected to 15 Pro Bowls – center Jeff Christy (2000), center Tony Mayberry (1996-99), guard Randall McDaniel (1993, 1995, 2000), tackle Jonathan Ogden (2005-07), tackle Joe Staley (2015) and tackle Trent Williams (2012-14).

With Miami, Foerster has worked with offensive linemen such as Branden Albert, Laremy Tunsil, Mike Pouncey and Ja’Wuan James, all former first-round draft choices.

Cam Newton issues video apology after sexist comment to female reporter

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton apologized in a Twitter video post Thursday night for sexist comments made to a female reporter.

>> Read more trending news

“After careful thought, I understand that my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women," the Carolina Panthers quarterback said at the start of the nearly two-minute video. “To be honest, that was not my intentions. And if you are a person who took offense to what I said, I sincerely apologize to you.”

When Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue asked Newton about wide receiver Devin Funchess’ route running Wednesday, Newton laughed and said, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes. It’s funny.”

The NFL released a statement Wednesday saying that Newton's response to the question was “just plain wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists who cover our league.”

Dannon, the maker of Oikos yogurt, ended its endorsment with Newton on Thursday. Company spokesperson Michael Neuwirth released a statement saying it was “shocked and disheartened” at the former league MVP's behavior and comments.

Related: Cam Newton loses Dannon endorsement deal over sexist comment

Panthers coach Ron Rivera addressed the situation briefly during his press conference Thursday, saying, “I think Cam made a mistake. I understand he had a conversation where he pretty much said he shouldn't have said, what he said.”

Rodrigue issued a statement Wednesday evening saying she and Newton did speak after the news conference, but said the quarterback didn't apologize for his remarks.

Related: NFL: Cam Newton’s response to female reporter ‘disrespectful’

Rodrigue was back in the locker room on Thursday, flanked by Mike Persinger, the executive sports editor of The Charlotte Observer. On Wednesday, Persinger said Newton's comments were “unfortunate and out of line.”

She issued an apology herself on Thursday after coming under fire for using a racial slur in tweets she posted about four years ago. The tweets were first reported by BlackSportsOnline.com.

“I apologize for the offensive tweets form my Twitter account from 4/5 years ago,” Rodrigue said on her Twitter page. “There is no excuse for these tweets and the sentiment behind them. I am deeply sorry and apologize.”

Rodrigue was a college student at Arizona State at the time of the tweets. When asked about the tweets, Persinger said “she has owned them and apologized for them.”

Cam Newton loses Dannon endorsement deal over sexist comment

When Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue asked Newton about wide receiver Devin Funchess' route running, the former league MVP smiled and said, "It's funny to hear a female talk about routes. It's funny."

>> Read more trending news 

After the incident, The Dannon Company dropped Newton, who had an endorsement deal with the dairy company.

“We are shocked and disheartened at the behavior and comments of Cam Newton towards Jourdan Rodrigue, which we perceive as sexist and disparaging to all women,” company officials wrote in a statement. “It is entirely inconsistent with our commitment to fostering equality and inclusion in every workplace. It's simply not OK to belittle anyone based on gender. We have shared our concerns with Cam and will no longer work with him.”

Carolina spokesman Steven Drummond said in a statement to The Associated Press that Newton had a conversation with Rodrigue after the news conference ended and that Newton expressed regret for his remarks.

Rodrigue released a statement through The Charlotte Observer via email saying that Newton did not apologize when they spoke after the news conference.

She said she "was dismayed by his response, which not only belittled me, but countless other women before me and beside me who work in similar jobs. I sought Mr. Newton out as he left the locker room a few minutes later. He did not apologize for his comments."

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Wednesday night in a statement that Newton's comments "are just plain wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists who cover our league. They do not reflect the thinking of the league."

Drummond said the Panthers "strive as a department to make the environment for media comfortable for everyone covering the team."

Mike Persinger, the executive sports editor of The Charlotte Observer, said Newton's comments were "unfortunate and out of line."

"The question Jourdan asked during the news conference was a good one, like countless other questions about football strategy and nuance she has asked in the course of doing her job," Persinger said.

Rodrigue joined The Charlotte Observer as a Panthers beat reporter last year.

She wrote on Twitter, "I don't think it's 'funny' to be a female and talk about routes. I think it's my job."

>> Related: NFL: Cam Newton's response to female reporter 'disrespectful'

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