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Justin Timberlake will headline Super Bowl LII halftime show

Singer Justin Timberlake will be returning to the Super Bowl stage for the first time since he was part of Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” in 2004, the NFL confirmed Sunday.

>> Read more trending news

Timberlake, who will be performing in his third Super Bowl halftime show, will be the featured artist during the intermission of the NFL’s showcase game on Feb. 4, 2018 in Minneapolis. He previously appeared at Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa in 2001, but it was his appearance with Jackson at Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston in 2004 that caused controversy.

Related: Justin Timberlake in talks to do 2018 Super Bowl halftime show, report says

An estimated 140 million people were watching the show when at the end, Timberlake popped off part of Jackson’s corset, exposing her breast. The incident, later described as a “wardrobe malfunction,” led to numerous complaints and a large fine by the Federal Communications Commission, The New York Times reported. The fine was eventually vacated by an appeals court, the Times reported. For Jackson, there was more fallout. Rolling Stone reported she was essentially blacklisted, which affected her music career.

During an interview televised during NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” broadcast, Mike Tirico asked Timberlake if the NFL had addressed the incident with him.

The singer smiled and said, “That won’t happen again.”

Timberlake, the 10-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, rose to fame with the boy band ’N Sync. He has since had solo hits such as “Sexy Back,” “Cry Me a River” and “Rock Your Body.”

Timberlake also had a hit with “Can’t Stop the Feeling” on the soundtrack for the animated movie, “Trolls.”

While Jackson remains banned from singing at the Super Bowl. Several people on Twitter were angered by the choice of Timberlake. 

“It had better damn well be a 15 minute apology to Janet Jackson for hanging her out to dry in 2004,” one person tweeted. 

Another tweeted that Timberlake was “still ensuring white privilege remains in style in 2017. Meanwhile, Janet Jackson is still left in the cold.”

“ My only request is that you don't perform any of the music inspired by her brother or any Black artist. You love our culture, but disrespect our people.”

Colin Kaepernick not invited to annual owners and NFLPA meeting

NFL owners and the NFL Players Association met in New York Tuesday for a regularly scheduled meeting with the topic of the national anthem protests in mind. Knowing this, many players were expecting one important free agent to be invited in Colin Kaepernick considering he was the person who got it all started. However, it was made clear that he was not invited, according to his attorney.

>> Read more trending news

That apparently didn’t sit well with players that were invited to the meetings.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman made his displeasure pretty clear, telling ESPN’s Brady Henderson, “You’ve heard every excuse in the book for why he doesn’t have a job, but you see what it is. They’ve agreed not to give him a job.”

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

Kaepernick has filed a grievance against the NFL alleging that there has been collusion in not signing him. A case can certainly be made that there’s a concerted effort to not sign Kaepernick to some team as there are several backups and even starting QBs in the league who are not better than him, but to prove actual collusion is going to be pretty tough.

Hillary Clinton defends NFL players kneeling for the national anthem

While on tour promoting her book “What Happened,” Hillary Clinton defended NFL players who kneel during the national anthem, arguing that they’re neither protesting the anthem nor the flag and calling their display “reverent.”

>> Read more trending news 

That’s what black athletes kneeling was all about,” she said in response to a question about how to resist the Trump White House. “That’s not against our anthem or our flag. Actually, kneeling is a reverent position. It was to demonstrate in a peaceful way against racism and injustice in our criminal system.”

Former NFL star Colin Kaepernick sought to protest racial injustice in the United States last season, beginning by sitting on the bench for the national anthem. After speaking with former NFL player and Green Beret Nate Boyer, he decided to simultaneously protest and show respect by kneeling for the song instead.

“We sorta came to a middle ground where he would take a knee alongside his teammates,” Boyer said after their meeting. “Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother’s grave, you know, to show respect. When we’re on a patrol, you know, and we go into a security halt, we take a knee, and we pull security.”

President Donald Trump recently began attacking players who kneel during the anthem, calling them “sons of (expletive)” and imploring team owners to fire players who participate in the protest.

National anthem protests: Jaguars apologize for 'not comprehending effect' of demonstration

The president of the Jacksonville Jaguars sent a letter this month to city officials, apologizing for the team’s kneeling during the national anthem during their Sept. 24 game in London. 

>> Read more trending news

The letter, dated Oct. 6, said the team was "remiss in not fully comprehending the effect of the national anthem demonstration on foreign soil has on the men and women who continue to serve our country." 

Written by Mark Lamping and addressed to Bill Spann, the director of military affairs for Jacksonville, the letter goes on to say, "Today, we can understand how the events in London could have been viewed or misinterpreted. We owe you an apology and hope you will accept it."

>> Read the letter the Jaguars sent to the city of Jacksonville

Before their game against the Baltimore Ravens last month, about a dozen Jaguars players kneeled during the national anthem. The move came days after President Donald Trump suggested that players who knelt during the national anthem should be cut from the team.

Some Jaguars fans were angered over the move, with one fan man destroying his Jaguars gear and another flying a plane above EverBank Field asking fans to boycott the Jaguars and the NFL. 

The Jaguars, 3-3 on the season, have a game at division rival Indianapolis on Sunday. Their next home game is Nov. 5 vs. Cincinnati.

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.

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